New Tie Defender upgrades are incoming. Here is my two pence pilots!
I’ve never been one to write articles on stuff that’s not completely released but this one is really exciting. The first ship Imperial ships I bought after the core set, was the TIE Interceptor and TIE Defender. The Defender has had a few games since its early forays but it’s never quite worked out.
After initially playing with the generic Defenders, I looked at the named ships. I had a go with trying to make Rexlar work with moderate success but never took the tournament plunge with him. Colonel Vessery on the other hand has a fantastic pilot ability and as I’m a fan of the TIE Advanced and Advanced Targeting Computer makes Vessery very handy. I’ve run him few times in recent months with Vader and Colzet and I feel there is potential.
The Defender’s dial does cause issues still as although you have a hard one and two they are red. Vessery’s ability does help mitigate that and its handy as it does free up his EPT slot for more options.
Naturally I’ve got the Imperial Veterans on pre order and the new options available to the Tie Defender is intriguing. In my opinion we will see them flocking to the tournament scene, both generic and named pilots with the new Title TIE/D.
This title is a bit like the BTL A4 on the Y wing but better as it forces your opponent into choices as the secondary weapon shoots first. Of course the Defender player has similar decisions about whether to spend target lock or focus on the first attack or not. This is where Vessery will shine as he will get a target lock for both attacks providing that a wing mate has lit them up.
The TIE/D could be quite obnoxious with Ruthlessness, even with a tractor cannon as you could move a ship into range one of another for the primary attack to cause the splash damage.
Flechette Cannon: causes one damage and a stress if not already stressed. Its okay but won’t always hurt as much if the target is already stressed.
Ion Cannon: cause one damage and ionizes. Very useful especially against low agility ships with turrets and limited ranges. TLT Y wings, we are looking at you. Downside is if running just the one, then you need to hit large ships twice.
Tractor Beam: no damage but assigns a tractor token. Reduces agility by one with no damage caused till the end of the round. Added bonus of being able to make a small ship barrel roll or do a straight 1 boost once regardless of number of tractor cannon hits.
Sample Squadron Lists
Some options being banded around are;
3 Onyx Squadron pilots with Tie/D and Tractor Beam 99 points.
Or one Onyx Squadron pilot with Tractor Beam and Tie/D and 5 obsidians Tie Fighters 98 points.
Every time a tractor beam hits it makes the potential damage suffered greater, although it means putting all your attack modifying into the tractor beam attack to gain any benefit. Against lower agility ships the Ion and Flechette cannons can potentially do more damage and add a control element for the next round which is where the white 4 K turn can come into its own.
My preference for an ace currently lies with an Ion cannon but tractor Beam could work on something like this:
Sontir Fel with targeting computer
Colonel Vessery with Crack shot and Tractor Beam, TIE/D
Two Black Squadron Tie fighters with Crack Shot
Sontir slaps a target lock down and goes defensive, Vessery tractors and the Ties pummel. Alternatively you could look at Rexlar with VI to boost him to PS 10.
Rexlar Brath with Veteran Instincts and Tractor Beam, TIE/D
Sontir Fel with targeting computer and Auto thrusters
2 Obsidian Tie Fighters
There’s another Title?
Ahh the TIE/X7. A minus 2 point card with the buff of if doing a speed 3,4 or 5 manoeuvre you get a free evade token. Possible garbage? I can see this being of use on a Defender with push the limit and twin Ion engines to make all its banks green. A triple action defender could be handy on both Rexlar and Vessery although I feel Vessery would be the better option for it.
When you consider the fact that it has a white speed 4 K Turn then it could turn out to be the hidden gem of the two titles in this age of TLTs and regenerating rebel scum. Personally I feel The TIE/D title has the more obvious and practical options but I would not completely dismiss the TIE/X7.
Personally I find it hard to see past Colonel Vessery if opting for just the one defender in a squad. We don’t yet know the pilot abilities of Maarek Steele and the other named pilot and it’s hard to tell by the text whether or not Steele has the same Pilot ability as he does in the Tie Advanced. Looking at the Ghost preview where they have duplicated the same abilities on different ships for the same pilots it’s a maybe. I would suggest he is better in a Tie Advanced with ATC if it’s the same.
The Royal Guard generics with PS 6 and access to an EPT slot sound good but will probably sit at either 33 or 34 points. Vessery is 35 points. I rest my case on that unless maybe sticking the TIE/7 title on them with a cheap EPT. The Defender with the TIE/D title does offer a good platform for the tractor cannon with the option of pulling an enemy ship into range one then hitting them with four dice.
The new titles will certainly fix the Defender and make it appear all over the shop but I would not get too carried away about it. It’s still a hard ship to fly in formation with the only green moves being straight unless you opt for twin Ion engines. All in all I’m looking forward to it and adding a defender into my squad again.
What would you load out on the Defender and are these new titles going to be a hit?
Checkout the full article and other X Wing related articles at Zombie Squadron