Time for another look at Wave 6’s Most Wanted pack, this time focusing on the HWK-290’s that Scum and Villainy may take to the field.
Will the much maligned Rebel support ship see a resurgence or will it be ignored for the more obvious power in the Faction?
In this article I am going to be putting some ideas out there for some Hawk builds that you can use in the upcoming Scum faction for X-Wing.
I will cover all three named pilots and some of the builds I am expecting to see on them and will also be looking at a potential meta busting squads featuring the HWK-290.
First up lets introduce the dastardly triad, (and yes you could take all 3 in an interesting list…)
Just like all of the mixed faction ships the HWK-290 shares the stats and dial of its Rebel counterpart, stats and a dial that most will agree don’t exactly get people excited.
The argument that you never need to use its 1 Attack is normally valid (until your turret is critted away…) and who cares if it gets left behind because of its lacking dial, you take it for Jan or Roark to buff your Fat Han or for Kyles Moldy Focus passing Shenanigans.
Whilst all of that is true the new Scum Hawks have a very different feel to them.
Starting at the cheap end, Torkil Mux come’s in at 19 points for a PS 3 Hawk this is the same points as Roark for 1 less PS, you do gain the Illicit Slot which as I have established FFG values as roughly 1 point/1 Pilot Skill.
Torkil’s Pilot Ability allows you to choose 1 enemy ship at Range 1-2 and reduce their PS to 0 at then end of the Activation Phase until the end of the Combat Phase.
Now if we go back to the comparison to Roark than this is amazing value, Roark makes 1 ship PS 12 (Swarm Tactics aside…) so that is 1 ship that is going to be shooting first. Torkil makes 1 ship shoot last, so all of your ships get to shoot before them.
As I am on a deadline for this article I wont go in to too much (read any) math as when I do I go in deep, but if you look at the PS bid you don’t actually care what the relative pilot skills are as long as yours is higher, this basically makes the actual Pilot Skill that Roark is making you irellevent as its going to be higher on that one ship so for the sake of argument we will say that this “bid” for PS is worth 1 point on the ship it is going on to but as it is Roark himself who pays the points for his ability that its in that 19 points somewhere.
Now for those of you who have stuck with me, Torkil’s ability lowers 1 ships PS to 0 and again ignoring the actual difference in PS as that ship is now shooting last the value now hast to be calculated by looking at every ship that can take advantage of this. So if you have a 4 ship list and they were all going to shoot at the same ship (and as we all know concentrating fire is the ideal in X-Wing) you get a PS bid that is now worth 4 points rolled in to a 19 point package.
Before too many Rebel players cry that the sky is falling the caveat to this is that Roark’s Ability is activated at the start of the Combat Phase and so would over rule Torkils in a head to head match up, that scenario aside though, I think that Torkil can single handedly ruin two of the mainstays of the current emerging meta, namly Phantoms and Fat Han’s
Now taking in to account that Torkil is the cheapest option for your named Scum Hawk’s and we have the ball rolling!
Next up tot he plate is Palob Godaihi coming in at 20 points and having a PS of 5, an EPT and Illicit Slot. We even get to continue the cross faction comparisons going here as he comes in 1 point cheaper than Kyle Katarn for 1 less Pilot Skill but has the Illicit. Where as to get the most out of Kyle you need to load him up with a few upgrades to ensure that he has the Focus to pass around Palob just removes a token from an enemy and assign it to himself, it does not even have to be a focus token he can take an evade instead if you like.
With this I actually like the Blaster turret on him as you can Focus as an action and then have a Focus to steal and upgrade your eyeballs. If you are really wanting to have some fun with him, what about this for a build;
That is 35 points of HWK that can hunt you down and punish you, yes the dial is bad but you can pick anything on it after everything up to PS 4 has moved, still get a Focus token no mater what you do and then steal something from the guy you are chasing.
