Pivot!

Announcements….

Juuuuuust quickly before we get into it, I’ve got a quick announcement for Patrons. As I mentioned last week, as well as gifts each quarter there’s going to be a prize giveaway. The prizes will vary each time (I’ve got some cool things in the pipeline already!) but to get us started, I’m going to do a little extra – just this one time, instead of 1 winner, I’ll pull 3 winners out.

First will get a brand new small base ship, second will get an Exile Squadron damage deck holder plus 3 acrylic tokens and 3rd will get 3 acrylic tokens, as well as the gifts for your tier (obviously!).

As ever, if you’d like to become a Patron please check out my page, and also as ever (not sure that’s good grammar?!) there’s not any pressure to do so and massive appreciation if you do.

Right, on with the blog!

The intro…

Welcome to this week’s blog!

All this being at home with a fractured ankle has been very interesting. As I mentioned before I got the newest Football Manager installed on my laptop (and it’s going very well, actually!) and that’s occupied rather more of my time than it probably should have. I’ve also managed to get a load of admin-ish style jobs done and, quite importantly, got a load of stuff designed and ordered for both the squadron and for Patrons.

Nice.

Unlike the previous weeks though, I have got out of the house a bit. I managed to get to church, spent some time at an air rifle range with a good friend of mine and been out for lunch with my mum. I also was about to get a decent amount of X-Wing fix.

My wife has been in the office a bit more so I’ve been catching up on some podcasts (which I would usually do while driving). I also managed to get down to my FLGS (JARGON ALERT!!) Firestorm Games in Newport thanks to my amazing wife who took me, carried my things in and then went to Starbucks to use the wifi to work on her laptop while I played.

She’s amazing and needs a LOT of spoiling when I’m finally fully operational again.

Not yet Sheev, not yet.

If I’m remembering correctly (no guarantees there…) it’s been 5 weeks since I got down to play in person what with the Christmas break and that break of my own (lolz!) and while I had missed it, I don’t know that I understood just how much I’d missed it until I was there. It took me ages to unpack and I kept dropping things (crutches included!) but just seeing people face to face again was awesome.

But that’s not all. No, not only did I get to play in person but I then got another THREE games in over TTS. Epic.

As a result, there won’t be full batreps (JARGTON ALERT!!) today but more summaries of each one with the relevant details sprinkled here and there as I continue my prep for the fast approaching Sith Taker Open on the 5th of Feb.

Let’s get those details everywhere!

Now, if you’ve been reading the last few blogs you’ll know that I’ve been flying this list, either with or without Trick Shot:

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

Ship total: 100 Half Points: 50 Threshold: 5

AP-5 (32)
K-2SO (6)
R4 Astromech (2)

Ship total: 40 Half Points: 20 Threshold: 3

Luke Skywalker (60)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship total: 60 Half Points: 30 Threshold: 3

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z39X133WW40W54WW157WY72XW314WW5WY4XWWWW142&sn=Dash%20Luke%20AP-5&obs=

I’m still a little undecided on with or without Trick Shot and my recent few games haven’t gone very well with it. A total drubbing by Jon Vicary was followed by a less heavy (but still not close, despite the final points difference) loss to James Humphery.

My confidence in a list that I’d done ok with going back a few months was certainly shaken.

That’s not to say that I now think it’s bad. It’s more that I’ve been a bit rusty, made some mistakes and poor judgements and perhaps dice haven’t been as kind as I’d like.

So, given that time is running out, I have to ask – should I stick, or twist?

Ok, fine so I’m clearly still going to take Dash, yes. So what changes am I looking at? Well, following on from the blog, I started chatting again to Jordan Bishop (of the Tales of a Space Junkie blog) who suggested I try out Ben Saunders’ (of the What The Actual Zuck blog) list that they had worked on together.

It’s quite similar but at the same time very different. I know that doesn’t make sense, let me explain. Frit of all, it’s the exact same Dash (Outrider, Trick Shot, Perceptive Copilot and Jyn Erso). Cool. I know and like Dash and looking at both my own experience with him (well, since the last points changes at least) and some tournament results, he’s currently pretty good. Not unbeatable, but good.

