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Gersun

X Wing Tactica: How to build a "Meta Killing" squad

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A very good read! Although I have never chased a turreted ship (i'm still relatively new to the game) there was one time I flew my A-wing to close to a Decimator that was being rammed consistently.

Edited by FlyingAnchors

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The meta right now is still one of two things:   Swarm or 2 High PS ships.

 

I'm having lots of success with 2 PS 1 Star VIpers w/ Autothrusters and Kath because of this.  Block them, out fly them, force bad exchanges.  Only control lists are giving me trouble right now with this build.  Even then, if the dice go my way, I end up on top.

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I don't know the exact math, maybe MajorJuggler or another mathwinger can crunch the numbers, but a Concussion Missile shot with a focus token does 4 hits like 90% of the time. 

 

With Focus:

0 hits: 0% (free blank to hit!)

1 hit: 0.39% (4 blanks!)

2 hits: 4.68%

3 hits: 21.09%

4 hits: 73.83% (1 or less blanks)

 

Average hits rolled: 3.68

 

 

Without Focus:

0 hits: 0.39% (4 eyeballs!)

1 hit: 8.98%

2 hits: 31.25%

3 hits: 40.625%

4 hits: 18.75%

 

Average hits rolled: 2.68

Edited by MajorJuggler

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MajorJuggler, thanks for the math. I will edit that to say at least 3 hits. 

 

Stone37, props for taking a unique list! I feel like Starvipers are one of the most under-examined ships in the game, and I think that your list does a good job of figuring out uses for them. Autothrusters makes them annoying targets for turrets at the end of the game, especially because you can focus to give yourself great odds on defense, and then if you don't need the focus you have the chance to use it for offense. I think Kath is the obvious target because she is so dangerous, so I would be curious to see what would happen if you switch out a Starviper for an HLC Scyk, or even one of the named HWKs to make your opponent think about who to target first. Especially if the ship is putting out a decent amount of hurt or inconvenience. Palob is hard to do justice for that point value though... Maybe we can think of a better option as a community ;)

 

 

If anyone else has a unique list that they want to share, please do so! This tactica will only be more helpful if we start a discussion about building strong lists that we can test against the meta.

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I love Z swarms! Thanks for sharing this!

 

I was going to play a Han/Jake build at the upcoming tournament to prepare for GenCon, but now I want to fly my swarm again! ^_^

 

I usually fly Tarn or Jake with my Zs, but here is a Missile Z list I was considering before:

 

http://geordanr.github.io/xwing/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v3!s!64:17:-1:-1:;64:17:-1:-1:;64:17:-1:-1:;64:17:-1:-1:;64:17:-1:-1:;64:53:-1:-1:

 

Thoughts? Yours is better though. Hand out a couple TLs after the enemy is close-by.

Edited by MegaSilver

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I too was at the Tacoma regionals.  I usually try to buck the meta but I relented for that event and brought Rear Admiral Cheerios and Fel.  I didn't end up facing you however :D 

 

The other list that I usually bring to tournaments and that does very well in the current meta game is Krassis Trellix w/ HLC and rebel captive paired up with x2 Royal Guard Pilots w/ PtL and Autothrusters.  Kills big turrets very quickly and can still out-PS swarms.

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I love Z swarms! Thanks for sharing this!

 

I was going to play a Han/Jake build at the upcoming tournament to prepare for GenCon, but now I want to fly my swarm again! ^_^

 

I usually fly Tarn or Jake with my Zs, but here is a Missile Z list I was considering before:

 

http://geordanr.github.io/xwing/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v3!s!64:17:-1:-1:;64:17:-1:-1:;64:17:-1:-1:;64:17:-1:-1:;64:17:-1:-1:;64:53:-1:-1:

 

Thoughts? Yours is better though. Hand out a couple TLs after the enemy is close-by.

 

I actually like your homing missile list a lot! Having 5 of them has the potential to do more damage than my list can put out, and the numbers on a basic shot without Focus are actually better for the Homing Missile I think. Regardless, you can wreck some people's day with this, and I think that it is worth a go! I would deploy spread out though, and force some chases so your opponent either has to chase the injured Zs to get points, or sit in Range 1 to not get shot with missiles. I could see that list have a grand 'ol time if flown correctly.

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Your post was a breath of fresh air. Thank you for sharing. These are exactly the type of posts that people should be sharing/reading.

