2015 X-Wing Regional Winners

The 2015 Regional championships are well under way for Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures. Over on the Fantasy Flight Games forums, MajorJuggler (big hat tip to him) has been gathering up all of the results available, including the contents of the winning lists. I thought it might be interesting to take a closer look at each of those lists and see if we can pick out some common themes.

Big turret & support

I don’t know that we’ll ever see this archetype go away. Whether it’s a variant of Dash / Corran, or a Fat Han, a big turret can control a lot of the battlefield, and these lists bring just enough support to keep the heat off and let the big guy do his thing.

Martinsburg, West Virginia, US
Dash Rendar – 36 (YT-2400 Outrider)
Predator – 3 (TIE Defender)
Chewbacca – 4 (Millennium Falcon)
Heavy Laser Cannon – 7 (Slave 1 / Lambda Shuttle)
Outrider – 5 (YT-2400 Outrider)

Prototype Pilot – 17 (A-Wing)
Chaardan Refit – (-2) (Rebel Aces)

Prototype Pilot – 17 (A-Wing)
Chaardan Refit – (-2) (Rebel Aces)

Prototype Pilot – 17 (A-Wing)
Chaardan Refit – (-2) (Rebel Aces)

The Chaardan Prototypes have quickly become a tournament favorite for many, substituting for the Bandit Squadron Z-95’s that were once seen used in the same blocker/support role. Slightly more expensive, but bringing an extra evade die and a much better dial along with them. Dash is pretty basic here, using Chewbacca for a cheap extra two hit points, and getting some passive action economy out of Predator. The firepower isn’t outstanding in this list, but it obviously got the job done, “crushing” the reigning World Champion in the process.

Bellevue, NE, US
Chewbacca – 42 (Millennium Falcon)
Predator – 3 (TIE Defender)
C-3PO – 3 (CR-90 Blockade Runner)
Luke Skywalker – 7 (Millennium Falcon)
Millennium Falcon – 1 (Millennium Falcon)

Eaden Vrill – 32 (YT-2400 Outrider)
Heavy Laser Cannon – 7 (Slave 1 / Lambda Shuttle)
Recon Specialist – 3 (HWK-290 / TIE Phantom)
Anti-Pursuit Lasers – 2 (Lambda Shuttle)

Well, this one is interesting. A title-less YT-2400 (and I like it!) flown by the least common of its’ pilots (which is why I like it), teamed up with a “passive-aggressive” Chewbacca build. I would assume that Chewbacca would be taking an Evade to help C-3PO out pretty much every round, not needing Target Lock or Focus to push damage through with the Predator/Luke combo. Eaden is a good pick, with so many players depending on stress for action economy, he can pack a serious punch without needing the 5 point tax for the Outrider title, and gets to wield that HLC without having a blind spot. If Eaden can help clear a ship or two early, the enemy will be hard pressed to break through Chewbacca’s defenses in the end game.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Corran Horn – 35 (E-Wing)
R2-D2 – 4 (Starter set)
Fire-Control System – 2 (B-Wing / TIE Phantom)
Engine Upgrade – 4 (Millennium Falcon)

Dash Rendar – 36 (YT-2400 Outrider)
Heavy Laser Cannon – 7 (Slave 1 / Lambda Shuttle)
Outrider – 5 (YT-2400 Outrider)
Recon Specialist – 3 (HWK-290 / TIE Phantom)
Lone Wolf – 2 (YT-2400 Outrider)

(1 point initiative bid)

On the surface, this looks like just another list where Corran supports Dash. But taking a closer look at the upgrades, there’s something else happening here. I’m surprised to see Engine Upgrade on Corran, not on Dash. The focus is shifted as a result, giving Corran free reign to boost into or out of combat as needed, but also making it much easier to catch Dash. Dash, on the other hand, isn’t using the traditional build with Kyle Katarn, Engine Upgrade, and Push the Limit. In fact, there’s nothing here that depends on a stress mechanic, meaning that Dash’s movements can be much less predictable. I can see this list struggling a bit against ships with high pilot skill and re-positioning capability, like Chiraneau / Soontir, because of the HLC range 1 gap and single action cap – if Corran goes down, Dash will need to be very creative to survive.

