17 October 2016 | X-Wing

Suppressive Fire

A Preview of the Sabine's TIE Fighter Expansion Pack for X-Wing™

"Yeah… about that, uh… we stole a TIE fighter."
     –Ezra Bridger

There is no starfighter more closely associated with the Galactic Empire than the TIE fighter. Designed by Sienar Fleet Systems, the TIE fighter was cheap, mass-produced, and ubiquitous—a quick and agile dogfighter deployed most often in overwhelming numbers. Squadrons of TIEs would serve as reminders of Imperial might. Even solitary TIEs could spread fear among those who heard the distinctive roar of their twin ion engines racing overhead.

Accordingly, there's no small measure of irony in the fact that the Rebellion will soon get to field its own TIE fighter in battle.

Scheduled to arrive later this year with the rest of the X-Wing  Wave X starship expansions, the Sabine's TIE Fighter Expansion Pack grants Rebel squad leaders access to their very own TIE fighter, along with four unique pilots and five upgrades. But this TIE fighter doesn't represent Imperial might. It was stolen and modified. It was painted bright orange and yellow. It represents individuality and defiance.

A 360-degree view of the TIE fighter from the Sabine's TIE Fighter Expansion Pack

Outfitted for Rebel Use

"At least tell me you dismantled the locator beacon?"
     –Kanan Jarrus

The stolen TIE fighter's locator beacon might have been dismantled a bit later than it should have been, but it was eventually dismantled. Then Sabine repainted the TIE, working her masterpiece in bright shades of orange and yellow between the black and grey of its wings and their solar collectors. Those, however, were not all the changes the Rebels made.

They modified the ship enough that they were able to squeeze a couple of passengers into the cockpit, alongside the pilot, and then—in a dramatic turn of events—outfitted it with enough illicit EMP devices to temporarily shut down nearly all of a Star Destroyer's systems from inside its docking bay.

These changes are reflected in the Sabine's TIE Fighter Expansion Pack through both the Title upgrade Sabine's Masterpiece and the EMP Device illicit upgrade.

With these upgrades, you can enhance the fighter's combat capabilities by squeezing in a crew member such as a Recon Specialist , Jyn Erso , or Captain Rex . Or you can decide that instead of attacking, you would rather fly your Captured TIE into Range "1" of a cluster of enemy ships, detonate your EMP Device, potentially ionize a key enemy fighter, and force it to limp straight forward on its next round at speed "1"—right into the firing arcs of your squadron's other ships.

After executing a Speed "4" Koiogran-turn with her Captured TIE, the Rebel player opts to trigger her EMP Device instead of performing attacks, assigning two ion tokens to each ship at Range "1."

Of course, to pull off that sort of trick, you will want a pilot of considerable skill.

A Pilot of Considerable Skill

Of the four unique ship cards in the Sabine's TIE Fighter Expansion Pack, the one with the highest pilot skill value belongs to Ahsoka Tano . She enters X-Wing with a pilot skill value of "7," which is enough to sneak past all the game's non-unique pilots, as well as many of its lesser aces. Moreover, with a copy of Veteran Instincts , she can boost her pilot skill value to "9" and sneak past the likes of "Omega Leader," The Inquisitor , and Boba Fett . Even Colonel Vessery , equipped with his own Veteran Instincts, won't be able to see through Ahsoka's ruse.

The problem is that in order to maintain her ruse Ahsoka won't be able to take any shots, lest she be forced to discard her Captured TIE modification. Fortunately, her unique pilot talent allows her to contribute even throughout this initial approach. At the start of the Combat phase, she can spend a focus token to grant a free action to a friendly ship at Range "1."

Perhaps you'll have Ahsoka grant Poe Dameron the action so that he can focus after having boosted into position for a Range "1" shot on an enemy TIE. Perhaps she'll grant Biggs Darklighter an action to spend focusing or boosting his agility with R2-F2 . Perhaps she'll help a focused Rookie Pilot acquire the target lock he needs to hammer the Emperor's shuttle with a Proton Torpedo . The possibilities are myriad—limited only by your imagination and your ability to fly in formation.

And since you'll know exactly where any ionized enemy ships are bound to end up, you might want to consider how best to punish them. Here, the idea of forcing them to run into a nest of Seismic Charges or Proton Bombs might be appealing. After all, while you're using Sabine's Masterpiece to add the crew and illicit slots, you might consider using Sabine Wren to add a bomb slot and some additional damage. You could even pair Ahsoka with a Warden Squadron Pilot or Miranda Doni —or both.

With Veteran Instincts equipped, Ahsoka Tano executes her maneuver after The Inquisitor and "Omega Leader," flying into position to detonate her EMP Device, ionizing all ships at Range "1" of her position.

In the subsequent round, with The Inquisitor and "Omega Leader" doomed to limp forward at Speed "1," Ahsoka deploys her Proton Bombs and executes her Speed "1" maneuver to get just outside of the blast radius.

Consider Your Options

The drawback is that if you pilot your TIE with Ashoka and add Sabine as a crew member, you can't run Sabine Wren as your pilot and take advantage of all the fantastic maneuvers she permits with her ability to boost or barrel roll immediately before she reveals her maneuver.

While you're weighing your options, you should also consider piloting your TIE with Captain Rex , who can assign his target the Suppressive Fire condition card whenever he attacks. New to Wave X, condition cards make lasting impacts on the game state, and the Suppressive Fire condition may even make a lasting impression on the larger metagame.

Any enemy that has its fire suppressed by Captain Rex rolls one die less when it attacks a ship other than Captain Rex, and since this ability belongs to the same faction as Biggs Darklighter, you have ways of ensuring your opponent cannot fire at Captain Rex. Add a VCX-100 or U-wing with a Tactical Jammer , and you will likely be able to negate the threat posed by one of your opponent's ships—almost entirely.

  • Biggs Darklighter with R5-P9 and Integrated Astromech (28)
  • Blue Squadron Pathfinder with Jyn Erso, Jan Ors , Pivot Wing , and Tactical Jammer (28)
  • Thane Kyrell with R3-A2 , Tactician , and Alliance Overhaul (30)
  • Captain Rex (14)

     Total Squad Points: 100

Whether you fly Captain Rex in formation with the rest of your squad, as you with with the one listed above, or dare your opponent to chase him across the battlefield—through your other ships' firing arcs—it's safe to say that the longer he lives, the greater the impact his Suppressive Fire is bound to make.

A Masterpiece of Design

"Forget the explosion. Look at the color."
     –Sabine Wren

With its new modifications, Sabine's stolen TIE fighter is no longer the simple fighter it once was. It has become something else entirely—a masterpiece of Rebel design, the sort of half-weapon, half-artwork that conveys Rebel ingenuity and can lead to Rebel victory against overwhelming odds.

The Imperials have many TIEs and tend to send them into battle time and again according to the same tactics. The Rebels have just one TIE fighter, and it's painted yellow and orange. Additionally, it can hold a crew and equip illicit technologies. It would be foolish to fly it like an Imperial TIE, so how will you fly it?

Head to our community forums to share your thoughts on Sabine's TIE fighter. Then be sure to head to your local retailer to pre-order your copy today!

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