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Star Wars X-Wing Punishing One Review

punishing one

Crime & Punishment

The light of the moon in your starboard viewport is blotted out by an entirely different and more deadly crescent: the Punishing One has you in the sights of its quad-barrelled turbolaser turret and is powering up to open fire!

The Punishing One pack for Star Wars: X-Wing - including a pre-painted miniature, tokens and cards - expands the rogue's gallery to include the battle-scarred bounty hunter, Dengar, and adds a host of dastardly upgrades to make the ship-of-choice for scum and villainy throughout the galaxy all the more lethal.

Full Circle

One of this vessel’s main features is its 360 degree turret, ensuring suppressing fire from - quite literally - all angles. Using an action to change the bearing of your turret will be the key to blasting your pursuers, and it will take a shrewd pilot to pair this with the various manoeuvres and upgrades to really take advantage of this armament.

Complimenting this cannon is a Torpedo upgrade slot, and this expansion boasts two options. First, there’s Ion Torpedoes, which deal a small amount of damage but dissipate the majority of their output to electrifying enemy ships and inflicting Ion tokens. An ionised ship is dead in the water and must drift slowly forwards for one turn, leaving it vulnerable to a craft as nimble as the Punishing One. But the deciding blow comes in the form of Advanced Proton Torpedoes; by spending a charge, you may change a hit result to a critical hit. A direct critical hit without shields cripplies vital systems with brutal results, from engine failure to a pilot blinded by a cockpit fire.

Crooked Criminal

Where the Punishing One really sets itself apart from the fleet is on the face of its manoeuvre dial. With an eye-catching asymmetrical design, the Jumpmaster 5000’s offset thrusters give it a moveset that’s as orderly as its operators (and they’re some of the most twisted scoundrels in the galaxy!). Most port manoeuvres are blue - performing one will remove a Stress token - as the craft leans into the weight of its curve, but starboard turns are white, owing to the jets working overtime to shift its left-leaning mass. It’s a tiny change that makes the atypical craft feel so much more thematically thought-out than many of its contemporaries.

The most decisive effect of this is an advanced manoeuvre, Segnor’s Loop, in white rather than the traditional red (which would add a Stress token to the ship of a less level-headed pilot). The Loop takes the form of a regular bank manoeuvre - at speed 2, in this case - but also flips your craft 180 degrees. After flying straight at an attacker’s nose, you could feasibly end up swerving past them with your primary firing arc aimed right at their rear deflector shields!

Corellian Cunning

Hailing from the planet Corellia - Han Solo’s own homeworld - Dengar is a fierce match for any hotshot pilot. Taking the form of a Gunner upgrade in this expansion, the man who once tracked down the Millenium Falcon allows you to shoot back at an attacker after defending; your aggressor will take one damage unless they choose to remove a beneficial green token instead. If he also flies with the sneaky smuggler Latts Razzi, you will be able to up your agility and remove a Stress token from your attacker to change your blank defence die to an evade result.

However, sometimes even hired killers hire mercenaries of their own to watch their backs. The Informant upgrade places a Listening Device token on an enemy ship, silently tracking their movements. If a ship with this token passes within range 0-2 of the ship carrying the insidious Informant, that ship must flip its manoeuvre dial faceup to reveal its flight path. This simple mechanic perfectly reflects the theme of sowing treachery in your opponent’s ranks, and feels strikingly stealthy for a ship piloted by a man who began his career as a gladiator.

Advanced Robotics

It’s not just heroes of the Rebellion like Luke Skywalker who fly with robotic navigators and crew; plenty of villains employ the services of droids to enhance their crafts’ prowess in battle. The Punishing One comes retrofitted with an Astromech slot to accommodate R5-P8, rerolling blank attack dice with the risk of a critical hit also damaging your ship, or a standard R2 unit who can temporarily reroute power to your shields at the cost of disarming your weaponry. The craft can also be crewed with the evil protocol droid 0-0-0, who hacks enemy fighters to give you a Calculate token unless the enemy pilot opts to gain a Stress token.

Some pilots even visit backstreet clinics and tamper with their own bodies; the illicit upgrade Contraband Cybernetics feels markedly cyberpunk in tone (and not just in its gorgeous artwork of a cyborg arming themselves beneath a hangar’s dazzling striplights). This allows you to spend a charge to perform red manoeuvres and actions even while Stressed, as if you’re bypassing the very cortisol receptors in your brain with wiring and code.


The unique, sweeping curves of the Punishing One’s sickle silhouette cut a cruel figure on the tabletop, and this miniature is brimming with surface detail. The crimson arrowhead of the cockpit stands out from the weathered hull, pockmarked by atmospheric burns and paint stripped during blistering hyperspeed jumps. A plethora of pipes, vents and other exterior greebles are punctuated by gunmetal panels and interleaved rearward fins, while the exquisitely sculpted turret sits sentry-like beside them. Finally, there’s the electric blue light of the hyperspeed boosters, positively glowing in their housing against the ship’s more muted palette; they add the final pop of radiance to complete the package.

The card artwork follows suit, and while this expansion regrettably has fewer pilots than many others, the included three Aces and standard pilot are immortalised in scorching images, and there are some stellar details for keen eyes. Tel Trevura’s white-and-red-striped Jumpmaster, like blood-streaked snow, soars past an explosion which looks to be the aftermath of the scene depicted on the Daredevil upgrade card included in other expansions: an A-Wing detonates as a sinister TIE Interceptor closes in to deal the final blow.

Elsewhere, Dengar’s partner Manaroo flies over the writhing tendrils and snapping beak of an almighty Sarlacc, while Dengar himself glides self-assuredly through the clouds past the mining colonies of a gas giant. But the Contracted Scout’s portrait is the most vivid; they hover over a hissing steam vent torn in a primordial landscape as volcanoes rumble on the horizon beneath flaming thunderclouds, in what could amount to the best piece of art I’ve seen for the game so far.

Glutton For Punishment

The Punishing One is a ship which may look somewhat civilian alongside the razor wings of a Fang Fighter, the imposing presence of Slave I or even the cold grey hull of a TIE Fighter. In reality, it is anything but. Living up to its namesake, it dishes out the unrelenting firepower from its swivelling turret and bears down on you with a rapid repertoire of advanced manoeuvres worthy of the ruthless bounty hunters flying it.

For a comparatively overlooked ship, the Punishing One possesses a multitude of mutinous crewmembers and an armoury befitting Boba Fett’s rival. Despite a less iconic frame, the ship’s unique strategies - like the added tactical depth of rotating a turret or the skill required to contend with an uneven manoeuvre dial - are refreshing elements that represent X-Wing at its best: allowing players to feel like unparalleled aerobatic aces.

That concludes our thoughts on Star Wars X-Wing the Punishing One. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts and tag us on social media @zatugames. To buy Star Wars X-Wing the Punishing One today click here!