Wednesday, October 23, 2013

X-Wing: Elite Aces Post-game

Looks about right.

I played a game today against a pretty tanky list with my Imperial Aces list.  For those of you who haven't seen it before, the list looks like this:

The Aces of the Empire.

100 points

Soontir Fel
Push the Limit
Stealth Device
Targeting Computer
Royal Guard TIE
 
Carnor Jax
Push the Limit
Stealth Device
Targeting Computer
Royal Guard TIE
 
Turr Phennir
Veteran Instincts
Stealth Device
Targeting Computer
Royal Guard TIE

The list I faced off against tonight was pretty scary: 2x Y-Wings with Ion Cannon Turret, a B-Wing with Ion Cannon and the Rebel ace, Wedge Antilles.  Looking across the table, I immediately knew it was going to suck because of the 360 turrets, the Ion Cannons and the 29 vs. 9 hull points disparity.  I immediately regretted bring the list I did, but I was determined to make it work.

When the game started off, things went in my direction in a hurry.  I 5-advanced up into his Y-Wings because Wedge was taking it really slow and steady in the far left flank.  My opponent, James, played Wedge smart and kept him in the back and waited for my Interceptors to engage.  Because Wedge was so far away, I simply B-lined into his advancing Y-Wings and B-Wing and opened fire with crazy amounts of dice.  Dice were hot for me on the attack and I immediately stripped all the shields on his B-Wing and severely crippled one of his Y-Wings.

Here's when I noticed a problem with this list.  The combination of 360 degree Target Lock, 360 degree Ion Turrets, and asteroids being on the board, made defense miserable.  Despite having my Stealth Device, Wedge was able to sneak in a few shots to disable Stealth on two of my ships as the game dragged.  The 360 TL + Ion Cannons managed to score hits on both Turr and Fel on very important turns.  Although I rolled hot on the attack in the beginning, the brunt of the damage was soaked up by the tanky Rebel ships.  My attempts to kill Wedge was poor because of all the disables coming from the Ion Cannons, and eventually the health disparity was too great for me.  Although I managed to down a Y-Wing and B-Wing, and put Wedge at 1 HP, James came back swinging with hot dice towards the end to seal the deal.

Some things I learned:
  • I would like to say I should have ignored the Y-Wings and B-Wing and just went straight for Wedge in the beginning, even if it meant having one round of combat of being shot at.  This doesn't sound appetizing to me at all though.
  • 360 Target Lock + Ion Cannons on tanky ships makes my life a living hell on Interceptors.  My ships rely on their maneuverability and ability to get out of firing arcs but against this 360 combo, he simply doesn't care.
  • Carnor Jax added nothing to my list except for his shooting prowess.  The Target Locks completely ignored Jax's ability and made him a points sink.
  • Getting hit by the Ion Cannon sucks when you're flying an Interceptor.  Just one hit and you're flying straight white 1, completely negating the primary strength of the Interceptor which is unparrelled agility.  Soontir Fel died to Wedge when he was unable to shake off the stress token generated from the previous round because he took an Ion Cannon shot to the face.  That was game changing and caused the death of my beloved team leader.
  • I'm determined to make Interceptors work, but maybe not in a list with 3.  The reason why is because in their current state, I see a huge weakness towards double Millennium Falcons and lists like this in general.  How do you mitigate a damage difference of 20 when 360 TL + turrets negate the one thing that Interceptors have going for them?  I think overall, I will be playing with more ships.

A lot to think about.  New list in the works, I'll post it tomorrow.

11 comments:

Adam Wier said...

Great analysis. Running only three ships can be pretty tricky and does not leave you room for much error (or a round of poor rolling...).

Ion cannons can be rough and that list you went up against sounds pretty nasty. It can pretty easily undermine your chief strength, maneuverability.

Imperials can pretty easily up their ship count with the cheap named Tie Fighter pilots (most of which have good pilot skills and relevant abilities too!).

Good luck and I look forward to hearing about your new list!

kensaix said...

