X-Wing: Rogue Squadron Through the Ages (Part 1)

X-wing

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.

To Build Rogue Squadron

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. 

Taken from the X-Wing: Rogue Squadron omnibus published by Dark Horse, volume 1.

Left to Right: Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles, Tycho Celchu, Wes Janson, Ten Numb

Rogue Squadron, Generation One

  • Wedge Antilles with R2 Astromech and Opportunist (34 points)
  • Wes Janson with R2 Astromech, Flechette Torpedoes and Veteran Instincts (34 points)
  • Tycho Celchu with A-Wing Test Pilot, Chardaan Refit, Push the Limit, Autothrusters and Expose/Outmaneuver (33/32 points)

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

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.

  • Wes

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

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!)

TIEvsX-wing-SWSB

Potential Edits

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!

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    I like themed lists 🙂

  • Nomic

    I would rather give Tycho Outmanouver instead of Expose.

    Expose is generally awful to anything not the Decimator, and while I get the idea of using Tycho’s mobility to remain out of target’s arc, you will be hard pressed to remain out of the arc of every enemy ship, and pretty much screwed when faced with a turret (autothrusters or no, with 2 agi Tycho dies pretty quickly). Also you must use an action of use Expose, which means you can’t boost and focus the same turn.

    Outmanouver, on the other hand, is functionally the same affect (drops target’s agi by one rather than giving you one extra die), doesn’t drop your own agi and doesn’t cost an action. You can only use it when out of target’s arc, though, but that shouldn’t be a problem with a pilot as mobile as Tycho.

    • As someone who’s new to X-Wing, I for one appreciate this breakdown. I wish more comments were constructive like this!

    • Cameron Chapman

      That’s actually a very good point. I’m not sure how I managed to gloss over Outmanouver while playtesting the list, but your math works out a lot better than mine did
      I’ll mention this in the post in a tic!

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Agreed on the Outmanuever being better than Expose for just about every maneuverable ship. Really only the Decimator should use Expose.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    I know it isn’t quite fluffy but from a mechanical standpoint, I wonder if Unhinged Astromech is a better fit in this list than the R2 Astromech. All of the X-Wings’ Speed 1 maneuvers are already green, where as none of his Speed 3 maneuvers are.

    • Cameron Chapman

      Unhinged Astromech is, sadly, using the Salvaged Astromech icon over the regular Astromech – meaning that the only ships that can fly them right now are the Scum Y-Wings. I’d love to be able to include them, but it’s not possible.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        Right, right. I forgot FFG split the Astromech cards into Rebel and Scum halves. Hopefully someday our Rebel Y-Wings will have the opportunity to run around with the more characterful astromechs of the galaxy.

  • Charm City Brendan

    Love it! This list and close variations of it are my favorite to play. I think my favorite is Wedge/Luke/Tycho.

    Also, I like how you’ve added notes from the comments. The X-wing articles have been the shining light of BoLS lately (IMO). Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  • NikosanPrime

    Just a quick question: isn’t your list over the 100pt mark? I count it as 104 pts

    • Cameron Chapman

      there was a typo on Wedge’s abridged point cost – he should be 34 with an R2 and Opportunist. Good catch! I’ll switch that around now

  • Cheesus

    I feel Predator is better on Wedge, and perhaps a little more thematic.

    Also, Re: mangler Cannon. Defense Tokens do NOT cancel Nunb’s critical any more.

    • Cameron Chapman

      Oh, really? That was the ruling I was given at a recent tournament, so I just went with that. Is it in the latest FAQ?
      Because if so he just got a lot stronger, I love my B-Wings

  • Ryan B.

    Some Imperial loving would be cool. Maybe Vader and his entourage from the trench run?

    • Cameron Chapman

      That’s a pretty good idea! I was considering Saber Squadron since they’re the Imp’s equivalent, but that’s basically Soontir Fel with some tricked-out Saber Squadron Pilots.
      I’d like to wait until we see what new toys the Advanced gets with the Imperial Raider before writing it up, though – the ship is kind of awful right now