Category Archives: X-Wing

X-Wing Tournament 18/10/15

X-Wing Miniatures game logo

 

On 18th October I took part in a casual X-Wing Tournament at LVL Up in Bournemouth. This wasn’t part of the standard organised play supported by FFG, there wasn’t a winter kit on the line and it wasn’t Store Championship (since they won’t restart until next year). However, prize support on the day was still pretty awesome-

  • 1st Place-  £30.00 Store Vouchers
  • 2nd Place- £20.00 Store Vouchers
  • 3rd Place- £10 Store Vouchers
  • Last Place- Wooden Spoon and £5.00 Vouchers
  • Quickest Win- Set of Acrylic Movement Templates.

I wasn’t originally going to be playing as I was busy but a last minute cancellation meant that I was free. As I wasn’t going to be playing and owing to a pretty full on few months i’ve only managed to play 2 games since the release of Wave 7, one with Tri-Advanced and the other with TLT BTL Y-Wings. Owing to my lack of confidence with the Tri-Advanced I decided that the Y-Wings were the safer choice.

My List was this-

  • Gold Squadron Pilot, BTL-A4, R2 Astromech, Twin Laser Turrets- 25 points
  • Gold Squadron Pilot, BTL-A4, R2 Astromech, Twin Laser Turrets- 25 points
  • Gold Squadron Pilot, BTL-A4, R2 Astromech, Twin Laser Turrets- 25 points
  • Gold Squadron Pilot, BTL-A4, R2 Astromech, Twin Laser Turrets- 25 points

This came in at an even 100 points. I know that it’s s strong list in the meta and most importantly it’s nice and easy to use and since i’m out of practice thats something that I appreciate. I went back and forth over whether to take the BTL Title, I like the fact that it gives an extra shot with the primary weapon but being restricted to the primary arc limits the general effectiveness of the TLT. In the end I went with it just because I really like the fact that I can, if all goes well, roll 32 attack dice in one turn.

The tournament had a reasonable showing, with 12 players showing up to play. There was a good split of Rebels and Imperials, although just the 1 Scum list that I saw. There was also a nice variety of list types, from the exceptionally strong BBBBZ to the more varied Whisper, Carnor Jax and 2 Academy TIEs. I knew that I was ‘that guy’ because of the list I was fielding but I also know that TLT isn’t as scary as many people think and that the BTL variant at least requires a reasonable level of skill to fly and can be arc dodged. The set up was 5 standard rounds of swiss with no cut.

LVL Up Tournament, Game 1

First up was Bossk and Cobra Talonbane with the only Scum list fielded. This wasn’t too bad a match up for me, assuming I could hold up against Cobra for the initial couple of range 1, Expose, 6 Dice attacks. I set up split across the middle and left and my opponent, predictably, set up on the right to avoid TLT focussing too early. I figured Talonbane would be my first priority and so went straight after him trying to focus fire him down with 3 in arc shots. I got a round of shooting before Talonbane managed to get into range 1 and score 5 hits against my first Y-Wing, dropping me to half hull straight away.

The next couple of rounds saw me lose a Y-Wing but manage to get rid of Cobra Talonbane and start working on Bossk. Bossk managed to put his ability, plus his Merc Co-Pilot to good use causing some damage to a 2nd Y-Wing before a risky move while stressed saw Bossk with no option but to pull a hard two which sent him off the edge of the board. This put me 1-0.

LVL Up Tournament, Game 2

Game 2 was against a bit of an oddball Rebel list, 2 B-Wings with Advanced Sensors, a Z95 and Miranda Doni in a K-Wing with TLT. I wasn’t overly concerned about this one, I figured I could focus the B-Wings down quickly and then take out Miranda. I starter split in 2 groups in the middle and took one pair towards a B-Wing and Z95 and another towards Miranda and the other B. It started off well enough with one B-Wing focussed down in a couple of turns and Miranda down to 2 Hull but it started going a little south after that.

2 Y-Wings followed Miranda down the right side of the board, just out of range for a few turns while taking return fire. This also gave Miranda time to regen a few shields, which made her more of a problem. In the meantime I lost a Y-Wing against the Z95 an B-Wing on the left. Miranda finally turned in front of me to avoid heading off the board and that allowed me to get a couple of good shots, enough to get rid of her shields, but I lost another Y-Wing in the process. Meanwhile i managed to get rid of the Z95 and work the B-Wing down to hull.

In the closing turns I rid the board of the final B-Wing and lost another Y-Wing before chasing down Miranda, who was again sporting a full complement of shields. As the last couple of turns unfolded I managed to strip her of that protection, loosing my own in return and the game ended with her on 2 hull, me on 3, with her facing the edge of the board as time was called. If the game had gone another turn I’d have had all 3 of my shots at her and couldn’t have been killed in return, all but guaranteeing me the win, but in the end it was a loss due to points- 62-75. At the end of game 2 I was 1-1.

LVL Up Tournament, Game 3

Game 3 gave me simultaneously my best and worst match up, Fel and Chiraneau. My list loves Decimators, especially nice 65 point Decimators but it absolutely hates arc dodgers an Fel is one of the best.

As normal I split myself across the middle, 2 groups of two, and figured i’d chase down the Decimator and focus it into oblivion as quickly as possible. To this end I ignored Fel for the first few turns and looked to focus all fire on the Decimator. I managed to cause some damage in the 1st few turns, until the inevitable range 1 confrontation and in return I lost a Y-Wing when my opponent used Vader to cause the last point of damage. This was a fair trade, the Decimator was down to 6 Hull and I was just down by 1 Y-Wing.

The next couple of rounds saw Fel cause some peripheral damage to a Y-Wing as they were chasing down a Decimator that was proving to be particularly resilient, especially after managed to arc dodge after pulling a surprise 4 forward through an asteroid. In the end I managed to run the Decimator down in the bottom left corner and focus it out of the game, leaving me with Fel.

At this point the timer was running down and so my opponent couldn’t be as cautious with Fel as he would have liked, which was an advantage to me as it meant he had to play a little reckless and couldn’t dodge as much as he’d like. This caused him to take a change and fly into range and arc of all 3 remaining Y-Wings, albeit within range 1 of 1 of them, preventing the TLT. His initial shots hurt, but the Y-Wing returned fire at range 1 and caused 2 points of damage.

It’s worth pointing out that we discovered after the game that my opponent made a mistake. He took Fel off as destroyed when he had a single hull left. Chances are the other Y-Wings would have finished the job, but it was a shame that the game ended as it did, especially when i was so elated that i’d one shotted the illustrious Baron Soontir Fel.

Game 3 was a win, putting me at 2-1.

LVL Up Tournament, Game 4

Game 4 was another Imperial List, Krassis Trelix with a Mangler Cannon and a pair of PTL Imperial Guard TIE Interceptors. The Interceptors in particular worries me here, although at least it wasn’t Fel again.

Standard set up again from me again against Trelix set up on the far right and the TIEs on the left. My plan here was to take out the Firespray as quickly as possible and then try to focus on the Interceptors. Fortunately this one for me went to plan, I managed to focus Trelix down in two rounds of shooting, taking little damage in return as my agility dice seemed to be blessed and meant I was flying the galaxies most agile Y-Wings.

After taking down the Firespray I turned my attention to the paired Interceptors and managed to cause a little damage as they turtled up (focus and evade) against the onslaught. I was fortunate enough to block one a couple of turns later and this caused the other to fly into the back of them, denying both actions. Unfortunately for my opponent this was in range and arc of all 3 other Y-Wings and both Interceptors went down in short order handing me my quickest win of the day at 30 minutes.

Game 4 put me at 3-1 for the day and saw me elevated to the top table for game 5.

LVL Up Tournament, Game 5

Game 5 was against a solid list, the top tier BBBBZ. I fancied my chances here, figuring that my weight of shots would be sufficient to drag the B-Wings down. I worked out that if I was really lucky I could focus 2 down per turn (0 evades vs all hits) but that i’d likely take down 1 per turn and that would be enough.

We arranged asteroids and then both set up directly opposite one another, on the right of the board with no asteroids between us. My opponent won the roll off for initiative, letting ne set up and move first, which I think was to my advantage since I could hopefully focus down a B-Wing before it could return fire.

The game started slowly, both of us making 1 forward moves to feel each other out and this continued for the first couple of turns as we began to exchange fire. It was around then that my dice betrayed me for the first time on the day and I didn’t manage to cause enough damage to take down a B-Wing but I took a fair amount of damage in return. The next turn is the one that I think was most pivotal to the game. I had a choice, continue the 1 forward, move into what was likely range 1 and lose my TLT shots, assuming my opponent did the same, or make a 4K Turn and assume the B-Wings would make a 2K, putting me at range 2 and giving me my full range of shots.

I went with the K-Turn and my opponent didn’t go with his, so I was left with 2 Y-Wings, facing the wrong way, with stress, directly in front of the full BBBBZ list. Now I managed to block a couple, but that just meant they couldn’t take actions, they were still left with shots and this put me in a bad predicament. My other 2 Y-Wings were coming in from the left, having split off from the group, and they were able to take shots wearing down the Z95. On my opponents shooting phase he managed to drop the 1st Y-Wing and I was pretty sure at this point that I was going to lose.

