Battle Over Endor brings ten new Standard Loadout cards to the Imperial faction. These cards can be used in the scenario included with this Scenario Pack, or added to your squads for Standard play. This article will examine the new pilots and see how they fit into the Galactic Empire’s overall strategy.
First, each Imperial pilot in the pack has the new talent, “No Escape.” This talent encourages you pick off stray fighters and hunt down fleeing Rebel scum with impunity. Note that No Escape counts the attacker as one of the friendly ships, if they are at range 1 of the defender. So, if you and an enemy ship are fighting without anyone nearby, No Escape triggers!
The Imperial faction has no shortage of TIE/ln Fighters, but the Battle Over Endor TIE/ln Fighters are a little different than most. They all have the chassis ability, “Formed Up”, encouraging you to bring multiple TIE/ln Fighters and fly them in a group. Clever use of this ability can let your fighters Koiogran turn or perform their linked actions and shed the stress before it becomes an issue. Yes, TIE/ln Fighters get a linked action! All three of these pilots gain a linked Evade to their Barrel Roll, and two of the new pilots have red actions added to their bar to make better use of Formed Up.
Lieutenant Hebsly gains an extra Hull over a normal TIE/ln fighter and can boost after defending. Due to his low initiative, this means he can defend at one range band, and then boost into a closer range band before making his own shot. If you don’t spend your focus during your attack, you can trade it for two evade tokens. This is only useful if there are enemy ships with equal or lower initiatives but combines well with Mianda.
Scythe 6 also gains an extra Hull, and an aggressive ability to gain an extra attack die. Unlike other TIEs that have similar abilities, Scythe 6 has a relaxed requirement to gain the die: just be at range 1-2. With Predator and No Escape to provide rerolls, Scythe 6 wants to get in close and fight fast and hard. You even still get to take an action after performing a Koiogran turn twice per game, keeping Scythe 6 relevant as long as they are on the table! Finally, Targeting Matrix is useful if you must use your focus on defense or roll a terrible range 3 shot.
Major Mianda combines well with either of the above TIE/ln Fighters. He has Swarm Tactics, which makes their Collected and Targeting Matrix more useful. In addition, Major Mianda’s ability adds tremendous repositioning capabilities to his squadmates: it can target any friendly small ships, but TIE/ln Fighters can use Formed Up to remove the stress afterwards – making them ideal beneficiaries of Mianda’s bonus. Mianda also brings a red coordinate action, which combine with the rest of his loadout to make a high-impact support piece.
Two TIE/sa Bombers have been added to the Imperial fleet, Scimitars 1 and 3. Both have bombs and Proton Torpedoes. Scimitar 1’s ability to lock enemy defending ships twice a game, allows him to reliably fire his torpedo at his lower initiative—even early in the game. Scimitar 3 is focused more on bombs, with a free boost after dropping a Proton Bomb. Both are dangerous enough that they shouldn’t be ignored, but neither will be destroyed in a single attack. They work best in a list with a strong flanking element that draws attention away from them and their torpedoes.
Sapphire 2 is a high-risk, high-reward TIE/in Interceptor. Like all the Interceptors in this expansion, Sapphire 2 has Sensitive Controls to allow System Phase repositions. However, Sapphire 2 also has Reckless, which allows them to use a 1-turn template while doing these. Sure, you gain an additional stress, preventing you from focusing for your pilot ability, but you can still do the other reposition thanks to Primed Thrusters. With your low initiative, you will need to use these repositions to move yourself to unexpected locations and strike from unseen angles.
Maus Monare will almost always want to evade with his action, as the defensive strength of a Shield Upgrade with an evade and calculate token will keep him alive far longer than most opponents will suspect. Maus’s job will often be to fly off by himself: a single ship can’t effectively duel him. Most often, Maus will be ignored, and can Outmaneuver opponents. However, if your opponent takes the bait andmultiple ships do turn to face you, 2 speed boosts and rolls will let you run away and try again with little fear of reprisal.
Finally, Soontir Fel arrives in Standard Loadout form. When Soontir is on the hunt, he is the Apex Predator, rerolling an attack die while attacking anything of initiative 5 or lower. If Soontir is still in trouble after the attack, he can boost or roll afterwards. Note that this isn’t an action, so you can still use this ability, even if you have taken corresponding action earlier in the turn! Soontir has a few defensive tricks beyond that: while defending, if the attacker isn’t locking you because they spent it on attack, or you jammed it off with Feedback Emitter, he can convert a focus to an evade once per turn. Assuming you evaded with Soontir, this makes it very hard for opposing aces to win a duel. With this arsenal of abilities in hand, those who don’t fear Soontir Fel soon will.
And finally, two TIE/d Defenders are included in the pack. Colonel Jendon and Captain Yorr are piloting a new variant of the TIE Defender. This variant incorporates secret Chiss Engineering to gain a lock when completing fast maneuvers and can trade shields for bonus attack dice on the offensive. These Defenders are extremely aggressive. It’s reasonable to expect Yorr to fire a four-die primary attack with a lock and focus, followed by an Ion Cannon shot, which doesn’t even need to target the same ship! Jendon can make a five-die Proton Cannon shot at the cost of a shield! Beyond even that, once per game, each get to perform a free boost or barrel roll action after a maneuver of any speed. These powerhouse ships will undoubtedly be high-priority targets for your opponents. Using these ships effectively will require balancing burning shields for attacks with the need to keep them alive in the face of concentrated fire from the enemy.
Battle Over Endor brings exciting new tools for the Galactic Empire to assert their dominance. Most of these ships will fit into any Imperial list, performing their roles in new and interesting ways.