Whilst it is always difficult to draw a clear comparison between two games sharing the same galaxy, the difference in fun between these two systems is minimal. Each game has notable differences, but they both excel in reaching their intended audiences.
Elite pilot talent upgrades (EPT's) can often change the course of the battle in any given X-Wing matchup. When combined with the inherent pilot talents of those leading your squad, they can really make some interesting synergies by simply allowing more actions, delivering devastating damage or helping their host ship remain untouchable. Today's article will touch on the top 5 EPT's of X-Wing, and what makes them so efficient.
Push The Limit
Whenever I create a new squad, chances are I always have a combination of the above EPT's. What are your 'go-to' elite pilot talents when creating your favourite X-Wing squads?
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Ordnance was largely irrelevant during the early days of X-Wing. The damage output, compared with point expense often did not equate with economic use of squad points. Fast forward to a time when Wave X is about to hit (in full), and the likes of Guidance Chips, Long Range Scanners and Extra Munitions make the point investments a little more sensible. Today, I’m taking a look at how to use torpedoes - the ones to completely avoid, and those which are solid investments.
When you think of the iconic scene in ‘A New Hope’ where Luke Skywalker blasts the Death Star with a set of Proton Torpedoes, you can’t help but immediately feel they provide some bang. Sadly, in terms of having an advantage in the game of X-Wing, that isn’t the case in terms of point cost.
The requirements for launching a torpedo are simple: acquire a target lock and then spend it. The elite pilot talent 'Deadeye' changes this of course. Although it's a great idea to have a focus token on hand as well to ensure maximum damage, you'll see it's not the end of the world. Having guidance chips can help make the results more in your favour, and a fire control system can ensure you're not wasting an action to gain the target lock to setup a shot the following turn. When loading up the torpedo racks, consider the option below.
When I first started writing this article, its purpose was to provide a guide on the current torpedo options in X-wing. Although I've done this, it also seems to have revealed either how good Plasma Torpedoes are, or how terrible the other options are.
What are your favourite torpedo options, and what pilots are you selecting to upgrade them with?
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With the 2016 World Championships for X-wing in the books, it's a great time to catch a glimpse at all of the great squads which saw some action. There is a lot to glean from the current meta, especially what influences squad purchases, but also what will stay strong until wave 10 releases. Today, though, we take an in-depth look at the squad that reigned supreme: Dengaroo.
Nand Torfs - 2016 X-Wing World Champion
The 'Dengaroo' squad has gained massive popularity over the last 6 months, and it is easy to see why. With two powerful large-based ships at your disposal, powerful dice mechanics, and fantastic actions on tap, it was predestined to place highly at this year's Worlds.
I remember first reading about this squad on the FFG forums. The person who created the list took it to a series of store tournaments, and actually retired it, citing it took little brain power to use and therefore made the game too easy. Very interesting comments, but I sure admire the guy for seeking a challenge.
What a monster of a ship to deal with, though. Firstly, Dengar's pilot ability is pretty incredible. Ensure he's pointing in the direction of the bad guys and, chances are, you'll be attacking twice per round. It could be argued that this gives the squad a third ship's worth of firepower.
Lone wolf ensures that you'll be re-rolling a red/green blank, provided Manaroo is not near him and, if flown correctly, he certainly will not be. All Dengar is searching for is hit/evade/focus results, which are very easy to depend on seeing as Manaroo will be assigning his focus tokens to Dengar. Of course, when he spends this token for attacking or defending, the Overclocked R4 unit can then kick in to gain another focus token at the expense of a stress token.
Combine that with Zuckuss, who forces opponents to re-roll evade results, and you have incredibly reliable damage output. Counter-Measures allows Dengar to fly right up in the thick of battle right away, shrugging off the majority of the damage whilst getting to work. Glitterstim is always of straightforward value.
If you're looking for an incredible wingman or woman in this instance, then Manaroo is a sure-fire bet. Notwithstanding it is a husband-and-wife package deal, so Dengaroo seems to be the most appropriately-themed X-Wing squad.
Push the Limit is always going to be a fantastic choice for the Jumpmaster 5000. It has a fairly flexible variety of green manoeuvres on its dial, and with an Engine Upgrade combined with a barrel roll, the large ship's movement capability is dramatically increased. Of course with Gonk on board in the early turns, Manaroo can stack up shield tokens, preparing for the storm. The main reason for Push the Limit is that her pilot ability increases Dengar's survivability. Stacking on a focus and target lock each turn, and then transferring them to Dengar at the start of the combat phase, ensures Dengar will be hitting with the greatest chances of destruction ever - but it keeps getting better.
