X-Wing is cool. X-Wing is fun. Some of us just like getting together with our friends and a few beverages to play a round with house rules, others know no greater thrill than making the cut at a major tournament. It’s worth celebrating how many different ways we enjoy collecting and playing with our fully licensed plastic and cardboard. Welcome to the Dice and Cardboard Cantina, where we chat about what makes X-Wing fun and, well, just about everything else!
Well, I normally think that I'm not so great at making up new content for this game but these posts generally prompt the most discussion, so here goes!
The Gauntlet Fighter Expansion Pack gave us a fun new mechanic in X-Wing: crew remotes! Clan Wren Commandos, Death Watch Commandos, Imperial Super Commandos, Mandalorian Super Commandos, and Nite Owl Commandos can all be deployed from your crew-carrying ships to zoom about, shooting and dumping strain tokens on enemy ships. I've heard varying opinions on the Commandos, everything from they're a game-state nuisance that make it difficult to move around the table to they're essentially two more ships to add to your squad. Either way, they're a bold new idea and, in my opinion, a pretty neat concept. You'll notice, however, that the above list only has 5 versions and we have 7 factions! Well, fear not, Resistance and First Order fans, today we will right that wrong.
This idea had been kicking around in my head for a while, but the past week's post by RamblingsOfaWargamer that mentioned the Resistance YC-123B transport from The Rise of Skywalker convinced me that the time has come. Today we will design both a crew remote delivery ship with its matching commando squad for each of the sequel factions with the help of the Homebrew Beta tool from Infinite Arenas!
AAL-1971/9.1 Atmospheric Assault Lander
The AAL-1971/9.1 is the First Order Stormtrooper transport that we see in all three sequel-era films as well as most other media from that era.
The stats, actions, and dial of the AAL are somewhat similar to those of the Resistance Transport, as it is designed to function similarly on a small base. This transport has the same total hull and shield as the Resistance Transport with one point shifted from shield to hull, representing the AAL's vacuum-filled composite armor.
Canonically, the AAL's only armament is an antipersonnel blaster cannon mounted on the roof, so I represented that with a two-die single arc turret. This ship will likely always have a gunner slot to get maximum utility from the turret or use Agile Gunner to rotate when needed. I don't think that this should have the option to mount more weaponry so I gave it a thematic ship ability that discourages attacks and can help it do more damage.
This transport is not intended to carry command staff, as the First Order prefers to use shuttles for that function, so it lacks a Coordinate action and instead has a red Reinforce to strengthen shields for the final push to a target. A white Jam action is a hallmark of First Order ships but the AAL wouldn't have that kind of equipment as standard and that can remain the domain of the Xi-Class shuttle.
The dial, like most other attributes, will be similar to the Resistance Transport's with red stop and reverse maneuvers, but the rest of the dial is relatively free of red maneuvers. Unlike the Resistance version which is cobbled together from leftover starfighter parts, the AAL is a sleek, purpose-built assault lander so is more comfortable in a high speed sprint to its target and nimble in its own unique way.
Supposedly these landers were flown by elite TIE/fo pilots so in addition to the non-limited pilot shown we could conceivably borrow other TIE pilots and their abilities pretty easily. Muse might be fun!
First Order Jet Troopers
Okay, so it would have been more fun to give these guys some sort of unique ability that differentiates them from the existing Mandalorian Commando Teams but that kind of defeats the purpose of ensuring there's an option for every faction with a fun ship that delivers them. Stats and function are the same as the existing commandos, but we get to have the fun First Order jetpack guys.
YC-123B Transport Hauler
Lumbering in for a landing, it's the YC-123B! This is the large transport that dropped Poe, Rose, Jannah, and BB-8 on the hull of the Steadfast at the Battle of Exegol. I was surprised to learn that this ship is canonically approximately the size of the Millennium Falcon so will fit nicely on a large base. I definitely thought it would be much larger.
The YC-123B is a big, slow ship and will have the crew and upgrade slots to match. It has a couple of big heavy laser cannons in the front for 3 red dice in its front arc, but the cumbersome maneuver dial means you'll have to wrestle it around to keep those guns on target. The 123 also has a turret behind the cockpit which I chose to represent with a 2-die mobile arc rather than a turret slot as as that gun is meant more as a defensive tool and I don't want this to turn into an Ion Cannon Turret carrier. This big, heavy ship won't be dodging many attacks with 0 agility but has plenty of shield and hull to soak up damage until it can accomplish its mission. If you want to evade enemy fire you'd fly an A-Wing.
Moving on to the action bar, it has most of the standard stuff, adding a white Coordinate as this ship carried General Finn into battle as well as the real standout: Focus linked to a red Reinforce! You'll need to think carefully about taking that Reinforce, though, as the Hauler has a grand total of two blue maneuvers to shed the stress and they're both pretty predictable as would suit such an ungainly vessel. Yikes!
Dreanna Conunda was the pilot of the Fortitude, the YC-123B in the Battle of Exegol, and the closest thing the Resistance had to a Transport Hauler "ace." Her ability is meant as a reference to the use of orbak riders (jam their speeders!) to attack the Star Destroyer as well as a counter to the prevalent First Order jamming tech.It can be used offensively or defensively. Other pilots could include her partner, Gandris Dyun. Thanks, Wookieepedia!
Resistance Jump Troopers
As far as I can tell we don't get any on-screen references to Resistance troops in space so I had to turn to the Poe Dameron comics once again. On a mission to rescue Lor San Tekka we see some commandos deploy from the forward door of a Resistance Transport so they'll be the model for our Resistance Jump Troopers. As with the First Order version they'll have the same stats as their peers. Boring but necessary.
Forward Assault Ramp
The Gauntlet has Drop-Seat Bay to enable more effective deployment and add sufficient crew slots, so now ships with the "Dropship" keyword (Resistance Transport, AAL-1971, YC-123B) get the Forward Assault Ramp! This adds the additional crew slot that may be required to equip a commando remote, but also allows you to deploy them forward with variable speed.
That concludes this week's installment! Would you use these ships and upgrades?