Monday, 6 February 2017

X Wing: FanFic vs Bombing Run

Image result for TIE Bomber

After spending most of either out of the country, or with a non-xwing friendly house-guest, I (Kas) was hankering for a game.

There was only so much list building I could do from the comfort of hotel rooms, and so with the added bonus of being a bit of a jet-lag deterrent, Kraken and I cracked out the mat the day I landed back from the States.

Two games to go through, over a couple of nights.

Game 1: FanFic vs Bombs Away

Bombs Away:

I wanted to try a snapshotting Major Rhymer, so that meant using the Tie Shuttle title card for the bomber. I'd not played many games with the bombers, but decided that a triple bomber list may be, at least slightly different.

Opting for only one with missiles and mines, the third bomber was also going to be retrofitted to be a mini-shuttle and bring a saboteur and an intelligence agent (hoping to maximise that range 2 snapshotting arc on my boostable shuttle).

Rebel Fanfic

The major brief for me in this one (Hi, Kraken here in italics) was to try and field a side consisting of characters and ships from the Rebels TV show. Which, as a cartoon marketed for ten year olds, I've of course seen too much of. 

Lt Blount made it in as points filler at the last second, leaving all the other eggs in one huge ghostly basket. A big bombing basket that can throw a small, evil basket out if things get dicey. And let's be honest, this is a wargame. Dicey happens five throws out of six.


The bombers all had to place last. Hmm, perhaps Intelligence agent was not going to be that useful.

The Ghost and its escort lined up to aim for top corner; whilst two of my bombers took to the centre of the board ready to tear through the asteroid corridor, whilst the third was off to one side.

Turn 1:

The bombers started banking to the left to try and get behind the rebel scum, and Rhymer skuttled forward.

Turn 1

I was aiming to get Blount in position to shoot his tracer shot before (probably) dying nobly, then just circle the bomber pack with the Ghost, turret sniping and expecting to manouver round them enough that I could also bomb the bombers. Their initial deployment left me optimistic about doing this, especially as the pack started splitting.

Turn 2:

The bombers skirted in through the asteroids, with Bren targetting the Z whilst Rhymer and Jonus hugged the outskirts of the asteroid field.

Thanks to a barrage of snapshots, tactician and homing missiles combined with guidance chips and the Z95 was a shadow in the Ghost's engine trail.

Yep, kind of saw that coming. Shame he didn't get his shot out first, but if there's one thing I've seen Z95s do consistently, it's explode under even light stress.

Turn 2

Turn 3-4:

(I think we missed a shot and we may be on 4... otherwise that was some sick maneuvering from the bombers)!

Rhymer was chasing down the Ghost, trying to keep in arc for snap shots and occasionally plinking off a shield. Bren was using his lightning reflexes (and pilot skill to reactivate the skill) to reposition along with Jonus who to prepare for when the ghost inevitably turns.

I actually found I was trying to leave this turn as late as I could, as the bomber pack was having to split to guess which way I'd go. Guessing your turn arc over Skype is no easy feat, but in the event, I got it just right and no more. 

Turn 3
The Bombers were annoying - plinking away my shields, and with such crappy firepower that my auto-regen shield replenisher wasn't activating! Feeling the odds against me, I decided to kick out the shuttle and see how it handled. 

The Phantom appears (no, not like that... no cloaked Echo... I can't be accused of bringing an accidental extra ship AGAIN!) and blocks Rhymer's path.

Turn 4

Turn 5:

The Ghost makes the turn (with ease it turns out, and does not go near the edge); and, worse, manages to slow roll enough to stay behind Rhymer who was trying to escape the expected drop of Sabine's Thermal Detonators.

That mistake cost him and the Major was down.

Meh heh heh. Or yee haw, or whatever it is Rebel hotshot pilots are saying these days. Two to go, anyway. 

Turn 5

Turn 6:

Two turrets was too much to deal with and the Ghost was too tough, but it was hurting, and had no evade dice. 

It sure was. The shields were down, the hull was being stripped, and even though I could do some nice tricks with focus, swiping one of the Imperial's attack dice, it wasn't going to keep me alive forever. 

