Ok, so several new cards were revealed the first of which is a card designed by the 2013 X-Wing World Champion, Paul Heaver.
This is kind of an interesting card to me. It's got an obvious benefit for the points, but has a drawback as well. Being an Elite Pilot Skill, it goes without saying, but obviously this card works better with higher PS pilots than lower (again- not that many low PS pilots can access Elite Pilot Skills anyway) because it triggers when you reveal a maneuver.
Now, before anybody gets any good ideas, remember that Boost and Barrel Roll are actually considered Actions not Maneuvers, however I suppose if you could somehow stick this on a Pilot who is also a Daredevil, things could get a little more interesting (unless I missed the FAQ on DD now being an Action and not a Maneuver- I still haven't had a chance to really sit down and read the new FAQ/ Tourney Rules). Not sure if that's possible at the moment, but it could be interesting on A-Wing Test Pilots (or whatever they're calling it now), no?
All that said, on ships with fairly high PS, this card should more or less translate into rarely if ever making a maneuvering mistake. This isn't a bad thing if you ask me, because it's trying to validate taking those more expensive Named Pilots over the generic dudes that are populating the tables currently which Paul basically comes right out and says in the previous reveal article that I didn't write about apparently. I don't know what your feelings are when it comes to making pilots like Soontir Fel, Wedge, Han Solo, or Vader more useful, but they almost undeniably do. It also more or less kills off any notion of trying to purposely block ships who are sporting Stay on Target, or at least make it a much more contextual decision whether to incur Stress by choosing to change your maneuver or just go ahead and ram into the ship that's in the way, which kind of goes back to Stress-eating which goes back to that article Sean wrote last week.
I know what I'm about to say is probably going to piss off half the internet, and whether or not you buy it, it's kind of been the other part of the reason why I've been waffling around the past couple of days instead of writing this article.
I don't like this card. Which sucks, because I'm very rarely negative about this game on here. There are things about X-Wing Miniatures that I don't like of course, I just don't spend time griping about it on here. Because let's be honest- you don't want to read a bunch of negative crap on here. Good Lord, you get enough of that just watching the news or whatever, y'know? The Bar is supposed to be a fun place to hang out, have some fun and some laughs, and maybe learn a new trick or two. It's not some personal soapbox cum complain-a-thon for yours truly. At the same time though, I always try to be honest with you guys- when I screw up a rule, I admit it, I own up to the fact that I'm not all that great at this game, etc., etc. I think my honesty is part of what keeps y'all coming back, so while I don't want to piss and moan about the game, I kinda feel like a sellout if I just thumbs up stuff if it's something I don't think is a good idea.
I usually roll Rebels, y'all know this, but I play Imperials from time to time, and of course many of y'all who come on here play Imperials, so I hear a lot of the Imperial complaints. One of the frequent complaints is that Rebels don't have to learn to fly because they have several ships with access to turrets which is kind of a crutch.
Whether or not you completely believe that, that's the perception. I don't 100% buy it, but I do think there is some truth to the notion. I'd say I maybe 80% buy it.
Anyway, a lot of Imperial players, if you corner them will eventually make a statement similar to that above, and many will go on to tell you that Rebels in general are kind of easy mode and that's why they like playing the Imperial ships. This notion, much like the one preceding is very much debatable, but again- there's perhaps a little truth to it.
Which in my trademark roundabout way is why I kinda don't like Dash Rendar, Crew Member- he makes two of the most perceived easy mode Rebel ships, the B-Wing and the Falcon, even more easy mode.
After Sean texted me Monday about the reveal and we were throwing around observations and stuff, but before we got totally sidetracked into mixing Star Wars references with Dr. Dre's "Nothin' But A G Thang, Baby" along with BC, he reminded me that you'd still take damage from hitting Obstacles and stuff, just that you'd still be able to shoot and all. To be honest, I'd kind of glossed over that, getting Dash the Pilot mixed up with Dash the Crew Member, which once I was straightened out, I kinda wondered why I didn't get as bent out of shape over Dash- Pilot. I guess it's because the Activation Phase doesn't make such an obvious impact on the other guy's toys. Or hell, maybe it does and I just don't see it that way. In any case, I just have these vision of Han Falcons sporting some combination of Dash and Chewie, 3PO, or Gunner, Stay on Target, and maybe even APLs flying straight towards the enemy. Maybe it's just me.
It still kind of applies to B-Wings (with E2 upgrade, of course) too, but with their smaller base and relatively limited set of moves at high speed, it's somewhat lessened and maybe even more in line with what seems to have been the original intent of the card- not completely screwing you over because a corner of your base landed on an obstacle. Of course, B-Wings do have a bunch of Shields, so flying through obstacles because Dash is riding shotgun isn't exactly a dangerous proposition either.
I'm tempted to say it kind of doesn't matter on HWKs, but with all three of the named pilots sporting some kind of ability that buffs friends at X range, it really kind of does matter, doesn't it? I don't know, maybe if it gave the ship a Stress token I wouldn't be bitching about it so much, but as it stands, for only 2 points, it seems like a must include if for no other reason than that already formidable Primary on the Falcon now doesn't get turned down shooting through Obstacles, though keep in mind Combat Bonuses (the +1 Attack at Range 1 and +1 Defense die at Range 3) still applies as that has nothing to do with Obstruction.
As usual of course, I fully reserve the right to be completely mistaken about this whole thing.