Rogue Squadron- Blast from the Past- Wave 1 Review

Continuing from our review of the original core box, today we’re going to dive into Wave 1. How do the old ships hold up in the current meta?

X-Wing Expansion Pack

What’s Included

This list includes everything you get with the box. Anything unique to only this box is marked in italics.

Copyright Fantasy Flight Games
Copyright Fantasy Flight Games

Pilots

  • •Wedge Antilles
  • •Garven Dreis
  • Red Squadron Pilot
  • Rookie Pilot

Upgrades

  • Expert Handling (EPT)
  • Marksmanship (EPT)
  • •R5-K7 (Astromech)
  • R5 Astromech (Astromech)
  • Proton Torpedoes (Torpedo)

Flight Stats

Wedge Antilles has one of the strongest pilot abilities in the game. Unless you are shooting at a Decimator or a VCX it’s useful. Garven Dreis’ ability is much more situational but can be very useful in certain builds that are built around Rebel synergy.

Unfortunately, the X-wing itself suffers from early design problems. It lacks any repositioning abilities, costs a little bit to much for what you get and cannot survive for very long. With upgrades it can overcome some of these deficiencies (BB-8, Vectored Thrusters, Expert Handling, Engine Upgrade can all grant it some repositioning abilities). These will of course make an already slightly overcost ship even more expansive. Integrated Astromech really goes the furthest to strengthening the X-wing.

Loadout

The R5 astromech included in this set has some potential uses but mostly for higher hull ships like Y-wings or ARC-170’s.  Likewise, Expert Handling has some potential value as it can be combined with Engine Upgrade to give a ship both boost and barrel roll (while vectored thrusters and engine upgrades are mutually exclusive). But for the most part the upgrades included in this pack are outshone by newer additions to the game.

Is it still worth getting*?

For the most part, not really.

The main reason to get this expansion is Wedge Antilles. If that name means anything to you, buy this pack. If not, then if you want to fly X-wings he is an excellent pilot to choose. Being a pilot skill 9 for under 30 points he can make use of his pilot ability to be very deadly if flown right. But if you don’t want to fly Wedge, there are other ways to get X-wings.

 

Y-Wing Expansion Pack

What’s Included

This list includes everything you get with the box. Anything unique to only this box is marked in italics.

YwingPilots

  • •Horton Salm
  • •”Dutch” Vander
  • Gray Squadron Pilot
  • Gold Squadron Pilot

Upgrades

  • •R5-D8 (Astromech)
  • R2 Astromech (Astromech)
  • Proton Torpedoes (Torpedo)
  • Ion Cannon Turret (Turret)

Flight Stats

The Y-wing is one of those ships that is most often seen in the form of a generic pilot. There are a number of different ways you can build it but most of them aim for point efficiency. That said, the named pilots have some interesting abilities.

Horton Salm has long been the most ignored pilot. This was primarily due to his ability not being very useful when firing an ion cannon, which for most of its life was the main attack for a Y-wing. Since the addition of the TLT and the improvement of ordinance via Guidance Chip, Horton can now make better use of his ability.

Dutch was the named Y-wing pilot you would see most often. Action economy is a huge part of this game so giving away free target locks can make a lot of difference. The main benefit is twofold: 1) he allows a ship to acquire a target lock meaning even stressed ships can do it and 2) it works at range 1-2. Keeping ships are range 1 can be difficult at times but 1-2 is much easier.

Loadout

The R2 astromech included in this set is the best of the generic astromech droids. It’s nice and cheap and gives a lot of value. Green maneuvers are always useful, especially on a Y-wing which only has them straight naturally. Throwing an R2 into an X-wing or E-wing that has Push the Limits turns those ships into A-wings in terms of stress clearing potential.

While R5-D8 is the only upgrade currently in the game that allows you to clear damage cards it’s not seen very often. This is primarily due to the fact you have roll a die. Spending three points and giving up a valuable action for a 50/50 chance at clearing one hull damage? There are usually better choices to be made.

Is it still worth getting*?

Yes.

