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Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Time You Build a Squad

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Love the thoughts; they're all great points.....but the most important question is, "can I fly the crap out of these and run circles around anyone?"

Thats why i dont fly soontir when im being competetive. I know i cant do either of those things. But i am forcing myself to keep trying soontir in non tournament situations. Only one way to get better with him and that is to keep flying. The local x wing group is very good about helping newer players out.

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Another other thing to think about is initiative. Do you need it? Do you want it? What outcomes could come because of it that you should think about? A common one is whisper and soontir. Whisper needs it for acd. Soontir needs to pass it to arc dodge. So you can't really fly both together. (Thank goodness) Old teroch,Dengar, valen rudor, palob, yasanne boosting with ei, im sure others. They all be planned and deliberate.

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1. As has been said; Will it be fun to play?


2. What is each ships purpose in relation to the list as a whole?


3. Why can't the Ghost stay on its effing base??


Mostly though I go by what ships I like. I love the G-1a so I find ways to make it work. I have fallen in love with the Arc I got from Gencon and play it constantly. I'm doing 50/50 with Nora but I'm having such a blast the losses are still fun as hell....


Eric J

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You sit down, take a long hard look at your life and the choices ahead of you, and you ask yourself: "What would Yoda do?"

(Seriously, this is the actual plot for Star Wars Rebels S02E16 "Shroud of Darkness")

Edited by takfar

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At the end of the day, damage output and survivability are the main points of focus. There are 3 critical elements to maximizing these aspects in every list. I don't necessarily have any specific questions I ask myself, but I always think about these 3 elements:

  • Dice modifications - Whether attacking or defending, if you rely on raw dice, you risk everything on pure chance. Especially with regard to green dice, this can and does go downhill really quick. Whatever the ship needs to do to survive and deal a decent amount of damage, you must make sure you can get that to happen. Things like Predator/Lone Wolf, Glitterstim/Poe's pilot ability, Autothrusters/Palp, etc. to increase the effectiveness of your dice. Also includes shenanigans that can modify your opponent's dice, like 4-LOM, Zuckuss, Sensor Jammer, or Juke.
  • Maneuvering and Positioning - If a ship isn't pointing at the enemy, it generally won't deal any damage. On the other hand, if the enemy isn't looking at a ship, the ship won't take any damage either. Making sure you can get to the right location on the table relative to the enemy will allow you to deal the most damage while taking the least. Things like primary weapon turrents, bombs, Feedback Array, etc. can address this by making maneuvering less important, whereas things like Autothrusters, Fearlessness, and Expose can help either mitigate an otherwise disadvantageous situation (like at range 1 behind Rear Admiral Chiraneau), as can repositioning actions like boost and/or barrel roll. With any list, you need to make sure all of your ships can get where they need to be to deal and avoid damage or trigger pilot abilities and upgrades.
  • Action Economy - Basically, how easy it is to perform your action-dependent shenanigans. This includes both the sheer number of things you can do to preserve your modifications, durability, and maneuvering, but also in how few you can afford to do while maximizing your damage output and survivability. Things like Push the Limit, BB-8, the ability to shed or deal stress, and native dice modifications drastically increase your action economy.

You want to be able to maximize all of these things when you build a list. If you're lacking on anything, the list will not be successful. This is a big reason that T-65s haven't been very strong, with a few exceptions. Their maneuvering is very predictable and they lack repositioning, and they have simply terrible action economy, which makes it difficult for them to get decent dice mods. Strong lists that incorporate T-65s use other elements to help them do better with these elements. Tactical Jammer and Biggs Darklighter is a good example of this: you make maneuverability less important by giving the X-Wing more dice and protecting your bigger guns so they can better use their modifications and actions to do the real damage. Palp Aces also excel at all of these categories: pilots like Vader, Soontir, the Inquisitor, and x7 Defenders get lots of free actions/tokens, with a Palpatine modification on top of that, and all of the slippery little Imperial ace pilots can fly circles around most other ships. The sluggishness of the shuttle doesn't matter so much, because its benefits with Palp far exceed its costs, and there are plenty of ways to keep it back far enough to take a few shots of its own just to be a thorn in the opponent's side. Other ships, like the Ghost, Decimator, and YV-666, use their tankiness to emphasise offensive action economy and need to maneuver very carefully to be able to pump out that damage.


If I had to put this in the form of a question, I guess I'd ask this of someone building a list:


1) Can my ships afford to take more-than-average damage? And if they can't, can they maneuver themselves so that they won't be shot at?

2) What actions do I need to focus on to make each ship and/or pilot work? How can I perform as few actions as possible to minimize damage taken and maximize damage output?

3) How fast can I deal damage? Can I kill something before shoots, or do I need to turtle up or outmaneuver to out-survive the enemy?

