01 July 2014

Elite Pilot Skills- Outmaneuver

This post regarding Elite Pilot Skills is part of a larger article regarding Wave 4 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 "List Building Resources" tab at the top of the page or simply click here.

Outmaneuver (3)
Card Text: When attacking a ship inside your firing arc, if you are not inside that ship's firing arc, reduce it's Agility value by 1 (to a minimum of 0).
Usage in game: Hitting that which cannot be so easily hit.
Action?: No.

Breakdown: I like this card because it's a pretty straightforward affair, which theoretically means I don't need to spend a lot of time on it. This is good because it's already pretty late and I'm still getting over the sickness and all. I could use a couple of softballs like this every once in awhile, y'know?

Ok, so basically if you're outside your target's firing arc but he's inside of your firing arc, you get to drop the amount of green dice he's going to get to roll by 1. Sound familiar? It oughta- it's kinda like Backstabber's card text. Only real difference is instead of rolling an additional Attack die, your target rolls one less Defend. So functionally, somewhat similar.

The one thing I feel the need to clarify is the bit in the card text about firing arcs. You remember back in (I think it was) Wave 2 I got on that big kick about <filled explosion results> and actual rules-wise Hits? Well, firing arcs are kinda like that too. We take some unconscious concessions sometimes when playing these games and while we end up at the same destination as following the letter of the law about 98% of the time, there's always that 2% you need to keep in mind from time to time.

This conceivably is one of those times.

Please remember that all the starfighters in X-Wing do have firing arcs. Yes, even the Falcon. What we sometimes tend to gloss over is the fact that ships with turrets like the Falcon or a Y-Wing or HWK with a Secondary Turret do indeed still have firing arcs, it's just the rules for Turrets allow you to attack stuff outside your firing arc. We tend to think sometimes, and trust me- I'm as guilty of it as anyone else in my neverending quest to try and break stuff down proper on here, that ships with turrets have 360 degree arcs of fire, when in reality they kinda don't really. They just get to attack stuff outside their firing arcs.

So that cleared up, yeah you can stick this thing on Han, but no, it doesn't work if your firing at a ship outside the printed firing arc on the Falcon base.

So that cleared up, what's this thing good for? It costs 3 points which isn't exactly cheap. Is it worth it?

As with so many things in X-Wing Miniatures, it largely depends on how well you can maneuver. There are a few ships and situations that jump out at me- Black Squadron TIEs, K-Turning B-Wings with or without Advanced Sensors, stuff like that. Main thing to remember here is that Outmaneuver is not an Action; it just kinda happens- like entropy, osmosis, or J. Lo getting to open World Cup with Pitbull. The point being of course, is that even if you're Stressed or otherwise without Actions, Outmaneuver still works for you. 

Something that hadn't occurred to me before- this card conceivably makes Ion Weapons a little more dangerous. Ions can be pretty hit or miss, mainly miss, when firing on stuff with decent Agility, but as there's nothing in the card text of Outmaneuver that stipulates Primary or Secondary Attacks, so it works on any Attack. Of course, if you're talking Turrets, you do have to obey the aforementioned firing arc wording, but other than that, you're good to use this thing with HLCs, Proton Torpedoes, you name it. Assault Missiles I think you're only going to reap the benefit on the initial target and not everybody else caught in the blast, but I don't know if there's been any official ruling on that or anything.

My one word of caution is to not get overly confident in this card. I mentioned that functionally it's similar to Backstabber, but remember that similar does not equal same. While you're almost certainly guaranteed better results with Outmaneuver than without, it's not going to turn a 2 Attack ship into a juggernaut of destruction. You're still going to throw just a couple of red dice when it's time to attack, ok?

That being said, don't discount Outmaneuver, just bear in mind that it's not really an Offense booster, it's more of a de-buff than anything. Sticking this on ships that you can maneuver deftly into Range 1 is going to wreck somebody's day as will sticking it on stuff like Firesprays or X-Wings and other ships with 3 Attack (or more- Phantoms) or ones that are particularly useful at range like anything sporting an HLC or ordnance.