Thursday, 20 March 2014

Richs Thursday Ramble: X-Wing


Following a few bits of news on this front this week, I decided to focus on the X-Wing miniatures game for this weeks ramble.

First up is the news that, following the 'Imperial Aces' pack that finally hit stores (albeit in rather limited numbers) this week, Fantasy Flight have got a Rebel equivalent due to hit stores in quarter 3 of this year.

The full announcement is here: Rebel Aces

I skimmed over the reveals when the article hit the other night and was generally pretty impressed. The alternate paint jobs look quite nice (although not as cool as the royal guard interceptors included in the imperial aces set). There were also a few nice new bits of kit, the missile 'downgrade' card caught my eye in particular. 
I've often found myself struggling to justify including a ship in a list if I'm not able to afford to fill many of its available upgrade slots. My justification being you must be paying some sort of cost for the ship being able to have those upgrade slots, so if you don't use them you're wasting points.
Step forward 'Chardaan Refit'!
It does nothing, but you can use it to fill 1 missile upgrade slot to knock 2 points off of your ships cost.
This opens up a very interesting design space in the game, I really hope they do make further use of this mechanic, but maybe not too much.

When I had another look at the new cards the following day, something really stood out that I hadn't spotted at first glance.
Namely, this guy: 
Yeah. THIS. GUY.

If you just judge the ability, I'd like to think that any of us who have played the game a few times can see that his ability is pretty darn strong.
So not only is it pretty darn strong, but they put it on arguably the best ship in the game at the moment. Which also happens to have quite a few red manoeuvres on its dial, and also just so happens to profit quite well from making use of 'Push the Limit' which would leave it with a stress token.
I'm very much hoping they FAQ this guy to say he can only remove the stress token if he actually has 'focus' die results to modify, otherwise being able to just ditch stress tokens whenever you attack seems way too good to me.

On the bright side, at least this guy isn't out for months yet. Maybe in the meantime, the imperials in wave 4 made out a lot better than the rebel ships in that wave?
We shall see.
I do feel that the game in its current state does slightly favour the rebels, it would be a shame to see that superiority compounded even further (which, as those of us who have spent any time dicking about with netrunner might also know, Fantasy Flight do seem to have some previous on in their asymmetric game systems).

Over the past week or so, I've also discovered news of a few x-wing tournaments due to be run over the next couple of months that all sounded interesting.
Apparently, Darksphere are intending to host an official 'Wave 4 Preview Tournament'. These are events due to be held around the end of May or very early June, before Wave 4 is officially released.
The event will consist of 3 swiss rounds with players using their own 100 point fleets, at the end of the swiss, the top 2 players will face off in a final and get to make new 100 point lists using the wave 4 ships and filling out the rest of the points with their own ships.
Following the final, the top 4 players get to pick one of those wave 4 ships to take home as a prize in turns. Sounds like it could be fun, and i always think having something like this to prepare for is a good excuse to start playing that game you keep meaning to play more of.

Following this, I was also informed of Wayland hosting an x-wing store championships tournament on 19th April which was scheduled to be a 125 point tournament. Having never played a 1-on-1 game at anything other than 100 points, I was also quite intrigued by this and started to make lists and plans to attend (though, as it turns out, I'll be operating as a taxi from the airport that day, so wont be able to).

Even so, I got on the X-wing list builder and started working out some 100 point lists to test next time we meet up to play.
I came up with one for each faction.

Imperial List:

TIE Interceptor - Royal Guard pilot, Royal Guard TIE title, shield upgrade & stealth device

TIE Interceptor - Royal Guard pilot, Royal Guard TIE title, shield upgrade & stealth device

TIE Interceptor - Turr Phennir, veteran instincts & shield upgrade

TIE Fighter - Academy Pilot

100 points

This uses a fair number of bits and bobs from Imperial Aces but the basic premise is to make the interceptors more survivable. Royal Guard pilot seems to be a good ratio of pilot skill rating to points cost. The 'Royal Guard TIE' title upgrade is a zero pointer that lets you add 2 modifications onto the ship rather than 1, in this case a shield upgrade and stealth device, giving both my royal guards 4 defense dice and a shield on top of their 3 hull points.

Rebel List:

B-Wing - Ten Numb, engine upgrade, advanced sensors & ion cannon

A-Wing - Tycho Celchu, push the limit & assault missiles

HWK-290 - Rebel Operative pilot, ion cannon turret & Chewbacca crew member

I decided I probably hadn't tried ion weapons out enough and this should give me a good chance to. The B-Wing with that load out is a beast. Engine upgrade allows it to perform the boost action, advanced sensors allows it to perform its action for the turn before it takes its move, allowing it to barrel roll or boost before then taking its move. Making it a lot more agile than a B-Wing should be.
Tycho is in there as I'm determined to make an a-wing useful.
Whereas the HWK with an ion cannon turret could be quite a nice annoyance piece, the fact that it has the ion cannon on a turret means it has a 360 degree arc of fire on it. Chewbacca lets you discard him to cancel a damage and regain a shield.

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