A Brave New World

The intro…

Welcome (back?) to my blog!

I’ve got a LOT to cover today so I’m going to keep this bit as short as I can.

No time to stop and talk!

Since I have 2 games to talk about today and both are with slightly different list I’m going to alter my normal blog format a little. I’ll keep both batreps a little shorter but summarise them totally separately.

Ok, that’s it. Let’s go!

The preamble…

With the last few weeks since the new points update being INCREDIBLY busy, I’ve managed to do nothing more than theory craft some lists in Launchbay Next when having 5 minutes with nothing to do.

Can you guess where most of my list building focus is?

Yes, I need to tidy this up!

Yes, it’s Dash of course!

With his points having now dropped to a record low (for him) of 79 AND the title finally being a viable buy at just 6 points it’s time to see where he fits.

The answer, seemingly, is a lot of places.

Yes, pretty ironically, with such a huge points drop from when I used to be able to build a 149 point Dash, there are now so many points available that I actually don’t quite know where to start once I’ve built out the YT-2400. I can fit, well, lots of different stuff!

I’ve postulated that B-Wing Hera now being the same price as A-Wing Hera but with a bigger gun might be a decent shout. A few test games in Fly Casual quickly shut that down. As I mentioned in my last post, she is good but she isn’t a standalone piece and without other token juggling ships (Garven, Benthic, Kyle) she quickly loses her effectiveness and, therefore, her appeal.

It also became apparent that while A-Wing Hera likes to support and be flighty, B-Wing Hera is a bit more greedy and the temptation to spend that precious focus on her own attack is pretty strong. Switching back to A-Wing Hera is an option but doing so significantly reduces your damage output since she often fails to do much damage herself. Is she then worth 25% of your list just to pass what is usually a single focus?

Probably not.

I’m not normally one to drop a ship/list like a hot rock when the points go up but in Hera’s case I think she has found her niche and might be better off sticking there.

I tried her with Garven in there too, just to keep the token passing up:

Dash Rendar (79)
Trick Shot (4)
Jyn Erso (3)
Perceptive Copilot (8)
Outrider (6)

Ship total: 100 Half Points: 50 Threshold: 5

Hera Syndulla (B-Wing) (48)
Fire-Control System (2)
Jamming Beam (0)
Stabilized S-Foils (0)

Ship total: 50 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 4

Garven Dreis (49)
Marksmanship (1)

Ship total: 50 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 5

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z39X133WW40W54WW157WY450XW113W12WWWW313WY79X125WWWWW&sn=Dash%2C%20Jake%2C%20Gavin&obs=

This didn’t fare too well either with the ARC and the B-Wing succumbing to hails of 2 dice swarm fire despite their (occasional) token trickery.

Ok, back to the drawing board.

Dash is now less of a threat than he used to be since losing his gunner slot, denying him double taps with Bistan. He is, however, a massive points tank and so adding a viable alternative threat has usually been my ideal situation. If you want to chase Dash you need to ignore ‘other thing’ which will hopefully tear shreds into you from a flank. Dash’s massive points reduction now gives lots more options here.

I toyed with several ideas but all of a sudden I had a game coming up and that means I have to make a choice!

The batrep(s)… (JARGON ALERT!!)

Game 1 – Denny The Sicilian

After temporarily bailing on my 6th round game of the Sith Taker league against my old buddy/X-Wing nemesis, the always awesome Mr Steve Boulton (a game we will most certainly catch up in a few weeks!), it was a bit of a return to normality this week, allowing me to sneak in a cheeky online game on Tuesday night.

I got a free hour to toy with Fly Casual and after a couple of successful tests I opted for this:

Dash Rendar (79)
Trick Shot (4)
Perceptive Copilot (8)
Jyn Erso (3)
Outrider (6)

Ship total: 100 Half Points: 50 Threshold: 5

Gavin Darklighter (55)
Elusive (2)
Pattern Analyzer (5)
Fire-Control System (2)
R4 Astromech (2)

Ship total: 66 Half Points: 33 Threshold: 3

Jake Farrell (34)
Ship total: 34 Half Points: 17 Threshold: 2

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z39X133WW54W40WW157WY22X119W206W113WW5WY50XWWW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Yes, I’m reverting to my classic Dash & Jake combo for free actions. That 3rd ship was a bit of a toss up since Luke Skywalker fits but I couldn’t decide what to kit him out with. After using the E-Wing to good (ok, reasonable) effect in Bristol a while back I found that point drops there mean I can fit Gavin Darklighter with Elusive to help defence, Pattern Analyzer to still get an action when recharging Elusive and R4 to clear the stress easier when I’ve done it. Plus Gavin’s ability might trigger a bit.

