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Morgan Reid

Phantom Falcon killer?

24 posts in this topic

After keeping an eye on Major Jugglers Regional's thread, the clear winners since Wave 4 dropped are the Falcon and Phantom squads. I've been thinking about squads that can handle them both (and everything else) and keen to hear some suggestions.

I'll caveat by saying the squad needs to be good enough to make the top 8 and then counter both Whisper and Han with Gunner+C3PO+Title. I believe skill should get you to the Top 8 and squads/match ups with a sprinkling of luck will get you further.

I'm keen to avoid a mirror match with the proven squads and looking for some innovation. However I understand why the same builds are doing well - they work!

I'll kick it off with something a little left field I haven't tried yet:

40 Whisper, VI, FCS, IA, ACD

28 Omi, HLC

28 Omi, HLC

-96-

Theory against Whisper/Echo is that I will have Initiative, can react to his movement while the HLCs reduce his movement options and damage his support (main focus on anyone with Rebel Captive). Relying on having my Whisper alive after his and cleaning up the support.

Against Han - Whisper hides behind HLCs or go's after his support if I can stay out of Range. HLCs do enough damage to risk Whisper going for the kill if/when it comes to that. At a pinch Whisper can act as a Falcon blocker to deny Evade/C3P0 combo.

Edited by McBain
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I think the answer is bulky lists with gunner. Firesprays offer some options, as do Buzzsaw Shuttles, as do 4 ship rebel lists with enough high PS via VI to handle the Phantom. Wes Janson, Airen Cracken, Luke, or Wedge with VI and a few other pilots with decoy could work. Issue being the lower PS EPT's on the rebel side all have 2 attack, or are Etahn, making fitting 4 ships difficult. Roark is another option, but he doesn't do much against the Falcon.

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Counterbuild those two and the lists they beat'll get you. Better to go with something that stands a chance against everything than which is a dead cert against half and fodder against the other half.

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Counterbuild those two and the lists they beat'll get you. Better to go with something that stands a chance against everything than which is a dead cert against half and fodder against the other half.

I'm not so sure on that. There are lots of good builds that counterbuild Phantoms using established and competent pilots. Overinvesting in either one is bad, but the Firespray has always been good against Falcons and is good against Phantoms. Gunner is always good. Buzzsaw Shuttles are always good. High PS X-wings too. The question is, what can take down Falconzzzz in 60 minutes of gameplay...

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I don't see the falcon as that difficult to destroy in 60 minutes. What am I missing in these builds? A properly loaded and flown trio of phantoms should wax Han by the second round if flown correctly.

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After keeping an eye on Major Jugglers Regional's thread, the clear winners since Wave 4 dropped are the Falcon and Phantom squads. I've been thinking about squads that can handle them both (and everything else) and keen to hear some suggestions.

I'll caveat by saying the squad needs to be good enough to make the top 8 and then counter both Whisper and Han with Gunner+C3PO+Title. I believe skill should get you to the Top 8 and squads/match ups with a sprinkling of luck will get you further.

I'm keen to avoid a mirror match with the proven squads and looking for some innovation. However I understand why the same builds are doing well - they work!

I'll kick it off with something a little left field I haven't tried yet:

40 Whisper, VI, FCS, IA, ACD

28 Omi, HLC

28 Omi, HLC

-96-

Theory against Whisper/Echo is that I will have Initiative, can react to his movement while the HLCs reduce his movement options and damage his support (main focus on anyone with Rebel Captive). Relying on having my Whisper alive after his and cleaning up the support.

Against Han - Whisper hides behind HLCs or go's after his support if I can stay out of Range. HLCs do enough damage to risk Whisper going for the kill if/when it comes to that. At a pinch Whisper can act as a Falcon blocker to deny Evade/C3P0 combo.

This sort of thing alarms me. I have yet to play a game of X-wing where I thought either player had a huge advantage based on his build. It usually panned out where victory was decided by positioning and dice. True, I have yet to play in an official tournament.

 

The whole " I have to build to beat x" thing sounds too much like another minis game that I fled to x-wing to escape.

WargameHub and Yipikayey like this

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I don't see the falcon as that difficult to destroy in 60 minutes. What am I missing in these builds? A properly loaded and flown trio of phantoms should wax Han by the second round if flown correctly.

