Star Wars: Squadrons, the new flight simulator game from EA, is turning a lot of heads. With its VR interface, it puts you in control of one of eight different ships from the Star Wars universe. In order to know how these ships perform, each has been classified into one of four classes: fighter, interceptor, bomber, and support.
SHIP NAME COST VS STARSHIPS VS FIGHTERS FC TC Assault Transport 12 very weak very strong 0 1 Carrack Light Cruiser 26 weak strong 0 0 Death Star 584 immune vulnerable 24 18 Galleon 10 very weak very weak 0 2 Imperial Dreadnaught 44 strong very weak 1 2 Imperial Escort Carrier 34 very weak moderate 6 0 Imperial Star Destroyer 112 very strong. 100% Star Wars Rebellion - Support for the game and its editor RebED, and other Star Wars mods such as HW2 Warlords.
Want to know more about them? We’ve broken down the history, origins, and capabilities for each of them.
Which will be your favorite to fly? Only time will tell.
The New Republic
X-Wing (Fighter Class): The X-Wing might be the most recognizable ship in the Republic fleet. Known by their unique crossed-X S-foil configuration, these ships were integral to the destruction of both Death Stars. Manufactured by Incom and Subpro, X-Wings are the latest in an evolution of ships that began with the Z-95 Headhunter. The Z-95 was a nimble snub-nosed fighter that first went into use during the Clone Wars. By the end of the war, the Z-95 had evolved into the ARC-170 fighter that saw use at the Battle of Coruscant. As the Empire took control and TIE fighters became commonplace for their fleet, ARC-170s went out of service. The Alliance to Restore the Republic eventually contracted with Incom-FreiTek to put them to use against the Empire.
In order to ensure new recruits to the rebellion were familiar with the X-Wing, Alliance Intelligence leaked a training manual onto the holonet, written by Barion Raner, who served as Blue Four in Blue Squadron. With the manual out in the open, new pilots would arrive to the Rebellion ready to fly.
X-Wings were used prominently in engagements over Lothal, Scarif, Yavin, Endor, and Jakku. With built-in hyperdrives and shields, they were a force to be reckoned with in the hit and run attacks the Alliance to Restore the Republic often had to employ.
A-Wing (Interceptor Class): A-Wings have been a part of the rebel fleet since the days before there even was a fleet. Bail Organa used these fast, sleek fighters in early engagements against the Empire and they gained a reputation over the years. With their lightning speed, faster even than TIE Interceptors, A-Wings made excellent strike ships and reconnaissance vessels for the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
Kuat systems developed the easily identifiable arrowhead shape and pivoting laser cannons of the A-Wing early in the war and they evolved and advanced as the war went on. There were a few variations of course, and the trainer version boasted a two-seat cockpit. One thing remained the same through every iteration: their lightning speed and excellent maneuverability. This makes them hard targets for the forces of the Empire.
These nimble crafts served with distinction at a number of engagements including the evacuation of Raada, the key Battle of Atollon against Thrawn, and the Battle of Endor.
Y-Wing (Bomber Class): Y-Wings might be the oldest and most lumbering ships in the Alliance fleet, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable or important than any others, despite what you might hear.
These ships have a long history and were commissioned originally by the Galactic Republic for use during the Clone Wars. These heavy, shielded bomber ships were cumbersome and slow, but they packed a big punch with a massive payload. The Rebel Alliance got their hands on a number of them in the days before the Battle of Yavin that had been scheduled for demolition by the Empire. This new fleet transformed into Gold Squadron, who took part in the battles of Atollon and Scariff, though they were decimated in the battle to destroy the first Death Star.
Y-Wings were originally commissioned to be a combination starfighter and long-range bomber and that’s exactly what Koensayr Manufacturing delivered. Heavily shielded and heavily armed, they’re a vital part of any well-balanced starfighter compliment.
U-Wing (Support Class): One of the last ships that Incom developed and manufactured before being nationalized by the Galactic Empire. Senator Bail Organa was able to play a shell game with Senate records to make sure lost shipments of U-Wings made their way to the Alliance to Restore the Republic.
These ships were developed to be incredibly versatile, serving as both starfighter and troop transport, depending on the configuration. Their S-foil wings fold back or forth depending on the atmospheric conditions they’re dealing with and they’re heavily armored. U-Wings took on many jobs for the Republic, ranging from cargo haulers to medical evacuations. They offered a wide-range of support on a variety of Alliance missions, but their most high-profile use might have been at the Battle of Scariff.
