Thursday, April 03, 2014

X-wing Battle Report - Taking on the TIE Swarm

As Matt and I move ever closer to getting competitive with X-wing we had a few games a couple of weeks back that I'm finally getting chance to write up today! It's proving ever more difficult to fit in some blogging amongst the parenting and hobbying. Anyway, since Matt forgot his X-wing stuff (somehow?) we had to proxy a few ships in the first game and struggled for movement dials. We had limited time too after the morning's 40K had taken longer than planned.

Game One - 4 X-wings
I've been trying to work out lists based on the models we've got between us so, assuming Matt had brought his stuff we'd have had 4 x-wings. As it was we had to proxy a B-wing and Y-wing. Similarly Matt didn't have all the TIEs he needed so there was an A-wing that'd gone over to the dark side.

Wedge w/ Veteran Instincts
2 Rookies

Darth Vader w/ Veteran Instincts
3 Academy Pilots (TIEs)
2 Named TIE Pilots (Dark Curse and Night Beast I think)

This game was over pretty sharpish. I'd arranged my X-wings in a box formation with the rookies out front. The rebel opening salvo was able to damage a couple of TIEs but I realised quickly that I should've focussed fire on a single target since I was at range 3 and they were evading. Over the next couple of rounds I quickly started to lose X-wings to the sheer volume of green beams coming my way.

It was tricky to pin down a particularly TIE so several of them ended up with damage without being totally destroyed. One by one the X-wings fell (Darth had a lot to do with it) and Wedge found himself alone with three TIEs and Vader to deal with solo. He put up a brave fight, managing to down a TIE and damage another, but with limit mobility the result was somewhat inevitable and Darth finished him off pretty sharpish.

The good news was that meant we'd got time for a second game!

Game Two (the photo uploader is being useless so I'll add photos soon)
This time I wanted to try out a mixture of Rebel ships so in stark contrast to the previous game I ran 4 different ships. This gave me a chance to try out ion weaponry and put the Y-wing through it's paces. This time there'd be no proxies as with Matt taking named pilots there'd be enough TIEs to go around.

Red Squadron Pilot (X-wing) - some upgrade I forget
Gold Squadron Pilot (Y-wing) - Ion cannon turret, R2 Astromech
Dagger Squadron Pilot (B-wing) - Ion cannon, Engine Upgrade
Green Squadron Pilot (A-wing)

Empire (from hazy memory)
Tempest Squadron Pilot (TIE Advanced) - Cluster Missiles
Turr Phennir (TIE Interceptor)
Night Beast (TIE fighter)
Mauler Mithel (TIE fighter)
Dark Curse (TIE fighter)

This time arround I paired up my ships with the Y-wing and X-wing taking the left flank and the A-wing and B-wing taking the right. Expecting Matt to blast his ships forward at full pelt I decided to play more conservatively and keep my range and my options open. Pretty early on (might have even been first phase) I was able to down one of the TIEs which took away the number advantage of the Empire. The shields on the Rebel ships would now come into play.

As per usual the game ended up with a bit of a close quarters melee in the middle of the board with the B-wing managing to score an ion hit on one of the TIEs. This game me a huge advantage as I could plan my moves knowing exactly where the TIE would be. In the subsequent turn it was easily downed by the B-wing's primary weaponry. On the other side the Y-wing and X-wing had combined well to do damage to the TIE advanced and without Darth Vader's two actions Matt was struggling to make it effective. His cluster missiles had failed miserably to do damage. Sadly the Y-wing's poor manoeuvrability had left it exposed and it was downed by combined fire from the TIEs.

The TIE Advanced was destroyed a short time later and Matt was now limited to Turr Phenir and Night Beast, both of whom had damage. They'd have an uphill struggle to down the three remaining rebel ships despite them all having little or no shields remaining. Unfortunately at this point we'd run out of time and Matt had to concede there as it was unlikely to end favourably for him.

Another couple of excellent battles here. I have to say these went against the grain of our previous games which have all been pretty close and usually come down to shootout between a single ship each. I apologise for my poor recollection of the squadrons involved and details of the fights. Also the pictures have come out badly in places thanks to the bright sunlight so again apologies.

The first game taught be a valuable lesson about target priority. There's no point having several enemy ships with face-down damage on them as it has no effect on their capabilities. I'm pretty sure I forgot Wedge's pilot ability a fair amount but I don't think it would've made much difference. X-wings are far from weak but I think they need support from other ships to be more effective.

We've yet to understand the benefits of secondary weapons. They seem like a waste of points and target locks to us but I can only assume we're missing something. Care to enlighten us anyone? On the other hand I can certainly see the benefit of ion weaponry. Knowing exactly where an enemy ship will end up next turn is huge and with the right moves you can almost guarantee it's demise. I'm not totally convinced the B-wing is the right platform for it though as it feels like a waste of it's primary weaponry, especially at range 1.

I'm off to Matt's tonight for a few more games (in fact I'll be playing when this post goes up). There'll be no 40K at all tonight so I'm hoping we get plenty of X-wing battles in. I will, of course, write these up as soon as I can.


  1. Great to see you guys sticking with X-Wing, it really is a fantastic game!

    Are you guys planning on attending any events in the near future? I would urge you guys to get to a Store Championships if you can (They're much less competitive than your standard 40k tournament btw). I think there are quite a few events up by you guys, check out or ask on the UK X-Wing Facebook Group

    As you rightly said in the article target priority is a big deal in X-Wing, a ship with 1 hull is just as deadly as one on full health! Confirm your kills!

    Secondary weapons require some finesse to pull off, and you don't see very many of them around at the moment because they are very hit or miss - if you roll badly with them they can feel like wasted points. The required target lock can also be an issue for low skill pilots as your opponent might be out of range when you try to target lock.

    As a general rule, missile carriers generally want to be high pilot skill (avoiding the problem above) and have a method for stacking T-L and Focus. Vader with Homing Missiles is a great example (Homing missiles don't burn target lock when they fire), rolling 4 dice with target lock and focus at PS9 worries pretty much everyone in the game! Remember your opponent doesn't get the extra evade for range 3 with secondary weapons too! They make for a great alpha strike if you pull them off.

    You will often see other missile carriers with Push the Limit or a Squad Leader buddy (unless they're Vader of course!).

    Ion weapons are another interesting one - some games they will be awesome and you will love having them and others you might not even use them. I have used the Ion Cannon B-Wing and it is interesting - it plays very differently to the Ion Turreted Y-Wing.

    It can cause some serious problems to opponents in the first engagement round of the game at range 3. Often you won't do more than 1 damage anyways so using the cannon is not a big problem. You're denying your opponent that magic extra evade as it's a secondary, and you can cause all sorts of issues to people flying around in formation (Stopping them turning in or causing them all to crash into each other by going slow). Using the Ion on ships that are stressed is fantastic, as they won't clear their stress so they won't get actions either!

    Think of the Ion Cannon as more of an opportunistic weapon, you won't use it every turn (unlike the Ion Turreted Y-Wing, which likely will). I will also say that B-Wings absolutely _HATE_ Ion weaponry, they are very liable to being walked off the table or taken entirely out of the fight (stopping them K-turning) by anything with an Ion Weapon!

  2. Very enjoyable report. More please!

    Really enjoying x-wing.


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