HWK: scum vs. rebels



Disclaimer: This piece is highly opinionated, and the opinions expressed are those of the blog writer, not of the site owner.

Ever since the TIE advanced ‘fix’ was announced, many have been calling the HWK the weakest ship in the game. While I will not bash this claim, I will make it clear that I strongly disagree with it. I will briefly explain why, before diving into the guts of this article: the parallels between the rebel and scum HWK’s and making the needed comparisons.

I'm viable now!
I’m viable now!

While I admit that the HWK has some weaknesses, notably its lack of damage without a turret, and it poor dial, I believe it to be far from the worst ship in the game, and has a lot going for it. It has access to a turret, is the only one that can use the blaster turret effectively, is very inexpensive, the pilots have terrific effects, and when it keeps its focus tokens from round to round, it can be much tankier than it seems at first glance. To make an analogy about the ship, although I admit she’s not the girl my eyes immediately fix on when I enter the bar, all she has to do is show a sign of interest, and she has my undivided attention…and not the undivided attention Homer gives.

 Okay, I admit, most women would have my undivided attention.

Now, when comparing pilots, I’m going to be going over the strengths of each pilot. However, since some of these strengths, when divided between factions are global, to save some time, keep in mind that these will be factored into every comparison between two pilots:

Rebel pros:

Rebel only EPTs (if any are ever printed)

Rebel only crew

And in contrast:

Scum pros:

Scum only EPTs

Scum only crew

Illicit upgrade slot

Pilot abilities useful without allies

I’d have to give the general advantage to scum HWKs, mostly due to the final point, but keep in mind that the number of rebel only crew is high enough that this does not mean strictly better.

Please note that the rebel HWKs are universally dedicated to helping allies, while scum HWKs disrupt opposing ships.

Now, let’s get ready to rumble!!!!

Round 1, PS manipulators:






So this is a perfect example to see how the two factions have their equivalent HWKs function in a similar manner. Roark from the rebels can have an ally shoot first no matter what, while Torkil can force an enemy to shoot last.  Anyone who doesn’t think shooting early is important should talk to Greedo.

Blu Ray, here to prove who shot first

So the advantages each of these pilots give are the following:

Roark pros:

Works out to range 3 instead of 2

Effect activates later (helpful for when the two collide)

Can be chained using swarm tactics on the target

No crit offers the same effect

PS is 1 higher

Can save an ally PS 2 or lower from empowered predator

And in the other corner:

Torkil pros:

Is extra powerful when allies have predator

Can ruin potential ‘same PS chains’ opponents may have

Before, Han had help from Torkil. Now, he has help from Roark.

As always, both have the ‘universal’ pros states earlier. I’ve been on both ends of Roark’s effect. Its defiantly helped in both cases, and the ‘swarm tactics’ chains are very helpful. Even without swarm tactics on a target, his effect can make a noteworthy difference in the game. Torkil, while still useful, is more niche.

I’m going to give this one to Roark, but its only a slight edge due to the ‘universal’ scum upgrades being more prominent. Keep in mind if you have multiple other ships with predator in your list, Torkil can be a great way to take full advantage of that.

Round 2, focus banks:





Again, both embody their factions ideals very well, as Kyle helps an ally by giving them a focus token, and Palob takes one from an enemy.

Kyle pros:

Works out to range 3 instead of 2

1 PS higher

And in the other corner:

Palob pros:

Gains a focus instead of losing one (more net gain)

Can also use evade tokens

1 point cheaper

Both are commonly combined with the Moldy crow upgrade, keeping them focused constantly, which is good for avoiding this:

I like this clip too much.

Sadly, as much as I like Kyle, this isn’t even close. Both this and the ‘universal’ pros are handed to Palob. His net number of focus tokens is simply overwhelming, and as I mentioned in an earlier blog on this site, he becomes a target fast.

That said, Kyle, in the lore, is still awesome.

So tied 1-1, we go into our final match.

Round 3, stress and damage:





So, here was have two pilots willing to take stress in order to make their opponents take extra damage.  Jan helps an ally do it, when Jace does the extra damage himself.

Jan pros:

1 PS higher

Can effect non-Ion weapons

Damage result in a crit

Can turn a miss into damage

Can effect allies without squad being built to help her

Doesn’t make Ion turret almost mandatory on self

And in the other corner:

2 points less

Upon successful hit, extra damage is automatic

Can decide after hitting (no wasting the effect on over-kill)

A miss on the attack doesn’t waste the ability (can be used on later shot)

Both the abilities help a lot on offence, and can leave an opponent like this:

How long did you really think you could go on a Star Wars dedicated site without hearing that?

This one is very tough. I’ve seen Jan put to good use, and even come 2nd in a tournament with her as my centrepiece, I see lots of advantages Dace as well. I was considering calling this one a draw, but the ‘effect is still useful as the last ship’ universal advantage plays too large a role in Dace’s usefulness. That being said, Jan is still great, and will find her way into many rebel squads.

As stated earlier, these are simply my opinions, and I actually look forward to seeing some interesting discussion. If I missed anything please bring it up, as its always great to hear some input from others. Hopefully, the thought of bringing a HWK will occur to more people now, as I like to think of myself as a large supporter of the ship. Just keep the conversation focused.

May the force be with you pilot.


5 thoughts on “HWK: scum vs. rebels”

  1. Don’t worry about opinionated pieces. Your disclaimer at the start was unnecessary. DockingBay416 is your site as much as mine and as much as the next poster. It was created for the community so write whatever you want as often as you want AgentV 🙂

    Your comparison piece really helped me break down what the new hawks will do. Those Scum are going to be fun to fly.

    Of all the Hawks I’m really looking forward to see what Torkil does to the meta vs Whisper.

  2. I had no real interest in the HWK until S&V was announced. So I immediately went out and bought one. I like the look of the pilots, plus I can fly this ship rebel-free! I’m looking forward to taking it for a spin in the next few weeks when I receive my Most Wanted. Nice article!

  3. I am a big fan of the HWK, especially with ion turret and recon spec. Can’t wait until the new pilots for scum and villany are playable

  4. Nice summary!

    As r2eq implied, Roark lets one friendly shoot before Whisper or Echo can shoot and Cloak; Torkil lets your whole squad shoot before Whisper or Echo can shoot and Cloak! Also, really messes with the highest PS ship in a (non-Roark) Swarm Tactics chain. e.g. “Swarm Tactics based around Cracken? Sorry Cracken, you’re PS0 now… oh, and your pilot ability is useless too. Mwa hwa haaaaaa.” Well, almost, since Cracken/Swarm can bring another ship down to PS0 with him so he can still hand it a useful action (I’ve seen this done to bring Han down to PS8 to benefit from Cracken’s action).

  5. I actually never thought about Torkil against a Phantom, but wow I can definitely see him being a counter to Phantoms, especially with an Ion. Thanks for pointing that out, guys.

Leave a Reply