23 December 2013

Fab's Squadrons Generator- UPDATE!

Hey y'all, 

Apologies for being MIA lately. I've got a few days off after Christmas so I'm going to get back to work on the Wave 3 pilots soon. Until then though, I got an email from our pal in France, Fab, of Fab's Squadron Builder.

Hi Clint !

Just to inform you that I just put online a new version of my squadrons generators. http://fabpsb.free.fr

The new features are :
- Full display of the permalink (with the full code that code reloaded in the new LOAD features) an easy way to share creation !
- Display of the permalink for each faction with link to create a short url
- Display of the upgrade cards by type in the "EXPANSIONS" section
- New feature to load squadrons using the squadrons codes

So you can easily display full squadrons information, put all information between square brackets except the codes and paste in the LOAD features.

[1 • Kath Scarlet - Slave 1 (38)
- Veteran Instincts (1)
- Seismic Charges (2)
- Recon Specialist (3)
• Total : 44 • Code : ]e15m8b2d7
[2 • Soontir Fel - TIE interceptor (27)
- Push The Limit (3)
• Total : 30 • Code : ]e18m10
[3 • Turr Phennir - TIE interceptor (25)
- Veteran Instincts (1)
• Total : 26 • Code : ]e19m8

Load features : http://fabpsb.free.fr/load.php

- Display of the card codes
- New feature to evaluate the necessary expansions to build the squadrons ()

This features allow you to create squadrons manually and to check the extension you need to build them.

I hope that you will find this useful.


I like it, Fab! Great work as usual! Hope you get what you want for Christmas/ Hanukkah/ Kwanzaa/ Festivus/ The Winter Holiday, etc.! 


09 December 2013

Named Pilots- Ibtisam

This post regarding Named Pilots is part of a larger article regarding Wave 3 listbuilding- the rest of the posts in this series will be available in the coming weeks. For more info, click the "List Building Resources" tab at the top of the page or simply click here.

Ibtisam (28)
Card Text: When attacking or defending, if you have at least one stress token, you may reroll one of your dice.

Usage in game: Stress to impress.
Breakdown: I can't really explain why other than it starts with an "I" and has about the same number of syllables (at least the way I say it- which is in all likelihood not the correct pronunciation), but as a lot of y'all have commented on enjoying my conversational writing style here on TheMetalBikini.com, if you want the full effect like you're hearing me say this stuff to you, you gotta say "Ibtisam" the way those cultists dudes or whatever said, "Imhotep" in The Mummy. Because that's totally how I say it. Not every single time, but most of the time, yeah.

That out of the way, ol' Ibtisam's really got it goin' on, doesn't she? Dig on that card text- got a Stress Token? You're in luck, pal- you get a free re-roll of a single die when attacking or defending. Pause on that for a second- not only can she use the re-roll on a red die or green die, she can use it on a red die and a green die. There's nothing limiting how often you can use Ibtisam's ability during the turn so long as you've got that Stress Token. Pretty nutty, huh?

Now, I'll fully admit I didn't grasp the awesomeness of this card in the B-Wing preview/ Wave 3 leaked cards article I wrote awhile back. I'd not fallen in love with the B-Wing yet and not having seen the dial, it was hard to get your head around how any of this stuff was really going to work in-game. That said, there was a commenter even back then that saw a potential that sailed right by me at the time.

That commenter was +Matt Bounds and he had this to say-

Surprised you didn't mention putting Advanced Sensors on Ibtisam. That way you still get your action, and THEN you can pull a red maneuver to stress her out. Seems like a hell of a good deal to me, especially if you use that action to barrel roll into a better firing position. There are some great mind games that could come out of this.
Heckuva a great idea, isn't it? If you don't remember and haven't clicked on the link, Advanced Sensors essentially changes the order in which you do stuff in the Activation Phase. Namely, you do your Perform Action step before you reveal your maneuver, so assuming you aren't already Stressed at that point (which hey- you may very well be if you're several turns into the game), you could get your Action for the round, reveal your red maneuver, get Stressed, and reap the re-roll from Ibtisam (remember you can only re-roll a die once). If that doesn't seem like it jives to you, take a look at Bikini Battle Basics- Multiple Actions, Same Actions

