I am working on what might be a slightly bigger than normal post about other things, also X-Wing related, but until that is done I thought I would through in another quick ship post. Sticking with the Scum faction again.
Today we’re going to look at the M3-A Scyk Interceptor, if the Kihraxz Fighter is the X-Wing of the Scum faction then the M3-A is absolutely the A-Wing. In the lore of the Star Wars universe the M3-A was the lightest ship produced by one of the Mandalorian ship yards (although used most often by the Hutt criminal organisations) and was famously feature limited. It featured a small, cramped cockpit, life support, an engine, a tiny shield generator, hyperdrive and a single weapon mount. The ship was in fact so small that it couldn’t even fit an astrogration computer and relied on allied ships to calculate the jump for them.
On the up side though the weapons mount on the M3-A was one of the most universal ever made and could mount almost anything as a weapons system.
Lets take a look at the Stat Line then.
Upgrades: Elite Pilot Talent (Depending on Pilot Skill), Modification, Title.
Actions: Focus, Target Lock, Barrel Roll, Evade.
And the Dial:
So, looking at the stat line we see 2 dice of attack and 3 dice of evade, basic TIE Fighter/A-Wing stats here, then 2 Hull and 1 Shield which compares well to the TIE Fighters 3 Hull and the A-Wings 2 Hull & 2 Shields.
The Upgrade slots continue with the theme of a light interceptor with lots of things that are considered ‘optional’ removed. Your basic M3-A relies more on it’s pilot than on it’s hardware. All of them can take a modification and a title and some can take an elite pilot talent (if the pilot is skilled enough).
Finally the dial, this looks like an interceptor, lots of greens at speed one & two and a speed three forward. More importantly for a dog fighting ship it has white turns at speed one and two and a white forward 4. It also has K-Turns at both speed three and five, obviously this is a Red though. Looking at the dial you can see that these ships are good at getting in close and then staying there, they can turn a lot and when combined with a Barrel Roll this gives them a lot of placement options, which are important because with only 3 hits this ship needs to arc dodge whenever it can.
It is also worth noting cost at this point, the basic ship at Pilot Skill 2 costs 14 points, 2 more than the pilot skill 1 TIE Fighter Academy Pilot. In my opinion that’s a fair price point as the Scyk swaps a hull point to a shield and adds a Target Lock action.
Of the few upgrades you can equip to this ship the Title(s) provide the most extra functionality. I say titles because there is a second title being made available in the new Scum Epic ship which is released this week. We’ll start with the original title.
This title has been updated in an errata, originally it just added an upgrade slot (Cannon, Missile, Torpedo) but post errata it also adds an extra hull point, pushing the ship to 3 hull and 1 shield.
But lets stop and look at this, this upgrade allows you add either a torpedo, missile or cannon to this ship. So an interceptor with a TIE Fighter comparable dial that can also load either an ordanace or a cannon. This allows you to create a ship that can punch way out of its weight class, until the ship is shot down anyway.
As for things to equip to it in those slots, for me the idea of a cannon on a ship like this has always been more appealing than a missile or torpedo and the expansion actually comes with what I consider to be one of the best cannons in the game.
3 Dice of Attack at range 1-3 and the ability to turn one of the hits into a crit. This gives you some serious firepower on a ship this small.
This is new with the C-ROC Cruiser, its a move in the other direction, this reduces the cost of the ship by two points and makes all the banks green, however you cannot equip a modification and all damage cards are dealt face up. Now that face up damage cards effect sounds much worse than it actually is, you’ve got to remember that this ship only has 2 hull anyway so it gets shot down fast if your opponent can actually hit it. Trading that plus the ability to equip a modification for a two point cost reduction and two extra green moves seems fair to me.
So how do you fly this thing?
Well, for the purpose of example here we’re going to look at two builds, a named and a generic. For the purposes of this post I’m going to focus on the Heavy Scyks as the Light Scyk title and other cards that are coming in that expansion are not available yet. You can also not put any title on the ship but to be honest that just makes it a slightly more expensive TIE Figher, the Scum faction lives or dies based on its ability to do the unexpected and a small interceptor with a cannon or payload can do exactly that.
Squad Leader Serissu
M3-A “Scyk” Interceptor (20), Wingman (2), “Heavy Scyk” Interceptor (2), Stealth Device (3), Tractor beam (1)
Serissu only works with a squad, she gives nearby (Range 1) allied ships a reroll on one of their defense dice. So we capitalise on that, we equip the tractor beam to the build because Serissu has a high pilot skill and can use the tractor beam to make ships easier to hit for wingmen, the Wingman EPT allows Serissu to take a stress token off an allied ship and the Stealth Device pushes the ship to 4 Agility until it takes a hit.
M3-A “Scyk” Interceptor (17), Juke (2), “Heavy Scyk” Interceptor (2), “Mangler” Cannon (4)
These ships (and you can field a few of them as they are cheap) are the classic Scum “Surprise” ship, they use a combination of Mangler Cannon and Juke to really mess with their opponent, the Mangler Cannon allows you to guarentee a crit if you roll any hits and Juke means that as long as you are evading (quite likely given how fragile they can be) you can push an evade back to a focus.
Final option here would be a use that Scum favourite, the Attani Mindlink, and field a bunch of these with mindlinks to give you some serious action economy.
In summary, this ship is fast but fragile (even the heavy variant) but it can hit hard and surprise your opponent in a variety of ways, even knowing what they can do no one really expects the amount of hurt they can dish out. I would recommend any Scum player or anyone who is interested in playing Scum look at adding at least a couple of these to your collection. It will not disappoint.