Preview the Wave V Upgrade Designed by 2012 World Champion Doug Kinney
|X-Wing | Published 04 August 2014|
“Go back and stand by the manual release for the landing claw.”
Soon, the YT-2400 Freighter Expansion Pack for X-Wing™ will allow Rebel players to head to battle with the game’s first turret-mounted cannons. Simultaneously, it marks the arrival of the first two upgrades designed by the game’s World Champions, Stay on Target and the Dash Rendar crew upgrade.
In our last preview of the expansion, 2013 World Champion Paul Heaver led us through the design of Stay on Target and gave us a look at how it may play in the game. Today, 2012 World Champion Doug Kinney shines a light on the development of the Dash Rendar crew upgrade.
Dash Rendar is one of the Star Wars galaxy’s most renowned smugglers, and as Doug Kinney explains, he thrives in tight situations and places that would very likely spell the end of less talented individuals.
Doug Kinney on Designing the Dash Rendar Crew Upgrade
In The Empire Strikes Back, we saw the Millennium Falcon interact with a number of different objects in space. At different points, Han Solo flew his ship into an asteroid field, landed inside of one of them, and attached the Falcon to an Imperial Star Destroyer before detaching and floating away with its trash.
When I had the chance to work with the game’s developers to develop an upgrade for X-Wing, I thought about the interactions that ships had with obstacles, and I thought that it might be a cool, new game mechanic to have a ship that could ignore the effects of obstacles. Allowing an entire squad to completely ignore the effects of obstacles would be too powerful, so to ensure that this new mechanic would not be too game-breaking, the developers and I worked to determine how the ship would ignore obstacles and limit its impact.
There were a number of different ways to approach how a ship could ignore obstacles. Obstacles affect ships both in the Activation Phase and in the Combat Phase, and to limit the impact, Dash Rendar was designed according to an “either/or” approach. My aim was to allow a ship to ignore obstacles during the Combat Phase, but still be penalized during the Activation Phase. However, the game’s developers took this mechanic a step further by including another card that would allow a ship to ignore obstacles during the Activation Phase, but not during the Combat Phase.
The second step was to limit this new mechanic to a single ship, and the game’s developers addressed this concern by ensuring that the mechanic appeared only on a couple of unique cards. My mechanic appeared on the new Dash Rendar crew upgrade, and they utilized the Dash Rendar pilot card to introduce the other half of the mechanic.
Making this mechanic unique to Dash Rendar meant that no single ship could completely ignore obstacles. If you want to have Dash Rendar pilot the Outrider, you can ignore obstacles during the Activation Phase, but you’ll still need to pay attention to them during the Combat Phase. If you want Dash Rendar to crew your ship, you won’t be able to use his unique pilot ability during the Activation Phase, but you may still attack during the Combat Phase even if your base overlaps an obstacle.
Dash Rendar in the X-Wing Metagame
What does Dash Rendar add to the game? When you use the Dash Rendar crew upgrade, you gain a little room to fly more unpredictably, knowing that overlapping an obstacle won’t be as detrimental as it normally would. On the other hand, if you see Dash crewing a ship across the table from you, you have to account for greater range of possible maneuvers during the Planning Phase, understanding that your opponent might fly into an obstacle in order to get a better shot.
Crew slots are a precious commodity, and we already have many viable options for crew upgrades. Still, since he costs only two squad points, I suspect that Dash Rendar will contend for one of those slots in a number of builds, simply because he adds a new element of flexibility to your maneuvering choices.
We have all had games where one of our ships just barely overlaps an obstacle at a crucial point in the game, denying it an attack that could secure the victory. The new Dash Rendar crew card ensures that you’ll get to make that critical attack, and that it cannot be obstructed.
It’s most likely that you’ll see Dash Rendar on large ships, since they cover more surface area and are, thus, more susceptible to obstacles. Still, when the Rebel Aces expansion introduces the new B-wing/E2 modification, I think Dash Rendar may see some play time on B-wings as well. Consider, for example, the following ship build:
If your Blue Squadron Pilot finds himself forced into a tight spot by enemy ships, he could potentially use Advanced Sensors to barrel roll before performing a two-speed Koiogran-turn maneuver that causes him to overlap an obstacle. Previously, this combination of maneuvers would cost the Blue Squadron Pilot his chance to attack, and it would, thus, likely be one of the last options chosen. With the Dash Rendar upgrade, though, your B-wing would still be able to attack, making this selection of maneuvers more of a viable option in an otherwise suboptimal situation.
After the Imperial player correctly anticipates your Blue Squadron Pilot’s maneuver and flies into position to block him, Dash Rendar still allows him to take a Range “1” shot after pursuing an unexpected avenue of escape!
I was honored to help design a card for X-Wing, and I believe I was able to work with the developers to introduce a new and interesting mechanic to the game.
Have fun, make friends, and fly casual!
Equipping the Outrider
Both as a pilot and as a crew upgrade, Dash Rendar adds an exciting new element to the game. However, he’s not the only the pilot in the YT-2400 Freighter Expansion Pack, and he wouldn’t have enjoyed quite the same level of success he had if it weren’t for his signature YT-2400, the Outrider.
In our next preview, we’ll take a closer look at the YT-2400 Freighter Expansion Pack, exploring what its other pilots and upgrades add to the game. Moreover, we’ll look at its unique place in the game as the first large ship with the barrel roll in its action bar and how that may lead to new interactions with other ships, as well as the expansion’s new debris cloud obstacle tokens.
X-Wing is a tactical ship-to-ship combat game in which players take control of powerful rebel X-wings and nimble Imperial TIE Fighters, facing them against each other in fast-paced space combat. Featuring stunningly detailed and painted miniatures, X-Wing recreates Star Wars’ exciting space battles. Select your crew, plan your maneuvers, and complete your mission!