X Wing: Protectorate Starfighter – Fangs for the Memories!

Harrison Sharp returns for the third of four articles on X Wing Wave 9, releasing tomorrow! Today we see his thoughts on the Protectorate Starfighter and all that comes with it:

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Greetings, Holonet! Your friendly Recon Specialist has been digging around the Concord Dawn system and I’ve returned with fresh intel on the Protectorate Starfighter. Will this ship be the small-based Ace that the Scum and Villainy faction have been waiting for, or will it miss the mark? Let’s take a closer look and find out!

Swx55-kad-solusIn my write-up of the initial article we only had one pilot and one card fully spoiled. Since then we’ve got confirmation that Kad Solus does indeed come in at 25 points and has an Elite Pilot Talent, making my assumptions on him correct. Since then, however, I have been looking at lists that feature Attani Mindlink, and I think Kad would really benefit from the Mindlink. For a paltry 28 points, Kad can have access to the hive mind and Autothrusters. If you don’t expect him to get much use out of Autothrusters, perhaps consider Concord Dawn Protector instead. This title makes you that little bit more durable at range 1, so if you decide to run Kad at 29 points with all three upgrades, the only place you’ll be afraid of is range 2, in arc.

Pilot Skill 6 is also a good place to be right now, with Countess Ryad and Colonel Vessery seeing a lot of table time – TIE Defenders being the new (ish) hotness, after all!

After something expected, let’s have a look at something completely unexpected: Old Teroch. This old geezer knows some seriously dirty tricks! His ability allows him to choose an enemy ship in range 1 that has Old Teroch in arc and discard all of their Focus and Evade tokens. This guy is the bane of Imperial Aces everywhere, who rely on their tokens to not explode!Swx55-old-teroch

Old Teroch clocks in at 26 points and is PS7, meaning you might as well just staple Veteran Instincts to him and call him PS9 at 27 points. The only question is: what other upgrades are you going to throw on him? The title is pretty mandatory, as you will want to be up in people’s grills to get your ability to proc, which means that Autothrusters may actually not be the auto-include that it is elsewhere. Instead, a Hull Upgrade or Stealth Device would be a good choice, clocking Teroch in at 31 points.

Added to the three named pilots we have three generics; starting with the Zealous Recruit, who is PS1 for 20 points, and finishing with the Concord Dawn Ace at PS5 for 23 points with and an EPT, you get a pretty good range of generic pilots. My personal favourite is the Ace, as I am currently in love with the plethora of EPT-wielding PS5 ships you get in the Scum and Villainy faction. However, if you really need to shave a point, you can take the Concord Dawn Veteran, who is PS3 with an EPT for 22 points. Pro tip: find the point for the Ace. An interesting thing to note is that this ship goes on the convention of having a point of Pilot Skill only being worth half a point for the generics, making the Concord Dawn Ace by far the best bang for your buck. I knew there was a reason I liked this guy so much!

Swx55-fearlessnessFinally, we have the only unspoiled upgrade card in the pack: Fearlessness. For only a single point you can add a hit result to your attack when jousting at range 1. I honestly don’t know how to feel about this card, as you give up such a valuable slot in order to take it, and the ships it benefits most – cheap jousters – can’t take it. Don’t get me wrong, if this card wasn’t Scum only, I’m sure it would find a home on the Black Squadron Pilot TIE Fighter, but the cheapest EPT-sporting generic for the Scum faction is the Tansarii Point Veteran M3-A Interceptor, and that ship is pretty awful.

That being said, the dial for the Protectorate Starfighter has me a little concerned about taking Push the Limit on it. The dial is almost identical to a TIE FO, except that the speed 2 Segnor’s Loops are speed 2 Talon Rolls, which worries me about being blocked while trying to escape and clear stress. Because of that, I will be trying out Fearlessness on Fenn Rau when I finally get to put him on the table.

That ends my penultimate run down of the ships from Wave 9, but don’t worry, I’ve saved the best until last! Join me next time for a look at the Lacer-Class Pursuit Craft, better known as Wiggles… I mean the Shadow Caster!

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