Imperial Aces – Some Thoughts
As I mentioned in my last post, I was lucky enough to buy one of the new Imperial Aces for Star Wars X-Wing. I say lucky enough because there are internet stories out there that the shipments are being shorted in many places.
Needless to say, I needed to check it out once I got home.
(NOTE: This post will discuss items that people who do not follow Star Wars X-Wing may not fully understand)
The ships themselves are the same as the TIE Interceptors that Fantasy Flight Games has already released, except with new paint jobs. Two come in the set, modelling more from expanded universe ships than from the movies themselves.
The set also provides eight new ship/pilot cards. Two are Saber Squadron Pilots, which are available with the standard TIE Interceptor set. Two more are Royal Guard Pilots. These cards offer no added abilities, adding two more level six pilots to the Imperial Forces.
The remaining four pilots are named pilots. Kir Kanos and Carnor Jax will be familiar to those who have read the Dark Horse Comics Star Wars mini-series Crimson Empire, while Tetran Cowell and Lieutenant Lorrir come from the X-Wing novel series. Each of these have special abilities. While I have not played any of these abilities yet, it seems that Kanos and Jax’s combat abilities will be particularly useful in games. Kanos has the ability to prevent defending ships from using focus or evade actions or use those tokens as well while in range 1. Jax’s special ability allows him to use his evade token to add a hit result to his rolls while in range 2 to 3.
Also with this set are twelve upgrade cards, 1 set for each ship. Push the Limit and Shield Upgrade have been seen before in other sets. Newly released in this set are some interesting additions. Hull Upgrade is similar to Shield Upgrade, though adding one to the actual structure of the ship than to shields. Hull Upgrade actually costs 1 less than the shield upgrade, which may make this upgrade appealing to those who want to bolster their ships defenses while being able to add a 1 point upgrade as well.
Targeting Computer is a ship modification that adds the ability to target lock, something that interceptors do not normally have.
The real interesting add is the Royal Guard TIE upgrade. This is a title card that is usable by all pilots except the Saber Squadron Pilots. This is a nice little upgrade because it does not cost anything to add it, but allows for a second modification card to be played on the ship.
Opportunist is the last of the new upgrades. This Elite Pilot Talent allows a ship to:
When attacking, if the defender does not have any focus or evade tokens, you may receive 1 stress token to roll 1 additional attack die. You cannot use this ability if you have any stress tokens.
Basically, this will add an extra attack against a close range ship that cannot defend against it. It is an interesting ability, though I’m not sure how I would be able to play it. In the group that I’m in, a few of the members always focus, so you would need to somehow get them to use that focus and/or evade before attacking. That’s pretty tough unless they are attacking first. It could be useful, though I don’t see how at this moment.