Wave 5 is going to give Imperials access to their first 360 degree turret in the form of the VT-49 Decimator, so lets take a look at exactly what this brick is going to bring to the table.
The Decimator is a bit of a first on a few fronts, its the Imp’s first turreted ship, it has an Agility of 0 (more on this later) but also it has its routes in the Star Wars Galaxies MMORP, every other ship, even the stuff from Wave 4 was routed in the EU in some form of story, but the VT-49 was introduced to Galaxies purely to give the Imperials an evil Falcon to fly.
It is fitting then that FFG have taken the opportunity to do a similar thing for X-Wing but whilst it would be easy to thing of the Deci as an Imp Falcon there is a lot more to it than that.
OK, so the Falcon comparison starts off well with the 3 Attack dice Turret primary weapon but for X-Wing thats where the similarities end.
0 Evade dice with 12 Hull and 4 Shields give the Decimator a different feel, its a lumbering giant that you can hit but can you kill it?
The dial for the Decimator is also an interesting one;
No Red manœuvres whilst maintaing all of the 2’s and 3’s makes it an interesting ship to fly but if you do get it stressed it becomes a little trickier as the green is very limiting with none on the 1 manoeuvres.
In my mind the combination of Stats and Dial make it an extremely offensive focuses ship and with only Focus or Target Lock available as actions that does nothing to really change my mind.
Upgrade wise though things really do get interesting.
Having no less than 3 Crew Slots, a Bomb and Torpedo Slot and access to Modifications and a Title on even the PS 3 Patrol Leader make the Decimator an extremely versatile ship build wise but at 40 points for PS 3 it is also a weighty investment as it will no doubt end up costing a good percentage of your points.
The Named Pilots add even more spice to the mix with all 3 of them adding access to an Elite Pilot Talent and some interesting pilot abilities.
Caption Oicunn was probably the most spoken about when the news dropped about the Deci with his PS 4 and 42 points cost getting you the ability to Ram other ships and deal damage to them. He is a natural fit for the Decimator Dauntless Title allowing him to perform a Free Action after overlapping an opponent in exchange for a stress token.
Mara Jade also fits in really well with his play style of getting stuck in, up close and personal.
Another option you can throw on him is the Tactical Jammer Upgrade to force enemies who shoot threw him to count their shots as obstructed.
That comes in at 48 points but can be a very powerful tool if you can support him correctly with your remaining 52 points.
Something like 3 Black Squadron Pilots with Predator could be a nice support element with a good damage output and keeping the PS4 theme going.
I would use Oicunn to run in to the enemy early and then try to push through their squad with brute force and then giving the opponent the difficult choice of chasing the damaged decimator, which should be hard to do initially due to the stress induced by Mara Jade or leaving a damage ship to live in to the late game, therefor wasting the fire they initially put in to it.
Commander Kenkirk on the other hand walks the line of trying to be defensive on a 0 Agility Ship.
Coming in at PS 6 for 44 points his Pilot Ability lets you gain 1 Evade Dice once you have 0 Shields and have suffered at least 1 point of Damage.
I have to admit that I am not really convinced on this one and do need a lot more playtesting as I think he forces you in to spending too many points on the Decimator leaving you short for standard play but could be a big hit in a 60 minute format.
For Kenkirk I am thinking somthing along the lines of the following to see just how much aggro he can take if used correctly;
With a bit of creative flying I think that this list could emulate some of the Fat Han lists out there but I just don’t think it will have the staying power as you can quite easily be down to 8 or 9 Hull points before Ysanne kicks , worst case is that you go in to a Combat Phase with 0 Shields and 12 Hull as then you miss out on the evade and can take another volly before Kenkirk activates.
The last Named Decimator pilot is Rear Admiral Chiraneau who brings his attack focused Pilot Ability to the table allowing you to turn an eyeball in to a Crit when attacking at range band 1 or 2.
Having that in built focus and 0 Evade dice for me he is crying out for an Engine Upgrade to give him a useful action to take which should make him a much more versatile ship to fly.
I have been toying with this PS10 based list;
The plan with this list it to alternate which ship you present as a target to your opponent and to take advantage of your High PS and versatility in movement that Boba and the Engine Upgrade allow to try to out fly your opponent.
Builds for the Patrol Leader I have found a little harder as I have been tempted to run one with just Vader but I struggle to justify the extra 19 points over an Omicron. Although, if you can actually fly a Lambda well, this could be fun;
This list is about as subtle as a brick to the face but if you can pull it of it will kill things but one mistake and its GG as the Hull points are as forgiving as you may think.
I dont know about you guys but I am really excited to get this ship on to the table properly and try out some new things with the Imperials as I think it opens up some doors that have not been available to them in the past. Whilst some people may lament the addition of more turrets to the game, I honestly think FFG have done an amazing job with the Decimator as all of the pilots seem to open up completely different possibilities and I am looking forward to seeing where it takes us!