I arrived at our local X-Wing game night this week at the same time as a good friend of mine who I rarely get a chance to play against. We walked in to find several other games in progress, and it seemed everyone else was already engaged, so he started pulling out a list and I began flipping through my squads, trying to find something out of the ordinary to fly – my triple Interceptor list deserved a week off. I had almost decided to run a TIE swarm when it came up in conversation that my friend had never played against a relatively common tournament list – “BBBBZ”. There’s probably some more elegant or descriptive names out there, but it’s not often that you can tell someone EXACTLY what a full 100 point list contains with only five letters, so I embrace it.
That’s it, 100 points exactly. Pilot skill 2 across the board. Zero upgrades. Only 6 evade dice total spread across 5 ships. But the list brings a whopping total of 36 hull and shield points, and throws out a respectable 14 attack dice. I’m not a HUGE fan of the list, but it has made a respectable showing in many store championship events this year, and it sounded like something that was suitably different from my usual selections to use.
For this particular game, my opponent fielded the following:
We were approaching this as a relatively casual game, but then he threw down his “Lost City Squadron” rank card – a challenge. One of our local TO’s borrowed the “Bag Tag” system from Disc Golf, and had fifty numbered rank cards printed out, which were randomly distributed around our community. In a challenge match, both players offer up their card as a wager on the match, and the winner takes the higher of the ranks. We’re still working on the system, but the idea is to offer some minor perks for being ranked highly, such as free local event entry to the highest ranked player present. With my current #4 ranking on the line, now I had to take this seriously, despite not being practiced with flying the list.
With obstacles (both debris and asteroids) fairly tightly packed in the center, we deployed in opposite corners of the map with distinctly separate goals – I intended to use the obstacles as additional blockers and to force a joust; while my opponent appeared intend upon flying past and around them, approaching me from the side. Without splitting his force, however, there was nothing to prevent me from turning my force to face his as he approached, and we engaged in the middle of the field.
The first turn of shooting didn’t go well for me at all. With several ships too far away to fire (I really need to practice maneuvering these things), no target locks, and firing at long range, I took a lot of damage on one B-Wing and did none in return – It’s really hard to crack those Interceptors open!
Things got nasty from there. Seeing what a bad position he would be otherwise on the upcoming turn, my opponent elected to fly one Interceptor straight up the middle and out the other side of the engagement, crossing a debris field in the process and taking a Direct Hit. The other would be attempting to skirt the side of my force and dodge out of my arcs, but there just weren’t enough places for it to go safely, and my injured B-Wing blocked him perfectly, while the rest of the squad had moved up and stacked up Target Locks. Rexler Brath vaporized the wounded Blue Squadron Pilot, but the action-less Interceptor fell to the massed firepower of the remainder of my squad.
The chase was on from there, with the Defender and damaged Interceptor doing everything they could to dodge arcs and get clean shots. As several other players noted, I should have started a timer as soon as it was declared to be a ranked match if I really wanted to keep my card. It ended up taking the better part of two hours to finish the cat & mouse game between the two squads, as I switched targets several times to attempt to catch one in a bad position. In the end, clever maneuvering with my B-Wings combined with my knowledge of the moves available to the Imperial ships to allow me to trap and kill both remaining enemy ships, losing the Z-95 and another B-Wing in the process, and with two healthy B-Wings remaining. Depending on when time expired, the match could have ended several different ways, but there was only a couple of minutes where I was behind, losing the Z-95 before finishing the second Interceptor.
There’s certainly power to be found in the B-Wings, but the Z-95 seems like it doesn’t always do a whole lot for me in this list. I’ve faced a couple variants that drop the Headhunter for upgrades on the B-wings, and I would probably select one of these if I were to bring out such a list in tournament play.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love Intelligence Agent? Perhaps with my Cloaks & Dagger list? Those Advanced Sensor B-Wings can pump out unexpected damage by taking a Focus or Target Lock before a hard turn or K-Turn, or thanks to the Intelligence Agent they can be really good at getting right in your way to block maneuvers and deny actions. Then Fire-Control Systems lets the other two focus on pure damage output.
Potentially applying four stress per turn, these B-Wings do a really good job of locking down one or two targets, taking them out of the game, and then coming back around for the remainder. They can be beaten, but it’s rough. I’ll be potentially playing as a ringer against players with a bye for the round in an upcoming “El Sith-o De Mayo” tournament, and I may have to give this variant a spin.
