Back in January I posted a squad which I'd had a bit of success with here. I didn't have a clue what I was going to run at the local Civil War event, and rather than try and re-invent the wheel with a squad I wouldn't have time to play test at all, I'd run the same chassis, with some minor changes.
Recently I've been playing around with TIE Strikers. I've enjoyed the ship enough to write an article about their incredible ability to move around the battlefield with tight turns and zooming speeds. You can read more of my Striker-Evangelism here.
This squad takes two 'Aces' from the TIE Striker pilots, supported by the Upsilon-class Shuttle, piloted by Major Stridan.
Well surprise, its another squad build featuring my favourite bounty hunter Boba Fett. Last time around I ran him with Asajj Ventress in a squad that can be seen here. Although I enjoyed playing it, I feel that somehow the Lancer is a little predictable because of the mobile firing arc and her pilot ability meaning she needs to be up close and personal all the time in order to gain the most from the build. Anyway, it got a little stale for me and I started playing around with a crew card that I've always wanted to give a shot.
The Firespray doesn't get too much love these days so I feel it's my duty to continue to fly the flag of the Firespray in all of it's glory. From the top, Expertise has become a favourite for me on Boba Fett. Yes, it's way more incredible with Dengar in the crew slot but today that seat is saved for the droid IG-88D. Engine upgrade is about the only action I'll be taking and Burnout SLAM is used after an attack run to either get back in the right whilst only missing on out shooting for a single turn, or deploying on a flank and using a double 4 manoeuvre to ensure the second turn will include fireworks.
As much as I feel a little unclean about using an Aggressor, I can at least hold my head high knowing I'm not running his brother next to him. From the top, Veteran Instincts to keep him in line with Boba Fett ensuring that either one of them can move before the other as well as shoot if required. Thanks to the IG-2000 title, not only will IG-88C be gaining a free evade action after boosting but he'll be passing that onto the Firespray as well.
Considering with Expertise that's about all I'll be doing, it's good to know I can still have a quasi Push the Limit so to speak. On the Aggressor it will nearly feel the same because of the Fire Control System as well. The Autothrusters make him a bit tougher to kill and combined with the evade token it isn't an easy task.
Glitterstim is great on this build if I'm stuck in a bad spot or don't have a target lock to engage an enemy with. Heavy Laser Cannon rounds out the build but immediately after my first game I was toying with the idea of dropping the 7 point terror to out fit some bombs on the ships.
Keen to hear thoughts as per usual.
Before attending a friendly local X-Wing tournament recently, I was completely stuck on squads.
I wanted something flexible, unique, and capable of dealing out the hurt. Just as importantly, I needed something which wasn't going to disintegrate after the first volley from the enemy. Within a few days of play-testing with my trusty wingman, Todd, as well as my kids, this is what I came up with:
I'm a huge fan of the contested Firespray and don't hide that fact on this blog at all with the amount of squads, battle reports and content I generate for the ship. I've run them with Kath Scarlet in the pilot seat before, but these times called for Boba Fett himself.
When the Elite Pilot Talent Expertise first was spoiled, I didn't really think anything of it. Fast-forward to when I physically had the card in front of me, and right away I thought about the nightmare my opponents would face if Boba Fett was in range 1 of a target, gaining not only an extra attack die and one-plus re-rolls from his pilot ability, but then all of his focus results become hits (without Glitterstim!). For 4 points, I think it is an absolute bargain and allows the bounty hunter to either take evades as an action or use the engine upgrade to boost into a range 1 position.
Latts Razzi is a crew card I really enjoy and was selected for a few reasons. I knew I'd run into some Push the Limit-type aces at the event, but with the stress-generating Asajj flying with Boba, it would create an ideal situation to increase his survivability.
Finally, Burnout Slam is a great illicit choice to use when Boba Fett has made an attack run and needs to re-position; or if he's taken too much damage and needs to run away. In a few test games, making a 3-turn followed by another 3-turn was a great way to navigate through obstacles or set up another run at the enemy. I feel it is often overlooked, but I'll keep advocating its use on the Firespray.
