Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Commander's Guides - YT-1300

With Wave 2 hitting store shelves this week, it's time to start talking about Squadrons.  Yes, I know we haven't covered the MC30c yet, but frankly I want to actually spend some time playing with it and against it before I write about what it can do.

So today we'll start with the Rogues and Villains squadron pack, the first blister to contain both Rebel and Imperial parts, and talk about the iconic YT-1300 and it's named pilot Han Solo.


The generic YT-1300 clocks in relatively cheap for a Rogue / Villain squadron, at a mere 13 points.  And for those 13 points you get a better Escort than the X-Wing - 7 hull and Counter 1.  It is also slower, going at the "Molasses, Uphill in January" B-Wing speed of 2.  It also lacks the X-Wing's normal attack punch, firing off 3 Blue dice for anti-squadron, and a single Blue for anti-ship.

The obvious pair for this squadron is with the B-Wing - same anemic speed, and the ability to Escort the B-Wings into the fight.  The Escort and Counter 1 makes it more valuable for a list expecting some sort of anti-squadron fighter opposition than just another B-Wing, and it'll last longer against enemy fire than an equally costed X-Wing.  

Another option is to use it in conjunction with the MC80 title Independence, turning it into a Speed 4 Counter 1 interceptor, that can be used to tie up squadrons already engaged with your other, faster ships.  Imagine this guy suddenly showing up to an A-Wing fight, pealing attacks off of your already damaged squadrons during the second turn of shooting.  

Oddly enough, the only squadron type it really doesn't work with is the squadron who's Wave 1 role as an Escort it ostensibly replaces - the X-Wing.  Namely, it can't keep enemy squadrons from attacking the X-Wing as they both have Escort.  But for covering the other main Rebel Bombers of Wave 1, it does an excellent job.  It also likes Jan Ors for support when tying up enemy squadrons, for Brace tokens more than anything else.

Han Solo

As usual - the Millennium Falcon is quite a different beast than a generic YT-1300.  While it comes with 2 key terms, it fills a completely different role than a simple, slow escort.

Han Solo increases the speed to 3, allowing the Falcon to keep up with the likes of X-Wings and Y-Wings, to say nothing of HWKs and Scurrgs.  His dice are also significantly changed, giving him 2 Blue / 2 Black for anti-squadron, and the ability to swat TIE fighters from the sky at a fairly regular pace.  With 1 Blue / 1 Black for anti-ship, he can even assist in taking down the bigger fish, though that really isn't cost effective for his 26 point price tag.

The biggest differences are the key terms, and Han's Special ability.  Han swaps out Escort and Counter 1 for Grit and Rogue, and has the option of activating at the very start of the ship phase, before any ships are activated.  So, either you can activate first, before anything else, moving and shooting - or you can delay and activate during the squadron phase, moving and shooting as well.  This gives you a lot of options on when and how to let Han get into the fight.  Grit also lets him continue to move if he's only engaged with a single opponent - combining the two, Han can shoot one engaged opponent, taking it out, and then move out of engagement range of a second foe.  With 7 hull and 2 Brace tokens, that is a lot of survivability.

Han's high cost and anti-squadron abilities means that he works well with the rebel X-Wings, as well as the new HWK with it's Intel keyword (depending on how Grit works with Heavy ships.) and Y-Wings.  If going for a completely self-sufficient squadron game, he can easily lead a group of YT-2400s into the fight.  If played well defensively, he should be very difficult for any opponent to bring down, but might be out of the ideal price range for most lists.

And that'll be it for the YT-1300.  We'll talk about it's Imperial counterpart next time - the Firespray-31 and it's named pilot, Boba Fett.

This article is part of the Commander's Guide series.

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