Welcome to The Hangar, pilot! In this series we talk about starfighters, freighters, shuttles, racers, bombers, gunships, and everything else in between. This is the chance to look "under the hood," as it were, and explore what makes our favorite ships great.
The first round of posts in this section will be breakdowns by faction of the ships that make up your squads. When I was new to X-Wing I read the excellent buying guides and faction breakdowns from the likes of Rogue Outpost, Stay on the Leader, Confessions of a Midwest Scrub's post-points change essays, and others (many others) and since I know I could sit and read different individuals' takes on this topic all day I thought I'd offer mine!
We'll focus on what X-Wing players call the "chassis" or the attributes of the ship itself independent of pilot abilities and points costs, except where these are notably linked. More in-depth looks at individual chassis with their pilots will follow and be linked from these intro articles. Ships are presented in a loosely "ranked" list, though for the most part this is subjective and based largely on my personal experience and preferences. With a few exceptions I will stick to ships that can be bought in their faction with 2.0 components, so I'll get to all ships that will be legal in AMG's Standard format in due time. For more information on all ships I'd also recommend the X-Wing 2.0 Wiki.
The Aethersprite with its roster of Jedi pilots is one of the most versatile tools in the Republic kit. For relatively few squad points you get a fast, agile ship with, most likely, at least a decent pilot ability. The Delta-7 only has 4 total health but can avoid damage with its 3 agility and the ability to spend a Force charge to barrel roll or boost prior to the Perform Action Step. Its 2 attack dice are augmented by the Calibrated Laser Targeting configuration which allows you to add a focus result (easily converted with a Force charge) if the target is in your bullseye. If you can line up those bullseyes the sky is the limit with the Delta-7 in this much more cost-effective configuration and the 3rd green die doesn't hurt either.
Canonically a variant of the Delta-7, the Delta-7B boasts upgraded laser cannons (3 attack dice) and upgraded shields (+2 shield) but is a bit heavier and less agile (2 defense dice). Combined with its Force sensitive pilots and the Fine-Tuned Controls ability, the Delta-7B very well may be one of the best individual ships in the game. Be careful not to take too much incoming fire, as the reduced green dice compared to its nimbler sibling (say that 10x fast) mean that the extra shields can be taken down quickly if you aren't paying attention. 7Bs are also generally worth a decent number of points so they will be priority targets for your opponent for that reason in addition to the threat that they pose.
Let's talk about clones! The ARC-170 is a sturdy mainstay of the Republic fleet and a nice balance of heavy firepower and flexible upgrade options. The ARC is not particularly agile but compensates with 3 shields and 6 hull so it can take hits and keep dishing out damage from its two firing arcs. Flying a medium base will take a bit of practice, especially if you want to use more than one in formation, but the ARC-170 can be a very forgiving ship to fly and fight owing to its ability to shrug off damage, delete anything in front of it, and cover its own 6. The ARC has a decent case made for being one of the better all-around ships in the game as it can consistently deal damage and stick around for multiple rounds, just limited by its single green die and generally high cost. The ARC can also be flown by the Rebel Alliance with component from the Rebel Conversion Kit and its pilots have some pretty useful abilities to use in their Clone War surplus ships.
The Eta-2 is the Jedi Starfighter from Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith and it starts to lean into its TIE fighter heritage (produced by Kuat Systems Engineering, later acquired by Sienar Fleet Systems) a bit with only 3 hull, no shields, and some limits to its offensive power. With the right upgrades, the Eta-2's speedy dial, Systems Phase boost or barrel roll, and 3 agility make it a tricky target to hit and with some fancy flying it can do serious damage with it's 3-die bullseye attack and ability to equip bigger guns. You should fly the Eta-2 like you would a TIE Interceptor; it may feel bad to throw away that perfect shot in order to not take one in return, but sometimes you just need to survive and come back to fight another day.
A LAAT in your squad can be a powerful force multiplier, even before it fires a shot. The first clone ship that we get to see in the movies, the LAAT leans into the Republic theme of helping your allies punch harder and more consistently. The chassis ability alone is reason to consider spending the points on a LAAT, giving up to two friendly ships attack rerolls in a turn, and the Republic has plenty of crew upgrades that synergize well with the gunship's turret attacks. A well-equipped LAAT will cruise either through the middle of the table or around the periphery, boosting the attacks of its clone or Jedi squadmates, and firing missiles and double-tapping turret attacks that hand out strain and deplete tokens to enemy ships for the rest of your list to capitalize on.
Nimbus Class V-Wing
V-Wings are a popular choice for Republic players as they tend to be efficient additions to a squad either en masse or as filler when only a few points remain. With a variety of pilot abilities and two free (at time of writing) configurations the V-Wing can be a flexible multi-role ship as long as you're careful to keep it out of too many firing arcs as it doesn't have a ton of health. The Alpha-3B "Besh" configuration is noteworthy not only because it adds bombs or mines, but because the ability to spend your target lock to convert a blank or focus to a hit is REALLY good. It all but ensures your ability to land at least one hit result and seriously increases your chances of ending up with two every time.
Naboo N-1 Starfighter
I, personally, am SO happy that this ship was included in X-Wing. I mean, just look at it! The N-1 is not always the most effective ship in the Republic fleet but has its uses as an efficient torpedo carrier or speedy objective snatcher. The Full Throttle ship ability helps keep it on the table longer and pairs well with Juke to make better use of its two-die primary weapon. The higher-initiative pilots have great abilities and can equip Talent upgrades that take advantage of the free evades from the ship ability.
Yep, the Republic has Y-Wings too! In fact, they had them first and they can be spotted front and center in many episodes of the Clone Wars animated series. The BTL-B Y-Wing is the direct ancestor of the BTL-A4 that we know from the Rebel Alliance but with all of its shiny, durable plating intact. That plating gives you the ship ability that allows you to change incoming critical hit results to regular hits. Otherwise this Y-Wing is very similar to its later variants, with some other exceptions being a slightly worse maneuver dial (fewer blues) to reflect the added weight of the plating and that, at time of writing, the BTL-B is the only Y-Wing to retain its gunner slot.
The V-19 feels like it is still searching for its niche. A while ago swarms of Torrents were relatively common (and pretty annoying) and subsequent points adjustments have raised their cost such that they are tricky to fit in a squad in a way that justifies the expenditure. Torrent pilots have pretty neat abilities and an array of upgrade slots including the ability to throw a lot of missiles at your enemy, but the maneuver dial is surprisingly limited for what seems to be a light fighter. The day of the Torrent may return but at the time of writing they would not be my first choice in a Republic list.
Gauntlet Starfighter...Coming Soon!
That'll do it for the Grand Army of the Republic and their Jedi commanders! What are your favorite Republic listbuilding pieces?