Posted in Star Wars, T-70 X-Wing, X-Wing

X-Wing: Sabine’s TIE-Fighter & Resistance Heroes

It’s been a while since I played X-Wing and, frankly, I lost track of recent releases.

But with an opportunity to play a few games over the coming weeks, I bought the first shiny new ship that caught my attention – a Rebel TIE Fighter! – and will get a chance to fly it soon. Continue reading “X-Wing: Sabine’s TIE-Fighter & Resistance Heroes”

Posted in Star Wars, T-70 X-Wing, Tournament, X-Wing

X-Wing Tournament List – Poe & Wedge: X-Wing Aces Old & New

xwingnovember2

Will the new T-70 X-Wing bring back (a version of) the X-Wing to the X-Wing tournament scene?

It’s a question I have been asking myself. Now, at a local tournament, I ran a test with the following Rebels Squadron, featuring the top X-Wing aces of two eras: Poe Dameron and Wedge Antilles.


X-Wing Aces Old & New

My 99 points Rebels X-Wing tournament list:

  • Wedge Antilles (X-Wing) with BB-8 (2), Push the Limit (3) and Plasma Torpedos (3) – 38 points
  • Poe Dameron (T-70 X-Wing) with R5-P9 (3), Lone Wolf (2) and Autothrusters (2) – 38 points
  • Bandit Squadron Pilot (Z-95 Headhunter) – 12 points
  • Bandit Squadron Pilot (Z-95 Headhunter) – 12 points

To Hit Hard, To Survive the End Game

There is a nice symmetry in the list, with two X-Wing aces at 38 points and two Bandits, who generally serve to purpose of being a nuisance to my opponent.

Though the two X-Wing aces cost me the same amount of points, they fly very differently on the table.


Wedge Antilles

  • Wedge Antilles is not nearly as survivable as Poe Dameron. He rarely survived the games.

He did deal massive amounts of damage and I was really, really positively surprised with the BB-8 + Push the Limit combination. I knew it was good. I didn’t know how good. It makes the X-Wing extremely maneouverable (for an X-Wing) and allowed Wedge Antilles to deliver his trademark killer-attacks right where he needed them to be. With or without Wedge Antilles, this is a combination I will certainly use again (with a T-70 X-Wing Red Squadron Veteran or even Poe Dameron himself).


Poedam

  • Poe Dameron in this build was the exact opposite to Wedge Antilles, as far as X-Wing-builds go. With Autothrusters, re-rolls from Lone Wolf and the ability to regenerate shields, he was meant (and usually was) built for the end game, the last ship on the table, where he excelled at wars of attrition.

Again, I am happy to report that Poe Dameron served excellently in this faction.

In one game, circling with an equally mobile and nearly as robust IG-88 Aggressor, I was able to wear my opponent down through many, many turns of shooting and shield-regenerating.

It wasn’t the finest game of X-Wing ever played, but it shows Poe Dameron‘s potential for the long game, assuming he does not die early in the game to a concentrated barrage.


Final Thoughts?

Did I win the tournament?

No. I was beaten soundly by a Scum-&-Villainy-Swarm full off M3-A Interceptors and only just managed to eke out a small, technical victory by points against a Squadron of Y-Wings with Twin Laser Turrets and Corran Horn in an E-Wing.

That said, both X-Wing were tons of fun to fly. They were also effective in their own right and complemented each other well.

A fun list, and I will definitely fly something along those lines again!

Posted in Scum and Villainy, Star Wars, Unboxing, X-Wing

Unboxing – X-Wing Scum & Villainy StarViper – Part 2

X-Wing Miniatures StarViperThis is the second part of my StarViper unboxing. In the first part of this article, I talked about ship as a model, its basic statline and maneuver dial.

This second part examines the named pilots and upgrade cards – everything to really tool up and customise your StarViper for a space battle!


The Unique StarViper Pilots

princexizorguristarviperThe StarViper Expansion Pack for the X-Wing Miniatures game comes with four pilot cards: The generic Black Sun Enforcers (pilot skill 1) and Black Sun Vigo (pilot skill 3), as well as the Prince Xizor, leader of the Black Sun himself, and his bodyguard and human replica droid Guri.

Prince Xizor is the top pilot for the StarViper, though his pilot skill of 7 is slightly below most top pilots of other ships. His ability to palm off damage to nearby ships – and inverse Draw Their Fire – is very thematic, both for the crime prince himself and for the Scum and Villainy faction as a whole.

