This week the unthinkable happened. I got to game night AGAIN. 4 weeks in a row. But it doesn’t end there, no. With the youngest child away Cai and I could stay a little later than normal we had time for 2 games. Yes, in 1 night.
Now before I get to the games I need to make a formal apology. Two actually.
Firstly – The very honourable, kind, wise and persistent Chris Stevens has commented on several of my blog posts and suggested/insisted/begged that I remove Trick Shot on Dash and replace it with Lone Wolf. I have been reluctant to change this out as the potential to roll 5 red dice has been too tempting and the way it combines with the Outrider title (which reduces the agility of the defender in obstructed shots) has been too strong to ignore.
After my last blog he commented again and said (and I quote) ‘Please try Lone wolf over trick shot. It does help a lot.’
I promised to give it a go this week. I did.
I need to apologise to Chris for not listening sooner. Lone Wolf is awesome. More on that later. Sorry Chris. And also thank you.
Now the second apology – to my opponents I played against.
I messed up my list tonight. I wasn’t quite sure who I was planning to fly with Dash and so I just lumped a load of pilots and upgrades into my case and headed out of the door. In the confusion of changing out upgrades I replaced Crack Shot with Outmanoeuvre on Jake but checked my points total against the list with the Crack Shot points cost, thinking my total was 199 when it was actually 205. Oops. In practice Snap Shot didn’t actually have any effect (it did trigger once but blanked out) across both games so the net result was the same. But it was still a stupid mistake. Sorry guys.
Less preamble from me this time as the list is similar to last week (with the exception of Trick Shot/Lone Wolf) and it’s about time I got some reps in with a consistent list. Shield Upgrade and Rigged Cargo are semi-optional (with Rigged Cargo the more optional of the two) but an extra 10 points of bid is unnecessary and only by dropping those plus every upgrade on Jake would I have enough points to squeeze an extra ship in. I’ll take the toys any day.
Jake had Proton Rockets, Outmanoeuvre and Snap Shot. I’ll cover changes on that later on.
Jake Farrell (36)
Crack Shot (1) (but what I played with was Snap Shot)
Proton Rockets (7)
Ship total: 50 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 2
Dash Rendar (98)
Lone Wolf (5)
Perceptive Copilot (8)
Shield Upgrade (6)
Rigged Cargo Chute (4)
Ship total: 149 Half Points: 75 Threshold: 6
View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z50X116W126W102Y39X124WW77W54W165W157W96&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=
So the first game of the night is against Dan ‘Eggs’ (not his actual name) who I’ve talked about playing against before. He’s a very good player, I’ve mentioned that before too. This week he’s dropped the CIS list (filthy Nantexes!) and has brought an Imperial list that I saw him play last week against Luke. It looked pretty nasty. Here’s the list:
Darth Vader (67)
Fire-Control System (2)
Ship total: 80 Half Points: 40 Threshold: 3
Passive Sensors (3)
Proton Torpedoes (13)
Ship total: 68 Half Points: 34 Threshold: 5
Lieutenant Sai (47)
Ship total: 51 Half Points: 26 Threshold: 5
View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic%20Empire&d=v8ZsZ200Z173X75W113WW105Y191X240W136WWWWWWY166XWWWWW162&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=
With both lists at 199 (well, not really, I’m at 205 but I thought it was the same) we roll and Dan gets to pick who gets initiative. He makes me first player and we move to obstacle placement before ships go down and it looks like this:
I’m reasonably happy with obstacle placement, there’s no clear lane and a nice screen in the diagonal across the board. Knowing that he is aware of my obstacle placement preference I suppose I’m happier than I might have been!
We both start off a little cagey with Vader blocking Sai to keep him in the corner while Redline drifts over towards his wingmates. Dash and Jake both take hard turns away from them, making sure to put obstacles in the way.
In the next turn Jake takes a slow (well, slow for an A-Wing) 2 forwards with no reposition while Dash takes a 3 hard around a gas cloud. Redline heads in followed by Sai while Vader starts taking the long way around.
Moving on and Sai starts triggering some weird shenanigans by coordinating a Lock to Redline (on Dash) who then can take a second lock (on Jake) while Sai can then also take a lock with his ability (which he takes on Dash). All of this happens before Redline moves. It’s bonkers.
