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A-Wing, the other white meat!?


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#1 atmsalad

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:32 AM

 

Good day fellas

This is going to be the first of several posts to talk about what the new ships and cards, that are not yet legal, bring to the table for the rebels. This post will only be talking about ships, not upgrade cards of any kind, those posts will be to come. I am giving my experienced opinion and you are more than welcome to disagree and argue :)

The A-wing isn’t nearly as versatile as the x-wing and its pilots, but it is really going to shake up the game. At 17 points the proto-pilot is a no brainer choice over the rookie x-wing. For the exact same price you can trick it out with some cluster missiles to provide an early boost in attack dice. With its superior agility, maneuverability and unpredictability it allows you to constantly keep your opponent thinking. You could even choose a green squadron pilot and throw on some nice upgrades to be close to the same point value, but still twice as effective.

As for Y-wings, the A-wing can not take its place. It will continue to be a utility vehicle for the rebs and a main ship in their squads. The ability to manipulate your opponent’s movement and take a ship out of combat for 1 or more rounds is way too attractive to pass up in most cases. I understand a lot of people will toy with 5 ships A-wing builds and 4 ship builds without this ship. Does this ship have low maneuverability and the worst agility in the game? Heck yes it does! But you can not dispute its value, although some will try. When I think about the Y-wing in the future, I think of volleys of protons from Horton covering advancing A-wings and Dutch passing target locks to green squadron pilots like a boss, lol. I could be wrong, but it is fun to imagine. J

The X-wing is still going to see action, especially wedge and Biggs as usual. I do think Luke is going to see far less playing time now; his special ability is just not as appealing as wedges. The best thing the X-wings have going for them are the droids and maybe some of the new elite skills could shake things up a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I am not hating on the X-wing, but even in the stories the A-wing was supposed to be the superior dog fighter. So far that is really looking like that will be the case. I think that the X-wing will fill more of a support role in future squads, it is going to be made to fill the position that the A-wings cant. Drawing fire, wedge or Biggs, or a possible late game heavy hitter. After all, that extra attack dice does look pretty enticing at times.

I am vastly looking forward to play testing this new ship, and to those of you that think the A-wing is going to crash and burn, I say come at me and my 3 A-wing, 1 Y-wing squad. You might just be in for a surprise. ;) 



#2 drkjedi35

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:47 AM

So why did you leave out the biggest (in size and firepower) new ship in the rebels?



#3 atmsalad

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:01 AM

drkjedi35 said:

So why did you leave out the biggest (in size and firepower) new ship in the rebels?

Because I personally do not see it being competetive. Anyone that uses it will be out numbered, out gunned, out maneuvered, out of activations and in the end out of luck. It costs to much to be a good option for the rebels, and the smugglers dont have enough bang for their buck. That is my opinion though.



#4 drkjedi35

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:03 AM

You might want to get a few games in with it before you make that assessment.  A fully loaded YT-1300 is a tank.  I think you'll be surprised.



#5 atmsalad

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:06 AM

drkjedi35 said:

You might want to get a few games in with it before you make that assessment.  A fully loaded YT-1300 is a tank.  I think you'll be surprised.

That is true, and I plan on doing just that come february, or sooner if I have a buddy that competes in the kessel run. :)



#6 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:10 AM

atmsalad said:

I do think Luke is going to see far less playing time now; his special ability is just not as appealing as wedges.

Luke's special ability is often ignored because it's defensive. I know you weren't planning to talk about cards, but 33 points buys you Luke + R2-F2 + Elusiveness, and with that you can shrug off damage more or less indefinitely. Alternately, throw Expose on Luke for 32 points, and force your opponents to pay attention to him (bringing his ability into play) before he starts chewing on your TIEs at close range with 5 attack dice. If that still doesn't work for you, think about the combo of R2-D2 + Draw Their Fire for 33 points, which lets you laugh at your opponent's critical hits.

Luke is a passive tank, rather than an active one like Biggs, but don't let that lead you into underestimating him. The upgrades from Wave 2 will make him a lot more interesting, not less.



