Further Investigation…

The intro…

Welcome to the blog!

Summer has (finally) arrived! I don’t know about where you are but it’s pretty hot here in South Wales (I mean, by normal South Wales standards). The kids have finished school, the weather is glorious and I’ve got 2 weeks off work and everything is just lovely.

With it being a little warmer than we’re used to I have to say that one of the major benefits of having our FLGS (JARGON ALERT!!) inside a massive supermarket is that there is aircon which keeps the temperature reasonable and consistent and while that may not seem like it’s a big deal, if you’ve ever played multiple games of X-Wing in a non-airconditioned room while wearing a mask on the hottest day of the year, you’ll appreciate that it’s one of those things that you don’t value until it’s available.

Anyway, last week I did manage to get down to Firestorm and while I’m hoping to make it down most weeks over the summer, I’m making sure to fully appreciate every opportunity I get to go down and see the guys and roll some dice.

This week I decided to make sure that my list was FULLY prepped in advance and wanted to try out Ben Saunders’ Dash list again.

I had enjoyed playing Dash again and while yes, he can be fragile and yes, he can be fairly predictable with his moves, rolling 4 or even 5 dice TWICE per turn is just great. Especially when you get lots of paint.

In case you didn’t read last week’s blog, the list is:

Dash Rendar (85)
Trick Shot (4)
Bistan (10)
Perceptive Copilot (8)

Ship total: 107 Half Points: 54 Threshold: 5

Ahsoka Tano (A-Wing) (49)
Ship total: 49 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 2

Wedge Antilles (A-Wing) (35)
Outmaneuver (6)

Ship total: 41 Half Points: 21 Threshold: 2

Total: 197

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z39X133WW77W54WWWY463XWWWY452X126WWW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Now the super observant among you may have noticed this is slightly different to last week in one small way – it’s missing False Transponder Codes. The reason for this is simple. I don’t own it. Like I’ve found a few times recently, owning cards/ships/dials is a thing again (unlike in TTS!) and it seems this particular one only comes with the CIS Firespray and the new Scum squadron pack. Neither of which I own.

Still, while I definitely see that value in the card, I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker and running the list without it (and an extra 2 points of bid) is just fine.

In my first ‘real’ game with it (i.e. not in Fly Casual), I just barely lost on the last roll of the dice. Wedge had performed his distraction role admirably although I’d have preferred him to have taken an extra gun off the table before burning down. Still, I liked it enough to try again and, having taken a little time to dig out all the cards this time, stuffed in my bag ready for Wednesday night casual play.

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

I was the first to arrive (by a good 20-30 minutes in fact) and after chatting with Paul (who works at Firestorm) and getting a drink from Tesco and unpacking all my stuff, Peter and his son Dylan (I know, two Dylans! What are the odds right?!) arrived. After a short discussion between them over who should play me, Peter won (I mean, I think he did? Or did he lose?!) and took up the spot opposite me.

He had brought two lists and offered me a choice. One with a Lambda and one without. We let the dice decide and after rolling Peter began to unpack this:

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

Ship total: 58 Half Points: 29 Threshold: 4

Rho Squadron Pilot (34)
Disciplined (1)
Fire-Control System (2)
Mag-Pulse Warheads (5)
Xg-1 Assault Configuration (0)
Autoblasters (3)

Ship total: 45 Half Points: 23 Threshold: 4

Storm Squadron Ace (39)
Ship total: 39 Half Points: 20 Threshold: 3

Lieutenant Sai (47)
Minister Tua (7)
Director Krennic (4)

Ship total: 58 Half Points: 29 Threshold: 5

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic%20Empire&d=v8ZsZ200Z161X381W113WWW104W139W136WY163X381W113WW311WW144W232Y177XWWWY166XWW49W28WW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Wow. There’s a lot going on with the Alphas but the x1 and Lambda are fairly straightforward. The Alphas have differing load-outs (one arsenal, one assault) with a good sprinkling of offensive upgrades. The Lambda can coordinate and take the same action itself and the TIE Advanced can easily get a lock and roll extra dice. Nasty.

A quick Pre-Flight check is in order I think:
Target Priority – ummmm….. right. The Alphas are looking to do a lot of damage and can SLAM AND shoot with their configs. I think that Vynder is the more dangerous of the two so let’s start there. *I didn’t know points when I started the game!*
Obstacles – Keep em tight! The Alphas can really move so if I block the place up I can maybe slow the Lambda down and split them up.
Deployment – since I have the bid I’ll give Peter first player so ALL my ships move afterwards. I’ll put Wedge out on the far flank and start Dash in the middle-ish.

We place obstacles and ships and are ready to start.

My general plan is to get Dash over to the left of the obstacles (or on them, no big deal) while Wedge goes right over the opposite side and hits things side on.

I set Wedge a 5 straight while Dash will go 1 straight and Ahsoka will hard turn in to the space he vacates.

Peter surprises me as he starts by sending the Lambda 3 straight. Hmmm….

The rest move at 2 or 3 speed and pick up some irrelevant tokens.

Wedge takes his 5 straight and boosts straight before Dash goes 1 straight and Ahsoka turns in behind.

We’re too far to shoot so it’s back to dials.

At this point I want to turn with Dash to present his side arc and start moving to the left side of the board. It’s a hard turn for him while Ahsoka will hard turn behind again.

Wedge….. Hmmmm. I consider a 3 bank to send him in between the debris (or even a 3 hard) but in the end I pick a 5 straight to start sending him right around the top. I mean, Peter’s not ready to engage yet, right?

RIGHT?!?

Wrong. Peter starts by sending the Advanced 5 straight and it takes a focus. Then the Lambda banks in, coordinates a lock to the Advanced and, being Sai (and in range of Dash) takes a lock itself too.

The Alphas both move 3 bank and then slam with Vynder (who has Advanced SLAM) taking a lock.

Oh.

Wedge’s 5 straight now feels utterly stupid. He boosts right to start turning in.

Dash hard turns and takes a focus. Ahsoka hard turns in behind and spends 2 force to give Dash a red roll to his left to get out of range of some ships. Not ideal. She then takes a focus for her own action.

The good news is, Dash is only getting shot at by two ships. It could have been worse. The other good news is that not only does that mean that Dash has 2 targets in rage for his 2 shots (with Bistan gunner) but Ahsoka also has range on one of them. Tasty.

Dash fires at the Vynder and manages to strip his shields. His second shot is at the Advanced but this one’s not so good and no damage is done.

Ahsoka goes next, managing to get a damage card onto Vynder.

Vynder responds with Proton Torps but, with just the lock/FCS to mod it, takes just 1 shield.

The Storm Squad Ace follows up but the roll isn’t great. He spends the lock and gets 2 eyeballs. Peter decides to spend one of them with the Director Krennic/Optimized Prototype card and forces Dash to lose a shield. Dash evades the remaining damage.

It’s not as disastrous a turn as it could have been but I’m still a little unhappy with it.

Dials then.

Time for Ahsoka to show her value. Despite being stressed, I set Dash a 3 bank. It keeps the stress but Ahsoka can still pass off an action. She will hard turn herself and chase Dash.

Useless Wedge will bank around the debris and start making the slowest approach ever to engagement.

Peter comes in fast, wanting to press the positional advantage that he holds. The i3 Alpha goes 3 bank and slams a straight 3 to follow up, taking a lock on Dash. The Advanced 2 banks and locks Dash again. The Lambda takes a casual 2 straight and coordinates a focus to the i3 Alpha (and gets one himself). Peter has made a bit of a mistake though and Vynder sails straight into the TIE Advanced. No action for him.

Wedge 3 banks and while I want to roll and boost, I don’t think the roll fits and he jsut boosts.

Dash takes his 3 bank, glad of the distance from Peter’s rear ships. No action though because of the stress. Ahsoka follows up though, spending her last 2 Force to give Dash a focus action before rolling left to keep away from the Imperial ships.

Shooting time. Dash goes first, targeting Vynder and manages to get all 3 hits required to destroy him past Peter’s green dice. Yay!

Or maybe not yay? Disciplined triggers and Peter rolls the already double modded i3 Alpha to it’s right, giving it bullseye on Dash…

Dash takes his second shot, shooting at the increasingly annoying Lambda and knocking 2 shields off. Neither Ahsoka or Wedge have shots so it’s time for Peter to reply.

The Advanced goes first, rolling incredibly poorly (again), spending it’s lock (again) and spending an eyeball result to take a shield (again). He’s no hits on his dice though thankfully. The newly positioned Alpha goes next, now rolling 4 dice with Autoblasters in range 1 bullseye double modded. Dash blanks out. Ouch.

The Lambda goes last, again double modded and gets another hit onto Dash, leaving him on 2 hull.

That was not ideal. Also, I hate Krennic.

Right, back to planning then.

Dash is likely to die here and with Ahsoka only regenerating 1 force per turn, he won’t have any action.

Can I save him for 1 more turn? Assuming that Peter will want to chase me, I set Dash a relatively slow 1 bank. Hopefully I’ll bump inot the back of something or, even better, won’t bump at all and will get to take an action.

Ahsoka wants to stay close-ish but also wants to shoot at people so she will take a rather bold 2 hard turn in. Wedge might finally become relevant with a hard turn in. He can boost/roll/focus when he sees where the enemy is.

Peter starts with the Alpha, hard turning in front of Dash and opting to just focus. Not too bad.

The Advanced also hard turns and opts to lock Dash.

The Lambda slides in behind with a 2 bank, coordinating a lock to the Alpha and taking his own for good measure.

Interesting.

Wedge hard turns in, focuses and boosts left, pointing at all of Peter’s ships. Dash’s 1 bank bumps into the back of the Alpha (yay!) but it still just barly puts him in arc of the Advanced (booo!).

Ahsoka’s hard turn puts her rather closer to things than I’d like but I opt against trying to roll to the right to dodge the Lambda’s arc and just take a focus. Gulp.

So, here’s my hope. Best case, I kill the Advanced and the Lambda has to use it’s shot to try and finish Dash. It’s optimistic, I know.

Dash fires first, targeting the Storm Squadron Ace and getting two hits through, stripping it’s shields. Decent start.

Ahsoka goes next but can only get 1 more hit on, leaving it on 2 hull.

Ok Wedge, time to make up for those engagements you missed! He rolls hit crit and the Ace can only evade one, taking the crit. I close my eyes and silently pray for a Direct Hit but it isn’t, it’s a Disabled Power Regulator. The Ace lives. Poop.

Peter’s turn.

The Alpha doesn’t have anything in arc sot he Storm Ace goes first. He rolls better than his previous turns and with Dash blanking out (again), it’s all over for the Corellian smuggler.

That frees up Sai to take a range 1 shot into Ahsoka which he does but this time my dice roll a little better and she takes just 1 damage after spending a Force.

Ouch.

Back to dials we go then. As much as I’d like to start hammering into Sai, I want that Advance off the table. I set Ahsoka a sloop (JARGON ALERT!!) to the right since the ion token it took from it’s crit means I know where it’ll be.

Wedge’s position isn’t very good though. I want to maximise his damage with tokens so I decide to hard turn, avoiding the debris (and it’s associated stress) and set up for next turn.

Peter starts moving ships. The Alpha banks right but decides not to slam this time, taking a lock on Wedge instead.

The Storm Ace takes it’s ion 1 straight and focuses before the Lambda reveals a 3 straight. We both think it’s going to bump the Advanced (or, more likely, Ahsoka first) but to the surprise of both of us, it clears and he takes a lock on Ahsoka.

Wedge takes his 2 hard turn and for some reason (which must have seemed reasonable at the time!) focuses and boosts.

Ahsoka sloops right, landing neatly beside the Advanced.

Ahsoka fires first, rolling 3 dice at the Advanced and spends a Force to make it 3 hits.

Peter rolls all paint and spends his focus to evade it all. Balls.

Wedge doesn’t have a shot, in fact the only ship left with a shot is Sai who fires at Ahsoka but she evades it all.

A short engagement, that!

Back to planning then and a quick glance at the timer shows that we’ve got around 15 minutes left.

Ahsoka is stressed so I’ll 2 bank with her, clearing the stress and see where that lands her before deciding what actions she’ll take. Wedge… Hmmmmm. I really don’t like what I did there. I’m expecting the Alpha to come in and chase him so I’ll do the less obvious choice of turning him left, starting to circle the debris. I should have time. Probably.

Peter starts by moving the Lambda with a slightly unexpected 1 bank right. He coordinates a focus to the Alpha and gets one himself. The Alpha hard turns right and then slams into another 2 hard right to come right around and face Ahsoka.

The Storm Ace attempts a talon-roll (JARGON ALERT!!) but it bumps into the Lambda.

Wedge hard turns left and boosts left before Ahsoka takes her 2 bank and I take a little while to think about what to do. A focus is a little unnecessary with 2 force in hand. A lock would help to ensure she kills the Storm Ace but would leave her at range 1 of the Lambda’s rear arc. In the end I decide to roll left. It means it’s only a range 2 shot into the Advanced but it reduces the incoming danger.

Ahsoka fires first and (thankfully) wipes out the Advanced. Phew!

The Lambda and Alpha both fire back at her but again, she leans on the froce to avoid taking any damage.

Dials again then.

Again, I’m not sure on points at this stage but I think that the Lambda is worth more. It’s also easier to work out where it’s likely to be.

I set Wedge a 3 hard left around the debris while Ahsoka will just take a 1 hard turn right so as not to end up right in front of the likely approaching Alpha.

The Lambda 1 banks and coordinates a focus to the Alpha who in turn takes a hard turn around the debris and moves it’s lock to Ahsoka.

Wedge takes his 3 hard turn, focuses and boosts right, closing on the Lambda before Ahsoka takes her 1 hard turn. She stops just short of bumping the Alpha and, despite the tempting range 1 shot, locks Sai.

