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The Command location has the ability:

Activate up to 2 unmanned vipers.

Then the rules say:

Each viper may be activated any number of times during a player’s turn

Can you activate the same viper twice?

Which of the following is what the command location does?

  1. Chose up to two unmanned vipers. Activate each of them once.
  2. Perform up to two activations of unmanned vipers. The same unmanned viper may be activated more than once.

1 Answer 1

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You can activate the same viper twice

The FAQ says that you can activate the same viper twice (Option #2).

Q: Can a player use the “Command” location to launch a viper and then move or attack with the same viper?

A: Yes. There is no limit to the number of times an unmanned viper may be activated per turn.

To make any sense of the rules, they say:

When a player activates a viper, he must choose one of the following options:

  • Launch a Viper: ...

  • Move a Viper: ...

  • Attack with a Viper: ...

Essentially, the way that the game works is that each unmanned viper activation happens with no memory of which viper was previously activated. So you can chose the same viper as the "second viper" to activate with command.

It would be better worded as "Perform up to two unmanned viper activations".

This also implies that Lee Adama's once per game ability of activating 6 unmanned vipers can also activate one unmanned viper 6 times, or spread out the activations among a set of vipers.

Why pilot a viper then?

If you can get two activations of a viper with command, it may seem like piloting a viper (where your action turns into only one activation) isn't worth it. Piloted vipers are still worth it under this reading for a number of reasons:

  • You can use your movement to move the viper
  • You get extra benefits from the Evasive Maneuvers piloting card
  • You can use the Maximum Firepower piloting card
  • Character abilities (such as Lee Adama and Kara Thrace) give benefits to piloting vipers
  • Other piloting cards from the expansions give additional benefits to piloted vipers

While a majority of the above reasons involve using piloting cards, note that the only people allowed to pilot vipers in the first place are those with piloting in their skill set.

Caveat

What's strange is the Kara Thrace ally card, which says:

Skilled Pilot - Choose 1 unmanned viper to activate 4 times

Compare this to the Aaron Kelly ally card, which says:

Landing Signal Officer - Activate up to 4 unmanned vipers

The above interpretation makes Aaron Kelly's ability strictly better than Kara Thrace's as he can activate the same viper 4 times or spread out the activations.

However, this example doesn't invalidate this interpretation of the rule because there are other examples where one ally card has a strictly better ability than another ally card. For example, the Galen Tyrol ally has "Senior Chief Petty Officer - Repair up to 2 locations on Galactica or up to 4 unmanned vipers", which is strictly better than the Diana Seelix ally ability "Avionics Specialist - Move 3 vipers from the 'Damaged Vipers' box to the 'Reserves'".

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