An X-Wing™ Guest Article by Three-Time World Champion Paul Heaver
"Mos Eisley Spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy."
While the U-wing Expansion Pack and TIE Striker Expansion Pack have already made their way to gaming tables across the world, X-Wing™ fans everywhere are still waiting for the rest of Wave X to arrive…
That wait ends next Thursday.
On Thursday the 2nd, you'll be able to pick up your copies of the Sabine's TIE Fighter Expansion Pack, Upsilon-class Shuttle Expansion Pack, and Quadjumper Expansion Pack. You'll be able to fly these ships to battle, make use of their new pilots and upgrades, and wield the power of their new condition cards. You'll also find the new crew upgrade designed by three-time X-Wing World Champion Paul Heaver, BoShek .
Paul Heaver on the Design of BoShek
Thanks to a lot of preparation and a good deal of luck, I managed to win my third X-Wing World Championship in 2015. Among all the other great prizes, it also meant I got to bring another card idea into the world of X-Wing!
I always like hearing stories from people who used my cards to win games, or were defeated because of a key play from one of them. The only issue is that most of my good ideas were already used up in the previous years!
The developers and I went through a number of bad ideas, which thankfully were scrapped—such as an upgrade that required two separate new rules cards and was completely incomprehensible. Finally, I thought about what I enjoyed most in a game of X-Wing. It came to me as “The Princess Bride moment”: both you and your opponent know what the best move is for each of your ships, but also know that the other person knows, so maybe that isn’t the best move anymore. So do you plot the best move, knowing your opponent can easily counter it, or do you plot something else and counter his counter? You can go down this rabbit hole forever.
This was the moment the card was based on. The designers took my vague suggestion for “bluffing and dial manipulation” and turned it into something playable. I wanted it to be usable in all factions, and I wanted it to be fun to play with and also against. It didn’t need to show up in all the Top 16 tournament builds, but it had to be playable in competition, too. We ended up with BoShek!
The crew upgrade that became BoShek was named as a tribute to Frank Brooks because BoShek is one of his favorite characters. Plus, Frank looks kind of like BoShek.
BoShek in Action
So what can you DO with BoShek? The obvious answer is to play fun mind games against your opponent!
He goes best in a ship that has a decent amount of health, since you’ll be running him into opposing ships for most of the game, and he’ll probably have a big target painted on him. Even though he comes in the Quadjumper Expansion Pack, I’m not sure I’d put him on a quadjumper. It moves a little too slowly, and explodes a little too easily.
In Scum, I like putting him on a JumpMaster. It’s relatively cheap, it has a large base, and it is already a great blocker. Plus, when you get your opponents to smash into you, it leads to great mind games as they have to move, wondering, “Is he going to remain in contact with me when he next moves, or move away?” Other great options are a YV-666s or Lancer-class Pursuit Craft with a Burnout SLAM attached. There’s no place an opposing ship can go to be safe from a SLAMming large ship!
Speaking of SLAM, the K-Wing is one of the best Rebel ships for BoShek. Triple K-Wing bombers have seen more popularity lately, and putting BoShek on one of them can mess up your opponent’s plan to dodge your mines. Put Sabine Wren on another, of course, and Cassian Andor on the third, and you can see if you need to use BoShek before having to make the decision!
The other fun option—fun for you!—is to put BoShek on a Captured TIE. Your opponents can’t shoot at you without having at least as high a pilot skill, and you can use BoShek and an illicit upgrade of your choice to ruin their plans.
Finally, you can also crew BoShek on Imperial ships. My favorite is Captain Oicunn; when you collide with Oicunn and BoShek, you can give your opponent one damage and force them to change their dial! You even have two additional crew slots to use for more controlling elements like Rebel Captive, or more aggression in Kylo Ren and the Dauntless Title.
The other strong option in the Imperial faction is a TIE bomber with the TIE Shuttle Title. This is a budget option if you want to add a hardy and annoying ship to your list, but don’t have a lot of spare points.
Using Chaos to Your Advantage
As you can see, there are a lot of places you can fit BoShek into a list. He gives you a bit of a control element, but your opponent can play around him by assigning the “wrong” move to his dial, anticipating that you'll BoShek on him. But note that it is a “may” effect, so you can decide not to use it if you don’t want to. Just make sure to communicate with your opponent clearly whether or not BoShek is being used in order to avoid any arguments about him.
There are other tricks you can do with BoShek, too, that your opponent might not expect. You can use him on your own ships if you desperately need to do a red move while stressed. Your ship with R3-A2 and a handful of stress needs to Koiogran-turn right now? Just dial in the move next to the Koiogran-turn, and bump it with BoShek!
BoShek will fit nicely into the current metagame—filled with aces and precise positioning—where he'll just knock everything around with his crazy flying. The TIE Defender’s one Koiogran-turn is between two straight-forward maneuvers, at speeds "4" and "5," so if you time your hit with BoShek, you can force them to fly facing the wrong way!
Despite his turret, Dengar really needs to point his firing arc at the ships shooting at him, so knocking him off course can save some of your more vulnerable ships. Large-base ships in general are going to feel more pain from BoShek; they are easier targets to bump, and changes to their dials send them further off-course than with a smaller ship.
With all the positional mind games he can introduce, BoShek seemed to me like he’d be a fun addition to the game. I hope you think so, too!
The Games to Come
What use will you make of BoShek? What use will you make of all the other ships, pilots, and upgrades in the Sabine's TIE Fighter Expansion Pack, Upsilon-class Shuttle Expansion Pack, and Quadjumper Expansion Pack? These Wave X expansions are nearly here. Check for them at your favorite local retailer next Thursday!