After playing a few games with just the Core Set X-Wing and Tie Fighters, I opened the other small expansion ships.
These were the additional X-Wing, the Tie Interceptor, and the TIE Advanced fighter.
Even with these smaller single-ship add-ons, you get a lot of bits.
The new X-Wing is basically the same as the one in the Core Set, but it comes with some new cards, so it adds new pilots. One of these is Wedge. He is a better shot than Luke.
The TIE Interceptor is faster and more powerful than the regular TIE Fighter.
This difference in power is balanced because each ship and upgrade ‘costs’ a certain number of squad points. Each side should have the same total of squad points to make the battle even.
The third ship is the TIE Advanced fighter. This is the one with the bent wings. I got this one because it is piloted by Darth Vader.
I put together two teams. The rebel side was Luke and Wedge. The Imperial side was Vader and two TIE Fighters. Just like the trench run. The points balanced out at 65 points each.
The battle got off to a bad start when Luke and Wedge, after splitting up, tried to flank the Imperial swarm. The Imperials banked sharply and had Luke in their sights and unable to return fire.
Vader kept his wingmen close by. He had an upgrade that allowed the pilot next to him to fire before the rebels. He also stayed close to the X-Wings. Their proton torpedoes only work from a certain distance so they couldn’t use them and had to rely on their weaker primary weapons.
The Imperials focussed their fire on Wedge as he had the best attack and soon took him out.
After some jousting back and forth, and the loss of one of the TIE Fighters, eventually it came down to a head-to-head confrontation.
Luke has a target lock on Vader. Both have just done a complete 180 degree turn to face each other. Luke is at far enough range that he can use his proton torpedoes.
But Vader has the higher pilot skill and fires first. Even R2-D2 cannot keep the shields up. Boom.