Tuesday, March 18, 2014

X-Wing: Rebel Aces revealed!

And yet another exp for Rebels..

Just when you think things are looking up for the Rebels, here comes another Rebel-loving expansion from FFG.  Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on the Rebel Aces.  The official link is here.

First, let's look at what's featured in this expansion.  It looks like the A-Wing will finally receive some decent buffs because it was basically forced into a missile carrier role previously.  Having the best dial in the game doesn't really matter if you're a second-string ship with questionable pilots flying them.  The only real use they had for what I've seen is that they're really at blocking people off and stripping them of their action.  Not so much now with this expansion as there's several things coming that makes them amazing.

A cheaper Vader with a better dial.

Before we get too carried away, I want to look at the newest Rebel Ace, Jake Farrell.  This guy is already flying one of the best dials in the game, so let's take that a little further with an ability that rivals that of Turr Phennir.  What makes him really special is his ability to close faster than Turr while still retaining his killing potential.  If you take an upgrade like PTL, you can easily squeeze three different actions out of him with the same stress token:  Focus, make a free Boost, after the free Boost, PTL for Evade or Barrel, then gain a stress.  Turr does something similar because he can Focus, get a free Barrel or Boost, then PTL for something different at the cost of an stress.  While we can't really compare the two aces in a vacuum, it's pretty clear that for 24 points, this guy is pretty good for what you're getting.

If you take Vet Instincts on him, add a Hull Upgrade and take the missile-replacement upgrade that makes him cost -2 less, he comes out to 26 points.  Vader with the TIE Advanced with an Engine Upgrade comes out to 33 points and do roughly the same damage.  Hmm... I'm not sure how I feel about that just yet.

Alright, let's take a look at the big ace of the set.  I'm calling him the big ace because I honestly didn't think I'll see B-Wings get a buff.  If you think about it, B-Wings should be the last Rebel ship to get a buff because they're already god damn amazing.  They were amazing when they first came out and they're even more amazing when Advanced Sensors joined the party.  Why can't Imperials have nice things?  I find myself saying this more and more over the last couple of weeks because first the Rebel Convoy and now this.  Sigh.

Nice design there FFG.

What you see here is pretty stupid.  I think it's a poorly designed card because you can outright remove one of your stress tokens for an offensive boost.  Now, I don't want to cry too powerful or over the top just yet, but I don't think anyone should have the ability to outright remove a penalty.  Not only does he outright removes the stress, but he also translates it into a free offensive focus.  Does anyone else think that's ridiculous?!  Out of all things, this is on a B-Wing that can also take Advanced Sensors.  Add PTL to this ship and you will see absolutely no downsides.  He can move like an UFO due to Sensors and Barrel Roll, clears any stress he wants including those from a K-Turn, and turns it into an offensive Focus on the attack that stacks with Target Lock.  Next round, he doesn't need to run greens at all because the stress is gone and he can do it all over again.

Tell me again why something can outright remove stress and turn it into offensive power?  On a B-Wing too mind you!  Something that is already considered amazing and worth the points every single game.  To make things even funnier, they can also take an upgrade card called Enhanced Scopes so they can move first and shoot first (if they have high PS) in a round since you activate at PS0.  That opens up a lot of trickery as well, the type of trickery that I was expecting the Empire to receive.

I really hope they announce a Capital Ship Expansion for Empire really soon, or reveal some cards in the Wave 4 Imperial ships that will close the gap between the two factions.  Right now, I think Empire is behind by two good expansions in the Rebel's favor.


archied said...

Ouch, that b-wing is just the nuts. Imperials do seem to need something.
I would say FFG seem to have a bit of previous on situations like this in my experience.
The only other FF game i play is netrunner, and the runner seemed to get showered with awesome new tools for a good few sets in a row last year. They seem to be starting to redress the balance in that game now though with some nice tools for the corp over the past few months.

BenderIsGreat said...

So, it's safe to say you're a little Empire-biased, then?

Any expansions are a good thing, particularly if I don't have to go buy white-bread fighters to fill out my ranks.

HERO said...

It's safe to say that I don't like the fact that Rebels are +2 on expansion units.

BenderIsGreat said...

I'm sure they'll find two Imperial sub-capital ships to turn out soon. The open market is running out of Venators and ERTL Star Destroyers for people to convert. (as long as they don't use the Space Dong/Lancer or Space Willy/Carrack) As for TIE variants, there are too many badly designed ones (extra pods and panel does not a new fighter make) out there, but the few good ones are squeaking through (the Phantom, Defender).

Also, the Empire's thing is stamping out mass-produced fighters, by the swarm. The Republic's is being outnumbered and flying somewhat better but outmoded old machines. It's kinda the way things are.

Really, they should have made a smugglers, pirates, and bounty hunters catch-all faction for people of either side to draw weird ships from.

Houghten said...

Now, I don't want to cry too powerful or over the top just yet, but I
don't think anyone should have the ability to outright remove a penalty.
Not only does he outright removes the stress, but he also translates
it into a free offensive focus. Does anyone else think that's

From a certain point of view, yes, it's somewhat over the top. But... what if it were worded differently? Pilots who can move differently to their generic brethren are nothing new (for example, Lieutenant "Sideslips Too Much" Lorrir who can do his bendy barrel roll instead of a straight one). What if Farlander's ability just said "You may treat all red maneuvers as white maneuvers"? He'd still be able to K-turn and Focus, only he'd be able to spend that Focus defensively, or do a barrel roll instead, and he wouldn't need to have an enemy within arc-and-range for it to work. I think the way it's worded now actually tones down the effect (though it does have a weird interaction where he actually attacks a Lambda with a Rebel Captive harder).

HERO said...

Well, here's hoping they'll see this and change it for the better.

Alex said...

It's worth pointing out that Imperials are currently +1 on actual expansions. The rebels are +2 when you include announced expansions, one of which is epic only. FFG could certainly still reveal imperial releases that will be in the middle. In fact, they'd really only need one before the third rebel announced expansion comes out to keep things within one and not "left in the dust."

I agree, though, that it's still odd that their last three one-sided announcements and reveals have been rebels.

HERO said...

It's not EPIC only actually, FFG specifically said you can play with the new X-Wing pilots in standard games.

Alex said...

I'm referring to the cruiser. So unreleased but announced Rebel packs that make them "+2" are the Rebel Aces, Transport, and Corvette. Take out the Corvette, which is only epic play, and you're at +1 without any announcements of new Empire stuff in the same time frame in the regular game because the Empire is currently ahead in actual expansions.

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