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CBMarkham

X-Wing Format: You are the Pilot

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Format Name:You are the Pilot”

 

 

f8246533-3897-4a6a-b975-fca3eef8c033.jpg

 

 

Basic Idea: This is a game format where you control a single ship; your ship. No unique cards of any kind are allowed. That means your crew is not Palpatine or Dengar, and the pilot of your ship is not Darth Vader or Han Solo. The pilot is you.

 

Many formats of this nature pop-up from time to time, all with different names and they’re all pretty fun, but I never liked how the basic rules seemed to limit the options.

 

Sometimes we see this 1-ship format and players are allowed to take unique pilots and cards, in which case we see a lot of Darth Vaders and Soontir Fels flying around, and any ship that wasn’t using PtL was probably abusing Lone Wolf. Watching two Soontirs fly against each other never felt that thematic to me. Don’t you want to be the pilot of your own ship?

 

Other times this format is limited to generic pilots, in which case the first person to see the format will point out that the top build for 1v1 purposes is Soontir-Lite (Royal Guard Pilot with PtL, Autothrusters and Stealth Device) because PS6 is near the top of the line for generic pilots and Soontir-Lite is great in a solo duel. That’s not wrong, but it is a little boring.

 

All that got me thinking, “What if there weren’t a set pilot skill cap, so players could invest points as they saw fit?” and “What if we let ships without EPT slots purchase them like in Heroes of the Aturi Cluster, so that more ships could be included in the fun?”

 

The idea here is not to build the best pilot for min-maxing 1v1 duels. This ship is meant to represent you and the idea of the format is to take your ship, with you as the pilot, into a wide array of game types which include 1v1 duels, but also 2v2 or 3v3 team battles, free-for-all battles (Furball), and mission scenarios. You can even have a handful of individuals fight against an epic ship controlled by an enemy player with a point cap determined by the number of opposing pilots.

 

The game type is whatever you want it to be, so your objective is to build a well-rounded ship that you would feel confident flying in a multitude of scenarios.

 

 

 

Pilot & Ship Building Rules:

 

1)      All unique cards are banned (pilots and upgrades).

2)      Set a point limit (30pts is recommended).

3)      Players begin by selecting one ship and an associated non-unique pilot. You are now that pilot.

a.       For ships that do not have non-unique pilots (ARC-170, Rebel TIE, Attack Shuttle, etc.), players may select the lowest skill pilot associated with that ship and treat it as a generic pilot of the same cost. Ignore the printed pilot ability of the non-unique pilot associated with your ship.

4)      Pilots may spend points to increase their Pilot Skill.

a.      Pilot Skill increases are in 1 level increments and each increase has a point cost

b.      Pilot Skill increases to PS2, PS3, and PS4 cost 1pt (each)

c.      Pilot Skill increases to PS5 and above cost 2pts (each)

5)      Pilots with a Pilot Skill of 4 or higher who do not have an elite pilot talent (EPT) upgrade slot may purchase an EPT slot for 1pt.

6)      Pilots may upgrade their ships with non-unique upgrade cards at the usual point cost.

7)      (Optional) Give your pilot an awesome call sign.

8)      (Optional) Name your sweet custom ship something cool, too.

 

 

 

Example: Below we have a basic pilot and loadout which is then modified for this format.

 

Black Sun Soldier (13)

Cluster Missiles (4)

Glitterstim (2)

Guidance Chips (0)

Total: 19

 

 

·         +1PS to PS4 (1pt) (20pts Total)

·         +1PS to PS5 (2pts) (22pts Total)

·         +1PS to PS6 (2pts) (24pts Total)

·         +1PS to PS7 (2pts) (26pts Total)

·         Add EPT Slot (1pt) (27pts Total)

·         Equip Predator EPT (3pts) (30pts Total)

 

 

The resulting ship would be:

 

Black Sun Soldier (21) (Pilot Skill 7)

Call Sign: Payload

Predator (3)

Cluster Missiles (4)

Glitterstim (2)

Guidance Chips (0)

Total: 30

 

 

That’s just one example of the way you can modify ship and pilot in ways that your enemies might not expect and might not be prepared for.

 

I’d love to hear what you all think of the format, along with any suggestions or critiques. I’d also really love to see your custom ships (bonus points if you include a sweet call sign). Your input is appreciated. Thanks for reading.

Edited by CBMarkham

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This format is awesome I have to say...

