The Force Awakens added a great deal of delicious things to the now growing Star Wars canon. One of the almost incidental things it did was replace the old Lambda ‘Flying School Bus’ shuttle from Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi. The Lambda is all right, but it’s basically a squat and awkward looking thing and it’s black/white design makes it look like a Stormtrooper’s transit van. In The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren arrives in a darker, scarier sort of ship. The Upsilon-Class Shuttle is a terrifying space bat, bristling with weapons and the promise of death.
The Upsilon-Class Shuttle expansion for Star Wars X-Wing introduces this horror into the game. The model itself is very, very black with only a few spots of white paint for landing lights etc. This actually draws the eye to the fine detail on the model. The wings move up and down (which is nice) and the whole thing is an awkward and weird shape, which means you’re going to have to fork out for a new storage solution for the thing or else keep it in its original packaging if you want to take it anywhere (such as to tournaments). It is an eye-catching model and looks great on the shelf. Rules wise, it’s worth remembering that this is still a shuttle. That means it can stop dead in the middle of a warzone, which is handy if there are TIE fighters all over the place. That’s pretty much its one trick though, the thing moves across the board slowly and without grace.
The expansion comes with a bunch of nifty cards and add-ons. You can field the ship as being piloted by Kylo Ren (he’s a decent pilot) or simply have him on board (though the crew upgrade card means you could put him on another ship if you fancied). Ren’s power is if you hit an opponent you can directly affect the enemy crew. Theme wise, you’re basically force choking your enemies at range in the middle of a dog fight. Which is rather cool.
You also get Hux added to the mix, who comes with his own ability that means you can hit harder provided you get a good hit in. Basically Hux likes to twist the knife, which is handy against bigger ships like the Jumpmaster or The Millennium Falcon. Other cards basically allow you to set up the shuttle as a control centre for disrupting enemy tactics. Nice, but remember the shuttle won’t be out-flying any fighters. It will be the prettiest death machine in the stars, however.
UPSILON-CLASS SHUTTLE EXPANSION / PUBLISHER: FANTASY FLIGHT / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW