Since the announcement of X-wing 2.0, I’ve been dreaming of flying a TIE swarm once again. However, some players have expressed concerned that the classic TIE Fighter remains the same. The same hull value, same dial, same attack and defense. Compared to the largely reworked T-65 X-wing, Tie Advanced, or Y-wing, the TIE Fighter may appear to be left behind. I’m here to calm such worries. Fear not, the TIE Fighter will be screaming into 2.0, just as deadly as ever.
The 1.0 TIE swarm was often referred to as the Great White Shark. The perfectly evolved hunter, it remains unchanged throughout the ages. Clearly the game developers felt the same way when translating the TIE into 2.0. As the cheapest ship available, statistically it was shown to be the best ship on a point per point basis. Brutally efficient from the start, they were deemed to not need any update. Yet, we do get new pilots, upgrades, and perhaps even more exciting, more viable support ships. So let’s take a look at the new toys TIE swarm players will get to play with soon.
Initially I was super excited to try out Howlrunner, Iden, and as many other Tie Fighters as 200 points could hold. This itself provides a few options. I could run all of the unique TIE aces for a 5 ship list, or try and and fit as many Black Squadron TIEs with crack shot for 6 ships, or downgrade to Academy Pilots and shoot for a full 7 ship swarm. While these options sound all super fun, I am even more eager to try out a TIE swarm list using Admiral Sloane. Sloane provides Howlrunner’s offensive bonus yet with a much more extended range. The Tie swarm may no longer be required to stay in tight formations to maintain their offensive edge. Combined with the added stress mechanics, Sloane has me very intrigued.
Along with some of the other recently revealed Imperial crew upgrade options, the updated Lambda Shuttle is also super intriguing. The dial remains the same, slow and plodding, yet the shuttle gains a 2 dice rear arc, and a massively upgraded action bar. Who needs to turn around in a fight when you’ve got a rear arc and can now either coordinate or jam to support your squad? Ciena Ree, Darth Vader, Minister Tua, or the Grand Inquisitor all seem like fun options to ride shotgun with Sloane on board a Lambda.
This will require a bit of guesstimation to list build, since we don’t have points costs, but let’s give it a try.
Omicron Group Pilot -21, Director Krennic 5, General Hux 5,=31 points
“Howlrunner” — TIE Fighter=18 points
Academy Pilot — TIE Fighter-12 x4= 48 points
List total=97 points
So imagine Iden in Howlrunner’s place, and replace the very expensive 1.0 crew for their 2.0 equivalents and you still have a few points left to spare. If this list is as effective as I hope it could be, the pricing could be much higher. Perhaps the TIE Reaper will be better suited as the support ship, as its 1.0 points are roughly equivalent. Could this be a new archetype of Imperial list building, the Sloane support ship + swarm? I’m super excited to explore this new style of Imperial list in which tight formation flying isn’t the key like the swarms of old. Instead of massed block of TIEs crashing into your formation of X-wings like a fist, we could see an actual swarm of TIEs, hitting you from every direction. Could this finally be the next step in TIE fighter evolution? I may be getting ahead of myself without knowing the point costs or seeing it work on the table, but I’m still excited. 2.0 is really bringing the excitement of list building back in force. Will it work? Maybe not, but I’ll have a hell of a time figuring it out.
-Cheers and Happy Hunting