David Yun David Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2017-09-07 01:50:21

Thweek: 28 points, PS 4 (v1.0 W11)

During setup, before the "Place Forces" step, you may choose 1 enemy ship and assign the "Shadowed" or "Mimicked" Condition card to it.

"Thweek" is treated as having the pilot skill value you had after setup. The pilot skill value of "Thweek" does not change if your pilot skill value changes or you are destroyed.

"Thweek" is treated as having your pilot ability. "Thweek" cannot apply a Condition card by using your pilot ability. "Thweek" does not lose your pilot ability if you are destroyed.

When we previewed Guns for Hire on the podcast, my co-hosts were considerably more enthusiastic about Thweek than I was. I felt that Thweek was far "cooler" than actually "good". While preparing to write this entry, I've warmed up a bit because of his first condition.

Shadowed is what makes him decent. As long as you win the PS bid, it guarantees that you are moving the final ship, which always has value.

Mimicked is the staggeringly cooler condition, but you'll find it unreliable in many matches. Your opponent might be running generics, or abilities that don't function on a StarViper. However, seeing certain mainstays across the table from you should make you smirk. Here are the ones that stand out to me:

-Biggs: A StarViper, particularly equipped with a defensive mod, is significantly harder to destroy than an X-Wing.

-Miranda: Regen! Or 5 dice at range 1!

-Countess Ryad: I hope I get to do a 1-Koiogran and boost someday. U-Wing, eat your heart out!

-Lockdown (Omega Leader): OMG. Can't run Juke, but the extra attack die makes up for it. Prioritize destroying Lockdown, and YOU'LL instead have the endgame monster.

-The Inquisitor: Four attack dice every shot with no Autothrusters!

-Dengar: Extra attacks are OP. (Quickdraw would be similar, but you'd need Pulse Ray Shield and I favor Autothrusters on Thweek.)

Loadout Options
The point reduction title is a no brainer. The other title gives you access to Fire-Control System, which Thweek will want to maintain a semblance of offense. He'll be spending his actions on defensive Focus or arc dodges. The mod is either Pulsed Ray Shield or Autothrusters, and I favor the latter in order to arc dodge. Getting pinned down with 1 forwards doesn't take advantage of Shadowed. Inertial Dampeners is also advantageous when moving last.

Viper Squadron - Rank C

(27) Thweek: Autothrusters, StarViper Mk. II
(24) Black Sun Enforcer: Pulsed Ray Shield, StarViper Mk. II
(24) Black Sun Enforcer: Pulsed Ray Shield, StarViper Mk. II
(24) Black Sun Enforcer: Pulsed Ray Shield, StarViper Mk. II

I'm starting off with a thematic squad. Pulsed Ray Shield is strong on the jousty Enforcers, and ionization isn't the worst for a ship that can change its heading by 45 degrees in numerous vectors as an action.

[EDIT: I'm finding that Autothrusters is more useful across most of the spectrum, particularly as turrets and spike damage continue to proliferate.]

A 1 point initiative bid isn't the strongest, but it will give Thweek the ability to move last in a majority of matches.

Now comes the hard part: attempting a competitive build with Thweek. His lack of an EPT is the primary obstacle. All we can do is fill out the rest of the squad with the best Scum pieces and hope for the best. I started with two U-boats, but wasn't satisfied with the initiative bid and there's some uncertainty revolving around a purported JumpMaster nerf.

Thweekgar - Rank B

(30) Thweek: Fire-Control System, Autothrusters, StarViper Mk. II, Virago
(53) Dengar: Attanni Mindlink, Overclocked R4, K4 Security Droid, Countermeasures, Punishing One
(14) Indalra: Attanni Mindlink, Light Scyk Interceptor

This is an adaptation of Mynock Joe Desmond's Inaldrattanni, with Thweek subbed in for Fenn Rau. Sadly, he's nowhere near as punchy or wily as Fenn Rau. Thweek's one action will be employed to defensively focus, arc dodge, or slide into range 1. He won't get offensive mods unless he's already shot at the target. Thweek's one redeeming quality in the current meta is that he should be able to move after PS 10 Captain Nym or any ship bidding against Nym. (Add Inertial Dampeners to Thweek if bidding is not a concern.)

Spy Hunter - Rank B

(30) Thweek: Fire-Control System, Autothrusters, StarViper Mk. II, Virago
(43) Asajj Ventress: Push the Limit, Latts Razzi, Rigged Cargo Chute
(24) Syndicate Thug: Twin Laser Turret

Asajj Ventress tanks and controls, setting Thweek up for attack runs. You could drop the Cargo Chute to bid harder (Nathan Eide's GenCon winning squad ran at 96), but if you're that serious, I doubt you're playing Thweek in the first place.

186 Thweek - Rank C

(31) Thweek: Fire-Control System, Inertial Dampeners, Autothrusters, StarViper Mk. II, Virago
(34) Fenn Rau: Push the Limit, Autothrusters, Concord Dawn Protector
(32) Old Teroch: Push the Limit, Autothrusters, Concord Dawn Protector

Instead of Manaroo support/blocking, Thweek becomes a third "ace". I had to drop it a rank from the others, because it is not currently a conducive meta for aces (especially without a support/blocker), but it is a fun squad to fly.

Danger Close - Rank B

(30) Thweek: Fire-Control System, Autothrusters, StarViper Mk. II, Virago
(43) Captain Nym: Veteran Instincts, Genius, Autoblaster Turret, Bomblet Generator, Advanced Sensors, Engine Upgrade, Havoc
(24) Syndicate Thug: Twin Laser Turret

You could swap out Engine Upgrade on Nym for Harpoon Missiles and Guidance Chips. I prefer the superpositioning over the extra damage. The trick is flanking in a manner with Thweek that you don't bomb him.

If Thweek had access to an EPT, he'd be all kinds of good. We'll have to settle for cool.

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