Friday, February 17, 2017

Scurrgs: Space Manatees!

Wrapping up Wave II, I'm going to talk about the Scurrg Bomber.  Not many people use them, but they get work done!
My favorite part in the movies was when these guys.... uhhhhhhhhh....
With the anti-squadron and Heavy of a Y-wing, and the speed to match, it's not going to be winning many races against TIEs as a base.  But it's got the same longevity, with 6 health, and it's got Grit, so it can move away from engaging squadrons.  It's got B-wing anti-ship dice, and Bomber, so your B-17 Flying Fortresses (Thanks, Giled Pallaeon on the forums for pointing out the correct ship type for the below picture!) can plow their way forwards and start hitting ships sooner.

I fully believe the Scurrg is based on the Flying Fortress, but I could be wrong.
I really liked Scurrgs back in Wave II.  When the Rebellion only had the Independence title to push squadrons faster, B wings were great but hard to move.  Scurrgs, which pair well with X wings as Escorts (same speed!), were able to fly fast enough to get where they wanted to go, and successfully hit ships.  Now that All Fighters Follow Me! (AFFM!) and Fighter Coordination Team (FCT) exist, people havent been using Scurrgs as much, which is a shame.  Compared to a B wing, they have one more speed and health, but one less blue anti-squadron die, all for 2 more points.  With points in list building at the premium they are, not many people use Scurrgs these days.

I imagine some of it is the points cost and the fact that you can overcome a lot of the B wing problems now with AFFM/FCT, but some of it in my mind is aesthetics.  The B wings look graceful and tiny, while packing shotguns for whatever they can close on.  The Scurrgs have the same dice, but they look flat and ungainly (and their anti-squadron isnt as good...).  They're the manatees of the Rebellion, unloved and not as cool looking as B wings.

Is this about to just devolve into John posting manatee pictures? Man I hope not!
But all those tricks to make B wings go faster also work on Scurrgs.  Speed 4 Scurrgs with AFFM, speed 5+ if you can get the FCT trick with them too.  It's not cheap, but they work just as well as B wings at hitting ships.  Where Scurrgs shine, though, is just living through problems and Gritting their way out.  As Eric said in the keywords article,

"Grit and Intel actually have more synergy than you may at first think. The reason for this is shutting down Grit requires being engaged by 2+ squadrons, but throwing a monkey wrench into Intel often involves spreading fighter coverage at many points around the outskirts of a bomber group so the Intel bubble can't cover all of them. By bunching fighters up to counter Grit, they're much easier targets for Intel. By spreading fighters out to counter Intel, your Grit bombers can just do a leave."

When a TIE or an A wing engages your bombers (and they will engage them!) you NEED to move your escort squadron to let the B-Wings or Y-wings escape.  However, the Scurrg just lumbers on its merry way, getting ready to throw its dice at the ship causing you problems.  And you can move far enough away that you won't be engaged by enemy fighters who would prevent you from hitting their ship.  With its 6 health, it can survive AA better than a B wing, too.

Pictured: a Scurrg moving to attack an ISD
The Scurrg is much more of a bomber than a fighter, though it can SOMEWHAT contribute (dont do it often, you have better things to do).  I've used them well with X wings, with the X wings killing enough squadrons to allow Grit to do work, and then the Scurrgs can leave and attack a ship.  Scurrgs are like bigger Y wings, which is nice in that you don't need to command as many to get very similar killing profiles.  They roll 2 anti-ship dice to the Y wing's one, which means if you don't want to load up your list with 3+ GR75s to command 4 squadrons of Y wings, you can get very similar killing power just from 2 of these.  Rolling 2 blue dice and 2 black dice total, they can put a good hurt into enemy ships.  Treat the Scurrg like you would treat an angrier Y wing, and she'll do good by you.

2/8 of the time it works EVERY time!
Nym has one of my favorite abilities in the game.  If he can roll a blue crit, he gets to discard one of the defender's defense tokens.  This ability can, if combined with a solid ship followup, cripple an ISD.  Nym can bomb one on turn X, and then an MC30 with XI7s can come in on turn X+1 for a shot that's going to REALLY hurt.  Because of how crit effects work, they do get spend the token once before Nym triggers.  So don't go after flotillas, hoping to remove their scatter.  They'll spend it and remove your blue dice from the pool.  Nym is meant to hurt bigger ships (ISDs, VSDs, potentially Gladiators, or Assault Frigates, Peltas, and HMC80s) that REALLY wanted to brace the shots they're taking, or redirecting them.  He's not great targeting things with multiple identical tokens (MC30s and Nebulon B's for example) and I personally don't feel like I get the most use out of him when I attack a smaller ship with few hit points (Alright, killed your CR90! So glad I had to spend half its points cost to do so!).

I like Nym.  I've ruined Motti ISD lives with it, but it takes setup.  You have a 2/8 chance of rolling that crit, so you need some combination of:

1) Adar Tallon for another go at rolling the crit
2) Yavaris to ensure 2 shots at it
3) Toryn Farr for the rerolls
4) Intel to ensure he doesn't get locked down
5) Potentially Rieekan to ensure that he gets those 3 attacks from Yavaris.
6) Bomber Command Center from a flotilla

It's a LOT to do, but if you can strip a brace (and potentially a second or third token, with one HELL of a lot of luck?), you can ruin an ISD or MC80's life.  They depend on those brace tokens to absorb some bad attacks, and if they don't have it, you can pour fire into the ship with impunity.  Plus you'll have other bombers, too, right? Just keep throwing dice at the problem!

Given the current state of the game, with a lot of swarms being seen in tournament lists everywhere and not as many larger ships, Nym isn't usually seen too much.  He CAN be used against a Demolisher or a CR90/MC30 swarm, he just doesnt feel as useful as if he takes the only one of a type of brace token from a ship.  Removing the Redirect from a LMC80 causes a LOT of problems for the opposing Rebel player.  If you can get the crit to trigger, Nym is well worth his points cost.

Again, everyone seems to have forgotten Scurrgs since the ability to successfully move B-wings came out, but they CAN get work done just as well by leaving behind their problems.

And apropos of nothing, here's an amazing picture of manatees high-fiving that I found.

Thanks, Internet!