Replacing AP-5 in the support role is Ahsoka Tano. She has 3 agility (1 more than AP-5), can co-ordinate Dash even while he’s stressed (same as AP-5), has 2 red dice (also same as AP-5). She also has 3 Force, can fire potentially double modded Proton Rockets and, very importantly, she can keep up with Dash, an area where AP-5 struggles.

However, with this loadout she is fully 15 points more expensive than AP-5 and also, since the co-ordinate ability costs 2 Force, she can’t do it every turn. Hmmmm…..

Now, the increase in points for the support ship means that I have to trim some fat when it comes to the alternative threat ship.

Luke is pretty good.

He regens his Force quickly and can self-double-mod pretty much every turn between Force and a lock. However, when he rolls green blanks, it’s a bad time. So, what other ships do the Rebels have that can provide a threat you can’t ignore and comes in at less than the 45 points left in this list?

Why, it’s Outmanoeuvre A-Wing Wedge, of course!

Yes, he is just an A-Wing in terms of damage output compared with a T-65 X-Wing but if he flanks, can you really afford to ignore the -2 agility he gives you in that shot?

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

Ship total: 100 Half Points: 50 Threshold: 5

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

Ship total: 41 Half Points: 21 Threshold: 2

Ahsoka Tano (A-Wing) (49)
Instinctive Aim (1)
Proton Rockets (5)

Ship total: 55 Half Points: 28 Threshold: 2

Total: 196

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z39X133WW40W54WW157WY452X126WWWY463X73WW102W&sn=Ben’s%20Dash&obs=

So it looks like I have some choices to make.

The batrep(s)… (JARGON ALERT!!)

Part of the decision making process here has got to be actually trying out the options. Having flown a few different things over the last few months (and not fully unpacking my bag) combined with our local lot having a very friendly casual attitude I thought that I’d give this alternative list a try and just proxy some cards. Also, all the X-Wing stuff is stored in Cai’s room and getting upstairs and searching through it all is a little beyond me right now.

Anyway, I arrived at Firestorm and started to unpack only to find that I was missing something quite important – a dial.

Now, I’ve dealt with this before by writing moves down but given all the hassle of even getting there, hobbling the long walk through Tesco and digging through all the stuff in my bag while trying to unpack, I gave up on the idea and decided to fly my original list since I knew for sure that I had all the components. So yeah, Dash, Luke and AP-5 it is!

Game 1 – Peter Hall

With just a small number of us around, thankfully it was even numbers and Peter was available for a game. He’d brought a very interesting list:

Valen Rudor (24)
Ship total: 24 Half Points: 12 Threshold: 2

Tempest Squadron Pilot (36)
Fire-Control System (2)

Ship total: 38 Half Points: 19 Threshold: 3

Storm Squadron Ace (39)
Disciplined (2)
Fire-Control System (2)

Ship total: 43 Half Points: 22 Threshold: 3

Ved Foslo (43)
Disciplined (2)
Fire-Control System (2)

Ship total: 47 Half Points: 24 Threshold: 3

Maarek Stele (44)
Disciplined (2)
Fire-Control System (2)

Ship total: 48 Half Points: 24 Threshold: 3

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic%20Empire&d=v8ZsZ200Z225XWY178X113WWY177X381W113WWY175X381W113WWY174X381W113WW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Five 3 agility ships and locks aplenty if/when something dies. Plus 3 dice and an auto-crit for the Advanced’s if they have a lock. Yuck.

We place obstacles and forces and are ready to start.

The first few turns are pretty cagey as Peter’s ships start to angle in on Dash while Luke goes up the flank before starting to turn in.

In the end, Peter slowed his approach meaning I’d committed to sending Luke in as we approached our first engagement.

I did consider turning away with Luke this turn but felt it would leave him vulnerable, hang Dash out to dry and take too long to get back into the fight so he 1 straighted. Dash took a coordinated barrel roll from AP-5 before cruising over the rock with a 2 straight to lose the stress, losing the lock that had been taken on him with Outrider and landing clear of the rock so he can shoot. Lovely.