 

The thing with the Falcon is it can stay and range 2/3 and deny shots. Predator/Han/Gunner(or Luke) means you dont need to spend your action on offense. C3P0 means after you have made your manuever (usually moving last or second to last) you can judge the Falcon's placement vis-a-vis the enemy ships and you can choose to either: a) take an evade to weather incoming fire, or b) boost out of the way of incoming fire. 

 

On top of this, you are always playing for time. You stall with your z95 swarms and dance with Han at RB3. After 45 minutes you should have killed something and your opponent should have killed 36 points of Zs. Then Han goes to work. He focuses one thing and tries to stay at long range and out of arcs. Your green dice will fail before Predator/Han/Gunner fails. 

 

And thats how it wins. 

 

Im actually thinking that the way to kill both Whisper and Han involves Major Rhymer packing cluster missiles and a Munitions failsafe. Now I just got to figure out how to build it. 

 

This is what I am thinking but I dont know how it would do against other ships.

 

Jendon + FCS + Weapons Engineer

Carnor Jax + Veteran Instincts + Stealth or Hull Upgrade

Rhymer + Decoy + Flechette Torps + Cluster Missile + Cluster Missile + Munitions Failsafe.

 

So Jax is there to remove token usage. He will move after both Han and Whisper. Jendon is there to provide target locks for Rhymer. On combat, Rhymer swaps PS with Carnor (if he is in range - and thats one of the problems) and catches Whisper without his focus or cloak from shooting. Rhymer lets the cluster missiles operate at RB3.

 

Could work. I dont know what it would do against:

4x Blue 

1x Bandit

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Call me old fashioned or crazy, but I prefer to use every point possible in my list, rather than cut out 1, 2, 3, 4, to win the initiative battle.

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I ran Ghostbusters at my regional and did well against both Falcon+Z-Swarm and Phantom lists. Turns out Falcons don't like ion and stress while Phantoms like ion and stress even less. 

 

Roark+Ion

Blue+Ion

Blue

Knave+R3-A2

 

an improvement could be 

Roark+Ion

Blue+Ion

2x Bandit

Tarn Mison + R3-A2, 

 

with Falcons it's important to ion at the correct moment to set up a range-1 shot for all your ships. Roark helps you maximise your firepower as the most damaged ship gets to shoot, always. Falcons can't handle 14 attack dice all at once in a single round even with C3-PO.

 

Against Phantoms... well, a single round in Tarn's arc or the B-Wing's arc and they're pretty much toast. 

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How about Whisper + VI + Initiative build (so 98 or 99 point build) + 2 Firesprays?  I just like Firesprays more than I like Lambda Shuttles.

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How about Whisper + VI + Initiative build (so 98 or 99 point build) + 2 Firesprays?  I just like Firesprays more than I like Lambda Shuttles.

You wouldn't have advanced cloak, which is pretty much what makes whisper good. And actually why you initiave bid in the very first place.

Edited by Yipikayey

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Call me old fashioned or crazy, but I prefer to use every point possible in my list, rather than cut out 1, 2, 3, 4, to win the initiative battle.

I'm with ya. I think it is best to just use those points to push to PS10 if you are worried about phantoms. I'll still move after and shoot before your phantom and take my 100 point to 96 point advantage. It was different against swarms because you couldn't go higher in points and still counter what they were trying to do. Against Phantoms you can.

Edited by GiraffeandZebra

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What's a buzzsaw shuttle?

Omicron + Gunner + Engine Upgrade + Fire control system.

 

add tactician to that loadout and u have that 1-2 dishes stress every round. thats nasty.

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After keeping an eye on Major Jugglers Regional's thread, the clear winners since Wave 4 dropped are the Falcon and Phantom squads. I've been thinking about squads that can handle them both (and everything else) and keen to hear some suggestions.

I'll caveat by saying the squad needs to be good enough to make the top 8 and then counter both Whisper and Han with Gunner+C3PO+Title. I believe skill should get you to the Top 8 and squads/match ups with a sprinkling of luck will get you further.

I'm keen to avoid a mirror match with the proven squads and looking for some innovation. However I understand why the same builds are doing well - they work!

I'll kick it off with something a little left field I haven't tried yet:

40 Whisper, VI, FCS, IA, ACD

28 Omi, HLC

28 Omi, HLC

-96-

Theory against Whisper/Echo is that I will have Initiative, can react to his movement while the HLCs reduce his movement options and damage his support (main focus on anyone with Rebel Captive). Relying on having my Whisper alive after his and cleaning up the support.

Against Han - Whisper hides behind HLCs or go's after his support if I can stay out of Range. HLCs do enough damage to risk Whisper going for the kill if/when it comes to that. At a pinch Whisper can act as a Falcon blocker to deny Evade/C3P0 combo.

This sort of thing alarms me. I have yet to play a game of X-wing where I thought either player had a huge advantage based on his build. It usually panned out where victory was decided by positioning and dice. True, I have yet to play in an official tournament.

 

The whole " I have to build to beat x" thing sounds too much like another minis game that I fled to x-wing to escape.

 

Be alert, not alarmed!

 

If you don't play in tournaments (as you've stated) it doesn't matter. You are spot on with your assessment that victory is decided by positioning and dice - and I'ts good to hear you are playing balanced games with your mates where no squad has a huge advantage, my favourite way to play X-Wing!

 

However..

 

In tournaments there are usually some really skilled players with great squads and if you don't have the tools (build) to deal with them you are toast!

 

Wave 4 is new and so far, the same couple of squads are winning tournaments. I have no doubt that the pre wave 4 squads that were dominant will change to adapt and this type of post/discussion is all just a small part of that.  

 

This post is to pick the brains of the experienced players out there who are willing to share their ideas, as they have also been monitoring the results, thinking, constructing and testing their own squads that can handle the new dominate ones.

 

I take on board your point that you think squad building is largely irrelevant and player skill/dice decide games and for the most part I agree. Unfortunately a skilled player with Echo will tear apart our Wave 3, four ship rebel squad without a turret 9/10 times and if we want to be competitive in tournaments we need to adapt. So far the adaption that works seems to be Whisper and Flacons.

Edited by McBain

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I don't see the falcon as that difficult to destroy in 60 minutes. What am I missing in these builds? A properly loaded and flown trio of phantoms should wax Han by the second round if flown correctly.

 

The thing with the Falcon is it can stay and range 2/3 and deny shots. Predator/Han/Gunner(or Luke) means you dont need to spend your action on offense. C3P0 means after you have made your manuever (usually moving last or second to last) you can judge the Falcon's placement vis-a-vis the enemy ships and you can choose to either: a) take an evade to weather incoming fire, or b) boost out of the way of incoming fire. 

 

On top of this, you are always playing for time. You stall with your z95 swarms and dance with Han at RB3. After 45 minutes you should have killed something and your opponent should have killed 36 points of Zs. Then Han goes to work. He focuses one thing and tries to stay at long range and out of arcs. Your green dice will fail before Predator/Han/Gunner fails. 

 

And thats how it wins. 

 

Im actually thinking that the way to kill both Whisper and Han involves Major Rhymer packing cluster missiles and a Munitions failsafe. Now I just got to figure out how to build it. 

 

This is what I am thinking but I dont know how it would do against other ships.

 

Jendon + FCS + Weapons Engineer

Carnor Jax + Veteran Instincts + Stealth or Hull Upgrade

Rhymer + Decoy + Flechette Torps + Cluster Missile + Cluster Missile + Munitions Failsafe.

 

So Jax is there to remove token usage. He will move after both Han and Whisper. Jendon is there to provide target locks for Rhymer. On combat, Rhymer swaps PS with Carnor (if he is in range - and thats one of the problems) and catches Whisper without his focus or cloak from shooting. Rhymer lets the cluster missiles operate at RB3.

 

Could work. I dont know what it would do against:

4x Blue 

1x Bandit

 

I played 2 Han falcon builds today, both with Headhunter support, I tabled both of them, one in 25 minutes and the other in 45. Etahn Abaht is the Falcons bane, I focus fired the falcon and dropped like 4 crits on each of them. In both games took them out in the first 2-3 firing turns. Didn't get to play against Phantoms so I'm not sure how my build would work against them, but I'm interested to try it out. My build was Etahn+PTL+Adv Sens+R2-D2, Wedge+Predator, Biggs+R4-D6.

Edited by R2whistler

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What's a buzzsaw shuttle?

