X-Wing: Wave 7 – Welcome to the Jam

x-wing-title

SLAM drives, glitterstim and munitions, oh my! A Wave 7 preview analysis.

The obligatory bad Space Jam jokes aside, the new wave actually looks really promising. I’m not even that upset over how the K-Wing is clearly “The Y-Wing, but better” since the Y-Wing has for all intents and purposes become a Scum-exclusive ship thanks to the Unhinged Astromechs and a few better pilots.

There’s no excusing how the Punisher is “TIE Bomber, done properly”, however. But honestly, ask yourself – when was the last time you saw a TIE Bomber? Anyway, it’s time to squint at what little Fantasy Flight has shown us and start wildly speculating/complaining.

REBELS – K-Wing

SLAM Drive

Okay, okay, that was the last one I’m going to make this article, I promise. Anyway, the K-Wing brings a lot of new things to the table – it’s the first small-based ship with a natural 360 degree firing arc, it’s the first ship in the game with the new SLAM drive action, and it brings to the table (along with the Punisher) an upgrade card that might finally make ordnance weapons worth taking. Let’s break it down.

  • STATS
    • 2 Attack
    • 1 Agility
    • 5 Hull
    • 4 Shields
    • PS 2, 4, 6 (Character), 9 (Character)

This is all fairly respectable, and also seems to be suggesting a lackluster maneouver dial that will be made up by the turret and SLAM action. It’s bulky, and shares an attack stat with the A-Wing which means that its primary role isn’t that of an unupgraded fighter, but it’ll be hard to remove from the table. Remembering the new prevalence of ships with Autothrusters, and its 360 fire arc isn’t’ as big of a problem as it would have been during earlier waves of the game.

  • ACTIONS
    • Focus
    • Target Lock
    • SLAM
SLAM action

Focus and Target Lock are just to be expected on a Rebel ship at this point, so let’s talk about the SLAM action. Something with a SLAM drive is going to get insane distance up the table, at the cost of not being able to attack this turn. For ships that rely on close-range weaponry, or ordnance with limited range bands, that’s incredibly important – and the K-Wing’s 2 attack dice really could use being at Range 1 to help out once it’s fired its primary weapons. It’ll also give the K-Wing some surprising arc dodging capabilities – but again, we’ll have to see the maneuver dial before we can determine the ship’s abilities. For now, though, the action itself seems powerful yet balanced. Watch out for the new Advanced SLAM modification, where after performing your SLAM move and not overlapping anything you can perform a free action.

  • UPGRADE SLOTS
    • 1 Turret
    • 2 Torpedoes
    • 1 Missile
    • 1 Crew
    • 2 Bombs

…well, it’s a ordnance carrier alright. The addition of a turret slot is surprising, since it already has a natural one but not necessarily unwelcome. One torpedo slot is probably going to be taken up by the new Extra Munitions (more on that in the Punisher section), and the flexibility of what kind to take is nice. An Ion Pulse Missile that can be fired twice a game with EM could be a solid counter to large ships by locking down their movement a bit. The lack of an EPT slot is interesting, and could go a long way towards balancing the SLAM drive (no Push-the-limit+Engine Upgrade shenanigans, for a start)

  • POINT COST

This is mostly speculation, but the only elite pilot that we can see fully (sadly I can’t quite make out what she’s saying on the card – anyone who can, tell me and I’ll edit it into the article) is priced at what looks like 29, possibly 28. For the same point cost as Wedge or Luke, this seems a little undercosted for what it can do – although it could be an E-Wing situation, where the point difference between a generic and the ‘best’ named pilot is only around six or seven points. It’ll almost certainly cost a bit more in practice, either due to missiles or just the Advanced SLAM+A turret.

EDIT (Thanks, DoctorHam!): The cost is 29 points, and the pilot skill is this: Once per round, when attacking, you may spend one shield to roll an additional attack die OR roll one fewer attack die to recover a shield. That seems…a bit strong. Opening salvos of greater power (SLAM drive in to get to Range 1 faster, then shoot with 4 attack dice anyone?) before spending a turn turtling a little to heal? Or is it just going to be for the extra attack dice? Interestingly, it also doesn’t say anything about being an attack with a primary weapon – a boosted up missile could hurt a LOT. I think the ship is probably undercosted with that ability, and you’re probably going to see the extra attack dice a little more than the healing, especially on a ship with 4 shields to spend already. 

