The subtle genius of the Sequel Trilogy is its toy-collector aesthetic. Each design seems pulled from the collective subconscious of everyone who played with Kenner action figures growing up. A black-and-orange X-Wing? Awesome. A Millennium Falcon with a square dish? Neat. A chrome stormtrooper? Whoops, wrong faction review.

That’s all to say: I can’t resist the Resistance. It’s too cool. So understand that I’m coming at this post from a position of love (which, by the way, is what we need to save…instead of hating what we destroy? Ah, never mind.)

Are Rey and Poe enough?

Before the points got released, the Resistance seemed to positioned to emulate First Edition X-Wing better than any other faction. Rey’s ability to modify blanks—combined with Finn gunner’s added result and Rose crew’s R4 Aggromech impression—looked like the most consistent offensive mods since the day of K4 Security Droid and Expertise. And then Poe promised us a true Push-The-Limit pilot in the linked-action world. Together would they echo X-Wing 1.0 in another way: by providing a true top-of-the-meta two-ship list?

The consensus now seems to be that Rey is better off with no upgrades, serving as a reasonably-priced i5 turret with two force points. This leaves, along with a lean Poe, space to fit in Tallie or L’ulo in the RZ-2 A-Wing (more on that ship later).

I get it. As someone who’s been fielding a lot of six- and seven-ship lists lately, I can’t fault anyone for reaching for the safety of health in a world of dice variance. But every upgrade cut from Rey and Poe takes away something special they do

The aforementioned Finn-Rose combo makes Rey’s offense unusually consistent. Four blanks at Range 1 can become four hits (this has already happened to me). The Rey’s Millenium Falcon Title has gotten some bad reviews, but with force charges and Rose providing mods, I don’t mind collecting red triangles for a good cause. It’s a fun throwback to the old Zuckuss crew.

Rose, by the way, is great. The ability to spend an otherwise pointless blank green die to target lock the attacking ship is awesome.

Sinking points into Poe is a little more palatable. Proton Torpedoes and Ferrosphere Paint are neat if you can afford them. Heavy Laser Cannon and Predator is a fun, albeit tricky combo. Black One should be stapled to the pilot card.

But I’ll also go to bat for BB-8 and Primed Thrusters over R4 Astromech. To make a pilot, who is entirely dependent on his actions, unblockable twice a game seems too good to pass up.

I get it—I’m saying a 16-point upgrade combo is better than a two-cost astromech. If I even have to make the case, the two-cost upgrade is the better value, right?

But this is the argument for the two-ship Poe/Rey list. I’ve already given up on the A-Wing, so I’ll pay exorbitantly for upgrades that take already top-of-the-meta aces and make them marginally better. Because marginal improvements at the very top of the game are as valuable as big improvements to a mid-tier pilot. It’s the same reason that a baseball team will pay $10 million more for a .300 hitter than a .240 hitter, but also $10 million more than that for a .315 hitter.

Does a more consistent Rey and a slipperier Poe justify the loss of a two-die gun? I honestly don’t know. But it’s closer than some people think. We’ve already seen players have success with Boba/Guri. (I’m not going to mention Dash/Roark here.) Does initiative-six make Rey/Poe and even better version of that archetype?

About those A-Wings

The choice between two-ship Rey/Poe and three-ship Rey/Poe is not an abstraction, though. We’re not talking about throwing a Z-95 into the mix here. The Resistance has entered Second Edition with a uniquely good filler ship. Six A-Wing pilots ranging from 32-36 points gives the Neo-Rebellion an advantage in Hyperspace-format list-building.

Double Talent slot hasn’t yielded a combo at the level of Snap-Juke or Snap-Crack on the First Edition Rebellion A-Wing. But any two of Predator, Crack Shot, Trick Shot, and Heroic work nicely.

L’ulo L’ampar, Duros hero of the Poe Dameron comic series, is the star. He leverages the rotate-turret action and blue three-banks better than any other pilot. Fly past them, focus, use “Refined Gyrostabilizers” to boost, and take a three-dice shot.

There are other options: Zari with Intimidation and Squad Leader provides a consistent coordinate action. The generics work well with Advanced Optics. And then there’s Tallisan…

Winner of the Wedge Antilles Award for most charismatic performance by an extra in a cockpit, Tallie deserves a better ability. But I’m trying to make her work as thematically intended with the Resistance Bomber. More on that in part two…

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