The news is in, and the rumors are true; the generally dreaded K-Wing is coming to Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures, in addition to the greatly anticipated Hound’s Tooth, the Kihraxz Fighter, and the TIE Punisher (declared by the community to be a TIE Interdictor).
Before we get to looking the ships though, I want to cover one upgrade in particular that will appear in multiple of these ships: Extra Munitions. Serving as the “munitions fix” heavily referenced by FFG designers for some time now, Extra Munitions costs two points and takes up a Torpedo slot, but allows you to double up on any other equipped torpedoes, missiles, or bombs. So, while only usable by some ships – Presumably those it comes with, along with the Y-Wing, Firespray (with Slave 1 title), the B-Wing, TIE Bombers, and Decimators– a simple 2 point investment can double your return on cards that were formerly one use only. Rather exciting for those who like the idea of running lots of bombs and missiles, no?
Now then, let’s look at the new ships, starting with the TIE Punisher, pictured on the Extra Munitions card above. The best way I can think of to describe this thing is the TIE Bomber‘s big brother, adding 3 shields (for a total statline of 2/1/6/3), a Boost action, and a few more upgrade slots, including the ever so valuable System Upgrade slot, all for a minimal premium of points over the TIE Bomber (Only one more point for the PS7 Punisher, Redline, than Major Rhymer, the PS7 TIE Bomber) .
The Punisher brings with it a host of ordnance options, including new torpedoes, missiles, and bombs – one of which is called Cluster Mines, and drops 3 tokens – that has to be good for those of us who like to use mines for board control! An unrevealed card that I’m rather curious about is the “Twin [Ion?] Engine”. This appears to be a modification (it has no symbol so it must be a modification or a title), restricted to TIE only, which makes sense, but doesn’t tell us much innately. Still, I’d have to say it would be some sort of upgrade to maneuverability for all TIE fighters, and there’s a TIE Defender on the artwork, which makes me believe this card will boost all TIEs in some way, but will especially mitigate the TIE Defender’s lackluster maneuvering options. Fingers are crossed, because I’d really like to use them eventually without considering it a handicap.
Next, we go to Scum & Villainy, starting with Bossk’s ship, Hound’s Tooth. Forum pundits have stated for a while now that this ship was too big to not be classified as a “Huge” ship, but it appears some liberties were taken with the scale, because here it is (presumably) in the “Large” class. The Hound’s Tooth title card allows you to add an “escape ship” for when the Hound’s Tooth is destroyed – the Nashtah Pup, Bossk’s modified Z-95 Headhunter. Sadly, there will not be a repainted Z-95 included – not that we needed one after its’ inclusion in Most Wanted, but it seems like a missed opportunity.
This pack would seems to be a perfect opportunity for introduction of more bounty hunter themed equipment, especially crew members, but about half of the cards are reprints. The new cards are Bossk (crew), “Crac…” (confirmed below to be an EPT), Ion Pr… (Projection, maybe?), Glitterstim (spoiled with the Kihraxz, below), and Maneuver Fins /Foils (?). That last card is the only one that you can really glean anything sure from in this photo – from the visible text and name I would presume that it allows you to change the speed of your maneuvers, perhaps as a built in Navigator effect?
As the premier pilot for the Hound’s Tooth, Bossk (pilot) is scary. As befits the brute force he is known for in the Star Wars universe, he can really pump out some damage, canceling a Crit result to get two Hit results when dealing damage with an attack, essentially making it an automatic Direct Hit (and giving Chewbacca the middle finger… or whatever equivalent Trandoshans have…). Do note, however, that this happens AFTER the attack is determined to hit or miss, so that one Crit result can still be canceled by one Evade result. Additionally, it will be much harder to evade his firing arcs than other ships – the Hound’s Tooth includes the game’s first 180 degree (auxiliary) firing arc, meaning that if you aren’t behind Bossk, he can shoot you. As a TIE Interceptor pilot, I don’t like that!
Now on to the Kihraxz Fighter. For those of you wondering “How do you pronounce Kihraxz?” (Google, help me out here, somebody’s going to search for that and I need those five extra page views), the answer is “I don’t.” But my best guess is “Kyr-ACK-sis”. Funny name aside, this looks to be a relatively brutal ship, filling a combat superiority role similar to the X-Wing, which was previously missing from the Scum and Villainy arsenal. With a stat line of 3/2/4/1, a base cost in the 20(?) to 29 point range, and having only focus and target lock actions available… the similarity to the X-Wing is strong in this one.