#7 hothie

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:17 AM

Oh man i wish I could play you with my Outer Rim Smuggler squad. i would love to see your face when I run my pilot skill 1 large base ship right into the middle of your squad, and it causes a pileup, making you lose all of your actions that round. Methinks that would change your mind about the competitiveness of the YT1300. And yes, it does take a long time to kill, meanwhile the rest of the squad is firing away. And don't get me started on Chewbacca with Draw Fire…


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#8 Surtur

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:30 AM

A wing can only take 4 hits, only shoots with 2 dice and has has no astromech ability. I think you're over estimating the A-Wing's ability to replace the X-Wing. Empire will field more Tie Fighters than you can A-Wings and the differences between an A-Wing and a Tie Fighter's stats are rather slim. Offensive dice give a bigger return than defensive dice per die and actions only help that so the X-Wing is still the premier offensive fighter.

That said, I think the A-Wing has a role it will fill in harrassment. Using it's speed/maneuverability and good agility dice it can commit to flanking actions much easier than anything the Rebels have. It will also do great for people wanting to bring a Falcon because of it's low price. I think it will be a great addition and people will bring at least 1, but I don't think it will replace anything in full.



#9 dvang

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:27 AM

Keep in mind that, although pricey, in a Rebel vs Imperial battle the A-Wing can taking Homing Missiles.  Attacking at range 2-3 with an Attack 4, and not allowing TIEs to use their EVADE tokens, is pretty good.

Just an observation, not a commentary one way or another.



#10 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:23 PM

Surtur said:

A wing can only take 4 hits, only shoots with 2 dice and has has no astromech ability. I think you're over estimating the A-Wing's ability to replace the X-Wing. Empire will field more Tie Fighters than you can A-Wings and the differences between an A-Wing and a Tie Fighter's stats are rather slim. Offensive dice give a bigger return than defensive dice per die and actions only help that so the X-Wing is still the premier offensive fighter.

That said, I think the A-Wing has a role it will fill in harrassment. Using it's speed/maneuverability and good agility dice it can commit to flanking actions much easier than anything the Rebels have. It will also do great for people wanting to bring a Falcon because of it's low price. I think it will be a great addition and people will bring at least 1, but I don't think it will replace anything in full.

I came to the same conclusion from a different perspective. I'd rather have a ship with 3 attack dice than 2 attack dice, but I'd rather have more ships on the table than fewer.

So at 21 points each, I can fit 4 X-wings in a 100-point squad--but that leaves me only 16 points for upgrades (counting "pilot" as a kind of upgrade). That's on the skinny side of things, because there are a lot of nice secondary weapons, skilled pilots, elite talents, etc.

The Rebels' problem, in comparison to the Empire, is that 16 points isn't quite enough for the upgrades you want. Just upgrading a Rookie to Wedge costs 8 points--half of your margin. So what the Rebels really need is a ship that comes on a cheaper skeleton, allowing them to stay at 4 ships and open up that margin a bit further, or use that margin to go to 5 ships in order to compete more directly with the smaller Imperial lists.

And A-wings are a really nice solution to that problem. Continuing the same example, 4 X-wings cost 84 points, but 2 X-wings and 2 A-wings cost 76. I've just increased my margin for upgrades by 50% without decreasing the number of ships in my squad. And that lets me pull all kinds of fun synergistic tricks without reducing the number of attacks and actions I get to take in a turn--or it lets me field 2 X-wings and 3 A-wings, which is a squad size that hasn't really been an option for Rebels in the past.

The A-wing shouldn't be as effective as the X-wing, because it's cheaper. If it were just as effective, it would either be undercosted or it would be too expensive to be useful in the metagame. What I need for building Rebel lists is a ship that's a little cheaper than an X-wing and still useful, and the A-wing does that. After the Wave 2 release, I doubt I'll build many lists with 0 A-wings, because I'll either be using them to create room for upgrades, or I'll be taking them instead of upgrades.



#11 Duraham

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:26 PM

I view the Awing as a playable Ywing without ion cannons, which most players are actually considering right now, mainly due to the low cost that allows you to sneak in one additional ship into your build. There are other considerations though.

 

Awings are pretty much flying the same arcs as regular TIE fighters (just with different colours), and without speed 1 movements (no, the hard turn doesnt count), it can be rather tricky for the Awing to stay close with your slower Xwing and Ywing to continue to benefit from the group bonuses that Rebels generally enjoy and make use of. You can try this by tossing a TIE fighter into your Rebel squad and see how it works out in the middle of a fight (yes, go try out a mixed squad). Flying at that kind of speeds also restricts the Awing's abilities and potential, and on top of that, the named Awing pilots have abilities that do not really work well with the rest of your squad, ie. they tend to be rather selfish standalone effects like what you get from the imperials. 