That said, Rebels are probably still better suited for squadrons using Draw-Their-Fire-like abilities, as they have more ships that can regenerate shields.

Guri has the more interesting ability, I believe. Her ability to gain a free focus up and close to the enemy synergises very well with the StarViper‘s role as a close-combat dogfighter and frees up an action to use for barrel roll and/or boost (with abilities like Push the Limit)

Both Guri and Prince Xizor can take an Elite Talent.


Scum & Villainy Upgrade Cards

Let’s start with the cards unique to the Scum and Villainy faction.
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Virago is the StarViper‘s unique title. It can only by used by Prince Xizor and Guri and adds the ability to equip both Illicit and System Upgrades to the ship, opening up a lot of customisability.

Bodyguard, featuring art work for Guri, is a card obviously designed for Guri. It works well with Guri‘s ability to generate a free focus. It makes Guri a nice companion, especially for large ships (more so than Prince Xizor), allowing her to boost the other ship’s agility. I am tempted to try with with, say, a Firespray 31.

Inertial Dampeners is a one-use-only card, though it can be a nice surprise to stall out a pursuing ship. It is also a cheap upgrade.


Generic New Upgrade Cards

Upgrade cards from this expansion that anyone can use.

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Autothrusters – the one Modification that brought arc dodgers back into the game against turrets. These days, it is impossible to go to an X-Wing tournament and not see Autothrusters. Arguably. this upgrade – and you get two in the expansion – sold FFG more StarViper expansion packs as the ship itself.

Accuracy Corrector – if Autothrusters are amazing, Accuracy Corrector is a System Upgrade without a place, at the moment. For one, the few ships currently able to take System Upgrades all have plenty of attack dice, making two guaranteed hits less exciting. For another, System Upgrades, rare as they are, include some amazing cards. The Accuracy Corrector is also rather expensive.

Hull Upgrade – A card seen before and, in this expansion, arguably meant to go on Prince Xizor‘s ship, potentially making him a bit more tanky.


The Final Two Upgrades

Yes. Two more. There really is a lot of fun things in the StarViper expansion pack!

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Calculation – a Elite Talent featuring Prince Xizor himself (don’t expect to get this from other expansions anytime soon. Yet another way to use of Focus Tokens (the Episode VII starter set added a few of those too). Situationally powerful and cheap, but I would not use it over abilities like Predator.

Ion Torpedos – a secondary weapon I have not used. This torpedo has great potential to wreak havoc among swarms of small ships. Imagine taking out somebody like Howlrunner with the Ion Torpedo and (!) ionizing her swarm. Still, 5 points is a lot to gamble on a one-shot weapon.

It should be noted that the expansion also comes with 7 (yes, seven!) Ion Tokens, in case the Ion Torpedo (the only ion weapon in the expansion) works as intended!

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Final Thoughts

Autothruster modification cards put the StarViper expansion pack on the shopping list of every X-Wing tournament player. Yet even ignoring the Autothrusters, I feel this expansion offers a lot for budding Scum-and-Villainy-players.

  • It offers a very nimble, elite ship with a cool, unique look
  • It is bulging with unique upgrade cards and abilities. Though most (except Autothrusters) may not be the top-shelf tournament stuff, they offer some interesting and fluffy builds. With the possible exception of the Accuracy Corrector, no upgrade here seems bad.

The StarViper is definitely an expansion worth buying!

Posted in Scum and Villainy, Star Wars, X-Wing

Unboxing – X-Wing Scum & Villainy StarViper – Part 1

X-Wing Miniatures StarViper

The StarViper, signature ship of the Black Sun elite in the Star Wars universe, is a very unique and well-designed ship, both in its looks and how it plays on the table, even if the expansion is perhaps often bought mainly for its upgrade cards.

There is a lot to talk about, so I will split this unboxing of the StarViper Expansion Pack for the X-Wing Miniatures game. into two parts.

  • This first part talks about the ship itself, its model and dial.
  • The second part talks about the special pilots and upgrade cards.

The StarViper miniature

StarViper Size Comparison X-Wing

Let’s talk about the StarViper ship as a miniature.

The StarViper is an elite ship, and its design and size give it a suitable presence on the table. It is one of the larger ships on a small base in the X-Wing miniatures game, though its vertical design make the model far less wobbly or prone to snagging other miniatures than, for example, the likewise large (for a small base) K-Wing.