I'll admit, this is far from a typical Asajj Ventress build. Once upon a time, the early concept had Glitterstim filling both Illicit slots and Veteran Instincts as the EPT to ensure that, if I scored a tractor beam token on an enemy ship, Boba could take advantage of the lowered agility value.
As I played more with the squad, I soon realised it wasn't so much the lowered agility value which was the greatest value of the Shadow Caster title, but the re-positioning of the ship. This opened up points to make the current version of the ship.
Dengar is a solid crew upgrade for any ship, and while Ketsu Onyo is the go-to choice to keep the tractor beam tokens glued to the enemy ship, the re-rolls provided by Dengar when 'ace hunting' is critical to the success of the build. If a sneaky pilot manages to avoid the firing arcs, Feedback Array is the backup.
From the defensive point of view, Asajj relies on Counter Measures. This is fantastic for shaking off a target lock if someone is about to launch ordnance into the Lancer. Glitterstim also provides a boost offensively, but when it is combined with Counter Measures, Asajj will likely survive a sticky situation at least once.
I ran this squad at the local tournament today and ended up placing second with a 3-1 record. I'll be posting up a tournament report in the near future – you can subscribe on the right to stay informed of all future posts.
Although it is no secret that the TIE Defender is my favourite ship in X-Wing, I often struggle to pair with it other ships effectively. This post will explore a compromise I've come up with to hopefully produce a list which is fun to play but also ticks the "competitive squad" boxes - something I hope to really grow with.
Countess Ryad - 36 points
When Imperial Veterans expansion pack was first released and the Countess was unleashed upon the world, X-Wing fans went nuts, and with very good reason. When paired with Push the Limit for her elite pilot talent, the Countess' action economy is really amazing. With the free evade token thanks to the TIE/x7 title and her pilot ability, there aren't many situations where you'd worry about the stress token on her. Of course, it can become predictable for an opponent to guess where she will end up if you always pull a 3+ manoeuvres to gain the evade token. Just because it is there, doesn't mean you have to use it.
This particular build of the Countess did very well at the Worlds and I've used it in the past. Frankly, it's hard to look past as a solid foundation for an Imperial squad and the target lock is easy to paint on when paired up with the guy below:
Colonel Vessery - 35 points
The addition of the TIE/x7 title has taken Colonel Vessery to new heights. Whilst his accuracy is never in question, thanks to his wing-woman and man painting targets, the addition of Juke really ensures damage slips through onto the target.
Whilst I would have loved to have an extra point to slip on the TIE MKII Engines on the Colonel, he can get away without it. Even if he is stressed, provided I have played correctly, whatever he is shooting at should have a target lock on it already allowing his pilot ability to kick in.
Omega Leader - 29 Points
I missed the Omega Leader bandwagon. I can't remember what squads I was fielding at the time, but even though I was excited for the TIE/FO pilot, I simply haven't got much experience with him. This squad is certainly going to help me change that. For a long time, I thought about a simple pilot skill 1 Delta Squadron pilot to stay in theme, but to also add a blocking element to the squad. After some exploring, I decided to try Omega Leader as I'm fascinated by his pilot ability, but also the fact he'll certainly have a target lock on something which Colonel Vessery can benefit from.
At first glance, this squad is identical to 'Commonwealth Defenders;' however, instead of a Space Cow, I've chosen to run Omega Leader. Although having the Emperor cruising around helping out would be great, it's been done to death and I feel it is time to do something new, at least for me. With TIE Defenders finally being a strong option for the Empire, I always feel they'll be a foundation for future squads.
Because I'm overseas currently and away from all of my beloved X-wing models and opponents, I've had to resort to some squad benchmark games to showcase the squad. Keep in mind the AI isn't crash hot but it's better than not testing the squad at all.
Game 1 - vs Chewie/Lando
Game 2 - vs Brobots
Game 3 - vs Palp Aces
I hope you've made it this far and have enjoyed probably not a very original squad that has been put together. Once I'm home in January I really hope to put it to the test and hopefully attend a local store tournament with it. I'm very keen to hear any experiences you've had with Omega Leader and any other thoughts on the squad.
Thanks for reading.
If there is a single Scum build that I consistently keep coming back to, it's the Dual Firespray.
