Hello old friend

The Preface…

So it appears it’s all kicking off. The world is very weird right now and updates, advice and cancellations have gone from daily to hourly. Whatever your situation, wherever you are just remember to keep your head, be prepared, be kind and stay safe. In the grand scheme of things, this is just a silly blog about a fun hobby we all enjoy so much. If nothing else I hope it gives you a few minutes escape from all the crazy that seems to be around at the moment.

Just for some context, I started writing this blog entry before everything went bonkers. I still don’t know whether the upcoming tournaments I’ve been practising for will go ahead, my assumption at the moment is probably not. I guess you can find out in next week’s blog?

The intro…

In last week’s blog I hinted at a game that I played but gave no details for. Since I didn’t get down to game night this week (well, I did but only to drop some things off for people. Cai had opted out since he’d been to the dentist and had 4, yes 4! teeth removed and didn’t really feel like it. In case you’re interested, the teeth were removed ready for a brace, not because he just eats sweets all day or anything like that. Anyway, I digress…)

(yes, I did start a new paragraph when, technically speaking, this is STILL the same sentence as before the picture. Sorry.) I thought that this week I might batrep (JARGON ALERT!!) that game and share some of my thoughts about the list that I played and also the one that I faced since at least one person asked about it (I’m looking at you u/Hvorsteek!) and I don’t need any more encouragement than that to write about my beloved YT-2400.

The back story…

In my journey through blogging about Dash and finding a build that I enjoyed and was effective, someone (u/Stevesd123) commented on one of my blog posts on Reddit a link to YouTube of a streamed match. It’s commentary is not in English but, such is the beauty of international X-Wing, it doesn’t matter.

The match is Countess Ryad and 2 Sigma Squad Aces matched up against a 2 ship Rebel list. Guess who’s in it?

Yes, it’s my favourite pilot Dash Rendar.

Now, at the time I had just settled on Jake Farrell (in an A-Wing) as a wingman for Dash as he helped to super power Dash’s double tap ability (Bistan gunner) by potentially giving Dash a free focus (which Perceptive Co-pilot turned to 2 tokens). Jake was cheap enough to really go heavy on upgrades with Dash and I was really enjoying how the list worked. I kept the link to the video though and eventually got the time to watch it.

It’s bonkers.

If you don’t want spoilers (i.e. you want to watch but now isn’t the time), skip this next paragraph.

The two YT Transports fully wipe out the Imperial squad with 14 minutes to spare and with neither Rebel ship giving up any points. In fact, Lando is untouched. Brutal. The Rebel player played very well, feinting in before moving away but the what I found most interesting was the way they played the mechanics of the list. Lando moved first and, with Nien crew on board, mostly went with the obvious blue moves. The then could either take two actions himself OR give an action to Dash who would then activate second. With Dash having Perceptive Co-Pilot and Lando having Jyn Erso crew Dash would take a focus and an evade taken every turn but, with Expert Handling equipped, also had the option of a white barrel roll which he could either do from Lando’s abilty (as a pre-move) or as his own action. Yes, Dash can re-position AND have a focus & evade. Plus Lando would more than likely have a focus too. Lots of options mean Dash is rather less predictable than usual.

After watching the video once I then scan watched it a couple more times. I was intrigued.

Time passed and I moved on to finding a Hyperspace list ready for the UK System Open and I ran out of time to really optimise my Dash list and ended up going with what I had (which you can read about here).

So why would I change it and look at something else now? Well, 2 reasons:

  1. I didn’t do as well with the list in it’s current state as I’d have liked.
  2. The points for Dash dropped in January.

So maybe now would be a good time to re-visit the process and try some things out.

The List

The original list in the video is Lando with Nien Numb and Jyn Erso and then Dash with Expert Handling and Perceptive Co-Pilot. That came in at 199 points. But not any more. No, that exact list now comes in at 189 points. A whole 10 points cheaper.

The first thing I considered is Expert Handling. I can clearly see the use for it here. The option to take a white barrel roll before or after moving is a powerful one. But is it necessary? If I give Dash a red barrel roll from Lando’s ability and then take a blue move with Dash I can clear the stress and still take that focus & evade. That said, it does limit options. Dash’s only blue moves and the 1 and 2 straight and the 1 banks. Removing it opens up more interesting options though. With those 14 points I could add Bistan gunner, giving me the possibility of shooting twice.

Or I could take the Outrider title and, following a red barrel roll, simply fly over an obstacle and remove the stress token, allowing me to take another action.

Or I could take Lone Wolf for 5 points and Agile Gunner for 8 (Chris Stevens’and open up the possibility of rotating my arc without costing an action, or even using it to double bluff. Lone Wolf might be tricky to trigger if I’m trying to keep within range 3 of Lando for the free action but outside range 2 to trigger it BUT if I’m moving Lando first anyway I can move into range with Lando and then back out with Dash.

Many options. But which to try?

In the end I went with this one:

Lando Calrissian (79)
Jyn Erso (2)
Nien Nunb (5)

Ship total: 86 Half Points: 43 Threshold: 7

Dash Rendar (91)
Lone Wolf (5)
Agile Gunner (8)
Perceptive Copilot (8)

Ship total: 112 Half Points: 56 Threshold: 5

Total: 198

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z43XWWW40W52WWWY39X124WW76W54WWW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

I love Bistan gunner but sometimes you end up spending both focus tokens by the time you’re done attacking and it leaves you vulnerable. If I remove the temptation to do that then I’m more likely to pick focus & evade which makes Dash more robust and (theoretically) live longer. Since he’s the ‘big gun’ of the list that becomes quite important.

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

Having just finished a game against Josh with my 5 X list we decided to play again but this time with less serious lists. Time to pull out the jank (JARGON ALERT!!).

Welcome back Dash. It’s been too long.

Josh’s list was….interesting. Two Jumpmasters, two Mining Guild TIEs and an M3-A Interceptor. Here’s the full list:

Tel Trevura (44)
Expert Handling (4)
Ion Cannon (6)
Deadman’s Switch (2)
Hull Upgrade (5)
Punishing One (5)
R5 Astromech (4)

Ship total: 70 Half Points: 35 Threshold: 5

Nom Lumb (38)
Ion Cannon (6)
Boba Fett (4)
Deadman’s Switch (2)
Hull Upgrade (5)

Ship total: 55 Half Points: 28 Threshold: 5

Mining Guild Surveyor (23)
Ship total: 23 Half Points: 12 Threshold: 2

Mining Guild Surveyor (23)
Ship total: 23 Half Points: 12 Threshold: 2

G4R-GOR V/M (28)
Ship total: 28 Half Points: 14 Threshold: 2

Total: 199

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Scum%20and%20Villainy&d=v8ZhZ200Z116X120WW11WWW93W164W159W6Y400XW11W16WW93W164WY248XWY248XWY399XW&sn=Unsaved%20Squadron&obs=

So we place obstacles and forces and the board ends up like this as we start setting dials:

Boba Fett crew eh?

Ignoring the rather unusual smartphone shaped object in the top right, what’s wrong with this image? That’s right, it’s the first ever time* that I’ve faced a ship with Boba Fett crew. I suppose at least my target priority decision has been made for me. He’s clearly going for a bump and will try to keep me there until the rest of the list arrives. The question is, can I do anything about it?

*that I can remember, at least

With that in mind I still decide to stick with what I’d normally do and take hard turns away from the main opposing force.

Josh sent Nom Lumb screaming in towards Dash while the rest of the list started making it’s way to my side of the board.

I moved Lando first, taking a 2 hard right turn and a focus (but no blue move means no free/second action). Dash takes a 1 hard right and misses the bump by a couple of millimeters. Interesting. I wouldn’t have minded the bump since it would mean he wasn’t getting shot but clearing it means focus & evade for Dash and two 3 dice shots into Nom Lumb.

