Well color me annoyed. I wrote this post and yesterday’s AAR immediately following the actual tournament on Saturday, but it appears that WordPress either lost this post, or it only lets you schedule one, or I screwed up the scheduling, or something. At any rate, I’m having to redo this post the morning that I wanted it to go up, so bear with me if it’s less polished.
I said yesterday that I went to bed hoping that James would join me at the tournament. Well, I also went to bed planning to fly one list, and then talked myself out of it by 9am. Actually, when I left the house at 10:15, I took my entire collection with me (other than my Decimator and Huge ships, because I knew I wouldn’t use them). I was hoping to get a feel for what was being played and be able to choose a list accordingly. I wasn’t really able to do that anyway, but the biggest thing was choosing a list that I wasn’t really prepared to play with.
The list I had originally in mind was this: http://xwing-builder.co.uk/view/205541/blue-and-green
It’s a list that I had originally cooked up back in January when I went to a league night when I walked in and saw 4 tables going, and each table had at least one Falcon/Outrider/Decimator. I was all, heck no I ain’t playing that game! So I thought I’d go with the A-wings for their proton rockets and then dodginess, and the B-wings for… well, they’re b-wings, you don’t have to justify taking them. The thinking was I could peg off the big guys with the rockets and then be in a really good spot to take on the rest of the list. It actually worked really well in both games that night. I lost one A-wing before he could get his rockets off in the first game, but managed to slip the other one into range 1 on the LAST ROUND, touched off my rockets, and took down his Outrider for the win. The second game was against a Chewie/WSF combo, with the donut thing going on. I managed to do this:
Dash is about to have a bad day
All four of my ships got into range 1 of the WSF, so he had no shots at all. To make it worse, Chewie just landed on an asteroid. Between 2 proton rockets and 2 range 1 b-wings, that poor Outrider came off the board in one round. This list also did reasonably well against James’ Decimator/Phantom list, but I started to worry about how it would fare against someone who used a Phantom more often (no offense to James, he just doesn’t get to play that much), or against something like 4 b-wings. The truth is I probably would have been just fine, but I kind of concluded that this was a gimmick list. The low PS would probably have been a problem, but who knows? Anyway, I decided at the last minute that I wasn’t too sure about running this.
My next thought was to do something like this: http://xwing-builder.co.uk/view/205544/fels-defenders
Really, who doesn’t want to play Soontir Fel? Especially with those new Autothrusters, mmmmm. The stealth device should compound the problem for those few shots he is taking, and the Defender is sort of the Imperial answer to the B-wing. I think this actually would have been a really fun list, and I’d really like to give it a try sometime soon, but for whatever reason I decided not to go with it.
I also thought about revisiting Skill Squadron, that did so well for me at Imdaar Alpha last year. This is the original: http://xwing-builder.co.uk/view/77214/skill-squadron And this is what I tinkered it into in about 15 minutes: http://xwing-builder.co.uk/view/205548/skill-squadron-20
I dropped the Hull Upgrade off Wedge, because it’s just never come in handy, which is weird, but the truth. At first I was going to use the points to bump the rookies up to Blues, but then I realized that for Wedge’s Swarm Tactics he needs to stay within range 1 of a buddy, so leaving it an x-wing would probably facilitate that. I did turn one Rookie into a Blue, and then plopped basic R2 units on Wedge and the Rookie to try to give them some more options with the green maneuvers. It could probably get tinkered into something even more interesting, but I didn’t have the time, and I was concerned about how it would do against positional players like Phantoms, or the newly rejuvenated Soontir Fel.
Ultimately I ended up going with this list, which you may remember from yesterday’s post: http://xwing-builder.co.uk/view/205594/yt-3700
The truth is I’ve been wanting to fly a list like this (Falcon/Outrider) basically since I got my hands on an Outrider at Christmastime. I kept thinking about those scenes in Shadows of the Empire where you have the Falcon and the Outrider flying together, and how cool that would be to do in the game. So, I was probably biased to choose this list from the start. It was cool, don’t get me wrong, but I cooked this list up an hour and a half before playtime having NEVER used the Outrider, and only rarely used the Falcon. I’m more of a starfighter kind of guy, so given the option between a 4-ship Rebel list and anything with the Falcon, I usually pick the 4. I really did want to give this sort of thing a go though. This list bears some resemblance to the one I was flying against on Dash’s Bad Day, which probably should have been a clue, but I guess I figured I was doing it differently enough that I’d be ok.
Obviously, that wasn’t the case. Of my three games I only won one of them, and in my two losses I only managed to destroy a Headhunter. Now granted, my real killer in the third game against Mike’s Han and Headhunters was that I made a brutal pilot error onto a rock and dropped me in all his arcs, and I didn’t fly very well against Chris’ B-wings either, but I did notice some serious shortcomings of this list. The first thing I really noticed was that Chewie had a fantastic economy of actions. He’d get a focus for his attack, two evades, and have 3P0 giving him another guaranteed evade, which made him super tanky. Leebo, on the other hand, would get a focus and that’s it. I had his ability + Determination to help mitigate crits when they came in, but that wasn’t actually as good as I was hoping. I found that once I lost one of my ships, I would really notice the drop in offense and that Leebo had very few defensive options. Losing Chewie usually left Jan as dead weight.
So, after the tournament, I did some thinking about the list and came up with this: http://xwing-builder.co.uk/view/205554/yt-3700-12
Dropping the APL was an easy decision, since that was really just something to plug up those last 2 points. The biggest change was dropping the Recon Specialist and Jan Ors, which freed up 5 more points. I wasn’t sure about spending Leebo’s precious EPT slot on Determination, so I thought about dropping it for PTL, but pulled it off just to see. This gave me 8 points to play with. I ended up going with Experimental Interface in Leebo’s mod slot, and dropping Lando into the crew. Lando is a cool card that I’ve never actually used, but the idea of rolling dice to see what pieces you get is really cool. Frankly, I would be using Leebo’s first action as a Focus or TL anyway, and Lando would be there as a defensive option, so even if he blanks it wouldn’t be the end of the world, but the possibility of getting an evade or a defensive focus (or two!) just seems like a really great idea. So that left me with 2 points. My first thought was to put something like Lone Wolf on Leebo, which would have been a lot of fun, given the list some flexibility, and maybe even made up for it when Lando comes up blanks, but I just couldn’t leave that Leebo/Determination combo alone. For the last point I put Intelligence Agent on Chewie, which I’ve never considered to be a great card, but is probably a useful sink for that last point, considering the slot options I had available. I’m pretty excited to give this list a try.
Biggest drawbacks with the YT-3700 1.2 list is that it still has very limited green maneuvers for getting rid of stress. My ships will still be sitting ducks with easily predicted movement, meaning big trouble against something like 4 B-wings. I also really wish I could have found the points for Engine Upgrade on the Falcon, or Expert Handling, to give it some more arc-dodging ability. I guess I could drop off 3P0 and the Intelligence agent to have enough room for the Boost, but I don’t know if that’s worth it. Maybe. Certainly worth looking at. But, I definitely feel better about the ships’ viability once separated.
So, my biggest lesson was about flying a list that you’re not prepared to fly. I think there’s going to be a new rule about choosing the list a week in advance and getting in at least 3 games leading up to see how it does. James says I’m harsh.
University starts up again this week (thanks for the time off, Reading Week), but I’m hoping to be able to do some more writing about the new Scum stuff, so stay tuned!