However! The bombers had pretty much the same problem, plus no shields. Nowhere to hide, no way to run and a lot of shooting going on as we tried to panic our way out of the close range crossfire.

Turn 6

Turn 7:

Both bombers continued to focus fire on the Ghost, and it was really starting to hurt. Time to power off into the distance, I thought, although I wasn't actually fast enough to do it.

As it was, Kas had made the same error I had - underestimating the shuttle. Because it's called a shuttle, right, it can't be much good in a fight. No sir! This little blighter was kicking out a good amount of damage with its turret, sticking the odd critical out on the bombers and chipping away like mad. 

My second thermal detonator was blown out the airlock at this point, and Kas very nearly cleared it. Nearly butters no parsnips in space, however, and he ate it on the turn. 

Not trying to get rid of the second turret may have been a mistake, as the second bomber falls in quick succession.

Turn 7

Turn 8:

Jonus was hoping for criticals, but using his actions like this left him vulnerable. It was a risky tactic; and it was not paying off.

I was carrying a fair amount of stress (blowing up Major Rhymer's rebel captive had left me with qualms), and his saboteur was knocking on the hull from close range. But I had the numbers, and the luck, and was starting to feel like I had this in the bag. 

Turn 8

Turn 9:

This was close, but ultimately a turret was going to defeat the limping TIE. Only 2 hull left on the Ghost; but a with a fully specced Phantom still flying too: I was toast three turns ago.

Turn 9


I liked Rhymer concept; but maybe paired with some other ships. That said, I'd give this list another go at some point.

The Ghost is a beast to put down. I have only played it once and lost it quickly, I seem to have had more trouble playing against it than people do against me when I fly it!

I liked it too. Most of its function comes from the excellent crew cards, most of whom could be well used elsewhere too I think. Wouldn't like to use it against harder-hitting ships, that said. No evade dice at all is pretty risky. Similarly, the shuttle shone against such sluggish shipping. Nippier fighters would probably make short work of it, but it is at least cheap.


Time to go back to Scum, and I've been thinking about how to try out Black Market Slicer Tools. As the stress goes away when used, I decided it did not make sense on multiple ships and thought about going for two big ships instead.

I went Imperial, but had to take a bounty hunter to make myself feel at home.

Big Mighty Ship Tanks

So I took the Big Mighty Ship Tanks I like Asajj, great pilot ability when considering the BMST illicit; I like the combo of K4 and Gyroscopic targeting for action economy (free target lock and mobile arc move on any green move... albeit you have to plan ahead the arc twist is AFTER combat). Of course, if planning on pretty much a green move every turn then why not take push the limit too.

The flying brick was piloted by Moralo; it meant both PS6 and so could choose movement order, but also was planning on taking the Flechette cannon for stress, and this gave me the extra arc to use on it. Add Tactician for some additional stress and boost so that the brick has a chance of turning around.

Everything else was just toys to fill up the points.

Boba Sleigh

Of the three factions, Imperials are the ones I've played least and find hardest. Great cheap fighter options, but I'm not good with swarm. Give me a couple of toughies and I'm more content, so Boba and his all new pal Quickdraw made up a list. 

Quickdraw would spray and pray, closing fast and maybe getting a free shot or two on the joust before flipping in behind the opponents with Lightning Reflexes and staying there to hurt people. Boba would be putting out early target locks, closing fast to spray advanced proton torpedoes asap, then using his rear arc or missiles to deal with whatever was left. 

And I gave him bombs. I like bombs. 


In a turnaround from last game, I am setting up both my ships without knowing Kraken's position. I opt for the top corner. The Firespray lines up for the joust and Quickdraw prepares to hit my flanks.

Turn 1 

I move fast as fast as brick will go, gaining precious movement from the engine upgrade and park up behind a debris field.

Whereas I stayed cautiously away, setting up target locks for Boba and hoping to stay out of arc with QD.

Turn 2:

The YV stopped hoping to bring the TIE into its snare; whilst the Shadowcaster lurched forward towards the Firespray.

Yeah, that got me. Damn space brakes. Luckily the range and my innate agility got me through the incoming fire. 

