31 May 2013

Tournament Lists- Multiple Firesprays

Standard X-Wing Miniatures List Discussion Disclaimer- The most important element you can bring with you to any X-Wing Tournament is your own experience with the game. You can take the nastiest, meanest, and most bestest internet list with you to a Tournament, but if you don't know how to manage Pilot Skill, Actions, and Maneuvers, you are going to get sent home with an donut for your W's. 

I can't stress this enough- this game is not 40k where you plop down the most points-optimized net list from the latest codex, push it forward the max amount, then win. Your list is important, but you need to be familiar with the game and you need to be familiar with playing the list you're using if you want to consistently compete at a high level. 

It seems crazy to think now, that in the weeks leading up to the release of the Wave 2 ships just three months ago the internets were alight with people talking about how terrible Slave I was. To none of those naysayers defense, the full (and accurate) ship stats along with all the pilot and upgrade cards had been revealed worldwide within days of the Kessel Run Tournaments, so it wasn't like folks had no idea what was coming, or that things somehow changed drastically, it really just boiled down to a lot of people getting it wrong. 

My how times have changed.

People want to look at stuff in this game in that same vacuum that they look at units from other miniatures games. Eventually I think those folks will finally realize there's more to a ship in X-Wing Miniatures than it's stats, but I digress. 

 Anyway, dual or multiple Firespray lists. Right. 

There's several different flavors making the rounds, but they vary, sometimes fairly significantly. I want to talk about a couple specifically because 1) They're the most common, and 2) I can't spend all night talking about every single build variation I can think up, no matter how viable and different they may be- I got my Regional to pack for, yo!

Sample 100 Points Dual/ Multiple Firespray Lists

Triple (B)H- actually 99 points
Bounty Hunter
Bounty Hunter
Bounty Hunter

It ain't pretty, it ain't particularly sexy, and it'd be kinda pricey in real money, but dig on that for a second. I've said before that Firesprays are sorta like big ship versions of X-Wings what with their three primary and 2 defense, but where the X-Wing has 5 HP (2 shields, 3 hull), the Firespray boasts 10 HP (4 shields and 6 hull). 

Nasty, right? And there's three of them. 

So what a Bounty Hunter can't take Elite Pilot Skills? So what they're Pilot Skill 3? If you can maneuver big ships, more specifically you can maneuver with the Firespray dial, this really is something you ought to consider in a tournament setting. 

Dig on the cold data- 

Triple (B)H
Total Attack Dice at Range 2: 9
Total Hull: 18
Total Shields: 12
Total HP: 30

I'm still not 100% sure if I'm engaging in my trademark hyperbole when I say this or not, but I think the Triple (B)H might be the most accessible Imperial list to date. I hesitate because it isn't cheap money-wise, but it's really not hard to fly, puts out a good amount of lead, has good survivability, doesn't rely on gimmicks, tricks, or synergy... it's kinda like the X-Wing Miniatures version of a NIN show- there's so much cool stuff going on, it's hard to really pick out the best part. 

Bear in mind too, it's possible a buddy or two from your local gaming club might not be taking his Firespray to Regionals, so maybe you can borrow his instead of having to buy. You can pay him back by loaning him the upgrade cards that came with yours- you won't be needing them anyway, right? 

All right, let's say you can't get three Firesprays, but you can get your hands on two. Hows about...

Krassis Trelix w/ Heavy Laser Cannon*
Kath Scarlet w/ Veteran Instincts

My buddy Sean summed up why exactly these kinda long-range oriented Firespray lists are so dangerous in an email to me yesterday. I'm paraphrasing a bit here, but it's Sean's opinion that they're the only ship in the game that can do good, consistent damage from afar and every other ship becomes easier to deal with the longer you can stay away from it. 

I talked about what a no-brainer Trelix with an Ion Cannon or Heavy Laser Cannon is in his article. It still applies. I like him with an HLC personally, but if you really want Ion functionality, well, that's why the little asterisk is there, innit? 

I think Veteran Instincts works on Kath because it bumps her up to a 9, and well, frankly, that's scary. It's only a point, so if you think another Elite Pilot Skill might better serve you in particular, or you're really sold on the Ion Cannon idea, you could remove the upgrades I have on Trelix and Scarlet and just give them both Ion Cannons for your version of this list. 

Howlrunner is there in case somebody gets too close. Not only is she PS 8, but her special ability works on Firesprays as well as standard TIEs, so the Firesprays can blast the ships that do manage to close on them while benefiting from her card text. Doesn't work on their secondaries remember, but they've got an Attack 3 primary, so it's not like you're wasting it by any stretch. 

Cold data for KKH- 

Total Attack Dice at Range 2: 8 (primary), 9 (secondary)
Total Hull: 15
Total Shields: 8
Total HP: 23

So what beats up on this list? 

A Falcon-centric list can probably get close enough without dying to at least disrupt some maneuvering plans, and the more nimble ships can try and exploit that huge blind spot on the sides of the Firespray.

Should you take out Howlrunner first? Second? Last? I don't know. Me personally, it would depend on if my opponent is relying on her card text. If both the Firesprays are shooting me up with secondary fire, I'd be more likely to try and get one of them off the board and kind of ignore Howlie. Of course, if Howlie were to blow a maneuver and lose her Perform Action step right in front of me at Range 1, you better believe I'd go after her. If not, I don't know if I'd worry about her. Both of those Firesprays are worth a modified win if you don't lose any of your own ships, where Howlrunner is not enough to trigger that win criteria by herself. 

Following Up on TMB.com Referral Sources...

... earlier this evening, I run across this little gem of a compliment. 

Oh, Kurt Larson, I don't know you, but I love you all the same. 

Sombrero courtesy of me. Ole! 

: )

30 May 2013

Tournament Lists- Han Falcon and Chewie Falcon

Standard X-Wing Miniatures List Discussion Disclaimer- The most important element you can bring with you to any X-Wing Tournament is your own experience with the game. You can take the nastiest, meanest, and most bestest internet list with you to a Tournament, but if you don't know how to manage Pilot Skill, Actions, and Maneuvers, you are going to get sent home with an donut for your W's. 

I can't stress this enough- this game is not 40k where you plop down the most points-optimized net list from the latest codex, push it forward the max amount, then win. Your list is important, but you need to be familiar with the game and you need to be familiar with playing the list you're using if you want to consistently compete at a high level. 

Here's another pretty popular list making the rounds these days. Not a lot of variants to report other than upgrades, and even that is fairly set in at least quick-drying concrete if not stone. 

