Game strategies, tactical analysis, list critiques, painting and modification articles, and much more for Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures from Fantasy Flight Games straight to you from the hippest pilot bar in the galaxy, TheMetalBikini.com.
I think most folks that play X-Wing tend to have collector tendencies. What I mean by that is I think most people who play X-Wing tend to have more ships than what they need, and I think it's safe to say that a lot of y'all have at least one of every ship, Rebel and Imperial, that FFG has produced to this point (assuming of course you aren't one of those poor souls that missed out on getting some Interceptors because they sold out fast or whatever).
That in mind, it's probably safe to assume you were going to buy the Rebel Transport anyway, but just in case you weren't or were still planted on the fence, FFG has gone and set up the four pilots for the escort X-Wing to push you over the edge into "Yup, buying it!" territory.
Wow, so same price as Wedge or Vader, but at one less PS than both and without Wedge's crowd-pleaser card text or Vader's two Actions? Is Wes worth that price? Dig on that card text- remove a Focus, Evade, or blue TL token from your target. Ok, that's pretty awesome, dunno if it's 29 points awesome though. Then you get to the part where you see that it's after he performs an Attack. Doesn't have to hit, doesn't have to damage, just whoever he shoots at gets one of the above tokens plucked from them. Pretty sweet, huh? The coup de grace? He's PS8. You can pluck that token from darn near anybody. If you want to cut out the "darn near" from that previous sentence, just fly him with Veteran Instincts or alongside Mr. Roark and you can pull the tokens off anybody you can draw a legitimate bead on. Not bad for the guy mainly known for successfully tow-cabling an AT-AT.
"Hobbie" Klivian is another solid mid-PS X-Wing pilot who just might manage to muscle in on the Dreis + Dutch BFFs forever relationship. Like Dreis and Dutch, Hobbie doesn't have an Elite Pilot Skill slot, but possesses the standard X-Wing upgrades of an Astromech slot and a Torpedo. A lot of us Rebel players messed around with the BFFs lists at some point or another, mainly during Wave 1, so the obvious synergy between Dreis and Dutch is fairly apparent- one gives away a Focus token, one gives away a Target Lock token. The fun thing about Hobbie is he sheds a Stress when he is given a Target Lock. Oh if only there were some way to give him Push The Limit, right? But dang, he doesn't have access to Elite Pilot Skills, just torps and an Astro-
For one point, one measly, stinkin' point, I can now give a X-Wing, Y-Wing, or possibly the upcoming E-Wings Elite Pilot Skills so long as they're PS is a 3 or higher?
Holy. Mackerel. I'll fully admit I get a little heavy with hyperbole around here sometimes, but this little R2 unit really does have potential game-changer written all over him, right? It's not just me?
So Hobbie with R2-D6 and PTL, then Dutch with R5-K6 throws him a TL for his trouble- Stress gone.
Slightly different topic, but I can also finally roll The Reverend Horton Salm with the Elite Pilot Skill he was born to have- Expose.
Nah, just joking. I've always dreamed of rolling him with Marksmanship and two full tubes though.
Seriously though, this card really can open up some interesting new possibilities with old X and Y standbys that maybe nobody uses anymore. Or at least allows you to use them in some new and compelling ways.
I was messaging with Sean earlier about the revealed stuff, he noticed that you could stick R2-D6 in Dreis' backseat, turn around and give him Veteran Instincts, and suddenly him burning off that Focus token gets much more predictable in addition to him being able to keep up with other PS8 pilots like Luke or Jan. I keep thinking about stuff like Biggs with R2-D6 with Elusiveness.
As if you needed more reasons to always pick Focus for your Action, right?
Tarn Mison is a nice sleeper pilot- nothing particularly fancy, but a pretty interesting bit of card text for such a low PS pilot- enemy ships that declare Tarn as a target, regardless of whether or not they hit him, actually donate a free Target Lock to the Rebel cause.