So what do you guys think? Which squad would perform the best, out of the three? Is there another variant with multiple B-Wings on the table that you like more and I didn’t list? Leave a comment below, I welcome your feedback as always!
By now, readers of the site should know that when it comes to Star Wars games, I’m a huge fan of TIE Interceptors. I’m really looking forward to find the best way to use them in Star Wars: Armada (releasing this week!!!), even though they won’t appear until the Imperial Fighter Squadron expansion arrives with the rest of wave 1 in a couple weeks. I’ve posted a few recent articles (here, and here) about how I’ve been using the Interceptors in X-Wing Miniatures, and this weekend I put all that practice to the test, by taking that same list to the X-Wing Store Championship at Galactic Comics & Games.
While it wasn’t exactly a five minute trip to get there, I have a friend who plays at Galactic regularly, and he had made a special trip to come attend another Store Championship event which I had run. I wanted to return the favor. It would be close to my last chance to compete at a Store Championship event before the season wrapped up for the year, and I’ve been using these events as a way of proving to myself how much my skills and understanding of the game had evolved over the previous year. So, several hours of driving way earlier than I’m comfortable with on a Saturday morning, I arrived, registered for the event, and mentally buckled my seatbelt, something told me I was in for a ride. I didn’t expect a cakewalk by any means, but I didn’t see a lot of squads out on tables that I wanted to fight:
Four B-Wings… not the worst thing in the world, but there’s a lot of HP in there, and they’re the only thing to have beaten my list thus far (technically 3 + Luke).
Obligatory Paul Heaver Special (YT-1300, 3 Z-95‘s), I just get so bored with fighting that at every single event.
Out of time for scouting, it was time to get on the table. Round one started with exactly 16 players, which meant 4 rounds of Swiss play and then a cut to top 4. This got a little complicated as 5 players making a similar drive to mine arrived half an hour after the round started. This was the first major event hosted by this Tournament Organizer, so he consulted myself and a couple other TO’s present. Given that other players from the same area arrived on time, none of the players were pre-registered despite the clearly outlined requirements to do so on the event announcements, and that they did not contact the store when they realized they would be late, but that they had several friends in the event and had driven so far, they were allowed to join, but with full losses in the first round, and the event was not expanded, making for a steep uphill battle for them to reach the top 4 in what was now a 21 person event.
Soontir, Carnor, and a Royal Guard Pilot, all decked out with Royal Guard TIE, Push The Limit, Autothrusters, and Stealth Device. One point initiative bid, which has been worth it’s weight in gold (and more, considering that a “point” is noncorporeal and weightless.)
Oh. That’s what I missed about the B-Wings in scouting. Tacticians. A big meaty stress mechanic inserted into a matchup that I didn’t like too much already. Considering that my Interceptors live and die by their actions, that much stress (and thus action denial) applied to one Interceptor at a time means that Interceptor dies, and quickly. And thanks to Tactician, every shot my opponent fired at range 2 would add an additional Stress Token to his target. So I had to play this carefully, and I did exactly that.
It certainly helped accelerate things that my opponent miscalculated an early maneuver and collided with two crucial K-Turns, but I don’t know that it would have helped matters all that much for him, as I was pushing my Interceptors HARD, giving up shots to escape firing arcs, Barrel Rolling back out to range 3, Boosting into range 1, K-turning at just the right time, and skirting asteroids by micrometers… I was in the zone early. One Interceptor got caught in his sights, and losing two hull, but it served as a decoy for the rest of the game, and I walked away with a full win, having taken exactly one extra stress from the four Tacticians combined.
This was an interesting list, and my opponent flew it well. I’d had trouble in practice keeping the BTL-A4 Y-Wings pointed into the fight, but he did a great job of alternating K-turns and green 3’s with them, and kept pouring shot after shot at anything he could keep in arc. He snuck a damage or two home on the initial engagement, and a couple of ion shots landed home. As a result, my Interceptors ended up in really bad positions, but he wasn’t able to capitalize on it due to some untimely critical hits from his own Proton Bombs. Realizing the danger he posed, I poured fire at Kavil, and managed to put a “Blinded Pilot” critical hit on him. I then played keep-away for a turn or two with him, feeling safe because I didn’t have to worry if I guessed wrong once as to where he would move. Eventually, I was able to regroup and pounce on Kavil with all three ships, leaving him unable to boost away.