Sample 100 Points Han Falcon and Chewie Falcon List
Han Solo w/ Gunner
Chewbacca w/ Draw Their Fire, Gunner, Millennium Falcon

So, any time you see Solo with a Gunner Crew Member, instead of going with "Han Shoots First", you could just about call it "I Never Miss." Amirite? Hells yeah I'm right. And I talked about  pairing up Han with Gunner or Luke in the Han article, which I'll courteously paste below so you don't have to navigate away from this page to read it. 

More or less, it boils down to if you choose to use Han’s card text, then you have to re-roll all of your attack dice. You don’t get to keep hits/ crits (local parlance) or hits/ crits and eyeballs (also local parlance) like you would with a Target Lock- if you choose to activate the Han ability, then you have to pick all the dice up and re-roll them all.

This is generally going to leave you with a two option scenario-
1) Attack isn’t great, so you decide to re-roll everything
2) Attack roll isn't great, but it's more beneficial to apply some other dice modifying mechanism, i.e. Focus, Marksmanship, etc. than re-roll everything. 

Now, all that being said, once you've activated Han's card text and re-rolled your dice, you can decide to apply Marksmanship, a Focus, etc. as per usual just as you would doing re-rolls with Target Lock. 

Makin' dollars to ya? Picking up what I'm laying down? Catchin' my drift? 

Cool. Now we'll talk about how Han's ability interacts with Gunner.

First, this would be as good as time as any to remind you that once a die has been re-rolled, it can't be re-rolled a second time. Says so in the rule book. However, Gunner doesn't really count as a re-roll from a rule book perspective.

Basically, if your attack doesn't hit (rule book sense of the word- see BBB- The Combat Phase Explained! for more detailed info), then the ability activates. So regardless of whether you went with option 1 or 2 above to try and improve a sub-standard Attack roll, if the target cancels all of your hits and crits (local parlance), Gunner kicks on, you pick up all those dice, and make a primary attack (again, distinction here only in case you initially fired Missiles of some sort- works perfectly fine if you made a primary attack as your first attack). This is important- it was clarified to not be considered a re-roll, so you're totally cool using Gunner and not violating that pesky "you can only re-roll a die once" rule- you're technically not re-rolling, you're making another primary attack.

Whew. Ok. So you roll your dice (all of them- no choosing a la Target Lock) as a primary weapon attack. What can you do with them now? Can you modify any of them?

Yes. If you kicked on Marksmanship
 (I know, I know- I didn't say Han took Marksmanship in the list I posted above, but somebody may modify this list slightly and find the points to buy it for him as that's a very common variant of this list, so I've left this paragraph in so I don't have to answer the question in the comments), again- it's on the entire attacking round, so it would affect these kinds of rolls just like it did the initial roll.

If you burned a Focus token on your initial roll, then no, it won't still be in effect. Now, if you've managed to get your hands on a second Focus token, you can of course, use it to modify this roll.  

Last, and perhaps your best option depending on what you actually rolled, Han's card text ability can re-roll these dice too. Recall his card text just stipulates "When attacking...", well you're still attacking, aren't you? So re-roll those dice. Ha. Wondered why I was making such a big deal about that back at the beginning weren't you? Foreshadowing FTW.

So that's why Han's important to the list- he's going to provide steady, consistent damage which of course, is massively important in a 2-ship list. What about Chewie though? What's that guy's story? 

First recall that Chewie's special ability is to not take crits. If that doesn't impress you, here's another way to put it- a Chewie Falcon is essentially a ship with 13 Shields and 0 Hull. Did that get your attention? Ok, good deal. Now, take a look at Draw Their Fire. It allows Chewie to take a crit from Han if they're within Range 1 of each other (remember that you're talking about big base ships here as well). So you can let Han take his own lumps until he loses his shields, then you can take any criticals on Chewie, and immediately flip them face down before they resolve. 

Long story long, neither of these ships are going to be subject to critical infliction meta until pretty late in the game, if ever.

Sticking Gunner on Chewie just helps him deal out his share of damage alongside his pal (again- important in this list especially), and the Falcon title of course, helps him stay on the table a bit longer for a measly point. 

Sounds pretty awesome, right? 

Well, sure it does. One caveat though- this isn't the list for a beginner. It's pretty forgiving compared to some lists, but at the end of the day you're still only flying two ships. They're two ships that are pretty tough to kill because of all that stuff I said above and the fact that they both have Attack 3 weapons with a 360 arc of fire, but they're still just two ships. 

Running the cold data, you get this- 

Dual Falcons (Solo and Chewie)
Total Attack Dice at Range 2: 6
Total Hull: 16*
Total Shields: 10*
Total HP: 26*
*- Again, this is a little misleading because of Chewbacca and Draw Their Fire

You're not going to do a ton of damage per round with this list, but you are pretty likely to hit with all 6 of those shots the majority of the time, and as mentioned before, it has survivability out the wazoo. Which is good, because even the worst focus-firer on the planet is going to to at least inadvertently correct target priority mistakes about half the time with this list. 

So how do you beat it? Focus fire on Chewbacca, no question. If at all possible, put Chewbacca between you and Han any time you can. Han will still fire on you, and he'll probably still hit, but you don't have to make it easy on him. You're going to need a lot of guns and a lot of hits to beat this list and there are some popular lists that would really struggle against this setup- namely just about any list that features three or less ships. They're going to have trouble putting enough lead in the air to get Chewie off the table, and as the points are so even between Han and Chewie, you can't really try to BS around for a modified win either the way you can against Han Shoots First. 

The fact that this list is out there and there are folks who are actually pretty good with it should be a pretty strong case for why you should take Missiles and/ or Torps on at least one of your ships. Trading fire with an Attack 3 turret is bad enough to start with. Having to close to Range 1 to try and whittle down those hit points faster against two Gunners? Not my idea of a fun time, frankly. If you can pull off some of those hit points at Range 3, so much the better. 

The natural predator for this kind of list is a Firespray with HLC-centric list. Maybe even two of them. As that's also a pretty popular list, I'll talk about that one tomorrow. 

Another possible ploy would be to sport a couple of Ion Weapons. I mentioned before that the rules say big ships need two Ion Tokens to feel the effects, but those rules also don't mention anything about a big ship getting rid of an Ion Token in the meantime. Do I think a couple of Y-Wings would work against this list? Hell naw. Would a couple of Firesprays with Ion Cannons? Oh fo sho. You don't even really have to ion both of them to get the advantage as they have to stay within Range 1 of each other for Draw Their Fire to work. If you're waiting for me to say something about Kath Scarlet, keep on waiting. Her special ability isn't going to do anything fancy against these guys and their crit mitigating shell game as if you read the cards closely, Draw Their Fire still applies a crit, and Chewie lets the crit happen, he just turns around and immediately flips the card back face down. 

