Attack Value: 3
Card Text: Attack (Target Lock): Discard this card and spend your target lock to perform this attack. After you perform this attack, the defender receives 1 Stress Token if its Hull value is 4 or lower.
Usage: Ok, so let's get something out of the way first thing here.
A lot of folks, me included as a matter of fact, sort of misread this card when it was first revealed, but it's been FAQed to clear things up, so believe me when I say this is one of those times I'm not pulling a Gilda Radner on ya.
Flechette Torpedoes Stress out ships with a Hull value of 4 or lower. That is to say, the number on the ship card (plus any Modifications like Hull Upgrade, for example). What you track during the game is Hull points. Hull points have nothing to do with Flechette Torpedoes, y'all- it's Hull value that you're concerned with.
Cue the Debbie Downer, "Whaa- whaa" music, right?
All that said, are Flechette Torps worth it?
Ok, so bear in mind, there are still a whooooole lotta ships in X-Wing that have a starting Hull value of 4 or lower. Any TIE chassis except for the Bomber, X-Wings, A-Wings, B-Wings, E-Wings, HWKs, you can Stress all of those ships, so that's nice.
Secondly, if you read the card carefully, you see that you don't even need to hit for this Stress to occur- it's just, "After you perform this attack...", which is I guess to represent the cloud of shrapnel and whatnots that are now flying at your target as he jumps, jives, and wails trying to avoid it. That's nice too.
Is it worth it?
Well, at the end of the day, we're talking about a 2 point Torpedo that's Attack 3 with a Range of 2-3. Torpedoes are always a little tricky for me because the relatively few ships that can take them don't always need them. Or at least don't need to jump through the hoops of getting a Target Lock, subsequently then getting a Focus to make sure the shot is worthwhile, then spending the TL to fire them, you know what I mean? This isn't always the case of course- Y-Wings or Bombers can greatly benefit from something like this, but X-Wings, E-Wings, and B-Wings kinda not so much.
Sure, a Secondary gets rid of the +1 green die thing for Range 3 targets, but it's still kinda "meh" for ships that already have 3 Attack dice for their Primary. I mean, again- if you're out that far, you'd probably just grab your Target Lock then setup for your attack run on the next turn anyway, right? Rather than risk touching off your shot without a Focus, I mean. Though again, you'd still get the automatic Stress thing on your target.
I don't mean to sound negative in regard to Flechette Torpedoes, as I'm fond of Y-Wings and they do tend to work pretty well on there, but for the more popular ships, I don't know that a lot of folks would see much benefit. To me, the man selling point is the low cost, the Stress deal is more of a throw-in than a reason for taking them.
Sure, if you've got some Stress inflicting list made up, they're probably icing on that proverbial cake, but as we've talked about here many times in the past, Stress by itself really isn't that big of a deal for most players in most situations. I do like them on Y-Wings, especially Y-Wings with Ion Cannon Turrets as we've talked before about how ionizing a Stressed ship is a good thing to do, and while I've never actually tried it, I would say that Bombers sporting Flechette Torps along with Ion Pulse Missiles would probably be just as nasty if not maybe even nastier, I think they're kind of a very specific case for usage despite the fact they work their magic on many of the most common ships in X-Wing and only cost a couple of points.
Long story short, I guess what I'm trying to say is if I had two points to burn, I could come up with much stupider ways to spend those points, but I can't imagine that Flechettes would be part of my go to loadout for anything but Y-Wings or Bombers in my squadrons.