A Wretched Hive…

The intro…

After an amazing day of real life plastic spaceships last week it’s back to virtual online play for now.

I signed up to join the Sith Takers league which, in it’s first season, had rather a lot of players and so for ‘season 2’ split into several sub-leagues.

Organiser Ben Hibbert told me that since I was joining after season 1 that I’d be added to the lowest level league and that there’s a promotion/relegation system going on as we progress. I was fine with that since I’m 90% sure that I’d have ended up in the bottom league anyway!

Last week I was invited to join a TTT (JARGON ALERT!!) event – Wretched Hive.

With the rules being fairly relaxed (namely Extended format and change your list as you like between games) this was my opportunity to do two things:

  • Test new Dash builds
  • Get reps with a Hyperspace list for the Cardiff store champs

But which to do first?

I’m no expert but maybe the massive beam of light is a clue?

Off the back of last week’s real life event I had felt very positive about a couple of things from each list.

For Hyperspace I had enjoyed how well K-2SO had worked out on Lando (to buff (JARGON ALERT!!) either himself or Hera) as well as how the list had worked in general. It does need tweaking though and while I think some unnecessary upgrades could be stripped I’m not sure it’s enough to slot an extra ship in and have all ships work effectively.

As for Extended? Well, Dash is great, that much I know (in my opinion at least!). I’m not convinced that the Ghost is the best partner though as in order to get both of those 4 dice guns in you have to compromise the optimal build on one or both ships. The pragmatic part of my brain thinks that the Ghost is possibly better but there’s no doubt that Dash wins my heart.

An excuse to show off my customised YT-2400? Yes, and I’m not even a little bit sorry.

I’m definitely going to look into what the extra points can get me based off the list I flew against Phil GC a while back but, trying my very best to be logical about it, with a store champs coming up in just under an month, the Hyperspace list is what needs attention first.

Let’s begin.

This is the list I flew at Cardiff:

Lando Calrissian (78)
Agile Gunner (5)
K-2SO (8)
Nien Nunb (5)
Engine Upgrade (7)
Millennium Falcon (3)

Ship total: 106 Half Points: 53 Threshold: 7

Hera Syndulla (VCX-100) (72)
Intimidation (3)
Ion Cannon Turret (5)
“Zeb” Orrelios (1)
Chewbacca (4)
Hull Upgrade (2)
Agile Gunner (5)

Ship total: 92 Half Points: 46 Threshold: 8

Total: 198

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZhZ200Z43XWW76W314W52W107WW154Y61X122WWW138W65W21W164W76W&sn=Lando%20%26%20Hera%20-%20Hyhperspace%208%2F8%2F20&obs=

On one hand, there were definitely upgrades I didn’t get value from. On the other hand, 2 games is NOT a significant enough test range to say for sure.

Breaking it down:

  • Chewbacca got no use at all.
  • I evaded maybe twice with the Falcon (between both games), making little use of the title.
  • I did make use of the white boost with the Falcon (from Engine Upgrade) but I didn’t feel it necessary when I can just do the red boost second (if doing 2 actions with Lando), especially as I’m very likely to do blue moves anyway to make use of his ability.
  • I did use Agile Gunner on both ships (and feeling like the action was free was nice) but I didn’t feel it was a game changer.
I mean, there’s a reason we don’t see much of Chewie in this game, right?

Dropping those upgrades gets 24 points back plus the 2 from the bid.

The question is – what can I do with that?

The answer appears to be – not a lot, particularly in Hyperspace. The cheapest Hyperspace legal Rebel ship is the initiative 1 Phoenix Squadron Pilot in the A-Wing coming in at 29 points, meaning you need to drop something else to fit it in. Ion turret is the most obvious candidate and so the list ends up looking like this.

Lando Calrissian (78)
K-2SO (8)
Nien Nunb (5)

Ship total: 91 Half Points: 46 Threshold: 7

Hera Syndulla (VCX-100) (72)
Intimidation (3)
“Zeb” Orrelios (1)
Hull Upgrade (2)

Ship total: 78 Half Points: 39 Threshold: 8

Phoenix Squadron Pilot (29)
Ship total: 29 Half Points: 15 Threshold: 2

Total: 198

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZhZ200Z43XWWW314W52WWWY61X122WWWW65WW164WWY53XW&sn=Lando%20%26%20Hera%20-%20Hyhperspace%208%2F8%2F20&obs=gascloud3,gascloud5,gascloud6

Another option would be the Sheathipede but with only 2 pilot options it’s a bit tricky. Especially when one of those pilots is Zeb (who is already a crew on the Ghost) and the other is a 40 point Ezra. I could take Zeb off the Ghost (along with intimidation because without Zeb, what’s the point?!)