29 May 2013

Tournament Lists- TIE Swarm

Standard X-Wing Miniatures List Discussion Disclaimer- The most important element you can bring with you to any X-Wing Tournament is your own experience with the game. You can take the nastiest, meanest, and most bestest internet list with you to a Tournament, but if you don't know how to manage Pilot Skill, Actions, and Maneuvers, you are going to get sent home with an donut for your W's. 

I can't stress this enough- this game is not 40k where you plop down the most points-optimized net list from the latest codex, push it forward the max amount, then win. Your list is important, but you need to be familiar with the game and you need to be familiar with playing the list you're using if you want to consistently compete at a high level. 

Despite what the internets may have you believe, the TIE Swarm is still very much alive and kicking on the Tournament Scene. Don't believe me? The guy that won the FFG Regional ran a TIE Swarm. Yeah. And he beat a 2 Bounty Hunters and Howlrunner list. That was being run by the former World Champion. 

So.... that. 

Here's the thing about TIE Swarms now versus TIE Swarms six months ago, guys- the folks still rolling TIE Swarms likely never stopped running them. Sure, lots of Imperial players went and shelved all those TIEs when they got themselves some Interceptors as soon as Wave 2 dropped, messed around with builds, figured out that despite what the naysayers were, uh, nay saying, Slave I wasn't nearly as bad as everyone thought it would be and was in fact, as it turned out, nothin' to eff with. Found out that Turd Ferguson is in some ways, actually better than the more expensive Soontir Fel, though neither of them are exactly slouches in the pilot seat. 

Not some guys though. 

Some guys just kept on keepin' on, and by kept on, I mean they never stopped running those TIE Swarms and now, the build that a lot of people new to the game called broken and uncounterable (yeah- even me, remember?) before they learned how to really play, is still around and in many ways, much more dangerous than it ever was before. 

Why is that? 

Well, first, as I'm wont to say, this game is less about your list and more about your skill playing your list, your familiarity with the Pilot Skill mechanic, and the ability to think spatially. If you're taking a TIE Swarm to a tournament these days, it's for one of two reasons- one, you've been playing one for quite awhile and you're really, really good with it, or two, you're pretty new to the game and thought running a Swarm would be fun. 

(If you run into one of these guys from the first group you're probably in trouble.) 

Secondly, lots of folks, especially Rebel folks, are bringing a big ship to Regionals. Generally, this means they're running a two or three ship list. Yeah, there are plenty of builds that include a Firespray and four other ships, but you can't honestly look me in the eye and claim there are as many of those 5-ship Firespray lists and 3-ship Han Solo lists. 

Well, so what, right? Han Shoots First and blah, blah, blah.  

Here's the thing- yes Han's likely to do four damage each and every turn, but he's only doing it to one ship at a time. A proper TIE Swarm is going to be 6 or 7 ships. So while Han's working his ability, Gunner, probably Marksmanship, and whatever else, congrats! You just downed a ship worth somewhere probably between 12 and 20 points.

Is that statement a little heavy on the hyperbole? Yeah, probably. Kinda not though. TIEs just aren't worth much. Howlrunner's the most expensive TIE, but even sticking her with Swarm Tactics still leaves her a point cheaper than Rookie X-Wing. Mauler Mithel? 4 dice at Range 1. Night Beast? Free Focus when pulling a green. Dark Curse? No Focus against him and no rerolling dice. Yeah. Backstabber? Extra Attack die when you're outside your opponent's arc at any range. Nasty and provides some stealthy long-range fire support. 

Put all those guys (and girl) in one list (not saying you'd want to necessarily, just making a point) and you're at 82 points. Want to throw in another TIE and some Mods for everyone else? No prob, Bob. 

Again though- the list has it's shortcomings. TIE Swarms win when the guy flying them can focus his fire from several ships on one enemy ship. Many of them win by having everyone fly in a formation as tight on Howlrunner as possible. I've talked at length how that can be a hell of a lot harder than it looks (or sounds on the internet), so I won't spend a ton of space here rehashing. Suffice it to say, as the opposing player, the best thing you can do is not drive straight at the TIE Swarm trying to shoot Howlrunner. If you can force them to make a couple of turns, you'll likely invoke some collisions in all but the most practiced Swarm players, or worst case scenario, at least cause that formation to loosen up a bit. Ideally, after either of those things happen is when you'd engage the Swarm.

While a TIE Swarm can be forgiving for a new player because so many ships can help mitigate loss of Actions due to overlaps and mistakes in maneuvers, if you're still having trouble with stuff like that you're probably going to have a tough time winning your local Regional with a Swarm list. However, if you know what you're doing with one, you can definitely inflict the ol' Death by a Thousand Cuts on your opponent, even if they bring a Chewie Falcon

So what's a typical Swarm look like? Much like the 4 X-Wing lists I talked about yesterday, a Swarm can take on many different forms, but two of the most popular lists have something that fairly resembles the following- 

Sample 100 Point TIE Swarm Lists- 

Classic TIE Swarm
Howlrunner w/ Swarm Tactics
Dark Curse
Black Squadron Pilot w/ Swarm Tactics
Academy Pilot
Academy Pilot
Academy Pilot
Academy Pilot

I ran against lists like this a lot back six months ago or so. 7 TIEs, 3 of which are attacking at Howlie's Pilot Skill 8 because of the Swarm Tactics relay. Dark Curse is darn near unhittable. Anybody within Range 1 of Howlie benefiting from her special ability. If you can move this list effectively, it's a real bitch to fly against and do anything but soil your flight suit. 

Give this list the cold data treatment like I did the X-Wings and you get something like this- 

7 TIE Fighters
Total Attack Dice at Range 2: 14* (some re-roll possibility from Howlrunner)
Total Hull: 21
Total Shields:
Total HP: 21

Recall the 4 X-Wing stats and you see why this list gets people worried when the guy running it at Regionals says, "Yeah, I won a Falcon at my KRT with this list." 

How do you beat it? Get Howlrunner off the board at all costs. It gets much easier after that. Also, like I said earlier- make this list maneuver. Fly through asteroids, start totally on one side of the map, whatever. Just don't let it fly straight and K-Turn the entire match. 

