Book Review The Weapon of a Jedi
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Book Review – Star Wars: The Weapon of a Jedi by Jason Fry

Book Review The Weapon of a Jedi

The Weapon of a Jedi: A Luke Skywalker Adventure offers well-written and well-illustrated, fast-pace action scenes of X-Wing dogfights and lightsaber duels, strung together by a minimal story of, essentially, The Force telling Luke to go from A to B.

It is a good fast-food-read of Star Wars nostalgia and a bit of X-Wing and lightsaber-action, but nothing truly memorable stands out. No unique story is told.


A Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Disney acquired Star Wars and cleared out four decades of books, comics, games and other background material known as the Extended Universe. A few classics regrettably went down with it, but having a clean slate still seems like a good idea.

The novel series „A Journey to Stars Wars: The Force Awakens“ is part of the new Disney lore, leading up to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens later this year.

That said, The Weapon of a Jedi, this particular book in the series tells a story set between the original Star Wars movie and The Empire Strikes Back. It holds no secrets, hints or spoilers for things happening after The Return of the Jedi.

The book itself has 184 pages, uses a large font and features several double-page illustrations throughout. It is a premium format with a short story, not a true novel.


The Story of „The Weapon of a Jedi“

The story follows Luke, before as a Rebel pilot – before he ever met Yoda, before he knew the identity of his father – along with C3P0 and R2D2.

The book kicks off with a bit of X-Wing vs. TIE-Fighter action, which I thought was great fun. Ultimately, Luke feels The Force nudging him to visit a backwater planet, and on the backwater planet an ancient temple quarantined by the Empire.

Once Luke finds the temple, he receives a bit of pre-Yoda Jedi-training and must immediately test his new skills, especially with his lightsaber.


The Good

There is a lot to like about this book. This book is clearly meant as a quick, fun read, and it delivers in that.

The writing flows well, the action is exciting and the C3P0 vs. R2D2 banter adds old school Star Wars comic relief. Likewise, the production of the book is great. The grey pages, the added artwork Disney veteran Phil Noto fits and the general visual design make this a very nice book to hold and read.

Thus, before I start nitpicking, I would recommend Jason Fry’s The Weapon of a Jedi to anyone looking for a fun, light Star Wars-read for an afternoon or two.


The Bad

There are a few things that keep the book for being truly excellent.

  • The story, in any sense of the word, is nonexistent. The Force tells Luke to go to this place or that. Luke, after some hesitating, follows and the next action scene occurs. A bit more plotting would have added a great deal.
  • The whole idea of Luke receiving separate Jedi-training, distinct and before he meets with Yoda, for me, does not sit that comfortably with the original trilogy of movies. If scrapping the old Extended Universe meant to clear out inconsistencies, it seems odd to bring them back in from the get-go.
  • It is a brief tale. 184 pages sounds like more than you get, given the large font, plenty of artwork and more. The book is beautifully produced, but with a regular font and less white-space, this story would only fill 40-50 pages. There is an element of making it appear more than it truly is.

Conclusion

I had fun reading the The Weapon of the Jedi and would usually recommend it for Star Wars fans looking for a light read.

The book probably holds little interest for a broader audience, as it really tells no distinct story of its own. There is no room to lose oneself in a fantastic universe or become engrossed with the twists and turns of a thrilling story.

This isn’t what The Weapon of a Jedi aims to do.

This is a book for a quick, fun lightsaber-battle and some nostalgic Star Wars quotes to read about on the subway, which it nails pretty well.

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Star Wars, The Force Awakens, TIE/FO-Fighter, X-Wing

Unboxing – X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set – TIE/FO-Fighters

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New TIE/FO Fighter (left) and old TIE Fighter (right)

I had a look at the rulebooks & tokens in the new X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set. Time to examine the ships, starting with the new TIE/FO Fighters.

The core set comes with two of the new TIE/FO Fighters. The miniature itself appears to be identical to the old TIE Fighters, though the paint job is obviously different: white panels, black structure, red cockpit and a red accent on the roof.

It also seems to be a cleaner paint job than the old TIE Fighter without a dark wash.

Let me just say that they are very nice models. In my opinion, they will also mix nicely with old models in a black-and-grey squadron or swarm.


A New & Improved TIE Fighter

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The new TIE/FO Fighter also is a better ship than the old TIE Fighter. The New Order apparently takes slightly more care of its pilots than the Empire.

TIE FO maneouver DialComparing the basic Pilot-Skill-1 pilots, we see the TIE/FO Fighter brings …

  • One shield
  • Target Lock
  • The new tech-upgrade slot
  • The ability to do Segnor Loops (first seen in the Scum & Villany’s IG-2000).