From there I was forced to play very carefully against his remaining Y-Wings to avoid arcs, but the rest of his list slowly crumbled as I picked away at it. He was inches away from scoring some major points, but the score doesn’t reflect it, as all my Interceptors limped home with heavy damage but alive, 100-0. Intrigued with the fight he put up here, and curious to see what I could do with the same setup, I tried that same list out in a local event the next day. I’ll just say that certain people have a knack for certain ships, and Y-Wings are not my forte.
Ugh. This was going to be UGLY, and a bad matchup for me. At 99 points, to his 100, I have the choice on initiative. With tied pilot skills across the board, I faced a hard choice: Let the Phantoms run rampant in the maneuver phase by taking initiative, or give it to my opponent, thus letting them have their cloaking and extra defense dice but take the opportunity to dodge firing arcs by moving last. I chose to give up initiative, and I still don’t know if it was the right choice, or if there even was a right choice to be made. My opponent outguessed me on maneuvers very consistently, and my dice (which had admittedly been rolling hot so far) went cold. I managed to take the shields off of both Phantoms, but couldn’t punch through. I made some big mistakes with my maneuver choices, including attempting a K-turn while stressed (Pro tip: If you stack tokens on top of each other for any reason, put the stress on top.) So after a hail-mary of an attempt to snag a couple points by killing Echo (and falling one hit short), I walked away with a quick 0-100 loss, and hoped I wouldn’t face this again in the first round of the playoffs.
2-1, 400 MoV
I’m a little shaken by the total loss in that match, but I feel like a solid win still gets me into the top 4 cut, especially considering a standings update has me in 5th or 6th place, meaning I’m ahead of several other players with a 2-1 standing, and two players ahead of me will be knocked down in the ranks by their matches.
Okay, so it’s not a cookie-cutter copy of Paul Heaver’s “Fat Han” list, but it’s pretty close. Taking Luke in place of R2-D2 takes away a lot of the ship’s resiliency, but you aren’t really missing out on much by downgrading the Bandits except perhaps against Rebel swarms, which I didn’t spot many of at this event. It’s similar enough to the original that I don’t want to see it yet again.
Tensions were high here, as there had been a misunderstanding about the tournament structure after the 5 late-comers were added in. My opponent was the front-runner of the group who had came in late, and would likely make it into the playoffs with a full win and poor showings by the losing players at tables 1 & 2, and his companion at the next table down was in a similar situation and had a shot as well, but it was a must-win situation for them, despite the fact that both had beaten everyone they had played. This had just been clarified to the whole room, so my opponent was frustrated but determined. I, on the other hand, had no intention of letting one big turret end my day.
Han was still surprisingly tough to bring down, even without R2-D2, but I focused all of my fire there, ignoring the Z’s. The last thing I wanted to do was end up in a late game duel with 1 Interceptor trying to bypass both C-3PO and an evade token. I took damage early on all of my ships, which made them more vulnerable without their Stealth Devices, but I was able to score a few key critical hits on Han, including a “Damaged Engine” (all hard turns are red) and an “Injured Pilot” (Ignore Han’s pilot ability and Elite Pilot Talent), which hampered the Falcon’s mobility and considerably reduced its’ damage output.
The stakes were high, as we both knew this was essentially the first round of our playoffs, the loser’s day was done. Adding to that tension from earlier was that my opponent was forced to do things that he didn’t come prepared for – he didn’t bring Target Lock tokens because he never takes that action with this list, and I had none to loan in my tournament kit since I can’t take the action, but Carnor Jax shuts down Focus & Evade actions, and the Injured Pilot critical hit caused him to need Target Locks for damage output. And in the name of keeping the play surface free of clutter, my opponent insisted on keeping any tokens for a ship with its’ ship card, which caused a great deal of confusion from time to time. In fact, that proved to be his demise, as Han took a hard turn to face a nearby board edge (normally a white maneuver, but now red thanks to the Damaged Engine crit), which left him stressed and unable to take a subsequent hard turn to remain on the field. My damaged Interceptors then engaged the Headhunters, but with all of the token confusion and dancing around the Falcon, too much time had elapsed in the match, and I was unable to kill more than one of them before time was called.
