Saturday, 7 January 2017

Return of the Scumi: Hunter/Killer vs Hivemind of Scum and Villany

All good trilogies need a closing chapter.

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All Aboard the Doom Train

For our final, I kept my twin Aggressor build from yesterday's post. A short-range Aggressor made for ramming along with a more nimble, shootier cousin.

Kas took the Hivemind scum list from our first clash, a bunch of mindlinked bounty hunters with a disposable bodyguard.

We both took the bottom corners of the board. Kas had set up first, looking like he was going to cling to his own table edge and try and hoard focus counters for a bit. I took an aggressive opposing stance, aiming to sweep in behind him and fire away. Goes with the Aggressors, that, being aggressive.

Turns 1-3

Sure enough, the Hivemind began a slow conga line northwards, keeping in close formation and shuffling huge stacks of focus about. The HWK can store it like a battery, I was discovering, and Kas had plans for that battery later on.

2 long-lasting foci, and a shield on Gonk at the end of turn 1. I'll do this for a couple more turns and then swoop in past that final asteroid I'd laid.

Wooah... How did they get there?!

By turn three, however, the conga train had hit a reef. Trains aren't really built for reef work, which showed in the hideous pile up that resulted.

Very bad flying on my part. I misjudged one move, but because I was flying so tight they all bumped. I should have just stuck with original plan and carried on straight for one more turn and not been bullied. Oops.

Although there was a bit of turret fire in return, I was already starting to chip away at the ships at the back, including an illusory Y-wing that had somehow snuck on to the table. Kas had misremembered his list, and had a ship too many out! Well, we soon put paid to that.

Oh yes... wrong list... I knew I had a TLT and assumed on a Y. It was the HWK! No harm no foul. I remembered when it came to the Y's shots (and before he shot) so we only had to reply the Aggressors shooting at a real target.

Turns 4-6 

After all the collisions, the Hivemind was in disarray. Long range flechette shots were already sharing stress across the mindlink, limiting his movement options. To add insult to injury, I parked the IG-A across their escape route and dropped mines as I did so.

Well played sir! The missiles were great and then further punishment with the block. At least it won't get worse.

Boom went Kaatos as he flew first into the mines and then crashed into the anti-pursuit lasers on Ram-IG....


... and the IG-D put some convincing dents in the HWK as it struggled to get past. Plus I was too close for its twin laser turrets to return fire, not that we remembered this. Luckily, I dodged the hallucinatory wave of fire it threw out at me anyway, so we didn't have to undo anything.

I'm glad you spotted straight away that the missed shot didn't matter. Hate having to go back, so relieved that did not make a difference.

Next turn was similarly bleak for the Hivemind. The Binayre Pirate successfully managed to duck back across IG-A's ship, but I'd seen him coming and K-turned IG-D ready to meet him. A swift volley to the flank dealt with him.

Palob in his HWK lurched forward, too stressed to take actions. This left him directly under IG-A's steely glare, and I finished off the wounded scum.

However! IG-A was pretty battered by this point. He'd soaked up a bit of early turret fire, flown through two asteroid fields and was still taking glancing shots from the Jumpmaster's turrets. With a single hull left, he was looking a bit dicey by this point, even if he got a shield back for killing Palob. The Jumpmaster was unscathed, but I still rather suspected Kas was feeling the pressure at this point.

I was. I was clearly mindlinked too as the stress was piling up hard!

As Manaroo swung his Jumpmaster back in, IG-A swung to meet him. Another triumph for the anti-pursuit lasers! I dinged his hull and he couldn't shoot me back. IG-D was too far off to help out, but was closing swiftly. Things looked bad for the laser croissant.

Turns 7-15

Not as bad as they looked for IG-A, as it turned out. The Jumpmaster did an unexpected short turn and I failed to clip him again. At short range, I couldn't dodge all the shots the target-locked turret put out, and went up in flames. Luckily, I'd planned for that, and my Dead Man's Switch went off, claiming more hull from the Jumpmaster in a huge blast.

Ow! That's a good build for a bumper.

From here on in, it would be close. Damnably close.

The Jumpmaster was a little scratched, but still had one more hull; and we were both on one shield. And thanks to its on board droids, it could swing about at speed three, picking up free target locks and churning out turret fire.

I forgot that early game and did not claim some locks should have done. That'll teach me to learn list.... Yes I know... Ywing and TLT range 1....

I mostly tried to stay at range and behind him, relying on my superior agility, but the Jumpmaster is no slouch when it comes to spinning. We collided once, although it wasn't as much fun without the anti-pursuit lasers.

Twice, I took raking fire from his damn plasma missiles as we span past each other, and was down to two points of hull after a few rounds.

But finally, after the second plasma volley, I'd ended up where I wanted to be - behind and at a little distance. Time to break out the flechette cannon.

Never used that weapon, but the reliable plink and constant stress can be vicious. Nicely done.

Once I was on his tail, by God I stayed there. Grimly pumping fire into the back for four turns with the flechette cannon meant he couldn't clear the stress he'd picked up by K-turning past me. Throughout this, I was very glad of the Pilot Trait I'd taken, Expertise. Expensive, but being able to swap focus for hits as long as I wasn't stressed was massively helpful in ensuring the flechette cannon worked.

That sounded great EPT. Can't believe I've not twigged and used that before!

I stuck to evade tokens, determined to keep my last two points of hull. It wasn't enough, though, and this long exchange left us both on a single point remaining. Kas sped up, hoping to get enough green to shed all his flechette-induced stress, and he finally managed it just as I S-looped in close for a finishing blow.

I managed it! But only just - the S-loop had left me stressed, and at close range I'd probably have gone down to short range turret fire. As it was, though, the bigger, heavy Jumpmaster couldn't dodge four dice of firepower at close range.



Great game! Very close and tense. I think I enjoyed myself more than Kas did, my list had worked very much as intended and I'd really loved ramming people with the IG-A.

I enjoyed it a lot. Kicked myself at my own apparent mis-remembering and my disastrous traffic jam; otherwise it was great and close.

I felt bad, though - when building my lists, I'd made an effort to stick to stuff Kas actually physically has, but I hadn't spotted that Expertise is a card coming with the U-wing ship. This hasn't actually made it to the Kasfu System yet, so Kas had never heard of it and was duly dismayed by its power.

Feel better that I did not know it.

In my defence, well, I won the game! Why should I defend that? I think it's my first victory over Skype, although I might be misremembering. If I took a card that wasn't actually there, at least it wasn't a whole goddamn ship cough cough Y-wing mirage cough. All the same, it spiked my victory guns a touch, even if the Accuracy Corrector probably would have done the trick anyway.

(gulp, sorry)

Having been alerted to Expertise, though, Kas has plans for it linked to Advanced Proton Torpedoes. And I've seen some shenanigans one might pull with Sabine's Rebel TIE. So expect more reports in the coming months!

Bring on wave 10!

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