Talonbane Cobra, the first PS9 pilot for Scum and Villainy, has a simple yet efficient ability, doubling his range bonuses on attack and defense. This makes for four defense dice at Range 3, and a whopping five attack dice at Range 1.
New upgrades in this pack include the same “Crac…” EPT from the Hound’s Tooth, Lightning Reflex(es), and Glitterstim. Glitterstim’s full text is available here: “At the start of the Combat phase, you may discard this card and receive 1 stress token. If you do, until the end of the round, when attacking or defending, you may change all of your Focus results to Hit or Evade results”. For a two point Illicit upgrade, that’s essentially a super-focus. Combine that with the large quantities of dice that Talonbane can toss around, and that could be a painful turn.
Based on what I can see of it, I’m really interested in the second obscured card in this pack, which a local player has extrapolated as follows: “I think this card is named Lightning Reflexes and lets you discard it after revealing a green or white maneuver to rotate your ship 180 degrees, then you receive a stress token after the remove stress step.” That matches with what text we can see, and it’s an ability that I would love to have in game – Imagine doing that on a Lambda Shuttle that everyone assumed was out of the fight for a few turns!!! (Side note, I really want a way to buy “hidden” elite talents, that’s one of the few mechanics I miss from Attack Wing.)
Last, but arguably not least, we come back to the much-maligned K-Wing. It’s not that the concept is bad, as its’ profile is very close to real life heavy bombers from WW2 (lots of bombs and equipped with defense turrets), but the design is… well, suspect. Many have long suspected that the author who created it (Michael Kube-McDowell) simply flipped through the alphabet looking for a letter to make another rebel ship out of, and then imagined a role from there, as opposed to the ship having a legitimate need. And many sources have conflicting details on the ship’s design, especially concerning cockpit and engine placement. Personally, the design is really growing on me, and if I didn’t know the internet hated it, I would just look at it and see a cool new ship.
In game, the K-Wing’s 2/1/5/4 statline is very similar to the Y-Wing’s 2/1/5/3. Many players who had discussed the possible addition of the K-Wing feared that the two ships would perform too similar of a role. But akin to the difference between the Z-95 and X-Wing, the K-Wing has a few more options than the Y-Wing for upgrades (roughly double the upgrade slots), but a higher base cost and likely different dial to go with it. While it’s relatively common to see multiple Y-Wings on the table (especially now with their new toys from Scum & Villainy), but I don’t know that players will be able to fully equip multiple K-Wings comfortably once we know the final costs of all the upgrades we’re going to want on it.
The K-Wing is the first small ship to have a turret primary attack. It also brings with it a new action, the SLAM, which stands for SubLight Acceleration Motor. Performing a SLAM action allows you to sacrifice your attack for the turn in order to take a second maneuver of the same speed as the first. Depending on what the K-Wing’s dial ends up looking like, this could be a really cool ability to escape trouble and line up shots for subsequent turns.
The ace pilot of the K-Wings, Miranda Doni, has a neat little ability that will make her a great end-game closer, allowing her to sacrifice a shield for an extra attack die, or sacrifice an attack die to recover a shield, depending on her needs at the time.
As for the upgrade cards included, the K-Wing adds a new turret to the game the Twin Laser Turret (?), our Extra Munitions fix from above, a Bombardier crew (use the 2 straight for bomb drops) and a couple new bombs – Ion Bomb, and something called a Conner Net. Neither of the bombs is fully defined yet, but it’s pretty obvious by the names and lore as to what they do, and I would presume that they would be the bomb/mine equivalents of each other.
The Twin Laser Turret card is what I really want to see out of this pack as far as upgrades are concerned, because it could really shake things up for Y-Wing and HWK-290 builds. Seeing as the K-Wing already has the game’s first Turret Primary attack on a small base, to make the Twin Laser Turret worth taking, it has to either be really cheap with some form of utility, or hit harder than the K-Wing is already capable of, yet hopefully not rendering the Blaster Turret entirely obsolete.
So that’s what we’ve got so far. What are your thoughts on Wave 7? Love it, hate it, or just want to fly it first? Leave some feedback below, especially if you’ve got more details than I do on any of these remaining cards!
– The Tabletop General