23 May 2016

The art of defending the Cannon Ball - A hilarious counter to one of the jankiest lists in the galaxy

Friends, countrymen, comrades - lend me your ear!

Nic here - We are about to conclude our most recent X-Wing league and a few of us have officially dubbed a certain special list as the most jankiest list in the galaxy or meta or whatever. This is typically seen in some form of the following:

Chopper - Accuracy Corrector, Autoblaster Turret, Zeb, Tactician, Tactical Jammer, Ghost Title
Ezra - Push the Limit, Autoblaster Turret, Hera, Phantom Title
Biggs - R3-A2, Integrated Astromech

Or (the more common of the two)

Kanan - Accuracy Corrector, Autoblaster Turret, Zeb, Recon Specialist, Tactical Jammer, Ghost Title
Ezra - Rage, Autoblaster Turret, Chopper, Phantom Title
Biggs - R2-D2, Integrated Astromech

So why is this the jankiest list in the galaxy? Range 1 = 4 damage. How does this work? Accuracy Corrector paired with Autoblaster and a docked attack shuttle.

Essentially, this is a great pairing and does a decent number of damage on enemy ships at range 1. Ok who am I kidding!!! It does a freaking ton of damage that CANNOT BE CANCELED (attack with autoblaster and use accuracy corrector = 2 hits that cannot canceled by defense dice; now do it again at the end of the combat phase). Pair that with Biggs and you have a bit of a nightmare on your hands as your enemy must attack Biggs if he is in range. This saves the Ghost some damage and can allow him to survive for a bit longer (as we all know can turn the tide in a game).

Now a good Palp Aces can rock this list if they stay at range 3, or a three contracted scouts, however, you can get owned so fast with a swarm or Bossk lists. Why you ask? Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a TIE (I mean time) I flew a crack swarm of six TIEs (Howlrunner w/crack shot, 2x Omega Squadron Pilots w/crack shot, 3x Black Squadron w/crack shot) against Chopper Ghost list. I lost a TIE per round. Now granted my opponent had fantastic dice at range 3 early on and killed a TIE, but then Ghost got close and was able to kill two TIEs in one round. Before I even stripped the shields off Biggs I had lost half my list.

So I then ran away and was able to run time out and half Ghost but I still lost.

At the end of that game I felt a feeling I have not felt in a while. Fear, anger, hatred, and suffering (oh Master Yoda I let you down!). So what did I do? Run my own variant the following week and owned my opponent 100-0. Then I just felt dirty (watch the video..trust me).

In response to this list, Jeb attempted to come up with a janky list to beat the jank that will also piss people off and maybe just maybe beat the Kanan Ball (hahahah I am so funny at times) list.

It goes a little something like this:

Epsilon Leader - Comm Relay, Stealth Device
Omicron Group Pilot - Advanced Sensors, Tactical Jammer
Omicron Group Pilot - Advanced Sensors, Tactical Jammer
Omicron Group Pilot - Advanced Sensors, Tactical Jammer

And how is this a good list?? Well it is not to be honest but it is funny as heck and allows you to turtle in a corner. Move the shuttles (0) and Epsilon Leader removes stress from each shuttle so they can continue to do this all game long while Epsilon Leader bumps and stays behind the blockade. Observe the visual below:
Figure 1: Ghost and Biggs set up across of three shuttles and Epsilon Leader. Note the asteroid placement. This could force your opponent to take fire in a wide arc and potentially give you an extra evade dice for an obstructed shot.

Figure 2: Notice the nice arc set up for the shuttles

Figure 3: After a k-turn and two hard rights for epsilon leader you have your blockade with a relatively nice firing arc.

At this point, you have to force your opponent to come to you and you give Epsilon Leader an additional 1-2 evade dice per round (Tactical Jammer and Asteroid). If done correctly you can give yourself modifiable shots with a decent amount of the board within arc. Now, the funny thing about this list is it legal in tournament play (although as a TO I might get pissed off to see a flying fortress like this) and I have observed variants of this at tournaments. Can you win against many lists? NO! But I found it hilarious and again we tried to counter the Ghost.