I too have tried looking for combinations that work against the current meta, and am currently trying out a couple of lists that have shown to be effective. I'll try explaining one in your terms of "Upgrade Synergy" and "Targeting Synergy":

Kavil (36)

Y-Wing (24), Blaster Turret (4), Unhinged Astromech (1), Push the Limit (3), Engine Upgrade (4)

Black Sun Soldier (16) x 4

Z-95 Headhunter (13), “Hot Shot” Blaster (3)

Upgrade Synergy: I've seen Kavil builds here and there, but most try the autoblaster approach. I find that getting into R1 with a Y-Wing is pretty tough, so I went with the Blaster Turret option. To give Kavil a bit of mobility, I slapped on an Engine Upgrade and Unhinged Astromech. The result is a Y-Wing that can outfly some of the most maneuverable ships in the game. The added bonus of the out of arc shot is a nice touch, as I can swoop in to face the enemy, and boost out of their arc, and them out of my own, to get an even more effective shot.

For my Z swarm, I opted for the Black Sun Soldier, which is PS3, reducing the effectiveness of Predator, and to also gain a PS advantage against common swarm builds with PS1 or PS2 ships. I decided to slap on Hot Shot Blasters on all of them. I think the swarm tends to be the strength of the build. The hot shots allow me to be aggressive with the swarm, and hunt down priority targets, without worries of having them dodge my arcs at the last minute, setting up blocks in the meantime to deny actions and set up further attacks.

Targeting Synergy: With this particular list, the choice is between the Z-swarm, and Kavil. I tend to start my matches much more aggressively with the Z-swarm than Kavil, to set up the alpha strike and bring in Kavil for clean up. Even so, if I find that the opponent wants to go after Kavil first, he can very quickly get out of dodge (all those green 3's plus boost makes for a very fast/unpredictable Y-Wing). This can have your opponent fruitlessly chasing a ship which they thought they could trap, while my swarm is laying down the pain with 8-12 dice.

Overall, I like this list because of the versatility. Essentially, I have a swarm/turret, and a turret/arc dodger. This can create confusion for the opponent on how to fly against it, as the ships fly differently than what is standard. So far I'm 11-3 with it, having faced some "meta" lists, and 4-0 at a competitive tournament, so its strong enough to face a gauntlet. More practice will be necessary to fine tune strategies against some particular lists.

Edited by VaynMaanen

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Hey Gersun

 

Firstly thank you for taking the time to write out that article.  Some excellent points that I wish to address.  It really rung true for me as I’m also a long time warhammer player and have transitioned in February but like any player have dreams of greatness.  I’ve also written several articles on forums for Warhammer so am very keen to eventually do the same when I gain enough experience.  Were you successful on the Warhammer tournament scene and totally out of interest did your warhammer armies influence your play styles in X-wing at all?

 

Alright, before you have a chance at placing in a tournament, you have to have a solid list! Everyone knows that, and I am going to talk about the two elements that every player should think about when building a list. Upgrade Synergy and Targeting Synergy.

 

 

Great comment however it doesn’t mention an easily overlooked skill and that is the skill of the person behind the ships flying the list.  A great list is nothing in the hands of a poor pilot and equally so a ‘poor list’ is much better when flown by a superior player.  Rookie pilot right here!  :)

 

If you plan on ramming Oicunn into your opponent, you will probably want an engine upgrade to either hit twice, or make sure that one hit connects.

 

 

I’m curious if you could clarify this for me?  I didn’t think the engine upgrade boost action allowed you to move into contact with an obstable or another ship?

 

This synergy can be made with almost any list, and we see it commonly with Paul Heaver's World's list. The 3 Z95s are bait. Go after them and Han will tear you apart piece by piece. However, if you ignore them, you're going to be taking an extra 6 to 9 red dice from them, and they will try their best to block and be annoying. This is a beautiful piece of Targeting Synergy art.

 

 

Totally out of self interest here, any clues as to how/what you would include in a TIE Defender list for a synergy build?  I’ve got a bit of a love affair with this ship and even though I like to think I’m using it correctly and it’s the users piloting skill that’s letting the list down I would gladly accept any guidance and examples

 

This is where it all happens. Everything in the match hinges on where the asteroids are, and where your ships are. If you get this wrong, you just made the game that much harder to win. I think a lot of people know this in theory, but fail to understand it in practice. Here are some rules to follow that will help you see why they are important.

 

 

Great rules!  I’m certainly one of those who know this in theory but for whatever reason I choose to rush/ignore it.  You’ve mentioned previously you don’t fly the big ships, is that because of the valid strategies behind the asteroid placement and use?