The other Swarm I used to run into quite a bit looked something like this- 

6 TIE Vader Swarm
Darth Vader w/ Squad Leader
Howlrunner w/ Swarm Tactics
Academy TIE
Academy TIE
Academy TIE
Academy TIE

Flies similarly as the Classic Swarm, but Vader's usually in kind of a roving role away from the main pile. This can make the Swarm easier to maneuver as you don't have that oddball Advanced out there to mess around with and since Squad Leader works out to Range 2, you can still have Vader pass off one of those free Actions to Howlie or whoever. Passing to Howlie is pretty effective if you can do it since it lets her pull two Actions so long as they're not the same ones. As you'd expect, this increases her survivability quite a lot, which is fantastic since she's such a high priority target for your opponent. Taking down a TIE Fighter that always Focuses and has an Evade Token is either going to take quite a few shots or a pretty good amount of luck. 

Best advice against this kind of list is to play contextually. Vader and Howlrunner are your priorities, but go after the one that you're more likely to ding and/ or kill that particular round. I wouldn't go out of my way for one rather than the other- they're both equally important in my book. Barring that, if you can get rid of a couple of the Academy TIEs, by all means do so. It's not as good as getting Vader or Howlie off the board, but you can at least take away a couple more shots coming your way. As always, make them pull some turns and banks, then go after anyone who loses their Action for the turn. 

You'll noticed I haven't talked much at all about Mods. It's not because I don't think they aren't good on a TIE Fighter in a Swarm, but be really careful about including too many.

Despite what you might think, a 5-ship Swarm performs a lot differently than a 6-ship Swarm. If you've thrown down your models and you've got the points left, sure, stick a Stealth Device on Howlrunner or whoever. It's not likely to be the dumbest thing you've done all day, but be careful not to waste too many points on them. It's sorta like when I saw people talk about 3rd ed 40k Guard armies with Carapace Armor. I mean look, if you've got some fluffy reason that your Guardsmen are wearing 4+ armor, by all means- I'm not going to tell you how to play your game. But if you're coming into the Guard from a Space Marine army and you're trying to get a little closer to that 3+ save you're used to? Well, frankly, you're doing it wrong. Guard are the cheap and the dead. And that's ok because even back then, the points would balance things out. Same deal here- don't make Howlrunner cost more than a stock Luke or Wedge- it's just too many eggs in one basket that everyone is already trying to dump all over the ground. Go for more TIEs, and you'll probably be glad you did. 

28 May 2013

Tournament Lists- 4 X-Wings

Standard X-Wing Miniatures List Discussion Disclaimer- The most important element you can bring with you to any X-Wing Tournament is your own experience with the game. You can take the nastiest, meanest, and most bestest internet list with you to a Tournament, but if you don't know how to manage Pilot Skill, Actions, and Maneuvers, you are going to get sent home with an donut for your W's. 

I can't stress this enough- this game is not 40k where you plop down the most points-optimized net list from the latest codex, push it forward the max amount, then win. Your list is important, but you need to be familiar with the game and you need to be familiar with playing the list you're using if you want to consistently compete at a high level. 

When it comes to this 4 X-Wing list, there are several specific permutations that crop up fairly often (which I'll talk about later), but they all basically play the same way and have the same strengths and weaknesses in a general sense. 

4 X-Wings 
Total Attack Dice at Range 2: 12
Total Hull: 12
Total Shields: 8
Total: Hit Points (Hull + Shields): 20

Looking at just the stock ship cold data we see that Attack number and it looks pretty nice, right? That's the firepower of 6 TIE Fighters and is the equal, at least in dice, to three YTs. It's a good amount of damage to trot out, which is a big reason why this list performs well time and again. Obviously that number climbs to 16 if you can get all four of them in Range 1, which isn't the craziest notion in the world since X-Wings are fairly maneuverable ships compared to most anything but an Interceptor, A-Wing, or TIE Fighter, and have a little meat on their bones to take some shots back.  

Recall too that X-Wings have a fairly handy maneuver dial. While you lose some flexibility lacking 1 Turns or a 5 Straight, and only having a single K-Turn on your wheel, you do gain a slight contextual advantage over most Imperial opposition in that you've got a 1 straight at your disposal. 

The list is fairly hearty too with 20 HP total with nearly half of that being shields that are going to keep you from dealing with face up Damage cards

Me personally, I think this is the most accessible (read: easiest to fly) list available to the Rebel tournament player that still will yield some solid results if used correctly. If you're still kind of new to the game, or mainly play Imperials but have decided to switch Factions, or have played a bunch of different builds and aren't particularly great at any one of them, this is probably the build for you. 

It isn't without it's drawbacks, of course. A 4 X-Wing list doesn't have the points for a lot of upgrades and named pilots. It's going to play fairly basically. It's going to be somewhat predictable in that nothing you do will surprise anybody. It's also a list that's been used since the very beginning, so a lot of people have flown against it and have probably developed their own methods of beating it. 

All that said, it's still a very versatile list. It ain't sexy by any definition, but If you're smart with deployment, you can divide all that firepower up so it can be applied where you think you'll need it most. You've got the firepower and the staying power to win against Swarms, you've got the guns and number of ships to hedge bets with firing arcs to play against smaller, more specialized lists, and even against some of the more exploitative big ships lists, you've got options to play decently well at any Range, so while they're trying to close or stay away, you can fly at any distance and still be pretty dangerous. 

With four ships in your list, you can flub a maneuver or two and not lose all of your shots or Actions for a turn the way you can with a two or three ship list. Conversely, it's much easier to manage maneuvers with 4 X-Wings than a 6-7 ship TIE Swarm because you've got less ships to move about and keep from knocking into stuff. Now, if you're aces at maneuvers and can't remember the last time you bonked into an asteroid or one of your own, this isn't as important, but again- the case I'm making is that the 4 X-Wing list is probably the easiest Tournament list to run while still being pretty viable. 

Third, there are a lot of options to build into a 4 X-Wing list, so you can mitigate your own shortcomings to a certain extent by adding (or removing) Named Pilots, Droids, Modifications, and even Proton Torpedoes. This of course segues nicely into the part where I talk about some...

Sample 100 points 4 X-Wing Lists-  

Luke and Friends
Luke Skywalker, X-Wing Pilot w/ Swarm Tactics
Red Squadron Pilot w/ R2-D2
Rookie Pilot w/ R5 Astromech
Rookie Pilot

This basic core list of Luke and Friends can be tailored a bunch of different ways depending on what you need it to do or not do. The list above is the one I ran a lot just after the Kessel Run and before Wave 2 dropped, so it's tailored a bit to me and my meta (Swarms). Take that for what it's worth. 

