The Desperate and the Devious
Preview the Fugitives and Collaborators Squadron Pack for Star Wars™: X-Wing
“Caleb Dume died with Depa Billaba. Me, I barely remember the guy.”
– Kanan Jarrus, Kanan: the Last Padawan
Throughout the history of the Star Wars™ galaxy, there have been those who stood in the shadows between the great powers of each era. From outcast Jedi padawans trying to forget their pasts after Order 66 to mercenaries who serve the nefarious First Order for credits, there have always been Fugitives and Collaborators.
The Fugitives and Collaborators Squadron Pack for Scum and Villainy includes one HWK-290 light freighter and two BTL-A4 Y-wing starfighters, all flown by outsiders who find themselves drawn into deadly conflicts. Some are mercenaries like Arliz Hadrassian and the Amaxine Warriors who flock to conflicts in any era. Others are opportunists like Gamut Key . And still others are there not in the criminal underworld because they desire to be, but because the galaxy has left them outcast, like Kanan Jarrus . Whether you are a new player of Star Wars™: X-Wing or an old pirate like Hondo Ohnaka who has been playing Scum and Villainy for years, this squadron pack delivers the best and worst of the galactic underworld to the game table.
Surviving on the Fringe
After Order 66 and the death of his mentor Depa Billaba, Kanan Jarrus found himself an orphan in an unfriendly galaxy. During this time, he learned to survive—and never to trust others. Kanan’s pilot ability helps himself or an ally stay alive under fire, but since he only has one Force charge, you’ll have to fly him cautiously if you want to keep his ship in one piece.
Kanan’s distrust was not misplaced, however. During his time in the galactic underworld avoiding the rising Empire, he interacted with shady characters like Gamut Key , the collaborationist governor of Kaller. And much as Gamut Key plays both sides of any conflict, his ability (in pilot or crew upgrade form) can be a help or a hindrance. By causing a ship to keep its circular tokens, Gamut Key can keep green tokens like focus and evade on a ship from round to round, setting up powerful attacks. But he can also cause orange tokens like tractor and jam to stick around, interfering with enemy plans. This makes him an especially good combination with that other famous rogue appearing in this product, Hondo Ohnaka . Hondo can coordinate one ship and jam another—as long both of those ships are on the same side. This means Hondo can jam a friendly ship to coordinate another friendly ship or coordinate an enemy to jam another enemy. Then, Gamut Key can cause a green token from the coordinated action or a jam token to persist for an additional round, magnifying the effect.
The other interesting inclusion in Fugitives and Collaborators is a number of tech upgrades. While the Scum and Villainy faction has had access to tech upgrades for some time via the Quadjumper, the BTL-A Y-wing pilots like the Amaxine Warrior and Jinata Security Officer also have access to this slot to reflect their collusion with the First Order. As such, several of the upgrades in this squadron pack provide entirely new options for the Scum and Villainy faction. Targeting Synchronizer could enable new types of ordnance-based lists, such as a durable Y-wing pilot like Leema Kai setting up shots for nimble M-3A interceptors carrying devastating missiles or torpedoes.
Building in a completely different direction, Automated Targeting Priority can give even Jinata Security Officers a formidable offense that foes will want to avoid. Combine this with payloads like the included Concussion Bombs or Scum favorite Thermal Detonators and weapons like Ion Turrets , and these two Y-wings can be an extremely effective area-denial tool even when flying in a straight line (to say nothing of what possibilities more daring maneuvers can create).
Another major upgrade in this expansion is the new Scum and Villainy talent: Cutthroat .
Cutthroat builds upon the cycle established by designer Brooks Flugaur-Leavitt with Hopeful and Disciplined , discussed in a previous article. Featuring Cad Bane (who needs no introduction) in its art, Cutthroat opens some very interesting possibilities for Scum lists, recovering charges on various Illicit upgrades or getting ordnance back on ships that can’t normally reload. Scum and Villainy as a faction is uniquely suited to such tactics thanks to its wide range of inexpensive ships and upgrades like the included R5-TK , a devious droid who lets you finish off a friendly ship at a key moment if your opponent won’t oblige you.
