I continue to grow my Imperial squadron for the X-Wing Miniatures game. Though I have a Slave 1, which I field regularly (the only way I get to 100 pts. on the Imperial side), having started with Rebels made me long for more missiles and bombs.
Enter the Tie Bomber Expansion Pack. Another awesome-looking ship, famous for searching the Millenium Falcon in the Asteroid Field in The Empire Strikes Back.
#1 – Tie Bomber: Miniature & Tokens
The main reason to buy the Tie Bomber expansion: the Tie Bomber! Love the dual-hull look of this ship, and with the slightly curved side-plates it fits in well with Tie Interceptors.
Like all X-Wing Expansion Packs, it comes with the miniature itself – pre-painted Imperial grey – the maneuver dial, tokens, including bomb tokens, as well as a base and inserts.
I was surprised to see there were several Stress Tokens, as well as the Adrenalin Rush upgrade to help combat stress (see below), even though none of the pilots in this expansion is prone to building massive amounts of stress, at least not to the degree that A-Wing or Tie Interceptor pilots (with PTL) tend to do.
#2 – Tie Bomber: Pilot Cards
A (very) minor disappointment for me was that the Tie Bomber only came with 4 pilots, 2 named and 2 unnamed, where the Tie Interceptor had 50% more (if with fewer upgrades).
The named pilots are
- Major Rhymer, is the highest-skilled Tie Bomber. The pilot of choice, if you only want to bring a single Tie Bomber and make it count, no matter the cost. 26 points is steep, especially by Imperial standards. Major Rhymer’ ability is to tweak the ranges of secondary weapons (missiles & torpedos), which are often more limited (e.g. Adv. Proton Torpedos). The flip-side is, you want to upgrade this expensive pilot with lots of ordnance to make the most of his ability. The entire package quickly becomes very expensive.
- Captain Jonus, arguably the not-so-secret star of the Tie-Bomber pilots. He is a Proton Torpedo cheaper than Major Rhymer, which is a good start. More importantly, his ability allows nearby pilots to wreck more havoc with their secondary weapons, making him the wing man of choice for other Tie Bombers, a Lambda Shuttle or Slave 1.
#3 – Tie Bomber: Upgrades & Weapons
Though there are fewer pilots, the Tie Bomber comes with lots of upgrades, most of them – well – bombs (and missiles, and torpedos). Assault Missiles and Advanced Proton Torpedos are great additions, even though Assault Missiles seem to be more popular among Rebel players to help take out those Tie Swarms.
There are also Proton Bombs and Seismic Charges (complete with counters). Complete with the Proximity Mines from the Slave 1, I now have a solid arsenal of bombs to drop, though I admit the finer tactics of getting the most from these elude me so far.
Got to keep practicing.
Of course, the Tie Bomber Expansion Pack also includes the rules(-card) for using bombs in the game.
Finally, there is the Adrenalin Rush upgrade. Most people pass it off to Tie Interceptors and similar ships to make them even more maneuverable. It might have a place on Tie Bomber in those rare moments, when you need to K-Turn (or otherwise stress yourself) and still Target Lock. As most missiles fly in the early game however, I’ve yet to see the need for that. Star Wars Tie Bomber Expansion Pack: 3.5 / 5 stars
Overall, the Tie Bomber is a good expansion, though I would recommend it mainly to people who already have a good-sized Squadron of Imperial Ships.
Like the Slave 1, the Tie Bomber helps to switch up the “dog-fighting”-play style of Tie Fighters and Tie Interceptors with a slower, slightly more robust ship with a greater variety of weapons.
Unlike the Slave 1 (or Lambda Shuttle), the best pilot – Captain Jonus – really only shines if you have either of the former, or multiple Tie Bombers. As a lone addition to a swarm of Tie Fighter and Tie Interceptors, the Tie Bomber usually feels out-of-place.
Do You Play X-Wing the Miniatures Game?
If you have experience flying for the Empire, I’d love to hear some Tie Bomber strategy – especially on getting the most out of the namesake bombs that come with it!