Don’t stress over Strain, and other new rules

New wave! New factions! New rules…

(Was planning to wait for a new rules reference/FAQ document, but with the points released today and no other documents, who knows when we might see it. Now that I’ve published this, probably tomorrow…)


With Wave 3 comes a new type of token, and it is a nasty red diamond one (red indicating a negative effect and diamond indicating special criteria required for removing it). So heed the warning and don’t stress…

But Hooke’s Law of physics is that stress is directly proportional to strain as
strain is the response of a system to an applied stress. While there is some relationship between stress and strain in X-Wing, as both tokens can be cleared with green blue maneuvers. This isn’t the strain we’re looking for.

This image also made the rounds a few weeks ago, again not the strain we’re looking for. That being said, if any dealers want to hook me up any token dealers want to make some novelty strain tokens I might be interested.

Ok. Enough of the word games. Strain inside the X-Wing miniatures game is:

Strain Tokens

A ship is strained when it has 1 or more strain tokens. Strain tokens are red tokens. While a strained ship defends, it rolls one fewer defense die. After a strained ship defends or executes a blue maneuver, it removes one strain token.

Servants of Strife Expansion Pack rules insert (picture)

It’s a combination of tractor and stress, roll one fewer defense die (but only once, not for an entire round) and can be removed with a blue maneuver.
Note: after a single blue maneuver, a ship may remove both one strain token and one stress token.

How to get strain tokens; they’re in most of the Republic/Separatist Wave 3 expansions, and here’s all the cards I could find causing strain tokens: Treacherous, K2-B4, Dedicated, Clone Commander Cody

(Let me know if I missed any!)

Strain doesn’t stop here, we can also see more coming in Wave 4! Looks like its in only the Resistance Transport Expansion Pack, with no inkling about how the strain is caused so far.

Tactical Relay & Solitary

Tactical Relay is a new upgrade type, not really a big deal as we know how upgrade cards work. So far only for Separatists (and probably only for Separatists).


Some upgrade cards have the solitary restriction. During squad building, a player cannot field more than one solitary card of the same upgrade type. For example, since all Tactical Relay upgrades have the solitary restriction, no list can have more than one Tactical Relay upgrade.

Servants of Strife Expansion Pack rules insert (picture)

Similar sort of concept to Limited, which has been in the rules since the start of second edition.

Speaking of being around since the start of second edition, the rules for multiple dotted limited has been there all along, clever FFG. They gave us hints these cool multi-limited cards were coming.

… These limited cards are identified by a number of bullets (•) to the left of their names. During squad building, a player cannot field more copies of cards that share that name than the number of bullets in front of the name.

• For example, if one bullet appears in front of a card’s name, it can be included only once in a squad. Likewise, if two bullets appear in front of a card’s name, it can be included up to twice in a squad.

Rules Reference v1.0.2

An example of this is Discord Missiles, limited to 3 per squad.


Speaking of Discord Missiles, what is a buzz droid swarm? A buzz droid swarm is a Remote, which is a new type of object (yes, devices are objects).

Remotes are devices that have initiative, agility, and hull values, and can be attacked.

Attacking Remotes

A remote can be declared as the defender. Treat it as a ship with the following exceptions and notes:

– Effects that refer to “friendly ships” do not apply to a remote.

– Effects that refer to “enemy ships” only apply to a remote if the attacker is the source of the effect.

– As a remote does not have a midway line, a ship cannot be in front of, behind, or flanking a remote.

– Attacks made against remotes can be obstructed.

Damaging Remotes

If a remote suffers one or more damage it is destroyed. After a remote is destroyed, remove it from the play area. If the attack occurred at the same initiative as the remote’s initiative, it is removed after all effects at that initiative are resolved, per the Simultaneous Fire rule.

Using Remotes

– If an effect relocates a remote, its controlling player picks it up and places it in the new location as instructed. It does not count as moving through objects this way.

– A remote activates during the Activation Phase and engages during the Engagement phase at its listed initiative value, but only behaves as listed in its entry.

A remote cannot perform actions or be assigned tokens.

Vulture-class Droid Fighter Expansion Pack rules insert (picture)

Edit again: This last point was amended in the latest rules reference (version 1.0.3)
-A remote cannot perform actions or be assigned tokens except for locks.

They look to have covered most of the bases. I’m sure someone will find a hole there somewhere, where something isn’t clarified.

Edit: but wait, there’s more:

More entries to the Official Rulings Forum Thread, including clarifying bomb and mine interactions with remote. (and Toronto Talon Rolls)

Onto the specifics of the remotes themselves.

Buzz Droid Swarm

Buzz Droid Swarm is a remote.

System, Activation and End Phase: No effect

Engagement Phase: When you engage, each enemy ship at range 0 of the buzz droid swarm suffers 1 critical damage.

Other Rules: After an enemy ship overlaps or moves through a buzz droid swarm, the swarm’s controlling player relocates it by aligning the tab to that ship’s front or rear guides (this ship is at range 0 of the swarm).

The swarm cannot be aligned to a set of the ship’s guides if doing so would cause it to overlap an object. If the swarm cannot be placed at a chosen set of guides, its controlling player must align it to the other set of the ship’s guides.

If it cannot be aligned to the other set, the swarm and the enemy ship that overlapped or moved through it each suffer 1 damage.

