[X-Wing] Scurrg H-6 Bomber – Preview Thoughts

Last up in the Wave 11 previews (and down to the wire as we’re at the release day for the wave), we’ve taking a look at the Scuurg H-6 Bomber in the Cry Havoc article.  A first for X-Wing, the Scurrg is the first dual faction expansion pack, bringing some new pilots for both Scum and Rebels.  There’s also a few upgrades that are of interest to the Imperial fleet…

The Dial

The dial is pretty decent, especially given the statline and points cost of the ship.  The green banks are speed 2 rather than 1, which can make them slightly easier to block, but it’s good enough to not make stress completely crippling.  With no speed 1 turns and red speed 3 turns, it’s not the most nimble ship in the galaxy, but on the other hand it’s got speed 3 talon rolls and a (red) 5 straight in a pinch.  All told, it’s a decent dial, although I’m pretty sure I’m going to feel the lack of a K-turn to just drop in behind enemy ships.  Of particular note, being a Scum ship with a Crew slot, Outlaw Tech many help to make the most of those reds, giving the Scurrg a bit of dice modification even on those inevitable red move turns.

The Pilots

Karthakk Pirate and Lok Revenant

The two Scuurg generics are both well worth a look.  The Karthakk Pirate comes with the standard Scurrg 3 attack, 1 agility, 5 hull, 5 shields statline at PS 1 for 24 points.  That’s not a bad price point for that statline, and PS 1 gives you near certainty that you’ll be moving first – handy if you’re backing any Action: mines.  It’s also a decent enough statline just to be used as a filler ship with a 1 or 2 point crew on board, something that Scum have no shortage of.  Importantly, it can also equip Long-Range Scanners thanks to its combination of upgrade slots, which can hugely help you get an ordnance alpha strike away without struggling against the difficulties of acquiring a target lock from a low PS ship.

The Lok Revenant bumps up to PS 3 and gets an EPT slot for 26 points.  That’s cheap enough to open up a lot of build options, and anyone missing the days of flying their Deadeye Contracted Scout can do something similar (although not quite as good) with this ship.  Deadye, Cruise Missiles, Extra Munitions, Guidance Chips, and Outlaw Tech comes in at 34 points, giving you a strong missile punch on both the opening exchange and when you Talon roll the following round.  Deadeye isn’t going to be their only option by any means though – as a durable ship with a strong primary weapon attack, there’s all kinds of builds open to them.  Predator will make that 3 attack hit all the harder, or even just Crack Shot can give it some cheap(ish) punch.

I’m pleased to see that both of the generics are likely to have a role of their own.  The Karthakk Pirate lets you get some punchy offence in for not much at all and brings the bombing advantages of low PS, while the Lok Revenant gives you the all-important EPT slot and the ability to customise the ship to your needs.

Sol Sixxa

The first of the Scurrg’s named pilots, Sol Sixxa starts a focus on bombing that we’ll see throughout all of the unique pilots.

When dropping a bomb, you may use the (left turn 1) or (right turn 1) template instead of the (straight 1) template.

Coming in at 28 points, Sol gets you a bump up to PS 6 and a pilot ability over the Lok Revenant for just 2 points more.  Of course, if that PS and pilot ability are worth it will be very dependent on build.  The ability to have a bit more flexibility when positioning your bombs can be extremely handy, but Sol is at a slightly awkward PS point to use it – she’s a bit too high to be able to reliably make the most of action mines, and a bit too low to get the most out of “drop on dial reveal” bombs against aces.  This isn’t to say that she’s useless by any mean, but it’s going to take some thought to get the most out of her and you’re going to want a good reason to use her rather than the quite similar Emon Azzameen.  That said, even a moderately kitted out Sol can be cheaper than Emon with no upgrades…

Sol Sixxa — Scurrg H-6 Bomber 28
Veteran Instincts 1
Bomblet Generator 3
Advanced Sensors 3
Havoc 0
Ship Total: 35

This would let you barrel roll before you reveal your dial, then chose which template to use for the Bomblet drop, giving you quite a lot of board coverage.  Of course, if that’s going to compete with the other Scurrg name pilot is another matter…

Captain Nym

In a first for X-Wing, Captain Nym comes ready to fly his Scurrg for both the Scum pirate fleets and the Rebelion.  He’s got a unique pilot ability for each faction as well, brining two different approaches to bombing warfare.  Both versions of Nym are PS 8, and cost 30 points.

