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Cpt ObVus

So talk to me about K-Wings.

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Posted (edited)

OK, I’ve never tabled one of these puppies, and never played against one. What (very) little I’ve heard in passing is dismissive of their abilities and insulting of their aesthetics. I get the sense they were super-good in 1e and got hit hard with a nerf bat in 2e, and really haven’t found their footing since.

Much-maligned and considered ugly by many, the K-Wing reminds me of Armada’s Assault Frigate MkII. Thing is, the AFMkII is possibly my favorite ship. And it’s gorgeous.

But some babies really are just ugly, and I’d like to find out if the K-Wing is one of those.

Initial impressions are that the dial is... bad. Top speed of 3, hard turns available only at 2... about the only nice thing one can say is that at least there’s no red. The ship DOES have access to SubLight Acceleration Motors, though, and a good SLAM is sometimes just what one needs. Unfortunately, I’ve been racking my brain for ways to get around the Disarm from SLAM, and unlike all of the other cards in the game which grant SLAM, the K-Wing seems to get stuck with the Disarm no matter what. Kaz has Explosion With Wings, Black One lets your T-70 become ionized instead, and StarWing Gunboats have their Configuration cards... but I can’t even find another weirdo upgrade or compatible pilot to get rid of their Disarm. So at very least, they’re skipping shots to SLAM (or Reload).

Next, no repositioning options (beyond SLAM). Bad.

Durability? Well, they look tough, with 3 shields and 6 hull, but really, they’ve got exactly 1 shield over a Y-Wing, they present a larger target, have fewer repositioning options (unless, again, you count SLAM), and have the same crappy 1 agility. 

Firepower... yikes. Given their relative fragility, you’d at least think these things would have GUNS to deter attackers. But a lousy 2-die bidirectional turret? OK, so maybe their firepower lies in the Torpedoes, Missiles, Mines, & Bombs they can carry? Bears investigating. 

As for actions: Focus, Lock, Reload, Rotate, and the aforementioned SLAM. Nothing remarkable.

OK, so the pilot abilities must be SWEET, right? Miranda Doni looks fun, spiking offense when necessary by tapping into shield power, and occasionally backing off the trigger to regenerate shields. Cool! Except these things are probably already pressed for defenses, as detailed above, and burning shields as a resource isn’t something I’m itching to do. At least she’s initiative... 4? Which is... pretty darned okay?

Esege Tuketu hands out Focus tokens to nearby ships. Not bad! But he’s got even worse initiative (i3), costs two points more than Miranda, and can neither spike offense nor regenerate defenses like Miranda can. Maybe he’d be good with Lando aboard? Or Perceptive Copilot?

Rounding out the pilot options, we have the Warden Squadron Pilot. Kind of like the Y-Wing Grey Squadron Bomber, but easier to shoot and less maneuverable. Yikes.

“OK,” I thought, after analyzing these, “at least they must be damned good at firing Missiles and Torpedoes.” And I mean, they’re okaaaay, and I bet if you blast a bunch of torpedoes off and then SLAM off into the sunset, using Advanced SLAM to Reload as well, you can come back for another pass later... but that’s not terribly easy to do. And as far as I can see, there’s nothing besides Reload that even really recommends them as ordnance carriers. Infuriatingly, they can’t even carry Passive Sensors, which would make acquiring locks much easier, especially given their middling initiative.

So... wtf? Either I’m missing something, or these things are really not great. Surely they must have some decent corner-case builds that aren’t bad (and I’m not looking for top-tables-at-Worlds good, just fun and decent)? Am I missing something that really helps them out? And I mean, if I’m not missing anything, why would the developers even make a ship this terrible? Thoughts, opinions, tips, please. 

Edited by Cpt ObVus

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They could be very potent back in 1st edition. They were on small bases, could equip the Twin Laser Turret upgrade, and could take advantage of the bomb deployment rules and Advanced SLAM to go places and drop bombs under people.

Miranda Doni was particularly broken, as when equipped with TLT, she could just...not die.

