Hah! And you thought GeekADD had gone dark! Well, we’re still here and just like with Wave 8, we’ve consolidated the news and spoilers for Imperial Veterans, Heroes of the Resistance, and Wave 9 expansion packs!
Imperial Veterans (RELEASED!)
I’ve always had a soft spot for the…less desirable ships in X-Wing. I bought 4 TIE Defenders (yeah, I know you can only fit 3 in a list, but what about Epic, brah?!?) because they fit a good role in the Imperial line up; basically, a small based ship that can’t be one-shot. The TIE Bomber also fit this role, but needed ordnance to be effective, which has been consistently inconsistent.
POST RELEASE UPDATE: Buy your Imperial Veterans while they’re hot! So, it’s tough to say who the star of the show is here. Imperial Veterans hasn’t had the game changing impact of the TIE Phantom, but I think that’s a good thing.
Tomax Bren has been making an appearance with his infinite Crack Shot, but since he’s stuck flying a TIE Bomber, I’ve yet to see him do anything remarkable. Long Range Scanners is helpful for low PS Bombers, but the opportunity cost of losing the Modification slot, meaning you’re not taking Guidance Chips, is pretty steep. Generally, the loco good Jumpmaster has somewhat outclassed anyone attempting to use Bombers with ordnance. TIE Shuttle hasn’t been explored much, either, though the prospect of a Vader Bomber is kind of exciting (if not short lived). An Officer Shuttle (Systems and Fleet Officers) might be interesting as well, since you can be passing out two focuses, which is hard to do with Imperials, as well as a Target Lock per turn.
People seem more drawn to the Defenders. TIE/D’s are showing up across the board in both low and high PS, especially with Ion Cannons. The level of firepower here is pretty intense, but if you swap Ion for Tractor Beam on a high PS pilot…wow, if that attack hits, that target is going to get wrecked. Unless you’re, you know, a Decimator or Ghost 😉
Personally, I’ve been impressed by the Delta Squadron Pilots with TIE/x7. Move first, 4k for the free evade, then focus. Good luck hitting that, especially since it’s repeatable. If they end up out of arc but without a shot, they can almost surely target lock and save it for later. Countess Ryad can take this concept and run with it; give her PTL, x7, and TIE mk II or Stealth Device and she’s pushing that repeatable K-Turn out to speed 5 while clearing stress. Damn.
Heroes of the Resistance
The third wave of Force Awakens content has just been announced and it’s pretty awesome. We’re getting a TFA style, square comms dish YT-1300, as well as a Poe Dameron T-70!
Unfortunately, we’re not getting a ton of new pilots. Han and Chewie are coming back now for the third time (once as crew, now twice as YT pilots), and we’re getting a PS9 Poe as well, so you’ll have some tough choices to make in your list building.
On the fortunate side, we are getting a new PS 3 Generic (Resistance Pilot? Maybe?) as well as Rey. Speculation among X-Wing’ers about the identity of Red and Blue Ace can now be silenced; Jess Pava, Snap Wexley, and Nien Numb are now confirmed pilots. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much visible on their pilot abilities aside from “when a thing happens, you can do stuff.”
The YT-1300 seems like it could almost become a whole new ship. Between the pilot abilities, new Title that basically grants a Segnor’s Loop, and something that appears to give access to Illicit upgrades, we could see a whole new brand of Falcon. Also looks like a new upgrade that might give the SLAM action to ships. Burger SLAM? yeah, it’s gotta be Burger SLAM.
BURGER SLAM CONFIRMED!!! Ok, so, it’s actually Burnout SLAM, but close enough. It’s an Illicit upgrade that can go on YT’s (both flavors) though the Smuggling Compartments Modification, which grants both an Illicit and second Mod slot! I’m trying all the combinations with this one…Feedback Array on Super Dash? Experimental Interface and Black Market Slicer Tools? Dash with Kanan crew and Inertial Dampeners can do a white 0, which could be useful.
I’m a bit underwhelmed by Finn crew…it’s the first way of getting extra dice in a crew slot, but for the same price as Gunner? Offensively it’s not that difficult to make use of (just have Target Lock) but defensively? He pairs…I don’t want to say nicely…but pairs with Rey pilot, but otherwise is difficult to make use of half his ability. Rey crew seems infinitely more useful, as she is basically a Comm Relay for focus tokens in a crew slot. She might be, dare I say, the best 2 point crew in the game (at least for the Rebels) and I definitely intend on using her.
