30 July 2014

Stress Relief by Sean!

So my old pal Sean hooked me up with another sweet article. I came close to renaming it Stress Belief because Sean and I have this weird joke where we change letters of words into other words, but decided against it at the last minute and left it the way he wrote it. Enjoy! Thanks for another solid article Sean!



Back in the olden days, when the world was young, before the dark times and before the release of Wave 4 and the Wave 3-Wave 4 interlopers (I mean like Imperial Aces, the Transport and Tantive), it was fairly unusual to be carrying around more than one stress token at a time unless your name was Tycho Celchu and you were out there trying to Push the Limit (PTL). As all you all, who are in the know, know, Tycho with PTL can just stack up stress tokens all the way to low Earth orbit and still get his action on every turn, so the only thing you give up by pushing him to the limit is his K-Turn which you can live with by recognizing that you’ll only be able to do the poor man’s K-turn (a 90 degree hard turn + boost action in the same direction) which is 135 degrees instead of 180 (the horror; the horror) when you need to turn around. But since you can often do the poor man’s K-turn and still focus or evade or TL to boot, who really cares about losing your red maneuvers, right? Therefore, if you fly Tycho, you’re going to give him PTL and stack up more stress tokens than I’ve got confusing parenthetical asides in this paragraph. (Seriously!)

But aside from good ol’ Tycho, before Wave 4 or thereabouts, people just didn’t run around sporting a stack of stress tokens. It just wasn’t done. And we liked it! By God, we loved it. Nowadays, you see stress tokens every-which-wheres. They’re in the Flechette Torpedoes. They’re in the named pilot abilities. They’re even in the Cole Slaw! And, by George, we’ve got to do somethin’ about it! We surely do. And why? Well because when you are stressed, you cannot perform actions and usually you need to perform a green maneuver to remove a stress token. That’s right: a green maneuver removes only one stress token. And if you’ve got a whole stack of stress tokens, you’re going to be about as maneuverable as a lead balloon, and probably flying around with no actions, getting pummeled, until you can figure out how to take enough green maneuvers to eliminate them all. And by then… it might be too late.

Now I know that a lot of you young whipper-snappers out there are mighty comfy with the increased stress that a lot of these new cards generate, but some of us old-timers are a bit stressed out by the “new” of it all, and I think all of us could stand to take a minute or two to relax, refresh and think about how we can reduce our stress in the future or at least let some other poor bastard deal with it. Remember, countless medical studies have shown that too much stress is bad for your health. And that’s especially true if your name is not Tycho Celchu. And let me tell you something: I met Tycho Celchu, and you, sir, are no Tycho Celchu.

So for starters, where does stress come from? Well there are primarily two ways that our ships receive stress. The first and most obvious way is by executing a red maneuver. Under most circumstances, executing a red maneuver is going to result in your ship being assigned a stress token. The thing about red maneuvers, though, is that if you are a sane person, you are not going to willingly execute a red maneuver with a stress token. Why not? Well because if you do so, then the rules say that instead of actually executing that maneuver, you hand the controls (i.e. your maneuver dial) to your opponent and they can pick whatever maneuver they want for your ship. Thus, usually you are epically screwed if you deign to pull a red maneuver with a stress token. As a result, we don’t usually need to worry too much about stress piling up from pulling too many red maneuvers, because effectively, you can’t really do red maneuvers when you are already stressed.

The second place that stress comes from are card text effects. And that’s really the universe of where our ships get stressed in X-Wing Miniatures: red maneuvers and card text effects. So in order to learn a little bit more about this stress that can, in low doses, lead to great achievements, but in overabundance can lead to DISASTER, let us refer to the historical records to see all the places from which stress can be generated and relieved.

Ships:
There is only one pilot that can cause another enemy ship to receive a stress token without some type of upgrade. That pilot is: 

Kath Scarlet

There are several pilots that have some type of stress-related ability without the use of an upgrade. However, these pilots all affect themselves as opposed to other ships. Those pilots are:

Ibtisam
Keyan Farlander (unreleased Rebel Aces)
Tycho Celchu
Hobbie Klivian
Jek Porkins
Jan Ors
Captain Yorr
Lt. Lorrir
Soontir Fel

Of these pilots, Keyan Farlander, Hobbie Klivian, and Jek Porkins all have abilities that allow them to remove their own stress (remove a stress token), while Jan Ors and Lt. Lorrir’s abilities enable them to take on stress (receive a stress token) to bestow or receive a benefit. Captain Yorr does both. He can receive the stress token that a friendly ship would receive as long as he has 2 or less stress tokens. The rest simply have stress-related effects that give benefits when a stress token is already present.
Thus, all of the other ships in the game are going to need some help with acquiring or eliminating stress by means other than executing a green maneuver, since their cards don’t directly provide those mechanisms.

Weapons:

Currently, there is only one weapon in the game that can assign stress tokens directly:
Flechette Torpedoes

Flechette Torpedoes assigns stress tokens only on ships with a hull value of 4 or less which seems to mean it does not work on any ship whose yellow hull number as printed on the card is higher than 4. But, of course, Flechette Torpedoes don’t need to hit to assign stress to those ships. So if your hull value is 4 or less and someone tries to attack you with a Flechette, you’re getting a stress token.

Other Upgrades:
Currently there are three other upgrade cards that enable assignment of a stress token on an enemy ship (and one additional unreleased card):

Crew: Tactician
Crew: Rebel Captive
R3-A2
Crew: Mara Jade (unreleased Wave 5)
There is currently one other upgrade card that enables removal of a stress token from a friendly ship at Range 1:
Wingman

There are several other upgrade cards that permit a pilot to take on stress in various circumstances:
Elusiveness
Daredevil
Push the Limit
Opportunist
Expert Handling
R4-D6
R3-A2
Fleet Officer (unreleased Wave 5)

The last thing to mention is that there are several cards that do not directly assign or remove stress, but have stress related effects. This is perhaps an incomplete list, because reasonable minds could differ over what constitutes a “stress-related effect”, but the following are noteworthy:

Crew: Kyle Katarn (unreleased Rebel Aces)
Adrenaline Rush
Nien Nunb
Navigator
Leia Organa
R2 Astromech

The significance of Crew: Kyle Katarn cannot be overstated, since his effect directly relates to the removal of a stress token despite the fact that he does not cause the removal of a stress token.

