WAMPA! New Tie Fighter Aces are on the Boat.
The new Tie Fighter aces are on the boat, sailing the long way round to a gaming store near you soon. Hopefully in time for Xmas, the pack also comes with a free Epic ship too, the Gonzo to compliment the rebels ‘Whale.’
What’s in a name?
Yeah, so the Gozanti Imperial assault carrier set, (The Tie rack?), maybe doesn’t come with some tip top names but the ships will certainly be making a splash. Without repeating too much of the FFG article, (https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2015/11/27/swarm-tactics/ ), here is what I feel they may have missed.
Apart from a slightly cringe worthy name, (although I do recognise it is a much loved ice monster), his pilot ability could be very tasty against low hull, high shield ships. What I felt they missed was to point out two nice synergies that could go with him, Lt. Colzet and the big man himself, Emperor Palpatine. The tricky bit with Wampa is getting his ability to trigger. You need to get a crit, then you cancel all results and deal your opponent a face down damage card, a bit like Proton Bombs.
A quick list I thought of could be:
Darth Vader with Veteran instincts, title and ATC
Colzet with title and ATC, (I like the higher damage output)
Omnicron Shuttle with Palpatine
There is still room to manoeuvre like giving either accuracy corrector or fire control to Colzet or giving Vader a different EPT. Its annoying to drop the engine upgrade on Vader but you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs. The handy thing about this is you can use the emperor to give Wampa a guaranteed crit, and then use Colzet to flip it face up. WAMPA!
You must shout WAMPA when doing so. It’ll be in the new FAQ.
Possibly Lone Wolf or Predator might be a possibility on Vader to make him more of a flanking option but it will probably take some experimenting as to see if this is any good.
Insert Picture of small child? Maybe not.
Surely Oldster or Wise old Owl would be more appropriate given the pilot ability which is any tie fighter within range 1 -3 may use Youngster’s EPT if it is an EPT with the Action header. This causes what could be a good ship to be limited to effectively Expose or Marksmanship. There is dare devil but that could be somewhat disastrous for a ship without boost and three hull.
I would only plump for Expose but the negative effect of that is making the ties a bit squishy to return fire. If going down that road its tempting to go for:
Youngster with Expose
3 obsidian pilots
2 acadamy pilots
100 on the nose.
Another opition would be considering Black squadrons with push the limit but then you are sitting at 17 points which is close to interceptor costings. A PS3 Avenger squadron interceptor is going to chalk in at 20 points. You could swap out the obsidians and academies for 3 PTL black squadrons and an academy pilot.
This is when I had a bit of sick in mouth. My initial reaction was that like the name, the ship was garbage too. To be fair, the way that they suggest using Chaser, who can get focus tokens assigned to him if a friendly ship within range one spends a focus, is reasonable enough. Throw him forward, ideally in shooting range one and evade and make your opponent take decisions on who to shoot.
Contemplating the above list, with the black squadron idea, another route could be:
Youngster with Expose
2 Black Squadron PTL
The theory would be that it would allow you to fire with four ships that are exposed and focused with Howlrunner’s re roll. The downside is that you have a lot of different pilot skills which can make manoeuvring hard and that you only have two defence dice. The other problem is keeping Youngster safe as he may well be target number one.
Decent name, decent ability but is the PS 7 too high to really consistently work? Scourge gets to roll one extra attack die if the defender has at least one damage card. This means initially in the opening phases of the game scourge wants to be firing lower down the order. Scourge does have an EPT which could be a place for either Swarm Tacitcs or Decoy but I cant help but feel Back Stabber is a better investment.
You could combe Scourge with Wampa, but first you have to make Wampa work which could mean quite a complicated build built round a chain of synergies which if the lynch pin of that is removed, the rest of the list could fall apart easily.
The new Tie fighters, with the exception of Scourge to an extent, all require some sort of synergetic list build to function as effectively as possible. One of the issues I feel about overly synergising a list is that it can all start to go wrong if it is overly complicated or a key ship is removed early in the game. It also restricts how you fly if you are dependent on multiple abilities triggering at a variety of ranges to be effective and the game is largely won on flying the ships to the right place at the right time.
Youngster could be very good if new EPT Action cards come out in later waves but in the mean time I feel he is limited to the Expose EPT to be most effective.On the tournament circuit I expect we may see Wampa and the Palpmobile with sprinklings of Chaser and Scourge. Youngster will probably make an appearance in a swarm but two agility tie fighters might be too easy to remove.
Overall they are perhaps a little underwhelming but not terrible. There could be a place for them but require the list to be tailored to them.