 

long story short, would I run it in my squad? That would depend on what I expect to get out of them. Based on Crynyd's ability, the Awing is supposed to zip around at 4-5 speeds and try to catch opponents at range 1 to make up for its 2 attack dice, then get out, turn around, and get another pass. You could also have it dogfight like a regular TIE, and with an entire row of green speed 2 maneuvers, it's not that bad in that aspect either, but do not expect it to last long if you do that due to it having the same stats as a normal TIE, but with an additional shield/hp. The regular Xwing is still more versatile and still remains as a core in most rebel builds, simply due to the pilot effects and the amount of upgrades you can put on them to customize them to various specific roles. With the Awing, you can try, but it doesn't offer the kind of "teamwork based" play that the rebels excel at.

 

at lower gamepoints though (ie. 50-60 range), the Awings do shine due to their low cost. You can now run 2-3 ship builds, and your 2 ship builds will have either 2 ships that are resonably decked out, or 1 star player (say, wedge with all the fling-flangs) and a cheap Awing to fill the remaining points

 

 

all in all, the Awing fills a rather new and niche role for the rebels, and you will really need to test it out on the battlefield before you can come up with a more accurate depiction of its uses and abilities, simply because the rebels never had any ship like it (unless you have been messing around with mixed squads, then it's pretty much a TIE fighter for the rebels)



#12 CaptainRook

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:47 PM

I feel as if the A-Wing provides a new tactic to avoid the synergistic builds, if you'd like.  I think they're a 'table players' new favorite, people like me who put much more emphasis on proper application of the maneuvering dial than stats.  The same with the Interceptors, to be honest.  Their abilities really do effect movement more than anything, which pleases me greatly.  I really enjoy putting more thought into the game at hand than the construction of the list.  This always comes off as a criticism of others, and it's not, I just don't enjoy the belief that this game can be won before the dice begin to roll.  

….besides, what's the fun of playing a game based in a fictional universe when all you care about are the stats and crafting a flawless combo?  


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#13 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:06 PM

CaptainRook said:

I feel as if the A-Wing provides a new tactic to avoid the synergistic builds, if you'd like.  I think they're a 'table players' new favorite, people like me who put much more emphasis on proper application of the maneuvering dial than stats.  The same with the Interceptors, to be honest.  Their abilities really do effect movement more than anything, which pleases me greatly.  I really enjoy putting more thought into the game at hand than the construction of the list.  This always comes off as a criticism of others, and it's not, I just don't enjoy the belief that this game can be won before the dice begin to roll.  

….besides, what's the fun of playing a game based in a fictional universe when all you care about are the stats and crafting a flawless combo?  

I don't think you can win before you sit down, but I think you can lose before you sit down. There's no way to guarantee a win against a smart opponent, let alone a set of progressively better tournament opponents, but you can bring a list that wastes points, depends on a context that is unlikely to develop, or through some misjudgment or design flaw cuts off some number of tactical options.

But I do agree that the A-wing and Interceptor are going to reward imaginative tactics, experience, and good spatial sense more than any other ships in the game right now.



#14 atmsalad

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:15 AM

Vorpal Sword said:

atmsalad said:

 

I do think Luke is going to see far less playing time now; his special ability is just not as appealing as wedges.

 

Luke's special ability is often ignored because it's defensive. I know you weren't planning to talk about cards, but 33 points buys you Luke + R2-F2 + Elusiveness, and with that you can shrug off damage more or less indefinitely. Alternately, throw Expose on Luke for 32 points, and force your opponents to pay attention to him (bringing his ability into play) before he starts chewing on your TIEs at close range with 5 attack dice. If that still doesn't work for you, think about the combo of R2-D2 + Draw Their Fire for 33 points, which lets you laugh at your opponent's critical hits.

Luke is a passive tank, rather than an active one like Biggs, but don't let that lead you into underestimating him. The upgrades from Wave 2 will make him a lot more interesting, not less.

With the rebels new options, yes falcon included ;), luke just doesnt seam that great to me. At 33 points I could easily play a smuggler with gunner as upposed to luke, or a decked out tycho. I do not disagree that luke looks more appealing now, I simply said that other pilots and combos seam to look more appealing, at least that is what I meant to imply. New cards are meant to spice everybody up, and I just do not see luke as quite as flavorfull these days.



