9 June 2017 | X-Wing

Defenders of Kashyyyk

A Preview of the Auzituck Gunship Expansion Pack for X-Wing™

"It's not wise to upset a Wookiee."
     –Han Solo

A ship that made its debut in the Star Wars Rebels episode Spark of Rebellion, the Auzituck gunship was equipped with three wide-range Sureggi twin laser cannons and acted as a powerful deterrent to slaver operations in the Kashyyyk system.

Although the Wookiee bounty hunter Black Krrsantan flew an Auzituck on his hunts throughout the galaxy—as recorded in the Darth Vader comics—there are relatively few recorded instances of other Wookiees flying the ship much beyond Kashyyyk. But that is likely to change as the Auzituck makes its X-Wing debut in the Auzituck Gunship Expansion Pack.

Built to Last

Throughout the galaxy, Wookiees are renowned for their strength, endurance, and ferocity in battle. They are also known for their honor and loyalty, and more than one of them—like Chewbacca—has willingly sworn to accompany and protect another individual in order to repay a life debt.

With its six hull and three shields, the Auzituck gunship is a powerfully resilient vessel and one that's easily worthy of its notoriously durable pilots and crew, many of whom have found ways to leverage their ship's toughness to the Rebellion's advantage.

A 360-degree view of the Auzituck gunship.

Much of the Auzituck's tremendous resilience owes to its reinforce action . Adapted from Epic Play for use with the small-base ship in Standard Play, the Auzituck's reinforce action allows you to reinforce either your ship's fore or aft.

If you choose to reinforce the ship's fore, you place the "fore" side of the double-sided reinforce token faceup next to the ship and add one evade result each time you defend against an attacker within your firing arc.
If you choose to reinforce the ship's aft, you place the "aft" side of the reinforce token faceup next to the ship and add one evade result each time you defend against an attacker outside your firing arc.

The Auzituck's ability to perform the reinforce action makes something of a lie of its low agility of "1." The Auzituck fights and defends less like an agility "1" B-wing or ARC-170 than like an agility "2" X-wing that has had one of its defense dice set permanently to an evade result.

The only issues, here, are that its maneuver dial tells a different story, and if you're consistently using your action to reinforce the ship, you're going to want some means of modifying your attack dice.

Flying the Auzituck

The Auzituck's maneuver dial, while almost entirely white and green, presents a challenge in the fact that it doesn't come with any of the maneuvers that allow you to adjust your facing—no Koiogran Turn, Segnor's Loop, or Tallon Roll.

This challenge is further compounded by the fact the ship lacks any actions that would allow you to reposition it after you complete its maneuver. In fact, not only does the ship not come with the boost and barrel roll actions, it doesn't come with the target lock action, either. It features only the focus and reinforce actions.

This makes the Auzituck somewhat predictable, and the squadron leaders who get the most from its inclusion in their squads are likely to be those who learn how to plan and approach their engagements multiple rounds in advance.

Although the Auzituck gunship's primary weapon boasts a full 180-degree forward firing arc, the ship struggles to respond to enemies that can get behind it. You can minimize the risk of this by approaching your enemy at an angle, instead of racing straight ahead, since this allows you to follow your first combat pass with a turn maneuver that's likely to keep your opponents in arc.

You can also play to the Auzituck's strengths—and mitigate its weaknesses—by incorporating it into a squad that pairs the ship with others that have turrets, bombs, or weapons that can ionize your enemy. Likewise, the Auzituck pairs nicely with ships that excel at intercepting and disrupting their enemies' maneuvers and actions.

By deploying its Seismic Charges , the Warden Squadron Pilot ensures the TIE defender will suffer if its pilot performs its signature speed "4" Koiogran turn to get a shot from outside the Kashyyyk Defender's firing arc.

In turn, the Auzituck gunship can strengthen your squadron by extending the amount of battlefield it threatens and by carrying any of the many crew whose talents may lead to powerful synergies between your ships.

