Star Wars – X-Wing: Imperial Veterans

Posted: September 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

I guess this review comes a bit late for the majority of X-Wing fans. The Imperial Veterans have been out for a while, and most of us have taken them out for a spin, or been shot at by them. “Countess Ryad” has become a known name thanks to her ability, and I’m personally terrified every time my opponent says “I’ve got three TIE Defenders with the TIE/x7 title.”. 

With that said, a standard review would be a tad pointless, as you can read that just about anywhere by now, so I’m going to go for a slightly different approach on this one. I’ll summarise what’s in the box, without describing every component, but I’ll also describe some of my interactions as an almost purely Rebel player, having mostly been on the other side of the table to these beasts.

So, what do you get for your money? Primarily, two ships, a TIE Bomber and a TIE Defender. Both of them come with lovely alternate paint schemes compared to the originals releases, the Bomber has white markings and the Defender is a beautiful crimson red, matching the TIE Interceptor from the previous Imperial Aces box set.
As well as the “plastic crack”, it’s chock-full of new pilots and upgrade cards, and this is where the fun really begins.

The TIE Bomber has long been irrelevant in X-Wing. I don’t remember the last one I saw at a tournament, and even in casual play it rarely hits the table. There’s a good amount of stuff in this box that is clearly an attempt to bring it back to the fore. It hasn’t really worked, but it’s certainly interesting. Mainly, the TIE Shuttle title, which makes you lose the ability to take secondary weapons, but gives you the ability to take up to two crew members, as long as they are under 3 squad points in cost. Whilst this blocks the use of Emperor Palpatine, it certainly opens up some other fun combos (It really makes me happy as a Star Wars nerd too, as the Bomber was originally designed as a shuttle for The Empire Strikes Back, but was dropped.).

The TIE Defender’s selection of upgrades, however, is where this pack’s bang-for-your-buck comes from. TIE Defender’s are lethal “jousting” ships, and this just makes them HORRIBLE to play against, on multiple levels. Firstly, the aforementioned Countess Ryad – her unique ability is that she can treat any straight manoeuvre as a K-turn, meaning that at any second, she is facing the opposite direction, with absolutely no penalty in terms of stress. Couple this with either the TIE/D or TIE/x7 titles and she is LETHAL. TIE/D allows the ship to fire twice, once with an equipped cannon, and once with its primary weapon.

The TIE/x7 may be worse. Like the TIE Shuttle title, you lose your secondary weapons, but after completing most of the manoeuvres that the ship is able to, it receives a free evade token, meaning that even if you do get the flippy little bastards into your firing arc, it’s ignoring one of your shots anyway.

So, my experience with the ships? The scenario I mentioned above, about-facing an opponent with three TIE/x7 Defenders came in a recent tournament. I was flying the combo of heavy hitter Dash Rendar and notorious damage dodger Poe Dameron. Dash attacks with a huge four dice every time. Poe is pretty lethal too. I ended the game having caused a total of four damage to his entire squadron, killing absolutely nobody, whilst he slowly whittled my team out of existence.

On the other hand, when I took the ships out for a test match, I instantly loved both of them, and the new abilities they bring. Not quite enough to tempt me away from my beloved Rebellion though. Viva la resistance!

Simply put, if you are an Imperial player, you owe it to yourself to buy this set. For the other two factions, Rebel and Scum & Villainy, there’s not a whole lot of stuff in here that’ll help you, which is unusual. Normally, when you buy an X-Wing, there’s cards in that will help a TIE Fighter, and so on, but this box seems very well set up for Imperial players, especially those who enjoy tournaments over casual play. Not to say that the living room gamer won’t enjoy these, but they’re definitely aimed at competitive games. Countess Ryad is nobody’s friend.

I’m not big on scores out of ten for X-Wing, as every ship has its place to the right player, but I would definitely give this release a
Please stop shooting me you big meanie/10

Ömer Ibrahim is a regular contributor to Suppressing Fire and you can check out his modelling work at Can’t Sleep, Must Paint


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