DISCLAIMER NOTIFICATION: Take note that the historical references included in this analysis do not take into account any effects which are or may be caused by the GR-75 or CR-90 Corvette ships, as those are regarded as a more special case. Reading this article is no substitute for regular check-ups and if you have any questions about stress or stress–related phenomena caused or relieved by such ships, you should contact your personal medical droid.

So when should we be concerned here? Well first off, if you are running against an opponent who is fielding any of the following cards, then you need to be very careful:

Kath Scarlet
Flechette Torpedoes
Crew: Tactician
Crew: Rebel Captive
R3-A2
Crew: Mara Jade (unreleased Wave 5)

The reason you need to be careful if you are flying against any of these cards is that these cards can assign stress tokens to your ship directly. You can somewhat avoid the impact of Rebel Captive by not shooting at the ship carrying it, but the other 5 cards depend more on what the opponent does with them, and in many cases there’s going to be nothing you can do to avoid getting a stress token from these guys. Realize also, that you’re eventually probably going to “have to” shoot at Rebel Captive’s flying prison if you want to win the game. Obviously, if you want to stress your opponents out, then these are the cards to consider running. This is a pretty short list. I really didn’t realize it was so short until I wrote it all down. And now I have a cramp in my hand. Well Tarnation!

As I mentioned above, what you really want to avoid is winding up with multiple stress tokens on your ships that keep you from completing the actions you want to take, since piling up stress tokens means you’ll need a lot of green maneuvers to get rid of them all unless you have a buddy with Wingman at Range 1 (or Captain Yorr) or your name is:
Keyan Farlander (unreleased Rebel Aces)
Hobbie Klivian
Jek Porkins

This list is even shorter. Playing these guys is pretty case specific and limiting, so it looks like the only real reliable way out there to deal with stress that has piled up (besides just pulling green maneuvers) is to run friendlies in formation with Wingman or take upgrades that give you additional green maneuvers (e.g., Nien Nunb or R2 Astromech). Of course, the other way is to not get put into the position of over-accumulating stress tokens in the first place. And so, the really important thing to remember is that when you are running against some of those cards above that can directly issue stress and you are making red maneuvers or sporting PTL or Daredevil or some other card that lets you take on stress, then you need to be careful how and when you use it, lest you get caught up in a veritable asteroid field of unrelenting stress tokens.

Finally, the pilots out there that really benefit from taking on stress are:

Ibtisam
Keyan Farlander (unreleased Rebel Aces)
Tycho Celchu
Soontir Fel

So if you are planning on being stressed a lot or using upgrades that generate stress, then these are the pilots to consider, as they each receive benefits for having a stress token available. In fact, you are probably going to want to stress them out in most situations.

Hopefully, this information can help a lot of you older folks out there to use the stress you have in a more productive way and to help you relieve stress in an efficient manner before it piles up and leads to a premature demise. If you have any questions about any of this stuff, then feel free to ask somebody else, because I’ll be pulling a green maneuver and drinking a margarita.


29 July 2014

Rebel Aces Reveal by Sean!

You may have noticed that I've been spending most of my time lately apologizing for the Bikini Squadron Debacle and shooting guns. With that in mind, our old pal Sean took the iniative and decided to cover the recent Rebel Aces reveal for me. Danke Sean, oooohhhh darlin' danke Sean... 



So, on Friday, FFG treated us to another reveal in regard to the upcoming Rebel Aces expansion. A variety of the matters discussed in the reveal have already been out there for a while, but I think this reveal gave us our first official look at the last Rebel Aces unique pilot, Nera Dantels (PS 5); the B-Wing E-2 modification (which gives you the Crew symbol in your B-Wing upgrade slot for 1 point); and two new Crew Members, Jan Ors and Kyle Katarn. So let’s take a look at these new goodies and see what kinds of trouble we can get into, shall we? First up, Nera Dantels.



Nera Dantels is seriously interesting. At 26 squad points, she’s the cheapest named pilot you can take on a B-Wing, and she’s arguably got one of the coolest card text abilities out there. Her card text effectively allows her to shoot her torpedoes in any direction she wants (i.e. 360 degrees, yo!). That’s pretty nasty if you think about it. So what kind of upgrades do you want to take on her? Well, for starters, if you’re going to pay the two point increase over the cost of a 24 point Dagger Squadron pilot, you need to recognize that what you’re getting for those 2 points is 1 point of PS and her card text ability. As a result, if you aren’t sticking torps on her, then there’s probably no reason to take her. Take a Dagger instead. Personally, I think if you’re going with Nera, you should load her down with two sets of torpedoes. Which torpedoes you choose is going to depend on how you want her to function in your list, but let’s look at some interesting combinations. And while we’re at it, let’s look at the B-Wing/E-2 modification too, since it is a part of those aforesaid “interesting combinations”.



The B-Wing/E-2 modification lets you mod your B-Wing to add a crew member. It is useable on the B-Wing only. This is a fantastic upgrade for a B-Wing in general, and Nera in particular, and at only 1 point, it’s likely to see a lot of use. Adding this mod to Nera will let you do a number of cool things to take full advantage of her 360 degrees of freedom to launch her torps at damn near anyone she wants. So what kinds of cool things, i.e. cool Crew Members can we add? Well let’s take a look.

Putting Mercenary Copilot in the front seat is really a good combination for loading Nera out with 2 sets of Proton Torpedoes. This build is going to give you better odds for landing multiple crits with your Proton Torpedoes which, as you may recall, upgrade one focus result to a crit result to begin with. The Merc Copilot upgrades a hit to a crit at Range 3, so if you play it right, you could have her crittin’ for days on a number of potential targets.

Another idea is to stick Weapons Engineer in her cockpit with basically any set of torps you like. If you do this, Nera’s going to be able to maintain two TLs with Weapons Engineer, so she’ll be more likely ready to go when the moment is right. It’s kinda like Cialis, for omni-directional torpedo-launching chicks. I like the idea of using Weapons Engineer with one load of Advanced Proton Torpedoes and one load of either Flechette or Proton Torpedoes, as that gives her, initially, the ability to fire a torp at Range 1, 2, or 3 and in 360 degrees. If your game lasts more than four hours with this build, consider letting a 2-1B surgical droid play your games for you.