As an example, if you begin your approach along the board edge with your Kashyyyk Defender on the inside of your formation, then when you turn toward the center of the battlefield and the game's first round of combat, the Auzituck's 180-degree firing arc makes it harder for your opponent to weave past your Kashyyyk Defender's attack dice and the stress it can deal with Tactician . In turn, that stress may render your opponent far more predictable—easy prey for the rest of your squadron.

Or Lowhhrick could spend his reinforce token to grant a key evade result to his wingmate, Biggs Darklighter , and you can easily use its two crew slots to carry crew like Jan Ors and Jyn Erso who can then help Biggs defend against the attacks he draws from his wingmates.

Alternatively, the Auzituck's most skillful pilot, Wullffwarro , could even replace Biggs in your Rebel list, drawing fire away from your other ships with Draw Their Fire or Selflessness . And in a nice twist, each hit that depletes his shields also moves him one step closer toward claiming an extra attack die.

Sent to battle with Selflessness and a team of Wookiee Commandos , Wullffwarro enhances your squad's durability and firepower.

Wookiees in the Wild

While the Auzituck, its pilots, and its crew all play nicely into the Rebellion's greater focus on squadron synergies, the ship also excels as a flanker. In fact, each ship from X-Wing Wave XI serves well as a flanker, but in the case of the Auzituck, it's largely because the ship's fantastically forgiving 180-degree firing arc makes it easy to line up a shot on the ships you approach from the flank.

While Darth Vader is able to use the boost from his Engine Upgrade and his barrel roll to slip out of Poe Dameron's firing arc, he can't quite slip out of Wullffwarro's.

If you want to use your Auzituck as a flanker, though, you'll likely want to do two things. You'll want to increase its maneuverability, and you'll want to increase its firepower.

While the ship's wide firing arc will make it easy to trap enemy ships within your initial pincer maneuver, you'll still want an Engine Upgrade or Vectored Thrusters so that you can adjust your position more acutely as your enemy looks to slip behind your ship and out of your arc.

Meanwhile, flanking ships are only truly useful when they provide a meaningful threat. Typically, this means both attacking with a good number of dice and having the means to modify those dice, ideally with both a target lock and a focus token—or their equivalents.

As you might have noticed, however, the Auzituck gunship doesn't have the target lock action, but it does have a solid primary weapon with an attack of three dice. Accordingly, if you're looking to fly your Auzituck as a flanker, you might consider outfitting either Lowhhrick or Wullffwarro with an elite pilot talent that lets you reroll your blank results—like Lone Wolf or Predator .

Likewise, you can modify your focus results by equipping a team of Wookiee commandos or simply by performing the focus action and spending your token. Or if you really want to reinforce on the rounds you get into combat, you could equip Rey and bank up a pile of focus tokens to use over the rest of the game. Selecting Rey instead of the Wookiee Commandos would also leave you a crew slot to fill, which you could use for either a Breach Specialist or Chewbacca .

Equipped with Lone Wolf, Rey, Breach Specialist, and an Engine Upgrade, Wullffwarro weighs in at a hefty thirty-nine squad points, but he presents a threat that your opponent cannot afford to ignore.

Let the Wookiee Win

As fans of Star Wars, we know quite well that angry Wookiees have been known to pull people's arms out of their sockets, but we are less familiar with their Auzituck gunships and the ways that Wookiees fly them to battle.

That means we have plenty of room for experimentation, especially with all the different crew pairings the ship and its massive forward firing arc have to offer. Do you run Baze Malbus with Tactician? Do you add Sabine to your Auzituck and fly it alongside another bomber in order to discourage your opponent from swooping in behind you? Or do you go straight for maximum damage, looking for ways to equip Wullffwarro's fighter so that he can absorb just the right amount of damage and attack with four or more dice?

Share your thoughts with the other members of our community forums, and then head to your local retailer to pre-order your copy of the Auzituck Gunship Expansion Pack (SWX64) today!

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