Ahsoka fires and gets a shield off Sai before Wedge rolls two paint and prevents Peter from rolling any greens with Wedge’s ability to take his last shield and get a damage card on.

Sai just about has Ahsoka in arc and takes a shot but again fails to get it apst her sturdy green dice.

I thought the game would be over here but the timer says we have 54 seconds left and so we go to one more round.

So, what do I do?!

I’m not fussed on Wedge’s position. I can’t quite decide where Sai is going but I guess it doesn’t actually matter since he’s already halved with that last damage. I almost set a 2 straight but change it to a 2 hard to clear the stress and maybe avoid getting shot at.

Ahsoka will 2 bank in. Perhaps not the most sensible since she’s only 1 away from being halved herself but still, it’s what I set!

Peter starts by sending Sai 3 straight and focusing. The Alpha hard turns but doesn’t slam, staying where it is.

Wedge takes his 2 hard turn and bumps into the Alpha. Oops!

Ahsoka 2 banks and also bumps into the Alpha. Double oops!

So with all the bumping, there are just 2 shots this turn. Crucially, with the Lambda damaged, Minister Tua now comes into play and Sai picks up a red reinforce which he takes to rear.

Ahsoka goes first, spending the lock to get 2 hits, hoping for Sai to spend his focus but we realise that no matter what Peter rolls or spends, Sai is taking 1 damage so he opts to keep his focus. Balls.

Sai returns fire with his 2 dice rear gun and spends that focus for 2 hits.

Ahsoka rolls her 3 greens, gets ‘trail mix’ (one of each) and spends a force to evade both. Close one!

We have NO idea where we are with points as we both get our phones out and load up LaunchBay Next.

Result: 126 – 107 win

The conclusion…

Wow, that was close!

When I lost Dash I thought I was done for, particularly when the TIE Advanced refused to die to Ahsoka’s range 1 shot. Thankfully the power of double repositioning and Force meant that I was able to claw back enough points to scrape a win.

Had Ahsoka taken another damage on that last shot from Sai, I’d have lost.

So, time to analyse. How did it actually go?

Well from the off I made two big mistakes. Massive ones.

Mistake 1 – Wedge.

Oh dear, oh dear. There’s flanking and then there’s over-flanking and then there’s straight up avoiding. In the second turn a bank in with Wedge would have got him into the action probably two turns earlier and possibly taken some of the heat from Dash. As it went, him going ALL the way around the cornered debris meant that the turn he finally fired at something was the same turn that Dash was destroyed. That’s NOT how this list is supposed to work.

I definitely need to work on Wedge’s flanking positioning.

Mistake 2 – First turn 1 straight with Dash. Or probably his turn 0 deployment position. Or both.

Now, thinking back, OF COURSE Peter was going to come in fast at Dash. Why wouldn’t he when I basically lined up for a sort of joust.

I always intended to turn away in order to get Dash’s side arc pointed and kite around. By doing the 1 straight first I ensured that Peter’s ships could reach me by turn two and forced me into the red barrel roll which not only denied Dash a double-modded shot in the first engagement but, because I needed to go fast to get distance in the following turn with a white 3 bank, denied a second action that turn too (with Ahsoka’s ability providing the first).

Taking 6 damage in one turn unlikely? Perhaps. Harsh? Maybe. But it happened nonetheless. Hard turning Dash in turn 1 would have allowed a bank the following turn and got him closer to the obstacles faster AND kept Peter’s ships away longer. And that’s not even mentioning that Dash should probably have deployed closer to the middle in the first place.

I know that it’s often said that ‘losing is learning’ or ‘you learn more from a loss than a win’ or however you want to phrase it but actually, I think I learned quite a bit from this game. Particularly with my Wedge play. I know that Dash is very dependant on dice variance, that’s just how he is and while I could have played him better, he dished out some damage before burning down. His reds were ok but his greens were awful and that’s just how it goes.

Better play with Wedge would have probably either got the TIE Advanced off the table sooner OR pumped some damage into the Rho Squadron Alpha.

I got away with it this time but improvement is definitely needed!

To be fair, Peter played his list very well, particularly given that he’d put it together in LaunchBay Next while at work that afternoon. His fast approach put me on the defensive early and while he was perhaps a bit unlucky to lose Vynder so quickly, he did manage to fire one Proton Torp and, more importantly, triggered Disciplined to get his Rho to barrel roll and get bullseye on Dash for a 4 dice Autoblasters shot!

Well that’s it for this week. Actually, for a few weeks as I’m off work so will be spending some quality family time (which sometimes involves X-Wing but not often) and so there won’t be any posts for the next 2 weeks while I recharge my batteries and try and compile incoherent thoughts into vaguely readable blogs for the future.

See you soon!

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