WARNING: Contains spoilers for the PC game X-Wing Alliance
One of the things that playing X-Wing Miniatures has done is get me more interested in the Star Wars expanded universe, and it reminded me of the old PC game X-Wing Alliance, which I dug out and started to play again. It follows the story of the Azzameen family (if you haven’t played the game this is where Emon Azzameen comes from) and it introduces the YT-2000 freighter. I found a YT-2000 model on Shapeways and I knew I just had to bring it to the table.
I had a look at custom cards other people had done online, and I didn’t like any of the stats. So I decided to make my own. The first task was to pick a faction. Should it be Scum or Rebels? Ace joins the Rebellion, but the rest of the family stay independent (hence Emon Azzameen is a Scum pilot.) To me this was an easy choice, I felt the pilots should be Scum and Villainy to fit as independents, but also when I did the ships stats I didn’t want it have access to C-3PO, R2-D2 (crew) or Chewbacca as this would make the ship too powerful.
So next was the base stats. I compared the YT-1300 and YT-2000 on Wookiepedia, in the Millennium Falcon Haynes manual and also compared the hull and shield stats on an X-Wing Alliance FAQ and did some maths to work out the hull and shield values. I can’t remember exactly what my sums were, but I reduced the hull value a little as I was at 16 hits total which is 0 agility territory, and I felt this ship needs a green die. I then popped the stats into a custom card creator and used the YT-2400 dial and that gave me a points cost. And behold, the Twin Suns Pilot was ready!
The basic YT-2000 pilot
The next job was to playtest this as is to make sure the baseline stats were OK. With a token 100 point list I played one game against my friend TJ and two against my friend Max. It won a game against Max and lost the other two. I was OK with this as a loss means it’s not undercosted and overpowered, and both opponents felt it was a fair and rounded ship. So I was free to design the rest of the pilots, and indeed I went overboard and did a YT-1300 for the Scum faction as well.
So without further ado, I give you the Family Ties Expansion pack!
As I’ve previewed the basic pilot above let’s jump straight to the named pilots. But first, a look at the Otana title, the name of the YT-2000 in X-Wing Alliance:
This was inspired from the opening cut scene when the Otana comes under attack from a Star Destroyer, and we see blue ion dancing across the ship as it licks it’s wounds. For one point, the Otana can suffer a 3rd ion token before it suffers the ion effects. This seems pretty situational – ion isn’t used much in the game, although it does mean the ship is immune to Conner Nets, Ion Pulse Missiles etc. and can use 4-LOM crew an additional time before suffering an ill effect. However, it was mainly designed to synergise with some of the pilots and crew in the expansion.
Again, taken from the opening cut scene, Galin co-pilots the Otana, and offers to patch the ship up as they limp away from trouble. As a pilot, Galin can manipulate the controls when doing easier manoeuvres (green manoeuvres) to mitigate the effects of damage to the ship. This does come at a cost though of diverting power, and this assigns an ion token. Galin is a late game tank, loosing his shields he is able to ignore the effects of 25 of the 33 critical effects in the damage deck, possibly never being ioned thanks to the extra leeway the Otana title grants him.
Another one from the opening credits (Galin and Tomaas don’t appear in X-Wing Alliance much!), this ability is similar to Galin’s. Tomaas is determined to limp home while the Otana is damaged, and this is shown in this card. You are not restricted to revealing a green move on your dial like you are with Galin, but the effect is just for one round, so picking a pilot depends on your play style, but either way you have a late game tank. Again, with the Otana title, you are not ioned straight away.
I struggled to come up with a pilot ability for the star of X-Wing Alliance. I’m still not convinced this was the best choice, but as the only ship with an Elite Pilot Talent slot, you can equip the Family Ties talent (see later) and turn him in to a 4 dice, 14 hit tank. I noticed when playing X-Wing Alliance, I was much more accurate when staring down a ship with target lock, so this ability was designed to reflect that. The ability should mean you need to spend a target lock less often, so you should see some reward in terms of action economy, freeing you up to focus more often. If you already have a target lock, perform a focus action you can turn a roll of a hit, focus and blank in to 3 hits without having to spend the lock. A bit circumstantial at times, but it should see some mileage.
Before we start, let’s look at the titles
The Sabra was the ship that Ace flies in X-Wing Alliance, and the ability is mainly there to make a 2 dice ship have some extra millage, especially against Autothrusters. This may become a 0 point upgrade with a playtest.
The Selu was the ship of Aeron Azzameen (Ace’s older sister), and in one level they disguise it as the Venix, hence the dual title. Aeron is a computer wizz, and when they name the ship Venix they are planting a trap with illegal spice, hence the choice of upgrades the the titles provide. The card works like Adaptability and you make your choice after setup. Will Fire-control System be useful, or would an Emp Device help more? You can decide after you setup and have seen your opponents list!
The basic pilot
The Twin Suns Transport is a copy of the basic pilot from the Millennium Falcon expansion pack, but for the Scum and Villainy faction. I kept the stat-line for the basic YT-1300 throughout the cards, as the Falcon is heavily modified and the Azzameen craft are nearer stock level. The two attack dice is not great in the current meta, and will struggle to hit the likes of The Inquisitor or Whisper, but it’s a cheap way of using the Family Ties EPT (see the upgrade section of this blog post), and with Zuckus and 4-LOM crew on you can get the most out of those two dice.