Vulture-class Droid Fighter Expansion Pack rules insert (picture)

One question, what does “tab” mean? (we know what it does, but it isn’t defined in the rules at the moment, so there’s going to a problem for sure)

There is nothing that inherently attaches them to your ship, just move away and they are no longer a problem. The ideal set up for the Separatist player is place them in front of the enemy ship so they keep overlapping them, but barrel rolls (or reverses Doot Doot!) can move out of range 0.

The other remote introduced in Wave 3 is the Dank-1 Probe Droids:

DRK-1 Probe Droid

DRK-1 probe droid is a remote.

System Phase: The DRK-1 probe droid’s controlling player may choose a 2-left-bank, 2-straight or 2-right-bank template and any set of the DRK-1’s guides. The player then relocates the remote, placing the DRK-1 at the other end of the template. It can be placed overlapping an object this way.

If the DRK-1 overlaps a ship, use the position marker to denote the ship’s position, then place the ship on top of the remote.

Activation, Engagement, and End Phase: No effect.

Other Rules: While a ship locks an object, or jams an enemy ship, it may measure range from a friendly DRK-1 probe droid.

After an enemy ship executes a maneuver that causes it to overlap a DRK-1 probe droid, the ship’s controller rolls 1 attack die. On a focus result, the DRK-1 probe droid suffers 1 damage.

Sith Infiltrator Expansion Pack rules insert (picture)

One fun thing to do, will be try see how many objects can be stacked on each other. Remotes, obstacles, bombs, and a ship! 3D X-Wing! Up Up Up!

Gas clouds

Gas clouds are new obstacles, and players may select them instead of asteroids or debris clouds.

When a ship moves through or overlaps a gas cloud, it skips its perform action step.

When a gas cloud obstructs an attack, the defender rolls one additional defense die, and may change one blank result to an evade result.

Servants of Strife Expansion rules insert (picture)

I’m in the camp of wait and see how these turn out.

There are plenty of cards that interact with these; Qi’ra gets to do more dumb things, a one-way gas cloud seems pretty darn good; Trick Shot through them is worse; Grappling Struts can’t use them; Outrider title and Blackout don’t stop the dice modification; Collision Detector allows for free (no charge required) barrel rolling or boosting onto them.

However, they feel like a trap. Taking them just for the no damage effect is a bad idea, as the defensive bonus is a much more significant game effect, so I’d recommend only taking gas clouds for wanting to utilize that. You don’t want to be hitting them anyway, as actions are pretty darn good, and the chances of taking damage from asteroids or debris isn’t that bad either, and the stress from debris is often comfortably worked around.

They do however create more interesting choices for obstacle selection, both for before the game with squad building, and during obstacle placement, as to which type of obstacle you want to put on the board. More interesting choices is always good.

Purple actions

As the cost to perform a purple action, the ship performing the action must spend 1 force.

Delta-7 Aethersprite Expansion Pack rules insert (picture)

All the Delta-7 Aethersprite pilots have access to purple evade actions, and a couple of upgrade cards (Chancellor Palpatine and Battle Meditation) provide the purple coordinate action.

The purple evade action is especially interesting, from a mathematical dice modification point of view, as the cost of the force charge modifier is not nothing.

With a single Force charge, (eg Jedi Knight) the most ideal situation (mathematically speaking) for taking a purple evade action, is when facing a single incoming shot, wanting to use action to maximize defense, and there is no useful reposition option available. The only other defensive option available would be a focus action, which would lead to the force charge dice modification being redundant.

  • 2 defense dice with focus -> 1.25 expected evades; 2 defense dice with evade -> 1.609 expected evades
  • 3 defense dice with focus -> 1.875 expected evades; 3 defense dice with evade -> 2.072 expected evades
  • 4 defense dice with focus -> 2.5 expected evades; 4 defense dice with evade -> 2.48 expected evades

So with 4 defense dice, the focus action is slightly better on average.

The purple evade action gets better with multiple force charges, as you can get focus+evade modifiers on defense, which is pretty good. Can’t do it every turn, as you need to recover the force charges, which seems good from a balance perspective.

New Hyperspace Ships & Upgrades

Wow, FFG is really not letting the Hyperspace meta settle. Last weeks blogs are already dated. Here’s what got made Hyperspace legal for the other factions with the Wave 3 update:

  • Rebels: A-Wing, B-Wing, rest of the U-Wing pilots (this one totally down to my complaint last week…), Baze Malbus and Cassian Andor crew
  • Empire: TIE Interceptor, TIE Bomber, Darth Vader and Ciena Ree crew
  • Scum: Starviper, Z-95 Headhunter, Dengar gunner
  • First Order: Biohexacrypt Codes
  • Resistance: Nothing. (except their A-Wings have to be specified as Resistance or RZ-2….)
  • Generic Upgrades: Jamming Beam (why?), Tractor Beam, Barrage Rockets

(Let me know if I missed any)

Or is it (a welcome surprise)? Is more ships in Hyperspace a good thing? Heck, I don’t know, no idea at all. We’ll have to wait and see. I was skeptical about Hyperspace previously and then that turned out pretty good. Do we trust FFG to keep making it a good thing, or have they ruined it? Only time will tell.


Requested RSS feed still on the To Do list. If anyone wants to get in touch and do it for me that would be awesome. It looks like a 5 minute job for someone who knows what they’re doing (which I do not).
(I’m just going to leave this note here everytime until I get around to sorting it out)

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