X Wing: Backward in coming forward!

X Wing TO Harrison Sharp returns to looking at Wave 10 today, sharing with us his thoughts on the Quadjumper! Since the rest of Wave 10 will probably (hopefully) be with us quite soon, read on to find out what’s included with the ship and how you can play it!

******************************

Greetings galactic holonet; I’ve been staring at the new Quadjumper preview for the last couple of days and trying to make sense of all of the craziness that you can unleash with it! Quite frankly, it’s blown my mind. There seem to be so many dirty tricks that you can bring to the table with this expansion that will cause your opponent to have a bad time, all on a ship that costs 15 points base! Let’s look at the cheapest option that I’m sure we will see a lot of on the table very shortly, the Jakku Gunrunner with the Spacetug Tractor Array:

quad1quad2

 

 

quad3

quad4

quad5

.

This ship is 17 points and will give any Ace a really bad time. With 5 Hull, this is a ship that will probably hang around long enough to get into Range 1 and drop a Tractor Beam Token onto any ship unlucky enough to get in front of it. As the Gunrunner is Pilot Skill 1 and the Tractor Array is an action, this ship will be able to get its action off before almost any other ship can even move! This means your opponent will have to be really wary of any Obstacles. Even the usually overlooked Debris Fields will get the chance to double-Stress anybody unfortunate enough to be thrown on one, once for the Barrel Roll onto it and once for the move off of it!

Because of the reliance you have on the Tractor Array, you will probably want to be bringing the biggest obstacles you can and putting at least two of these guys in your squad. It’s a little against the normal convention, as you will probably be running five ships at this point, but to make the most of your Quadjumpers you need to have the biggest area of the board possible as a no-fly zone for your opponent.

FFG have actually done a very good job of showing us a few extra tricks that you can pull with the Gunrunner, namely an Intelligence Agent and Primed Thrusters. I however prefer spending the extra point and putting the Pattern Analyser on him instead. This brings your 17 point filler up to 20 points, but gives you the added knowledge that you will be able to get your Tractor Array off, even if you pull out the new backwards manoeuvres, and that you will be Tractoring your opponent exactly where they don’t want to be. Maybe your opponent has decided to bug out around an asteroid, but is not close enough for you to tractor him onto it? With the knowledge of his manoeuvre, you can Boost or Barrel Roll him so that he will end up on a rock and unable to shoot or make an action, or even just force him to bump into you and let the rest of your squad light him up!

quad6quad7

.

The Quadjumper also has a Bomb and Illicit slot, which pair well with the Pilot Skill 7 pilot, Constable Zuvio, and his ability to reveal a backwards manoeuvre and drop a bomb from his front guides. This includes “Action:” bombs, so you can throw out a Conner Net or some Cluster Mines right into the middle of the action, then reverse away to not run through your own mine. I can see a good use for Veteran Instincts on Zuvio, as PS9 will allow him to react to almost every other ship’s movement and increase the chances of them being in range to get bombed. Keeping him equipped with the three upgrades I was thinking about for the Gunrunner, you could even drop a set of Cluster Mines onto a ship, then back up and Tractor Array the ship, Barrel Rolling him over the remaining mines and reducing his Agility for your shot at PS9. All of this combined should lead to one dead ship, which will perfectly line up Zuvio to use a new Illicit Upgrade, the Scavenger Crane.

The only problem with this set-up is that Zuvio is now coming in at a heavy 31 points, which is a lot of investment to be putting into a 5 Hull, 2 Agility ship. You do, however, get the added ability to drop a Bomb, as well as the ability to get it back with the Scavenger Crane, so if your opponent doesn’t deal with Zuvio he will still be a threat later on in the game. The Scavenger Crane is such a good Upgrade as you do not need to be the ship that destroys an enemy ship, you just need to be in range 1-2 of it. It also works on any form of Ordinance, Secondary Weapon or Modification Upgrade.

quad8quad9

.