Also, you might want to think about running her with Advanced Sensors too. Just to get her in the right position.

Another solid idea is to give her a Recon Specialist which will give her an extra focus token when she declares a focus action, and pair that with… you guessed it: Deadeye. Put these two pieces together with two loads of Advanced Proton Torpedoes, and anybody within Range 1 of her is gonna be hurtin’. Is it expensive? Yeah. But if you can get her at Range 1 of ANYBODY and survive for two turns, then you have fairly high odds of almost dropping two of your opponent’s ships right there. And hey, it’s only 43 points. You could do a lot worse. Fire Control System (FCS) could really be handy on Nera also. Coupling FCS with Weapons Engineer could be a really nasty combination on Nera too, since you probably then never need to worry much about your target locks being in place, and can focus on focusing.

The B-Wing/E-2 mod also works well on other unique B-Wing pilots. Most of the above torpedo heavy combinations work fairly well on the likes of Ten Numb, Ibtisam, and Keyan Farlander as well, but a few are worthy of specific mention. Putting Mercenary Copilot in front of Ten Numb means when Ten Numb shoots at Range 3, he almost certainly will have a crit result that can’t be cancelled. Nien Nunb works well as a Crewman on most B-Wings because for 1 point he provides two additional green maneuvers (3 and 4 straight), but I’d be hesitant to take him on Ibtisam or Keyan Farlander, since both of their card text abilities rely on having stress during the combat phase, which Nien Nunb will make you more likely to shed during the activation phase.

What about Kyle Katarn, Crew Member? Is he any good on these B-Wings?



The new Kyle Katarn crew card works well on the B-Wing also, in my opinion. Again, I’d be hesitant to take him on Ibtisam for the same reason as Nien Nunb. But I say hesitant, not reluctant. If you’re going to do it, then you gotta pay attention to what you’re planning on doing with him. In order to use him, you will likely have to have removed stress via pulling a green maneuver in the activation phase, meaning you likely won’t be taking advantage of Ibtisam’s card text ability which relies on her being stressed. So if we want to make Katarn work for Ibtisam, we need to think about how we can do it most effectively. If you have Ibtisam with Push the Limit (PTL) or Opportunist then you may be able to generate a stress token immediately after you have shed one. In those situations Katarn could be quite good as Ibtisam’s copilot because things will go down like this: Ibtisam pulls a green, loses her stress, assigns herself a focus token via Kyle and then, with PTL, takes two of her actions (TL, focus or barrel roll) and winds up stressed again right before she gets to shoot. This effectively gives her the chance to have the benefit of all three of her actions EVERY TURN. The only issue is that in order to make Katarn work in this scenario, Ibtisam’s movement is very limited since she doesn’t have many green maneuvers, and you’ll need to make a green move basically every turn you want to pull this off. How often you can you do that? Well, that’s the real trick isn’t it? But it’s awesome when you can pull it off.

But check out Kyle Katarn: Crew Member on Keyan Farlander. Now there’s synergy if you’ve ever seen it, right? When attacking with Farlander, you can remove a stress token to switch all of your focus results to hit results. And when this happens, Katarn lets you assign Farlander a focus token. But wait a tick, you’re going to get that focus token after you’ve fired, and Farlander’s card text ability basically gives you almost an auto-focus anyway, right? Well, yeah. So in this situation you could only use that focus on defense and that means only 1 in 4 times will it be useful, but Farlander’s going to get shot a lot and it’s bound to save you a point of damage here and there. Is this worth it? Maybe not. Stress token mitigation on Farlander is probably better served by using his card text ability than by using Katarn, and you certainly don’t want to be dumping stress tokens off Farlander by pulling green maneuvers. You want to use them for his card text ability and pull repeated reds every turn. So when you’re looking at defense options to go in the second B-Wing/E-2 seat, there are probably a couple of better options than bootstrapping Crew Member: Kyle into that role.

Using Chewbacca or C-3PO as a Crew Member on any B-Wing is probably a reasonable idea if you’re looking for defense, as those guys make your B-Wing a bit more survivable. Of course, Gunner or Luke Skywalker, Crew Members, could be worthwhile to give your B-Wing another shot when you miss. With a 3 primary, a gunner ain’t a horrible idea, and remember, if you’re sporting torps, these guys add a bit of insurance against a missed shot. Sticking Gunner on Nera with a couple of flechette torpedoes might be a waste of 5 or 6 points… or it might not. That build costs 37 points and gives you a lot of flexibility. With that combo, you can shoot at some guy at Range 3 behind you, blow the roll and then he’s getting a stress token anyway and you’re then shooting at someone else at Range 2 in front of you with Gunner and maybe doing some damage there instead.

Fundamentally, Kyle Katarn: Crew Member can ride along in 3 ships, YT-1300, HWK-290, and B-Wing with B-Wing/E-2 mod. In general, he’s useful with B-Wings because B-Wings have a lot of red maneuvers which means B-Wings get stressed and then do green maneuvers which results in Katarn assigning a focus token to said B-Wing. This generally means that in those circumstances, your B-Wing will get the effective benefit of an extra action (i.e. a focus token). Katarn is very effective on a B-Wing with torpedoes because he assigns a focus token after stress is removed, leaving the B-Wing free to TL an opponent in its firing arc and then immediately launch torpedoes. I think Katarn is less useful on Nera Dantels, only because Nera has what appear to be some better options for maintaining TLs and having a wide variety of possible targets for her torps (namely Weapons Engineer or Recon Specialist and Deadeye) than some of the other B-Wings.

