Sunday, April 13, 2014

X-Wing: Do you know the odds of sucessfully navigating an asteroid field?

NoneMore X-Wing. John dropped by with his 'Asteroid Runners' and a new friend. None other than Han Solo. People who play X-Wing and have the Internet (which is obviously most people reading this post) will already have heard of 'Han shoots first', one of the archetypical X-Wing lists. John's list is kind of like that, except he goes in for upgrades to make the Falcon tougher (Chewie as Co-Pilot and a Hull upgrade) and trusts to Han's ability to get that hit without a gunner. Then he pairs this with a couple of Y-Wings with Ion turrets. So something you don't see everyday...

I fielded my favourite Imperial ships: the Bounty Hunter with Heavy Laser Cannon, and a pair of Academy TIEs. I also took the worst possible TIE advanced because I reckoned it could be as survivable as an A-Wing, after I gave it a stealth device. Imperials had initiative so Academy TIEs and the TIE advanced were placed first. Then the Y-Wings, then the Bounty Hunter (at a beefy PS 3!). Then the Falcon.

The plan had been to catch the lumbering Rebel ships in a nimble Imperial Pincer. What actually happened was that TIE fighters are nimble, but the TIE Advanced really isn't. It turns like a lead pig. Worse, three ships with turrets tend to nail imperial TIEs.

Sure, I was getting in the hits and the TIEs can turn on a coin. Does them no good if their opposition can take hundreds of hits and lazily glide around nailing you with locked on turret fire. I may have felt mild disquiet at this point.

By turn four, I did smash a Y-Wing with the heavy laser cannon but was already two TIEs down, and counting. Still, like a fool, I had complete confidence in the Tie Advanced, Stealth device, combo.

If you pull a K-Turn, you can't put an evade token on a stealthed TIE Advance. At this point, I also realise it is exactly the cost of Two Academy TIEs. Not that those TIEs are covering themselves in glory, either. The Bounty Hunter, on the other hand... he hits you with 4 dice at range three (no chance for critical hits though) or hits you with four dice at range one in the rear arc.So hide your Y-Wings behind those asteroids.

 Poor Academy TIE, so green, so naive.

If I had bought two TIE fighters instead of that TIE Advanced, one of them might have been able to hit that lumbering tug the Rebel Scum call the Y-Wing.

It is difficult to explain how John can carefully thread through Asteroids with that lumbering tug, while I can only precisely land on them with my Firespray. Here John has tagged the TIE Advanced with an Ion shot, it is now locked down.

When I laughed at him for somehow hitting the same asteroid I had managed to hit the turn before, John calmly pointed out that Han is not a member of Asteroid Runner squadron and tends to prefer landing in/on them. The added durability of the TIE Advanced was also proving a big help as the Y-Wing proceeded to fly parallel and keep it Ionised.

So I decided he could have the TIE and I'd get the Bounty Hunter properly lined up. Amidst all the collisions and exploding TIEs, it turned out that the Bounty Hunter was largely unscathed.

 The Millennium Falcon, on the other hand, had received every range one attack that presented itself. Not even Chewie could keep that piece of junk flying under that sort of attention. You don't get an extra dodge die at range three vs a heavy laser cannon and that becomes a lot of hits every turn. If the Rebel Scum still had their second Y-Wing, they could have parked up either side of that Fire-spray and escort it off the board. However, once the Millennium Falcon was gone, John's remaining Y-Wing decided that discretion was the better part of valour.

Hooray! Another victory for peace and order in the Galaxy! Thanks John, I really liked the different dynamic your squadron brought to the game and look forward to facing it again soon. It was touch and go for a while there and a huge relief when I finally got my Fire-spray out of the melee so that the shooting would finally be stacked in its favour.


  1. Great wee report. I do like me some Falcon action!

    1. Thanks Nick. Yes the Falcon definitely is a 'must buy'.