Basically, I would do my 4-ship split deployment with Luke and the upgrade-less Rookie on one side of the board, Red and the R5 Rookie on the other side. Luke would rely on his Focus-lite ability to survive being the lead ship in, pushing his Pilot Skill of 8 to the trailing Rookie X-Wing. On the other side, Red would lean on R2-D2 to keep him alive, usually flying straight at the enemy, firing his shots, then continuing on for a turn or two with various greens to replenish shields before turning around to take another run at things. R5 Rookie would trail Red and finish off anything he didn't kill with a one-shot, and also run a little interference while Red healed shields. The R5 Astro helps with that last part. 

It's a pretty simple list- no complicated synergy to manage (or be denied) really, the main thing it has trouble with is a post-Wave 2 list with a bunch of Pilot Skill 9 stuff (namely a Fel- Vader list with Turd Ferguson either being the beneficiary of Swarm Tactics or Veteran Instincts to boost him up to Pilot Skill 9 as well). 

One thing I kinda found out the hard way is Astromechs in general often aren't the panacea they appear to be for an X-Wing. Your mileage may vary, but really think long and hard about the points you sink into your backseat drivers. 

Also, if you're absolutely desperate for 2 more points, you can downgrade that Red to a Rookie. Personally, I like having Red in there to stay ahead of the average TIEs once whoever inevitably has Swarm Tactics has been dealt with, but some folks might see that as two wasted points. 

Wedge and Biggs and Co.
Wedge Antillies
Biggs Darklighter w/ R2-F2
Rookie X-Wing
Rookie X-Wing

This core configuration of Wedge, Biggs, Rookie, Rookie is arguably the most popular 4 X-Wing list, and for good reason- Wedge is nasty, Biggs is fairly easy to get the hang of and use, and the Rookie X-Wing is still a pretty formidable ship.

I see Wedge flying around with no upgrades because the combination of his card text and Biggs is good enough to keep him out of trouble a lot of times. Biggs on the other hand, I see upgraded with all kinds of stuff to help keep him alive- R2-F2, R2-D2, or Shield Upgrade being the most common. I like R2-F2 better than R2-D2 on Biggs because Biggs has to survive the current round for R2-D2 to benefit him (he also has to pull a green) and Shield Upgrade is only going to work once, really. You can debate this with me all day, and the answer will depend largely on your own playstyle, but for me, I see Biggs taking multiple shots per Combat Round while he screens for Wedge, so I want something that's going to be "kicked on" the entire time, not after the fact and not just once. Just be careful not to bump him into anybody as he's gotta have an Action to turn on R2-F2 and you don't have the points for Wedge to sport a Squad Leader upgrade.  

I don't know how well this list would fly in a split deployment- I've never tried it that way. Usually this list sets up in a loose formation more on one side of the board than the other. Wedge tries to fly in close to get that extra Attack die which almost virtually assures him 4 damage on the intended target, while Biggs pulls the shots that should be hitting Wedge away. The Rookies fly interference and can be peeled off to engage whatever target you had Biggs firing on and probably not killing. 

The key to using one of these lists is being able to run Biggs effectively. His ability can be both a benefit and a curse. I'd say the main thing to watch out for is having Biggs pull shots from anyone besides Wedge- namely the two Rooks. Let those guys take their lumps. Once Biggs is out of the picture, Wedge is still as dangerous as he always was, but has to play a little more conservatively as he's going to be taking fire and also because he has zero upgrades. Playing as this list though, if you can manage to keep Biggs alive through the initial storm and into the middle innings of your match, you're likely going to come out ahead at the end if/ when you do lose him.

The New Guys
Rookie X-Wing w/ Proton Torpedoes OR Shield Upgrade
Rookie X-Wing w/ Proton Torpedoes OR Shield Upgrade
Rookie X-Wing w/ Proton Torpedoes OR Shield Upgrade
Rookie X-Wing w/ Proton Torpedoes OR Shield Upgrade

I see The New Guys in basically two different forms- the Wave 1 form was with each of them sporting Proton Torpedoes, the Wave 2 version has Shield Upgrades. Were I to use this list in a tournament setting, I'd likely hedge my bets and do both- 2 with PTs, 2 with Shields. Of course, I'm a bet hedger from way back, so your mileage may vary.

I'd also probably do my split deployment, let the PT Rookies lead initially, then have the Shield Rookies fly past them and take their spots. If I was lucky enough to Target Lock with the PT Rookies, I'd sit on that lock for another turn, let the Shields that flew on by them take a few shots, hang back and get a Focus token on the PT Rooks, then hopefully let the Torps fly at what's most likely Range 2. 

The thing about a list with all the pilots at the same Pilot Skill is it gets you a lot of options. You can maneuver (and choose Actions) and fire in any order you want. Now, that may not sound like that big of a deal, but it does allow for some tactical flexibility. It also kind of makes a waste of points for anyone who spent on Swarm Tactics or Veteran Instincts or higher Pilot Skill Common Pilots. 

The Shield Upgrade version of this list is probably the more viable of the two simply because you add to the already good durability of the X-Wing while also adding an upgrade that directly helps mitigate the downside of flying a list with such low Pilot Skill; namely that just about everyone is going to shoot at you before you can shoot at them. Only reason I say I'd probably go half and half is to deal with big ships at range if at all possible. 

27 May 2013

TheMetalBikini.com Hits 100k!

Was probably sometime around 8pm Central or so. 

As for the obligatory, celebration post- I got nothin' really. I pretty well said everything I've wanted to say in the previous pageview posts. 

Just thanks for all the views and I'm glad y'all are still diggin' the site! 

Today's Non-Update

Today's non-update has more to do with the fact that many of us here in the States are off-work today due to it being the federal holiday, Memorial Day, and less the fact that I was up until 1am playing Android: Netrunner (brilliant, brilliant game, by the way) with BC over Hangout. Well, that's my story anyway. :)

Ostensibly, this is a day where we remember those brave souls who lost their lives in the service of this country's military. Now, personal feelings about the motivation behind our entry into various wars, conflicts, intervening actions, and whatever other terms we use to describe battle these days aside, take a sec today to pause and remember your friends, relatives, or loved ones who gave everything for their country and be happy you're one of the folks still walking around above ground. 

