Upgrades for T-65 X-wing

In the X-wing game the original X-wing (T-65) is by many considered underpowered. The exception is Biggs Darklighter and to some extent Tarn Mison (with R7 Astromech) who are useful thanks to their Pilot ability. But the rebel aces (thematically) Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles are not worth their points.

It is interesting to compare the orginal X-wing (T-65) with the new T-70 X-wing. For 3 extra points you get:

  1. Shield upgrade (4p)
  2. Engine upgrade (4p)
  3. Better maneuver dial with Tallon Roll
  4. A tech upgrade (which can take Primed Thrusters for just 1p)

It is rare to spend 4p on a Shield upgrade, but it is very clear that a T-70 for 24p is much more value than a T-65 for 21p.

In practice the lowest cost for an X-wing is 22p (25p for a T-70) because it always makes sense to add Integrated Astromech and any (1p) Astromech. The thing with Integrated Astromech was that it improved the T-65, but it improved the T-70 as well, so it didn’t make the T-65 more viable.

At 25p it is possible to make a “swarm” of 4. For the T-65 you can still just include 4, possibly in a XXXXZ-squad (but then BBBBZ is usually more effective).

If you read X-wing forums you find that there is “demand” for a “fix” for the X-wing. Such a fix may never come, but arguments are:

  • The game is called X-wing: the title ship should not suck
  • Luke and Wedge should be good pilots (Darth Vader got a powerful fix)

Some complicating factors are:

  • Biggs (and Tarn) are already good, and could be too powerful with a fix
  • Any fix that also makes the T-70 more powerful may cause more problems that it solves
  • The maneuver dial can’t trivially be changed to be on par with the T-70 (so just a title or modification is not quite enough)
  • Integrated Astromech occupies the modification “slot” so a new modification (as well as otherwise potentially useful Guidance Chips or Vectored Thrusters) wont do
  • Since the two ship types are called “X-wing” and “T-70 X-wing” it requires some ugliness to address only the old T-65
  • From the very beginning, Wave 1, the X-wing was under powered compare to the Tie Fighter

So, we are looking for an Astromech, a Title or possibly a Torpedo, that wont be unbalanced with Y-wing, ARC-170, E-wing, T-70 or Biggs. It should make both the generic and named pilots viable. It would also be fun with something that promotes a swarm/squad of (just) X-wings.

The generics
For the generics I would like a fix that allows a swarm with 5 of them. That would ideally be a negative cost Title or Astromech, or possibly a Torpedo just like Chardaan Refit. This would increase the difference between T-65 and T-70, positioning the T-65 between the Z95 and the T-70. Thematically this could be “refurbished”, “old”, “ill maintained”, “original”, “refit” or something else.

The named pilots
The named pilots suffer more from lack of repositioning (Boost or Barrel Roll). They are hardly helped by Push the Limit since they have few actions. Engine Upgrade or Vectored Thrusters are modfications and compete with Integrated Astromech. Luke Skywalker could need Veterans Instincts so then not even the Elite slot is available.

What should it be (good at)
There are two ideas about what the X-wing is (good at). The first is that it should be Jack of all Trades. The other is that it should be a jouster (because it is all it can do).

Jousting is about two (groups of) ships approching each other, firing and evading. As they pass each other they both U-turn and keep shooting. This continues until one (side) is dead. It is possible to make mathematical models or simultions (and people have) to decide jousting efficiency. It turns out Z-95 headhunter is best value, the B-wing sligtly less, and the X-wing falls behind.

As the B-wing has more other options (barrel roll, cannon, two torpedoes) it leaves the X-wing in a very bad place.

Fixes to the X-wing tend to fall in different categories:

  1. Lowering the cost to make it a better Jouster
  2. Making it more like the T-70 (boost)
  3. Adding defensive capabilities: evade or cloak
  4. Give it some other (unique) capability

While there are creative suggestions to improve the X-wing I hesitate about something that would be a more or less mandatory and exotic upgrade. I mean, if ALL X-wings played suddenly have Cloak, and they are played much, that changes the entire game. If X-wings more often than not would carry Proton Torpedoes that would not change the game much.

