Star Wars Monday: X-Wing ep. 2

First of all, if you haven’t already, head on over to Twitter where we are doing a dice giveaway!

This week, we’ll be talking briefly about Worlds, get hype for the upcoming Store Championships, and a possible spoiler of the next wave of Imperial ships.  As usual, the remainder of the article will contain my Prep and Results over the past two weeks, including how I performed at the Star Wars 40th Anniversary Event.

Also, as a tip to reading my or other’s articles, don’t forget to install the X-Wing Companion Card Viewer. No affiliation. Just a sweet Chrome extension that makes reading stuff online a breeze.

 

World Championships

Welp, Worlds is over.  The prizes all looked sweet.  I personally thought that the black-and-gold acrylic Target Lock tokens, dice, and maneuver templates look the coolest so if I had gone I would have been happy just making it to Day 2.  However, that would have required going 4-2 and at this stage, much like Jim Mora, I just hope to win a game every once and awhile.

I won’t pretend that I understand much about the meta, but streams can be found everywhere and the Top 16 lists can be found on Reddit.  There was only one Imperial and three Rebel squads that made the Top 16.

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One interesting piece of drama was that the Gold Squadron Podcast caught a player cheating (manipulating his dial in the middle of the activation phase), live and on stream.  The memes that have sprung up in the wake of that malfeasance have been a delight.

This was FFG’s response:

“Hello everyone!

We’d like to clear up what happened at today’s World Championships. As you know, it appeared that a player had changed their dial. After looking into the matter, we determined that although an infraction did occur, it was not done maliciously. Due to the seriousness of the infraction and the potential for abuse, however, we issued a penalty in the form of a loss for that player during the subsequent round. We thank you for your concern, and at this time, we consider this issue resolved as all parties are aware of the ramifications should further infractions occur. Please remember that these forums are intended as a place for positive and productive conversation, and we ask that everyone please be respectful of all competitors and forum members.

Thank you again from everyone on the FFG OP Team.”

So the cheater gets to keep playing and advanced to day 2, the person who got cheated on got a game loss and knocked out of the tournament, and a random person who got matched up against the cheater got a free win in a subsequent round.  Do you think this was handled appropriately?

 

Store Championships

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Photo credit: /u/Blaze_Firestar

The door prize at a Store Championship, which will be given to all attendees, is a promotional Engine Upgrade upgrade card.  This upgrade can only be found in two ships: the original Wave II Rebel Millenium Falcon YT-1300 (not the Heroes of the Resistance pack) and the Scum Hound’s Tooth “Party Bus” YV-666.

This is a great door prize for Imperial players or players that have no use for anything else that comes in those two $30-40 ships.  However, I think the Hound’s Tooth is going to become a worthy Scum buy once the C-ROC and the Jabba the Hutt crew card hit stores (TBD, but word on the street is June-ish 2017).  I’ll talk more about that expansion upon its release.

As a new player, this prize is exciting because I intend to compete only for the experience.  Awarding me an upgrade card that I do not currently own is icing on the cake.  An advanced player has much more to compete for, including: acrylic tokens, range rulers, the alt-art Rey Worlds promos, a plaque, and a first round bye at Regionals. If you intend to compete for those particular prizes, images and information related to them can be found elsewhere on the internet or from your FLGS.

Currently, there are about three FLGS within a short driving distance from me that are holding Store Championships.  I expect to be able to attend at least one.  The majority of upcoming articles will likely be focused on Tournament Reports and Store Championships prep.

 

Spoiler

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Photo credit: /u/JasonXwing

Apparently these are toys for the upcoming The Last Jedi movie.  What the heck is that bottom ship?  Kylo Ren’s TIE Interceptor Prototype???

Acquisitions

Since the last article, I made my first purchase on Book Depository.  I purchased the Twin Ion Engine MkII upgrade pack a.k.a. the TIE Punisher for 40% off.  We have no affiliation with them, but free shipping and a steep discount gets my recommendation.  Check there often because their sales change almost daily.  On May 4th, CoolStuffInc, also no affiliation (please support your FLGS first if you can), had a decent sale which we posted on Facebook.  If you aren’t following us on Facebook, you missed out.