Two big turrets

I won’t call this a new category, because we’ve definitely seen dual Falcons before. But the Decimator and the Outrider have breathed some new life into this archetype, and the newcomers seem to be having some success.

Huddersfield, Kirklees, UK
Captain Oicunn – 42 (VT-49 Decimator)
Predator – 3 (TIE Defender)
Rebel Captive – 3 (Lambda Shuttle)
Ysanne Isard – 4 (VT-49 Decimator)
Gunner – 5 (Slave 1)

Patrol Leader – 40 (VT-49 Decimator)
Darth Vader – 3 (Lambda Shuttle)

I like this concept a lot. Two sources of automatic damage, with a lot of hit points to chew through. Unsurprisingly, Oicunn survived every game in this event, while the Patrol Leader was destroyed five times out of eight games. I do feel like this list would struggle against a swarm (TIE Fighters or B-Wings).

Cardiff, UK
Dash Rendar – 36 (YT-2400 Outrider)
Predator – 3 (TIE Defender)
Recon Specialist – 3 (HWK-290 / TIE Phantom)
Heavy Laser Cannon – 7 (Slave 1 / Lambda Shuttle)
Outrider – 5 (YT-2400 Outrider)

Chewbacca – 42 (Millennium Falcon)
Predator – 3 (TIE Defender)
Millennium Falcon – 1 (Millennium Falcon)

Just looking at this list, I feel like Chewbacca served as extra health for Dash, plugging up that HLC blind spot and presenting himself as a better target. If that’s really what is going on here, I think I like Tactical Jammer (VT-49 Decimator) better than the Millennium Falcon title, but then again, there’s probably a reason why I don’t have a lot of success with big ships.

Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Han Solo – 46 (Millennium Falcon)
Lone Wolf – 2 (YT-2400 Outrider)
Millennium Falcon – 1 (Millennium Falcon)
Engine Upgrade – 4 (Millennium Falcon)
C-3PO – 3 (CR-90 Blockade Runner)
Gunner – 5 (Slave 1)

Eaden Vrill – 32 (YT-2400 Outrider)
Outrider – 5 (YT-2400 Outrider)
Mangler Cannon – 4 (IG-2000 / M3-A)

In stark contrast to the previous list, the Falcon is the beefy ship being guarded by the Outrider now. Eaden confuses me a bit in this one – his pilot ability only applies to primary attacks, which you can’t do with the Outrider title. So you’re paying two more points than the Fringer to upgrade from PS2 to PS3. I’d look at swapping that out and finding another use for those two points, like Tactician or Mercenary Copilot for the Outrider, or more likely as a one point initiative bid and an Intelligence agent to allow some Barrel Roll blocking shenanigans.

Big turret and arc dodger

A relatively new archetype. Turrets were once a domain controlled solely by the Rebels, yet arc dodging was (and still is largely) a purely Imperial concept. A fully loaded Decimator doesn’t leave you room for many escorts, but it conveniently leaves room for a single small ship that is fully kitted out. Before the recent changes to the TIE Phantom, this role had been filled by Echo or Whisper. Now, Soontir Fel serves as the escort.

Not having seen these lists played much locally, I’m only able to guess at the tactics. It looks as though the Decimator is used to hunt down anything that can try to keep up with Fel, who can then run rampant on the enemy afterwards. On the other hand, if players chase Fel first, they would often not be able to kill the Decimator with what they had left afterwards.