I really didn’t want to see the TIE Phantoms again, but this looked pretty nasty too. Ten Numb’s loadout here is a bit of a gimmick against most lists, but deadly against mine: Ten Numb’s pilot ability is that one of his Critical Hit results cannot be canceled. Calculation lets you spend a Focus Token to turn one of your Focus results to a Critical Hit. After I did the math, it looks like when he shoots his Ion Cannon with a Focus Token available, he has a slightly better than 75% chance to cause an unstoppable point of damage and an Ion token. Next to meaningless against a Decimator, or a swarm of TIE Fighters, but against my list that is already hurt badly by Ion tokens and only has 9 hull points in the list, Ten Numb had to GO!
With that in mind, I went back to my number one rule for a tough matchup: Pick out the one thing that can hurt you more than anything else, go punch it in the face until dead, and re-evaluate the game from there. He approached slowly, using an opening that had his ships nested up in the corner of the field, weaving between each other with each move. I’m still not sure what effect it was supposed to have, but it was “a modified version of Paul Heaver’s opening moves”, so of course, it has to be good, right? I swarmed in with my Interceptors, “approaching faster than [he] had hoped [I] would”, and went full speed after Ten Numb. In the process I lost a couple hull points and my Stealth Devices on Carnor Jax and Soontir Fel, but Ten Numb was cleared within three turns of shooting, and the clustered formation of our ships left my opponent unable to capitalize on the situation enough to finish off either of those ships.
At this point, Keyan and two Z’s remain. Soontir is pointed out of the fight and stressed, Carnor is in the middle of the field with enemy ships on either side of him, and the Royal Guard Pilot is on the opposite side of the fight from Soontir, and pointed away.
Everybody that has used or played someone using them heavily knows that TIE Interceptors with Push the Limit have just a few moves that you’ll see over and over again: Hard turns, speed 2 when stressed, speed 1 or 3 potentially when unstressed for some magical reason. Having little reason to suspect anything else would be coming, my opponent set his dials for the turn to focus all his fire on my wounded and stressed elite pilots that would surely be turning in with a green 2-hard to go head to head with his remaining B-Wing. But I had dialed up a plan that I’ve always known was a possibility, but never really put into practice: The scatter drill.
The Royal Guard Pilot and Carnor had high speed green maneuvers set in opposite directions away from Keyan Farlander, with Carnor looking to escape the inevitable trap. Keyan might have sensed that something was wrong when the Royal Guard didn’t try to engage, but he was committed to finishing Carnor, and gave himself Stress for a quality shot. Carnor gunned it away from the B-Wing, but ended up with two Z-95’s in his way. Barrel Rolling to one side got him out of one arc, and I intended to shoot the gap between the Z-95 and an asteroid with a followup boost, but I had misjudged the final position on the Barrel Roll and he didn’t fit, so he took a Focus instead, ready to shoot his way out. Soontir Fel came screaming around that same asteroid with a Boost and Barrel Roll of his own, getting a Focus token for his trouble, and the two Interceptors vaporized the Headhunter, finding themselves outside the other’s arc and outside Farlander’s range.
Not fully comprehending the danger, my opponent had his remaining ships follow Fel and Jax, keeping Keyan stressed and unable to turn to face the Royal Guard Pilot, who had now turned around and was rapidly approaching from behind, plinking away at shields with shot after shot. By the time the danger set in, it was too late to do anything about it, as I refused to engage the B-Wing with my other two ships until I was certain to score a kill safely, and the B-Wing couldn’t turn to face the Royal Guard Pilot without spending a turn to clear his stress first. Facing my full squad with one remaining Headhunter in single elimination play, my opponent surrendered to inevitability, and I was on to the finals for the first time.
This is where I started doing a mental happy dance. The Phantoms from earlier had run into a hard counter, two beefy turrets, and had been knocked out of the event. And now I sat at the top table waiting for those two turrets with a hard counter of my own, Autothrusters. There’s no such thing as a sure win, especially at the final table, but for the first time all day I was happy about what I was flying against, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. With that being said, these two would take lots of damage to take out, and against two large turreted ships, I had a feeling that there would be some turns where I simply got outguessed and ended up taking two unopposed shots, or ended up bumping into the enemy ships.
