In a surprising and most unexpected move, Fantasy Flight has announced a brand new expansion pack for X-Wing: The Miniatures Game. While a “new expansion” is hardly news in the world of X-Wing, which seems to pump out new ships faster than you can buy them, but this one is particularly exciting for X-Wing players for a few reasons.
The expansion itself is called Imperial Veterans, and it includes two new ships for Imperial players. These ships aren’t new in and of themselves; they’re two ships that have existed in the game for a while, but now they have fancy new recolors, and a collection of cards to enhance their abilities. In other words, this is basically Imperial Aces vol. 2, which was essentially the same thing, only with two TIE Interceptors, and that is the reason that fans should be excited for this one.
The Aces packs (Imperial Aces and Rebel Aces) were popular additions to the X-Wing community for a myriad of reasons. First off, they come with two ships each, which makes them an attractive purchasing choice, particularly for newer players. When bought together, they’re slightly cheaper than if they were bought separately, and they have cards that make the ships better off than they would have been individually. It’s nice to have another multi-ship pack, because prior to this announcement, there were only three of them (excluding the core sets). In addition to the Aces packs, there is also the “Most Wanted” pack, which is a three ship pack for the Scum and Villainy faction, released to help give the faction some meat.
The Aces packs were among my first purchases when expanding the game, and having another set of multi-ship packs will make the buy-in options more robust for new players, and will be a no-brainer for current fans.
The other positive effect that came from the Aces packs is that, by re-releasing currently available ships, it gave FFG an excuse to “fix” them, if they were to be found lacking in the metagame. FFG has done this several times; just lately the TIE Advanced received some buffs in the form of certain cards that were released with the Imperial Raider expansion pack. This means that the TIE Bomber and TIE Defenders will have a new time to shine, two units that have been criticized as being relatively lackluster in competitive value. In fact, the Imperial selection as a whole, according to some, has needed some buffs lately, so Imperial Veterans is a good step, particularly due to the massive amount of firepower that the Rebels and Scum factions will be getting in the upcoming Wave VIII, where the Imperials pale in comparison.
Of course, it’s safe to assume that Rebel Veterans will soon follow, if FFG’s release history is anything to go by. It’s likely that even Scum will get a similar pack, as they likely would have gotten the Aces treatment if the faction existed at that point during the game.
Imperial Veterans includes the two ships, eight pilot cards, and thirteen upgrade cards. For the official word from Fantasy Flight, check out their announcement post here. Happy flying!