  • OVERALL

I like it! The miniature isn’t as stupid looking as I was worried it was after looking at the K-Wing concept art, the SLAM drive looks fun, and the Rebels are my primary faction so yeah I’m a little biased.

IMPERIALS – TIE Punisher

TIE punisher

It might as well be the TIE Bomber 2.0, but let’s give it a chance with the same rundown.

  • STATS
    • 2 Attack
    • 1 Agility
    • 6 Hull
    • 3 Shields
    • PS 2, 4, 6, 7

Looks like another super-bulky ship for the first two factions. In fact, the stats are the exact same as the K-Wing with one point of hull increased at the cost of one shield. I prefer shields to hull points for normally obvious reasons, but it’s mostly just as durable as the K-Wing. The lack of a 360 degree firing arc is definitely the main difference between the ships. Since it’s an Imperial ship, it’s fair to assume a slightly better maneuver dial than the K-Wing.

  • ACTIONS
    • Focus
    • Target Lock
    • Boost

The boost action is going to be inevitably compared to the SLAM action for the rest of time, I think. The tradeoff between them is that the Punisher can still fire its weapons after boosting, which could be all the difference in some games – but then again, when you’re just trying to get upfield in the early game, a SLAM is going to be much more efficient. Otherwise, nothing that exciting here.

  • UPGRADE SLOTS
    • 1 System Upgrade
    • 2 Torpedoes
    • 2 Missiles
    • 2 Bombs

Again with no Elite Pilot Talents! I’ll admit, here I like the System Upgrade option, especially for the Advanced Sensors combo mentioned on FFG’s reveal article, but that’s actually slightly concerning. Now seems like as good a time as any to talk about Extra Munitions – or FFG’s saving throw for Ordnance, as it’s likely to be called.

Extra Munitions

As an example, let’s equip only one Proton Torpedo. For 4 points, you get the ‘generic’ ordnance for the game – a slightly better attack with upside, that can only be fired once per game. With an EM upgrade, it’s now 6 points to fire it twice instead of 8. If you want to run multiple proton bombs, well now they’re only 7 points to drop two of them instead of 10. And so on, and so on. By itself, it reduces the point cost of running multiple different pieces of ordnance while still getting to fire them frequently. With EM, it’s possible to be firing a piece of ordnance every turn without feeling too bad about the points investment! As far as saving throws for game mechanics go, it’s a pretty good one.

  • POINT COST

With its only fully revealed pilot (letting you maintain two target locks on the same ship. When you acquire a target lock, you may acquire a second target lock on the same ship – neat!) being 1 less PS, a slight price difference isn’t too surprising. Still, 27 points for that bundle is pretty respectable, and certainly fairer priced than the TIE  Bomber was.

  • OVERALL

I think I like this ship a bit better than the K-Wing so far, actually. While it doesn’t bring as many new things to the table, that pilot ability on “Redline” is pretty neat and the ability to take a system upgrade is always appreciated. We’ll see how it performs, and what the other named pilot can do.

I still wish it had been the original SLAM-Drive ship, the Imperial Missile Boat. Maybe someday…

SCUM – YV-666

 

Hound's_Tooth

 

The large ship of the wave, and part of the Scum’s slightly accelerated release schedule to give them the same amount of options, the YV-666 Light Freighter is in the same boat as the Falcon – it’s a shipping transport respecced for combat. Unlike the Falcon, though, it’s got a few drawbacks – but, as fits with the Scum’s playstyle, a few unique dirty tricks.

  •  STATS
    • 3 Attack
    • 1 Agility
    • 6 Hull
    • 6 Shields
    • PS 2, 5, 6, 7

So, fairly generic large ship stats all around at this point. There’s nothing really astonishing about that – it’s 12 health in total, and has a normal amount of attack dice. The strange ‘front half’ firing arc could come into play on occasion, but it’s not as great as a 360 arc would have been. The main problem with this ship already is that it’s competing with the same slot the IG-2000 is, which is never a good place to be.

  • ACTIONS
    • Target Lock
    • Focus

…wow, there’s not much to talk about yet is there? We’ll get to the fun part of this ship in a bit, I promise.