With each new X-Wing wave release, I always find myself working out the best way to use new cards to create more viable options for this ship, and Wave 9 was no different.
This is just one version I run, but the Firespray provides an excellent chassis to fill many roles, in my opinion.
Boba Fett - The Fan-Favorite in a Firespray
Whilst Boba Fett isn't as popular as Dengar, he still holds a special place in my heart. He loves being in at range 1, so what better way to compliment that than Fearlessness? Joust with the enemy and you're getting bonus damage. If the enemy takes their chances and sneaks into range 1 of the auxiliary arc, it triggers again.
Another crew upgrade from Wave 9 that I've been having some success with is Latts Razi. This makes Boba even trickier to take off the board as it consistently adds evade tokens. To bolster this, I've experimented with Thermal Detonators and with Rigged Cargo Chute, but depending on how Kath Scarlet is outfitted those can be too expensive. When taking on Palp Aces, for example, you will generally always have a free evade to add to defense rolls if lining up against Soontir and/or The Inquisitor. If an opponent K-turns to get behind you, chances are they'll have a stress token.
When outfitted with Homing Missiles and Extra Munitions, Boba Fett will have 2 ordnance shots thanks to the title, putting the hurt onto an ace at range 2-3. I always try and get this off in the very first engagement, as I've many times saved them and regretted not putting in the damage earlier. Combined with guidance chips, it can really dish out some punishment, especially as it doesn't spend the target lock to fire.
Finally, I've been experimenting with the one-time-use Burnout SLAM option in the illicit slot. Often, when the Firespray jousts, then turns to re-group, it can be a few turns before it gets to lock horns with the enemy again. This allows Boba to pull successive 3-turns, or a 4-straight followed by a 4K-turn as an example, and if you still have a target lock, another opportunity to launch a Homing Missiles when you catch up with the enemy. It has added some manoeuvring flexibility to the Firespray.
I've run successful Kath builds in the past and it is hard to deviate from what is tried and tested.
Although there was a lot of excitement around the release of Tail Gunner, I felt it just didn't do enough to warrant a place on Kath's ship. I'd rather pay an extra point and grab Dengar (and why wouldn't you with the amount of named ships), or, in this case, K4 Security Droid. Paired with Push The Limit, this can ensure you enter each engagement loaded up with tokens. Just be careful you don't consistently pull green maneuvers, otherwise, you become rather predictable.
Glitterstim always helps Kath out in a tight spot if there are a number of ships targeting her, but from an offensive point of view, it is great when you're at range 1 and you need magic to happen. Often, both of these circumstances can happen in the same turn. Again, careful in using it in conjunction with Push The Limit; having 2 stress tokens requires some careful planning to ensure you don't carry them too long, denying further actions.
So there you have it, what are your thoughts and/or effective Firespray builds? Do you feel that the newly spoiled Scavenger Crane could become a part of Boba Fett's build in the near future?
Thanks for reading, and remember to subscribe on the right for regular X-Wing and wargaming updates.
Back in July, I was lucky enough not only to attend a small store tournament but also take the top position. Perhaps me being a better-than-average player helped, but I do believe the 'swiss army' type squad I took to the event also had a lot to do with it. Today, I'm going to take a deeper look at that very list.
I always seek list-building inspiration from the FFG forums and reddit and often I end up trying other peoples' lists rather than my own creations. X-wing is a relatively 'small' game with limited viable combinations, so eventually, you will end up 'copying' someone else's squad. This one is no different, as 'SgtSmithy' from the FFG forums had posted some success with a very similar list (he didn't take an Engine Upgrade on Bossk, or Glitterstim on Kath).
After a few games with this squad, I was simply hooked. There weren't many lists which seemed unbeatable with it.
Kath Scarlet has always been one of my favourites (like any pilot in a Firespray-31) and having 4 attack dice from the rear arc ensures the only good places for an enemy ship to be is next to her, which is of course where squadmate Bossk is aiming his weapons.
The Firespray is a real workhorse if you allow it to be one. It's not going to take out an entire enemy squad on its own, but through mutual support, it creates only negative outcomes for your opponent. I wasn't too happy initially pairing Push the Limit with a Firespray; it doesn't have a lot of green maneuvers and because those stress-healing moves are limited, placement of the ship becomes very easy to anticipate.