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18 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

So... wtf? Either I’m missing something, or these things are really not great. Surely they must have some decent corner-case builds that aren’t bad (and I’m not looking for top-tables-at-Worlds good, just fun and decent)? Am I missing something that really helps them out? And I mean, if I’m not missing anything, why would the developers even make a ship this terrible? Thoughts, opinions, tips, please. 

You're not really missing anything. They are pretty bad.

For a brief moment, some people were able to find success with 4 Wardens with Barrage Rockets, bombs, and one carrying Sabine crew. But this was point-adjusted so that you had to drop one of the bombs, which seems to have been enough to break the list. Personally, I think that says the list wasn't actually all that great to start with if losing 1 bomb was enough to kill it. I don't think it would stack up well against 5 X-wings at the moment, and 5 X-wings is a bad list so...

Anyway, the reason the devs made it so terrible is that it rather broke the game in 1st Edition and they simply over-corrected. To provide some historical context: in 1.0, Miranda's ability could be used on any attack and could regenerate any number of shields, so she could punch out 5-dice missile shots, then regenerate back to full shields if you lost arc on her for a few turns. The ship also brought the infamous Twin Laser Turret into the game, which Miri could use to disgusting effect by using one of its attacks to regenerate a shield while still doing damage with the second, which often made her nigh-impossible to kill. My locals and I often joked that one should have gotten a medal for blowing Miri out from under the rest of her formation. The generics were not entirely innocent, either. In 1.0 mines were dropped as actions, and Advanced SLAM originally allowed you to perform any action available to you. This meant you had K-wings which could do things like perform a straight-7 over your head and drop a set of Cluster Mines on you. Also, Miri could do that, too, on top of the other shenanigans already described.

They nixed all of that between editions, but they didn't really offer the ship anything in return, leaving it as just a bad munitions carrier in a faction with lots of better options. You're better off putting Proton Torpedoes on an E- or X-wing, as they're higher initiative and have an easier time getting full modifications on their shots, and as for missiles... why pay 46 for a Barrage K-wing when you can pay 44 for a B-wing with a hull upgrade?

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four K-Wings with Barrage Rockets is the closest you can get to fielding 360-degree turrets in second edition, just leave the arcs to the side the entire game. It did pretty well at a number of extended tournaments about a year ago. I think it may have gone up a couple points but it used to run with Sabine Wren crew and a couple bombs, for added control options. 

I don't think it was ever, like, meta-dominant, but I think it was regarded as relatively not-fun to play against. 

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2 hours ago, DR4CO said:

But this was point-adjusted so that you had to drop one of the bombs, which seems to have been enough to break the list. Personally, I think that says the list wasn't actually all that great to start with if losing 1 bomb was enough to kill it. I don't think it would stack up well against 5 X-wings at the moment, and 5 X-wings is a bad list so...
 

4K won a System Open tournament. What did you win? 😛

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Posted (edited)

I have flown these a few times (exclusively as Esege). They are hurt by the structural failings of X-wing list building where upgrades intentionally don't make a ship better unless the upgrade REALLY synergizes, so it isn't going to be top tier unless that changes, however I have gotten value out of these things a few time.

Firstly, and most critically, in my opinion, is their arc coverage. It is freaking good, even if you don't opt for mines (I often struggle to get value from the mines myself). Those 2 dice shots add up more than you think when your always focused and probably taking them at range 1 because people are flying past your sides close up to avoid the barrage rockets. You basically know people either will be at your side arc or range 1, and that heavily limits flying against this thing if your clever.