Pffft, you’d get a bus through there mate!

Unfortunately I’m writing this almost 2 weeks after the game happened so details are sketchy. In short, Nom Lumb took some damage (at least shields down and possibly a damage card) and gave out very little in return.

With no-one else in range for shots we go back to dials.

I set Dash a 3 bank and Lando a slightly risky 2 forwards, figuring that Nom Lomb will either bump Dash and leave Lando space to move into once Dash is out of the way OR he’ll jump right over Dash into Lando’s face in which case a bump is unavoidable anyway.

Josh starts moving his ships and Lom Lumb went with the first option – he bumps Dash. Cool. That allows Dash to clear him with the 3 bank (and take a focus & evade) and then have Lando take up the vacated space with a blue 2 forwards, allowing him to take a focus action and then a lock on Nom Lumb.

2 turns, no bumps. How long will it last though?

I still have Nom Lumb in arc of both my ships but, despite the mods can’t quite finish him off, getting him down to just 2 hull left (I think). On reflection the Deadman Switch might have hurt a bit had I managed to do it. It would have been worth it to get the extra gun off the board though.

In return Nomb Lumb puts a damage and an ion token (using Ion Cannon) onto Lando while Tel’s shot on him is ineffective.

On to the next…

This time Nom Lumb does get the position for a bump, taking a 1 hard turn to try and trap Lando while the rest of the list advances on his position.

I can’t remember what move I dialled in for Lando but whatever it was, it doesn’t clear. Meanwhile Dash takes a 3 hard turn with focus & evade and tried to get rid of the increasingly annoying JumpMaster but STILL can’t kill it.

Lando takes a shot at the other JumpMaster (now in range) and plinks a few shields off.

In return Lando takes shots from Tel, the M3-A and a Mining Guild TIE but only loses 2 more shields (making that 3 down in total) and picks up a second ion token. A bit of a let off damage wise but the ion situation could be interesting. One more and I’m in trouble.

Needing to put some distance in with Lando I set a blue 3 bank while Dash would go 3 straight to see if I could start effectively walking the line between range 2 and 3 to make full use of Lando’s ability and Lone Wolf.

Josh started moving ships. Nom took another hard turn, still trying to block Lando. The M3-A also advanced on Lando while the TIEs turned towards Dash. Tel then took a 1 forward towards Lando.

Lando’s move cleared (just!) and he took a focus and (since the move was blue) a lock on Nom Lumb. That ship had to go!

Dash’s 3 straight took him within range 1 of the TIEs but so far he had only taken 1 damage so while not ideal (especially since it meant 1 more red die for Josh’s ships but 1 less for Dash) it wasn’t the end of the world.

Dash fired at a TIE and managed to get a damage on. Lando shoots again at Nom Lumb but he STILL DOESN’T DIE! In return Josh puts another couple of damage onto Lando but more importantly, that 3rd ion token. While not disastrous, the damage isn’t getting onto Josh’s ships as fast as I’d like it to while in return Lando is being slowly plinked to death.

With Lando stuck with an ion 1 forwards I dial in a 3 hard with Dash and wait to see what Josh is doing.

Nom Lumb’s options are limited so he shuffles forward and bumps Lando. Tel and the M3-A close in on Lando, smelling blood while the TIEs start turning to hit or block Dash.

Lando takes the ion move and a focus (since that’s all he’s allowed) while Dash takes the 3 hard turn away from the TIEs, managing to keep 1 in arc (although it’s the undamaged one) and escaping arc of both of them. Not bad.

Spoiler – one JumpMaster is gone. Finally!

Lando takes the shot on Nom Lumb and (finally!) gets him off the board. In a rather fortuitous twist, Lando is outside of range for Deadman Switch but Tel isn’t and he takes a damage.

Dash fires at the in-range TIE and puts on damage but doesn’t kill it.

