Tuesday, July 3, 2018

X-Wing meta thoughts, updated post Wave 14...

Mkay, so I wrote up a long post about what I THOUGHT the Meta was going forward…  And then Wave 14 hit and there ARE some big changes.  Small wave, only 2 packs, but the things it contains…  The X-Wing swarms are a thing now.  You CAN get 5 of them in, and either Crack Shot to erase an Evade AFTER dice Modification (Another thing I am looking forward to v2 for, hopefully the death is this sort of silliness, or at least changing it to Bullseye Arc only) or Flight Assist Astromechs to have extra actions to zip about the board and give every X-Wing the extra survivability of the “Integrated Astromech” card that allows you to kick the droid off of the ship to cancel a Critical or Hit (after you see what it is).  So, pretty good… I expect to see at least a few X-Wing swarms (or swarm like builds) as the Springfield event was won by one and I know some of the locals are play testing it…  It is solid, and I suspect a good choice.

The other major ship is the TIE Reaper.  With the Jam action, so ANOTHER new action added to the game in its twilight stage…  What could possibly go wrong as they clearly checked out on the game quite some time ago and playtesting has been “less” than we came to expect earlier in the game’s cycle.  No real chance of a FAQ, and it is pretty powerful.  Range 1, Range 2 if in Arc, so can actually hit things a ways out.  Not any IMMEDIATE results, but it eats TL/Focus or Evade tokens OR prevents you from getting another one until it does eat a token.  For my “Ace” type builds where I rely on Actions, this is going to be rough.  Have seen a few builds, and I know one of the Locals has simply replaced the old Palpatine Shuttle with a Reaper…  The Ship itself is FAST.  The pre maneuver move throws it a long way if you are not ready for it, and aside from the Jam, there is an Evade action…  This along with the Agility of the Ship it should be FAR more survivable than the old Shuttle.  So, expecting to see a few of these at the events, and I suspect they will do well.

The card I am likely to use was in the Reaper pack…  Director Krennic.  Broken, silly and stupid (even the Devs have admitted such).  

My likely list is:

KyloWhisperKrennic (93)
"Whisper" — TIE Phantom
Veteran Instincts
Sensor Jammer
Director Krennic
Advanced Cloaking Device
Ship Total: 46

Kylo Ren (TIE Silencer) — TIE Silencer
Push the Limit
Advanced Sensors
Advanced Optics
First Order Vanguard
Ship Total: 47

The Krennic crew card gives my Whisper the following effects:  A Shield Upgrade, a Fire Control System, and an additional automatic Damage effect to strip Shields.  Whisper really needs those first two effects to be top tier I think.  2 Hull and 2 Shields is a bit low these days, so the extra Shield is really nice.  FCS, since you lack the TL action on the card is REALLY nice.  In my two test games so far, Whisper is an absolute monster loaded out like that.  I might swap the Sensor Jammer over to Advanced Sensors to get silly with the actions…  Cloak, then 3-4K if needed.  But more likely, just not being blocked with a Barrel Roll pre move, or a Focus/Cloak if needed…  Dunno.  The stupid high Defensive stacking I get by changing 1 Hit to a Focus on every incoming shot makes it REALLY hard to take her out over the longer run.  And until v2 of the game, Whisper has a 4 Dice Primary…  Dropping a Blank/Focus result to take a Shield is huge.  As I am chasing down something, I will have the TL after the first shot, taking Shields if needed every shot to keep up with say, Regeneration and just push through Damage.  I suppose I could “remove” shields from say, Quickdraw or another hard to hit Ace since it is NOT Damage were I say, worried about the revenge shot from QD…  Might hope to both roll REALLY well or REALLY poorly and take away one of the Hits/Crits to do only the Shield.  Not technically Damage, so it does not provoke the return shot?  Not sure about that, I don’t use QD myself, but something to check I think…  Edit:  No, it is worded as "When QD loses a Shield", so the obvious loophole was covered...  But in any case with the most common build and that having Expertise and PS 9, my 7 point bid guarantees that I can make him move first and HOPEFULLY dodge the Arc…  Whisper is just REALLY maneuverable, and Kylo with this setup is just almost unblockable.  I have finally figured out how I need to fly the Silencer.  I was so used to flying Fenn Rau in his Fang Fighter where you have no choice but play hyper aggressively (like a Mandalorian by an odd chance) and you are well rewarded for doing so…  The Silencer plays more like the old SFB “Klingon Saber Dance” where I fly at range, dodging where I can (and I can usually), just wear them down with the cuts before committing to a rush into close range for the kill…  Maybe, probably just the dance.  I have to keep the goal in mind, and with the scoring for this game not penalizing a bid, those 7-9 points I am short in this list are actually banked should I lose only 1 of my 2 ships…  If I lose both, then I give up the full 100 points of course, but they’ve earned it I suspect… 

Had some issues with Stress, but nothing TOO bad…  I am concerned about the Ghost/Fenn match up, but kill Fenn to force the issue.  Frankly, either of my ships should be able to solo the Ghost and the Shuttle when I remove the support ship, so trading should it be necessary will be fine.  So, a few more test runs I guess to get in some more practice with the list…

Guessing I’ll fly my Firestorm list at Bloomington…  Maybe, the Kylo/Whisper list is pretty darn fun…  Will see I suppose…