Keep an eye out for that here soon we hope, as I miss making pew pew laser sounds while playing with my ships…
You’re likely aware that Wave 3 for X-Wing Miniatures is coming soon- most likely around the end of August or beginning of September if rumors and speculation are to be believed. What should you be excited about? What might not quite live up to your expectations? Well, let’s take a look at a few of the high points, high school yearbook stylee!
Most Likely to Make an Immediate Impact:
I don’t know if you’ve seen some of the named pilots for this bad boy, but it’s kinda bordering on ridiculous. I mean, well hold on- I’ll just let one of the cards do the talking:
Right? Look at that nastiness. Forget about the card text for a moment and just dig on the stats- 3 Attack, 1 Defend (which yeah, sucks- stay with me here though), 5 Hull and 5 Shields for 24 points. 24 points- that’s it! One point less than Biggs or one more point than a Storm Squadron Advanced TIE. For 10 HP (Hull + Shields). Any way you cut it, that’s nuts, y’all. Then dig on the fact that it can carry two crew members, one of the fancy new Advanced Systems upgrades, and has that funky raygun secondary weapon system just like Slave I does.
The only thing I can assume is that its maneuver dial is pure garbage. And when I say garbage, I mean like worse than any other ship currently available garbage. Or this thing is severely undercosted. I’m going to give FFG the benefit of the doubt though because up to this point, ships and pilots in this game have been pretty well balanced for their points. Still though- if you’re fairly good at movement and maneuvering and can keep this guy out of trouble (or have him slated for backline, Range 3 duty), you can probably get around a lousy maneuver dial. In any case, this ship has some big time potential and I think you’ll likely see him in a whole lot of Imperial lists after Wave 3 drops.
Most Interesting Upgrade:
As those of you who read TheMetalBikini.com probably know, I think the usage and potential of blocking meta is kinda blown out of proportion. Again, yeah, when you and your buddies first start playing, all of your ships probably end up in a big pile in the center of the board, but eventually, you kinda start getting the hang of not only moving your own stuff, but anticipating your opponent’s maneuvers. Still though, you do end up between a rock and a hard place at times, or you end up across the table from a guy who just lives to try and take away your Actions by overlapping your ships. Well friends, this card is for you. You can only stick it on a big ship, but dig on that card text and note this is another one of those relatively few X-Wing cards that not only does automatic damage, but also does damage outside of the combat phase. Just to be sure we’re all on the same page here, this guy wouldn’t knock out a Stealth Device (no “hits”, just 1 damage), but your opponent can’t use an Evade token or attempt a Defense roll or whatever. It would hit a shield though if your opponent has one (or more, of course).
So where’s this card make a lot of sense? Falcon, of course. Especially if your local meta still includes TIE Swarms. Also, as this is just a Modification, you could stick it on one of the lesser used Falcon pilots, the Outer Rim Smuggler, in other words. Drive to block some ships with that big base and low Pilot Skill and let the magic happen. Note there’s nothing that limits this card to one use per turn or an Action or anything like that. Play your cards right and you might get a hit or two on several ships with this guy in addition to denying their Actions. Does it work on Slave I or the Shuttle too? Sure, but man, on a Falcon with that 360 firing arc and the ability to take Chewbacca as a crew member instead of wasting the Modification slot on Shield Upgrade? Yeah- oughta be pretty solid!
Most Interesting Upgrade, Runner Up:
Darth Vader, Crew Member
I gotta say, this card was a surprise to me when it was revealed- I don’t know why, I just didn’t expect to see Vader as a Crew Member. As it stands though, he’s got some pretty interesting card text. First thing that jumped out at me is the fact that you can trigger this thing just by attacking an enemy ship- note that it says nothing about actually hitting the ship, just that you performed an attack. Next part, you suffer 2 damage (see above- no Evade Tokens here or anything; just two damage), but your target suffers 1 critical damage.
Let that sink in a moment. If you aren’t looking at a Kath + Darth combo or a Shuttle + Darth + Gunner combo, you’re doing it wrong. 🙂
Note that this card still isn’t going to stick a crit on a Chewie Falcon. Just sayin’.
Most Likely To Be Slightly Disappointing
I know I’m going to get it in the comments for this, but really, aside from Katarn and Recon Specialist with the Moldy Crow title potentially generating a ton of Focus tokens, I just don’t see this ship sticking around people’s ship lists long term. I’m not saying it’s horrible, and it’s cheap as a baseline type ship, but it just doesn’t have quite enough going for it, at least in my mind. Yeah, you can tool it up a lot with upgrades, and there might be something to be said for being able to tool a ship to fill the exact need in your list, but I just can’t quite drink that Kool-Aid just yet. Maybe this thing ends up with some off the chain maneuver dial or something and I have to eat (moldy) crow). Wow, that was a bad joke even for me.