Katarn could also certainly be useful on a YT-1300, but with the YT’s very favorable maneuver dial, he would only be effective (usually) on a green maneuver following a K-turn unless the YT has some other way to generate stress. Now, of course, he might be useful after someone hits you with a flechette torpedo too, but that very much depends on the meta and what your opponent happens to be running at the time, which can be highly variable. Thus, I think that if one is to run Katarn with the YT-1300, one usually wants to have that YT set up with PTL or Opportunist in order to make stress generation more predictable. Elusiveness would also work to generate stress, but getting the focus token when you need it is a little less predictable in that case, since it relies on your ship being attacked by someone to help you generate stress. Having a friendly ship with Wingman nearby could also come in handy to pull a stress token off at the beginning of the combat phase which would activate Katarn and give your YT an instant focus token. Note that Katarn’s ability doesn’t work just once per turn, so if you can find ways to stress your ship and then pull the stress off, you can keep on getting focus tokens till the cows come home.

As I alluded to above, the focus token that Crew Member Kyle Katarn generates is not particularly useful during defense on the YT-1300 or the B-Wing, since those ships have only 1 Agility, and hence 1 green defense die to roll. Having a focus on defense for those ships gives you only a 1 in 4 chance of using Katarn’s focus token. Thus, on those ships, you really want to be able to use it on offense or to activate some other ability (like Deadeye for instance) during the combat phase.

With the HWK-290, however, Crew Member Katarn could be useful on defense (since the HWK has 2 Agility) as well as offense. On offense, an obvious idea is to put him in the crew slot along with a blaster turret. With the considerable number of red maneuvers available on the HWK, getting stressed and then shedding said stress isn’t too much of a problem during most turns. Having him ride along in Jan Ors’ ship is a natural fit since her card text allows her to take on stress when a friendly ship is attacking in order to enable the friendly ship to roll an extra red die. Running her with PTL and Katarn might be overkill, but if she’s alongside a friendly PS 8 or 9 with Wingman, then the following ridiculous scenario could take place: Jan with a stress token from last turn pulls a green maneuver and loses her stress, getting a focus token from Kyle. Jan then focuses and TLs with PTL giving her another focus token and another stress token. At the beginning of the combat phase, her Wingman friendly at Range 1 pulls a stress off of her and Katarn gives her another focus token. Her friendly Wingman then attacks. Jan has no stress token so gives her Wingman friendly an extra red die and takes on a stress token. Jan then reaches the attack phase as a PS 8 pilot with 3 focus tokens and a TL. This lets her fire her blaster turret, and focus and TL the shot. On the next turn she pulls a green and this process repeats (perhaps). You can always save one of the focus tokens for defense if you don’t wind up needing all three of them. Not bad, eh?

So this brings us to Crew Member: Jan Ors.



Jan Ors: Crew Member costs 2 points and lets you assign an evade token to a friendly at Range 1-3 when said friendly takes a focus action or would be assigned a focus token. So first off, let’s note that the only conditions are (1) that the ship being affected is at Range 1-3 and (2) would be assigned a focus token. Thus, Jan is useful as a Crew Member on any ship, since the ship she is riding in doesn’t necessarily have any impact on what happens. I am not sure if the ship she is riding in counts as a friendly ship at Range 1-3, so my first point of contention is whether she can be used to generate evade tokens for the ship she is sitting in. I would tend to think that she can, but I am not sure about that. It depends on what the definition of “friendly ship is”, but not on what the definition of “is” is. The second point is that this works only once per turn, so effectively you can only generate one evade token with her.

I don’t find Jan to be an earthshattering card, but there are a few good circumstances where she could be used. For instance, assuming she can affect the ship she’s in, placing Jan and Kyle: Crew Members in a Chewbacca YT-1300 with Millenium Falcon and PTL costs 51 points. Good luck shooting that down. Here’s what happens: On Chewie’s turn he takes an evade action and then uses PTL to take a focus action which Jan converts to an evade token. He now has two evade tokens and is stressed. When he gets shot at, he has 2 evade tokens to spend and 1 green die to roll. On the next turn, he pulls a green maneuver, shedding his stress and receiving a focus token from Kyle, which he turns into an evade token via Jan. He then focuses and evades with PTL again. Rinse and repeat. When you don’t need the evade tokens…don’t use Jan’s ability and focus and TL instead. It’s not much for offense but it’s FAR harder to shoot down than a regular Chewie Falcon…which ain’t easy to shoot down to begin with. Even if Jan can’t affect the Falcon she’s riding in, you could place her in another ship riding alongside at Range 1-3 and do this same thing.

Of course, you can do this on Lando’s and Han’s YTs too. It just costs more and you can be critted more easily. Having Jan riding in Kyle Katarn’s HWK-290 with a focus build (i.e. Recon Specialist, Moldy Crow, Blaster Turret, etc.) is obvious also. Katarn’s ship’s card text generates a bunch of focus tokens that you dole out to whomever is around, permitting Jan to give them evade tokens instead, as needed. Using Crew Member: Jan Ors in such a way as to protect a ship that has Stealth Device is another legitimate use of her ability. Thus, I think that generally on ships without the evade action in the actions bar, she just gives you the possibility of preventing one damage per round somewhere within Range 1-3, but on a ship that has the evade action in its bar (meaning A-Wings, E-Wings, and the Millenium Falcon), then Jan can effectively let these ships dodge 2 points of damage per turn, which on a heavy defense build, could be quite difficult to take down. So, however it is that Jan is useful, I think she is most useful with A-Wings, E-Wings, and the Falcon where she can really create a high level of shot obstruction on a defense oriented set up.

All told, these cards create some new interesting options which I’m eager to experiment with on the table.


24 July 2014

Bikini Squadron is Online!



All right, so without further adieu, I give to you the GDrive folder of the pilots y'all submitted for the big Wave 4 Lottery Contest sponsored by MiniatureMarket.com and presented by TheMetalBikini.com-

(Click on that to go to the GDrive Folder)

As I said to some of y'all in my replies to your entries, I wasn't really all that surprised that so many of you entered the contest. I mean, it wasn't that much work to create a pilot card, and with MM giving away all four of the Wave 4 ships to each of the four winners, it was definitely worth the trouble, right?

What I totally didn't plan on was all of the interesting special rules you guys came up with. I'm for real when I say that some of your entries were highly original, thematic, and inventive in the extreme.

