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  1. .... What even is XWing? I haven't played basically since my last post.... 😛 5 Sentinels with Duchess is probably not effective.... too much capable of thumping it in return. Might make hyper-mobile Aces a touch twitchy though.... so... maybe? I have played with Crack Strikers before the points update and found it to be moderately effective.... so having Hull Upgrade there would be pretty good. I'd be willing to bet that it would be better than Ruthless simply for the lack of self-damage. I have no idea if it would be effective, probably not, but I want to try out Vagabond with a Skilled Bombardier, Afterburners and.... something (Proximities or Protons come to mind... pity you only get one Connor Net or Cluster Mine...).
  2. In these Dangerous Days, the citizens of the Galactic Empire need something they can look up to.... Meet Matt Stryker: ....Test Pilot (and/or paint scheme), and leader of The Rapiers, Aileron Aerobatic Squadron: ... I will probably go back and clean them up a bit later, maybe add some deep Imperial Blue lines somewhere. Turns out painting straight lines on TIE panels is pretty hard, even when going with the panel direction, especially after 10+ years not painting... but still reasonably happy with how they have turned out. Masking Tape is your friend. ... I haven't played for a few weeks, thanks to the Covids, but let me get a few more things out there. After playing double-digit numbers of games with 199 points of: 2x Intimidation/Hull 2x Ruthless/Hull 1x Ruthless I have come to the conclusion that it is at least as good as the Maximum Ruthless Strikers. The Maximum Ruthless has the advantage of no unique or "shoot me first" ships, cycling Ruthless ships is much easier than thinking of the positional requirements of Intimidator Strikers, remembering which Strikers have Intimidate and therefore can not contribute with a stronger Ruthless Bash (and also leads to times whereby you walk attacks back because you realise that you used Ruthless from a ship that doesn't have it....)... and it is super easy to calculate points at the end.... and you don't have to worry much about some ships losing more points than the others.... .... ...but the Intimidators have a MUCH higher potential. Wiping Intimidated T70s is a breeze. T65s? Hilarious. IGs do not like them. Stressed ships tend to be easy targets. That 1 point bid can be the difference. I am seeing a lot of I3. Just be wary that the Intimidators cost more and have a target on their heads.... from both the opponent and you. I have not found the 4 Hull Ruthless ship to be a significant weakness as the Intimidators tend to be the opponent's priority. I have found it more challenging to get an Intimidator to get into the correct spot.... I tend to set up with my Initmidators on the inside of my Ruthless ships, but it is easy to get them into reversed positions (meaning that the Intimidator is trailing the Ruthless ship, not the other way around.... less-than-ideal) or for the Ruthless ship to have a better flightpath into/through the fray. I have no intention of swapping one Intimidator for Intimidator Vagabond as an I2 Intimidator: All I3 is too flexible, and Strikers need that flexibility. I feel that both versions have reasonable match ups against 5As... you just have to threaten them and/or get close enough to make Ruthless a factor. 5X is only a problem if you get blocked/you block yourself and/or over-commit on Ruthless. Fireballs are an interesting proposition.... they are just as survivable as you, but are more manoeuvrable when they want to be and able to clog up everything. Be aware that they can jump you better than the other way around. Droids are ok.... if they have struts, see if you can goad them on to rocks and then let your Ailerons do the work. They are then very predictable. This is one match where changing targets based on changing board state is quite a good thing.... but you have to know your aileron/movement combinations well, potentially setting a manoeuvre that works with multiple Ailerons. This is challenging, but can lead to some Very Unexpected moments, like hurtling over an asteroid to arc dodge/chase a different target whilst they are pointed at the complete wrong direction. You don't necessarily have to eliminate them, just keep them out of the fight for a few turns. Ailerons are simultaneously a help and hindrance against Buzz Droids.... it makes them easier to pick up, but also easier to drop off. Boba is, and always will be, an issue. Still working this one out. Double Repositional Aces are difficult to pin down... my work around is to fly as a complete squadron and ensure that I always can threaten to point in their direction. If they have to dial in a non-committal manoeuvre, you will catch them eventually. If they bug out, but you weren't chasing them anyway, you have removed them from the game for several turns. If they turn in to you, and you call them on it, you probably win. Of my wins, I can safely say that at least 3 of them were last-turn-come-from-behind wins, and at least 3 were Dice Variance strongly in my favour.... but the majority of my wins have been a combination of surprising flying on my side of the board and the opponent either not expecting that level of firepower or testing new lists/variations of what they were otherwise used to. With the way I fly, tending to stick to a relatively close-ish formation, the most important thing is that I have all guns on One target in the opening. Five 3+ dice, potentially with blanks-to-hits, will absolutely Ruin anyone's day. Key points from losses: - Remember that opening obstacle placement diagram, specifically an obstacle halfway up the board edge? I am reconsidering these. Each of my losses had at least one of those obstacles get in the way, either through opponent design or poor flight choices from me. I don't know what to do here other than fly better or choose smaller obstacles. - Always be mindful of threatening your opponent with your ships. If you get in to a position whereby a strong flanker can safely get in behind/around your Strikers for whatever reason (obstacle placement and sub-standard flying on your behalf, usually), you are definitely going to have a bad time. The Striker Sloop Bloom will only help you so much, and you probably can not do it with everyone anyway. - Be wary of changing targets..... sometimes it helps, sometimes it hinders. If in doubt, wipe a target first. - Managing your speed and angles is key, and learning when to start fast or slow is Huge. If you Need to jump an opponent (such as they are obviously not going to stay directly opposite you) or clear an obstacle field, letting your Ailerons and 1 speed manoeuvres do the job won't cut it. If you want to make the opponent cut across the board to get to you, zooming off to their side of the board is likely to get an average engagement. - Don't be afraid to block yourself/ailerons in order to slow yourself down.... just don't do it on a turn when there is potential for an engagement. That ends badly. Also know that it significantly changes your next moves. - Related to the above, don't get your formation so tight as to make Ailerons+Manoeuvres impossible to pull off. This also goes back to obstacle placement.... an open field is a friendly field. You get to place three of them, make sure they count. - I said it above, but it bears re-iterating.... the most important thing in the opening engagement is that I have all guns on something.... anything. I don't necessarily care that I have someone flanking me (I generally have positioned myself in such a way that I threaten them in the turn prior).... but I definitely do care if an opponent slips my net because it means I have not done my job properly. - PRACTICE. I spent two-three weeks not playing, then played Woefully in the next two games. Poor Positioning, poorer decisions. This is NOT a squadron that you can just come back to at any point in time and have a good feel for, even with nearly-set opening series. You can claw your way back against an average opponent... but not against a good one. I am averaging maybe one-two Intimidation per game... but with significant variations. Last game night, I did not get any in my two games... the week before, 3 in as many turns. Capitalising on it is a non-trivial matter, but even one shot on that target is likely to be useful. I rarely feel like they are not worth it... even if only for mind games.
