With the release of the new faction Scum and Villainy, the game of X-Wing gained may new and interesting ships to it’s roster of choices. The IG-2000 is already making waves in the tournament scene, and Scum HWKs are annoying players everywhere. There’s one ship though that hasn’t exploded onto the meta as violently, but is sneaking it’s way into people’s lists, and taking control of their enemies – the Star Viper. If you’re not familiar with this amazing ship, this article will help you get better acquainted.
Star Wars was encapsulated for me in two forms: the movies and the video games. While “Dark Forces” gave me my favourite hero, in the form of Kyle Katarn, “Shadows of the Empire” gave me my favourite villain, Prince Xizor. Not only was Xizor smart, calculating and had that deliciously cold evil heart that I oh so love, he also had one of the coolest ships in Star Wars Expanded Universe, the Starviper!
It was a fighter said to rival the TIE Interceptor in speed and agility, and have more in common with a mobile weapon’s platform than a starship. I think FFG took note of that description quite well when they released it’s stats.
A 3 native attack dice primary gives this ship the killing sting of a B-Wing or an Interceptor, and makes any version of it a solid killer.
The 3 native evade allows it to avoid enemy fire, even at close range. With 1 shield, you should be worried about critical damage through. Hopefully you can avoid most damage like the Interceptor needs to do in order to survive. Even if you don’t, 4 hull allows you to take at least 1 crit and not have to sweat about it.
The dial is subtle but delicate. Having all 1 and 2 hard turns is a beautiful movement choice, but you are looking at very little greens on this dial. The best way to describe movement on the StarViper is that it moves like a B-Wing, with a lot less reds. It’s not like an Interceptor which shrugs off stress. You’re best not to stress out the Viper too much, but if stressed you can survive with that dial.
The Starviper is greater than the sum of it’s base stats. Each of it’s pilots has a unique place in a list that Scum players can take advantage of.
The Black Sun Enforcer
Coming in at PS1, the Black Sun Enforcer is one of the best blockers in the game. Not only can you hard turn to keep in close, you can Barrel roll or boost to get the extra distance and positioning to really get in your opponent’s way. Once there, you can pump out a 4 dice range 1 shot with any ship that is caught in the cluster beyond you and hopefully use your 3 dice, possibly with a focus if you didn’t reposition, to evade incoming fire.
Even though I usually use them as blockers, I still recommend auto thrusters on these bad-boys, allowing them survivability when they are moving up close and repositioning after the initial fur-ball.
Beyond that, they have a torpedo slot, which I will be honest I don’t think should be used for anything other than a flechette, to stress out pesky targets.
The Black Sun Vigo
Coming in the strange territory of 27 points for a PS3 ship (!), the Vigo is a real specialized unit. What it has going for it over the Enforcer is it’s chance to avoid the evil that is Predator. However, it loses the capability to block lower PS ships. This is a the ship you want to use if you are looking for something to out shoot swarms as well as be able to block a more elite squad. It’s one I personally haven’t found the right fit for, but I have strong hopes for it in the future and am not ready to discard it yet.
“At the start of the Combat phase, if you are at range 1 of an enemy ship, you may assign 1 focus token to your ship”
This is a wonderful ability that allows you to focus your actions on positioning, while still being able to hold onto your ability to modify dice. With this freedom to focus on mobility, I highly recommend adding to your range of motion by investing in Virago and Advanced Sensors, and here’s why.
Barrel rolling before your movement can help you get to new angles you only dreamed of before and your opponent might not even be aware of. It can also make sure you don’t hit an asteroid or ship during a critical moment of a battle. Guri is the ship that likes to slip out into the cracks of your opponents shooting arcs and give a smack while she’s there.
If you additionally add the Illicit card Inertial Dampeners, you can completely stop and let your opponent have it from the same position.
Finally we come to Xizor, the dark prince of the Star Viper. Xizor’s ability is perfect for him, it’s heartless and it messes with your opponent’s head. When your opponents know that every attack against Xizor will have 1 hit throw away, they quickly stop shooting at him, or never start in the first place. This allows you to add heavy attack based upgrades on Xizor and not have to worry about that point investment leaving the table before it’s paid off. Predator, Outmanoeuvre or even Opportunist (If Palob is flying with you) are all perfect cards for Xizor’s arsenal.
If Xizor is sporting the Virago title, Advanced Sensors allows him to bump or pull off a Segnor’s loop with an action. However, I find Fire Control System to be an effective offensive buff for Xizor, as well as Hot Shot Blaster. This shows an opponent who manages to evade your arc that nowhere is safe when you’re in the sights of Prince Xizor!
Whatever StarViper you chose to play, here are some key things to consider:
• They are not interceptors, they have a lot less options for green maneuvers, so it’s in your best interest not to Push the Limit with them. If you Push the Limit, your options for the next turn will be limited and predictable.
• They have a lot of hull, but only 1 shield. Watch out for critical hits that might cripple you, having a Draw Thier Fire Mando Merc in your squad is not a bad investment for a StarViper list.
• There’s only one Virago title, make sure to place it on your best horse.
• Having Enhanced Scopes on Guri allows her to block even more effectively than the Enforcers, while gaining a focus in the process.
• If you have Palob in your squad, enemies will be less likely to have focus tokens. Use this to your advantage and fly Guri or Xizor with Sensor Jammer!