So I'm super excited to try out the upcoming Imperial Veterans expansion for X-wing, and I want to talk about how awesome the newly revealed pilot Countess Ryad is.
The countess has a pretty damned powerful ability in my view, essentially she is Tetran Cowell on steroids.
Tetran's ability is a bit weaker as you have to set a k-turn for it and you get a stress so you can't take any actions. Her ability doesn't modify the difficulty of the straight manuever, that means that she can do green K-Turns.
Countess Ryad is only 10 points more expensive, so that ten points gives her a better version of Tetran's ability and 3 shields while only costing her 2 points of pilot skill.
It also allows her to fly BACKWARDS. Check this out:
Countess Ryad (34) - TIE Defender
Push The Limit (3), TIE/x7 (-2), Engine Upgrade (4)
Total: 39 points
Now let's say she sets a 2 straight (Green) for her move and swaps it to a 2 K-Turn. With actions she does:
2 K-turn (green), bank boost right, barrel roll right (forwards).
To help explain what's happening here is some geometry. The 2 K-turn moves her front edge 3 ship lengths in front of where her back edge was before moving. Then as a one bank advances the ship 1.41 ship lengths forwards her Front corner will wind up being 2.41 ship lengths forwards of where it was after the K-turn.
If you perform a Forwards Barrel Roll to the outside after completing a bank you wind up advancing about 1.25 ship lengths forwards of where your ships front edge was when you began your move. You also move back towards the median of the azimuth your ship was heading along before the bank.
So all told doing a Right Bank Boost followed by a Right Barrel Roll as far forward as possible advances your ship approximately 3.6 ship lengths.
Again after completing the 2 K-turn the front edge of her ship is only three ship lengths in front of where it's back edge was at the beginning of its move. This means that by using this combo Countess Ryad will complete her move approximately half a ship length behind where she began it FACING THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION!!! AND SHE CAN DO THIS EVERY TURN!!!
There has never been to ship that he's able to do this!
Then on your next turn just do another 2K turn and you've now got in behind your opponents again. Her mid range pilot skill isn't really that big of an issue with this kind of a set up, as you can stop and turn around in place!
Alternatively she can perform a 3 K-turn with this combo, gaining a free evade token, and she will wind up overlapping her starting position facing the opposite direction!
Talk about a nightmare to try to outguess!