GenCon brought with it, as always, the next (well, as soon as 7 comes out) wave of X-Wing. And this time, there’s a lot of interesting new mechanics to talk about. Let’s have a look!
Available for the Rebels thanks to Ghost and the Phantom (and, in Epic play, for the Imperials with the new Imperial Assault Carrier), docked ships adds a whole new level of strategy to the game.
I’ll admit to having a soft spot for Rebels – it had a rocky start (and definetly suffered from ‘disney-fication compared to The Clone Wars), but shortly after the introduction of the Inquisitor it started to find its feet, and ever since Tarkin showed up it’s been a pretty solid show the whole way through, with Season 2’s premiere in particular being some of the best Star Wars content I’ve seen in a while. So, naturally, I’m a little biased when it comes to discussing this wave’s releases – just from how everything that isn’t a Scum ship draws from it. Still, the Ghost and Phantom add something really unique to the game, that I do think will impact how the game is played from now on.
It helps that the Ghost is such a solid ship to begin with, and the Phantom’s statline (looks like 3/2/2/2 to me) isn’t shabby either, sort of like an enhanced Headhunter. But it’s the idea of being able to separate the two ship that interests me. You could purposely overshoot with the Ghost and detach, splitting up in the next movement phase in order to flank your foe from two directions instead of one. The Phantom title also seems useful (but personally, I’m more intrigued by the reveal through Phantom that the ship has a turret slot), but the maneuverability offered by the seperation would probably be better than the firepower from the rear arc in most cases.
As for the Imperials, well, it might be Epic play only – but it can carry four TIE fighters, even if it can only deploy two per turn. Being able to deploy two TIEs into the middle of a fight could turn the tides of battle in an Epic game (which, by the way, I heartily recommend you try one day – it’s stupid fun, and not nearly as well balanced as standard 100 point play, but it’s a lot of stupid fun)
While not technically a card, it’s still worth mentioning considering the recent amount of focus put on target locks for the Imperials. Between the upcoming TIE Punisher’s role as an ordnance ship and the TIE Advanced upgrade Advanced Targeting Computer, you might start to see smaller, more elite fleets of Imperial ships where one is a designated Tracer tagger on whatever the main threat is, and then a group of Advanced and Punishers unload on the poor thing. Certainly, it’ll help bring down ships with bloated total health points.
Remember the days of the TIE Phantom’s complete dominance? Horrifying, wasn’t it? Now you too can attempt to replicate that! Being able to put this on any small-based ship is kind of scary – being, well, me, I’ve already started experimenting with putting it on Prince Xizor or Guri in order to enter Range 1 of a friendly or enemy ship through the Decloak action. Still, it’s aggresively costed, even with the downside – and even one turn of being cloaked might be enough, in some cases.
Thankfully, since it’s a unique upgrade, you won’t see some jerk running a fleet of cheap small ships with a cloaking device taped on. A Black Sun Soldier with Cloaking Device is only 15 points, after all…I’ll leave you to consider the implications of if this wasn’t unique.
Irritatingly, we’re not actually sure what the tractor beam does. Personally, thinking back to TIE fighter, it might restrict tractored ships to only be able to make straight maneuvers – which could lead to some hilarity where you force a ship to fly into several asteroids, especially if the tractored ship doesn’t have a straight 1 move. Alternatively, it might just lower agility, force a white 0 move, or upgrade the difficulty of all maneuvers one step. Any of these would be interesting, but we’ll have to wait for the official explanation to see exactly what it does.
Another instance of ‘not really a mechanic’, it definetly needs talking about. Being able to shoot outside of your ship’s activation seems to be one of the most punishing situations in the game, although I sincerly doubt that any opponent will fall for it – if they’re in your firing arc, anyway. I think it’s more likely that this ability will instead force your opponent to pick worse targets, like ones at range 3 or slightly obscured, instead of risking the return fire from Dengar. In fact, since it’s only 2 shots, some might choose to risk it with their beefier ships – until you pay 12 points to give it a third point of primary attack, which seems…overcosted, but perhaps I’m underestimating how good it is. I was the idiot that didn’t get the appeal behind Heavy Laser Cannon for a good six months, after all. The jump from 33 points to 45 without any upgrades puts it in Millennium Falcon territory, and I’m not sure it deserves to be there yet – I’ll need to see the dial.
That said, in magical christmas land, if you have Punishing One equipped entire swathes of TIEs could die to your return fire, so that’s nice.
Pictures taken from FFG’s announcement article here. Any comments of your own? Leave them below!
Also, if anyone knows any EPTs or modifications that like attacking at Range 1, tell me. I have a cunning plan for the Inquisitor…