  • UPGRADE SLOTS
    • 1 Elite Pilot Talent (Bossk Only)
    • 1 Cannon
    • 1 Missile
    • 3 Crew
    • 1 Illicit

Okay, the possibilities with 3 crew slots alone makes this ship versatile as heck. A cannon is always useful, although it probably won’t be running the HLC – more likely a Mangler, if it does see play, especially with Bossk’s ability (I’ll get into that in the Overall section). However, the truly funny part of this ship is the new Hound’s Tooth title. Basically, for what looks like either 6 or 8 points, when the Hound’s Tooth is destroyed you can deploy a PS7 Headhunter to replace the destroyed ship. It’s an interesting ability, and certainly worth a laugh, but its value is yet to be determined. I think it’ll do well, though.

  • POINT COST

Well, Bossk appears to be 35, but since you’re presumably almost always bringing the Hound’s Tooth title let’s just say its 41/43 and call it a day. Which, as far as what might as well be two ships goes, is a pretty good deal for something that bulky!

  • OVERALL

One last thing – Bossk’s personal pilot ability. By cancelling out one critical you rolled on the attack, you can add 2 regular damage results. Suddenly, a Mangler cannon gets a lot more dangerous – and should be treated with the respect it deserves. Overall, between the Hound’s Tooth title, the point cost and Bossk’s ability I actually like this ship more than the IG or Firespray as my own Scum large base of choice. It’s not as good as 2x IG-88, but what is?

SCUM – Kihraxz Fighter

Kihraxz

 

The continuing adventures of finding the Scum a primary attack fighter! Between the M3-A Interceptor and the Headhunter, there’s two ships of a slightly more fragile bend fighting for that slot (along with certain builds of the Y-Wing), hopefully the Kihraxz can find a nice balance between speed and durability, as the Y-Wing flies like two bricks taped to a spritzer bottle sometimes.

  • STATS
    • 3 Attack
    • 2 Agility
    • 4 Hull
    • 1 Shield
    • PS 2, 5, 6, 9

Well, it’s based on the X-Wing, and it shows. It has the same amount of HP, the same amount of attack dice, and the same amount of agility. Trading a shield for hull isn’t anything to be ashamed of, but again I’d prefer an extra shield. Overall, decent ‘workhorse ship’ stats.

  • ACTIONS
    • Target Lock
    • Focus

Ye gods, it really is an X-Wing isn’t it? No more  fancy tricks here, let’s keep looking.

  • UPGRADE SLOTS
    • 1 Elite Pilot Talent (6 and 9 only?)
    • 1 Missile
    • 1 Illicit

The illicit slot is where this ship shines, as with a lot of Scum fighters. Of note is the new Glitterstim upgrade, where at the start of combat you can discard the Glitterstim card and give your ship a stress token to change all of your Focus symbols to evasions and hits. For 2 points, too!

Don’t do drugs, kids, unless it makes you an insanely good pilot for around ten seconds.

  • POINT COST

Well, the only visible one is 29 points for a PS 9 ship, which is…huh, it’s Wedge. Hi, Wedge!

Well, it’s not quite Wedge – instead of reducing the target’s Agility by 1, Cobra here instead doubles the effect of your range band bonuses. When being shot at by an enemy weapon at Range 3, you get 2 bonus Agility dice, while at Range 1 you get 2 bonus Attack dice. Pretty nifty! He might get caught out at Range 2, but it could result in some really dangerous turns at Range 1.

  • OVERALL

It’s an X-Wing, but honestly the Scum sort of needed a proper X-Wing equivalent. The Z-95 and Y-Wing had their own roles, much like they did in the rebels, while the StarViper has an E-Wing esque slot and the M3-A is a cross between the A-Wing and a regular TIE. Decently durable, with good attack, and average point costing make the ship worthwhile.

What do you think about the Wave 7 releases? Can you read some of the text that I can’t quite make out? Have you actually seen a TIE Bomber on the table before? Leave a comment below!

  • Adam Murray

    Wonder how valid tie swarms are still…

    • Punchymango

      Still good, people still place high at tournaments with them, esp. since phantoms got nerfed.