I also traded some unused Destiny cards for the TIE Advanced, Lambda, Inquisitor TIE, TIE Defender, and Starviper expansions and purchased a New Blue Core Set second-hand off /r/Miniswap.  I also purchased a single Push the Limit upgrade on eBay.  I somehow now have a decent collection:

  • Classic Red Core Set
  • New Blue Core Set
  • Imperial Veterans
  • TIE/fo
  • TIE Advanced
  • Lambda Shuttle
  • TIE Adv. Prototype
  • TIE Defender
  • Starviper

As an added treat, my question to 2016 Worlds Top 16/North American Championship Top 8 player Jamie Kroeck was featured on Radio TCX episode 62 at minute 31:35.  I asked if he had a simple but competitive list for a new Imperial player.  Initially, Jamie was polite enough to recommend the FFG X-Wing 101 articles which provide new players a competitive list for $101.  After poking fun at how FFG’s articles ironically feature the Rebel K-Wing which is sold out worldwide and going for 200% markup on eBay, Jamie gave me the following recommendations had he been asked to write an article for FFG:

  • Classic Red Core Set
  • TIE Fighter
  • TIE/fo
  • Imperial Aces

Prep

With those expansions, Jamie suggests running the following 99 point list:

  • Carnor Jax, Push the Limit (“PTL”) 29 pts
  • Zeta Leader (who he referred to as “High Roller” due to his ability), Comm. Relay, Juke 25 pts
  • Howlrunner 18 pts
  • 2 Academy Pilots 24 pts

However, either his math is off or I misheard him, because I calculate this list as 96 points.  So feel free to fill in the remaining 3-4 points as you wish, perhaps by swapping Zeta Leader for OL and/or fitting in a Shield Upgrade.

With this list, Jamie suggested to kite and block with the TIEs while using Carnor Jax to flank.

I do not have Imperial Aces, so I am going to go a different route.

Last Thursday, I was too preoccupied opening Star Wars: Destiny Spirit of Rebellion booster packs unable to make it to my FLGS for the 3rd GNK tournament of this quarter, which is going to put me behind in points and ruin my perfect attendance record. However, I was able to make the free play day the week beforehand as well as the 40th Anniversary and Worlds Top 16 Viewing Party yesterday.

The Thursday after my last article, I tried out a list which I dubbed “Target Lock City.” The strategy was to have a team of ships that could take the target lock action which benefitted them or surrounding friendly ships in some way.  Plus I wanted to try out my new Inquistor’s TIE Adv. Prototype.  The list was as follows:

  • Inquisitor, who gets a free evade action whenever he takes a Target Lock action if he equips the TIE/v1 title, and Autothrusters for a total of 28 points (at that time, I didn’t own Push the Limit).
  • Omega Leader, who can prevent opposing ships from modifying their dice when attacking OL or defending against OL if he has a Target Lock on them, and his standard loadout of Comm Relay and Juke for the unbeatable price of 26 points.
  • Colonel Vessery, who gets free Target Locks on ships that are already Locked by a friendly ship, Veteran Instincts, so that he can shoot first before his allies use up their Target Locks, and the TIE/x7 title for a total of 34 points.
  • and an Academy Pilot at 12 points
  • Total: 100 points

IT DID NOT GO WELL.

It seems as though, despite the synergy between the ships, they were too weak.  I destroyed one opposing ship over the course of three games.

The first gentleman I played tore me apart with Norra Wexley, a non-unique K-Wing, and Ahsoka Tano.  Despite a turn 2 entire-squad-salvo on Norra, I wasn’t able to crack her. Then, after the initial joust with Norra, I got trapped in the asteroids and had to make a bunch of evasive maneuvers, setting me up to get SLAM bombed.  I am finding that Imperial squads, with one of their strengths being numbers, are susceptible to AoE bomb tactics.

The second gentleman I played was running Imperials.  It was refreshing to play against something other than Rebels or Scum for once.  He was playing TIE/D Vessery, Quickdraw, and Backdraft.  I think I was able to kill Backdraft at some point, but with Expertise on both TIE/sf he rolled 4 damage on every roll and I lost one ship a turn. There is no overcoming that tempo disadvantage. EDIT: He later messaged me and told me that he was running 101 points by accident.  I highly doubt it would have made much of a difference and it was casual play anyways.

