A Quick Evening’s Exorcism

Introduction I started thinking about this while writing yesterday’s overview of the A-wing blister, and I’m putting it up now in order to (try to) force it out of my head. I have real work to do! Motley with Green Wedge Antilles (29) + R2 Astromech (1) + Push the Limit (3) + Engine Upgrade […]

Profile photo of Robert M. By Robert M. On March 09, 2013 Posted In X-Wing Miniatures Game

Introduction

I started thinking about this while writing yesterday’s overview of the A-wing blister, and I’m putting it up now in order to (try to) force it out of my head. I have real work to do!

Motley with Green

  • Wedge Antilles (29) + R2 Astromech (1) + Push the Limit (3) + Engine Upgrade (4)
  • Rookie Pilot (21)
  • Rookie Pilot (21)
  • Green Squadron Pilot (19) + Squad Leader (2)

This is a variation on a friend’s Wave 1 list. It’s over-invested in Wedge and has no particular provision for his defense, but you should be able to have some fun with him while he lasts. Meanwhile, the GSP is a cheap and relatively unappealing target, but it provides either a substantial boost to a Rookie’s offense or allows the Rookie to split his actions between offense and defense.

I don’t know how competitive it will be, but I’m adding it to my list of experimental stuff for when I get to play friendly matches.

  1. Order of squad offensive levels: Wedge, RookieP, RookieP, GreenSP

    Order of enemy target priority: Wedge, RookieP, RookieP, GreenSP

    When those lists are exactly the same, it reflects a major squad flaw. This squad will lose its best offense early and easily. GreenSP w/ Squad Leader will be entirely ignored then hunted down for sport. A GreenSP w/ Squad Leader is a -LOT- to pay for a focus token.

    I do actually like that Wedge build. He moves last, so if the opponent positions to focus fire on him he might just boost past some firing arcs and point-blank some unlucky schmoe on the enemy side. He’s also going to be pretty difficult to chase (if you can even get in behind him).

    Where it falls apart I think is in the support. The 21 points for GreenSP could be 3 PTs, 2 Stealth Devices, and 2 R2 Astomechs. It could also be just a third Rookie, which is better long-term firepower. I like the idea of trying to use Squad Leader cheaply… but 21 points just isn’t cheap. The ship carrying it is virtually non-combatant.

    Squad Leader on rebel ships could work well on a YT-1300, since it can have a Gunner or Luke crew card to land hits without an action of its own (since Squad Leader is speaking for that action). There you are likely to hit shots anyway, so Squad Leader is taking up up only 2 points instead of a whopping 21.

    1. Accepting for the purpose of argument that the GSP is too expensive, putting Squad Leader on a YT with a Gunner is going even further in the wrong direction–it costs a minimum of 49 points. The other reliable way to get that Focus token is to use Garven, who brings better offense but also costs 5 points more, which the list can’t quite afford. So while 21 points for Garven-lite is fairly expensive, it’s the best deal I’m going to get in a 4-ship list.

      I also disagree with the contention that an A-wing is virtually a noncombatant–its offense is no worse than a TIE fighter, and while that’s certainly less than ideal, it’s enough to occasionally clean up a crippled target or strip defensive tokens ahead of the Rookies’ activation. And given that the point of the list is to explore Squad Leader and the action economy, it’s not a choice between an A-wing’s guns or an X-wing’s guns, but between an A-wing’s guns or no guns at all.

      My thought is that if my opponent leaves the GSP for last, the extra Focus for a Rookie is more effective and more durable than a Stealth Device, and frees up the Rookie for Target Lock. If he or she targets the GSP instead, he’s choosing the hardest target of the three, and leaving the stronger offensive pieces intact. It’s not a perfect structure, but I think it will be a fun one to experiment with.

      1. Against a target with 3+ AGI (X-wing at range 3, X-wing at range 2 w/ Stealth on it, TIE anything)… a POW 2 ship must close to range 1 and have a Focus or TL if it wants to land damage. I do agree that it can strip a defensive action, so it’s not non-combatant. That’s a fair point considering both Rookie X-wings are likely to be firing at the same target. The trouble is that the GreenSP will not have Focus or TL — the attack will rarely be high enough to strip anything, so the ship is effectively noncombatant.

