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Riding high on the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I am happy to present the latest addition to the Empire’s diverse fleet of TIEs. My fellow staff writer Scott Alden had an early go at stats for the TIE Striker during our Empire week. He did a great job at capturing the feel of the craft from very limited early information. With multiple viewings and more supporting material to go on, I must admit my effort here is at a big advantage.
To the best of my recollection, the TIE Striker is the only craft optimized specifically for atmospheric performance. While some craft from Legends sources boast respectable aerodynamics, none were particularly designed with that role in mind. Thus, I am very excited to present the TIE Striker.
TIE/sk “STRIKER” ATMOSPHERIC FIGHTER
Currently in a limited production run after successful prototype trials, the TIE Striker is rare among fightercraft for its focus on atmospheric performance. The TIE Striker’s solar panels are swept forward into wings and connected to the central pod by articulating joints, allowing for superior aerodynamic performance against most challengers. This excellent performance is blended with an impressive multi-role weapon layout, boasting both four laser cannons and two heavy laser cannons on top of adding a proton bomb chute, producing a fighter equally capable of interception and ground support tasks. While highly effective in defensive engagements on worlds such as tropical Scarif or the gas giant Ord Ibanna, the TIE Striker’s poor performance in vacuum made it an unattractive choice for inclusion in Star Destroyer fighter wings. Despite this in-atmosphere excellence, ultimately the TIE Striker was only produced and employed in limited numbers. The Imperial Starfighter Corps’ preference for mass production of a few key variants, such as the TIE Bomber and TIE Interceptor, led the TIE Striker to the same obscure fate as the likes of the TIE Phantom and TIE Defender. Ultimately, the versatility of the TIE Striker was never truly valued by Imperial command.
Sil 3; Speed 4; Handling +1; Def 0/-/-/0 Armor 2
Hull Trauma 7; System Strain 8
Hull Type/Class: Atmospheric Fighter/TIE Series.
Manufacturer: Sienar Fleet Systems.
Sensor Range: Close.
Crew: One pilot and one bombardier (optional).
Encumbrance Capacity: 12.
Passenger Capacity: 0.
Consumables: One week.
Price/Rarity: 100,000 credits (R) / 6
Customization Hard Points: 0.
Weapons: Wing tip-mounted medium laser cannons (Fire Arc Forward; Damage 6; Critical 3; Range [Close]; Linked 3), forward-mounted heavy laser cannons (Fire Arc Forward; Damage 6; Critical 3; Range [Short]; Linked 1), ventral-mounted proton bomb chute – can only be used against surface targets (Fire Arc Down; Damage 7; Critical 2; Range [Close]; Blast 7; Breach 8; Limited Ammo 4)
Additional Rule: Adaptive Ailerons (When operated in an atmosphere thick enough to provide lift, this fighter’s Speed is increased by 2 and Handling by 2).
Firstly, a caveat: this vehicle has not been playtested. I’m not generally confident on my pricing and rarity, but as an Imperial ship it is not likely this will be a major concern. Rebel characters will almost certainly need to steal the craft, and of course Imperials would need to use the bureaucratic system to acquire one.
My design goal was simply to apply what we know about the craft from Rogue One and related media to set the the basic statistics, and then adjust to put the unique atmospheric superiority to the forefront. The basic statistics (not including the crazy weapons load!) are not particularly impressive, but the additional rule Adaptive Ailerons pushes the performance of this craft to exceptional levels while in atmosphere. A key requirement for me was for the craft to fly better than the standard TIE Fighter while in atmosphere. This craft is certainly a beast in atmospheric conditions, but I see that as working as intended. Originally I put the TIE Striker’s base Handling at +2, pushing it to +4 in atmosphere, but I later went back on this as there is currently not +4 handling ship in the game line.
Originally I outfitted the TIE Striker with four linked laser cannons, but Rogue One: The Ultimate Visual Guide clearly indicates six cannons and a bomb chute as per the current statblock. According to that guide, the two heavy cannons are used primarily against ground targets.