The engagement didn’t go to plan though as I managed to strip shields from 2 of the x1’s but when they shot back…..

Luke took 3 shots. A range 2, a range 3 and a range 3 obstructed. Out of those 9 green dice, I rolled exactly zero evades and 2 eyeballs. Thankfully Peter didn’t have too many mods but Luke was immediately halved with no points taken in return.

With potential bumps (which turned out to clear but were rather complicated to sort out!) it seemed that time was running down and over the next couple of turns I tried desperately to keep Luke safe but relevant while Dash tried to keep things in range (but not too many things).

In the end I managed to kill the i2 Advanced and halve Ved while losing no more points myself.

A good, interesting game.

Result: 62 – 30 win

Mini conclusion…

Ok, finally a win for this list! Yay! It’s especially valuable given how quickly Luke went from fine to close to dead. I always find Disciplined a little scary to face, especially when a lot of ships can get locks on my very expensive Dash and fire on him in teh same turn.

Still, overall I’m pretty pleased with how things went.

Game 2 – Jordan Bishop

Following last week’s blog I already mentioned I’d chatted with Jordan. This also involved him mentioning that he was free during the day on Thursday and Friday if I fancied a game. I had someone coming to the house that morning but they came pretty early and were done so I got in touch to let Jordan know I was ready to go.

But what list would I fly? Should I stick with Luke and AP-5? Or give Wedge and Ahsoka a try?

Ok, it wasn’t really a tough decision exactly. I mean, how can you compare 2 lists if you’ve only flown one of them? I decide to go with Ben’s list and see how things go.

Jordan’s brought an absolute beast of a list:

Han Solo (79)
Trick Shot (4)
Bistan (8)
Perceptive Copilot (8)
R2-D2 (Crew) (8)

Ship total: 107 Half Points: 54 Threshold: 7

Hera Syndulla (VCX-100) (69)
Intimidation (3)
Advanced Sensors (9)
Dorsal Turret (2)
Saw Gerrera (9)
“Zeb” Orrelios (1)

Ship total: 93 Half Points: 47 Threshold: 7

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z42X133WW77W54W56WWWY61X122W111WW137W58W65WWW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

So double tapping (Bistan), regenning (R2), double modding (rerolls with Han’s ability), potentially 4/5 dice (Trick Shot) Han PLUS a 14 health 180 arc, intimidating, firing at rage 0 (Zeb) 4/5 dice ship which will always have an action.

Wow.

Two big targets to hit, sure, but Hera’s going to deal some strong damage before she goes down.

I’ve got the bid and have Jordan be first player. We place obstacles and ships and we get going.

It’s a cagey start with Jordan sending Han one way before K-turning (JARGON ALERT!!) away. My ideal first engagement here is to only be in range of 1 of Jordan’s ships.

It’s all going reasonably ok until we get to this point:

Can you see the problem? Yep, it’s the rock that I confidently believe Dash can clear with a 3 straight. Spoilers. He doesn’t. As a result he has to roll off it to get a shot and he can’t roll left because Ahsoka’s already moved into that space and given Dash a focus & evade. So he has to roll right. Into both arcs.

Worse than that, it turns out that my boost with Wedge has put him in range of Han (obstructed, to boot) as well so Han will get to trigger Bistan.

Miraculously, I only lose a couple of shields from Dash while in return he rolls ALL paint (yes, 5 of them) at Hera. The reinforce cancels one but Hera’s shields are gone. Wedge escaped totally unscathed and fires a cheeky 2 dice range 3 obstructed shot at Han but does nothing.

Next turn I send Wedge in super fast to block Han but while I anticipated a 1 straight, Han’s 2 straight fits neatly next to him. Gulp.

The trend from the first engagement continues as Jordan throws fistful after fistful of dice at my ships and my ships just keep evading the damage. Incredibly frustrating for Jordan.

Meanwhile Hera has been whittled down and Han has almost lost his shields.

We both disengage to regroup and then a bold turn in by Wedge means that she’s caught in 2 arcs, range 1 from Wedge and range 2 obstructed from Dash. Her shot does nothing at all to Dash before she burns down.