The next round saw me loose the 2nd Y-Wing before it could turn around again but I finally managed to drop a B-Wing in return. There was a little repositioning over the next couple of turns with less shooting but enough to start stripping the shields from the 3rd Y-Wing while I wasn’t able to do much in return and soon after I lost my 3rd Y. In the last couple of turns I managed to claw back a few points by destroying the Z95 but there was little I could do to delay the inevitable and the final 3 B-Wings, 2 of which were undamaged, destroyed my final ship giving my opponent the game and 1st place in the tournament with an impressive 5-0 score. After game 5 I was 3-2 for the day.

That score, along with the damage I caused in my losses managed to net me 3rd on the day, which I’m more than happy with. I turn up at a tournament hoping to end with a winning record and so placing 3rd is a pretty good win for me. It got me a £10 Voucher for LvL Up, which will get used on more X-Wing, probably the Gozanti Cruiser or Wave 8. I didn’t get the fastest win as someone managed to finish a game within 26 minutes, which is astounding.

It was a really good day with a lot of fun games and some interesting lists. I like tournaments because I get to play against lists that my regular opponents wouldn’t play. I look forward to the next tournament and trying to play high enough to get a Vader Alt Art card.

TIE Punisher Unboxing

TIE Punisher, boxed

The TIE Punisher is a small based ship expansion for the X-Wing Miniatures Game. It came out as part of Wave 7 of releases for that game and forms part of the Imperial Faction. The TIE Punisher is also known as the TIE Interdictor and was developed as an advanced version of the TIE Bomber. The ship itself first appeared in a the 2001 Star Wars computer game, Galactic Battlegrounds as the TIE Interdictor and was renamed the TIE Punisher by FFG for this release.

TIE Punisher, Contents

 

The TIE Punisher is one of the larger small based ship expansions and, as such, comes with more content than the standard small ship expansions. In this expansion you get-

  • 1 x TIE Punisher Small Based Ship
  • 1 x Small Ship Base and pegs
  • 1 x TIE Punisher Manoeuvre Dial
  • 19 x cards (Split between Upgrade Cards, Pilot Cards and Rules Cards, more on the specifics soon)
  • 20 x Tokens (more on the specifics soon)

The TIE Punisher is a big ship and, as such, it comes packaged so that it’s visible from a top down perspective. As normal is comes packaged inside an inner blister to protect it while in transit and the cards and tokens are stored behind the artwork in the background. As I said earlier, the TIE Punisher comes in one of the larger small based ship blisters that was started with the StarViper in Wave 6 and, as such is a particularly chunky ship.

When Wave 7 was first announced I wasn’t all that keen on the Punisher, it looked weird with it’s extra pods, like someones first attempt at a conversion with the belief that more pod=better. Now I’ve had my hands on it my opinion has risen significantly. Whereas I originally thought it looked weirdly out of proportion I now think it looks suitably imposing as it is massive,  at least twice the size of the TIE Bomber that it improves upon. Originally I thought the extra pods looked out of place, now I think that they look like a logical progression. If the Empire to try and build and advanced TIE Bomber, the Punisher is exactly what it would look like.

The painting is fine, nothing special as with most of the Imperial ships. It’s painted using the more blue-grey colour scheme as opposed to the white-grey colour that some of the other ships use. It’s neat enough on my model, with no spillage and the wash looks ok and brings out enough of the detail.

TIE Punisher, Pilot Cards

 

As per the the norm for small based ship expansions you get 4 Pilot Cards in with the TIE Punisher, 2 Generic and 2 Elite. The Pilots are-

  • Redline
  • Deathrain
  • Black Eight Squadron Pilot
  • Cutlas Squadron Pilot

The art on the cards is pretty solid, with the exception of Redline, who I think looks a bit dull. I particularly like the look and name of the Black Eight Squadron Pilot. In terms of Pilot abilities both Redline and Deathrain (who, due to a typo on a post I read, I now always see as DeathTrain and that means I hear this as his theme song when I see his card) have useful and interesting abilities. Redline gets extra locks allowing him to make the most of the vast amount of ordnance he can carry and use and Deathrain can drop bombs in front of him, which seems like an immensely useful ability.

TIE Punisher, Upgrade cards

You get 9 upgrade cards in the TIE Punisher set, almost double the amount you generally get in a small based ship expansion. Most of the Upgrades in this set are unique to the ship or Wave making it particularly valuable for a number of reasons. The upgrade cards are-

Modification

  • 2x Twin Ion Engine MK.II (Unique to this set)

Torpedo

  • Flechette Torpedoes (Also found in the E-Wing and Rebel Transport sets)
  • Extra Munitions (Also found in the K-Wing set)

Bomb

  • Cluster Mines (Unique to this set)
  • Ion Bombs (Also found in the K-Wing set)

System

  • Enhanced Scopes (Also found in Rebel Aces)

Missile

  • Advanced Homing Missiles (Also found in the K-Wing set)

The art on the cards isn’t too bad, I like the Twin Ion Engine MKII and the ION Bomb in particular. That said, while good art is a bonus it’s not the art that we want the upgrades for. Of the set a fair amount is unique to the Wave as a whole, with several upgrades just being duplicated from the K-Wing. Of the Upgrades that aren’t unique to the Wave the reprints seem to be of cards only found in Rebel sets, giving Imperial only players a way to get them without buying ships they won’t use.

I’ll come onto the ordnance upgrades in a second as I want to mention the Twin Ion Engine MKII first. This is a great card, you get a pair of them in the set and they fit particularly well on older Imperial ships such as the TIE Advanced and the TIE Defender. In particular putting this modification on Juno Eclipse, in her TIE Advanced, really expands the use of her pilot ability and turns all of her bank manoeuvres green, which is a pretty significant bonus.

Moving onto the ordnance, of course the Extra Munitions upgrade is the big change. For a measly 2 points you get to double your use of all other loaded munitions, giving you enough ordnance to last an entire game and if you tie (no pun intended) in with the pilot abilities of the Punisher you get a pretty brutal set up.

Cluster mines, times right, pose a devastating threat, especially if you can combine them with an ion effect and cause a ship to float through all 3 and the Ion bomb allows you to do just that, even with a large based ship. Doubling up on these effects (using Extra Munitions) could severely cripple and possible kill a large based ship very quickly.

The Advanced Homing Missiles, while limited to range 2, are a legitimate threat to any low hull ship since they can cause a Critical Hit without needing to wear down the shields first of all and considering that they only need a Lock to activate, but don’t spend it, you have a much better change of making sure the attack works.

TIE Punisher, Tokens

Owing to the new Ordnance types and the extra munitions you get a fair number of tokens in the set, some of which are only found in the K-Wing. What you get is-

  • 1 x TIE Punisher Manoeuvre dial
  • 2 x TIE Punisher Small Base Ship Tokens (Double Sided as Redline/Black 8 Squadron Pilot and Deathrain/Cutlass Squadron Pilot)
  • 3 x Shield Tokens
  • 5 x Extra Munitions Tokens
  • 3 x Cluster Mines Tokens (these combine to make a single cluster mine)
  • 1 x Ion Bomb
  • 1 x Focus Token
  • 1 x Stress Token
  • 4 x Ion Tokens

Strangely, especially for a ship with a Pilot that doubles up on them, there are no Target Locks included in the set and, also, there are no ship ID Tokens in the set.

The TIE Punisher is a solid ship. I think it’ll make a good core ship for a 3 or 4 ship list that can cause significant damage to single targets or act as a controller, funnelling enemies to specific points. It’d be very easy to overload the ship, after all Redline has 7 Upgrade slots on top of a base cost of 27 points and so fully tricking the ship out could approach the points cost of many of the traditional ‘fat’ ships, which would be counter productive I think.

Much like the K-Wing, the Punisher is both a ship expansion and a reboot for ordnance in general. It contains interesting possibilities to boost ordnance on a small cluster of ships, including the Punisher, K-Wing, TIE Bomber and Y-wing, providing potential for a new kind of bomb heavy list to make appearances in the wider meta. Only time will tell if the boost is enough to make ordnance a viable option for top tier lists but, if nothing else, it’ll add another fun element to the game.

K-Wing Unboxing

K-Wing, Boxed

The K-Wing is a small based ship expansion for the X-Wing Miniatures Game. It was released as part of the Wave 7 of ships and forms part of the Rebel Faction for that game. In the wider Star Wars Universe the K-Wing was a New Republic fighter designed by the same company that created the iconic Y-Wing.

K-Wing, Contents

The K-Wing comes in the larger of the small based ship blisters first used by the StarViper. As with the StarViper the K-Wing comes with more than the standard small based ship complement of cards and tokens. In the expansion you get-

  • 1 x K-Wing small based ship
  • 1 x small ship base and pegs
  • 1 x Manoeuvre Dial
  • 19 x Cards (Split between Pilot cards, Upgrade cards and Rules cards)
  • 20 x Tokens

K-Wing, Top down

The K-Wing is displayed top down and angled upwards and to the right with the cards hidden behind the artwork at the back as normal.  The way that the ship is displayed in the pack, you don’t really get a sense of how thin it is, and it really is very thin, especially for the overall width.

As I said, the K-Wing is a wide, thin ship. I think it’s pretty ugly as ships go, one of the very ugliest in the entire X-Wing range. The ship has a very WWII bomber style to it, with the chin mounted gun and the missile tubes on the wings. Star Wars has never been a setting to play into the futuristic sleek design of ships but, for my mind, the K-Wing just looks very out of place.

