Elusive Heroism

I spent last weekend playing board games with some good friends so there was no blog. This Saturday was back to normal and a road trip with some the guys from Firestorm Squadron. The last of my games that they recorded a few weeks ago is now uploaded and you can see my Trip-70s taking on Calum Brown’s First order on the Firecast YouTube Channel. I think it’s one of the best I’ve flown.

This weekend I’m tweaking the list a bit. The core of it is still three mobile ships but some things are worth investigating. At the last event I went to at Ibuywargames, Ian Courtney of Zombie Squadron (who writes some of the most thought provoking blog posts I read) was talking about Elusive vs Heroic and the maths on it. Ian has promised an in-depth article on this so I won’t dive into that, but the conversation convinced me to have a go at Elusive on Nien over Heroic. I wouldn’t put it on either Poe or Ello but the way Nien flies it makes sense as an upgrade. Double down on red manoeuvre triggers with the Pattern Analyser and his ability.

Adding in this upgrade and Black One to my original stripped back 189 point list puts me at 193 points overall, which still feels a solid bid based on the last few events I’ve been to. My game with Denny at Ibuy went a long way to making me feel more confident with these when having to move first, I lost the game but it was a near run thing against a very good aces player.

I had toyed with the idea of dropping Ello for L’Ulo as a lot of people have been flying. Kris Bengtsson from Sweden sent me a cool variant that I really liked but I’m sticking with the T70s because I love the squadron feel, I love the paint job that Dale got Lee Dalton to do for me and I love Ello. Ultimately I think of L’Ulo as a 4 health X-Wing, and I’d rather have a 7 health X-Wing.

This Saturday I was down at a Wave Championship event hosted by Entoyment in Poole. The event was Extended so I took the opportunity to try out some non-Hyperspace upgrades, well, one three times over. Jamming beams are free, why not have them? There’s been a few discussions in the last couple of weeks about these and whether they are worth having. My initial thought was “I’d rather have the damage” but there are a couple of points to counter that:

  1. They’re free, it’s not costing you anything to have the option
  2. They shut down a lot of things.

Whisper for example a well placed jam from Poe can get rid of that important evade, which means no Juke and no Cloak. If we look at it against Vader, if you manage to shake that target lock and Vader has a Fire Control System then that removes a red dice, removes a hit changing to a crit and removes a re-roll. All of that seems very good for 0 points. The final place I think it is exceptional on the T-70 is on the low agility ships that carry Barrage Rockets. TIE Bombers, K-Wings and the like need that focus to fire the munition, then I’d rather take 2 un-modded dice than a barrage rocket with a potential re-roll and a focus.

I’ve tried Jamming Beams recently, and essentially lost the game because I completely forgot I had them and then a K-Wing was mean when it could have not shot at all.

After an early pick up with Dom Flannigan driving the journey south led us to Poole in Dorset for an event with 19 players in attendance I want to say there is a really eclectic mix of list about, but it seems that the Resistance bug has spread and there are a lot of T-70 and A2s about. All the factions are represented but the Resistance are comfortably the most popular.

In the car was Dom, Mark, Phill Pond and myself, so obvious round 1 I played Phill and Dom played Mark. It’s just how these things go.

Phill is a long term fan of Ventress and is so excited to put her back on the table, then performing a dubious 5k with her he was keen to fly her off the table too… the third ship in his list, a mining guild TIE had already gone pop leaving him with one of the arch villains of 1.0 Dengar. Dengar slooped over debris, killed Ello. Then got blocked onto the debris by Nien on the return journey and then took a panicked pilot crit leaving him with 5 stress and 2 T-70s behind him. It went badly for the Punishing One and I came away with a 200-56 win, and Phill realising he needs to remember what the 5K on a large base looks like!

Game two against a list I wasn’t keen to see. 5 Gunboats all with ion cannons that can slam and shoot? I forced my opponent Kevin Shaw to pick whether he committed to going after Poe or Ello, expecting him to go after Poe, he didn’t so Ello got clipped by an unmodded ion cannon shot, that was him done and the rest of the gun boats turned on him the following turn. Poe got caught next and Nien did an incredible job of being plucky until at the key moment he too go caught by a pot shot. It was one of those “I get a bit of luck here I go on to win this game” unfortunately Elusive and a focus did nothing and it was game. 5 Ion Cannons seems to be one Ion Cannon too many and I lost it 200-100.

And paired up in round 3 against my now good buddy Julian Hood, with Lando, Fenn, Old T and the Explodey shuttle. I got a good block in on Fenn with a hard three then a talon roll slam with Nien which mean that I was able to shoot at a token less Fenn, it was statistically unlikey that my range 3 lock and focus shot from Poe and my naked range 2 shot from Ello would put 3 damage into Fenn Rau, but these things happen. Julian then forgot that Nien was Ioned because of Black one and Fenn crashed into the back of him, leaving him exposed to a 4 dice shot from Ello. Old T put up a fight but against the attentions of 3 T70s he can only do so much, before all three ships turned on the falcon. Lando dropped Nien but by then the damage was done and we went for an early lunch. 200-101 win.