  3. Couple of things found on the interwebs: There was a whole minute dedicated to the Ruthless Strikers at the UK System Open (just shy of the one hour mark) on the 186th Podcast. Phrases used include "terrifying" and "genius". I am most pleased. https://soundcloud.com/186th-squadron-podcast/episode-77-boba-fett-where Also, just finished watching some Gold Squadron recordings of the Texas System Open. Tyler Tippet (of Scum and Villainy podcast fame) flying Duchess + 5 against Boba Fenn. This is good to watch from a positional/movement standpoint. The opening moves are nice to watch and the set up for entry seems pretty good to me. However, I want to look specifically at about 14 minutes in. Boba is potentially glommed up in between the gas clouds and the oncoming swarm.... but all Strikers move in between the same gas clouds, rather than having Yellow exploit its out-of-formation position to close up the option to its right side.... allowing Boba to freely change his dial with Slave One and get an action. Boba theoretically loses all shields there (more if Red didn't just eat all of Fenn's dice), may not be as effective with Cluster Mines and is in a worse position for next turn. As it stands, Reinforce and strong dice helps Boba lose just the one shield.
  4. Had couple more games with the Hull(2x Intimidation 2xRuthless) + Ruthless group. One win, one loss, four learning points/questions WIN - 5 X. 5 XWings seem like a daunting task, until you find out that even at R2 with everything you should wipe out one XWing a turn (which I more-or-less did). Range Control and obstacle management is key here - if they run through the middle of the obstacles, you should be able to move in such a manner that they do not get a lot of/good shots on a single Striker (you otherwise lose a Striker in return, then you are playing a game of dice attrition variance), and your mobility should leave you with enough options to avoid/make the bumps as necessary and to avoid having Sloops/K Turns blocked. However.... Ruthless question/theory time A Situation cropped up whereby I had several ships, one of which was on 2 Hull, within R1 of my intended target.... 5 Strikers alive, 3 capable of taking shots (1 R2, 2 R1) on the intended target, Intimidation active. Safe assumption to make that you will be getting potential Ruthless Triggers on all shots. QUESTION ONE - Do you: - Spread the Damage Around to multiple ships, so as to potentially keep your wounded ship alive (forcing the opponent to attack a ship on 1 health at least once, probably with an R3 shot, sparing your other ships shots), given that the attacks incoming to the non-damaged ship would be 2 shots at R2 and 1 at R3, OR - Load up the Wounded one (it will probably die anyway, may as well keep the other ships on full health to potentially better survive the other attack)? QUESTION TWO - Assume all ships have a second possible target at R2. Which order do you take your shots? Assume 1 Defense, Focused 6 Health defender, your R2 ship is the only ship that is not focused: - R2, R1, R1 - R1, R2, R1 - R1, R1, R2 MY ANSWERS QUESTION ONE - Ruthless: Spread or Soak? I chose to partially spread my Ruthless around.... I gave one ship 2 Ruthless Soaks and left the previously damaged one with one hull remaining (accepting that I am probably losing that ship anyway, but thinking that 3 Hull vs Two Shots was enough). This turned out to be an unbrilliant decision.... I lost two ships that turn due to three focused attacks against unfocused Strikers. Obviously, the long range XWing took a shot at the nearly eliminated Striker and got it. The other two XWings took focused shot on my three-hull Striker and popped it too... I stand a better chance when taking 3 mid-range shots with 5 Hull than I do taking 2 mid-range shots with only 3 Hull. In fact, if I spread Ruthless to 3 ships, that offers me the best potential for survival that turn (from 70% chance of kill with 2 Shots on 3 Hull, to 45% with 3 Shots vs 5 Hull, to less than 40% in the fully spread scenario). It might pay off to destroy one yourself and reduce the risk of losing two. QUESTION TWO - What Firing Order against a 1 Agility, Focused 6 Health Ship? I am a believer in shooting your weakest shots first so as to draw tokens out before your power punches hit... so I went R2-R1-R1. Turns out that this is wrong.... the Most Wrong. The Correct Answer is R1-R1-R2. Reasoning: Without Focus on the R2 ship, even with Ruthless you are unlikely to guarantee 6 damage goes through in 2 Shots against that target.... and that goes more if you shoot with the 3 Dice Ruthless-no-focus first. You are more likely to lose one of your likely 2 hits from that gun, making it nearly impossible for the R1 Focus Ruthless to kill it (you need criticals in your favour). However, shooting both R1s at the target first, I am rolling 7-8 Hits 85% of the time and I wipe that target about 80% of the time, freeing up a shot to go elsewhere. Sometimes going against your regular shooting order is beneficial... particularly with Focus Ruthless into a 1 agility ship. These two decisions were on the same turn. I went from comfortably ahead to Knife Edge Close. I won with one Striker at Half remaining, instead of a snowballing-victory. Be Careful out there, Mind Your Decisions. LOSS - Boba and Koshka, both loaded with Proton Bombs and various shenanigans (failed to pop Koshka, Boba basically unscathed, got wiped in return). Boba is Hard. Two sets of Proton Droppers is Hard. Arguably-Poor Decisions makes life hard. QUESTION THREE I was given Player One and decided to Corner Box. The Setup was remarkably similar to my previous post: That Mid-Right Obstacle was closer to R2 of the edge and R1 of the corner obstacle though (placed by opponent, to prevent some Swarm flexibility I presume). There is a Centre obstacle, and a second R2-3 obstacle in my opposite corner. My opponent decides that a Joust favours him. Koshka points up the side edge facing my direction and Boba is lined up to get a good run through the obstacles if necessary or to make turns if required. What should I do to approach/run away? Firesprays are good at chasing targets outside of their current Range Bands... so I feel that spending a turn or two to realign horizontally across my board edge might be a mistake (even if they have to run through obstacles to get to me). However, I also feel that moving towards them full throttle is also a mistake if they want to close fast. They are likely to get a turn of shooting without my full brace against them. Apart from probably choosing the wrong set up (I think I maybe want to spread in the middle and work it out from there), I chose a slow approach, move towards Koshka as I showed in my previous post: I still don't know if that is a good decision given the setup (Koshka directly ahead, Boba mid board and closing). I chose slow to ensure that a 4 Forward/3 Bank + Boost from Koshka and/or Boba was not a good option, but tempting. I think that I should be moving faster. I want to be blocking, and it is unlikely that I lose a ship on entry. As it stood, he also chose slow movement, meaning that there was little chance to block Koshka on entry. I got an average round of shooting out of it and Proton Bombs next turn (Koshka's back was partially to me). Meanwhile, that central Right obstacle meant that I would have a hard time if I risked sweeping across it. Position-wise, it was a disaster. I did manage to block Koshka next turn by sweeping an Intimidator over the top of Koshka and blocking the 1 Speed moves... but because of the obstacle, the Proton Bomb and looming Boba Threat, I did not get my guns on target and Kohska left without further damage. From there, they proceeded to wipe a Striker a turn and I was unable to finish off Koshka (turns out Hull Upgrade is pretty good there too). Would be interesting to see a rematch where I choose Aggression/run away to begin with.... but I have doubts about this matchup/similar match ups with this setup. Looking to test Spread Swarms in a future match against this sort of list.
