Monday, March 17, 2014

X-Wing: Rogue Squadron Brainstorm

This looks like it can get fun.

Yesterday's playfest has got me thinking about trying some new lists when Aces get released.  As you guys probably already know, I'm a huge nerd for elite lists because I like flying with fewer ships.  I also think they're hard to pilot well so I enjoy the extra challenge in making it work.

GOOD.  Because I'm thinking about giving Wes Janson a try once the Rebel Convy Expansion gets released.  When you first look at him, he's basically a X-Wing with PS8.  Unfortunately, the dude costs the same as Wedge and I'll tell you right now, he's no Wedge.  While Mr. Antilles can single-handily carry the Rebels to victory, Wes works a little differently.  The big standout about Janson is his ability to remove Focus, Evade or Blue Target Lock from whatever he's shooting.  This looks pretty good on paper.

This means that Biggs can sit out for a couple of rounds because Wes looks to be the better wingman to Wedge.  How you say?  Well, let's look at it like this:  Wes shoots first because I plan on giving him Veteran Instincts and he strips, let's say, an Evade off of Soontir Fel going for full evasive.  Fel is arguably one of the most difficult targets to be shooting at if he stacks defensive buffs like Focus, Evade, Stress, Focus, so let's change that a little.  Now that Evade is gone, you do Wes' results (let's say he does nothing) before Wedge shoots at Fel's 3 dice (Stealth and Wedge's ability cancels out) and Fel's relying on raw dice and focus.  All of a sudden, a super defensive Fel is much more likely to fall prey to bad dice.

Not just that, but there's some dirty tricks that Rebels have in that convoy box that makes things absolutely nightmarish to the Imperials.  Now, I don't know who goes around designing this game, but I wasn't aware that Rebels needed more buffs.  Just when you think Imperial Aces might help alleviate some of the B-Wing pressure, here comes the Rogue Squadron to save the day.

Anyways, here are some standouts:

Why do you hate Imperials FFG?

The first thing you see here is the obvious and most embarrassing way to counter Interceptors with PTL.  Let me be straight with you guys:  Interceptors with PTL is the only saving grace of the ship due to the relatively high points cost.  An Interceptor without its actions is as good as dead.  This is where these two cards cause some serious trouble for Interceptors doing the jiggy.

Let's throw out a good hypothetical here:
Soontir Fel does his classic Focus, PTL Evade, receive Stress, gains Focus.  Let's say that Wes Janson shoots at him at PS10 with Vet Instincts and R3-A2.  I declare the attack, I choose to receive a stress token on Janson and strip Fel of his Evade.  Maybe do a damage, probably not but let's say Fel burns a Focus.  Okay, it doesn't matter.  What matters here is that Fel now has 2 Stress Tokens on him and he's dead as fuck next turn.  The same can happen if you shoot his ass with Flechette Torpedoes.

If you double-stress a PTL Interceptor, he is in some serious shit.  Here's the flow chart:
  • You try to run away with some white movements and keep your 2 Stress Tokens --> No actions --> Dead as fuck.
  • You try to clear with some green movements, but you still have a stress token on you --> No actions --> Dead as fuck.
  • Either way, you can't K-Turn, thus limiting your movement and forcing you into more obvious maneuvers, most of which can be read by a good pilot who's familiar with how Interceptors move.
  • The bottom line is:  No actions mean you can't Focus or Evade, nor Barrel or Boost your way out of firing arcs.  This directly translates to --> You're dead as fuck.

The moral of the story is:  An Interceptor with limited movement, no K-Turn, with no actions is a sitting duck.  What do you think Wedge will do to an Interceptor with no actions to Focus or Evade, or get out of firing arcs?  It's a god damn turkey shoot:  3 dice vs. 2 all day.

Even someone like Jek Porkins is starting to look pretty good over here.

I'm fat, but I can troll really hard.

Here's how you troll with Jek:
There are two upgrades you want to think about with him:  Veteran Instincts making him PS9 or PTL, because he can always attempt to clear his stress by taking a damage, allowing him to just freestyle white 2-turns all day next round.  Or it can make him a great K-Turn fighter since he can just clear it and then PTL for more damage opportunity.  Besides, you only have a 3/8 chance at messing it up.

Now add the troll with R3-A2.  You use Porky here to light up someone and give them a stress token.  In response, you can have a 3/8 chance to ignore the stress completely.  In fact, you can Target Lock the enemy and declare an attack.  The effects of R3-A2 triggers and let's just say you ignore it because you rolled a Focus.  Flechette Torpedoes goes on him and afterwards, he takes another stress token.  Grats man, you just locked someone down for two turns.  Add some Y-Wings with Ion Cannon Turrets into the mix and you've got yourself one hell of punch in the face.  I'm glad that both torps and stress bot only costs 2 points.

So yeah, wanna play Rogue Squadron with Interceptor PTL assurance?  Conveniently, this also shits really hard on Han Solo running Marksmanship since that 3-point upgrade will never have a chance to trigger.

Wedge Antilles - X-Wing
Push the Limit
R2 Astromech
Engine Upgrade

Wes Janson
Veteran Instincts

Jek Porkins
Push the Limit
Flechette Torpedoes

I'm not salty at all.  Nope.  I just think things got hell of a lot more interesting because of the new expansions.  I can't wait to see what else they're going to add this year.


Alex said...

Interesting article. I agree that it will be fun to see how the adding stress to the game will change it and what options it will open up.

One ship/list that may get better in these circumstances is the TIE bomber. They are unaffected by flechette torpedoes and are the cheapest delivery system of them. I also think you'll see a ship like the B-Wing more affected since a lot of their dial is red and they depend on that action for good maneuver, so stressing them out will impact them quite a bit.

A couple of rule points worth addressing, though for clarity:

1. Han with Marksmanship could be affected by R3-A2, but it will come down to initiative. The flechette torps don't bother him as his hull is greater than 4.

2.In the Fel example, he would get his token stripped after the attack is over and he's had a chance to use both the evade and focus. The end result is the same (though better for Janson) but it a point worth making, especially as that possibility, stripping Fel -- or any ship for that matter -- of tokens is part of the game now and a reason focus fire is so important. A minor point, but not insignificant as it could allow Fel to keep up his stealth device if he has one, by avoiding any hits using those tokens. Which leads into my other thought....

As I've discussed with you in other places, one nice thing about the interceptor is all that green on their dial, so they can shed stress -- but you're right that two will be a pretty dead interceptor. While I appreciate your points on how it will affect the interceptor and the example, being in front of Wedge and another X-Wing is a good way to get Soontir or another interceptor killed anyway, and using PTL when you know your opponent can throw another stress on top of that is a bad play.

Anyway, as always, I appreciate the read and perspective. Definitely will be fun to see how it plays out.

Slicksauce said...

Some good points here. I took down some Imperial Aces today after an early scare. Wedge was on 1 hp after turn two but he survived the battle one shotting Mauler and finishing off the ps6 red interceptor pilot , cant remember the name right now. My squad: Wedge PtL, R2, Shield Upgrade, Luke R2D2, Shield Upgrade, Blue Squad B-Wing Sensor Array and the constant target lock upgrade vs Vader with tricks, Ps6 interceptor ace, and Mauler with stealth device.

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