[X-Wing] Auzituck Gunship – Preview Thoughts

The second of the Wave 11 ships to be previewed, the Defenders of Kashyyyk article gives us a look at the somewhat unusual Wookiee craft that’s coming in to aid the Rebellion.

Arcs!

The Auzituck gives us the first small based ship to have side-facing auxiliary firing arcs akin to the YV-666, giving it a full 180 degree primary weapon coverage to its front.  That’s going to be hard to arc dodge, and can pair nicely with any upgrades that use your firing arc for effect – a Tactician covers a lot of area on this ship for example.

Reinforcement!

So, the big headline for this ship is that we’re getting the Reinforce action in standard play.  Epic players will be familiar with this “super evade” option, allowing you to add an evade result to every defence roll you make that turn, making even low agility ships quite tanky.

It’s been slightly modified to fit standard play, with the “fore” section defined as in your firing arc, and the “rear” as outside of your firing arc.  Obviously, with the Auzituck’s auxiliary arcs, that’s a lot of coverage for the fore section, making Reinforce a strong option if you’re doing any kind of direct approach.

 

The Dial

The dial is surprisingly forgiving, given the 180 arc and low-ish price point. There’s a reasonable number of green moves, including a 3 forward to give a little bit of speed.

Unsurprisingly, there’s no K-turn, Talon Roll, or S-loop to be had, but white speed 2 and 3 turns make it respectably maneuverable, and with a 5 forward it can put on a decent burst of speed for a turn if it needs to. Like any ship without a “turn around in a single move” option, you don’t want to be the last ship on the board, but otherwise this is all pretty solid.

 

The Pilots

Kashyyyk Defender and Wookiee Liberator

The Auzituck’s two generics both come in at a reasonably affordable points cost. The Kashyyk Defender is a PS 1 generic, with 3 attack, 1 agility, 3 shields and 6 hull, the reinforce and focus actions available, and two crew slots on its upgrade bar. So, pretty tanky and a decent basic attack statline, but lacking in dice modifiers – particularly so given that you’re likely to want to Reinforce most turns to make the most of your durability. With two crew slots, it can be a cheap-ish way of getting Rebel crew onto the field, overlapping somewhat with the Blue Squadron Pathfinder U-Wing in the process. All told, a decent but not wildly inspiring package for 24 points, and you can give it a little bit of offensive dice modification by adding in some Wookiee Commandoes for a point.

The Wookiee Liberator bumps up to PS 3 and gets an EPT slot, clocking in at 26 points in the process (as we’ve found out from early unboxing videos). This is a big boost to the ship, with the EPT slot offering it a lot of options. Lone Wolf or Predator give action-free rerolls on attack (and defence in the case of Lone Wolf), Lightning Reflexes lets you turn around at a vital moment, and there is of course Selflessness which we’ll discuss below. I think this is the better of the two generics as a result, although the bump in points may make it less desirable just because it’s going to be harder to fit into some lists once you’ve kitted it out with a few upgrades.

Overall, both generics are decent and reasonably pointed. There’s been some discussion to them making the B-Wing (even more) obsolete, but they’ve got notably less offence available to them than an even lightly equipped B-Wing. Where there’s real overlap is with the U-Wing, as they can carry multiple crew in a durable chasis without costing the earth, and in particular the 180 arc synergises nicely with Jyn Erso crew if you want to dish focus tokens out to the rest of your list. However, given that the U-Wing hasn’t exactly set the meta alight, it may be that the Auzituck generics prove to be a bit of a damp squib as well.

Lowhhrick

The first of the named unique pilots, Lowhhrick comes with a beefy pilot ability that can notably add to the durability of other ships in the list.

When another friendly ship at Range 1 is defending, you may spend 1 reinforce token. If you do, the defender adds 1 evade result.

So he can happily fly alongside your more valuable aces and help soak up some of their damage. This might well help to avoid a critical hit slipping in, and generally gives a little bit of a survivability buff across your list. This obviously pairs well with Selflessness, either making Lowhhrick the focus for your opponent’s fire (and so drawing fire away from your harder hitting ships), or letting him buff the defences off and pull damage off more valuable targets.

There’s been a lot of discussion about pairing Lowhhrick with Biggs, but while this can potentially be an irritating combination I don’t see it as being a really competitive option. Even a lightly upgraded Lowhhrick is going to be clocking in around 30 points, which means you’re putting a minimum of 56ish points into him and Biggs. That’s not leaving a lot for any meaningful offence in the rest of your list, as both Biggs and Lowhhrick are going to be using their actions for defence. I think you’re going to see one or the other, but not both in a list for the most part – and it’s worth noting that Lowhhrick with Selflessness is much harder to get around with target lock ordnance than Biggs.

Wullffwarro

The “ace” of the Auzituck expansion, Wullffwarro is much more orientated towards offence than defence.

When attacking, if you have no shields and at least 1 Damage card assigned to you, roll 1 additional attack die.

At 30 points base, he doesn’t come in cheap, but extra red dice aren’t anything to be sniffed at. His ability is almost a reversed version of Pure Sabacc, and combined with the Reinforce action he could still stick around for a turn or two once he’s got damaged to the point that his ability kicks in. However, like all of the Auzitucks, he desperately needs a way of getting dice modification without having to use his valuable action, or a way of taking more than one action per turn.

