This post regarding Common Ships is part of a series of articles that fall under listbuilding. I'll be discussing the "generic" or non-unique pilots and their ships and strategies. For the rest of the listbuilding articles, click the List Building Resources tab at the top or simply click here.
Common Pilots: Gold, Gray
Stock Actions: Target Lock, Focus
Breakdown: There's been a lot said about the Y-Wing on the internet. If you go back and read messageboard posts and stuff from last fall and winter, most people think they're terrible. Keep on reading, and you'll see as time passes, people's opinion of them goes from borderline worthless to slightly better, even ranging into decently useful territory.
Long story short, you know how I'm always talking about how some ships are easy to use or more accessible than others?
Yeah, the Y-Wing ain't one of those.
What you see with the messageboard posts and stuff isn't some indicator of people figuring out the "I Win" button for Y-Wings; some magical loadout or setup that makes it unkillable or whatever, it's simply a passage of time in which people figure out 1) how to play the game better; i.e. manage maneuvers and Pilot Skill and stuff like that, and 2) how to extend that knowledge to the Y-Wing's capabilities. TL;DR- if you're having trouble with Y-Wings and just started playing X-Wing Miniatures within the past month or two, back away from the keyboard, put your Y-Wings on the shelf for a little bit, and keep playing the game. You won't have an "Ah-ha!" moment where you can suddenly use Y-Wings, you'll just all of a sudden not hate them nearly as much, without exactly being able to put your finger on why.
Now, with the Wave 3 pics and stuff, we've all seen what appears to be a Blaster Turret upgrade. Many of us have also noticed that it appears to be compatible with not only the HWK-290, but also the Y-Wing. Previously, the overwhelming reason why a player took a Y-Wing in his list was because of the Ion Cannon Turret and the functionality it provided, and to a lesser degree, the double torpedo load (named pilots and their card text notwithstanding). Now though, having a 360 fire arc weapon that can (probably) do more than 1 damage per round is likely to boost the profile of the Y-Wing a bit more.
So what does a Y-Wing bring to the table? Mainly a lot of shields and hull for the points. Sure they're only Agility 1, but 8 hit points (Hull points + Shields, of course) is nothing to sneeze at, and will still take a lot of heat to destroy for scoring purposes. The turret option helps to mitigate a limited maneuver dial while also raising the effective Attack value of the Y-Wing.
Like the X-Wing, no common Y-Wing has the ability to take Elite Pilot Skills, but they can take Astromechs and torpedoes, so a lot of what applies to a generic X-Wing applies for the Y-Wing as well. I tend to lean towards the Astromechs that help to mitigate damage cards rather than buff shield or agility, but your mileage may vary. My thinking is it's really just a matter of time before one of my Y-Wings starts accumulating damage cards, and as I've already probably stuck a turret on there and/ or some torpedoes, I don't want to make the ship even more expensive, might as well keep it as relatively cheap as possible.