Monday, September 5, 2016

Lock S-Foils In Attack Position – Discussing Implications of the Pivot Wing

              Greeting pilots, and Happy 100,000 Views! I am amazed at the response this blog has received and am grateful for every reader. Thank you for making the Poor Grey Pilot great!
              I am excited to talk about the announcement of U-wing starship. I was curious how this ship would be represented in X-wing Miniatures, but when I read about the Pivot Wing upgrade my mind was blown! In today’s article, I want to explore the implications of the Pivot Wing and discuss the possibility of the s-foil.

The S-Foil
              While cleverly titled, the heart of the “pivot wing” ties back to s-foils. Star Wars ships are so dynamic because they transform. Movable wings seem humdrum to veteran Star Wars fans, but we shouldn’t forget the first time we saw an X-wing transform in A New Hope! (A similar moment is when Darth Maul pulled out the first-ever bow lightsaber, another aspect Star Wars fans take for granted nowadays.)
              It makes sense why s-foils weren’t included at the beginning of X-wing; it helps keep an already complicated game simple. But we are witnesses to a great move in X-wing Miniature mechanics, one that started back in Wave 8. The G-1A Starfighter introduced the first Dual Card, and Wave 10 is bringing another. Like connecting three dots to make a straight line, I predict the next major move for X-wing Miniatures is to create an s-foil mechanic. The Dual Card provides the perfect platform for dictating the mechanic and the Pivot Wing pioneers the effect.
              The benefits I see for an S-Foil Dual Card are twofold: First, it would provide a much-needed fix to the T-65 X-wing, making it more viable and fun to fly. It would be amazing to open and close s-foils, giving you utility to switch between firepower and mobility. Secondly, an S-Foil Dual Card would provide strength to faction identity. Most X-wing Miniature ships with s-foils are Rebel. This means that s-foil mechanics would make factions more distinct, providing necessary individually in the game. Furthermore, it would give a lift to Rebel metagame, which has had to overly rely on expensive aces and clunky ships.

Widespread S-Foil Application
              However, the T-65 isn’t the only ship that both needs an upgrade and can make use of s-foils. Let’s take a look at each one.

T-70 X-wing
              While this ship is already well priced, I want to address a concern some players have expressed in comparing the T-70 to the TIE/sf. For one point cheaper, the TIE/sf features far more bells and whistles. Providing the T-70 with dynamic s-foils would allow it to continue to remain viable in the metagame.

              When talking about s-foils for the X-wing, I favor an attack/maneuverability mechanic. For the B-wing, however, I feel that it could benefit more if treated like the U-wing. An agility/maneuverability dual card would help make sure B-wings aren’t just sitting ducks waiting to be blown up. Plus, it would give me an excuse to further mod my B-wing miniatures.

Attack Shuttle
              As I see it, the Attack Shuttle has two roles. It either stays docked in the Ghost as long as possible, thus giving you combined firepower and protection for your fragile fighter. The second role I’ve seen is taking Zeb with Chewbacca as crew to create a powerful pseudo-X-wing. (For those of you wondering why there isn’t a generic Attack Shuttle, this is why.) A dual card would allow the Attack Shuttle freedom to fulfill more roles, such as a more viable arc-dodging Hera.

              This situation is a lot like the T-70’s. Both the ARC-170 and TIE/sf introduced new types of auxiliary firing arcs, but the abilities of the TIE/sf appear to outstrip that of the ARC’s. Perhaps when designing Wave 9, FFG purposefully left some room for a future dual card.

Lambda Shuttle
              These shuttles aren’t small and maneuverable like U-wings, but imagine a space-cow that can perform a stop maneuver to spin 180 degrees! This would keep the Lambda viable, even with the Upsilon on the way.

TIE Advanced Prototype
              Although only shown using s-foils during landing, the Advanced Prototype could benefit from a dual card. It would give the TAP a more distinct feel from its brother, the TIE/x1. It would also provide a healthy cross-faction exception, like Sabine’s TIE.

Star Viper
              Finally, the last ship that could benefit from an s-foil dual card is the Star Viper. While I would still prefer a Viper/Scyk Scum Ace fix, I’d love an s-foil fix. Dynamic wings would pay tribute to the mobility of the space-butterfly as players switch between speed and maneuverability. This would help fix the Viper’s bad pricing and make it even more of a blast to fly on the tabletop.

Further Possibilities
              The U-wing and the TIE Striker are just two concrete examples of the many possibilities of ships we could get in Rogue One. I personally hope we get a few T-65s. That would be a great throwback to the Original Trilogy as well as the comics, like with Nera Dantels and Red Squadron.
I don’t know how a s-foil card would be limited to specific ships, but FFG could find a way. Perhaps, if the movie has X-wings, FFG would have reason to release one final X-wing expansion, with title-specific dual cards for all ships. A crazy rumor going around is whether we could get a Rogue One Starter Set. My fellow-writer Mike Sweetman discusses the possibility over at Be A Healthy Geek, so be sure to check it out!
Thanks for joining me in this fun discussion of what-ifs. Let me know in the comments how you think X-wing Miniatures will be affected by Pivot Wings. I hope you have a great week of gaming, and remember to fly casual!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the mention Brian! It's always fun to think about the future of such a great game...