09 September 2014

Bikini Squadron Analysis by Tract, Part 2

Today's post is courtesy of Bikini Aficionado Tract who has his very own X-Wing blog you can check out right here!

And we’re back with part 2 of our look at Bikini Squadron, the pilots submitted by YOU, the readers! Today we’re going to finish up with the Imperial side of things before looking at a few of the Rebel Scum. First up, the space elephant!

It’s kind of a Kyle Katarn (pilot) ability, with Recon Specialist. I like the addition of stress to counter the combination of the two abilities, and it works nicely with the support role shuttles are supposed to play (Buzzsaws and Doomshuttles aside). Not too much to say about this one, other than the point cost of the pilot should be higher for the addition of a pilot ability.

This pilot ability is pretty conservative. It’s the effect from Concussion missiles, without the missiles, plus a stress. I don’t know why he has the “once per turn” stipulation in there, since you can only attack once per turn anyway (unless you’re feeling especially... Horn-y... that was bad and I should feel bad. But I don’t). Maybe it’s there to prevent someone taking 3 stress tokens to flip all their dice? I would assume that this ability couldn’t be used more than once per turn, and maybe not if you already have stress. Anyway, the ability isn’t overly adventurous, and is something that could easily see some play time.

I love love love this ability. Have I said I love this ability? It’s just so cool! Basically, take your biggest, widest turn, and make it a K-turn. How cool is that?? It’s a great ship to put it on too. The Defender already has a white k-turn, which means it does them easily. Why not give it the ability to do a K-turn in a weird way for the regular stress effect? And, since Defenders have a moderately difficult time dealing with stress (only straight maneuvers are green for them), it’s a pretty punishing effect, to be able to do something really cool. I give this one two big thumbs up.

Over to the Rebels! This guy is R2-F2 on steroids. You still spend your action to do it, but you get 2 agility instead of 1, but but you also get a stress. Seems like a reasonable tradeoff to me. I think this would be very situational, since you have to anticipate that they’re shooting at you, unlike Biggs who KNOWS he’s getting shot at, and there’s some debate around whether having more agility versus having a focus for defense is actually worth it. Anyway, it’s a real interesting card, and something that might be worth fiddling with.

This guy is a response to Soontir Fel, and really any other arc-dodger. It’s kind of like Stay On Target, it’s kind of like Expert Handling. I think it’s the sort of thing that could be lots of fun in the game. I feel like there are quite a few pilots in this list of submissions that say something to the effect of “if you’re about to get shot you can do a barrel roll”, and this guy would be a response to that.

I need a hero! A furry, slobbery hero! At first I didn’t even read this card since I saw the dog and went “oh it’s just someone’s pet entry”, but when I thought about the ability it’s actually pretty interesting. It’s basically a last-ditch effect. Of course, someone has to actually leave you with 1 hull and not knock you out from 2 hull, but if you get to use it there could be lots of fun.

Full disclosure: This card was my submission. When I sent it in the text bugged and the name and ship got slipped down, which you can still see. I used my mad MS Paint skills to make sure the card would be readable. The idea behind this card was that he is kind of the ultimate wingman. In fact, give him Wingman and he really will be. You have to stick close, but then you can focus-fire (which is essentially what his ability does). Instead of attacking an enemy with two 3-dice attacks, you attack them with one 5-dice attack. I figured you better be losing some offensive firepower if you’re going to negate that much defense. I was inspired by the Flight of the Redeemer mission, where you can use your Target Lock to fire all the Corvette’s guns at the same target. Anyway, I think this is a super interesting pilot ability, but of course I do, I’m biased!

It’s kind of like Expose. Actually it’s Opportunist, without the condition. What’s really huge about this, like Opportunist, is that it doesn’t use your action. You can, every round: Green maneuver, clear stress, Focus, stress for extra attack die. Pretty huge. Probably overpowered. But, it’s interesting.

Oh I’m real excited about this one. He’s reduced the shield value on the ship in order to open up the action bar. I love the idea of systems being manipulated. I was too young to really get into X-wing Alliance or X-wing vs TIE fighter, but I did play, and I do remember being able to redirect shield power to engines or weapons or go double front or double rear, and that was super cool. This card makes me think of that. I’m not sure how the extra damage part is supposed to work; presumably it’s only on YOUR attack you can add an extra hit, sort of like an Evade action in reverse. That’s interesting. Anyway, I’m real excited about the possibility of moving energy around like that on a small ship.

A great example of a Good Wingman, Naht improves the pilots around him. I would take off the part about improving himself. I feel like that’s overkill. However, boosting the PS of ships around you is very neat. I love it.

That’s ten entries! I know, already? This guy is just so interesting, I could listen to him all day! Anyway we’re well into Rebel territory now. There were a LOT more convincing Rebel entries than Imperial, so unfortunately we won’t be seeing any more Gears. However, there are quite a few interesting skills yet to come, so stick around!

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