Saturday, January 4, 2014

X-Wing: Tycho Celchu vs Darth Vader

I'm going to miss being on holiday, but all good things come to an end and it's another year of work. Before he set off for a month working somewhere else, Chris dropped by for a game of X-Wing and some 'Magic the Gathering'. I don't get into M:TG seriously but, between the eight year old and I, we do have the five starter decks (so one of each colour). So it makes an interesting and quick game and a bit of variety to mix in with table-top games. For the X-Wing, Chris was using my ships and I was the Rebels. I got a new A-Wing for Christmas so had to take that. I've run into A-Wings three times so far and have never seen them achieve anything. However, after trying the apparently rubbish Out-Rim Smuggler last time, I think that ships with two attack dice can work with combinations of target lock and focus. Did theory match reality? Lets see:
I wanted the newest ship to shine, so took the following Squadron: 

Tycho Celchu — A-Wing26
Adrenaline Rush1
Concussion Missiles4
Stealth Device3
Blue Squadron Pilot — B-Wing22
Fire-Control System2
Rookie Pilot — X-Wing21
Rookie Pilot — X-Wing2

Chris decided to give Vader (my other as yet untried ship) a run and took quantity over quality. I think he missed the heavy laser on that Firespray! He took Assault missiles on the Bomber but we changed that to Concussion missiles in-game, as he hadn't realised how assault missiles work. 

Darth Vader — TIE Advanced29
Scimitar Squadron Pilot — TIE Bomber16
Assault Missiles5
Academy Pilot — TIE Fighter12
Academy Pilot — TIE Fighter12
Obsidian Squadron Pilot — TIE Fighter13
Obsidian Squadron Pilot — TIE Fighter13

Chris and I both had the same idea. Put the missile armed ship out on the flank and smash the rest up the middle. Chris had paid one point more on half his TIEs, so they actually went before 3/4 of my ships!

 His approach to this game is to reduce my attack dice as fast as possible. I get the feeling that he is still unsure if he picked the right first target but, while tougher, the B-Wing does have the most damage potential due to the fire control system so I think the choice was sound.

My ships quickly destroyed a TIE, while Blue one (the B-Wing) got raked by enemy blaster fire as TIEs were everywhere. Shields were gone in the first round, then the B-Wing was destroyed in the second.

As I had not managed to pin down another of the nimble TIEs at this stage, I was not feeling super-confident. Especially as the X-wings had also caught a bit of damage.

Chris had also demonstrated he is a master of the movement template. He actually fitted a TIE in between two of our ships.

 After the X-Wings had looped around for the second Korrigan of the battle. We did manage to take out another TIE and seriously damage another. However, Red Two was unable to claim the kill on that limping TIE, despite having it in point blank range. And....

Red one was destroyed by focused enemy fire. After that, Red Two did manage to close the deal but the victory was a bit hollow. He was caught in the firing arcs of two of the three remaining TIEs and annihilated.

Then there was one. Freed from distractions, Tycho set to work like the Ace he was. Stealth devices are awesome. Four dodge dice at close range and five at long! One by one, Tycho stalked his prey. First was the remaining TIE Fighter.

Tycho gets an action even when stressed so that if he puts a target lock on something, he can then fly past, pull the Korrigan turn to loop facing back and nail the target with rerolls AND focus. That's effective even with two shots and vicious at point blank with three.

Not even the Bomber's tough hide could save it, though it lasted a few turns under Tycho's focused attention. All the while the Dark Lord of the Sith barrel rolled and focused and attempted to land that crucial firs hit that would strip Tycho's stealth device.

 I offered the opinion to Chris that Target lock was a better bet than focus, as overall it would be more consistent. I haven't run the math on that but I think Chris did and I am close enough. However, the first time he followed my advice, it cost him the hit on my A-Wing. Sorry Chris - however, I stand by what I said and would always target lock by preference.

 I think the math must have agreed with me as Chris did tend to prefer to lock on. As you can imagine, two hard to hit aces makes for a long battle. I can only count myself fortunate that Chris hadn't put an engine upgrade on Vader (to give boost as an action) as then I'd probably never kept him in my sights. Saying that though, why did I choose 'adrenaline rush' over 'veteran instincts' on Tycho? I should have been moving second and shooting first. Vader/Chris could almost taste victory when the Stealth device went down and I lost both shields on the A-Wing.

But another of Tycho's combined target lock-focus attacks put the crucial final fits on Vader and he was sent once more spinning off into space.

That was the most fun I've had playing X-Wing in a while. Very, very close and it was great fun to end up playing ship on ship, like the WW1 fighter duels (yes I know the system this is based on...) of old. I think Tycho salvaged the reputation of the A-Wing this time. Would he have been able to dodge heavy laser fire every single turn though? It seems unlikely and without that stealth device, he'd have been gone probably not long after he claimed the last TIE.

Then Chris beat me two out of three games of M:TG. Cheers for the fun games Chris.


  1. Nice

    so there is an option other than suicide for the a-wing. Interesting...

    1. Lol Apart from the lack of attack dice, it has actually got an impressive statline and set of actions. It can even be set up to perform two actions a turn, which is impressive but limits the ability to pull K-Turns.

  2. Great write up and a fun looking game. You may have salvaged the a wing for me as well! But I think I'm still leaning towards the b wing for my next purchase. :-P

    1. I think it is an awesome ship. Basically a pilot strapped to an engine with really sensitive controls. Hard to fault the B-Wing though, I think it is worth the points over an X-Wing and gets some cool upgrades. However, it is a pilot strapped to a brick with plenty of weapon hardpoints so isn't really cut out to be a fighter ace like the A-Wing.

  3. Great bat rep! Good to find another X Wing player blogging from Christchurch. Just had my first game with my new B Wing last week -


    1. Thanks Nick. Found your blog when poking around last week and have added to my watchlist so I can catch more reports :-)

  4. Nice work with the A wing Jamie! I like just a green sqd with push the limit. You can turn/boost almost as well as a k turn and it won't stress you. Also daredevil is a lot of fun for two consecutive turns or some awesome high speed flanking moves. A 3 bank followed by a 1 turn can put you in interesting places.

    1. Interesting idea. I like how the Green gets the EPTs. I might give that a go.... Or give those upgrades to Tycho and his PS8. Hmm. Or swarm tactics and have the ace elsewhere?

  5. Replies
    1. Damn straight and Jason, his boy, my boy, and I will be doing a father and son team game soonish as this game is made for eight year olds :p