Thursday, 22 June 2017

X-Wing: NorraRey vs Missile Spam

Having just returned from the US, I was searching for jetlag cure and an evening's entertainment. Step in Kraken and another scum list.

Think Kraken, think Scum. That's what I'm aiming for with this series of Xwing games, and I won't stop until we become synonymous.

The lists

I am starting to fill in the holes in my unplayed ships roster, and the next on the docket was the ARC-170.


It looked interesting, but never as appealing as the K-Wing.

That was until I found a combo: Norra could reveal a green; barrel roll, then perform a second action for stress with Push the Limit, complete the green move to clear the stress and then gain a focus token before finally taking her action. Barrel Roll, Boost, Focus, Target lock in one turn, all without stress.

Norra needed a buddy and what's not to love about the Falcon's newest pilot: Rey. Team Rey up with her counterpart Finn (for some bonus blank dice) and then bring along the Ghost's Kanan aboard for some guidance, with a few points to spare on a couple more upgrades.

For my part, I slung together a second attempt at a Scum list centered around Prince Xisor, this time taking some missile boats that he could either help perform a decent alpha strike with or at least soak damage with. 


Nothing in here that's terribly clever, but the general idea is that top ace Talonbane will use his tracers to let the others throw out an early missile barrage, then we all close in for close-range dogfighting and hope it pays off. 


Starkiller Base once more provided the dramatic backdrop for our encounter, with a mixed debris and asteroid field swirling over its brooding cyclopean eye. Kas took the bottom corner, I formed a firing line across the middle. 

Turn 1-3

We both swooped in towards each other, with no contact on the first turn. But I could immediately see how the ARC was going to be a misbehaving little so-and-so as it wiggled and jinked towards me. Shenanigans!

I did wonder about whether to wait. But I was excited to try it out in the safety of not being shot and not crashing. Actually I soon realised that this combo was going to leave me doing a LOT of green moves, and regularly not performing an action in the action step (as I had exhausted those possible earlier in the phase!)

Luckily I'd managed to keep in my neat firing line for turn two, although at the expense of Talonbane mashing through a debris field on the way. Less luckily, this meant he didn't have the focus he needed to fire his tracers. Ah well, between him and Xisor, they ripped the shields off the ARC with a solid round of  firing. Sadly, the Spacer had target locked for his own missiles, but his crummy ship couldn't quite take the firepower of Falcon and ARC combined, and exploded before he could launch. 

Panicked by this turn of events, I managed to stuff up my next movement phase. As the ARC buggered off in some improbable combination of actions, I flew Xisor into the Falcon, and then Talonbane into the back of him. So I couldn't capitalise on the shield stripping, as I couldn't hit the ARC, and I couldn't hit the Falcon because it was too close. 

I rammed that big bucket so hard, it fell off its flight base

This left the rebel ships focusing their fire on Talonbane, and nifty though he is, all that close range firepower left a mark. A tiny smudgy mark on the vacuum where his ship used to be. Ow. 

Turn 4

By moving first, I was able to keep more or less in place, hoping that the Falcon would overshoot and leave itself dead in my sights. Which it did, but I'd forgotten that Rey could flip it just like she did in the film. Which was awkward. 

Would you believe me if I said I've got a bad feeling about this?

Sure enough, Xisor exploded almost immediately afterwards, leaving nothing but a bad taste in my mouth and a desire for revenge. So we racked and stacked for another go, seeing as this had taken us about ten minutes!

I don't think it was quite 10... maybe 15.


Turn 1-3

Same starfield, same ships. I took the bottom corner this time, while the Rebel Kas came screaming out of the centre. 

Again, I slightly botched my formation flying, so that Xisor bumped the Cartel Spacer as we turned the corner to face the foe. But it came out nicely - we all had range on the Falcon, even if it was long range, and I could try out the missile strikes this time!

Talonbane slapped the tracers on the big disc, and managed to get the target locks for all that I was after. And Xisor followed up with his plasma missiles, but stuffed the roll up rather, allowed the Falcon to somehow avoid the blazing death missiles. 

That was unfortunate.

Despite the long range, and despite the fact that I'd given him an evade token, the bloody Cartel Spacer flew deliberately into all the incoming fire and died before he could launch again. Gah. 

I remembered Rey had expertise which had been forgotten about all the first game.

Loving your interpretation of the ARC's move.

Then, following the pattern I'd established in the first game, I managed to fly the Talonbane into oncoming traffic, while Xisor and the ARC pounded away at each other at close range. Xisor got the worst of this, entirely missing his bloody shot, but at least managed to shift some of the hits he took on to Talonbane. Who was doubtless delighted to help out. 

Turn 4-6

Slamming on my brakes so they'd fly right by, as is received wisdom for a dogfight, I used my Inertial Dampeners to keep Xisor in place as Talonbane K-turned. 

Not that this put the ARC off, although it couldn't quite manage to do more than crash into me from behind. Alas, the Falcon flipped again (I thought it might), and managed to shoot off the rest of my shields, so that was the end of Xisor. For a change, he hadn't outlived his meatshield, I suppose, so that was some kind of progress. 

Then the ARC left Talonbane critically hit and unable to spend actions except on supergluing his windshield back together. 

As the ARC followed up with another somewhat dense set of manouvers, Talonbane managed to sidestep the saucer and get into a nice side arc. Which of course the turret gun can still shoot into, so after I managed to somehow screw the shot up again and miss despite close range, I expired flammably into the hard void. 


Some days, you really question your own ability to participate in a game. Where had I gone wrong? Two utter tablings, probably not helped by some questionable Skype-led distance judgement, but all the same. Even Kas scratched his head when I asked, and couldn't really think of a way to improve on this. 

I could not think of much obvious. Sometimes the dice are just not with you. Concentrate fire was my only advice I could think of... especially when facing ships with only one green die. Maybe hold off on the important shot until you have TL and focus; not just one of them.

Bad dice hadn't helped, but all the same, I think I was just properly outflown. Putting the expensive missiles on the cheap ship hadn't helped either, I think, it got smashed to bits before contributing both times. Xisor also probably works better with a cloud of naff nobodies, rather than valuable aces. Not really the most cost-effective chaff, when you think about it. 

Maybe, as I was not targeting the missiles, just a soft target.

And I really needed to try harder to get out of the primary arcs of both opponents - Rey is a lot less dangerous from the back and sides, all those free re-rollable blanks are vicious. 

This is definitely true.

The ARC, though, that seems a hair's breath short of outright cheating to me! Although it absolutely follows the rules as written, getting a free action from B88 lets you trigger Push the Limit, which allows some extremely flexible repositioning given Wexley's high pilot skill. And then the stress-eating Jarrus allows you to immediately remove the stress you just gave yourself, which gives you free focus from Kyle Katarn! It's a lethal combo, making it very easy to get the ARC in close with plenty of rerolls on its firepower. 

Actually it was just green maneuver that ate the stress. Jarrus was on the Falcon to allow the sloop to be white.

Personally, I'd like to see some rewording so that you can't Push the Limit from a free action, but fair's fair, it was a very nicely selected and extremely efficient set of cards. Besides which, my rather second-rate flying really didn't qualify me for more than a good thumping!


Still, to lift my spirits, I see the forthcoming Scurrg bomber has a) infinite bombs and b) a silly name, so there's still something to fight for in future Xwing games!

And I can play it in my Rebels too!

But you've always been good with bombs, and so this may be my undoing.

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