X-Wing Tactics: Boba Gets His Groove Back!
Original and still the best, Imperial Boba Fett???
Ok, so admit it. When you ran out to your local game store and picked up the Firespray, it was for one reason and one reason alone, Boba Fett! You got it home, cracked open the box and started to read about rear firing arcs, bombs, lots of hull and shields, and a pretty good dial and were all excited.Then you got to Boba himself… I myself was quite underwhelmed when I first read this card myself, and more than a little disappointed. I mean I can understand where the designers were going with his ability, really, I can. In a game where expert piloting is a huge part of the game, Boba’s ability, on paper, sounds really good. If Boba is the last pilot to move (a little help from Veteran Instincts here) he can really pick and choose where he wants to be on the board, and there is a lot to be said for that, especially in a Firespray.But that ability…ugh, it really disappoints me. It’s fine and good, but I am not quite sure it is worth his whopping 39 points!What’s so bad about it you ask? Well first, you are required to take a bank move on your dial to even be able to use this ability, which is a very conditional. What if a bank maneuver isn’t the movement you need to get in a good position in a game? What if a turn or straight is the smarter move? Well, then Boba’s ability is pretty much useless at that point now isn’t it?
And Boba’s ability only allows you to change direction, not speed. So you go from left to right, or vice-versa. It is really restrictive on what you can do with this ability, and quite situational. You are paying a premium for a pilot ability that you, in theory, could never use in a game, and his PS 8. Not to mention, in this game red dice really do make or break a game. And Boba’s ability does nothing to help him kill ships faster or more efficiently than your average PS 3 Bounty Hunter. In fact both Krassus and Kath’s Pilot Abilities do more in that regard.
So in spite of the cool factor, why would I want to run Boba Fett at all? I always feel like I am WAY overpaying for Boba’s PS 8 and an ability that is a little less then exciting. And hence, I am not flying him. And judging by the tournament results from 2014, you’re not really flying him either! And that doesn’t feel very Star Wars to me! Boba Fett should be awesome on the table!
The Fett-a-gator: A little help in Wave 3
Wave 3 brought all sorts of cool new ships, pilots, and upgrades; like the B-Wing for example. But among the new upgrades that peaked Boba fan’s interest was the crew card Navigator! Some light at the end of the tunnel for dear old Boba perhaps? What Navigator allows you to do on Boba is to change his dial (as per the FAQ from FFG) AND Speed of his bank maneuvers! This added in a little bit more flexibility to Boba’s ability at least, so now he could change direction and speed. Often people would run Boba Fett, Navigator, and Veteran Instincts and they called it the Fett-a-gator. Was this the answer to unlocking Boba in the competitive scene? Well, not really.
Granted, the hands of an expert pilot this combo really made Boba a pain in the butt to fly against. And it did add some more viable uses for Boba Fett and his ability, in it also added 4 points to an already over-costed ship. It also never addressed Boba’s seeming lack of punching power to make his now 43 point cost worth it to field competitively. So while Boba was now able to do some pretty amazing things on the table, he still died just as fast as he did before. And still he seemed quite underpowered for being the greatest Bounty Hunter in the galaxy and this felt more like a forced fix they anything else.
The Wave 5 Fett-a-Gator! Maybe we got this right now!
With the recent release of Wave 5, some folks have been re-examining Boba Fett to see if the Elite Pilot Talent ‘Stay on Target’ along with the Navigator crew card and Boba’s native ability finally makes him a viable ship to fly competitively. ‘Stay on Target’ allows you rotate your dial to another maneuvers of the same speed and Navigator allows you to be able to move your dial to the same bearing. Confused yet? So am I! So let’s follow this one through from beginning to end.
Boba Fett reveals a 1-Bank Left maneuver on his dial, a Green maneuver for him. He then uses ‘Stay on target to move that dial to a 1-Straight, which is now Red thanks to ‘Stay on Target’s’ side-effect, and then he uses Navigator to turn that into 4-Straight! Now, this move is still Red, so no funny business here. FFG has already addressed that in their most recent FAQ, which reads as follows: “Even if the chosen maneuver is changed by an ability such as ‘Navigator’, the maneuver that the ship executes is always a red maneuver.”
That is really mind blowing when you get right down to it. Boba, for all intents and purposes never has to set a dial, because all of his special rules will permit him to take pretty much whatever move he wants on his dial. That is pretty scary! Now, at 45 points for this magic combo, that is a hefty price to pay for all of this wacky maneuver dial manipulation. And I really do not feel this will be the next greatest thing in the meta. But it is at least something to do with Boba as opposed to letting him sit on the sidelines and looking cool.
Boba’s new girlfriend, Echo!
So I would be lacking in my duties as an X-Wing writer if I failed to mention one other list that had some legs prior to Worlds 2014, the Boba/Echo list. I know a lot of folks ran this list, but I credit Theorist for really bring it to the forefront of the competitive meta. This really was the best we had ever seen Boba perform EVER on the competitive circuit, making Top 8 at the Canadian Nationals 2014.
Boba Fett (39) + Veteran Instincts (1) + Heavy Laser Cannon (7) + Engine Upgrade (4) + Seismic Charge (2)
Echo(30) + Veteran Instincts (1) +Sensor Jammer (4) + Rebel Captive (3) + Advanced Cloaking Device (4)
What’s This? A New Boba Fett!
That’s right! In case you haven’t been keeping up on the current events, Boba Fett is set to make a much needed return to the competitive battlefield on the side of Scum and Villainy with the release of Most Wanted! And this Boba Fett is more like a blunt instrument instead of the finesse pilot we have know from the Imperial side of the game. He is in the battle for one reason and one reason alone, to get into the center of the fight and annihilate anyone he sees! The Boba Fett we wanted all along! Let take a look at this new dreaded version of Boba and some possible upgrades to make him even nastier!
So for the same points that you would spend on the ‘Stay on Target’ Fett-aGator, I bring this little combo that ‘feels’ more like Boba Fett should in my opinion. First, Boba’s native ability begs for him to stay right where he is, in the center of the battlefield shooting up all the ships that cross his path. In fact, the more the better, and this ability is not limited to one turn, it is always on and always going to be an asset to Boba, unlike his Imperial counterpart’s. So Inertial Dampeners was really a given, as Boba’s ability doesn’t require an action. So being stressed is no big deal and being able to pull off the 0 stall maneuver right in the center of the fur-ball will really maximize Boba’s ability to kick butt.
Outmaneuver will allow Boba to take shots at targets of opportunity, allowing him to do even more damage out of either his front or rear arcs. We all know how much we hate Wedge and the Green die it strips off. Now can you imagine that coming from the front or rear arcs of a fully tooled out Firespray? Tactician is there just to add insult to injury as far as I am concerned. Not only did you pull off the ) maneuver that turn, drop your oppoent’s agility by one and re-rolled a bunch of dice to score a lot of hits on his ship, but is is not stressed on top of that. And since Boba has to pull a green maneuver the next turn to blow off his stress, he will be lined up for another attack run from the best Bounty Hunter of them all!
I am not going to lie, I am really excited to fly this new Boba and really feel like I am flying the character from the movie that I grew up loving! And in this new meta of less and less ships, I can see Boba really mixing it up with the big boys on the competitive tables.
Tell me what you think? Will this new Boba be seen in the big events? Or will he join his Imperial clone (lol) on the sidelines of the competitive lists?