In terms of the paint scheme, the ship is painted in the standard off-white of all of the other Rebel ships and it has the red detailing of many of the other ships, located on the nose and the wings. The paint work is perfectly fine, on par with the rest of this wave, though much more simplistic than either the Kihraxz or Hound’s Tooth.

K-Wing, Pilot Cards

 

The K-Wing comes with the normal compliment of 4 Pilot cards, split between 2 Generic Pilots and 2 Elite ones, as expected. The Pilots included in this set are-

  • Miranda Doni
  • Esege Tuketu
  • Guardian Squadron Pilot
  • Warden Squadron Pilot

Immediately the art on the Pilot cards leaps out at me. The Generic Pilot cards look fantastic, especially the Guardian Squadron Pilot who is pictured flying through a storm of laser fire in a ravine. I also like the fact that Miranda Doni’s art depicts the K-Wing destroying a TIE Fighter that is flying behind it, demonstrating the primary turret capability of the ship.

In terms of Pilot abilities, both the Elite Pilots have intriguing possibilities, with Miranda Doni being the most obviously useful with her ability to spend a shield to boost an attack or reduce the power of an attack to recover a shield. That versatilely, in the right situation, could be very very useful. I see Tuketo being useful when loaded with a recon specialist and ran in a supporting role, boosting the attack and defence of nearby allies.

K-Wing, Pilot Cards

 

You get a nice set of upgrades in the K-Wing Expansion, 9 in total, all of which are unique to the ship or Wave, working towards the aim of making bombs and ordnance a little more viable in the game. Inside the K-Wing Expansion you get-

Crew

  • bombardier (Unique to this set)

Torpedo

  • Extra Munition (Also found in the TIE Punisher set)
  • Plasma Torpedoes (Unique to this set)

Modification

  • Advanced SLAM (Unique to this set)

Bomb

  • Conner Net (Unique to this set)
  • Ion Bombs (Also found in the TIE Punisher set)

Missile

  • Advanced Homing Missile (Also found in the TIE Punisher set)

Turret

  • 2 x Twin Laser Turret (Unique to this set)

The art on the cards in nice and I really like the look of both bombs most of all. It’s pretty obvious that the intent of the upgrades in this set are to try and make ordnance more of a viable option since it’s commonly believed to be a waste of points in all but a couple of specific instances. With Bombardier extending the range you can drop a bomb at, extra munitions doubling the usages you get from bombs, missiles and torpedoes and the inclusion of new options, like the Connor Net, Ion Bomb, Advanced Homing Missiles and Plasma Torpedoes, FFG have gone all out.

Noticeable is the fact that the Advanced Homing Missiles require a Target Lock to use, but don’t actually use up the lock which allows you to use the lock to modify the dice, which has previously been a particular criticism of most ordnance. Ion Bombs are an obvious threat to large based ships since they dish out two Ion tokens on a hit. meaning that they’ll have to be more cautious when facing them and the Connor net, with it’s massive template is a real threat to anyone, since it causes damage, gives a pair of Ion tokens and causes an effected ship to lose it action. Chaining a couple of Connor nets together could cripple a large ship to the point it won’t recover for the rest of the game.

The Twin Laser Turret provides an interesting alternative to some of the other Turret weapons. It’s a guaranteed 2 hit, effectively, it negates a stealth device almost immediately an it actually makes a swarm of HWKs a credible threat since they can come 4 strong, with Twin Laser Turrets and crew.

Finally the Advanced SLAM. At this point it’s only viable on the K-Wing as thats the only ship with a SLAM action, which allows the K-Wing to move twice, at the cost of being able to shoot for a turn. Advanced SLAM grants the K-Wing a free action after performing the SLAM action, which gives it the option lock, focus or even to drop a Connor Net right at the end of your movement.

K-Wing, Tokens

 

You get the usual pile of tokens in the K-Wing set but since some of the Upgrades are unique to the ship or wave, several of these won’t be duplicates of ones you’ve had before. You get-

  • 1 x k-Wing Manoeuvre Dial
  • 2 x Small Based Ship tokens (double sided as Miranda Doni/Guardian Squadron Pilot and Esege Tuketu/Warden Squadron Pilot)
  • 4 x Shield Tokens
  • 2 x Ion Tokens
  • 1 x focus Token
  • 1 x Weapons Disabled Token
  • 2 x Target Lock Tokens (doubled sided red and blue as letters SS and TT)
  • 4 x Extra Munitions Tokens
  • 1 x Stress Token
  • 1 x Ion Bomb Token
  • 1 x SLAM Template.

The K-Wing is an interesting set with a lot of potential all wrapped up in an ugly ship. The Advanced SLAM is an interesting new action, one that is still unique to the K-Wing, even after Wave 8 (when the Phantom loses it’s special snowflake status with the introduction of an illicit Cloaking Device). Given that a K-Wing can now make is a significant distance across the table in one go, getting into position or out of danger it has real versatility, increased by it being the first small based ship with a primary turret. The fact that you can drop a cluster mine after the first move, before the SLAM action helps too and will be an absolute killer for swarms.

I don’t like the look of the ship, but I like the what is can do and I like the fact that it represents an attempt to improve ordnance, something that plays a truly important role in the Star Wars fluff and something that should be better represented in the game. Only time will tell if the K-Wing and the new ordnance options actually have an impact on the wider meta but it’ll be an exciting and fun journey finding out.

Kihraxz Fighter Unboxing

Kihraxz Fighter Expansion , front of box

The Kihraxz Fighter is a small based ship expansion for the X-Wing Miniatures Game. It was released as part of Wave 7 of ships and forms part of the Scum and Villainy faction. Within the Star Wars universe the ship was designed specifically for the Black Sun Cartel, a criminal organisation with considerable resources and reach and the one that the Scum and Villainy faction of the game has drawn most of it’s inspiration from.

The ship comes packaged in the smaller of the small based ship blisters, this is worth distinguishing since FFG have introduced a larger blister for ships such as the StarViper, TIE Punisher and K-Wing. The ship is displayed top down, angled upwards giving you a good view of the paint scheme used on the ship, a paint scheme that roughly match that of the Scyk Interceptor from Wave 6. As normal the ship is housed in an inner blasted to keep it safe for transport (and this one was a tight fit, I had to pry the ship out) and the cards are housed behind the planet artwork in the background.

Kihraxz Fighter, Contents

The Kihraxz is the smallest expansion this wave and comes with the least number of overall components. Inside the pack you get-

  • 1 x Kihraxz Fighter ship
  • 1 x Small ship base and pegs
  • 1 x Kihraxz manoeuvre dial
  • 9 x Cards (split between Upgrade Cards and Pilot Cards).
  • 14 x Tokens (more on specifically what they are in a bit)

When it was first announced I wasn’t all that sure what I thought about the Kihraxz, it had a weird name (and I’m still not sure how to pronounce the name, I’m going with Ki-Raz) and it was dwarfed by the other ships in this Wave. Now I’ve got my hands on it, i’m quite impressed. The Kihraxz looks like a bit like an E-Wing on steroids, the downwards angled wings set towards the back of the ship. In addition to the standard cannons on the wings the Kihraxz also has large missile tubes mounted on either wind giving it a more beefed up and offensive look.

As I mentioned above the Kihraxz is painted with the same green and purple colour scheme as the Scyk from Wave 6. The purple is painted in a Y shape down the length of the ship and on to the wings, with the rest of being painted in the dark green. The cockpit, cannons, missile tubes and exhaust are painted grey and highlighted in black. The paintjob is actually fairly neat, mine doesn’t have any overspill between purple and green and the highlighting and washing is pretty well done and restrained.

Kihraxz Fighter, Pilot Cards

 

As standard for a small based ship you get 4 pilot cards in the Kihraxz Fighter expansion. These are split between 2 Generic and 2 Elite Pilots. In this pack you get-

  • Cartel Marauder
  • Black Sun Ace
  • Graz the Hunter
  • Talonbane Cobra

The art is pretty solid on these cards, I tend towards brighter and more action packed scenes and these cards don’t disappoint. My Favourite is probably the Graz the Hunter card, which show the Kihraxz in a hanger with steam rising from below it and making it generally look quite ominous.

Of the Pilot abilities you obviously have to mention Talonbane Cobra. He’s the first PS9 Pilot that Scum and Villainy have had, putting him in the esteemed company of Wedge Antilles, Baron Soontir Fel, Han Solo and Darth Vader. His Pilot ability is a strong one, doubling the range modifier when attacking or defending, potentially giving him a 5 dice attack and a 4 dice defence. I’m the wise scheme of things i’m not sure how useful this will turn out to be as the Kihraxz has not movement adjustment action but only time will tell.

Grax the Hunter’s ability looks like it will allow him to be used a little more recklessly, as he gets an additional defence die when defending if his attacker is within his arc. I could see this being fairly useful in the right circumstances, although without the ability to adjust movement this might also be quite situational and he’s really going to suffer to highly manoeuvrable ships such as the TIE Interceptor.

