|A Guide to A-wings
An X-Wing (TM) Strategy Article by Guest Writer Neil Amswych
|X-Wing | Published 05 March 2014|
At its heart, X-Wing™ is a fast-paced game of dramatic space dogfights between Rebel and Imperial pilots. The game’s Core Set launches you into action with one X-wing and two TIE fighters. Still, many players quickly fall in love with the game and look to enhance their fleets with other starships. In a previous article, the game’s first World Champion, Doug Kinney, explored the options available to players as they expand their X-Wing collections.
Today, guest writer Neil Amswych (aka “The Tusken Tactician”), one of the A-wing’s greatest advocates, illustrates the many possible uses for this fast and nimble Rebel starfighter.
The Tusken Tactician’s Beginner’s Guide to A-wings
Welcome to your new RZ-1 A-wing interceptor! To ensure many happy flight hours, we strongly recommend that you spend time reading through this manual before operating your vehicle.
If you’re reading this, it means you have chosen to operate a ship with more green maneuvers on its dial than any other. This will help you shed the stress that you may incur from Koiogran turns, from firing at Imperial starships carrying Rebel Captives, or from using what is perhaps the most valuable tool in an A-wing pilot’s arsenal – the elite pilot talent, Push the Limit, with which you can take a stress token to perform two actions in one turn. There is a reason that this upgrade comes with your A-Wing Expansion Pack; it’s because no other ship uses it better than yours. Moreover, few other ships need it as much as yours. Despite the fact your ship has three agility, the manufacturers still caution you against reckless behavior. Because your ship has only two shields and two hull it remains surprisingly susceptible to being taken out in just one round of unlucky green dice. Therefore, being able to take a focus action as well as an evade action can make all the difference between the destruction and the survival of your A-wing.
You will notice that your A-wing is capable of firing missiles. Again, this is an opportunity for Push the Limit to be extremely helpful, allowing you to acquire a target lock and focus in the same turn. Doing so, though, does mean you won’t be able to take an Evade action, which is why the turn in which you fire your missile is often the turn in which you’re most vulnerable. Three A-wings firing together can produce a devastating alpha-strike, but if you are flying with Green Squadron Pilots that have a pilot skill of three, one of your wingmates may fall to enemy fire before it even launches its missiles. The manufacturers advise flying outside of opposing firing arcs at such a time in order to avoid damage to your vehicle.
You may feel that your A-wing is best used to run interference against other ships in order to deny them actions for the ensuing Combat phase. To do this, switch to the Prototype Pilot setting and try to win initiative. If your squad has an Intelligence Agent as crew on another ship, you can be even more certain of where opposing ships will end up and can determine whether or not you will need to boost in order to block those ships and deny them their actions.
One named A-wing pilot who is particularly adept at exploiting contact with opposing ships is Arvel Crynyd, who has a pilot skill of six. He is most famous for taking out the Super Star Destroyer Executor by crashing into it, and although you may admire Arvel Crynyd’s flying and tactics, it is generally considered unsporting to copy his suicidal scream as you do so. Arvel’s unique ability allows him to fire at an enemy starship with which he is in contact. This naturally gives him an extra attack die for range, so he essentially gets to fire at a target at point blank range with three red dice without concern that his target may fire back. Arvel’s daring is not without risk, though, because his strategy quickly becomes somewhat obvious. Also, when he crashes into opposing ships, he loses his action and becomes a key target for fire from other opposing ships. Adding a Stealth Device to his A-wing or pairing him up with wingmates like Garven Dreis or Kyle Katarn, who can both share focus tokens, may just give Arvel the edge he needs to pull through the battle!
The other renowned A-wing pilot you’ll find in your Expansion Pack is Tycho Celchu, the starfighter’s MVP (Most Valuable Pilot). Since he is the only pilot who can perform actions while stressed, Tycho is particularly suited to upgrades such as Push the Limit and Expert Handling. Where your Prototype Pilots, Green Squadron Pilots, and Arvel Crynyd will often take a green maneuver after becoming stressed – so that they can later perform an action – Tycho is free to choose any maneuver he wishes, except for the Koiogran-turn. This makes him an unpredictable, efficient, and extremely valuable wingmate. When flying with Tycho, be prepared to stack a significant number of stress tokens!
Flying in Squadrons
One of the greatest challenges the A-wing presents a squadron is its cost. For example, once you stack a Green Squadron Pilot with Push the Limit, a Concussion Missile, and a Stealth Device, you will have set yourself back twenty-nine of your one-hundred available squad points – nearly a third of your build – and you’ll have already spent ten points on upgrades.
Such a ship may be difficult to hit and pack a punch, as well, but it may also lead to an uncompetitive squadron. Thus, whenever you design a squad with at least one A-wing, you will need to consider carefully what function you want the ship to serve. Will it block actions, coordinate an early alpha strike, outmaneuver and frustrate your opponent with occasional pot-shots, distract from the main ships in your squadron, or quickly modify the focus and location of the battle? All of these options, and more, are worthy of consideration as you decide which A-wing pilots, and how many, you will recruit.
Confronting the Empire
Many A-wing veterans will tell you that the A-wing is the most enjoyable ship to fly. Its extreme maneuverability certainly makes it one of the most versatile. Its maneuver dial includes white turns at “1” speed, eight green maneuvers, and two notably different Koiogran-turns.
While veteran pilots will note that the fighter’s attack strength is lower than that of an X-wing, it offers you tremendous defensive options: You can boost out of an opponent’s firing arc or rely on the ship’s high agility and two shields to stay in the fight. Flown well, A-wings are extremely valuable additions to our Rebel squadrons, and we hope you enjoy many happy hours of piloting as we continue our battles against the evil Galactic Empire!
The A-Wing Expansion Pack is available at retailers worldwide. To learn more about X-Wing, the A-wing, and the game’s other expansions, you can visit the game’s description page; read our announcements, previews, and other news articles; or head to our community forums and enter discussions with other players.
X-Wing is a tactical ship-to-ship combat game in which players take control of powerful rebel X-wings and nimble Imperial TIE Fighters, facing them against each other in fast-paced space combat. Featuring stunningly detailed and painted miniatures, X-Wing recreates Star Wars’ exciting space battles. Select your crew, plan your maneuvers, and complete your mission!