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Playtesting the Bad Strategies

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#1 KineticOperator



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Posted 17 April 2013 - 04:51 AM

Something I learned gaming a long time ago is that you should test the "obviously" bad strategies at least once.  Sometimes, what seems pointless on paper becomes a viable or even powerful strategy when you try it.  Even if it doesn't work, you often learn a lot that helps with the more traditional play.  In that vein, I here are two lists I have been using.  One is a 3 x TIE Advanced list, and the other is either a 4 x Y-Wing or a 2 x Y-Wing and a 2 x Outer RIm Smuggler.  Here are the lists.

Rebel Convoy:

2 x Outer Rim Smugglers and 2 x Gold Squadron (Ion Cannons)

Gold Squadron:

Dutch (R5-K6, Ion Cannon), 3 x Gold Squadron (Ion Cannons)

Tempest Squadron:

Vader (Sqd Lead, Assault Missiles, Eng Upg), 2 x Tempest Squadron (Homing Missiles, Eng Upg)


I have been a combined 5-0 so far with these lists!  I have one win each with the two Rebel "turret" lists, and 3 wins with the TIE Advanced Squadron.  I am sure part of that is that most people have strategies for use against common lists, and the unusual nature of these means they have to improvise, but I still didn't expect this level of success.

The Rebel lists work well played very conservatively.  I started in the middle, and flew into the asteroids before turning to one side.  Ion Cannons help ensure the ships on the flank I turn towards are losing shots (because they can't line up on me), and by moving fast (or as fast as Y-Wings go) I can keep the far side from engaging effectively that first turn or two.  I then just fly around the back of their ships, moving fairly slow and conservatively while hammering away with turrets.  There is no need for anything fancy, since I don't have to worry about arcs.  The 4 Y-Wing is better in my opinion.  Both games were against 6- TIE lists.

The TIE Advanced list has been the superstar.  I played against a Chewbacca/Wedge, a Lando/Rookie/Rookie, and against a 4 Interceptor list.  The Falcon lists were the most straightforward, I just lined up on the Falcon, used Vader to throw actions, locked on, focused, and Missiled the Hell out of her before mopping up with primaries.  Then it was just a matter of time before eliminating the badly outnumbered Wedge/Rookies.  The 4 Interceptor was similar, I just hit one at a time until they went down.  The keys to making it work are definitely the Engine Upgrade and the Missiles.  Without the missiles, you would be very hard pressed to do enough damage early to even up the odds.  You are pretty tough, but letting the Falcon hammer away turn after turn would be suicide.  Hits by 2 Locked and Focused homing missiles goes a very long way towards flattening a Falcon, with 1 Agility and no evade she should easily take 5-6 damage at range 3.  Add an assault missile for another 1 or 2 and she is well on the way to the scrapyard.  Follow up with a single pass at range 1 and she goes down pretty fast.  The engine upgrades are, in my opinion, even more indispensible than the missiles.  Being able to maneuver like a TIE then Boost and/or Barrel Roll lets you move them out of arcs, keeps all 3 shooting every turn, slides you past and through asteroids without pain, and gives you a lot of range 1 shots at backsides.  Having the extra mobility also allows the 3 of them to take turns in the vulnerable position so you can spread damage around your shields, and since Vader is able to maneuver like a madman and push an addional Boost/Roll to one of his wingmen at PR 9 you can really milk this.  Again, since Vaders free action comes at PR 9 the lower PR of your Tempest is less of an issue.  You can use the Tempest action to try to set up, and if you get it wrong Vader can give you that extra boost/roll after you have seen your opponent commit.

What have I learned?  The heart of the game is the firing arc.  Getting yours to point at the enemy while keeping his from pointing at you is the essense to winning.  I know that seems obvious, but these lists have taught me that no matter how important I thought it was it is much more important than that.  If you can't get a shot, open up the range.  Flying over asteroids, colliding with other ships, focus vs. target lock vs. evade, all of them are a far, far distant second to pointing your ship at the enemy and keeping him from pointing at you.

PS:  I am trying to build a display for my models, and discovered the plastic trays they are shipped in are ideal.  Unfortunately, I threw most of miine away.  If anybody has a few (they are just trash after all) they could mail me I would happily give you a couple bucks for your trouble.  I am looking for 3 x X-Wings, 5 x TIE, 2 x Y-Wing, and 1 x TIE Advanced.  Just send me a PM.

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