04 March 2013

Elite Pilot Skills- Push The Limit

This post regarding Elite Pilot Skills 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.

Push The Limit (3)
Card Text: Once per round, after you perform an action, you may perform 1 free action shown in your action bar. Then receive 1 stress token.

Usage in game: Additional Action at a cost...
Action?: No.

Breakdown: I recently started playing Edge of the Empire with some friends of mine. I don't know if y'all play this game, but every combat turn, you can perform one maneuver (drawing a gun, aiming, taking cover, etc.) and one action (shooting your gun, etc.). Now, if you want to, you can choose to pull 2 maneuvers and the action, i.e. draw your weapon and aim it, then fire it as well, but you invoke strain to do so, which will eventually make you pass out or turn an ankle or whatever.

Push The Limit is sorta like that. One Action per turn just not enough for ya? Garven Dreis, Squad Leader, Dutch Vander, etc. not for you? Pay three points, and you too can be a sort of, generic, off-brand Vader! Pick up your Stress Token at customer service, please.

PTL isn't bad. Don't take my flippant tone the wrong way; like most any of the Elite Pilot Skills, it's beneficial with a drawback that in some specific cases, isn't really a drawback at all. In fact, it makes perfect sense to stick it on Tycho Celchu as he doesn't care if he has Stress tokens or not when it comes to declaring Actions, and it actually makes a whole lot of sense to stick it on Soontir Fel as he gets a Focus token every time he receives a Stress Token.

Think about that for a moment, Soontir Fel has four Actions in his bar, standard. If you stick Push The Limit on him, you could conceivably do up to three of those four Actions every round. Right? I'm right about that, aren't I? This has been another one of those rough weekends with the kids where I don't get much sleep, so maybe I'm got this wrong and everybody will attack me for being a laser brain in the comments section, but I swear that's accurate. Admittedly, it ain't cheap, brings him to an even 30 points, but that's pretty amazing. Just be sure you understand the first two Actions can't both be Focuses, though you could do, for example an Evade with Fel's normal round Action, pick Focus for your PTL Free Action, which then stresses you, which triggers a Focus Token (for more info on these kind of shenanigans, check out the article called Multiple Actions, Same Actions Explained!) All that with a PR 9 TIE Interceptor? Holy Mackerel, will anybody be able to shoot him down without the luckiest of lucky rolls? Sign me up.

PTL works well with pretty much anyone else who has some extra means of mitigating stress too- Luke or Wedge with an R2 Astromech (I know, I know- you'd never fly Luke or Wedge with just an R2 Astromech, but it's possible and just imagine for a moment you've gotten really good at having Biggs tank for Wedge, and now Wedge can Focus and Target Lock every... single... round), A Falcon pilot with Nein Nunb, a Green Squadron A-Wing and the plethora of green maneuvers available to A-Wings, ditto for a Saber TIE Interceptor, or the aforementioned Celchu. 

Again, anyone- even a Black Squadron TIE (hi HeyChadwick!), can conceivably make use of another Action, it's just some folks are a little better at dealing with the downside than others. It mainly depends on how competent you are at making green moves and not compromising yourself, which probably really is more about whether your opponent is good at exploiting your relative predictability in having to make a green move to get rid of your stress or not.

Well that and whether or not he's packing an Ion weapon. 

Remember, that 1 straight from an ion hit is defined as a white maneuver regardless of the ship performing it or any upgrades they may possess, so watch it pulling this stunt around a Y-Wing or a Firespray.

Also recall that in the rulebook, it states that if you assign a stressful maneuver to a ship that already has a Stress Token, not only does the move not go off, your opponent gets to take the wheel for that ship and assign it any move s/he wants (that isn't a stressful move). I expect this rule to get glossed over a lot now that Wave 2 has hit because in most cases, playing under stress wasn't really that big of a deal with just the Wave 1 stuff. Stress was largely invoked because you did a K-Turn and that was pretty much the beginning and end of it. Now with Kath Scarlet dishing out Stress Tokens when her crits are mitigated and cards like Push The Limit, we're all going to need to keep an eye on Stress a little more closely both on our side as well as the other side of the table for those folks who like to pull K-Turns willy-nilly.


