X-Wing: The New “Big Bombers”

x-wing-title

With more parts of Wave 7 revealed thanks to some leaked video, we’re going to take a moment to look at how the new ships are going to affect their factions before they hit the shelves!

K-WING

k-wing-101
  • The Model

I think we can all agree that the K-Wing’s art looked kind of stupid. Well, a lot stupid. It looked like the horrifying fusion of a B-17 Flying Fortress and a particularly badly designed pokemon. Thankfully, the model looks a lot better, and it’s actually growing on me fairly quickly. While I do think it looks a bit too small for what is technically a 3-man ship (it fringes on being a Large-based if you look at the fluff specs), I think it converted fairly well.

Also, while I was typing up this article I realized that the plane is pointing the wrong way compared to the reminder card, and it’s driving me a little insane. Viable mental warfare strategy? Probably.

  • The Stats

I’ll just go over these quickly since I covered it in an earlier article for the most part, but the stats are fairly nice for its intended role – a low number of attack and dodge dice, but resilient and a nice selection of actions including the SLAM drive making its possibly lackluster maneuver dial a lot more bearable. It looks almost as if it’s intended to replace the Y-Wing – which, let’s be honest, is now almost entirely a Scum ship – and, of course, the turret is always a nice boost even with all the Autothrusters flying around these days.

All of the pilots can take the following upgrades: 1 Turret, 2 Torpedoes, 1 Missile, 1 Crew and 2 Bombs. No Elite Pilot Talents, but then again that’s probably a good thing considering the Crew slot and the innate turret.

  • The Pilots
    • Miranda Doni (PS8) – 29 points
      • Once per round when attacking, you may either spend 1 shield to roll 1 additional attack die or roll 1 fewer attack die to recover 1 shield.
    • Esege Tuketu (PS6) – 28 points
      • (Rough Translation) – When another friendly ship at Range 1-2 is attacking, it may spend your focus tokens as if they were its own.
    • Guardian Squadron Pilot (PS4) – 25 points? Not confirmed as far as I can tell
    • Warden Squadron Pilot (PS2) – 23 points

This is the new information – and I quite like it, too! Well, except for Tuketu. Sadly, unless you’re running Focus Boat Kyle Katarn I don’t see his ability being worth the 3 points over a Guardian Squadron Pilot – or worth the 1 point less than Miranda Doni, with 2 higher PS and a better ability. I think the generic pilots are priced pretty much spot-on, stopping them from being able to flood a list while making giving them a few upgrades not completely bank-breaking.

  • Included Upgrades

This is the part that can get a bit finnicky, since the leaked video doesn’t show them in great detail. If I screw something up, I do apologize. The ones that I could make out (and combine with some simple google-fu) are Bombardier and Twin Laser Turret.

Bombardier appears to be a 1 point Crew upgrade that allows you to use the 2 Straight template to drop a bomb rather than a 1 Straight, which is neat and can lend itself to some good situations. Combined with the SLAM drive, some interesting bomb dropping might occur.

The Twin Laser Turret is a 6-point turret with range 2-3 and 3 attack dice that allows you to attack twice, even outside your firing arc. If the attack hits, the defender suffers 1 damage, then cancels all dice result. It’s…interesting, and I’m not completely sure I like it. At most, it’s only going to do 2 points of damage, and while it is going to be easy to get that 2 points of damage in you’re also not able to score critical hits with it. While I do think it’s better than the much-maligned Blaster Turret, for what it is it just seems overcosted, although it could prove fun on a BTL-4 and such. What it is good for, however, is stripping evade tokens and other once-per-turn defensive bonuses, just through sheer volume of attack. One ship with a TLT might be enough to scare most Stealth Device ships into playing a little more conversationally, just through volume of attacks per turn.

And, of course, there’s Extra Munitions, which has been discussed to death in the meantime between announcements anyway.

The ones that can’t be made out are Connor Net (Crew), the Ion Bomb, the Advanced Homing Missiles and the Plasma Torpedoes. Speculation, ho!

  • Overall

I expect the K-Wing to make fairly consistent appearances in Rebel lists, as a heavy attack fighter or a utility turret. Depending on the new munitions, maybe even a traditional bomber, something that we’ve not seen in a long while! I don’t think it’s better than the B-Wing as far as the go-to small based ship of the faction is, but what it doesn’t have in personal punch it makes up for in durability and possibly speed.

Now we move on to the TIE Punisher, which sadly has a more blurry video and thus is going to contain a lot more guesswork than previous.

TIE PUNISHER

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  • The Model

I’ll admit, I never played Galactic Battlegrounds (I was more of an Empire at War guy myself), and…the design isn’t great. I guess those four things are missile tubes, but they look more like additional cockpits or supply storage. Ah well, they can’t all be winners, and at least it’s believably bulky for a munitions-based ship.

  • The Stats

Once again, while I’ve covered these already it’s worth going over them again. 2 attack, 1 agility, 6 hull and 3 shields means that comparisons to the K-Wing are immediately drawn, in the K-Wing’s favor at that. I do like the addition of the Boost action, however, and I’m sure the lack of the innate turret is part of the reason for the point cost reduction.