The StarViper also has that somewhat intangible “Star-Wars-look”, that (in my humble opinion), not all Scum and Villainy ships managed to capture.

It certainly is, to me, a big visual draw to building a Scum and Villainy squadron.


StarViper: An Elite Dogfighter

X-Wing StarViper unboxing

The StarViper is a high-end dog fighter. It comes with 3 attack, 3 agility, 4 hull and a shield (!), as well as the ability to both boost, barrel roll and target-lock, putting it on par with a TIE-Interceptor with hull upgrade, shield upgrade and targeting computer (minus the ability to evade).

At 25 points for the most basic pilot – the Black Sun Enforcers – it is not a cheap ship. Its excellent mobility and reasonable resilience make the StarViper an excellent platform for an elite Scum-and-Villainy-arc-dodger.

Moreover, any StarViper can equip a torpedo, giving the ship the option for some extra punch. Curiously though, the StarViper cannot, by default, use the Scum and Villainy faction’s trademark illicit upgrades.


The StarViper’s Manoeuver Dial

Segnor's Loop StarViper Dial

If the StarViper has an excellent statline for a nimble dog-fighter, it’s manoeuver dial is just as great.

It can perform all speed 1 and speed 2 maneuvers, making it extremely mobile in close quarters. Many of them are also green maneuvers, allowing the StarViper to shed stress relatively easily.

The StarViper can also cover distance with a straight 4.

Most notably, however, it can use the Segnor’s Loop maneuver, a new manoeuver first introduced to the X-Wing Miniatures game with the Scum and Villainy faction (though the Episode VII TIE/Fo-Fighters since learned to copy this trick).


Part 1 Summary

In summary, I have to say I really like the StarViper. It is a unique-looking ship, which – especially in absence of a large ship like the Slave I – makes a splendid centre-piece for a Scum-and-Villainy-squadron.

The StarViper clearly feels right at home in the thick of things, dodging and weaving around enemy ships at close range.

In part 2 of this unboxing, I will therefore take a look at some of the upgrades and named pilots of this expansion, seeing if the best pilots in the StarViper can match the game’s more famous arc dodgers like Soontir Fel or Tycho Celchu.

Posted in Star Wars, T-70 X-Wing, X-Wing

Episode VII X-Wing Rebels Test Squadron – Part 1 – Poe Dameron

X-Wing Miniatures Force Awakens

With the new X-Wing The Force Awakens starter set sitting in my gaming-shelf, I decided to try out some of my new toys.

I made the following Rebels X-Wing list and took it for a game at the club. This is clearly not a tournament list or anything of this sort. The idea here was to fill the list with as many of the new Episode VII Rebels toys from the starter as possible.

Here is my 100 points X-Wing Episode VII Rebels test list:

  • Poe Dameron (T-70 X-Wing) with R5-P9 and Adrenaline Rush (35 pts)
  • Tycho Celchu (A-Wing) with A-Wing Test Pilot, Chardaan Refit, Push the Limit and Wired (28 pts)
  • Rookie Pilot (X-Wing) with BB-8 and Flechette Torpedos (25 pts)
  • Bandit Squadron Pilot (Z-95 Headhunter) without upgrades (12 pts)

I played against an Imperial squadron of elite pilots in nimble, arc-dodging ships, including Echo (TIE-Phantom) and Carnor Jax (TIE-Interceptor).

This three-part series will detail my thoughts on

  • Poe Dameron and the T-70 X-Wing
  • Tycho Celchu with Wired
  • The Rookie Pilot with BB-8

Poe Dameron and the new T-70 X-Wing

P1040876

The Logic behind this Build

Poe Dameron presented a bit of a conflict for me.

One one hand, I wanted to test/get the most out of his pilot ability. An obvious, often recommended synergy is his ability with R5-P9, who allows Poe Dameron to use his “saved” focus token to regain shield at the end of each turn.

One the other hand, I also wanted to try the new Tallan Roll of the T-70 X-Wing, a red maneuver that prevents the focus action (and doesn’t sit well with abilities like Push the Limit). I opted for Adrenaline Rush to have it both ways in one turn.


My Thoughts after Playing

Tallan Roll: The Tallan Roll is by far my favourite novelty of the T-70 X-Wing. It allowed Poe Dameron to keep slippery Imperials like Echo in his sights, allowed him to dodge Carnor Jax and his deadly short-range fire and kept my opponent on edge.

