Instant Impressions: TIE Phantom

I instantly liked the TIE Phantom.  First, because I dislike the look of the other Imperial ship in this release, the TIE Defender.  I know people love the Defender, but it looks all backwards to me.  (It looks like someone had the Star Wars license and just went stupid with it.)  And second, because the Phantom adds a fun new mechanic to the game: Cloaking.

Essentially, Cloaking ends up being +2 Agility in exchange for ability to shoot.  Cloaking is an action and Decloaking happens before you reveal your maneuver dial.  When you Decloak, you perform either a 2 boost or 2 barrel roll and then execute your normal maneuver.  The Phantom also has barrel roll action (but not boost), so you can move a good six inches laterally in a mega-roll if you want.

I have to admit, I play for fun and rarely have a tactical plan.  The first time I Decloaked Echo, I flew the Phantom right off the board.  The second game I tried it, I ended up pointing the wrong way.  The Phantom does require a lot more thinking that I usually commit to the maneuver phase.  But once I started paying attention, and changed up the configuration, the Phantom became a power ship.  Here's one list:

"Echo": Navigator, Sensor Jammer, Squad Leader, Advanced Cloaking Device
Saber Squadron: Push The Limit, Shield Upgrade
Saber Squadron: Push The Limit, Shield Upgrade

At 99 points, the "Necho" configuration is pricey, but fun.  I think you could drop Sensor Jammer and Squad Leader without losing too much from the list, because like an Interceptor, it survives better when your opponents can't shoot at it.

In fact, the Phantom is just like an Interceptor, but turned up to 11.

The Phantom is fun to play, but takes a little practice to get the Decloak maneuver right.  With Echo, you'll have to make sure that you account for the 45 degree change of direction, but Navigator can get you out of a few jams.

Here's another variant with both named Phantom Pilots:

"Echo": Navigator, Sensor Jammer, Outmaneuver, Advanced Cloaking Device
"Whisper": Navigator, Fire Control System, Predator, Advanced Cloaking Device
Academy Pilot: What am I doing here?

The Texas Games Con X-Wing tournament renewed my belief that the Shuttle might be worth something, so here's a Phantom and Shuttle list:

Colonel Jendon: Weapons Engineer, ST-321
Shadow Squadron: Advanced Cloaking Device, Navigator
Shadow Squadron: Advanced Cloaking Device, Navigator

More games are necessary, because more than any other ship in X-Wing the Phantom requires a lot of practice, but I think it just might take over as my current favorite ship.