X-Wing Wave Seven Review by Dave Clarke

Hit Me Hard and Hit Me Fast

New blog, new ships. Today I’m going to talk about the X-Wing Miniatures Game’s recently revealed Wave 7, which we will be seeing hitting the tabletop by the end of this summer. Wave 7 will contain 4 Ships: The YV-666, a light freighter most notably used by the Trandoshan bounty hunter Bossk, the Kihraxz Assault Fighter from the Star Wars: Galaxies MMO, the Tie Punisher, formerly known as the Tie Interdictor in the Galactic Battlegrounds RTS, and the BTL-S8 K-Wing, first seen in the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy. The K-Wing holds the distinction of being an X-Wing ship of the future, not deployed until 15 years after the battle of Yavin, the furthest into the timeline that FFG have ventured so far.

 

 

YV-666 “Hounds Tooth”, Scum and Villainy Faction

Let us start with ship that bears the number of the beast for it is a Corellian number, YV-Six-Hundred and Sixty Six. This ship for me is the standout ship of Wave 7. It combines the customizability of the well-regarded YT-1300 with a much lower points cost: the highest PS pilot Bossk only clocks up 35 points. The low cost of the YV-666 will probably be justified by its lack of the coveted 360 degree firing arc, as it merely possesses two auxiliary arcs that cover the front 180 degrees of the ship which is something of a new concept in X-Wing. Speaking of new concepts, the ship also comes with a hilarious title card “Hounds Tooth” that lets the YV-666 pilot escape his ships demise in a freshly deployed Z-95 Headhunter. This ship is going to sink or swim based on two factors which are presently unknown: its maneuver dial and exact wording of the deploy rule for the Z-95. If the deploy rule lets the owning player keep the original ship’s entire points cost from counting for scoring purposes until it to is destroyed I anticipate seeing a lot of these Space Dinosaur-man Winnebagoes in my future.

Here are a few quick sample lists I’ve knocked together focused around the YV-666.

“I Like Big Boats, I Cannot Lie”

Bossk — YV-666 [35]
Veteran Instincts [1]
“Mangler” Cannon [4]
Weapons Engineer [3]
K4 Security Droid [3]
Hound’s Tooth [6]

Kath Scarlet (Scum) — Firespray-31 [38]
Push the Limit [3]
K4 Security Droid [3]
Engine Upgrade [4]

Total: 100

Bossk’s pilot ability lets him trade a successful crit for two regular damage so he’s a good fit for the Mangler Cannon. The Weapons Engineer and K4 will keep those target locks flowing, and the Hound’s Tooth Z-95 can be a late game finisher or a points denial escape pod depending on the state of the game. Kath Scarlet comes in here to cover Bossk’s scaly behind with her formidable rear arc.

“Greedo Shoots First”

Bossk — YV-666 [35]
Marksmanship [3]
Gunner [5]
Greedo [1]
Hound’s Tooth [6]

Syndicate Thug — Y-Wing [18]
Ion Cannon Turret [5]
R4 Agromech [2]
BTL-A4 Y-Wing [0]

Syndicate Thug — Y-Wing [18]
Ion Cannon Turret [5]
R4 Agromech  [2]
BTL-A4 Y-Wing [0]

Total: 100

Marksmanship, Gunner and Greedo combo together to put out streams of crits that get turned into double hits and then turned back into face-up damage cards by Greedo. This gets maximum return on the YV-666’s wide front arc where ships should end up stranded once they are exposed to the crazy firepower of “Warthog” Syndicate Thugs’ primary and secondary (ion) double tap.

Kihraxz Assault Fighter, Scum and Villainy Faction


Next up is the Kihraxz, a more run of the mill offering for the Scum and Villainy faction. It provides the faction with its equivalent to the X-Wing fighter. The trouble is, most people aren’t using X-Wings anymore, as being a jack of all trades ship with no native action bar re-positioning ability really hurts in a game of high-speed manoeuvring. Having said all this, the one revealed pilot so far is simply amazing. Talonbane Cobra is Pilot Skill 9 for 28 points with a pilot ability that doubles the benefit of ranged combat bonuses. This means he’s the highest native pilot skill ship revealed for the Scum and Villainy faction. When he attacks at range 1 he is rolling five attack dice and when he defends at range 3 he rolls four defence dice which is as good as a Tie Phantom and on a much cheaper ship.

I can see the Kihraxz working alongside some of the more nimble Scum ships in something like this list:

“Cobra Commander”

Talonbane Cobra — Kihraxz Fighter [28]
Veteran Instincts [1]
Glitterstim [2]
Engine Upgrade [4]

Serissu —M3-A Interceptor[20]
Veteran Instincts [1]
Flechette Cannon [2]
“Heavy Scyk” Interceptor (Cannon) [2]

Cartel Spacer —M3-A Interceptor [14]
“Mangler” Cannon [4]
“Heavy Scyk” Interceptor (Cannon) [2]

Cartel Spacer —M3-A Interceptor [14]
“Mangler” Cannon [4]
“Heavy Scyk” Interceptor (Cannon) [2]

Total: 100

Talonbane Cobra sits at the heart of this list with his pilot skill boosted to 11, Boost added to his action bar and the new illicit card “Glitterstim” that gives him access to a one-off super focus (all eyeballs can be turned into hits or evades this turn) at the start of the combat phase. Serissu gives Cobra and the other Interceptors defensive re-rolls whilst also being able to pop stress on any troublesome targets, increasing the risk for self-stressing ships and shutting down the Advanced Cloaking Device on Phantoms.