As my Regional is coming up this Saturday (1 June), I was going to cover some of the more popular lists the next few days. Do you guys want me to give it the "Weird Al" treatment like I did Han Shoots First or do you want me to just talk about it like a normal person? You know which one I'm leaning towards, but again- sometimes I don't have a good barometer for when humor gets in the way of usefulness or clarity, and well, at the end of the day, it's a little less work for me to just write rather than write a song. 

So enjoy your Memorial Day you Yanks, and all of  y'all let me know your thoughts on the popular lists thing in the comments. 


24 May 2013

The Metal Mailbag- Robert from Edinburgh (Scotland)

This will probably become another one of those recurring TheMetalBikini.com things, so if you've got something on your mind, spill it and if I think it's particularly compelling, well-written, silly, or whatever, I'll likely post it. Consider the gauntlet tossed, yo.  

Unofficial, hyperbole-filled image created by me to prove a point. Not to be taken seriously (yet)

I've gotten several emails like this one since I started writing articles to post here on TheMetalBikini.com because well, this game has, nearly since it's release back in September of 2012, had major issues meeting consumer demand. 

This email though, was particularly well done and as it echoes what I think a lot of folks are going through that weren't instant adopters of the game the moment it came out, so I thought I'd share it with y'all, then give a few thoughts of my own on the subject. 

Hi man,

I love the site and it's seriously whetted my whistle for X-Wing. However I've run into a problem that a lot of new players around my area seem have run into. I went onto several of the online dealerships and into my LGS to try to get a starter pack and some more ships but the common thread seems to be a total dearth of anything. I heard about wave three so I figured I'd wait until then, but I heard a worrying rumour from around the local scene. The LGS and online stores are emptied of their stock within a day of it coming in by a small number of individuals! It doesn't help when I go on the forums and people casually talk about the gigantic size of their little fleets and the hundred and fifty dollars of wave three they've ordered. That's cool but it does make me feel as if I'm locked out of the game in some way. I want to play it but the fact that (being a somewhat cash strapped PhD student) my moments of liquidity don't coincide with the rush to buy stock as it comes in means that I never seem to actually be able to get any models beyond the starter set. People are willing to lend me models in the store which is very community minded of them… but it isn't really the same.
Just a thought from a frustrated newbie. I've been wanting to articulate it for a while but I figured that putting it up on the official forums might lead to rage. Probably best to pass it by someone with a keener eye for editing than me to remove any ranty bits!
Cheers man, and keep writing the articles!

Robert Lyon
MEng (Electrical Engineering), PhD Student
Heriot-Watt University

First, there's no way somebody with only an Associate's Degree in Electronics (that'd be me) is going to do any editing on a letter written by a dude that's working on getting his Ph-friggin'-D in Electrical Engineering. Holy mackerel. 

Secondly, Robert is Scottish. This becomes fairly integral to this article later on, but for now keep in mind that alone probably makes him smarter than me. Any country responsible for producing the author of one of my favorite books of all-time has to be up there in the smarts department. I actually don't know for sure if he's Scottish, but he's at least sending emails from the Scottish University of the Year 2011-2013, where apparently they've either won the award multiple times or time runs differently over there. Wait- wasn't Desmond Scottish too? Hmmm... 

Also, Rangers had three Yanks playing in their starting XI after the transfer window the season before they got Administrated into temporary oblivion, but it still doesn't change the fact that they're like they were like the only side outside of MLS that had three effin' Yanks in their starting XI. I mean hell, I was raised Catholic, but even I had to tip my hat to 'Gers on that one. 

Ok, so anyway, yeah- the shortages. Right. 

The manufacturing engineer in me says you get away with something like that exactly one time- the first time (and even then, you get away with it, but you'd still get bitched at for sure). After that, it's really pretty inexcusable because you're just leaving money on the table, which is of course, as un-American as you can possibly be.  

I mean, sure, some folks still extend them the benefit of the doubt, but for Christ's sake- how in the world could FFG have not made enough stuff for Wave 2? Every single ship from Wave 1 was sold out of most online retailers by Christmas, for cryin' out loud! Yeah, yeah, yeah- they had probably put the order in months ahead of time and maybe they couldn't change it. Whatevs, man. Chinese manufacturers aside, that's still absolutely crazy if you ask me. If you recall, Wave 2 was already significantly delayed once to begin with. To ask your customers, especially your new or prospective customers to put up with a delay, then still not be able to meet demand? That's really pretty ridiculous. 

Full disclosure, FFG says that more Wave 1 and Wave 2 stuff is being "re-printed" or re-released or whatever, so it's coming, but as FFG seems to have a reputation for blowing release dates, who knows when that'll actually happen (don't get me wrong- I want this to be one of those times they hit their projected release). For Christ's sake- there is a Y-Wing going for $27 on eBay right now. Let that sink in for a moment- there is a Y-Wing. On eBay. Going for $27 with 16 hours left at the time of this writing. What in the hell's going on here

This segues into my next point that Robert brought up- people buying too much stuff. 

Now, I'm not going to get on a soapbox and tell you to deny that weird, OCD impulse in your lizard brain that says, "BUY STUFF" (don't act like you don't have it; in all likelihood you're a grown, adult male buying little toy spaceships- you have that impulse just like I do). I'm also not going to begrudge people who try and buy something every time they use their FLGS' facilities as a "Thank you" for being a good host and providing tables and a venue for gaming and end up with a bunch of stuff; more than you need for sure. I will say if you're explicitly buying up X-Wing Miniatures stuff for the sole purpose of turning around and selling it on eBay because there's a 99.9% chance there's going to be another shortage, that's kind of shitty, frankly. 

Look- I'll be straight with y'all. I love this game. If that isn't apparent to you after reading all these goofy posts and card breakdowns and effort I've put into this site the past (almost) 4 months, I have undeniably and decidedly failed in the primary mission of this blog. I love the simplicity of the rules juxtaposed with the depth of the strategy. I want FFG to keep making it for a long time, so I try to do my best to promote the hell out of it on here. I don't want the game to die off because it's a great game that I really, really, really enjoy playing, thinking about, and talking about. That's at least half of the reason I put as much work into TMB.com as I do- I want everyone to buy stuff for this game, talk about it, and play it because I don't want it to go away. That's why I'm such an evangelist for this game. The other half is my embarrassing need for attention, recognition, and validation from strangers, but that's a whole other shrink session, er, I mean subject. 

I used to play a game called AT-43 which was produced by a company called Rackham. I really enjoyed it. It embodied a lot of the things I liked about playing 40k, but was way more accessible and easy to learn for "casual gamers", which in my book, were friends of mine who didn't have hundreds of dollars to spend on models, rulebooks, and paint. 

