12 June 2013

Star Wars X-wing: A-wing expansion pack

My favorite among the currently released Rebel ship is the A-wing. It very similar to the Tie fighter and Tie interceptor but with shields and it can carry missiles for added offensive capabilities.

Like the X-wing and the Tie interceptor the A-wing blister comes with two sheets of cardboard tokens and the usual array of Pilot cards and stuff to enhance your ship with.

For some reason though, you only get 4 pilot cards (similar to the X-wing) and I was a bit let down by the quality of those pilots - two being absolute garbage on the pilot skill side which is contrary to the information and background you get on A-wing pilots which are supposed to be elite pilots since the A-wing is difficult to handle. Maybe the difficult handling of the A-wing is the reason for the low pilot skill? They kind of make up for it by allowing 3 of the 4 pilots to have pilot skill cards - and there is one pilot skills called "Veteran instincts" which upgrades your skill by 2 - but that card is unfortunately not part of the A-wing set (you get that in the YT-1300 / Millennium Falcon box).

Getting two bottom of the barrel pilots with pilot skill 1 and 3, one slightly above average and only 1 very good pilot is as such not very impressive. Even more so since the two upper class pilots are "named characters" which means you can only have 1 of each in your entire force. It would have been nice with an anonymous pilot with pilot skill 4-5. Still, the ship is a ton of fun to play and instantly became my favorite fighter out of the X- Y- and A- wing ships currently available.

Beside the 4 pilot cards you get a new weapon type  -the missiles. This new weapon type can only be used by ships with the missile icon on their cards. They seem to add some tactical flexibility to the otherwise weakly armed A-wing.

Finally, another comment on the paintjob of these pre-painted models. I think it is once again top notch. The X-wing range may have well convinced me to at least not get a negative knee-jerk reaction to pre-painted products. Sure most of them are god-awful. But if Fantasy Flight Games can produce this quality level on their product it may be worth checking out other lines with pre-painted miniatures before dismissing them. It certainly is a great feeling opening  a box and instantly being able to play with it instead of first spending several hours painting the model.

6 comments:

  1. I like to run Green Squadron pilots with Veteran Instincts, giving you pilot 5 characters for 20 points a head.

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    Replies
    1. That sounds like a cool idea, how does it fare against a "Tie Swarm"?

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  2. I wish I could get my hands on the A-Wing packs...

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  3. Very insightful review. My son picked up the A-wing for his Rebel Squadron. I picked up the Slave I. It does seem like these are hard to find and the production run was not very large. I think it has caught on though because FFG is doing another expansion release:

    http://petitguerre.blogspot.com/2013/05/millenium-falcon-slave-i-and-wing.html

    Love the B-Wing model!

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    Replies
    1. The Star Wars expansion packs are chronically sold out since Wave 1. The popularity and demand must be immense as the only stuff left to buy all over the place are starter sets and the Millennium Falcon.

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  4. While the models look awesome, and I love the look of them and I don't think I could do much, if at all, better, the miniature painter in me still wants to prime these things and make them my own.

    What about some SW themed nose art?

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