18 June 2013

More Wave 3 Reveals- Lambda Shuttle Part 2

Originally, this wasn't really meant to be a multi-part set of articles, but I got really sidetracked on what became Part 1, so here's Part 2. 

Aiight then, let's talk about another Lambda Shuttle Pilot, the middle Pilot Skill version, Colonel Jendon. First thing that jumps out at me? He's only one point less than our ould (wow- is that a typo or like some ye olde school Scottish Auld Lang Syne type shit? Still very tired, apparently) sorry- old pal Major Kagi. Kagi, as you'll recall had a PS of 8, and as they have the same icons in their upgrade bar, we better be looking at a better card text ability, right? 

The ability is interesting. Especially since Lambda Shuttles can't even take Torpedoes or Missiles. As I'm sure you'll recall, lots of Imperial ships can't. Target Lock is as standard as power windows and locks on Rebel ships, but only half of the (current) Imperial ships have the option. 

Thinking about this made me remember a thread on the rules section of the FFG X-Wing forums. The question, at the time, was could Dutch Vander pass on a Target Lock to a ship that couldn't normally take a Target Lock Action. I have no idea how the question even came up- I guess maybe folks were speculating that the A-Wing wouldn't have Target Lock or something. I remember thinking at the time, "Christ. We really have nothing to talk about if people are arguing over stuff that's not even likely to effin' happen." 

Color me wrong. Lols. 

So I guess Colonel Jendon answers that question, or maybe not- I don't know. I guess he could pass along a TL to a TIE Fighter or Interceptor if they're friendly and they don't have a blue TL, right? I don't see why not really, and I can't remember what the line of thinking was in that rules debate for why Vander couldn't pass his along now. 

Anyhizzle, ok, so obviously Jendon's meant to be used with the forthcoming TIE Bombers, which seems fairly scary at a glance. The wording on Jendon's card is a little different than Dutch's text- Dutch passes along what is effectively an additional TL, and by additional I mean Dutch still retains his, while Jendon actually gives his away. Jendon's also happens later than Dutch's and at a different range- Dutch at the time he acquires his (i.e. the Activation phase) and 1-2, Jendon at the start of the Combat Phase, Range 1 only. Is that significant? I don't know, kinda, yeah. The range thing for obvious reasons, the timing because you could conceivably have a higher PS ship too far away from Jendon to get the lock during Jedon's activation phase, but then have it close enough at the start of the combat phase to benefit. Is that a big deal? I don't know- if you're talking about a ship that can Boost or Daredevil into Range 1, I guess it could be, sure. It's also worth noting that the way the text reads, Jendon's actually giving away one of his blue TL tokens to the other ship. What I mean by that is it doesn't let the ship make a TL of its own- it gets whatever enemy ship was TLed by Jendon for it's Target Lock. 

The best way to utilize this off the top of my head would be to roll a Weapons Engineer as a Crew Member in Jendon's ride. That way you've always got a TL to dish, and yet you've also got the option of keeping one for Jendon to use if the opportunity presents itself. Of course, if you can pass that TL to a Bomber, especially a Bomber that Focused (preferably with Deadeye as an Elite Pilot Skill if any of them can take Elite Pilot Skills), you can bet you're going to put the maximum hurt on somebody. 

Another option would be installing a Fire Control System as Jendon could then use his Action as contextually appropriate (i.e. not always TLing to pass it along). Fire Control Systems- it ain't just for B-Wings anymore. 

So we said yesterday that Kagi debatably works better as more of a hang back support ship than one that's actively trying to smoke fools off the board. I think Jendon could work in either role. I mean, with all those shields and hull, you could make a case for him playing a little offensively to get those ships in TL range, and with his middle of the road Pilot Skill, I think you could make a strong case for Anti-Pursuit Lasers. 

Another card you could perhaps make a case for use with Jendon in a more offensive role would be that Recon Specialist Crew Member chick. 

Jendon can't give away the Focus tokens or anything, but if you think you're going to get shot at by several ships in the Combat round, it could be pretty handy to have a couple of Focus tokens lying around to try and mitigate that lousy 1 Defense. 

Any big ship that might be getting up close and personal with the enemy would also do well to consider another card I didn't really touch on yesterday- the Saboteur Crew Member. 

Admittedly, it doesn't appear to be the easiest card in the world to use, and it's almost exclusively going to be worthwhile only against other big ships (and who knows if the current big ship meta will stick around as prominently as it is now post-Wave 3), but as I've been saying on here for several months, the easiest way to try and deal with a big ship is to throw some d's on that bitch, I mean, throw some crits on that bitch. Saboteur does that and does it well, not to mention does it in the Activation phase rather than the Combat Phase, which is just icing on a tasty cake. Not the easiest cake to bake, if I can mix the metaphor, but for only 2 points, I think it's certainly worthwhile to at least consider. 

I kinda mixed up my Crew Members and System Upgrades there, and while the above reads fairly coherently, we still should talk about funky raygun and the remaining Crew Members. Sorry for being a little scattered with this, but bear with me and we'll get through this together

So remaining stuff that work better than usual with Jendon? To be honest, nothing else really jumps out at me. As usual, if I'm planning on hanging out in the backfield and passing along TLs to a couple of Bombers while my other ships mix it up, I'd go HLC, with the Mercenary Copilot Crew Member. If I were wanting to get a little closer, Ion Cannon with Gunner. Assuming of course I've got points to burn and I want to use the shuttle in an offensive role. 

That said, I think you can get away with relatively few upgrades on Jendon and still have him be worthwhile. If you could find the points, having him fly around with Kath Scarlet could be pretty nasty, as she could Focus or use Marksmanship for her Action, then get a TL from Jendon, and get pretty mean in the Combat Phase with none of that really requiring much forethought or planning. In other words, you could likely do it just about every round you wanted to. You could save a couple of points and use it with Trelix in a similar fashion, but I think it's almost overkill with him considering his built-in card text. Of course, he could always select Evade for his Action instead too. Either way, you've got a couple of high HP ships flying around both with Attack 3 primaries which can't be ignored by the enemy very long. I've talked about dual Firespray lists before, this setup would be kind of similar except of course you're looking at a much cheaper Firespray type ship in the Lambda Shuttle, so you'd have more points to play with than usual. Or you could get really silly and go 2 Bounty Hunters with Jendon instead of 3 Bounty Hunters and end up with 7 more points left to spend on upgrades, but with similar staying power and improved functionality. That could be interesting.