That's pretty nice, in and of itself, but it's even better when you couple that text up with his low PS. If you can put Mison into a situation where he more or less has to get fired upon (like say right out in the front of your formation), you're putting your opponent into a decision where he either ignores him and gets an X-Wing in the face for his troubles or he attacks him and spends a bunch of focus fire downing a 23 point, PS3 ship, best case. Worst case, he doesn't actually kill him and now he's staring down a Target Locked and probably Focused X-Wing.
Ah, and finally we get to the man of the hour, Jek Porkins. Folks have been speculating on what his card might be like for quite a long time- including yours truly. I like this card, I liked my idea for his card text at the time, but this one is pretty good too and makes for another offensive-leaning X-Wing pilot.
It kinda surprised me that Porkins has an Elite Pilot Skill, but after glancing at that linked thread, I guess he was a good pilot in the books, despite cratering into the Death Star. Additionally, he's PS7 and at a pretty respectable 26 points.
First thing I notice reading his card text is if you blow the roll, you deal yourself a facedown Damage card. Kind of a strong downside being as how you've got a 3 in 8 chance of rolling a filled explosion when you make the roll. Second thing is the timing- you make that roll as soon as you receive the Stress Token whether it's because you K-Turned, cancelled shot by Kath, elected to pull a second Action via PTL, Elusiveness or whatever.
That was when I noticed the last bit- the Stress comes off no matter what you roll. That little detail makes Porkins much easier to live with, if you ask me. It's also a "may", so you don't have to do it if you don't want to. Not to shabby for the fat guy, huh?
So that's it for the pilots, but a couple more cards were revealed in the article that I didn't find a nice, organic way to fit in, so here they are-
I won't lie, I like Flechette Torps mainly for the same reason I liked Ion Pulse Missiles so much- because they're cheap. I dream of the day I load up a double-shot of these guys in Horton Salm and just Stress the crap out of some poor guy on the other side of the table.
For only 2 points, you get a 3 Attack out to Range 3. That's really not bad by itself, but then you get to that second paragraph and realize that even if you can't manage to hurt them with those 3 Attack dice, you will still Stress them regardless if their Hull is 4 or less after your Attack.
So yeah, basically you're auto-Stressing anybody in your firing arc out to Range 3 that isn't a YT-1300, a Firespray, or a Shuttle.
Wait a sec, or a TIE Bomber or a Y-Wing. Well now. Interesting selection criteria there, huh?
Again, by itself, a Stress token isn't that big of a deal, but if you've got somebody else floating around with an Ion Cannon, Turret, or Ion Pulse Missiles? That's a pretty rough deal for not a lot of points. If nothing else, maybe you get somebody to pump their brakes or risk the consequences rather unexpectedly or at a particularly inopportune time. Still not a bad trade off for only a couple of points in my book.
R3-A2 is a pretty interesting card too in that it's got a pretty easy to satisfy criteria that gets you a nearly automatic Stress on target of your choice. Again, not something that's going to immediately affect the target, but imagine if you've got a target out there that's already Stressed, if he's in your arc and in Range, you can deal him a second Stress, which unlike Ion Tokens, Stress Tokens aren't all removed when the Stressed ship pulls a green- only one is. So while you might not use this guy every single turn, when the opportunity presents itself, it's got a pretty good chance of making hay while the sun shines, if you catch my drift.
The last revealed card is also in the Imperial Aces box too. A bit of a remix on Expose, Opportunist lets you roll an extra Attack die if your target doesn't have any Focus or Evade tokens. Obviously, this Elite Pilot Skill goes with Janson like chocolate goes with peanut butter, but there are more uses for it than just on him. With Porkin's ability to lose Stress, it's not a terrible idea on him either, or on a guy who doesn't mind being Stressed out like Tycho Celchu.
That said, it is four points though, so ideally you want to get as much use out of it as possible. This card actually works better on lower PS guys I think, as their targets are perhaps less likely to still be in possession of their Focus or Evade tokens than if you were to stick this on Wedge, for example.
If you're still not 100% sold on it, bear in mind that it doesn't cost an Action to trigger and is another one of those "may" cards that doesn't paint you into a corner by forcing you to use it against your will.