 

I learned my lesson from this game, however, and I was lucky enough to squeak into the elimination rounds as the 31st seed out of 32. Sweet deal.

 

 

So what would have changed if you had a re-match for that game or are you adamant some lists purely have little chance against others?

 

Regardless, you have to pick a list that, when the time comes, can do the heavy lifting to take the fatty off of the table.

 

 

There perhaps lies my problem, I’m flying ‘themed’ lists as opposed to ‘efficient’ lists that are taking full advantage of the synergy you’ve written about.  Are you primarily a rebel ship player?

 

Thanks again for your fantastic article, I’ve certainly gained some insight from it and look forward to applying it to my next game especially the asteroid placement.  Certainly looking forward to your responses if you have the time.

Edited by jimmyrut

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Jimmyrut, thanks for the detailed reply! I will try to respond in order.

  • I have won a team warhammer tournament, and I would say that I am a strong player. I can beat players that go to Masters as much as they beat me, regardless of matchup (I play an all-comers High Elf list)

 

  • Flying well is definitely the key with any list. I had 5 knockout round games on Sunday, and I don't recall landing on a single asteroid. I had several get very close, but for the most part, the best decision is usually more conservative. That being said, you have to learn your maneuvering tricks, like how many bases banks and turns equal, and how you can judge where you will end up. Also, other things like how the large asteroid is a good friend of the 3 turn, and how the small asteroids match well with the 2 turn template.

 

  • I think you're right on Oicunn, now that I think about it you can only use Daredevil to double-ram a ship. Engine upgrade is no good! Good catch, I will edit that out.

 

  • I love the Tie Defender as well! In fact, I am working on some lists for it right now. At the moment though, Biophysical is the king of the Defender, check out his results at this recent regional here. I will post my list(s) once I think about them a little more. Vessery is my favorite though, so pairing him with other ships that like to TL is the way to go. The new Advanced fix and Vessery will be great friends :)

 

  • I don't like flying the big ships because I enjoy flying multiple ships. Swarms are my favorite, followed by 3 ship ace lists. If I flew a large ship, it would be the Eaden Vrill I posted in the OP.

 

  • If I had a rematch against that Soontir Chiraneau build I would pretend like I wouldn't engage at all for a few turns, like I did in the top 4 match. Doing a straight, a k turn, a green, and a k turn again to come back to where I started would be fine as long as it brought Soontir closer to a position I could block and kill him in with 2, maybe 3 missiles. Then it would be scaring Chiraneau away. I made the mistake of chasing in that game, and my ships were arc-dodged and killed one at a time. The problem was in the way I played, not in my list being weak or my opponents being overpowered.

 

  • I am a sucker for themed lists (see a Z swarm with missiles for evidence) and I don't think that a list having a theme and being competitive are mutually exclusive at all. I think to be competitive you need to have a balance of roles for your ships to play, like Soontir and Chiraneau, or Cracken, the Ion Pulse Z, and the Concussion Zs. The greater diversity of tools you bring to the table, the more types of lists you can beat. Flying 4 of one thing can be awfully 1 dimensional and boring, hence why I don't rate BBBB(Z) very highly. Some of my favorite ships are: Tie Bombers, A Wings, Tie Defenders, and X Wings. I fly the Z95s because I love this list. I also have a soft spot for Tie Fighters, especially Dark Curse  :D

 

What lists are you currently trying with Defenders?

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If you plan on ramming Oicunn into your opponent, you will probably want an engine upgrade to either hit twice, or make sure that one hit connects.

 

I’m curious if you could clarify this for me?  I didn’t think the engine upgrade boost action allowed you to move into contact with an obstable or another ship?

 

I'm not the OP, but I can answer this. The short answer is that boost doesn't allow you to ram another ship. The more interesting answer is that Daredevil does allow you to, but you need EU to get boost so that Daredevil doesn't damage your own ship. It's not a tactic I've seen used to much success, but maybe that is due to the players :)

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Thanks for posting this. I've often looked at Concussion Missiles when considering ordnance. Good to see someone put them to use. :)

What do you think about a Tie Bomber squad with CMs and Jonus? Too few ships? Not enough actions?

Edited by Koing907

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Thanks for the replies Gersun.

 

That’s interesting on the Warhammer armies, a HE/TK/OK player myself.  Are you registered on any of those relevant forums such as Ulthuan?

