måndag 8 september 2014

In Space, no one can hear you Pew Pew!

I promised you that I would tell you about the X-wing tournament I played in. This was a local tournament arranged by the Starfighters X-wing club in Uppsala. We were 16 players competing for one of two ships from wave 5, just released at GenCon but not available in the shops yet.

The prices: an Imperial Decimator and the Rebel YT-2400. (Picture by Erik Björkelund)

I will use this post to talk about my squadron list and my thoughts behind it. I will then talk about the dogfights I fought in my next post. But first an interesting thing about the local Meta:

The breakdown of the different ships in the tournament. No Interceptors or Y-wings! (Picture by Erik Björkelund)
The Z-95 Headhunter appears to be a popular ship! Of the 16 players, 11 were playing rebels and there were Headhunters in nine squadrons. It's the first cheap "swarm" ship available to the rebels, which is what makes it so popular I guess. Interestingly, only one played a pure Z-swarm, instead the Headhunters were mostly used as support for their main heavy hitters. However, Ludvig who ran a pure Z-95 list did end up in the final, so perhaps the Z-95 is underestimated after all.

Porkins, destined to go down in flames. Who doesn't love him?
My first choice was Jek Porkins. He's one of my favourite characters in A New Hope and his backstory makes him an expert at ground attack and strafing. As we all know (SPOILER!) he was hit by shrapnel which forced him to slow down in order to keep control of his X-wing, which made him a sitting duck for the otherwise too slow Turbo Lasers. His ability to discard stress in return for a 3/8 chance of taking damage reflects his fate perfectly and it suits my style of play. A popular choice for Porkins is the astromech giving you a chance to repair damage, but I wanted something more offensive. R3-A2 allows you to give a stress to your target when you make an attack, in exchange for taking a stress yourself. Porkins then discards the stress. Finally I gave him the Wingman talent, allowing him to remove a stress from a nearby friendly.
The plan was to allow Porkins and another ship to make a pass, K-turn, remove the stress, and K-turn again to get on the enemies tail. If need be Porkins can then continue to stress his target to keep it from turning around.

Tarn Mison, don't know much about him but has an awesome ability.
My second choice was another X-wing. I hesitated a bit but Tarn Mison's ability to recieve a free target lock on anyone who attacked him looked fun. Combined with an R7 astromech which lets you spend a target lock to force your attacker to re-roll dice, his ability comes into it's own in a one-on-one situation during the endgame. Top if off with Flechette torpedoes to give out stress like Porkins and a Munitions failsafe to keep firing the torpedoes until they hit. The fun part is that even if the torpedoes miss, they give out stress, and then you get to keep them to fire again!

None of these pilots are available in the regular starter set or the X-wing expansion. Instead they are featured in the GR-75 Rebel Transport set, along with an X-wing model featuring an alternative paint scheme. Might be a bit costly if you just want the X-wing, but you get a cool transport as well, and a campaign to use it in.

Lieutenant Blount, always hits his mark. No, really!
Next I chose a couple of Z-95 Headhunters. I have loved them since before they were added to X-wing, I know I sound like a hipster, but it's true. I was devastated when they weren't released in Wave 3. Anyway, first up I chose Lieuteneant Blount for his ability to always hit. This can be very useful since he can strip ships of the nasty Stealth Device, or used together with Assault Missiles which deals damage to every ship around the target if it hits -- which it always does with Lt. Blount. In the end I chose Ion Pulse Missile for it's ability to instantly ionize large ships. I had some points to spare so I gave him Opportunist but I never used it during the tournament so those points were wasted.

A regular bandit squadron pilot. The pilot with no name?
Last I chose a regular Bandit Squadron Pilot to accompany Lt. Blount. I gave him Concussion Missiles for some extra ommph, and a Munitions Failsafe to make sure those missiles did some damage. No fancy tactics here, just get in there and fire the missiles and try to stay alive. After firing his missiles the Bandit Squadron Pilot would be useful as a blocking ship and generally expendable guy.

In total this brought the squadron to 99 points, allowing me to have the initiative against a 100 point squadron. Not sure if that was a good thing, but at least it gave me some options. As some of you might notice I could have added a third Z-95 by loosing the missiles and Opportunist, but I only had two models as they sold out fast in the Uppsala shops. I have now ordered some more from Wayland Games which seem to have had a huge restock recently.

Is that Porkins on my T-shirt? Oh dear... (Picture by Erik Björkelund)
Next time I will talk about the battles and the opponents I faced. 

May the Force be with You.

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