Ok, ok, so yes, I think there’s now more announced/ revealed stuff for X-Wing Miniatures than what’s actually available in stores at this point, but that didn’t stop FFG from revealing yet another Expansion earlier today- Rebel Aces!
As you can see, Rebel Aces is similar to the just released Imperial Aces in that it’s a two-ship box. In this Rebel version we’ve got a B-Wing painted up like the Dagger Squadron pilot card (which will go nicely with the fact that it’s arguably the most popular flavor of B-Wing in the meta right now) and an A-Wing painted up to match the Prototype pilot card.
While the Prototype A-Wing and Dagger Squadron B-Wing are already available in their own respective expansions, as you’d expect, this box comes with a bunch of other fun, new stuff too.
You’ve got the dials and the usual assortment of necessary tokens and whatnots, but as usual we’re really interested in two things here- the pilot cards and the upgrades.
The contents of the box don’t completely duplicate the contents of the A-Wing and B-Wing expansions- they include the same “generic” pilots, but the named pilots are different. Lucky for us, FFG has revealed two of these new guys.
The rather normally named Jake Farrell (who I will absolutely be referring to as Scotty for reasons that should be obvious to any true sports fan in the States) has a really nice card text. A-Wings are a trip to fly anyway since Rebel ships don’t usually have all those Actions available to them; Mr. Farrell let’s you do two of those Actions pretty reliably.
Notice that he’s also sporting an Elite Pilot Skill icon and you can bump that multiple Action potential up even more with crowd favorite Push The Limit. At PS 7 and 24 points, I think this guy fits nicely into a lot of lists that might have shied away from a higher points A-Wing pilot like Tycho Celchu or the somewhat difficult to use Arvel Crynyd.
I tried squinting, but I can’t make out the other named A-Wing pilot. He’s PS 5 obviously, but the rest is a mystery to me at this point. Maybe some of you EU experts can tell what that name is.
Keyan Farlander is the higher PS named B-Wing pilot in Rebel Aces and at first glance, he’s a monster. Those of y’all who have played some X-Wing Miniatures know 1) how tough B-Wings are in general, 2) how surprisingly maneuverable they are at low speeds (especially with the Advanced Sensors System Upgrade) and 3) how generally limiting Stress can be in general. Farlander potentially capitalizes on all three of those things.
Like we needed more reasons to fly B-Wings, right? Wow.
So breaking it down, if you have Stress on Farlander, you can treat it as an offense-only Focus. That’s great because he’s already kind of expensive, and with that card text, you don’t need to spring for Advanced Sensors to be able to get similar functionality out of him. This guy’s gonna be popular, y’all. No joke.
As for the upgrades, it’s all brand new cards not currently available and FFG was kind enough to reveal three of them in all their full resolution, no squinting required glory-
It’s funny, I was talking to my buddy Sean awhile back about how awesome it’d be to have an upgrade that was sort of like the opposite of Veteran Instincts that actually lowered your Pilot Skill. Rookie Instincts, I jokingly called it.
Then today, I see a card that’s actually even better because it only lowers your PS during the Activation Phase.
Enhanced Scopes is a System Upgrade, which means that right now, only B-Wings and Lambda Shuttles are eligible to take it. For those of you who aren’t intimately aware of how Pilot Skill works in X-Wing, here’s the short version- you move in ascending PS order (low PS ships move first), then you shoot in descending PS order (high PS ships shoot first). Having this card more or less allows you to have your movement cake while eating your attacking cake too. I dread seeing this thing turn up on Shuttles- it was bad enough having them driving around, maneuvering to block my stuff at PS 2…
Prototype Veteran is another PS circumventing card, but not in a direct way like Enhanced Scopes. ProtoVet allows you to to add an Elite Pilot Skill to an A-Wing that wouldn’t normally be allowed one- so long as they’re PS 2 or above. Oddly enough, because of that last bit, you can’t actually stick this card on a Prototype A-Wing because it’s PS 1. You can install it on a Green Squadron A-Wing, which will actually net it two Elite Pilot Skills since it already has the icon. I’m guessing you could also attach it to the other (unrevealed) A-Wing pilot as he probably doesn’t have an EPS being Pilot Skill 5, but that’s obviously a guess on my part.
No friends, for my money, the main fun for this is giving the much-maligned Arvel Crynyd a sorely needed Elite Pilot Skill slot which should go a long way to getting that dude some face time on tables again.
The last revealed upgrade is another meta-bucking attempt called Chardaan Refit. Long story short? You seal off your A-Wing’s missile tubes for a two point reduction in cost. Remember how I mentioned earlier I had that idea for Rookie Instincts? Well, during the same conversation, Sean threw out an idea for reducing cost of a ship by decreasing its capabilities somehow. I swear, we oughta be working for FFG. 🙂
Lots of people use A-Wings as alpha strikers, and I’m not going to argue with that line of thinking as they’re perfect for the role. That said, I’ve gotten some good mileage out of low PS A-Wings that trail behind higher or equal PS X-Wings to finish off whatever the X-Wing fired upon. In that configuration, I don’t usually take Missiles on them, opting instead for either no upgrades, or something versatile like Push The Limit. Being able to knock two points off the total cost of a ship I don’t usually run with Missiles anyway seems like an awesome deal to me.
So there ya go- FFG shaking up the X-Wing meta once again with some brand new possibilities that weren’t available before. While this box is unquestionably Rebel-centric, there’s some Imperial potential in here too. FFG says Rebel Aces will be available sometime during the 3rd quarter of this year.
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