Kihraxz Fighter, Upgrade Cards

The Kihraxz fighter comes with 5 upgrade cards, one of which is unique to the set, while others are hard to come by. A complete list of upgrades is-

Elite

  • Crack Shot (Also available in the Hound’s Tooth Expansion)
  • Lightning Reflexes (Unique to this set)
  • Predator (Also available in the TIE Defender Expansion)

Missile

  • Homing Missile (Also available in the A-Wing and Slave 1 Expansions)

Illicit

  • Glitterstim (Also Available in the Hound’s Tooth expansion)

I’m not keen on the art on any of these cards, it’s just a little mundane and dull with nothing looking overly dynamic. Fortunately the art is the reason that I want the upgrades.Looking at what you get, obviously Predator is a great addition, it’s a solid Elite Pilot Talent and it’s nice to have a second source for it. I like both of the other Elite Pilot Talents, which are 1 point, 1 use upgrades that allow fairly useful bonuses that could change the course of a battle if used right. It’s nice to see other options in the 1 point Elite Pilot Talent slot that can give Veteran Instincts a run for their money.

I see Glitterstim being very useful for the Scum and Villainy faction. I like the Illicit slot in general and the fact that all of the upgrades that fall into it have some kind of a downside and generally feel pretty shady and underhanded to use, Glitterstim being no exception. In the wider Star Wars Lore Glitterstim is reported to provide a limited telepathic boost and that is replicated in the game by allowing a pilot to take a point of stress in exchange for changing all focus results, while attacking or defending, for hits or evades, for the the entire turn.

Kihraxz Fighter, Tokens

 

As you’d expect FFG gives you the standard pile of tokens with the Kihraxz Fighter-

  • 1 x Kihraxz Fighter Manoeuvre Dial
  • 2 x Ship Base Tokens (Double sided as Talonbane Cobra/Black Sun Ace and Graz the Hunter/Cartel Marauder)
  • 6 x Ship ID Tokens (3 each of numbers 46 and 47)
  • 2 x Target Lock Tokens (Double sided red and blue as QQ and RR)
  • 1 x Focus Token
  • 1 x Stress Token
  • 1 x Critical hit token
  • 1 x Shield Token

I think the Kihraxz is an interesting addition to the Scum faction and I think its a considerably more viable option than the Scyk. at 20 points for a naked PS2 Cartel Marauder you get 15 attack dice, 25 hit points and a fairly reasonable dial. The downside is the same as the X-wings and that’s that it doesn’t have any ability to readjust it’s movement, which is a real liability in the modern meta. That is made up for a little by the fact that you can get 5 in 100 points (compared to 4 Rookie Pilots with minimal upgrades) but since they just have the 1 Shield they’ll be pretty susceptible to critical hits and go down fast.

All that said, I think we’ll see the Kihraxz making a few lists, time will tell whether it is truly competitive, i’m not all that sure it is, but it’s a fun little ship and Scum players will value being able to get a PS9 Pilot for a change.

 

Hound’s Tooth Unboxing

Hound's Tooth, Boxed

The Hound’s Tooth is a large based ship expansion for the X-Wing Miniatures Game. It was released as part of the Wave 7 of releases and forms part of the Scum and Villainy faction for that game. The Hound’s Tooth is the personal ship of the bounty hunter Bossk and is a modified is a YV-666, created by the Corellian Engineering Corporation. The Hound’s Tooth is the first ship within the X-Wing game to be able to transport a second ship, the Nashtah Pup, which is a Z95 and was the Hound’s Tooth’s escape and scout vehicle.

The size and shape of Hound’s Tooth means that it has to be angled slightly oddly in the packaging but this also affords a good view of the ship. As always for large ships the ship is stored on the right hand side of the box, in an internal blister to keep it safe. The cards and tokens are stored on the right, out of sight as normal. My one criticism is that the scale feels off somewhat as the Hound’s Tooth is meant to house a Z95 inside it and there is absolutely no way that that could be the case without it taking up literally all of the available space inside.

Hound's Tooth, Contents

As a large based ship expansion the Hound’s Tooth comes loaded with content. In this set you get-

  • 1 x YV-666 (Hound’s Tooth) Large based ship expansion.
  • 1 x Large Ship Base and 2 pegs
  • 1 x YV-666 (Hound’s Tooth) Manoeuvre Dial
  • 1 x Nashtah Pup Manoeuvre Dial
  • 20 x Cards (split between Pilot Cards, Rule Cards and Upgrade Cards, more on these soon)
  • 21 x Tokens (more on which ones a little later)
  • 1 x Rule/Mission booklet

I really like the look of Hound’s Tooth, it’s blocky style and overall shape just really appeals to me in a way I can’t properly explain. A friend of mine attributes it to something he called the ‘aesthetic of ugly’ and thats just about the best explanation I’ve heard for it. it’s shape is a product of not needing to be aerodynamic and so it’s purely functional in design and I really like that about it.

The paint scheme is very different from anything else in the X-Wing range so far with the majority of the ship being painted a copper colour. It’s engines are  painted grey and spots of battle damage have been added over the whole of the ship to give it a more worn and battered look. Areas of worn red have been added around the manoeuvring fins, along the top and sides and around the bottom front. The painting isn’t particularly well done but it’s passable and with a little work it could be made to look great.

The Hound’s Tooth comes with 5 Pilot Cards, as opposed to the usual complement of 4, one of which is the Nashtah Pup, which works a little differently to normal so i’ll get to that in a second. The 4 Hound’s Tooth Pilot cards are split in the normal way for Large ships, with 3 Elite Pilots and 1 Generic.

Hound's Tooth Pilot Cards

The Pilots included in the set are-

  • Bossk
  • Moralo Eval
  • Latts Razzi
  • Trandoshan Slaver

The art on all of the ships depicts the Hound’s Tooth, which is a bit of a shame as I’d like a variant colour scheme to paint up as an alternate ship. None of the art is particularly bad but i don’t think it does the look of the ship justice really.

In terms of the Pilot abilities Bossk is the standout here, with the ability to swap a critical hit for 2 standard hits, effectively giving him the ability to always choose a direct hit critical. Load Bossk up with a Mangler Cannon and he can suddenly swap a single normal hit for a critical, which he can then turn back into 2 normal hits and that is quite a tasty attack. Eval and Razzi both have interesting abilities with Eval being able to use secondary weapons in both the YV-666’s auxiliary arcs and Razzi being able to spend locks to reduce an enemies agility when a friendly ship is attacking.

Nashtah Pup, Pilot Card

 

The last Pilot card is the Nashtah Pup. It’s basically a Z95 and it gets deployed when the Hound’s Tooth is destroyed. Not that this is specifically the Hound’s Tooth so your YV-666 needs to be loaded with the Hound’s Tooth Title for you to use it. It’s stats and dial are as per a generic Z95 with the ship gaining the PS and Ability of whichever Pilot you took for Hound’s Tooth.

Hound's Tooth, Upgrade Cards

The Hound’s Tooth YV-666 Expansion comes with 13 Upgrade cards, a couple of which are unique to this set and most of the others are only available in one other set. What you get is-

Title

  • Hound’s Tooth (Unique to this set)

Modifications

  • Manoeuvring Fins (Unique to this set)
  • 2 x Ion Projector (Unique to this set)
  • Engine Upgrade (Also available in the Millennium Falcon YT-1300 set)

Elite Pilot Talents

  • Stay on Target (Also available in Outrider YT-2400 set)
  • Lone Wolf (Also available in the Outrider YT-2400 set)
  • Crack Shot (Also available in the Kihraxz Fighter set)

Crew

  • Bossk (Unique to this set)
  • Outlaw Tech (Also available in the Most Wanted set)
  • K4 Security Droid (Also available in the Most Wanted set)

Cannon

  • Heavy Laser Cannon (Also available in the Slave-1, Lambda Class Shuttle and Outrider YT-2400 sets)

Illicit

  • Glitterstim (Also available in the Kihraxz Fighter set)

It’s a nice set of upgrades and while none of them are outstanding artistically, many are extremely useful in certain builds. It’s nice to see FFG finally put cards like Lone Wolf and Engine Upgrade into new sets as it means players have access to these valuable cards without having to buy multiples of other large based ships or buy into  faction that they aren’t interested in.

Hound's Tooth, Tokens

 

As expected FFG load up Hound’s Tooth with the usual pile of tokens to make sure you have everything you need to sue the ship. Inside this expansion you get-

  • 1 x YV-666 (Hound’s Tooth) Manoeuvre Dial
  • 1 x Z95 Headhunter (Nashtah Pup) Manoeuvre Dial
  • 2 x Large Based Ship Tokens (double sided as Bossk/Latts Razzi and Moralo Eval/Trandoshan Slaver)
  • 1 x Small Based Ship Token, Nashtah Pup
  • 6 x Shield Tokens
  • 1 x Focus Token
  • 1 x Stress Token
  • 4 x Critical Hit Token
  • 2 x Target Lock Tokens (double sided red and blue as letters PP and QQ)
  • 4 x Mission Tokens.

Noticeably absent from this pack are Ship ID tokens. It isn’t a concern as most players have a significant number of them already but it’s worth pointing that out.

The Hound’s Tooth expansion brings some interesting possibilities, first of all, at 29 points for the PS2 Slaver, you can fit 3 YV-666s. with some light upgrades or with a Z95 for support in 100. It wouldn’t be the strongest list but it’d be hard to take it down in a 60 minute turn with it 40 total Hit points. It’s paired auxiliary arcs, that give it a 180 degree firing arc to the front make it a hard ship to dodge and it’s only the 2nd ship that has the ability to perform a full stop action which allows it to make proper use of those arcs. To me the Hound’s Tooth has potential, nothing about it is groundbreaking or game changing but it has enough going for it that it’ll prove to be a tough nut for many lists to crack.