After reading all that good stuff you're probably wondering about list possibilities, right? Well, lucky for you our old pal Geordan who maintains (Yet Another) X-Wing Squad Builder has already updated his site with all this great new stuff (as well as everything else that's been revealed up to this point), so put away your pen and paper, sigh contentedly, and head on over to Yet Another and get crackin' on some original new list ideas!
... right after you click one of my Miniature Market ads and pre-order your Rebel Transport of course. :)
Picking up where we left off from yesterday, let's all squint real hard and make some guesses about what all comes in the box with the Tantive IV Expansion.
First, you've got the dial which as +Davyd Atwood pointed out yesterday, I kinda worded strangely. If you look really closely, you can see there are two moves on the dial in each "position" or whatever- the straight speed and then the turn or bank (or maybe another straight or just a single straight). What I said yesterday lead him to believe I was saying there were two separate movements- as in you actually selected two different maneuvers, but really I just chose a poor way to try to convey the notion. In any case, I think that's how it's going to work- there are combinations of maneuvers on the dial, you pick a single combo and turn the dial face down as usual, but when you execute, I think you do one of the maneuvers first, then the second. Might even be the maneuver closest to the center of the dial that you have to do first.
Next you've got the big range ruler and the movement template. Going up, a pair of Target Lock Tokens (can't tell the letters- Z maybe?) a bunch of other tokens, one pile of which seems to be Energy Tokens. This is kinda interesting because while we knew that Energy was a commodity to be spent as well as earned somehow (through card text like Tibanna Gas Supplies or maybe just through the ship itself almost like an Action that bestows a token), we still kinda don't know the actual mechanism. Or at least I don't.
Above the tokens and whatnots we see the cards. As was mentioned in the comments yesterday, it looks like there's just one Fore card and just one Aft card, which kind of bums me out. I was really hoping for like an awesome front end and/ or back end at higher PS to make things interesting. Ah well. There's also some sort of rules card (which, I may be nuts, but looks like the Ion rules card), and another art card nestled in there. At first I thought maybe this was some kind of Energy management card- like maybe the card gave you a designated place to stick your Energy tokens or maybe by following some instructions during the game, spawned Energy tokens, but I don't know. Whatever it is, it's not a pilot card.
Moving right but staying up at the top, we see a big card that looks like to me is either a space container or an escape pod. In any case, it seems to have an Agility rating and a Hull value. Moving on, we've got a veritable pile of Shield tokens and a ton of Ion tokens. Safe to say, in addition to the Single Turbolaser and Quad Laser Cannons that the Tantive will be able to equip some sort of Ion weapons too.
Beneath, we see the 24 upgrade cards included with the Tantive IV. It's tough to actually make out what any of them are, but I see what appear to be (in no particular order) a couple copies of Comms Booster, what might be a copy of Flight Instructor, some Tibanna Gas Supplies, Ion Reactor, Engine Booster, 3po, R2, three Single Turbolasers, a couple of Quads, Dodonna's Pride, and some other stuff I can't make out, though I swear that looks like Leia on the right end of the upper row.
Anybody else betting on an actual Tantive IV title card as well as Dodonna's Pride? The article repeatedly refers to the CR90 as do the Fore and Aft cards, and even makes a statement there towards the end about "... throughout any combat featuring the Tantive IV or any CR90 Corvette", so I figure there's a Tantive IV title as well.
Below the upgrade cards, you've got the Fore and Aft specific damage decks.
Is it just me or do those Single Turbos on the sides of the Fore seem to be detachable? Maybe it's a mistake or maybe it's just my dirty contacts magnifying my astigmatism, but I swear if you look at the pics of the ship in the box and the pic of the ship in the movement example, then compare with the 360 degree rotating picture, it seems like the cannons are absent, absent, and present respectively. If that's the case, I like that. I always liked the WYSIWYG weapons in games like 40k.
All in all, I'm stoked for the Tantive IV, y'all. I've always liked the aesthetics of the ship, I like that it brings a couple new modes of gameplay, I like that it has different mechanics, I like the looks of the model. I'm very eager to pick this thing up and fly it around the table. I always get excited to check out the new stuff for X-Wing, but this time much more so than usual- I really think the CR90 is going to add some interesting new angles to this game.