Barcelona, Spain
Rear Admiral Chiraneau – 46 (VT-49 Decimator)
Predator – 3 (TIE Defender)
Ysanne Isaard – 4 (VT-49 Decimator)
Gunner – 5 (Slave 1)
Rebel Captive – 3 (Lambda Shuttle)
Engine Upgrade – 4 (Millennium Falcon)

Soontir Fel -27 (TIE Interceptor)
Royal Guard TIE – 0 (Imperial Aces)
Push the Limit – 3 (A-Wing /  Imperial Aces)
Autothrusters – 2 (Starviper)
Stealth Device – 3 (M3-A / Slave 1)

It’s nearly impossible for Chiraneau not to do damage here. Engine Upgrade ensures that he’s within range 1-2 for his pilot ability to convert a Focus result, Predator allows for a passive re-roll, and Gunner gives a second attack if the first is evaded. Soontir Fel has the most common build you’ll see on him now.

Malmö, Skane, Sweden
Rear Admiral Chiraneau – 46 (VT-49 Decimator)
Predator – 3 (TIE Defender)
Ysanne Isaard – 4 (VT-49 Decimator)
Rebel Captive – 3 (Lambda Shuttle)
Gunner – 5 (Slave 1)
Engine Upgrade – 4 (Millennium Falcon)

Soontir Fel – 27 (TIE Interceptor)
Royal Guard TIE – 0 (Imperial Aces)
Push the Limit – 3 (A-Wing /  Imperial Aces)
Autothrusters – 2 (Starviper)
Hull Upgrade – 3 (Starviper / Imperial Aces)

This list is nearly identical to the previous, trading out Fel’s Stealth Device for a Hull Upgrade. With Autothrusters and almost always having at least one Focus token available, that’s not a pick that I would make, I want as many evade dice on Fel as possible and to never get hit in the first place.

 

Tulsa, OK, US
Rear Admiral Chiraneau – 46 (VT-49 Decimator)
Veteran Instincts -1 (Slave 1 /  Millennium Falcon)
Ysanne Isaard – 4 (VT-49 Decimator)
Gunner – 5 (Slave 1)
Rebel Captive – 3 (Lambda Shuttle)
Dauntless – 2 (VT-49 Decimator)
Engine Upgrade – 4 (Millennium Falcon)

Soontir Fel – 27 (TIE Interceptor)
Royal Guard TIE – 0 (Imperial Aces)
Push the Limit – 3 (A-Wing /  Imperial Aces)
Autothrusters – 2 (Starviper)
Stealth Device – 3 (M3-A / Slave 1)

I don’t like this build quite as much as the other versions containing the Rear Admiral. Moving last and shooting first with Chiraneau is a big plus, especially with the possibility of still seeing some TIE Phantom lists, but I would personally much prefer the extra damage output via Predator. Still, Tulsa is a highly competitive area for X-Wing, so I’m sure there’s a good reason that this list carried the day there.

Stirling, Scotland
Captain Oicunn – 42 (VT-49 Decimator)
Predator – 3 (TIE Defender)
Darth Vader – 3 (Lambda Shuttle)
Rebel Captive – 3 (Lambda Shuttle)
Gunner – 5 (Slave 1)
Dauntless – 2 (VT-49 Decimator)
Proximity Mines – 3 (Slave 1 / IG-2000)
Engine Upgrade – 4 (Millennium Falcon)

Soontir Fel – 27 (TIE Interceptor)
Royal Guard TIE – 0 (Imperial Aces)
Push the Limit – 3 (A-Wing /  Imperial Aces)
Autothrusters – 2 (Starviper)
Stealth Device – 3 (M3-A / Slave 1)

Standard Soontir, not so standard Decimator. Oicunn scares me more than Chiraneau, personally, because the agile arc dodgers that I love don’t like automatic damage. In this case, Oicunn specializes in taking out a ship without shooting at them. Instead, he rams into them and triggers Dauntless to drop Proximity Mines behind himself. It’s very likely that the victim either doesn’t clear Oicunn with their movement and gets rammed again the next turn, or they fly through the proximity mines and potentially take unavoidable damage from those. If that’s not enough, Oicunn can sacrifice some of his own health with the Gunner/Vader combo to deal two automatic critical hits. It’s very likely that Oicunn will be lost in this setup. It’s very unlikely that anything will survive that can keep up with Soontir Fel. Although it won’t score as highly in the Margin of Victory column as other variants, I think this is the nastiest of the category for single elimination play.