We also had entries for existing pilots, alternate takes on an existing pilot or two, and lots of funny entries. All in all, I really did have a blast going through all of these pilot cards and you guys all deserve a huge round of thanks, drinks, and pats on the back for your trouble. There's some really good stuff in here! When I have time, I'll spotlight some cards that are particularly cool, funny, or have neat rules on here. Until then though, you really do owe it to yourselves and each other to go through this directory, large as it may be, and take a good hard look at some of these cards. I'm tellin' ya, some of them you really will want to incorporate into your games- they're that good.

So once again, thanks to Miniature Market for being such amazing sponsors and thanks to all of you guys who made this contest so successful.

Congrats again to the winners and guys I'll be sure and forward any info I get on prizes being mailed out as soon as I get it from MM.

Friday I'll be back on Wave 4 card stuff.

Peace!

EDIT: It would appear that some of the cards I tried to upload last night in a bulk move didn't go as evidenced in the comments below. If you don't see your card in the Bikini Squadron folder, leave a comment or shoot me an email and we'll get you added in. Sorry y'all!

23 July 2014

TEH WINNARZ!

Apologies again for taking awhile to get the entries posted, but I'm at least going to throw you the four, randomly selected winners of the Wave 4 Lottery Contest!

If you're curious as to how I selected the winners, I moved all of your emails to a "Pilot Contest Folder", took some screenshots, then printed those screenshots out.


Then I just started with "001" and wrote numbers by each entry (of which there were 120 total). Then I just went on that Random Number Generator website, put in 120 for the range, and hit the "Get Number" button four times. 

So here are the Pilot Cards of the Winners- 








I'll get the rest of the pictures from the entries and post them up in a GDrive folder late tonight. 

Winners- you've all been emailed. I'll be forwarding your mailing address information over to MM very shortly. 

Thanks again to everyone who entered! 



Contest Results Delayed

Hey sorry, y'all. Passed out on the couch last night about 9:30pm and didn't wake up until it was time for work.

Give me a few hours and I'll announce the winners and hopefully go ahead and link to a GDrive folder so y'all can check out the cards.

Apologies for the delay, everybody.


22 July 2014

Droids- R7 Astromech

This post regarding Droids is part of a larger article regarding Wave 4 listbuilding- the rest of the posts in 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.







R7 Astromech (2)
Action?: No
Card Text: Once per round when defending, if you have a Target Lock on the Attacker, you may spend the Target Lock to choose any or all Attack dice. The Attacker must reroll the chosen dice.
Usage: So this is an interesting little card in that it's one of the few truly defensive modifier type upgrades out there.

Easiest way to think of this card is it's essentially a reverse Target Lock. If you have the ship attacking you Target Locked, you can make him re-roll his Attack dice.

Now, this brings up a couple of interesting points, but they all more or less boil down to when exactly this card text happens, so let's bust out the rules and see if we can get a clear idea of the timing of this sequence.

At this point, y'all likely know the sequence of events that makes up any given Combat Phase, but for grins, here it is again- from page 10 in your Core Rules:


Ok, so that's great. We see that R7 is going to do his thing in Step 3- Modify Attack Dice. That said, we don't know who does the modifying first- the Attacker or the Defender and it kinda does make a difference, right? So let's read on... 

Page 12 clears it up very neatly for us- 


Ah ha! So in the detailed version of the step, we see that if the Attacker and Defender both have means of modifying the Attack dice, the Defender resolves his abilities first. 

So that's actually pretty significant, right? Main reason I'm under this impression is that tidbit also on page 12 about not being able to re-roll a re-rolled die. 

See where I'm going with this? 

The R7 card text explicitly states that you (the defender) are making the attacker re-roll the chosen die/ dice. If that happens, any of the dice that were re-rolled can't be re-rolled again via the attacker's own Target Lock, for example. 

Now, your opponent can still Focus or Marksmanship or use other Change type die modifications, but he can't re-roll the chosen dice. Note however that if three Attack dice are rolled, we'll call them die 1, die 2, and die 3, and you make him re-roll dies 1 and 2, he could conceivably burn his Target Lock to re-roll die 3. Just saying. 

So now that we've gotten all that crazy business ironed out, who does R7 work well on? 

Well, for starters there's only three ships that can sport an Astromech- the X-Wing, the Y-Wing, and the E-Wing, so right off the bat you're rather limited. All three of those ships have Target Lock as a default Action, so we're ok there. Past that, anybody who has an ability that centers around Target Locks or is one of those rare breeds that wants to Target Lock more than Focus would be a pretty obvious candidate, right? Like Dutch Vander for example? Hobbie Klivian might not be bad either, or especially Tarn Mison. 

Now, that being said, bear in mind this card isn't exactly automatic. Anybody in their right mind isn't going to Attack you if they've been Target Locked by you and you are sporting R7 (I keep wanting to call him L7). Now, that in and of itself can be disruptive which can benefit you as it jacks with your opponents decision making process, but it's a fairly subtle disruption and it's not really even guaranteed to do you much good to have your opponent re-roll those dice.

I mean again, recall that the X-Wing Miniatures Attack dice are rigged to hit 50% of the time unmodified. You might throw away a Target Lock and your opponent still hits you. Of course, if he got turbo lucky and scored four crits it might be worth it to attempt to downgrade them to regular hits or whatever, but I would be careful expecting too much out of this card. It has some decent synergy with Sensor Jammer though and makes the E-Wing bearing that combo extremely difficult to hit on top of the ship's already formidable maneuvering ability and 3 Defense dice. 

Also keep in mind that you do have to discard your Target Lock to get this to work. Since this is a "May" not a "Must" type of thing, you can make that decision contextually, but it's still a bit of a price to pay, though it makes me think on higher PS pilots, it's not such a big deal. 



Entry for the Wave 4 Lottery is Closed



Just wanted to make it official- the entry period for the Wave 4 Lottery Contest is now closed. Come back Wednesday and I'll announce the four winners!

I've mentioned this to several of the entrants, but I wasn't at all shocked at the volume of entries (around 130 last time I checked)- I was however shocked at some of the really cool, original, and inventive ideas y'all came up with for your pilot abilities. You guys really owe it to yourselves to go through these Pilot Cards once I get them posted up for you to see and check out some of these special rules. There's some really good stuff in there! If I have time, I'll go through and pick out five or so that I thought really stood out.

