From Out of the Flames
Preview the Phoenix Cell Squadron Pack for Star Wars™ X-Wing
“Stay on course, Ghost. I’ll knock that cruiser out of your way.”
– Hera Syndulla, Star Wars™: Rebels
The Rebel squadron known as Phoenix Cell is renowned for good reason. Founded by Hera Syndulla and with members as legendary as Wedge Antilles and Sabine Wren, this unit has been key to countless Rebel victories. Some of its members were raised by resistors; others left the Imperial Academy to fight the Empire’s tyranny. Regardless of the circumstances of their birth or background, its pilots choose to resist the Galactic Empire together.
The Phoenix Cell Squadron Pack brings this foundational Rebel squad to the table in Star Wars™: X-Wing, including a pair of nimble RZ-1 A-wings and a potent A/SF-01 B-wing starfighter. It also adds iconic aces like Hera Syndulla, Wedge Antilles, Sabine Wren, Ahsoka Tano, and Shara Bey to your squadron, alongside useful faction upgrades like Hopeful and the gunner version of Sabine Wren. It can serve as launch bay into the world of Star Wars: X-Wing or supplement even a veteran player’s Rebel collection with its memorable new pilots and upgrades.
Phoenix Leader’s Legacy
Hera Syndulla is one of the Rebel Alliance’s first and most versatile aces, and this squadron pack includes not one but two more ships for her to fly: the swift RZ-1 A-wing and the hardy A/SF-01 B-wing . Veteran players may also notice that this is a new version of Hera Syndulla, complete with a new subtitle (Phoenix Leader), new pilot ability, and new initiative value: 6. This version of Hera can jockey for position against the quickest foes, like Fenn Rau and other top aces. Her ability also highlights a different side of her: this version of Hera emphasizes her skills as a leader and instructor.
Two of Hera’s most famous proteges also appear in this pack: Wedge Antilles and Derek “Hobbie” Klivian . And even though this reflects Wedge as a fledgling pilot for the Rebellion, before he became known for surviving two trench runs, enemies would be unwise to underestimate this trio of aces. Hera’s ability allows her to set allies up with tokens, which can trigger Hobbie’s ability to shed a red token or give Wedge a deadly double-modified attack—against which the hapless foe rolls one fewer defense die!
Hera also gives a substantial boost to Shara Bey , a hero of Endor appearing in her iconic A-wing for the first time. With Hera granting her a focus token to convert a result, Shara Bey’s A-wing can comfortably grab a lock to throw better-than-three-dice attacks.
And yet despite Hera’s prowess as a leader and an aerial duelist, she has at least one rival for the position of the most potent ace to fly with Phoenix Cell. Ahsoka Tano may also have a support-oriented ability, but with three Force charges and an A-wing’s maneuverability at her disposal, she can keep up with the greatest aces of the Clone Wars.
Looking Back, Looking Forward
The A-wing chassis itself also receives an exciting new option in the Phoenix Cell Squadron Pack. Like its successor the RZ-2, some variants of the RZ-1 are capable of rotating their guns to rear. The Vectored Cannons card exists to reflect this capability and create a new playstyle for the redoubtable RZ-1 in the process. While the RZ-1’s rotating cannons are not as reliable as the refined versions on the RZ-2, the effect occurs in the System Phase, making an RZ-1 with Vectored Cannons one of the slipperiest ships out there. It is also an excellent combination with the included Starbird Slash , allowing an RZ-1 to cruise through a foe with cannons reversed, drop a strain token on it, and then blast it with reduced defenses.
The standard version of the B6 Blade Wing Prototype is a similar clever retrofit, allowing one B-wing in a list to take a Gunner upgrade in addition to its usual complement. This can be an excellent option for Hera Syndulla, as seating her with a Weapons System Officer can help her keep up her firepower while still having locks to hand off to allies.
The can-do attitude that leads pilots to jury-rig their ships for flexible new tactics is the sort of creativity and risk-taking on which the Rebel Alliance survives.
