X-Wing: Special Forces TIE

Posted: November 4, 2016 in Aerial, Fantasy & Sci-Fi, Gaming
Tags: ,

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X-Wing‘s Wave 9 reinforced Imperial and First Order players with the Special Forces TIE Fighter or “TIE S/F”. The TIE S/F is featured at the beginning of Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens as the ship in which Poe Dameron and Finn escape Kylo Ren’s Star Destroyer. It’s an advanced version of the First Order TIE fighter, featuring the same distinctive white wings, but with the addition of a rear-facing gunner, controlling an underside gun and missile turret.

Physically, the TIE S/F is pretty standard fare. It’s a TIE fighter with slightly chunkier wing supports and a little turret underneath. The paint work is as good as ever, black with the striking First Order white panels, but also a red stripe to the side of the cockpit, designating its higher rank.

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Like the ARC-170 for the Rebels, this is the first small based ship for the Imperials that has an auxiliary firing arc, meaning that it can also shoot at anything that gets up behind it, exactly as Finn does in The Force Awakens (Oddly though, despite the movie clearly featuring a gunner’s seat, the in-game version doesn’t feature a Crew upgrade slot. Maybe the one in the film was a prototype… that was sitting in the hangar bay… ready to fly… fine, the game probably did it this way for balance reasons.) Its movement dial is a little slower than the TIE F/O, featuring fever green manoeuvres, and with its fastest speed being 4. It’s not a slow ship – even Poe was surprised at its speed – but it’s not the fastest thing in the First Order.

Its base stats feature 2 Attack, 2 Defense, 3 Hull and 3 Shields, making it slightly more likely to get hit than a TIE F/O, but with the extra hit points to withstand those hits. In terms of actions, it can Focus, Target Lock or Barrel Roll, but isn’t deemed fast enough to have the Evade action. It definitely seems like a much more rugged TIE Fighter, built to withstand hits and deal out damage. In fact, it can take as many bangs as a T-70 X-Wing, which is far from a frail ship. It’s also he first ship in the game to be capable of taking Tech and System upgrades, which is creating some nice combos.

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Four new pilot cards are included, two of them are generic pilots and two are named unique pilots.

The unique pilot is “Quickdraw”, a PS 9, 29 point ace with the ability to make an attack when he loses a shield, as well as when he can normally attack. Coupled with the fact that he can shoot backwards, this actually makes other players think before trying to shoot him: If you don’t kill him, chances are he’s going to shoot you twice this round.

The other named pilot is “Backdraft” on a PS 7 at 27 points. If he manages to shoot you from his rear arc, he can add one Critical Hit result to his roll. That’s not a dice modification, he gets an additional hit on top of what he rolls, meaning that if you’re right up his backside at Range 1, which is usually a nice safe place to be, he can deal you a potential 4 damage, with one of those definitely being critical. Sure, it’s hard to get your opponent into that position, but it’s going to stop them trying for it.

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In terms of upgrade cards, there’s a few new ones, with one being specific to the TIE S/F. “Special Ops Training” is a 0 point Title card that allows you to add an additional dice when firing from your front arc, or, if you chose not to add this dice, make an additional attack from your rear arc. Stick that on “Quickdraw” and you’re getting a potential four attacks per round, on up to four targets.

“Collision Detector” allows you to use your barrel roll or boost through an obstacle, and makes the obstacles less damaging to you, and “Sensor Cluster” allows you to spend a focus token to turn one blank result to an evade when defending. (I’m actually thinking of using that card on Poe Dameron. With Autothrusters and a focus token, he’s going to be almost impossible to get more than one damage on per round.)

All in all, the TIE S/F isn’t blowing anyone away. Imperial players rely on large numbers of ships on the board, and this one costs roughly the same as an X-Wing, and though it can be said that it easily flies as well as one, that’s not normally the prerogative of someone flying TIE fighters. That said, there’s enough stuff in this release to add to the game as a whole, and very skilled players are going to be able to use this ship to devastating effect. If you can get this thing stuck in the middle of an enemy formation, it’s going to make a big dent, even if it dies in the process.

This thing really moves/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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