Part of the maneuvers appeal may be its novelty, which may wear off as people get used to it, start predicting it, but so far I am loving it.

Doing the Tallan Roll just once with an Adrenaline Rush was definitely not enough and I played the maneuver a few more times, stress or no stress, for good results.

R5-P9: I was less impressed with R5-P9, despite the obvious synergies. I believe I only used the droid to repair a shield once in the game.

Partly, this was due to the repeated Tallan Rolls, which denied Poe Dameron a focus token in the first place, which in turn was possibly a result of flying against a squadron of nimble arc-dodgers.

I can see how Poe Dameron‘s pilot ability and R5-P9 could work a lot better, especially against less agile ships, especially those with a turret.

It just has not worked for me like this in practice.


Final Thoughts

The T-70 X-WingPoe Dameron in particular, represent a bit of a conundrum:

  • Should I equip Poe Dameron for resilience, using focus, in ability and a suitable astromech to keep him healthy?
  • Or should I play him for maneuverability, getting the most out of Tallan Rolls and boost actions to dance around asteroids or enemy ships?

Flying an X-Wing like a far more nimbler ship is certainly fun, and the pay-off for a well-placed maneuver with an X-Wing is nothing to sneeze at, even if Poe Dameron may not by the wisest T-70 X-Wing pilot to choose for this approach.

The former, more tanky approach might prove to be the more reliable one, especially if ships like the VT-49 Decimator or YT-2400 are on the table.

It is a tricky choice, but arguably also a sign of excellent game-design behind this ship.

Posted in Star Wars, T-70 X-Wing, The Force Awakens, Unboxing, X-Wing

Unboxing – X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set – T-70 X-Wing

new t-70 x-wing star wars
New T-70 X-Wing (left) and old X-Wing (right)

In this installment of unboxing the new X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set, after looking at the TIE/FO Fighter, I will examine the new T-70 X-Wing.

The box comes with one T-70 X-Wing miniature. Unlike the TIE/FO Fighter, which is largely a cool variant paint-job, the T-70 X-Wing clearly is a different model with a longer cockpit, a more square nose and, most notably, a split turbine on each side in the place of two smaller ones on the old-school X-Wing.

I like what Disney did with the ship’s design. It is still clearly recognisable an X-Wing, while giving one of the most iconic designs in movie history an update.

I am looking forward to seeing it fly in the new Star Wars movie.


A New & Improved X-Wing

Old X-Wing vs. new X-Wing

Like the new TIE/FO Fighter, the new T-70 X-Wing packs a lot more umpf per point than its predecessor.

Comparing the basic Pilot-Skill-1 pilots, we see the T-70 X-Wing brings …

XW7-T70dial

  • One extra Shield
  • The ability to Boost
  • The new Tech upgrade-slot
  • The ability to do the new Tallan Roll maneuver
  • All-green maneuvers at Speed 2, where the old X-Wing only has the straight maneuver at Speed 2 as a green.

For all this, the T-70 X-Wing costs 3 points more at the same pilot skill. That is not a lot of points for all this.

While an extra shield makes the fighter slightly more robust, the main emphasis with the T-70 X-Wing appears to be all about improving maneuverability.

This is clearly different from the changes to the Episode VII TIE-Fighters, which – already maneuverable – ultimately gained more tricks to deal a bit more damage.

As with the First Order pilots, the new T-70 pilot also display the new logo of the New Alliances, essentially a colour-inversion of the old Rebels-logo.

NewT70XWingPilotsbackside
New Alliance (left) and Rebel (right) pilot cards

The T-70 X-Wing Pilots

There are four different T-70 X-Wing pilots included in the core set.
NewT70XWingPilots2

  • The Blue Squadron Novice is the cheapest pilot with a pilot skill of 2. Unlike the non-unique TIE/FO pilots, there is only one card included (as there is only one miniature for the T-70).
  • The Red Squadron Veteran, for 26 points, comes with a pilot skill of 4 and the ability to take an Elite Talent, one of the most versatile and popular upgrade-slots in the game.
    NewT70XWingPilots

.Two unique pilots in the box are the “Blue Ace” and Poe Dameron, the latter arguable the only true “named” character in the box (perhaps aside from BB-8 below).