Double IG

Maneuverability? Check. Health? Check. Firepower? Ch-Ch-Ch-Check. These guys can hit hard, laugh at turrets, and can be a bear to pin down. Shot for shot, they can match the big turreted ships, and while covering less hull, their defenses are usually better. Where these guys fall short is that they have to be pointed towards the enemy, not always an easy trick to manage, and their defenses rely on Autothrusters, which aren’t as good against jousting lists (which still appear as spoilers in swiss rounds even if they aren’t discussed here otherwise). Still, as Scum & Villainy pilots gain more experience, I feel we’ll see more forces like this one in the list of champions.

Madrid, Spain
IG-88B – 36 (IG-2000)
Heavy Laser Cannon – 7 (Lambda Shuttle / Slave 1 / YT-2400)
Advanced Sensors – 3 (Lambda / E-Wing)
Veteran Instincts -1 (Slave 1 /  Millennium Falcon)
Inertial Dampeners – 1 (Starviper / IG-2000)
Autothrusters – 2 (Starviper)
IG-2000 – 0 (IG-2000)

IG-88C – 36 (IG-2000)
Heavy Laser Cannon – 7 (Lambda Shuttle / Slave 1 / YT-2400)
Advanced Sensors – 3 (Lambda / E-Wing)
Veteran Instincts -1 (Slave 1 /  Millennium Falcon)
Inertial Dampeners – 1 (Starviper / IG-2000)
Autothrusters – 2 (Starviper)
IG-2000 – 0 (IG-2000)

This build is all about making long range attack runs, staying as far away from the enemy force as possible while still getting HLC shots. Advanced Sensors are great in conjunction with IG88-C, allowing an optional re-positioning Boost and free Evade before performing a maneuver. As a result, you not only get an Evade that normally wouldn’t be available after a stressful maneuver like a K-Turn or an S-Loop, but you can also adjust exactly where that maneuver will take you. This is maximized by adding in Veteran Instincts, giving as much information as possible about the final board state for the turn before making that decision.

Arc dodging

Milton Keynes, UK
Soontir Fel -27 (TIE Interceptor)
Royal Guard TIE – 0 (Imperial Aces)
Push the Limit – 3 (A-Wing /  Imperial Aces)
Autothrusters – 2 (Starviper)
Stealth Device – 3 (M3-A / Slave 1)

Carnor Jax – 26 (Imperial Aces)
Royal Guard TIE – 0 (Imperial Aces)
Push the Limit – 3 (A-Wing /  Imperial Aces)
Autothrusters – 2 (Starviper)
Stealth Device – 3 (M3-A / Slave 1)

Royal Guard Pilot – 22 (Imperial Aces)
Royal Guard TIE – 0 (Imperial Aces)
Push the Limit – 3 (A-Wing /  Imperial Aces)
Autothrusters – 2 (Starviper)
Stealth Device – 3 (M3-A / Slave 1)

A pilot after my own heart, I’m both surprised yet not surprised that this list hasn’t appeared more often yet. Won’t bother to write much about this list, if you want to read about it, check my archives. :)

Swarms

*Chirp Chirp*

I don’t know that this necessarily means that swarms (5+ ships) are gone for good, but we’re certainly seeing less success from them. While TIE Fighter swarms weren’t expected to be making the cut anymore, the BBBBZ and BXXZZZ lists that ran rampant in the store championships have made appearances but have yet to come out on top.

Closing thoughts

Big ships with turrets seem to still be ruling the day, despite the outcries from the community that Autothrusters would be the death of them. I’m hoping to see something that inserts a bit more variety soon as the next batch of results comes in; after all, I haven’t played mine yet!

– The Tabletop General

 

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