I’m also unsure of the new Chewie and Han pilots. Chewbacca, unless you’re pairing him with a bunch of Z-95’s, seems a lot weaker, and even then, just don’t shoot the Z’s? I suppose this could still be a decent list depending on the matchup, but now that Dengaroo is a thing, I’m concerned the Z’s simply wouldn’t hit anything. It’d be nice if Rebel Z’s could take that Smuggling Compartment + Feedback Array, but whatever. Han is interesting and I haven’t quite wrapped my head around him yet. It’s interesting that he puts pressure on enemies, like Omega Leader and someone trying to build up a Gonk shield bank, but he’s also out there on his own. Whenever I see an enemy ship (except Dengar) hanging out by itself, I try to isolate it and shoot it with all my ships while the rest of the enemy force struggles to get into range. Rey pilot essentially inherited a different version of old Han’s (well, young Han, but older to us? Previous Han? Early Han?) ability. This is what I like to see…even with a Primary Weapon Turret, I like to have in-arc incentives.
UPDATE 2: Ok, so we knew about the names of the T70 pilots, but now we get to peep their abilities. From the bottom, Jess Pava seems like to focus queen. With a single wingman, Jess basically has a reverse Lone Wolf, which can be potent when backed up by Autothrusters. She might make a good pair with Biggs or one of the ARC170 pilots.
Snap Wexley, on the other hand, is all over the board. He wants to go fast and if paired with BB8 or Vectored Thrusters, can do multiple reposition actions like an Imperial Ship. Unfortunately, his PS is a little low to make use of that, so he might be a good “king of the scrubs” pilot. On the other hand, with an initiative bid, could be slippery for Brobots to catch.
Nien Numb wishes he were in one of those super-aggressive Protectorate/Fang Fighters shown in the Wave 9 section. His ability is interesting, as he can T-Roll or K-Turn into Range 1 of an enemy and as long as their in arc, he can continue to reposition or do an offensive action. Unlike the Fang fighters, however, nothing says he needs to be in the enemy arc. Additionally, this gives him some neat synergy with stress upgrades; he can use R4D6 to cancel a damage or R3A2 to give a stress for no consequence, not be hindered by Opportunist, or use cards like Expert Handling or Push the Limit to get into Range 1.
The tech cards are kinda cool. I feel like Primed Thrusters is great filler on T70s so they can boost after those K-Turns, or the ol’ Vector-Prime (first Transformers joke, as far as I know *wink wink*) combo which gives you lots of repositioning options. I almost feel it’s more useful than Pattern Analyzer; while it’s more flexible with the action you can choose, it’s more of a one-shot deal until you de-stress. I haven’t yet considered any of this business on TIE/FO’s of SF’s, but I feel like they’d prefer to avoid the stress in the first place. And besides…Comm Relay? C’mon, that’s tough to beat.
The reeeeeal interesting card in this reveal tho…Snap Shot!
OMGWTFBBQ?!?!?! (I dunno why I said BBQ…I picked it up from Team Fortress 2, but it just seemed appropriate)
Attacking in the Activation Phase? Like…before Soontir (or Inquisitor or Vader or Ryad) tokens up? Before Dengar receives his stupid infinite focus? What makes this even more intriguing is that this is an EPT Secondary Weapon, defined by the “Attack:” heading. As such, don’t let any of your punk ass friends try to attack you out of arc or via the aux arc on their new ARC-170…secondary weapons can’t be fired outside of primary arc unless it says otherwise.
Sure, it’s a 2-dice (usually) unmodified attack, but against raw Green Dice? I think those are good odds. Additionally, since this is an attack, passive things like FCS, R3-A2, Bossk crew(!!!) can trigger. While it can’t be modified with tokens or rerolls,
Jan Ors…. Jyn…no it’s Jan Ors can toss you that extra die, Rhymer can extend it out to Range 2 (and can stack it with Tactician). Even if you think you get cute and counter it with Advanced Sensors, Wes Janson can still strip those tokens. The only disadvantage to this is that it breaks a major core rule we’re all used to following. As such, it could be a pretty big disruption to the flow of the game, so be sure to consider how it will affect your pilots and upgrades when it comes out.
Awwwwww yeah!!! It only took me two weeks to get these together, but here you go! There’s some awesome new stuff in Wave 9 from all different eras!
Whhaaaaa???? Prequel Ships?!?!?! Impossible!!!!! Well, believe or not, the ARC-170 is here in all of its glory. While I’m not exactly the biggest fan, it does make sense for the Rebellion to have a few of these old clunkers cruising around the fleet.
