I love guest contributors. There are tons of people int he X-Wing community that are smarter than I am at this game and have quality content to offer. Enter @egoldman from the X-Wing slack. Our resident Professor of Rebel Jank, his mission in life is to find ways of making X-Wings great again. He’s tried more combinations of T-65 and T-70 X-Wings than anyone else I know. Beyond that, he’s an incredibly knowledgeable person when it comes to the mechanics of X-Wing, what’s good, what’s bad, and why to both. I’d been hoping for the opportunity to debut some of his content since SFW first started back up and today’s the day. His write-up on “Rebel Girlpower Mk II” is found below.
Rebel Girlpower Mk II (direct link)
Miranda Doni: Twin Laser Turret, Jan Ors, Long Range Scanners **
Norra Wexley: Expertise, C-3PO, R2-D2, Alliance Overhaul **
Ahsoka Tano: Veterans Instincts, Sabine’s Masterpiece, Hotshot Co-pilot **
This list is looking to play a very long game with two durable aces capable of grinding against multiple damage per turn. Don’t think Ahsoka is an afterthought though, as her ability to strip Focus tokens off of enemy ships who would rather have it for defense against Miranda’s TLT and Norra’s TL + Expertise shenanigans is tremendously strong. She can also be used to pass an action to Norra or Miranda at the start of combat to help them defend against incoming damage or she can use her own focus to barrel roll/evade advantageously instead.
Miranda, like most Mirandas, is fairly self sufficient and can be flown pretty independently. SLAMming hard at the start of the game to create a secondary attack vector with her is not a bad plan at all, and you can start the first engagement with a free target lock thanks to Long Range Scanners. You are very unlikely to either want or need more Target Locks as the game goes on because you have access to Jan Ors instead and a focus is typically good enough with TLT.
Norra is a little more fragile because of her relatively predictable movement pattern and thus requires some more consideration and babysitting from Ahsoka. Ahsoka is both an offensive and defensive steroid for Norra, stripping the focus they’d use to attack OR defend against Norra. Don’t be afraid to put Ahsoka into vulnerable situations when you can create a good setup to blast someone with four dice. Ahsoka costs 23 points, she’s not supposed to last forever. Enemy aces will be forced to do pretty unsavory things to avoid her arc or risk just getting wiped away once their focus is taken.
Ultimately the strength of this list lies in the fact that nobody is an appealing target: two regenerating aces with access to a virtual (or real) evade and a Hotshot Co-pilot will do that. Just be aware that Norra and Miranda stack up against different types of strategies in different ways. TLT is very strong against Defenders but Norra will take a beating from them. On the other hand, Norra is a significantly better jouster than Miranda and will thrive when she can bum rush a target and unload red dice into its face, then take a green maneuver past the opponent to regenerate next turn and fire a parting shot out the back.
Why Expertise for Norra instead of Push the Limit? PTL is perfectly valid. You can absolutely make that swap, but I like that Expertise is always on, even when I bump, and that I can freely take hard turns with it. I sacrifice some defensive potential in her ability for overall better mobility.
Addendum to Rebel Girlpower Mk II, post-errata: I think this list is still plenty strong in all the departments where it was good before, and some of the more obnoxious matchups have gotten better. Be wary of the likely increase in the prevalence of Asajj Ventress, who can really give Norra a bad time with Expertise. There’s a better argument now for her PTL version, which actually gives you an extra point to play with (I would recommend a BMST on Ahsoka in this case).
I always try submitted lists out a few times to put them through their paces before including a write-up. When @egoldman first sent Rebel Girlpower Mk II my way, I couldn’t want to field it. I love Rebels. I love Miranda. I love Norra. And I was intrigued by Ahsoka. A couple of quick thoughts before closing this post out. :
- Norra is a beast in any of her primary load outs. While I prefer Mobility Norra to Tanky Norra due to the relatively insane action economy, I think that Tanky Norra is better in a list featuring Ahsoka. You need your heavy hitter to not get crippled with multiple hull damage on the inevitable turn that you get caught in two or more firing arcs at the same time. This Norra can reliably shrug off up to three damage per turn by C-3POing (1 evade result), spending her Target Lock defensively with a Focus action (1 evade result minimum), and a green maneuver from R2-D2 to regen a shield. While her movements when regen’ing are very predictable (straights and banks for her 1 and 2 maneuvers), most ships will have a hard time finishing her off in the late game if it comes down to just them and Norra.
- Miranda is love. Miranda is life. There’s a reason you find Miranda featured in so many Rebel squads, she’s one of the three best pilots on one of the three best ships that Rebels have in their arsenal. She can fill just about any role that you need her to. Load her up with ordinance? Viable Miranda. Pair her down to just a TLT and a defensive-minded crew? Viable Miranda. She basically the answer to any Rebel question you have in the 37-52 point range through some variation of her kit. The Mk II inclusion is no different. You want Miranda getting to the end game. By giving her the ability to take an Evade, coupled with her native regen and ability to dodge arcs through SLAMing, you have a ship that should make it to the final stages of the game just about every time.
- Ahsoka is…there. I’m still not sure what to make of Ahsoka overall. She’s a cheap pilot with relatively high pilot skill and an EPT in a faction that is sorely lacking all three of those qualifications. But she’s in a TIE. A base TIE Fighter. Without the fun that the SF and FO variants include. So what do we have? Terrible stat-line, check. Limited available actions, check. Inability to close out a game, check. Low point total letting her be included in many squads, check. I know that the runner-up at one of the System Opens had a Ghost + Ahsoka squad that did well. I understand that she’s giving some cool action economy to other friendly ships (at Range 1). But I’m just not sold on her ability coupled with a base TIE Fighter frame, Sabine’s Masterpiece and all included in that assessment. That goes doubly for Rebel Girlpower Mk II, as there aren’t many extra actions that a babysat Norra or Miranda is wanting to take…rendering Ahsoka’s somewhat fun ability to grant other friend ships actions relatively moot.
Final verdict: (3.5 X-Wings out of 5). Rebel Girlpower Mk II is fun list that features two mainstays of the Rebel fleet doing what they do best. It incorporates Ahsoka in the Rebel TIE Fighter as a fun bonus at a point range that few Rebel ships can appropriately fill, but fails to fully capitalize on what Ahsoka brings to the table in terms of additional action economy.
Special thanks to @egoldman for the above. As always, I appreciate the time, effort, and energy that you put into building lists and putting them through their paces. You’re a solid voice for the Rebel community on slack. I’ve flown your list a couple of times leading up to this list review, and I look forward to flying it again soon.