This post regarding Crew Members is part of a larger article regarding Wave 2 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 Text: When you are dealt a Damage card, you may immeidately discard that card and recover 1 shield. Then, discard this Upgrade card.
Usage in game: Damage mitigation; "Nuh-uh!" opportunity capitalization
Breakdown: Using even a moderately tooled-up YT-1300 is likely to force you into a 3-ship list. As such, one of the inherent playability issues incurred is keeping those ships alive long enough to even the odds against lists with more ships and their built-in potential to inflict more damage per round.
But I digress.
In any case, Chewbacca as a Crew Member is there to keep your ship on the table just a little bit longer. How much longer? Well, two Damage cards longer to be exact. Receiving a Damage card can trigger Chewie if you want it to, and when it does, it functions in the way you'd expect- you not only discard the Damage card you just received (one Damage card) and get a Shield Token back (two Damage card, ah, ah, ah). For four points, it's a pretty good trade-off; after all, Shield Upgrade by itself is 4 points. Chewbacca gives you the same end result functionality and lets you mitigate a Damage card for the same cost.
So why wouldn't you take Chewie over a Shield Upgrade?
Well, first and most obviously, you can only take Chewie on a Rebel YT-1300, so everyone else is SOL. Secondly, if you take him as crew, you can't take him as a pilot of the YT-1300. Last, he does take up a Crew Member slot (although, each of the YT-1300 pilots have two Crew Member slots available to them, so this probably isn't an issue).
One question I've seen floating around on the Rules Questions section of the Forum is does Crew Member Chewbacca mitigate a crit?
Short answer? Yes he does.
A crit is still a Damage card, just a face-up Damage card. If you go through the 7 Combat Steps in the rulebook, you'll see what I'm talking about.
Really, in my mind, there's no downside to this guy. He's very reasonable for the points, even being a one-shot use as he's automatic and doesn't require an Action which makes him a one-shot that 100% goes off unless of course you never get down to your hull. I think you could make Chewbacca 5 or 6 points and I'd probably still take a pretty hard look at him.
Does he work in your list? It's fairly simple to determine- does your YT-1300 get keyed on a lot by the enemy? Chewbacca might just buy you another round to get the odds evened up between your low ship count list and your opponent's higher one. I think a lot of people focus on the damage potential of these ships when they initially start coming up with listbuilds, but I find most people will ultimately be better off focusing more on keeping their ship alive rather than wringing another Attack die out of a build or another re-roll. Find the points and give him a shot sometime. I'd be surprised if you're disappointed.