The Rebel Alliance is getting a new attack-dog with the ARC-170 in Wave 9 – lets see what this puppy can do!
Hey BoLS Readers and X-Wing Aces, AdamHarry back with another look at the new Wave 9 Ships. Last time we took a look at Quickdraw and his ability to really bring a LOT of dice to the party. This time I wanted to take a look at the new ARC-170 for the Rebels.
This ship is packing a Primary Weapon that fires 2 dice. It’s also got an Aux Arc along with it’s primary so it’s got wiggle room in the shooting department. It’s not “nimble” fighter with it’s 1 agility. And while we haven’t got a look directly at the dial, we do know that it’s has 6 green maneuvers at speeds 1 and 2. It’s got 7 other higher-speed maneuvers and 4 of those are also red. This doesn’t bode well if you were expecting a fancy arc dodger. It’s also pretty light on the actions with just a Focus and Target Lock option base.
However, this ship has got some junk in the trunk! Packing 6 hull and 3 shields! It’s one of the toughest ships on a small base you can field. Couple that with the Crew/Astromech slot and I’m pretty sure we can create a very durable load-out.
In the preview we actually got to see TWO of the aces in this set. Check these ladies out:
Shara Bey has a really neat ability:
“When another firendly ship at Range 1-2 is attacking, it may treat your blue target lock tokens as its own.”
That seems odd at first – but I’ll come back to that. Shara Bey also happens to be Poe Dameron’s Mom and apparently great piloting skills run in the family because she’s also packing an Elite Pilot Talent. That will be very useful as well.
Norra Wexley is the other pilot that we’ve seen thus far:
Norra’s Ability is a bit harder to read:
“When attacking or defending, you may spend a target lock you have on the enemy ship to add 1 focus result to your roll”
Okay, that could be useful. You trade your target lock for an extra focus result. Keep in mind that means a basic attack is 2 dice – you’re ADDING a focus result to that roll. You just turned your 2 dice attack into a 3 dice attack. Plus, there is a natural combo with the title card:
Your basic attack is now 3 dice plus a focus result (if you’ve target locked your opponent). If you’re smart, with a little bit of luck, you could end up 4 very accurate and very deadly shots – or 5 at range 1! How? Glad you asked! Assuming you can get within range 1-2, then you could try this little jouster build out:
Norra Wexley – ARC 170 – 41 Points
- Alliance Overhaul
- Kyle Katarn
- Experimental Interface
This load-out does fall back on a couple of classics like my good buddy Kyle Katarn who allows you to gain a focus when you remove a stress from your ship and Predator (always a solid choice). You could also swap him out with Kanan Jarrus if you wanted to try a different crew member (but it’s basically the same idea). On that initial pass, you’re going to want to push the ship as hard as you can. You might take a shot or two on the way in but you’re ship and shields will hopefully bail you out (and you’ll be firing at them as well).
On that pivotal turn you’ll clear the stress to trigger Kyle. Then you can trigger your Experimental Interface after you opt to focus. That will activate R7-T1 which will get you a Target Lock and a boost – if you’ve got the ranges right you’ll end up right in range one and you can unload! Predator is there to help with re-rolls because you’re spending your TL to add a Focus result. Any hits, crits or focus results will become damage your target will have to deal with. And (because you’ve got Kyle) you’ve got an extra Focus to spend on the defensive end of things.
But, if I’m honest, that just feels overly complex. R7-T1’s ability is highly situational and if you’ve got Kyle Katarn, then you’ve already got focus – why not just TL? Sure you miss out on the boost and there is a possibility you’ll end up outside of arc or worse…You could just opt for the safe bet and fire away at range 2. Plus if you drop R7, you can drop the Experiment Interface and free up that slot and the points, too. So lets table R7 for now and see what other Astromechs would be a good fit:
R2 is an option for sure. It’s a generic astromech and all that extra green may be very helpful – but remember from the teaser this ship already has a LOT of green in the 1-2 speeds. We won’t know for sure how useful this old R2 unit might be.
BB-8 would be a great go-to card as well. We already know this ship has a lot of Green on the maneuver dial so a free barrel roll could help with positioning and give this sluggish ship some trickiness!
The Stress-bot isn’t a bad idea – plus you’ve got Kyle to help turn your stress into focus…
This new(er) Targeting Astromech from the T-70 expansion could be useful, especially if you wanted to close quick AND get stress for Kyle to clear.
But really, when I look at the ARC-170 and the stats I don’t see a ship that is going for tricks. I see a ship that wants to stick around for the long haul. And there are two droids that the rebels have that I think will turn this ship into one of the toughest ships to kill:
R5 in a ship with Kyle as a crew – that could mean more focus than you can spend in a turn. And R2-D2… Yeah, more shields for days! Norra Wexley may become one of the hardest ships to take out of the game. The right build will turn this ARC-170 into a mean brawler that is ready to go heads-up with ships and stick around for a fight.
Now, back to Shara Bey – you didn’t think I’d forget her, did you? That pilot ability is an odd one but I was thinking about how make it work. Really, there was only one option in my head:
Notice that this card doesn’t say that you spend the Target Lock to use this attack…”but it’s a missile AdamHarry, the ARC-170 doesn’t have a missile slot.” Very true, astute internet reader! But you know who does?
Just load up a few Z-95 Headhunters with these missiles and guidance chips and let me know how that works out for ya!
There is also the option of taking along the OTHER Gunboat…
I particularly like Esege with Shara because they can basically trade off Target Locks and Focus.
There are some great options for wingmen but I want to revisit Crew members once again. The ARC-170 has that rare ability to let a ship take both and I think that Shara Bey and Norra both have some great synergy with a few crew members we don’t see often.
If you’re not running with Kyle Katarn then the Recon Specialist can help you have enough Focus to help out both offensively and defensively. It also works REALLY well with Esege above…
The Weapons Engineer works extremely well for both Bey and Wexley but for different reasons. With Shara Bey it lets her toss out Target Locks and help her squad mates out with Target Locks that they can spend. For Wexley it allows her to add that Focus result to her offensive and defensive rolls. It’s not a “once per round” ability and it’s a great way to toss out a Target Lock on a ship that you think might be targeting you this turn.
I know this card doesn’t get a lot of love but with all those extra focus results you can add to your dice he could be a good fit.
Paired with the right droid (lookin’ at you BB-8) and you could have a mean combo! Again – I want to see the dial before I make the final call but Nien Nunb could be an excellent fit, too.
There are always more options to cover in X-Wing but I hope I’ve given you enough of them to get your gears turning. We still don’t know exactly what ALL the cards are in Wave 9 – We don’t know what the Tail Gunner does, the R3 Droid, or the new Torpedo. I haven’t even covered all the mod options or EPT’s that would work well with the ARC-170 (like Marksmanship)! I’ll save some of that for when we get a better look at the rest of the set. It’s a pretty exciting time to be playing X-Wing and I really can’t wait to get my hands on these new ships!
What do you think X-Wing Aces? Are you impressed with the ARC-170 or is this just another rebel Y-Wing/K-Wing – tough but bland?