“Watch your back! Fighters above you, coming in!”
–Wedge Antilles, Star Wars : A New Hope
Gen Con Indy 2012 is just a few weeks away, and that means we’re closer than ever to the first fantastic space battles of the Star Wars : X-Wing™ Miniatures Game !
As we gear up toward the action, we’ll head deeper into our previews of the game’s upcoming single fighter expansions. Each single fighter expansion introduces a single, finely sculpted miniature starfighter, along with its maneuver dial, requisite tokens, new upgrade cards, and several ship cards, including unique and talented pilots only available in the expansion.
Recently, we took a look at the X-Wing™ Expansion Pack and the exciting strategies its skillful pilots, Wedge Antilles and Garven Dreis, open up for Rebel players. Today, though, we travel deep into the heart of the Empire, looking more closely at the nimble, mass-produced starfighter with which the Imperial fleet enforces its will upon the galaxy.
The TIE Fighter™ Expansion Pack
The Empire is the dominant power in the galaxy, and when they have the opportunity to press their advantages in combat, Imperial forces can overwhelm Rebel opposition with superior numbers. Accordingly, the Empire favors the fast, agile, and relatively inexpensive design of the TIE/In, developed by Sienar Fleet Systems. These nimble TIE fighters have the lowest squad point cost of all the starships in X-Wing and serve as the primary starfighters in the Imperial fleet.
The TIE Fighter Expansion Pack for the X-Wing Miniatures Game includes one pre-painted miniature, plus its maneuver dial and all necessary tokens. Players gain two upgrade cards and the ability to draw upon the services of six pilots, including the crafty “Backstabber,” one of Darth Vader’s wingmen in the Battle of Yavin.
Relying on speed and strength in numbers to overcome their enemies, TIE fighters have only a pair of laser cannons and lack shields of any kind, yet their dexterity makes them dangerous opponents. They offer terrific maneuverability, even at high speeds, and all TIE pilots are trained to focus, perform barrel rolls, and take evasive maneuvers.
Players fielding TIE fighters will want to take advantage of their full range of actions to outmaneuver, outflank, and overwhelm their Rebel counterparts. “Backstabber” provides Imperial players with extra incentive to draw upon the TIE’s maneuverability for all it’s worth; when he can slip behind an opponent, or line up a shot from anywhere outside his foe’s targeting arc, “Backstabber” rolls an extra attack die.
Another pilot in the TIE Fighter Expansion Pack , “Howlrunner,” can help “Backstabber,” and all your Imperial pilots, capitalize on such key moments. When “Backstabber” is within Range “1” of “Howlrunner” and attacks, it can reroll one of its attack dice. This is an excellent example of how Imperial pilots are trained to take advantage of their numbers, and it accentuates the strength the Imperial fleet can gain from Swarm Tactics .
Meanwhile, if you’re holding formations or maneuvering to keep your foes and allies all within close range, a third unique pilot from the TIE Fighter Expansion Pack , “Winged Gundark,” can change the course of battle by disrupting his foes as he damages them.
As we addressed in an earlier look at the game’s combat rules, each time a starfighter is hit, it gains a facedown damage card. However, if a starfighter suffers a critical hit, that damage card is placed next to the starfighter faceup, and the card does more than count toward hull damage; it adds a random detrimental effect. With his ability to convert a hit into a critical hit, “Winged Gundark” is bad luck for the Rebellion, but a valuable tool for the Empire.
Gen Con Indy 2012 gets closer every day, so keep your eyes open for more X-Wing previews! We still have two single fighter expansions to review, a tournament rules document is on its way, and we’ll cover the basics of building your own squad.
X-Wing is a tactical ship-to-ship combat game in whi ch 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!