The last game was against my friend who also plays Rebels.  He was playing HLC Dash Rendar and Corran Horn.  OL was able to Target Lock Dash and block/find the doughnut for a few turns, but that left the rest of my squad without the aid of OL’s Target Locks. Somehow, Corran was able to single-handedly 3v1 3/4 of my squad and ended the game down one shield thanks to R2-D2.  If this squad did not have enough power to punch through regen Corran, it has no hope of punching through the everpresent regen Miranda Doni.

After the games, my buddy and I went out for a beer for his birthday and lamented over what we could have done better.

It can be a bit frustrating when it seems like Rebels and Scum have all the “handshaking” abilities, such as trading Focus tokens with Attanni Mindlink, stockpiling Focus tokens with Rey crew, and free Focus tokens upon clearing stress with Kyle Katarn.  Or generating extra actions like BB-8 free barrel rolls, Advanced SLAM, and attacking with Twin Laser Turret 4 times per turn with the Ghost’s Phantom shuttle.  Meanwhile, it seems like Imperials are playing a fair “move-and-shoot” game without all of the goodies. The Scum also have incredibly cost-efficient large-based ships and Rebels tend to have higher hull and shield values.  Sure, Imperials tend to have higher Agility values, but rolling evade results takes luck.  Having 9 combined health on a 30 point ship does not require luck.  That benefit is immediately conferred upon you as soon as the ship hits the deploy zone.

 

Star Wars 40th Anniversary Event

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Photo credit: Brian Frost

In addition to biweekly GNKs, last week’s Worlds, and the upcoming Store Championships, there was also a special Star Wars 40th Anniversary tournament kit. The door prize for this kit was also very cool: a dual upgrade card of R2-D2 and Integrated Astromech.  This is a cool idea because in order for IA to work you need to have an astromech.  This is also useful because IA only comes in the T-70 or Heroes of the Resistance expansions and R2-D2 requires purchasing the Classic Red Core Set. However, don’t expect to skip the latter purchase, because if you are a Rebel player you are probably going to pick that same core set up for Biggs if you haven’t already.

For this event, I ran version 2.0 of “Target Lock City.”  In exchange for the Academy Pilot, I was able to outfit my Inquisitor with some missles for the initial joust and some additional mobility with my newly acquired Push the Limit upgrade.  That left 4 points, which is enough for Hull Upgrade on OL and a 1 point bid in case the opponent has any PS8 ships.  The rest of the list remained unchanged.

It performed REMARKABLY better.

I playtested against another friend for two games.  The first game, he tried out a new squad of 2 ARC-170s, one of which was regen Norra, and Snap Wexley in his T-70. Basically, I sent my whole squad after the other ARC and it worked like a charm.  Snap spent too many turns trying to flank and my squad managed to weather the initial joust and drive-by with Norra.  I then circled back and cornered Norra and spend the remainder of the game dodging her front and rear arcs while slowly chipping away at her.  Only Vessery died.

In the second game, he whipped out Old Fennaroo, which is Manaroo, Old Teroch, and Fenn Rau.  My strategy was almost the same.  Old Teroch tried to bait me around, but a Boosting Inquisitor caught up to him and wrecked him with the missles.  A glancing shot by Manaroo was evaded and Fenn hadn’t even made it into range yet.  I then circled back and destroyed Manaroo almost as fast.  The Inquisitor died, but then the game’s best 1v1 ship OL and a half-damaged Vessery managed to hunt down and kill Fenn Rau.

This list is probably something that I am going to continue to tinker with.  I think maybe a different missle upgrade on the Inquisitor or Shield Upgrade on OL would be better. Regardless, I was enthused by how well it performed compared to the prior week.

 

Takeaways

With the conclusion of Worlds, the meta is wide open for Store Championships.  Over the remainder of this year, there looks to be some sweet promos and possibly a new TIE ship.  Stay tuned for more updates and follow my road to a probable 1-3 showing at a Store Championship this Summer.

Thanks for reading and please make sure to follow us on all of the different social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Patreon, and share this article with friends who you think might also enjoy the game.

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4 Comments on “Star Wars Monday: X-Wing ep. 2

    • Ryan, thanks for the information and we appreciate your engagement! I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

      Like

  1. Pingback: Star Wars Monday: X-Wing ep. 3 – Ready To Role

  2. Pingback: Star Wars Monday: X-Wing ep. 4 – Ready To Role

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