While you couldn't pull that combo off every single game turn (at least, I can't think of a way off the top of my head and have it be worthwhile), there's still some solid value in Ibtisam's card text in that you've likely always got some kind of re-roll or modification available to you. As y'all know, if you've Stressed yourself and therefore (likely) denied yourself your Perform Action step, you're usually flying naked with no re-rolls or dice mods available. If you're not Stressed and got to Perform Action, you probably have a Focus or a Target Lock or whatever and you've got the dice mods and/ or re-rolls available to you. Undoubtedly, you've noticed a pretty significant difference in your gross Attack and Defend results if you've got those re-rolls and mods available. With Ibtisam, you've always got a little something available- either the benefits from the Action you chose because you're not Stressed or the re-roll from being Stressed via her card text. I'm sure for those of y'all who have flown her, it goes without saying that always being able to re-roll that single Green die likely goes a long way to keeping her on the table. 

As for what works on Ibtisam, she's another one of those PS6 pilots who actually does have an Elite Pilot Skill available to her as well as the usual compliment of B-Wing options- 2 torpedo tubes, the funky raygun, and a system upgrade.

I think ideally you'd want to stay away from the Skills and upgrades that require an Action as you'll likely spend a lot of time Stressed out. Also stuff that lets you re-roll isn't going to be quite as effective, but if the re-roll is on multiple dice as opposed to just one or a particular negative result, you still want to look at it pretty hard. As usual, Push The Limit could be pretty useful here as well as stuff that keeps Ibtisam alive longer like Determination or Expert Handling. Be careful with Elusiveness- there's nothing saying you can't take it on her, but it can't be triggered if you're already holding a Stress Token. As is also usually the case, Daredevil could work here, but you're probably better off with PTL and if you want the Boost functionality, take Engine Upgrade along with it instead. 

As for guns, it's similar to what I said in the Ten Numb article. My own personal experience is that 7 points for a Heavy Laser Cannon on a B-Wing is a bit high for what it gets you, but Ions or Autoblaster could be fun. Depending on how much you want Ibtisam to ultimately cost you, Proton Torpedoes are a good fit for her with their sort of built-in, no Action required Focus-ish card text, but Advanced Proton Torpedoes probably aren't a great idea as you really do need at least a Focus to make them worthwhile and there's probably a good chance you'll be Stressed out when you need to fire them. 

Advanced Sensors are a pretty good idea for any B-Wing because of the flexibility they provide, but as mentioned in some of the other Wave 3 articles, none of the System Upgrades are bad, per se- some just work better for certain pilots than others. As Matt pointed out up above, it's hard to beat AS on Ibtisam, but Fire Control System is a good way to mitigate the fact that she probably won't have that Perform Action step a lot of the time, and Sensor Jammer could go that much further in increasing her survivability. Again, it really just depends on how much more you want to spend on her. 

05 December 2013

Named Pilots- Ten Numb

This post regarding Named Pilots is part of a larger article regarding Wave 3 listbuilding- the rest of the posts in this series will be available in the coming weeks. For more info, click the "List Building Resources" tab at the top of the page or simply click here.

Ten Numb (31)
Card Text: When attacking, one of your <unfilled explosion> results cannot be canceled by defense dice.

Usage in game: Stickin' crits.
Breakdown: So it's no secret my favorite ships from Wave 3 are the TIE Bomber and B-Wing. I always liked flying both of them in X-Wing Alliance and TIE Fighter on PC back in the day, so I'm kinda biased to start with, but nostalgic personal feelings aside, they're both solid ships. Add a pilot with a solid PS value (8) and a nice bit of card text into the mix, and you end up with our good pal Ten Numb.

He's awesome, no doubt about it, the only question you ought to have in mind really is whether or not he's actually worth a third of your available points.

B-Wings have a decent dial, good stats, and a fairly varied amount of upgrades and options available, so I think the decision for most people will boil down to how comfortable they are running a three ship list. I know you could probably generate a four ship list, but you'll probably not run Ten Numb totally naked, right? I mean, you could- his card text is pretty cool, but let's look a little closer and see what we can do with some of those aforementioned upgrades and stuff.

B-Wings already have a respectable Attack of 3, but keeping in mind Ten's card text, Proton Torpedoes seem like a no-brainer. Is it worth taking two loads of them? Advanced Proton Torpedoes are their usual nasty selves, and while they don't particularly mesh up with Ten Numb's card text, you are throwing 5 dice instead of 4, so there's one more die to possibly roll a critical. Is it worth it points-wise? For me? Nah- I'd stick with normal Torps, just looking at it in a vacuum like this. 

