In this ‘built’ series of articles I will take a specific ship and build out every pilot. I will try to take into account the ship itself, any pilot abilities and the lists they would form a part of. If it wasn’t obvious for my first go I’ll have a look at my favourite ship, the classic T-65 X-Wing.
As always this is just my opinion, if you have other suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments below. Some pilots will be just fine on their own, I won’t add upgrades just for the sake of it. I’ll go through the pilots in ascending initiative order.
Lastly, I will include the S-Foils configuration card in every build as it’s free and so it’s clear for new players.
Cavern Angel Zealot
X-Wings generally like to ‘slow roll’ into the first engagement. But what if you could slow it down even more by doing a stop? That’s where inertial dampeners comes into play. Get the first engagement at range three then on the next turn just stop; probably causing some bumps and disrupting enemy lines but also maybe getting some juicy range one shots. You won’t have any mods if you stop but if you’re flying an X swarm that’s the choice you make and I’ll get to that later.
Try it and let me know how you get on.
Blue Squadron Escort
At the time of writing these guys are 40 points each so you can fit five of them in a list. Sounds good doesn’t it! I’d absolutely recommend giving this a go as it’s a good intro to formation flying (either in a big block or a two and a three).
But be aware that it can swing majorly. You don’t have a lot of mods so dice can let you down. On the other side of things though you could tear something apart. Just get your engagement right, making sure all five guns are on target, to maximise your odds of deleting something.
Red Squadron Veteran
I used three of these guys alongside Kyle Katarn in the HWK at Nordics back in 2018. It did not go well! I didn’t leverage the number of guns I had against my opponents which led to me losing the damage race.
Unless you want I3 I would go for the Blue Squadron Escorts as you’ll save some points. However, if you do choose the Red Vets then consider Crack Shot. It’s cheap and if you can get a ship in the bullesye it can make a massive difference. It could also change your opponent’s tactics against you.
Edrio Two Tubes
Edrio is designed to run alongside his sibling Benthic who pilots a U-Wing. After Benthic performs a focus action he can pass a focus to a friendly at range 1-2. The premise being that you pass the focus token to Edrio so before you reveal his dial you can perform an action. That could be a lock before k-turning or maybe a barrel roll before boosting, the options are…..not quite unlimited but you get the idea!
Due to the face the Edrio can pretty easily get a focus and a lock I would suggest adding torps for that sweet double modded shot. Advanced Proton Torps could be good fun; even if you don’t get them away it should really make your opponent think twice about engaging him.
I’ll admit that I’ve never flown Leevan, nor do I know anyone that has! So this is much theory crafting than anything else I’ve written here. My first thought was Debris Gambit as you could make the red evade action a white evade action as long as you’re near an obstacle. This keeps Leevan’s dial open which is always handy.
My second thought was Juke. X-Wings don’t normally have the evade action so Juke could nicely boost Leevan’s attacks. I think it’s niche though as you may have to spend that evade on attacks from higher initiative ships before you get to our attack.
Porkins is absolutely fine on his own. He is essentially a mini TIE Defender as he can k-turn and then lose the stress immediately, letting him take an action. The ability just states ‘receive a stress token’ too so it’s very broad in how you can use it. For example, you could do a focus into a linked barrel roll and then remove the stress that gives you straight away so you can still turn around the next turn. As long are you’re aware of the risk involved (3/8 chance of taking a hit) give him a go!
Kullbee is a dark horse in this roster. Coming in at the very end of First Edition he is largely overlooked, much like many of the middling T-65 pilots. When you actually stop to think about his ability though it’s really rather good. All other T-65s have to choose between going that bit slower (no boost) to fire with the standard three red dice or go zoom zoom (boost) but lose one of those important red die. Kullbee says nay to this!
The best example is doing a focus into a linked boost. He can then open his S-Foils after that boost and have his full attack, whereas his other X-Wing comrades who have kept up will be nerfed.
Adding the R4 Astromech gives him some more options after the double action as you may find he’s stressed more than other X-Wings.
Red Leader’s ability is nice, just be aware you can’t choose to spend a focus if you don’t get any focus results! You could put a talent like Predator on to give you more chances to roll a focus result but I don’t think it’s worth the investment. Keep him cheap so the points can go elsewhere.
Biggs had a long time in the sun in First Edition so not seeing him loads now if probably fair. Is he any good though? I think in the right list giving some protection to a higher value target I think he could be! I’d put an R5 Astromech onboard so our moustached hero can take a little more punishment.
If you were like me when first seeing Thane you thought ‘This ability looks great!’ you were probably disappointed pretty quickly. It looks great on paper but you realise that the ability doesn’t trigger very often. When it can trigger you’re probably better off just keeping the result, especially if it’s a hit or crit! I think you’re paying more for the I5 than the ability so if you go in knowing you’re all set.
I’ve added Predator here so you have a chance to reroll a blank into something more useful but that still depends on getting them in that pesky bullseye.
Setting aside my love for Wedge, Luke is the the best T-65 pilot. His ability alongside his two force charges makes him a fair bit tankier than the other pilots., he can generally shrug off two dice attacks with ease.
In the past I used Protone Torps with Instinctive Aim. I quickly realised however that this was….sub-optimal. Sure you don’t need the lock to fire the torps but:
- You’re robbing yourself of a force charge you could use elsewhere.
- You then don’t have the lock to spend to further modify the dice.
Recently a new Luke build has cropped up though. I’ve not used it as I’ve barely played since lockdown in the UK but it looks cool so thought I’d put it in here.
With Chopper in the Astromech slot you can spend the charges from the Ion Torps (the cheapest torp) to recover a shield when you disengage. It is an action but with Luke’s force charges and ability this is much less of a problem. The big draw is that you don’t get a disarm token like you would if you were using an R2 Astromech.
Afterburners is added for more options when disengaging as it can put more distance between you and your opponent. Definitely worth trying I think.
I’ll preface this by saying this is a lot of points for Wedge in my opinion. I love Wedge and will always fly him if I can but he generally goes down quite fast. His brilliant ability paints a huge target on his back/hull so be prepared for your opponent to gun for him first.
With that said, Afterburners could really help him get out of a jam. After the first (or maybe second) engagement dial in a four straight, afterburner boost then take your regular action to get out of harm’s way.
Crack Shot is stapled onto Wedge for me. Others may think it’s overkill considering his ability but when I know he’s gonna go down fast I want to make the most out of him.
Lastly proton torps. They are pricey but they give you the option of firing four red dice whilst your S-Foils are closed or when you’re at range two to three. It also means you’ll want a way of passing Wedge either a focus or lock (Jake, Dutch, Garven etc) so bear that in mind when building your squad.
That’s every T-65 built. Let me know if you agree or not and share your builds in the comments.
If this fills you with a deep need to buy another T-65 you could help me out by using this link. Until next time!