20 February 2017 | X-Wing

Merchant One

A Preview of the C-ROC Cruiser Expansion Pack

"I have what you ordered. What do you have to offer in return?"

The galaxy's Scum and Villainy are a motley assortment of merchants, smugglers, bounty hunters, thugs, and crime lords. They're almost all selfish criminals. And in X-Wing, they've long flown to battle against Imperial and Rebel fighters whenever they felt the need to protect their turf or their investments.

More than this, these Scum have always fought according to their own style. While the Imperials have swarmed their opponents with cheap and efficient TIE fighters and the Rebels have focused on teamwork and defense, the galaxy's Scum and Villainy have specialized in dirty tricks, illegal technology, and tactics bred of convenience.

It should be no surprise, then, that when the Scum faction goes Epic with the C-ROC Cruiser Expansion Pack, you'll find that the faction's first huge ship and its upgrades permit a whole range of dirty tricks and scummy tactics.

The Scummy Cruiser

Built on a Gozanti chassis, the C-ROC Cruiser bears a great deal of similarities to the Empire's Gozanti-class Cruiser , but it plays a wildly different role in a Scum fleet than the Gozanti plays in an Imperial fleet. And the differences in playstyle hint at some of the ship's unique strengths and, possibly, at the Scum faction's future tactics in the game's Epic battles.

Versatility is the name of the game. Whereas the Empire invested in the Gozanti's ability to carry and deploy TIEs directly into battle, your Scum don't care about deploying TIEs from their C-ROC. They don't even have any TIEs to deploy. What they do have, though, is stuff—and lots of it. The C-ROC gains an extra cargo upgrade slot, which it can then use to haul any of the great cargo upgrades you might already have, such as a Backup Shield Generator , Ionization Reactor , Comms Booster , or Engine Booster .

Even if you don't have any of those cargo upgrades, you can still make good use of the C-ROC's carrying capacity by freeing your Quick-Release Cargo Locks to place a container token squarely in your enemy's flight path. Or you can use some Supercharged Power Cells to roll as many as six dice with your C-ROC's Heavy Laser Turret .

A 360-degree view of the C-ROC Cruiser. ( Click for a larger view. )

Perhaps the greatest thing about the C-ROC's tremendous cargo capacity is that you don't even have to limit yourself to only the cargo with which you start your game. If you allow crime lord Cikatro Vizago to ply his trade for a time aboard your C-ROC, you can then discard him to swap one of your cargo upgrades for another of equal or lesser cost.

For example, you might start with a Frequency Jammer in order to boost the efficiency of the C-ROC's jam action, thereby allowing your other ships—perhaps some Binayre Pirates —to target the enemies you stress with their Black Market Slicer Tools . But once those Binayre Pirates have been destroyed, or after they've been lured out of position, you might discard Cikatro Vizago to swap your Frequency Jammer for Supercharged Power Cells to finish off an opponent's fighter. Or you might swap in Tibanna Gas Supplies for an emergency energy boost.

Azmorigan and Merchant One

Of course, it's not just the C-ROC's extra cargo capacity that gives the ship its Scum and Villainy flavor. The C-ROC can also equip two crew upgrades and one team upgrade—or three and two, if you fly the Merchant One —and these can lead to all manner of different tactics and abilities.

  • By equipping IG-88D aboard your C-ROC, you can grant it IG-88A's ability to recover a shield after performing an attack that destroys an enemy ship.
  • Latts Razzi provides your C-ROC extra defense against any ship it might stress with its jam action.
  • By crewing your C-ROC and operating its Heavy Laser Turret, Dengar , Zuckuss , and 4-LOM can dramatically shorten the lifespans of your opponent's pilots.
  • And if you crash your C-ROC into your opponent's huge ship, BoShek can potentially send it crashing into the fighters it was intended to protect.

Best of all, you can amplify all these tactics by flying Azmorigan on your ship. If you have even a single point of energy at the start of the End phase, Azmorigan allows you to swap an existing crew or team ugprade for another of the same type of equal or lesser value. This means you shouldn't ever need to start with a crew member that provides only a situational benefit—such as BoShek—but if the situation arises, Azmorigan lets bring him into play for full effect.

Maybe you'll start your game with "Gonk" and bank a bunch of shield tokens for later use, but once those shield tokens have been invested back into your cruiser, you're unlikely to come across the available actions to load back up. With Azmorigan, you can spend an energy and swap out "Gonk" for a WED-15 Repair Droid . Or you can even swap out Azmorigan, himself, for a crew like Ketsu Onyo should the moment arise. All you need is the idea. With Azmorigan, your whole collection of Scum and neutral X-Wing crew upgrades is suddenly fair game.

The Heart of Your Epic Fleet

Your C-ROC Cruiser is unlikely to coordinate the rest of your forces in the same fashion as an Imperial Gozanti or the Rebellion's CR-90 Corellian Corvette. But it's still going to play a prominent role at the center of your Epic fleet. Just like the game's other huge ships, the C-ROC can obliterate small and large ships simply by running into them. It can reinforce its shields. It can recover the shields it has lost. And it can gain and spend energy… It's the way you use these distinctively Epic elements that makes the C-ROC a true Scum ship.

Loaded with Cikatro Vizago and Azmorigan, the Merchant One is a resoundingly versatile vessel. Dengar, a Heavy Laser Turret, and an Engineering Team may increase its combat potential, along with the support from a Frequency Jammer and Ionization Reactor , but they may also give way for other crew, team, and cargo upgrades as the need arises. In the end, if you're not offering Cikatro Vizago and Asmorigan a deal worth making, you're off the ship!

So how will you use your C-ROC? What deals will you broker? Who will Azmorigan toss aside, and who will he recruit? Will you fly the Merchant One, the Insatiable Worrt , or the Broken Horn ?

Nothing's off the table when you deal with the Scum and Villainy of the Star Wars universe. So head to your local retailer to pre-order your copy of the C-ROC Cruiser Expansion Pack today. Then keep your eyes open for future previews and other X-Wing news!

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