Here's a quick review of each Wave 1 ship along with my first impression. I've looked over all the cards but I haven't gotten a chance to play with the new ships yet. I'll try to be brief. Images and such will not be included as a google search and FFG's website have them readily available.
This is the ship that the Rebels need, and it does not disappoint. Rebel admirals will still need to be careful with their movement, but this ship adds quite a bit of firepower to their arsenal. Commander Garm Bel Iblis brings a useful ability to the table and the surprise upgrades Advanced Projectors and Point-Defense Reroute seem extremely useful.
It came in the core set, do you really want it? I think so. Commander Mon Mothma is the pinnacle of what Rebels will be using in their super fast fleets. Raymond Antillies brings a great ability to the table, and I think both Tantive IV and Jaina's Light are great titles that will get a lot of use for those willing to risk fighting with these light ships. Finally, Leading Shots is a surprising upgrade that will be very useful.
Not going to lie, a little disappointed with this one. No commander first off, and most of the upgrades already came somewhere else. X17 Turbolasers will have their use and the new Nebulon titles are nice, but if you are looking to skimp here and there for budgetary purposes, you can probably skip this one.
This is the big question. Will Rebel Fighters be viable? Are these the ships to make the magic happen? Let's go ship by ship.
X-Wings - More of what you already have. Wedge has a nice anti-squadron ability, but X-Wings in general seem costly.
Y-Wings - The generic Y-Wings themselves don't seem that great, less anti-squadron and a black die that (like Luke) will only have chance at really having success near the end of the game. For that though, Dutch is looking pretty fly. He fights with a tenacity, and will be a great pilot to combo with Wedge.
B-Wings - I love B-Wings, but I think they are too slow. Keyan Farlander brings a nice trick to the table, but unless you somehow trick your opponent into playing the objective Hyperspace Assault or Fleet Ambush, I just don't think they will be that effective.
A-Wings - This is the fighter escort Rebels are looking for. Fast, sleek, Counter 2, a black die against capital ships, can you ask for anything more? Did I mention Tycho. HOLY COW TYCHO. Tycho should be a staple in any fighter focused fleet. He can (and will) do it all when it counts most.
Victory Star Destroyer
Now you have two. Or if you went all in and bought two core sets, you have three. Pure firepower at its finest. Admiral Motti is not Tarkin and use him at your own risk. Isard will be great against high command value ships. Ion Cannon batteries is a great looking upgrade, and both new Star Destroyer titles have synergy with whatever strategy you are looking to adopt.
This is a curious ship. It gives the Imperials a speedy option, but it needs to get in close to really shine and the Imperial will need to be cautious with it or it will drop very quickly to focused fire. Admiral Screed is not Tarkin and use him at your own risk. Chiraneau takes a break from Decimator domination and brings a great fighter support ability. Finally, both Gladiator titles look great. Demolisher will give you some great options, and if you can master moving this mini-behemoth the Insidious title will reward you for it.
It's not the Imperial strong suite in my opinion, but that doesn't mean there aren't some great options to use here. I think the Imperials will always want at least a minimal fighter screen, and even if they choose to focus more in the fighter area (they have the cards to do it) it could be a tougher but rewarding strategy to utilize. Let's go to the ships.
TIE Fighters - More of what you already have. Mauler Mithel brings a great ability in.
TIE Advanced - Escort. That's going to be important. A fighter screen for your bombers, not to mention a surprising black die to boot against ships. Not bad. Vader looks potent as well, essentially having the Bomber ability but against everything he fights. By the way, I put two TIE fighters on my Vader stand, one on either side of him. You know you want to now. I think it's only fitting.
TIE Interceptor - Take my gushing about A-Wings and apply it here. Now with swarm. That's going to be tough. Put Soontir in with Vader and Mauler Mithel and watch that fighter screen punch through anything it wants with gusto and class.
TIE Bombers - Oh boy. It ain't got jack for anti-fighter, but does it need it? Black dice in the right spot are potent every time. Major Rhymer adds a great tactical option to the Imperials and if he is on the table you must never forget about him. There's been A LOT of discussion about this. I'm going to go ahead and say it, Major Rhymer will not be a game breaker by any means. His ability is extremely useful, but again I don't think it will be as powerful as many people think it will be, especially in the early game. It's extremely easy to counter the early Rhymer alpha strike if you see it coming. Smart Imperials need not blitz with him; keep him back. It's the fear of when you might use him in which he will truly shine. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. The Dark Side craves these things. Strike me down and take my pl--- woah sorry got carried away there. You get the idea though.
Main concern: Storage. How to store and move all this stuff efficiently? I have two Stanley Sortmasters (one for rebels, one for imperial) and while it works for the moment, I'm going to have to rethink it if Wave 2 comes out, or if I want more than just one of each expansion.
In conclusion, this wave looks great and the options that I believe were to be with the game from the beginning are finally here. It will be very interesting to see how the game takes shape. Many people pre-ordered the core set with one of everything from Wave 1 and now the game will finally be in their hands.
Intensify Forward Fire. Repel firepower of some magnitude. Give Han more time to get that shield down. May the Force be with you and happy flying.
Review by: Crazy Fella