The M3-A Interceptor is a small ship expansion for the X-Wing Miniatures Game, released as part of the 6th wave of releases and it forms part of the initial release for the Scum and Villainy faction. Better known as the Scyk, after the Tatooine lizard of the same name, the M3-A Interceptor was produced shortly after the Clone Wars and was very popular with a number of criminal clans, including the Hutts. It was a fairly fast ship with the ability to mount a variety of heavy weaponry and ordinance but was not so powerful or advanced so as to attract Imperial attention.
As with all of the small ship expansions the M3-A comes packaged in a blister pack with the ship prominently displayed from a top down perspective and housed in an secondary plastic container within the blister. The cards and tokens are all hidden from sight behind the planetary artwork that helps display the ship.
The M3-A is the by far the smallest release in wave 5, both in terms of the physical size of the ship and in terms of the amount included in the expansion. Inside the blister you get-
- 1 x M3-A Interceptor Ship
- 1 x Small Ship Base and 2 pegs
- 1 x Manoeuvre Dial
- 11 x Cards (split between Pilot cards, Rules cards and Upgrade cards, more on the specifics soon)
- 15 x Tokens (I’ll break these down soon as well)
The M3-A was the ship I was the least excited about when Scum and Villainy was announced as it seemed to be pretty underwhelming compared to Most Wanted, IG-2000 and the StarViper. Right up until I bought the ship I wasn’t particularly excited about it and the fact that it was the cheapest of the wave sold me more more than anything. Now I have it, and I’ve taken a good look at it, it’s probably my favourite looking ship from wave 6, except for the excellent Y-Wing in Most Wanted.
This is the first ship released that is predominantly a different colour that grey as it is painted in a dark green (nicely matching my repainted Firespray). There is purple detailing around the cockpit and along the front edges of the wings and I think it is this paint scheme, more than anything else, that sets the ship apart from the other releases. The paint job is fine, there is some weathering around the engine, as is normal, and the ship has been inked so that the recesses show up strongly against the dark green and purple.
As with virtually all of the Scum and Villainy range at this point the M3-A is a very thin ship, only just over 5mm think, and overall it’s comparable in size to the A-Wing. I think it’s size it to it’s advantage here as it serves to highlight the quick and underhanded nature of the ships and the pilots that fly them.
The M3-A Interceptor comes with the standard 4 Pilot cards split, as normal, between 2 Generic and 2 Elite Pilots. The art on the cards is ok, probably a little lower in standard that the other Scum releases, with Serissu’s card being the best of the bunch. In terms of pilot abilities both of the Elite pilots have their uses. I can see Serissu being paired with Prince Xizor and another ship with the Bodyguard upgrade to make Xizor all but invulnerable.
The M3-A Interceptor is a cheap ship, even the top Pilot comes in at 20 points, 22 if you add the ‘Heavy Scyk’ upgrade, which means that it can be fielded in large numbers as a swarm ship. It’d dial isn’t great, but certainly isn’t poor, and all models get a good range of actions, including the all important ability to readjust movement, via use of the Barrel Roll action in this case.
As I said above, this is by far the smallest of the wave 6 releases in terms of content and so you ‘only’ get 5 Upgrade cards in the pack, which is around the normal amount for a small ship expansion. The cards you get are-
- “Heavy Scyk” Interceptor (Unique to this set)
- Stealth Device (Also found in the Slave-1 Expansion
- ‘Mangler’ Cannon (Also found in the IG-2000 set)
- Ion Cannon (Also found in the B-Wing, Slave-1 and TIE Defender sets)
- Flechette Cannon (Unique to this set)
The art on the Upgrade cards in this set is below average with nothing in particular standing out as being great or even good. Fortunately we don’t buy X-Wing expansions for the art on the Upgrades so this isn’t a deal killer but it’s a bit of a shame.
The Upgrades themselves provide some interesting opportunities as the Heavy Scyk title allows you to fit a cannon or other ordinance to the ship and therefore make it a heavy weapons platform. There are a couple of different routes you could go here, either as full Glass Cannon with 4 Heavy Scyks loaded with Heavy Laser Cannons or something with a bit more flexibility in range, such as 5 Heavy Scyks loaded with Mangler cannons. Personally I don’t think fielding a list purely made up of M3-A’s will be particularly competitive but I wound’t enjoy the joust against 4 HLC’s.
For use outside of the M3-A the Mangler Cannon is the standout, since it can be used on the YT-2400 with the Outrider Title to fix the well known Donut Hole issue. As Paul Heaver mentioned in a recent article for FFG a Wild Space Fringer with the Outrider Title and Mangler Cannon is the cheapest 3 dice turret ship in the game at 38 points and will likely see considerable play in the Tournament meta. Out of the other Upgrades the Stealth Device will continue to see play on Interceptors, especially triple Interceptor lists all fielding Autothrusters as it will make those Arc Dodgers significantly more slippery.
The Flechette Cannon is an interesting and very cheap addition and more options to cause stress are always good, especially when dealing with low volume high PS lists since denying actions or forcing predictable movement is one of the more effective ways of dealing with elite lists.
In addition you also get 2 Rules cards, Titles and Modifications and Ion. I won’t give more details on these as most players have already seen them a dozen times over.
There is a surprisingly small number of tokens included in this expansion but despite that you still get everything you need to run the ship with any variation of the Upgrades included. What you get is-
- 1 x Manoeuvre Dial
- 2 x Ship Base Tokens (Double sided as Cartel Spacer/Laetin A Shera and Tansarii Point Veteren/Serissu)
- 1 x Shield Token
- 1 x Focus Token
- 1 x Evade Token
- 3 x Ion Token
- 2 x Target Lock Tokens (double sided as letters GG and HH)
- 3 x ID Tokens (3 x number 45)
As a faction Scum and Villainy have a considerable amount of choice when it comes to low value swarm ships and the ability to cheaply upgrade a ship like the M3-A to a heavy weapons platform is a degree of flexibility that neither the Rebels or Imperials have open to them. I haven’t spent that much time trying to put lists together but I can easily envision that packing 1 or 2 M3-A’s into a list makes for a cheap space filler while still having a wide variety of actions and Upgrades (cheap upgrades at that, unless you go with the HLC option) open. no other ship that is as cheap as the M3-A has 4 actions as a base, meaning that it can be unpredictable and that makes it just that little more dangerous.
The M3-A ‘Scyk’ Interceptor surprised me by how useful it could be and how good it looks.It’s been the dark horse of this release as far as i’m concerned, overshadowed by the more obvious power of the IG-2000, the value for money of Most Wanted or the name recognition of Prince Xizor’s StarViper. I think the Ma-3 Interceptor will surprise more than a few people who underestimate it when they find themselves facing down 2 or 3 of these cheap, agile and potentially powerful little machines.