With the Resistance and First Order back in X-Wing, I wanted to spend some time showing off what I consider Wave 2’s hidden gem, the MG-100 Star Fortress.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved aircraft. In particular, I always loved the aesthetic and design sensibility of World War 2 bombers, covered back to front with gun turrets to protect then as they lumber through the air. In the same vein, I immediately fell in love with the LAAT and AT-TE from the prequels. Even the oft-maligned K-Wing is a gorgeous ship to my eyes. In short, I can’t help but love mobile fortresses. So when I got my first look at the Resistance Bomber, I was excited to see what sort of weapons it would bring to X-Wing, but when it hit the table in 1.0, I was a bit disappointed. Oh sure, 12 hp is nothing to sneeze at, but with guns all over that ship, I was hoping for more than just a 2-dice primary weapon turret.
But now that the Resistance and First Order have returned to X-Wing, I finally have the ship I wanted, and it’s everything I could have hoped for. And while everyone is eyeing a newfound love/hatred for Squad Leader, Poe Dameron, Kylo, and Quickdraw, I wanted to chime in here to mention that you shouldn’t count out the newly-rechristened MG-100 Star Fortress. Heck I almost passed it up myself, but I forced myself to sit down and actually play it at league night. Without a doubt I can say it’s an impressive ship, particularly when taking advantage of its two Gunner upgrade slots. Folks, I’d like to introduce you to my new friend Vennie, and her roommates Paige Tico and Veteran Turret Gunner.
Let’s take this in two parts. First, Vennie herself: That ability is obviously useful when paired with the shiny-new RZ-2 A-Wing or a good old Resistance Falcon, but did you notice the wording on her ability means that her own arcs count? I sure didn’t at first pass, and that flexibility is stellar. I think many of us saw how frustrating Norra Wexley could be in 1.0 with the same added eyeball results on evade, except that cost her a target lock. Even without regen, getting free eyeballs on defense for a 12 hp ship can turn Vennie into a true mobile tank. At initiative 2 with a large base she makes for a fine blocker, and topping it all off is the 270-degree elephant in the room: a bowtie arc combined with a forward arc, for the single widest shot coverage currently in the game. All this clocks in at a fair 67 points, but of course a ship like this needs upgrades, which takes us to Paige and VTG.
The combination of these two cards really comes into its own in the unique circumstances where a ship has two Gunner slots, a primary forward arc, *and* a mobile turret arc. Vennie can open shooting her 3-dice front arc, then hit it again with the VTG 2-dice shot. True, you can basically pull off the same double-tap with a Y-Wing, but in this instance you have a large base that’s just slightly harder to dodge around and a turret arc that extends out to range 3. Plus, you don’t have to double-tap at the same ship, really – in my league games, I did plenty of “Shoot turret arc at one ship, rotate, shoot other turret arc at different ship.” Or heck, even just “shoot, then rotate to where I want it to be next turn.”
What does the rest of the squad look like?
Now these upgrades total 15 extra points, but just flying these three cards together felt like it made for a great anchor ship that just put out steady damage, along with an A-Wing and Poe Dameron, but I feel there’s still room for improvement here.
Huge shout-out to the Mynock Squadron Podcast for coming up with that Zari Bangel build, and for indirectly giving me my newfound obsession with slapping Squad Leader on everything I can. I’m probably going to take off Ferrosphere Paint for some Proton Bombs or Pattern Analyzer for Vennie, or even drop Poe down to Ello to afford Perceptive Copilot, but I’m really getting into the idea of 2 small-base Resistance ships escorting an MG-100, and I was extremely happy with how the ship performed, operating as just a gun platform/blocker. Heck, I’m tempted to play around with a second Bomber backing up Vennie here with a Hotshot Gunner. I’ve also done some experimenting with two PS1 T-70s as wingmen, and so far I’m really happy with the results.
“But wait!” I hear you say, theoretical reader who is crazy enough to yell at a computer screen, “The Resistance bomber dial sucks!” To which I answer:
It has a hard-stop, blue 1-banks, and a white 2-turn. What more do you want? Following the initial pass, you can lazily meander around while your other ships draw attention and arc-dodge, as was my experience with Poe as Vennie’s wingman. Or if your opponent dives onto a bomber, they become incredibly predictable as they force themselves to slam on the brakes to keep shots on a durable-as-hell, lumbering ship that could also just hit a hard stop and cause a traffic jam.
But what about bombs you ask? Well, we’ll discuss that in Part 2!
~Until then I encourage you, fine X-Wing folks, if you can find a Resistance Bomber in a bargain bin somewhere, take it in and give it a good home. You might be surprised what this bulky, ugly, beautiful star fortress can do for you.