That said, if you were to take an Elite Pilot Skill like say, Marksmanship? That might change things a bit. Expensive? Hells yeah. Ability to hurt something real bad? In spades, my friends. You don't have to take APTs to make it worthwhile though- Ten Numb's card text doesn't specify secondary weapons or anything, so you could even work it on just a regular old primary Attack roll.

As for other Elite Pilot Skills, Push The Limit is always a pretty good option to have up your sleeve for the flexibility it provides, but here doubly so to pull off a Target Lock and Focus (or TL and Marksmanship) in the same Activation Phase should a really golden opportunity present itself. It'd also be handy for comboing some other Action with a Barrel Roll should you find yourself on the wrong end of things. If you're more concerned about keeping Ten Numb alive with your Actions, perhaps letting upgrades and secondaries do your offensive work for you, Elusiveness isn't a bad idea, but Expert Handling could be fun to throw on there especially if your opponent loves to run Bombers, TIE Advanced with Missiles, or Colonel Jendon.

Taking an Ion Cannon for Ten Numb is kind of a waste with how Ion handles crit results, and while there is definitely an argument to be made, I think sticking a Heavy Laser Cannon on a ship that already has an Attack 3 weapon is kind of a waste and even more so with Numb's card text (EDIT: As Bikini Aficionado +TheForlornViking pointed out in the comments, a HLC actually isn't that much of a waste on Ten Numb- if you have a Target Lock, Marksmanship, or some other means available to re-roll your Attack roll, your second results stick regardless of the card text on HLC, and therefore would trigger Ten's card text should one of your re-roll results be an unfilled explosion symbol). The Autoblaster I think will get FAQed in the future, but right now, it's probably the only non-ordnance secondary weapon I'd consider for Numb. I don't know how exactly they'll choose to rule it, when they choose to rule it, but as for now, it would appear that rolling Ten Numb with an Autoblaster does not allow the defender to cancel any hits and one crit with his defense dice (if you rolled two crits, he could cancel the second one as +Davyd Atwood reminded me in the comments that only one of Ten's crits avoids the cancellation). Take that TIE Interceptors! Please note that other, non-dice related means of cancelling hits and/ or crits (namely Evade tokens) would still be effective here.

As B-Wings are currently the only Rebel ship that can use the new-fangled System Upgrades, I gotta mention those. Any of the three would be useful to Numb, but I like Fire Control System for the free Target Lock the best. Again though, it's easy to make a case for using a more defense-oriented System Upgrade like Sensor Jammer so you can go more offensive with Elite Pilot Skills or Secondary Weapon Systems or even Advanced Sensors and pull a Barrel Roll early in the Activation Phase if a ship unexpectedly gets behind you at an inopportune time.

EDIT: I wanted to throw this great idea in from the comments courtesy of +Nick Smale as it's a great use for a normally forgotten (at least by me) Modification and would likely catch a lot of folks unawares.

I've had a lot of success with PtL, Advanced Sensors and Engine Upgrade. The choice to possibly boost and barrel roll either before or after you move, plus instantly shed the stress from PtL immediately after you've used it (assuming you've gone green) is insanely effective. 

It wouldn't be cheap, but it's hard to argue with the effectiveness! I remember playing against some Interceptor lists where the ships kept on flying out of my firing arcs using Boosts and Barrel Rolls, now, I realize the B-Wing doesn't have the dial those ships do, but they also can't take Advanced Sensors and immediately shed the Stress token as Nick mentioned above by choosing a green maneuver. I'm just saying, the possibility of flying right out of lower PS pilots' arcs is still there if you're a veteran at maneuvering.

If stuff like that's still a little over your head though, I think one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get more mileage out of Numb is picking the rest of your squadron around the idea of using Ten as the heavy hitter he is. Biggs can help pull some of those shots away from him, Garven Dreis can hook him up with a Focus, Dutch Vander can kick him over a Target Lock all of which theoretically allows you to go overboard on offense or provide some help for that single green Defense die that Numb is stuck with.

Yet Another... Now with German Translations!

Was ist los, Bikini Aficionados in der Vaderland? I've got some good news for y'all- a kind-hearted FFG forum has provided Yet Another X-Wing Squadron Builder with German text translations! Check it out- 

Thanks for the heads up, Geordan! 

