“Proceed with the countdown. All groups assume attack coordinates.”
–Admiral Ackbar, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
The second wave of single fighter expansions for X-Wing ™ is nearly ready to drop out of hyperspace!
With their release, players will gain the opportunity to command such iconic starships as the Millennium Falcon , Slave I , TIE interceptor, and A-wing as they wage their space battles for control of the galaxy. In recent previews, we’ve already explored the starships and strategies that you’ll be able to field with the Millennium Falcon ™ , Slave I ™ , and TIE Interceptor™ Expansion Packs.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at the final starfighter in the wave, the RZ-1 A-wing interceptor.
The A-Wing™ Expansion Pack
The design for the RZ-1 A-wing interceptor was conceived by General Dodonna, and the starfighter proved its worth by crippling Star Destroyers during the Battle of Endor. At that time, the A-wing was the Rebellion’s fastest starfighter and the only one capable of matching the speed of a TIE interceptor. Soon, this speedy starfighter will add another exciting dimension to your Rebel squadron.
The A-Wing Expansion Pack introduces one A-wing miniature with four pilots and five upgrades, as well as the tactically compelling “ Boost ” action. The Boost action greatly enhances a starship’s maneuverability, and Rebel aces like Arvel Crynyd use it to Push the Limit as they seek to gain every advantage they can get, darting about the battlefields of the galaxy’s deadliest dogfights.
The Boost action isn’t the A-wing’s only distinguishing ability. Like other Rebels, A-wing pilots can use an action to Focus or acquire a Target Lock. Unlike X-wing and Y-wing pilots, though, the Rebels behind the controls of an A-wing can also choose to take an Evade action. The A-wing is also capable of carrying a payload of missiles, making it potentially as lethal as it is slippery. All together, the A-wing is an extremely versatile and highly customizable starfighter that can offer tremendous advantages to those capable of handling it.
A close-up of the A-wing action bar.
Piloting an A-wing in Battle
Its tremendous maneuverability is the A-wing’s greatest advantage, but its sensitive controls make it difficult for all but the most skillful pilots to handle. Similarly, it can prove tricky in X-Wing to coax the utmost performance out of your A-wings.
The A-wing maneuver dial
With two attack and three agility, as well as its Evade action, the A-wing functions in battle more like a TIE fighter than an X-wing. The A-wing is also less durable than the Rebellion’s other fighters, with only two hull, compared to the X-wing’s three and the Y-wing’s five. Accordingly, the A-wing plays differently, and the question becomes how best to make use of its speed and agility.
Rebel squads built from the Core Set , X-Wing™ Expansion Pack, and Y-Wing™ Expansion Pack have traditionally taken advantage of the X-wing’s muscular firepower and the Y-wing’s ability to hinder enemy movement with its Ion Cannon Turret. By contrast, Imperial players have had the advantage in maneuverability. Not only are its TIE fighters fast and nimble starships, but their low squad point costs have allowed players to build them into squads that activate enough ships to choke their opponent’s flight paths and swarm them from multiple sides.
The A-wing costs more squad points than the TIE fighter, though, and while a Rebel player can easily field five A-wings in a tournament-legal one-hundred point squad, he won’t be able to muster the same raw numbers of attack dice.
Arvel Crynyd can fire at an enemy starship into which he collides, and the opposing ship can't return the fire.
The trick, then, to fielding one or more A-wings in your Rebel squadron is figuring out how best to utilize its strengths. The ship is built differently than other starfighters and needs to be used differently.
Players looking for hints how they might make use of A-wings in their squadrons can start by looking to the events of
Return of the Jedi
. During the Battle of Endor, Arvel Crynyd demonstrated one excellent way to utilize the starfighter. He led his A-wing filled Green Squadron into the thick of the Imperial fleet where they took advantage of the starfighter’s mobility to dodge incoming fire from TIEs and turrets as they worked at disabling the Imperial Star Destroyers’ ion cannons. When Crynyd’s ship was critically hit and sent into a spin, he managed to regain control just long enough to fly into the Executor’s bridge, sacrificing himself in an effort that destroyed the
’s bridge, killed its command crew, caused the
to crash into the unfinished second Death Star, and changed the tide of the battle.
As in the Battle of Endor, A-wings in X-Wing allow players to make targeted, tactical strikes. Their speed and mobility, along with their Boost and Evade actions, allow them to race around the battlefield until they get into position to open fire.
Combat at Close Quarters
Like TIEs, A-wings excel at “Range 1” combat and maneuvering in tight quarters. The tournament-legal squad list provided below is designed to highlight the starfighter’s ability to target and eliminate an opponent’s deadliest starships early in the match. It combines the talents of four A-wing pilots and the explosive power of the expansion’s Cluster Missiles to capitalize on early turns of lethal “Range 1” attacks.
Tycho Celchu (26)
Squad Leader (2)
Green Squadron Pilot (19)
Cluster Missiles (4)
Green Squadron Pilot (19)
Cluster Missiles (4)
Prototype Pilot (17)
Cluster Missiles (4)
Your Green Squadron Pilots can make use of their Elusiveness as they get into range to unleash their Cluster Missiles against your opponent’s most important starships. Then, when another pilot acquires a Target Lock and prepares to fire its missiles, Tycho Celchu can give that pilot a chance to Focus with his Squad Leader talent.
Take Control of the Rebellion’s Fastest Ship
Can you find your own way to take advantage of the A-wing’s speed and maneuverability? You’ll soon get your chance to experiment with the A-wing’s versatile role in your Rebel squad. The A-Wing Expansion Pack for X-Wing is scheduled to arrive at your local retailer by February 28th, along with the Millennium Falcon , Slave I , and TIE Interceptor Expansion Packs!
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!