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I'm hoping to develop some guidelines for myself when building squads. As is, I tend to get caught up in whatever shiny combo catches my eye. I've been making efforts lately to stick to the basics, and that's been helpful, but with so many exciting new additions I want to branch out again.


What is my game plan in general. 

What is my game plan against the current meta-lists and is my list strong enough against them.

What are my options when my game plan does not survive: Is there redemption possible for when I screw up? If the answer is here no, the list might be still valid, but it does give you a clear feeling of how important certain elements of the list are and how to approach turn 0 and turn 1 based on that. 



The rest of this long write up died, because ffg technical problems and me forgetting to copy the text first before posting hurray for the auto-save function. One hour of my life lost :P

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Good suggestions in this thread here. Love how everyone thinks about Soontir first, haha. "Can I kill him?" No? This list is crap! HAHAHA.


It's a good topic to discuss.


Will run through my latest squad building list and add my 2 cents, cause Im bored right now  :P


My squad building thoughts are:


Step 1: "What main ships do I want to fly?"


Since I just got Imperial Vets, a Defender sounds cool. Maybe two of them. I read Bio's post about him taking two defenders to GenCon and that sounds really fun!


Answer: Defenders.


Step 2: "Can you punch through token stacked ships (via modifiers/abilities) AND survive long enough to do so?"


I think this needs to be at the tops of everyones list. Flying a list that does no damage is no bueno


If the answer is no, then repeat step 2


i.e. HLC Farlander can punch through, but can't survive (Biggs can solve this problem, or maybe PTL + EU instead). A-wings can survive but can't punch through (prockets and crackshot solve this problem).


So identify your lists first problem, solve it by adding an upgrade or swapping a ship, then move on.


Answer: The TIE xD title on defenders can punch through tokened stack ships. Three agility and 6hp can survive quite a bit, however a hull upgrade makes them super beefy. Also, could go with Juke and x7 title, or Crackshot and x7 title. All of these solve the token stacked ship and survivability problems.


Maarek + Predator + Some Cannon + xD + Hull = 38pts

Vessery + Adaptability + Some Cannon  + xD + Hull = 38pts


Step 3: "Do you care about the order in which your ships die?" 


If "No", proceed to step 3. If "Yes" solve this problem before proceeding.


i.e. Swarms don't care. Palp Aces not so much which ace. Biggs solves many rebel lists problem as well as regen.


Dengaroo does not want Manaroo to die so what to do about it? Add PTL + Engine, maybe painbot, recon spec, etc. Keep her a pain in the arse to hunt and/or kill. Solve your problem of target priority. If Manaroo is hard to kill, opponent may press their luck by going for Dengar first, exactly what you want!!


Can also put something more threatening than your endgame ship early on like a Party Bus that needs to go down ASAP. Or similar to Decimator/Whisper list.


A list like:

Omega Leader +Juke +Comms + Stealth, 

Zeta Leader + Juke + Comms, 

2x Omegas with Juke + Comms


All are roughly the same ship to hunt down first, but OL is a beast endgame. So the number 1 threat to take out first is Omega Leader and he isn't hard to catch, at least not harder than any other FO's in the squad. What is there to stop your opponent from focusing him down first?


Where as something like:

Ryad + Juke + x7

3x Omega + Juke + Comms

Ryad is harder to bring down 6hp with focus and evade each turn, with green Kturns making her harder to catch. So your opponent will have a difficult time bringing her down first and may opt for an Omega or two first. Carnor Jax can take Ryads place and is a tokened up interceptor that can dodge arcs and is difficult to catch. Better options than OL here. Give your opponent tough choices to make, spend extra time going for harder target while getting attacked, or take a few riff raff out first?


Answer: No, like Palp Aces, I have two defenders and either one going down first isn't much of a concern.


Step 4: "Do you have something for both a PS 9 arc dodging/token stacking ace aka Soontir? And something for a hard hitting high HP flying tank aka scout or party bus?"


This sounds similar to Step 2, but it's completely different. Step 1 is about firepower and survivability. Step 3 is about a solution to different lists and the next step in tweaking for efficiency. For instance, a stresshog can be your answer to an arc dodging ace. A blocker can also be your solution to an arc dodging ace. An upgrade card could be the answer as well. You might have to drop Predator for Veteran Instincts to boost your ship to PS9. Or maybe lose a torpedo for Feedback Array.


If I have an answer to aces and tanks, then I will now test the list.


Answer: Hard hitting tanks? Two Ion defenders with a double tap, hits hard to drain their HP and ion's them so they cannot turn around. Speed of defenders can also get behind them quickly. 


For aces, they are going to dodge my arcs, so I need a blocker. Vessery wants TL's for his ability, so a blocker with TL is a bonus. 15pts left over for an Epsilon Squadron Pilot that has a great dial, b-roll for blocking, PS1, and TL action. Perfect!


Maarek + Predator + Ion Cannon + xD + Hull = 44pts

Vessery + Adaptability + Ion Cannon + XD + Hull = 41pts

Epsilon Squadron Pilot = 15pts


Step 5: "Is it fun to fly?"