        Because of that, this isn’t really a 4 ship squad. It’s a 3 ship squad, with the GreenSP acting as a very costly upgrade card (Push the Limit + R2 Astromech) for one/either Rookie Pilot. The offense of the buffed ship goes up by a bit more than a Focus token — it goes up by a Focus token AND an additional POW 2 no-action attack. You do get this buff as much as twice… once for one Rookie, then for the other. Possibly you get very little use out of it, given that focused firepower can kill both Rookies very quickly.

        If the A-wing is using Squad Leader, here are the targets:
        — RookieP w/ Focus and TL
        — RookieP w/ Focus
        — GreenSP, no action

        The best target is often the buffed Rookie. It will fire last and with authority, so taking it out of commission is a big deal. The GreenSP is the softest target (AGI 2 w/ Focus is better defensively than AGI 3), so you might just see it get shot down with minimal effort. I would expect that if the opponent decided to kill the buff ship, they’d easily manage it because the A-wing has no Focus or Evade token.

        Concerning YT-1300 — yes, 49 points but not on a ship that won’t do anything. The larger ship can absorb damage, where the X-wing/A-wing pairing is fragile (3-4 hits to the actionless A-wing). If the argument is that the A-wing shot is meant to strip actions, then the YT-1300’s first attack does so with superior dice. I’ll admit that the point levels would make it impossible to run the Wedge configuration… you’d want both small ships to be able to receive the YT-1300 SL buff, there’d be no Wedge.

        In the end I suppose the only solution is the list your friend uses, flaws and all. I’ll admit that much. If you start on the premise that you want Squad Leader and x2 Rookie Pilots to receive the buff, you end up with:

        1) a 58 point (or less) YT-1300 + SL
        2) an A-wing + SL, and another (great) ship
        3) Luke/Wedge + SL (bad build)
        4) Dutch (23 points) for a pseudo-SL buff, other ship.

        #3 is terrible. #1 forgoes Wedge. #2 at least gets Wedge. #4 is actually interesting… but its 102 points if you build Wedge, so he’d have to be built without boost capability which makes him squishy.

        I’m not yet 100% on premise. It just looks too easy to shred; alpha strike Wedge, then kill a Rookie at range 1. Possibly kill the A-wing next if it is buffing instead of fighting, since it will go fight-mode after the last X-wing dies. Maybe, given that Wedge draws early fire, it makes sense from the POV of just trying to buff a Rookie for as many turns of the game as you can.

        I still haven’t figured out how it is better than just a third Rookie Pilot. You’d get better firepower, better survival, and better effective range. But you’d not be using SL at that point… which I guess is the purpose of the list.

      2. Averages in this game only go so far. When you’re throwing at most 5 dice, standard deviation becomes rather important, and thus that two offensive ship can still land a hit against a five dice defensive ship. I’ve seen it happen too often to discount the TIE vs TIE (and equivalent) matchup.

      3. Given the number of expected rolls per game, certainly you could see an actionless A-wing outperform Focus+TL Wedge — but that’s not something you can expect. Averages speak to the result of many games. You will have games where you perform under the average, and games where you perform over it. For every fluke game where POW 2 and no action is effective, you have twenty games where it presents absolutely no offense at all.

        I don’t discount POW 2 w/ Focus (or TL) against any target. Get to range 1 and you can hit anything. But that isn’t the case here. POW 2 w/ no action is as low power as rolls get — it’s not going to hit anything, and if you do get range 1 w/ no action the A-wing is dead that turn.

      4. So by your logic, a TIE/A-Wing that has had it’s focus stripped due to an earlier attack just shouldn’t bother attacking if it doesn’t have anything at range one. That’s just silly.

      5. Well… 1 in 4 shots is likely to roll 2 hits, which is terrible but greater than 0. My logic is not that you shouldn’t bother, but that you can’t expect the roll to strip the target’s action. You can hope for it, but you can’t expect it.

        It’s important to separate expectations from possibilities.