With Seismic Torpedo equipped, Manaroo will be staying out of range 1-2 of Dengar to ensure Lone Wolf stays active. This is somewhat of a deterrent if an enemy is going to try and swarm Manaroo. At least they'll be possibly taking splash damage on the way in. With her highly manoeuvrable Jumpmaster, there aren't many places where you can't set up a good shot against obstacles with enemy ships on the other side.
Feedback array is the unsung hero of the Dengaroo list. If an arc dodging ace zeroes in for Manaroo, this card guarantees they'll pay for it. But don't forget the astromech, R5-P8. When said enemy ace opens fire, once again there is a chance they'll be paying for it. After taking damage, chances are Manaroo can use Gonk next turn to regain a shield token. Not bad at all.
It's easy to see why Dengaroo dominates the metas, particularly at an event like Worlds. With superior movement and no immediate options for the opponent the capitalise on, it can really stack up the odds in its own favor.
How would you face off against this list, and what do you see as its greatest strengths and weaknesses?
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I've spoken in the past about the importance of family gaming for me and I'm lucky enough to have 3 sons that all love the Star Wars universe. This makes getting them to play X-wing a very simple task.
Naturally, our games often come before homework, which really isn't a problem for me as a parent since this game still involves mathematics and social development.
We had a chance to sit down and play another 2 missions from the Heroes of the Aturi Cluster campaign and it was so much fun it deserved a blog post.
This mission really allowed the kids to focus on their own single ship, discuss tactics and movement in greater detail in an open forum, and, of course, bask in the glory of taking down TIE Fighters.
The kids certainly love gaining the experience points and spending it as they look for upgrades that can help not only their own ships but bring better combinations in order to create a more dangerous ship.
One of my sons is leading by a large margin on experience points. When he first started he ran a Y-wing hesitantly, however, it has certainly become the workhorse of the squad. Armed with Twin Laser Turret, it provides a solid firebase and covers the rest of the squad very well.
On the other hand, I started in an X-wing and eventually upgraded to a B-wing, which is my favourite Rebel ship. My dice rolls however certainly haven't been as great as my son's though, which means I'm falling behind in terms of experience points.
I gave the kids the mission brief and let them strategiseas to how we should go about completing it. Initially, they tend to go into it thinking they can take on the whole Empire with their single ship, and deploy opposite groups to TIE Fighters rather than follow Rule 2 from my Golden Rules of X-wing. I don't interfere at this stage and spoil their plans, as I want to provide a good learning experience but also an opportunity for team work.
After a few passes, the sudden realisation sinks in that it isn't easy trying to get the drop on TIE Fighter AI groups. The squad of Rebels eventually rallies and re-groups. They have a discussion about grouping their fire-power together and also which ships to take out first to remove their range bonuses. This is pretty advanced coming from 8- and 9-year-old kids.
Once the squad had re-focused their efforts, it was easy to lead the damaged HWK off the table for the victory.
With the experience points gained, we each bumped up some pilot skill to unlock further options for our next mission. I just took a tractor beam on my B-wing to add some flexibility to the squad and also brought Hera Syndulla along for the ride. Astromechs were upgraded on X- and Y-wings, torpedoes were loaded, and elite pilot talents were claimed, ready for the third HotAC mission.
Mission 3 was 'Disable Sensor Net' centred around destroying sensors mounted on asteroids. If you got too close or fly a little recklessly, the sensors could alert Empire patrol groups to our presence.
After carefully explaining this to the squad, my eldest son just screams in with a straight-4 manoeuvre and fails to destroy the first sensor. He rolls to see if a patrol group come, and naturally 3 x TIE Interceptors turn up on an annihilation course.
Despite the adverse situation, the kids rallied together and pulverised the TIE Fighters and Interceptors. I felt like I'd nobly sacrificed myself for the greater good of completing the mission, taking heavy fire for many rounds before being destroyed. I rolled some dice and it turns out I lost all my experience points that I'd just gained in that mission. Damn!
It is fantastic to have another iteration of X-Wing available for free, rather than focus on the competitive PVP. To have another medium that pools the same fun core mechanics and enhances them for co-op play is simply amazing.
If you haven't introduced Heroes of the Aturi Cluster to your gaming group yet, I cannot emphasise how much of a top quality product the campaign is. The 'AI' is simply amazing and I'm often scratching my head at how I am out flown by a sheet of paper, but it happens.
The experience points-based system allows for some incredibly fun upgrades that keep the game fresh and the depth and variety of missions are well thought out.
Lastly, if you have kids, Heroes of the Aturi Cluster is an ideal way to keep them interested rather than the 100 point dogfight, which is so commonplace now.
Thanks for reading.
Hardcore war gamer at heart and a huge fan of tabletop games. I use any excuse to get my family involved. Join me as I play and review games while trying not to epically fail.