For a brief time the Y-wing became hugely popular in the X-wing meta. This was due entirely to the Twin-Laser Turret upgrade that came with the K-wing. But before that, and since the Wolfpack reined in the power of four TLT lists, the Y-wing never really disappeared despite not being the most exciting ship.

One of the Y-wing’s strengths is that it’s relatively cheap and has a variety of different build configurations. There have been a number of upgrades added to the game that really make it shine. This allows the ship to be used as a turret carrier, a jouster, a control ship, or an ordinance carrier. So while there aren’t any super exciting upgrades in this pack itself, the ship is a good addition to any Rebel fleet.

 

TIE Fighter Expansion Pack

What’s Included

This list includes everything you get with the box. Anything unique to only this box is marked in italics.

Copyright Fantasy Flight Games
Copyright Fantasy Flight Games

Pilots

  • •Howlrunner
  • •Backstabber
  • •Winged Gundark
  • Black Squadron Pilot
  • Obsidian Squadron Pilot
  • Academy Pilot

Upgrades

  • Determination (EPT)
  • Swarm Tactics (EPT)

Flight Stats

Howlrunner makes the TIE swarm go ’round. As long as the swarm is a viable build in the game (and the game will be in serious trouble if it ever isn’t) then Howlrunner will have a place on the table. Her ability really magnifies the firepower of the rest of the squadron to a point that if she is not killed in the first round or two her opponent has probably lost the match.

Winged Gundark is pretty uninspiring but Backstabber remains an underestimated pilot. He is very easy to ignore because he’s just a measly TIE Fighter but that is a risk. If he can get around behind you and into range one, suddenly you have four dice coming your way from that measly TIE Fighter.

Loadout

Not much to say here. Swarm Tactics can still be used to boost a swarm up to potentially win the first engagement thanks to the pilot skill boost. It does not see a lot of play these days as it’s value is overshadowed by things like Crack Shot.

Is it still worth getting*?

If you want to fly a swarm, definitely. Otherwise, probably not.

Howlrunner makes the swarm shine and to run a swarm you needs lots of TIE Fighters. But there are other ways to get TIE Fighters if you just want a mini-swarm or some filler making this expansion non-essential.

 

TIE Advanced Expansion Pack

What’s Included

This list includes everything you get with the box. Anything unique to only this box is marked in italics.

AdvancedPilots

  • •Darth Vader
  • •Maarek Stele
  • Storm Squadron Pilot
  • Tempest Squadron Pilot

Upgrades

  • •Squad Leader (EPT)
  • Swarm Tactics (EPT)
  • Expert Handling (EPT)
  • Cluster Missile (Missile)
  • Concussion Missile (Missile)

Flight Stats

Darth Vader is hands down the best pilot in the game in terms of action economy. How can you improve on getting two actions every turn with no downside? You can even throw PTL on him for three actions every turn with the same stress everyone else gets for just two actions. At pilot skill nine he is a great ace.

Maarek Stele falls kind of flat. His pilot ability has the potential for some serious power and if you fly him with the Advanced Targeting Computer you might actually get to use it sometime. But for the most part it doesn’t really feel worth the cost.

Loadout

Again, not much to say here. This is another source of Swarm Tactics if you wanted to build a chain of them. Squad Leader is kind of a worthless upgrade on anyone other than Darth Vader as it’s just to situational an ability. The missiles aren’t unique to this pack though they don’t come with any of the bomber packs who would be more likely to want to use them.

Is it still worth getting*?

Of course, it comes with Darth Vader.

For a long time the TIE Advanced was just a terrible ship. Bad maneuver dial, poor attack, high cost. So people only ever used it to fly Darth Vader. If you want to fly a TIE Advanced you really want to get the Imperial Raider, which comes with one. But you’ll also want to have this so Vader can use those upgrades.

 

*This is an opinion only and looks primarily at the ship’s position in the competitive tournament meta. 

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Wayne Basta

Wayne Basta

Editor-in-Chief at d20 Radio
Wayne is the managing editor of d20 Radio's Gaming Blog. He also occasionally writes books.
Wayne Basta

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