Secondly, and more critically, you know how a big part of droid swarm is that it allows you to spend your calculates with perfect efficiency ensuring that the ships that actually need them get them, and the ones that don't can shuffle them to the ones that do? Esege Tuketu is a lot like that, only with focus. Rebels have quite a few ways to give someone else a focus, but Esege lets you do that reactively as needed, which frees up your ships to either target lock more or reposition more. This makes Esege's support ability, in my opinion, the best in Rebels with perceptive co-pilot, as its giving you +1 focus but more importantly insuring the two ships that need focus the most get it. This means it works great in lists with ships that often need support, for example it helps out A-wings a lot to always be able to dip into an offensive or defensive focus, and it frees up the A-wings to Target lock-Boost rather than focus-boost, or to evade if they get in trouble to really become unkillable. 

This can be so strong sometimes I don't run Esege with brockets or mines at all, and just slot them as a pure support ship: 52 points for a bowtie arc, 9 health, and a support ship that is really hard to maintain uptime on if it knows you overcommited to it is no joke. That said, I generally try to keep rockets on it just to force my opponents to come at the sides, because if they are coming at the side SLAMing away is really easy for a hard disengage.

SLAM is interesting, as the ship uses it more as an escape option than an offensive one. I find it works rather well personally, especially if the rest of your fleet is nimble. It is sort of like setting up a Leia turn in that you pre-plan for the turn all your ships should focus for themselves rather than TL or boost after your opponent tries to hard engage on the K-wing.

There are a lot of silly (read: not great) things you can do with the ship as well, but it can get rube goldbergy (I once ran a list with 3 APTs and one was on Esege who handed focus to Dutch and Garven, got one back from Garven, and got their TL from Dutch, so if anyone important ever lingered in range 1 they just were gone. Don't get me wrong, that strategy stinks, but its fun. That said this ship REALLY doesn't want anything that isn't nimble alongside it chasing down stuff that it is strafing, so I wouldn't actually fly it with a Y-wingman in a serious game.

Overall though, for the K-wing to get value you need to exploit its abilities and not just fly it like a fat Y-wing. Grey Squadron is good just from their performance, but I have no familiarity with them. But Esege basically turns the platform into a command ship, almost like a mini-epic ship firing weak broadsides as it passes out a ridiculous amount of utility and then zooms away if people over-commit against it. It isn't just good at SLAMing out of bad situations (and it is surprisingly tough if its focused every turn, though obviously its no tank), but it makes your entire list much tougher and harder to engage on.

One of my secret techs is to run Esege with a few A-wings that have homing missiles: Your opponent doesn't want to eat a double modded homing so they always take the 1 damage. Esege on side shots consistently does 1 due to focus, and the A-wings never lose their target locks because your not actually rolling attacks, so they can spend their actions on evades, boosts, and rolls while Esege handles focus and pepper down enemy ships. If an A-wing forces a bump and causes a traffic jam they can still defensively mod off Esege as well.

Edited by dezzmont

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, funwok said:

4K won a System Open tournament. What did you win? 😛

National, once upon a time. Top 4 placing at a System Open more recently.

I stand by my statement. If the list was so dependent upon all 4 K-wings having bombs that it's no longer good without them, then it probably wasn't that great to start with and would have been figured out before long.

It wouldn't have been the first time, or last time that a list ambushed a major event before being figured out and left to slowly fade away. Vader Vynder Jendon springs to mind.

Edited by DR4CO

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The K-wing is a bad archetype now.  it very badly needs its actions to reposition or TL, and the turret having arcs now means no shot a lot of the time.

The 2 red turret should have stayed 360 degrees so at least you could focus on the actions you need.

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I concur.  The chassis is not good right now.  The only thing I've found to work for me (at all) is to use Esege as a focus battery (PerCop, Barrage).  I paired him with Corran and Wedge.  And I still get the feeling that I could get similar or better results by replacing the K.  I only stick with it in my quest to find lists I like to play with all the ships I own. 

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The K-wing (much like the Jumpmaster and the Auzituck) got nerfed for how good they could be in 1st edition. The K-wings are paying for past sins, Miranda the most. FFG is making efforts to fix the Jumpmaster, but the other two are sitting ugly. 

