X Wing: Round Here, He’s Known as Striker

X Wing guru Harrison Sharp is back with his thoughts on the first ships, coming at us this week, from Wave 10! First up we have the TIE Striker:

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Greets and salutations, Padawans and Jedi Masters alike! Your resident Recon Specialist has once again returned from a place you’ve probably never heard of and more than likely couldn’t pronounce anyway (that’s what you get when a species with two mouths and four tongues creates a language … ) I’ve been a bit quiet as of late (Pokémon Sun and Moon kinda took over my life for a while), but I have once again decided to inflict my musings upon you all. This week we’re going to look at the ship I’m most looking forward to in Wave 10, the TIE Striker.

That’s right, we’ve got yet another TIE variant to drool over, and the wings even move on this one! It’s pretty amazing for me that the Star Wars film I have most looked forward to has spawned the ship I am most looking forward to! Flappy wings and hype aside, this looks like it’s going to shape up to be one hell of a beast on the table top. Let’s take a look at the stat line:

Striker 1Striker Dial

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We can make quite a nice comparison between this ship and the TIE Interceptor. Both have an attack value of 3 and no shields; however, for the reduction of 1 agility you gain a point of hull. Added to that, you’re a point cheaper and have a pretty nice Title, and this ship is looking pretty good from the get go!
Before we take a look at the Title, let’s just note a couple of other things that the Interceptor has over the Striker: first off, the Interceptor has a faster dial, with some added green turns thrown in to make it a much better ship to shrug off Stress or get out of a sticky situation. The Interceptor also has the Boost action, but fortunately for the Striker, it doesn’t need one.

Striker 3Striker 4

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As you can see, the Title gives you a pre-move Boost as long as you aren’t Stressed, the trade-off being that it doesn’t cost you an action and it isn’t optional. That makes the slow dial look a lot more appealing, as you can either equip the Title for a ship that can become a repositionable nightmare for your opponent, or you can leave the Title at home and have a really decent knife fighter. Add into this the addition of the new Modification in the pack, Lightweight Frame, and you can have a ship that brings a whole different suite of tricks to the table than the old reliable Interceptor, but keeps the Interceptor’s durability.

For me, however, it’s not the generics that have got my keen levels high (if only the Pilot Skill 4 generic pilot with an Elite Pilot Talent was 19 points instead of 20!), it’s the three named pilots where you can really start to see this ship shine. Let’s start at the top with Duchess.

Striker 5Striker 6

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Coincidence?

OK, so it’s not Archer, but at Pilot Skill 8 with an EPT and the ability to turn off the effect of her Title, why would you ever not take it? Personally I plan to add Veteran Instincts onto her and call it a day. 24 points for a PS10 repositionable monster is a bargain! I may stretch to Lightweight Frame and maybe drop down to Adaptability to keep her at 25 points, but with that much movement, I’m unsure if the extra survivability is worth the points.

Next up we have the Yin and Yang of the expansion, Countdown and Pure Sabacc.

Striker 7

Striker 8

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Countdown is a ship that will survive at least four attacks, regardless of what’s shooting at him. Against a Swarm, this may not be a lot longer than usual, but considering that Swarm is currently dead in the Meta and most squads are now leaning toward hyper accurate 3-4 dice attacks, Countdown can be a very effective troll. Pure Sabacc is the complete opposite of Countdown, as his ability is attack-oriented. The ability to roll an additional attack dice is always a strong ability, which is why it’s usually only put on 2 attack dice ships. Pure Sabacc trades off the ability to always get his ability to proc with the fact he’s already at 3 attack dice. I can see a place for Veteran Instincts on this guy as well, as you will want to keep him undamaged for as long as possible and so want to be able to arc dodge as many ships as possible. I think Expertise may even see some play on Pure Sabacc, as you can use your Title to bump into the front ship and still get an augmented shot at a target behind it, or even be able to Barrel Roll and still convert your eyeballs. Although this is more situational and expensive a gamble than Veteran Instincts, I can see it paying off more often than not. You just have to weigh up the potential benefits of Expertise over Predator or even Lone Wolf if you are planning on running Pure Sabacc as a flanker. As the TIE Striker doesn’t have access to Target Lock without a Modification, you will have a lot of use for re-rolls, and as you want to keep damage off of Pure Sabacc you may wish to invest in the Lightweight Frame. This, however, brings him up to 27 points for Predator and Lightweight Frame, and you have to ask the question of if you would get more mileage out of Omega Leader with Juke and Comm Relay at 26 points.

Right now I don’t know which of the named pilots I like the look of most, so I may just stick them all in a list with a Palp-Shuttle. Duchess with Veteran Instincts, Pure Sabacc with Predator and Lightweight Frame, Countdown with the Title and a Palp-Shuttle comes in at 100 points on the nose. Alternatively, I can drop out Pure Sabacc for Omega Leader and have a 1 point initiative bid. Either way, I can see a squad of three “Pocket Aces” and a Shuttle to be a scary sight to see on the other side of the table.

And that just about covers all of my thoughts about the new TIE Striker. This is the first Imperial ship since Wave 4 that I know I will be getting two of on release day, so I can honestly say that – for me at least – the hype is real! So until next time listeners, fly casual!

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The TIE Striker and the U-Wing both release on Thursday 5th January!

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