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to enter the contest and thanks again to MiniatureMarket.com for ponying up the prizes yet again! Show them some love if you have the chance!

21 July 2014

Contest Update!


Hey y'all, just wanted to do a quick update to let everyone know, the response to the pilot card contest has been, well, overwhelming! 

I was trying to stay current with emailing y'all back last week, and I kept up until around Saturday evening. Entries just came pouring in- we're well over 100 now. Probably closer to 150, just guessing. 

If you've not gotten a confirmation email from me, you likely will later today. I should have some time here and there at work to play catch up on this. 

Just so everyone is on the same page here, I will email you back in regard to your entry. If you entered before Saturday afternoon and have not heard from me, I probably didn't get your entry, so go ahead and submit it again. 

Thanks again to all of you who have taken the time to enter, and I'll get back to work on the Wave 4 card breakdowns Tuesday- I promise! 

Peace! 



15 July 2014

Wave 4 Lottery Contest from MiniatureMarket.com and TheMetalBikini.com!


So dig this, y'all- Miniature Market has really outdone themselves this time!

Awhile back, MM started emailing me about a Wave 4 contest and did I have any ideas. I thought it might be fun to do some kind of custom Pilot Card contest (using Oopinou's or similar card creators out there, or heck, your own 1337 photoshop skillz). I kicked the idea around in my head for a couple of weeks and finally came up with something that I think could be fun for you guys. I ran it by MM and they dug it like dirt, then turned around and upped the ante on me big time! So without further adieu...

The Metal Bikini's Custom Pilot Lottery Contest Brought To You By MiniatureMarket.com! 

That title's almost as long as Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, huh?

Anyhizzle, it's a whole lotta words, but here's the scoop, troop- I want you for Bikini Squadron!

Step 1. Use your favorite method of creating a custom pilot card to represent you (yeah- you!) in X-Wing Miniatures! You can use your real name, nick name, internet handle, alias, graffiti tag, whatever. Extra props for including a pic of yourself into the card and by all means, come up with a cool special rule for yourself. You deserve it. Read on for the possible repercussions of Step 1.

Step 2. Email me the image file of your card along with your real name and physical address (this is the address MM will send your prizes to if you win, so be sure to send me a legit and complete address). Please, please, please, mention in the body of your email the pilot name you choose for your card if it's something different than whatever you have as your email address and if you don't want your real name to eventually be shown on the site, don't put it on your card!

If you don't remember my email address, it's in the link there by the number 2 business or at the top of the page on the right. Do this by 11:59 pm (Central U.S. Daylight time) on Monday, 21 July 2014.

Step 3. Chill, 'till the next episode. Or next week, if you prefer. I'll announce the winners on Wednesday, 23 July 2014.

Wait- winners?

Aw, yeah! As usual, the uber-generous folks over at MM are giving away the prizes in this shindig. Prizes for four of y'all, to be exact. What's super awesome though is you're not just going to win one Wave 4 ship if you win, no no. You win all four Wave 4 ships! Yeah! That's no typo- you get a Z-95 Headhunter, an E-Wing, a TIE Defender, and a TIE Phantom! All four of 'em, yo!

Ain't that something?

So how do you win? All you have to do is make your card and enter as described above. Once I get all of the entries, I'll count how many there are total and then randomly pick four winners out of my virtual hat, so to speak. If you're really curious, I'm going to use this site to pick the numbers of the winners, the number being essentially the order in which I receive your emails.

As y'all remember from the Painting Contest and the Scenario Writing Contest, this is more or less a ploy for me to get some cool content from you guys for the site. This contest is no different. By entering and joining up with Bikini Squadron, I'll put all of y'all's cards in a GDrive folder and link to it off the site so you and your pals can fight over who gets to be Orange 1, Orange 2, Orange 34C, and Orange 69 in Bikini Squadron. Why? I don't know, really. It just seems cool to me to host a directory of pilot cards of my bar patrons I guess.

My only request is please don't enter multiple times from different email addresses and stuff. I anticipate getting a LOT of entries for this contest, and it's probably not feasible for me to go through and somehow police you guys from entering from multiple email addresses and entering your, your mom's, your girlfriend's, and your grandma's physical addresses. Just be cool, ok? That's all I ask. Enter once and be a gentleman/ lady/ what have you about it, aiight?

As always, this contest is open to everybody so long as you can receive mail from the U.S. and like legally win prizes and whatnot, so all of y'all from overseas feel free to enter!

Any questions or clarifications, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I think I've pretty well got this covered, but you know how that goes sometimes.

And once again, a huge thanks to the awesomely generous MiniatureMarket.com Show 'em some love if you've got the opportunity and maybe we'll get to keep on doing fun stuff like this!

Good luck and may the force be with y'all!

08 July 2014

Meet Our New Sponsor Geek V's Clothing!

Y'all may have noticed around lunch yesterday a new image cropped up in the right sidebar over there- it's our new sponsor Geek V's Clothing straight outta Florida!


Geek V's is a startup clothing company that's making all kinds of cool pop culture and geeky stuff. They don't have their storefront up and running yet, but by clicking the link you can head over to their page on the Facebooks and friend them and once they do have their store up, I'll have that linked to their ad image as well. Andrew, their owner, tells me the store will be up very soon. 

I mentioned to Andrew I'd do a little blurb article to promote his ad on here and asked if he wanted me to promote or plug anything. He attached an exclusive image of what's going to become their first T-Shirt, so without further adieu, y'all- I present to you Lord Vapid, Master of Brain Street. 


Good stuff, no? Stop by their Facebook and tell 'em ya said, "Hi." And keep an eye out for their store! 

Thanks again for your support, Andrew! Good luck on your business!



Secondary Weapon Systems- Ion Pulse Missiles

This post regarding Secondary Weapon Systems is part of a larger article regarding Wave 4 listbuilding- the rest of the posts in 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.






