01 July 2013

More Wave 3 Reveals- HWK-290, Part 1


All right, in addition to revealing all the Imperial Shuttle pilots in the FFG article called, "New Wingmen for the Win", we also know all the HWK-290 pilots as well, which I'll be predictably talking about for the next few days. 

First up is Jan Ors. 

Brief sidenote- can I just take a moment and tell you how silly it is for internet peoples (mainly bloggaz [that's right son, straight up blogga from the streets, yo!{Man, I can't believe I never thought of that joke before}]), to open a post with, "So-and-so here." Am I supposed to be reading their article out loud in my head in a newscaster voice or something? It's redundant too, which really sets the manufacturing engineer in my on edge. "So-and-so here", yeah, no kidding; I read the two words after "By" under the title of your post. "Clint here with news on the Jan Ors card revealed a couple of weeks ago on the FFG site. I'd go live on the scene, but the scene is my kitchen table, and we kind of can't go there because it might wake my kid up, but hey, we're really not going there anyway, so whatever right?" I mean, what's with that?

Oh, by the way, triple-parenthetical? Yeah. Totally don't even know if that's real. Probably isn't. Moving on...

Ok, anyway, Jan Ors is the highest PR HWK-290 pilot coming in at a middle of the road 25 points. As I've mentioned before, the HWK-290 isn't exactly an awesome ship stat-wise. The 1 Attack is decidedly milquetoast, 2 Defense is pretty average, then it gets kinda weird- 4 hull and 1 shield? 

Now here's the part where somebody who's not only read, but memorized The Star Wars Technical Manuals gets on the comments and tells me about how that's canon. Ok, I played Dark Forces back in the day on Playstation 1. In Austin. In like 1996. I got kinda obsessed with it for a little bit, but I didn't even remember the name of the ship, let alone that it was called the Moldy Crow. So TL;DR? Don't get on your high horse telling everybody they should already know all about the HWK-290. 

Where was I? Oh right- fairly weak stats on the HWK-290. Ok, so that in mind, what's driving up the cost of Jan Ors to 25? 

Well, one, her high Pilot Skill. 8 isn't the greatest, but it's fairly up there, so I'm sure a couple of points went towards that. Secondly, she can take some upgrades- Crew Members, Turret Weapons, and Elite Pilot Skills! 

Before we get sold on any of this stuff though, we should look more closely at Jan's card text. It's kinda long, but to break it down, it's more or less this:

If Jan does not have a Stress Token,
A friendly ship within 1-3 of Jan who is attacking-
May roll an additional attack die- 
Jan gets a Stress Token.

I have no idea why I wrote that out that way, but when I just separated those thoughts/ sentence fragments/ whatever with commas, it seemed more confusing. I really wish I could write a haiku about Jan's card text, but I don't think I can pull that off. 

So that's awesome, right? A little bit of a built-in limiter with the bit about Jan not being Stressed when she does this trick, but not bad- it's more or less Expose without the downside. 

That in mind, there's really not a lot that directly dovetails with that text. If there were something that got rid of Stress Tokens when you got them or something that'd be nice, but to my knowledge, there's nothing like that out there, so we're left with adding green maneuvers which will give us more movement options while ridding ourselves of those tokens. She can't take an R2 Astromech, but she could take Nien Nunb, which for a measly point, probably isn't a bad move, unless you have him in a Lando Falcon already. Past Nunb, it's the usual suspects- Chewie could help that rotten Shield value, Gunner can help make that one Attack die count, etc. Stay away from stuff that helps to induce Stress, obviously, take stuff like Determination that helps to mitigate the inevitable face-ups you'll be piling up, and you won't be in bad shape. 

Not knowing what the HWK-290's maneuver dial looks like, I'm talking out of my ass a little with this statement, but I think one of the two turrets should be considered an auto-include on any HWK-290. 

What, what, what? Two turrets? 

Yup, the Ion Cannon Turret and... 


Whoa! An Attack 3 turret weapon on something besides a YT-1300? Not bad, huh? Ok, caveats- first, like the Ion Cannon Turret, it only goes out to Range 2. You should also keep in mind that this is a small-base ship, so if you've been flying a Falcon around and blasting things left, right, and center, understand this ship is much less likely to do that. Smaller base plus shorter range to begin with equals not a Falcon. I'm just giving you a heads-up. Second, while it's a point cheaper than the ICT and has the potential to well, actually damage something, it does require a Focus just to fire it.  

Probably should have saved that for the upcoming article on Katarn, but oh well. Cat's outta the bag now. 

I said earlier that this gun or the ICT should be auto-include. Let me elaborate a little bit on that statement- I think either of them should be auto-include because having a 1 Attack weapon is terrible and you can't justify a quarter of what's probably your list total on a ship that you're never going to attack with because it's only a support ship. Whateva. I'm not saying Jan needs to be in the middle of the melee like the like that Blood Ravens Sergeant in the Dawn of War trailer, but actually planning on never firing a shot with her or doing nothing to try and upgrade that Attack value is a tremendous waste of points. That's why I think, although I freely admit it's might be the teensiest bit counter-intuitive, you gotta stick one of the turret guns on ol' girl. 

So that's more or less it. No missiles, ray guns, or even the new Systems Upgrade icon to talk about on Jan. As for modifications, Shield Upgrade is probably the only one I'd really consider, but Engine Upgrade might be a good choice if you use the Boost maneuver to get yourself out of an enemy's firing arc. She could take the Moldy Crow title, but much like the Blaster Turret, that works much better with Katarn. Unlike the Blaster Turret, I'm not spoiling that card in this article. I'd much rather talk about it in the context of using it with him instead. 

I'm probably missing something that y'all will remind me of in the comments, but I gotta say, while her ability is pretty awesome, I'm not nuts about her at 25 points, especially compared to Captain Yorr for 1 point less. I mean, yeah, she makes Wedge stupid good, and the range on that card text ability is pretty forgiving to get that extra die where you need it, but I don't know. If I played only against Interceptors with Stealth Devices, I'd probably be placing my HWK-290 pre-order right now, but as I don't, I'm just kind of not that fired up for her. Maybe in a themed game or a more than 100 points game. Again, I'm not saying she's terrible, I just think it's a tougher decision than you might think based on her awesome card text.