UPDATE: Whew…check out those pilots! I don’t know if I would ever take Braylen Stramm, but it is cool to be able to drop x2 stresses a turn. Thane Kyrell seems interesting, especially in a high PS environment. If you give him Vectored Thursters and he Barrel Rolls into place, then enemies attack two friendly ships, you can end up focused and ‘locked. You could even fire ordnance that way, or some of the underused “Action:” cards (Saboteur? Hah, unlikely, but dare to dream!) may find a home. More appropriately, R7-T1 seems to have a good home here. Take focus action, then wait and see what happens. If someone else gets shot at, boost + TL into range 1 of an enemy and light ’em up!
Shara Bey and Esege Tuketu are basically the opposite of each other, though Shara may actually be a bit more useful. Norra Wexley (we now have several family legacies in this game) is useful with that R3 Astro even if she doesn’t have a focus. Interesting way of getting a free evade, but it’s also essentially giving her an extra attack die that can be modded! Awesome! R3 + C3PO could make for a very survivable ship, given you don’t encounter Zuckuss crew!
Pay attention to that
(still unspoiled) torpedo… “Action:”…woah woah woah…you can fire this thing during the Activation Phase as an action?!? It’s hard to tell what it does with only half the card revealed, but this could be a good way for low PS ordnance carriers to sneak some damage through before aces can turtle up!
Woah…kill obstacles as an action?!?! That’s pretty sweet. Too bad it’s only really useful at Range 2, as the possibility of inflicting two crits on yourself is pretty dangerous.
Also, I said it before. My suspicions were confirmed regarding Vectored Thrusters (I mean, it was pretty obvious what it did) but I want barrel rolling, Autoblaster Y-Wings! Yarrrggg!!!
Protectorate Fighter (aka Fang Fighter)
Moving forward chronologically, this is one of two ships from Star Wars: Rebels. While I don’t see it manifested here, these ships can do this crazy…spin move, I guess…where half the ship rotates around the cockpit B-Wing style. Maybe it’s supposed to be represented in the stat line and abilities.
Strangely enough, this ship is most comfortable within enemy firing arcs, not outside of it. This will be great for ballsy and reckless pilots; it is pretty satisfying to land Range 1 and in arc, on purpose no less, and shrug off an attack. I’m still a bit nervous…the title seems like an inverse Autothrusters. Also, if you stack it with real Autothrusters, I suppose you’ll always get an evade result trading arcs at R1, out of enemy arc, and at R3. Impressive.
It looks like it has a Red 2-Speed Tallon Roll. With Boost and Barrel Roll as native actions, you can get into your enemy arc at R1 fairly easily, then next turn flip around and likely STILL be in R1 depending on how they move. Pretty sneaky.
UPDATE: Ok, that’s a lot of guaranteed results in these upgrades. Generally, that makes a bit nervous, as I think anything that generates multiple guaranteed results isn’t so great for the game (Palpatine, cough cough). But, with all the in-arc restrictions here, maybe it won’t be so bad. Fortunately, these guys can’t take an evade action natively, so hopefully we don’t end up with a reliable way of Manaroo getting and passing evades every round. Other wise, these guys might end up nearly invincible.
If you don’t count the Jumpmaster, this ship has the highest percentage of pilots with the EPT slot, which seems integral to it’s success. However, even the PS1 generic can be mighty. To compare with a Rookie Pilot T-65, if you give a Zealous Recruit the title and compare what we know of the dial and statline, I think the T-65 will be outclassed. Big surprise. Additionally, according to the article, this ship is able to perform 3-Speed turns. THANK GOD! I run Scum a fair amount and one of the things I’m consistently surprised by is the lack of 3-turns in their fleet, even among the “interceptor” class ships, like the Scyk and Starviper.
Old Teroch is interesting. I could see him messing with aces quite a bit without his ability even triggering. I think most pilots (Inquisitor, Soontir, etc) would rather spend their actions repositioning than keep him in arc at R1. It’s a weird mind game of “do I lose a shot on him and keep my tokens, or lose my tokens and possibly PS kill him?” 1v1, I could see this being a tough match-up, especially without a turret.
