If you want the TIE Defender from the X-wing/TIE fighter games, it is faster and more maneuverable than an A-wing, Heavier shields than a B-wing, a quad laser and a pair of ion cannons, and a hull tougher than a gunboat.
When spotted from another ship they say:'thats no moon, that's cheese'
I don't think the OP was asking for the TIE Defender in Age of Rebellion to perfectly reflect the TIE Defender in a tactical miniatures game. In fact, it seems that the purpose of this thread (in fact, the purpose of the previous threads on this subject) have been about reconciling the somewhat lackluster TIE/D from the Age of Rebellion Beta book with the TIE/D that was established in canon. At least, before Star Wars canon was completely eviscerated.
Side note: I thought "cheese" in the context of roleplaying games was a synonym for "munchkinism" or a pejorative reference manipulating the rules to gain an advantage that was technically "rules-legal," but not intended. It could also refer to a tactic that was somehow unbalancing and unsportsmanlike. I didn't realize the word now meant "something I don't like."
I have a simple response for someone wanting a TIE defender in my game:'walk away from my game. Now.'
Do you run Imperial-PC campaigns set in the post-Endor period often?
The TIE Defender as presented in the video game was simply pure cheese, being superior to every other fighter in every conceivable way.
Again, how exactly was a spacecraft that was working as intended by the designers and developers of the video games "pure cheese?" In X-Wing: Alliance, it wasn't even available as a playable craft outside of multiplayer and certain simulations. Also, the TIE Defender was not superior in every conceivable way. That statement is demonstrably false. The visibility was poor compared to the A-Wing or X-Wing, the hull was not as sturdy as a B-Wing, TIE Bomber, or even a TIE Interceptor, and the shields were inferior to the B-Wing and roughly equivalent to the Assault Gunboat.
It was an extremely fast and maneuverable craft with the advantages of shields and heavy armament. It was also relatively fragile when compared to the TIE Advanced/Avenger, Preybird, B-Wing, and other fighters it would have been competing with in the post-Endor period.
The in-universe and non-mechanical disadvantages to the TIE/D were numerous and substantial: they included the fact that the TIE/D was incredibly rare, cost 300,000 credits, (six times that of a TIE/Ln) were maintenance intensive, difficult to manufacture, and politically unpopular.
That sort of thing works fine for a video game, much like Starkiller and his over-the-top Force antics worked for the Force Unleashed games. But it doesn't necessarily translate well into an RPG, particularly one that's more concerned with the group's success as a whole than doling out uber-cool toys the way that Pathfinder and prior editions of D&D were.
So what if we aren't talking about the TIE/D as represented in video games? What if we're talking about the significant body of written work that detailed the comparative ability and performance of the TIE/D? You casually dismiss the TIE/D as if it were merely an artifact from a badly balanced video game, but that ignores the fact that the TIE/D has appeared literally everywhere in Star Wars media except on screen.
The irrelevance of video games to this discussion notwithstanding, I don't think your comparison is a valid one. While The Force Unleashed probably represented the worst of Jedi fetishism in the EU, it was ultimately a story about a single individual. A player trying to emulate that character in a roleplaying game would certainly unbalance things for the rest of the group. The TIE/D, however, is not a feat, a talent, or a force power. It is, ultimately, a piece of equipment. A piece of equipment that will virtually never fall into the hands of the players if you're playing the setting straight, and will rarely be used by the GM for Nemesis-level opponents.
The mere existence of a fighter such as the TIE/D (assuming stats that reflect the well established, in-universe performance standards) is no more a threat to your game than any artifact from D&D or Pathfinder. It only has to be an issue if you not only put it in your game, but allow your players to use it. The TIE/D (as established in-universe) is only going to be a balancing problem for the most egregious of Monty Haul GMs.
Also, could be that the Lucasfilm archives had information that countered fan expectations of what the TIE Defender is fully capable of, with it not necessarily being "as fast" or "as maneuverable" or whatever as the fanboys think it should be. Case in point is the dimensions of the HWK-290, which is listed as being fairly large on Wookieepedia (information itself based of WotC stats) but according to the info that FFG was provided, really isn't much bigger than a Y-Wing.
Point of order:
Wanting the TIE Defender's in-game stats to reflect the established lore and feel of the setting does not make one a "fanboy" or whatever other pejorative you wish to use to refer to those you disagree with. I am not a TIE Defender "fanboy," and while I cannot speak to the motivations of the others that have brought up the apparent discrepancy between the TIE/D's stats in the Age of Rebellion Beta and the lore, I suspect that most of them aren't merely TIE/D "fanboys" either. We're not throwing a tantrum because "MUH FVROITTE STRFIGHTER GOT NURFFED!!1one11eleven" we're asking why the discrepancy exists and hoping FFG does something to address it.
Also, don't you find it a bit interesting that the HWK-290's size is much closer to the size it was originally presented as in the Dark Forces (gasp) video games?
My opinion? Players aren't going to be running into the TIE/D as a matter of course. It's not a mook to be thrown at the party. It's a secret, Imperial project that is a significant arc in a campaign or a campaign unto itself. You don't bump into a random patrol of pilots in TIE Defenders. You confront Baron Soontir Fel and the 181st in TIE Defenders as part of a climactic space battle at the end of your campaign.
The circumstances where a GM will be using TIE Defenders will be rare, and an argument could be made that the situation is so rare that it's wasted space in the book and another craft (such as an Assault Gunboat) could make better use of that real-estate.
Edit: In hindsight, this post sounded much more confrontational than I initially intended it to. Donovan Morningfire and Korjik, please don't take the above post as a personal attack. I really didn't mean for the post to come across as rudely argumentative.
Edited by Yoshiyahu, 06 June 2014 - 09:33 PM.