X-Wing: Why Should I Fly – Firespray-31 Patrol Craft?

This month, Kris will be looking at X-Wing Squad Lists featuring the Firespray-31 Patrol Craft, this iconic Star Wars ship not only featured prominently in the Mandalorian Season 2 but also got a new release for X-Wing with the Jango Fett’s Slave-1 Expansion for the Separatist Alliance.

This should be a fun article to write as not only is the Firespray-31 such an iconic ship, it has been a consistent performer since the launch of X-Wing: The Miniatures Game moved in to it’s Second Edition.

Hitting the ground running with Boba Fett in the Scum & Villainy Faction, there have been consistent changes each points cycle due to Boba Fett’s high Initiative Value and easy at which you can activate his extremely good ability (passive dice modifications on both Offence and Defence, are relatively rare in X-Wing Second Edition), and added on top of all of this a combination of upgrade options that gave you a lot of “Get Out of Jail Free Cards” Boba really was a powerhouse, and set up Firespray to be rightly feared by X-Wing players all over the world.

Thankfully after a few points changes and some moving of upgrade options Boba is much more inline with the rest of the game, whilst still being a more than capable pilot.

In a list like this where we have a fairly loaded Boba Fett with Fearless, Seismic Charges and the Slave-1 Title, he undoubtedly will have to carry a large share of the damage dealing, but is well placed to do so, with both a front and rear firing arc he is a threat when closing and running, with the added threat of the Seismic Charges in his Payload Upgrade slot, ships trying to chase him down could be in for as rough a time as those who try to Joust him with his Fearless Talent allowing for even more consistent dice modification when you are at Range 1 of an enemy in your front arc.

Nom Lumb finds his way into the list as one of my favorite Scum & Villainy ships at the moment, 38 points base is extremely cheap, and I used some points to add to his utility, to make him more than a blocker. Contraband Cybernetics gives you a way to keep your dial open on that turn you really need it, hilst the Ion Cannon gives some control and a fixed arc just in case your opponent chooses to drag your turret around due to Nom’s ability. Dengar gunner however, leans in to Nom’s ability meaning that it can always trigger which makes him a pain to take out, even if he is not going to feel like a constant threat.

Two Mining Guild TIE Fighters round out the list, with the Mining Guild Surveyor being the generics of choice to give access to Marg Sabl Closure, the hope being that you can stack their chassis ability to ignore asteroids when you move through them, with Marg Sabl allowing you to apply strain to your enemies if you do fly through an asteroid.

In theory, the whole list works together to give Boba the best kill shots with Nom blocking, the Mining Guilds trying to apply Strain to reduce their agility and Boba coming in with his heavily modified attacks to pile on the damage. I like this sort of list as while there are a few moving parts, its not leaning in to anyone gimmick too hard and can be quite rewarding when it all comes together, but, whilst it should be good fun to use, I doubt it’s going to be setting the world alight any time soon.

So, let’s look at popular Firespray List archetype that is seeing a decent amount of competitive play, and adds another Initiative 6 Pilot in to the Separatist Faction.

Jango Fett and Zam Wesell have been a popular pairing since the release of the Separatist Firespray, combining two high Initiative pilots (6 & 5 respectively)

This sort of list can be a little more nuanced to play, and the real skill of using it relies upon stacking the advantages in your favour for each engagement.
With only two ships you will want to leverage the high Initiative Value, and encourage ships to chase you for unfavorable exchanges.

Lots of versions I see of this list use Treacherous to protect against Swarms as if the enemy shots pass through their own ships you can trigger Treacherous to cancel one of their Hits or Crits and apply a Strain to the ship the shot passed through, but I wanted to try both Palpatine and Dooku in the list, that did mean that I had to make some choices on where to cut points to make them both fit as Force User Crew are some of the most expensive upgrade cards in the game.

Thermal Detonators stay in the list to allow you to have some extra threat if they are chasing you, Hull Upgrades shift the Half Point break point on both ships from 5 damage to 6 damage which can give win you games with the style of game play needed to make this sort of list work as knowing when to be ultra defensive with a damage ship before you give up your points fortress can be key. False Transponder Coders seems like a really solid choice, offering you both protection from Ordnanced based lists or an offensive ability to line up a good first engagement by Jamming off defensive tokens of your prospective target.

Palpatine can just be fun with something like Zam where you can gain benefits due to her unique condition cards on either being shot or not, and adding in extra factors to play into those mind games I figured could be more fun than Treacherous, but as I said, you just have to be extra careful against swarms, but let’s be honest, if you are parking in front of them, you are probably doing it wrong anyway…

Finally, given that I just gave you two extended lists, I should probably make one for if you prefer the Hyperspace Game Mode, and this time we are bouncing back to the Scum Faction.

You may be misled into thinking that it’s only the named Firesprays that are good, but the generic Bounty Hunters are solid choices too, they retain the solid statline, and front and rear arc and are a really good choice for players who want to fly low ship count lists, as up time can be a real problem, and being able to utilize the rear arc when repositioning or disengaging can really help with that.

Whilst 3 Generics does fit, I thought mixing it up with a YV-666 could really make stuff spicy, as you get that nice big front arc and another huge target to help to give the Firesprays space to do their thing.

This is another list that tries to exploit the Zam Wesell mini game. This time using her Crew Card, which handily can be fielded in both the Separatist Faction, as well as the Scum Faction.

This time, we are going to be using Bossk pilot ability in addition to Greedo to make him a really juicy target, and then attempt to capitalize on it with Zem’s extra attacks.

Zam’s conditions can be fairly tricky due to there being a lot of words on the cards but let’s try to break it down quickly to close out the article while she is an important part of two of our three lists.

I referred to her as a mini game, and it’s something entirely new in X-Wing as outside of the planning/activation phase where you have hidden information in the from of your maneuver dials, all of the tricks in your list are normally laid out for your opponent to see. with Zam, in each system phase you get to assign one of the two condition cards facedown on the ship that Zam is equipped to (or Zam, if she is the pilot…) fairly simple so far, but what are these two conditions?

First up is;

You’d Better Mean Business

This condition is revealed after you defend, then you may spend two charges from Zam to perform a bonus attack against the attacker. Alternatively, at the end of the Engagement Phase, if you have not revealed the card and Zam is in an enemy ship’s firing arc, you may reveal it to recover two charges.

Her other condition is;

You Should Thank Me

Again, this condition is revealed after you defend.

After you defend, Zam recovers one charge and you may acquire a lock on the attacker.

However, this time, at the end of the Engagement Phase, if this card is still facedown and Zam is in an enemy ship’s firing arc, you may reveal it and spend two charges from Zam to perform a bonus attack.

Both Conditions are removed at the Start of the System Phase.

So, one condition gives you a bonus attack if you are shot, and the other if you are not.

The nuance comes from managing the charges on Zam, especially in her Crew version as she starts with zero so, filling up the charges to get the extra attacks efficiently is important, and even with zero charges its a fun bluffing game.

Luckily the Bossk list is a good place to test it out, as either way, you are just buying more time for the Generic Bounty Hunters to get the job done!

Thanks for reading!

– Kris

Let us know what you think and if you have been building any interesting Firespray lists, or even what ship you would like to see Kris write about next?

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