 

On topic:

 

I think currently my piloting skills need a little tightening up but not so much in terms of misreading the game or hitting ships/obstacles but more going with my gut as opposed to spending 2 minutes completely over analysing and then realising my first thought would have often been the best choice.  Similar to warhammer if you can make your opponent react to your movements you’re putting a good foot forward to win.

 

Can you clarify what you mean about the 3 turn on the large asteroid and 2 turn on the small etc?

 

That’s great about the TIE Defender.  Indeed Biophysical has the title currently, I’ve tried his list but once again I didn’t do it any justice and I get a bit shirty at copying other people’s lists so I need to come up with something original rather than his loadout.  I do love the Ion Pulse Missiles however as they keep those big ships honest but I hate flying 2 tooled up ships that are essentially fairly fragile.

 

On Vessery I’ve thought about running him with either a Decimator or Lambda shuttle but I’m unsure as to what else to put in the list.  Lots of interesting opportunities for the TIE Defender and as per usual never enough hours in the day to play the game and do the much needed testing.

 

Your re-match details intrigue me.  The movement combination you’ve listed I’m literally going to go home and look at it on the table just to get a clearer picture in my head and an understanding of what it would achieve.  I think perhaps I always fall into the trap of trying to do something in terms of damage every single turn rather than taking my time even if that means flying away from the enemy and re-grouping.

 

I think perhaps that Dual Defenders don’t bring enough roles to the table as you’ve mentioned even though Biophysical is a clear exception to the statement.  Whenever I’ve run Dual Defenders and got absolutely smashed and I got back over the game details in my head I can’t see any alternative to defeating the enemy.  Classic example was last week facing off against Soontir and Oicunn.  I either have the option of trying to get hits on Soontir which admittedly it was the first time I’d ever played against him so didn’t know he was ‘that’ good or focus on the Decimator in which case I’m more than likely copping fire in the backside as Soontir would be taking full advantage.  Very frustrating time for me!  J

 

I’ve ran Dual Defenders, Triple Defenders, etc but I wouldn’t note I’ve had consistent success.  I do test my Dual Defenders all the time against a list with Chewie and 2 x HLC B-wings which is a tough ask but at least I know where I stand…..

 

Great responses!

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I agree with the O.P. 100%.  I want to re-iterate that practice is incredibly important.  It's what gives you an edge against meta-lists that might otherwise have an efficiency advantage against you.  As long as your squad is decent, having a plan to deal with a wide range of meta squads can turn a 2-3 run into a 4-1 run.  Chances are that most players haven't given much thought about how to deal with things like a 6-Z ordnance squad (or a dual TIE Defender squad).  This is worth something.  

 

I practiced against myself a ton on Vassal offline.  You could do table-top games vs self as well, but it takes a lot longer.  It gave me a pretty good understanding of how lots of meta lists work and how my list needs to approach them.  It is critical to have some of this experience when planning to take on powerful mainstream squads.  I do know that during the KC Regionals, I was rarely surprised by my opponent's moves, and this made it much easier to keep my HLCs pointed in the right direction.  

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Thanks for the positive feedback everyone! I spent a lot of time thinking about this article over the past weeks, and I'm glad it is actually helpful. 

 

 

 

Can you clarify what you mean about the 3 turn on the large asteroid and 2 turn on the small etc?

 

If your small ship is trying to fly around these obstacles, those maneuver templates are the ones to use. If you just set them down on your kitchen table you will see that the 3 turn can safely get you around the big asteroid. I will try to get a picture up from my top 4 game. My opponent's mind was blown when I flew that maneuver with a ship that was almost touching the 'roid already. I needed to get my arc on Han, and a 2 turn would have been a better move because he was trying to fly past me, but it would have put me on the rock. The shape of the 3 turn and big asteroid just work well together. Same goes for the smaller guys and the 2 turn template. 

 

 

 

I practiced against myself a ton on Vassal offline.  You could do table-top games vs self as well, but it takes a lot longer.  It gave me a pretty good understanding of how lots of meta lists work and how my list needs to approach them.  It is critical to have some of this experience when planning to take on powerful mainstream squads.  I do know that during the KC Regionals, I was rarely surprised by my opponent's moves, and this made it much easier to keep my HLCs pointed in the right direction.  

 

That is awesome!

 

When I first started playing this game I took some advice from this forum; people said to lay out a dense asteroid field on the table and practice flying through it. I ended up setting up an obstacle course, with static ships in it that represented where my enemy could be, which helps you look at the table objectively and think about planning a couple of turns in advance. 

