Thursday, 15 January 2015

A Positive Spin; How to lose at X-Wing!

Morning all. Medge back again.


For today's post I'm going to give a brief review of the X-Wing game I played on Tuesday at my local gaming club. I'm not going to focus too much on the way the game played out but rather how I constructed my fleet, my own general battle plan, and exactly how it went awry!

The pretext for the game was that it was going to be a 400 pts per side game played between seven players. The Rebel faction (for whom I was playing) had 3 players (so 133 points each), whilst the Imperial players took control of 100 points each.

Having seen a large influx of models over the Christmas period (Santa/ Myself were very generous to me this Christmas!) I decided to through something together from my new models to try and see how things worked.

My basic battle plan was to build a squadron that was super durable; high shields and high armor was a must. I also wanted to try and take away my opponents ability to flank me. My squadron composition

 

The first ship I decided to include is the YT-2400; a Rebel ship akin to the Millennium Falcon in size, but actually available (I'm pretty sure the Millennium Falcon model is the rarest thing on the internet at the moment!). Unlike many ships in X-wing, the YT-2400 has a 360 degree fire arc, negating my opponents ability to flank me. I deciding not being flanked was awesome, and wanted to ensure I could make the most of it. To that end, I upgraded my YT-2400 with a Heavy Laser Cannon, which doubled the number of shots I could make, and also added the Outrider upgrade to ensure I could use the Heavy Cannon through the full 360 degrees. For Pilot choice I went with Eaden Vrill, believing that he would allow me to get off more shots with my Heavy Cannon against stressed opponents.

With this as my core ship, I decided to build the rest of the squadron around the same theme; 360 degree shooting with the durability to soak-up as much damage as I could. To that end, the rest of my Squadron looked a little like this:



The basic idea was to move in slowly, and allow my enemies to swarm over me, whilst I soaked up damage and responded with firepower of my own. The HWK.290 with Kyle Katan was intended to work in a combo with my Y-Wing, pumping it with Focus tokens to allow it to fire it's Blaster Turret, whilst using it's own Ion Turret to defend at close range. The B-Wing, whilst not having access to a 360 degree fire arc with it's Primary Weapon, was upgraded with Proton Torpedoes which gained the ability to shoot in any direction when combined with the pilot Nera Dantels. I also upgraded the B-Wing with Deadeye to allow those lovely bonus Focus tokens from Kyle to be used instead of Target Locks.

The original game was to use these large forces to play a Escort/ Rescue mission based on the mission you get with the Tantive IV (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=4837&epn=0). I though my force would work really well in this style of game as it could just go slow and act as close protection to whatever we were escorting.

As it turned out, a number of players had to miss the game due to illness and work commitments, which was unfortunate, including the guy with the Tantive IV.

So, making the best of it, we ended up playing a 260 pts a side 2v2 Kill-point/ Extermination mission.

It did not end well.

Things got messy!

My plan of getting stuck in worked! I got stuck in. Very stuck. Very, VERY, stuck!

Very messy!

Yes, they are all touching one another. All of them, every one. I'm pretty sure the Phantom pilot in the bottom left is like "WTF!"
The Rebels didn't so much lose, as they were totally outplayed and overwhelmed. There was a little bit of fortune involved, with my opponents rolling some of the best dice rolls I've ever seen, but it would be wrong of me to imply that it was just lucky dice rolling that cost us the game. We were outplayed, and credit to the Imperial players for a good game and for being great opponents.

Now I've already said in a past blog post that I hate losing. Unfortunately though, you normally have to lose a few games before you start winning. The positive message I'm taking away from the game is that I learned a lot and I'm better prepared for my next set of games.

Most of what I learned centered around my own fleet composition, and my own game.

I still believe in my battle plan. I think the slow force with high durability could work, but it needs some refinement which I will try in a future game.

What I have learned is that, with a slow fleet, movement and deployment is crucial! I spent the first two turns colliding my own ships into one another (because I deployed them too close together) which prevented me from performing the crucial Focus and Target Lock actions I needed to make the B-Wing and Y-Wing work. By which point I found myself embroiled in the lovely clustering we can see in the above photos, and I was taken apart.

I have also learned that low Pilot skill really hampers you.

My Y-Wing, Pilot skill 2, did less than nothing in this game, destroyed in turn two by the concentrated fire of my opponents Pilot Skill 8 Tie Phantom (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=4795) and Tie Interceptor (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=3945).

Slow ships also do not do very well against the VT-49 Decimator, which just crashes into you and hurts (http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=4981&epn=0)!

That being said, you can't play games tailoring lists to every individual you play, and there were some errors within my own fleet composition I can now see and address.



This combo, which I was so proud of to begin with, was not as good as I first thought as Eaden Vrill's special skill cannot be combo'd with the Heavy Laser Cannon . . . oh deary dear!! Better learn to read Medge!

 

Equally, the Moldy Crow upgrade on Kyle was unnecessary, since his primary role was to fill up my other ships with Focus tokens, not himself. Lesson learned!



My B-Wing set-up I'm happy with. I think the combination of Nera Dantels, Deadeye and Missiles could work brilliantly, and when used in combination with Kyle Katarn can prove exceptionally powerful. In future, I would consider substituting one of the Proton Torpedoes with a different Torpedo type for versatility, but I'll have a think on it.


This, on the other hand, did not work AT ALL well for me. I tried to accommodate for it's low pilot skill with R5-D8's ability to repair, but ultimately one volley of fire took it out, making the repair feature useless. The high demand for Focus tokens between this and the B-Wing put a lot of stress on Kyle, especially given my knack for colliding ships, and in future games this would be the first ship dropped from this list (points permitting).

So positive take home message . . . mistakes will always be made, and the only way to avoid it is to learn! I've said in a previous post the preparation is key to any game, and whilst I prepared for this game, I lacked the experience to see the weakness in my own battle plan.

Next time will be different! (I hope!!)

Well that's all from me for another week. As always, please comment/ like/ subscribe if you enjoyed it, and feel free to add comments/ suggestions for future blogs, or to help me improve my dismal X-Wing abilities!

Happy Hobby Everyone!

Medge