TIE Advanced Unboxing.

TIE Advanced, Boxed

The TIE Advanced is a small based ship Expansion for the X-Wing miniatures game. It forms part of the Imperial Faction for the game and was released as part of Wave 1, which was the initial release along with the core set. Within the Star Wars Universe the TIE Advanced was a prototype ship, best known as Darth Vader’s TIE from the A New Hope. It never reached full production and many of it’s better features were incorporated into the TIE Interceptor. The TIE Advanced was preceded by the Prototype TIE Advanced that was flown by the Inquisitor in Star Wars Rebels and will form part of the later Wave 8 of releases.

As normal the ship comes packed in a blister and held in place by an moulded inner blister. The ship is positioned front on, which gives a really good view of the ship in general. As normal the cards and tokens are stored behind the picture inside the blister.

TIE Advanced, Contents

Inside this pack you get-

  • 1 x TIE Advanced Ship
  • 1 x Small Ship Base and pegs
  • 1 x TIE Advanced Manoeuvre Dial
  • 9 x Cards (split between Pilot and Upgrade cards more on the specifics soon)
  • 18 x Tokens (more on the specifics soon)

I did a brief description of the TIE Advanced on the Raider Unboxing as the alternative paint scheme TIE Advanced comes in that set. The original TIE advanced is much lighter than the repaint with the general paint scheme being a white grey rather than the blue grey of the repaint.

The ship itself is nice looking and iconic. Since it appeared in A New Hope it’s a ship that movie fans will recognise. It’s fairly compact to look at, with the wings folded towards the cockpit at the top and bottom. Like so many of the TIE ships it’s design is basic, functional and militaristic but it works for the theme of the force a whole.

The paint job on my TIE Advanced is a little better than the repaint. Its still pretty basic but the inking and drybrushing has brought out a little more of the finer detail, which is nice.

TIE Advanced, Pilot Cards

 

The Pilots included in the set are split, as standard, with two generic and two Elite pilots, one of which is this ships most iconic Pilot and one of the most enduring villains in movie history, Darth Vader. The Pilots included are-

  • Tempest Squadron Pilot
  • Storm Squadron Pilot
  • Maarek Stele
  • Darth Vader

The art on the cards is ok with Vader and Stele standing out as the best of the bunch. Vader in particular is illustrated to show him flying down the Death Star Trench from the end of A New Hope and this is a nice touch that reflects the care put into the X-Wing game as a whole.

In terms of abilities both Vader and Stele are outstanding and on any other ship they’d likely be mainstays of the tournament scene. Unfortunately, at least pre Raider, these Pilots ended up in the TIE Advanced. Vader comes with an unprecedented 2 actions as standard, along with the much sought after PS of 9 and Stele has the ability to draw 3 critical hit cards and pick which one applies when causing critical damage, a surefire way of crippling a Large based ship if used right.

The Advanced is by no means a bad ship, it comes with 4 actions, Barrel Roll, Evade, Focus and Target Lock and a reasonable 2/3/2/3 Stat line but, for the points, you can do much better, at least before the Raider expansion improved upon its abilities somewhat significantly with the TIE/x1 Title and the Advanced Targeting Computer.

Prior to the Raider release the TIE Advanced was fielded in a fraction of tournament lists, less than 1% if reports are to be believed, but the new cards now make it a viable and credible threat. The main issue with the Advanced, as released in Wave 1, was it’s damage output compared to it’s cost, but the x1 title and ATC greatly improve this by adding an extra critical hit for the cost of a single point. In the case of Maarek Stele an additional critical hit can reap dividends and if you load him up with Marksmanship as well then he has the ability to cause significant damage.

TIE Advanced, Upgrade Cards

The set comes with 5 upgrade cards, only one of which is unique to the set at this point. The upgrades are-

Elite Talents

  • Squad Leader (Unique to this set)
  • Expert Handling (Also found in the X-Wing set)
  • Swarm Tactics (Also found in the TIE Fighter set)

Missiles

  • Cluster Missiles (also found in the A-Wing and Imperial Raider sets)
  • Concussion Missiles (Also found in the Millennium Falcon, A-Wing and Imperial Raider sets)

Of all the upgrades Squad Leader and Swarm Tactics are the most useful especially in Swarm based lists although Expert Handling can have it’s uses on the right ship. My current build for duel Aggressors has them both using Expert Handling to make them a little more manoeuvrable.

TIE Advanced, Pilot Cards

As always FFG give you the obligatory pile of tokens, to make sure that you have everything you need to use the set. This time around you get-

  • 1 x TIE Advanced Manoeuvre Dial
  • 2 x TIE Advanced (double sided as Darth Vader/Tempest Squadron Pilot and Maarek Stele/Storm Squadron Pilot)
  • 4 x Target Lock Tokens (2 x S/T and 2 x U/V, double sided blue and red)
  • 6 x ID Tokens (3 each of numbers 18 and 19)
  • 2 x Shield Tokens
  • 1 x Focus Token
  • 1 x Evade Token
  • 1 x Stress Token

So thats what you get in the TIE Advanced set. It’s hard to call it a must have addition to your force because it genuinely is petty much unusable without the upgrades that come in the Imperial Raider set, and for the casual player it’s a big ask that they spend £50+ (depending on how cheap you can get it online) for a few upgrade cards.

I like the TIE Advanced, I like the look of the ship, I like the pilots and their abilities but all of that stems from the fact that this is basically Darth Vader’s ship and not from the expansion itself. I like it because nostalgia kicks in and reminds me of being a child again and that’s the reason most people will pick up this expansion, not because it’s particularly good or that it contains must have upgrades.

Imperial Raider Unboxing

Imperial Raider, Front of Box

So, it finally happened, just over a year after it was first announced at GenCon 2014, the Imperial Raider went on general release. The Imperial Raider is an epic scale ship for the Imperial faction in the X-Wing Miniatures Game and is comparable to the Rebel Corvette. Also included in the set is an alternate paint scheme TIE Advanced. In terms of the setting, the Raider has no precedent, it was developed by Fantasy Flight Games, in conjunction with Lucas Arts, specifically for the game.

Imperial Raider, Contents

This expansion is a bit of a beast, it comes in a huge box and contains a significant amount of upgrade cards for both standard and epic scale play. The total contents of the set is as follows-

  • 1 x Imperial Raider Epic Scale Ship
  • 1 x TIE Advanced Ship
  • 2 x Large Ship Bases (with epic ship pegs)
  • 1 x Small Ship Base (with pegs)
  • 20 x Imperial Raider Damage Deck Cards (Split 10 each for the fore and aft sections)
  • 34 x Upgrade Cards (more on the specifics a little later)
  • 6 x TIE Advanced Pilot Cards
  • 2 x Imperial Raider Ship Cards
  • 2 x Manoeuvre Dials (1 each for the Raider and TIE Advanced)
  • 1 x Epic Range Ruler
  • 1 x Epic Ship Movement Template
  • 54 x Tokens (more on what these are soon)
  • 3 x Debris Cloud Obstacle Tokens.
  • 1 x Ion Rule Card
  • 1 x Mission Booklet
  • 1 x Rule Booklet
  • 1 x Campaign Tracker sheet

As I said, the set is quite a beast…..

I guess it fitting to start with the Raider-

Imperial Raider, frontal view

Imperial Raider, top down

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Raider is a big ship, as is fitting for an Epic scale model, measuring 34.5cm x 14.5cm x 7cm and making it comparable in length to the Rebel Corvette.

The ship has the iconic Imperial wedge shape that is a mainstay of the Star Wars universe and it is panted in a the standard Imperial colours, being shades of grey. Unlike a great many Imperial ships, which look drab in this paint scheme (though justifiably so), the dark tones on the Raider simply make it look extremely menacing. The paint job on mine is ok, but not great, with a few sections not being particularly neat and paint spilling over onto adjacent parts. In addition, the engines look extremely poor, having been left a very uninspiring solid black colour and so these will likely need repainting in future to make them look a little more interesting.

Imperial Raider, Paint Over spill

Imperial Raider, Engines

 

The model itself feels well made solid, though it is surprisingly light. The fins are made of very thin and flexible plastic and I’m not how much I like that. On one hand, it means that they are much less likely to snap but, on the other, they do feel like the cheapest part of the model and I think that detracts from the whole model a little.

I have a couple of small criticisms with the overall build of the model. Firstly, one of turrets along the top of the ship has been attached slightly off-center, meaning that it theoretically wouldn’t close properly and while this is a small niggle it does detract from the overall look of the model. Secondly, it looks like the guide for the rear flight peg has been inserted slightly out-of-place meaning that the front base doesn’t sit straight without the ship token being attached. I’ve reached out to Fantasy Flight Games to see if they can provide some guidance on how to rectify these issues since I like to display my models and these flaws really stand out to me.

Imperial Raider, off center turretsImperial Raider, off center turrets

 

Also included in the set is a repainted TIE Advanced ship. As this is an imperial ship the repaint isn’t as dramatic as either the Scum Z95 and Y-Wing or even the X-Wing in the Rebel Transport set. For all intents and purposes it looks more or less identical to the original but when looking at them side by side you can see that the repaint is more blue and grey in colour than the original which is more of a light/white grey.