Ion Pulse Missiles (3)
Attack Value: 3
Range: 2-3
Card Text: Attack (Target Lock): Discard this card to perform this attack. If this attack hits, the defender suffers 1 damage and receives 2 ion tokens. Then cancel all dice results.
Usage: When FFG first started revealing the Wave 4 cards, this was one card I got a little excited over. Now, whether or not that was entirely justified is still very much up for debate, but I'll tell you the thing that first jumped out at me, then I'll tell you what jumped out at me later, well, later.

Ok, so first thing that hit me was the point cost. A 3 point missile secondary is pretty sweet. I like the idea of taking Missiles because most of the ships that can sport them usually need a little boost in the Attack department to begin with, but 4 points to me is right on the edge of kinda maybe not being worth it, you know what I mean? I don't know, maybe it's me, but it's like four points is kind of a significant difference in this game and I can't always quite get my head behind that ball if you'll allow me to mix my metaphors (why stop now, right?).

That being said, to me, 3 points is an entirely different monster. I don't know if it should be, maybe it's just like the sales techniques that cause me to buy 2 boxes of White Castle burgers from the freezer section of the local Walgreen's than the 1 box I was originally going to buy, y'know? There's a sign that says I can get two boxes for 6 bucks, which seems like a good deal to me. I have no idea how much one box of White Castle burgers actually costs mind you, but usually when I wander up to the counter with only one of something the girl at the cash register will be all like, "You know for like another dollar fifty you could have two of those instead of one, right?" To which I usually reply, "No, I had no idea." As I turn around to go grab another of whatever it was I took up there- baby wipes, Hot Wheels cars, a knee brace, who knows.

So yeah, maybe there's no like actual, concrete, compelling evidence to sway me into thinking 3 points is perfectly acceptable for a 3 Attack missile when a 4 point, 4 Attack Torpedo seems too expensive too me, but that's the way my brain works.

In any case, I don't think it's a terrible deal regardless of how you slice it because having Ion capability on ships that don't normally have ion capability simply has to be worth something. Again, I don't think being able to Ion a ship is like the most amazing thing ever, but there have been times for sure that I've found myself in a position to run a big ship off table with a well-timed Ion hit, but don't have an Ion Weapon on the table, y'know? I'm sure you've been there too. Sometimes you haven't taken any ships that can roll Ions, sometimes you just can't find the points, but either way Ion Pulse Missles opens that up a little more than usual.

I think another thing that makes this so appealing is I've never completely fallen in love with any of the other Missiles currently available. Again, don't get me wrong- they all have their times and places most of which I think I've already discussed, but they're all kinda meta-dependent and are a bit scissors-paper-rockish in that something like say Clusters works really well against a low Agility target, but not so much against anything else or Assault Missles which are great against formations, but kinda not so much against anything else, etc. Since I've not really found a go to Missile loadout I'm like super comfortable in love with, I feel like Ion Pulse Missiles could become that option.

Then, as I was writing the card text earlier, I noticed for the first time that this card is like Homing Missiles in that you don't actually burn your Target Lock when you touch these dudes off.

Yeah I know, right? Totally missed it the first time, but check it out- I even looked up the actual card image from the reveal article to be sure.


Friggin' A, y'all! Probably all of y'all have been talking about it all over the internets, but I completely missed this initially. So yeah, the love affair has gone from flirty to dating for sure when it comes to me and Ion Pulse Missiles. 

Now that I'm like 1,000 words into this article, let's finally talk about the rest of the card text. 

If your Attack Hits, which again- we're talking about Hits in the post-Compare Results portion of the Combat Phase sense of the word here, you get to stick your target with 1 damage just like any other Ion Weapons, but the Missile version sticks them with two Ion Tokens rather than just one. Of course, you go on to cancel all the other results, so long story long, no criticals. 

It isn't completely common for a ship to end up with two Ion Tokens, so let's take a look at that for a second. First and foremost, if you remember your Big Ship (Falcon, Firespray, Shuttle) rules, you remember it takes two Ion Tokens to Ion a Big Ship. So there's your first answer. A more challenging question though would be what happens when you Hit a starfighter-sized ship with an Ion Pulse Missile? 

Well, unfortunately, it's the same whether a starfighter-sized ship has a signle Ion Token or multiple Ion Tokens. According to the Ion Weapons card, they- don't assign a maneuver dial to the afflicted ship in the Planning Phase and then proceed to perform a 1 Straight which counts as a white in the Activation Phase. Once this Straight 1 is complete, the ship loses all of its Ion Tokens and it's business as usual. 

Nothing particularly special going on here really, aside from the fact that it can conceivably Ionize a Big Ship in a single salvo, which couldn't be done really prior to this. 

So what ships/ pilots benefit from something like Ion Pulse Missiles? Again, I think a good use would be on ships like A-Wings or Advanced because those ships could use a little extra functionality to begin with and they're both maneuverable or hearty enough respectively to be able to get themselves into position to make good use of the IPMs. As for named pilots, as y'all have mentioned to me before and as Sean reminded me tonight, Bluntman, er Major Blount sure would be a likely candidate for a rack full of these bad boys...




Feel like gettin' Ionized? Good, cause somebody is if you're flying against Blount. 


03 July 2014

Elite Pilot Skills- Wingman

This post regarding Elite Pilot Skills is part of a larger article regarding Wave 4 listbuilding- the rest of the posts i 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.






Wingman (2)
Card Text: At the start of the Combat Phase, remove 1 Stress Token from another friendly ship at Range 1.
Usage in game: Stress mitigation.
Action?: No.

Breakdown: At first glance, Wingman doesn't appear to be that great of a deal. After all, if you're going to lose a Stress Token, the start of the Combat Phase isn't exactly the best time to lose it. Like we've talked about on here before, the main reason that Stress Tokens suck is because they relieve you of your Perform Action step, which of course goes down in the Activation Phase which happens before the Combat Phase in the game turn.

So what's the point of Wingman then?

Unlike a pilot like say, Captain Yorr, who takes Stress from another ship and gives it to himself, Wingman just straight up makes it go away. That's basically the trade off for losing your Stress at a time which probably doesn't really do that much good- it just completely vanishes.

It's only a Range 1 kind of thing, so you need to be flying fairly tight to use it, but because of that start of the Combat Phase timing, you do have the chance to Boost, Barrel Roll, or otherwise do whatever you can to get those two ships into range with each other, no excuses.

