Monday, 9 January 2017

Star Wars Xwing TIE Striker expansion pack unboxing and review

Its that exciting time again when we get to look at the newest ships from Xwing....

Starting with the Imperial forces we look at a new TIE variant we have not seen before, as it was featured in the latest movie Rogue One.  Is it any good though?


The sleek and agile TIE striker was developed primarily by Imperial forces stationed on planetary installations, where its adaptive ailerons and potent weaponry made it an excellent safeguard against Rebel incursions. The TIE striker and its adaptive ailerons come to life with the TIE Striker Expansion Pack for X-Wing™. It contains one highly detailed and pre-painted miniature TIE striker, along with six ship cards and three upgrades. These reflect the ship’s exceptional atmospheric maneuverability, as well as its use in Imperial swarm tactics.


Lets pop the pack open and see what we get inside.......



It comes with all the goodies you need and would expect from FFG, including reference cards that explain modifications, titles and segnors loop, these you will have seen before, so you can get rid of these, but it is nice they are included for players who may not have seen it before.

The Striker is nimble, but only speed 3 so not the fastest, but there are ways around this later in the pack.


 We get 6 pilots in the pack ranging in points from the most expensive at 23, to the cheapest at 17 providing plenty of options.  You can see the ship only has 3 actions on her bar, focus, barrel roll and evade, so no target lock.  Even the highest skilled pilot in the pack only gets an elite talent icon.

Duchess is the highest skill pilot in the pack at skill 8.  When you have the adaptive ailerons upgrade on her she can choose to ignore its effects letting you use it when you need to, its very very useful as you will see when we look at that card later.

Pure Sabacc is skill 6 and increases your attack value by 1 if you have one or less damage card on him.  It increases the ships punch, but wont be easy to keep him at that level.

Countdown is skill 5 and can really take a beating with his special ability.  If you are not stressed at the compare dice stage of defending, you can take one damage to cancel ALL the dice, and then take a stress.  So if something hits you and would do 3 or 4 damage, why not just take the 1 and keep in the fight.  A good ship for going in close to high damage to those hard to kill ships like the Falcon.

Lastly we finish with the generic pilots who range in skill from 4 down to 1 with Black squadron Pilot, Scarif Defender, and Imperial trainee.
 Upgrade wise we only get 3 cards in the pack, but they are good!

Adaptive Ailerons is 0 cost TIE title for the Striker only, so it is optional, you can fly your ship as is from the box with its dial or add this for free.  If you add this, and are not stressed before you reveal your dial you MUST execute either a 1 speed straight or bank move.  This gives it the extra speed it was missing, and great ability to position yourself for the attack, or to avoid and provides a built in bit of contingency if your opponent has pulled off something you did not expect.  The downside though is if you are up close you may need to turn really tight as your move, but you still have to bank first making her less nimble at point blank range, which is where the Duchess comes in, as she can just ignore it at her choice making her super flexible.

Lightweight Frame is a TIE only modification for a cost of 2.  When defending after working out your defence dice, if you have less then your enemies attack dice, you get an extra one, handy against the big 3 attack rebel ships, it gives you that extra bit of survivability.

Swarm leader is 3 cost elite talent that can add extra power to your attack.  When you attack you choose up to 2 other ally ships that have the target in range and arc, remove an evade token from each of them and add an extra attack dice for each evade token, so this can really pump up your firepower if you at swarming a target so nice and in theme.

 The ship is great looking, and though different to what we are used to seeing, you can clearly see it follows the Imperial design ethos, and is instantly recognisable as a n Imperial ship.
 A very coll touch is the wings can be moved up and down independently, just like the adaptive ailerons card suggests, so a really cool touch as it lets you pose them how you like.
 

With an RRP of £13.99 you get a ship that's really going to provide some new options for flying styles, and be super nimble and for the empire she hits hard too and looks cool, and I really want to get it to the table to try out the new adaptive ailerons, so head on over to your local game store and grab yourself a pack.

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