Taking this back to bare bones means that I can potentially be giving actions out all over the place with K-2SO’s calculate, Zeb’s co-ordinate and Lando’s pilot ability. It’s certainly worth a test.

Lando Calrissian (78)
K-2SO (8)
Nien Nunb (5)

Ship total: 91 Half Points: 46 Threshold: 7

Hera Syndulla (VCX-100) (72)
Hull Upgrade (2)

Ship total: 74 Half Points: 37 Threshold: 8

“Zeb” Orrelios (Sheathipede) (33)
Ship total: 33 Half Points: 17 Threshold: 3

Total: 198

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZhZ200Z43XWWW314W52WWWY61XWWWWWW164WWY71XWWWW&sn=Lando%20%26%20Hera%20-%20Hyhperspace%208%2F8%2F20&obs=

I mean, in theory, the Ghost (or Lando actually) could end up with 4 actions in total – a calculate (from K-2SO), a quasi-co-ordinate from Lando, an actual co-ordinate from Zeb, and then their own action. Potentially focus, lock and reinforce (on the Ghost or a boost or rotate on the Falcon) as well as the calculate. Bonkers.

But is it any good? The potential is there but it’s hard to say without testing.

And here is my issue. With work and some aspects of ‘normal’ life back in full flow my testing time has been rather limited. In fact, I had time for just one game in Fly Casual before my league match, just 3 hours before my game.

Knowing my time was limited I took the safe (boring) option and stuck with the list that I’d taken to Cardiff the previous week (the first list above). If I’m going to take this list (or something like it) to a store champs I’d best get some proper reps in!

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

The first round draw of the league had paired me with Claudio Veas. A brand new person for to get to know! Yay! We had arranged to play on Friday evening and, after a few issues getting sound working for voice chat, we got started.

With this being just my 4th game in TTS I fumbled my way through set up while trying to assess Claudio’s squad.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (49)
Sense (5)
R4 Astromech (2)
Delta-7B (21)

Ship total: 77 Half Points: 39 Threshold: 3

Ahsoka Tano (44)
R2-A6 (6)
Delta-7B (15)
Spare Parts Canisters (4)

Ship total: 69 Half Points: 35 Threshold: 3

Blue Squadron Protector (26)
Dedicated (1)

Ship total: 27 Half Points: 14 Threshold: 3

Blue Squadron Protector (26)
Dedicated (1)

Ship total: 27 Half Points: 14 Threshold: 3

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic%20Republic&d=v8ZsZ200Z278X75W5W201WY276XW241W201W215Y320X210WWY320X210WW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Bloomin Jedi. That said, these were the lesser spotted Delta-7 variants which I’ve not seen in a while. The two torrents with Dedicated would be potential blockers to look out for while also being terrible targets at just 27 points each but with 5 health and 2 agility. The Jedi are clearly the targets I need to go for. Will I be able to get them though?

With a 2 point bid I give Claudio first player so both my ships move after Obi-Wan and we start placing obstacles and ships.

Claudio places in pairs, torrents to my right and Jedi in the middle. I set up Hera for the joust against the torrents (since Claudio is unlikely to joust me with the Jedi) and Lando on the opposite side.

I set Hera a 1 forwards and Lando a hard 2 to the right while I gauge what Claudio is doing.

He hard turns all his ships away from me. Interesting.

Joust meeeeeee!!!

Clearly we’re not shooting so we go back to planning.

I go with a boring 1 forwards for both ships. I’m certainly not turning into the middle to engage before I’m ready.

Claudio turns the Jedi back in while the torrents continue along the board edge.

It looks like engagement is still a few turns away and so it’s back to dials again.

With the blocking potential of the torrents (well, technically all of Claudio’s list, but primarily the torrents) I don’t want to get my ships trapped in the corner. I decide to aim to turn Hera in between the top two gas clouds and so she gets a 2 straight to set that up for next turn. Lando gets a 3 bank to keep up with Hera. With just 2 guns on the board and no double taps I will need guns on target as often as possible.

Claudio turned his torrents in to face the middle while the Jedi also hard turned to face my ships.

Hera’s Ion turret is facing left but is clearly out of range. We check Ahsoka’s arc and Hera is just out.

Looks like we’ll be shooting soon but not yet. Back to planning we go!

Hera is well positioned for the 2 hard turn in and I set Lando a 3 bank to slot into the space Hera will leave.

Claudio turned the torrents towards my ships while Ahsoka and Obi-Wan went 2 forwards and rolled right.

Now it’s finally time to shoot!

Obi-Wan fires on Hera and strips a couple of shields. Hera takes a double modded shot (with a lock as her own action and a focus from Lando) on Ahsoka and strips her shields before Lando puts a hit into hull.

