Friday, July 10, 2015

Commander's Guide - TIE Advanced

Well, we are almost at the end now, not very many squadrons to go and the Commander's Guide is about to wind to a close, at least until Wave 2 hits.  We are on now to the odd ducks of the fighter expansions, the two squadrons that really do not have a comparable analog on the other side of the fence.  Today, we will be talking about the Imperial red headed stepchild, the TIE Advanced.

TIE Advanced ESCORTs Soontir Fel's Interceptor Squadron

TIE Advanced

The TIE Advanced Squadron really has more in common with the Rebel X-Wing than the TIE Fighter does, aside from being the baseline for other squadrons.  The TIE Advanced has a similar cost (12 for the TIE Advanced and 13 for the X-Wing), similar average anti-ship attack (.75 average on 1 Black without BOMBER vs .75 average on 1 Red with BOMBER), and both come with the ESCORT keyword.  Arguably though, it is the TIE Advanced that can make the most use out of ESCORT, both from the stance of positioning and what it is protecting.

For the Rebels, the X-Wing is the most efficient "pure" squadron.  Without the COUNTER of the A-Wing to inflate its anti-squadron capabilities, the X-Wing is the best pure anti-squadron squadron per point that the rebels have, and the best by far if you factor in for the points you also wind up with a hull of 5.  Simply put, you don't really want your opponent to fire at your X-Wings, not while there are still enemy squadrons on the board, the Y-Wing has more hull, the A-Wing needs to be attacked for COUNTER to be useful, and the B-Wing is a border case.  Better to use the X-Wings to break up engagements - protect an A-Wing or B-Wing that is down to 1 hull.

The TIE Advanced though has a different role it can fill within the Imperial lists, protection of more valuable anti-squadron fighters.  The TIE Interceptor, while it does have COUNTER 2, is also 11 points for the enemy and only 3 hull to burn through, and 4 SWARM attack dice that the enemy wants to get off the board.  The TIE Fighter, is also a 3 hull squadron, and easy enough for even a generic X-Wing to swat out of the sky.  An Advanced escort can keep these squadrons in alive longer, to win the anti-air engagement.

The Advanced is even better when paired with Soontir Fel.  Suddenly the Imperial squadron with 5 hull has effectively been granted COUNTER 2 in terms of damage.  And more importantly Fel is free to save his defense tokens for anti-squadron fire from ships.

For other statistics, the Advanced comes with 3 Blue anti-squadron dice and 1 Black anti-shield die.  Speed 4 which allows it to keep up with the other TIEs, and keep close with a full speed Gladiator.

Darth Vader engages an enemy unique squadron.

Darth Vader

The Dark Lord of the Sith is the most expensive squadron for the Imperial forces, at 21 points.  For this, you get the best anti-squadron fighter in the game, with an average of 3.25 damage (Vader can use crits as hits, getting .75 average from his Blues, and 1.00 average from his Black die), and a maximum of 5 damage.  This means Vader can do some serious damage to high defense squadrons, and even put out a respectable amount of pain to named squadrons.

To keep himself alive, Vader has 2 Brace defense tokens in addition to the Advanced's 5 hull.  Vader also has 1 Black die for anti-ship, though with his special ability (criticals count as hits) he functions as a mini-BOMBER for purposes of anti-ship attacks.

Vader is definitely a bit of a one-trick pony, but he is especially good at his trick.

Overall, the TIE Advanced is an overall average squadron, who's big draw is the ESCORT ability and its exceptional hull value relative to Imperial squadrons.  But it is definitely one that you find a use for in your fleet - either Darth Vader's anti-squadron role, as a friend to your Interceptors, or as an all-around jack-of-all trades in an otherwise highly specialized Imperial fleet.

Well, that is it for this round.  Just one more to go, the Rebel's heavy BOMBER, the B-Wing.  Then we can get to the real fun - list building and strategy!

No comments:

Post a Comment