"should HAVE" or "should've" not "should of", NEVER "should of".

sorry for grammar nazi, but it just hurts my brain and strings my spine.
Anyway, thanks for the test, I was contemplating exactly the match you played.

HERO said...

I wrote this super late last night, cut me some slack!
Yeah, the matchup is a pretty difficult one, I think I need more ships to get fare better since Carnor Jax is bad here.

Buhallin said...

IMHO, the Targeting Computers are a mistake. Interceptors survive by a combination of maneuver and tokens to keep them alive. PtL on them is awesome, but if you're using them for a target lock you're not getting anything defensive out of it, or combining fun barrel roll+boost moves to ensure they never have a shot at you in the first place.


I think Jax's utility will depend a lot on the opponent. Taking defensive focus away from Y- and B-wings makes them shrug. Do it to Xs or As and it's a bigger deal. He also (somewhat appropriately, given his character background) will probably function better against other Imperial lists, which don't have the universal target lock to fall back on.

HERO said...

Just because you have Targeting Computers doesn't mean you have to use them right? If anything, I can see Turr dropping it with only Fel having it, simply because he can PtL to the max and benefit from multiple Evade/Focus.

Buhallin said...

Certainly not required to use it... but if you're not planning to maximize it, why spend the points to put it on there? In the end it will come down to prioritization: TL will literally be the only action available that doesn't carry any defensive benefit. Can you afford that with an Interceptor? Again, IMHO, you can't. So how often will you get to use the TL? Only on turns where you aren't going to have anyone shooting at you, and didn't require any movement actions to get into position. I think that's a rare thing.



Fel is a little more forgiving since he covers a focus via his ability, but I much prefer him with two focus. Since he'll almost always be firing early, if not first, you have the least amount of information available on whether it's safe to spend a focus. Having two on hand simplifies that considerably.


Again IMHO, the key to making Interceptors work is playing defensively. Despite the 3 firepower, you can't afford to run them as offensive powerhouses. Live first, shoot later.

HERO said...

Fel can certainly use the TL to its max potential. Did you forget he can Target Lock, PtL, Focus, receive Stress, gains another Focus token. Against X-Wings and ships that actually require a firing arc, I've managed to move out of firing arcs plenty of times. It's those times that I see having Target Lock being invaluable. With PS9 on most of your pilots, being able to Target Lock in RB1 for big damage is very worth the 2 points spent on it IMO. To each his own I guess.

I don't see playing defensive as the answer. If you look at their movement dial, their attack stats and the pilots, they're obviously mean to be played as Interceptors. That means you want to be able to inflict damage while denying damage with your maneuverability. With 3 HP a piece and no shields in a game where the dice favors the attacker, you don't have the luxury to play defensive. You live by making good maneuvers and avoiding firing arcs. This becomes a problem with none of that matters because of 360 TL + Turrets.

ascentstudios said...

Maybe I'm missing something but...how are you taking upgrades beyond Elite Pilot Skills? None of those pilots have any icons other than that...

Vringhed said...

Great blog this, just found it. However:

"Dice were hot for me on the attack and I immediately stripped all the shields on his B-Wing and severely crippled one of his Y-Wings."



So you did what, 8-10 hits your first round of shooting? How come you didn't focus fire?


I'm thinking you should have focused your fire on either the B-Wing or one of the Y-Wings (probably the latter with the 360 arc and all) and brought that down completely instead. I'm guessing he went with Gold and Blue pilots which means one of his ships would be dead before he even fired a single shot, seeing as Wedge hung back.

HERO said...

I moved in a funky manner so I the B-Wing in my sights of 2 Interceptors while his Y-Wings flew in front of me. I only had 1 Interceptor on one of his Y-Wings, but he ended up doing 4 damage to it. This took place several weeks ago so the picture is a little fuzzy, but that's the reason I didn't focus fire. If I can get all guns to bear on one target, believe me, it's going to get focused. With only 9 dice on attack, you can't waste shots.

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