For all this, the TIE/FO Fighter costs 3 points more at the same pilot skill. That is not a lot of points for all this

Shields and maneuverability are nice, but it is the new Target Lock I find most intriguing. Obviously, the TIE/FO Fighter still cannot take missiles or rockets, but FFG based several pilot abilities of unique pilots in the TIE/FO Fighter’s Target Lock.

Also, as the First Order is a new (sub-)faction, the new pilot cards come with new backside artwork.

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First Order (left) and Imperial (right) pilot cards


The TIE/FO Fighter Pilots

There are nine six different TIE/FO Fighter pilots included in the core set.

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  • The Epsilon Squadron Pilot is the cheapest, with a pilot skill of 1.
  • The Zeta Squadron Pilot comes with a Pilot Skill of 3 for one additional point, mirroring the old TIE Fighter’s Obsidian Squadron Pilot.

Two copies each are included in the X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set.

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  • The Omega Squadron Pilot is the best non-unique pilot. His ability to take an Elite Talent makes him quite versatile. Parallels the old Black Squadron Pilot.
  • „Zeta Ace“ is a unique pilot, who can also take an Elite Talent and may use the longer 2-movement (8 cm) for barrel rolls for extra maneuverability.

NewTIEFOFighterPilotsFinally the top pilots.

  • „Epsilon Leader“ can remove stress from (all!) nearby ships at the start of the Combat phase (after actions). An extremely useful ability to have, both in a TIE/FO Fighter swarm or near pilot/ship-builds that build up stress.
  • „Omega Ace“ finally draws on the TIE/FO Fighter’s Target Lock with a potentially devastating ability to score guaranteed critical hits. It will take some synergy with other ships and Elite Talents (e.g. Expose, Push the Limit) to pull off. If it works however, „Omega Ace“ can swing a battle in a single turn.

New Upgrade Cards

WeaponGuidanceXwingUpgradeA total of five upgrade cards are in the new core set, two of which can be used by the TIE/FO Fighter.

  • Weapons Guidance is the first Tech upgrade in the game – likely a new type of upgrade to define all Episode VII+ ships, similar to how Illicit Modifications define the Scum & Villainy faction. It adds another offensive use to a focus token. Interesting, but – at first glance – hardly overwhelming.
  • Wired is a 1 point Elite talent. Being cheap as it is and the prevalence of stress in the game, I can see many, many good uses for this, though probably not with one of the TIE/FO Fighter pilots from the core set.

Final Thoughts…

I like what they did with the new TIE/FO Fighters (and not just the mean black visuals). They are no longer quite as „swarm-friendly“ as basic TIE Fighters.

However, they are still cheap and open to a lot of potential trickery and synergy-builds, something I always enjoyed playing X-Wing.

Time to work on some squadron ideas …

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Unboxing New X-Wing Starter Set
Star Wars, The Force Awakens, Unboxing, X-Wing

Unboxing – X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set – Books & Tokens

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At long last, the new X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set with the shiny new Star Wars Episode VII ships arrived in the UK! It has been a long wait.

Let’s open the box!


The Rulebooks

The Force Awakens X-Wing Rules

Along with a bit of advertising for other products from Fantasy Flight Games, the new X-Wing starter set come with three separate booklets.

1. A Learn-To-Play-Guide, which is nearly identical to the one included in the old – or „classic“ – X-Wing starter set, though a few rules have been revised.

2. A Rules-Reference-Booklet, which is a new addition that was not included in the old X-Wing starter set. It includes (almost) all the rules, which have been added to X-Wing in the various releases since the original starter set in 2012, for example the rules for Ion Weapons, Large Ships, Cloaking and more.

Funny enough, it does not include the recent „SLAM“-rules from the K-Wing, which were plagued by unclear wordings, revisions and nerfs.

Though the old X-Wing starter did not include a comprehensive Rules Reference, many newer FFG-games, such as Imperial Assault, do include them these days.

3. A Mission Guide with three introductory missions using (only) the contents from the starter-box.


The Cardboard

TFAXWingStarterCardboardThe new starter comes with four card-board sheets full of tokens and game-materials, including plenty of tokens for the missions (right side).

One new addition is the „initiative token“ (upper right corner), which didn’t exist in the old X-Wing starter. Unfortunately, both sides feature the new X-Wing. Having a TIE-Fighter on the flip side for Imperial players would have been nice.

Another minor novelty is the new set of unique asteroids.

TFAXWingStarterCardboard2

Also included are – of course – the new manoeuver dials. I will talk about those in more detail when I talk about the new ships.