Scum Nym

You may ignore friendly bombs. When a friendly ship is defending, if the attacker measures range through a friendly bomb token, the defender may add 1 evade result.

A two part pilot ability, although I suspect the first sentence will be the one that gets the most use.  Being able to ignore friendly bombs is extremely handy, allowing Nym to fly through an allied set of mines or straight into the blast of a friend’s proton bomb without a care.  Specifically, it also synergises well with “Genius”, the Salvaged Astromech that lets you drop on dial reveal bombs after your manuver instead.  That’s going to allow for some precision bomb placement, and some intense bombing runs that Nym can safely sit in the middle of.  It’s also worth noting that this ability to ignore friendly bombs isn’t once per round (unlike his Rebel version), so you can go all in on dropping ordnance on top of Scum Nym…  This pair nicely with the second part of his ability, allowing him to take cover behind any mines that have been dropped around him – although in all honesty I don’t see that coming up a huge amount.

At 30 points, Nym isn’t cheap, but you can do some pretty efficient builds with the other upgrades in this pack.  Taking inspiration from the Sol build above, you can create something of a bombing beast.

Captain Nym (Scum) — Scurrg H-6 Bomber 30
Veteran Instincts 1
Autoblaster Turret 2
Bomblet Generator 3
Advanced Sensors 3
“Genius” 0
Havoc 0
Ship Total: 39

So, at PS 10, you’re able to barrel roll before your move to put yourself exactly where you want to be, then drop a bomblet before or after you move thanks to Genius.  With an Autoblaster Turret added into the mix, that’s a punishing package for any high agility, low health aces to deal with on a high health chassis that’s got the PS to potentially arc dodge most of your opponent’s list.  I think we’re going to be seeing a lot of the build above, or something similar to it.

Rebel Nym

Once per round, you may prevent a friendly bomb from detonating.

Sticking with the bombing theme, but taking a very different version to his Scum version, Rebel Nym allows you a lot of finessed control over when your bombs and mines actually detonate.  You can use this to keep a bomb for a later turn, either avoiding wasting it if no-one’s in the blast or setting up some area denial for the following turn.  Equally, you can use this to fly through a friendly mine, opening up routes across the battlefield that are closed off to everyone else.  This might have some interesting synergy with Minefield Mapper (see below).

My gut instinct is that this is a slightly weaker ability than the Scum version, but I suspect this will be more than made up for by Sabine crew making your bombs extra deadly.  I have a suspicion that good bomber players will be able to use this ability to devastating effect, and I’ve just not got enough experience with bombs to see the full potential.
An interesting point is that both versions of Nym make tracking what bomb tokens belong to which player very important.  Some tokens or stickers on your bombs may be advisable if you find yourself facing off against another bomb focused list…

Upgrades

This expansion is almost all new upgrades, with only Lightning Reflexes and Seismic Torpedoes as duplicates of existing cards.

Bomblet Generator

Continuing the Wave 11 double upgrade slot theme, Bomblet Generator take up two bomb slots, but gives you unlimited bombs in exchange…

When you reveal your maneuver, you may drop 1 Bomblet token.
This token detonates at the end of the Activation phase.

Bomblet Token: When this token detonates, each ship at Range 1 rolls 2 attack dice and suffers all damage and critical damage rolled. Then discard this token.

