18 September 2014

Scum and Villainy Buy-In: Yes or No?

So as some of y'all know, I sometimes write articles for Bell of Lost Souls about X-Wing stuff. Sometimes it's content I've published on here, sometimes it's brand new stuff. This past Tuesday, I wanted to write an article about the Scum and Villainy faction and how it'd be for existing players to get into it versus new players. I made an assumption, and a couple paragraphs worth of statements, that there aren't really any folks out there who want to get into X-Wing but haven't yet.

Weeeeeelllllll, turns out I was wrong about that one. I'd kind of thought that with the S&V ships being fairly obscure, they probably wouldn't draw in anybody that wasn't already an X-Wing Miniatures player. What I hadn't considered is a whole group of folks out there who haven't been playing X-Wing from the beginning these past two years, but are now wanting to get in on the action and don't want to play Rebs or Imps because everyone else has a head start.

It never occurred to me is that S&V represents something of a clean slate because none of us have played with these ships before, and that's appealing to a new player who wants to do a little trailblazing of his or her own, dig?

Anyway, without further ado (thanks +Davyd Atwood!), here's my article from BoLS yesterday including my baseless and incorrect assumptions. I want to take this idea into more detail as we get more info about the ships and upgrades that make up S&V, and yeah, I need to update the "What Do I Buy" article again, but for now, enjoy the BoLS article and give me your thoughts on S&V in general if you're so inclined.




So by now I'm sure that all of y'all are aware that a third faction for X-Wing Miniatures was announced at GenCon a few weeks back, but is a whole other faction worth picking up if you're already playing Rebels? Imperials? Just getting into the game? Let's take a look and find out!

X-Wing Miniatures has long struck me as something of an oxymoron- one of the selling points for new players seems to be the relatively low entry cost associated with the game, but just about everyone I know or have ever talked to about the game owns more than enough ships to field just about every tournament list combination of both of the currently available factions. I mean for reals- I think I read one FFG Forums post from a guy who only wanted to play Imperial and was complaining about the fact that he was effectively forced to buy an X-Wing in the Core Set (which is required to play the game). Sure, you might gravitate more towards one faction than another, but it seems like everybody has plenty of ships to field both. 

When Scum and Villainy was announced as the third faction, I was immediately struck with something along the lines of indecision. Was/ is this going to be the first X-Wing Expansion that I actually stopped and thought about buying instead of just immediately cramming my Discover card number into MiniatureMarket.com? 

Truth is, I still kinda don't know. 

With the overwhelming amount of stuff already available for the Rebels and Imperials, I'm not 100% sure I need to buy into the third faction, so naturally that endorphin addict part of my brain kicked on and I started trying to justify the idea and this is basically what I came up with. 



If You're Already a Mainly Rebel Player
You've got it easier than Imperials. The "Most Wanted" box includes the S&V versions of two ships you likely already own (the Y-Wing and the Z-95 Headhunter) which you can mix in with your current to get a little more bang for your buck and also includes cards for that HWK-290 you've probably been neglecting since Wave 5 dropped. 

Is it worth it? The MSRP for the Most Wanted Expansion is $40 US which is about $5 cheaper than buying those three miniatures as Expansions. As is usually the case for stuff like this, it also includes a whole mess of pilots and upgrades as well as dials with the new S&V branding so nobody gets confused as to which faction you just set down on the table. 

It's worth noting that much like the way the game works with the current two factions, many of these upgrades, both your existing stuff as well as the new stuff in Most Wanted is interchangeable, but there are a few cards that are listed as "Scum Only", so even if you're not planning on starting a full-on S&V squadron, picking up Most Wanted might still be worth your while when coupled up with your existing Rebel stuff. 



If You're Already a Mainly Imperial Player
Things get a little murkier. For one, you're probably still going bananas over the TIE Phantom, though by the time S&V hits the streets (4th quarter this year which probably means sometime between Thanksgiving and Groundhog Day in FFG terms), maybe you'll be sick of being so doggone unpredictable and dangerous at Range 1. 

The only Imperial ship you already own that can do double duty like those three Rebel ships I mentioned above is your Firespray which has probably been collecting dust since a year ago or so. While a lot of what I said about the upgrades and stuff above still applies to your ships as well, it's obviously less so than the Rebs. That said, the S&V version of Boba Fett is a little more accessible and a lot more of a blunt instrument than the subtle but deadly Imperial version and it just might be enough to get you to break him out again. Of course, by the time S&V is released, Wave 6 will almost assuredly have dropped, so you may well be having the time of your life swatting Rebel ships aside with your shiny new VT-49 Decimator. 