TIE/In Fighter (Fighter Class): The screeching roar of a TIE Fighter’s twin ion engines are unmistakable and strike fear into the hearts of the enemies of the Empire. Commissioned at the behest of Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, Sienar Fleet Systems developed the striking craft.
Boasting no life-support system, no hyperdrive, and no shields, Imperial TIE Fighter pilots knew they had to be the best in order to survive. But, because of their stripped-down profile, they are, perhaps, one of the most maneuverable starfighters ever designed, even if they are expendable.
The original TIE/In starfighter served as the prototype for all future Imperial starfighters and gave birth to numerous iterations.
TIE Interceptor (Interceptor Class): As the rebels incorporated faster starships into their fighter fleet, the Empire knew they needed to create a better TIE Fighter. The first prototype for the TIE Interceptor was Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced Fighter, but Sienar Fleet Systems knew they couldn’t mass produce that ship effectively. They went back to the drawing board, lengthened the solar wings to offer a power boost, and installed a life support system. Because of the dagger-like design of the wings, pilots are able to have a better field of vision and allowed them to respond better to enemy fighters. When the Empire decided to crew these ships with their most elite fighters, they became an even more lethal tool in the Empire’s fight to maintain order in the galaxy.
By the time the Empire took one of their last stands at the Battle of Endor, TIE Interceptors made up a full fifth of their starfighter fleet, making them a deadly force to be reckoned with in any battle. Report abuseielts document.
TIE/sa Bomber (Bomber Class): The TIE Surface Assault Bomber is a powerful ship in the Empire’s complement of TIES. They were used by the Empire to soften up targets, whether they were on the ground or in space. TIE Bombers could be flown in-atmosphere to bomb rebel cells hiding in their caves or be deployed by Star Destroyer captains to soften up the hulls of enemy capital ships. During one engagement after the Battle of Hoth, TIE Bombers were utilized to try to flush out the Millennium Falcon from its hiding place in a belt of asteroids. Bombers also took part in the bombings of Operation: Cinder and other notable conflicts.
Lacking shields and the maneuverability of other TIEs made them tantalizing targets for rebel fighter pilots.
TIE/rp Reaper (Support Class): The TIE/rp Reaper attack lander was the variant in the TIE line designed to ferry troops into battle. They were similar to the TIE Striker models, with the solar wings on the top of the ship, rather than the sides like most TIE Fighters. The flight deck accommodated three pilots and the cargo area was spacious enough to drop elite troops right into the thick of things.
TIE Reapers saw most of their action in atmospheric conditions but saw their fair share of space combat as well. Unlike most other ships in the TIE line, TIE Reapers were equipped with shields and hyperdrives. Losing one pilot in an unshielded fighter made sense to the Empire, losing an entire squad of troopers didn’t. And being able to insert small strike teams without the fanfare of a capital ship made great tactical sense for them to be lightspeed capable. No matter how you cut it, they’re deadly additions to the Imperial fighter arsenal.
Star Wars: Squadrons is available October 2, 2020.
This week Ars Cardboard dives into miniatures wargaming—but forget stereotypes of tiny Napoleonic soldiers walking across home-crafted terrain. We’re talking about Star Wars miniatures here, from capital ships to TIE fighters to Darth Vader himself. If you’ve ever wanted to command a squad of X-Wings, take control of an Imperial Star Destroyer, or experience a shootout with stormtroopers, the current trio of licensed Star Wars miniatures games from Fantasy Flight have you covered. And with the Force Awakens mere days away, there's never been a better time to dive in.
If you haven’t played a miniatures game before, know that these aren’t quite like traditional board games. Movement takes place not on a board but on a large, flat play surface covered with stylized miniatures that represent squads, fleets, or squadrons. Movement and range calculations are based on physical distance and angles. Miniatures can pack a visceral cool factor—these aren’t just cards or chips on a board—but they can also be intimidating for the new player.
In the case of X-Wing and Armada, the highly detailed models also come pre-painted. The ability to open the boxes and immediately play is a convenience that has moved miniatures wargaming away from thick rulebooks and hours of preparation to something more accessible to casual players.
The third miniatures game, Imperial Assault, focuses on squad skirmishes within an overarching campaign. So unlike our other two games in focus, it provides a solid sense of story and narrative to those who want to feel like they’re playing a role in one of the Star Wars films.
Fortunately despite their differences, all three of these games are a blast to play.
Star Wars: X-Wing
I was at Gen Con during the release of X-Wing in 2012, and watching towering piles of starter sets and blister packs evaporate was an impressive sight. Even more impressive is that, three years on, X-Wing is still going strong; the game is currently on its eighth “wave” of releases. X-Wing is the elder statesman of the Fantasy Flight Star Wars portfolio. It was the first and, in some ways, still the best at what it does.
