My little X-Wing Miniatures Game collection is growing, at least the Rebel side of it. I admit it’s very refreshing to rip open boxes and lay right into it.. no painting required. Pre-painted miniatures were a thing I was skeptical about, but I am definitely coming around to it.
My newest recruit, the A-Wing. The one Rebel ship that is fast-and-nimble enough to fly with the Tie Fighters. It also has missiles!
#1 – The A-Wing Expansion Pack
If you know the X-Wing Miniatures Expansion packs, the contents of the A-Wing are not a big surprise. A maneuver dial, plenty of tokens (including an evade-token!) and, of course, the A-Wing itself. It’s by far the smallest of the ships… a really tiny miniature, though it makes up for it with a bright white-and-red colour-scheme.
Game-play wise, I am still a but puzzled by the A-Wing. I immediately saw the usefulness of the HWK-290, which synchs really well with the X-Wings (B-Wings, etc..). The A-Wing however, seems to struggle to fly with the other Rebel ships (unless you build an all-A-Wing-Squadron, obviously). It’s so fast and maneuverable, it easily zooms ahead of the other Rebel ships.
Trying to fly an A-Wing in formation with X-Wings, etc.., would seem to rob it of it’s most important. So I mostly find my A-Wing heading off on his own, circling for a flank, unloading his missiles (more on those below) or, ever so often, dying horribly.
#2 – The A-Wing Expansion Cards
The cards in the A-Wing drive home the fly-fast, hit-hard theme. First up, Boost.
- The A-Wing’s trademark ability (shared with the Tie Interceptor) is to perform a Boost Action, a nice little follow-up move (at the cost of an action) that is extremely useful to get the ship into the right place (as well as for performing some trick-maneuvers).
First the pilots:
- Tycho Celchu – The undisputed star of this pack. His pilot ability allows him to ignore Stress Tokens for a lot of things, which combined with the A-Wings ability to Boost and the Push the Limit card, which allows multiple actions (for a Stress Token), Tycho truly takes the A-Wings to a whole new level, and without sacrificing much of his marksmanship.
- Arvel Crynyd – The other named A-Wing pilot is a strange beast. I’ve yet to see him on the table. His ability to fire at another ship in base-contact (normally a no-go) make him an almost Kamikaze-pilot of sorts, who will try to actually fly into his prime target!
Upgrade wise, there is a healthy selection of missiles: Cluster Missiles, which truly wreck face at short range (something to give Arvel Crynyd I suppose), Homing Missiles that do not require you to spend your Target Lock to fire and Concussion Missiles that wreck face at a greater distance.
There are also:
- Dead Eye – An ability does away with the need for a Target Lock in exchange for a Focus Token. I might have a try at it in combination with a HWK-290.
- Push the Limit – A firm staple at almost every X-Wing game I’ve ever played; a really useful card that allows a second action for a Stress Token (which, as said, really chimes with Tycho Celchu’s ability to mostly ignore Stress Tokens).
#3 – Thoughts?
As noted at the start, the A-Wing remains a challenge for me: a ship I have yet to “master”. The expansion is chock-full with interesting pilots, upgrade and skills that make the A-Wing a very different beast from most Rebel Ships. At the same time, that difference makes it hard to really get him to work with a diverse Rebel Squadron. Then again, all that tinkering is what makes X-Wing a fun game to begin with. And if everything fails, he possibility (temptation?) to simply use the A-Wing (with a budget-pilot) to launch some missiles remains. Star Wars A-Wing Expansion Pack: 4 / 5 stars
Do You Play X-Wing the Miniatures Game?
If you are a veteran Rebel Pilot, I’d certainly appreciate some pointers on getting the most out of the A-Wing. Let me know what you think of the Rebel’s “little” ship!