Many pilots in X-Wing have various ways of coping with stress. Tycho can almost completely ignore it, Soontir and Ibtisam get some power from it, Hobbie and Porkins have situations where they can more easily remove theirs. However, someone who loves getting stress tokens is Keyan Farlander, as it not only makes him more powerful, but when it does, he removes the token allowing him full range of his dial afterwards. This has created a divide in the X-Wing community, as many claim he’s overpowered, while others state that B-Wing named pilots are so expensive that he’s not even worth taking. I personally still remember how excited I was when he was first announced in rebel aces.
For those who are not familiar with him in the lore: he fought in the battle of Yavin, flying a Y-Wing because he had let Luke use his X-Wing, and is the Y-Wing pilot seen surviving the battle leaving with Luke, Han, Chewie and Wedge. He later moved into a B-Wing for the battle of Endor, surviving that as well. After the movies, he became a jedi after discovering he was force sensitive.
Now, what we’re really here to talk about is how to build him. Obviously, you need a stress mechanic, with the obvious choices being Experimental Interface and any EPT that provides stress. Its also worth noting that the systems upgrade is very powerful, and the B-Wing has an exclusive 1 point modification that gives it a crew slot.
Now that we’ve met the party guests who you’ll be staying all night, let’s introduce you to the drop in-drop out arrivals. Firts, let’s talk about Push the Limit: friend to Interceptors and A-Wings everywhere.
So not only does this give Keyan his stress, but he also gains a second action. There’s little point in focusing with his ability and only 1 green die, so if you run him with just PtL, you’ll be target locking and barrel rolling every turn. Not bad, but there’s a few other things you can put on as well to give additional actions. Note that most of these use the E2 upgrade noted above. Others just give you ‘free’ bonuses.
So engine upgrade gives you the ability to boost, bringing your total number of possible actions up to 4, if you count the seldom used focus, which still does have some benefit on defence. Boosting, however gives you much more mobility, even letting you boost, barrel roll and gain a free use of focus, like Soontir, and even letting you remove your stress before next turn to keep your dial open. However, at PS 7, this is a hard sale at 36 points.
The rest of these upgrades also have the 1 point tax added. Let’s start with those who give passive bonuses: Katarn and 3PO.
Katarn lets you gain a free focus token after firing, assuming you spend your stress. Cool. Goldenrod can provide some evade results for free almost once per turn like with Fat Han. Guessing 0 gives you the boost 5/8 of the time, not bad.
For those who give you more action options there’s 2 other choices: Lando and Jan. Lando, as I’ve stated before has his pros and cons, and while I’m not a fan of him from a purely mathematical standpoint, he’s guaranteed to be fun. Sometimes he’ll grant you 2 evades with his action, but he’s just as likely to end up double blanks. Jan, for a point less than all other options. allows you to use your focus as an evade, which is also extremely powerful, given that Farlander only has 1 green die base, and a focus on attack is usually redundant for him. Note to that her effect can be used on friendlies, increasing its versatility.
Let’s explore another EPT that gives you stress as a ‘cost’. This one I believe was created by 3 time world champion Paul Heaver, but feel free to scream at me in the comments if I’m wrong.
If you’re going down this route, you’re missing your action, unless of course you take advanced sensors, which for an action every turn is a bargain at only 3 points in my opinion.