#15 atmsalad

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:40 AM

hothie said:

Oh man i wish I could play you with my Outer Rim Smuggler squad. i would love to see your face when I run my pilot skill 1 large base ship right into the middle of your squad, and it causes a pileup, making you lose all of your actions that round. Methinks that would change your mind about the competitiveness of the YT1300. And yes, it does take a long time to kill, meanwhile the rest of the squad is firing away. And don't get me started on Chewbacca with Draw Fire…

I would gladly accept the offer! Seeing how I am certain that you have had far more testing time than I have with it I am going to take your word on that. I just personally would rather have two A-wings than one outer rim smuggler with a gunner. I simply dont like the miniscule agility and low attack dice. I feel like I could get a similar use out of a gold squadren pilot with and Ion cannon, and still have points left over. I do want to play test one though, but right now without playing it at all, the most I would play is one smuggler with a gunner. 



#16 Duraham

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:53 AM

atmsalad said:

hothie said:

 

Oh man i wish I could play you with my Outer Rim Smuggler squad. i would love to see your face when I run my pilot skill 1 large base ship right into the middle of your squad, and it causes a pileup, making you lose all of your actions that round. Methinks that would change your mind about the competitiveness of the YT1300. And yes, it does take a long time to kill, meanwhile the rest of the squad is firing away. And don't get me started on Chewbacca with Draw Fire…

 

 

I would gladly accept the offer! Seeing how I am certain that you have had far more testing time than I have with it I am going to take your word on that. I just personally would rather have two A-wings than one outer rim smuggler with a gunner. I simply dont like the miniscule agility and low attack dice. I feel like I could get a similar use out of a gold squadren pilot with and Ion cannon, and still have points left over. I do want to play test one though, but right now without playing it at all, the most I would play is one smuggler with a gunner. 

 

you guys can settle it over Vassal, or bad MS paint emails



#17 atmsalad

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:54 AM

Surtur said:

A wing can only take 4 hits, only shoots with 2 dice and has has no astromech ability. I think you're over estimating the A-Wing's ability to replace the X-Wing. Empire will field more Tie Fighters than you can A-Wings and the differences between an A-Wing and a Tie Fighter's stats are rather slim. Offensive dice give a bigger return than defensive dice per die and actions only help that so the X-Wing is still the premier offensive fighter.

That said, I think the A-Wing has a role it will fill in harrassment. Using it's speed/maneuverability and good agility dice it can commit to flanking actions much easier than anything the Rebels have. It will also do great for people wanting to bring a Falcon because of it's low price. I think it will be a great addition and people will bring at least 1, but I don't think it will replace anything in full.

So which do you think is better for its cost, the proto-pilot and cluster missiles or a rookie x wing? I think that when it comes to those numbers the A-wing wins. It can deal two rounds of the x-wings dice in one round and will be able to stick around longer. The lower pilot level is preferable for me as is its maneuver dials. K-turn 5? Dont mind if I do! :)



#18 Duraham

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:10 AM

atmsalad said:

Surtur said:

 

A wing can only take 4 hits, only shoots with 2 dice and has has no astromech ability. I think you're over estimating the A-Wing's ability to replace the X-Wing. Empire will field more Tie Fighters than you can A-Wings and the differences between an A-Wing and a Tie Fighter's stats are rather slim. Offensive dice give a bigger return than defensive dice per die and actions only help that so the X-Wing is still the premier offensive fighter.

That said, I think the A-Wing has a role it will fill in harrassment. Using it's speed/maneuverability and good agility dice it can commit to flanking actions much easier than anything the Rebels have. It will also do great for people wanting to bring a Falcon because of it's low price. I think it will be a great addition and people will bring at least 1, but I don't think it will replace anything in full.

 

 

So which do you think is better for its cost, the proto-pilot and cluster missiles or a rookie x wing? I think that when it comes to those numbers the A-wing wins. It can deal two rounds of the x-wings dice in one round and will be able to stick around longer. The lower pilot level is preferable for me as is its maneuver dials. K-turn 5? Dont mind if I do! :)

 

unless I really need the missile (and until I test out the Awing), I'd go with the Xwing. 2 attack dice really isn't going to hit anything, much less a regular TIE on evade. At the very least, Ywings can use ion cannons with 3 attack dice and get in 1 point of damage + an ionize effect if they are unable to get the opponent in range 1. Unless you can maneuver very well or your Awing is named Cyrnyd, I'd use a standard Xwing anytime



#19 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:39 AM

atmsalad said:

Surtur said:

 

A wing can only take 4 hits, only shoots with 2 dice and has has no astromech ability. I think you're over estimating the A-Wing's ability to replace the X-Wing. Empire will field more Tie Fighters than you can A-Wings and the differences between an A-Wing and a Tie Fighter's stats are rather slim. Offensive dice give a bigger return than defensive dice per die and actions only help that so the X-Wing is still the premier offensive fighter.