The psychotic droid co-pilot loves shooting things, which I have shown here by gaining the chance to remove stress with attacks. There isn’t much you can do to stress him, although it offers protection against the likes of Asaji Ventress, Rebel Captive etc. You could also equip Gonk and Experimental Interface and be able to regenerate shields quicker whilst not being as restricted to green moves to shed the stress.
Aeron flies alongside you in some of the family missions, and always manages to hold her own in a fight. By being able to treat her focus token as an Evade (on a ship that can’t naturally evade), she is able to survive longer in a one agility ship. With an EPT slot, she can also equip Family Ties.
Ace also makes an appearance in a YT-1300 (which you start X-Wing Alliance with.) His pilot skill, pilot ability and EPT slot are the same as the YT-2000, but in a weaker ship you can get him on the board much cheaper, and with only two attack dice you’ll probably use his ability more often.
The main feature of the included upgrades is the Family Ties expansion is the Family Ties EPT. They encourage you to run a thematic list of Azzameen and Twin Sun pilots. Most importantly, it makes the YT-1300 pilots more useful as if you can keep them together, they have three attack dice and are much more potent. Including Emon Azzameen from the Most Wanted pack, this would give you a total of 9 ships that can grant the bonus die, and three ships that can equip it, though realistically you can only fit two in the same 100 point list. You could potentially run Emkay, Aeron and Ace (YT-1300) with Aeron and Ace with the Family Ties upgrade, giving you two three dice and one two dice ships if keep them in Range 1 of each other. This was inspired by a mission in the game where you fly alongside Emon and Aeron and become a formidable fighting force if you stay in formation. There are two copies in the pack.
To me, this is a YT-1300 fix as the stock YT-1300 should have a missile launcher. This will let you give a missile slot to the base Rebel or Scum YT-1300. I designed this before the Smuggling Compartment in Heroes of the Resistance was revealed, so it’s nice to know I think along the same lines as the X-Wing developers. There are two copies in the pack although you’ll probably only ever use one.
Ace Azzameen- I was struggling for ideas for Ace and Galin crew at this point. For Ace, I settled on a slightly more powerful version of the Luke Skywalker crew, being able to change a blank result to a hit instead of a focus. At 8 points, he’s expensive to fit in a list. As Ace joins the Rebellion in X-Wing Alliance, I have made this card Scum or Rebel.
Emkay Azzameen – Whilst blowing stuff up, Emkay frequently gives you ‘primary target updates’, and so the ablity to get a free target lock when your lock target is destroyed seemed apt. For one point, it also could be useful saving you taking fresh target locks, although obviously it will be more useful against a Tie Swarm than a two ship build (which made it difficult to cost the upgrade card.)
Galin- Another take on his mechanical ability with very little in X-Wing Alliance to go off, nothing special here but there’s worse uses of one point then being able to flip a damage card facedown.
Aeron Azzameen- Aeron is noted for being a computer wizz, and her slicing skills are mentioned in X-Wing Alliance. I designed this before Black Market Slicer Tools was previewed, so I wasn’t sure how slicing would work away from Huge Ships. I felt sacrificing power from the shields to power the slicing tools was a good way of representing this, and with a ship with lots of shields such as the YT-2000 or YV-666, this is a good way to finish off evasive ships with just one hit remaining. Pair this up with Black Market Slicer Tools and Experimental Interface, and you can do some serious slicing!
I didn’t create a crew for Tomaas Azzameen as he is included in the GR-75 Scum conversion kit, which you might think is obsolete now as FFG have released an official Huge Ship for X-Wing, but I still think it’s a good kit and has a place on my table.
Also in the pack, I would include
2x Concussion Missiles – what use is a Concision Missile launcher without missiles?
2x Countermeasures – these actually featured in X-Wing Alliance, and when I designed this pack were only available in the YT-2400 expansion
1x Flight instructor – Currently only available in the Lambda shuttle expansion, and as this pack features all one agility ships, it will help with survivability.
YT-2000 movement dial
To save building a working dial with cardboard, I decided to use the YT-2400 dial and this was used in the cost calculation of the ship. However, I also priced up a custom dial points wise and the difference was negligible.
Tomaas Azzameen- if using your pilot ability causes you to be ionized whilst using this ability, you are not ionized until the next round (a bit like if a Conner Net goes under your ship before you reveal your dial.)
Missile Launcher – If you equip Smuggling Compartment, you can also equip Missile Launcher and another modification upgrade as the two stack.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my take on the YT-2000 and how I’d introduce it to X-Wing, and my nod to the classic PC game X-Wing alliance. I will be playtesting this more thoroughly in August and posting the results.
Did I get it right? Feel free to let me know in the comments below.
If you want to use the cards, please feel free to download the PDF’s to cut out and keep.
Please note, although every effort has been made to make sure these files are virus free, you download at your own risk. Have fun!