In the end, I was still able to fit in the blind spot and do work and destroy Jeb's jank. It seems like it could work in theory, but we have to play test it a bit more.

Figure 4: Ghost owning fools

Anywho...sounds fun right?? Cannon ball list is highly competitive and fun to play but still janky as jank can get. You might disagree with me and that is fine. I still felt dirty playing it...so now enjoy some kids falling into mud to break the awkward silence or your desire to rant and rave.

What would you recommend altering or changing this list to counter the Cannon Ball? How would you change the Shuttle fortress of jank? 

(Jeb Here) - There is another version of the list to try ;-)  As Nic trashed the first attempt, there has been a revision.  However, it is super secret right now and all I can say is it involves a tractor beam. 

Peace and have fun with your jank.

22 May 2016

Curled Paw Creatives - Custom X-Wing Accessories

Howdy folks!

Nic here - our local store has expanded our X-Wing scene a bit and I found myself running short on X-Wing prizes and the like. After noticing what some of the Nova Squadron folks did for the Stele Open prizes I got an idea. Maybe our store can also have custom sweet acrylics that make us ooh and aahh (that got awkward fast). In addition, I thought it was time to have some acrylic token and templates that made me look like I might be a better player than I a really am - to clarify, we all know those guys that show up to our tournaments with every type of acrylic token ever made by FFG and/or use challenge coins as shields. When those folks show up and I get paired against them I just ask for an Intentional Draw and move on with my life. As such, if I want to be one of those guys that make all the players tremble, one must fake it until you make it. Can I get an amen?

Anywhos...back to the custom acrylic stuff.

The folks over at Curled Paw Creatives made us some amazing custom tokens and maneuver templates. Andrew (the store owner) was easy to work with, responsive, and very courteous (I sound like an infomercial). He even was helpful with my lack of knowledge regarding how to get our custom local store's logo onto the templates. Here are some of the final products:

Shield, Focus, Target Lock and Stress Tokens.

Yes, on the occasion I fly dual Trannies.

G-Man Custom Logo on the three bank maneuver template. Notice the three lines?? Yes on each speed you have lines. Attention to detail folks, serious attention to detail.

Up close G-Man logo (Galactic Comics and Games Logo).

One Straight and Target Lock.

Tranny using a custom three hard template (ehhhehhhamammmm, that's what she said).

Some TIE/fo's going fast!

Nothing special here but I thought I would show you my two trannies and hot date shoosting some imps.

Biggs had to be removed from the board to make room for a palp shuttle, so I used my custom 1 straight template that has a super nice cutouts for the nubs on the ship bases to mark his location and orientation on the board. Again, quality work Andrew and nice attention to detail.

More logo.

Kanan says "I approve the use of these custom templates as I deal out unblock able damage with my auto turret".

Range Ruler - a bit difficult to see but can you see the range bars?

Tokens: From left to right - Shields, Focus, Evade, Stress - Bottom middle - Custom Target Lock.

Overall, very nice products! Thanks Andrew and the Curled Paw Creatives team!

11 May 2016

What the What ?!? A Star Wars Variety Show Kinda Stealth Launches

So besides playing our beloved x-wing game, I (Jeb) love the Star Wars lore and what to know more about my favorite franchise.  Well, I am a lucky duck because they just launched a Stars Wars talk show.

"Star Wars fans have a new way to stay up-to-date on the latest news from the beloved franchise. 
Beginning this week, several Star Wars outlets, including the franchise's official YouTube channel and website, will stream a weekly variety show devoted to recapping all of the updates and announcements around the property. 

New episodes of The Star Wars Show will post every Wednesday at 12 p.m. PT. During each seven-minute show, hosts Andi Gutierrez and Peter Townley will discuss the latest Star Wars headlines and talk with celebrity superfans and other special guests. " -- From the press release

You can find the first episode here..

PS - I have new article almost ready about stoRAGE.

05 May 2016

These are your first steps - Heroes of the Resistance Expansion for X-Wing

Greetings and May the 4th be with you!

Nic here - Sorry that the bar has been a bit absent over the past few weeks. Finals are just now concluding down here at Georgia Southern. As such, I can get back on track with more articles and dealing less with failing students!