OK, lets not get carried away, its still a PS5 HWK-290 but when have we ever even messed around with this type of build for a Hawk before?
Moving on to the top of the pile for the Scum 290’s we have Dace Bonearm, the new king of Ion Weapons.
The best thing about this guy is that you don’t even have to be the one placing the Ion Token just be in range band 1-3 of an enemy ship that gets Ioned and be unstressed. The unstressed part is actually more important than you may think as one of the ways I see Dace being used is as a Phantom Screen.
Coming in at PS7 with access to an EPT is crying out for VI to raise him to PS9 and the 360 fire from the turret give the Scum a solid defence against Echo and Whisper but it is worth noting that Rebel Captive is a common upgrade for the Named Phantoms and adds its stress as soon as you declare them as a target.
The Build I have been thinking of for Dace is a little more out there and falls in to the PS 9 Scum List idea I had been bouncing around.
This is a Damage Dealing control list that actually backs it up with some 23 hit points and high Pilot Skill. The whole list needs to work together to apply disruption to your opponents squad with the ideal being that even a large based ships will be Stressed and Ioned every turn.
Tactician on Kath works to encourage your opponent to close with you, allowing you to utilize her rear arc more effectively whilst Dace and Kavil both operate independently to maximise their abilities.
This is a list that I believe will see some play on release but it will be harder than you would expect to get the maximum effectiveness out of it as a lot of its strengths can be negated by good range control which is what you see on the top table in competitive play.
Putting it all Together
Now that we are on to the topic of competitive play lets look at what I think is going to be a very strong Meta Buster and just happens to feature two HWK’s
This is a 6 Ship Scum Swarm with a twist.
If you take it that the current meta revolves around the Full Swarm, Fat Han, 58 point Dash, Phantom + and the 4-5 Ship rebel list where does this sit in that meta.
Well first up lets look at the Fat Han, it does not matter if they have gone for a PS9 with Predator or PS11 Han, he is going to be shooting at PS0 giving you 6 ships that shoot before him, being that the Swarm is a harder match up for Han anyway getting to shoot first with all of your ships is not going to be good for them. Throwing in Palob stealing a Focus or Evade token on top of that and you are now looking at cutting the guaranteed defenses of C-3P0 and Falcon Title in half.
The support battle in this match up gets interesting with Biggs being something of a problem as it should take a round to get through him and obviously if they have taken Roark your targeting priority needs to change.
For Super Dash you will be running the gauntlet through the HLC but will be hurting his 3 actions per turn by negating Kyle Crew upgrade with Palob, again it is a case of target priority and a hard positional game but I don’t think that you’re going in to this match up behind.
In a Swarm match up it is going to be harder, with the Obsidian Swarm being more prevalent of late you really need to get the most out of the two Hawks as they will be firing before Howlrunner and hopefully stripping her tokens to make taking her down easier, This is a 50/50 match up for me with player skill being the dominating factor as if you can get the monies worth out of the Feedback Array’s guaranteed damage, use Palob’s disruption and action deny well with your Binayres than it really is still in your favour.
Against Phantoms You have a 360 turret that fires first and if you can cover off your fire arcs than it should not be a problem as even 3 of your 6 ships firing first is going to scare most phantom lists.
The worst match up is going to be against the Rebel lists that can eat your opening shooting and don’t care about going last, ironically Bigg’s walks the Dogs is actually a problem for this list as if you don’t drop him quickly or control the range on the B-Wings than they will eat through your Binayre group too quickly leaving you short on warm bodies to actually get the job done.
The gamble of course is that how quick will people be to move back to the pre-wave 4 meta and what else will Wave 6 add to the mix?
This is a list I plan to take seriously and get some table time in with and the fact that I am saying that about a list that includes not one but two HWK-290’s can only be a good thing for where the game is at!
So what do you guys think of the Scum Hawk’s will they make you dust off the old bird and give her a run on the table or is it Scum Boba and StarVipers all the way?