I think a decent "fix" for the K-wing would to be to add a way for K-wings to fire after slamming. I think a configuration like the Starwing would be the best way to go. Perhaps have a bombing specific config and a shooty-slammy config. Shooty-slammy only allows shooting if the defender is locked like in the OS-1 Configuration. The bombing config would allow for dropping of bombs )not mines or other devices) after slamming, maybe? This would hearken to their old bombing tricks, but disallow the dropping of mines which is where that was truly abused. That might be too good.

A sensor slot would be helpful, allowing for passive sensors to enable more munitions or FCS to make strafing runs better. But it would give Rebels a decent trajectory simulator platform, and I still have PTSD from 1st edition Rebels doing that.

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1: Barrage Rockets were just a major design mistake.  Every ship which can carry them is absolute trash, because they have to be, because they can just add Barrage Rockets.  And on top of that, Barrage Rockets had to get nerfed, so these ships are trash *with* Barrage Rockets now.  FFG ought to raise them to 15 points, pretend they don't exist, and actually make ships which could carry BR into good ships.  TIE Aggressors and Bombers have been creeping down in price, which is a good sign, but it doesn't help the other BR carrier ships like K-Wings.

2: While not amazing, there's still potentially fun to have with K-Wings.  Potential wins?  Not as many, but fun?  Sure.  Miranda can be really frustrating to kill.  Between an Evade from Jyn Erso and her pilot ability regaining a shield, an opponent needs to get at least 3 hits on her each turn to make progress, but she can be taken quite cheap.  When she's got a good Range 1 shot, she can crank it to 4 dice, and that's OK.

2.B: I've seen an absurd Miranda/Esege/Wedge list where the K-Wings are wicked overloaded, Miranda has Han Gunner (makes sense... early turret attack followed by missiles), and it looks like it shouldn't work, but at least one player has reported fun games with it.  I guess what I'm saying is there's probably some wacky fun to have with them, even if they aren't dominating tournaments.

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5 hours ago, DR4CO said:

National, once upon a time. Top 4 placing at a System Open more recently.

I stand by my statement. If the list was so dependent upon all 4 K-wings having bombs that it's no longer good without them, then it probably wasn't that great to start with and would have been figured out before long.

It wouldn't have been the first time, or last time that a list ambushed a major event before being figured out and left to slowly fade away. Vader Vynder Jendon springs to mind.

That's how non-SOS-champions talk.

That list back in the days was a proper meta call, made at a time were Rebel Beef and Imperial Aces were the dominant cut lists. It had favourable matchups against both. Now that we a couple of points updates later, you are comparing apples and peaches my friend. Surely a National Champion would know that!

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Good stuff. I especially like the Esege Tuketu-as-command-ship idea.

I’m still really puzzled as to the lack of a Sensors slot on this thing... why would allowing Rebels to have a decent TrajSim platform be so terrible? Moreover, I feel like the K-Wing really ought to have access to Fire Control System and Passive Sensors. 

Most of all, as @5050Saint was saying, this ship really needs access to a configuration that allows it to mitigate the Disarm token from SLAM and Reload. I find it unlikely that we’d suddenly find ourselves awash in dominant K-Wing lists; that maneuver chart is hopelessly bad, and there’s really no fixing it. But at least it would provide the K-Wing another fun way to make the table.

 

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34 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

why would allowing Rebels to have a decent TrajSim platform be so terrible?

Anyone having a decent TrajSim platform would be terrible.

It's one of the most-hated cards from 1e, and early 2e when it was only 3 points for some absurd reason and most of the ships which carried it were also too cheap.

 

 

Is it *really* that bad?  Eh, maybe not, but folks hate this card.

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11 hours ago, Kyle Ren said:

four K-Wings with Barrage Rockets is the closest you can get to fielding 360-degree turrets in second edition, just leave the arcs to the side the entire game.

VCX-100 with docked Attack Shuttle and Dorsal or Ion Turret stuck sideways.  360 baby! Yes!  Fire front or turret, then get to fire rear for a bonus attack!

Is it worth 102 points? No.