I dont have this number one because you need to play test lists.


If "Yes" proceed to step 6. If "No", share it with someone else who may like it and start over  :(


Answer: HELL YEAH!


Step 6: "Is it performing as expected?"


Tweak it as you get more experience flying it!


Answer: So after 9 games, my only two losses are to PS8 Brobots and Trip Aces (Vader, Inquisitor, Soontir). Basically lists with multiple ships with higher PS. I have no problem with lists with just one ace that I can focus down early and cleanup the rest. All ships lower PS either get obliterated or else the double tap Defenders strip their tokens and they fire back with naked red dice. So how do I solve the multiple high PS issue?


I really like the double tap to keep with the lists theme, so I would prefer a ps9 double tapper. I can give Maarek Veteran Instincts, but then he has no dice mods with Predator. Upgrade Maarek to Rexlar for a PS8? Not good enough. Same issue, give him adapt or VI and then no predator.


Enter Whisper


Whisper + VI + FCS + Adv Cloak + Gunner


She gives me a double tap to strip tokens, automatically gives a TL for Vessery, and is 44pts, the same cost as Maarek. Dropping the Hull from Vessery gives me initiative. Now I have my double tapping PS9 to solve the ace problem. VI on Vess ups his PS, another bonus for my ace problem.


Whisper + VI + FCS + Adv Cloak + Gunner = 44pts

Vessery + Veteran Instincts + Ion Cannon + xD = 39pts

Epsilon Squadron Pilot = 15pts

2pt initiative


First match is against Inquisitor, OL, VI x7 Vessery. All PS8's in this list and Inquisitor has caused me many problems with my double xD list.


Result? Didn't lose a single ship. Whisper with FCS attacking before Vessery to setup that TL is pure gold. Gunner paid off big time as Whisper killed Inquisitor range 2 through a rock.


Second match was against PS10 Dengar and PS9 Party Bossk. Yikes! However I beat this list with my double xD's before.


List performed well, that ion cannon on Vess was still awesome, ioning Dengar and then next turn Bossk since he used 4-Lom the previous turn. I screwed up with Whisper (got greedy and took an evade with whisper instead of b-rolling to safety) and she got killed early by Bossk (this was the game changer), but overall the list did great and it came down to 1hull Epsilon vs 1hull Bossk. And I would have taken this game, but my eps had a crit making all turns red, so Bossk was able to turn around faster then my Epsilon!!! If not for that crit, the game was mine for the taking. So, the list still performed fantastic against two of the hardest hitting tanks in the game. The loss is not the lists fault.


So far, so good.

Edited by wurms

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One must ask this in regard to what is best in life...

1. Will this list crush my enemies?

2. Will I see them driven before me?

3. Will this list allow me to hear the lamentation of their women? (Or men if that be the case.)


This topic is OOOOOOOOOOH-VERRRRRRR.  Stick a fork in it, it's done.  BAH GAWD, THAT TOPIC HAS A FAMILY!

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Don't know if this has been mentioned already, but I thought of another question to ask:


Is there a cheaper upgrade/pilot that fills this role as well or better?


Example: Do I need Predator? Or could I ensure Lone Wolf triggers more often than not? Am I taking Predator because I expect to be stressed a lot and therefore actionless? Could I get away with Wired instead?


You can also ask the converse: Am I trying too hard to fulfill the conditions of a cheaper upgrade card/pilot that spending the points on a more expensive choice makes more sense?

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Are my upgrades / pilot abilities working against eachother?   (Consider Palob w Cloaking device and Zuckuss -  once you are stressed beyond belief by zuckuss - that cloaking device action will never be used.)    (Also, Wedge with R2F2 and Expose - both require an action, and cannot be used simultaneously)  (Lt. Blount , Munitions failsafe -  Blount always hits so failsafe can never trigger.)


Edited by Ravncat

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I like to see whether one ship is all the damage output my list relies on. If it is, this will be the optimal target for my opponent.


Second, I like to see if there are answers in my list to current meta archtypes. Like: What do I have to counter Palp aces, jumps or Dengaroo?


And third: Is the list fun for me to play and to play against? And can I play it well?



If it meets all these three things, the list is viable enough for me to at least make the cut at a 40-50 player tournament.

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One of the questions I ask myself right now after I build a list is...


"Will my opponent have fun if I beat them?"

I've played people and had them have a negative experience because they feel certain combos are broken. I try and remember that every game is not a tourney round, and I don't have to win every time. It's okay not to use the most powerful stuff, because at the end of the day you want to have fun AND you want your opponent to have enjoyed themselves enough to want to play against you again.


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The first question I ask myself as I build a list is: will these other things help Corran Horn in the current meta?

I'm pretty much addicted to Corran, so whatever pairs well at the time is what I try.

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