  5. I was going to start posting an obstacle article, then my last game opened my eyes to the Open Space Field..... so I need testing with that (smaller obstacles and spread obstacles). Instead, I am going to post what I have been doing in the past and on why I settled on the Corner Formation as a base formation (of course, if in doubt, spread across your edge and loose cluster obstacles... Strikers are pretty good at making it up on the fly if you know the basics of bringing them together just prior to the engagement).. I have maybe 40-50 games with a full Striker or Striker/Reaper swarm in 2.0 (about 30 prior to July last year, 5-10 just before the most recent points change and 5-10 since). I still don't consider myself an expert on them. It is Hard Work and you need to get repetitions in constantly. Despite my experience with them early last year, I am still shaking rust off. Multi-move ships are Hard. Multi-Move Ships for more than two games in a row is a Brain Draining Experience, even if you have had the practice. Some of the following may not be correct, or may only be opinion. I fly Large Debris when flying Strikers for several reasons: - Gas Clouds are a Huge No when flying a swarm with high dice output. It is too easy for your attacks to be blunted by that auto-evade. The addition of Strain when moving over it also makes for a sad Striker (unless you are doing an Aileron over it followed by Blue... and even then I still don't like it). - Rocks are good for taking up space. I have tried this and it does work... but makes for a sad Striker should you misjudge an overlap... and you will misjudge an overlap. - Debris are the least punishing obstacle for a Striker because it is low chance of damage (although Criticals suck for Strikers... Loose Stabiliser is a Killer) and the ability to Blue off an Aileron and still get actions. You can still fire with some effectiveness off a Debris, unlike the other two obstacles. - Large Obstacles provide more challenge for my opponents and more opportunities that they will herd/commit themselves through specific paths, which makes them more predictable, whilst I may or may not be able to exploit the Striker's odd movement to take advantage of that. My base obstacle positioning is from a combination of anti-swarm/block formation set up and some things I learned flying Phantoms, Strikers and Star Vipers. Below is a fairly typical layout for me: These specific obstacles in those positions are, of course, not necessarily mandatory (the L Debris in bottom right could be in the middle left position, for example) and the positioning is subject to change (bottom right could be bottom left with the Middle Left obstacle higher up), but is a general guide line. Of these, the only two that matter the most in my mind are the left middle of the image and bottom right. - Left Middle is useful if the opponent is going down that side slowly or as a block formation as it forces them to turn earlier than they may otherwise want, turn later than they would otherwise want, or risk breaking a formation by altering turning paths. If you fly slow in the opposite corner for the first turn or two (achieved by curved Aileron/opposite direction hard turns +/- Barrel Rolls), the opponent may walk in to that trap. - Left Middle is useful if I start from that side because it can give me cover if I go up that board edge and the opponent swings through the obstacles to come get me or it gives me the option to set my forces behind it in such a manner that I can go either way around it. - Bottom Right is positioned far enough in that I can move freely (demonstrated later) but close enough that the other obstacles can not be placed close to the corner it is in. - Bottom Right is also useful if you have to start spread/on the opposite side because it gives you space to reorganise your swarm. If you are flying against a slower opponent, that is your breathing room OR one of your open Kill Box areas. - Both Obstacles in combination can also choke the field a little, depending on how the opponent places their obstacles. This means that there are well defined lanes of movement for you to choke up/opponent to move through and clear open space for you to manoeuvre around the outside of whilst setting up your initial run. The Upper/Mid Right Obstacle could be anywhere. I have placed it here as a block to my opponent trying to do a similar thing to me as Middle Left could do to them. Generally, by this stage of obstacle placement it should be clear where it should go (either to open the field or to keep a certain area of the field open to you by maintaining a nearly-Range-2 gap for you to cluster in to). I suspect that having an open corner on your side is the most advantageous obstacle placement, regardless of how setting up your Striker Swarm. Therefore, it is critical that you ensure that you have at least one corner to play with. In my opinion, therefore, it is important that you make at least one open corner. More on this later. In my experience, one of three things happen when placing obstacles: - There is a cluster of obstacles in at least one location, Range One or near enough from each other, and a broad spread elsewhere - Obstacles are spread so that there is an open field in the middle and/or plenty of wide open space to go through - There is a dense obstacle field, generally in the middle of the board, so that there is a middle obstacle surrounded by most/all other obstacles at Range One or near enough. If there is a cluster of obstacles in one location, be aware that Aces like ducking in there (choke point!) and things that out-joust you may want to herd you in there. Fortunately, the Range Two requirement of obstacles from the edge does mean that you have some space to play with. A Dense Obstacle field is a negative and a positive. It is Really Hard to get Strikers to travel through in a coordinated fashion through there, and even Individually it is difficult to plot a meaningful course without Precision Flying and knowing your movement options. This is an experience thing. I am going to start making a training exercise out of it (set a dense field, lay some tokens in/around said field, try to collect them all without leaving R1 of an obstacle, without hitting an obstacle and in the fewest moves possible... sounds like amusement whilst listening to podcasts or for a rainy day). The positive, though, is that any opponent going through such an obstacle field will also generally need to work a way out of there.... and a predictable opponent is a Dead Opponent if caught by a Striker swarm flown well. I might be coming around to "an Open Field is a Good Field", but I have some doubts - Genuine Swarms Love an open field, and Strikers may not enjoy them having an open field. Open Fields provide Aces, particularly Multi-reposition ones, with ample areas to bug out/come in. However, an Open Field means that it is fairly easy to collapse a Spread Striker Swarm into a small area and/or create Large Arc Coverage to trap the aces into taking more shots than they are comfortable with. Because I am not sure of this, I'd like opinions and discussion. I am approaching this from the perspective of using the Corner Block.... but obviously there are more world views. I have suspicions that the Spread Placements would really like to have all obstacles up their board edge, but a little away from the R2 edge, so as to give space to Form Up with Cover and/or Blast through the Obstacles as necessary.... but I don't know. Maybe medium sized obstacles, to open the field a little but still provide some form of channeling? ***** I am going to move on to the Corner Block, and why I think that this is a good, maybe even a Good, Striker Formation. NOTE If in doubt about what the opponent is likely to do, such as when you are uncertain if you want to joust something that places after you (or you KNOW you don't want to joust something that places after you), go for a more standard formation or Spread Out.... generally along the middle of your board edge. Strikers, in the early game, should be fast enough (with Barrel Rolls) to reform into a loose formation on one side of the board. Takes a bit of practice, but it is doable. Also note that these all assume that Striker 5 is perfectly 45 degrees. This works brilliantly on Vassal.... not so much in the real world, where small variations and movement template errors build up over time. Just be aware that this is a thing. ***** Let's look at some First Turn movement examples for the Corner Block. I could show you the slow version, where everyone has a 1 Soft or a 1 Straight dialed in... but that is a trivial example. Let's look at the more complex movements. Given the image above, using the numbering given, lets assume that you are flying against an Ace that is trying to be cute and start on your side of the board, or you believe that you have the stronger jousting power and/or the opponent will shift whatever is on their side of the board away (say.... CLT Jedi, or Kylo). Check out this move: So....1 moves forward slightly/greatly further forward than 2 (NOTE 2 CAN NOT Barrel Roll Out from here.... if you start the formation a little more spread, so that 2's midline is greater than R1 from the Board edge, you can Roll Out). 