21 September 2016

Wave 9 Lists and Shenanigans

Hola fellow X-Wingers,

Nic here -

As we draw nigh to the Wave 9 release on Sept 22nd (for most of us anyways), I wanted to share a few thoughts that I had regarding the newest additions to our vast collection of fleets.

This wave introduces:

A rope a dope clone wars era ship - ARC-170
A very special TIE Fighter - TIE/sf Fighter
The arc dodgin' token stealin' - Protectorate Starfighter
The fast as hell boat with a some type of moving thingy -  Lancer-class Pursuit Craft

This wave brings about the return of the auxiliary firing arc in grand fashion by giving us the first small base ships with rear facing firing arcs and the mobile firing arc. These new ships are sure to impact the X-Wing scene by bringing back the joust in a very strong way. In the golden days of X-Wing when the TIE Swarm and X-Wing Swarm reigned supreme, it was typically a head on collision course with tons of shooting followed by a k-turn. Now with the recent addition of the ARC-170 and the TIE/sf bring about a new type of joust - flybys.

To clarify, the ARC-170 is a slow moving boat (6 greens, 4 reds, and a straight 3) and the TIE/sf (5 greens, 6 reds, and a straight 4) maneuver dials suffers from reduced speed and turning ability as many of the hard turns are red for both ships. However, FFG seems to have learned a lesson from the early days of X-Wing by giving each ship plenty of green maneuvers to offset the reds on the dial (a much welcomed upgrade from the original X-Wing days). Although their dials are not outstanding they make up for it with the additional firing capabilities. Furthermore, new pilots with some interesting abilities prompt X-Wing players to create some unique and new squads that could be potent if used correctly. While I am not going to share all of my ideas (yet!!!) until I have the chance to play the new ships, here are a few builds that I am interested in flying:

Biggs Walks the ARCs

Norra Wexley (36)
Push the Limit, Tail Gunner, Alliance Overhaul, Vectored Thrusters
Shara Bey (35)
Push the Limit, Tail Gunner, Alliance Overhaul, Vectored Thrusters
Biggs Darklighter (29)
R2-D2, Integrated Astromech

The strength of this build is in the joust. The increased primary attack from alliance overhaul (I am not sure why you would ever fly an Arc-170 without this card), Norra's pilot ability that adds a focus result to your roll by spending a Target Lock while Shara's pilot ability of allowing friendly ships treat her Target Lock as their own makes this build very synergistic. Norra and Shara seem to be two peas in a pod while their pilot abilities scream to be used together. The addition of the vectored thrusters allows them to Push the Limit if needed to readjust primary or rear facing arcs prior to or after the joust or token up while the 1 green bank aids in clearing the stress This makes them lethal in the close quarters game as they can deal some nasty damage with either firing arc via the increased primary attack or the auxiliary firing arc being able to reduce opponents agility by one and change a focus to a crit with tail gunner. The counter to this squad? Blockers! Unfortunately with a limited dial your opponent can usually guess your next maneuver and as such you can easily get denied your actions with well placed blockers. If you can avoid this, and keep Biggs alive for some time this list could really do some nasty sustained damage.

The Quick and the Deadly

Quickdraw (31)
Rage, Electronic Baffle, Special Ops Training
Countess Ryad (36)
Push the Limit, TIE/x7, Twin Ion Engine Mk. II
Maarek Stele (33)
Adapatbility, TIE/x7

This list is hilarious. Why? Because it combines some nasty TIE Defenders and a TIE/sf that can shoot out of order. Don't believe me? Here is how is works: Quickdraw moves and uses his action to activate rage. Electronic baffle removes a stress generated by rage and subsequently a shield (assuming you have one). Then Quickdraw shoots prior to the combat phase of the round with his primary arc and can reroll up to three dice. Once the combat phase begins, he will shoot again. With his high pilot skill you might be able to move near last and set up some nice range one shots. Again hilarious right? First time FFG has dramatically changed the game with allowing ships to fire outside of the combat phase. The last time something like this drastic was introduced to the game it was with cloaking. We all know how that ended up - FFG nerfed the hell out of it. Now a smarter player than I would just focus him down and kill him ASAP. However, it leaves some excellent fire power on the board with the fast, deadly, and agile TIE Defenders. How does one counter this? My thought is turret ships and stress. Tactican or Asajj Ventress could make it so Quickdraw never gets the opportunity to trigger rage. Or you could be simply strip QuickDraw's shields to limit take his ability away completely. Either way, I am excited to give this list a try.

Stress - it's a killer

Asajj Ventress (52)
Push the Limit, Dengar, Glitterstim, Shadow Caster, Engine Upgrade
Fenn Rau (34)
Push the Limit, Concord Dawn Protector, Autothrusters
Black Sun Soldier (14)
Black Marker Slicer Tools

The wonderful assassin wanna be Sith (rule of two folks) makes it into the world of X-Wing. I was really hoping for some epic double lightsaber ability but being able to deal out stress will work just fine. Using stress as a weapon is nothing new for X-Wing, however, with Asajj's ability to assign stress to another ship range 1-2 in your mobile firing arc coupled with potentially dealing damage and handing out a tractor beam token with the newest title card raises my eyebrows. Furthermore, the crew slot on the Lancer-class Pursuit Craft allows you to take a crew member like Dengar to help with pushing damage through and punishing a single ship or hampering two ships simultaneously. Throw in the sole Z-Wing with Black Market Slicer Tools to give you the ability to potentially deal out a facedown damage card if a stressed ship is within range 1-2. One fun thing about this card is it as an action. As such another card provides you with the opportunity to deal damage outside of the combat phase. Get nice and close to a Soontir Fel and you can deal damage on an action! and bang! Bye bye stealth device. (Correction from some of our glorious readers: BMST is not an attack and therefore does not disable stealth device.) This card provides a great deal of lockdown and crowd control of your opponents. Is anyone else tempted to fly seven of these bad boys with Black Market Slicer Tools? Last but not least Fenn Rau is the Arc dodger we have been waiting for from Scum. His pilot ability allowing you to roll an additional die at range 1 during defense and offense is crazy good. Add in the free evade result from the Concord Dawn Protector title provides more flexibility and forgiveness if you end up in your opponents firing arc at range 1. What is the counter to this list? Shoot the hell out of Asajj as she is expensive and could die quickly if focused on. This will remove your major crowd control and limit your opponent. Or take ships that can shred stress quickly and knock the Z-Wing off the board in the first few rounds.

Overall I am pleasantly pleased with Wave 9 and I am excited to try out these new ships.

Any good new build you all are considering? Drop us a line and share a few!

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