Tie Punisher, Imperial Faction

  
This Wave of ships has been called the “ordnance” fix wave after the general lacklustre state of torpedoes and missiles in the game was raised in an interview with one of the game designers. His reply was that Wave 7 was going to try to change this balance issue. The fix is in and it is called “Extra Munitions”. This new card takes up a torpedo slot and costs 2 points and provides one ordnance token for each other equipped torpedo, missile and bomb that can be discarded rather than the upgrade card (normally upon commencing the attack).

Enter the Tie Punisher, a ship that that can take maximum advantage of the new upgrade card with two of each relevant slot, so it can have a bomb, missile or torpedo for every occasion.

The Tie Punisher takes the already quite sturdy Tie Bomber frame, drops 1 agility, adds 3 shields, exchanges the Barrel Roll for a Boost action and gains the all important systems slot. All this for quite possibly not many more points than its predecessor in Imperial service, with the most expensive pilot, Redline, being only 1 point more expensive than Major Rhymer, the highest cost Tie Bomber pilot. If it falls into the quite likely 21-22 point bracket for the low cost generic I can see these making some very interesting three to four ships lists with a long list of options.

For now I can see the Tie Punisher functioning very well as part of a munitions-focused bomber wing, trading some of the resilience from earlier bomber wing list styles for incredible versatility. Here’s my take on that concept:

“Redlining”

 

“Redline” — TIE Punisher [27]
Fire-Control System [2]
Extra Munitions [2]
Ion Torpedoes [5]
Cluster Missiles [4]
Autothrusters [2]

Gamma Squadron Pilot — TIE Bomber [18]
Extra Munitions [2]
Proton Torpedoes [4]
Ion Pulse Missiles [3]
Seismic Charges [2]

Gamma Squadron Pilot — TIE Bomber [18]
Extra Munitions [2]
Proton Torpedoes [4]
Ion Pulse Missiles [3]
Seismic Charges [2]

Total: 100

Redline’s pilot ability lets it establish and maintain 2 target locks on a single target, increasing the utility of munitions that require expending a target lock to fire and making Fire Control System a no brainer on an already target lock-reliant ship. Ion Torpedoes open up crazy control options, combining high damage with area effect and the ion effect, Cluster Missiles give real bite to any ship that can find a way to get a re-roll on those double attacks and Autothrusters are there because I wouldn’t pass up a chance to put them on any ship. The two Gamma squadrons are little Swiss Army Knife ships with a whole load of options and PS 4 so they stand a chance to get some shots off when engaging swarms.

K-Wing, Rebel Faction

 
Last but by no means least is the K-Wing. The YV-666 is probably the most competitive ship in this wave but the K-Wing is the one I find the most appealing. It looks like the kind of ship my 9 year-old self would doodle on my school work: “Moar Missiles, Moar Turrets when I run out of room I’ll add Moar Wings with Moar Missiles…” The K-Wing takes the gonzo aesthetic and runs with it on the rules front as well, where it becomes the first small base ship with a turret primary weapon, and the first ship with the new SLAM action: a super boost that trades the ship’s attack for another manoeuvre of the same speed as the ship’s preceding move.

Along with these new rules the K-Wing possesses a turret slot, two torpedoes, one missile, two bombs and a crew slot all for a comparable price to a B-Wing (the most expensive pilot is 29 points). It is also worth mentioning that all of the upgrade cards that come with the K-Wing expansion are entirely new to the game in wave 7. I have no idea what Twin Laser Turrets, Plasma Torpedoes, Bombardiers, Advanced Homing Missiles, Conner Webs or Ion Bombs but I am sure looking forward to finding out. The two text revealed cards are “Extra Munitions”, which I’ve talked about already in this article, and “Advanced SLAMDrive”, which lets the ship perform a free Action after performing a successful SLAM manoeuvre, suddenly making all the bombs that require an action to deploy an attractive option.

What kind of list would this delightfully odd ship be a part of though? I think a large part of it will depend on the unrevealed cards. Right now my instincts say that K-Wings will only synergise well with K-Wings. Turrets, SLAM and bombs should give them a movement pattern like no other ship in the game so it could be easy for single K-Wings to become cut off and isolated. Here’s an attempt to integrate the K-Wing with some of the older Rebel ships.

“Fairey Swordfish”

Miranda Doni — K-Wing [29]
Extra Munitions [2]
Homing Missiles [5]
Nien Nunb [1]
Seismic Charges [2]
Shield Upgrade [4]

“Dutch” Vander — Y-Wing [23]
Ion Torpedoes [5]
Extra Munitions [2]
R2 Astromech [1]

 

Gold Squadron Pilot — Y-Wing [18]
Ion Torpedoes [5]
Extra Munitions [2]
R2 Astromech [1]

Total: 100

Miranda Doni is the only revealed K-Wing pilot so far and her pilot ability lets her either trade 1 shield for an extra attack dice, or lose an attack dice to regenerate a shield. Homing Missiles gives her a long range alpha strike where she can spend shields for five dice attacks which ignore evade tokens. Nien Nunb should improve her options for breaking engagements by increasing the potential range of green manoeuvres, to clear stress and then hit the SLAM drive. The two Y-Wings are equipped as torpedo bombers, a concept I hope will get some mileage with this wave with Ion chosen for anti-swarm potential and Dutch being there as handing out target locks is never a bad idea.

That’s it for today boys and girls. Hopefully you’ve managed to slog through my turgid prose and gained some insight on Wave 7 for the X-Wing: Miniatures Game.  For more information on Wave 7 check out the official announcement article linked below:

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2015/4/20/hit-them-hard-and-fast

Dave Clarke is a lifelong Warhammer 40K player turned X-Wing refugee due to Imperial oppression of his homeworld. He definitely does not own a large and varied stack of wargaming starter sets/rule books from previous failed attempts to escape from the Imperium. Under no circumstances is he to be allowed into any form of roleplaying group as it will always end in fire and blood.

Kieren McCallum

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