The more I used it, however, I discovered that having a stress token (and maybe a second from Glitterstim) was forgivable since I'd have a target lock (thank you K4) and a combination of focus/evade, focus/boost, or boost/evade. If I knew I'd be popping Glitterstim, I'd go for the evade token to really ramp up her defense.
Having the extra action would allow me to move into a solid firing position out of the rear arc more often with a target lock, which resulted in highly accurate fire. If I was lucky enough to stay in range 1 of an enemy ship and they fell into the rear sights, they were greeted with a 5-dice wake up call.
If I'd made an error and was entering a particularly vulnerable area where the enemy could concentrate fire onto Kath, it would be the ideal time to pop the Glitterstim.
She would often be deployed close to Bossk and at times I would move 1-2 straight for the first move, and then perform a K-turn, forcing a few turns of rear-arc fire on targets Bossk had crippled beforehand.
I did also swap K4 Security Droid for Dengar, but the problems I ran into were chasing down generic pilots and needing more than a single die re-rolled.
When built like this Bossk simply handed out destruction wherever he ended up. What's not to like about that?
Veteran Instincts pushes him to pilot skill 9 ensuring he'd get to shoot before most of my opponents. But another important factor not to overlook is the use of inertial dampeners combined with this pilot skill. If the enemy squad got into a position where the selected manoeuvre would bump the enemy ship, denying me an action, and/or if I could gain an extra red dice thanks to staying at range 1, then it was a great 1-point investment. Of course, combined with the YV-666's 0-speed manoeuvre used two turns in a row, this could really cause some chaos for opponents.
The combat phases were incredibly brutal with Bossk. His pilot ability is made for the Mangler Cannon and with Dengar on board, it meant a lot of hits. Guaranteeing a critical hit meant that Bossk was basically sporting a heavy laser cannon.
If that wasn't nasty enough, having Zuckuss and 4-LOM on board just made a bad situation (for opponents) worse. If an opponent has tokens to spare, the ability to freeze one and prevent its use often means the difference between survival and destruction. Secondly, when combined with Zuckuss, opponents would be hard pressed to dodge all, if any of the incoming fire.
This potent combination is probably the hardest counter to the TIE/x7 title. Freezing the evade token and having the opponent re-roll any evade results is a nasty combination, and my record currently stands at having 15 stress tokens for Bossk in a single game against TIE Defenders.
It is a squad that I want to get to play more of because I still feel there is a little more I can learn with it. Not so much the mechanics, but just sharper deployment and manoeuvres with the two heavy hitters in unison.
Do you have a favourite Bossk/Kath build?
Thank you for reading and please subscribe on the front page to stay updated.
On episode 4 of the podcast, I went on record to saying that the TIE/SF doesn't impress me much. Even in my initial preview of wave 9, my opinion hadn't changed. I thought the ship was too expensive to fill any of the Empire squads that I currently run.
Well, I had a bit of time on my hands this week and got to work on the following squad for a bit of fun and to actually give the TIE S/F a chance.
4 x Zeta Specialist (23) - Special Ops Training (0), Fire Control System (2)
I just wanted a benchmark to test the capability of the Zeta Specialist and S/F itself, more so than the fortitude of a squad of them. I made this just for the sake of easy flying and really getting to know the ship a lot better. My first disclaimer about the results which I must make, however, is that they were all played on Squadron Benchmark. Although, it currently is by far my favourite website, and I haven't had any physical games with the squad. This is important to note since the website's AI system is not extremely intelligent.
The squad of S/F's has a combined hit point value of 24 so it can certainly take some punishment. With 2 green dice at its disposal, it can mitigate some of the incoming fire as opposed to say a TIE Punisher, which is going to go down in a screaming heap.
TIE Fighters of any variant aren't commonly renowned for their fire power. The weight of numbers will often get them over the line as opposed to the power of the attack, but that is where the TIE/SF is a little different. Thanks to the title you now match the attack value of an X-wing or have a dual attack provided targets are available. I ran the squad in a tight box formation meaning when I had one target, often the whole squad was shooting at it in the same round: that's 12 red dice thrown. The accuracy of the shots intensified once Fire Control System kicked in.
