We have looked at the upgrade to the A-Wing with the impending release of Rebel Aces now lets look at whats happening with the B-Wing.
Already considered a very solid ship what have FFG done with the B-Wing?
We will start by looking at the two new Pilots.
First up we have Nera Dantels. Nera is a bit of a lose cannon who I was surprised to see in a B-Wing but she did have a brief stint flying with Dagger Squadron rather than flying her freighter Starduster.
The 2 points more than a standard Dagger gets you an extra point of Pilot Skill bumping you to Pilot Skill 5 and access to an Elite Pilot Talent which justifies her points cost even without taking in to account her Pilot Ability.
Having a 360 degree arch for Torpedos makes her an interesting addition to the squad but unfortunately I her lower Pilot Skill makes it a little less useful.
There are a few ways that I would field her, either running her as a Stress Generator with two lots of Flechette Torpedoes, Deadeye and Munitions Failsafe. This allows you fly her as a normal B-Wing and when appropriate just launch a Flechette at who ever needs stress adding to them. She lacks a little damage for a 32 Point investment but adds a lot of utility.
Another way to go is to have her as more of a clean up crew with Advanced Proton Torpedoes where
you fly her with the rest of your squad and plan on the launching the torps just after the initial pass, this does require a bit more set up and racks up the points even more but thats what happens when you take APT…
The second B-Wing pilot in Rebel Aces is Keyan Farlander
Farlander is another option for the people who are looking at an all Jedi squad. He is a member of Blue Squadron and flew with them when they still flew Y-Wings and was involved with the protection of the facility where Admiral Ackbar developed the B-Wing project.
His 29 points make shim the second most expensive B-Wing and his Pilot Skill of 7 is quite respectable. The real value in this case does come from his Pilot Ability of allowing you to spend Stress tokens in attack to modify eyeballs to hits. I like that this fits with his background of struggling with the Dark Side in his earlier years as the offensive eyeball manipulation while stressed is fairly evil.
Build wise it is easy to just throw Push the Limits on to him for the stress generation but remember he is not Fel in an Interceptor so getting what is essentially a double focus is not always the most useful option due to him only rolling one Evade dice. (if you have the Jan crew card in there somewhere changing that focus to an Evade is quite good though…) In my opinion his ability opens up the dial on the B-Wing rather than making him a PTL monkey, I think that just having him with Veteran Instincts and a Fire Control System gives you a very maneuverable platform at PS9 and is still an offensive power house for only 32 points where as if you spend that 32 points on just Push the Limit than you still want to add more to him which I think will negatively impact the overall squad.
In addition to the new pilots we do get a new Modification for the B-Wing, the B-Wing/E2.
You also get two new Crew Cards in Kyle Katarn and Jan Ors. I do think that the E2 mod opens up the B-Wing to become more of a Support ship in a similar vain to the Imperial Shuttle but with a better offensive capability due to its more versatile dial.
I do think that putting it on to one of the Named Pilots racks up the points extremely quickly but maybe on to a Blue or Dagger. For Example, putting the new Jan card on to a Blue Squadron pilot comes in at 25 points which is 7 points more than putting her on to a Rebel Operative but you are gaining 2 Attack Dice, 3 Hitpoints (- 1 Hull but + 4 Shields) and a better Dial for the los of 1 evade dice. A more realistic comparison would be with an Ion Turret so you are only 2 points more but have a more offensive oriented build.
Touching on Kyle and Jan, they quite obviously have excellent synergy on each others HWK-290 but I think the optimal build would be Jan as the pilot and Kyle as the Passenger with a Blaster Turret.
I do think that there is more of a place for Jan in most squads as being able to add an extra Evade Token to a Fat Han for example can push it into silly levels.
Something like this could be viable;
Han and HWK’s
Han Solo (56)
YT-1300 (46), Push the Limit (3), C-3PO (3), Recon Specialist (3), Millennium Falcon (1)
Rebel Operative (22)
HWK-290 (16), Blaster Turret (4), Jan Ors (2)
Rebel Operative (20)
HWK-290 (16), Blaster Turret (4)