I sort of can't decide how big of a deal this card really is. One the one had, it's synergy with a pilot like Jan Ors, anybody using Elusiveness, Push The Limit, or even a big ship unexpectedly using Expert Handling is pretty awesome. At the same time though, it's not going to be something that's all that accessible to all players and I feel needs to be kind of the centerpiece of a particular listbuilding idea to really shine through to the point where it's worthwhile to do all that work making it work.

I want to tell you it's also to help control the effect of stuff like Kath Scarlet or Flechette Torpedoes, but in all likelihood, that stuff is going to affect you during the Combat Phase, so again, the timing of this card makes it a little less functional than it possibly could be.

I don't know guys, again- I can see the potential, but from where I'm sitting, I can't quite get my head around the big picture with this card. What am I missing here?


02 July 2014

Elite Pilot Skills- Predator

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.






Predator (3)
Card Text: When attacking, you may re-roll one Attack die. If the Defender's Pilot Skill is "2" or lower, you may instead re-roll up to two Attack dice.
Usage in game: Hazing rookies and freshmen.
Action?: No.

Breakdown: I know I've mentioned it on here a bunch of times in the past, but it warrants repeating again because I think it explains the mindset the FFG developers had when creating cards like this.

I don't think FFG likes the low Pilot Skill, buncha ships meta that's been prevalent almost since the beginning of X-Wing Miniatures. To their credit though, they're trying to develop ways to throw some new options at different styles of list without coming in all heavy-handed and making sweeping changes to existing units and rules and stuff like other game companies might be tempted to do.

Here's a card that is functionally an always on Target Lock lite kind of ability, and while it ostensibly works against anybody, it works even better against scrubs with low PS. Now, when I say it's Target Lock lite, I'm talking about how it grants a re-roll. Obviously you can't touch off a set of missiles or torpedoes with this card. I know you weren't thinking that, I just wanted to make it abundantly clear.

So three points ain't exactly cheap, how useful is this card?

Again, it's not the same as a Target Lock, but it does get you rolling more than just naked dice, which is always nice. Or maybe it makes your decision between a Focus and a Target Lock a little easier early game if you're often torn between which way to go while choosing your Action for the turn.

Of course, if you play against somebody who loves to use a bunch of low Pilot Skill ships, this upgrade is likely worth its weight in gold, at least until they break meta and start picking other pilots.

Speaking of which, what are the PS 2 and lower pilots anyway you might be wondering? Nice guy that I am, I made a list- 

  • Academy Pilot (TIE Fighter)
  • Alpha Squadron Pilot (TIE Interceptor)
  • Bandit Squadron Pilot (Z-95)
  • Blue Squadron Pilot (B-Wing)
  • Delta Squadron Pilot (TIE Defender)
  • Gold Squadron Pilot (Y-Wing)
  • Knave Squadron Pilot (E-Wing)
  • Omicron Group Pilot (Lambda Shuttle)
  • Outer Rim Smuggler (YT-1300)
  • Prototype Pilot (A-Wing)
  • Rebel Operative (HWK-290)
  • Rookie Pilot (X-Wing)
  • Scimitar Squadron Pilot (TIE Bomber)
  • Tempest Squadron Pilot (TIE Advanced)


If any of those ships frequently turn up on the other side of the table from ya (and hey- let's be honest here, if you haven't faced off against a couple of Blue Squadron B-Wings and a couple of Rookie X-Wings, you probably haven't been playing this game lately), taking Predator for a spin probably won't be the worst idea you've had all day.

Much like yesterday's article, note that there's no qualifier on the Attack in the card text up there- if you're Attacking, it works. Point being, this re-roll also can be applied to Secondary Weapons like Ion Turrets, Heavy Laser Cannons, and the various flavors of torpedoes and missiles. In fact, using Predator along with torps and missiles might just be the debatably best use for this Elite Pilot Skill. Dig this for a second- normally you have to burn a Target Lock (which you hopefully acquired from a previous round) to touch off the shot, then ideally you've got a Focus token to modify your Attack roll. Usually, you don't get to re-roll any of those dice, just modify them via a Focus; best case scenario. Having a ship with Predator allows you to re-roll at least one of those dice, then modify it with a Focus. That's not bad, right? Especially since it seems as though the missiles and torps were kinda designed to mitigate the spent Target Lock by giving you 4 Attack dice most of the time to start with. Being able to re-roll one of those 4 red dice and then apply a Focus as well is pretty sweet if you ask me.

I used to spend a lot of time telling you what pilots had particular synergy with Elite Pilot Skills, but honestly there are so many of them now and with some of the EPS working with pretty much anybody, I'm kinda loathe to even attempt it, but let me make a general statement here- if you've got one of those pilots who is often Stressed and doesn't have a real solid way to mitigate that Stress in regard to not being able to pick an Action, Predator is going to probably end up being his best friend. Say a guy like Ibtisam or Soontir Fel, for example. I could see it working on guys like Corran Horn too as he's not especially likely to have any Action tokens lying around to use for his second Attack.

Also if you've got a pilot who benefits from a particular Action-using Droid or Crew Member, or maybe on a guy like Kyle Katarn who almost always chooses the same Action all the time and would like a little more functionality in case he gets jumped, this card holds some potential. Or hey, what about a ship with a Blaster Turret that gets caught in a pinch or unexpectedly ends up right next to a particularly juicy target? Re-rolling one die is better than nothing, right? Sticking it on Rexler Brath and hopefully freeing up that Focus token to flip up damage cards rather than just modify the initial Attack roll? Not terrible either.

The only caveat I'll mention here is to remember that you can't re-roll a re-rolled die in this game, so bear that in mind before trying to use Predator after you've already re-rolled from a Target Lock or card text ability, for example. That said, remember that we sometimes gloss over things like say, Han Solo's card text (duh- my bad; I mean) Crew Member Gunner's ability to make another Attack entirely by describing or thinking of it as a re-roll (thanks for keeping me honest, +Danny Brase). Same deal with Cluster Missiles too- Predator would conceivably modify both of those Attack rolls too. So don't get the no re-rolling re-rolls rule wrong, but don't short change yourself either! 


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.