 

'Tone' Missile titan from TF2

 

Gamma Sq. Veteran TIE Bomber (19pt)

 

* Crack Shot (1pt)

 

* Extra Munitions (2pt)

 

* Homing Missiles (5pt)

 

* Proton Rockets (3pt)

 

* Long Range Scanners (0pt)

 

ps 5 - 30pts.

 

------------------------------------------

 

And then I had a thought... pay points to increase pilot skill... lose points to drop pilot skill!

 

'Stark' In honour of the warden of the north

 

Warden Sq. K wing (23pt)

 

* Conner net (4pt)

 

* Extra Munitions (2pt)

 

* Advanced SLAM (2pt)

 

* Bombardier (1pt)

 

* ps2 --> ps0 (-2pt)

 

ps 0 - 30pts

 

Bet you didn't think of dropping PS to save points :D

Edited by ThalanirIII

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I'm intrigued, though one of my first thoughts for ships w/o non-Unique pilots is maybe they should become cheaper when they become generic, as those pilot abilities cost points.

 

Personally, I'd also set a higher (not by much, maybe 35 or 40) limit than 30 as otherwise there's very little room for upgrading a number of pricey generic Rebel ships.

Edited by theninthguardian

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I must say I like the idea of banning the unique stuff. Because Soontir Fel was not in every engagement of Imperial fleet. Not on every patrol even of 181th...

 

But I don't like the buying of the PS. I think the balance can be made in the team play. If you get too strong, you get singled by two opponent's pilots. Not manny people play two Interceptors anymore because you can focus them down. Just my two cents.

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This would be even sweeter if you dropped in some rpg elements or mission objectives, to emphasize the "YOU are the pilot" part of it. That way you could earn upgrade points (+1 to PS for every 7 kills?) or maybe earn an ability that comes from a unique pilot card (PS 7 and under), but you're locked in for good at the PS you have at the time of choosing?

 

There's a lot of cool potential here.

Edited by Force Majeure

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For the ships without a generic pilot, might be worth dropping the cost of the cheapest pilot by 1 point, since it generally costs extra to get a unique pilot with an ability over a generic of the same cost (or has another tradeoff, such as wampa being the same cost as BSP, but loses the EPT to get a pilot ability, or ryad being the same cost as the glaive squadron but 1 PS lower to get the pilot ability).

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Bet you didn't think of dropping PS to save points :D

 

It's a home brew format, so it's only natural that you can incorporate any house rules you want. I do think that a pilot skill lower than 1 is reaching a bit, though.  :P

 

 

I'm intrigued, though one of my first thoughts for ships w/o non-Unique pilots is maybe they should become cheaper when they become generic, as those pilot abilities cost points.

 

It kind of depends on the ship. I honestly think that a generic, PS3 attack shuttle is a great value for 18pts. I think that if 5 ship swarms of them with a mix of tacticians and ABTs could exist, they would. I'd probably shave a point off the ARC-170, but if we go into that territory we're talking about re-balancing the point costs of Punishers, Starvipers and E-wings, too. While I think that those things should be re-balanced for the purposes of this format, I'll leave that up to individual play groups, for now.

 

 

 

Personally, I'd also set a higher (not by much, maybe 35 or 40) limit than 30 as otherwise there's very little room for upgrading a number of pricey generic Rebel ships.

 

House rules. The format is open to any point limit you like. I just picked 30 points because when you get higher than that by too much, you start excluding ships with a low base price who run out of things to slap onto their ship.

 

 

 

But I don't like the buying of the PS. I think the balance can be made in the team play. If you get too strong, you get singled by two opponent's pilots. Not manny people play two Interceptors anymore because you can focus them down. Just my two cents.

 

To each his own. Personally, I don't like the idea of a "generic PS cap" which is kind of set around 6 (without VI) by Royal Guard Pilot, and which other generic ships can only match by giving up their EPT slot. You're not wrong about the team fights, but what about solo? I'm not comfortable with a world where it's impossible for a Z-95 pilot or a HWK pilot to be better than a Royal Guard Interceptor.

 

 

 

This would be even sweeter if you dropped in some rpg elements or mission objectives, to emphasize the "YOU are the pilot" part of it. That way you could earn upgrade points (+1 to PS for every 7 kills?) or maybe earn an ability that comes from a unique pilot card (PS 7 and under), but you're locked in for good at the PS you have at the time of choosing?

 

There's a lot of cool potential here.