  • The “Blue Ace” is an odd entry, bringing even more unpredictable movement to the T-70 X-Wing, but losing, compared to the Red Squadron Veteran, the ability to take an Elite Talent, making him far less versatile.
  • Finally Poe Dameron is the star of this selection, with a pilot ability reminiscent of Luke Skywalker’s built-in defence from the original core set, if more versatile. His incentive to “safe” a focus token is a nice new twist on the tokens/action rule.

New Upgrade Cards

TheForceAwakensAstromechs

Of course, the new T-70 X-Wing can take the Weapons Guidance and, where applicable, the Wired Elite Talents I already talked about. The new astromechs are, of course, unique to the New Alliance/Rebels double-faction.

  • R5-X3 is cheap. As with Wired, I like these new, more affordable upgrades. It has a place in this box, particularly for beginners, allowing you to make one piloting-mistake without consequences. Perhaps there also are some advanced strategies to use the droid and asteroids to your advantage.
  • BB-8 is already a Star Wars fan-favourite from the movies, and the rolling robot brings his signature ability to an X-Wing he joins.

Because BB-8‘s ability triggers before the actual green maneuver is executed, a popular combination is to combine him with the Elite Talent of Push the Limit to perform two actions (one of them the BB-8 barrel roll) before the green maneuver clears the stress gained from Push the Limit.


Final Thoughts …

I like the look of the new T-70 X-Wing.

As with the TIE/FO Fighter, I like how FFG is pushing the established X-Wing mechanics in creative new ways to keep the game interesting.

I am a bit disappointed how the new T-70 X-Wing so clearly overshadows the venerable and iconic old X-Wing, which is already a rare sight on many tables.

That one gripe aside, I am excited to get this ship on the table and try the new tricks!

Posted in Star Wars, The Force Awakens, TIE/FO-Fighter, X-Wing

Unboxing – X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set – TIE/FO-Fighters

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New TIE/FO Fighter (left) and old TIE Fighter (right)

I had a look at the rulebooks & tokens in the new X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set. Time to examine the ships, starting with the new TIE/FO Fighters.

The core set comes with two of the new TIE/FO Fighters. The miniature itself appears to be identical to the old TIE Fighters, though the paint job is obviously different: white panels, black structure, red cockpit and a red accent on the roof.

It also seems to be a cleaner paint job than the old TIE Fighter without a dark wash.

Let me just say that they are very nice models. In my opinion, they will also mix nicely with old models in a black-and-grey squadron or swarm.


A New & Improved TIE Fighter

NewTIEFighteroldTIEFighterCompare2

The new TIE/FO Fighter also is a better ship than the old TIE Fighter. The New Order apparently takes slightly more care of its pilots than the Empire.

TIE FO maneouver DialComparing the basic Pilot-Skill-1 pilots, we see the TIE/FO Fighter brings …

  • One shield
  • Target Lock
  • The new tech-upgrade slot
  • The ability to do Segnor Loops (first seen in the Scum & Villany’s IG-2000).

For all this, the TIE/FO Fighter costs 3 points more at the same pilot skill. That is not a lot of points for all this

Shields and maneuverability are nice, but it is the new Target Lock I find most intriguing. Obviously, the TIE/FO Fighter still cannot take missiles or rockets, but FFG based several pilot abilities of unique pilots in the TIE/FO Fighter‘s Target Lock.

Also, as the First Order is a new (sub-)faction, the new pilot cards come with new backside artwork.

NewTIEFOFighterPilots4
First Order (left) and Imperial (right) pilot cards

The TIE/FO Fighter Pilots

There are nine six different TIE/FO Fighter pilots included in the core set.

NewTIEFOFighterPilots3

  • The Epsilon Squadron Pilot is the cheapest, with a pilot skill of 1.
  • The Zeta Squadron Pilot comes with a Pilot Skill of 3 for one additional point, mirroring the old TIE Fighter’s Obsidian Squadron Pilot.

Two copies each are included in the X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set.

NewTIEFOFighterPilots2

  • The Omega Squadron Pilot is the best non-unique pilot. His ability to take an Elite Talent makes him quite versatile. Parallels the old Black Squadron Pilot.
  • “Zeta Ace” is a unique pilot, who can also take an Elite Talent and may use the longer 2-movement (8 cm) for barrel rolls for extra maneuverability.

NewTIEFOFighterPilotsFinally the top pilots.