3 and 4 demonstrate one reason why you need that space in the corner if you intend to use this formation by Aileron around and Hard 1/2 back towards the side edge. Both have the option to Roll in either direction, though you are going to have to be careful with 3's Roll (must move before 4). If you do not want to bump with 5, you must use a Straight Aileron and then a Curve (and not the other way around). 5 also has the opportunity to Barrel Roll out. A 3 Curve should put Striker 5 loosely in line with Striker 2. 2 Curve should clear, just, but puts 5 in an awkward position if you want to try to do the same move as 2.... don't particularly recommend it. If anything moves towards you, they had better hope that they actually want to joust 5 Angry Strikers. From this position, you can then sweep all your Strikers Forward, on Curved Trajectories to keep options open, or Cluster Up in that gap between Debris (WARNING will potentially make your next turn harder if there is an obstacle in the middle of the board) or Reform into a Gunline on that Side Edge (1, 2, 5 all Aileron Forward, Hard Turn 1 into the board.... Barrel Roll as required to Spread). There is a downside to this: If the Opponent wants to Fake Joust, particularly like that menace Boba Fett (Rear Arc makes this so much easier) or 5 A Wings, there is a moderate chance that if you rush directly up the board that you will be Arc Dodged if that section of the board is not covered off (if 3 and 4 did not Barrel Roll towards the middle of the board).... and it is Hard to get a proper coverage of Strikers there. If you have something that wants to rush in and block, such as 5 A Wings, Jump Masters or more Strikers, you are equally predictable. There are a few ways around that, such as 2 Aileron towards the Side Edge and Hard Turning in, 3 and 4 can Aileron to the side edge and Hard Turn up the board, but you can still be fairly vulnerable in those positions. OK, so that is if you want to move up the board.... what if you want to move across, either as a Bug Out or as a "Surprise, you didn't think I was going that Direction with All Of Them"? Again, a 1 Straight Aileron followed by 1 Hard is a trivial version, and not that fast.... so let's have a look at some other options: Again, we see why you need obstacles that open a corner for you. Looking solely at Striker 2, you can see the array of options. If Striker 2's midline is R1 or Less from the edge, you can see that you dodge any obstacle that is correctly placed in that corner. If, however, you need to move around down your board edge, you can clearly see that both Striker 1 and 2 will clear an appropriately placed Obstacle with ease (Barrel Roll to your board edge for more space). Striker 2 should be able to successfully clear any such obstacle next turn with a Straight Aileron followed by almost anything. Again, it is a relatively trivial matter to reform into a potential Gunline or Split up your forces. Speaking of.... Here is one version of splitting up from the start: It's a bit messy with all of those templates, but basically Striker 1 is doing its own thing up the side, whilst the rest get Angry on your edge. This give Striker 1 as a sort of Flanker if the opponent rushes up the opposite edge. The others still have their options open, can also threaten the middle of the board or continue going up your edge. No Striker is ever far away from another, and you have lots of overlapping arcs. You probably don't do this if there is an ace/block that is potentially going to threaten Striker 1. This is more for using if the opponent is on the other side of the board. Or, how about this one: Remember the other day when I said that Striker 2 and/or 3 can Aileron to the edge and Hard Turn in without bumping their neighbour? This is that. On your edge, you can see that Striker 4 outpaces Striker 3 if it does a Straight Aileron followed by a Soft Turn that is one speed faster than the Hard Turn of Striker 3. As you can see with Striker 1 and 2 up the side edge, a 3 Curve by Striker 1 will allow it to do a Barrel Roll towards the board edge. This opens a wealth of options for keeping a broader net and to eliminate flanking possibilities by the opponent. Note, that if you do this together with both sets of Strikers (i.e. they go up their own edges) you have now got two teams of flankers. A pro and a con - the pro being that it is now much harder to predict where you are going to be, the con being that you now have more opportunities/risk to isolate the groups. Isolated Strikers are Sad Strikers. But what about Striker 5? Well... I would normally advocate a 1 Straight move dialed in so that you can figure out what you want later (even more useful if that ship is Duchess).... but here are some alternatives for when you really want to move: Here, we can see the versatility of Striker 5. With an obstacle positioned correctly, any of your fast moves will be able to put you in a position that allows you to be flexible on turn 2. Barrel Roll in either direction for fun. So what happens if you want to bend a little more? Here are your Curved Aileron Options: Obviously, you probably shouldn't try to curve Aileron in the same direction that you are turning or you're gonna have a bad time.... but, keeping in mind the options for the straight aileron, your curved aileron allows you to get around obstacles quite cleanly and to alter which force is your main force. Added bonus of the curve-recurve is that your next Aileron move up an edge will never hit an obstacle. The Curve-Recurve up the Side edge should put you in a formation with Strikers 1 and 2 if they do a 1 Straight Aileron followed by a 3 Curve. Similarly with Strikers 3 and 4. When compared to the previous Lone Striker above (where it was Striker 1 that was the lone striker), I prefer this version as this is usually my weakest striker (a non-Hull Upgrade Ruthless when running a Striker or two with Intimidation) or Duchess. ***** Do I have a favourite movement/opening? Not really, though if I move the Strikers up edges I have a tendency to make the Strikers on the edges move one speed faster than their neighbour on the inside because I feel that it allows for more interesting Net/Gunline/Sweep options a little later on (though has the risk of spreading too far and/or making obstacles more of a factor than they need to be, and can force you in to odd positions). ***** Hopefully, these visualisations help with showing you what the first turn of the Striker Corner Formation can do for you.
  6. I Absolutely Agree that Boba+(anything/any things) is a Bad Match Up (which is a problem, because he Popular and Good). If he does not bump/otherwise gets an action, he wipes you straight up, you might break the shields and you don't have anything that you can do about it. Even at R2 with all ships, with a Focus Boba takes half damage. Even with an I1 Blocker and everyone else at R2, Boba gets out of that half pointed. With an I1 blocker and 4 R1 Ruthless, he probably still survives. ... ....but here is a cute statistic: If you have an Intimidator that connects and 4 Ruthless ships, Boba dies in one turn more than half of the time if all of your shots are on target and at least two of your Ruthless Ships are at Range One, even with Maul backing him up. This goes to any other Agility 2 Ship (Boba with Mauls just happens to be the hardest-to-kill Agility 2 Ship) that does not get actions. If you get a chance to pick on Nom Lumb/Contracted Scouts, assuming a focus action, still gets wiped if you get your actions. If you have the 3 Ruthless/2 Intimidator version, it still happens more than a third of the time (if one Intimidation effect occurs) in one turn. All assuming that your Strikers survive the attacks incoming first, of course.... 4 Ruthless (one without hull) and Intimidation with Hull + 3 Points (?Seismic Charge), if you feel confident with one Intimidator (I don't, I like redundancy). Boba Emon sounds like a nightmare to face, though. Emon is Brutal to Strikers. Not sure how I would approach that.... I had not thought of the Missile/Passive Sensor SF trick. Wow.... that is Scum Levels of Shenanigans. I'm interested in how you defeated this the first time around. In the past, I have lost Hard to something similar by trying a Range 3 engagement and getting utterly wiped due to attrition (to be fair, it was a Wedge/Dutch Torpedoes version, and I did not have Hull Upgrade on)... and I don't know what to do to improve my chances, except Don't Be At R2 Initially, and Swoop and Block. I think that it is a good list.
