Two months ago I pre-ordered a few ships with store credit from selling some old games at MiniatureMarket.com and have been waiting patiently for their release.
The first world problems surrounding this release is that there has been a real backup of cargo ships delivering product from the Far East to the West Coast. The Wave 5 Products (YT-2400 and Decimator) were originally scheduled for a end of September release. With a few factory and boat delays the release got pushed back all the way to November 26th. The folks at Miniature Market were nice enough to ship so that it arrived on that date, and I’m guessing its because Fantasy Flight gave some flexibility on release since it had been long delayed. I don’t really know, of course. This is just fun speculation.
Well, the patience paid off and I’m excited to say that I can now start actually playing with these cool ships!
Both of these ships come with really great cards, which is a big part of the reason I ordered two of the YT-2400. I won’t be talking about everything that comes with each expansion, but I’ll highlight key additions.
I remember Shadows of the Empire fondly. I’m not big on the Expanded Universe, but I think Shadows of the Empire was popular because it included everything that made Star Wars what it was. It didn’t try to introduce too much new. It just focused on what made Star Wars great. The game play and environment for Shadows of the Empire the video game was also really well done.
The ship and pilots bring a lot of interesting new mechanics to the game and the upgrade cards interface really well with other ships already present.
I’m excited about some of the mechanics of the 2400. The biggest change is that this is the first large ship that can barrel roll! It uses the long side of the one move template instead of the short side against the base. Couple that with many pilots and upgrades that allow you to ignore obstacles in various ways and it’s a fun addition.
The 2400 clocks in with a base pilot cost of between 30 and 36, with two attack and defense and five each for hull and shields. It has a 360 degree primary fire arc, actions of focus, target lock and barrel roll. The guaranteed upgrade slots are cannon, missile and crew. This makes Heavy Laser Cannon (Cost 7, 4 attack, range 2-3, crits become hits) a juicy upgrade for a normally two attack ship.
Another thing that contributes to the 2400’s mobility besides barrel roll is several pilot abilities and upgrades that influence asteroid interactions. Dash Rendar (pilot, 36) allows you to ignore obstacles during the activation phase and when performing actions. You still can’t attack when on an asteroid, but its great for defense. The Dash Rendar Crew upgrade (2 Squad points) allows you to perform attacks while on an asteroid and your attacks can’t be obstructed. Combine either of these with Lone Wolf ,arguably the best card in this series, possibly another Push the Limit in terms of its expected use, and you have a brutal combo. Lone Wolf (2 Squad points) allows you to, when attacking or defending, and when not within 1-2 of a friendly, to reroll one blank result. Re-rolling dice is a key mechanic of the game, so this card is sure to see a lot of use. I can see a 2400 with Dash, HLC and Lone Wolf circling the outer edge of the board taking pot shots and not worrying about asteroids.
Other interesting upgrade cards include Lando Calrissian (Crew, 3 Squad points, Action, roll defense dice to get a chance at focus and evade tokens), Experimental Interface (Modification, 3 Squad points, get a stress token to perform a second action from an upgrade with the “Action” header, Lando Calrissian being an obvious choice) and Stay on Target (Elite Talent, 2 Squad points, when you reveal a maneuver, you can switch it to the opposite maneuver and treat it as a red maneuver).
To round it out, the Outrider title allows you to use secondary weapons in a 360 arc but forbids primary weapon attacks, Countermeasures allows large ships to increase agility by one for one turn and remove a target lock. Neither strikes as game changing, but will be fun to investigate. I could review each of them extensively, but I’d rather play them first before I make too many judgements. That’s just what stands out to me. I got two in order to be able to field two, but also to get multiple copies of Experimental Interface and Lone Wolf.
I actually know very little about the Decimator, in terms of its placement in the canon. Its a ship that players can have in Star Wars Galaxies? That’s embarrassing. Anyway, I got it strictly for gameplay and aesthetics: it came with great upgrade cards, cool new mechanics, a turret for Empire, and it looks intimidating and awesome. Its the biggest “large” ship in the game.
The Decimator clocks in with a base pilot cost of between 40 and 46, with three attack, zero defense (first ship with this), 12 hull and four shields. It has a 360 degree primary fire arc, a first for Empire, and actions of focus and target lock. The guaranteed upgrade slots are bomb, torpedo and three crew.
The Decimator is clearly built around crew and comes with quite the assortment. Moff Jerjerrod (2 Squad points) lets you turn a faceup damage card facedown for the cost of spending that card or another crew card. Mara Jade (3 Squad points) gives stress to enemies at Range 1. Ysanne Isard (4 Squad points) gives you free Evade tokens if you no Shields and at least one damage card. Finally, the Fleet Officer (3 Squad points) allows you to take stress in exchange for assigning focus tokens to two friendlies within Range1-2. All of these are Imperial only and they’re all good. Worth the cost? That remains to be seen.
The Pilots do a variety of interesting things. Chirineau (46) gives you a switch from a Focus result to Critical at Range 1-2. Kenkirk (44) increases your agility value by one if you are out of shields and have at least one damage card. This clearly stacks nicely with Isard. Oicunn (42) does one damage to any ship it is touching.
Speaking of Oicunn, one of the clear intentions of the Decimator is for you to joust with it. Upgrade cards like the Dauntless (Title, 2 Squad points, after you overlap a ship you can do an action before receiving your stress token), Ruthlessness (Elite Pilot, 3 Squad points, after you hit with an attack, you must do one damage to a ship within range 1) and Intimidation (Elite Pilot, 2 Squad points, a ship you are touching has one fewer agility) are clear indicators of a ramming purpose.
Rounding out the new upgrades is Tactical Jammer (Modification, 1 Squad point) that allows large ships to obstruct enemy attacks. This adds a little defense to any squad with a large ship and is a nice addition in that single squad point anything is rare and this one seems like it could easily pay its cost with added green dice to friendly ships, or, at the very least, cause fire to be drawn to that ship.
There’s lots of fun to be had with these ships. One combo in particular I’m interested in would include a Falcon and an Outrider steering far clear of each other, but still able to do some heavy damage. One of them cleans up. Maybe squeeze in a Prototype Pilot? I’ll have to think about it.
The Game Club Overday approaches this Saturday! We’ll have Magic tournaments, X-wing, and a crossover DND event that will temporarily merge two campaigns. There’s still a lot to do between now and then, but we’re getting closer and the excitement is rising!