Both Push the Limit and Experimental Interface are possible ways of generating extra actions, with the 180 arc of the Auzituck making the limited green moves a bit more forgiving. I’m personally leaning towards a very lean build – Lone Wolf plus Wookiee Commandos, for a pretty tanky 33 point ship that has some offensive bite, although I’m not certain it’s going to be better than other Rebel options around that price point.

 

Upgrades

In addition to three new upgrades, the Auzituck expansion comes with three relatively scarce upgrades, despite two of them being staples of the game – Hull Upgrade (previously only in Imperial Aces and the StarViper), Intimidation (Decimator), and Tactician (TIE Phantom). If you’re a Rebel only player, that’s a lot of handy stuff that’s been made available.

Breach Specialist

The first of two new crew cards, the Breach Specialist ties in with the Auzituck’s Reinforce action.

When you are dealt a faceup Damage card, you may spend 1 reinforce token to flip it facedown (without resolving its effect). If you do, until the end of the round, when you are dealt a faceup Damage card, flip it facedown (without resolving its effect).

At only 1 point, that helps to make your Gunship relatively crit resistant. It’s a useful effect, although I suspect something you’ll want to use on one of the later shots you take in the round so you get maximum benefit from the Reinforce token. As you’re spending the Reinforce token at the point you’re being dealt the damage card, you’ll already have got the benefit on the shot that dealt the crit in the first place, so it’s a nice bit of doubling down on your defensive ability.

It’s also usable on Epic ships, although while they don’t want to be taking crits, they also don’t want to be spending their Reinforce token. Plus crew slots are often at a premium, so I think the Auzituck is going to be the Breach Specialist’s main home. Still, nice to get an Epic option in a standard expansion pack.

This card isn’t going to set the meta alight, but it’s a decent ability at a decent cost. The biggest downside is that you can’t take it alongside Wookiee Commandos, which would make for a pretty strong 2 point pairing.

Selflessness

A new unique EPT, Selflessness plays into the Rebels’ self-sacrificing nature.

When a friendly ship at Range 1 is hit by an attack, you may discard this card to suffer all uncanceled (hit) results instead of the target ship.

This gives the Rebels some interesting options for keeping a ship that’s being focused down alive a little longer. Ideally this want to go on something that’s a low target priority in your list, but there’s not the hugest number of cheap but durable ships with EPTs available to the Rebels. It’s also going to have some interesting interactions with Biggs, who will inevitably get flown alongside a ship with Selflessness. Biggs with R4-D6 and Integrated Astromech, plus Lowhhrick with Selflessness, Jyn Erso, Jan Ors, and Experimental Interface still leaves you with 38 points – enough to slot in a mid-range Rebel ace like Poe Dameron. Not bad, and Biggs is going to be a pain to kill with his own focus, plus any focus and evades from Lowhhrick’s Jyn/Jan combo, plus another evade result from Lowhhrick’s Reinforce token, and Lowhhrick can pull some more damage off Biggs via Selflessness… That’s a lot of dice mods, evades, and the hit cancellation of R4-D6.

At 1 point, it’s a decent option, and gives the Rebels something new. It might even mean we see a few more Rebel lists without Biggs as a result, as Selflessness can help to spread damage around your ships and keep everything alive a little longer. The main limiting factor is it doesn’t let you take crits from the target ship, which doubles down on Biggs’ existing vulnerability to them if he’s kitted out with R4-D6, but it only seems reasonable to let your opponent have some way of damaging the ship they shot at…

Wookiee Commandos

The second of the Auzituck’s new crew, the Wookiee Commandos offer a little bit of action-free offensive dice modification.

When attacking, you may reroll your (focus) results.

I discussed this briefly in the release article, but I’m including it here for completeness. At 1 point and taking a double crew slot, the Wookie Commandos almost entirely exist for the Auzituck. Their effect isn’t amazing, but gives the Gunship some minimal dice modifications that don’t take an action, which is pretty vital given that you’re likely to way to be Reinforcing with this ship most turns.

There’s possibly a few other places for it as well: a Ghost with this, a docked Phantom and a TLT gets some minimal mods on all of its attacks for only 1 point, while a Resistance Sympathiser can take the Wookies and the original Millenium Falcon title to be able to evade and have some attack mods every turn for 40 points. But realistically, this is going to mostly be used for cheap Gunship builds to make sure they can have at least a little in the way of offensive dice modification.

There is also a case to be made for putting it on the Tantive IV, as rerolling focus icons is quite handy in Epic, and the CR-90 can attack multiple times per round. That’s only relevant to Epic, of course…

 

Final Thoughts

I’m quite taken with the Auzituck overall. I think I’m going to need to play around with it to get a decent idea of how to use it best, but my experiences with the YV-666 have convinced me that 180 firing arcs are a strong option. It offers the Rebels a cheap crew carrier, and both of the named pilots have interesting abilities. I suspect this is going to be the least played ship of Wave 11, but I think it might be a bit of a sleeper hit once people realise how potent that large firing arc and Reinforce action can be.

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