It appears, the K-Wing bomber for X-Wing, a ship I have been grappling with recently, received a nerf for its unique SLAM action and the use of bombs.
While I understand the ruling, I do think that it is unfortunate, as this makes it even less likely, that the K-Wing will spearhead a renaissance of bombs in the X-Wing miniatures game.
What is SLAM?
The new, and thus far unique to the K-Wing, ability to SLAM, allows the ship a second movement, in addition to its first movement, at the price of being unable to shoot in the same turn.
While this is (and remains) a useful tool to get out of a tight spot, FFG’s previews mostly emphasised the SLAM action as a way to drop bombs and ordenance on your opponent.
Blow is a little diagram showing how FFG originally thought SLAM ought to be used to drop a bomb, specifically a Seismic Charge in this example.
What is the Nerf?
Bombs like these Seismic Charges or Ion Bombs are, following the rules, dropped as the player reveals his or her maneouver dial.
Strictly speaking, there is no „reveal“ of a dial on the second part of the SLAM action.
Now FFG has decided to go against the example they presented in the previews, ruling that bombs after the first move – in the middle of a SLAM – is no longer permitted.
There is, in a strictly legal reading of the rules, sense behind this decision. There is no „reveal“ of a maneouver dial. Limiting the ability to drop bombs to the precise conditions outlined on the card will avoid unnecessary arguments about the rules.
At the same time, I think it is a pity, because FFG clearly „wanted“ to have it differently, and bring bombs back into the game in new and interesting ways.
I cannot help but think, that the rules-writers at FFG dropped the ball with the new SLAM action here.
- The rule’s wording already led to plenty of debates, despite having only been in the game for less than a month.
- The intended utility for SLAM as a delivery for bombs is now near zero.
- Only the added cost of Advanced SLAM will even allow you to do anything a regular bomber cannot do.
I highly doubt we’ll see another Ship for the X-Wing miniatures game with SLAM in the future, and if we did, it would need pilot abilities to circumvent the odd restrictions written into the SLAM rules themselves.
Clearly a missed opportunity.