Well well well, looks like AMG are trying to beat me to making an FO Bomber! Well, I announced mine first so I have dibs!
Hello there to any of you who may not know of my stuff. I’m Mark, Watcher Leader of Watcher Squadron, and I create custom cards for X-Wing on my Instagram and website. I recently decided to make the FO Bomber, but AMG “rudely” decided to copy me. So Rogue Leader has kindly asked me to use this opportunity to make an article on both my custom version of the FO Bomber and my thoughts on how AMG will make it!
So thank you Rogue Leader and let’s get stuck in!
Starting with what we know about the FO Bomber in-universe is a good way to begin, and the answer is… it’s a bomber for the First Order. I know, it’s so very lore rich! So because of this, I’ll be working with what we saw in Star Wars Resistance and guessing at how this ship would work both in-universe and in the now upcoming expansion.
From what we see of its physical design, I’d say this bomber is much more heavily armed than the TIE/sa Bombers of the Empire. With its four wingtip cannons I’d say it’s definitely going to jump up to a three attack dice primary. With its size and the way it is designed, I’d say the FO Bomber is going to follow the TIE/fo’s design and keep it at the same hull and agility value, just giving it the single shield more than its predecessor, which I went with for my design, although I could see it having two shields and one less hull.
For its dial, I decided to stick with the Tie Bomber dial as I’m not sure how fast this ship could be. It’s most likely slightly faster than its predecessor. However it does look to carry many more bombs on board slowing it down!
For the actions I decided to slightly improve upon the TIE Bombers’ actions. So I’ve given it the roll and lock linked actions, but also gave it a roll to evade to show its slightly improved maneuverability. It can also reload its devices much more efficiently with a white reload, and I gave it a red boost to just slightly increase its speed over its predecessor.
What I went with again is very similar to the original TIE Bomber. However, I’ve decreased the number of missiles and giving it an additional torpedo slot (alongside the standard edition of a tech slot).
So far I feel there is a very good chance most of my choices for my custom version of the FO Bomber will make it onto the official version. It’s the ship ability that I feel will be very different. I can see them reusing the TIIE Bombers’ ship ability for it, but I hope they don’t. My ship ability, although similar to an agile bomber by helping to improve this ships ability to bomb other ships, flips it around, letting you launch all your devices instead of dropping them!
This makes the FO Bomber scary to be in front of, with it being able to bomb you then hit you with a heavy torpedo.
I’d like to quickly say I’m sure that none of my pilots will make any appearance except Galek, as although we never see Galek in the FO Bomber I can imagine her role as a flight instructor puts her in most of the FO’s starfighters. I decided to show Galek’s ruthless style of training by forcing the grunts around her to increase their initiative value for combat, similar to swarm tactics. This fits well into the First Order’s forceful design philosophy, while also allowing you to easily bring your bombers up to I4 to try and initiative kill some other grunts with those deadly torpedoes. This makes her around 50-52 points.
Possibility my favourite of all the pilots today. Charcoal’s ability lets you take advantage of launching bombs by letting you try to detonate them after flying through them. This allows you to cripple aces that would otherwise be out of range of the explosion when it would normally go off making him deadly to all (even himself). Points wise I’d say he’s about 54-56 points.
Next up we have Fuse Cutter. A solid pilot, he’s able to either slow down or speed up the time before a bomb detonates. He can make efficient use of the Electro-Proton Bomb, letting it detonate the same round he drops it, crippling a massive area around them. It can be especially useful on mines that would otherwise be deadly to your ships, letting him or an ally launch a mine then be able to pass over them without detonating them. You could even stack it with Delayed Fuses to let a pair of allies pass over a mine then let an enemy ship hit it as required. This makes him a little cheaper at about 46-49 points.
The last of the named pilots. Back Fire uses a pilot ability I’ve wanted to use for a while. Back Fire moves backwards when launching a device or torpedo, being flung backwards with the force of it. This is beneficial for potentially getting out of range of enemy shots, especially if you can boost her initiative with swarm tactics, or even better, help her avoid being hit by her own devices. Her only problem is that it’s a must, which drops her points a little, making her about 43-45.
The generics are the normal pair of generics you expect to get with most ships. We have the Coal Squadron Aces with their talent slot, like all of the unique pilots (except Back Fire), making them around 42-44 points. We also have still-in-training Dusk Squadron Cadets who are the cheap little grunts at 40-42 points. I’d say that these points will be roughly what we will get for the official ships when they’re released as they are likely to follow my stat lines or be close to them.
Now we move onto the upgrades. Like with the pilots I have no clue what there will be officially, but I’m sure there will be a new fun bombs, torpedoes and hopefully a new non-turret restricted gunner. Now let’s see the bombs, torpedoes and non-turret restricted gunner I’ve made.
First up we have none of those things, with a new talent for bombers everywhere! Carpet Bomber takes inspiration from the new(ish) Thermal Detonators, letting you drop an additional bomb after dropping your first bomb, once every two rounds. I’d say it’s only about 2-4 points because of this as it’s a useful but situational ability.
Next, we have a new gunner in Galek who gets an ability that again shows her ruthlessness in training styles that force her cadets to perform better. Letting you attack allies as well as forcing a ship you missed (ally or enemy) to either boost away or suffer damage. This makes her expensive at about 7-10 points as it’s still a very useful ability even if you don’t use it on a friendly ship.
Advanced Bomblet Generator
The first of the munitions in this pack with an advanced version of the Bomblet Generator. I’m a massive fan of Nym and the Starfighter series so although I agree it was FAR too powerful in the 1E, I feel the s2E version needed a little boost. I’d say it’s definitely more expensive thanks to it being infinite bombs, putting it at about 7-11 points.
An old First Edition upgrade I feel could work in the Second Edition, especially as the bomb works so well. I did decide however with the torpedo version to preemptively counter some of the hinted at structures letting it do even more damage to them. Because of this, I’d say it sits at around the same points as the bomb, at 3-4 points.
Proximity Override Codes
The last of the upgrades works in a similar way to Delayed Fuses. Proximity Override Codes let you react to a friendly bomb that would harm you or would otherwise be useless. You do this by spending your action to place a fuse on a device. It’s useful, but like Delayed Fuses very situational. It need careful planning or its useless, so it’s 2-4 points.
I’m so excited for the FO Bomber release as it’s a nice bit of variety for the faction, and I hope we get information on its stats soon. What I’ve designed will hopefully be somewhat similar, even if its ship and pilot abilities may wildly vary from my design.
I hope all of you from Rogue Outpost have enjoyed my creations today and will check out my other stuff on Instagram and website (https://watcher4242.wixsite.com/watchersquadron). Hopefully it will tide you over until the release of any more information on the ship. As normal with my stuff, feel free to use the cards in friendly games to show the rest of the X-Wing community that Watcher Squadron can put out content faster than AMG (please hire me)!
Thank you all for reading,
Watcher Leader out.