Fantasy Flight’s X-Wing Miniatures game offers a wide variety of different ships and pilots, making it difficult for people to always know what to fly or how to combat them. This series will focus on giving you insight on how you can best use them to defeat your opponents. ‘Imperial Domination’, focuses on the Empire and its pilots.
The first pilot of our Imperial Domination series is one of my favorites. Mobile and aggressive, Carnor Jax is a great weapon with any crew. When I first came across Jax, I was looking for a way to shut down the Moldy Crow list my associate, Dalton, has been sweeping my ships with. I made him the point guard of my wave four release tournament list and things went well. You’ll find Jax flying the red royal guard tie interceptor in the Imperial Aces kit.
If you’re anything like me, you like a bit of background knowledge on your models before you run them on the table. While our pilot wasn’t mentioned in the original movies, we likely saw him in Jedi. Carnor Jax was a force sensitive Imperial royal guard and was a Sith apprentice following the death of the emperor. His power was so great that he was actually a front runner for the vacant throne. He ends up in a big old fight for destiny with none other than Kir Kanos, another pilot from the Imperial Aces set.
Now, we’ll see what this bad boy can do. First and foremost, Jax is an interceptor: fast, strong, and easy to kill. He comes with an eight pilot skill so it shouldn’t be too hard to get the drop on most enemy ships. The real reason you bring this expert pilot is his ability, “Enemy ships at range 1 cannot perform focus or evade actions and cannot spend focus or evade tokens.” That means that whether that X-wing needs to focus to hit you or has been handed focus from the Moldy Crow he has got to live with disappointment. When it comes to modifications there are always shield and hull upgrades to give him a bit more meat and you can bring both with the free Royal Guard Tie title. You could also bring a stealth device and hope for the best, but wave four has a nasty counter to stealth devices. Despite all the great mods that you can bring with him and the expert pilot slot, I like to run him naked. The Imperials are all about swarm right now, and while that may change with wave four, for now the more ships you can bring the better.
When it comes to maneuvering your squad with Jax in mind there are a lot of options. Interceptors are mostly run for their ability to flank. They can really close the gap quickly from more than one angle. I run him as a point guard. He is right at the tip of my wedge shaped formation. However you like to maneuver, Jax is best right in the thick of things. You need to keep as much as you can within his range one or at least a big damage dealer. Your whole squad will be able to hit easier and be more protected. The running him right at them technique is risky, but that one suicidal turn may give you the chance to have a brutal turn that your enemy can’t recover from. Keep in mind, that pilot skill eight means you will be shooting first most of the time and his ability implies that you’ll have some enemies close enough to take advantage of the four attack dice Jax gets at point blank.
If you have a friend that’s been tearing you up with Jax, he’s got to be a high priority. Kir Kanos and Sun Tir Fel are great interceptors and the Imperial forces have quite a few powerful individuals, but Jax shuts down a huge area of your army. His ability is strong but it does nothing to target locks or marksmanship. He is a great target for secondary weapons or sure fire hitting tactics. The best way to counter him is to focus on him early before he gets a chance to be a real pain.
When it comes to what to bring with Jax, you really can’t go wrong. He is all denial and that helps anybody else you can think of. The list I ran in the wave four event was all about denial and rerolls. Obviously Jax was in it, I followed him up with Captain Kagi. His article will come later but he’s the lambda that forces the enemy to target lock him. I evened it out with Howlrunner, Winged Gundrark, and a Black Squadron pilot. I kept Howlrunner just behind Jax and Kagi behind him. I used the Gundark and Squadron pilot as flankers. The speed made it easy to close the gaps and make full use of Howlrunner and Jax. If you were wondering I placed third overall.
If you chose to run Jax the options are truly endless. Just be sure to keep in mind how easy the interceptors are to kill and close the distance as fast as you can. In the end he makes for a frustrating road bump to your enemy and a great asset to your damage dealers.