At 3 points, it’s basically a more variable Seismic Charge you can drop every turn.  Probably wisely, FFG have made this a unique upgrade – the idea of three of these on the table in a single list is a somewhat terrifying concept…  The damage output is decent, although subject to the fickle nature of dice, but being able to potentially deal crits is quite a nice bonus.  Any upgrades that improve the damage output of bombs are obviously going to be of interest when paired with this, making it more reliable.

So, for a cheap package you get a bomb every turn.  The double bomb slot does limit what ships you can put it on, with only the Scurrg (obviously), K-Wing, TIE Punisher, and a Firespray with the Andrasta title being able to take it natively.  However, Cad Bane adds a bomb slot to the ship he’s on, expanding that list to potentially include all Scum Firesprays and the Quadjumper.  (While Sabine also adds a bomb slot, the Rebel fleet doesn’t include any single bomb slot ships that can carry crew.)  That’s something for every faction, and the idea of unlimited bombs for a cheap price is quite tempting on the Punisher.  It obviously works well on the Scurrg, and both versions of Nym in particular given his pilot abilities and available upgrades.

Cad Bane

Adding another bounty hunter to the Scum mix, Cad Bane has brought some high explosives with him.

Your upgrade bar gains the (bomb) icon. Once per round, when an enemy ship rolls attack dice due to a friendly bomb detonating, you may choose any number of (focus) and blank results. It must reroll those results.

At 2 points, adding a bomb slot, and boosting the effectiveness of your bombs, the similarities between Cad Bane and Sabine Wren are obvious.  He’s a bit less of a sure thing than Sabine, and only applies to bombs that roll dice, but he still seems like decent value for 2 points.  (I’m also not ruling out the idea that we might see a minor FAQ for Sabine to bring her a little more in line with Cad’s power level in the near future.)

As discussed above, Cad opens up Bomblet Generator for a couple of Scum ships, and seems like pretty much an auto-include on Emon Azzameen.  It gives Scum a bit of consistency with their bomb damage, which definitely helps to make it a more viable option.  Speaking from experience, there’s are few things more frustrating than an enemy ace escaping from your carefully placed bomb unscathed because your dice blank out, and while Cad doesn’t remove that possibility, he makes it a lot less likely.
All told, a very decent addition to the bounty hunter roster, and another appealing Scum crew option.  I can see this getting a decent amount of play.

Cruise Missiles

Onto something not in the official article, but come to light via a couple of early unboxing videos.  Cruise Missiles are there for all of you who like to blow enemy ships away while travelling at top speed!  Sadly there’s no preview image for this card.

Cruise Missile
Missile slot
Attack 1
Range 2-3
Attack (Target Lock): Discard this card to perform this attack.
You may roll additional attack dice equal to the speed of the manuever you performed this round, to a maximum of 4 additional dice.
Cost: 3 points

This is, I suspect, going to be the stand out card of the wave.  That’s potentially a 5 dice attack (if you’re going at speed 4), and you get to keep your target lock.  Even at speed 3, you’re still offering the same damage output as a Homing Missile against targets without an evade token, and for 2 points less.  That’s pretty strong.

However, getting those 4 and 5 dice attack off isn’t going to be trivial.  Your opponent is going to know full well what you’re trying to do, and do their best to close to Range 1 or get out of arc.  If you’re restricted to a quite limited set of moves to get the full effect of the attack, that may not be difficult to predict and avoid.  I think we’ll see a lot of this upgrade for the first few weeks after release, then it’ll drop back to those pilots who can genuinely make the most of it.

It may also offer a bit of extra punch to ships that otherwise are a bit lacking in attack dice.  Both the TIE Bomber and TIE Advanced Prototype will have a use for this, as will Quinn Jast.  I’d like to see it give the A-Wing a helping hand as well, but due to Chardaan Refit all missiles are effectively 2 points more expensive on that platform, so time will tell if they’ll be worth the investment.  Equally, on 3 attack ships, your opponent gets the bracing choice between taking a Cruise Missile or a 4 dice Range 1 primary shot.