Upgrades I would like to see
Disclaimer: Star Wars lore is not my speciality.

** T-65 Standard Torpedo: 1p Torpedo. X-wing (Rebel Alliance) only. As Proton Torpedo.
At 1p it is not an autoinclude (like Chardaan Refit). It also requires a choice between offensive Guidance Chips and defensive Integrated Astromech. Finally, it does not help Biggs, but it does help generics as well as named pilots.

** T-65 Standard R2: -1p Astromech. X-wing (Rebel Alliance) only.
This would allow swarm of 5 T-65 X-wings.

** S-Foils: 0p, Title, Dual Card. X-wing (Rebel Alliance) only.
Side A: Cruise Position): When executing a maneuver you may treat it as +1-speed maneuver with the same bearing. Immediately after rolling attack dice, change one (if any) Crit to a Hit.
Side B: Attack Position): Immediately after rolling attack dice, if you rolled no Crits you may change one Hit to a Crit. 3 turns and 4 straight are red maneuvers.
You may flip this card before revealing your maneuver dial.
This would make the X-wing a little bit more interesting and challenging to fly. It would slightly compensate for lack of boost and repositioning capability, but at a cost. It would give it a slight edge compared to B/Y/Z95.

I like that S-foils always are both good and bad. I don’t want the cruise mode to essentially give it a boost and I don’t want the attack mode to be significantly more powerful than B-wing or T-70. Also, I want the change in attack efficiency to be effective regardless of range, focus and target lock.

** Overdrive: Torpedo, Dual Card. X-wing only.
Side A: Overdrive Compressor): 4p
Side B: Overdrive Pack): 1p (discard after use)
Both sides: Action: Perform a free Boost Action. Then receive one Focus token and one Stress token.

I would much like to see this for the Z95 Headhunter as well (as a Modification or Missile).

I have made the above cards available as a printable PDF File.

References
Below is a collection of links to fix suggestions elsewhere.

** T-65 X-wing starfighter: Add one shield, -3p, title (I presume)
My guess is that this is way too powerful.

** T-68 Prototype: If your pilot skill is 6 or higher and you are not stressed when you reveal a white 3 turn, you may perform a 3 tallon roll in the same direction, 2 or 3 points.
To me, this just makes it a worse T-70 and it does not help the generics.

** StealthX: Your action bar gains the [cloak] action icon. ? points
This would widen the use of the X-wing and it is a nice idea. It would be very good with Biggs though, completely unbalanced.

** Rogue One: When you perform a focus action any friendly x wing at range 1-2 may perform a free target lock action. Add EPT if you don’t have one. Unique 3p title, PS6 or better
I doubt anyone would pay 3p for it, otherwise it is a good idea.

** Rogue Squadron: Reduce cost of Astromechs and Torpedoes by 1p (min 0), Title 0p
Well, if it was 2 points it would be possible to fly 5 of them.

** Two unnamed titles: (Rebel Alliance / T-65 only)
1) When attacking, you may spend a target lock you have on an enemy ship at range 1 to perform an attack against that ship even if it is outside your firing arc.
2) At the start of the combat phase, if you have a target lock on an enemy ship, you may assign it one stress token.
While useful, I think it is weird to add a new capability to T-65 that T-70 cant have. The first one is thematically odd, and the second one would be very powerful, esp if not unique.

** XJ-5 Title: Add boost to the upgrade bar, add Tech slot, lose Astromech slot. Treat 3 forward and 2 banks as greens.
Since Integrated Astromech exist I think the loss of Astromech is too bad. I am also sceptical about adding the Tech slot. Green maneuvers are not that useful since it only has one red maneuver. Otherwise, adding maneuverability and removing something else makes sense.