Omicron + Gunner + Engine Upgrade + Fire control system.

 

add tactician to that loadout and u have that 1-2 dishes stress every round. thats nasty.

 

We've been calling it the "Buzzkill" shuttle and it was built as a dual phantom/falcon counter. You have the option to drop either FCS or Tactician depending on points but having been on shooting end and the receiving end, double stress is a colossal pain to get rid of. A Buzzkill supported by Ties chewed through triple bounty hunters in short order and has the potential to put action-heavy threats (Soontir, Phantoms, etc) out of commission for several rounds.

Of course if your support fleet doesn't have the teeth to take advantage of it, it's not a surefire win but for 1 point more than a naked Firespray it's a pretty solid investment.

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What's a buzzsaw shuttle?

Omicron + Gunner + Engine Upgrade + Fire control system.

 

add tactician to that loadout and u have that 1-2 dishes stress every round. thats nasty.

 

We've been calling it the "Buzzkill" shuttle and it was built as a dual phantom/falcon counter. You have the option to drop either FCS or Tactician depending on points but having been on shooting end and the receiving end, double stress is a colossal pain to get rid of. A Buzzkill supported by Ties chewed through triple bounty hunters in short order and has the potential to put action-heavy threats (Soontir, Phantoms, etc) out of commission for several rounds.

Of course if your support fleet doesn't have the teeth to take advantage of it, it's not a surefire win but for 1 point more than a naked Firespray it's a pretty solid investment.

 

Hmmm

Buzzkil

Whisper the Prison guard

2 Academies.

All the stress.  Lots of crashing.  Decent Firepower.

Could be worth a try.  

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This sort of thing alarms me. I have yet to play a game of X-wing where I thought either player had a huge advantage based on his build. It usually panned out where victory was decided by positioning and dice. True, I have yet to play in an official tournament.

Whisper going for the kill if/when it comes to that. At a pinch Whisper can act as a Falcon blocker to deny Evade/C3P0 combo.

 

The whole " I have to build to beat x" thing sounds too much like another minis game that I fled to x-wing to escape.

 

You sir have not tried flying Interceptors against Falcons very often have you?

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This sort of thing alarms me. I have yet to play a game of X-wing where I thought either player had a huge advantage based on his build. It usually panned out where victory was decided by positioning and dice. True, I have yet to play in an official tournament.

Whisper going for the kill if/when it comes to that. At a pinch Whisper can act as a Falcon blocker to deny Evade/C3P0 combo.

 

The whole " I have to build to beat x" thing sounds too much like another minis game that I fled to x-wing to escape.

 

You sir have not tried flying Interceptors against Falcons very often have you?

 

Or anything against Falcons.

The thing to remember is that you have to have a plan to face Phantoms, not necessarily a build.  You have to know how to Corral them and take them down.  As much as their defense is great, and they are stellar arc dodgers, I would hazard a bet that the average Firespray is just as difficult to take down.  It takes about between 4 or 5 modified attacks to take down a Phantom not modifying their defense Dice(such as one being fired on by a Gunner).  While that is a lot for a ship with 4 hits it's pretty similar to(but less hits than) a Recon Specialist Bounty Hunter, which also excels at arc dodging due to the ability to fly behind a list, creating exactly the same issues as the Phantom(do you face the firespray or the rest of the team.  That's not a perfect comparison, and focus firing a Phantom is harder, but that's where having a plan comes in.  How do you arrange your firing arcs to catch it.  What tricks do you have.  Do you have Gunner?  How about Push the limit on a ship that can Focus and Target Lock.  Do you have any high PS.  None of these things are bad or limit your build.  But knowing what ships need to do what is key.

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I played 2 Han falcon builds today, both with Headhunter support, I tabled both of them, one in 25 minutes and the other in 45. Etahn Abaht is the Falcons bane, I focus fired the falcon and dropped like 4 crits on each of them. In both games took them out in the first 2-3 firing turns. Didn't get to play against Phantoms so I'm not sure how my build would work against them, but I'm interested to try it out. My build was Etahn+PTL+Adv Sens+R2-D2, Wedge+Predator, Biggs+R4-D6.

 

 

A slight modification to that statement: Etahn Abaht is Han's bane. Chewbacca laughs like a drain, and I see him nearly as often.

Edited by Magnus Grendel

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