The Hopeful upgrade also embodies the spirit of the Rebel Alliance, helping ships to stay in the fight and stay alive even when facing terrible losses. It is also the first of a cycle of three upgrades in this style: one for the Rebel Alliance, one for the Galactic Empire, and one for Scum and Villainy. Here are designer Brooks Flugaur-Leavitt’s comments on designing Hopeful and its counterparts:
From the beginning of development, I approached these squadron packs as an opportunity to reinforce the narrative and mechanical themes of X-Wing's original factions. More than just new content, my goal was to create abilities that evoked emotions associated with Star Wars, while also immersing players in the game as a shared story, not just a challenge of skill.
When designing the new faction talents, I struck upon Hopeful and its game mechanic first. Hope in the darkness is a recurring theme for the Rebel Alliance, and the stories of Rogue One and the Original Trilogy lent themselves readily to a mechanic that triggered after another friendly ship was destroyed. This established the theme and core mechanic for the three cards, the Imperial version becoming "Disciplined" and the Scum version "Cutthroat" (both to be featured in future previews), each reflecting how members of that faction are expected to confront adversity and loss.
These cards underscore an important moment in the story of a game of X-Wing, highlighting the reaction of our pilots to the loss of their comrade. Mechanically, they take that setback and build from it, turning the loss of a ship into a new opportunity for the player to affect the course of the game, rather than it being a reason to give up. By emphasizing the moment while also giving a chance to recover when things go poorly, I hope these cards encourage you to lean into the dramatic action in your games and enjoy the stories that result!
Many of Phoenix Cell’s most famous engagements would likely be played as scenarios using the rules from the Epic Battles expansion, and so it should come as not surprise that this squadron pack includes several new cards for use in Epic Battles. The powerful B6 Blade Wing Prototype upgrade also comes in a second form usable only in Epic Battles that grants a devastating Range 2-4 attack. With Sabine Wren equipped, Hera can blast a target from across the board and help any allies nearby remove their stress. If executed correctly, this can help free up the maneuverability of allies to break through enemy blockades or stay on key strategic objectives they need to contest for the scenario. Also included is the Phoenix Squadron command card, which allows you to create a mixed wing with the Ghost and supporting smaller ships. This unique formation offers the Ghost and accompanying Sheathipede-class Shuttle or Attack Shuttle some added protection contributed by their selfless RZ-1 A-wing wingmates.
More New Recruits for the Rebel Alliance
The Phoenix Cell Squadron Pack has a number of exciting pilots and upgrades for beloved starfighters like the A-wing and B-wing, and gives the Rebel faction a number of long-awaited, fan-favorite characters. However, even if you haven’t yet joined the Rebellion (or begun collecting X-Wing at all), it is a great place to start. The squadron pack gives you three ships with a variety of pilots on which to base your first squadrons. From here, either of the following products would be excellent follow-ons to expand your Rebel collection:
Purchasing a Star Wars: X-Wing Core Set would give you a T-65 X-wing, with famous pilots like Luke Skywalker and Jek Porkins and a slew of useful upgrades including Proton Torpedoes, additional talent upgrades, Force Power upgrades for Ahsoka, and more. It would also include everything you need to play X-Wing, including maneuver templates, a damage deck, dice, and obstacles, helping you get into the game quickly.
Alternately, if you wanted to expand your options for thematic Star Wars: Rebels lists while substantially increasing the variety in the squads you can build, the Ghost and Phantom II Expansion Pack would give you access to Hera’s famous VCX-100 freighter and the Sheathipede-class shuttle that Spectre Cell flies alongside it. In addition to giving you access to characters like Kanan Jarrus, Ezra Bridger, and, of course, the infamous “Chopper”, this would give you the flexibility to construct numerous different types of squadrons. You could use the Ghost’s firepower and durability to demolish targets you hem in with darting attacks from your A-wings, or you could use the Phantom II as a command platform to set up powerful blasts from a B-wing with nimble A-wing aces like Ahsoka and Wedge to finish the job.
Look for the Phoenix Cell Squadron Pack at your local retailer on March 26. You can pre-order your copies of these expansions at your local retailer or online through our website—with free shipping in the continental United States!