Posted in Rumours, Star Wars, Star Wars Legion

Rumours: Star Wars Legion – A Star Wars Miniatures Wargame from FFG

Rumours floating about of a Star Wars miniatures game from Fantasy Flight Game:

Source of this rumour apparently is an email from Alliance, the Asmodee/FFG distributor in the US.

Star Wars: Legion

Epic warfare is an inescapable part of the Star Wars™ universe, and you can lead your troops to victory with Star Wars: Legion™, a two-player miniatures game of thrilling infantry battles in the Star Wars universe! As a miniatures game, Star Wars: Legion invites you to enter the ground battles of the Galactic Civil War as the commander of a unique army filled with troopers, powerful vehicles, and iconic characters. While innovative mechanics for command and control simulate the fog of war and the chaos of battle, the game’s unpainted, easily assembled figures give you a canvas to create any Star Wars army you can imagine.

FFG SWL01 Star Wars: Legion – Core Set $89.95 is the only new info. The quote is the full description.

My take

Would be interesting to see what comes of this. I do enjoy the odd game of Imperial Assault (meaning I have miniatures), and Star Wars is .. well .. Star Wars.

On the other hand, FFG’s recent shot at Wargames – the Runewars Miniatures Game – seemed stillborn to me, both due to overtly fiddly rules and by their decision to not bring people’s existing collection of Descent Miniatures into the game.

There may be an announcement following “the leak” (which looks reasonably authentic, though it could, of course, still be a prank).

Posted in Uncategorized

Book Review – Star Wars: The Weapon of a Jedi by Jason Fry

Book Review The Weapon of a Jedi

The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure offers well-written and well-illustrated, fast-pace action scenes of X-Wing dogfights and lightsaber duels, strung together by a minimal story of, essentially, The Force telling Luke to go from A to B.

It is a good fast-food-read of Star Wars nostalgia and a bit of X-Wing and lightsaber-action, but nothing truly memorable stands out. No unique story is told.


A Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Disney acquired Star Wars and cleared out four decades of books, comics, games and other background material known as the Extended Universe. A few classics regrettably went down with it, but having a clean slate still seems like a good idea.

The novel series “A Journey to Stars Wars: The Force Awakens” is part of the new Disney lore, leading up to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens later this year.

That said, The Weapon of a Jedi, this particular book in the series tells a story set between the original Star Wars movie and The Empire Strikes Back. It holds no secrets, hints or spoilers for things happening after The Return of the Jedi.

The book itself has 184 pages, uses a large font and features several double-page illustrations throughout. It is a premium format with a short story, not a true novel.


The Story of “The Weapon of a Jedi”

The story follows Luke, before as a Rebel pilot – before he ever met Yoda, before he knew the identity of his father – along with C3P0 and R2D2.

The book kicks off with a bit of X-Wing vs. TIE-Fighter action, which I thought was great fun. Ultimately, Luke feels The Force nudging him to visit a backwater planet, and on the backwater planet an ancient temple quarantined by the Empire.

Once Luke finds the temple, he receives a bit of pre-Yoda Jedi-training and must immediately test his new skills, especially with his lightsaber.


The Good

There is a lot to like about this book. This book is clearly meant as a quick, fun read, and it delivers in that.

The writing flows well, the action is exciting and the C3P0 vs. R2D2 banter adds old school Star Wars comic relief. Likewise, the production of the book is great. The grey pages, the added artwork Disney veteran Phil Noto fits and the general visual design make this a very nice book to hold and read.

Thus, before I start nitpicking, I would recommend Jason Fry’s The Weapon of a Jedi to anyone looking for a fun, light Star Wars-read for an afternoon or two.


The Bad

There are a few things that keep the book for being truly excellent.

  • The story, in any sense of the word, is nonexistent. The Force tells Luke to go to this place or that. Luke, after some hesitating, follows and the next action scene occurs. A bit more plotting would have added a great deal.
  • The whole idea of Luke receiving separate Jedi-training, distinct and before he meets with Yoda, for me, does not sit that comfortably with the original trilogy of movies. If scrapping the old Extended Universe meant to clear out inconsistencies, it seems odd to bring them back in from the get-go.
  • It is a brief tale. 184 pages sounds like more than you get, given the large font, plenty of artwork and more. The book is beautifully produced, but with a regular font and less white-space, this story would only fill 40-50 pages. There is an element of making it appear more than it truly is.

Conclusion

I had fun reading the The Weapon of the Jedi and would usually recommend it for Star Wars fans looking for a light read.

The book probably holds little interest for a broader audience, as it really tells no distinct story of its own. There is no room to lose oneself in a fantastic universe or become engrossed with the twists and turns of a thrilling story.

This isn’t what The Weapon of a Jedi aims to do.

This is a book for a quick, fun lightsaber-battle and some nostalgic Star Wars quotes to read about on the subway, which it nails pretty well.

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 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 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.

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: