17 July 2016

The Art of the TIE Defender

Fellow Nerds and Nerdettes (wait do girls play X-Wing??) lend me your ears!

Nic here -

Since the release of Imperial Veterans, we all reached into the back of our closets, under our beds, and shifted through our X-Wing kits to find our TIE Defenders. When this ship was first released I squealed like a little school girl because I was finally able to play my favorite ship from TIE FIGHTER.

I ended up buying two originally and when they arrived I quickly stuck them on the table with a Heavy Laser Cannon and another with a Autoblaster. I raced across the board with my 5-green straight (eat your heart out Baron Von Fel!)and the first shots were fired against a Biggs walks the dog list! Two shields from Biggs gone already and I was on my way to freedom, or so I thought. I quickly decided to do the most amazing move made to man! The 4 white K-turn. The star shown brighter than ever before and I could almost see Biggs floating in space whiter than Casper the friendly ghost.

But then the B-Wings fired back and to my horror I lovely TIE Defenders began to melt.

Devastation...Horror...Shock...I quickly packed my things (while sniffing back tears of defeat) and tossed my TIE Defenders into the black hole that is the bottom of my X-Wing kit. They disappeared never to be seen again.

Until now!!!!!!

Anyways - I hope you liked my story but I had to set the scene. I know of few of you out in the netherspace have stories similar to mine. Now that Imperial Veterans is out, life seems to be a bit brighter again thanks to these two little cards.



Now that I have had the privilege to try these suckers out I can finally say that my favorite ship from the Expanded Universe (which has been shot to death by the Mouse) is back!

Here is the evolution of my tests lists to determine the efficacy of the TIE Defender:

List 1 - Target Locks for Days
Omega Leader - Comm Relay
Colonel Jendon - Emperor Palpatine, ST-321 Title
Colonel Vessery - Adaptability, Flechette Cannon, TIE/D, Twin Ion Engine Mk.II

Now this list was just pure fun at first! The target lock synergy was amazing, and I was able to double shot with target locks on both attacks to deal some nasty damage and a stress token to my opponent. However, I had a problem once again that the lack of an evade made my list pure offense. This is not a bad thing but when your green dice roll like mine, life gets a bit nasty when you have no tokens to spend for defense. The second problem with this list was that I had to stay within range one of the space cow (aka the shuttle). This was incredibly hard to do in order line up my shots accordingly. Alas, I barley walked away with the win against a nasty Dengar and Bossk build with Omega Leader limping around with one hull left. I had some adjustments to make and fast as our tournament was approaching.

List 2 - Tomax to the Max
Tomax Bren - Cool Hand, TIE Shuttle Title, Twin Ion Engine Mk.II, Tactician, Fleet Officer
Countess Ryad - Juke, TIE/x7, Twin Ion Engine Mk.II
Glaive Squadron Pilot - Juke, TIE/x7

Now I had the ultimate power of tokens! When I was range 1-2 of Tomax I was able to be assigned 1 focus token to each of my defenders while maintaining an evade token if I executed a 3, 4, or 5 speed maneuver. Tokens rained like the nectar of the gods from Tomax's rumbling Twin Ion Engines. It worked initially and then suddenly Tomax started to fall behind. I found myself out of position with Tomax while my defenders found themselves in opposite areas due to my opponent splitting his Dengar and Boba Fett. Then Glitterstim was popped and Boba Fett said "Screw you Tomax!" as he died a firey death. This game I did not win, however I did notice that Juke was doing a very nice job at making my opponent spend his focus tokens. Back to drawing board.

List 3 - Palp and his Defenders
Countess Ryad - Juke, TIE/x7, Twin Ion Engine Mk.II
Glaive Squadron Pilot - Juke, TIE/x7, Twin Ion Engine Mk.II
Omicron Group Pilot - Emperor Palpatine

This was it. The day had arrived for our tournament. At the last minute I rushed into the store to pick up the last TIE/fo on the shelf to rip out a Juke card and quickly throw it into my list. This list worked like a charm and I ended up losing a total of eight shields and three hull in 4 games total, and victory was mine (more details about match-ups to come later). The Countess of Blood was everywhere and extremely unpredictable. I even took out a Soontir Fel rather handily because of Ryad's ability to K-turn off of every straight maneuver. I was able to bump Fel with Ryad and my Glaive gave him the fiery finger of death. The synergy of Juke being able to strip my opponents focus token while simultaneously maintaining my own focus token was outstanding. On the last match of the day I flew my Ryad directly into the path of nasty a Bossk with Dengar and Zuckess crew (not on purpose my opponent just out flew me) and I was able to survive with only one shield stripped. Because of this list I believe I have joined the turtle token club.

Now this final list I will leave you with as I have yet to play it but I am curious to see if it works or not.

List 4 - Jukes on You!
Omega Ace - Juke, Comm Relay, Stealth Device
Countess Ryad - Juke, TIE/x7, Twin Ion Engine Mk.II
Glaive Squadron Pilot - Juke, TIE/x7, Twin Ion Engine Mk.II

The triple juke is in theory good, but now with the TIE Defenders I think it has the potential to be...wait for it...legendary. If you focus fire on one target and can hopefully strip them of their focus token with Omega Ace early on in the combat phase, you can Juke the heck out of them with Glaive and Ryad. This list also allows you to split your forces and make your opponent chase multiple targets, while allowing Ryad to fly circles around you. Now I haven't tried it yet, but I am very excited to give it a go and see if it works. My other thought is to have Omega Leader in the place of Omega Ace, but then you do not force your opponent to spend his Focus token.

At the end of it all, I have been having a blast with the new and improved TIE Defenders. I have not come up with many good double shot lists, however, I did get wrecked the other day by a double TIE Defender Tractor Beam Ruthlessness build. Any ideas on some great double shot builds folks?

As usual, fly causal (or not whatever floats your boat) and I will leave you with some lovely everything is better with Titanic Music video.

Peace