X-Wing: Guns for Hire (engl.) - Preorder
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With its new paint schemes, ship cards, and upgrades, the Guns for Hire Expansion Pack ensures your Scum faction StarVipers and Kihraxz fighters will soon enjoy an all-new look on your table and in your X-Wing™ battles.
By reducing the number of squad points you need to commit to your StarVipers and Kihraxz fighters, these Titlesadd to their versatility, affording you more space to upgrade them, select more powerful pilots, and pair them with a greater number of wingmates. But they don't just increase your fighters' versatility within your squadrons; they increase the versatility of the individual ships themselves.
In our last preview, we explored some of the ways the StarViper Mk. II Title makes the StarViper a trickier and deadlier starfighter. The new barrel roll it forces upon the ship makes it harder to master, but it makes the fighter's maneuvers even harder to predict.
We also got a glimpse of how the Vaksai Title lends new customization options to the Kihraxz fighter, and fans in our community forums responded with a field day's worth of theorycrafting new ship and squadron builds. Accordingly, we'll continue this theorycrafting in today's article, even as we look at more of the new Kihraxz fighter pilots and upgrades.
Build a Better Starfighter
The Vaksai Title is something of a conundrum. Unlike the StarViper Mk. II Title, which applies a flat three-point reduction, the Vaksai Title starts at zero points and only gains squad-point value as you load your ship with upgrades. The more upgrades you add to your Kihraxz fighter, the greater the squad-point value your Vaksai Titleoffers.
Traditional wisdom, however, warns us against spending too much time—and too many squad points—loading our ships with upgrades.
At the end of the day, X-Wing is a game about lining up shots, aiming, and firing, and it behooves us to throw as many attack dice as we can reasonably modify toward success. At the same time, we want to defend against our opponents attacks with as many points of agility, hull, and shields as we can. Squad points spent on upgrades are traditionally less valuable than points spent on ships, then, because the attack and defense bonuses associated with upgrades tend to be more expensive than those associated with the ships themselves.
Accordingly, many of the game's most successful squadrons have featured relatively low investments on upgrades. This has been true from the time that TIE swarms dominated the game's early stages through the Attanni Mindlinksynergies that have formed the base of many recent Scum squadrons featuring fewer than ten total squad points invested in upgrades.
Moreover, as three-time World Champion Paul Heaver has noted in his Turn Zero articles, upgrades can complicate games, and not always in a good way. In his article, "Assembling Your Squadron," Paul reminded us that upgrades are only worth their points if you make good use of them. If you forget their abilities or cannot coordinate them with all the other tricks in your squadron, the points you invest in those upgrades are points you fail to apply toward more powerful or defensible starships.
The trick with the Vaksai, then, is to make sure every upgrade is carrying its weight. If they're not making valuable contributions to your overall strategy, you may even be better off avoiding upgrades that the Title can reduce to zero squad points—like a set of XX-23 S-thread Tracers or the Munitions Failsafe —and leaving those slots open, rather than filling them just because you can. The risk is that you start flying and attacking differently just because you can, and a ship that wants to deal damage does not want to fire its XX-23 S-thread Tracers.
The real power of the Vaksai is not the discount it offers you, but the ability to better customize your fighter for the role you want it to play in your squadron.
Perhaps you want to transform Talonbane Cobra into a late-game arc-dodging ace like Soontir Fel or Corran Horn . The Vaksai Title makes this a viable option by allowing you to outfit Talonbane's ship with Push the Limit , Ion Dischargers , Vectored Thrusters, Engine Upgrade, and Pulsed Ray Shield .
The fact that the Title grants you a five-point discount on the upgrades is secondary to the fact that the Title allows you to transform the way Talonbane can fly.
As another example, if you use the Vaksai Title to load Graz the Hunter , the other ace from the Kihraxz Fighter Expansion Pack, with Harpoon Missiles , Guidance Chips , Munitions Failsafe, and Glitterstim , you'll end up with a wildly different ship and squadron than if you had equipped the pilot with Vectored Thrusters, Stealth Device, Hull Upgrade , and Scavenger Crane.
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