  7. A couple of quick bat-reps. Decided to mix it up this week, we had another person running the Ruthless Hulls... so I wanted to see what the Intimidation does for me. 2x Intimidation Hull Scouts 2x Ruthless Hull Scouts Ruthless Scout. 199. Using the previously mentioned opening: ^ ^ > 7 > With Ruthless Hull, Initiative Hull and Ruthless ship in this order: ^ ^ RH IH IH> R7 RH> Also, it's meme day... so we cracked open some of the scenarios from the recent packs. Therefore, take the following with an unhealthy dose of salt. 5x Proton Torp Cartel Scyks. Scenario with 5 obstacles and a Fused ElectroProton bomb that we could buff/depleted of fuse tokens. Yes. Memes. Speaking of, apologies about the lack of images/text only description, Today I Learned that you Absolutely Can do an Aileron to the board edge with either IH ship and 1 Hard back in to the board. Furthermore, you can follow that up with the neighbouring RH doing a Straight Aileron followed by a 2 Soft Curve in. It is Very Close, but it fits. Not sure if it is useful, because your 2 Curve does not allow a Barrel Roll to the Board edge and that is Super Tight (less than a millimetre at most between nubs and bases)... but for the lulz.... unless maybe your next move is different? I don't know. Bomb was on my end of the board, and I made sure that bomb did not last long. I put myself in a terrible position, got ionised with zero consequence as my opponent was way too far away to capitalise on it. Obviously, not exactly a shining test because of my mobility advantage here. Made another few Ruthless mistakes (R3 shots, turning 2 to 3 and being evaded). Personal goal was to try to get Intimidate to work. So how did the Intimidators go? I got exactly one Intimidation all game on the final turn. But.... That allowed me to wipe two Scyks in one turn at a point where he was already in a bad spot (almost no way back in it short of lucking out on defense dice... which they didn't). Also, down to 2 obstacles run into - one caused by a poor judgement of Aileron/Manoeuvre (clipped a rock by a millimetre) and one caused by a superb blocking opportunity from a Scyk that I completely missed seeing, forcing my now-only logical Aileron to stop early (clipped a debris, was super lucky to not have taken a second round through debris). I feel sorry for this Scyk player: He matched up against the other Striker player next up. Although that Striker player is still learning them (this is the player from last time who took the 5 Striker/2 TIE variation, now all Ruthless Hulls), he Utterly Demolished the Scyks in 2-3 Shooting Rounds. The Scyk player likes the Scyks, has them painted up in each of the different named Scyk paint schemes (they are Beautiful), but they are woeful with Ordnance. In other news, that Ruthless Striker player also took down Four T70s (Nien and Black Squadrons). A little uncertain as to the specific circumstances, but I think the gist was that there was difficult positioning after the initial engagement and the T70s could not engage effectively because of space jam and/or disengages. Potential demonstrated? Second Game: Ashoka, Plo Koon, Obi Wan. Each with Foresight, Calibrated Lasers, R2 Astromech. Scenario whereby you must place 3 Asteroids and 3 Gas Clouds. Gas Clouds must be touching Asteroids, Asteroids must be R3+ from each other, Attacking with a Critical damage Hit through a Gas Cloud will cause the Gas Cloud to explode. Right. This, I feel, is the first genuine test for the Strikers from a list/player perspective. This opponent is a Good pilot, and he can do Aces pretty good... but he has not had a lot of experience with piloting Jedi (is primarily an Imperial player). Foresight has me worried.... it can trigger off Ailerons. That could be absolutely Brutal. However, due to the nature of the scenario and me placing the first Asteroid, there is A Lot of open space in the middle of this board.... which I used to my advantage by keeping the whole squadron relatively close together and being able to sweep through together through the open field. I was mostly pleased with my flying. My opponent put the three ships in an orientation that meant, after initial long range pot shots (which netted me some damage on both Obi and Plo), they could all turn in or all escape from the pirhanas. I nearly got an Intimidation block on Obi Wan with a long range Aileron Straight/3 Curve.... I should have Rolled to guarantee a block as Obi Wan was in a position where his realistic moves were 1/2 Hard in or 5 Straight Bug Out.... Blocked the Hard 2, but the barrel roll would have caught the Hard 1. However, I had 3 of the 4 other Strikers pointing in the same direction, and that is important, because Ruthless is a thing. A few substandard defense rolls later, and I have wiped a Jedi without half points on any of my ships. Then the Striker Sloop Bloom happens again: Aileron Sloop to reset the Strikers whilst Ashoka chases a straggler and Plo Koon is far far away. After clearing stress and watching Ashoka clear a rock, the Strikers then sweep in on a cautious Plo. Fortunately, an Intimidator blocked the 2 Straight and 2 shots later there is no more Plo. Managed to wipe the final Jedi for the loss of 2 Strikers. This time, I got the Ruthless calculations right, and my opponent's defense did not turn up. Running some numbers, the shots to wipe Obi Wan were in the 20% vicinity. Again, not much can really be taken from that due to dice rolls.... but positionally I did most things right. I spread when I needed to to maintain threats, I kept them together to make sure that I have enough punch to break a Jedi's Force Pool if they roll Focus and/or Deeply Punish them if the dice fail (such as in this game). Looking back at Intimidation, I triggered it twice. In one game, I managed to genuinely block an ace. In the other, I Aileroned in to guarantee the Intimidation against a target that had already moved. In both cases, I wiped the (weak) target. In both cases, they were my only Intimidation in the game. Was it worth it? Maybe. It is an interesting area to explore. I want to do more exploring here, I feel that this might be at least as good as the full Ruthless squadron. Because I did not do the numbers before....: Assume that a ship that is not blocked gets Focus, Ruthless is not active in either scenario (choosing not to), and that all of my ships Focus and are at R2 (i.e. this is a sort Average Shots at R2 vs Worst Case Scenario for the Intimidators, because normally I would be looking at Ruthless and I would probably also have at least one R1 shot there). Also assume that I am moving first and a blocked/Intimidated ship will not have Focus. Vs Agility 1 Intimidate + three R2 Focus shots nets 6.75 hits. No Intimidate/Block, Four R2 Focus shots 6.85 hits. Slight edge to No Intimidate Vs Agility 2 Intimidate + three R2 Focus nets 5.64 hits Four R2 Focus nets 5.14 hits Moderate edge to Intimidate Vs Agility 3 Intimidate + three R2 Focus nets 4.94 hits Four R2 Focus nets 3.73 hits Strong Edge to Intimidate Vs Agility 3 with 2 Force Intimidate + three R2 Focus shots nets 3.40 hits Four R2 Focus nets 2.68 hits Strong Edge to Intimidate Wow. That is some Serious Edge to Intimidation. Those calculations neglect Ruthless (add 1-3 damage each time). That Neglects my Fifth Striker (benefits Intimidation more). That ignores any R1s you probably also have with your Strikers (again, a benefit to Intimidate) rather than a conservative move at R2-3. So... how strong do you think your blocking game is? Do you think you can train yourself to be a good blocker? If so, consider Intimidation on Strikers. Numerically, this looks Solid. Even if you don't block, you likely have another R1 attack and/or Pinata Ruthless Target. I have a few new insights/opinions from tonight's efforts: - Open Board Layout For The Win. I ALWAYS choose debris with Strikers, and