All the pilots, as far as I can tell, can take 1 System Upgrade (one of my favorite slots in the game), 2 Torpedoes, 2 Missiles and 2 Bombs.

  • The Pilots
    • “Redline” (PS7) – 27 points
      • You may maintain two target locks on the same ship. When you acquire a target lock, you may acquire a second target lock on the same ship. (Advanced Targeting Computer will love this guy! Might be a bit expensive, mind – or not, because the ATC is TIE Advanced only. The Angry Templar suggests running Fire Control Computer and almost always having a reroll instead!)
    • ??? (PS6) – 26 points
    • Black something-or-other [support pilot? We already have a Black Squadron Pilot] (PS4) – 23 points
    • Cutlass Squadron Pilot (PS2) – 21 points

Two points less than their equivalent in the K-Wing, presumably to make up for the lack of turret and the exchange of a point of Shield for a point of Hull, so it’s fairly priced. Redline’s ability is decent, if overcosted,

  • Included Upgrades

Sadly I’m going to have to skip this section for the Punisher, as we can’t make anything new out beyond the Extra Munitions. I am curious as to what the Plasma Torpedoes do…

The only thing I can make out, thanks to the handy google search, is that the Twin Ion Engine is a one-point modification for TIEs only that has something to do with turns. I’m agreeing with the general speculation that it makes all banks count as green, if only because editing turns would be too strong and changing the K-Turn would remove the Defender’s selling point. It’s also possible that it changes K-turns into a Segnor’s Loop, which would be incredibly cool. But, again, speculation.

  • Overall

Well, it’s better than the Bomber, but that’s not saying much. I’m understandably less excited for this than the K-Wing, and it’s not just because I’m primarily a Rebel and Scum player. It just seems underwhelming in comparison, if you get what I mean. Hopefully the maneuver dial will change that opinion.

Honestly, though, the most exciting release on the horizon is still the Imperial Raider, both for those glorious TIE Advanced upgrades and how pretty the model is in general. I’m drooling at the thought!

What do you think? Can you squint or google better than me? Leave a comment below!

  • Nogle

    Is it just me, or is the K-Wing on the base backwards?

    • Cameron Chapman

      It is, and I love it.

      • Brandon Scott Wallace

        I think the point is to let the viewer read the stats easier.

  • Sahra Kauba

    wow >.< tbh, both of this ships look pretty ugly :/ sorry FFG, this wave is a miss :<

    • Dave

      Star Wars has lots of ugly ships. That’s part of it’s charm ­čÖé

    • georgelabour

      For better or worse they didn’t design the ships. Just took them from their EU sources.

      The K-Wing’s a post movie ship that was constructed as the sucessor to the Y-wing by the new Republic while they were still trying to decide on doctrine and aesthetics. Hence why it shares similiarities not just with the rebel ships but also some inherited traits of clone wars era vessels.

      That also means it was designed more by its description in some novels than by a design team working on visual media.

      The Punisher was from an RTS game expansion where they needed to add a super bomber to compete with an equivalent unit in the other factions. Basically it suffers from being in an expansion for what was basically a (fairly good) command and conquer clone.

      • BrianDavion

        age of empires clone actually

      • Benderisgreat

        This wealth of fluff knowledge doesn’t change the fact that they both look rather silly.

        • georgelabour

          It’s a universe where teddy bears are the alpha predators of the galaxy, and where space ships are purposefully designed to have positional audio so you can hear the fighters flying past you…even with no real sound in space.

          Odd looking space ships are just the icing on the cake of madness. ^_^

          • Cameron Chapman

            On a semi-related note, if you can, try to find a copy of ‘Apocalypse Endor’, the comic while plays the Ewoks up as slasher movie monsters from the stormtrooper perspective.
            It’s great

          • Benderisgreat

            I think I read somewhere that space in the SW universe is filled with ether. It would explain the ether if rudders and copious amounts of sound…

    • Cameron Chapman

      I’ll stand by kind of liking the semi-B52 Flying Fortress feel of the K-Wing, but yeah the Punisher’s design isn’t great.

  • The Angry Templar

    Advanced Targeting Computer is TIE Advanced only. As great as Redline’s ability would be for it, (s)he’s the wrong ship to use that Systems Upgrade.

    If anything, Fire Control System would be utterly hilarious on Redline, paired with Cluster Missiles. Rerolls for daaays.

    • Cameron Chapman

      Damn, I could have sworn it was Imperials Only not Advanced Only. I’ll fix that real quick.

  • KellyJ

    Don’t forget the new Palpatine card on the Raider.

    • Cameron Chapman

      I was holding off on talking about any of the Raider’s stuff for now until I can play (read: Cry) against one when my friend’s comes in and get a slightly better idea of how it all works.

  • ted1138

    Why is the K-wing flying backwards? I know it’s ugly, but come on…