We’re returning to Scarif in style with the Wave 14 announcement for X-Wing, featuring a selection of Rogue One and Rebels themed releases that I’ve basically been wishlisting since seeing the film. Interestingly, we’re not getting any new ships for the Rebel Alliance, although I think what they are getting will be warmly welcomed by most players. There’s also no sign of any Scum ships as yet, but that’s unsurprising given that we’ve got the Han Solo film on the horizon that will almost inevitably bring us a Scum YT-1300 and other goodies.
There’s a lot here to get hyped about, so let’s dive right in!
This expansion pack brings us a new U-Wing and X-Wing re-paint, in the Partisan black-and-white colour scheme seen in Rogue One and Rebels. These look really sharp, and are easily going to be a fan favourite. There’s no need to talk about stats, actions, or upgrade bars as these are very familiar ships to most X-Wing players, but there is a bundle of new pilots and upgrades in this box. A lot of it is covered up in the box contents spread, but there’s a few snippets we can make out.
Cavern Angel Zealot
While we can’t make out anything like points costs, we know we’re getting a new PS 1 generic for the X-Wing. Presumably this will clock in at least 1 point less than the PS 2 Rookie Pilot, which would open up 5 X-Wing lists as a possibility. As someone who has flown variations on 5 Kihraxz lists in the last, that should be pretty decent, and will be a huge amount of durability if they somehow come in at 19 points allowing for a 1 point Astromech and Integrated Astromech. For exactly that reason, I’m going to predict a 20 point cost for the Cavern Angel Zealot.
· Kullbee Sperado
The first of three new unique X-Wing pilots in this pack – although the only one we can see any details for – Kullbee gives us some insight into a the new modification the X-Wing is receiving.
After you perform a boost or barrel roll action, you may flip your equipped “Servomotor S-foils” upgrade card.
Interesting, given that the X-Wing doesn’t have either the boost or barrel roll action natively. However, peering closely at the limited text we can see on the Servomotor S-foils card, it’s clearly a double-sided upgrade that adds either the barrel roll or boost action to the X-Wing’s action bar. Being able to do this after performing an action will give Kullbee a lot of flexibility, and potentially some Push the Limit shenanigans where you take a boost or barrel roll, flip the card, then Push into the other repositional action.
Servomotor S-foils (Wild speculation warning!)
So, we don’t know for sure what this does, but from close examination it clearly adds the boost and barrel roll icons to the equipping ship’s action bar. The currently theorised wording is something like the below, based on the fragments of text we can currently see…
S-Foils (Closed): Reduce your primary weapon value by 1. Your action bar gains the (boost) action icon. Treat your white (straight) maneuvers as green. At the end of the Combat phase, you may flip this card.
S-Foils (Open): Your action bar gains the (barrel roll) action icon. If you are not stressed, when you reveal a (left turn) 3 or (right turn) 3, you may treat it as a red (left Talon Roll) 3 or (right Talon Roll) 3. At the end of the Combat phase, you may flip this card.
If this is correct, it will be a massive boost to the X-Wing, giving it easy access to a repositional action and some notable enhancements to its dial. S-Foils (Open) will work particularly well on high PS X-Wing aces, giving them a *lot* of flexibility on their final positioning. Combined with Flight Assist Astromech (another copy of which is handily included in this expansion) and the X-Wing has become a very nimble dogfighter!
· Saw Gerrera
When attacking, you may suffer 1 damage to change all of your (focus) results to (crit) results.
A 1 point Crew upgrade, Saw brings a very flavourful “success at any cost” effect to the game. Being able to stack up multiple crits is amazing, but taking a point of damage to do so is a reasonably hefty price to pay. That said, for just 1 point, you can’t underestimate what is essentially an improved Expertise effect at a bargain basement points cost. I anticipate some savage combos with R2-D2 Norra Wexley in the near future.
And let’s not overlook him for Epic either. A CR90 with Saw can pack a huge punch and be able to relatively easily recover the shields it looses. A broadside of Turbolasers or Harpoon Missiles modified by Saw could be a frightening thing to face!
I’m confident Saw is going to see a lot of play, although he’ll be most at home on a ship that can regen the damage he causes.
· Targeting Scrambler
At the start of the Planning phase, you may receive a weapons disabled token to choose a ship at Range 1-3 and assign it the “Scrambled” Condition.
When attacking a ship at Range 1 that is equipped with the “Targeting Scrambler” upgrade, you cannot modify attack dice.
At the end of the combat phase, remove this card.