Fearless…ness (the extra “ness” seems unnecessary) is a real opportunity opener for everybody in Scum. It would be a great fit for Dengar if he wasn’t so busy Lone Wolf’ing, but imagine it on Zuckuss, Bossk, Kath (keep in mind…it just says “arc”!). For just one squad point, that’s putting out a lot of hurt. Opportunist, while always a niche card, is just blown out of the water by this.
It’s an exciting release for sure, but I am a bit nervous for what this will do to the play environment.
The Shadowcaster (Lancer-Class Pursuit Craft)
Another large-based ship for Scum? Geez…how am I supposed to store all this stuff?!?! Regardless, it looks like this ship is going to be a bit of a power house.
While not equipped with a turret per say, it does have a Mobile Firing Arc. Which…since it is an “arc,” shuts down Autothrusters, triggers Outmaneuver, and Tactician as well. Using the new “Rotate Arc” action, you can reposition this arc to anticipate enemy positions, or if you’re high PS, onto current enemy positions. With Ketsu Onyo, you can hit someone with a tractor beam token, reposition them, then attack them and give them ANOTHER tractor beam token. That’s a forced reposition (on a small-based ship, anyway) and a -1 agility followed by another -1 agility, setting up your wingmen to finish up.
There’s some new crew, which, according to the article, can do some interesting things. I’m not sure who it is, but we’ve got one of the IG-88’s who, if I’m understanding it, grants you the ability of someone with IG-2000! So…IG-88B with Bossk + Mangler or HLC? Hmm…or IG-88A with Dengar? I guess it depends who this IG-88 is (haha, watch it be IG-88B), but there are some interesting combos here. Ooo! Bossk with IG88A wingman + IG crew and Gonk…double regen, bro!!!
Not to be overlooked, but that debris token seems to have bomb guides on it…So maybe we’re getting debris tokens as a…weapon? Interesting! Also, double Illicit?!?!? If you want to take a dark turn, you could double up on Glitterstim and turn your pilot into a drug addict, or pair Dead Man’s Switch and Feedback Array to get suicidal.
Now, we skip ahead to The Force Awakens with the Special Forces TIE/fo that Finn and Poe jacked in the movie. At first, I didn’t understand that This TIE/fo and the standard TIE/fo were different ships, but if you look closely at the model, it’s obvious. Check out the reinforced wing struts, rear facing cannon, and comm relay.
I’m excited to see another source for Wired, as it was previously only available in the TFA Core Set. This combination of Tech and Systems upgrade slots is interesting, though I haven’t quite wrapped my head around it. Paired with the missile slot, you could fire a Concussion Missile and get three guaranteed hits with Guidance Chips, the missile’s ability, and if you have a focus to spend, Weapons Guidance. Expensive, but not bad. It’s too bad they lost the evade action…I would have loved an unblockable Comm Relay with Advanced Sensors.
I’m happy to see the continued trend of senior generic pilots with EPT slots, though I’m interested to see how this new dial plays out. While 6 overall health is nice, it doesn’t last THAT long, as we’ve seen with the T-70s this ship shares a defensive stat line with. Off the cuff, I’m not seeing a lot of utility for this ship. I’m a bit concerned it’s going to end up in T-65ville where it’s decent at a lot of roles, but master of none and gets outclassed by other ships. 29 points is pretty pricey for Quickdraw, but hey, we’ll see how it goes.
UPDATE: Okay, so I’m coming around on these TIE/sf’s. Backdraft with his pseudo-ATC and Quickdraw’s potential 4 attacks are madness. The generics seem ok, too. A bit pricey, but as I mentioned about the Defenders, I find Imperial ships that can’t be one-shotted (or, unlikely to be, anyway) attractive. Attack power of an Interceptor with the resilience of a T-70 isn’t a bad deal for under 23 points. The dial seems respectable as well; I’m happy to see the the 2-speed turn remain white, as it makes Bombers and Defenders quite difficult to fly.
Collision Detector is suspect…I guess it’s cool if you have 0 points to spend, but losing the Sensor Slot to an upgrade that is fixed by flying better doesn’t seem to be a good deal to me. Sensor Cluster might be interesting, especially vs low PS attackers or vs Aces. I’m always happy to see things that counter Zuckuss crew, but if he’s also riding the Party Bus with 4-LOM, there’s little this upgrade is going to do, as 4-LOM can lock up your focus. T-70s with Autothrusters might like this…take an out of arc shot from a turret while focused and roll blanks? You’re getting your maximum 2 evade results now.
And…there you have it. As the spoilers trickle out, you can be sure that you’ll see it here! Thanks for reading, be sure to check back often!