Friday, 21 March 2014

X-Wing - Rebel Aces Expansion

X-Wing Miniatures Game

Sweet Fanjita.

FFG are like the rich uncle you never had. What with Imperial Aces, Z-95's, TIE Defenders, Phantoms and E-Wings, we now get these bad boys!

Mother, about that money I owe you...

From FFG:

"Rebel Aces features one A-wing and one B-wing miniature, both of which come with alternate paint schemes. You’ll also find four highly skilled unique, new pilots; thirteen upgrade cards; maneuver dials; and all the tokens necessary to launch these star fighters into the thickest action of your space battles against the evil Galactic Empire. It also includes a new mission, which thrusts some of the Rebellion’s finest pilots into a desperate rescue effort that highlights the B-wing’s durability and the A-wing’s agility."

X-Wing Miniatures Game

This release brings some interesting new pilots and upgrade cards to the game. Let's start with the pilots...

The humble A-Wing needed a bit of leg up and boy, with this release does it get it. Leading the A-Wing revival, we get a Prototype Pilot, a Green Squadron Pilot and a new PS5 pilot. Not sure who this chap is, maybe he's from the EU? And the fourth pilot for the A-Wing is Jake Farrell. His card text reads: 'Perform / assign a Focus action and get a free Boost or Barrel Roll'. That right there is amazeballs. A-Wings are already super maneuverable, but now you can take that tasty focus action and still have your choice of boost or barrel roll. And it's about this time you start thinking about really having a laugh by assigning Push The Limit... 3 actions per turn anyone? (just don't repeat the same action twice, remember). And if you add in Prototype Veteran, it's like playing with a chemistry set...

X-Wing Miniatures Game

Next up, a Blue B-Wing, a PS4 Dagger Squadron Pilot, a new unrevealed PS5 pilot and the rather awesome looking Keyan Farlander. His card text reads: 'When attacking, you may remove 1 Stress token to change all of your eyeballs to hits'. In principle, this is like an offensive only Focus token. Add in the B-Wing's favourite, Advanced Sensors, and you really are flying like a pro. If you want to deliver a super punch, why not equip Farlander with Advanced Proton Torpedoes :). Alongside PTL, Daredevil and Opportunist could also work well on this ship...

Let's now take a look at the revealed upgrade cards: 

X-Wing Miniatures Game

Enhanced Sensors brings an interesting 1 point choice to high pilot skill ships: Move first and Shoot first. This scenario negates the risk of losing those important actions through annoying collisions. At the other end of the spectrum, this could work well on the low PS Omicron Pilot Group Shuttle with Anti Pursuit Lasers. This would allow you to cause all kinds of collision damage. Put Darth Vader on board and it becomes a real annoyance for your opponent. The E-Scopes are an Advanced Systems upgrade and so at time of writing, can only be equipped on Shuttles and B-Wings. For the reasons mentioned, I actually think the generally slow moving Shuttle could benefit well from this upgrade. I can't see many B-Wing pilots sacrificing the choice of Advanced Sensors though, can you?

As mentioned earlier, the Prototype Veteran upgrade card provides a massive adrenaline rush to the A-Wing. It also provides an interesting opportunity to add Opportunist(!) to your low PS A-Wing pilots. Suddenly, you've got the Rebel equivalent of a 3 attack / 3 agility TIE Interceptor. Add on Chardaan Refit and Opportunist becomes a much more acceptable 2pt upgrade. Granted, by taking CR you'll sacrifice the use of missiles on your A-Wing, but you'll also be gaining an attacking punch that will endure throughout the game...

X-Wing Miniatures Game

The Rebel Aces expansion really sets the cats amongst the pigeons by also including two new crew cards in the shape of Jan Ors and Kyle Katarn. Neither the A-Wing nor the B-Wing have, to this date, been able to take additional crew? But all that looks set to change (for the B-Wing at least), with what appears to be a new co-pilot upgrade card for the B-Wing. Gunner, Cheewie, Saboteur, Weapons Engineer... the prospects are awesome to say the least.

Finally, the expansion includes a new mission which looks to make use of the included Escape Pod token: 

X-Wing Miniatures Game

Well, FFG are announcing wave after wave of fantastic looking 2014 X-Wing expansions and every one of them looks like a must have addition to the game. Let's hope they can keep up with the sometimes challenging issue of supply and demand... With this expansion in particular, FFG have recognised the need to give a boost to the A-Wing and have undoubtedly succeeded in once again making the ship an exciting and viable prospect in your Rebel squad builds. 

Hey, FFG, what about showing the TIE Advanced some love? ;)


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