 

I also like to fly against myself, and that really helped me learn all of the dials, and what maneuvers certain ships love to do. Like Interceptors doing the 2 hard, or YT1300s doing a 3 bank, and so on.

Edited by Gersun

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MajorJuggler, thanks for the math. I will edit that to say at least 3 hits. 

 

Stone37, props for taking a unique list! I feel like Starvipers are one of the most under-examined ships in the game, and I think that your list does a good job of figuring out uses for them. Autothrusters makes them annoying targets for turrets at the end of the game, especially because you can focus to give yourself great odds on defense, and then if you don't need the focus you have the chance to use it for offense. I think Kath is the obvious target because she is so dangerous, so I would be curious to see what would happen if you switch out a Starviper for an HLC Scyk, or even one of the named HWKs to make your opponent think about who to target first. Especially if the ship is putting out a decent amount of hurt or inconvenience. Palob is hard to do justice for that point value though... Maybe we can think of a better option as a community ;)

 

 

If anyone else has a unique list that they want to share, please do so! This tactica will only be more helpful if we start a discussion about building strong lists that we can test against the meta.

I've tried other ships, other than Kath.  Rolling 5 red dice with Predator (at R1) is just killer though.  I often get my opponents to shoot Kath for a round or two, then she leaves the engagement.  This leaves two full health Starvipers (often in better positions to attack) to draw fire.  Then, by the time my opponent has adjusted, Kath is back in the mix.

I am thinking about replacing Kath with two Thug Y's equipped with Ion turrets to see how that list would play.

**Great threat and OP btw.

Edited by Stone37

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Lando Calrisian is a PWT that, with Nien Numb and Engine Upgrade, can pass off two actions at PS7 with room for VI to push it to PS9. On the other hand with that build he's a minimum 49 points. How to fill out the list?

 

I'm thinking Nera Daniels with Advanced Protons and deadeye- with Lando along, she can get a PS9 barrel roll and target lock into Soontier and overload his arcdodging with 5 hits, but I'm open to other ideas.

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I love Z swarms! Thanks for sharing this!

 

I was going to play a Han/Jake build at the upcoming tournament to prepare for GenCon, but now I want to fly my swarm again! ^_^

 

I usually fly Tarn or Jake with my Zs, but here is a Missile Z list I was considering before:

 

http://geordanr.github.io/xwing/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v3!s!64:17:-1:-1:;64:17:-1:-1:;64:17:-1:-1:;64:17:-1:-1:;64:17:-1:-1:;64:53:-1:-1:

 

Thoughts? Yours is better though. Hand out a couple TLs after the enemy is close-by.

 

I actually like your homing missile list a lot! Having 5 of them has the potential to do more damage than my list can put out, and the numbers on a basic shot without Focus are actually better for the Homing Missile I think. Regardless, you can wreck some people's day with this, and I think that it is worth a go! I would deploy spread out though, and force some chases so your opponent either has to chase the injured Zs to get points, or sit in Range 1 to not get shot with missiles. I could see that list have a grand 'ol time if flown correctly.

 

 

Just played against a Fel, Dark Curse, AP x4 list. I was worried going in, but did what you said and won! Fel fell to three Homing Missiles from R3, then an AP and DC fell before he decided to call it. I just lost 1 Z, and two others had 1 damage.

 

Good game DarthRootBeer!

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Great read, given me a few things to think about.

I know I rarely think that far ahead when playing, so have been know to fly straight at the enemy and have some range 3 exchanges, but then find myself faced with either taking some range 1 fire or be completely out of position. Need to get that sorted out, although my last tournament I did grab 2nd place, so I've been improving.

I'm taking part in a tournament next month where I play one faction in rounds 1, 3 & 5 and then another faction in 2 & 4. I have my trusty 3 x B's with FCS and Manglers + Prototype refit A-Wing for one squad. But for my other squad I want to use my Scum, specifically my M3's. So I have come up with the following:

Guri - Virago, FCS & Autothrusters (35)

Serissu - Stealth Device (23)

Laetin - HSI & Mangler (24)

Cartel Spacer - HSI & Flechette Cannon (18)

I think it gives the opponent a difficult choice between going for Serissu who buffs everyone's defence, Laetin who has a nasty mangler shot and Guri who is probably my 'ace'. The biggest worry I have is that it's a little fragile.

The other bonus is that not only am I using M3's which I love, but also that they rarely see tournament play.

Any advice or changes that people think may be needed?

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