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.
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.
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-
- 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.
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-
- 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.
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.