Monday, 18 November 2019

X-Wing Buying Guide - Republic

"Sand.  I hate sand."



Everyone flocks to the Galactic Republic faction for its clone troopers.  Faceless and featureless the clones make the Republic one of the most dynamic and exciting factions to play.

No, wait, that's not right.  You're here for the Jedi, aren't you?  Of course you are!

The forces of the Galactic Republic oversaw peace and order in the galaxy before the dark times.  Before the Empire.  In this faction you'll find many members of the Jedi council: Ahsoka Tano, Plo Koon, Obi Wan Kenobi and of course a certain Anakin Skywalker.  The Jedi fly their distinctive triangular starfighter and with the Force as their ally they make for incredibly varied and dangerous foes.  Alongside the Jedi you'll find the clone troopers, they may be less exciting and glamorous but their ships are tough and dependable in a scrap.  The Jedi can't be everywhere in the galaxy and clones do a lot more than just make up the numbers.

In terms of playstyle the Republic faction is incredibly customisable and can play most styles pretty well.  It's certainly possible to field the Jedi as powerful aces who can use their mastery of the Force to dodge attacks and ensure they get the best positions on the table.  At the other end of the scale a massed army of clones in their V-19 Torrents, V-Wings, LAATs and ARC-170 Starfighters can bring massed raw firepower capable of winning almost any duel.  And in between those extremes you can mix and match the two styles almost at will and the challenge with the faction often comes down to having to make difficult choices between several ships and pilots that could all work well.


The first thing to say is that the Republic faction is a lot like the First Order faction in that there's no real fixed route for how to fly them and thus what you need to buy.  My overarching medium-term advice is basically to buy one of every expansion in whatever order you want, but if you're looking at your very first purchases then "to Guardians or not to Guardians, that is the question..."

The Guardians of the Republic boxed set introduced the Galactic Republic to the game and it's still a fantastic launchpad into the faction.  Not only do you get your first three ships for the price but it's home to some unique Jedi pilots that aren't in the Aethersprite expansion pack (including Obi-Wan Kenobi).  It also comes with a lot of the upgrade cards that you'll need to load out your squad and make the most of the ships you buy.  However as more ships have been added to the Republic faction it's no longer the only way to buy in.

Guardians of the Republic 
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi (ETA-2 Actis) - Predator, Stealth Device
  • Plo Koon (Aethersprite) - Calibrated Laser Targeting
  • 104th Battalion Pilot (ARC-170)
  • Gold Squadron Trooper (Torrent)
  • Gold Squadron Trooper (Torrent)
Expansions required: Guardians of the Republic, ETA-2 Actis Expansion, ARC-170 Expansion ($90)

This squad brings a pretty typical and flavorsome blend of Jedi masters and clone toughness to the table.

But if you decide not to make Guardians of the Republic your first purchase you can benefit from the fact there are different Jedi pilots for the Aethersprite in the ship's own expansion than there are in the Guardians of the Republic box (for example: Obi Wan is in Guardians of the Republic, Anakin is in the expansion).

Dancing Jedi
  • Anakin Skywalker (Aethersprite) - Calibrated Laser Targeting
  • Obi Wan Kenobi (ETA-2 Actis)
  • Ric Olie (Naboo Starfighter)
  • Goji (Y-Wing) - Ion Turret, Proton Bombs, Delayed Fuses
Expansions required: Aethersprite expansion, ETA-2 Actis expansion, N1 Naboo Starfighter expansion, BTL-B Y-Wing expansion ($80)

And this squad really shows how interchangeable so many pieces are for the Republic.  We've picked up an N1 Starfighter and a Y-Wing in this example, but those same points could easily have gone on a V-Wing and a LAAT instead.  Or another Aethersprite, or an ARC.

And we've not even got into the possibilities brought about by converting your Aethersprites to their more potent (and expensive) Delta-7B configuration.  If you're prepared to trade the advancing piloting skills of Obi Wan and Anakin for raw firepower then there's other routes through the faction.

