The first in a multi-part series bringing one of the most iconic starfighter squadrons to life as accurately as possible, as powerful as possible.
I’ve always been fascinated with the expanded universe of Star Wars, and one of the main draws of X-Wing for me was the ability to play with characters I’d read about and grown up with. Naturally, the most logical place to start is with what was probably the most famous starfighter unit in the history of that galaxy far, far away – Rogue Squadron! Over the course of this series, I hope to produce lists that represent Rogue Squadron as accurately as possible from immediately after the Battle of Endor through the Bacta War and beyond, while sacrificing as little actual competitiveness as possible.
The first version of the list is based around the earliest post-Endor version of the Squadron, participating in their first mission – to rescue their friend and fellow pilot Ten Numb following a disastrous expedition to Coronet. At this time, the roster was a lot smaller than it would later be, as the novels had yet to be released and the comic was still within its first arc. It was led by Luke Skywalker, accompanied by Wedge Antilles, Wes Janson, Tycho Celchu and – in theory if not in practice – Ten Numb, making for 3 X-Wings, 1 A-Wing and a B-Wing.
For the sake of actually flying the list within 100 points, we’ll assume that Luke is currently busy doing Jedi or other main character related things elsewhere.
Let’s go over the main strategy of the list before anything else – since Wes has been pushed to PS10 with Veteran Instincts, he’s going to be firing before anyone else in the list – and probably on the table – does, meaning that he is guaranteed to remove the focus, evade or target lock token from whoever he’s shooting at. The other two ships, one with Opportunist and the other an arc dodger with Expose, proceed to pour fire onto the poor sap and probably kill it. It’s not the most lethal list on the planet, but through concentrated fire, good flying and a bit of luck they should be able to win the day against other casual lists, although I’d recommend against dropping them versus TIE Phantom’s or a pair of IG-2000 Agressors.
Wedge Antilles is one of those rare ships which will almost always be a relevant threat, thanks to his astoundingly good pilot ability. Being able to reduce the agility of whoever he is shooting at by 1 step, regardless of range, is such a ridiculous ability that he’s often treated similarly to Biggs Darklighter by choice rather than force – he’s going to be the target of a LOT of incoming fire, so make the most of his damage output the best you can.
Against a canny opponent, even with the looming threat of Wedge, Wes will often be the first target in this list. Since the main trick of the list is exploiting Opportunist, and he guarantees that the target of Wedge or Tycho’s attacks will not have a focus/evade token – regardless of if he hit or not, as the ability triggers on ‘after you perform an attack’, rather than ‘on hit’ – meaning that while it’s going to open up a lot of hurt, he’s going to be drawing a lot of fire once the admittedly obvious combo clicks for your opponent. As for the flechette torpedoes, well, I had two points left and honestly stressing a target if you’re not in a position to have your other ships pour fire into them isn’t a bad thing.
Tycho’s playing a mixed role of arc dodger and Range 1 killer (YT-2400’Doughnut Hole’ lists beware!), and benefits from not being a part of the combo. Since he can both boost and Expose, or focus and expose, or whatever other combination you wish and continue to take actions the next turn if you’re not in a position to remove your stress, he can be incredibly maneuverable while still delivering a fair amount of damage. The autothrusters, a new release thanks to the Scum and Villainy faction, are almost an automatic include on any ship with a Boost action at this point – arc dodgers took a serious blow with the arrival of significantly more turrets (“Fat Han”, the VT-49 Decimator, YT-2400, a potential resurgence in Y-Wings with the Scum faction) and the autothrusters can help with his admittedly lacking survivability a bit. Just fly Tycho in to Range 1 with his great maneuver dial and a Boost/Barrel Roll, Push the Limit in order to Expose, and fire away! Earlier builds included having Tycho run Opportunist instead of Expose, but the stress token pile up got a bit ridiculous and also meant that if Wes was destroyed the entire list would lose a lot of synergy – at least this way, he can be self-sufficient long after the fact.
(Update: as BOLS poster Nomic pointed out, Outmaneouver is more than likely a better choice than Expose here, as it offers the same functional benefit with none of the downsides of Expose – having to be out of your target’s firing arc isn’t a problem anyway, because if Tycho is in their arc in the first place you have a bigger problem! For a full breakdown of the reasons why, check his comment below!)
Try swapping one of the other pilots out for Luke Skywalker or Ten Numb instead! Ten Numb with a “Mangler” Cannon is 35 points for at least 1 guaranteed critical hit (provided you hit in the first place), that cannot be cancelled by defense dice (watch out for evade tokens), while Luke Skywalker with R2-D2 is a tried and tested 32 point combination with ludicrous survivability for a 1-man starfighter, while remaining true to the lore!
Have a preference for a version of the Squadron to work on next? Want to see the Imperials get their turn? Did I forget something incredibly obvious that could have made the list stronger? Comment below!
Perennially broke University student and all-around SciFi nerd. The wargames aren't helping with that first part much. I mostly play Warmachine, X-Wing and Infinity.