Thweek is a trap. Or so I told everyone at my local games store, my work, the YMCA, and the secret Stonecutters lodge below 36th street.
Ever since Guns for Hire came out, I’ve been trying to convince people that their new favorite StarViper pilot stinks. But was I really just trying to convince myself?
I got the appeal. There are no true StarViper aces that can leverage the cost-saving title and the neat one-bank barrel roll. Xizor’s ability rewards formation flying and Dalan Oberos—whose Wookieepedia entry is shorter than that of “Juicemelon”—is an awkward “6” pilot skill. A ship that can copy the highest pilot skill or best pilot ability of your enemy’s list for 25 base points (after the Mk. II title) sounds great! Biggs with three green dice! Someone who moves after Veteran Instincts Vader!
But my case against Thweek seemed solid:
- No EPT meant that the Virago title, Fire Control System, and maybe even Glitterstim are necessary to push damage through and match the action economy of the ace he would inevitably be “shadowing.” Throw in the obligatory Autothrusters and Thweek now costs 30-32 points.
- Stupid name.
- Because “shadowing” pilot skill is more often useful than “mimicking” the rare worthwhile ability, a healthy initiative bid is required. And getting under other ace squads (who are maybe irrationally concerned about Thweek) means at least a three-point bid. His cost is functionally now 33-36 points.
- 36 points! That’s Captain Nym with VI, Autoblaster Turret, Bomblet Generator, and “Genius” (R.I.P.). You could have a party bus with Inertial Dampeners and still have a point left over!
- Wookieepedia article is also shorter than Juicemelon.
Anyways, you’ve probably guessed it, but I’m totally into Thweek now. How do I love Thweek? Let me count the ways:
- FCS and Glitterstim are so, so good when stealing someone’s ability. If Thweek mimics Nora Wexley, he can take a target lock on a ship at Range 1 and pop Glitterstim. If he rolls four symbols, he has five hits. And then he gets a free evade that same turn on defense.
- Fun name.
- The hidden cost in running him (her?)—the initiative bid—can actually be a feature in the right list, i.e. one with other aces.
- Having an high-pilot-skill ace with strong action economy and no EPT lessens some of the awkwardness of two-ship Attanni Mindlink.
- You can actually fly a StarViper! Turns out a small base ship with a system-upgrade slot, and and illicit-upgrade slot is not bad (sorry, G1-A).
Now everyone knows a big bid is necessary for Thweek. What this blog post presupposes is…maybe you don’t? Being able to copy the highest pilot skill on an opponent’s squad without initiative still gives the ability to “PS kill” and not be PS-killed in return. That can mean one extra shot per game and even more incoming shots mitigated—enough to turn a close loss into a win. And the option to take the ability is always there.
Is this list so crazy? [updated: left Autothrusters off Thweek on accident!]
|Asajj Ventress — Lancer-class Pursuit Craft||37|
|Ship Total: 40|
|Old Teroch — Protectorate Starfighter||26|
|Concord Dawn Protector||1|
|Ship Total: 30|
|Thweek — StarViper||28|
|StarViper Mk. II||-3|
|Ship Total: 30|
This squad clocks in at an even 100 and puts a premium on pilot abilities over pilot skill. Strip their tokens, give them stress, and…Thweek them, whatever that means in the given matchup.
Asajj-Fenn-Teroch Mindlink was always the dream list of the Scum faction. Alas, it came in at 102 points, and players had the unenviable choice of dropping Latts Razzi crew off Asajj, Autothrusters off one of the Fang Fighters, or the Concord Dawn Protector title off both. Most opted for Old Teroch losing Autothrusters. My above list may be worse for obvious reasons, but it combines two Autothrusters aces with Asajj at last!
I do have a more “traditional” Thweek list I like. But I’m not going to share this squad (codename “Juicemelon”) just yet as someone in town will try to underbid me. You know who you are.