Thursday, 5 January 2017

Hivemind of Scum and Villany vs Ace of Scum

Spin off? Expanded Universe? Standalone? No idea. It's been a while, though, so it was time to lock into attack formation and play some X-Wing again.

Image result for expanded universe

It was a bit of a whim and a prayer for this game. Preparation time was about ten minutes as Kas unrolled his star mat and looked out models for the lists he'd already selected. Meanwhile, I went shopping for yoghurt and made my daughters sandwiches. This is how Lando prepares for space battle too, I'm led to believe.

The lists were both scum. I inherited a set of Z-Wings backed by a Jumpmaster and HWK, all grouped with the Attani Mindlink, who'd been beaten by Leofa in a recent match. Good pick, clearly! Follow the link to see them in more detail.

I think it will work at some point, and I like the idea of the list with all the shenanigans of stealing, shifting and storing foci tokens.

Kas was running scummy aces, a pair of hard-hitting jousters with some Y-wing turret support.

I'd recently picked up the Protectorate and noticed that both it, and the Cobra, would be able to offer a 5 dice primary attack at range 1. I was going to give it a whirl. I went for a second boost so that Cobra could keep up with Fenn, and VI to keep them all at the same pilot skill.


We set up round the edges of a tight asteroid cluster. I took top right, Kas was middle left. My thinking was I'd use the Jumpmaster's nifty left-hand turns to advantage, faff about with the others while the bigger ship used plasma missiles to inflict heavy damage.

Turns 1-2

Nothing much to report - as you'd expect, my guys advanced towards the middle, ready to turn into the asteroid field and sharing their focus over the mindlink. Kas swiftly moved towards me, even getting some early snipes in on Kaatos.

Moving fast with the extra boost actions.

Naturally, as we got closer, this turned into a more heated exchange. Both of the approaching jousters got stuck on the Jumpmaster's massive windscreen, which only left them my disposable Binyare Pirate to shoot at. Predictably, he went back to his bin in pieces.

As Palob in the HWK used his cloaking device to sneak round the side, I managed some pretty good plasma strikes on the incoming Y-wing, as well as a good strake from Kaatos. Nice rolling from him meant he avoided the return fire from its turret.

Nice move on the cloak; I was worried about using that early, given it was at risk of breaking, but that was good choice.

Turn 3-4

After this, I did what I always do. Skype is all well and good, but piloting through an asteroid field by remote is no joke. For the next two turns, I always managed to have at least one ship in the asteroids, so although I managed plenty of nice blocking (especially with the big Jumpmaster), I couldn't really capitalise on it much.

Still - the HWK tore the battered Y-Wing apart from afar, and my opponent's Kihraxz and Protectorate Starfighter didn't do much more than turn for stress and miss a couple of easy shots.

I think I was glad that the Y-wing went down first, but not so happy that it was so quick into the game and apart from the pirate, I was not earning my points yet.

Turn 5-7 

To compensate for this fortune, I flew Kaatos into two asteroid fields in the same turn, and he blew up.

Ahhh, a bit more even again.

This just left the HWK, plinking away with its turret as I plinked away at it myself with any asteroid fields I could find, and the two vicious enemy dogfighters.

Don't forget the Jumpmaster, I reckon that could be quite a hardy ship even if by itself in late game...

They were still struggling to cope with my erratic flying, and there was plenty more colliding and blocking. I should really try and put together a list with one of those ships that can hurt people by doing that, I seem to have a talent for it. Alas, it wasn't really helping me here - ship for ship, the enemies could both outshoot me, especially at the close range we were battling at.

Sounds like a good idea. Look forward to seeing it!

All the same, I didn't really need to fly straight. Both my guys had turrets, as well as being slightly tougher on balance. The Protectorate dude was looking pretty scratched up before long, although the Jumpmaster had taken a pounding as well.

Turns 8-10

That pounding paid off, too! As the Jumpmaster looped and whirled round, the HWK's turret finally chipped the last bits of hull from the Protectorate Starfighter, and it exploded before it could clear the asteroids again.

It lasted well for a 4 hull ship with no shields.

By way of celebration, the Jumpmaster also failed to clear the asteroids, dinged his hull and got spaced by the Kihraxz before I could escape. Damn you, Talonbane, who I was alarmed to note was still unscathed at this point.

Eep - unhurt, but facing two turrets, and without his wingman.

The HWK tried to circle at distance, but it was hopeless. Zap - Talonbane whipped out of the asteroids, parked directly behind it at close range so I couldn't even return fire, and blasted the last ship to bits.


Nice game!

Very, really enjoyed that. The aces were fun to play. I think I may go and look at something which could provide an even more formidable joust or alpha strike (watch this space). As always, I will apply my own restriction that the list must not have been previously saved on xwing-builder.

I felt rusty, and not having picked my list, I was a bit vague on how best to use all the synergy it gave me. Lots of free focus was nice, and I loved the Jumpmaster's free target lock on green droid. Without it, I reckon I've have been space toast that bit faster.

Yes it's a nice combo K4 and unhinged. 3s are green, and greens give you target locks.

That said, I was delighted to hear that Kas was sweating it for the duration of the game. So was I! It's always nice to know you gave your opponent just as much stress as they gave you.

The Y went down fast, and in the end game it was two turrets versus an arc dodger... seeing as you outnumbered and did not care about arcs: yes I was worried.

In the end, superior piloting got the better of me, though. I must remember that the game's mechanics don't let you land on asteroids to hide like the Falcon does in Empire. Either that, or they're all automatically giant worm monsters that eat you, I suppose.

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That's no cave!

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