Having finally played a significant number of games with and against B-wings and some of the other wave 3 ships (still haven’t come across a Lambda, although someone at the league was using one) I am feeling a lot more confident in my assessment of the ships.
I used the following list at week 2 of the league and ran my record up to 3-0. This was actually my first time flying the Millennium Falcon, as I could never tear myself away from 4-ship Rebel lists long enough to try it. So far so good; it’s hard to kill Chewie before he gets in behind you and wreaks havoc, and you don’t want to have B-wings in your rear-view mirror for long, especially when one is packing the Heavy Laser Cannon.
B-wings are awesome; they provide all the beef you could ever ask for in a 22 point hull. 3 red dice on your primary attack, 8 total hit points, and a really interesting combination of manoeuvres and actions. They aren’t any better than an X-wing at speed 3/4, and their red hard turns at speed 1 look bad at first, but they are one of the few ships in the game that has all options at speed 1 (turn, bank and straight) and that’s never a bad thing to have this much flexibility!
With Advanced Sensors, the flexibility is enormous. Barrel rolling before or after your move makes you very easy to place and very hard to block. If you can’t avoid a collision (or if you don’t really care) then just take your focus/target lock before moving and feel free to bump. The same applies to K-turns; being able to take an action while K-turning is great and there’s only a few guys in the game who can also pull this off (Tycho Celchu and kinda/sorta Soontir Fel who gets the free Focus token when taking stress).
Fire Control System is interesting. If you’re going after beefy ships, then Ion Cannon, FCS and Advanced Proton Torpedo makes for a nasty combination at 33pts on a Blue. They pin someone down and then hammer them mercilessly. HLC is also nice; the free re-roll makes it easier to get criticals after knocking down their shields with the first volley and you can focus on your subsequent action for greater flexibility without losing firepower. In most cases, however, I think the Advanced Sensors might be the better card overall.
The HWK-290 so far is a little underwhelming. If you take a cheap one, it’s basically a squishy Y-wing. If you take a fully equipped one, you’re often paying somewhere around 30 points for something like +1 attack dice or a freebie Focus token. I’m with Paul La Rue on this one; Rebel Operative with Ion Turret and Saboteur can give you a decent utility ship for the fairly standard 23pts cost most Rebel ships hover around, while most of the other ones struggle to pull their considerable weight at 100pts. If you are taking a three ship list with a 30pt+ HWK, you may want to reconsider and try to squeeze a little more beef into your list. Rebels need to dish out damage rapidly to make up for the lack of numbers, and despite the 16pt base cost HWKs don’t help with either factor.
A lot of folks online are joking about how the best use of a Lambda is for the cards. It is the only ship that comes with Advanced Sensors, Sensor Jammer, Rebel Captive, Navigator, Flight Instructor, Darth Vader and Anti-Pursuit Lasers, and also packs a valuable HLC and some other non-exclusives. That being said, some folks swear by it and use an Omicron Group Pilot with Darth Vader Crew Member to good effect in competitive play. If you get a shot or two at an annoying bastard like Soontir Fel you can ruin his day without having to crack his defenses. This build is also cheap enough to bring a decent mini-swarm to do the majority of the heavy lifting.
TIE Bombers are an interesting one. I have yet to see a list built around them that I well and truly love, but they aren’t terrible. 1v1 I’d take the B-wing over a TIE Bomber every single time, but that’s why the B-wing costs 6pts more.
My big concern with them is their vulnerability to critical hits and the slippery slope of missile/torpedo lists. Spend points on the munitions, so you spend more points on ways to get free actions/re-rolls to make them count, then you have to spend on protection for the support ship providing bonuses … you run out of points pretty quickly if you’re not careful.
The lack of perfect synergy between Rhymer and Jonus doesn’t help, either. Jonus makes you want a swarm of ships with secondaries, while Rhymer begs to be given APTs, which are damn expensive and if you give him Push the Limit with his ordnance he doesn’t really need much help from re-rolls in the first place. APTs virtually guarantee 5 hits, and for everything else, TL/Focus stacking is plenty accurate. Taking both characters plus more ships to make use of the Jonus card text eats up points incredibly fast.
I don’t know if I’ll be playing much more X-Wing during the next few days, as I plan on trying out Star Trek Attack Wing. Not really interested in picking it up and getting into it (too similar to X-Wing, and with far more stuff coming out every month I don’t know if I could keep up with everything if I tried), but I have come to respect the level of support Wizkids is giving this game. I also want some of the freebies like colored bases for my X-Wing ships. So I will be attending a few local leagues /events /whatever you want to call them with friends to give the game a shot and snag some participation swag. I’ll be sure to post my impressions once I’ve seen the game first-hand 🙂