Deploy the Garrison

Harrison is our X Wing X-pert here at Chaos Cards. When he’s not writing up articles for us lot at CCHQ he’s at our tabletop gaming centre running our tournaments. We’ve told him to go home and get a life that isn’t based around tiny plastic spaceships, but he just doesn’t listen.

Welcome back fellow pilots. This week has seen the announcement of yet another wave of X Wing, including what looks like the mythic X Wing fix, as well as my all-time favourite ship ever, the TIE Reaper. I’ve been waiting for this ship since the release of Rogue One and it looks like it isn’t going to disappoint! Let’s start with the Rebels and save the best for last!

Saw’ Renegades is another Aces kit, so no new toys for the Rebel faction! However with the ability to bring two of the older Rebel ships into the limelight and make them competitive, this isn’t a bad thing. At a quick glance we can see a PS1 X Wing, meaning we will probably be getting a cheaper version of the Rookie Pilot from the very first core set. In the current meta, PS1 and 2 are pretty much interchangeable as, barring PS2 gunboats, most of the ships that you’re going to see on the table will be a higher Pilot Skill. There also seems to be 2 separate upgrade cards relating to the T65 X Wing. I’ve got a small gripe here, as there is not ship with that name currently; yes we all know what they mean and it’s a very subtle way of locking out these upgrades to the T70, it just irks me that there’s no ship called the T65 X Wing in the game!

My own personal gripes aside, I really hope we do get to see more of the original X Wing on the table. The Biggs nerf has hopefully paved the way for other X Wings to get the boost they desperately need. I really want to see Luke and Wedge back on the top tables! Speaking of X Wings, we can see 1 of the new pilots, Kullbee Sperado, rocking in at PS7 and what looks to be 26 points. His ability reads “After you perform a boost or barrel roll action, you may flip your equipped ‘Servomotor S-foils’ Upgrade card.”; so now we know what one of the fixes is called, we just have to find out what it does! Until we know what the upgrade does, we won’t know exactly how good this guy will be, but 26 points for a PS7 X Wing with an EPT is pretty well costed. It all depends on that Upgrade as to whether this guy is going to be a Wedge or a Porkins!

Next up we have the spoiled upgrades in the pack, the Targeting Scrambler and its Scrambled Condition. This is yet another zero point upgrade card which gives a marginal effect at the cost of your System Upgrade slot. Personally I can only see a few niche uses for this upgrade. I instantly think of the Lambda-class Shuttle, as you will have people tailing you and never being able to get another shot. This upgrade could keep you alive for a couple more valuable Palpatine uses. Apart from ships that expect to not fire for several rounds in a game, you would do much better to spring for the 2 points and take a Fire Control System. The other upgrade we can see is Saw himself! He allows you to convert all your Focus results to crits when attacking at the cost of 1 damage. For 1 point, this is going to be pretty damn good, especially on a regenerating ship!




Next on the list is the TIE Reaper. This ship has an impressive stat line of 3 attack, 1 agility, 6 hull and 2 shields. We have seen the Pilot Skill 6 pilot, Major Vermeil, clock in at 26 points, which is pretty decent for this platform, especially as he give you access to the EPT slot. As the lowest Pilot Skill in the box is 1, that means we may see an even cheaper Palpatine carrier, which could be crazy good if this ship can actually turn around! Added to this is a ship that has the Jam action natively. This ability we’ve only seen on upgrades so far, which does beg the question how the action will work on a ship. WE already know that Jam tokens remove any Focus, Evade or blue Target Lock Tokens on the ship, or remain on the ship until it receives one and then you discard both tokens. This could be pretty nasty against an Ace that relies on its tokens to stay alive, or even as a way to blunt an alpha strike by getting into range and removing the token needed to fire off the ordinance. It’s important to add that it’s the opponent who chooses which token is removed if there’s more than one on the ship, but if they only have the 1 token then it will have to be that one. Don’t bank on this as a sure-fire way of stopping people Harpooning you off the table, but it will be a brilliant tool against a lot of builds. Added on top of all this, the Reaper is a TIE, so can take Lightweight Frame for added durability.

Major Vermeil’s ability is also pretty good for a ship without access to a native Target Lock Action, allowing you to convert one Focus or blank result to a hit when attacking. This pairs really well with the Jam action, meaning you can control your opponent’s actions and also still modify your attack. Another edge case is this will overcome Sensor Jammer, which is pretty prevalent on the Ghost at the moment.

The previewed upgrades both look pretty darn good. First we have the Death Troopers. I can see these things being a proper pain if you put them on something that nobody really wants to target, say a cheap 18 point TIE Bomber Shuttle; but I can also see them being quite restricting, as it means that you’re going to have to keep your other ships close. This isn’t a strategy that synergises well with the high Pilot Skill arc dodgers that the Empire is known for! Finally we get to see the Director Krennic Crew card; for 5 points you get to assign the “Bespoke Prototype” Condition to a friendly Galactic Empire ship with 3 or less shields. Two things jump out at me here; first is that it doesn’t say ANOTHER friendly ship, meaning you can equip it on the ship that will benefit from the Condition. Also, we have the first instance of a card specifying “Galactic Empire”, meaning no extra shield for Quickdraw or Omega Leader! As far as game balance goes, I’m sure we can all agree that’s for the best. “Hang on, an extra shield?” I hear you ask. That’s right, we can see that the Bespoke Prototype Condition gives the ship it’s on an extra shield and the ability to spend a die result when attacking with a primary weapon to flat out remove a shield from the defender. For 5 points, this is bonkers! I can see the Director being in pretty much every build that can take him for a long time.

That wraps up all of the new toys we can see from the announcement article. I’m super stoked to have the TIE Reaper in the game. I hope it gives the Imperials a reasonably cheap crew carrier that has some teeth! Also, it looks like the X Wings in the Saw’s Renegades expansion have wings that pivot up and down. So now you can set your S-foils in attack position instead of them always being that way! I can’t wait to see if this proves to be the case, but until then we’ll just have to wait.

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