The Power of the Generic EPT

And so my latest epic X-Wing game has concluded. This one was not pretty!

Max and I travelled to York Garrison wargames just outside of York for a 350 point game. As we set up, we could see we’d both gone for very specific tactics. I’d built a list full of aces and lots of ways to dish out stress, with a GR-75 with slicer tools to back it up; the logic being Imperial ships can be hard to hit whereas slicer tools is guaranteed damage. Max went for a list using generic pilots that have Elite Pilot Talent (EPT) slots- 4x Tie Defenders with Tractor Beam and Ruthlessness, 4x Tie Bombers with Deadeye, Assualt Missiles, Extra Munitions and Guidance Chips, plus a Gozanti Cruiser to carry the bombers in to battle and an Upsilon Class Shuttle for support.

My list consisted of:

Coran Horn + R5-P9 + Fire Control System + Adaptability (40)

Jan Ors + Adaptability + Ion Cannon Turret (30)

Ten Numb + Fire Control System + Mangler Cannon + B/E2 + Tactician (40)

“Dutch” Vander + BTL-A4 Y-Wing + Ion Cannon Turret (28)

Nera Dantels + Flechette Torpedoes + Flechette Torpedoes + B/E2 + Rey (34)

Etahn A’Bhat + Trick Shot (32)

Braylen Stramm + R3-A2 + Gunner + Alliance Overhaul (32)

Zeb Orrelios + Sabine’s Masterpiece + Black Market Slicer Tools (15)

GR-75 Medium Transport + Dutyfree + Shield Technician + Frequency Jammer + Slicer Tools + Tibanna Gas Supplies + Automated Protocols (53)

Gold Squadron Pilot + BTL-A4 Y-Wing + Ion Cannon Turret (23)

Rookie Pilot + Flechette Torpedoes (23)

Total = 350 points

The Tie Bombers unfortunately won’t take stress from Flechette Torpedoes, but I did have Tactician, R3-A2 and the jam action on the GR-75, so the ‘stress and slice’ plan wasn’t completely scuppered from the offset. Max won the coin flip and got initiative.

So here’s the setup:

wp_20170211_11_06_15_proSetup at the start of the game

We looked at each other’s lists but I didn’t realise how powerful Ruthlessness would be, or how quickly the Bombers would deploy. I figured in a joust against the Defenders I’d win, so I set up most of my forces for this. This not only  cost me the game, but set it up for a crushing defeat.

I figured if Max used his head, he’d bring a Gozanti, and if he used his heart he’d bring the Imperial Raider, so I’d brought two Y-Wings with the BTL-A4 title to take down a Raider, just in case. For some reason, despite it only being a 3 dice attack with no ability to use focus tokens, I’d decided in my head the Gozanti was a big threat, and committed my Y-Wings to it (seen to the right, ready to flank.)

And we were off, for probably the most action packed first round X-Wing has ever seen! My ships all went forward, no faster than speed 3 due the ARC-170 and B-Wing dials. The Defenders raced forward and focused up, and the Gozanti raced forward at top speed. To my horror, he managed to deploy all 4 bombers expertly with some well placed barrel rolls from 3 of the Bombers.. He then used General Hux to give the 3 Bombers that had barrel rolled focus tokens. Suddenly, I was scared. 4 Bombers with Deadeye and all in range. Shit! I think the highlight for me was getting 3 stress tokens down from the GR-75 with a jam action and Frequency Jammer upgrade.

wp_20170211_11_27_36_proStart of the combat phase, round 1

wp_20170211_11_27_58_proStart of the combat phase, round 1

I opened the joust. Ten Numb had target locked a Defender but not one he could use Tactician on. I decided damage was more important than the stress token, and I went for the locked Defender, and chipped off a couple of shields. Jan was out of range, and Corran took a range 3 shot.

Then the volley opened up. Defender on the ARC-170. Tractor Beam. Hits. No more green dice. Ruthlessness on Corran. Primary weapon. 3 damage on the ARC un-contested from a green dice. Another damage to Corran. This continued, and as Ruthlessness doesn’t need to do any damage (it just needs to hit), the Tractor Beam attacks were also hurting. Corran was destroyed entirely by Ruthlessness, and other ships suffered damage during the onslaught. After the Defenders finished firing, I’d lost Braylen Stramm, Corran Horn and suffered a fair bit of damage. Then it was the Bombers to fire. I braced myself for more pain!

