It’s finally here, a whole 5 new ships to play with, a world of options and possibilities. So far the biggest outcry has been that the TIE Silencer is in an “over sized” box… if this is the only outraged cry from the community about stuff from the waves being Over anythinged then FFG has performed a miracle!
However, the in’s and outs of how bust the bullseye turns out to be, or whether rebels having a crazy cheap co-ordinate brings unbalance to the force, or maybe slamming missiles could be an issue… That can all wait. There’s a lot we’ll find out over the next few weeks and months and people seek potent combinations and the new meta settles in place. There are plenty of opinions available on what’s works but I expect certain things will rise to the top over time. I’ll be trying bits and pieces here and there.
This weekend was due to be a double header, firstly to Eclectic Games in Reading. Wave 12/13 is legal at this tournament and I’m going to be trying out the ship that I find the most exciting by far. The TIE Silencer.
Ok, Kylo Ren Crew is the thing I dislike most in the game. I think it is just stupidly good in lists that let you make your opponents gaming experience “less positive.” But Kylo pilot is a very different story:
- Your opponent controls when the Darkside triggers.
- Unless you’re using a crit mechanic (Palp, RAC, ATC, etc) then actually triggering it becomes significantly harder.
- The Silencer is designed NOT to be hit so an ability that only triggers when you get hit is somewhat counter intuitive. Personally I think it is rather nicely balanced.
There are two play styles that I enjoy, the first is the joust, the line up, run at people, hit them really hard and see if you can win the damage race, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while then this will come as no surprise to you.
The other style is trying to never be shot. Since I started writing in February earlier this year arc dodgers haven’t been much of a thing. Quite simply there has been too much bombing about for them to really enjoy it. I’ve had the odd foray with some A-Wings, Poe, Corran… but for the Saturday event I’m going to use consummate arc dodgers.
We’ll start with the old guard. Soontir Fel. He was the king of X-Wing a few waves back, could the changes to bombs be bringing him back?
There are two builds with Soontir that are considered standard. They all involve:
- TIE Royal Guard
- Push the Limit
There is the Stealth Device option, Soontir with two focus tokens and and evade token, autothrusters and four green dice is stupidly hard to kill, even without Palpatine giving him a guaranteed evade. The perk of this build is that he is massively tanky, and with a bit of luck he can even take a five dice cruise missile. However his attack consistency is not quite as potent as you need.
Which brings us to the alternative: The Targetting Computer. He hits things a lot harder, has less tokens and green dice for defense, but carries much more threat.
In a world full of big turrets, big munitions and high pilot skill, defense has to be the primary objective, so Soontir gets the stealth device and a bit more durability.
Next up we have Kylo Ren, he’s new, shiny, and has the most ridiculous dial that the world has ever seen. The Silencer is such a versatile ship. Having access to System and Tech upgrades makes the ship immensely versatile. There are so many options available but I think I’ve gone for the “obvious choice” with Advanced Sensors, Push the Limit and the Advanced Optics.
I’m pretty sure I’ll be trying other options in the coming weeks but this seems the perfect place to start.
|Soontir Fel||Kylo Ren|
|Push the Limit||Push the Limit|
|Stealth Device||Advanced Optics|
|Royal Guard TIE||First Order Vanguard|
Having not flown a proper arc dodging list for a while there’s a lot I’m going to have to remember! It’s a very different game to flying big ships like the Falcon and Slave one, so I suspect that I’m going to be somewhat out of practice. (get those excuses in early is best I feel).
Yes, there is an 18 point initiative bid in this list, yes I know I can fit in an Academy Tie and still have a 6 point bid. But that just wouldn’t be as cool… and would give my opponent 12 MOV without having to do anything! These two are hard to kill.
16 players 4 games, and lots of fun had, by the end of the day I remembered how to arc dodge and really enjoyed flying it. Despite going 3-1 and winning my 3 games 100-0 I am under no illusion that this is a genuinely competitive list.
It’s as entertaining as you like, but the second you run into something with a higher pilot skill than you it’s almost automatically game over, as proved in my second game.
Andy Henderson’s RAC with Kylo Crew and Vader has been my undoing before and was once again. The moment the pairing came up I know there was nothing I was going to be able to do to win the game except ride some fearsome luck.
I did get to show the Dark Side to the Decimator but when you have no inbuilt crit mechanic, as nice as it is to see 4 hits turn up, they won’t make the big ugly PS0… had I got that luck then the game could have been very different but but against Kylo, Rebel Captive and Gunner there is very little my two ships were able to day against higher pilot skill arc dodging and consistent dice. Soontir out up a good showing but when we shook hands at the end we both knew there was no way that match up was going to go in my favour. 100-0 loss had been all but inevitable.
Conversely the other three games I had initiative or PS advantage and the two ships were able to dodge and dance, taking it in turns to dive in and give damage out, then re-position and pick another shot. I love flying these two, but there is a lot out there that IS going to ruin their day.
Over all I came third behind Jesper Hills and Mishary Al-Faris, so I’m happy with that result. I’d like to have had the opportunity to see how these two handle multiple bombers, lots of turrets, or a swarm. 3-1 is a great start for the list but it has bigger tests to come.
Day two was meant to be a visit to The Weekend Warlords. Those guys have some of the most successful X-Wing players in the country and have been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years.
Weekend Warlords is both a shop and a (large) group of players from all over the north of the UK. There’s a lot of love between the the 186th and the Warlords, but there is also a lot of banter… and I was really looking forward to visiting their home in Loughborough.
Unfortunately 3 inches of snow fell over night which made the hour and 40 minute drive from where I was staying in Cirencester to the venue impossible, so after travelling 4 miles in 40 minutes myself and wingman Conor returned to his house for The Force Awakens on DVD and some casual games.
Hotshot Han is going to be making a comeback if arc dodgers return in force. At my suggestion (after getting repeatedly frustrated against the arc dodgers) Conor put Han and Miranda on the table and the game was arguably more uncomfortable than playing against RAC on Saturday.
I think variants of this list may be a thing in the coming weeks, and Cormac Higgins said he was retiring his version of this build after his strong showing in Belgium a few weeks ago… we’ll see.
|Han Solo (Young)||Miranda Doni|
|Veteran Instincts||Twin Laser Turret|
|Millennium Falcon (HotR)|
Anyway, that’s enough from me this week, looks like there are a couple more tournaments to get to this year, and I guess I better pick what to fly with Regionals and Open systems coming up!
NEXT TIME: SOMETHING WILL BE FLOWN!
If you’re looking for tournaments then head over to the 186th Tournament Calendar to see what’s going on!