It’s time for the Empire to shine – let’s remake the team from one of the most iconic scenes in the entire original trilogy!
Welcome back to my wonderful little hole of supreme geeking, where we continue to look at how to bring famous squadrons from the Star Wars universe with as effectively as possible. This time, we’ll take a pause from Rogue Squadron’s exploits to follow the suggestion of BOLS poster Ryan B. – Vader and his wingmen from the iconic trench run!
Now, in the movie, Vader’s wingmen consist of two members of Black Squadron, 2 and 3 – or, as experienced Imperial players and fellow EU devotees might know them, Mauler Mithel and Backstabber! Fitting Vader and two TIEs into a 100 point list is a tall order, since Mauler and Backstabber don’t cost that much – or have that many upgrade slots, really – so I brought in the other named member of Black Squadron, Dark Curse! For lore purposes, assume that he was waiting outside the trench to stop anyone else from entering it to shoot down Vader. Finally, to fill in the last few points, I brought a generic Black Squadron Pilot.
Please note that some upgrades in this list are not yet officially released, but you can get your hands on them as soon as the Imperial Raider comes out! Until then, just fly casual against some friends who are cool with proxies for playtesting purposes. So, without any further ado, here’s the list!
As you can tell, Darth Vader has a lot of eggs in his basket. With his decent amount of hull points/shields, he should last long enough to bring the hurt – either with the criticals from Advanced Targeting Computer, or his Proton Rockets firing for five attack dice – that are fired with a focus token, so you can keep your target lock on another to continue using ATC without needing to re-lock next turn. Some versions of this list featured Accuracy Corrector over the ATC, which is certainly a good choice as well – but whatever you do, do not give Darth Vader Advanced Sensors. On any other TIE Advanced, that would be a good idea, but let’s check how Vader’s ability is phrased:
During your “Perform Action” step, you may perform 2 actions.
As you can see, the list mostly plays the same, with the exception of dropping Dark Curse and the generic Black Squadron Pilot for this Lambda-class shuttle. It really should have the ST-321 title for flavor purposes, but it just doesn’t do anything for the list, so there’s no point. Instead, this is a ship designed to stay in the middle of your forces, hopefully obstructing a few shots, while handing out focus tokens of off Fleet Officer as often as it can. Intelligence Officer can occasionally help with maneuver planning, but this is for the most part a support craft.
A support craft with a Mangler Cannon, one of my favorite guns in the game, but a support craft nonetheless. I played around with the idea of dropping Predator on Mithel in order to give him the Heavy Laser Cannon, but he might be just a bit too static of a ship to get that many rounds of firing out of it – still, it’s certainly an option. I’d still consider the original list a bit better, even if just for the fact that Vader dying is less of a problem in that one as you still have a miniature TIE swarm as your plan B.
Both of these lists can be surprisingly lethal in the right hands, even if there’s a few obvious chinks in its armor – taking out Vader first will hurt the variant more than it would the original Black Squadron, for a start. The Lambda’s effectiveness is debatable for sure, and the Mangler Cannon might not be worth it. Still, at the very least, they’ll be fun to fly!
What do you think of the Empire’s lists? Any glaringly obvious upgrades that I once again forgot to include? Got a suggestion for another flavor-heavy list you’d like to see? Leave a 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.