Rogue Squadron- Bring on the Vaksai

Welcome to Rogue Squadron, pilot! In this series, we will be looking at different squadrons you can fly in Fantasy Flight Games X-Wing miniatures game. We give you the squad, what expansion pack all of the upgrades come from and then give you the low down on how best to fly it. Strap in and get ready to fly.

All Wings Report In

4x Kihraxz “Black Sun Ace” (Kihraxz Expansion) (25 pts) (PS 5)

None

  • Elite Pilot Talent- Attanni Mindlink (Punishing One Expansion): Each time you are assigned a focus or stress token, each other friendly ship with Attanni Mindlink must also be assigned the same type of token if it does not already have one.
  • Missile- XX-23 S-Thread Tracer (Inquisitor’s TIE Expansion): Attack 3, range 1-3 (focus): Discard this card to perform this attack. If this attack hits, each friendly ship at Range 1-2 of you may acquire a target lock on the defender. Then cancel all dice results
  • Illicit- Black Market Slicer Tools (Shadow Caster Expansion): Action: Choose a stressed enemy ship at Range 1-2 and roll 1 attack die. On a (Hit) or (Crit) result, remove 1 stress token and deal it 1 facedown Damage card.
  • Title- Vaksai (Guns for Hire Expansion): The squad point cost of each of your equipped upgrades is reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 0).
    You may equip up to 3 different Modification upgrades.
  • Modification- Vectored Thrusters (ARC-170 Expansion): Your action bar gains the Barrel Roll action icon.
  • Modification- Pulse Ray Shield (C-ROC/Guns for Hire Expansions): During the End phase, you may receive 1 ion token to recover 1 shield (up to your shield value). You can equip this card only if your shield value is “1.”
  • Modification- Guidance Chips (Inquisitor’s TIE/Punishing One Expansions): Once per round, when attacking with a Torpedo or Missile secondary weapon, you may change 1 die result to a Hit result (or a Crit result if your primary weapon value is “3” or higher).

Lock S-Foils in Attack Position

The Kihraxz has never made much of a showing. For most of its life, it was merely the Crack Shot expansion, much like the StarViper was the Autothrusters. However, unlike Autothrusters, Crackshot began appearing in other expansions as well as prize support. But with Guns for Hire and the Vaksai title, the Kihraxz suddenly has a unique roll in the game; Upgrade Junky.

Able to equip three modifications and reducing the cost of all upgrades by one, this opens up a lot of fun possibilities. Engine Upgrade + Autothrusters + Vectored Thrusters at just five points for example.  Suddenly a ship with zero repositioning can do it all with turret defense. Throw that on Talonbane and he suddenly doesn’t suck. You can also load any Vaksai with one point upgrades for free

One thing the Kihraxz had going for it before was a relatively cheap three dice attack. Twenty points for five health three dice attack is very comparable to X-wings but that one reduced point made it possible to bring five which isn’t terrible, just mostly terrible. With Vaksai, those five ships could each have Threadtracer missiles, Munitions Failsafe, Guidance Chips and Inertial Dampeners or Black Market Slicer Tools. The list above strips off one ship in order to take the upgrades to the next level of absurd.

It’s not often you fill every available upgrade slot on a ship. That usually ends up being wasted points. But that’s the whole goal for these ships. First, you get Attanni Mindlink for free. While this may get FAQed to be illegal, for now, four ships with it are perfectly valid and useful. This allows one ship to focus for all, freeing the others to get a target lock or make use of their other two available actions that a default Kihraxz doesn’t have.

Vectored Thrusters allows them to barrel roll. At PS 5, arc dodging isn’t their primary function but it is high enough to be useful against many ships. Alternatively, they could use BMST to try for some bonus damage against any stressed ships. This will discourage any enemies from using PTL or K-turning.

Next, Threadtracer on all, also for free, to increase the odds of target locks. Each round, one ship can fire off a Threadtracer, gaining locks for the rest. That is only three ships firing but those three ships with target lock and focus on the attack can be dangerous. Because they didn’t have to target lock,  they could have used their action for a defensive focus if they didn’t use it on their other available actions.

Finally, Pulse Ray Shield gives every ship shield regeneration and fills in a gap in their dial. Kihraxz don’t have a one straight. But with PRS they suddenly do and can recover a shield at the same time. This does telegraph their maneuver but in most cases, when you want to move one straight it’s pretty obvious.

Variations

When sticking with four Vaksai, you could easily swap Black Market Slicer Tools for Inertial Dampeners.  With Attanni Mindlink it’s not the best choice, as you will stress your whole group.  But you could also use it multiple times to stop the entire group if they are lined up properly.

When Attanni gets nerfed, there are quite a lot of useful one point EPT’s you could slide into its place. Crack Shot would probably be your best option. Four ships with three dice attack and crack shot can do a lot of damage.

Alternatively, dropping them down to Cartel Marauders would allow for four ships with Harpoon or similar missiles.

Or dropping Vectored Thrusters and changing BMST into Feedback Array. Bug zap a ship for four damage from the whole group and then triggering Pulse Ray Shield to recover your lost shield.

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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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