We have two more pilots to look at: everyone’s favourite Blob Fish, Unkar Plutt, and Sarco Plank. Conspicuously missing in this expansion is a higher Pilot Skill generic pilot, either at PS3 or 5. It may be that FFG thought having a pair of PS5 Quadjumpers to add into a list would be a bit too overpowering, or maybe they felt that, as the point jump from the PS3 Unkar to the PS5 Sarco is only a single point, they had no room for a generic without some serious rethinking about points cost. One point for an extra two Pilot Skill and an Elite Pilot Talent slot is crazy good value, but we can see why it’s only a point when we look at the two abilities. Unkar Plutt forces you to deal out a Tractor Beam token to any ship that is touching him at the end of the Activation phase, whereas Sarco Plank can choose to roll an amount of defence dice equal to the speed of the manoeuvre he performed that turn. At first glance, it looks like Sarco has a much better ability than Unkar; however, the Quadjumper only goes up to speed 3, and is designed to knife fight, making use of its six speed 1 manoeuvres. A case can be made for a ship that is making use of a Gunner and some shenanigans to make the first attack miss, perhaps making use of a Tactician or Hotshot Co-pilot, so his ability isn’t useless when moving at speed 1. It will also be handy for that first round of combat, when you are moving quickly forward to make use of your Tractor Array, or if you are making a long sweeping move to drop a bomb on your opponent. When you compare Sarco’s Ability with Unkar’s, you can see that Unkar has an ability that works a lot better with the dial of the Quadjumper, as it will allow him to stay in the furball and block up for much longer than any other ship, especially if you decide to spend a point on some Inertial Dampeners so that you can stay exactly where you are, even when Stressed.

Unkar is a good place to segue into the Upgrade cards you get in this pack, as Unkar is not only a Pilot, but a Crew card as well. As a Crew card, Unkar allows you to perform an action if you bump into another ship at the cost of taking 1 damage. In all honesty I’m quite underwhelmed by this guy, as you have other, much better Crew options in the 1 point range for Scum. You could put the Blob Fish onto Manaroo if you are trying to save a few points, especially in an Attani Mindlink list where Manaroo Focusing is very important and every point counts for your Initiative bid.

The other Crew card in this pack is the first Unique Crew that is not Faction locked, BoShek. For two points you get a Crew which reads “When a ship you are touching activates, you may look at its chosen manoeuvre. If you do, its owner must rotate the dial to an adjacent manoeuvre. The ship can reveal and execute that manoeuvre even while Stressed.” This is a card created by 3-times world champion Paul Heaver, who himself said he wasn’t sure if this card will be competitive or not. Personally I think there are a couple of nice little tricks you can pull off with BoShek, but they rely on moving before your opponent. Ramming into a high Pilot Skill ship and forcing them to change their dial has a lot of interesting possibilities, but so does ramming a ship that you know will be doing a K turn, like a TIE Defender, and forcing it to go forward instead. BoShek is going to be disruptive, but once again you have to ask the question “Is he two points worth of disruption, especially with all of the amazing crew you can get for two points?”

Personally I think BoShek may see some play where he will fill out a niche; for example, on a Quadjumper with Unkar Plutt in the Pilot seat. In this situation, you will be able to ram into higher Pilot Skill ships and still be disruptive, or lower Pilot Skill ships and throw a Tractor Beam token onto them; then if you choose not to move them, you can force them to change the manoeuvre on their dial. If you have another ship with an Intelligence Agent nearby, you can look at your opponent’s dial and decide if he has planned for you forcing him to change his dial or not. Alternatively he could be stuck on a large-based blocking ship, such as the Jumpmaster 5000, or even an Outer RIM Smuggler YT-1300, increasing the likelihood of you being able to use BoShek to his full potential.

quad10quad11

.

Finally, we have the Elite Pilot Talent “A Score to Settle”, which allows you to choose an enemy ship and give it the “A Debt to Pay” condition. This is a Unique EPT which lets both you and the targeted ship convert one Focus result into a crit result when attacking each other. On the right ship, this is well worth the 0-point investment. The right ship is one with a lot of shields targeting a ship with none, or in an Imperial Squad with Kylo Ren, as you can leverage the full potential of that crit, especially if you are dealing crits under shields with Kylo. The one thing that makes me sure this is a 0-point card is that it only gives off an effect until the ship you have targeted is destroyed, and that ship gets the same benefit. Once again, if you have a spare EPT slot and don’t want to take Adaptability for some reason, on the right ship this could be a good investment.

And that covers the Quadjumper in all its Scummy goodness! I can see so much potential for shenanigans with this ship, and this makes me a little too happy, if I’m going to be honest! I can’t wait to finally get this ship onto the table and giggle as I throw Tractor Beam tokens out like they’re candy! So join me in the wait for the rest of Wave 10, because I know it’s going to be worth it!

quad12
Pictured above: Alternate box art for the Quadjumper.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized
[wdgpo_plusone] Pin It

Comments are closed.