  • “Epsilon Leader” can remove stress from (all!) nearby ships at the start of the Combat phase (after actions). An extremely useful ability to have, both in a TIE/FO Fighter swarm or near pilot/ship-builds that build up stress.
  • “Omega Ace” finally draws on the TIE/FO Fighter‘s Target Lock with a potentially devastating ability to score guaranteed critical hits. It will take some synergy with other ships and Elite Talents (e.g. Expose, Push the Limit) to pull off. If it works however, “Omega Ace” can swing a battle in a single turn.

New Upgrade Cards

WeaponGuidanceXwingUpgradeA total of five upgrade cards are in the new core set, two of which can be used by the TIE/FO Fighter.

  • Weapons Guidance is the first Tech upgrade in the game – likely a new type of upgrade to define all Episode VII+ ships, similar to how Illicit Modifications define the Scum & Villainy faction. It adds another offensive use to a focus token. Interesting, but – at first glance – hardly overwhelming.
  • Wired is a 1 point Elite talent. Being cheap as it is and the prevalence of stress in the game, I can see many, many good uses for this, though probably not with one of the TIE/FO Fighter pilots from the core set.

Final Thoughts…

I like what they did with the new TIE/FO Fighters (and not just the mean black visuals). They are no longer quite as “swarm-friendly” as basic TIE Fighters.

However, they are still cheap and open to a lot of potential trickery and synergy-builds, something I always enjoyed playing X-Wing.

Time to work on some squadron ideas …

Posted in Star Wars, The Force Awakens, Unboxing, X-Wing

Unboxing – X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set – Books & Tokens

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At long last, the new X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set with the shiny new Star Wars Episode VII ships arrived in the UK! It has been a long wait.

Let’s open the box!


The Rulebooks

The Force Awakens X-Wing Rules

Along with a bit of advertising for other products from Fantasy Flight Games, the new X-Wing starter set come with three separate booklets.

1. A Learn-To-Play-Guide, which is nearly identical to the one included in the old – or “classic” – X-Wing starter set, though a few rules have been revised.

2. A Rules-Reference-Booklet, which is a new addition that was not included in the old X-Wing starter set. It includes (almost) all the rules, which have been added to X-Wing in the various releases since the original starter set in 2012, for example the rules for Ion Weapons, Large Ships, Cloaking and more.

Funny enough, it does not include the recent “SLAM”-rules from the K-Wing, which were plagued by unclear wordings, revisions and nerfs.

Though the old X-Wing starter did not include a comprehensive Rules Reference, many newer FFG-games, such as Imperial Assault, do include them these days.

3. A Mission Guide with three introductory missions using (only) the contents from the starter-box.


The Cardboard

TFAXWingStarterCardboardThe new starter comes with four card-board sheets full of tokens and game-materials, including plenty of tokens for the missions (right side).

One new addition is the “initiative token” (upper right corner), which didn’t exist in the old X-Wing starter. Unfortunately, both sides feature the new X-Wing. Having a TIE-Fighter on the flip side for Imperial players would have been nice.

Another minor novelty is the new set of unique asteroids.

TFAXWingStarterCardboard2

Also included are – of course – the new manoeuver dials. I will talk about those in more detail when I talk about the new ships.


To Be Continued …

Read more about the X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set:

Posted in Star Wars, The Force Awakens, X-Wing

New TIE/FO Fighter for the X-Wing Miniatures Game

New TIE/FO Fighter expansion

Just like the T-70 X-Wing, the new TIE/FO Fighter gets its own little expansion pack with the coming releases for the X-Wing Miniatures Game.

Those names will take some getting used to. Not nearly as elegant, I think, as … say … TIE-Intercepter or TIE-Advanced.


New TIE/FO Fighter Pilots

One pilot exclusive to the TIE/FO Fighter expansion will be the “Omega Leader”.

Omega Leader

Similar to the top pilot from the new X-Wing core set, the “Omega Ace”, the ability of the “Omega Leader” makes use of the new TIE/FO Fighters ability to use target locks, despite having no ability to carry torpedos or missiles.

Giving target-lock to a ship without missiles and only two attack dice is, on the face of it, a minor advantage, but adding more unique abilities based on the TIE/FO Fighter’s target lock could potentially change things up in interesting ways.


New Upgrade Cards

The TIE/FO Fighter expansion seems to include two unique new upgrade cards, including the second tech upgrade seen in the game: the Comm Relay.

