08th Jul2019

‘X-Wing 2.0: ARC-170, Delta-7 & Sith Infiltrator’ Expansion Pack Review

by Matthew Smail

Right from the launch of X-Wing 2.0, players have known that there would be support for no less than seven factions. Even so, conversion kits and new ships have been hitting stores in what Fantasy Flight Games refers to as waves. Whilst the first wave featured just three factions (Scum and Villainy, Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire) units for the other factions have now begun to emerge. In the latest wave 3 update, a large number of ships associated with the Separatist Alliance and the Galactic Republic landed, and we’ve been hosting pitched battles between them ever since.

On the Republic side, the ships we’ve chosen come from three separate expansions, including the Guardians of the Republic pack, the Delta 7 Aethersprite and the slow but tough ARC-170. On the Separatist Alliance side, a trio of ships from the Servants of Strife pack take flight alongside the imposing Sith Infiltrator. Across the two sides, a wide range of different builds are possible, with 200 point squadrons capable of fielding powerful loadouts and some of the Star Wars universes most exciting pilots – including Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, Count Dooku and Darth Maul, to name but a few.

The potential for exciting, personal battles between the characters on each of these two sides is obvious, but the ships are also interested and varied, even when some of the more generic or less well known pilots are used. The ARC-170, for example, is a ponderous beast, but armed with one of several torpedo choices and with a veteran tail gunner, it can be quite the weapons platform. An astromech slot opens up further options, allowing for combinations that result in either significant firepower or enhanced resilience – with the former being my personal preference.

The Sith Infiltrator is an even larger vessel, but as the name suggests, it is more focused on evasion and stealth than direct confrontation. Equipped with a cloaking device that allows the Infiltrator to move freely from the start of the game (until it is at close range) the Separatist player will be able to bring considerable firepower to bear without reply thanks to the placement of a jam token when the decloak manoeuvre is performed. This is especially true when using pilots like Darth Maul, who can use his force powers to attack an additional time when performing a primary attack.

What makes the Separatist Alliance tick, however, is when the Infiltrator is used to support and enhance the characteristics of the generally weak droid ships that make up the backbone of their fleet. Three of these ships (including two Vulture Class Droid Fighters and one Belbullab-22 Starfighter) make up the Servants of Strife pack, and the synergies between the robotic pilots of these smaller ships and the occupants of the larger Infiltrator cannot be overlooked. For starters, the Infiltrator has several ways to generate calculate tokens and to enhance the performance of the other ships. One of the more interesting features is the ability to dispatch probe droids that allow range to be calculated based on the probe location, whilst the droid ships remain at a safe distance.

To fight back against this wave of evil, the Galactic Republic has more than just the powerful ARC-170 in their arsenal. Available as both a separate expansion (with a unique paint job) and as part of the Guardians of the Republic, the Delta-7 Aethersprite is a fast, manoeuvrable ship that is perfect for force sensitive pilots. In most of my battles with this force, my Aethersprite’s have been piloted by the formidable duo of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, resulting in considerable force power and a number of unique and powerful abilities. The remaining two ships on the Galactic Republic side are V-19 Torrents, which are small, manoeuvrable ships that crucially benefit from formation flying and the ability to equip missiles.

With the backdrop set, I’ve now experienced four or five games with these two fleets using various loadouts and it’s clear that the possibilities here are close to endless. The Galactic Republic is most fun when the three clone piloted ships are built to work together, with the two Jedi-piloted Aethersprites acting according to the strengths of their force attuned pilots. A more aggressive, missile laden loadout can be achieved for 200 points, but the loss of force powers for at least one pilot can prove dangerous, even though the ARC-170 will be at its most dangerous.

On the other side of the fray, the Sith Infiltrator is easily the most interesting ship among the two sides. It can be used as a very powerful individual unit that deals incredible damage when Darth Maul is at the helm, or it can be used as a support craft with a focus on enhancing its droid allies. It is, of course, possible to create a hybrid of the two, but I’m not convinced that such a build is capable of yielding the best results. The Vulture Class Droid Fighters are very vulnerable in isolation, but if you don’t want to use your Infiltrator to support them, you can setup General Grievous in his Belbullab-22 to do a similar job.

As always, X-Wing 2.0 never fails to excite, but these wave 3 ships seem to be particularly awesome. The two largest ships offer the most potential for variation and specialisation, but I really love the iconic pairing of Skywalker and Kenobi in their tiny, highly agile ships. Whilst I haven’t tried it, I could also see that fielding a large fleet of either droid or clone pilots in their run of the mill ships might be quite interesting, perhaps with just one slightly more powerful pilot (like Grievous) in support. The potential for these factions looks very high, but more importantly, the quality of X-Wing 2.0 ships is clearly on the rise, and we can’t wait to see what comes next!

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