24 October 2016 | X-Wing

Fanatical Devotion

A Preview of the Upsilon-class Shuttle Expansion Pack for X-Wing™

"The First Order rose from the dark side."
     –Lor San Tekka

The anger, fear, and aggression of the dark side find a new home in the Upsilon-class Shuttle Expansion Pack for X-Wing.

Frequently used to transport dignitaries and high-ranking officers, the First Order's Upsilon-class command shuttles were loaded with defensive systems to safeguard their passengers. Advanced sensor suites in their upper wings allowed crews to scan enemy communications and help pilots avoid hostile encounters.

Even in combat, these shuttles still afforded their passengers reasonable measures of safety in the form of their protective durasteel armor and powerful shield projectors. Their twin heavy laser cannons also packed a considerable punch, but the ships' greatest defense against enemy fighters was typically the detachment of TIE/fo fighters that accompanied the shuttle.

Soon, the Upsilon-class Shuttle Expansion Pack will bring this large-base starship to X-Wing™ as a heavily shielded, hard-hittting symbol of the First Order's agenda for galactic domination. You can look forward to spreading fear with its primary attack value of four, as its six shields and six hull allow you to play the aggressor. The new condition cards that accompany it will enable your pilots to lash out at their foes with a dark and directed anger.

A 360-degree view of the Upsilon-class shuttle. ( View a larger image. )

Lashing Out

As we mentioned in both our announcement of Wave X and our preview of the Sabine's TIE Fighter Expansion Pack, Wave X introduces a number of persistent effects to the game through the use of condition cards. You don't assign these conditions while building your list. Instead, you assign one to a ship whenever its trigger is met. The associated token is then placed next to the ship's miniature, and stays with the ship until the condition is removed.

There's no limit to the effects that these condition cards can create. They can be either beneficial or detrimental, and you'll find both in the Upsilon-class Shuttle Expansion Pack.

The Fanatical Devotion condition allows you to assign a mostly beneficial effect to one of your ships.
On the other hand, I'll Show You the Dark Side creates nothing but problems for your opponent.

Ultimately, both conditions improve your squad's ability to lash out at enemy ships, and you can incorporate both into your squad. In fact, since the Upsilon-class shuttle features two crew slots, you can add both General Hux and Kylo Ren to the same ship.

Rival Agendas

Adding both General Hux and Kylo Ren to the same shuttle might not, however, be your best option. Just as there were clear tensions between the two in The Force Awakens, assigning both crew members to the same shuttle would force you to decide between competing actions. Sure, you could add an Experimental Interface to the shuttle, but even then you'd be forced to choose between triggering both conditions or using your other action to acquire a target lock, focus, or coordinate the rest of your fleet.

The Upsilon-class shuttle is the first ship in the Standard game to feature the Coordinate action that debuted in the Epic game with the Rebel Transport Expansion Pack. When your shuttle performs the Coordinate action, it immediately grants a free action to another friendly ship at Range 1–2.

Accordingly, you can use your Upsilon-class shuttle to help coordinate a trio of TIE bombers, to allow your TIE/fo fighter to barrel roll away from an asteroid before it maneuvers, or even to trigger the Fleet Officer on your TIE Shuttle,  allowing you to assign two focus tokens without having to place a stress token on your Upsilon-class shuttle.

Finally, adding both General Hux and Kylo Ren to the same shuttle would prevent you from crewing that shuttle with the new Operations Specialist.  Whenever a friendly ship at Range 1–2 performs an attack that does not hit, your Operations Specialist can assign a focus token to a friendly ship at Range 1–3 of the attacker.

Action economy is always good, but if you're wondering why this crew member is both Limited and worth three squad points, consider that there's no limit to the number of times that the Operations Specialist can trigger. Additionally, the Upsilon-class Shuttle Expansion Pack comes with two copies of the elite pilot talent Snap Shot.  Pair your Upsilon-class shuttle, General Hux, and Operations Specialist with a trio of Omega Squadron Pilots with Snap Shot, and you have the recipe for an all-out offensive.

Alternatively, you could fly your Operations Specialist aboard Kylo Ren's Shuttle and pair the ship with one or more Gamma Squadron Veterans with Snap Shot, TIE Shuttle, Tactician,  and Intelligence Agent.  You'll likely take a lot of damage in the early exchanges, but so long as your shuttle survives, you should be able to shift the momentum back in your favor after you bury your opponent's ships beneath a barrage of bonus shots and a mountain of stress tokens.

When you run Kylo Ren's Shuttle with a pair of Gamma Squadron Veterans outfitted with TIE Shuttle, Snap Shot, and Tactician, your opponent's Poe Dameron will find it hard to approach you in any way that doesn't let you bury him under stress tokens.

In the end, your decision whether to crew your Upsilon-class shuttle with either General Hux or Kylo Ren may simply come down to your strategic vision.