With 15 minutes to go I’ve scored 97 points from Hera and I’m 3 away from getting half of Han. Meanwhile I’ve just about given up half points on Dash. Wedge has taken a hit but Ahsoka is unscathed.

Over the next few turns the dice keep playing favourites, giving me half of Han while Jordan fails to score any more damage on my ships.

Result: 147 – 50 win

Mini conclusion…

Ok, super interesting game. On one hand, I think I played it well, my minor altercation with an asteroid aside. On the other, the end result was quite massively skewed by some outrageous dice variance. There is NO WAY that all 3 of my ships should have survived that game. No way. Ahsoka played it safe which meant she could keep buffing Dash but also meant that I had 5 points of Prockets (JARGON ALERT!!) unused.

If we play that game again, I don’t know if I still win but even if I do, it should be a LOT closer. Checking the dice stats afterwards, Jordan rolled 82 red dice in total (between Bistan shots, Han rerolls and locks). We are both baffled at how I still had 3 ships.

In terms of the list – I like it. I’ll go into more details in the final conclusion.

Game 3 – Jordan Bishop

So, it turned out that since we started early, we both had time for another game, so we did! This time Jordan wanted to fly something a bit different and more fun so while I stuck with what I’d just flown (got to get those reps!), he switched to this:

Boba Fett (85)
Fearless (3)
Slave I (Separatist) (3)
Han Solo (Scum) (9)

Ship total: 100 Half Points: 50 Threshold: 5

Skull Squadron Pilot (47)
Fearless (3)

Ship total: 50 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 2

Skull Squadron Pilot (47)
Fearless (3)

Ship total: 50 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 2

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Scum%20and%20Villainy&d=v8ZsZ200Z103X121WWWWWWW370W85Y101X121WWY101X121WW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Boba Fett lives!

Again Jordan is at 200 and so with crossover at both initiatives I give him first player. We place obstacles and ships and get started.

After initially angling in at Dash, Jordan hard turns in at Wedge with Boba and one Fang and he’s immediately damaged. In return I get a crit onto the yellow Fang.

Jordan then proceeds to get the block on Wedge and keep him in range 1 of Boba but he wriggles free, being halved but escaping.

Meanwhile the other Fang is giving Dash plenty to think about as I try to position him where he can hit Boba.

Boba suddenly pivots and turns in on Dash, landing in range 1 while the Fang also chases. Oh dear.

And then this happens on Jordan’s shot:

Triggered.

Wedge is halved but my other two ships are surviving ok-ish with Ahsoka on full and Dash having lost 3 shields. I, however, haven’t been able to put any more damage into anything yet.

Until the next turn, that is, as I halve the red Fang in one shot.

It feels a hollow victory though as in the same turn I lose Wedge and Ahsoka goes from full to 1 health left in 1 shot as my greens finally fail. Yikes.

But.

Over the next 3 or 4 turns Ahsoka flat refuses to give up that last hull point, surviving WAAAAAYY longer than she should. As Jordan dives in for a final shot she goes in for the bump, misses is but boosts left, dodging Boba AND the Fang while Dash finishes the Fang off.

Harsh.

Finishing with some outrageous dice. Of course.

Result: 100 – 69 win

Mini conclusion…

We both agreed that this game was more fun with much less swingy dice overall. Ahsoka should definitely have died though.

When I lost Wedge and Ahsoka went down to 1 health I thought I was done for but Dash came to my rescue again.

Game 4 – Jordan Bishop (again!!)

Yes, a 4th game!! Jordan got in touch on the Friday to see if I was free and I was, so why not!

This time he went for something totally different – again:

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Eta-2) (48)
Predator (2)

Ship total: 50 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 2

Anakin Skywalker (Eta-2) (51)
Predator (2)

Ship total: 53 Half Points: 27 Threshold: 2

104th Battalion Pilot (42)
Wolfpack (4)

Ship total: 46 Half Points: 23 Threshold: 5

104th Battalion Pilot (42)
Ship total: 42 Half Points: 21 Threshold: 5

Total: 191

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic%20Republic&d=v8ZsZ200Z440XW127WWY441XW127WWY341XW352WWWY341XWWWW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Oof. Lots not to like here. Big bid, i5 and i6 moving after Dash, bullseye rereolls onto my large base ship. Plus two chonky ships to take down.