Comm Relay Tech Upgrade

There is also a new elite talent, Juke, which seems to read as follows:

Small ships only

When attacking, if you have an evade token, you may change 1 of the defender’s [evade]-result to a [eye]-result. 

2 points

So … an offensive use for evade tokens and the ability to stash one evade token. Interesting stuff.

Fantasy Flight Games clearly put a lot of thought into this, to present players with new and unique puzzles for finding interesting synergies and squadrons.

I am looking forward to this!

Posted in Star Wars, The Force Awakens, X-Wing

New X-Wing T-70 Expansion for X-Wing Miniatures Game

X-Wing Miniatures Force Awakens

It was probably no real news. As everyone expected, Fantasy Flight Games today announced individual expansion packs for the T-70 X-Wing and TIE/Fo Fighter included in the new X-Wing Core Set for The Force Awakens.

Like the old individual X-Wing and TIE-Fighter expansion, these come with different pilots and upgrades, which are not included in the starter set.

Let’s have a look at the new T-70 X-Wing.


The T-70 X-Wing Expansion

The T-70 X-Wing Expansion Set

The expansion seems similar to other small-ship expansions we’ve seen.


New T-70 X-Wing Pilots

Fantasy Flight Games previewed on new pilot for the new T-70 X-Wing, who will be exclusive to this expansion: “Red Ace”.

Red Ace X-Wing
T-70 X-Wing “Red Ace”

Definitely a cool pilot. A lot more powerful than old X-Wings and, obviously, works very well with anything that allows you to regenerate shields, say R2-D2.

Sadly, I am not a huge name of the fairly generic names of these pilots.


New Upgrade Cards

FFGs also previewed more new upgrades.

Integrated Astromech

Some very cool stuff.

Posted in K-Wing, Star Wars

K-Wing at the Tournament – Part 2

X-Wing K-Wing TournamentYesterday, I posted the first half of this two-part article about my experience testing the new X-Wing K-Wing, specifically this Rebels list, at a local tournament.

This is part 2.


Match 4 – Y-Wings & Stress

In my fourth match, I went against another Squadron of Y-Wings (these ships are really having a comeback, it seems).
R3-A2
Unlike the first Y-Wing list I fought, this one also used Twin Laser Turrets, albeit with a focus on stressing the opponent (i.e. me), with BLT-A4 Y-Wings (firing both primary & secondary weapons), Twin Laser Turrets and R3-A2 to pile stress tokens onto the opponent (i.e. me).

It was not the worst match-up for my list. Y-Wings are easy to catch with an alpha strike. Yet despite killing two early on, the remaining Y-Wings still won the war of attrition.

The amount of stress tokens on the table was insane.


Match 5 – Boba Fett & Scum

My only match against a Scum and Villainy list, specifically a Lone Wolf Boba Fett in a Firespray-31 and two M3-A Scyk Interceptors with Heavy Laser Cannons.

scum and villainy Boba FettFrom the four games I lost, this one was the one I was closest to winning.

The missile strike of my Z-95 Headhunters put the hurt on Boba Fett, while Miranda Doni‘s Twin Laser Turret killed the Scyk Interceptors quickly enough.

Still, Boba Fett with Lone Wolf proved to be a formidable end-game-opponent, far more so than Miranda Doni with the odd blocking Bandit Squadron Pilot.

As in Match 4, the attrition war of the late game turned against me, ultimately costing me the match.


Final Thoughts on my K-Wing List

I love the look and the general “WW2 Bomber”-feel of the K-Wing. In my opinion, it is as a true Star Wars beauty of strange ship design.

I also believe Fantasy Flight dropped the ball on the rules-design for the K-Wing.

The K-Wing does not work much better as a bomber – even with the new SLAM – and does not hold a candle to ships like the B-Wing as a heavy jouster.

The Twin Laser Turrets are nice, but probably work even better on other ships, notably the Y-Wing, so the K-Wing risks being yet another X-Wing Miniatures expansion that people will mostly buy for this upgrade, not for the ship itself.

Posted in K-Wing, Star Wars, X-Wing

K-Wings, SLAM, Bombs and a Nerf

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?

K-Wing SLAM ActionThe 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.

swx33-slam-action-diagram2
The K-wing races past an Imperial squadron, dropping Seismic Charges in front of a half-dozen TIEs.

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.

Slam action


Closing Thoughts

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.