Screenshot via YouTube.

We all know that Kylo Ren’s TIE Fighter is going to save the Imperial faction. But does it suck?

The ship’s super-Interceptor dial has inspired plenty of memes hailing it as the game’s great equalizer. I remain skeptical. It has everything a TIE pilot could wish for: System and Tech slots, a PS 9 ace, the ability to equip Autothrusters, and six health. But it’s expensive. Its inability to evade makes it deceptively flimsy. And the two pilot abilities in the pack ain’t exactly Fenn Rau and Old Teroch’s (or Soontir Fel and Carnor Jax’s).

Will the light that burns twice as bright burn half as long, leaving imperial players down 45 points after two rounds of shooting? I have some thoughts on how Adam Driver’s ride shakes up the metagame:

  1. Kylo pilot will have a high rate of attrition—I fear this ship will become the exercise bike of X-Wing miniatures, an especially cruel twist for a small-base box that cost $30. Anyone who thinks 10 green maneuvers + Push the Limit = easy mode will be in for an unpleasant surprise on that inevitable turn when a boost and a barrel roll goes nowhere and a token stack would be clutch. In the hands of a good player, willing to play the long game with Advanced Sensors instead of Fire Control System, some truly amazing feats of positioning will be achieved. The ceiling on flying this thing will be high, but the floor will be at the bottom of that chasm into which Vader threw Palpatine.
  2. Scum Nym makes a comeback to counter itDarkness rises…and light to meet it. OK—maybe not light. But people overreacted to the “Genius” nerf. You know what’s better than PS 9 Advanced Sensors repositioning with three green dice? PS 10 Advanced Sensors repositioning with automatic damage. Veteran Instincts, Autoblaster Turret, Extra Munitions, Thermal Detonators, Engine Upgrade, Havoc, “Genius,” Advanced Sensors.
  3. Test Pilot “Blackout” finds her niche—The four point drop from Kylo, combined with a bizarro-Wedge ability, make this unnamed named pilot interesting. Equipped with Trick Shot, Collision Detector, and Autothrusters, this ship becomes an unusual 33-point menace that fits in a lot of lists. Parked behind (or on?) debris clouds, she’ll be tough to kill and could dish out huge swing of damage, even without modifiers. Maybe that’s what the green moves are for: clearing the stress you accrue flying through debris like a maniac.
  4. This is the list—Given her similar costs, it’s worth looking at where Whisper fit into popular archetypes and imagining Kylo there instead. He’ll want Palpatine both for his defense and for crits to trigger his ability. Omega Leader is still the best budget wingman. Behold the “Emo Mynock Special.”
    Kylo Ren (TIE Silencer) — TIE Silencer 35
    Push the Limit 3
    Advanced Sensors 3
    Autothrusters 2
    Ship Total: 43
    “Omega Leader” — TIE/fo Fighter 21
    Juke 2
    Comm Relay 3
    Ship Total: 26
    Omicron Group Pilot — Lambda-Class Shuttle 21
    Collision Detector 0
    Emperor Palpatine 8
    Ship Total: 29

And yea, one more: I’m going to buy it. I mentioned my love of ships from the movies before, and I can’t wait to see this thing on screen in two weeks.

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