Today, the Heroes of the Resistance expansion pack was announced. We figured that this was coming at some point but it was sure fun to have it drop on this very special day Jedi celebration day (Sorry Imperials!).

Let's jump right into some of the nifty new things that FFG has planned for us beyond the cosmetic changes (aka new dish for Falcon and BB-freakin-8 on Black One). 

Pilot Cards
From what we can gather, we have five unique new pilots that were not revealed. Three T-70 X-Wing Pilots and two YT-1300 pilots. Of the reveals, for the T-70 the new Poe Dameron card hasn't changed much beyond the addition of Pilot Skill 9 and an overall increase in points from 31 to 33. This now places him with the elite pilots such as Darth Vader and Baron von Fel. It also gives Poe players a great deal of options with elite pilot cards (I bet that a new elite pilot card is coming in this expansion as well) as now Veteran Instincts is no longer a must in order to be an efficient arc dodger and play in the sandbox with the big boys. I have been toying with the idea of putting Lone Wolf on Poe as for the most part I find him off on his own dealing tons of damage.

This could meld well with one of my new favorite builds:
Poe - Lone Wolf, R5-P9, Autothrusters
Jake - VI, A-Wing Test Pilot, PTL, Proton Rockets, Autothrusters
Kyle Katarn - Adaptability, Dorsal Turret, Moldy Crow

Now normally, I would have a TLT on Kyle but sacrifice a bit of damage output for more damage potential on Poe. If you fly it right, it could be a whole bunch of fun.

Now onto Rey. Oh my sweet Rey of sunshine. This pilot card excites me as it reads "When attacking or defending, if the enemy ship is insider your firing arc, you may reroll up to 2 of your blank results".

Now Rey gives you a bit more control over what dice to re-roll and when for both offense and defense given your opponent is within your firing arc. Pair this with the newest Falcon title card, you gain a great deal of potential damage output and defense potential while staying out at range three. Typically you want the Falcon (usually piloted by Han) up in the mix for a decent amount of time during play to get the range one bonus, but now I can see players flying the Falcon around range three more often. Unfortunately we will most likely end up with high point value for a fully loaded Rey as I do foresee you still needing C-3PO (aka the true hero of Star Wars and of course all Falcon players everywhere).

Other Title Cards
Now squinting closing you can make out the Black One title (for those of you who pay attention to detail look at the crew card right above it and try not to lol). It reads "After you perform a boost or barrel roll action, you may remove 1 enemy target lock from a friendly ship at range 1. You cannot equip this card if your pilot skill is "5 (I think?? or maybe 6)" or lower". This could be fun! Essentially if you move last and you are flying somewhat close to your ships you can remove target locks. Now this might not seem like much given the recent U-Boat meta (do not need TL to dump ordinance), however, think about the upcoming Imperial Veterans card Long-Range Scanners. Now pair BB-8 with Ello Asty with Black One title you can potentially remove two target locks from friendly ships. I see this altering the meta slightly as you will need to bring Gamma Squadron Veterans for TIE Bombers with Deadeye in order to counter this title. Moreover, no longer will Z-95s missile boats be able to push damage through effectively as they cannot take elite pilot cards. If the pilot can pull the correct maneuvers off you may interrupt that nasty Alpha Strike that is incoming.

Other Fun Stuff 
Elicits????? Say what???? Now it is not fully revealed but something that looks like smuggling compartments would give a YT-1300 elicits. That could be fun right? Glitterstim on Rey could be interesting. However, we cannot see that new elicit card but based off the symbol is looks awfully like SLAM. Now SLAM for a big ship could be interesting (considering I have flown my K-Wing off the board once or twice) and could give them some get the hell out of dodge quickly boosts.

Overall this expansion will be a nice boost to Rebel players and maybe some fun for Scum. I am very excited to see the Finn and Rey crew cards.

What do you think they will be? For Finn I am thinking it will be something related to negating missile or torpedo focuses and/or TL (he does shoot the Star Destroyers missile out of the sky in the movie and all).

What do you all think for Rey? Let us know!

Peace out for now folks!