I generally try keep a moderate density to my obstacle fields (more on that later, when I write my obstacle opinion piece... the TLDR version is that I like it when my opponents are channeling themselves). I rarely have a situation when I have an open field.... and that second game showed me just how Good it is to have an open field with Strikers. If you are taking Seismic Charge Strikers, I kind of want to recommend just bombing the field early on to open it up. Not sure if it is a good idea... but WOW, open field allows some Beautiful long range Ailerons/3 Speed manoeuvres. For more information on Bombing a field to open it up, have a look at the excellent XWing Debrief article on Punisher with Trajectory Seismics and 7 Academy TIEs from Las Vegas Open (https://xwingdebrief.wordpress.com/2020/02/03/where-were-going-we-dont-need-obstacles-an-lvo-adventure-part-2/). - If you end up with 42+ points left in an Imperial list, maybe consider an I3 Striker with Hull and Intimidate (or 43 gets you Vagabond at I2). Difficult for the opponent to to Block/Easy-ish to block with in some circumstances. - Hull Upgrade is now stapled to my Strikers. There is Zero Doubt in my mind that it is absolutely worth it in a Striker Swarm, regardless of the rest of your loadout. - I did not necessarily miss the Ruthless on 2 of my Strikers. This is good, because it means that I know I can live without it. That also means that 3 Ruthless Strikers might be a sort of Critical Mass. I know when I lose a Ruthless Striker with only 3 of them to begin with that I feel a bit sadder in my output, but the Intimidators help mitigate that by telling the opponent to use less defense anyway. No need to spend as many Ruthless damage cards that way... I like the change. I am going to keep testing. - I am not convinced on Calibrated Laser Jedi.... maybe it was because of the broad spread of mobile Strikers that spooked my opponent, but they never really wanted to engage in a concentrated manner. Maybe my opinion will change if I get in to that scenario again but the opponent goes aggressive. - From the other tables tonight, Boba Fett is a Monster. If I wasn't playing Strikers, I would be playing Boba.
  8. Nice write up Parakitor Some quick thoughts/opinions: ROUND ONE Kylo in general is a tough match up if he can get around you. Therefore, in my matches against Kylo (and, in general, with Ace + Mini Swarm) I try to bully him out of the way. Yeah, he can try to tank them.... but, if he does.... In order to do that, I generally try to make a line up an edge in the direction he is coming from (if he sets up opposite corner, generally my board edge). He probably can't flank you and, when you have to turn in you are pointing at the rest of whatever is coming in. If Kylo dances away, you still have shots on other targets. If it is mooks, you might initiative kill.... and that makes a huge difference. Of course, easier said than done if they set up the ace with the generics.... ROUND TWO Yeah, that's nice. That sort of movement is cool. A little luck here and there helps, of course, but being able to get all shots on a target is great. ROUND THREE I always bank on Boba charging. He is such a wrecking ball and relatively survivable.... Nice work on that block though. Always nice to catch an opponent with a block they don't see coming. ROUND FOUR I like what you did here. Nice Kill Box and even better making Kylo twitchy. That is how it should be: Scare the Ace into making a mistake. ROUND FIVE I find the Fangs so interesting to fight with/against. R1 is such a huge deal. However, if you can spread your Strikers, you have a much greater chance of any of them being at R2. Keeping them clumped makes it more difficult for the Fangs to approach, but easier if they get to R1. Wiping any Fang in one turn is huge (especially if it is a special one, like Kad). Quoting for Emphasis Also: Because Strikers simultaneously move faster and slower than you think they do. FASTER - You need to move twice, so you have more opportunity to undercalculate where you end up and have multiple rooms for error. Small Errors Add Quickly. Also, obstacles/other ships make it really hard to wind through tight spaces. SLOWER - You notice this A Lot when you try to flank with them and/or your opponent rushes you. Yeah, they have a built in pre-boost. They also don't move very far after that if you want modifiers. My solution: Either start closer together (either as a clump or no further than half the board away) or Positioning before combat/as a blocker. Curve Aileron one way, 3 Bank the other, Barrel Roll as required (starting on an angle helps). Then, and only then, are you faster than your opponent expects. An opponent who rushes you will generally catch you out if you are trying to do a long-range flank with Strikers (if no Afterburners).
  9. I thought of this a while back, though I have a few concerns. I have flown 3 Ruthless Scouts with two Reaper blockers and it is not that hard to pick off the higher Initiative Strikers (even with Reapers blocking). With 3 and 3, you might have more firepower to back it up, as well as better alternatives for blocking. I would probably try to fly the Sentinels as a screen, or 3x 2 (as in each Ruthless Striker has a Sentinel counterpart that travels loosely with them). I think that, if you are confident with your blocking capability, 4 Ruthless 2 Sentinels might be better.... but you had better be good at corralling your opponent or goading them through choke points. That's a fair point.... but it has got me thinking. I was originally thinking of doing an I1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Strikers (for the memez), and it is doable but probably not particularly good (the I4s really need to drop in price).... but we will get to the interesting bit of that in a minute. Intimidation on Strikers can be quite useful because it is a lot easier to bump with a Striker. Ailerons help here to reposition into an orientation that will allow you to block or to angle back in such a way that you run into your target (if they move before you). Two thoughts: 2x Intimidation/Hull Scouts, 2 Ruthless Hull Scouts and a Ruthless Scout (199) All I3 give flexibility in movement, 2 Intimidators gives more options in blocking. I can see an argument for taking Hull off one of the Intimidators and making sure all Ruthless Strikers have additional defense. Your punchers probably should be survivors, not the blockers... but more hull on the blockers will help them become good Ruthless targets and/or might help shrugging off one additional attack. The variation is to get Vagabond on the board. Vagabond loses you the same Initiative and costs an additional point.... but is an I2 blocker with a Talent Slot. Ignore the ability in this case (though that too has some merit). Intimidation with an I2 seems Pretty Good... Intimidation with an I2 and I3 give you A Lot of flexibility in blocking/intimidating. Have you blocked at I2? Then the I3 is another gun on the board or will drain a second agility. Missed at I2? Second opportunity. I think I am going to have a look at these as options a little later. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of Intimidation on Strikers. Quad T70s, in all variations except for the Quad I1s (as long as they don't block, you should be able to skin them and/or dance around them before they shoot), have me concerned. They are too tough to reliably eliminate with a single salvo (50% without Heroic at R2, 40% with it) and, in return, can reliably wipe one of yours. You have to be crafty and/or ensure that you drag them through the rocks - They are too linear in movement to have an advantage in a congested space. ... Time is an issue for me at the moment, but a bit later on I want to discuss Obstacle theory and starting positioning. I feel that there is a large discussion to be had there.
  10. I like that Seventh Sister thought. I think that might come in very handy. Hmm... I personally feel that, without Afterburners, Duchess as a flanker seems like a mistake unless you have her as a Close Flanker (as in: not wide out and completely out of trouble, but at least some distance away from the rest of the units). Without Afterburners, she can't stray too far away from the rest of the squadron. Her ability is really more to slow her down than speed her up to get in the thick of things, and to make things awkward if someone is trying to get away/come through obstacles to get her. I generally don't flank too much with Duchess if she doesn't have Afterburners. I am usually flying her starting the in the middle of the Swarm and/or keeping her close to the tail of the rest of the ships if they need to start by going up a board edge. I get four options to Ailerons if need be to get closer or maintain distance. She tends to have a target on her head, so this means that she can be a focal point for the opponent to charge at.... meaning that they have to accept that they are going through Strikers spreading and circling in to get to her if they want the prize or that she might stop short if there is a SLoop Bloom. Also really useful for navigating dense obstacle fields and getting in to blocking positions for those that might wish to choose those lanes. However, assuming Hyperspace, dropping her to Black Scout will net you a bunch of Seismic Charges (useful for opening lanes for the big one and making Sad Droids), Ruthless on all (because hilarity?), or (if you really want Feroph to earn his pay and/or be burned down immediately) Kallus and/or Intimidate. ....Intimidate on Feroph and Ruthless on the Strikers seems like a potentially interesting Synergy, especially useful against low-ship-count lists if you can get Feroph up in their grills. With reduced agility, Ruthless becomes automatically more useful if/when you have to use it. Making an ace sad for a turn and pounding an additional 2-3 hits on should turn the tide in your favour. Of course, you have to catch them first... but that is part of the game... and generic Strikers are among the better choices for generics-hunting-aces.... at least for a turn or two. Also makes Agility 2 Ships, which tend to be more predictable anyway, sad for a turn. You are trying to keep Feroph alive, of course, but when it has to happen, or if you can spread Ruthless around several ships, it can really make a difference.
  11. Another game yesterday. Pulled a win on the last turn against 2 TIE FOs, 2 SFs with Reinforce and Kylo with Optics. Learning points: Gas Clouds have Consequences! At one point, I had 4 out of 5 Strikers with Strain - one by design (was never going to get shot), one as an alternative Aileron move to limit trouble and two as fairly gross misjudgments on my behalf (turns out that I have overestimated my ability to judge aileron+moves... need more game time), and the next turn saw one of those pick up another on its way to SLoop out of there. The loss of action compounds the gain of Strain. Double Plus Ungood, do not recommend. Reinforce on 2 Agility is interesting. Reinforces (sic) what I thought about higher agility ships with Reinforce (it is good because you are limiting the incoming fire down to one in many cases). It is hard to focus down a moderately chunky boi when it is wiping off half of your attack most shots. If the attack is not good, you can dodge outright with some luck, as usual. However, it really needs some form of passive attack mods to work properly. Staying on the board is good, but if you are not being effective in offense too, then all you are is glorified beef/blocker. SFs generally do not have that.... not generically anyway. Fanatical SFs, on the other hand.... That might be interesting. Not sure if it is good, but it is interesting. Related to the above, Target Priority and Numbers are things. One stage (the turn I strained everyone) I had two realistic options: - All 5 Strikers (R1, R2 Focus Reinforce, R1 Gas ?Reinforce, R2 Reinforce and R3 ?Reinforce) against an undamaged reinforcing SF (2 Shield, 3 Hull... Angled Deflectors) that is right in the middle of your flightpath and can make some significant blocks/hassle next turn, as well as a 3 dice attack this turn. 5 Damage goes through, you have wiped your biggest threat not named Kylo. - Up to 3 Strikers (R1 Focus ?Reinforce, R1, R2 ?Gas) against a reinforcing SF with 1 shield/3 Hull remaining and will only be a weak attacking annoyance for the next turn or three, but eliminates 2 R1 attack options against your ships. Keeping in mind that Ruthless is a thing (only two ships are realistically threatened, and are currently at any real risk of dying if dice goes against them, Ruthless can go on to other ships if need be) and you have initiative advantage here, I'll give you a moment to think about your options...... .... .... .... How about after your first shot (R3 to undamaged SF, only real shot it can take) plinks off a shield? .... .... .... OK.... I chose to continue to wear down that previously undamaged SF. BAD decision: Running the numbers suggest that I am only likely to wipe it maybe half of the time.... whereas I have about a 70% chance to wipe that already-damaged-and-leaving SF before it shoots without Ruthless. As it stood, I managed to only drop shields... using two Ruthless shots too. Highly unlikely, but Super Sad. Lost a Striker as a direct result of this, and probably would not have been the case if I had chosen correctly. That sort of internal maths needs to be worked out better on the fly. 5 Bad-Average shots may not be as good as 3 average-good shots. However... Ruthless seems to be Good as a final turn spike. As my opponent was flying rather conservatively with Kylo, I was basically aiming to outpoint him by pointing a lot of arcs in the general movement lines of Kylo and taking out everything else. His safe moves therefore leave him with bad/no shots, leaving my Strikers to deal with only four 2 Dice ships (much more palatable). This means that I have less to worry about early-mid game, and therefore have untouched Strikers at the end... meaning that I can use Ruthless ruthlessly against those mooks. Hull Upgrade comes to the rescue again, allowing me to break both TIE FOs in the one turn (one was lucky, failing to roll any paint on 4 dice, the other was Focus/Ruthless at R1) whilst staying above half points. If I lose a Striker whilst leaving an FO on the board, I would have lost the game... but all 4 living Strikers had two damage. That is the second game in recent times that the Ruthless/Hull combination has won me the game on the last turn. Despite still making poor decisions with it, I am starting to be more convinced that it is OK. Yet to face genuine Beef/Swarm, genuine Alpha Strike and genuine Aces, so that opinion may change. For now, I am happy and will continue to be Ruthless. Hull upgrade is now an almost certainty for me on the Generic Strikers (in Hyperspace). It is going to take something special to get them off for now.
