As I’m sure most of y’all know, Rebel Aces became officially available late last week. Is it worth picking up if you’re an Imperial player? Heck, is it worth picking up if you’re a Rebel sympathizer? Let’s find out!
When Imperial Aces was announced all the way back about a year ago, the question many of us predominantly Rebel players had in mind was, “Hmmm… do I buy this?” I’ve mentioned before on here about how X-Wing is kind of an odd miniatures game in that the majority of the folks who play it seem to support both of the currently available factions, so for many, I think the answer was still, “Yes.”
While obviously catering more to the Imperial faction yeah, even us Rebel scum were better off for it. For one, the Elite Pilot Talent card Opportunist was darn near the price of admission, and a couple of extra copies of Shield Upgrade and Push The Limit didn’t hurt either. Truth be told though, that was an Expansion that many probably could have done without. Although the named pilots did bring some interesting new twists (literally, in the case of Tetran Cowall), Imperial Aces didn’t really do that much to shake up the existing meta or really add all that much new to the game.
So with all that in mind, namely the seemingly imminent widespread release of the YT-2400 and the Decimator and the announcement of the new Scum and Villainy faction sometime around the end of the year, is Rebel Aces worth the $30 US MSRP?
Unlike Scum and Villainy’s Most Wanted Expansion, on the surface, Rebel Aces isn’t really a discounted deal. Of course, Imperial Aces was the same way. Two starfighter-based ships will run you $15 a piece in US, so $30 for two is even money. Like the Imperials before them, the Rebel Aces get an alternate paint job, which might or might not appeal to you. You also get the same no-name pilots as in the old A-Wing and B-Wing Expansions, but the named pilots are different cats. The upgrade cards are different as well, and there’s a new scenario.
So the B-Wing has already gotten a lot of love from the internet, and for good reason: it’s an awesome ship. Pretty beefy, not crazy expensive, excels at short range maneuverability- all great things in a Rebel X-Wing Miniatures ship. If you’ve played Rebels much at all, you probably already own a couple of them if not more, so is it worth your dough to pick up another one?
The B-Wing Expansion supported the old 4-ship meta pretty effectively. In fact, the 2 X-Wings and 2 B-Wings lists were rampant at a lot of the top tournaments, but you rarely if ever saw anybody using either of the named pilots outside of a friendly. FFG took umbrage with that apparently, because they’ve given us two pretty awesome named pilots-
Dantels is only a few points more than her generic buddies and allows you to touch off Torps in any direction, and Farlander is a K-Turn monster with his ability to auto-Focus upon removing a Stress Token. I could see making a debate that Dantels can get too expensive too fast to be effective for some folks, but it’s hard for me to imagine an argument against Keyan Farlander being anything but a guy with a wallet like Jules from Pulp Fiction, especially if you use his Elite Pilot Talent on Opportunist. Holy mackerel.
The A-Wing has often been underutilized by Rebel players because… well, I don’t know. Depends on who you ask. Some folks felt they were overcosted, some thought there were simply better options in the Rebel fleet. I was always a pretty big fan of the A-Wing in general- I loved flying them in X-Wing for PC, but even I had to admit, they took a little bit of work to roll in X-Wing Miniatures. It also probably didn’t help that they came out at the same time as the Falcon which was like a centrifuge for Rebel meta at the time it was released.
In any case, you didn’t see them a whole lot after the initial newness wore off. They didn’t pack the “one-shot” ability of many of the Rebel counterparts and were more effective as a ship to finish off that last hull point than remove two or three or four of them at a time which kind of went the way a lot of folks played Rebels.
Anyway, that’s likely to change somewhat with Rebel Aces.
First and foremost, in case you hadn’t considered them lately, and by “them”, I mean A-Wings, there are more A-Wing-centric cards out there now- Opportunist, Outmaneuver, even Decoy and Wingman all make pretty good use of the A-Wing’s rather unique stature in the Rebel Squadron.
Now, I know you’re probably thinking- “Yeah, that’s great, but Green Squadron and Tycho are the only A-Wings that can take Elite Pil-. Oh wait…”
Yup. Test Pilot Title.
For 0 points, any A-Wing can now take an Elite Pilot Talent. Boom. Oh, and if you’ve already got an Elite Pilot Talent icon? No probs, you can have another. You just can’t take the same EPT twice. How awesome is that? It doesn’t even use up your ability to take a Modification! It’s only a Title, y’all!
That’s not all though, y’all! Feel like the A-Wing is about two points too expensive and you never take Missiles on it? Well, Chardaan Refit is for you. Weld up those Missile tubes and knock two points off your squad point cost, thankyaverymuch.
The idea of the A-Wing as something of an alpha-striking Missile platform went out of style fairly quickly, and trying to use them as dogfighters didn’t entirely play to their strength when they were initially released in Wave 2, but they sure seem to be trending that way now, huh?
Building on the idea of dogfighting with A-Wings, take a peek at the Rebel Aces named pilots-
Imagine for a second Gemmer Sojan with A-Wing Test Pilot and Outmaneuver or Expose while packing some of those fancy new Proton Rockets? That’s some rough stuff. And Jake Farrell? After he Focuses, he can pull a free Boost or Barrel Roll. Darn near makes him a Rebel version of a Phantom with all the movement options he ends up with. Of course, there again, with that Elite Pilot Talent slot, he can make good use of it too.
I mentioned earlier that there are more Missiles now than when Wave 2 dropped, but there’s a new one with Rebel Aces that might even interest the Imperial Players among us kinda like how Opportunist appealed to us Rebels when Imperial Aces dropped.
Despite the name, Proton Rockets are indeed a Missile as far as the X-Wing Miniatures ruleset is concerned, and while they were definitely designed with the A-Wing in mind judging by the card text, some folks are whispering that this could be the card that gets some Imperial folks to dust off their TIE Advanced miniatures. Couple it up with Outmaneuver and you’re going to ruin somebody’s day for sure. And hey, if you’re concerned about landing it? Don’t be. Note that Proton Rockets are an “Attack: Focus” which means as long as you’ve got a Focus you’re good to fire so the little bit of planning and forethought required by Target Lock doesn’t even really apply here. And assuming you’ve got a couple of copies of Munitions Failsafe sitting around from those Z-95s you bought awhile back, why not really put your mind at ease?
Unless fielding A-Wings and B-Wings is against your religion or something, I can’t see how Rebel Aces is anything but a slam dunk for the Rebel player- especially if you’ve been really wanting to scratch that A-Wing itch like I have. For Imperials (or even Scum and Villainy players), it’s maybe not quite such a no-brainer, but there are a few cards in there worth your while as well if you ask me. And no, I didn’t even talk about all of the cards available- there’s the experimental B-Wing title that lets you add a Crew Member slot, Kyle and Jan as Crew Members, and Enhanced Scopes which is kind of like a Bizzaro version of Veteran Instincts. I figure if I haven’t already won you over with all the other cards, those may not seal the deal anyway.
If you want to get into X-Wing Miniatures but don’t know your Evades from your Target Locks, by all means, stop on by the hippest pilot bar in the galaxy- TheMetalBikini.com. We serve all kinds (yeah, even droids- they’re the best tippers), and have a whole bunch of articles from breakdown summaries of every single card released so far, to tactics articles, to our Bikini Battle Basics new player guides- all served up with a heapin’ helpin’ of my own personal brand of slang and humor. Can you dig it?