There are a few things I need to try and remember:
– Dash can remove a red or orange token when moving over or landing on an obstacle now (with the Outrider title) so don’t be afraid of it.
– try and get obstructed shots if possible
– don’t forget Elusive (using and recharging)
– don’t forget Pattern Analyzer

Time for a proper test then!

My opponent in the Sith Taker league this time is ‘Denny The Sicilian’. We get loaded up (after a dodgy start thanks to my internet) and set up the TTS room ready to begin.

Denny’s list is reasonably familiar. Or rather, it has familiar pieces.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (47)
Sense (6)
Calibrated Laser Targeting (6)

Ship total: 59 Half Points: 30 Threshold: 2

Plo Koon (43)
Calibrated Laser Targeting (6)

Ship total: 49 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 2

Ric Olié (44)
Juke (6)
R2 Astromech (5)

Ship total: 55 Half Points: 28 Threshold: 3

“Odd Ball” (29)
Proton Rockets (5)

Ship total: 34 Half Points: 17 Threshold: 3

Total: 197

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic%20Republic&d=v8ZsZ200Z278X75WW200WY312XWW200WY333X123WW2WY316XW102W&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Hmmm…. I know about the Plo and Odd Ball Prockets trick so I really want to avoid that. I also know Ric will be hard to hit (understatement)PLUS provided he isn’t dead, can run away and regen back up to full points at any time.

Sounds like it’s time for some Pre-Flight checks:
Target Priority – Ummmm…. it feels bad gunning for the cheapest ship in the list but getting Odd Ball out before he fires what will almost certainly be double modded Prockets is pretty important. Either that or take out his enabler Plo.
Obstacles – Denny has brought gas clouds so I want them as tight together as possible for more triggers for Dash.
Deployment – Relatively simple, Gavin in one corner, Dash and Jake in the other.

As new rules are yet to be released, Denny’s 3 point bid gives him choice and he makes me first player. Against a list of 4 i5 pilots this could be a long night. Or a short one!

We place obstacles and ships and are ready to begin!

Did I miss the opening screenshot? Yes. Yes I did.

In my very first turn I realise a mistake in setup as Jake’s 2 hard left puts him too close to Dash to roll left towards my board edge and Dash’s 1 hard left leaves him too close to the board edge to roll as well.

Oops.

Gavin’s 4 straight and boost into lock (on Odd Ball) is looking…questionable with Plo and Odd Ball coming up the middle while Obi and Ric chase down towards Dash and Jake. Still, less ships pointing at Dash is what I want I guess.

I’m also quite desperate to not get a double modded Procket from Odd Ball onto anybody.

In the next turn Dash and Jake streak ahead, looking to get distance from Ric and Obi while Gavin positions himself to fire at Plo or Odd Ball.

Plo turns at Gavin while Denny’s other three ships angle in at Dash and Jake. I manage to avoid bullseye from Odd Ball (yay!) but Ric just barely manages to catch Jake…

Balls

And of course takes a shield off him for his trouble. Nice.

In return I manage to put two hits onto Odd Ball from Dash (who takes a shield back from Dash) while Gavin (the hero that he is), puts a hit and a crit past Plo’s green dice, halving him. Plo fires back and takes 2 shields from Gavin but it’s a trade I’m reasonably happy with for now.

Going into the next turn I want to try and minimise incoming shots again if I can but three of Denny’s ships are pretty fast.

Gavin sloops and takes a Pattern Analyser focus while Jake goes straight, takes a focus and boosts but he’s out of range to pass an action to Dash. Dash 3 banks and takes a focus & evade.

Plo has taken a 2 straight which gives Gavin a free shot but Denny rolls him left and backwards and just barely gets him out. Meanwhile Obi has turned in while Ric and Odd Ball are still chasing Dash & Jake.

Dash manages to put another hit onto Odd Ball (getting half points) but I’m just not doing it fast enough! Ric has scraped into range and plinks another shield from Jake, halving him too. Odd Ball’s return shot does nothing and we’re back to dials.

In the next turn Denny brings in Obi-Wan while Ric and Odd Ball hang back. Somehow Plo turns right in front of Dash and it somehow isn’t a bump (which would have given me shots into him with Jake and either a r1 from Gavin or from Dash depending where he bumped)

Plo moves 2nd and does not bump!

At this point Dash fires at Obi-Wan and rolls full paint. Yes!

Obi’s response?

OH COME ON!!

Also full paint and he takes nothing. Bloomin Jedi…

Over the next 2 turns we continue our merry dance with Plo running away while Obi follows Dash and Gavin tries to be a nuisance as Ric and Odd Ball deice who to shoot at.

Then this happens…

Yes, I failed to predict the barrel roll from Odd Ball and Plo is close enough for the token pass.

Denny rolls his dice, spends his (free) lock and his focus for 5 hits onto Gavin. Gavin rolls a single eyeball. I spend it, thinking he lives but he doesn’t, he’d lost 2 shields in his exchange with Plo early on and he dies in a puff of disappointment.

Ouch.

In the mean time, Jake has blocked Obi-Wan but the Jedi General is adamant that he isn’t getting his ship scratched today and continues to evade everything Dash throws at him.

In the next few turns Dash pulls away from Jake a little and catches Ric at range 2, putting 2 hits past his greens. My joy is short lived though as in the next turn I make two huge mistakes.

See that red circle? Jake should be there. He was there. For a while…

First I hard turn in with Jake and opt to leave him where he is and take a focus so he can catch up to Dash next turn. Then I 4-K (JARGON ALERT!!) with Dash and decide to barrel roll away, intending to make sure I get to range 2 of the incoming ships.

Except the never came. Ric turned away, looking to regen his shields but found a nice juicy A-Wing to shoot at while Plo turned away from Dash rather than in. Poop.

Jake evaporates and with just under 10 minutes to go it’s just Dash versus all 4 of Denny’s ships.

With Ric regenning and Odd Ball staying away having spent his Prockets (JARGON ALERT!!), Plo and Obi-Wan turn in on Dash.

Dash fires at Obi but the elusive Jedi once again natties out (JARGON ALERT!!) and takes no damage but his return shot takes 2 shields from Dash.

We go into the last turn as the clock counts down.

Dash fires at Plo (since Obi appears to be unkillable) and gets the two damage needed to kill him.

With simultaneous fire Plo fires back and between his shot and Obi’s they get the 2 damage needed to halve Dash as the game ends.

Result: 66 – 150 loss

Mini conclusion…

I lost. Booooo.

But.

It’s the first run of an experimental list and, to be honest, it felt like a pretty close game up until the turn where Gavin evaporated to Odd Ball’s double modded Procket.

Ironically I was happy with my position on that turn with Ric and Obi both having been blocked. And then Odd Ball rolled.

DAMMIT ODD BALL!!

I’m a little frustrated because I simply should have got Gavin out of the way and not been ANYWHERE near that bullseye. Yes he could have lived and yes that Elusive roll could have saved him but in trying to chase down Plo rather than running for safety I allowed Denny to wipe out an important ship without trading enough for it.

This list is built with the ‘new rules’ (that we don’t officially have yet) in mind. I went specifically for no bid (when Elusive and PA aren’t essential) so as not to give away points but of course in this game (since we don’t have those rules), I lost the bid and was very obviously going to be first player against a fully i5 list.

I don’t know that I automatically lose when going second (I mean, I know I lost but it never felt like an impossible task) and so when RPO kicks in, I’m interested to see how it goes.

ADD RPO TO JARGON LIST!!!

In the mean time, I’m tempted to try this list again. If I can get Gavin’s arc on targets (which should be easier when they aren’t all higher initiative!) then my damage output will improve and hopefully help me trade better.

Denny suggested I change out some ships, taking Jan Ors in a HWK-290 to carry Jyn (and have Moldy Crow) which would allow me to put Kanan crew onto Dash. While I do like the thought of Dash having a focus, evade AND a Force, Kanan’s cost of 12 points means that Dash goes back up to 109 which puts me off a little. Adding Jan with Jyn and the title adds another 60 meaning I only have 31 points left to play with.

There are a couple of options I could throw in, including a lower end A-Wing, any of the Rebel TIE’s (lol, no) or even a Z-95 Bandit with Thread Tracers which might be interesting.

Game 2 – Paul Fallon

The following day was casual play night at Firestorm Games in Newport and I was intending to use the same list again but armed with a rep under my belt and some lessons learned. During the day though I had a chat with Chris Burnett from Tin Squadron and after a bit of discussion and some good suggestions by Chris I ended up taking this instead:

Dash Rendar (79)
Trick Shot (4)
Perceptive Copilot (8)
Jyn Erso (3)
Outrider (6)

Ship total: 100 Half Points: 50 Threshold: 5

Wedge Antilles (54)
R2 Astromech (5)
Afterburners (7)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship total: 66 Half Points: 33 Threshold: 3

Jake Farrell (34)
Ship total: 34 Half Points: 17 Threshold: 2

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z39X133WW54W40WW157WY5XWW2W105W142Y50XWWW&sn=Dash%2C%20Jake%2C%20Gavin&obs=

Wedge really brings that alternative threat but as he tends to evaporate (when I fly him at least!) he’s reinforced with R2 astromech for regen and Afterburners for the potential ‘get out of jail’.

I turn up at Firestorm and start unpacking while we chat and have the always slightly awkward ‘who’s playing who’ conversation.

I end up playing against Paul. He’s our TO, a great guy and (I recently realised) just about the only regular left at Newport who has been coming longer than me!

He’s brought a somewhat themed list made of ships that haven’t been re-released in 2.0:

Academy Pilot (22)
Ship total: 22 Half Points: 11 Threshold: 2

Scarif Base Pilot (39)
Emperor Palpatine (12)

Ship total: 51 Half Points: 26 Threshold: 4

“Deathrain” (43)
Trajectory Simulator (6)
Adv. Proton Torpedoes (5)
Diamond-Boron Missiles (5)
Seismic Charges (3)
Thermal Detonators (5)
Angled Deflectors (3)

Ship total: 70 Half Points: 35 Threshold: 4

Major Vynder (40)
Fire-Control System (2)
Proton Torpedoes (12)
Advanced SLAM (3)
Os-1 Arsenal Loadout (0)

Ship total: 57 Half Points: 29 Threshold: 4

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic%20Empire&d=v8ZsZ200Z229XY186X29WWY192X114W134W238WWW71W339W247Y161XW113W136WW104W139WW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Now, before you start writing that comment, he used the Rebel Sabine’s TIE model (unreleased) and the Reaper came in 1.0 packaging and the rerelease was cancelled. The other two are definitely unreleased.

Let’s get some Pre-Flight checks in:
Target Priority – That Punisher is terrifying and the Alpha isn’t much better! I’ll try for those first.
Obstacles – Deathrain’s Seismics might make this a moot point but I’ll try for a reasonably tight deployment to leverage Dash’s tricks.
Deployment – Jake and Dash together, Wedge further away, looking for the flank position.

In contrast to me last game we collectively decide to use new rules. We’re both at 200 so no points given up and we roll to see who is first player and it’s Paul meaning all this ships will move before mine. Nice.

We place obstacles and ships and are ready to start

This time I’ve tried to learn from the previous game’s placement, leaving enough room for Jake to roll behind Dash and for Dash to just roll.

I get it 50% right.

Oops.

Meanwhile Wedge is streaking up the left flank.

Paul has Trajectory Simmed a Seismic to destroy the cornered obstacle and used the Academy Pilot to keep Deathrain back. It looks as though Vynder and the AP are heading towards Wedge while Deathrain and the Reaper will go straight but it’s WAY to early to know for sure.

I decide to go slower with Wedge next turn, suddenly very aware that Dash is pretty far behind and if Wedge is going to get jumped on that Dash needs to be there to do some damage.

Paul’s Alpha continues along his board edge while the rest of the ships drift ominously towards my corner.

At this point I have a choice. Turn in with Wedge and shoot some things or turn away and live to fight another day (hey, that rhymes!).

Of course I turn in. I’m here to roll dice!

Now as it happens it’s a great choice for two reasons. First is that Vynder comes in HARD at Wedge, Advanced SLAMing into a red lock to get him with Proton Torps.

The second is that Deathrain also comes in but rather than go straight, has banked.

I move Wedge his 2 bank, leaving his foils closed, and focus into a left bank boost.

YES!!

I’ve arc dodged both Vynder AND Deathrain (leaving Vynder with no shot at all because he’s disarmed from the SLAM and doesn’t have Dash locked) AND Wedge has a range 1 shot into Deathrain with a focus! Yay!

Wedge puts 3 hits into Deathrain and Dash follows up with another 2, leaving him on 3 hull (as he has 1 less shield from the Angled Deflectors) including a Hull Breach.

Lovely.

I take precisely zero shots in return.

Spoiler alert – that’s as good as it gets for Wedge.

In the next turn I anticipate the Thermal Detonators drop from Deathrain and opt to bank with Wedge anyway, thinking I can roll away and then use Afterburners. Meanwhile Dash will go straight to (hopefully) keep arc on Deathrain.

None of that works out as planned. Deathrain does indeed drop a pair of Thermals, first boosting and then focusing before doing a 4-K. Vynder hard turns and opts not to SLAM this time and just focuses while the TIE and Reaper hard turn around the central rock.

