Last night I got to play against a rebel 5 ship list featuring Tarn Mison, one of the least popular named pilots in X-Wing. He is seriously underrated.
For the unfamiliar, his ability is that whenever a ship declares an attack against him, he may acquire a target lock on that ship. He’s a natural partner for the R7 droid, which allows you (once per turn) to spend a target lock defensively to force your opponent to reroll attack dice of your choosing. Combined, they’re a mere 25 squad points.
I was flying a Fat Han list, and my opponent flew Tarn very aggressively. Having flown X-Wings for a while, I know how fragile they can be, and I really wanted to deprive his squad of Tarn’s 3 and 4 dice attacks. But every time I considered it, two possibilities ran through my head:
(1) I land a great attack, and am forced to reroll all my dice, turning it into a mediocre attack. I could have shot something else instead without the nerfed dice.
(2) I get mediocre attack dice, and Tarn chooses to keep his Target Lock, using it to modify his return attack. An X-Wing at Range 1 with Focus and Target Lock is exceptionally scary. (Tarn’s low Pilot Skill really pays off here.)
Neither outcome was particularly good, and with 5 hit points, Tarn would take multiple rounds of shooting to kill. There were always better options on the board. And that’s what makes Tarn the anti-Biggs. Rather than being a ship you have to shoot at, Tarn becomes a ship you’re best off not attacking.
He has his weaknesses, of course. Against lower Pilot Skill ships (BBBBZ) he poses less offensive threat. Squads that can put out enough damage to kill him before he can return fire (Howlrunner with Black Squad swarm, 4x Dagger B-Wing) should clear his 3 red dice off early. Arc dodgers dodge arcs. But, you can’t expect a 25 point ship to beat everything in the meta. All in all, a pretty solid value.