  1. I think that Soontir Fel can use focus with push the limit. The reason being that the rules state that you cannot perform an action twice in the same round, but Fel's special ability is not an action, it says give him a stress token, notice that this is different from the text of say Night Beast who gets a free focus action when you perform a green maneuver.

  2. Exactly. I can't see any flaws in the line of thinking outlined above. It's no different than declaring a Focus, then getting a token from Garven Dreis.

    It just seems so nasty... kinda one of those "is this too good to be true?", kind of moments as X-Wing hasn't had too many of them up to this point.

    Still though, it ain't cheap and I'm looking at this very much in a vacuum of not having actually played this combo yet. Sometimes things look brilliant on paper, but don't work out quite as smoothly on the tabletop.

  3. Hey, I get a mention!

    I looked up the rule about multiple stress tokens. It says if you are stressed & reveal a red maneuver, then your opponent picks your move. If you get more than one stress token, they just pile up.

  4. Lols, I was hoping you'd stop by today!

    Yeah, having multiple stress tokens isn't the end of the world really, it's the mindset of getting it in your head that it doesn't matter if you have stress tokens that I think opens a player up to making the red maneuver mistake.

    Also note that for each green maneuver you execute, you remove one stress token. It may be tempting to let them keep piling up, but God help you if you do need to pull a red maneuver before you get rid of them because I absolutely will drive you right off the board if you give me the opportunity. :)

    1. Just wanted to poke my nose in--late, I know--to point out that most pilots can't use Push the Limit if they already have stress. By definition a stressed pilot can't perform actions (even free actions), so PtL is never triggered.

      So it's actually fairly difficulty to pile up stress, unless you're Tycho or under fire from Kath. Having one token makes it difficult to achieve the conditions for picking up another one.

      PtL is great, but being stressed sucks. As you point out, Wave 2 is a good time for everyone to start remembering that.

    2. That's true!

      I'm probably misrepresenting the possibility a bit with that comment, as Tycho, as you point out, is really the only guy that scenario could happen to. Good catch Robert! Thanks!

  5. can you clarify the card, a round = a turn? correct?


  6. can you clarify the card, a round = a turn? correct?


  7. Looking at the X-Wing Rulebook, the author(s) of the rules use the term "round" in the following sentence at the bottom of page 5:

    X-Wing is played over a series of game rounds.
    During each game round, players perform the
    following four phases in order: Movement, Activation, Combat, and End.

    After resolving the End Phase, a new game round
    begins starting with the Planning phase. This continues
    until one player destroys all of his opponent’s ships.
    Each of these phases is discussed in greater detail
    over the next few pages.

    So yeah, like all of the ships on my side and your side have done all of the phases, that's a round.

    While I was thinking about your question, I kind of got to wondering how exactly they define "Perform Action" too- for future reference, the rules dudes define that in the way I use the term, declaring an Action, i.e. the moment in the Activation Phase where you select which Action you're going to perform (as opposed to the spending of the associated token).

    Ya dig? :)

  8. Something I found on the forum:
    "Push the Limit: Once per round, after you perform an action, you may perform 1 free action shown in your action bar. Then receive a stress token.

    Turr Phennir: After you perform an attack, you may perform a free boost or barrel roll action

    The free boost/barrel roll after attacking counts as performing an action, which will then trigger PtL. You are correct in the not performing the same action twice in a round, so during Turr's "Perform Action" step, he can't have done the same action that he plans on doing after attacking"

    This makes sense, and it is scary.

    1. Looking at the card, I'd have to agree.

      And yeah, you're absolutely correct. That's scary stuff!