Ahsoka responds in kind and, backed up by the two torrents Hera takes a hammering, losing all shields and 5 hull (including 2 crits – a disabled power regulator and a hull breach). Ouch.

Points wise I’ve traded half of Hera for half of Ahsoka. Not a great trade this early on. but the level of damage I’ve taken on Hera is a bit worrying.

Back to dials we go and some decisions to make. I set Hera a 1 forwards even though it’s unlikely Claudio will just let me get a bump. I set Lando a 1 forwards as well, hoping to avoid a bump into a torrent.

Claudio banks a torrent onto the gas cloud (taking a strain in the process) while the other takes a 2 straight. Ahsoka pulls off a 5k (JARGON ALERT!!) landing just a millimetre or two in front of Lando. Obi-Wan disengages around the middle gas cloud, looking to get behind Lando next turn.

With Ahsoka now parked in front, Lando bumps and can’t take an action nor give one. I did give Hera a calculate and stress in the systems phase with K-2SO though and with Hera’s ability I change the 1 straight to a 2 bank right and, having rotated the ion turret arc to the right with Agile Gunner at the end of the last turn, I have some shooting options.

I actually remember my trigger and at the start of engagement I use Chewbacca crew to flip Hera’s hull breach.

Obi-Wan doesn’t have a shot but Lando’s only shot is at him. I roll 2 hits but, with mods aplenty, he evades both.

Hera shoots at the unobstructed torrent and scores 2 hits for 1 damage and 1 ion.

In return fire Ahsoka puts another damage onto Hera. The ionised torrent doesn’t have arc on Lando but the other one does. Lacking any mods due to the gas cloud the shot is ineffective and Lando evades.

Back to dials we go and now it’s getting interesting. Hera’s big gun is facing the wrong way and she’s picking up ion tokens from the Disabled Power Regulator from earlier.

Not wanting to sit in an additional arc I set Lando a 3 bank left, accepting that I’m likely to bump something while Hera takes a 1 bank to start the turning process.

Claudio’s ioned torrent takes his 1 forwards adn a focus while the other talon rolls to block Lando. Ahsoka mvoes forwards to clear stress and locks Hera before Obi-Wan continues his disengage, possibly looking to solo the Ghost in a few turns.

When I move Hera I realise that she still has the stress from K-2SO last turn and so doesn’t clear it with the white 1 bank. Idiot!

Obi-Wan has nothing in arc. Hera’s turret is now facing rear (thanks to Agile Gunner, again!) but is outside of the range 2 limit. Lando has a lovely range 1 shot into Ahsoka though and takes it but only gets 1 damage though, leaving her on 1 hull.

Ahsoka fires at Hera again and gets a single damage on, leaving her on 4 hull remaining.

With one torrent bumped and the ioned one just missing arc on Lando we’re done for the turn and go back to planning.

It’s time to start making some moves with Lando and I might also be able to bring Hera’s massive gun to bear on Obi-Wan soon. I 2 bank with Hera to clear the stress while Taking a 3 bank with Lando.

Claudio turns Ahsoka towards Obi-Wan while the torrents regroup in the corner. Obi-Wan does turn towards Hera, looking to maybe be in range next turn.

Lando moves and then, having given himself the K-2SO calculate in the systems phase takes an evade before boosting to put some distance from the torrents.

Ok, Back to the current turn. I (thankfully) remembered to trigger Chewie again at the start of engagement to repair the Disable Power Regulator (and save myself from getting rather close to the board edge).

Obi-Wan, Hera and Ahsoka don’t have shots but Lando has his arc set to front/rear so fires on the red torrent but doesn’t hit.

Both torrents fire back but with one stressed and the other having spent it’s focus on defence neither is able to land any damage onto the evading Falcon.

We’re back to dials and time is running out.

I give Hera a hard left turn to face off with Obi-Wan while Lando will 1 straight to try and get the half points on the torrent.

Claudio moves both torrents forwards cautiously, focusing up. Ahsoka turns in behind Obi-Wan who himself banks towards Hera.

Hera does the 2 hard turn and locks Obi-Wan before Lando moves, gives himself a focus and then locks the red torrent.

I NEED TO CLARIFY/ADMIT SOMETHING HERE. While writing this up, I noticed that we made a mistake. When Hera fired on a torrent earlier it was the green one she ioned. However, Claudio put the damage onto the card for the red torrent. Neither of us noticed. So when I was looking at target priority for Lando in this turn, I fired on the red ship because the red ship card had a damage. Neither of us noticed this either. I’ll cover the consequences of this again later on.

Obi-Wan fires on Hera and puts 3 damage though, crucially leaving her on one health. Phew! Hera fires back at Obi-wan and rolls a full house of hits out of hand. Obi-Wan rolls and spends his focus to get 3 evades, just 1 damage gets through.

