In this ‘built’ series of articles I will take a specific ship and build out every pilot. I will try to take into account the ship itself, any pilot abilities and the lists they would form a part of.
The articles I do in this series are picked by my Patrons! I put a poll up with a list of ships to choose from and I’ll run with whatever the winner is. This time the B-Wing won out. If you’d like to get involved you can find my Patreon here.
As always this is just my opinion, if you have other suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments below. Some pilots will be just fine on their own, I won’t add upgrades just for the sake of it. I’ll go through the pilots in ascending initiative order.
Blue Squadron Pilot
I really rate these guys. In the few games I’ve played this year I’ve actually prefered them over my trusty T-65 Blue Squadron Escorts which is high praise indeed.
Upgrades you say? Who need ’em! You could add Passive Sensors to give them options after all ships have moved and most have fired but honestly with one green die you don’t bring B-Wings for their outstanding survivability. Forget about defense, just try to keep that gun on target for as long as possible, the one speed talon rolls are extremely handy for this so don’t forget about them. Those points you were thinking about adding can be spent elsewhere.
Blade Squadron Veteran
Full disclosure, I’ve never actually flown these I3 ships. But they are only a point more expensive than the I2 Blues and have the talent slot which is nice.
My go to talent is Crack Shot so if that’s your cup of tea, drink up. However, I’d be interested to see how Deadeye Shot weighs up. If you have some higher initiative ships to put some damage in first then spending a hit result to turn over a damage card could be a clutch move. Thane in the T-65 has a similar ability and he has some very staunch supporters. It might not get used every game but at one point it’s a gamble I’d take. Again you could add more (looking at FCS) but why overcomplicate things.
Following the recent points update I’d seriously consider Selfless now. I’ve been using it on Red Squadron T-65s the last few games and for a talent I’ve have consistantly ignored since the start of Second Edition it’s great! With the higher HP of the B-Wings it could realy help you and spread that damage around. It’s the only time I’ve ever wanted to take more crits!
Netrem Pollard (NEW!)
On the lead up to the release of the Phoenix Cell Squadron Pack most of the talk was about Hera at I6. We had half of Netrem’s text which was extrapolated to read a friendly ship gains a stress token to rotate 180 after Netrem barrel rolls. That would have been super cool and possible broken; imagine a VCX or 1300 just turning on the spot. Instead, a friendly ship gaining a stress (or Netrem himself) lets Netrem do a 180. This is….cool as it probably means more time on target but nowhere near as exciting.
Adding the Stabilised S-Foils gives Netrem lots of options. He can focus-roll-rotate if he keeps the stress himself. If a friendly takes the stress for him he can roll-rotate-lock or roll-rotate-evade. Of course it’s all dependent on a friendly being at range one after the roll. You could Advanced Sensors I guess to give you even more options but it would strip your action economy and make Netrem waayyy too expensive for what is essentially a pricier Blade Squadron.
Archistopheles on Reddit pointed out Lando could be a good partner due to a good number of blues on his dial, his ability to hand out an action and that he doesn’t need to turn around like Netrem because of his turret arc.
I think I’d rather save the points and take a Blade Squadron B with Selfess.
You’re now gonna see a bit of a pattern with the upgrades and it’s because they work! Ten Numb is probably the second favourite B-Wing pilot at the moment but he is still strong, I’ll give a quick breakdown of how he operates.
With his Stabilised S-Foils open he can barrel roll into a lock. When it comes to engaging he can attack once using the stress he picked up to modify his focus results. Then as long as he didn’t spend his lock he can spend it to fire again this time using a cannon. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it. If everything went to plan then he has fired twice in a round and no longer has a stress so his dial is open for the next round.*
The cannon of choice at the moment is the Autoblaster. If you manage to get the enemy in your bullseye then you have a three dice shot and if you’re not in their forward arc then their evade results can’t cancel your crit results, noice!
*It doesn’t always go to plan.
Braylen, my boi! If you played First Edition then you’ll know him as an ARC-170 pilot with a very different ability. Much like Ten in Second Edition, he uses stress to modify his attack and defense.
The good thing about Braylen compared to Ten is that when he’s stressed he can reroll on both attack and defense, not just one of them. When you add a second attack to that equation it gets even better. With a lock from the S-Foils and FCS you can reroll all your dice! Also, although they only have one green die it becomes a lot more useful when you have two bites at the cherry each round to sneak an evade result.
The downside compared to Ten is that he does not shed the stress so either has to dial in a blue maneuver the next round, making him predictable, or has to have a wingman that can help out (Cassian in the U-Wing is great for this). I would pretty much always take Braylen over Ten due to his higher attack efficiency, hence why I added Crack Shot here. May as well really hammer the point!
Another option instead of Crack Shot is Marksmanship as it synergises well with the Autoblasters, dealers’s choice!
Using my limited experience of flying Gina my advice would generally be…don’t! I feel she’s a bit of a trap piece due to the use of ‘must’ in her pilot ability text. If you have Ten as a wingman then it could work out nicely as he would have a ‘focus’ for each of his shots.
But then you’re trying to manufacture a scenario and as a rule that’s not the best way to play. If you don’t want to pass off a stress for whatever reason then you’re limiting your ship’s effectiveness. Either way, the upshot is that although Gina is I5 and can potentially ‘double tap’ she has nearly no mods for those two attacks, severly limiting her as an offensive piece.
If you’re absolutely sure you want to bring Gina to the party then I’d go with the same build as Ten, just be aware of the lack of mods.
If you want two named B-Wings in a list I’d go for Ten and Braylen.
Hera Syndulla (NEW!)
Oh Hera. You’re good in the VCX and you’re great in the A-Wing (expect a points increase) but in the B-Wing…not so much. I think it’s worth adding the foils and FCS so she can roll, take a lock, use the lock to mod one red die and then pass it on. Hopeful for a point could be fun too as that boost could put her in some interesting positions. But it’s sixty points. Yes Ten Numb is I4 but he’s five points less (in the build I’ve mentioned above) and has better mods.
If you want to use Hera then it’s probably a good idea to give her a wingman such as Kyle Katarn in the HWK, “Dutch” Vander in the Y-Wing or Jake in the A-Wing to hand her tokens. That way she can either mod her attacks more or keep hold of them to give her more options when passing them around.
Would I take her over Gina? Absolutely. Hera is five points more expensive but her ability is much more useful and I6 is great. Would I take her over Braylen or Ten? Absolutely not! They are still the B-Wings of choice so unless Hera gets a points drop they will continue to be.
That’s every B-Wing built. Let me know if you agree or not and share your builds in the comments.
Until next time!