Feel The Force (200pts)
  • Jedi Knight (Aethersprite) - Delta-7B
  • Jedi Knight (Aethersprite) - Delta-7B
  • Warthog (LAAT) - Clone Commander Cody
  • 104th Battalion Pilot (ARC-170) - R4-P Astromech
Expansions required: Aethersprite expansion x2, LAAT expansion, ARC-170 expansion ($100)


Delta-7 Aethersprite (Wave 3)
Average to fly, Strong

Important: you get an Aethersprite in the Guardians of Republic box but the individual ship expansion features different pilots (and different paint schemes on the Aethersprite) so you'll almost certainly want to pick up both packs eventually.
  • Guardians of the Republic: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Plo Koon, Mace Windu, Saesee Tiin
  • Aetherspriate Expansion: Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, Luminar Unduli, Barriss Offee
The Delta-7 Aethersprite is the chosen starfighter of the Jedi knights.  It may look small but in X-Wing this hugely customisable little fighter has several configuration options and is almost like two, or even three, different ships that can fulfil different roles depending on whether you take Calibrated Laser Targeting, Delta-7B, or no configuration at all.

Without any configuration at all the Aethersprite is like a little A-Wing or TIE Fighter buzzing around at high speed but not really posing much offensive threat.  That wouldn't be too effective for normal pilots but all the Jedi come to the table with unique Force abilities and so without a configuration the Aethersprite can function as a little support ship.  Adding the Calibrating Laser Targeting upgrade to your Aethersprite doesn't cost many points and can really transform the damage output of your Jedi if they can line their shots up carefully.  It's still a delicate little ship that can't take much punishment, but CLT adds a lot more threat to the ship.

The Delta-7B upgrade, though, transforms your nimble but fragile Aethersprite into a much tougher fighter that's more like a T-65 X-Wing than an A-Wing, translating some Agility for more shields and laser cannons.  With a Jedi master like Obi-Wan Kenobi or Anakin Skywalker at the helm a Delta-7B is one of the most complete starfighters in the game - lightning fast and agile, able to regenerate lost shields with R2 Astromechs and dealing out blistering Force-assisted attacks.

Also of interest: R2 Astromech (Core Set, N-1 Naboo Starfighter expansion), C1-10P (BTL-B Y-Wing expansion)

V-19 Torrent (in Guardians of the Republic expansion)
Average to fly, average strength

There's no standalone expansion for the V-19 Torrent but you get two of these little Clone troopers in Guardians of the Republic and, yeah... they're alright.  The V-19 Torrent is slow, weak and unglamorous but also has a very low points cost that makes up for all of that.  A lot of the time it simply takes so long for the enemy to waste time killing a Torrent that they'll just ignore it to choose a more valuable target, which then allows the Clones to get in close and start dealing real damage.  The Torrent has found a role filling out Republic lists and also became the backbone of a Republic swarm alongside Sinker's ARC-170 to make them punch much harder.  On face value the V-19 must be among the candidates for 'worst' ship in the game and yet it's a testament to how well X-Wing is designed that they're actually pretty good anyway just because they cost so few points.

Also of interest: None.  If you're spending more than 25pts on a Torrent you're probably doing it wrong.

ARC-170 Starfighter (Wave 3)
Very easy to fly, Average strength

The ARC-170 is an almost foolproof ship for a beginner to fly.  It doesn't have many maneuvers to choose from, it has plenty of hull so it won't die and it has front and rear guns so if you point it the wrong way you still get to fire!  The Rebel ARC pilots are all pretty expensive in points cost but here in the Galactic Republic their clone pilots are bought en-masse from the Kamino and come in cheap enough to do all the dirty work that the Jedi are too high & mighty to do for themselves.  There's several strong ARC-170 pilots but you don't often have to look much further than the efficient 104th Battalion Pilot who for 42pts has to be one of the most efficient and straight forward hitting sticks in the game.

Also of interest: None

N-1 Naboo Starfighter (Wave 4)
Average to fly, Weak

The Naboo Starfighter is the yellow streak of lightning that little baby Anakin whizzed into battle in at the end of The Phantom Menace.  It's a speedy ship that loves to be flown fast across the table and that is both it's strength and its great weakness - hard to pin down and kill, but also tends to travel so quickly that it's only in the fight half the time before it leaves all the lasers behind it and has to turn back around again for another pass.  Only one Naboo pilot has really proven their mettle to date, Ric Olie, and his main strength is baiting opponents into wasting time shooting at him when they should really know better.  Ric has been a fixture in some very successful Jedi ace squads but there's always the suspicion that he hasn't actually done very much apart from whizz about and stay alive while the Jedi do the heavy lifting.