Again, seeing C-3PO on the Falcon, I knew I wanted to take it down first while he could only mitigate a small portion of my firepower. At one point, however, I saw an opportunity to let Chewie fly out of the fight for a few moments, and I did exactly that, switching targets to Leebo, and the damage stacked up on the Outrider FAR faster than I would have expected it to. I was soon surprised to have three damaged ships remaining to face down a shield-less but otherwise healthy Falcon. And then it was two ships. And then it was one…
I had put several points of damage onto Chewbacca, but he had cleared Soontir and the Royal Guard pilot, the second time all day that I had actually sustained losses. Carnor Jax remained, wounded but alive with one hull point remaining, and Chewbacca had four hull points. With C-3PO onboard, I knew I couldn’t finish the Falcon in one shot, so I had to find a way to survive more than one return shot (thanks to Gunner). Missing my Stealth Device sorely at this point, Jax rocketed away from Chewie, Boosting and Barrel Rolling out of firing range and resetting to turn & engage the next turn.
The Falcon gave chase, taking a huge 4 forward with the large base… and landed directly on an asteroid, taking a damage in the process. Jax suddenly had an opening, turned back in towards Chewbacca, Boosted in to range 1, used Push the Limit for a Focus, and pulled the trigger, bringing down the Falcon. Victory was mine.
Last week I posted a few sample lists for the new Scum & Villainy faction for X-Wing Miniatures, and it has proven to be one of the most popular things I’ve posted in quite a while. So I thought it might be a good idea to provide a follow-up article detailing how those lists have performed, as well as adding in a few more concepts that I’ve seen and liked.
Let’s start with the results for last week’s lists:
I love this build. But I can’t run it as-is. The ships handled beautifully, and between Expert Handling, Advanced Sensors, and the built-in boost, these ships moved like big TIE Phantoms. Thanks to relatively extensive experience flying said Phantoms, I was able to put these ships exactly where I wanted them on a consistent basis, only hitting one asteroid through the course of the game, and that was halfway intentional (I accepted that a collision was likely, but it was still the best move available).
My problem was the damage output, or lack thereof. With so many upgrades and actions dedicated to movement, there wasn’t any way to improve the quality of my attack rolls. And with only a forward firing arc available, a wrong guess on the opponent’s maneuvers means 50% or 100% of the list’s firepower for the turn floats into the aether. My test match for the list was Rexler Brath and a TIE Swarm, which seems like a good matchup for the Aggressors – Two TIEs should get ionized on the initial round, and finished with Autoblasters on the next; rinse, repeat, and then work on Rexler from turn 5 on. However, that didn’t pan out, as despite putting the ships exactly where I wanted them, I couldn’t roll anything except a few (cancel-able) critical hits with the autoblasters, and only killed a single TIE the whole game! That disastrous result made me move to plan B for the Aggressors, which I’ll detail further below.
This one has been a little tricky. Drea has put in good work, but it’s not what I expected yet. So far, I’ve used that Y-Wing to clear a single TIE fighter from the board (much less than expected) and as a severe aggro magnet. Players respect the double-shot Y-Wing way more than I would have expected. But that’s just left the door wide open for N’Dru to do his thing. Rolling 4 dice on each Cluster Missile shot, with partial rerolls from Lone Wolf, he can stack on a LOT of damage.
What I haven’t fully figured out yet is how to work Kath into the equation. N’Dru needs her to stay away, and she needs to be pointed away from the battle to use her pilot ability as much as possible, but that often takes her out of the fight entirely. I’m thinking that Daredevil may be a better option for her Elite Talent slot, giving more options for a tight turn to get back into the fight if she doesn’t have a shot, because planning a K-Turn is committing to losing out on her pilot ability if the enemy does end up following her, whereas Daredevil can be used to line up an unexpected shot too. Before it’s all said and done, I may end up dropping her out of circulation for Guri in a fully loaded Starviper that will stay closer to the fight, and keep the enemy from easily being able to isolate any particular part of my force.
I tried out a few other things over the past week, and I’m semi-shamelessly stealing a couple of things I’ve seen others bring to the table too. Here’s some new lists and ideas:
So this is the other flavor of Aggressors All Over, closer to my original design, and without quite so many crazy maneuver options. Instead, it just brings the pain. Accuracy Corrector with an Autoblaster is just nasty – Roll your attack. Did you get at least two hit results? Continue. Otherwise, you get two hit results. Oh, those results can’t be canceled. You’re guaranteed to deal two or more damage for every shot at range 1.
