X-Wing – Upgrades from the Huge Ships

When you buy one of the Huge new ships for X-Wing you don’t just get the fancy model and it’s manoeuvre dial.  Time to look at all the other cool stuff that comes with them!

I finally did it, this post has been in the works for a while but I kept pushing it back to work on other stuff.  Not the worst thing, as it has given me a bit more time to play test some of the ideas I wanted to talk about.

First off, I will not be covering any of the Huge ship only upgrades or any tactics/builds for the huge ships themselves as others have given reviews already and I would like to try a few more things out in some Epic games before I comment on the Huge Ship tactics.
I will be covering all of the other stuff that you can use in your normal games, so new pilots, droids, torpedoes crew ETC.

So first up lets look at the GR-75 Medium Transport and what comes in that set.

I like the paint job but will be adding a little more detail to the Astromech Droid as it’s a little pink for my taste.

The first thing that comes to mind is the Variant Paint Job on the X-Wing that comes in the box and the 4 new Pilots.

We will Start off with everyone’s favorite, Red Six himself, Jek “Piggy” Porkins.  His 26 Squad Points gets you a respectable pilot Skill of 7 and an Elite Pilot Talent slot whilst his card text allows you to remove Stress Tokens from your ship whenever they are assigned with a 3/8 chance of being felt a Facedown damage card.  It is worth noting that you are felt the card you don’t suffer a hit so this can put damage on your hull whilst you still have your shields up.  Still a good ability despite the risk and I am sure he will see some play and with a coho like adding in R5-D8 from the Y-Wing set he has a 50% chance of removing a Face down Damage card for an action, so you do your red manoeuvre, ditch the stress and if you luck out you can use your action to activate R5.

Next up we have Derek “Hobbie” Klivian at 25 Squad Points for Pilot Skill 5 with no Pilot Talent Slot.  He also removes Stress tokens with his card text but with a lot less risk than Porkins.  “Hobbie” can ditch a Stress token whenever he Acquires or Spends a Target Lock token.  Getting the most out of this seems to lend it’s self to a bit of list synergy.  Either going down the route of fielding Dutch to hand off free target locks but as Dutch is Pilot Skill 6 and goes after Hobbie, he would have already lost an action. This leave you to try to set things up a turn in advance to give you options the turn after you do a K-Turn rather than keeping you pumping out actions. There are some nice gimmicks to try with Hobbie but in competitive play I think Biggs Darklighter is still going to win out as the 25 point pilot of choice.

Tarn Mison’s card text also interacts with Target Lock’s giving you a lock on a ship who declare you the target of an attack.  For 23 points he comp eats with a Red Squadron pilot but loses out by a point in Pilot Skill, only being Pilot Skill 3 and does not have an Elite Pilot Talent Slot but the opportunity for free Target Locks is rather good.  One nice Defensive combo for Tarn is to take the upcoming R7 Astromech from the E-Wing expansion as once per round, if you have a lock on your attacker you can force them to re-roll any/all of their attack dice.  This combined with a standard Focus action makes Tarn a very versatile choice, letting you either survive a joust or unload with a Focused and Target Locked attack, Not bad at all for a total cost of 25 Squad Points.

“Yub Yub, Commander.”

Last of the four and my personal pick of the crop is Wes Janson.  His Squad Cost of 29 points puts him up there with Wedge as the most expensive X-Wing pilot available currently but I feel his card text justifies this.  After performing an Attack you can remove 1 Focus, Evade or Blue Target Lock token from your target.  Unfortunately this is after your attack resolves so they can still spend the tokens during Wes’s roll but given his high pilot skill he can strip the defenses from a target you are looking to focus down.  I do think that Wes and Wedge can do wonders in tandem with either Swarm Tactics on Wedge or Veteran Instincts on Wes to get the shots off in the correct order but he can also fit in with a 4 ship build to maximize the number of dice rolled after Wes’s ability has kicked in.  The list I have been running has been Wes, Biggs and 2 Red Squadron pilots, all naked as then everyone fires before most Swarm builds but dropping down to 2 Rookies for a 4 point saving lets you stick R2-F2 on to Biggs for an extra evade dice and makes you come in at 99 points for imitative grabbing.  It is also worth noting that you can use his attack defensively as you can strip away a target lock instead so if you are flying in to a horde of Bombers keeping them from unloading their ordinance is never a bad thing.

The GR-75 also comes with 3 copies of the new Flechette Torpedoes, these are a really nice cheap option for the torpedo. (finally)  With an OK 3 attack dice and a range of 2-3 they are not going to one shot anybody but then they only cost 2 points and their ability to add a Stress Token to the target is really nice.