Jake moves and rolls right but doesn’t boost because the straight is blocked by Vynder and the bank looks like it will take him outside of range 1 of Dash so can’t pass off teh action. Dash goes 2 straight right over the top of Vynder.

Then Wedge moves. It’s a 2 bank.

Now, before I talk about the next bit I need you to know something. I’ve not used Afterburners before. Shocking, I know.

Wedge moves and I say that I’m going to roll Wedge right and then Afterburners right.

Paul points out that the boost has to come first. I read the card to check.

Oh no.

I know some of you will have spotted it already.

Wedge went 2 bank. Not speed 3-5 as Afterburners states. No boost for Wedge.

Poop.

I roll him right and hope for the best.

Does this look range 1 to you?

There was good news and bad news. First the good. Only one of the thermals was range 1. Yay! The other good news? Wedge didn’t take damage from it. Yay!

The bad? He took a strain.

Vynder then launched a fully modded Proton Torp at strained Wedge.

Both shields gone and two (TWO!!) crits – Damaged Sensor Array and Loose Stabiliser.

Very ouch.

In return Dash and Jake both pounded Vynder, landing 4 hits between them to halve him. But the damage was done. Speaking of which, Deathrain had caught Dash in arc and scored 2 hits, forcing Dash to spend his evade while the Academy Pilot fired a range 3 obstructed pot shot, got 1 hit and Dash blanked out.

Talk about disrespectful.

For the next turn I agonised far too long over what to do with Wedge. 4 straight, roll and boost? 3 bank roll and boost? Either way he’d be regenning a shield first.

In the end I opt to 3 bank left, hoping to catch Paul off guard and maybe dodge Vynder’s arc.

Before you say anything, yes, I know. I’ll get to it.

Paul turned both i1’s into the fight while Deathrain (who launched a Seismic during the systems phase) simply trundled forwards 1 and Vynder angled in towards Wedge to finish him off.

Jake and Dash both went straight but Dash stopped just short of a bump on Deathrain. Nice. With Vynder bearing down on Wedge he takes a lock on the Alpha with tokens already in hand from Jake.

Wedge regenned a shield with R2 Astromech, took the 3 bank left and I stared at cards.

Oh balls.

I forgot the loose stabiliser. Wedge immediately loses that shield. Still, with the angle he can boost out of….

Oh. Balls.

Damaged Sensor Array. No boosting for Wedge, not even with Afterburners.

What an idiot.

The Siesmic goes off and Paul sacrifices a hit onto his Academy Pilot to destroy htdebris next to Dash, taking another shield off him.

A poor engagement followed.

For some reason I opted to fire the 3 dice range 1 at Deathrain rather than the range 3 at Vynder. At the time I felt it was pretty much even odds for managing to kill one of them (and with Deathrain worth more points) but I had taken so long fussing over Wedge I forgot that Dash had locked Vynder. Also stripping the focus from him would have maybe almost prevented what came next.

Yes. Wedge’s total annihilation. His single focus was no match for another Proton Torpedo.

Right then. At least the Alpha is out of the fight for the moment. Dash’s range 1 shot onto Deathrain was all paint but Palpatine came into play, saving his last hull with a Force from across the table. Filthy Sith!

As we raced into last few turns I managed to get the kill shot onto Deathrain but Dash was now being chased down by the Reaper and Academy Pilot.

I got a pretty tasty Trick Shot 5 dice shot into the Reaper…

DAMN YOU GLARE!!! Yes, it’s a crit and 4 hits. BOOM!

But as we roll dice in the last turn Dash fails to finish off the Reaper while with the last dice roll of the game that bloomin Academy Pilot gets the 1 hit needed to halve Dash.

Poop.

We tot up the points, knowing that it’s close and when we announce each other’s totals, I’m pleasantly surprised!

Result: 125 – 116 win

The conclusion…

A better result than the previous game in terms of winning or losing but it certainly raises a few questions. Firstly, when will I learn to read cards properly?

But secondly is the big question:

Now one way to look at this is that Wedge played his part as a distraction from Dash and that’s fine.

But having made SO many mistakes with him AND only firing once all game, it leaves me wondering just how different it could have been if I didn’t mess things up so much.

I certainly think that there’s mileage in this list and while I know that a version of this was playable before the points change, the massive drops to Dash and the Outrider title means that losing Bistan is counter balanced by adding Jyn to make Dash more durable and getting regen and Afterburners on Wedge.

I’ll keep practicing with it and see whether I can get more than 1 shot out of Wedge before he dies next time!

The outro…

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