07 February 2013

Named Pilots- Dutch Vander

This post regarding Named Pilots is part of a larger article regarding Wave 1 listbuilding- the rest of the posts n this series will be available in the coming weeks as I'm revealing a post or two per day on the various topics in that larger article. For more info, click the "Ship List Articles" tab at the top of the page or simply click here.

Card: Dutch Vander (Y-Wing) 23 pts.
Special ability: After acquiring a Target Lock, choose another friendly ship at Range 1-2. The chosen ship may immediately acquire a Target Lock.  
Ability is an Action?: No.
Excels at: Support
Quick Take: Similar to Garven Dreis’ ability, Dutch Vander is more forgiving and easy to use because unlike Dreis’ Focus token, Target Locks are persistent from round to round and because Vander hands off an extra Target Lock as soon as he acquires it, not when he actually spends it. Remember how I said without Swarm Tactics, Dreis can't really give his Focus to anyone with a higher Pilot Ranking? You don't have to worry about that with Vander's Target Locks since he acquires his Target Lock before the Combat Phase starts, he can dish that TL for immediate use to anyone so long as they're in range.

Main worry is Vander is a Y-Wing which can be difficult to use because of it’s relatively poor handling represented by limited options on the movement dial. This is mitigated by most players with the installation of an Ion Cannon Turret upgrade, but as Vander needs to remain within range 1-2 of someone that could make use of a Target Lock, his maneuverability does come into play to an extent when paired with a more agile buddy flying near. The good news is an Ion Cannon Turret doesn’t conflict with Vander’s acquisition of a Target Lock as Target Locks can be acquired on any enemy ship at range 3 or less regardless of firing arc.

Be sure since you can only maintain one Target Lock per ship at a time, to have Vander always using his Target Lock so he can acquire a new one next round and hand off another TL to a friend.

EDIT: Understand that when I wrote this, I misunderstood the rules for getting rid of a Target Lock, so let me take a moment to clarify-

You sort of can't actually just get rid of a Target Lock without spending it, but you can do two things (clarified by the Rulebook itself and also one of the old FAQs- you can either "spend" it but choose to not modify any of your dice, or you can, in your Perform Action step of course, decide to acquire a new Target Lock which effectively replaces your existing one because you can't (normally) have more than one Target Lock.

Thanks to +Danny Brase for reminding me that I'd never gone back and updated this old chestnut of an article!

Dreis and Vander flying together basically hand each other the Actions virtually all Rebel ships use on the regular- Target Locks and Focuses. They're also the same Pilot Rank, so you can move and shoot the two of them in any order you wish. Try hooking Dreis up with R2-F2 and Vander with R2-D2 and spend the rest of your points on a couple of Rookie X-Wings with droid support or a couple of naked Red Squadron X-Wings and see how it treats ya.

Elite Skills/ Upgrades: Like all Y-Wings, Vander needs one of the droids to keep him alive by helping to remove damage, namely the R5’s except for R5-K6 or R2-D2 could serve a purpose here. R2-F2 not so much because his ability requires an Action and ideally, Vander is using his Actions acquiring Target Locks. R2-D2 is particularly useful on a Y-Wing with an Ion Cannon Turret because you're more likely to be able to pull a green maneuver with a 360 degree firing arc afforded by the turret and because Y-Wings sport 3 shields, which becomes pretty sturdy when you're gaining one back every round from R2-D2.

R5-K6 a result in an interesting combination with Vander’s ability in that it’s permissible for Vander to acquire a TL via his standard Action, pass on the TL to another ship, then subsequently use the Target Lock to attack an enemy ship, which triggers R5-K6’s roll to see if the TL is reacquired. If it is, another TL can be passed on to another ship. While it's not exactly automatic, it’s legit if you can pull it off.

An Ion Cannon Turret is also a necessity for most players which ups the cost of Vander considerably, but makes the Y-Wing infinitely more usable in most situations. Note: having this Ion is kind of vital to Vander being able to burn off the TLs he acquires as he can’t get a new TL (more importantly, can’t give one to a buddy) if he has an existing TL. 

Vander does not have Elite Skills available to him.

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