To Be Continued …

Read more about the X-Wing: The Force Awakens Core Set:

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New TIE/FO Fighter for the X-Wing Miniatures Game

New TIE/FO Fighter expansion

Just like the T-70 X-Wing, the new TIE/FO Fighter gets its own little expansion pack with the coming releases for the X-Wing Miniatures Game.

Those names will take some getting used to. Not nearly as elegant, I think, as … say … TIE-Intercepter or TIE-Advanced.


New TIE/FO Fighter Pilots

One pilot exclusive to the TIE/FO Fighter expansion will be the „Omega Leader“.

Omega Leader

Similar to the top pilot from the new X-Wing core set, the „Omega Ace“, the ability of the „Omega Leader“ makes use of the new TIE/FO Fighters ability to use target locks, despite having no ability to carry torpedos or missiles.

Giving target-lock to a ship without missiles and only two attack dice is, on the face of it, a minor advantage, but adding more unique abilities based on the TIE/FO Fighter’s target lock could potentially change things up in interesting ways.


New Upgrade Cards

The TIE/FO Fighter expansion seems to include two unique new upgrade cards, including the second tech upgrade seen in the game: the Comm Relay.

Comm Relay Tech Upgrade

There is also a new elite talent, Juke, which seems to read as follows:

Small ships only

When attacking, if you have an evade token, you may change 1 of the defender’s [evade]-result to a [eye]-result. 

2 points

So … an offensive use for evade tokens and the ability to stash one evade token. Interesting stuff.

Fantasy Flight Games clearly put a lot of thought into this, to present players with new and unique puzzles for finding interesting synergies and squadrons.

I am looking forward to this!

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X-Wing Miniatures Force Awakens
Star Wars, The Force Awakens, X-Wing

New X-Wing T-70 Expansion for X-Wing Miniatures Game

X-Wing Miniatures Force Awakens

It was probably no real news. As everyone expected, Fantasy Flight Games today announced individual expansion packs for the T-70 X-Wing and TIE/Fo Fighter included in the new X-Wing Core Set for The Force Awakens.

Like the old individual X-Wing and TIE-Fighter expansion, these come with different pilots and upgrades, which are not included in the starter set.

Let’s have a look at the new T-70 X-Wing.


The T-70 X-Wing Expansion

The T-70 X-Wing Expansion Set

The expansion seems similar to other small-ship expansions we’ve seen.


New T-70 X-Wing Pilots

Fantasy Flight Games previewed on new pilot for the new T-70 X-Wing, who will be exclusive to this expansion: „Red Ace“.

Red Ace X-Wing

T-70 X-Wing „Red Ace“

Definitely a cool pilot. A lot more powerful than old X-Wings and, obviously, works very well with anything that allows you to regenerate shields, say R2-D2.

Sadly, I am not a huge name of the fairly generic names of these pilots.


New Upgrade Cards

FFGs also previewed more new upgrades.

Integrated Astromech

Some very cool stuff.

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Force Friday – The Force Awakens X-Wing Starter Set Released

X-Wing The Force Awakens Starter Set

That is a pleasant surprise. On the event of today’s Force Friday, Fantasy Flight Games officially unveiled their new starter set for the X-Wing Miniatures game, themed to fit the new Star Wars movie – The Force Awakens.

Details about the new X-Wing starter set leaked a little while ago.

The pleasant surprise: It will already be available later this month (even today, if you can find a shop participating in the Force Friday thing).

The Force Awakens Core Set is now available as a special Force Friday release!

While The Force Awakens Core Set is currently only available at select Force Friday locations, it is now shipping for wider release, and you can look for it at your favorite local gaming store later this month.

That is definitely a great surprise for me. Though I knew it was coming, I assumed I would have to wait for the movie release in December to get my hands on the new The Force Awakens ships for X-Wing!

Now I cannot wait to get my hands on this!

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TIE-Fighters The Force Awakens

New TIE-Fighters for the new X-Wing Starter set.

Things to note:

  • Target Lock is now available for TIE-Fighters
  • TIE-Fighters now have 1 Shield
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NEW TIE-Fighters for X-Wing’s The Force Awakens Starter

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New blue X-wing boost action
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New X-Wing Starter Set for The Force Awakens

X-Wing the Force Awakens

Speculations on this have been around for a while. Now the first pictures have appeared.

Fantasy Flight Games is releasing a new version of the starter set for their popular X-Wing miniatures game – themed to go with the new Star Wars movies kicking off this winter.

New blue X-wing boost action

Blue X-Wings! (with a boost action!)

Black TIE-Fighters.

I’m in love!

New X-wing STarter set contents

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