  12. A quick one. Played against 5 RZ2 As today (ZZ, Tali, Zari and 2 Baby Generics, all with Heroic Optics, I think). Opponent was coming back to A Wings after not playing with them for 6 months, so was rusty. I am a bit concerned about it as a matchup (especially in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing). A little variance in their defense (and/or bad variance in your attack) goes a long way. I did a few bumping moves (more on that in a moment) and got it back for the win, but consistent offense from them does make Strikers sad. Best thing to do, so far, appears to be to spread and/or bump in such a fashion that there is no consistent shots against the same target. I started with 5 lined up 45 degrees across my board edge, but chose to run up that side edge with the (correct) assumption that my opponent's spread As would run away and take the opposite edge and/or middle of the field. The 45-across-board-edge probably does not quite work for this approach if your opponent chooses to take the middle unless they choose to rush into the middle (that way, you have your net already set). My ships did string out as I went chasing A Wings (not with the specific intention of getting in arc, though that happened once before the first big engage, more with the intention of just forcing a run-away from them). Because of the stringing out, when I wanted to be aggressive, it did not work as well as it could have, and when I went slow I lost shots. Not ideal for this specific match, and I probably could/should have used the corner starburst (or even just a straight joust block against the baby As and work it out later), but I will work on it some more. Again, Hull Upgrade came to the rescue, allowing me to maintain half points better and allowing me to Ruthless without killing them. Did make a dumb Ruthless choice midgame (1 Hit to 2, against an A with a Focus Defense), but two out of three Ruthless choices weren't bad. So. Bumping. Learning point for me is that, if you have a set of Strikers (or anything for that matter) that are set to bump (either by design or by way of the opponent creating a partial block) and they have different turning manoeuvres, choose to do the Hard Turning Ship before the Soft Turning ship (if they are trying to go in the same general direction). I had a situation whereby a Striker's move was 1 Straight Aileron into a 1 Soft Curve Right and the next Striker over was a 1 Aileron Left Out 1 Hard Right In. Ordinarily, because they are neighbours, this means that they will likely bump anyway (barring subtleties in movement templates over the game). However, it does mean that the Hard Turning Striker will bump in such a fashion as to have less of an arc to its right than the scenario reversed due to the nature of needing both front and rear midlines to be on the midline of the movement template. This lost me a shot, lost me concentrated fire on the same target (had only 2 shots instead of 3) and potentially could have lost me the game (had poor attack variance this turn, and only 3 of my Strikers got to shoot at all, instead of all of them... though, to be fair, one died before its turn). Somewhat related: A 1 Soft Aileron Out followed by 1 Hard In gets you less forward distance than 1 Straight Aileron followed by 1 Soft In (if "Forward" is measured from your initial position). Knowing that would have made that specific movement order decision even easier.
  13. @Parakitor Just reviewed your game (starting to learn Vassal). I agree that you didn't come through the rocks slow enough (perhaps the Strikers closer to the opponent could have turned up your edge first to allow one more turn of positioning, or at least distance on initial turn?), but a bigger problem may have been your initial setup: in having First Player, you do have to consider your options more.... but you were too spread out to capitalise on any block you would have been able to get on that initial engagement. That first engagement lost you a Striker with no significant damage inflicted because you could only bring two attacks to bear. If that engagement was delayed one more turn (or you were closer together to begin with), you would have everyone on target and a few juicy blocks to go with it. Your opponent jumping straight from the start probably didn't help. I think you did well mid-game with what you had, some nice bumps and self-bumps getting you in to awkward spots for the opponent and allowing you to start picking off them off, but losing that initial engagement was costly. **** I am starting to think of my opening positions more.... I get the feeling that starting on a 45 angle might be better than pointing into the board, especially if you must place first and you are against a squad you probably shouldn't joust. Starting on an angle allows you to ailerons up your board edge (useful for 3 Soft + Barrel Roll to gain maximum distance away from jousters/towards the rest of your list) or to Ailerons towards mid-field to come back around. If you are against a squad that wants to joust you, you have to make sure that they move around the board first, maybe get them off kilt with obstacles, some form of delay to rearrange your forces or even just a poor engagement angle.
  14. I second that. A minor bid that allows you to choose Initiative is Great. Having done this with both Phantoms and Vipers, both taking and giving it away, I can wholeheartedly get on board with that for a swarm. *** Single game test tonight (I got the bye first round): 5x Ruthless Hull Black Scouts vs 5x Sentinels and two Academy TIEs (not as terrible as it sounds.... he took down a double Jedi, double Y list in the previous game, that is a lot of bodies to clog things with). This was.... not even close. Like, maybe 20 minutes and three turns long. Turns out that if you can not block the higher initiative ships, things get torn apart Really Quick. To be fair to my opponent, this was him properly dabbling in Strikers for the first time and he botched an Aileron+1 Hard onto Debris, and his set up was odd (3 Strikers in one corner, 2 Strikers and two TIEs in the other... so I stare down the 3 Strikers with my entire force...)... but the combination of the extra Hull and Ruthless is Brutal against lower initiatives. I am trying to start working with the Ruthless philosophy/framework @Magnus Grendel provided above. I don't think I really needed it this game, but it helped. Instead of mindlessly going for maximum damage, I took a moment to actually think about whether or not I would be able to reasonably use it. Turns out that, in this case, it generally would be. I wiped two opponent Strikers straight away and left one with one hull. Running the numbers now, turns out I was only slightly lucky to do so (realistically, shouldn't have managed 3 damage on a potshot at the remaining ship). After all was said and done, between Ruthless and slightly-above-expected attack rolls, I don't think I had any more than 2 blanks in the two attacking turns we played. Ruthless against weak lower initiative ships is utterly disgusting. Lost half a Striker in total (saved by Hull Upgrade) with two more with one damage taken, and took down all opposing Strikers (bar one health on one) by the end of Turn 3. I feel that I1 is a bad decision now, having been the deliverer of an Initiative Smackdown... but would need more play through with it to see that. Can still conceivably see Duchess + 5 as viable, and it is still on my to-do list. 5 with Hull and Bombs might be interesting for casual play. Obviously, needs a greater test.... but the combination of Ruthless and the Additional Hull seems Good. If you have the initiative, five 3 Dice Focus attacks will wipe most small ships in one go. With the additional Hull, suddenly you are basically a Torrent defensively and it takes genuine effort to take down.... and, if they don't, party time. With the additional Hull, I was less concerned about Ruthless. Feels about as good as changing from Predator Blacks to Duchess/Blacks all with Crack. Strikers with Hull just feels better overall.
  15. Palp Scarif Reaper. 2x Crack Shot Onyx Defenders. 200 points. That Palp Mobile costs only 50 points and can cause some serious blocking mayhem and/or move Really Quickly. Crack Shot on Defenders seems fine. Not convinced that the Reaper is a great PalpMobile, but it is with two I4 Defenders in tow... It seems at least worth considering.
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