A couple of weeks ago Phil decided he wanted to get back into the X-Wing Miniature Game. And as he didn’t have anyone to play against he pushed it on me like a dealer on a crackhead fresh out of rehab. I’d like to tell you I resisted. I’d like to tell you I said ‘no Phil, I have enough to work on at the moment’. I’d like to say that… By that afternoon I’d ordered myself the starter set and we’d got ourselves an expansion pack each.
We managed to avoid the standard ‘no I want to be the X-Wing’ argument because (a) Phil’s threat of unspeakable levels of violence if I messed with his plan of fielding a squadron of X-Wings kept me awake at night and (b) I wanted to do Empire anyway. Rebel Scum.
As Phil reviewed the starter set in October last year I’ve taken a look at the Imperial TIE Fighter expansion pack.
Firstly I have to speak to the cost. Those fine chaps at Firestorm Games punt them out at £10.79 each, RRP is actually £12. I know this sounds like a lot of money but remember two things. 1) you get quite a lot in the pack and (2) in the same way that if you put the word ‘wedding’ in front of the word ‘cake’ the price triples, so too with anything that starts with the words ‘Star Wars’. But it’s Star Wars and they’re really cool.
So what do you get for your £10.79 (buy it from Firestorm Games)
1 x TIE Fighter Ship with plastic base
3 x Ship Tokens
1 x Manoeuvre Dial
1 x Focus Token
1 x Stress Token
1 x Critical Hit Token
12 x ID Tokens (12 – 15) these become really important when you start playing larger games.
1 x Evade Token
6 x Ship Cards, Howlrunner, Backstabber, Winged Gundark, Black Squadron Pilot, Obsidian Pilot and an Academy Pilot.
2 x Upgrade Cards, Determination and Swarm Tactics.
As I say, you do get quite a lot for your money. And the card elements are beautifully printed and feel really nice much the same as all the card in the core set.
The additional Pilot Cards are the main pull for getting an Expansion pack after the additional ship itself. You get 3 special pilots in the TIE Fighter pack, namely Howlrunner, Backstabber and Winged Gundark, each one has their only special trait. Winged Gundark can change any hit icon to a critical hit icon when within a range of 1, which is sick. Backstabber can roll an additional attack die if outside the defending ships firing Arc, living up to his name. And finally Howlrunner allows any friendly ship within range 1 to reroll 1 attack die. Not only this but his Pilot skill is 8 putting him on par with Luke Skywalker and at an extra cost of 18 points this makes him a must have and as well as that you can take an upgrade card with him.
You also get a new upgrade card: Swarm Tactics. This allows you to pick a friendly ship within range 1 and this ship can use your Pilot Skill for an entire combat phase. Put together with Howlrunner this could spell an awesome combo.
So is the TIE Fighter pack worth the money? Personally I think so because the pilot cards alone represent a huge boost to your squadron. I don’t have a massive issue with cost of the models either way. Yes they rival Games Workshop’s pricing but it’s a licensed product and because all the bits you need to use the model are included resorting to Micromachines isn’t really an option. But at the end of the day it’s Star Wars and I for one can see me spending lots of money on the additional fighters and ships.
I’m really excited about this game and whilst I can appreciate the mid-standard pre-painted models aren’t for everyone it suits my limited hobby time and they still look cool on the board. The standard of the inserts and cards is also really high and the aforementioned pilot cards make it worthwhile all on their own.
The TIE Fighter Expansion Pack is Available from Firestorm Games for £10.79. The force is strong with this one.