Fantasy Flight Games gives us a preview of the upcoming TIE Defender for the X-Wing Miniatures game.
From the article:
One of the most recognizable of all Star Wars starfighters from outside the classic films, the TIE defender represented a major shift in Imperial policy.
Classic Imperial tactics relied upon massed swarms of relatively inexpensive TIE fighters, favoring quantity over quality. However, as the Rebel Alliance enjoyed more and more success with its more advanced starfighters, the Empire decided to reevaluate the cost of replacing its starfighters and pilots. It was this decision that led to the development of the TIE defender.
Upgraded with enhanced firepower and deflector shields, the TIE defender proved more than a match for its Rebel counterparts. In fact, when the TIE defender was introduced, shortly before the Battle of Endor, it was easily the most advanced starfighter in the galaxy. The addition of a hyperdrive allowed it to perform an even more flexible role within the Imperial Navy, though the significantly higher investment the Empire had to make in creating each TIE defender meant that only its best pilots would ever fly one.