In this next picture the original is on the left and the repaint is on the right-

Imperial Raider, TIE Advanced, 360

I won’t go into much detail about the look of the TIE Advanced in this article, that’ll be in the TIE Advanced specific unboxing. Needless to say, it looks very much like a standard TIE, with a central cockpit and wings with black central panes. The paint job on the TIE Advanced is ok but, again, not great and it could do with a little further dry brushing to properly bring out some of the finer details.

TIE Advanced Pilot Cards, Imperial Raider expansion

There are 6 Pilot Cards included in the set, all for the TIE Advanced and these are split as 2 Generic Pilots and 4 Elite ones. The Pilots included are as follows-

  • Juno Eclipse
  • Zertic Storm
  • Commander Alozen
  • Lieutenant Colzet
  • Storm Squadron Pilot
  • Tempest Squadron Pilot

The art on these cards isn’t all that great and lacks some of the more dynamic imagery of other sets, such as the Phantom or Aggressor. Prior to the release of the ship it was Juno that was often discussed as the pick of the Pilots in this set and her you can see why, with her Pilot ability allowing her to change the speed of any performed manoeuvre, after her dial has been released.

To my mind, combining Juno with the forthcoming Twin Ion Engine MKII upgrade (in the TIE Punisher set), along with Push the Limit and the TIE/x1 and the Advanced Targeting Computer makes for an interesting combination that lets her take 2 actions while having numerous manoeuvre options to rid herself of the stress. I can imagine this will make Juno a slippery beast.

However, for 5 points less than Juno you can take Lieutenant Colzet, whose pilot ability lets you spend a Target Lock on a ship to flip on of its face down damage cards face up. Combined withe the Advanced Targeting Computer this theoretically allows for two critical hits per turn, without rolling them and, more significantly, this ability doesn’t require range or arc to work and it bypasses other Pilot Abilities that negate critical hits, like Chewie’s. For this you are giving up an EPT but I think it’s a build worth exploring, especially combined with a fully tooled up Darth Vader and Maarek Stele.

The other two named pilots are interesting but I don’t see either seeing play as much as Juno or, at least for me, Colzet.

Additionally you also get an Ion Rule card.

Imperial Raider, Ship cards

Epic ships don’t come with Pilots in the same way as standard ships and so the Raider is just supplied with Fore and Aft section cards, both of which are double sided to show the standard and crippled stat lines of for the ship. As with the TIE Advanced Pilot cards, the art is nothing outstanding, with both sides of each card showing the same art, albeit with the crippled side showing significant damage.

I particularly like the fact that the Raider’s ship cards, placed side by side, combine to make a single combined ship card and image.

Imperial Raider, Upgrade Cards

This set comes with a huge number of upgrade cards, 34 of them in fact, and a great many of the are unique to the Raider set. The breakdown as follows-

Title

  • Assailer (Unique to this set)
  • Instigator (Unique to this set)
  • Impetuous (Unique to this set)
  • 4 x TIE/x1 (Unique to this set)

System

  • 4 x Advanced Targeting Computer (Unique to this set)

Missile

  • Cluster Missiles (Also available in the A-Wing and TIE Advanced sets)
  • Proton Rockets (Also available in the Rebel Aces and YT-2400 Freighter sets)

Crew

  • Captain Needa (Unique to this set)
  • Grand Moff Tarkin (Unique to this set)
  • Emperor Palpatine (Unique to this set)
  • Admiral Ozzel (Unique to this set)
  • 2 x Shield Technician (Unique to this set)

Teams

  • Gunnery Team (Also available in the Tantive IV set)
  • Engineering Team (Also available in the Tantive IV set)
  • Sensor Team (Also available in the Tantive IV set)

Hardpoint

  • 2 x Single Turbolaser (Also available in the Tantive IV set)
  • 4 x Ion Cannon Battery (Unique to this set)
  • 2 x Quad Laser Cannons (Also available in the Tantive IV set)

Cargo

  • Tibanna Gas Supplies (Also Available in the Tantive IV and Rebel Transports sets)
  • Engine Booster (Also Available in the Tantive IV and Rebel Transports sets)
  • Backup Shield Generator (Also Available in the Tantive IV and Rebel Transports sets)
  • Comms Booster (Also Available in the Tantive IV and Rebel Transports sets)

Of all the cards it is by far the two upgrades to the TIE Advanced, the TIE/x1 Title and the Advanced Targeting Computer that are the most hotly anticipated and the most useful. These cards, combined, represent the long-awaited ‘fix’ to make the TIE Advanced relevant again for a total combined cost of a single point. The TIE/x1 Title if free and gives the Advanced a System Slot and reduced the cost of a single system upgrade by 4 up 4 points (minimum of 1) while the ATC costs 5 points (reduced to 1 with the x1 Title) and adds a critical hit to any attack make with the ships primary weapon.

Prior to the release of the Raider the TIE Advanced was reported to be in approximately 0.1% of tournament lists, making it the least used ship in the game. having played against a list using the Title and ATC upgrades, I doubt that’ll be the case for much longer.

Of the other upgrades, a significant amount are specific to the Raider or Huge Ships, making them only relevant in Epic games. This includes a good number of the crew cards as well as the Hardpoint and Cargo upgrades. Notably Emperor Palpatine isn’t specific to Huge ships but is precedent setting requirement of 2 crew slots confines him to the Decimator and Lambda shuttle. The Emperor is also a staggering 8 points to field but his ability, to amend any single friendly ships die to any desired result shouldn’t be overlooked and could be game changing when used at the right time.

Imperial Raider, Tokens

As I said at the start, you get a pretty massive pile of tokens with the set. As always FFG have made sure that you won’t need anything else outside of this set in order to use its contents. The tokens break down as follows-

  • 2 x Raider Ship Base Tokens
  • 4 x TIE Advanced Ship Base Tokens (double-sided as Juno Eclipse/Storm Squadron Pilot, Zertik Strom/Storm Squadron Pilot, Commander Alozen/Tempest Squadron Pilot and Lieutenant Colzet/Tempest Squadron Pilot.
  • 1 x Raider Manoeuvre Dial
  • 1 x TIE Advanced Manoeuvre Dial
  • 12 x Shield Tokens
  • 16 x energy Tokens
  • 2 x Target Lock Tokens (both double sided as NN and MM)
  • 1 x Stress Token
  • 1 x Evade Token
  • 1 x Focus Token
  • 4 x Ion Token
  • 1 x Reinforce Token
  • 9 x Mission Tokens
  • 3 x Debris Field Obstacle Tokens

On top of the pile of tokens and cards you get a rulebook, a mission book and a campaign progress sheet. The rules cover the specifics of the Raider’s firing arc, as well as how to move an epic ship and the special actions that an Epic ship can take. The mission booklet has a total of 5 missions that link to make a full campaign using the Imperial Raider as it’s basis. From a personal point of view I think support for proper, themed campaigns is something missions from the X-Wing game an something i really like about Epic.

So thats the Raider set. For many people this expansion won’t be more than a way to extend the use of the TIE Advanced and it is certainly achieves the goal of trying to fix that ship but the Raider shouldn’t be overlooked and nor should the fun to be hd from playing linked epic games.

Until next time, fly casual.

Lambda Class Shuttle Unboxing

Lambda Shuttle, boxed

The Lambda Class Shuttle is a large based ship expansion for the X-Wing Miniatures Game, released for the Imperial Faction as part of the 3rd Wave of releases for that game. Within the Star Wars Unoverse the Lambda Class shuttle is a transport ship and is most notably recognisable as the ship that Emperor Palpatine emerges from when he visits the 2nd Death Star in Return of the Jedi.

As has become commonplace for the large ship expansions for X-Wing the Lambda comes boxed, with the ship visible on the right of the box, held inside it’s plastic blister packaging and all of the cards and tokens hidden behind the artwork on the left of the box. The Lambda is positions side on inside it’s blister, affording you a good view of the whole ship and its wings folded up in its landing position. Given the size of the ship when the wings are folded down it would be unreasonable to package it otherwise.

Lambda Shutte Contents

Inside the box you get-

  • 1 x Lambda Class Shuttle large base ship
  • 1 x large ship base and pegs
  • 1 x lambda Class Shuttle Manoeuvre Dial
  • 16 x Cards (split between Pilots Cards and Upgrade Cards)
  • 25 x Tokens (I’ll detail these specifically a little later
  • 1 x Rules/mission sheet

The Lambda is an interesting ship, it’s one that seems oddly large to me, though it’s still in the 1:270 scale of the rest of the game, but that’s probably just down to my own personal perception of the ship. In a way, it also feels out of context since it looks much more like an executive transport than a ship that would regularly be involved in the kind of dogfighting that X-Wing emulates, but that’s not to say that it doesn’t have a place.

The model is well made and because of the folding wings actually has more articulation than any other ship releases so far. It also helps owners store the model since it is fairly large when the wings are fully open.

Lambda Shuttle, wings closed

Lambda Shuttle, wings open

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like the look of the model, it has a suitably blocky Star Wars feel to it and since it’s from the original trilogy it obviously seems well at home with the other ships in the X-Wing Game. The paint job is terrible though, at the best of times painting white is difficult, just ask anyone who’s ever tried to paint White Scars for 40k, but mass producing it on hand painted models to even a passable level is pretty much impossible.

