|Push that limit to the max.|
Despite all the flak that Interceptors receive on the forums and from tourney players, I still think they're solid ships. Overall, they might be a few points more expensive than I would like, but I think a properly built Interceptor can do wonders on the battlefield. I've been playing with Interceptors in every Imperial list I've built so far and I don't think that's ever going to change.
One of the most important upgrades to have on Interceptors is Push the Limit. Unlike other ships in the game that can work with virtually any upgrade, I think Interceptors need PTL to be truly competitive. In case you guys didn't know, Push the Limit allows your ship to preform an extra action while taking a stress token. While other ships look at the stress token with worry, Tie Interceptors rarely care. With 7 green movements on the dial including the awesome straight 4 and godly 2-turn, the Interceptor can clear stress very easily. I often use the straight 4 to clear stress and build space between my opponents' ships and mine, or maintain aggression with the hard 2. Building space between you and your opponent is especially effective because this gives you time to turn, while hopefully putting you in range 3 of your opponent's guns (increasing your Agil to 4). Best of all, you can push for a second time after you reset to focus and evade defensively, or boost out of range completely.
I would consider Push the Limit to be mandatory on Interceptors for a number of reasons. Movement is arguably the most important part of the game and no one does it better than the Interceptor with PTL. Being able to Boost and Barrel Roll with PTL is simply godly if you're facing targets that require firing arcs to shoot you. You know what's better than rolling all evades when someone shoots at you? Not rolling evades at all because they have no shot. Being able to inflict damage while denying any kind of retalitory action is invaluable in a game where unit preservation is king. For Interceptors, this can be done either by avoiding firing arcs or entering combat with focus and evade on the same ship. Focus is by far the most flexible action in the game, capable of enhancing both offensive and defensive abilities. Being able to take an Evade action on top of that is just icing on the cake. In any given combat, having 3 dice on attack and 3 dice on defense with both focus and evade is extremely powerful. Once you start combining the Interceptors' impressive movement dials with their numerous actions, the Interceptor starts to become a real threat.
Here are some of the lists I've built so far with Interceptors:
- Soontir Fel, Carnor Jax, Turr Phennir
- Soontir Fel, Turr Phennir, Saber Pilot, Howlrunner
- Soontir Fel, 2x Royal Guard, Howlrunner
- Soontir Fel, Howlrunner, Mauler Mithel, Dark Curse, Night Beast
In the above lists, you can see that I've tried quite a few Interceptor builds. The elite Interceptor list with 3x pilots is arguably the most challenging to play because there's absolutely no room for errors. Unfortunately, bad dice rolls can cause the demise of the ship despite all 3 of them carrying Stealth Device. The next few lists has at least 3x Interceptors with PTL. A Saber Squadron Pilot with PTL is 24 points and the Royal Guard Pilot is 25 for PS6. While both options are really solid, I think the 1 point extra for PS6 will be the way of the future. No matter what, both of these 3+1 lists feature Howlrunner because the re-roll gives me the ability to play a ranged game at 2-3. Howlrunner really gives me a more effective shooting phase and so far, I've been having huge success with my Fel + 2x Saber builds. As for Turr Phennir, make sure to take PTL on him as well. After many games with Veteran Instincts, he definitely needs the added flexibility of push to stay around. Lastly, I'm trying a 1+4 build where a small batch of elite support Ties to carry Fel to victory. It's especially effective because the PS5+ ships and 5-speed option allows me to close quickly and deliver a pretty strong alpha strike.
Well, there you have it folks. I'll be rolling out some more games with Interceptor builds over the next few weeks and I'll let you know how it goes.