Also of interest: Crack Shot (Guardians of the Republic)

BTL-B Y-Wing (Wave 5)
Easy to fly, Average strength

You may not have known it when you watched the Battle of Yavin unfold in Star Wars: A New Hope but the Rebel Y-Wings were rolling into their attack run naked.  It turns out those scrawny Y-Wings should be sleek and elegant as they were originally intended, with layers of extra armour plating.  The Galactic Republic flies those OG Y-Wings and despite the cosmetic changes they're pretty much the usual reliable bodies that the Rebels and Scum get from their Y-Wings.  You won't set many tables on fire by fielding a BTL-B Y-Wing but they're dependable and in Broadside and Matchstick at least have a couple of pilots with strong abilities.  

Just as interesting as the ship itself the BLT-B Y-Wing also comes with some great upgrade cards so you'll likely find yourself picking one up just for that reason.  Foresight and Precognitive Reflexes are good Force abilities, while the cranky astromech C1-10P is making a strong play for being my personal favourite upgrade card in Second Edition.

Also of interest: R4 Astromech (Guardians of the Republic, Naboo Starfighter expansion)

LAAT Gunship (Wave 7)
Easy to fly, Average strength

The LAAT Gunship is the UH60 Black Hawk of the Republic fleet, usually seen providing close air support to legions of clone troopers on the ground.  In X-Wing the LAAT is removed a little from it's usual environment but still provides a very similar role with a powerful Fire Convergence ability granting nearby ships extra accuracy from their attacks and with enough room inside for a Jedi master or two to provide tactical support too.

The LAAT is hardly a glamorous ship but it's a useful one to have at your disposal and in 'Warthog' in particular it adds some steel to the Republic's squads.  There's also a bunch of new crew cards for both the LAAT and the ARC-170 to field, including Yoda himself!

Also of interest: Clone Commander Cody (ARC-170) 

V-Wing (Wave 8)
Easy to fly, Weak

It's an odd bird, the V-Wing.  In canon this ship comes at a turning point for the Galactic Republic, right where their technology starts to disappear into a tunnel before finally emerging as TIE Fighters in the Galactic Empire.  Thus the V-Wing is in the X-Wing Miniatures Game too, kind of uncomfortably straddling a few other ship roles without necessarily excelling at any one of them.

In it's raw form the V-Wing's stats, dial and actions are rather similar to an A-Wing - light and fast with weak offense - although the linked Target Lock action instead of a Focus is punishing for a ship with 3 Agility.  As a nice touch you can see the TIE Fighter underneath starting to come through in that the V-Wing's 1-bank maneuvers are red (the TIE loses them completely).  When equipped with the 'Besh' configuration the V-Wing gains a bomb slot and starts to become something more like a TIE Bomber or TIE Striker, though without the Bomber's toughness or the Striker's more powerful cannons.

Also of interest: R4 Astromech (Guardians of the Republic, N1 Naboo Starfighter) 

ETA-2 Actis Interceptor (Wave 8)
Hard to fly, Average strength

The ETA-2 Actis is the smaller Jedi starfighter that we were introduced to in the opening battle over Coruscant in Revenge of the Sith.  In many ways it's very similar to an Aethersprite fighter equipped with Calibrated Laser Targeting - similar stats, similar dial, similiar force-powered reposition actions, similar requirement to land bullseye arcs to really deal damage, and similarly brimming with powerful Jedi pilots.  The Actis is a cheaper and more lightweight option than the larger Aethersprite, though, and it fits more comfortably into space where the Aethersprite has to really make compromises on points.

It's brand new (released just days before this guide was first written) so it's hard to say exactly where it falls in the over power level scheme for X-Wing, but at this point I suspect it's going to prove more of an annoyance for opponents than being a particularly potent threat.  This ship looks like it excels at flitting in and out of combat and being very hard to kill, but is perhaps less good at doing a huge amount of work in the meantime.  Maybe it's best suited to a support role and allow some bigger ships to do the heavy lifting for it.

Also of interest: Predator (Core Set), Ion Cannon (B-Wing, M3-A, TIE Heavy), Stealth Device (Guardians of the Republic)

1 comment:

  1. Great write-up, thanks! Sharing with my locals per usual...