|Ruthlessness and Intimidation
A Preview of the VT-49 Decimator Expansion Pack for X-Wing (TM)
|X-Wing | Published 11 August 2014|
“We shall double our efforts.”
In our past previews of the fifth wave of X-Wing™ starship expansions, we’ve looked more closely at the YT-2400 Freighter Expansion Pack, its starship, its pilots, and its upgrades, which include a pair of upgrades designed by the game’s 2012 and 2013 World Champions.
Today, we turn our attention to the other side of the Galactic Civil War. While the Rebels are busy recruiting new smugglers and outfitting transport ships with turret-mounted Heavy Laser Cannons, the Imperials are quietly and efficiently preparing to launch their imposing VT-49 Decimator into battle.
However, once it arrives to the battlefield, this warship will be anything but quiet! The VT-49 Decimator is the first Imperial vessel to feature a primary weapon that can threaten a full 360-degrees, and it’s designed to crash into battle headlong.
A 360-degree view of the VT-49 Decimator
Straight Ahead, Guns Blazing
The VT-49 Decimator is not a subtle starship. It’s the largest of the starships introduced thus far to standard play, and even though it shares the same size base as the YT-2400, it dwarfs that light freighter, towering above it, just as its top-down silhouette nearly swallows every portion of its base.
In battle, the Decimator is a blunt weapon. The warship’s turret weapon allows it to fire at any enemy that gets within range, but its design abandons agility entirely, relying instead upon the strength of its shields and heavily reinforced hull to withstand enemy fire. Even its actions are entirely attack-oriented. The Decimator comes with the focus and target lock actions, but since it has no agility dice to roll on defense, its focus tokens will normally offer rerolls only on your attacks.
Moreover, while the fact that the starship employs a turret weapon means that its pilots can fly past enemy fighters and fire at them from outside their arcs, the Decimator is not a nimble ship. Its maneuver dial consists mostly of straight maneuvers and banks. It can perform hard turns only at “2” and “3” speeds, and it has no Koiogran-turn whatsoever. When you fly the Decimator, you’ll likely either try to skirt the edges of the battlefield, circling your foes at distance, or you’ll ram into them with Captain Oicunn, who deals a damage to each enemy ship with which he collides.
Skirting the Edge
If you’re looking to skirt the edge of the battlefield and exchange volleys with those ships that manage to keep you within their firing arcs, you might want to consider offering the command of your VT-49 Decimator to Rear Admiral Chiraneau or Commander Kenkirk.
If you’re looking to keep your Decimator at Range “3” of enemy ships for as long as possible, Rear Admiral Chiraneau is an excellent pilot. While his unique ability doesn’t directly offer him a benefit at Range “3,” it may discourage enemy pilots from closing in on him while they have other targets.
Meanwhile, Rear Admiral Chiraneau can call upon any number of upgrades to further reinforce his tactics. Adding an Engine Upgrade to his Decimator, would allow Chiraneau to take advantage of the boost action, an action that’s particularly potent on large-base ships, which gain more total movement out of it than smaller ships. Also, because he can equip an elite pilot talent, Chiraneau gain additional maneuverability through the use of Expert Handling or Daredevil. Or he could simply sacrifice all of those options in favor of a more potent attack. Rear Admiral Chiraneau is one of the best candidates for the Expose upgrade; when he voluntarily reduces his ship’s agility, he doesn’t actually lose any defense dice. He just gains an attack die.
Of the three unique pilots in the VT-49 Decimator Expansion Pack, Commander Kenkirk is the one most concerned with defense. When his Decimator loses its shields and receives at least one damage card, Kenkirk increases its agility value by one, meaning that it suddenly rolls as many defense dice as the smaller YT-1300. Players looking to take advantage of this late-blooming defense might want to further crew Commander Kenkirk’s Decimator with Ysanne Isard, who grants it a free evade action, and Moff Jerjerrod who can save the ship from suffering the most destructive critical hits. In fact, since Moff Jerjerrod can sacrifice other crew to save the ship from critical hits, his inclusion lends new strength to the inclusion of an Intelligence Agent or Navigator, or even both.
The Direct Approach
The expansion’s final unique pilot, however, takes an entirely different approach to combat. Captain Oicunn prefers the direct approach. After he executes a maneuver that causes his ship to overlap one or more enemy ships, each of those enemy ships he ends up touching suffers one damage. While most Decimator pilots try to avoid flying their ships within Range “1” of enemy fighters, Captain Oicunn thrives on getting into the thick of action as quickly as possible, and several of the expansion’s upgrades help to further flesh out this hyper-aggressive approach to battle.
Although Captain Oicunn won’t be able to fire at any ships with which his Decimator is in contact (and they won’t be able to fire at him), it’s likely that his tactics will place him within firing range of at least one enemy fighter, especially if he’s slamming into the middle of an enemy formation. In this case, Ruthlessness is an excellent choice for his elite pilot talent. If Captain Oicunn can’t use it to finish off the fighter at which he’s firing, then he should be able to use it to deal a second point of damage to the ship with which he’s collided. You can further enhance this collision-focused strategy by upgrading Oicunn’s Decimator with the Dauntless Title and the Anti-Pursuit Lasers modification from the Lambda-class Shuttle Expansion Pack.
Alternatively, Intimidation costs one squad point less and allows Oicunn to further support his squadmates. This elite pilot talent does less for Captain Oicunn’s starship directly than Ruthlessness, but it may be more effective overall if he’s partnered with a mini-swarm of “Howlrunner” and three Academy Pilots. In this case, you may also wish to swap out your Anti-Pursuit Lasers in favor of the Tactical Jammer modification. With both Intimidation and a Tactical Jammer, Captain Oicunn can both reduce his foe’s defense and obstruct the attacks his enemies fire at his squadmates.
Crush the Rebellion
Heavily armed and armored, the VT-49 Decimator was one of the galaxy’s most feared Imperial warships, and gaining command of one was seen as a great accomplishment and point of pride for Imperial officers rising through the ranks.
Soon, you’ll be able to pilot your own VT-49 Decimator into battle and smash into your foes. The VT-49 Decimator Expansion Pack is coming. Head to your local retailer to pre-order your copy today!
X-Wing is a tactical ship-to-ship combat game in which players take control of powerful rebel X-wings and nimble Imperial TIE Fighters, facing them against each other in fast-paced space combat. Featuring stunningly detailed and painted miniatures, X-Wing recreates Star Wars’ exciting space battles. Select your crew, plan your maneuvers, and complete your mission!