|Alexander Augunas Contributor|
PF1 had an FAQ that clarified about how weapons work when you use them to perform combat maneuvers; you essentially make an attack roll with a weapon you're wielding. Starfinder doesn't appear to have this rule, going so far as the rules text for things like the trip weapon property doesn't say that you're tripping with the weapon, just that if you're wielding the weapon when you trip someone you get a bonus.
This leads to a weird question with the vanguard. Going off of the base combat rules, combat maneuvers require a melee attack roll and melee attacks specify that they are base attack bonus + Strength modifier. While you can build a big, beefy vanguard by default their entropic strike is an operative weapon, which means it adds Dexterity to the attack roll instead of Strength. But by default, there's no rule that says I can use my Dexterity for my combat maneuver attacks instead of my Strength, leading to this weird case where the combat maneuver class doesn't have as good a bonus as it probably should. (Even going so far as the the Key Ability entry for the vanguard never mentioning that you might want a high Strength modifier for your combat maneuver attacks.)
So, is the intention that vanguards can attack with combat maneuvers via entropic strike, making them operative weapons? Or are they supposed to invest in Strength?
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I believe it is intended for combat maneuvers to be done with Entropic Strike, since the ability to resolve combat maneuvers based on EAC is a part of the entropic strike feature. During the playtest, Owen did also confirm in the vanguard feedback threads that using the operative property on combat maneuvers was valid, though of course he is no longer the source for official clarifications today.