Lambda Shuttle, Pilot Cards

You get 4 Pilot cards with the Lambda and they are split, as is standard for a large base ship expansion, between 1 Generic Pilot and 3 Elite ones.

  • Omicron Group Pilot
  • Captain Yorr
  • Colonel Jendon
  • Captain Kagi

The art on the cards isn’t particularly inspiring but I like the fact that Captain Yorr appears to be flying within Endor’s atmosphere while Jendon is in a space scene with the second Death Star in the background. No card released thus far for X-Wing has particularly bad art and the Pilot cards in this set fall squarely in the average range.

The Pilot abilities are purely support, allowing target locks to be moved or passed off or letting the shuttle take stress instead of a nearby friendly ship. Overall though, I rarely see any of the Elite Pilots on the table, more often the goal is to field as cheap a shuttle as possible, taking the Omicron Squadron Pilot with Darth Vader as crew and maybe an Engine Upgrade to add some manoeuvrability. This set up still comes in at just 28 points and can add some much needed guaranteed damage to an Imperial List.

Lambda Shuttle, Upgrade Cards

The Lambda Class Shuttle comes with 12 Upgrade cards, which puts if roughly on par with the majority of the other large based ships, excepting the Decimator. Many of the cards in this set are unique to it and have found a place in a variety of lists making it an essential expansion for competitive Imperial and Scum players. The cards you get are-

Crew-

  • Darth Vader (Unique to this set)
  • Rebel Captive (Unique to this set)
  • Intelligence Agent (Also found in the HWK-290 Expansion)
  • Navigator (Unique to this set)
  • Weapons Engineer (Also found in the Millennium Falcon Expansion)
  • Flight Instructor (Unique to this set)

Modifications-

  • 2 x Anti Pursuit Lasers (Unique to this set)

Cannon

  • Heavy Laser Cannon (Also found in the YT-2400 and Slave-1 Expansions)

Title

  • ST 321 (Unique to this set)

Systems

  • Advanced Sensors (Also found in the E-Wing Expansion)
  • Sensor Jammer (Unique to this set)

Many of these cards are exceptionally useful, especially when used with other ships. Darth Vader, as already mentioned, is great with the Lambda but is also exceptional when placed in a Patrol Leader Decimator. The Advanced Sensors are almost a must have on B-Wings and really improve their dial immeasurably and I’ve recently found that Sensor Jammers on Aggressors make the ship even more frustratingly hard to kill when combined with Autothrusters and IG88C. The Rebel Captive has found a home on Decimators as well but also makes a worthwhile addition to the Phantom and really comes into its own against 2 ship lists.

The Navigator works particularly well with an Imperial Boba Fett, making his movement exceptionally hard to predict and counter as well as being a good way of keeping your Phantom alive against an opponent that is skilled in covering multiple arcs of fire. Finally the Heavy Laser cannon has found a home on several ships, not least of all the YT-2400 with Outrider(although the Mangler is arguably a better choice), any Firespray, any Aggressor and on B-Wing lists, making it a very sought after upgrade.

Lambda Shuttle, Tokens

We all know that Fantasy Flight Games just loves providing a whole plethora of tokens with their expansions. The intention is that you don’t need anything else, other than the core box, in order to use your new ship and this is a really admirable business practice, even if it does leave me with hundreds of shield tokens. In this set you get-

  • 2 x Large Ship Base Tokens (double sided as Omicron Group Pilot/Colonel Jendon and Captain Yorr/Captain Kagi)
  • 1 x Lambda Class Shuttle Manoeuvre dial and peg
  • 5 x Shield Tokens
  • 2 x Target Lock Tokens (double sided as letter M and N)
  • 3 x Stress Tokens
  • 4 x Ion Hit Tokens
  • 1 x Critical Hit Token
  • 1 x Focus Token
  • 7 x Mission Tokens (3 x Disabled Ship Tokens and 4 x Cargo Tokens)

Overall the Lambda Class Shuttle is an excellent expansion, the ship is nice looking, the upgrades are excellent and many are unique to the set and the ship has a use in several lists. It’s never going to be a game changing ship but the Lambda excels in it’s support roll and as an expendable asset, used in conjunction with Darth Vader, it can easily kill more than it’s points. The Lambda also has a very unique trait, it has a 0 move on it’s dial, something that other ships can only achieve through the uses of Inertial Dampers, which is one use only. This makes the Lambda very useful as a blocking ship, especially against other large base ships.

The key with the Lambda, to me at least, it to keep it cheap. If it exceeds 30 points then it’s probably too expensive and the points could be better used elsewhere. That may change in the future since the Lambda is one of the 2 standard scale (so none epic) ships that the forthcoming Emperor Palpatine can be added too and, at 8 points, chances are that he will push the Lambda over that 30 point mark more often than not. Since the Emperor is included in the forthcoming Imperial Raider expansion the jury is still out on that one but I’d be surprised if we didn’t see a few Lambda builds start to incorporate him.

Until next time, fly casual folks.

TIE Fighter Unboxing

TIE Fighter, front of box

The TIE Fighter is a small ship expansion for the X-Wing Miniatures Game, released as part of the first Wave of releases for that game and forms part of the Imperial faction. The TIE Fighter also comes as part of the Core Box for the X-Wing Game but the included Pilots are unique to this set. In the Star Wars Universe the TIE Fighter is the most iconic Imperial Fighter ship and is instantly recognisable to anyone who is familiar with the series. It was the staple ship of the Imperial fleets as it was fast, manoeuvrable and cheap enough to produce to be expendable in vast number.

As normal the ship comes packaged in a blister style pack with the ship displayed front on so you can get a good look at it. The ship itself is stored safely within further plastic packaging to ensure it remains safe and secure during travel. The Cards and Tokens come in bags and are stored behind the planet artwork at the back of the packaging.

TIE Fighter, Contents

In this set you get-

  • 1 x TIE Fighter Small Based Ship
  • 1 x Small Ship Base and 2 pegs  
  • 1 x TIE Fighter manoeuvre dial
  • 8 x Cards (split between Pilot cards and Upgrade cards, more on the specifics soon)
  • 19 x Tokens (more on the specifics soon)

The TIE Fighter is a nice looking ship. As I’ve said, it’s truly iconic if you are a Star Wars fan and this recreation really captures the look and feel of the ship perfectly. It’s not the most imaginatively colours ship, being the classic Imperial grey and Black, but that’s fine as it looks generic, nameless and like it could be fielded by the thousand. The paint job is fine and does the job but, as with other Imperial ships, it’s hard to say that its awe inspiring just because it’s so deliberately basic. 

TIE Fighter, Pilot Cards

Rather unusually you get 6 Pilots in this set, making it pretty much unique for a single ship expansion, at the time of writing. These 6 are split between 3 Generic and 3 Elite pilots-

  • Howlrunner
  • Backstabber
  • Winged Gundark
  • Obsidian Squadron Pilot
  • Black Squadron Pilot
  • Academy Pilot

This set includes 2 absolute must have TIE Fighter pilots for anyone who wants to run the standard TIE Swarm list. The first is the generic Academy Pilot, who at 12 points, is one of the most cost effective pilots in the game. These ships are hard to hit, have a fairly decent dial and can make excellent blockers to prevent enemy ships getting actions (something many 2 ship lists rely on). The second must have pilot is Howlrunner, who is most often seen in lists with 7 Academy TIE’s and sporting the Swarm Tactics card. If you run your TIE swarm as a close block then the re-roll afforded by Howlrunner’s Pilot Talent is priceless and add to that his impressive Pilot Skill of 8 and he is able to act before all but the most elite of pilots.

The art on the cards is ok, nothing special, with the named Pilots getting the better art overall. Howlrunner’s art is probably the best of the bunch because the TIE looks good being backlit by the sun above the clouds in the image.

TIE Fighter, Upgrade Cards

You only get 2 Upgrade cards in the set, which is, again, unusual and probably has something to do with the fact that there are 6 included pilots. Neither of the included cards is unique but as Swarm Tactics is a must in the standard Howlrunner TIE swarm it’s nice to see it’s inclusion in the same set as the Pilot.  The

Upgrade cards included are-

Elite

  • Swarm Tactics (also available in the TIE Advanced set)
  • Determination (also available in the Core set)

You get the standard pile of Tokens in the set, with more than the normal number of Ship ID Tokens being included. This is actually a fairly astute inclusion by FFG here, since TIEs tend to come in swarms and you need a good number of different SHIP ID Tokens to ensure that you, and your opponant, can identify them individually.

TIE Fighter, Tokens

A complete list of the included tokens is as follows-

  • 3 x Ship Base Tokens (all double sided as Academy Pilot/Winged Gundark, Obsidian Squadron Pilot/Backstabber and Black Squadron Pilot/Howlrunner)
  • 1 x Focus Token
  • 1 x Evade Token
  • 1 x Stress Token
  • 1 x Critical Hit Token
  • 12 x Ship ID Tokens (3 each of numbers 12,13,14 and 15)

All in all the TIE Fighter is a solid little set. There isn’t much here is you don’t have an interest in collecting Imperials and so Rebel and Scum exclusive players can probably steer clear of the set unless they absolutely need Swarm Tactics and, even then, you’d probably be better off picking up a TIE Advanced since it includes several other Upgrades. For Imperial Players this set is a must and probably in multiples as the TIE swarm still remains a strong list in the X-Wing Meta and is one of the best counters to ‘Fat’ lists and 2 ship builds. 