Onto game 4 after my brie and bacon toastie, and Conor Rouiller flying at his first tournament. It’s always so good to meet people who are new to the game. The previous round Conor had seen off another Trip-70 list with Wedge, Biggs and 2 red squadrons. Outmanoeuvre Wedge is a monster against two agility ships and Nien felt his wrath, but the mobility of the T70s trumped the greater firepower of the 65s and as the last red squadron died to Poe (basically the only thing Poe did all game) I came away with a 200-69 win and the wait to see whether I would play another 3-1 or be paired up into the only 4-0 of the day…

Obviously having been paired up once already it couldn’t happen again… oh wait, yes it could. Into Dom Flannigan running a list that can best be described as InVENNIEcible. I don’t normally put the whole list in a blog post but I’m going to with this one. I genuinely think this is THE best list in hyperspace I have seen – because of a Starfortress?

VennieL’UloBastian
C-3POHeroicM9-G8
Proton Bombs  
Seismic Charges  
Vet. Turret Gunner  
Rey  
Traj Sim  

Let me explain how it works: Firstly Vennie takes a Calaculate with C-3PO and gets 2 of them. Then Vennie has the double tap option of the three dice primary and the 2 dice turret, that’s potentially 7 dice coming at you in one turn if you are foolish enough to go head to head with it. Add in the fact that he is locked with M9-G8 means he gets to re-roll one dice per attack and has two Calculates available if not getting shot.

But it is defence that the ship is just dumb. So long as the attacker is in ANY friendly ship turret arc Vennie adds a focus result to whatever he rolls. Using Rey he can turn any dice to an evade, and generally has 2 calculated. So he’s guaranteed two evades from at least one shot and has a good chance of rolling a natural evade so could potentially mitigate 4 incoming damage a turn. Meaning that unless you are rolling 3 attack dice and hitting with all three you don’t do any damage. This makes for a VERY tanky ship.

I first saw this principle in operation down in Brighton flown by James Darral, he went 5-0 that day, and despite my best efforts Dom went 5-0 in Bournemouth. Knowing how unkillable Vennie is and wanting to get rid of that re-roll I went for Basitian first. But that turn we both rolled all the paint on all the green Dice and Bastian forced me to commit to killing him when I would like to have turned on L’ulo.

The game finished with Vennie and Ello, and it was a massive uphill struggle, Ben Saunders, TO for the day and doing a marvellous job, was the first to describe it as the closest thing he has seen to Ghost Fenn in 2.0, and it’s hard not to agree with him, a one agility ship that basically takes no damage had all the bombs it need and a big gun… I haven’t seen a list I consider as effective. After my 200-94 loss I finished top 3-2 for the day (putting me on 69% wins overall in 2.0 from the 125 tournament games I have played) and 5th overall, not a bad day.

On the car journey home Dom and I talked long about InVENNIEcible, and couldn’t come up with anything that the list goes into with the match up in the opponents favour. It’s a toolbox of a list with a lot of offensive output and an overwhelming defensive potency. It will be very interesting to see how it does going into a busy Hyperspace season.

Anyway, that’s it from me this week. Next weekend is something a bit special, The Game Shop in Aldershot has a HS practice event on Saturday (tickets are still available) and Firestorm Cards in Basingstoke has one on the Sunday (turn up and pay on the day) so it’s going to be a great weekend of games!

Next Time: TWO YEARS

If you’re looking for X-wing events head to the 186th Tournament Calendar and see what’s going on.

8 comments

  1. I flew a similar Vennie (stripped of ordnance) with Poe and Tallie last weekend, and I enjoyed what it could do. I’m thinking of putting him on my hyperspace team that I take to major events. How mecessary do you feel the bombs were in your game?

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    • Dom said if he was to drop anything from the list the bombs would be first to go, but if your playing Hyperspace then proton or bomblet is going to really matter for the tie swarm matchups

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  2. I flew some massed Ion Cannons myself today, and they feel under-rated. The initial impression most folks had was that they were bad now. I don’t think they’re necessarily at inVENNIEcible levels, but decent. I was flying 4x Ion Cannon Cartel Spacer M3-A Scyks and Fenn Rau without Talent or Bid.

    There are a few ships where it seems like they can add a substantial level up in offense. Starwings go up to essentially the T-70 statline, but at a 5-per-list price point. Scyks are the cheapest 3 red generic in the game, 1 point less than Interceptors or Strikers, with either an extra agility or shield, but slower on the turn and a bit less nimble.

    Going up to 3 dice does a decent amount more chip damage, and they do actually ionize stuff now and again.

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  3. If you remember that you have Jamming Beam, Vennie is less tanky. Poe shoots a jamming beam, and Vennie has to chooses to either spend the token/Rey to avoid losing tokens or take the hit and lose the tokens anyway. As bad as it feels to lose damage potential on a Jam shot, it also feels bad to spend tokens to not lose tokens. Even then, though, those things have what seems like a bottomless well of health to chew through, so toasting the X-wing first sounds like the best idea, then the A-wing, trying to avoid the front arc of Vennie as best you can.

    I flew Han/Poe against this list and beat it the first time despite Han getting a Hull Breach, Direct Hit, Direct Hit chain. Basically, Vennie needs to be outmaneuvered and avoided while destroying the rest.

    Great article!

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  4. Does Vinnie’s ability to allow her to add a focus to more than one friendly ship?

    if the enemy is in both Vennie’s and the Awing’s mobile arc, does she get to add 2 focus?

    Thanks!

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