Of course, as you probably know, or at least have deduced from context, Rackham went out of business and AT-43 went away. Now, I know, I know, just because they went out of business, I didn't have to stop playing the game. Well, here's the reality folks- I did have to stop playing the game. When you can't get new people into the game (or start another army for yourself) without having to monitor eBay as a part-time job, and hauling that stuff into your local FLGS to take up space on their tables from paying customers playing a game they can't sell? Telling curious folks who stop by that this is probably the most fun squad-skirmish type game you've ever played, but they probably shouldn't bother getting into it because you can't really buy it anymore without a ton of legwork and effort when there are a ton of other games out there readily available and probably just as fun? Yeah. You stop playing the game. Or at least I did. Who wants to play the same army with no new units or books coming ever

I realize it's highly unlikely a company like FFG would stop producing X-Wing or go into liquidation like Rackham, but hell, I didn't think it was going to happen to Rackham either at the time, y'know? Back when it came out, people seriously talked about AT-43 being the game that would put a dent into Games Workshop's dominance of the futuristic miniatures skirmish game. Rackham didn't have their toe into stuff like boardgames like FFG does, but they did miss a lot of release dates and have distribution issues though, so there are a couple of similarities. 

I feel bad for the Euros and the folks in Oz because I get emails from these guys asking me if I know any online retailers in the States that are still selling Interceptors or A-Wings or TIE Advanced because, like Robert, they can't even get them from online retailers in their country, let alone their FLGS. That's nuts, man. It's like the total opposite problem miniatures games usually have- there are people who want to play this game but can't because they can't find anywhere to buy it

It's probably unlikely that anyone from the production planning department of FFG reads my silly little blog, but on the off-chance they do, please guys, please- meet the demand for this game. There's gotta be thousands of laid-off, out-of-work materials analysts from the U.S. automotive industry that'd love to manage your materials/ logistics/ whatever for this game. Hell, they're probably not even that far away from you. Get a couple of dudes who were forced into early retirement or just pink-slipped out of a Just-In-Time automotive parts supplier and let them manage the inventory for this game. I worked with some of those guys, man- they're hardcore, battle-tested, and they won't let you down. They're the kind of guys who can work magic like flying parts in on chartered planes from Mexico without having to pass Customs to avoid shutting down a customer. But do something, something different for God's sake, than what you're doing now, because right now, the folks running that part of your show simply aren't cutting it. 

So thanks for your email, Robert. Thanks for taking the time to write it, and thanks for the kind words about the site. I sincerely hope that the reprints comes sooner rather than later, you find some X-Wing Miniatures over the next few months, and I hope you get to play this game with your own stuff. 

23 May 2013

Lambda Shuttle, Wait, What?

I'm still trying to decide whether or not I'll pre-order the Wave 3 stuff or wait and pick it up at my FLGS, and as such, I was looking at pictures of the ships and cards this evening, when I noticed something...

Now, I know what you're thinking- "Oh dude, those are just some mission-specific tokens. They're right next to the Tracking Tokens from the box set." 

Entirely possible. 


The Slave I contents on TheWarStore.com specifically call out the fact that there are new rules and a new mention in the product description, which seems to be some rather canned text as very similar copy is repeated over on the Slave I page at MiniatureMarket.com as well. 

Ok, so what about the Falcon? 

Doesn't specifically call out new rules and a new mission like Slave I, but does say, "New rules expand the X-Wing galaxy to include large ships and modifications." 

The Lambda's canned text says nothing about any of that. From TheWarStore.com's product description page- 

"Noted for its tri-wing design, the Lambda-class shuttle served a critical role as a light utility craft in the Imperial Navy. Now you can use this utilitarian ship to strengthen your Imperial squad for X-Wing! The Lambda–class Shuttle Expansion Pack includes one large-base Lambda-class shuttle miniature at 1/270 scale, its maneuver dial, all necessary tokens, four ship cards, and a whopping twelve upgrades, which afford Imperial players an astonishing level of customization and control of their squads."

MiniatureMarket.com's entry is exactly the same text as above. 

So... if it's not some included scenario token, what could it be? 

Only thing I can come up with is it's the cockpit in escape pod mode. I remember reading somewhere- maybe one of those big Star Wars ship schematics books, maybe it was one of the sourcebooks for the old West End Games' Star Wars RPG; can't remember now, that the cockpit of an Imperial Shuttle could detach from the body of the ship and act as an escape pod. Maybe FFG included some rules for that? 

So what do you think? Am I off my proverbial rocker as usual? Whatever it is, it seems to have an Agility Value. Past that, I can't make out anything else. 

22 May 2013

X-Wing Miniatures Sample Game, Part 3

I've gotten a lot of traffic from search engine queries like "Sample X-Wing Game Turn" and "X-Wing Game Turn Examples" and as I've kind of meant to do this for awhile but just didn't for whatever reason, I thought I'd post a series of articles this week outlining a complete game of X-Wing Miniatures for those folks who are interested in seeing a real nuts-and-bolts write up of an entire game. Note: This is not a battle report, per se, though if you guys dig on those, boy are you in for a treat in a few weeks...

In case you missed them, here's links to Part 1 and Part 2 in this series.

Ok, so yesterday saw the satellites scanned as well as the first few shots fired in this game. BC had stuck my Black Squadron TIE with a critical damage card, I'd burned off one of the shields on his Red Squadron X-Wing, Obsidian TIE was making a run for the border

After we selected our maneuvers, Obsidian unsurprisingly floored it revealing a Straight 5 and also unsurprisingly selected Evade as his Action. That was a no-brainer, really. Recall that all I have to do to win this thing is get one of my TIEs off the board after scanning those satellites. 

Black Squadron's maneuver was going to take a little more finesse. First, I'd incurred a Stress token since my last maneuver had been a red maneuver. Now, there's nothing saying that you have to immediately get rid of a Stress token once you get it, but you do lose your Perform Action step while you're actively Stressed, so I do not make it a habit to fly around Stressed if I can help it. 

Not only that, but I'd just been stuck with a face up Damage card that would Stress me if I pulled a Turn at any speed. In the rules, it says you can't perform any Stressful maneuvers if you're already Stressed and if you do, your opponent gets to pick which maneuver you perform from your dial. So not only should I be pulling a green maneuver, I need to be pulling a non-Turn green maneuver, and last, I had to pick something that wasn't going to crash me into BC because I was going to move before him. This really only left me a couple of options, and since I did not want to end up on the business end of BC's Red Squadron at Range 1, I opted to punt and pulled a 2 Bank to the right, then selected Evade as my Action. 