Tel and the M3-A fire at Lando and put on some more damage and ANOTHER ion. Thankfully it’s just 1!

We pick up dials again and I give both ships hard turns and wait for Josh’s moves.

The top TIE hard turns while the other, limited by a stress token just moves forward. The M3-A takes a 3 bank, looking for a block on Lando while Tel, hoping to capitalise on the potential block moves forwards and sits on the debris.

Lando takes the hard turn and then I give him a red banked boost to turn back into the middle of the board.

Dash takes ANOTHER 3 hard and takes the (standard) focus & evade tokens.

Is everyone going around in circles?!

in 2 rather brutal shots, Lando and Dash finish off the Mining Guild TIEs. In return Tel puts a bit more damage onto Lando and brings him rather close to destruction.

Poof! No more TIEs

We go for dials again with not too much time left on the clock.

Now, I have to say, my memory here is a little more hazy, not helped by my not taking a picture of the next turn. Sorry.

At some point in the next 2 turns, I lost the Falcon, got a shield off the M3-A and got some damage onto Tel. And then we ended up here:

Now at this point I’m not too bothered about G4R-G0R’s ability (since I can’t shoot him if he’s touching me) so when the bump comes, its ok. Dash takes the shot on Tel and finishes him off. Only for me to then find out what his pilot ability is.

“If you would be destroyed, you may spend 1 . If you do, discard all of your damage cards, suffer 5  damage, and place yourself in reserves instead. At the start of the next Planning Phase, place yourself within range 1 of your player edge.”

Well, crap.

Josh then gives Tel 5 new damage cards, leaving him on 2 health (as he has Hull Upgrade). Ok.

We move to the planning phase and Josh re-deploys Tel as far away from Dash as possible and plans his moves.

He then proceeds to spend the next 2 turns blocking Dash with the M3-A and using the R5 astromech to repair 2 more damage cards.

Well, ok then?

It’s actually quite genius/filthy (depending on which side of the board you’re on!) but it’s come a little too late for Josh as time runs out before any more shots are fired.

The R5 astromech repairs don’t take Tel back above half points and so, with Dash having taken just 1 damage all game, I win 136-86.

The conclusion…

It’s no secret that I love Dash, our history is well documented (well, in this blog at least!). For a long time I struggled with who to pair him with or how to build out the list. In the end I went for a very heavy build (140ish points) with a light wing-man (50ish points, 4 health) and it worked well enough for me to like it.

This though? This is something else.

Another high health, large base ships muddies the water of target priority for my opponent. a 140-something point Dash that shoots twice with 4 dice has a rather large target on it’s back. A 112 point Dash coupled with a 13 health ship with 2 actions a turn though? That’s a different story.

No, Dash doesn’t hit as hard as in my other lists. That’s ok though, because the trade off is that he doesn’t die so quickly, leaving zero option for any meaningful progress in the game. If Dash dies, it’s game over. Not so with this list. No, Lando is a more than decent ship in his own right, boasting super action efficiency and a good chunk of health.

YT Buddies!

I need some more practice with it but this is certainly a fun list. The option to double mod either ship or take a mod and a reposition on either makes it very flexible. The Falcon isn’t as manoeuvrable as the YT-2400 but the boost makes it fast and moving Lando into range of Dash to hand off an action and then having Dash get outside of range 2 to trigger Lone Wolf isn’t as tricky as I thought.

On the flip side, I’m not 100% sold on Agile Gunner, especially for 8 points. That may need looking at. I didn’t use it even once in this game and while I can see the value in saving me an action if I do need to rotate, I’ve been so used to just flying in a way that doesn’t need the rotate that I think it’s probably unnecessary. I’m thinking maybe the title on the Falcon which give me the option of focus & evade on both ships. That also allows me to do something like Contraband Cybernetics on Dash for a ‘get out of jail free’ turn if he needs to red barrel roll at some point. I’m certainly open to suggestions on that though!

I can certainly have some good fun with this list. Expect to see more of it in future blogs!

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