Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Star Wars X-Wing miniatures game Shadow Caster Expansion pack REveiw and unboxing from Fantasy flight Games

Its been a while since a new ship hit the hanger decks for Xwing, and a while since i looked at one.  Its time to Remedy that with the Shadow Caster.....  Seen in the animated Series Rebels, its a large base ship for the Scum faction.  If you want a refresher in Xwing, take a look at the X-Wing Force Awakens Starter Set

The signature starship of the young and ambitious bounty hunter Ketsu Onyo, the Shadow Caster was agile and powerful, but lightly shielded, trading heavy ray shielding for speed. Both the ship and its pilot make their way to X-Wing™ in the Shadow Caster Expansion Pack, along with three other pilots and twelve upgrades that afford you myriad options for outfitting your Shadow Caster with different crew and illicit upgrade combinations. Finally, the ship boasts a mobile firing arc, which offers some of the advantages of a turret, even while preserving a distinctive—and more point-efficient—play style.

 In the traditional large ship FFG packaging it gives a clear shot of that lovely model.



 And a nice little run down of the contents on the back.

Lets crack her open and take a closer look at the goodies within.........



 It gives you a ncie reminder about the tractor beam rules last seen in the Imperial Veterans pack.  It reducse your targets agility, making them easier to take down.
 The Shadow Caster also introduces a new concept in its Mobile firing Arc.

Its main guns are covered in its 3 attack primary forward arc, but an action allows you to position for fire outside of your primary firing arc. The mobile firing arc functions much like a 360-degree turret. However, it requires that you spend an action to adjust its rotation, allowing for that slight chance you could fail to catch your target within the arc. And for these reasons, the main difference between the mobile firing arc and a 360-degree turret is that your mobile firing arc requires you to make decisions, and causes more thinking for your opponents.




 As with all the large ships you get a scenario, its obe of the things i certainly thing Star Trek Attack Wing does better, as you get one in each ship, but these are still always fun, and make an excellent change to just lining up asteroids. and going at each other.
 Movement wise, yes shes a big ship, but shes FAST!! with plenty of green moves, and a 5 speed K-turn... that's crazy speed for a ship this large, she can mix it with the smaller fighters and outrun plenty of things whilst keeping up with he best the enemy has to offer.  I guess a quick escape is pretty dang handy if you are smuggling contraband.
 Plenty of nice tokens, including the adjustable auxilary firing arc token, and a debris field.
 Onto the ship..... good firepower, fair agilty for her size, solid hull and low shields.  Her action bar lets you focus, target lock, evade, or adjust your aux arc.

The pilots come in 3 named and i unnamed variety.  Their abilities all link to the ships firing arc, so you want to make sure you can get the best out of it.  For example Sabine can add a focus result to her roll, fi defending against a ship that's in her mobile firing arc, so if you have the focus action you could potentially get 3 evades if your lucky by converting some.  Ketsu can add a tractor beam token if an enemy is in range 1 of both mobile and main firing arcs, so he makes you think about going for that ability, or moving the guns around for more options.  Assaj lets you assign a stress token to a ship if its in your mobile arc.  All of these make you want to adapt your play style to fit the skills and abilities of the ship itself, with each pilots core ability being simiiliar in theme, but different in outcome, and different at how its results effect you.  Want to control movement... Assaj is for you, want better Defence? Sabine, more punch in attack, Ketsu.... A choice for all types of player.
 You get the rules on using the Cargo, and the debris cloud, nice and simple, cargo just ekjects out of the back like a bomb, but remains as a debris cloud
 There is a good choice of upgrades in the pack, such as veteran instincts.... and old one but a good one, and adds 2 pilot skill... making Ketsu a hefty 9! or just bringin up some of your lower ships.  IG-88D works well in a list that has other IG88 ships in it.  Ketsu in crew form lets you choose a shinp inside your firing arc and that ship does not get to remove a tractor beam token.  This can make tking them down a lot easier!  Latts lets you scrap a stress token fromt he attacker when you are defending to add an extra evade roll, handy but of course situational.  Black Market Slicer tools let you potential damage a ship that is stressed by rolling an attack dice.  A hit or critical removes a stress and deals it a damage.  Its a good way of making ships less nimble around you, as they dont want to do moves that will stress them for the potential damage that come onto them.
 Counter measures are a good solid modification for large ships that provide a bit more agility when needed, but it is a discard... You ditch it, and gain an extra agility and can remove a target lock.  I am not usually a fan of discards, but in the right situation its handy to have, even though it only lasts a around, it may keep you alive.  Gyroscopic targeting is very useful, as it is not an action, but if you move at 3,4 or 5 speed you can toate your mobile firing arc, so its very useufl for getting maximum action efficency.

The Shadow Caster title helps you put ou more tractor beam tokens, as if you hit a target in your mobile arc you can tag them with another token.  Combine this with other pilots like Ketsu and this ship is dropping your opponents agility and letting you inflict max damage.

Tactical jammer is a modification that lets you obstruct other ships, normally you can shoot through ships imagining they are on a different level of height, but this means you can shield some smaller ships behind who can then dart out and engage.


 The Ship herslef is big, of course, and has a beautiful paint job on it, which is one thing Xwing really trumps over Star Trek Attack Wing, model quality, and paint job quality.  Its lovely, and looks spot on like the Rebels show.
 The chipped away paintwork really suits the scum and villainy faction look.

Even underneatth eh paint is great, and the detail is excellent, with all the panel lines nicely washed to show depth.

This is a great expansion for the Scum faction, and really adds a a fast ship with heavy punch to them, and opens up a really tactical way to play and fly with the mobile firing arc.  the upgrades are great and can of course be used on all the other ships in your collection, presuming they do not have a restriction on the cards.  Getting new upgrades is always a nice way to try otu different tactics with your favourite ships, let alone whole new lists and ships!

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With an RRP £36.99, head over here to find your local game store and grab yourself one to add to your fleet and get involed in some villainy.