Firstly keep in mind I'm nowhere near the level of a competitive player in the slightest and I don't pretend to be, more like a guy just having fun throwing dice around whilst making 'pew pew' noises whilst the wife isn't around so don't read too much into these thoughts or base your next squadron around them.
The TIE Punisher is pretty expensive and therefore really fits into a niche role. You've got the obvious named pilots for bombing runs and spewing forth missiles but the generic pilots can fall back upon the systems upgrade to give them some direction although it comes at a price. It's easy to apply the blanket statement about them being over-costed however you are paying for 9 HP and a massive amount of payload potential. Played correctly (unlike me) they should stick around for a while.
The cost also dictates what direction the list is going to go. The TIE Punisher begs for some sort of escort to be ran effectively. They really struggle to set up traps and such on their own as the dial they have isn't the most influential in the game which comes another problem. Load up one of the named pilots and you are nearly floating around the 40 point mark for your squadron leaving some room for another 1-2 ships depending on how you rock it.
I personally love Deathrain and screaming up the table with Enhanced Scopes dropping proximity mines into flight corridors or better yet just dropping them straight onto an enemy ship right before barrel rolling away. The frustrating part however is I can generally get 1-2 mines out before my ship is potentially out of the game for a few turns whilst it zooms around in it's turning circle or K-turn. Also without the TIE Engine upgrade it isn't the easiest of feats to shed stress.
Future gaming will certainly ensure that I will try out Redline and admittedly I've only used him once with lots of Cluster missiles (there is something good about throwing all those red dice continually), the failed TIE Defender pilot in me sees an opportunity partnered with Colonel Vessery. Of course it sounds great on paper and with all those points tied up in two pilots I think I'd struggle to fit in a much needed 3rd ship. Still an interesting build that deserves to be explored.
Lastly in my quick thoughts on the matter, I certainly see potential for a TIE Phantom as a great wingman for the TIE Punisher.
The biggest thing however I have taken away from the TIE Punisher expansion is the Extra Munitions card which certainly has brought ordnance (at least for me) back into the game at first being an expensive commodity to now being a somewhat economical way to inflict some damage onto the ships opposite you.
Thanks for reading.