The Shadowcaster and Firespray exchanged short range fire. My proton torps knocked a meagre pair of shields off the brute, whereas I lost the same to mere gunfire. Gah!

Turn 3:

Turning back in and fast the Shadowcaster rotates its turret and gains target lock on the Firespray, whilst the brick heads straight across obstacles wishing he could turn round quicker.

QD was looping along at range still, dodging long-range cannon fire and waiting for the moment to spring in close and spin with the reflex card. 

Turn 4:

I've hemmed the YV in. It was a good initial joust, but need to keep going straight less put myself out of position, without a shot or action and potentially damaged and or stressed. So it flies away ready to reengage later for a second pass.

Great, some breathing space! Although my ships are doing the same, moving away from the first pass and readying for the next. I need it too, Boba has taken quite a beating from that damn rotator turret.

Turn 5 & 6:

The YV makes its wide turn and lines up the Firespray whilst the Shadowcaster starts to pile the stress on the TIE

Yeah, even though I could keep a small pile of stress and still barrel roll, there was a perfect storm emerging here. I got stress for shooting at the Shadowcaster, being near it, being shot at by it and playing on the same table as it. Also taking actions during its turn or thinking negative thoughts about it. Eesh.

Turn 7 & 8:

The Shadowcaster maintains its foot to the floor and turns away from engagement, letting her mobile arc stay tracked on TIE mounting up stress; and pulling the TIE into the path of an asteroid with her tractor beam.

The YV with careful braking and crashing remains entangled with the Firespray long enough to negate some of its offence, whilst using the barrier as a method of quicking Quickdraw in arc.

While they were ramming each other, Boba was fingering the trigger of his proximity mine release...

But that wasn't to be immediately, our flying kept us piled up together for the next turn too, so Boba sat there pointlessly with the two big bully ships pounding on the poor little TIE. Who was carrying six stress by this point.

Turn 9:

The YV stops in front of the well stressed Quickdraw, hoping to prevent it from moving long enough for Asajj to pull in behind and blow the TIE from the skies.

At this point, it was probably a blessed relief for the poor, stressed bastard.

Turn 10 & 11:

But the exposure had left Shadowcaster exposed to a full on Firespray rear attack and with no focus or even consideration for defence (triple blank I ask you!?!) the pursuit ship was destroyed. We were even... well shipwise... but the YV had 6 hull remaining to the Firespray's 3.

A tentative K-turn with Skype b.o.d. given to prevent the Firespray k-turning off the board.

Yeah, I'd taken a speed 4 K-turn where a speed 3 would have done it, so technically lost at this point. But Kas graciously let me see if I could get some revenge for Quickdraw.

Turn 11 & 12:

A tentative repositioning as the two big ships line up for another joust. At the last moment, the brick turns, relying on its 180degree arc, and ready to slingshot round the asteroid to give chase after this frontal attack.

I still had some decent missiles left, assault flavour, and the lock to use them. So obviously I flew into some asteroids when I might have let them loose, and they stayed in the tubes. 

Turn 13:

Hard turn and boost and that side arc proves useful. No more Flechette cannon, this time it is an all out attack to try and clear that last hull. Kaboom!

Eesh! Stress had once again finished me, I didn't have the space or the speed I needed to escape the bigger ship's firepower. Blargh.


Enjoyed playing this list. The Shadowcaster is lovely to fly. Still not convinced on the brick, but it was a good strong wingman in this case.

I always liked it when I've used it in the past. A good damage dealer, although a pig to fly, but it's well paired with a ship as manouverable as the Shadowcaster. That thing spins like an Aggressor and hits like a bastard. Nice.

Quickdraw was unlucky to lose her shields when she could not elect to get shots off, 2 from shots out of her arc, and the final from an asteroid. I have seen this ability played well, but failed to pull it off on my attempts thus far.

That's the one where she can either shoot twice in a turn from front and rear arcs or just get an extra dice to the front, yes? Yeah, that's what sold me on her for this list. Like you, I never got the chance to use it. My list would have done better against smaller ships, I think, I wasn't really loaded for bear sufficiently to survive this scrap!

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