Let Nothing Stand in Your Way

"Show me again, the power of the darkness, and I will let nothing stand in our way."
     –Kylo Ren

It may be difficult, but there are ways you can still make General Hux and Kylo Ren work together and further the First Order's ambitions. One of the most convenient of these is simply to put Kylo Ren in the pilot's seat.

Even as a pilot in your Upsilon-class shuttle, Kylo Ren can intimidate his opponents with the power of the dark side. His unique pilot ability allows him to assign the condition I'll Show You the Dark Side to the first attacker who hits his ship in a given round, and because this ability doesn't require an action, it means you can save your action for General Hux.

Still, you need a way to be able to generate a critical hit against the opponent that Kylo Ren tags with I'll Show You the Dark Side. If you don't use General Hux aboard the shuttle, you could ensure yourself a critical hit result by upgrading your shuttle with Emperor Palpatine.  You could also secure yourself some pretty good chances of generating critical hits by running Proton Torpedoes on your bombers, flying "Omega Ace," using the Calculation upgrade, or adding a "Mangler" Cannon to one of your ships.

A TIE punisher generates a critical hit result with its Proton Torpedoes and forces the Zealous Recruit to suffer the effects of the Blinded Pilot card.

It's important to note, here, that all you have to do is get the critical hit past your opponent's defense dice and tokens. So long as the damage isn't cancelled, it is suffered, and while the damage your opponent's ship suffers would normally apply first to its shields—if it has any—I'll Show You the Dark Side alters the standard effect. The critical damage isn't suffered as the removal of a shield token or as a card drawn and revealed faceup from the damage deck; the damage is simply suffered as the faceup critical hit stored on I'll Show You the Dark Side.

Play the Aggressor

Naturally, you have more piloting options for your Upsilon-class shuttle than just Kylo Ren, and along with the expansion's new tech upgrades, these are bound to promote the exploration of a good many squadron designs.

Major Stridan allows you to treat all friendly ships at Range 1–3 as though they were at Range "1" for purposes of your actions and upgrade cards. This means you'll be better able to coordinate your fleet through the coordinate action or the use of upgrades like Systems Officer,  Operations Specialist, and Fleet Officer.

Stridan also works well with the new tech upgrade Targeting Synchronizer.  Combined with a Weapons Engineer,  your Targeting Synchronizer can easily empower your squad's use of ordnance or a pilot like "Omega Ace" and his deadly attacks of pure crit.

While Major Stridan keeps his Targeting Synchronizer within Range "3" of "Omega Ace," the TIE/fo fighter pilot can use Push the Limit to focus and reposition with a barrel roll for a Range "1" shot, rather than using his actions to focus and target lock before firing at Range "2."

If neither Kylo Ren's dark side powers nor Major Stridan's squadron command are quite to your taste, then you might consider the budget deployment shenanigans enabled by Lieutenant Dormitz.  At thirty-one points, Lieutenant Dormitz slots into your squadron for just one point more than the Starkiller Base Pilot, but allows you to deploy friendly ships anywhere within Range 1–2 of his position.

Equip him with the new Hyperwave Comm Scanner,  and you can deploy him at a pilot skill value of zero, six, or twelve—your choice. You could deploy him in the middle of the board at pilot skill "0," and establish a screen of Academy Pilots within Range "3" of your edge of the board.

Alternatively, you could run Lieutenant Dormitz with a trio of TIE/fo fighters—all deploying at pilot skill "12," using Hyperwave Comm Scanners as needed.

Set them all straight across the table from the ship they most want to destroy, and if your opponent doesn't fully recognize the threat at hand, you'll be able to inch forward with Dormitz, and activate General Hux to assign each of your TIE/fo fighters a focus token. You'll also assign the Fanatical Devotion condition to one of them, potentially a devotee like "Epsilon Ace."

  • Lieutenant Dormitz with Hyperwave Comm Scanner, Fire-Control System,  and General Hux (39)
  • "Zeta Leader" with Hyperwave Comm Scanner and Wired (22)
  • "Omega Ace" with Hyperwave Comm Scanner and Crack Shot (22)
  • "Epsilon Ace" (17)

     Total Squad Points: 100

With this sample squad, you want to race all your TIEs straight forward at speed "5," forcing combat early, and giving your opponent no quarter. You pair the uncancellable hit from Fanatical Devotion with the crippling critical damage facilitated by equipping Crack Shot to "Omega Ace." Finally, you add more damage potential by firing early with another high pilot skill value ace—in this case, the Wired "Zeta Leader." The result? You have an alpha-striking squadron truly worthy of representing the First Order in battle.

Give Shape to Your Devotion

"Today is the end of the Republic! The end of a regime that acquiesces to disorder!"
     –General Hux

Devote yourself to the anger and aggression of the First Order. Use the Upsilon-class shuttle to spread fear wherever you go. Bring an end to the Republic, and establish a new order for the galaxy.

Wave X is coming. Head to your local retailer to pre-order your copy of the Upsilon-class Shuttle Expansion Pack!

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