X-Wing Spring Championship Tournament , May 2015

X-Wing Spring Tournament Kit 2015

On 02/05/15 I attended my second X-Wing Spring Tournament of the year, this time held at Lvl Up Gaming in Bournemouth. I’d like to thank the folks at Lvl Up for their great prize support for the day which included the standard FFG Spring Tournament prize support kit and store vouchers for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and last place.

X-Wing Sprint Tournement Prize Support

I signed up to this one on relatively short notice, just 2 days before it was held and so I didn’t get a huge amount of time to practice. This meant that I wanted to use a list I knew would work without too much preparation and so, despite wanting to try 4 Warthog Y-Wings I quickly narrowed my choices down to 3 lists-

  • Dash/Corran
  • Duel A-Wings (Tycho and Farrell) along with a Wild Space Fringer in the Outrider rigged with a Mangler
  • Firespray/Aggressor flown by Kath Scarlet and IG88B

Each list has it’s advantages and disadvantages and none has a particularly high damage output, which I was concerned might be a hinderance. To that end I elected to go for the list with the highest damage output of the 3, the Firespray/Aggressor combination-

  • Kath Scarlet- 38
  • Veteran Instincts- 1
  • Gunner- 5
  • Engine Upgrade- 4
  • IG88B- 36
  • Predator- 3
  • Mangler Cannon- 4
  • Sensor Jammer- 4
  • Autothrusters- 2
  • Inertial Dampeners- 1

Total-98

The list was deliberately targeted to be 98 points so that I would most likely get the initiative bid against Phantoms with VI and Fel, which, combined with Veteran Instincts, would allow Kath to move after them and shoot before them, before a Phantom would get chance to cloak. Gunner would mean that I could use the first attack to to strip off any focus/evade tokens and the Engine Upgrade means I would have more chance to bring Kath’s rear arc to bear and so getting the additional attack dice.

The Aggressor is set up to be as durable as possible. The idea is that I would generally take an evade action which, combined with Autothrusters, would allow the ship to soak up a lot of fire power. The Sensor Jammer makes opponents take and use focus actions on their attack or otherwise lose another hit, making the Aggressor all but invulnerable. On the attack the Mangler puts out a consistent critical hit, which can be massively detrimental to fat Falcons and Decimators which rely on upgrades and Predator helps up the average damage that the ship puts out. I prefer the Mangler/Predator set up to a straight HLC as I find it provides for more consistent damage.

Despite the Aggressor looking as though it is best used in pairs, with the IG2000 title, I find that it fairs well with the faster and more manoeuvrable Firespray and so both serve to support each other well.

On the day there was a small player pool, just 9 players but this was enough for the tournament and I reasonably fancied my chances at the top spot. Rather oddly the rounds were set an an hour and a half (which is the maximum FFG allows) each, as opposed to the more standard 60 minutes and we were told that we were going to be playing 4 rounds. In retrospect I think that this went against me as the durability of my list plays well in 60 mins as it’s hard to put both ships down and so I have a solid chance of winning on points. Even without taking this into account, I have to say that 90 minute rounds seemed a little too long and i’d much rather have played 5 rounds at 60 mins that 4 at 90.

On the day there were 2 Scum Lists, 1 Rebel and 6 Imperial, including the one matchup I feared facing, a TIE Swarm.

X-Wing Spring Tournament, Lvl Up, Round 1

 

Game 1 was against 2 B-Wings and 2 X-Wings, including Biggs. At 98 Points I had initiative and went first. Biggs was my initial target, simply because it made sense to focus him down rather than let him leach shots against other targets and I fortunately managed to take Biggs out by round 4. It then took me a few rounds to turn Kath around and bring her back into the fight, by which time the Aggressor had taken a few close range shots and was down to hull points.

The game ran to over an hour and by the end I’d lost the Aggressor, much to my surprise, but Kath managed to finish the last B-Wing off to give me the win. This game was a learning experience for me, I wasn’t used to using this set up on the IG and repeatedly forgot to use Predator, which could have meant the difference between losing the Aggressor or not. My opponent flew well, keeping the ships tightly together and making sure that I couldn’t arc dodge them all and keep arcs on them.

X-Wing Tournament, Lvl Up, Round 2

 

Round 2 was against a bold list, 4 TIE Interceptors, including Fel and Tur Phennir and 2 Alpha Squadron Pilots. It’s hard list to use but, used well, it can be devastating as it is nigh on impossible to get a shot at. My gamble of the 98 point list paid off and I got initiative against Fel, which was all important to to my chances of defeating him.  Soontir Fel is horrific in the end game, if left unchallenged, perhaps only beaten by Corran Horn with VI, and so that made him my number 1 priority in this game.

X-Wing Spring Tournament, lvl Up, Game 2, mid game

The match started off well, I managed to take out Fel in turn 3, before he managed to fire a shot, which boded very well for me. Soon after I managed to take down an Alpha Squadron after taking minimal fire in return. The game ended soon after, with all 4 Interceptors taken out with me losing a total of 3 shields between both ships. This is not slight on my opponent, 4 TIE Interceptors is hard to fly and my list is one of the worst possible match-ups for it.

X-Wing Spring Tournament, Lvl Up, Game 3

Game 3 was against another Scum list, made up of Boba Fett with seismic charges, Torkil Mux’s HWK with an Ion Cannon and a Warthog Y-Wing. This looked like a tough game from the outset and Mux was a threat as he could counter my high PS so I resolved to take him out first.

Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out the way I wanted, tactical play meant I was struggling to get shots on him. The up side of this was that I managed to focus some fire on Boba Fett and after weathering he initial storm of Fett at range 1, plus the first of the seismic charges (which was very well timed to hit both of my ships), I managed to reduce him to just a couple of hull points. Boba dropped his second seismic charge soon after and was destroyed the round after that while I was left with both ships with a shield left.

The Aggressor was the main target in the following couple of rounds and despite me causing a fair amount of damage to the Y-Wing in return, poor rolling caused me to be reduced to a single hull point on that ship while Kath was turning around. I managed to drop the Y-Wing just before the HWK destroyed the Aggressor. Still, at this point I figured i’d do ok, Kath still had a shield left and HWKs are pretty flimsy in my experience.

I rounded on the HWK, just out of arc for a shot before getting hit by an Ion blast, the second on the Firespray, causing me to be ionized the next round and my opponent to flee across the board, well out of range and arc. A sinking feeling came over me as I realised that there was a very good chance that this one would take me off he board. I moved the mandatory 1 forward as my opponent moved further away and plotted my next move, the tightest move I could, a hard 2. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough, I ended up about 7mm off the board on my rear left side to give me my first loss of the day.

X-Wing Spring Tournament, Lvl Up, game 3, end game

 

Full credit to my opponent here, it was a great move on his part, even if it did hurt a little to lose because a corner of my base went off the board. This was a tough game, and a tactical one and it turns out that my instincts were right, the HWK was the biggest threat on the table, I just failed to destroy it. My opponent went on to win the day and this was his closest game so I can take some solace in that.

X-Wing Spring Tournament, Lvl Up, Game 4

Game 4, the last of the day, was against another Scum list, this time Xixor with an Experimental Interface and Squad Leader and 4 Z95’s, 2 with Assault Missiles and Munitions Failsafes. This was a surprisingly tough game for me, something I genuinely didn’t expect since I though that the Aggressor would be able to tank the 2 dice attacks from the Z95s without too much trouble.

My opponent flew the list as a block, for the whole game and did a magnificent job of reforming them after being broken up by obstacles. His goal was to use Xixor to pass off target locks to focussed Z95’s so that they could use their Assault Missiles as soon as possible, a valid tactic that was only muted by the fact that my defence rolls were strong enough against them to only cause me to take single points of damage. Unfortunately the same couldn’t be said of most other attacks and I found myself down to hull on both ships by the time i’d taken out a single Z95, around an hour in.

Due to my opponent flying to tightly as a block I struggled to get shots without being in arc of all of his ships and so I found myself spending much of the game arc dodging rather than causing damage and this defensive play hurt me. I took a risk which destroyed a second Z95 but lost me Kath in the process and that meant that the endgame of IG88B against 2 slightly damaged Z95 and an pristine Xixor.

My Aggressor took out another Z95 and hurt the other a little more as the final minutes of the round played out. In the end I was skilfully blocked onto an asteroid by the Z95 on the final turn of the game, taking a critical hit which turned out to be a direct hit and enough to destroy me.

This was a close game, one I thought I had in the bag, but tactical play from my opponent and overly defensive play from me cost me the match and put me on a 2-2 score for the day.

After points were counted I finished up in 6th, which was a bit disheartening after my strong start but it was a fun day and I played some very skilful opponents  who fielded lists and ships I don’t generally see on the table. The overall winner of the day, my 3rd round opponent, gifted me the Tycho alt art card he won, as he doesn’t field Rebels, something that I am exceptionally grateful for as it was my main reason for entering that day.

X-Wing Spring Tournament Tycho Alt Art card

Additionally I picked up an extra Alt Art Push the Limit card, which is awesome as you can never have too many copies of Push the Limit an thats aside from the fact that the Alt Art looks awesome.

Spring Tournament 2015 alternative art Push the Limit card

It was a good day all around and I’ll certainly be going to more tournaments held at Lvl Up.