By Zach Bunn– September 14, 2012
With the launch of the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures game upon us, I thought it was high time for me to post my first official 100 point squadron list. I’m going to be honest here… The idea of leading a squadron of TIE Fighters with Darth Vader at the helm makes up about 95% of what interested me in the Star Wars X-Wing miniatures game. I was very excited after I played a game and realized it was one of the most fun games I’ve played in a very long time. At that point, getting to pilot as Darth Vader is just a cherry on top.
So naturally, my first squadron includes Darth Vader. After looking at the current ships and cards available, I decided I wanted to be able to do a lot of damage fast. I’ve seen too many games where one or two damage here and one or two damage there never really amounts to anything. At the end of the day, this game is about clearing the board. When I come in, I want to strike quickly and I want to get the job done. The sooner you start building that advantage, the faster it snowballs.
Below is my list, 99 points in total, in both text and picture form (for those who aren’t fortunate enough to have the cards yet).
TIE Advanced – Darth Vader (29 points)
- Swarm Tactics (2 points)
- Concussion Missles (4 points)
TIE Advanced – Maarek Stele (27 points)
- Marksmanship (3 points)
- Cluster Missiles (4 points)
TIE Fighter – Mauler Mithel (17 points)
TIE Fighter – Obsidian Squadron Pilot (13 points)
One of Darth Vader’s primary advantages is his pilot skill of 9. He gets to move last and, more importantly, attack first. With the highest pilot skill in the game, I immediately loved Swarm Tactics. After everyone has moved, he can pick someone within 1 range and all of the sudden their pilot skill is equal to his.
This is important because you get to deal damage first. This might mean that I kill something before it gets to attack… or get to do damage before one of my other TIEs dies. If Maarek is within 1, I can hop him in front of Luke or Wedge. Now, I’ve given Maarek Cluster Missiles and Marksmanship, which means he is a damage machine. Letting him go before the enemies can be a huge deal.
I’ve also given Darth Vader Concussion Missiles. Again, the point is damage. If I’m at 3 away, I can spend a target lock to roll four dice instead of 2. This can be crucial early in the game.
My third include, Mauler Mithel, can also have a big impact. At range 1, he rolls 4 dice against enemy ships. If he is within 1 range of an enemy ship and Vader can bump his pilot skill, that jump in attack order can be big. Again, the focus here on getting in quick and dealing as much damage as fast as possible.
The final include, Obsidian Squadron Pilot, is really just a standard include when I only had 14 points left to spend anyway. Standard TIE stats and nothing to write home about.
Damage, Damage, Damage
Again, the name of the game is damage. I’ve noted that, barring very strong rolls, most squadrons don’t have the capacity to eat through shields and health on the enemies stronger ships on the first strike. I think this squadron has the power to do just that and once you’re a ship ahead, it’s a tough thing for your opponent to catch up on. Throw in a well timed critical damage and it can be lights out for the opposing side.
I’ll be reporting back when I actually get all the models and play with this list a handful of times. If you have any ideas or tips, I’d love to hear them!