Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Explosive Mandalorian Fun - Applying the Sabine Crew to Rebel Bombing Doctrine

              Today, I want to talk about the Sabine crew included in the Ghost expansion. While it is easy to see this card's game-changing potential, it helps to see how deep that change goes. If you wish to delve further into this topic, feel free to look at my previous article discussing Wave 7's expansion of the bomber pillar.
              Before we start, I want to point out an interesting tidbit of information: Sabine appearing in X-wing marks the Mandalorians taking all three sides in X-wing Miniatures. We first had Imperial bounty hunters and then Scum mercenaries, and now Rebels have a piece of the action with their pyromaniac freedom-fighter, Sabine.

              There are two distinct things to note about the card’s wording, the first being the limitation of 'once per round'. It is not viable to build a whole squad of bombers based around Sabine's ability because, while you can drop many bombs each round, you only get one extra damage. Instead, use her in conjunction with 1-2 bombers and dedicate the rest of your squad to another pillar/strategy.
              The second thing to note is the absence of a range requirement. Like Emperor Palpatine, Sabine can activate her ability anywhere on the map. This means that the bomber she is with can drop a mine, get the heck-outta-Dantoonie, and still add the extra damage when the mine is triggered. It also means that Sabine can be placed in a supporting ship and still add power to your bombers.

The Bomb Slot
              In my Advanced Bombing strategy article, I talked about how the Rebel faction has access to 2 bomber ships, the Y-wing and K-wing. When Sabine is added to the mix, this number skyrockets to 11!

Basic Bomber - 1 Bomb Slot
              Before Sabine, Rebels didn't have a basic bombing ship. Now, Sabine gives us the option of placing a few points aside for a big bang on a ship that doesn’t normally carry bombs. These ships include the Hawk, Falcon, Outrider, Attack Shuttle, and stolen TIE Fighter.

Standard Bomber - 1 Bomb Slot + Extra Munitions
              The Rebels already had 1 standard bomber, the Y-wing. Carrying 2 bombs and a turret, this ship build makes an excellent all-game threat. While the Y-wing doesn't have a crew slot, you can still boost it through Sabine on a support ship.
              The Sabine crew creates four additional standard bombers: the Ghost, ARC-170, B-wing, and U-wing. The Ghost and ARC are good for bombing runs because they don’t care about facing forwards, the Ghost having a turret and aft torpedoes, and the ARC having an rear gunner. The B-wing and U-wing, though required to shoot forward, can take bombs to protect against flankers. However, in the current meta, an E2 B-wing with Sabine is overpriced at a base 25 points.

Advanced Bomber - 2 Bomb Slots + Extra Munitions
              Rebels had one advanced bomber, the K-wing, and no new advanced bombers are created with Sabine. Yet, if we add Sabine to a K-wing we get…

Super Bomber - 3 Bomb Slots + Extra Munitions
              A K-wing with Sabine is a unique ship build with 6 bombs that neither Imperials or Scum can match. However, unique doesn’t necessary equate to viable and, in all honestly, a super bomber K-wing doesn’t have the agility or HP to justify its points.
              For a competitive K-wing build, I would suggest taking Miranda Doni with Ion Bombs, Proximity Mines, Extra Munitions, and the Sabine Crew. This creates a bomber that deals high bomb damage, works well against low and high pilot skill, and who can SLAM out of sticky situations and use its primary attack to recharge shields.

K-wing w/ Miranda – 38 points
              Ion Bombs
              Proximity Mines
              Extra Munitions

Crew Ability
              Not only does Sabine’s ability give more options of bombing-class builds, it increases the overall effectiveness of your ordnance. For mines, it guarantees dealing 1 damage to enemy ships and increases your chances of dealing more. Add this to the Cluster Mines newly updated rules and you get some potent ordnance options.

Regular Proximity Mine: 0-3 damage
Sabine Proximity Mine: 1-4 damage
Regular Cluster Mine: 0-2 damage per token
Sabine Cluster Mine: 1-3 damage on the first token

              You also get many benefits for bombs. Ion bombs now do damage in addition to ionizing, giving you destruction power along with utility. Seismic Charges and Thermal Detonators do double damage to a single target, which is great for both finishing off a dying ship or whittling down a high shield value. Proton Bombs also gets a boost by being able to deal both a normal damage and a faceup damage card.

              Whether you are looking for a new bombing strategies, more bomber builds, or more potent bombs, Sabine is an excellent crew member to integrate into your squad. I hope this article gave you some new ideas of how to run Rebel bombing, and be sure to leave a comment of what you plan on trying. I wish you the best of luck with your matches this week, PGP out.

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