Fresh off of last week’s quick article, we’re are now taking a closer look at the newest (and one of the most flexible) additions to the Imperial fleet: the Alpha-Class Star Wing (“Assault Gunboat”). We are going to take a look at the stats, cost, upgrades, titles, pilots, builds, and even the impact that the new upgrades might have on some existing non-Gunboat ships. Let’s dive in!
Much like the guys over at Radio TCX, the first thing I look at is: How many of these things can I fit in a standard 100 point squad? At 18 points each, the answer is five. However, without a meaningful loadout or either of the titles to minimize the drawback of the Weapons Disabled token, the Assault Gunboat is basically a naked TIE Bomber. Six/seven health, two agility, and a two dice primary weapon attack. And the price reflects that.
Although I did hear that some maniac won a Store Championship with a swarm of 5 generic TIE Interceptors, I haven’t seen any news about the TIE Bombers doing the same. So in order to get the most out our sweet new Gunboat, I think we should try equipping some upgrades. Maybe the titles can steer us in a direction.
The Assault Gunboat is now the ninth ship with access to a cannon upgrade slot. Surprisingly, three of the eight existing ships are Imperial ships, but you hardly see Imperials using cannons other than TIE/D Defenders.
Now, the FFG article did a nice little piece about making the XG-1 Gunboat into a support ship, but my initial reaction was slightly different:
Sure, a Scum “Heavy Scyk” piloted by Sunny Bounder comes in five points cheaper at 23 points, but the Assault Gunboat has three more total health and can SLAM. Speaking of the point cost, the Assault Gunboat is now the Imperial go-to for a cheap HLC carrier. At the same price of the Lambda, you get a far more maneuverable ship.
Fortunately, there is a restriction on the XG-1 title much like the one on the TIE/D title. The FFG article correctly points out that you can’t SLAM and shoot the HLC when you have a Weapons Disabled token, because the HLC costs more than 2 points. However, you need the title to equip the HLC in the first place because the Gunboat doesn’t have any natural cannon slots.
I think that it will be a cheap, durable, and powerful ship. 4 red dice and 7 health is a tough nut to crack, all for the bargain of 28 points.
Unlike the XG-1 title, the OS-1 title doesn’t have a point restriction. This title, when combined with the Advanced SLAM upgrade, allows you to travel a distance of up to seven small ship bases, take a Target Lock or Focus action, and shoot a missle or torpedo at range 3. That’s an insane amount of area denial. If this ship wants to shoot at you, it will shoot at you. There is very little that can be done to stop it. Starting the game off with a Harpoon Missle into an enemy formation can be insurmountable.
Edit: As commenter Isophane pointed out, there is a lack of synergy between Deadeye and the Os-1 title. The Os-1 title specifically states that a target must be “locked” in order to launch a missle at a target, so substituting the “Target Lock:” header for the “Focus:” header with Deadeye would still require a target lock to use the title. That being said, I added LRS to the Deadeye build. We will have to see which one of these missle carriers comes out on top! I don’t have high hopes for the Guidance Chips build, though.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the comment section. I have been updating this article because I intend for it to become a reference guide for the Gunboat.
The real gift to us was the dial.
There is no denying that the K-Wing is the Holy Grail of elusive ships. Just watch any video of any match containing a K-Wing at Worlds, Continentals, or Nationals. The Gunboat now has an even better dial. As pointed out in FFG’s article, the Gunboat’s dial is actually almost identical to the Decimator’s dial.
Shedding stress may pose a small problem, but you can just take whatever green maneuver will shed the stress and then SLAM to where you actually want to be. The Gunboat’s dial and SLAM action should encourage the fun of range control, arc-dodging, chasing, disengaging, and reengaging. The ability for a ship to hard 3 and then SLAM into another hard 3 is groundbreaking. I mean, look at this thing:
For starters, only the generic PS2 Nu Squadron Pilot lacks an EPT. The other three, including the PS4 generic Pho Squadron Pilot we discussed earlier, have an EPT. Which is great!
At first glance, Lieutenant Karsabi doesn’t seems that good. The whole point of the titles are to allow you to shoot when you have a Weapons Disabled token. So who cares if you have one? Also, the Gunboat’s dial isn’t really great at removing stress.
However, as we talked about earlier, the cannon title has a point restriction. This guy can SLAM, take a stress, shed the Weapons Disabled token, and then HLC! I was originally thinking about Wired as an EPT, but Linked Battery gives you rerolls, so I went with Cool Hand to get a free Evade token for the initial joust. If you do end up going with Wired, for the defensive rerolls, you can cut Linked Battery. However, this guy is pretty expensive for PS5.
On the other hand, Major Vynder is just flat-out good. He has a PS of 7 and an EPT so he can get up to a respectable PS9 and 3 green dice on defense. Those are ace numbers! This guy is a no-brainer.
As far as exclusively Scum and Rebel players are concerned, there isn’t really any reason to add this ship to your collection (other than the fact that it looks badass). The Assault Gunboat only brings three new non-title upgrades: Jamming Beam, Linked Battery, and Saturation Salvo. And one of those, Saturation Salvo, can also be found in the upcoming Scum Kimogila Fighter expansion pack.
The beam is an interesting control upgrade, but overall pretty weak unless you can generate multiple attacks in a turn. Paying a squad point and sacrificing your attack to remove an action on the next turn doesn’t really seem to be worth it. Instead, try using it on TIE/D Colonel Vessery so that you can Jam their defensive token off before making your primary attack!
Linked Battery is probably the best of the three new upgrades. There are several ships that use their EPT slot on Predator or Lone Wolf. Now, at the expense of an unused cannon slot, you can open up that EPT slot. Note that the die you reroll doesn’t have to be a cannon attack. You can reroll your primary attack. That makes this a cheap buff to generic
YV-666, Heavy Scyk, B-Wing, and titleless TIE Defenders that don’t have an EPT slot. (Edit: I was trying so desperately to make the YV-666 better, but /u/corvinious pointed out that Linked Battery is small ship only.) Statistically, it’s almost as good for a fraction of the points!
Speaking of B-Wings and the EPT slot, those who adore the cannon-toting space-seahorse (spacehorse?) might also be interested in Saturation Salvo. I definitely intend on taking /u/codyryan17’s wonky build for a spin!
Accuracy Corrector, or in this case Inaccuracy Corrector, allows you cancel all of your dice results but then opt not to add the two hit results. Munitions Failsafe allows you to keep your inaccurate torpedo. Therefore, every turn Nera Dantels can shoot a torpedo in any direction (even outside of her firing arc), intentionally miss, and then force ships near the target to roll of the “splash” damage!
Edit: Yes, the target of Saturation Salvo also has to roll, because a ship is at range 1 of itself. See p. 16 of the rules “Range.”
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