The choice between Predator and Push The Limit is a up to you, and depends on what you’re looking to do – PtL gives you more defense, as you can essentially “turtle” up with Focus + Evade every turn, you’ll rarely need that focus on offense; Predator gives higher damage output, acting as a free target lock, and gives you slight flexibility in maneuvering, as you’re less likely to be stressed at any given time, as well as being just as effective as normal on offense even when you do take stress from a maneuver.
Where this list will suffer is against HP tank builds, multiple Y-Wings or B-Wings, where you’re not bypassing much by cutting out a single defense die. In a “I just want to see if I can do it” game, this list gleefully escorted a Decimator all the way across the map and off the board, but something like the semi-infamous BBBBZ rebel swarm that is currently making the rounds should make short work of the 2x Aggressor build in just about any configuration, especially this one.
I can’t believe I was willing to fly this. Don’t get me wrong, it’s kind of interesting and fun, but it’s not competitive. All three pilots work really well together, but HWK-290s still maneuver like drunken banthas, even more so when you look at building your list around abilities that cause stress on two of the three ships. If you happen to have 3 HWKs available, pull out something like this for a casual game and see if you can make it work, but don’t buy more just to fly this. Any one of these 3 ships can do a great job as support for a different list, but HWK’s aren’t meant to carry the load alone. A small part of me does wonder how this would fare against the 4x HWK Rebel list that was flown at a recent local tournament though… I might have to make that challenge.
I’m borrowing this list, and in more ways than one. This list was one of the first victims of Dice Are Optional, above, which wasn’t really a fair fight, because the Autoblasters are such a hard counter to the delicate little Scyk Interceptors. As a result, I didn’t get to see how this group would perform in a fair fight, but it has a lot of promise, and made me go back and buy two more of the M3-A‘s. It’s dangerously fickle, with low hit points, little to no ability to adjust and adapt to the opponent’s positioning, and an obvious target to take down first. But it’s also throwing 16 attack dice at range 2-3, and has lots of defense dice. So if you feel lucky, push this out there and see what happens.
Borrowing concepts from two of the previous lists, we have Serissu and Torkhil Mux operating in tandem as support ships for a very generic swarm. Serissu should be the hardest to kill out of all of these ships, as he’ll be positioned at the rear of the squadron, and using Push the Limit for full defensive actions, and is really only here to give the rest of the squad a defensive boost. Torkhil, on his own, doesn’t do much except a little bit of control, using the Ion Cannon and Tactician to stress and ionize a single ship, but he also drops the pilot skill of a single enemy ship to zero each turn, the hope being that you can kill that ship before it fires. The list becomes a little less effective as any one piece is destroyed, but there’s no one key “I have to keep that alive to win” piece here, keep it together and fly it right at the enemy. I’m interested to see if Serissu or Torkhil gets shot at first.
That’s all I’ve got for the day, I’ve got a couple other ideas brewing but nothing worth sharing yet. If you’ve got some great and wonderful S&V lists that you’re really enjoying, doing well with, or having a tough time against, by all means, leave a comment below, I’d love to see what’s being done elsewhere!
Next time I should have a couple ideas for including S&V ships in the unofficial Furball (33pt free for all) format, and updates on the performance of the lists from above. I’ll also have some photos from a HUGE upcoming store championship; I’m going to have my hands full as TO, I’m expecting somewhere between 40 & 50 players! Wish me luck!
I think my favorite build right out of the box is a double Aggressor list. I’ve heard horrible things about how they’ve been doing in Vassal tournaments that could care less about shipping delays, but I haven’t seen any lists reported that are “doing it right”, so to say. Allow me to make the following suggestion of a build.
For those of you who haven’t read up on the IG-2000 / Aggressor, there’s four different versions of IG-88 that, assuming you take the free IG-2000 title on the ship, share the pilot abilities of all the others in your list. In a 100 point game, you can only fit two of the four, but that leaves you with plenty of room for upgrades.
The Aggressor’s dial is wide open and generous, boasting the new S-turn, a K-turn, and lots of green maneuvers. Pair that up with the native Boost (+ free evade from IG88-C), Expert Handling’s Barrel Roll (+ ditching a target lock), Advanced Sensors, and the new Inertial Dampeners upgrade that lets you choose to cancel your maneuver once per game, and these Aggressor go wherever you want them to go. Period.