That said, I can't help but wonder how exactly it's going to work!
What I mean by that is, the thing looks friggin' huge. I wonder how hard it's going to be flying it around while trying to keep it on the table. Of course it's possible that Epic and/ or Cinematic modes might have a larger playing field, but if they don't, it could get really interesting really quickly. That, or you just will hardly ever use anything but a 1 Straight.
I wonder how it deploys. As big as it is, it almost has to come on from a table edge somehow, right?
As it seems there's some kind of different rules for a Huge ship overlapping a starfighter, I wonder if it handles rocks and other Obstacles differently as well. I wonder if it Overlaps (in the rulebook sense of the term) at all or it just plows stuff out of its way- friend, foe, or inanimate object.
I'm curious too to know how card text from other allied Pilots affect the CR90 (and for that matter, the GR-75). Like, can Lando pull a green at Range 1 and give it a Free Action? Can Dutch pass it a Target Lock? Can Dreis dish it a Focus? Can Elusiveness pull a hit from it? Can Kath Stress it?
I have a ton of questions like this- how does Ionizing work on a Huge ship? Can you Ionize the Aft separate from the Fore? Can they even be ionized? Can they incur Stress? Can one end of the ship be Stressed while the other end is not? Can they use Modifications? Can they use Big (as opposed to Huge) Ship Only Modifications? If you have a Saboteur in the Fore, does his ability work from the Fore or the entire ship's profile?
Last thought and then I gotta hit the sack- you know how you wish you could use Bombs better? It's not just me, right? Or at least find some reason to justify them points-wise in your list, but it's just too hard/ unpredictable/ difficult to set up properly?
Don't sell those Bomb cards and tokens on eBay just yet Bikini Aficionados- I think we now know why only Imperial ships have the ability to take Bombs...
Right on. So a few things about these huge ships are starting to clear up a bit with the previous GR-75 reveal and now this one. The first thing I thought when I read about the Tantive IV was that this time FFG makes a differentiation between the current Standard game format, the Epic game format, and the Cinematic game format. Note they don't really say anything about these other game formats, but they do draw the distinction between them. Apparently, the Cinematic game format comes with the Tantive IV and FFG is going to discuss it more in future preview articles. I get the impression that the Tantive IV can be used in both Epic and Cinematic, but the GR-75 is maybe only Epic. Could be wrong, but something about the wording in this article makes me feel that way. Take it for what it's worth. I also kinda wonder if the Epic format isn't just a higher points format (sorta like a X-Wing Apocalypse, if you will) whereas the Cinematic seems like it'll be uneven sides perhaps. Or at least not dogfights. Again, just my opinions.
What we do know is the CR90 is divided into two sections- the Fore and the Aft.
Ok, so lots going on here. First, we see a lot of familiar looking stats and colors on the left and a bunch of stuff that looks like it deals with this new Energy commodity on the right. As both the Fore and Aft have a Pilot Skill value, I think that sort of not only explains how the firing and stuff works, but also how movement works.
Maybe I just didn't read it closely enough on the GR-75, or maybe they didn't have it quite laid out like this, but it reads like when you maneuver the Huge ships, or at least the CR90, it moves in two steps- the first part you basically set your speed, which seems to indicate movement in a straight line, then for the second part, you can choose to remain straight or execute a bank or turn. To put it another way, rather than doing a 1 Right Turn, for example, with a Huge ship, you'd do a 1 Straight first, then you'd do the Right Turn. Like in two separate steps rather than one combined one like with the smaller ships.
Again, could be wrong, but that's what I'm getting from the article text. If so, interesting. And I gotta wonder if I pay for an upgraded Fore and keep the 40-point, PS4 Aft if my Fore will actually do it's stuff at a higher PS than the Aft. Can't see why not at this point and sure seems to make for an interesting setup if that is indeed the case.
We also see that while that Primary is 360 degrees with 4 Attack, we also note that it's range is 3-5.
Wait a minute- 3 to 5?
Yup. Dig this-
Look at that range template, y'all. Big reach on the CR90, yo.