A 0 point System upgrade, Targeting Scrambler doesn’t have a massive impact, but could be handy for those turns when you know you’re not getting a shot and are likely to be taking some punishment in return. So, mostly useful on the Lambda and U-Wing as primary-arc only large base ships that struggle to turn around in a timely fashion. It’s really pretty situational, but worth considering instead of Collision Detector if you’ve got a System slot sitting open. The start of Planning phase timing is my only real quibble with it, as it clearly flags your intention to your opponent.
Worth the 0 points, but not any more than that!
The TIE Reaper is the TIE-model troop transport seen in Rogue One, following a similar atmospheric-flight optimised design to the TIE Striker. It’s very much a transport ship in role, with only two Crew slots on its upgrade bar by default (although at the very least Major Vermeil has an EPT). It’s also got Focus, Evade, and Jam on its action bar – which judging by the content of the Reaper’s box will dish out Jam tokens rather than the stress dealt by the Epic version of the action.
No word on the dial as yet, although we can see a red 2 turn on the preview spread, which suggests it isn’t going to be the most nimble of ships. That said, it is a small base ship which helps somewhat, and does have access to whatever the Advanced Ailerons card does, so will presumably be able to keep pace with its TIE Striker wingmen.
The PS 6 “ace” for the TIE Reaper, Major Vermeil is a persistent threat to anything that needs to spend its green tokens before he gets to shoot.
When attacking, if the defender does not have a focus or evade token, you may change one of your blank or (focus) results to a (hit) result.
This pairs really nicely with the Jam action, as that will strip tokens away, giving Major Vermeil very consistent dice against most targets without being too action reliant. It also leaves your Crew slots free to support the rest of your squadron, and you’ve got an EPT for whatever seems handy. I’m looking forward to experimenting with the Major, as he could be an (expensive) support ship with some real teeth.
· Death Troopers
After another friendly ship at range 1 becomes the defender, if you are inside the attacker’s firing arc at range 1-3, the attacker receives 1 stress token.
An interesting inversion of the Rebel Captive crew card, Death Troopers are a 2 point double Crew slot upgrade that essentially make whatever ship they’re on have a massive “shoot me first” sign hovering over it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as if you can draw heat into a cheap support ship rather than your real aces, that’s probably points well spent (as Biggs, Captain Rex, and Lowhrrick have been demonstrating for the Rebels for a while). That said, at 2 points and two Crew slots, it’s got a limited number of places it can easily go. TIE Shuttle Bombers, the TIE Reaper, and maybe the Lambda are reasonable options, although the Lambda may struggle to contribute if it’s only got Death Troopers on board.
· Director Krennic
During setup, before the “Place Forces” step, assign the “Optimized Prototype” condition to a friendly Galactic Empire ship with 3 or fewer shields.
· Optimized Prototype
Increase your shield value by 1.
Once per round, when performing a primary weapon attack, you may spend 1 die result to remove 1 shield from the defender. …
At 5 points, Director Krennic doesn’t come cheap. However, he brings some experimental technology to notably buff a Galatic Empire ship in your squad – and note that’s the “Galatic Empire” sub-faction, so your Optimised Prototype can’t be a First Order ship (much to Quickdraw’s disappointment). A combination of a Shield Upgrade and the ability to get use out of blank dice results to strip shields is a very strong boost to your early to mid game.
Spending dice isn’t something we’ve really seen in X-Wing, but it’s a mechanic I’m very familiar with from Armada and an interesting bit of design space. The spend dice to strip shields effect will be particularly good on ships without access to the Target Lock action (so, a lot of TIEs, including both the Reaper and Striker) or where you don’t otherwise have the chance to reroll your dice. It feels like an excellent buff for Darth Vader with Advanced Targeting Computer, giving him a much-needed extra shield and a way of making the most of the blank results he’ll inevitably roll.
That all said, we’ve only seen part of the Optimized Prototype condition card, and it’s possible that it’ll have some extra effect or downside. Krennic is also a significant investment of points and takes up the relatively precious resource of a Crew slot, so you’ll need to build around him rather than it being an option you can just throw into an existing list.
Needless to say, I’m very enthused about what we’ve seen of this Wave so far. I’m very confident that we’ll see more ships added to this Wave (or a “bonus” Wave akin to the Wave 12/13 combination), but even without that this is a real shot in the arm for the X-Wing and the TIE Reaper is a solid crew carrier with some decent offensive output for Imperials. I hope we see something in Saw’s Renegades to give the U-Wing a bit of a boost, as it’s probably the Rebel ship seeing the least play right now, but there’s a few new cards we’ve not got a look at so far. After all, rebellions are built on hope…