Leader of one of the most powerful criminal organizations in the Galaxy, Prince Xizor’s final stand is one of the most memorable parts of the early Expanded Universe.
First of all, sorry for not putting out any articles last week, university finals were slowly killing my brain. Now that we’re free, let’s have a quick gander through the surprisingly complicated history of our subject.
Shadows of the Empire was an odd bird – it was essentially a thought experiment on LucasArt’s part, attempting to simulate all of the spin-off media from a movie without officially producing one. A decent action/shooter video game, two novelizations of the non-existent movie, a rather great comic series and a surprisingly good soundtrack were all released, and in almost all of them Xizor was involved in some shape or form. Set between Episodes V and VI, the back-and-forth battles between Xizor and Dash Rendar were of…varying quality, to say the best. Xizor was, however, one of the first villains of the Expanded Universe that were not linked to the Empire directly, and should be respected as such.
An incredibly resourceful man, Xizor planned to scheme his way into a position of power in the Empire, seeking to eventually overthrow Darth Vader. This was, of course, a stupid plan, for both Vader and the Emperor didn’t trust him, although they did find him useful. An attempt to seduce Princess Leia went horribly wrong (this was the last of many plans where he attempted to subvert the Rebellion to his own needs, resulting in many clashes with Luke Skywalker and Dash Rendar), and Dash Rendar blew up his castle, causing him to flee to his Skyhook space station over Coruscant while ordering his simulacrum bodyguard Guri to destroy the Millenium Falcon. He made the mistake of uttering “skywalker” while Vader was still linked into his comms channel, causing Darth Vader – who is not an idiot – to realize that Xizor was going to kill Luke in the process. Vader – out of either a twisted sense of parental concern, or just needing Luke for the rest of the Emperor’s fans, it’s left up to the reader’s interpretation – ordered Xizor’s skyhook destroyed, and that was the end of the former head of the Black Suns criminal syndicate.
This list is not exactly complicated, although it is admittedly not very powerful either. Xizor pawns shots off on the Black Sun Soldiers, who – once their shields are down – break formation in order to hopefully remain in Dead Man’s Switch range. A canny opponent will focus fire on a single Soldier, hoping to catch more of your fleet in your own DMS trigger, but either way should allow Xizor to escape mostly unscathed for a large period of time, letting him wreck havoc on the enemy forces. For slightly more killing power, switch the Sensors on Xizor for the Accuracy Corrector, or find the points to upgrade the Inertial Dampeners to the unreleased Glitterstim.
Now, however, it’s time for the second list – and a much more interesting one.
Guri was a perfect replicant of a human female, and a deadly warrior and pilot viciously loyal to Xizor and his Black Suns. Following the destruction of Xizor’s palace, she took wing in Xizor’s personal StarViper fighter, the Virago, in an attempt to destroy the Millenium Falcon. Following Xizor’s death and the implosion of the Black Sun syndicate, she became a mostly free agent.
In the X-Wing game, I always considered Guri a slightly better pilot than Xizor, although the pilot skill difference is sorely notable. It’s just a better pilot ability, and since the StarViper can boost, it’s actually very likely to trigger. This list should be used to represent either Xizor sending out subordinates to do his bidding, or to recreate the final battle around his Skyhook – which will be covered as a custom scenario in a future article.
The first list relies on the Hired Gun to get a bit more lockdown possibility with the Ion Cannon Turret and the Flechette Torpedoes, while N’Dru Suhlak – with just Lone Wolf, the most efficient 19 points in the game – works as a flanker and secondary threat to Guri. It’s honestly up to your choice. As you may have noticed, I adore the Glitterstim upgrade, which looks to be the single best entry in the Illicit slot bar none so far (provided you can deal with the Stress next turn). In turn, I really like Ion Pulse Missiles, just for the possibility to easily Ion a large ship – I’ve found it’s an excellent counter to the Dash 58 special, as it guarantees you at least one turn in his ‘doughnut hole’ if you plan it right.
As to Guri’s loadout, with her ability providing her a free focus token should she be at range one boosting her surviveability or damage output as you choose (or at the very least, granting a bit more action economy by allowing you to take a Boost as well as get a focus token), Predator and Accuracy Corrector merely make her more dangerous. Predator should be used first, and only if even your re-rolls are poor should you use the Accuracy Corrector. The Hot Shot blaster allows a little leniency in terms of firing arc for one turn. In the first list, Calculation combined with her pilot ability can make a cheap and nasty way of landing those all-important Critical hits.
Do you have any suggestions as to which named character you’d like to see featured next time? What about squadrons? Have I once again screwed up my maths and something is too expensive? Know a better loadout option? 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.