03 December 2013

Named Pilots- Captain Jonus

This post regarding Named Pilots is part of a larger article regarding Wave 3 listbuilding- the rest of the posts in this series will be available in the coming weeks. For more info, click the "List Building Resources" tab at the top of the page or simply click here.

Captain Jonus (22)
Card Text: When another friendly ship at Range 1 attacks with a secondary weapon, it may reroll up to 2 Attack dice.

Usage in game: His name is Jonus, and he's carryin' the wheel. Well, that and anybody else in your list sporting a secondary weapon probably.
Breakdown: Hey, hey, hey. Hey guys. Remember back like a year ago when everybody was sporting TIE Swarms with Howlrunner? Remember that? Because she like gave everybody a reroll on their primary? Remember?

Ok, kinda same thing here, but it's with secondaries and two dice. Awesome, huh? 

One slight difference in that line of thinking is Howlie was a pretty respectable PS 8, where Jonus is clocking in at 6, which isn't bad or anything, don't get me wrong, but you do have to focus a little more on who's going when with him than you did with Howlrunner. 

Similarities do abound though, namely in that he can take Elite Pilot Skills and the fact that his own ability doesn't work on him.

As for the Elite Pilot Skills, if you've loaded up on wingmen with secondary weapons and plan on running a swarm or something similar, you can bet that Jonus is going to be a priority target for your opponent. Take a look at stuff that helps to keep him alive. Push The Limit is always a nice option to have up your sleeve in virtually any situation (especially if you've got Yorr [YOOORRRR!!!] floating around somewhere close by), or stuff like Elusiveness or Expert Handling.

If instead you're opting more for opportunistic fly-bys, lending the extra re-rolls to say, a Firespray with an Ion Cannon and upgrades tooled-up for close to medium range combat, maybe lean a little more towards offense or flexibility. Marksmanship works nicely with warhead loadouts as would something like Deadeye where you're putting more of a priority on getting near a ship with big guns you want to really hurt something bad rather than lining up a good target for Jonus.

All that said, I think there's something to be said for just going with the flow here and making Jonus something of a support craft for a couple of TIE Bomber wingmen. Dig this list I just made on Yet Another-

That's not terrible, if you ask me. It's tough to prioritize as an opponent because the stuff you likely want to ignore (the Scimitar Bombers) can put a pretty good hurt on you, while the guy you really want to go after (Jonus), is going to be protected by the rest of the list. I went ahead and stuck some warheads on Jonus largely because I wasn't sure how to spend those last four points. Your mileage of course, will vary but hopefully you can kinda see where I'm going with this. Heck, you could always stick a Shield Upgrade on him just for grins. If you're curious, I stuck the TIEs in there largely because there's not enough points to make a 5 Bomber list with Jonus and four other Bombers with some sort of missile or torpedo. 

I do think that Night Beast and Backstabber would do well to keep folks on the other side of the table honest though, so they're not like total window dressing or whatever. I like them in this role because they're good enough named pilots they're tough to deal with and fairly self-sufficient, but not so expensive they make for an easy target priority decision for your opponent- those two combined are still only worth 32 points and we know how important it is to get 33 points, right? 

Pre-Orders for the Tantive IV, Rebel Transport, and Imperial Aces are up on Miniature Market!

I'm sure y'all probably saw this when you were drooling over Miniature Market's Black Friday/ Cyber Monday sales, but if you didn't, well, dig on this- 

As for when they'll actually be released? Your guess is as good as anyone's, including mine. Unfortunately I don't have any kind of inside line on stuff like this (though it'd be nice if somebody would throw me a friggin' bone for tirelessly promoting this game for damn near a year now, y'know? :) ). I mean, you want to say, "It's gotta be before Christmas, right? I mean, come on- it's definitely a "Shut up and take my money" situation, isn't it? Closest thing to printing money FFG could possibly do?  

Just remember how we all said that about Wave 2 about this time last year and that dropped in March. I don't mean to sound like a pessimist, and trust me- there's nothing I'd love to do more than be flyin' that Tantive IV around my dining room table while the snow blows around southern Indiana the evening of Christmas after the kiddos go to bed, but much like my feelings about the new Star Wars movies they're making, I'm kinda not getting my hopes up based on past experiences. 

Sidenote- those friggin' space tile things still haven't been released? Good Lord, how long has it been since they announced those?