But where do they go? Well, first, they slide into long range, and disable an enemy ship via their Ion Cannons, then they lunge in for the kill with uncancle-able Autoblaster shots once they know where that target will be. Both of those shots get the added benefit of second chance attacks from IG88-B’s pilot ability, which means you’ll very seldom miss your mark.
The list will have some weaknesses. Specifically, high(er) PS ships with a lot of maneuvering actions (like Dash Rendar) will be hard to pin in for Autoblaster shots even once ionized. And a well-flown swarm will make you second guess your maneuver options, but there should be plenty of chances to adjust with all the extra little abilities that are inserted for maneuvers.
Next up is less teamwork, more “every pilot for themselves”.
Drea Renthal is the ultimate angry Y-Wing. Shooting twice per turn with the BTL-A4 title, and taking and spending four target locks (and four stress) per turn thanks to the combo of Drea’s pilot ability and R4-B11, something in particular stays put and gets pinged away at until it dies, or Drea does. If you get lucky, you might get to switch your target lock when you finish your victim. Otherwise, don’t expect any form of action again.
N’Dru Suhlak is a cheap X-Wing so long as you keep him away from his “squadmates”, but he also gets to pick on something with low evasion using his Cluster Missiles. Assuming no extra damage from critical hits, he can strip half the health of a Decimator with a single attack, as his pilot ability adds an extra die to both attack rolls!
Last, but not least, is Kath Scarlet. Kath’s special ability is getting extra dice when firing from her rear arc, which makes for 4 die primary attacks. To make her a little on the dodgy side, Veteran Instincts bumps her up to pilot skill 9, letting her see the field when picking a Boost to aim that shot, and she can pick up free target locks as needed with the K4 Security Droid.
In this set-up, everyone’s doing something completely different – picking on a small ship, picking on a big ship, and running away while blasting something. There’s certainly a risk of one piece getting isolated from the others, but that’s a known risk when flying “loner” style ships.
I’m working on a swarm list, but I can’t figure out the right combo of Z-95’s and M3-A’s yet. I want to use the Starviper, because it’s a beautiful model, but it just doesn’t fit right with anything else.
What else do I have cooking up? I can’t give away all the secrets, but I suppose I could show off some the ingredients…
Here’s to hoping you all get your hands on your copies of the Scum and Villainy ships soon, and I look forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with!
With the Scum and Villainy faction releasing soon for Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures, I’ve been spending a bit of time here and there trying to figure out what kinds of crazy squadrons we’ll see hitting the scene upon release. There still seems to be something missing to me, the glue that makes everything click just hasn’t been shown yet. But there’s certainly going to be some wild and crazy fun things to throw out there. One such list I’ve come up with won’t necessarily be winning major tournaments any time soon, but it will definitely make your opponent second guess every shot and be a great change of pace list for casual play.
This list isn’t every man/droid/alien for himself, like the FFG previews make Scum and Villainy out to be. This is a radical cult of suicide bombers ready to turn standard X-Wing tactics on its’ head. Your opponent will be forced into situations where they will want to shoot sub-optimal targets, because killing your ships might kill their ships!
The Binayre Pirates are Scum and Villainy’s cheapest ships, and make for efficient missile platforms if you can survive to shoot with them. The ones with Proton Rockets have two jobs: Get into Range 1 of as many enemy ships as possible, and try to get off shots with those rockets. Anything else they can do is a bonus. The other Binayre Pirates’ assignments are are to let the first two get close, fire Assault Missiles at the enemy, with the full intention of potentially hitting their brethren, and then close to Range 1 themselves for a couple pot-shots, hugging as many enemies as possible for when they die in turn. Why? Because of Dead Man’s Switch.
Last but certainly not least, N’Dru Suhlak should engage late, making sure there’s nobody close to him, so he gets his own bonus, along with that of Lone Wolf.
You will lose ships. Period. In fact, you’ll probably lose four ships in the process for any games you win, because that’s part of the mechanic of how this list deals damage. N’Dru got his pirates to drink the special Kool-Aid, and they’re committed to the cause enough to sacrifice their ships. Each Assault Missile not only hits its’ target, but splashes damage onto other nearby ships, including your own. And each one of your pirates deals a similar splash damage when destroyed. So even discounting the damage for your actual shooting, you’ve got six potential Range-1 splashes for 1 damage. Positioned properly, that alone will take down most small ships. That sounds like pure chaotic fun to me! You won’t get any flawless victories for a massive score with this list, but you’ll blow somebody’s mind in a hilariously fun casual match.
