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 Imperial Assault, Miniature Painting, Star Wars

Painting Table – Imperial Assault – Dark Vader Part 3 – Final Touches

DarthVaderfullypainted1

Final steps on my Darth Vader miniature included a coat of Citadel Purity Seal, followed by re-application of glossy ‘Ard Coat, notably on the light saber.

I also rebased Darth Vader, adding a little grimdark skull to go with it (if anyone deserves a skull to his feet, it is Darth Vader).

Ready for action!

DarthVaderfullypainted2
vroom-fshhh-bzhhhh

If you missed my earlier articles on painting Darth Vader, you can find them here:

Posted in Imperial Assault, Miniature Painting

Painting Table – Imperial Assault – Dark Vader Part 2 – Light Saber

The next step in painting my Imperial Assault Darth Vader was the light saber.


Step 1 – Red Undercoat

DarthVaderLightSaber1I started with two layers of red over the white base coat of the light saber blade. The first layer in Mephiston Red, the second layer in Evil Sunz Scarlet.


Step 2 – Highlighting the Blade

DarthVaderLightSaber2

Once I had a nice red, I started adding a lighter highlight to the upper and front part of the blade with Wild Rider Red.


Step 3 – Silver Glow Effect

DarthVaderLightSaber3

Another suggestion, which I picked up from YouTube, was to attempt the light saber’s glow effect of the light saber with a line of Rune Fang Steel, a very bright silver, and not a bright red or white.

I went back and forth on this, trying to get it right. I am not 100% happy with it.


One Step Back – Highlights on the Cloak

DarthVaderLightSaber4

I also started adding a red glaze – Citadel’s Bloodletter – to the areas surrounding the light saber, to simulate the glow effect.

The red glazed did show on some areas, notably the glove and arm, but wouldn’t take to the cloak right next to the light saber, which was still to dark.

To help with this, I went back and added more highlights with a mix of black and Fenrisian Grey to the cloak around the light saber to create a basis for the glaze.


Step 4 – Red Glaze

DarthVaderLightSaber5After applying the new highlight to the cloak, I went back and applied several layers of Bloodletter for a red effect on the right side of the miniature.

I also toned down the silver line on the light saber itself.

Next step: rebasing Darth Vader.

Posted in Imperial Assault, Miniature Painting

Painting Table – Imperial Assault – Dark Vader Part 1 – All Black

Onwards with painting my box of Fantasy Flight Games’ Imperial Assault.

I chose Darth Vader as my next project. As I have basically no experience painting black details, I once more turned to Sorastro’s Painting Tutorials for inspiration.


Step 1 – Black Undercoat

PaintingDarthVader1No more than giving the miniature a good coat with Citadel’s black primer.


Step 2 – Highlighting Black

PaintingDarthVader2

Highlighting Darth Vader is where the fun starts. I used a mix of Army Painter Matt Black and Citadel Fenrisian Grey, adding more and more Fenrisian Grey as I went to brighten the highlights (or some more black, when I found the contrast too stark).PaintingDarthVader3


Step 3 – Wash

PaintingDarthVader4b

Once I was happy with the highlights, I let the miniature dry, before giving it a wash with Citadel Nuln Oil.


Step 4 – Adding Details

PaintingDarthVader5

Finally, once the wash had dried, I went back to some of the highlights, this time adding a bit of silver metallic paint into the aforementioned mix. I also used the metallic paint for the belt, the light-saber handle and the chain holding the cloak.

I painted the red (Mephiston Red) and blue (Lotheran Blue) buttons on the chest panel.

Last but not least, I gave the blade of the light saber a coat of Ceramite White in preparation of painting it in a vibrant red.

Posted in Hobby, Imperial Assault, Miniature Painting

Painting Table – Imperial Assault – AT-ST Part 2 – Magnets

Imperial Assault AT-ST

After the initial salt weathering on the AT-ST, I went to work on the details.

