Edited for new FAQ link 29 March 2015
FFG released the updated FAQ for X-wing, which is good because there have been some rules that needed clarifying since S&V hit, but mostly the big thing is a couple of changes they made. I’m not going to include any pictures in this article, since you can follow this link to view the whole FAQ yourself, so strap in for a big ol’ wall of my mouth thought words.
The big thing that everyone is all a-flutter about is right there on page 1: Decloaking now takes place at the start of the activation phase. This is huge. For one thing (the little thing), Phantoms are now able to decloak while ioned. This may not seem like a big deal, but let me tell you, being able to stick a Phantom with an ion token and forcing it to be unable to fire the next round (since it wasn’t able to decloak) can be absolutely monstrous. It really cripples the ship. Now at least, they’ll still be able to fire the next round, like any other ship (provided they’re pointed in the right direction).
More importantly, this changes the whole dynamic of arc-dodging for the named Phantoms, Echo and Whisper. Whereas before you would decloak when it came time to reveal your maneuver dial, and so do that pretty late in the activation phase (especially with Veteran Instincts equipped), now it happens before any other ship on the board has moved. Low-PS Phantoms aren’t affected as badly; their decloak wasn’t that distant from the start of the activation anyway. The grownups may be more concerned though, for a couple reasons: it’s actually possible to block a phantom now. Once the decloak has happened, you’re back to a reasonably normal guessing pattern at where the ship is going to move. Using a barrel roll or a boost to block that now isn’t rocket science, but previously it was more like witchcraft. The other reason why it’s big is because it severely limits the phantom’s ability to arc-dodge. It can still barrel-roll, sure, but I’ve always felt that the Phantom wanted its action for a focus or target lock, in order to get the most out of the attack. Phantoms are all about opportunity attacks. Anyway, it is perfectly feasible to fire without any modifiers, but it really changes how the Phantoms will be played, I think.
I’m especially concerned for what this is going to do to Echo. Whisper is great, we all get that, and receiving a focus token after an attack that hits is a great ability that will always be great. But Echo, that ability is specifically about making the decloak more unpredictable. Not that it’s predictable now, but it’s a lot less frightening when you’re doing half the movement, then all the other ships, the the other half, you know? I haven’t tried it yet, so I may be totally wrong, but I feel like we may see a decrease in Echo and an uptick in Whisper from this change.
Phantoms have been meta-defining since their release. I said it a year ago when they were coming out, they were the ship I was most excited for because they stood to change the game the most. They did. Unfortunately, mostly what they did was cause turret lists to become insanely popular, to the degree that Interceptors became useless and totally replaced by Phantoms. I’m glad to see Autothrusters bringing the squints back into the fold of regular love, but I am concerned about how much of a drop we may see in phantom use. That being said, I loathe the turret-heavy meta. It was this rock-paper-scissors thing of swarms/turrets/phantoms, where the swarms (even Rebel warms with B-wings, not just TIE fighters), beat the turret ships like the Falcon, Decimator, and Outrider; the turrets beat the phantoms, and the phantoms beat the swarms. That’s not that fun to me. Then again, I flew a pair of turrets at the most recent tournament I attended, so maybe I’m a hypocrite. Possible. Regardless, I am excited at the prospect of having more lists be viable. Now we just need a buff to my beloved x-wings.
A couple other neat bits from the FAQ:
Accuracy Corrector can be used after the Blinded Pilot crit. Oooo. We already knew you could trigger Gunner and crew Vader off it, but this makes this upgrade a little more cool.
Oicunn got clarified that his ability activates after his maneuver has been completed, meaning he only triggers against the ship that he ends his movement touching. Probably the way I’ve been playing him already, but also probably an important distinction to make official.
I didn’t realize 3P0 could be used in conjunction with the Lando crew card, but it makes sense. I’m not a big fan of guessing on two dice, that’s a little bit too much of a gamble for me, but it’s cool to know it’s there. In that tournament where I had 3P0 on Chewie, I actually didn’t like being shot at range 3 because it meant having 2 dice and not having a clue what to guess with 3P0. Funny that you can make the gambling Lando card even more gambly though.
Calculation limits your focus token to flipping one eyeball into a crit; that focus token doesn’t flip any other eyeballs into hits. This makes sense, and again is probably how I would have read the card anyway, but an important thing to have a real ruling on.
Feedback Array doesn’t count as an attack, so it can be used while parked on an asteroid. That’s kind of a big deal, and makes for some interesting possibilities. I’ve seen some celebration of this around the various boards I frequent.
The clarification to the Dauntless title, that it gains the stress prior to the clear stress portion of the maneuver, is both a blessing and a curse. It means that doing a green maneuver and then hitting doesn’t leave you with a stress for your action, which is dandy, but it also means that if you start with a stress, do a green move, and then bump, you’re not able to take an action at all with that title. So, a little come, a little go, it’s one of those rules-lawyers things where you count the steps of the movement.
I’m quite intrigued by the Experimental Interface statement. You can trigger it at the same time as Push the Limit, which will give you two stresses in total (very bad), but you’ll be able to do 3 actions (very cool?). Not a ton of ships I can see this sort of thing being great on, but maybe if you were flying a Fat Han it could come in really handy to boost, evade, and focus? Or something. I don’t know. Like I said, it intrigues me, but I’m not totally sure where it would come into play.
The official ruling on losing an Aggressor with the IG-2000 title came in, with the immediate loss of the pilot ability for everyone else. This is what most people thought it would be.
We also got a ruling on whether crew Jan can turn just one of the focuses (foci?) from Recon Specialist into an Evade, leaving the other as a Focus. Yes. Yes she can. And so can you. But only if you pay the squad points of putting Jan in your ship.
Beyond that, I didn’t see anything else that surprised me. There were actually more things than I mentioned (though it may seem like I talked about it all), but I don’t feel like they merit anything in particular. So that’s all for that, I have a fair bit of schoolwork over the next two weeks and then I have exams, so there may not be anything for a couple weeks, but you better believe I’m going to be getting some x-wing in once exams are done, and that’ll mean more writing!