So now we have a handle on how to control the TIE Striker better, how does the TIE Striker operate? Is a squadron of them effective? Or is it perhaps better suited in an 'ace' style approach? Does it require the support of the rest of the squad? The short answer is yes and all of the above.
The TIE Striker is good at being in the right place at the right time, however its major downfall is no natural dice modification.
Whilst most other TIE builds have access to the target lock action, the TIE Striker sadly goes without. This means for the higher pilot skill aces you're generally using a focus action to increase your accuracy. There are ways around it, for instance foregoing the Lightweight Frame and taking a Targeting Computer but the trade off is steep.
Either way, the TIE Striker title, Adaptive Ailerons is fantastic and the sole reason its movement is amazing and in my eyes in a must especially at zero squad points, allowing you to adapt to the enemies movements without touching your dial.
With a high pilot skills, and access to an elite pilot talent, Duchess provides a cheap platform to add an ace to your squad. Without the dice modification, Predator is of course a 'go to' for her, but there are certainly other cards worth entertaining.
Despite the expense of Expertise, for 4 points you can essentially forget about the focus action and just stick with barrel rolls for avoiding arcs or if you can't, instead opt for the evade token. It does take her to just shy of 30 points though which raises the question, does she do enough heavy lifting to warrant that cost?
Veteran Instincts is also a fantastic candidate to give you a pilot skill 10 ace on the cheap. Equipped with the Adaptive Ailerons card, this turns her into one of the most frustrating ships to pin down in the game right next to a TIE Phantom.
Stay on Target is another interesting candidate for Duchess. Reading the flow of combat and then altering your manoeuvre will ensure you get into the very best situations every time, however the down side is you gain a stress token and of course that prevents further actions. Second to this, it makes you a little predictable next turn as you'll want to perform a green manoeuvre in order to shake off the stress token before using Stay On Target again, or performing another action. A build like this highlights the ships need for support.
My heart sank when I discovered with such a cool pilot ability this TIE Striker was only sporting a pilot skill of 6. For this reason, the premiere choice falls to Veteran Instincts, taking the pilot into the upper echelons of the X-wing aces.
Still, being pilot skill 8, you can bet your opponent will want to throw something at it, just to ensure they're not copping an extra red dice. If left unchecked, sneaking into range 1 nets a solid 5 red dice. However, as previously mentioned without a target lock to speak of, the accuracy of these attacks is somewhat questionable.
Accurate or not, at 26 points for a pilot skill 8 ship, throwing 4 dice around with the Lightweight Frame modification, it will get the attention of your opponent.
Because of Countdown's pilot ability, the go-to card is Stealth Device over Lightweight Frame. With the wording of the pilot ability, Countdown is never technically 'hit', therefore never losing the Stealth Device.
Keep in mind however, because of the stress inducing mechanic, you'll be reduced in speed and manoeuvrability as it disables Adaptive Ailerons so plan accordingly. The other element as well if an opponent focuses fire on destroying Countdown, you'll only have a single opportunity to use the ability, so perhaps save it for those range 1 attacks that will really hurt.
When I first read Major Stridan's pilot ability, I was immediately impressed. Although it's not game breaking by any stretch of the imagination, the Upsilon-Class Shuttle certainly creates a powerful area of influence and flexibility.
Allowing your TIE Strikers to gain a target lock from Systems Officer is a wonderful way to ensure that your TIE Strikers are now delivering accurate fire. The best part, when combined with Major Stridan's pilot ability is your TIE Strikers can be at range 3 and still benefit, something which previously limited the use of Systems Officer. Of course some downfalls exist, firstly a green manoeuvre must be executed, and the shuttle is limited to 4 of these, but with careful planning there is no reason the ability can't be utilised more often than not. Secondly, you're only effecting one of your TIE Strikers.
Intelligence Agent could prove extremely useful when dealing with higher pilot skill aces. Allowing Adaptive Ailerons to be put to best use, ensuring your pre-positioning before revealing the manoeuvre dial is as perfect as it can be.
Inspiring Recruit is a fairly niche pick, however if you're going into a stress-inducing heavy meta, then it is going to be of value. Once again, drawing on the Major's ability, the card becomes effective at range 1-3
As far as other upgrades are concerned on the shuttle, Advanced Sensors seems to be the ultimate pick, ensuring the Co-ordinate action can be used before the ship moves off out of action perhaps or setting up the ultimate arc dodge by pushing a barrel roll out onto a TIE Striker before they move. Another fact here as well, the Co-ordinate action works perfectly with the Major's pilot ability, pushing it out to a healthy range 1-3 allowing more flexibility Although I've created a squad here with the Upsilon-class Shuttle and two TIE Strikers, cuts can be made to include three TIE Strikers instead.
Also it can't be denied that the TIE Striker would make an interesting swarm, able to re-direct to another spot being totally unpredictable to an opponent. With Adaptive Ailerons as well you can to some degree correct mistakes or intentionally bump enemy ships using the white manoeuvre before revealing your dial for no penalty. If you contact a small or large based ship and are sitting flush against their base after using Adaptive Ailerons, you can be sure that 2K-turn you've dialled in is going to put you into a perfect spot to enforce the Empire's dominance.
I'm interesting to see what other people have thought about in regards to the TIE Strikers and what they use for support craft if any.
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