Is it worth it? With there being so much less overlap and therefore new stuff for an existing Imperial player to use with his current collection, I kinda want to say "no." That said, S&V does present a whole new angle on things and might appeal to the more die-hard Gearheads in that they aren't Rebels. 


If You're New to X-Wing Miniatures
I wonder if there are that many people still on the fence about getting into X-Wing at this point that would suddenly be compelled to start up the Scum and Villainy faction as opposed to Imps and/ or Rebs. I mean, I suppose it's possible, but with Most Wanted playing to people who already own one or both of the existing factions, it's kinda hard for me to believe that. 

In any case, there are three ships that are completely unique to the faction, so while it may not be all that likely you've got a buddy who is a huge fan of IG-88 and refused to play X-Wing with you until he showed up, I suppose it is at least theoretically possible. 




As evidenced in the image above, the IG 2000 is a big-base, Attack 3, Defend 3, Hull 4, Shield 4 ship which already makes it pretty capable. Without knowing what the maneuver dial looks like, it's hard for me to completely get behind it, but at a glance, it seems pretty nasty. 

There's no reason to believe this ship won't be the most maneuverable big ship in the game. The backstory on the ship is that IG-88 has no need for puny human needs for life support and whatnot being a droid and all, so it's all runs and guns, apparently. It has Boost and Evade available to it stock along with the usual Target Lock and Focus and also possesses the Segnor's Loop maneuver which is basically a K-Turn on the end of a Bank turn rather than a straight. 

The MSRP on IG-2000 is $30 US, which is basically par for the course for a big ship. Is it worth it? For the S&V player, almost assuredly so, yeah. It can pack a veritable ton of upgrades and seems more than capable of bringing the pain like Chris Rock. 

While I never owned an N64, I remember all the ads and hype and fanfare associated with Shadows of the Empire, which is probably why FFG decided to bring Prince Xizor into X-Wing Miniatures. 


Stats-wise, the StarViper is a bit like an overgunned HWK-290, but without seeing the dial, who knows if that comparison holds water or not. It's certainly an interesting looking bugger, and while it's still early, it seems like this guy will be fairly maneuverable too with the Boost and Barrel Roll actions being stock and it coming with the Segnor's Loop card too.

The MSRP on the StarViper is a teensy bit more than a standard Starfighter-sized Expansion even though that's what kind of base on which she sits. It'll set you back 20 bones US. Is it worth it? Oh, I don't know, I don't think it's quite as much of a slam dunk as the IG-2000, but I'm sure the StarViper has some tricks up her sleeve we don't know quite yet too. If 3-ship lists do indeed become more viable in the near future, I could see somebody rolling it as a third ship along with an IG and a cheap Firespray or something.

Maybe really maneuverable is a hallmark of the S&V faction? I mean, Y-Wings and Headhunter's aside, of course. 

The last ship available to the faction is another Mandalorian ship, the M3-A Interceptor. 


This thing seems to be the TIE Fighter/ Z95 of the faction as it's fairly cheap (20 points for the PS8 version) and has pretty low-end stats. Thing about this guy is he's very customizable- as evidenced by the two point Heavy SCYK Title. 


Crazy, huh? You can more or less tailor this guy to be what you want with that card. Note too that he comes with what looks to be three different Cannon Secondary Weapon Systems in his box. Or you can go traditional and give him any existing Torpedoes or Missiles. 

The M3-A is likely to fulfill a lot of different needs for the S&V player, so if you're wondering if I think he's worth it, I'd have to say oh fo sho at this point. Maybe the best thing about the ship is that unlike the TIEs or Z's, you don't have to pick up a slew of these guys right off the bat to make them viable in your list. Sure, the 3 total hit points (Hull + Shields) doesn't exactly scream resiliency, but that's what Hull Upgrades or Stealth Devices are for, right? I mean, if you're into that sort of thing. Point is, I think you could probably roll as few as a pair of these guys along with a bunch of other junk fighters like the Y-Wing and Z's from Most Wanted, or you could tool them up a bit and roll them alongside an IG-2000. You can take this bad boy home for the standard Starfighter Expansion MSRP of $15 US. 

So there ya go. Did I talk you into playing around with some Scum and Villainy ships? I think I might have talked myself into at least one list's worth of them writing this. Seems like as a faction, they'll probably fall between Rebels and Imperials in a lot of respects- I just hope they play differently enough to justify in the long run. Is it just me or do the Most Wanted ships kinda not fit the theme of the other S&V ships? I mean, I get it- Most Wanted is basically to get existing players to buy in, I just wonder how they'll fly alongside these Mandalorian ships...