I played the 4 x S/F's against AI-controlled Brobots, Palp Aces, Kath/Bossk Party Bus, TIE Swarm, and even my current favourite, the Triple Defenders, and have certainly walked away with a new-found respect for the TIE/SF. Granted, it does not have the element of control that I'm used to when compared to the Triple Defenders; however, that is exchanged for accurate fire. Not worrying so much about K-turning and re-engaging the enemy is also a strength of the squad, as well as having auxiliary firing arcs which tackle arc dodgers.
If I ever manage to purchase another 3 of these ships, I'll be sure to put up a series of battle reports illustrating my findings. However, I'd be very interested to hear other people's thoughts on this squad and how viable they think it is. but for now here is a link to recent game against Palp Aces on Squadron Benchmark.
Thanks for reading.
For the longest time I’ve wanted to break my cycle of playing Imperial only builds and it just never seems to happen. Perhaps it’s simply because each faction is so different and I’m just addicted to the Galactic Empire flavour with sharp and sleek features and fast ships.
In any case I’ve yet to use the VCX-100 so I begun to feel out what would make it enjoyable to fly but also I desperately wanted two other ships with it for extra firepower and like what I’ve come up with although it will be 2-3 weeks until I get to test the squad because I’m overseas. Rest assured my head is still full of all things X-wing (and a little part of me hopes Imperial Veterans doesn’t come at to stay focused otherwise this will all go out the window…)
Chopper (37) – Fire Control System (2), Dorsal Turret (3), Hera Syndulla (1), Ezra Bridger (3) Ion Projector (2)
I attempted to create something different but it turns out I was on track for the same setup used at the Open Hoth Regionals Top 8 Ghost. I tried some more variations but ended up always coming back to it. There are options galore with the Ghost so perhaps when I finally have a few games with it I can figure out what fits into my playstyle especially with the wingmen I’ve selected.
The Ghost should make some dents although my initial fear is it will perform like a Decimator and with it’s non existent agility it will be crushed over a few turns.
2 x Dagger Squadron Pilot (24) – Fire Control System
The pair of B-wings will act as somewhat of an escort providing constant fire support and I’m already thinking that I should swap out Ezra for Kanan to help out for moments they’re stressed and need a white turn to keep them in the right rather than something to shed the stress. Hopefully the Ion Projector will setup some helpless ships allowing the B-wings to close the deal.
Whilst it can be argued that the T-70’s are better suited than the B-wing and I’ve already got another list with these substitutions in place for now the love affair I have with these Rebel ships has won me over.
Thanks for reading and I’ll be sure to post up a battle report when it comes time.
Since playing in the regionals last weekend and running the Inquisitor for 6 games straight it became very apparent how annoying he can be for the enemy to take out. With the natural evade token easily accessible, 3 evade dice and autothrusters it can become a source for multiple headaches.
It's no surprise I'm a huge fan of the Firespray so when I think about squads I immediately try and work one into it somehow so a cheap Boba Fett build was in order.
Boba Fett – Lone Wolf, Recon Specialist
He would deploy and often stay away from the TAP pair in order to gain as much use from Lone Wolf. Recon Specialist is there to gain as much opportunity from both a offensive and defensive point of view and there isn't a great deal more to touch on with this build.
Supporting him would be a pair of Barons identical to the usual Inquisitor setup commonly seen.
2 x Baron of the Empire – Push the Limit, TIE/v1, Autothrusters, Proton Rockets
These ships are great at taking reduced damage as explained above but can also dish out the hurt when required. Granted outside of range 1 they're just a TIE fighter but I like to think if they managed to be in range to get a target lock they become a little more accurate and the evade token is a fantastic addition to this. If they manage to sneak into range 1 then proton rockets with a target lock can really hurt and put holes in ships.
I've played a few games with this build and really enjoy it, using Boba's ability to ensure I can trigger Long Wolf efficiently but also supporting the TIE Advanced Prototypes. Initially I thought about dropping the autothrusters for an engine upgrade on the Firespray however after playing against a ship with a 360 degree turret it became very apparent I would hold onto them.
Thank you for reading and battle reports will come soon for this list.