Silver lining is the aforementioned Katarn + Recon Specialist + Moldy Crow setup. Let’s take a look at that for a sec-
I’ve seen people on forums liken Katarn to the Wave 1 X-Wing Pilot Garven Dreis. At a glance, it’s the obvious comparison to make as they both have some card text that lets them dish Focus tokens. They do differ somewhat though upon closer examination- first, Katarn gives his away at the start of the Combat Phase whereas Dreis instead discards a Focus Token after use. Fairly significant difference, so don’t sell yourself short here when/ if you start to use Katarn.
Secondly, the HWK can take a Crew Member which, of course, should be the Recon Specialist if you’re rolling Katarn or you’ve decided to stick a Blaster Turret on some other pilot’s HWK-290 (because the Blaster Turret requires a Focus token just to fire). Kinda sucks, but there again, if you’re generating an extra Focus because of Recon Specialist and keeping it past the End Phase because of the Moldy Crow title, it’s not such a big deal.
I think on the surface this combo probably seems a lot more useful than what it really is, kinda like how everyone went cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs over Dreis at first. Again, not saying he totally sucks, but for 27 points (Katarn + Recon + Moldy), you still only have 1 Attack die and one Shield. I think if you and your pals start playing games above 100 points, including a HWK-290 gets much more attractive, but 27 points out of 100 is just too much for a ship to be basically useless except to throw Focus tokens around to his buddies.
Most Likely To Be Unsurprising
Rebel players have been drooling over the thought of a beefier ship almost as long as they’ve been dreaming up a cheap, swarmy type ship. The former obviously being the B-Wing while the Z-95 likely being the latter when/ if it ever drops.
I think the B-Wing is pretty true to it’s movie roots. I can’t say that 100% for sure as I’ve not seen all the pilot cards yet, but Ten Numb pictured above, must be the “best” B-Wing pilot. There’s a lot going on there, and only time will tell, but I think you’re getting quite a lot for those 31 points. It’s not cheap by any means, and I’m sure you’ll have to play several games to get the hang of moving one around (my guess is it’s maneuverability will be somewhere between a Y-Wing and an X-Wing, probably trending a bit more towards the Y-Wing), but once you do get the hang of it, it has the potential to be really, really rough on your opponent.
In addition to the pretty respectable stat line, you’ll note that B-Wings likely have three stock Actions unlike most Rebel ships which only feature two. You can also sport funky raygun Secondary Weapon Systems as well as the new Advanced Systems upgrades which increases the functionality even further. Again, I can’t say for sure without having seen the cards that everyone does, but it’s probably safe to say the named pilots can take Elite Pilot Skills which is always good for a laugh or two. I mean, come on- you’re gonna put Expert Handling on one of these guys right? Just to give that Imperial player a taste of his own Target Lock-shedding medicine right? Sho nuff.
Like I said- unsurprising in it’s application, but I think the B-Wing will stick around in Rebel lists much longer than HWK-290s.
Most Likely To Be Purchased In Bulk
Much like the popularity of TIE Interceptors in Wave 2, I think Bombers are going to be the ship that sells out first in Wave 3. Folks who mainly play Imperials are going to like the idea of stocking up on missiles and torpedoes and with some of the other upgrades and pilots passing around Target Locks and removing Stress and stuff, I think the Bomber will be a pretty well-represented ship on Imperial lists in the months to come. There’s not be a ton revealed about this ship yet, but I’d expect a relatively limited dial (like maybe a bit worse than the Advanced), but if you’re one of those guys who have trouble downing your opponent’s Falcons, a couple of these guys in a list with a Slave I and a Shuttle will probably be the answer to your prayers, or at least if you don’t manage to outright down it, you’ll stick a crit on it and mitigate some of it’s usefulness.
If you want to get into X-Wing Miniatures but don’t know your Evades from your Target Locks, by all means, stop on by the hippest pilot bar in the galaxy- TheMetalBikini.com. We serve all kinds (yeah, even droids- they’re the best tippers), and have a whole bunch of articles from breakdown summaries of every single card released so far, to tactics articles, to our Bikini Battle Basics new player guides- all served up with a heapin’ helpin’ of my own personal brand of slang and humor. Can you dig it?