The Bombers managed to finish off Nera, Etahn A’Bhat and Rookie Pilot. Nera and E’tahn got to fire with the simultaneous attack rule, and I chipped away a few more shields on the Defenders.

Zeb took a pot shot at a Tie Bomber at Range 3 and missed. At the end of the round I’d lost the bulk of my forces, and defeat was inevitable!

wp_20170211_11_43_02_proEnd of combat phase, round 1. The board is looking much emptier!

Round 2, and the Imperials began mop-up duty. The Y-Wings got in range of the Gozanti and Dutch got them both a target lock. Zeb squared up with the Bombers, but was in no position to use his Black Market Slicer Tools. Jan Ors and the GR-75 did their best to get somewhere useful, but it was too late.

Combat opened with Jan firing an unmodified Ion Cannon Turret at the stressed defender, which missed. The Defenders and Bombers then launched at Jan and the GR-75. Jan was destroyed, and the GR-75 lost it’s shields. It later used Slicer Tools and Automated Protocols to put the stressed Defender to it’s last hull, and recover all it’s shields. Zeb did a damage to a Tie Bomber, and the Gozanti did a damage back to Zeb. The Y-Wings had slowly started to chip at the Gozanti, attacking at range 3 with just their primary weapons.

wp_20170211_11_57_21_proStart of combat phase, round 2

Round 3, and Max moved the nearly-dead Defender in the way of the GR-75, ready to give it a faceup damage card when the GR-75 ran over the Defender. But I’d finally take a ship! The Bombers straightened their formation, and the Y-Wings closed in on the Gozanti. Unfortunately, the GR-75’s faceup damage card stopped it from doing the jam action, which was key to it’s strategy. I tried and failed to fix it, then recovered my shields. I hammered at the Gozanti with the Y-Wings, getting 4 damage cards through and 2 ion tokens, so I knew Max would have less energy to recover shields next turn. The Gozanti destroyed Zeb, leaving me with just 3 ships.

wp_20170211_12_18_37_proEnd of combat phase, round 3

Round 4, and Max started turning his forces back towards the Y-Wings. We managed to destroy each others huge ships. At the end of the round, I had two Y-Wings that hadn’t taken much damage against a pretty healthy mix of 8 ships (the Gozanti had shot at Dutch twice.) And turn 5, I’d have to avoid a 4 dice firing arc on the Upsilon class shuttle.

WP_20170211_12_57_28_Pro.jpgEnd of combat phase, round 4

It took Max 2 more rounds to finish off the Y-Wings, here is the last Y-Wing just before destruction:

WP_20170211_13_12_03_Pro.jpgLast stand of the Y-Wing

So yeah, that happened!

Moral of the story, always pay attention to your opponents list at setup! This wouldn’t have been quite the whitewash if I hadn’t kept my ships at range 1 of each other, and I still could setup so I could have used my buffing abilities. Even so, it would have been a hard battle.

I was particularly impressed with the Gozanti’s delivery of the Tie Bombers, setting up a perfect flanking position.

Changes in the meta

Max’s list utilised some new changes to the meta: generic pilots with EPT’s which are becoming much more common, and we have seen the rise of this with the triple Jumpmaster lists and Crack Shot swarms. Ordnance has also become much more common with Extra Munitions and Guidance Chips. It’s had it’s rise to glory in the 100 pt dogfight meta, but it’s clearly got lots of potential in the epic meta. General Hux compliments the Deadeye Tie Bomber very well, and docking them with the Gozanti protects a ship with no shields until it is in position to deploy for a devastating ordnance assault. I was expecting Max to run all the fiddly aces (Soontir, Inquisitor etc.) but his list was very well put together, and had a very high damage output!

Upwards and onwards

So a lot to think about for my next list, especially in terms of deployment. This was the first time I’d run the Rebel Transport without Toryn Farr, which is a shame as I’d have got to use her this time! She would have stopped the Deadeye ordnance assault dead in it’s tracks.

There’s always next time.

Remember, fly casual!

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