  • DoctorHam

    The PS8 K-Wing pilot’s ability says, “Once per round, when attacking, you may spend 1 shield to roll 1 additional attack die OR roll 1 fewer attack die to recover one shield.” Cost is 29 points.

    • Cameron Chapman

      That’s dumb. I love it.

  • Spacefrisian

    Asks what is better than 2 IG88…Headhunter spam and that other ship (forgot name) with mean pilot that takes focus like candy from a baby.

    • GrogDaTyrant

      The HWK-290 pilot, Palob. Who is hilarious with Opportunist. Stress token to throw 4 dice at you with a Blaster Turret? And pay for the turret’s usage with your focus token I stole? Don’t mind if I do…

      • Spacefrisian

        Yes thats the one. My local opponents dont like him either. He is also known as the focus collector due to modly crew and all that stuff (my largest focus pool was 8 so far).

  • Jonas Skinner

    Does this mean that we’ll be seeing half of the ships in the upcoming waves to be Scum and Villainy?

    • Mark S Delaney

      well i do think they have some catching up to do so i could see that as so. I also thinki saw somewhere on bols that the next extra large ship would be an SV ship…can’t wait to see where this goes

    • ForgottenLore

      Probably just this wave and then one more. This wave give the imps and Rebs 10 ships each and brings scum up to 9. One more wave like this one would give all 3 factions 11 ships. After that we will probably start seeing 3 ship waves, 1 for each faction.

      Of course, there will also probably be a “scum aces” pack in there sometime, and the huge ships are still an issue.

      • DoctorHam

        I feel like the Most Wanted pack covered the same gap as the “Aces” packs.

  • Mark S Delaney

    i’m impressed with the scum ships. The imp and rebs look like they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. I’m excited to see what the new movies bring to the table. Perhaps new Aces packs feat some new movie pilot’s and paint schemes. (I think I’ll be painting my Tie’s with those new White panels)

    • Cameron Chapman

      The only other ships that I can think to bring in for the Imps and Rebels are the Missile Boat and Stealth-X respectively, which would steal the other faction’s unique ability. Unless they start bringing in stuff from the late Clone Wars era, like the Alpha-3 V-Wing
      Alternatively, after the next wave they can just hold off until they can release ships from the new movies (boy, i can’t wait until the TIE Fighter and the X-Wing are outright rendered pointless by the updated ones…unless they’re just new sculpts with the same stats and new pilots, of course)

      • majorwesjanson

        I’d go with one more wave before Ep 7 ships. Nova Courier for Rebels to give them a third choice of large ships (make it mostly support like the Imperial Shuttle), TIE Agressor for Imperials to give them a TIE with a turret slot, Skipray Blastboat for Fringe to give them a heavy bomber like the K-Wing and Punisher, and then probably Mist Hunter to add Zuckuzz and 4Lom to the game.

        • Houghten

          Gosh, I hope not the TIE Aggressor. It’s uglier than a Hutt with a black eye.

          Also, if the Skipray were to only have Scum pilots, no Imperial ones, I’d have to buy a pram just so I could throw all my toys out of it.

      • Houghten

        Pfft, the missile boat invented the SLAM. It’s the K-Wing that stole it.

        (also if you’re going to have the missile boat, leaving out the Assault Gunboat seems odd)

        Droid TIEs wouldn’t go amiss – I just love the idea of a PS0 ship that’s even cheaper than Academy Pilot – but I have no idea what Rebel ship it would be paired with (E-Wing’s done already).

  • Ben Hoffman

    Anyone notice the firing arc the YV-666? It looks to be front 180. It shows something special that reflects that on the pilot cards too. The Attack number has to red arches at the top of its circle which would seem to confirm it.

    • ted1138

      That’s the auxiliary firing arc, it still has the same v-shaped primary firing arc as all the other ships.

  • Punchymango

    Flavorwise, I’m amused that apparently Black Sun didn’t bother to recuit top talent for their super high tech Starvipers.

    I’m tentatively excited about the Kihraxz, a lot depends on the dial. Talonbane Cobra (who now officially has the silliest name in the EU) seems like a pretty scary guy; go in for the kill at range one and take drugs, and you can get a TL’ed 5 dice attack with free focus. That’ll scare most people.

    The Hound’s Tooth, on the other hand, just looks awesome as hell. Looks great, good stats.