I think the idea is that your fighters can provide close support, but if you're nervous about somebody getting inside Range 3 and causing you problems, lucky you- the CR90 has Hardpoints that allow you to mount extra Energy-using upgrades like a Quad Laser Cannons, for instance.
Not bad, right? Has kind of a built-in Gunner for 6 points and an Energy point. I don't know if the Huge ships have "Secondary Weapon Systems" as it were, but if they do, this would count as one.
Of course, if you're confident in your fighters protecting you in close and want some more shots at long range, there's always a Single Turbolaser.
Against faster, more maneuverable ships? Yeah, probably not much chance this guy will even scratch the paint, let along score you a hit in the rulebook sense of the term, but against lower Agility stuff, this thing will eat those ships up.
Reading those cards and noticing that the CR90 has three Hardpoints total (2 Fore, 1 Aft, at least on the cards that have been revealed so far), I can't help but wonder if this thing has some sort of mechanism for firing more than one weapon at more than one target. My guess, and again- pure conjecture on my part, I think the Fore probably fires a single weapon at a target and the Aft probably fires a single weapon at a target.
Going back to the Fore and Aft cards, we see a lot of little icons in the Upgrade bar- the current Crew Member symbol, the new Hardpoint symbol, a new symbol with multiple dudes on it that FFG says is the Team icon, and a Cargo symbol.
Crew Members y'all already know about, but there were a couple of new Crew Members revealed I wanted to post here-
Well, whaddaya know? It's R2 and 3PO!
First, yeah, they're dotted. Secondly, no I can't think of any reason you couldn't use them on a YT-1300 or a HWK-290. Thirdly, yes, R2-D2, Crew Member is awesome like a thrift shop. Lastly, don't get your hopes up all the way- remember that FFG actually states what is valid for tournament play in the tournament rules. These guys, much like the X-Wing pilots in the Transport, will probably be allowed in tourneys, but we won't know for sure until the tournament rules are updated again.
Teams are well, teams of crew apparently. I don't know if any of those have been revealed yet, but they say that some are so effective they're marked as "Limited" which FFG goes on to explain means that the same ship can't equip multiple copies of a Limited card. This is different from dotted in that dotted stuff can only show up once in your Squadron or list or whatever, but Limited stuff can only turn up on a particular ship once, but conceivably could turn up other places in your list.
Hardpoints we kinda already talked about, which leaves the Cargo upgrade.
Cargo, FFG says, can be Energy sources or equipment. The card above is an example of a Cargo upgrade (see the little Cargo symbol in the lower left corner?) that also has that Limited criteria. Not knowing the ins and outs of Energy, I can't/ don't really want to say much about this card at this point other than to give an example of an Energy source type of Cargo.
And here are a couple of the equipment-type Cargo upgrades. Both seem pretty handy from what we know so far- Engine Booster seems kinda like a Boost-ish move for a Huge ship, while Ionization Reactor seems like a good way to chill everybody out that's within Range 1 of your precious.
Ok, that's it for today. There's more stuff I want to talk about, but this article is long enough. I'll throw down Part 2 tomorrow!
Yup, so I turn 40 (ugh) today around 5pm Central time. On the bright side, the wife got me this sweet (literally and figuratively) cake for the occasion.
Would have LOVED to been able to ask for Imperial Aces or one of the big ships for my birthday, but instead settled on a Solidoodle 2 Pro.
Those of y'all who follow me on G+ likely already saw me freaking out about this as it arrived in the mail this past Tuesday. I've been printing out random whatnots ever since. So far, 3d printing is both easier and harder than I thought it would be. I haven't had to fight the software or hardware nearly as much as I thought I would, but all the tweaking of temperatures and feed rates and stuff is still somewhat elusive to me. It's fun to mess around with though for sure, and yeah, I have a couple of "space combat gaming aids" shall we say, dreamed up I hope to start hawking on here in the relatively near future.
In short, can't say enough good things about the printer itself- I had it up and running within about 30 minutes of opening the box, but it'll be awhile before I feel like I truly get the hang of printing out even stock items from the internet, let alone my own creations.