** Engine Refit: Add the (Boost) and (Evade) actions to your action bar. Torpedo 2p.
The author intended it to be available also to the T-70 (which would add only Evade). The Rebels/Resistance are not having too many ships with evade actions so I could welcome that. However if all X-wings always add an Evade Action that could change quite much. Also this would be very good with Biggs.

** T-65b: Player may choose to take the (Boost) action. If this is done, subtract (X) from your attack skill for this turn. Title (I suppose)
This could work. It could also be an Astormech. (Should not be T-65b though, se below)

** Refurbished Astromech: -2 points. Your upgrade bar loses all upgrade icons besides [Astromech slot].
This would reduce the generic cost to 19 which is quite fine.

** Corran Horn and giving it Boost+Shield.
The first option does not help any current pilots, and the second option is still just worse than the T-70, but now for the same price.

** Free Proton Torpedo
Not such a bad idea?

** No name title: Title that when a R2 is equipped all 1,2 & 3 maneuvers are green.

** S-Foil: Take a weapons disabled token and evade token to make all moves white. Modification or Title.
Maybe a good idea!

** Some title: Enemy ships in arc at range 2-3 cannot perform boost or barrel roll actions.
I think a title that will be added to several ships, almost as a default/fix should do something with the ship itself, not with plenty of other ships at the board.

** Astromech: If an enemy ship within 1-2 and inside your arc performs a barrel roll or boost action you may perform a free barrel roll action.
Well, that is interesting. Perhaps better as a title.

** Lightened Payload: Torpedo, -1p.
This would obviously be useful.

** T-65C-A4: Your range 1 combat bonus extends to range 1-2, but at range 3 you roll one less red die. You may treat the 3 bank as a red segnors loop of the same direction. Title 1p

** T-65D: Replace your astromech slot with a system slot, title 1p.
Very expensive since Integrated Astromech is lost.

** S-Foils: Dual Card:
S-foils in cruise position: reduce your Primary attack value to 2. During the end step, you must perform a free boost action.
S-foils in attack position: When you declare an attack on a target you have locked, you may turn an eye into a hit.

Not sure how it would exactly work, but I can see it being useful and interesting.

** A -1p Astromech that does nothing

** Give it 4 attack dice

**** A fine post with several suggestions. ****

T-65B Model: Lore wise this was the sturdiest X-Wing. Due to its heavy armor, and early design, it was still slower than the Tie Fighters. It was very easy to learn and fly. T-65B Title Card increases Hull Value, and Shield Value by 1. Decreases cost by 1. Your 4 Straight becomes a red maneuver.

T-65D-A1 Model: This was an attempt to remove the Astromech from the X-Wing. They were trying to use computer in place of the Astromech to help the pilot. T-65D-A1 Title Card removes the Astromech Slot. Grants 1 Focus when in range 1 of an enemy ship.

T-65AC4 Model: This was perhaps the last T-65 Model. It was the superior model as it had increased engine power, increased Torpedo capacity, and armor. T-65AC4 Model Title Card decreases Torpedo or Missile Cost by 2. Grants the Boost Icon.

T-65 Missile Conversion Card: There is reference in the books and in the internet that T-65’s used Torpedoes as their standard mission load out. They could be equipped with Missiles, if a mechanic spent enough time to do so. T-65 Missile Conversion Modification changes the Torpedo slot to Missiles. If using the T-65AC4 Title Card, this card costs 0

X-Wing Stutter Fire Card (X-Wing, and T-70 X Wing): Discard this card, to lower the Agility Value of your Target by 2 (no damage)

X-Wing Quad Fire Card (X-Wing, and T-70 X Wing): Discard this card to increase your attack value by 1 for this turn

Elite Pilot Talent called “Red Squadron” (X-Wing and T-70 X-Wing). If you have a Target Lock on your enemy, your other Ships may treat that Target Lock as their own (IE One Target Lock for all of your ships)

Those are all interesting ideas.

3 Astromechs that I came up with myself a little while ago. I dont like them much anymore.

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