Thursday, 12 March 2015

X-Wing: Wave VI Locked and Loaded!

So, Wave 6 for X-Wing has finally arrived and it is quite the game changer!

While Scum and Villainy ships themselves haven't been making any top tables, an upgrade card or two have had an absolutely massive impact on the way players craft their squads.

Yes, that card is Autothrusters. 

For two points ships with an innate boost action now get a blank evade roll changed to an evade for free, if they're outside the attackers primary firing arc or at range 3. To be honest it feels as though this card was created for Soontir Fel - his ability to take Autothrusters AND another modification, such as stealth device or shield upgrade, return him to the top of the dogfighting podium. 

Like he ever stopped being cool...
So what does this mean for turrets? 

Well, Han is in a spot of trouble unfortunately. Any 3 shot turret ship isn't in the best game state currently, due to a 3 - 4 evade dice ship with Autothrusters likely dodging 3 hits constantly, albeit with the help of a few tokens. Soontir can stay at range 3 of Han, continuously pepper him for 3 shots while his squad does more of the heavy lifting. If Soontir only drops one token per attack, he will likely dodge Gunner and Luke rerolls. 

PS11 won't help you now!
Dash is in a good position due to that extra attack, however with the return of interceptors to many imperial tables he will have a very hard time continuously staying out of range 1, most likely using his actions to boost and barrel roll rather than to focus or target lock. 
Nien Nunb is now pure gold for his choice of crew, as a 4 Green straight on a big ship with a boost and then a barrel is a HUGE distance for a little ship to cover. Note that Interceptors don't have a 5 green straight, so a stressed Soontir won't be able to remain in range 1 of Dash if he makes the big move.

And the final heavy hitting turret! The DECIMATOR. I was honestly surprised to see this hitting so many top tables after Wave V was released, but I'm glad it did. With so many customisation options, almost every Decimator you saw across the table was different. They have "Expose" for that extra shot, Rebel Captive to stop a Phantom Cloaking after shooting, Ysanne Isard for damage prevention...

That moment when Soontir is hit with Vader twice in one phase...
But now, more importantly, they have a Vader/Gunner combo to simply remove Soontir off the table. 2 automatic crits simply spells the end for Soontir (unless armed with a shield upgrade), and I'm sure many players would happily pay 4 shields or Hull to remove him from the table. I can see many Decimators running some sort of Elite Pilot Talent (probably Predator or VI), Rebel Captive for Phantoms, Gunner simply for output and Vader to remove a key ship from your opponents squad *ahem* Soontir *ahem*. I feel like Soontir can handle anything, but he will shudder when he comes across a Decimator. 

A Soontir squad will have to try and keep Soontir out of the range of fire of the Decimator, while his squad tries to soften the Decimator. Once the squad gets a Decimator down to say, 6 hull left, Soontir will be able to come back in and really make the Decimator think about whether or not to spend 2 hull dealing a crit to Soontir. 

I have 2 squads I would like to test:

- Push the Limit
- Autothrusters
- Stealth Device
- Royal Guard TIE

- Veteran Instincts

Mauler Mithel
- Swarm Tactics

Academy Pilot

Academy Pilot

This squad is more of an all rounder squad - at 97pts I can likely hand initiative over to my opponent, forcing ships such as phantoms to move before me, while Soontir arc dodges and avoids the phantom to trap it or prevent it from shooting. Mauler is nice when you get up close, with 4 shots and a Howlrunner reroll at range 1. Howlrunner also has Veteran Instincts to strip Rebel captive off a phantom or Decimator should I see one across the table.

- Push the Limit
- Autothrusters
- Targeting Computer
- Royal Guard TIE

- Veteran Instincts

Black Squadron Pilot
- Calculation

Black Squadron Pilot
- Calculation

Black Squadron Pilot
- Calculation

The above squad is more tailored against Soontir's worst match up, the Decimator. Calculation allows me to spend a focus token to change 1 eyeball into a crit. Obviously I can spend focus as normal to deal more hits, but with Howlrunner allowing rerolls you will likely see single eyeball results. Dealing those crits early will greatly help a late game match up for Soontir against the Decimator. Being aggressive with the support squad also begs the Decimator to use Vader to finish off a TIE fighter, which is effectively a TIE fighter doing 2 damage anyway. 

My biggest gripe with the above list is Soontir not having a stealth device - maths says that with a focus/evade he doesn't need it, but we all know that rolling triple blanks happens in X-Wing. It will force me to fly a lot more carefully however, which is always a good thing.

To summarise the above article, Autothrusters have an awesome impact on the game and do indeed push it back towards dogfighting. However, while I feel the game has definitely shifted back towards dogfighting, I personally think that Dash and the Decimator will still be seen, with the Decimator likely remaining a top table ship for the foreseeable future.

What have you guys been flying lately? Anyone found the golden Scum and Villainy squad yet? Also, let me know what you think of the lists, and which one I should take to an upcoming tournament!



  1. Oh man, this is great stuff Tommy. I love tie interceptors!

    1. Well there's no better time to fly them!!

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