Having written a post about the first classic small ship of the X-Wing Minis game (see the previous post on the subject of the TIE Fighter), I feel it is now time to talk about the Rebel basic small ship, the T-65 X-Wing. This is the original Rebel era X-Wing Fighter, not the shiny new T-70 X-Wing from The Force Awakens, I will cover that later.
In the previous post I mentioned the costs, actions, upgrades and pilot abilities that you find on these cards. I’m not going to list them all again here, so if you are not familiar with the cards and actions then I would recommend you at least scan the TIE Fighter article.
Anyway, on to the T-65 X-Wing.
Lets start with the Stat Line & the Manoeuvre Dial.
Available Actions are Focus & Target Lock
Upgrade wise it can take a the same Modification & Title that all ships can equip as well as a Torpedo & an Astromech. The higher skilled pilots can equip an Elite Pilot Talent as well.
Cost: 21pts for the Pilot Skill 2 Rookie
So, as we can see from the stat line and the dial the X-Wing Fighter is not as fast or manoeuvrable as the Imperial TIE Fighter but it is tougher and it hits harder. The extra attack die makes a big difference here as the attack dice are slightly more likely to roll a hit or crit than the evade dice are to roll an evade.
However the addition of the Shields is the biggest change here, shields are better than hull because to shields treat hits and crits as the same, they both just take a single shield off.
Movement wise, the X-Wing isn’t as quick and can’t turn as hard as the TIE however it can go slower with both banks and a straight at speed one, the number of green/white/red manoeuvres are about the same. However, when it comes to actions, the loss of the Barrell Roll & Evade and replacing it with a Target Lock tells you a lot about how the designers see this ship being used. The Target Lock is all about maximising your chance to deal damage, so where the TIE is all about the evasion and positioning the X-Wing is instead about putting damage onto the target.
Upgrades are another story though. A Torpedo Slot is very useful, you can equip a Proton Torp or a Plasma Torp or one of a number of other options, this would mostly be for either a powerful openning volley or as a way to trying to deal with larger opponent ships.
The Astromech however is what makes an X-Wing amazing; the classic choice is R2D2 who in X-Wing Minis is a regen Astromech, with R2 equipped and time you take a Green move you can regenerate a shield, remember what I said earlier about shields being better than hull, well having a way to recover them is awesome. Finally there is an X-Wing only Modification you can apply called Integrated Astromech which allows you to sacrifice an equipped Astromech to ignore a single damage card so it can prolong your ships life or it can be used to cancel an especially nasty crit.
The question then is, how do you fly this ship? Well the traditional role in the Rebel Fleet for an X-Wing is as an Escort ship, X-Wings are moderately tough, well armed fighters with a good range of manoeuvre options. You could easily run all X-Wings as a list but I would stay away from the idea of a swarm:
At 21pts for the pilot skill 2 rookie you could run 4 of them for 84 points, however I would suggest instead flying a smaller number of higher skill X-Wing pilots with upgrades.
There are a number of classic pilots available for X-Wings which are immediately recognisable from the movies, of the classic pilots I’ll show two here, Biggs is easily the best escort pilot in the game, you give him R2D2 & Integrated Astromech and he draws fire away from your other ships while R2 helps him regenerate his shields. Wedge on the other hand is all about the offense, he reduces your opponents agility by one when attacking, so give him torpedos and some other upgrades to help him with positioning and they make a good team.
Final note from me, the T-65 X-Wing is a perfectly decent ship, its pretty tough and punchy, has some good upgrade options and lets be honest, it might be the second most recognisable ship in Star Wars (after the Falcon). The only downside to it is that the T-70 X-Wing is just better enough that you don’t see many T-65s, other than Biggs, in play anymore.