It’s May the 4th! How could a site that loves Star Wars go without publishing a Star Wars article? Well it can’t, so here you go!
In X-Wing, ever since I knew about the TIE Advanced TitIe I’ve been dreaming of playing Vader with an Adv. Targeting Computer. Today the TIE Advanced got even more FFG love with the release of four named pilots. Come dear reader and let me share some thoughts on them.
To me the big star of the group is PS 3 Lieutenant Colzet. I don’t understand how his ability is thematic or even how it makes logical sense, but it’s pretty powerful in my opinion.
He costs the same as a PS 4 Storm Squadron pilot and reminds me of Tarn costing the same as a Red Squadron pilot. You’re never going to see those PS 4 ships again! I look at Colzet as a support ship and would therefore try to keep my investment into him as low as possible. Build to be keep him alive, not to contribute meaningful offence. For example, I would never slap a missile on him. By the way, if you ever see me play him with a missile, you have permission to walk up to me a slap me. Just point to this article if I get upset about it.
Anyway, like all TIE Advanced, he gets the new shiny for free.
Which System upgrade to take? Accuracy corrector is a good choice.
I’m not sold on the value of Sensor Jammer but the card is technically free in this build and it should help keep him alive. A list with this and Carnor Jaxx would be pretty obnoxious and definitely worth exploring.
Bottom line is Colzet is there to target lock a damaged ship (hopefully the highest threat on the enemy squad) and crit it automatically. He’s not there to do damage himself. For 23 points he’s a steal!
This guy will be on fire in Epic play. Getting crits that cripple 100 point huge ships will be game changing. Versus high value ships that cost 30+ points in standard games, he will be a nightmare to see across the table. If you can land a damage on Soontir or Corran and then auto-crit them that’s game winning. How many times have Soontir players lamented a bad crit early in the game which effectively took Soontir out? Well say hello to Colzet. The only thing is, someone else will need to land the damage.
Besides Epic play, this guy will love large ships. Turreted ships like the Falcon and YT-2400 got a huge nerf with Autothrusters. Lieutenant Colzet can drive another nail into the coffin of those ships with his ability. When you fly a big elite ship, you’re usually sinking at least 50% of your list value into it. Crits are something that can and will take you out of a game.
Flying my Zuper Han list, there were many games that I won never giving up a single hull point, other times I had a few damage cards on him and rarely did I ever escape with only 1-3 hull remaining. That was the way the list was played, stay out of arc and don’t take any damage. Before Predator came out, I use to run Han with Determination because like drugs, crits kill. However, now just one damage card can become an auto-crit because of Colzet. On any large ship that eats 50+ points, crits are something you don’t want to see! Chewie is going to hate this guy. The Decimator can be crited by Colzet himself every round while the rest of the list fights Soontir or whatever else is there.
Against low PS swarms Colzet will still be good as his PS 3 + barrel roll will allow him dodge arcs and stay alive if needed. In a swarm, usually someone is damaged too, so Colzet will have a lot of targets to crit and will be able to reach out and touch someone at range 3 every round.
Personally I’d run him with a damage dealing ship like Soontir or Vader, and then throw in a swarm.
• Vader: Daredevil, Proton Rockets, Engine, Tie/x1 Adv. Targeting (40)
• Lieutenant Colzet Tie/x1, Adv. Sensors (23)
• TIEs x 3 (36)
Of all the new pilots, the sexy choice that jumps out is Juno Eclipse.
Looks like our girl can do anything. She gives the TIE Advanced a much needed 1 turn and 1 forward maneuver. When flying Vader it gets really irritating that the dark lord can’t slow crawl but must zoom by at 2 forward. That’s why Daredevil on Vader is such a great card, it slows him down. Now Juno gets to do that move and it’s doesn’t cause any stress, plus she can slow crawl at speed one. That sounds like fun!
However, before I get excited at the new hotness a problem I see with Juno is the problem Echo had and Tycho has, and all PS 8 pilots have – PS 9 is just so much better! Put Veteran Instincts on her you say? Well then you’re giving up action economy. On a high point ship, action economy is key. Why is Soontir so good, (besides being PS9)? He get’s a free action every round. Push the Limit essentially nets him 3 actions. Why is Tycho fun? He can push the limit and not suffer any severe movement penalties. But when does Tycho become relevant? At PS 10. He’s not as fun to run with Veteran Instincts but he doesn’t auto loose when up against a dodgy Soontir or other PS 9 ship.
Juno doesn’t have the ability to take two elite pilot talents though, so she will most likely be stuck at PS 8 and eat it from any elite PS 9’s out there. That’s why I think she will be one of the most fun ships to fly, but not dominant in a high PS meta. She needs to spend her Title Card and her Elite Talent to boost action economy or damage since her pilot ability is strictly movement oriented.
The final two pilots are both range 1 specific, so I think it’s important to talk about them together. One is defensive, and one is offensive.
PS 5 Alozen solves the weakness of the Advanced Targeting Computer.
Unless you’re Vader, you can’t take Target Lock and Focus in the same round. Advanced Targeting is great as it is, but if you have a focus with it, it becomes murderous. Alozen will be able to stack Target Lock and Focus in the same round with the caveat that he be at range 1.
You can give him Predator and then take an Evade action when at range 1 or barrel roll into range if you missed it. I’m not sure he’s worth the 26 points for just Advanced Targeting and definitely he’s not worth 29 for the added Predator. He reminds me of Hobbie that way – super fun, but costs too much. At PS 5 he’s over paying a lot of points for a PS that doesn’t really do much for him.
PS 6 Zertik Strom is a very defensive ship. He can fly into someones face at range 1, even a 3 red dice ship and possibly get away with it if he takes the evade action and rolls well. He can also be parked behind a large threat or a swarm and remove any range bonuses they will get.
That being said, what system do you put on him? Sensor Jammer to add more defence? You have to build him to maximize his range 1 ability and make it count by ramming him down peoples throats? Do you put a range 1 missile on him? I’d rather have Vader carry my missiles. Do you give him Ruthlessness and dare the enemy to come at him or just take good old Predator? Is he worth 29 for a Ruthlessness + Sensor Jammer “lets try to live at range 1” kind of build? I’m not sure, I’d have to take him out for a spin but my gut is leaning towards saying he’s not worth the points.
I will say this though, both Strom and Alozen suffer from the TIE Advanced maneuver dial. It’s difficult to get into range 1 and stay there. Similarly speedy ships like the A-Wing, TIE Interceptor and even the lowly TIE Fighter have an easier time of it. Triggering abilities that are range 1 dependent is already pretty hard. Combine that with the points they spent to get to PS 5-6 and these two pilots don’t really do it for me.
Of all the new Advanced pilots, I think Juno is going to be great fun to play. She’ll be up there with Daredevil Vader, Push the Limit Soontir, and Experimental Interface + Push the Limit Tycho as the most fun to fly in the game.
I think Lieutenant Colzet is the star of the group. He doesn’t overpay for PS and has a great support ability. He will simply wreck Huge and Large Ships and doesn’t take up many points to do it.
May the fourth be with you!