In short, good stuff, definitely a missile that we’ll see a lot of, but I think that the perfect 5 dice shot will be pretty tricky to pull off.  I’m looking forwards to experimenting with it soon, across a variety of ships.

Havoc title

The unique title for the Scurrg, the Havoc title switches up the upgrade bar quite significantly.

Your upgrade bar gains the (system) and (salvaged astromech) icons and loses the (crew) upgrade icon.
You cannot equip non-unique (salvaged astromech) Upgrade cards.

This is a neat bit of design that makes you choose between some very desirable options.  Not giving the Scurrg a system slot by default was a smart move, avoiding them having Fire Control System stapled on by default, or allowing Scum to field multiple Accuracy Corrector boosted Twin Laser Turrets.  The specific restriction to unique salvaged astromechs is smart as well, avoiding an Unhinged Astromech giving the Scurrg a swathe of extra green moves including two Talon rolls…

Having to make the choice between crew and astromech is quite painful.  I suspect we’ll see the named pilots (Nym in particular) flown with this title, while the generics will probably take advantage of the numerous good crew options for Scum, or just be run in a quite stripped down form.

Minefield Mapper

A bit of a weird one, this…

During Setup, after the “Place Forces” step, you may discard any number of your equipped (bomb) Upgrade cards. Place all corresponding bomb tokens in the play area beyond Range 3 of enemy ships.

So, you can dump out some of your bombs at the start of the game.  Obviously, this is far more useful to do with Action mines that stick around, so Cluster Mines, Connor Nets, and Proximity Mines are the main candidates.  I’d not want to over-commit to this, as while this can be used to shut down some lines of approach and herd your opponent into less desirable positions, you’re spending munitions that can more usefully be deployed later in the game.

Disclaimer aside, I can see this being useful on the TIE Punisher.  It’s able to carry a lot of ordnance but often dies before it can get most of it away.  Letting a Punisher drop a mine or two at the start of the game seems well worth a free upgrade, and means you might be able to get a little more mileage out of your bombs before you inevitably blow up.

There’s already been some controversy around this upgrade online, with people suggesting that you can box in your opponents if you take multiple Minefield Mapper ships.  I can’t in all honestly see that being a particularly viable strategy, and I’m firmly of the belief that you can’t get two sets of mines out per upgrade card with Extra Munitions.

All told, I’m not convinced that this is going to make much of a splash, but it may offer some interesting new options for players with enough strategic insight to make the most of “Turn 0”.

R4-E1

And finally, we’ve got a new Salvaged Astromech.  Like pretty much everything else in this expansion, R4-E1 is focused around ordnance…

You can perform actions on your (torpedo) and (bomb) Upgrade cards even if you are stressed. After you perform an action in this way, you may discard this card to remove 1 stress token from your ship.

So for a point you get a Primed Thrusters/Pattern Analyser style effect for your action mines and Seismic Torpedoes, and a little bit of stress removal in the process.  That’s not mind blowing, but it does give some interesting “action mine on a K-turn” type options for a handful of ships.  Given the amount of red on the Scurrg dial, anything that else with action efficiency and stress removal can only be good.

For a point, it seems worthwhile but by no means an must take.  I’m sure that at least some opponents are going to be taken unawares by a Talon roll that’s followed up with a mine in their face.  If only for that, it seems like a lot of fun!

Final Thoughts

There’s a lot of new stuff in the Scurrg expansion, and probably enough there to make bombing a viable strategy for lists other than Sabine Rebels.  Cruise Missiles are going to have an impact on the meta, although I think they’re going to be less point and shoot than people currently expect.  All of the pilot have something going for them, although I’m confident that Sol Sixxa is going to see the least play out of all of the ships.

Overall, the Scurrg expansion pack is a strong addition to the game, and the range of upgrades has something to offer to every faction.  Two thumbs up!

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