14 November 2016

Art of the ARC - The ARC is a work of Art (edited)

Hey all!

Nic here -

One of our last post previewed a few list ideas for Wave 9 ships. Since then, Wave 9 is in full force and we have had the opportunity to fly them around the tables. In our upcoming articles, we will be discussing some builds we have enjoyed from Wave 9 that seem to be somewhat competitive.

This week, the ARC-170 (Aggressive Reconnaissance-170 Starfighter) is the focus. When discussing this little gem of a ship a song comes to mind.

 Pontoon by Little Big Town.

This slow boat is typically weighed down with a nice amount of upgrades, titles, astromechs and crew members. You also typically find two or more on the table, with some variation of Biggs Darklighter. As such, a Pontoon boat party. In other words, two or more slow boats on the mat taking up all the good water (clogging the flying lanes) with multiple people (crew members) on board being loud as hell and who are obnoxiously drunk (the stress!). You won't be pulling any skiers with these ships, but you can pack quite the punch.

Without further adieu - here are my top three ARC lists to date (starting from least to most favorite):

#3 - The not so favorite, yet works well, double ARC and Biggs (98 Points)
ARC-170 - Norra Wexley (40)
Push the Limit
Tail Gunner
R2-D2
Alliance Overhaul
Vectored Thrusters

ARC-170 - Thane Kyrell (32)
Tail Gunner
R3-A2
Alliance Overhaul
Vectored Thrusters

X-Wing - Biggs Darklighter (26)
R4-D6
Integrated Astromech

This list is the top third list because it didn't perform as well as I wanted it to against arc-dodgers. Norra with Push the Limit plays nicely with her pilot ability (add a focus result to your attack dice roll after spending a target lock) and Vectored Thrusters. The additional barrel roll makes it easier to realign this boats firing arcs and if needed you can push to receive an extra action. The ARC's six green maneuvers make it fairly easy for them to shed their stress, while pairing Norra with R2-D2 (regenerate one shield after executing a green maneuver) to add some much needed sustainability. Tail Gunner (reduce opponents agility by 1) provides some extra help against high agility ships, and allows you to joust to your hearts content with some nasty auxiliary arc shots.

However, the best part of this list is Thane Kyrell. He is my favorite pilot of the ARCs. Quick side note - notice how their are not generic pilots for the ARC-170? I did and after some digging I found a fancy explanation. The Rebel Alliance only had four ARC-170's salvaged and outfitted from the Clone Wars. As such, no generic pilots! Interesting eh?? Anyways...back to Thane. Thane is extremely fun to fly with Biggs, due to Thane's pilot ability (take a free action if someone shoots at a friendly ship and they are in your firing arc). This means that he can stress away with R3-A2 all day long and most likely get his actions! That significantly enhances his role as a stress bot.(edit: looking back at this card, you cannot peform "free" actions when you are stressed - page 12; free actions. As such I have redacted this comment. However, you may be assigned a action similar to Soontir Fel's ability when stressed). This provides a much needed amount of crowd control to a slow boat like the ARC.

Lastly, Biggs. Opponents must shoot at him. End of story. But wait! There is more! Biggs crappy X-Wing dial actually is quite similar to the ARC's. This allows the list to fly in formation throughout most of the game due to the ARCs also being slow as molasses. If all goes according to plan, your opponent will shoot at Biggs multiple times and this can give Thane multiple free actions. Because of his low pilot skill, he is able to re-position with vectored thrusters (if he didn't already use them) to get into range 1 for a more potent shot, while hopefully taking a focus and/or a target lock.

I have now played this list on multiple occasions and I have lost once. I lost to a scum list with the shadow caster (Asajj Ventress), Fenn Rau, and two Z-Wings with Black Market Slicer Tools. The Z's were able to block Norra on a few occasions (as I focus fired the Shadow Caster) and I couldn't do my fancy actions. This limited my ability to do sustained damage and I ended up losing with Fenn Rau and a Z left on the table.

#2 - Norra never dies, but Biggs does! (99 Points)
ARC-170 - Norra Wexley (40)
Push the Limit
C-3PO
R2-D2
Alliance Overhaul
Vectored Thrusters

ARC-170 - Thane Kyrell (32)  
Tail Gunner 
R3-A2 
Alliance Overhaul
Vectored Thrusters

X-Wing - Biggs Darklighter (28)
R4-D6
Integrated Astromech

EDITED LIST - in response to aspect that Thane cannot take "free" actions when stressed. I would simply replace R3-A2 with R5-P9. You lose your initiative bid, however, you can gain another regen ship.

ARC-170 - Norra Wexley (40)
Push the Limit
C-3PO
R2-D2
Alliance Overhaul
Vectored Thrusters

ARC-170 - Thane Kyrell (32)  
Tail Gunner 
R5-P9 
Alliance Overhaul
Vectored Thrusters

X-Wing - Biggs Darklighter (28)
R4-D6
Integrated Astromech


This list has some slight modifications when compared to List #3 (when I say slight, I mean a single card difference) by swapping out tail gunner on Norra for C-3PO. This provides a great deal of sustain for Norra. In fact, 10 or so games with her in this particular list and she has yet to die. Pretty neat eh? The rest of my list goes up in flames typically, but if you end up with 40 points of your list still on the table post-match, I typically consider it a decent list.

Major weakness of this list is stress and ARC-dodgers (pun intended). I struggle with being able to shred the stress for Norra when my opponent brought Asajj Ventress. Yet with C-3PO and R2-D2, I was able to outlast Asajj.

#1 - Rey, Stramm, and the awkward third wheel Z (99 Points)
ARC-170 - Braylen Stramm (29)
Tail Gunner
R3-A2
Alliance Overhaul

YT-1300 - Rey (58)
C-3PO
Finn
Engine Upgrade
Millennium Falcon Title (Heroes of the Resistance)

Z-95 Headhunter - Bandit Squadron Pilot (12)

This is my favorite ARC list. Why? Rey (wait she is not flying the ARC)!!! She is incredibly adept at dealing damage due to her pilot ability (when attacking or defending within your primary firing arc, re-roll up to two blank dice) when coupled with Finn (when attacking or defending within your primary firing arc, add one blank result to your dice roll). Now this only triggers within the firing arc of the YT-1300 (the front 45 degree firing arc, not the full 360 as turret ships are allowed to shoot outside of their assigned firing arc) but the new Millennium Falcon title (essentially you can do a 3-sloop maneuver) and engine upgrade help with this.

Stramm in this list is your stress bot ship. His pilot ability (after you execute a maneuver, you may roll an attack die. On a hit or crit results, remove 1 stress token from your ship) adds the ability to potentially remove your stress from R3-A2 each round. Now he is much slower than Rey is, but I have found this to work out to my advantage as I do not really want Rey within range 1-2 of my ARC at all times.

One major weakness of this build is if your opponent focus fires on Stramm. Without Biggs and/or C-3PO or R2-D2, I find the ARC has a hard time staying alive. The other weakness is if your opponent brings a swarm or has a few well placed blockers. This could easily ruin your day and clog up Stramm (again the ARC is as slow as molasses) and forces you to disengage with Rey. The last weakness is when Dengaroo (Dengar and Manaroo in JumpMaster 5000s) shows up. Dengar will most likely be the one exchanging blows with Stramm. If Dengar brings Zuckuss along as a crew, the stress will be meaningless.

Overall, the ARC-170 is a fun ship to fly! I have greatly enjoyed slow boating around the map. What is your favorite list with the ARC? Drop us a line and let us know!