|A More Versatile A-Wing
Preview the Rebel Aces Expansion Pack for X-Wing (TM)
|X-Wing | Published 23 June 2014|
“Take evasive action!”
In March, we announced the upcoming release of the Rebel Aces Expansion Pack for X-Wing™. Featuring two miniature starfighters with alternate paint schemes, one A-wing and one B-wing, Rebel Aces is a great expansion for Rebel players looking to build up or add new color to their fleets. Still, it’s also much more than that; Rebel Aces is an opportunity for Rebel players to revisit two of their core starfighters, outfit them with new upgrades, and launch them back into battle with new tactics and strategies.
Today, we take a look at how Rebel Aces makes the A-wing a more versatile starfighter, and we look at what that might mean for X-Wing.
A 360-degree view of the Rebel Aces A-wing miniature.
Built for Speed
The RZ-1 A-wing interceptor was built for speed.
Designed to outrun the Imperial Navy’s TIE fighters during tactical strikes, the A-wing was manufactured with top-end sublight thrusters and highly sensitive controls that offered a potent combination of speed and agility. However, this combination proved to be both a boon and a challenge, as it strained even the Rebellion’s most skillful pilots.
Despite the challenges it presented its pilots, the A-wing’s speed and missiles made it an excellent fighter for tactical, hit-and-fade missions, and it further proved its worth by helping to cripple Star Destroyers during the Battle of Endor.
In X-Wing, as in the Galactic Civil War, the A-wing is a tricky ship to fly, but one that offers a lot of tactical value – a value that is greatly enhanced by the pilots and upgrades in Rebel Aces.
One of the individuals called upon to help design the A-wing, Jake Farrell knows how to push the ship to its limits. His unique pilot ability reads, “After you perform a focus action or are assigned a focus token, you may perform a free boost or barrel roll action.”
This means not only that Jake Farrell gains a free action whenever he gains a focus token; it means that he gains an action type not normally associated with the A-wing, the barrel roll. Furthermore, if you give him the elite pilot talent, Push the Limit, or coordinate his actions with those of Kyle Katarn or Garven Dreis, he can use his boost and barrel roll actions to dart about the battlefield while performing an unprecedented number of actions.
The other unique A-wing ace appearing in Rebel Aces is Gemmer Sojan, who flew in the Battle of Endor under the call sign Green Two. There, he used his A-wing’s speed and agility to evade enemy fire and get in close enough to the Empire’s lead communication battlecruiser, which he helped to destroy.
Appropriately, Gemmer Sojan appears in X-Wing with a unique pilot ability that emphasizes how he flourishes at combat in tight quarters. It reads, “While you are at Range 1 of at least 1 enemy ship, increase your agility value by 1.”
Gemmer Sojan’s ability plays well into your typical A-wing tactics. A-wing pilots can use the boost action to close in on enemies, and most players already want to fly their A-wings into Range “1” of their targets since it raises the number of attack dice they’ll roll from two to three, an increase of 150 percent. Notably, however, to trigger his ability, Gemmer Sojan just has to be within Range “1” of any enemy ship; it doesn’t have to be within Range “1” of his target or any ship firing at him.
By equipping his A-wing with one of these two upgrades, Gemmer Sojan can focus on delivering powerful alpha strikes, or he can focus on maneuvering through the battlefield, taking advantage of his ship’s speed and agility to dogfight more efficiently with his primary weapon.
An Expanded Role in Your Rebel Fleet
As much as the Chardaan Refit and Proton Rockets present Gemmer Sojan with an important decision for how he chooses to approach battle, they present Rebel players an even more important and large-scale decision about how to use their A-wings, as they open tactical possibilities that didn’t previously exist.
At seventeen of your one-hundred squad points, the base A-wing, the Prototype Pilot, is faster and more durable than the Empire’s TIE fighters, but it lacks the TIE’s barrel roll action and, more importantly, costs five more squad points than the base TIE, the Academy Pilot. In part, the difference in squad point costs owes to the fact that the A-wing is also capable of firing missiles, and missiles can provide both raw firepower and flexibility to your squad designs.
However, some players prefer to use their A-wings as dogfighters, eschewing missiles entirely in favor of relying upon the ship’s speed, shields, and agility to weave through combat and disrupt enemy flight patterns. These disruptive tactics are commonly called “blocking,” and they’re best performed by low-skill pilots, who can maneuver and perform their actions ahead of enemy ships so that they can enter the path of enemy formations and force them to split up or lose actions. Players using such tactics will benefit greatly from equipping their Prototype Pilots with Chardaan Refits, as doing so will free up squad points that they can spend elsewhere, potentially increasing the firepower of their squad members with higher pilot skill values.
Such a squad might use a pair of Prototype Pilots with Chardaan Refits:
Total Squad Points: 99
On the other hand, Proton Rockets provide yet another option for squads that use A-wings to race into combat and deliver powerful alpha strikes.
Because you must spend a target lock token in order to fire most missiles, missile-based squads often rely upon Push the Limit or unique pilot abilities that allow them to gain focus tokens the round in which they intend to deliver their payloads. This is only natural; after players invest squad points into their missiles, they’re typically willing to spend a couple more to give them much greater odds of hitting.
Proton Rockets, however, don’t require the expenditure of any tokens. Instead, they only require that you have a focus token the round you want to fire them. Accordingly, you can use the extra actions you build into your squad to get into range earlier, or to acquire target locks that you can actually use to increase your chances of hitting.
Alternatively, you can drop the extra actions altogether and simply keep your squad point investment in any single ship to a minimum. Five Prototype Pilots with five Proton Rockets would cost you one-hundred squad points and could deliver a tremendous alpha strike.
Of course, you don’t need to rely solely upon Proton Rockets in a missile-based A-wing squad, and you’ll find the squad list below highlights the versatility the A-wing offers as a missile platform and dogfighter.
Total Squad Points: 100
Balancing the A-wing’s ability to launch devastating alpha strikes with its ability to dance through enemy fire, this squad is designed to launch its Assault Missiles before zipping into the midst of the enemy, disrupting enemy flight patterns and capitalizing upon the unique talents of pilots like Arvel Crynyd and Gemmer Sojan who excel at close-quarters combat.
Take the Helm
How will you fly your A-wing? With its new pilots and upgrades, Rebel Aces adds tremendous versatility to this iconic Rebel starfighter, and you’ll find more reasons than ever to incorporate the A-wing into your Rebel squads.
Start planning your tactical strikes… Head to your local retailer today to pre-order your copy of the Rebel Aces Expansion Pack for X-Wing!
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!