Jake pulls out a 5 forwards and the first roll, self focus, red boost and gifted focus of the game (also bonkers). Dash moves a tentative 2 forwards and, since already double focused, takes the opportunity to drop rigged cargo chute.
This week I sort of managed to borrow a rigged cargo cardboard so I took the opportunity to draw around it for future use (until I get my own one). The real cardboard is underneath (since the guy I borrowed it from decided to drop it from his list just as we started), I just thought it was funnier to leave the paper version on top!
Redline dives in to try and get some shots while Vader continues his slow and ominous approach.
Dash shoots first and puts 4 hits onto Redline who rolls an eyeball but Dan decides to keep the focus token for attack. Redline then fires Proton Torpedoes at Dash and rolls 3 hits (with one turning to a crit). Dash rolls evade, blank. I use the Lone Wolf to reroll the blank and get an eyeball and spend a focus. And just like that, Lone Wolf has saved me the equivalent of a shield upgrade in one turn. Why did I never see it like this?! Dash loses 1 shield. Nobody else has a shot so back to dials we go.
Now in this next turn, Dan hamstrung himself with an error that set off a domino effect. His move with Sai took him onto the gas cloud. The thing is, he had planned to coordinate a barrel roll onto Redline. Since that no longer happened, Redline plunged 2 forwards into a different gas cloud, no action. Since Redline wasn’t supposed to be there Vader ended up moving somewhere slightly different than Dan had originally intended. Oops!
I was a little surprised by this. I had expected Redline to chase Dash and so had inadvertently put Jake in a rather dangerous position. More on that in a moment. I still had the range 1 on Dash once Jake had boosted and so Dash still got his free double focus. Dash took a 2 bank in and, already focused up took a lock on the shuttle (since Redline hadn’t activated yet and was slightly out of range.
Then we had some interesting variance. Dash shot at Redline. 4 blanks. Lone Wolf reroll. Into a blank. Great. Still with a focus to enable the ability, Dash takes the Bistan gunner shot at the Lambda. 1 hit and 3 blanks. Statistically highly unlikely. I spend the lock and reroll the blanks. This time it’s all hits. Man, variance! Sai rolls 2 blanks and just like that his shields are gone.
Vader and Redline (with Proton Torps) unload at Jake and get 2 damage through between them, putting him at half. That definitely could have been worse.
Now the fact that Jake had been halved affected my dial decision on the next turn. I had planned to go a 2 hard in to the middle (around the dropped cargo) and boost in to threaten either Sai or Vader but the damage taken had made me a little nervous about losing him so he took a ‘tactical retreat’ 5 forwards with a focus and boost, just to make sure.
Dash takes a hard turn to keep arc on the middle of the board.
Vader and Sai both took 1 banks while Redline pulled a 4k to get clear of the gas cloud (not what I had expected).
Vader shot at Dash. He missed. Dash shot at Vader. He also missed. Jake didn’t shoot at anyone. Again. At least this time he isn’t the only one without a shot.
Next turn Dan’s manoeuvres caught me slightly off guard. Plus I made some positional mistakes.
Sai did a red stop.
Jake pulled a 3 hard turn around the debris, intending to roll and boost in towards where I expected Vader to be. However, I forgot that Jake was stressed and (and his white move obviously wasn’t the optimal choice) so up by the debris he stayed. With no shot. Again.
Dash piled 4 forwards (having not expected the red stop from Sai) ending up at range 1 of the Lambda’s rear arc and with the YT-2400 bubble in full effect. Bad times.
Redline banked around the gas cloud and reloaded a Torp while in a safe area. Not what I wanted to see.
Vader also did something unexpected by taking a 1 bank and then rolling in towards Dash. I had sort of expected him to be taking the longer way around the debris.
So now I have 2 ships in range 1 of Dash. Crap.
Dash exchanges shots with both ships. Gets 2 hits through on the Lambda, nothing onto Vader and takes 2 hits in return. Definitely could have been worse. Lone Wolf bailed me out again in this turn at some point but I can’t remember on which shot.
At this point, I discover/realise a rather nice trick with Dash. I want to do another 4 forwards but looking at where Redline is headed, I don’t want to go head to head with it over the next couple of turns. Especially since it has another turn to reload it’s torps back up to 2 charges.