  • The weapons were painted with Army Painter black, followed by a think “wet-brush” of chain mail metal and, after drying, a wash of Nuln Oil.
  • The entire miniature got a good wash of Nuln Oil. After the wash had dried, I added a few lines and highlights with GW’s Administratum Grey.
  • I also painted the cockpit windows with layers of Warpstone Glow, Moot Green and Gauss Blaster Green, along with a little bit of black and a white highlight dot.
ATSTScreens
Close-up of the AT-ST cockpit

Magnetising the Hatch & Commander

Another thing I wanted to add to the AT-ST was a magnet to the hatch, so I could swap it out for an old Games Workshop Tank Commander, who would serve as arch-villain General Weiss in my Imperial Assault campaign.

Magnetised bits for the Imperial Assault AT-ST
Magnetised bits for the Imperial Assault AT-ST

For this, I simply filed down the peg of the hatch-bit, so I could use a 2mm magnet and still have the hatch close.

I added a similar magnet to a Tank Commander and glued a counter-part magnet into the hole on top of the AT-ST, normally used to plug in the hatch.

General Weiss Conversion
“Surrender, Rebel Scum!”

There is obviously still some clean-up to do, not to mention the base. However, I am very happy how my AT-ST is turning out so far …

Posted in Hobby, Imperial Assault, Miniature Painting, Star Wars

Painting Table – Imperial Assault – AT-ST Part 1 – Salt Weathering

After finishing the Trandoshan Hunters, I wanted to get started on the AT-ST from the Imperial Assault Game.

While I aim for a traditional grey look for the Imperial walker, I decided to try out a weathering technique I have never tried before: Salt Weathering.

The idea is the use salt (of the more coarse kind) as a random masking-material to create a weathering effect. I hope to achieve a rusted, worn-down look.

If it works, that is.


Step 1 – Brown Undercoat

P1040765I started by spraying the miniature with a coat of Citadel Mournfang Brown.

This should provide a brown, “rust-like” colour to shine through the grey painting of the AT-ST thanks to the salt weathering.


Step 2 – Preparing the Salt

salt and tools

While the undercoat dried, I collected the materials for the salt weathering:

  • Rock/coarse-grain salt
  • A bowl (to catch salt sprinkled over the miniature)
  • Some water
  • A well-used, older brush

Step 3 – Applying Salt to the Miniature

salttwoOnce the miniature was dry, I applied water to areas I wanted to weather. Afterwards, I sprinkled the wet parts with salt, which sticks to the moist areas.

saltononeI thought I was quite liberal in the application of salt, possibly overdoing it.

It certainly felt like a lot of salt at this stage. In retrospect, I probably could have added a bit more.


Step 4 – Grey Basecoat

Imperial Assault AT-ST

After everything was dry, I sprayed the miniature with the actual basecoat I wanted to have for the final paint job. In this case, I used the basic matt grey from Humbrol, which seems like a good shade for Imperial vehicles.


Step 5 – Removing the Salt

Imperial Assault Painted AT ST

Finally, the magic trick. Removing the salt with a soft brush to reveal parts of the brown under the grey basecoat.

Having never done this before, I was excited to see how this would turn out and was very pleased with the result. I expected to do worse on my first try.

imperialassault weathering two

That said, the weathering effect wasn’t nearly as excessive as I feared.

I am may have to be careful to keep the weathering clearly visible as I start to paint the miniature …

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 Imperial Assault, Miniature Painting, Star Wars

Painting Table – Imperial Assault Trandoshan Hunters – Completed

Imperial Assault Trandoshan Hunters

I have been busy finishing my Trandoshan Hunters for FFG’s Imperial Assault.

The main steps were all laid out in my first article. What was left to do where some small highlights, for example in the eyes, a bit of cleaning up and re-basing the miniatures on Citadel 25mm bases with a bit of scenery.

Voila! My Trandoshan Hunters ready to hunt down some Rebels.

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Those are definitely a lot of fun to paint. I cannot recommend them enough!

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

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

newTIEFighterforceawakens
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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 …