This ended up being a pretty lucky guess as BC opted to think outside the box and pull a Straight 4 even though he was still Stressed from his own K-Turn last turn. You can see exactly how that turned out in the image above- Black TIE had Red Squadron at Range 1 dead to rights and as such, opened fire on the X-Wing. 

The Attack value on a TIE Fighter's primary weapon is 2, but being at Range 1, I received an extra Attack die. I rolled and ended up with a "crit" and two "hits." BC grabbed his 2 green Defense dice since his X-Wing's Agility is 2 and rolled a wavy arrow and a blank. As I mentioned before, in X-Wing Miniatures, you mitigate "hits" before you mitigate "crits", so BC was left taking a "hit" and a "crit" as damage from the attack. This bros before hoes, I mean, hits before crits thing also applies to shields, so Red's last shield failed under the "hit", while the "crit" went against his hull, causing him to not only draw a Damage card, but also to flip it face up and observe the card text. His Agility was lowered by one permanently, but the card gave him the option of attempting to remove it in the Perform Action step in lieu of performing an Action by rolling a "hit" on an Attack die (there's several Damage cards with this type of mechanic). 

As Obsidian was out of Range of Red's guns, we moved from the Combat Phase to the End Phase, removing tokens that weren't persistent and we were back to spinnin' wheels. 

I knew I wanted to get Black Squadron out of there- only having two Hull left with an X-Wing breathing down his neck wasn't a place I really wanted to be in, especially with that face up Damage card limiting my movement. I knew I was going to pull a straight 5 with him and there wouldn't be much to worry about as BC still had his Stress token. Of course, that didn't stop me from playing it safe and declaring an Evade Action. Obsidian though... hmmm. I was pretty sure a Straight 5 would take him past my board edge and end the match, and well, I wasn't quite done playing yet. I had Obsidian pull a 3 Straight K-Turn. 

"You sure you want to do that?" BC asked. 

"Ah, what the hell, right?" I replied lying a Stress Token beside him. 

"Ooooook." BC said, revealing a 3 Bank left, a white maneuver that caused him to retain his Stress Token for at least one more round and denying him an Action. 

As no one had valid targets, the Combat Phase was foregone and we started picking up tokens in the End Phase. It was time to spin wheels again. 

Obsidian hadn't been hit yet, so I decided to have him move in on Red to Attack. Black was going to continue straight lining it towards the board edge as insurance in case BC managed to one-shot Obsidian. It was sort of the opposite line of thinking I employed at the start- now Black was going to escape with the satellite intel regardless of whether Obsidian could manage to take out the critically damaged X-Wing. 

Obsidian pulls a 2 Bank to the right and as I'm hoping for him to smoke Red, he declares Focus for his Action. BC had Red come around square with a 1 Bank to the left, a green maneuver for his X-Wing so he was able to pick up that pesky Stress Token and Target Lock the rapidly closing Obsidian TIE. 

Once again, the Combat Phase was upon us. 

Red had a higher Pilot Skill than Obsidian, so he would fire first. BC checked range and found Obsidian to be just a bit outside of Range 1 from his X-Wing. He picked up his 3 Attack dice and rolled a "hit", a Focus symbol, and a "crit." Wanting to try to get Obsidian off the board, he opted to spend his newly acquired Target Lock token and re-roll the Focus result. End result? Two "hits" and a "crit."

I picked up my three green dice and threw them- two wavy arrows and a blank. Had I rolled a Focus, I could have spent my token, but a blank result I could do nothing with. My wavy arrows got rid of the two hits, but the crit went on through, and I picked up my Damage card and turned it face up. Bastard! It was the dreaded Direct Hit card, which counts as not one, but two hull damage! My Obsidian TIE had gone from perfectly unmolested to on its last legs in just one volley of shots from an X-Wing. 

Still though, he wasn't dead. Time for me to return fire. I picked up my two red Attack dice. 

Two natural "hits", no Focus needed. BC grabbed a single green defense die (remember- his X-Wing usually gets two, but that face up Damage card lowered his Agility value by one) and rolled a blank. The two hits went on through and Red Squadron Pilot exploded. 

Per the scenario rules, as we entered the End Phase of the game turn, I removed the Action tokens from my TIEs and BC dropped a brand-spankin' new Rookie X-Wing on his board edge. 

As we spun wheels, I asked BC if he wanted to keep playing or not. It was getting late, and we'd done a lot of talking during the match, so he said we needed to wrap it up. With that, I picked a 5 straight for Black TIE which I was confident would take him off my table edge, triggering the win condition for me. With that in mind, I figured I'd get Obsidian in another fire fight. I needed to turn a little to get Rookie X-Wing in my firing arc, so I picked a 3 Bank to the left to cover the most ground possible. BC set Rookie's dial and we began revealing our maneuvers. 

As Rookie X-Wing is only Pilot Skill 2, he now had the first maneuver. BC revealed a Straight 4 which put him within Range 3 of Obsidian, so for his Perform Action step, BC chose to Target Lock. Obsidian revealed that 3 Bank Left and declared Focus, hoping to maximize his Attack. I didn't declare an Action for Black TIE as his Straight 5 took him off the playing area. 

As the Combat Phase started, I picked up my Range Ruler (sorry I've forgotten to include it in so many of these pictures- I was more focused on taking pics of the dice results for some reason) and found that Obsidian was Range 2 from Rookie. No extra die for me, I grabbed a couple of red Attack dice and rolled. 

I rolled a "hit" and an Focus result. I opted to spend my Focus token and turned the eyeball into a second "hit." BC grabbed two green defense dice and threw a blank and a Focus. Both of my hits landed, overloading the Rookie X-Wing's deflector shields. 

Now it was BC's turn to fire back. He picked up his three red Attack dice and threw them. 

I don't remember what his first roll netted him, but he did spend his Target Lock to re-roll his blanks and eyeballs. The picture above is the after picture, in other words. He managed a single hit. If I blew my roll however, it would be enough to send Obsidian to hell as he only had one Hull left, so when I rolled a single wavy arrow on my Defense roll, I was happy that Obsidian had managed to cheat death and would survive the match!

Whew, that was more writing than I kinda thought it would be! I think I'll just stick to battle reports from now on! 

Hope you enjoyed it though and found it useful if you're a new or prospective X-Wing Miniatures player!