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Red five, standing by!
The launching point for the X-Wing Miniatures Game is the starter set, which comes in two varieties now: a red set with a Rebel Alliance X-Wing and two Imperial TIE fighters, and a new blue set, coinciding with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The latter includes a T-70 X-Wing and two TIE/fo fighters, along with suitably appropriate upgrade cards such as BB-8. Either set works well to jump into the game.
In X-Wing, players pick a faction composed of the Rebellion/Resistance, the Imperials/First Order, or Scum (not supported in the starter set) and then build out their squadron of small ships. Points are expended to purchase ships and to upgrade cards/pilots to improve their capabilities. When complete, the ships take the field of play (probably your table).
All Star Wars Ships
Each miniature ship comes with tokens, a maneuver dial, and a card showing the ship’s combat stats. The dial handles movement control in the game and includes the various maneuvers that the ship can perform at different speeds: flying straight, banking gently, making a hard 90-degree turn, etc. Not all ships are built alike; the more maneuverable TIE fighter can perform hard banks, whereas the X-wing can only perform larger, sweeping turns. In each round, players secretly select their ships’ maneuvers using the dial. Once play begins, in order of initiative, each player reveals the chosen maneuver and then executes it on the field of play using supplied templates.
Combat harkens back to games like Wings of War, where part of the excitement of each dogfight is not knowing what your opponent is going to do—or inadvertently flying to a spot where you were not expected to go. (More likely is the comical realization that your own ships are about to fly into one another.) When caught in a tricky situation, pilots can risk a “red maneuver” to, say, shake that TIE on their tail, but doing so causes structural stress to the ship. These risk/reward decisions heighten the tension of each engagement.
The barnstorming spirit of dogfighting—and the fact that the rules specifically do not allow you to pre-measure your moves—is what makes X-Wing so much fun.
After all ships have maneuvered in a round, they can fire. A range ruler checks for distance, and each player gathers a set of custom attack dice, as indicated on each ship’s card. An attack roll is opposed by the other player’s defensive roll (which is determined by their ship stats plus any applicable upgrades). Evades can cancel out hits, while doing a target lock or focus during the activation phase could provide additional hits or re-rolls. This chess match of maneuvering into the best position for the best shot—and not getting shot at in return—is where X-Wing truly excels.Advertisement
Damage pummels the shields (if any—poor unshielded TIE fighter) and then slams against the hull. Some hits cause critical effects, which can blow your engine or stun your pilot. Once a hull is destroyed, the ship’s miniature is removed, and victory points are awarded equal to the value of the ship and its upgrades.
One small downside to the combat system: since die rolls are not simultaneous and require comparing, the game can lag a bit at this juncture. Armada (reviewed below) uses a faster resolution mechanic that we prefer.
A hive of scum and villainy
Beyond the Starter Set, a huge world of options opens up. Fantasy Flight has released numerous expansions, each with a miniature, appropriate counters and dials, as well as new cards. Older, original release ships still remain viable thanks to new upgrade cards and pilots, so while the metagame evolves, your investment doesn’t go to waste.
Star Wars Rebellion Guide
Primarily a skirmish game, the rub for X-Wing is its pure deathmatch play; you field squadrons onto a play area filled with obstacles and then try to kill each other. While the base game comes with three missions, they’re entirely optional and short-lived. A handful of missions and campaigns have trickled out over the years, but ultimately X-Wing comes down to straight-on dogfighting—tactics rather than grand strategy. The game is terrific at providing a dogfighting experience; even so, fighting simply for the sake of fighting loses some luster eventually.
X-Wing is easy to teach and fast to set up; my 10-year-old son repeatedly requests replays, and small matches resolve quickly. Larger engagements can sometimes devolve into turning battles and wars of attrition with their attendant stretches of boredom. (Armada addresses this with its fixed number of turns and codified objectives.)
But these concerns are a small price to play for some absolutely beautiful pre-painted miniatures and game support that’s second to none. Plus, when you pull off that perfect maneuver no one saw coming, you’ll get to revel in a great shot that was one-in-a-million.
Star Wars Rebellion Review
Star Wars Rebellion Pc Ships
- Affordable, fast fun
- Stunning pre-painted miniatures
- Massive game support and catalog of options
- Mostly deathmatch play makes the game feel lacking in focus at times; the 1 vs 1 battle that seems to go on forever
Star Wars Rebellion Ship Guide
Star Wars Rebellion Ship Stats 2019
- Can be daunting for new players who wish to be competitive in leagues