Whatever move I make will take me over the gas cloud. I look again at the title. I check with Luke who is playing the table next to me if my theory is correct. He thinks it is. I dial in the move and once all dials are down I also ask Dan what he thinks. He agrees, it’s a valid move.
Dash pulls a 4k, moving over the cloud in the process, successfully completes the manoeuvre, gains a stress and then loses it as per the Outrider title ability and takes a focus. Freakin awesome. How is this the first time I’ve used that?!?! (DISCLAIMER – If anyone can tell me why this move DOESN’T work please let me know!).
In the mean time Sai has taken a 1 bank to clear stress, Jake has taken a 2 bank to do the same and rolls left to see if he can (finally) shoot at something.
Sai coordinated a roll to Vader who now banks and is angling in on a suddenly rather vulnerable 2 health Jake who can, for the only time in the game, fire Snap Shot. It blanks. Super awesome.
In the mean time Redline continues as expected, keeping just out of range 3 of Dash (which I was both happy and sad about at the same time) and reloads his second torp charge.
I sadly forgot to take a picture at this turn. Rather annoying!
Vader shoots at a now rather well positioned 2 health Jake with a lock and force and fails to wipe him out. 1 crit gets through though and with baited breath I pull a… Disabled Power Regulator. Phew!
Dash fires at the 4 health Lambda, getting a full house of hits/crits. The Lambda blanks out (again) and is blasted off the board. With no second shot this time for Dash Jake steps up and fires off his Proton Rockets at Vader. For his first shot of the game it wasn’t too bad, taking Vader’s shields while picking up the ion token from the earlier crit in return. Jake is not long for this world.
Now with Redline wanting to throw Torps at Dash I dial in a 3 bank left to put some distance between us but also hoping to catch Vader in my side arc while he (probably) goes to finish Jake.
Jake shuffles his rather sad 1 forwards ion move and takes a focus while Vader performs the most obvious 4k in history and Redline tries (and succeeds) to catch up enough with Dash to have a shot.
Vader wastes Jake with a 4 dice range 1 attack while Dash puts a hit onto Vader (getting him to half points). Redline fires torps at Dash but the obstruced/free gas cloud evade/’lone wolf to the rescue’ means that just 1 hit gets through.
Dash banks in to try and hit Vader. Redline pushes forward to catch Dash. Vader runs, but not quite far enough. Dash rolls a range 3 pot shot and BOOM, Vader blanks out and is toast. Dash takes another shot at Redline and puts on 2 more damage to get half points.
With time already up it all hangs on this last shot. Jake is gone but Dash isn’t at half yet, he’s got to take less than 3 damage to stay that way. Redline fires the last torp and gets 4 hits. Dash rolls eyeball and blank. Lone Wolf the blank into an evade and spend the focus. 2 hits are through and Dash is NOT at half points. Lone Wolf. Again.
I have lost Jake for 50 points (or 56 if you count properly!) and have destroyed Vader for 80, Sai for 51 and half of Redline for another 34 points. Not bad!
Afterwards we discuss the game and the now very clear value of Lone Wolf. I did miss the 5 dice attacks but without Lone Wolf Dash would have been up to 4 health worse off, probably losing me the game.
We also discuss Jake as a wing man and how I may just have found the right one. I just need to tweak the build since the list should have Crack Shot over Snap Shot and I didn’t end up triggering Outmanoeuvre all game though I think that is more down to practice of how best to fly Jake. All list/point issues aside, if Dash had been moving after Redline I think I could have got him too.
Dan also mentioned that dropping the rigged cargo where and when I did seriously affected his chase of Jake. The fact that Jake could have gone around it when other ships would struggle is definitely a bonus.
So is this it? Does this mean I’ve found the mystical ‘perfect partner’? Maybe. The list still needs more testing and I need to try and make Jake more effective. The shot he took counted but really, 1 shot all game? I guess (trying to be objective) his value was handing out focuses to and drawing fire away from Dash. Anything else is a bonus really.
I won’t detail the second game in this post because:
1 – I think I’ve gone on long enough here, this post is already massive and
2 – I KNOW I’m not getting down for game night next week and so I’ll save the second game for next week’s blog.
If you’ve read this far, well done. I salute you! 😀