So what excites you the most about Scum and Villainy? How will you make use of these new ships and upgrades? Do you have any builds in mind already? Leave a comment and let me know where what your thoughts are!
With the Rebel Aces expansion for X-Wing Miniatures appearing in stores this week, I want to hit the ground running with the upgrades and pilots included within this pack. As you might have inferred from some of my previous post, Jake Farrell is going to be my primary A-Wing pilot for me thanks to his action economy boost, chaining movement actions off of focus actions/tokens. I also really like Keyan Farlander’s action economy, turning a stress token (normally a bad thing) into an offensive Focus token (a very good thing). Over lunch today, I looked at how I wanted to kit the two of them out and putting them both into a list to show off the new shiny toys.
Once the “turn & burn” phase of the battle begins, B-Wings are solid for me, especially with mid/high pilot skill and Advanced Sensors. I haven’t run any this way in quite some time though, as I’ve been using B-Wings as multiple generic pilots carrying Fire Control Systems in this slot exclusively for their action economy boost for the past few months. But with only one B-Wing and a heavily equipped one at that, it becomes an obvious target for the opponent, and I need to find a way to protect this huge point sink.
With that being said, I had a really hard time trying to figure out how to equip a B-Wing with the options included in Rebel Aces. The new B-Wing/E2 modification is extremely tempting in order to bring a Crew upgrade onboard, but there’s nothing that jumps out at me as a must-have. I can’t see Navigator working well with the B-Wing’s dial, R2-D2 only works well with crew if you have a lot of hull points. Nien Nunb would be a little helpful, but I can’t see needing to do 4 – straight maneuvers with a B-Wing that often. C-3PO isn’t very helpful, as the B-Wing will be taking concentrated fire when it is shot at. All in all, I just don’t see many desirable crew options to put on a B-Wing right now, and a dogfighting B-Wing isn’t complete without the utility option of adding Enhanced Engines as your Modification and having the Boost action available for your Advanced Sensors. Advanced Sensors for a Barrel Roll or a Boost before my K-Turn that I will use to feed stress to Keyan Farlander? Yes please!
The problem is, with Jake and Keyan both armed to the teeth, I don’t have the points to spare to bring Biggs as my 3rd ship, an obvious choice for an escort. In fact, there wasn’t points for an X-Wing at all. With only 16 points to spare in my current configuration, I was trying to figure out a way to slip in a cheap Z-95 Headhunter with an Ion Pulse Missile and the Deadeye upgrade for a first turn disruption shot. That turned out to be too expensive, only Lt. Blount (17 points plus upgrades) and Airen Cracken (18 points plus upgrades) have elite talent slots.
I stared at Jake’s A-Wing loadout for a moment, giving serious consideration to dropping his shiny new Proton Rocket (from Rebel Aces) for the Chardaan Refit (yet another Rebel Aces card), a net gain of 5 points, so I could afford Lt. Blount and a missile for him. But I really wanted to keep the new Proton Rocket, and a second read of the text revealed a really good reason to keep it.
Proton Rockets – Attack (Focus): Discard this card to perform this attack. You may roll additional attack dice equal to your agility value, to a maximum of 3 additional dice.
The Proton Rockets not only have a built in Deadeye option (no target lock required), but you don’t have to spend your Focus token to fire it either, which means you can potentially roll up to 5 dice, and spend a Target Lock and a Focus on the shot too, for an average of 3.75 hits! Keeping this in mind, I went to the other extreme, and put Proton Rockets on the Headhunter for now (pretty close to equivalent to Concussion Missiles for a Headhunter, trading a long range shot for the option of firing without a Target Lock if I get lucky and catch a key target like Howlrunner or Whisper bumping during movement and stuck adrift without their defensive buffs).
Here’s the final list I’ve come up with for the day:
With essentially two and a half ships, it doesn’t look all that competitive at first. Really, it’s just an excuse to use lots of things from Rebel Aces in one list. But something tells me that it could be surprisingly good, provided that I can convince my opponent to break formation and dogfight with me. I’ll try it out this evening against anyone that cares to play against it at my local venue. Results to follow.