Some of the most famous team-ups in Star Wars feature callous bounty hunters, deadly mercenaries, or smugglers with a heart of gold choosing to throw in their lot with the forces of good or evil. And so, in Fugitives and Collaborators, Brooks Flugaur-Leavitt designed two cards to bring these iconic alliances to life in the Epic Battles game mode: Bounty and In It for the Money.
Each of these cards grants a list of another faction access to a Scum and Villainy ship as an allied ship and grants a benefit if a particular goal is completed during the game. If a ship with Bounty (Hired) brings down a high-priority target (a limited enemy ship), the bounty hunter receives cold, hard credits (its non-recurring ship and upgrade charges are refreshed), and the card becomes Bounty (Paid) . On the other hand, if a smuggler who is merely In It for the Money sees a deed of selfless heroism, said smuggler might decide they’re actually In It for the Rebellion , making the ship friendly instead of allied (which allows it to share abilities that affect friendly ships).
Here are some of Brooks’ thoughts on designing these cards:
The daring scoundrel and merciless bounty hunter are recurring archetypes in Star Wars media, and while inarguably popular, their mercenary behavior often leaves these individuals and their customized vessels difficult to categorize in games that feature squadrons of military pilots in standardized ships. Since each faction in X-Wing is first and foremost a cast of characters and ships that fly and fight together, only the most soft-hearted rogues (Han Solo), or committed foes (Jango Fett), find a place in the ranks of the faction that they serve, with the rest joining the Scum & Villainy.
This categorization is a useful standard for listbuilding and compartmentalizes the game effects that we developers have to balance while keeping each player's squadron recognizable to the setting. However, Star Wars stories are replete with uncomfortable truces and rival team-ups that defy rigid categorization, and Epic Battles is the game mode best suited to handle these adventures. The cast of Fugitives & Collaborators included quite a few characters who might be inclined to just such behavior, and so I took the opportunity to include mechanics for fielding Scum & Villainy ships as allies, distinguishing them by preventing them from benefiting from "friendly" card effects so as to head off some of the most egregious combos.
Simply being able to field one or more of your favorite Scum & Villainy alongside the rest of your squadron was reason enough to develop these cards, but once we started looking at art for them, they took on a life of their own! I was inspired to add a narrative effect to each reflecting the matching pairs of art pieces we'd come up with, encouraging villainous factions to unleash independent and heavily upgraded mercenaries on their foes while heroic factions try to recruit sympathetic compatriots to their cause. I look forward to players using these cards to tell all kinds of dramatic stories in their games!
Expanding Your Operations
As a first step into the wretched hive of the Scum and Villainy faction, the Fugitives and Collaborators Squadron Pack starts new players off with a solid gallery of rogues to populate their X-Wing squadrons. With two resilient Y-wings and a versatile HWK-290, a player can form the basis of many squadrons. From here, either of the following products would open your options up even further:
The Slave I Expansion will not only give you the infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett , but will also give you a sturdy, hard-hitting ship around which to base your squadron. With Kanan providing defensive backup or Gamut Key letting you keep a reinforce token for an extra round, a Firespray is a solid addition to any Scum and Villainy collection that starts with Fugitives and Collaborators.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you want to add a highly maneuverable ace to take advantage of the disruption your Y-wings and HWK-290 can create with bombs, the Fang Fighter Expansion is also an excellent choice. This lightning-quick knife fighter is deadly in a head-on attack or when striking from unexpected angles and adding one to your collection will give you a flexible set of options when list-building.
Look for the Fugitives and Collaborators Squadron Pack at your local retailer on March 26. You can pre-order your copies of these expansions at your local retailer or online through our website—with free shipping in the continental United States!