Preview Combat in X-Wing Second Edition
“Get set up for your attack run!”
–Red Leader, Star Wars: A New Hope
Although they may be infinitesimal in comparison to capital ships, individual starfighters can make a huge difference in a space battle. After all, it was a lone T-65 X-wing fighter that destroyed the massive Death Star, scoring a major victory for the Rebel Alliance. In X-Wing Second Edition, you have the chance to enter a new era of space battles as you lead squadrons of these fighters into tense engagements.
Thus far, we’ve taken a look at the refinements that have been made to the game’s movement system, placing the emphasis on precisely maneuvering your ships into the perfect position. From there, we examined the actions you can pair with these movements to develop your overall strategy. But both the way you fly your ship and the actions you take with it are ultimately geared toward one goal: opening fire and eliminating enemy ships. Today, we’re pleased to offer a glimpse into combat in X-Wing Second Edition!
Everything in a round of X-Wing Second Edition builds up to engaging and attacking enemy ships. As things progress, you’ll deftly maneuver your ships into position, selecting actions along the way that will make them all the more deadly. Every decision you make carries strategic weight, and combat in X-Wing Second Edition builds the tension while maintaining the quick tempo of a space battle.
The first goal of any engagement is to get the enemy in your ships’ firing arcs. Once you do, you’ll then choose the weapon you’ll use for your attack. Each weapon rolls a different number of attack dice and has its own set of effects once it’s fired. At the very least, you can always fire a ship’s primary blaster cannons, rolling red attack dice equal to the attack value printed on your pilot card. The defending ship will roll green defense dice equal to the agility value printed on their ship card. Any evade results rolled by the defender will cancel your hits, so it’s best to find a way to maximize the amount of damage that gets through!
One solution is to use a secondary weapon with a little more power. Each of these weapons give you more tactical options in the middle of a fight. Launching a volley of Proton Torpedoes, for example, lets you roll four attack dice and change a hit result to a critical result. This added power is not without its limits, however. In X-Wing Second Edition, secondary weapons like torpedoes have a finite number of charges. Every time one of these weapons is used, one of its charges is flipped to its inactive side and, when all of its charges are inactive, that secondary weapon cannot be used again.
In addition to providing extra firepower, some weapons provide more versatility, inviting you to subvert the normal attack requirements. Bombs such as Seismic Charges, for example, can be dropped in the path of enemy ships, forcing them to alter their flight path or suffer damage. Still other weapons, like turrets, give you a greater degree of freedom when you’re determining where to fire. Rather than being fixed to a ship’s forward firing arc, these weapons can be rotated to fire in other directions.
Unlike in the game's first edition, however, your turrets can't fire in every direction at once. Depending on your ship, you'll only be able to fire your turrets in one or two of these arcs at a time. What's more, rotating your turrets requires an action, so you must choose your arc wisely if you want to properly use these guns. Savvy pilots can use this to their advantage, maintaining their course while still being able to fire at enemy ships with weapons such as an Ion Cannon Turret . This effect is only enhanced if you have a Veteran Turret Gunner on your ship, giving you attacks from two different arcs during a single round.
My Ally is the Force
As we saw when Luke Skywalker guided his proton torpedoes into the Death Star’s exhaust port in Star Wars: A New Hope, the Force can be a powerful ally during the fiercest space battle. Within X-Wing Second Edition, the addition of Force powers adds new dimensions to the game, giving you even more strategic options. Our preview of actions showed how simply having Force charges to modify your dice affects how you think about the maneuvers you perform and the actions you take. But your Force charges become even more useful when you outfit your Force-sensitive pilots with Force upgrade cards.
These upgrade cards deepen these pilots’ connection to the Force, unlocking new abilities and giving them the ability to perform feats that will leave even ace pilots in awe. For example, being in tune with the Force could help a pilot have Heightened Perception, elevating their senses to a level where they can strike before any other pilot. Similarly, if a pilot lets the Force flow through them, they can spend a Force charge to fire a secondary weapon with Instinctive Aim, ignoring the normal requirements.
The Force connects all things in the Star Wars galaxy, and those trained in its ways can reach beyond themselves and feel the presence of those around them. Sometimes, they can even Sense their intentions, gaining insight into what they’ll do next. This Force power lets you look at nearby ship's dial and takes effect during the new System Phase, which allows you to activate certain abilities between secretly setting maneuever dials and activating ships.
While the Force is a powerful tool that gives users connected to it supernatural abilities, using it takes its toll. Most pilots who can use the Force only have a handful of Force charges at their disposal and while they typically recover one Force charge at the end of each round, you must carefully select which of your powers to use to get the most out of them.
Enter the Battle
With pinpoint maneuvering and lightning-quick reflexes you’ve gotten the enemy ship in your sights. It’s time to seize this opportunity and launch a devastating attack. A new era of intense, fast-paced space battles is coming to your tabletop soon with X-Wing Second Edition!
Look for X-Wing Second Edition (SWZ01) to be sold early at Gen Con 2018, with a wide release on September 13th, 2018. Pre-order your copy at your local retailer or online through our website today!