I can see a use for them on X-Wings as they are so cheap but in my opinion they are screaming to go on to a Y-Wing control based list.  Something like Horton Salm with R2-D6 (He makes it in so many list but more on him later…) to get access to Swarm Tactics, 2 x Flechette Torpedoes and an Ion Turret, a Gold Squadron Y-Wing with 2 x Flechette Torpedoes and an Ion Turret then two Prototype A-Wings This list lets you keep a priority target Stressed and Ion’ed while the A-Wings pick it apart.  Dropping Horton down to Dutch saves you enough points to upgrade both A-Wings to Green Squadron giving you a better movement phase and can help the Gold Squadron Pilot get his shots off with Target Lock and Focus but you lose some pilot skill off your top end in the shooting, Horton’s re-rolls for range 2-3 attacks and you are 1 point more expensive over all losing you the 99 point initiative grab.

I think its about time I started talking about the Astromechs that come in the Transport as well seeing as I have waxed lyrical about R2-D6 so much.  You get 4 Droids in the box;

 I may have mentioned R2-D6 before, I am not sure.  The interesting options he opens up are so numerous but here are a couple of my stand out choices.

How annoying is it when you set up the perfect combo for Graven Dreis to pass a focus token on to someone who really needs it only for him to roll all Misses and then not get shot at? Well fear not, stick R2-D6 on him and then Take Dead-Eye and some Flechette Torpedoes and pass that token my friend.
Or use the same combo on any of the Y-Wings above a Gold Squadron for some versatility in targets for your torps.

Biggs die too quickly because your opponent always missiles him down for huge damage early, R2-D6 and Expert Handling could be just what you are looking for.  Or wouldn’t it be nice if Biggs could ignore 25% of Crits? With R2-D6 and Determination for a minuscule 2 points total he can.

R3-A2 is an interesting choice as adding Stress can really help control some ships (especially nice against the Up coming Phantom.) I like this guy on a solo Y-Wing with an Ion Turret, is it Gimmicky yes, is it worth it. Oh hell yes.  Having an Ion Stressed enemy from 1 ships attack is very strong as you know where they are going to be next round and they don’t get an action.

R4-D6 is only 1 point but it is easy to dismiss him as relatively useless.  Taking 3 or more Hits is always going to be bad but only taking two is hardly good.  You need to consider him in the context of what would happen if you didn’t have him.  He makes it impossible to be 1 Shotted (Baring Crits), which with the Phantom’s 4 attack dice standard is possible, especially when you consider the other stuff being released that adds attack dice to attacks.  It also makes your opponent have to Expand a minimum of 3 attacks to take down an X-Wing .  I do think that it wll find more of a home on Y-Wings as having a lower evade and an Odd number of Hull is really good with this card and it will give you the minimum effective return of taking a Hull Upgrade for 2 points less, and it could even be worth a hell of a lot more hull point over the course of a game.

The last Droid is another one I really like R5-P9 Lets you spend a Focus Token at the end of the Combat Phase to regain a Shield, Now we all have those times where we focus and then just roll Blanks, now at least its not the end of the world.  I have been messing around with a 3 Ship build featuring Wedge, Biggs and Kyle in the Mouldy Crow.  Wedge takes R2-D2 and Draw There Fire, Biggs gets R5-P9 and Kyle gets all the focus generation shenanigans he is known for and a blaster turret.  This list works quite well against other Rebel lists and some of the list that feature a large ship as you can bounce the damage around and keep Biggs alive for a relatively long time.  Just done joust for no reason and pick at the edges of a formation for a few rounds.

That rounds out the GR-75 so what do you get in the Tantive IV?

The Blockade Runner is not as good value for normal play, not including a nice little bonus ship but it does have 4 interesting Crew Cards.

So all we need now is a new Falcon Upgrade card that lets you take the whole gang and we can escape from the Death Star…

Han is a nice cheap offensive option that lets you Hedge your bets when you are not sure wether the Focus or Target lock.  Just take the Target lock and play the odds.

Leia can add a nice trick to a list but given that the only Rebel Ships that currently have Crew slots are relatively Expensive (I don’t see putting here on a Rebel Operative for 20 points total as a viable option…) I think she will only really see play in larger games but the chance to set up some cunning Red manoeuvre followed by and action is quite nice.

The Star of the pack for me is C-3PO as he adds so much survivability to a Falcon, I like to use it as a guaranteed evade each round by guessing 0 but you can play the odds when you need to and if he pays off it can be very frustrating for your opponent.

R2-D2 competes with Chewbacca as another extremely powerful defensive crew card.  The advantage he has over Chewie is that he does not get discarded after being used so he can bring a shield back every end phase that you have no shield.  The disadvantage is the risk involved, a 3/8 chance of flipping a damage card over and suffering the result.  It is a toss up between the two as Chewie just discards a card you are dell and then gets a shield back so is worth 2 hits where as R2 can quite easily be worth 3 or 4 extra hits but what will that Crit be when it comes?

The two builds I like most from these cards are both Falcon lists (Obviously…)
Chewbacca as the pilot with Han and 3PO is really rugged and can still deal good damage where Han as the pilot with 3PO and R2 and the Falcon upgrade adds a lot of survivability to the more offensive option of Han but becomes a very reliant on the Dice as if Han’s re-rolls are not taking things down quick enough than you really need R2’s dice not going too badly wrong…

So what have I missed, what options once you add in the wave 4 options are you guys looking forward to?

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