Lando fires at the red torrent again but this time the double mods mean I push through 2 damage taking it past the half points threshold.

Ahsoka doesn’t have a shot so the red torrent fires back at Lando but, despite having spent it’s focus on defence, takes 2 shields from him.

Claudio checks range for the green torrent and, while it looks like it’s in, TTS says that it’s out. Tight.

As close as it gets!

At this point there’s just a minute or two left on the clock so this will be the last turn. A quick check of where we’re at means this is a make or break turn. Hera is at half points but has just 1 more hit wipes her out. The red torrent is at half points. Ahsoka is at half and has just 1 hull left. I think she’s likely to stay out of range. If things stay as they are then I think I’m just barely ahead. However, Obi-Wan only needs 1 hit on Hera to score Claudio another 46 points which will tip it in his favour. If I can get half on Obi-Wan in exchange for Hera then I think it’s enough.

Knowing that Obi has Sense I decide to try a bit of a fake out. In the end phase I turn Hera’s turret to her right (implying that I’ll turn her left). I set her a 1 bank right. In retrospect a 2 bank might have been better as I could have changed it to a 1 forwards once I knew what Claudio was doing.

I set Lando to a 3 bank to get distance from the torrents and maybe get a side arc shot on Obi-Wan.

Claudio moved the torrents forwards, keeping them distant and banking the points. Ahsoka turned in towards Hera. Obi-Wan moved forwards towards Hera.

I first moved Hera the 1 bank and focused. I moved Lando, and with the free action turned Hera’s ion turret to the left.

Crucially, Hera had just evaded Obi-Wan’s arc.

In bad news, I had forgotten to rotate Lando’s arc to the side so he wouldn’t be shooting this turn. Oops.

Obi-Wan fired at Lando and stripped another shield but he was still nowhere near half points.

Obi-Wan was at range 1 of Hera’s turret but would need 2 damage to get half points and the ion would only do 1. It was Ahsoka or nothing. If I land a hit, she’s dead. If not then she kills Hera with her return shot.

I roll the 3 dice and score 2 hits. Ahsoka, still strained from hitting a gas cloud rolls just 1 die and so the result is secured. Ahsoka burns down and can’t return fire.

Win 83-46

The conclusion…

Wow. That was close.

The first thing I want to cover is the mistake. On the surface it seems like it made little difference. It’s just 13 points and I won by more than that. However, knowing that I had half points on that torrent did change my target priority and, therefore, the turns that came afterwards.

I spoke to Claudio who was very philosophical about it. He knew it was his slip up and that mistakes happen. Claudio was a great opponent and it was great to chat while playing (once I got my mic working properly!).

Looking more at the list and how it worked, well, I’m actually pretty happy with both of those things.

I forgot a K-2SO trigger early on but thankfully it didn’t matter in that turn. Chewbacca definitely earned himself a medal in this game, saving me firstly from a Hull Breach and then from being ioned by Disabled Power Regulator 2 turns later. I used Agile Gunner several times on both ships and even the Falcon title earned it’s beans once with a reroll while evading.

In fact, the only thing that got no use in this game was the Intimidation/Zeb combo although even in not being used it may have had an effect on Claudio’s approach by knowing he wanted to avoid bumping.

Going back to my list from the intro:

  • Chewbacca single handedly saved the Ghost from taking extra damage from Hull Breach AND being ioned.
  • Evading with the Falcon, while not often used, kept Lando comfortably above the half points threshold.
  • On reflection of Engine Upgrade on the Falcon, if I was doing a red boost as my main action I’d be stressed going into the next turn meaning that taking a K-2SO calculate would double stress him which is obviously a terrible choice.
  • Agile Gunner changed the game. Well, maybe. Whilst it can flag to my opponent where I’m looking to go next turn, it does allow me to turn my gun ready and then take tokens to mod my shots or, as with the last turn, play a bluff by rotating one way and then changing it back as my action.
All is forgiven. Give him the medal!

I think that while it’s clearly not an S-tier top meta list, each of the upgrades has made a decent contribution across the three games I’ve used it in.

I’d had my doubts about flying a 2 ship list with no double taps but it’s done ok so far. I’m now 2 – 1 with it and the one loss was a very close one.

I think I’m happy to continue with it for now to get some more reps in against a variety of lists and players in preparation for Cardiff next month.

Just reminding myself what actual ships look like.

On another note, by the end of the game I was a lot more comfortable with TTS and it all felt a bit more natural than it had when I first used it a few months ago. It’s still got some things that niggle me a little bit but I’m now happy to play games on either of the online platforms.

So for now the prep for the Cardiff store champs ploughs ahead with my round 2 game looming. Do I stick? Or try one of the other options? Come back next week and see!

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