The latest release for the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game comes in the form of the Heroes of the Resistance expansion pack. Focused on re-releasing both the T-70 X-Wing and the YT-1300 (better known as the Millennium Falcon) as they are represented in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is this pack a cynical cash grab, or something useful for the game that players both want and will use?
Physically, the pack comprises of two models, twenty-eight cards, and all the stands, tokens, dials and assorted gubbins that you will need to add these to your game.
The models are of previously released ships, but they differ in some substantial ways. The T-70 X-Wing is completely repainted to represent Poe Dameron’s “Black One” fighter, as well as having a re-modelled astromech droid that supposedly looks more like BB-8. Whilst the paintwork is really great (even if droves of people had done their own re-paints, making us all feel a bit redundant) I’m not sure that that little plastic lump does look any more like BB-8. The Millennium Falcon, on the other hand, is a masterpiece. More than just a re-release of the earlier model with a new satellite dish, this has been completely re-sculpted, using 3D references straight from Lucasfilm, rather than just screen grabs from the movie and creative licence. This probably makes this model the most accurate in the entirety of X-Wing. It’s also the first model to feature engine glow as standard, and whilst it’s not perfect, it’s a lovely touch.
So, they look like much… but do they have it where it counts, kid?
In short, yes. Of the twenty-eight cards included in the pack, twenty-four of them are new and exclusive to this release, and some of them are priceless. I won’t break down every single card here, but I’ll offer up some highlights:
A new version of an already released pilot, this card bumps Poe in his T-70 X-Wing up from Pilot Skill 8 to 9 (where he should always have been) at a cost of two additional points. Everything else, including his powerful pilot ability are the same, he just seems a bit better now. At 33 points, he isn’t cheap, 4 points more than his contemporary, Wedge Antilles, but he seems to be well worth it.
Formerly a Crew upgrade card, now a fully-fledged T-70 pilot, the PS7 Sullustan is an expert at flipping himself around the battlefield without receiving stress, with his pilot ability: “When you receive a stress token, if there is an enemy ship inside your firing arc at Range 1, you may discard that stress token.” Initially not the most powerful skill, people have been using him for all sorts of shenanigans since the pack was released.
Returning to fly his beloved YT-1300, the new Han pilot card represents his ability to slip past Starkiller Base’s defence shields. Costing the same points and having the same pilot skill as the original version, his new ability basically allows him to start the game almost anywhere on the battlefield, making him a dangerous wildcard if played correctly.
Much like Han Solo, Chewie is back with the same pilot skill and point cost as before, but with a new ability that, again, represents his role in The Force Awakens, though this time with heart breaking accuracy: “When another friendly ship at Range 1-3 is destroyed (but has not fled the battlefield), you may perform an attack.” Oh, god, Uncle Chewie! Who equipped the “Crying like a child” upgrade card into my eyes!
The undisputed MVP of this expansion is Rey, flying the Falcon. If the PS 8 heroine has someone in her front arc, she can re-roll up to two blank results, when either attacking or defending. This combo’s up beautifully with:
If you equip Finn in one of the Falcon’s two crew slots, he adds one blank result to the roll, if you are attacking, or defending from, an opponent within your firing arc. Pair this with Rey’s ability to re-roll those blanks, and you’ve got a hart-hitting beast of a ship that still manages to accurately portray the action from the movie.
Rey (Crew): She basically lets you save up Focus tokens and get them back later. Really useful crew that I keep coming back to. Feels like cheating.
Millennium Falcon (Title): New title allows you to basically use a “sloop” manoeuvre; recreating Rey’s flying in TFA, and making the Rey/Finn combo even more lethal.
Smuggling Compartment: For use on both the YT-1300 and the YT-2400 (my favourite ship), this upgrade allows you to utilise an Illicit upgrade, formerly exclusive to the Scum and Villainy faction.
So, is Heroes of the Resistance worth getting? Absolutely. The models are wonderful, the variety of upgrades and opportunities is almost in-exhaustive, and the fun to be had with the contents is boundless. Although this pack has given a very well needed boost to those, like me, playing with the Rebel/Resistance faction, there’s plenty of stuff in here to be utilised by every faction, unlike releases like the “Imperial Veterans”.
My absolute favourite thing about this set is the love that has gone into it. Whilst it would be very easy to just make powerful cards that constantly win games, each character in this pack seems to represent the character that is portrayed on screen in The Force Awakens, and for me, playing “in universe” is very important. It’s why we all make laser noises when we play.
It’s True, All of It/10
As a bonus, here’s a 100 point squad I’ve been using, comprising mostly of the contents of this pack. It’s really fun, and it hits HARD.
Ömer Ibrahim is a regular contributor to Suppressing Fire and you can check out his modelling work at Can’t Sleep, Must Paint.