Now, before anyone gets all conspiracy theorist on me, I told Jordan beforehand that I wouldn’t be taking screenshots of the game since I had plenty from the previous ones.

That said, I wish I had since I can’t remember some of the finer details. Oops!

Jordan sent his arcs down one flank while Ani and Obi hovered around the other.

I managed to take some big chunks out of one arc but crucially, I didn’t wipe it out. Wedge got halved and Dash took a few hits. Not a great return.

Even more crucially, my plan to bump Obi to keep him away worked but Ani snuck in between Dash and Ahsoka and put some serious hurt on before both arc rolled all paint at Dash who blanked enough greens to get halved.

Oh dear.

I lost Wedge while the red arc disengaged and while Ahsoka was perfectly placed to finish off the now critically damaged yellow arc, she blanked at range 1 and the surviving ship blew her into oblivion.

Leaving me with Dash. Against Jordan’s whole list.

Dash did manage to last out a few more turns, taking the yellow arc down along the way, plus this tasty little (literal) arc dodge:

But the writing had been on the wall for most of the game and while the red arc pootled around staying away on 1 health, Ani and Obi chased Dash down and finished him off.

Result: 67 – 200 loss

Mini conclusion…

Bloomin Jedi.

My failure to finish off an arc quickly while taking significant damage quite quickly is what really did me in here. Dash being Dash kept me in it for longer than I probably should have been but all in all, I don’t think I played this one correctly. I perhaps should have targeted the arcs harder (mainly with Ahsoka’s Prockets) before trying to keep those pesky Jedi at bay.

Still, a 3-1 record for the 4 games this week isn’t too bad at all!

The conclusion…

Ok, some good games there and some comparisons and decisions to make.

First – AP-5 vs Ahsoka

AP-5 is cheaper and the K-2SO means he can either get a calculate and co-ordinate OR give a calculate AND co-ordinate. Very helpful.

Ahsoka’s initiative and mobility though really give her an edge. She can keep up with Dash no problem (unlike AP-5), she can give an action while the target is stressed while simultaneously taking an action herself ( all the same as AP-5). Placing AP-5 at i1 is a major disadvantage and his slow and limited dial means that at some point he’ll fall behind. He’s also more at risk of be picked off early due to lower initiative.

Second – Luke vs Wedge

Look, it’s a no-brainer, Luke is better, yes. But since I can’t feasibly fit Luke and Ahsoka (well, I mean, it’s technically possible but Dash’s effectiveness drops way off) then I have to ask, is Luke 19 points better than this Wedge? With 2 dice he’s got a 56% chance (according to Gate of Storms) of rolling 2 hits when he’s got a focus. If he’s flanking and gets an Outmanoeuvre shot, the target is rolling 2 less greens. There’s a good chance something goes through.

Given that Luke won’t fit without dropping everything from Ahsoka plus 9 points from Dash (e.g. Jyn or Trick Shot plus Outrider) and T-65 Wedge also needs substantial reductions elsewhere, I think this may be the best option.

The only part of the list that I’m not totally sold on is the Proton Rockets. In 3 games played I failed to fire them even once, let alone double modded as they could be.

I know that it’s a play style thing. I want Ahsoka around for as long as possible to give Dash extra actions while also giving herself the best chance to survive. Shooting with her is a low priority. So am I wasting 5 points on Prockets and a point on Instinctive Aim? Maybe.

When I spoke with Jordan about this he suggested switching it to Concussion Missiles. It’s an extra point (losing me 1 point of bid) but gives Ahsoka a 3 dice shot from longer range, has 3 charges rather than 1 AND it has the chance of flipping some hits to crits on multiple ships.

I’m gonna give it a try. It may need me to alternate Ahsoka’s general positioning between purely support for Dash to vague threat as I look at approaches.

Look out for some more reps with this next week!

The outro…

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you’ve enjoyed it! If you’d like to support me in continuing my X-Wing blogging adventure there are a few ways you can do that.

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