That said, I think the A-Wing has a role it will fill in harrassment. Using it's speed/maneuverability and good agility dice it can commit to flanking actions much easier than anything the Rebels have. It will also do great for people wanting to bring a Falcon because of it's low price. I think it will be a great addition and people will bring at least 1, but I don't think it will replace anything in full.

 

 

So which do you think is better for its cost, the proto-pilot and cluster missiles or a rookie x wing? I think that when it comes to those numbers the A-wing wins. It can deal two rounds of the x-wings dice in one round and will be able to stick around longer. The lower pilot level is preferable for me as is its maneuver dials. K-turn 5? Dont mind if I do! :)

I don't know if you wereasking me, but it's the Prototype Pilot + Concussion Missiles. Damage now is better than damage later--particularly in a tournament-style format--and concussion missiles are one of the best ways in the game to front-load your damage. I also think A-wings' evasion and maneuverability make the attrition game a little easier in Imperial matchups.

But I would stop at two, which is enough to take out an enemy fighter early in the game, and supplement them with something(s) else. Once the missiles are away, A-wings aren't going to have the punch you want for the first couple of rounds of real dogfighting, and they're cheap enough even with missiles that you can afford to complement them with one or two slower heavy hitters--and X-wings with R2 Astromechs fill that role very nicely.



#20 atmsalad

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:07 AM

Vorpal Sword said:

Surtur said:

 

A wing can only take 4 hits, only shoots with 2 dice and has has no astromech ability. I think you're over estimating the A-Wing's ability to replace the X-Wing. Empire will field more Tie Fighters than you can A-Wings and the differences between an A-Wing and a Tie Fighter's stats are rather slim. Offensive dice give a bigger return than defensive dice per die and actions only help that so the X-Wing is still the premier offensive fighter.

That said, I think the A-Wing has a role it will fill in harrassment. Using it's speed/maneuverability and good agility dice it can commit to flanking actions much easier than anything the Rebels have. It will also do great for people wanting to bring a Falcon because of it's low price. I think it will be a great addition and people will bring at least 1, but I don't think it will replace anything in full.

 

I came to the same conclusion from a different perspective. I'd rather have a ship with 3 attack dice than 2 attack dice, but I'd rather have more ships on the table than fewer.

 

So at 21 points each, I can fit 4 X-wings in a 100-point squad--but that leaves me only 16 points for upgrades (counting "pilot" as a kind of upgrade). That's on the skinny side of things, because there are a lot of nice secondary weapons, skilled pilots, elite talents, etc.

The Rebels' problem, in comparison to the Empire, is that 16 points isn't quite enough for the upgrades you want. Just upgrading a Rookie to Wedge costs 8 points--half of your margin. So what the Rebels really need is a ship that comes on a cheaper skeleton, allowing them to stay at 4 ships and open up that margin a bit further, or use that margin to go to 5 ships in order to compete more directly with the smaller Imperial lists.

And A-wings are a really nice solution to that problem. Continuing the same example, 4 X-wings cost 84 points, but 2 X-wings and 2 A-wings cost 76. I've just increased my margin for upgrades by 50% without decreasing the number of ships in my squad. And that lets me pull all kinds of fun synergistic tricks without reducing the number of attacks and actions I get to take in a turn--or it lets me field 2 X-wings and 3 A-wings, which is a squad size that hasn't really been an option for Rebels in the past.

The A-wing shouldn't be as effective as the X-wing, because it's cheaper. If it were just as effective, it would either be undercosted or it would be too expensive to be useful in the metagame. What I need for building Rebel lists is a ship that's a little cheaper than an X-wing and still useful, and the A-wing does that. After the Wave 2 release, I doubt I'll build many lists with 0 A-wings, because I'll either be using them to create room for upgrades, or I'll be taking them instead of upgrades.

I agree that offensively from a whole game perspective the A-wing is not as good as the X-wing, how ever early game I would argue that it is better once you add a missile to it. The big reason I like the A-wing is because I feel like during a game it can better react to situations. It has a more aggressive maneuver template and more green maneuvers than any other ship, and that is something that I love about it. I also like the amount of different actions it has, that in itself helps it to adjust to whatever can happen in any given game.






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