 

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Posted (edited)

I disagree that Trajectory Sim is a fundementally NPE upgrade in 2.0 (Its only purpose is to make it so you can't sit in front of the bomber like a complete goober, basically giving the ship a bad front+back arc), it becomes problematic on ships that already can maintain good side coverage, as it goes from a healthy control option that forces your opponent to avoid just sitting around or casually flying straight at you from distance to giving your opponent almost no places to actually come at you without getting hit.

This is why it is unfortunate it thematically makes the most sense on a lot of ships with turrets or Bowties, and is part of why its performance on ships that aren't bowtie turret ships (or even stronger, like the Star Fortress which essentially has a 280 degree arc with a bonus dice at the front arc already) is so bad.

The play around to the trajectory sim is to come in at the sides, where the K-wing's guns tend to sit, so now either the ship is priced so it having 100% fire uptime still isn't good, or its an annoying unapproachable monster.

Edited by dezzmont

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So I went to start building with one of these, and realized it ALSO doesn’t have a turret upgrade slot. Seems they really went overboard to make sure this thing wasn’t too amazing...

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2 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

So I went to start building with one of these, and realized it ALSO doesn’t have a turret upgrade slot. Seems they really went overboard to make sure this thing wasn’t too amazing...

It's primary is a pair of turret arcs so....

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35 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

So I went to start building with one of these, and realized it ALSO doesn’t have a turret upgrade slot. Seems they really went overboard to make sure this thing wasn’t too amazing...

perhaps your problem is the fact that you're trying to build. The best K-Wing build is just a Warden with Barrage Rockets and maybe a Proton Bomb. Your goal with these is just to have good time on target and tankiness as a diversion from other things in your list. 

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K-Wings got slighted in the sequels, so FFG doesn't have a lot to work with as of Summer 2020. 

We're honestly lucky they made 2e conversion material for these legends ships at all.  

There's always card packs down the line where we could get some K-Wing titles and configs if there's some new canon material to work with. 

We just gotta wait it out, I guess. 

Probably just throw down on the occasional Epic match for funsies in the meantime. 😉

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Hiemfire said:

It's primary is a pair of turret arcs so....

Yeeeees, I can see that. 🙂 But some of the ships with a turret primary can hold a turret upgrade as well. I’d love to slap an Ion Cannon Turret on this thing to give it a bit more punch.

Edited by Cpt ObVus

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1 hour ago, Kyle Ren said:

perhaps your problem is the fact that you're trying to build. The best K-Wing build is just a Warden with Barrage Rockets and maybe a Proton Bomb. Your goal with these is just to have good time on target and tankiness as a diversion from other things in your list. 

Trust me, I wasn’t getting fancy. It was Esege Tuketu with Perceptive Copilot and Barrage Rockets.

Ended up with a couple of decent builds, one of them with 5 ships, which seems okay. At least these things are relatively cheap.

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2 minutes ago, Cpt ObVus said:

Yeeeees, I can see that. 🙂 But some of the ships with a turret primary can hold a turret upgrade as well. I’d love to slap an Ion Cannon Turret on this thing to give it a bit more punch.

Which ones are you thinking of exactly? Running through my mind every ship with a turret primary does not have the turret upgrade slot. 

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Just now, Hiemfire said:

Which ones are you thinking of exactly? Running through my mind every ship with a turret primary does not have the turret upgrade slot. 

Hmmm, really? Hang on, I’m gonna go see what I was thinking of. I could easily be wrong.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Hiemfire said:

Which ones are you thinking of exactly? Running through my mind every ship with a turret primary does not have the turret upgrade slot. 

You’re absolutely right! Sorry. I was thinking of a couple ships I haven’t flown yet (Scurrgs and TIE/ag’s).

I think I ended up confusing myself because I put the Arc Indicator spinner on any ship which can possibly hold a turret, mostly so I don’t lose the spinner, and I think I tricked myself into thinking of those two ships as having Turreted Primaries AND Turret Upgrades.

Edited by Cpt ObVus

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