 

It's a fun concept, but if you add too many RPG elements, you're probably just better off playing HotAC. This format is kind of meant to be a halfway point between HotAC and regular X-Wing, for those of us who like the concept, but don't have the time to dedicate to a campaign or to leveling up characters, etc.

 

 

Thanks for the responses and interest, everybody.

 

Good times.

Edited by CBMarkham

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I was really hoping people would start posting their ships by now. Only one taker so far; that's too bad.

 

I'll join in too. The one below is me.

 

 

Storm Squadron Pilot (23)
Ship: TIE Advanced  /  Pilot Skill: 7 
Call Sign: Gutless
 
+1 Pilot Skill (2)
+EPT Slot (1)
Veteran Instincts (1)
Proton Rockets (3)
Accuracy Corrector (0)
Guidance Chips (0)
TIE/x1 (0)
 
Total: 30
 
This is what I'd feel comfortable piloting, honestly.
 
I want a higher pilot skill. but only because I can use it to try and dodge arcs in scary situations. I'd want my computer to do all my targeting for me and produce reliable results, because I'd be busy trying not to get blown up, sticking to evade actions to protect my own hide. The Proton Rockets are there so that if things get too up-close and scary, I can blast a hole to freedom and book it out of there (also, it'd be nice to be able to do something against higher agility targets).
 
Who else wants to show off?
Edited by CBMarkham

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A-Wing

Green Squadron Pilot (19)

Pilot Skill: 5

Push the Limit (3)

Chardaan Refit (-2)

Predator (3)

Shield Upgrade (4)

A-Wing Test Pilot (0)

 

Total: 30

 

Ok, so this isn't a killer build, but more of how I see myself: middle of the road skills-wise, with maybe some ability to hop around and be a pain in the butt.

Call sign: Pester  
         

Edited by Force Majeure

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Here is my list, if I could sell back pilot skill I would sell back 2 and then add an Astromech.

JumpMaster 5000: Blockade (25)

Adaptability (Decrease) (0)

Anti Pursuit Laser (2)

Intelligence Agent (1)

Feedback Array (2)

I would also modify the play area to be smaller.. maybe 2x2, i would also run it as a 3 round tourney where first round you are a rookie with 30 points, then 2nd round you are a veteran with 35 points, and 3rd round you are an ace with 40 points and allowed 1 unique card.

Edited by Bigulf

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Red Squadron Pilot (23)

"Trigger" PS 6

+1 PS (24)

+1 PS (26)

+ EPT (27)

R2 Astromech (28)

Integrated Astromech (28)

Snap Shot (30)

 

I'm a sucker for X-Wings...

 

The math is a bit off. Your first PS increase is from PS4 to PS5, which costs 2pts. That said, having a lower PS isn't necessarily a bad thing if you're trying to Snap Shot people. You can stay at PS5 and upgrade your droid to a Targeting Astromech to increase your accuracy after a K-Turn.

 

Good times.

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Heavily favors Empire.

 

The best and most useful astromechs(which currently make many rebel options viable; R3-A2, R2-D2 etc) are all unique. Rebels lose their hugest leg up. Regen is what makes single Rebel ships good.

 

Scums best equipment are crew on large ships, which are almost all unique. Empire though? PTL, AT, and Stealth aren't unique. Empire are free to invest a minimum of points into equipment necessary and the rest into pilot skill. The only unique equipment that Empire has that is widely used is Palp, which already off the table by the one ship rule and we have many waves that show that Imp Aces can function on their own. Royal Guard w/ PTL, AT, and Stealth for 30 points. 

 

The single best Rebel loadout is Red Squadron Vet with PTL, R2, and IA. 2 lower PS, arguably worse dial even after R2, and less action options for the same price. All you trade is 2 AGI for 3 shields. Also you basically can't dodge damage ever so who cares about the extra HP, you'll still die first being at lower PS with less maneuverability and defensive mods.

 

ARC-170s are worthless without either R2-D2 or R3-A2, surprise surprise X-Wings suck when you take away the only good part about them(the pilots), can't fit enough onto B-Wings given their cost(especially considering their bad maneuverability), A-Wings punch too light to be useful for a single-ship engagement and thus are relegated to procket builds only(but are squishy and don't get great defensive mods like it's Imperial cousin, the Adv. Prototype), E-Wings are too expensive, HWKs are dependant on pilot abilities, K-Wings are useful but can only pack 7 points of equipment, 6 of which will be TLT, Y-Wings are only good with R3-A2 or in groups with TLT, neither of which are allowed, and the U-Wing is crew-dependant. Most of which are unique.

It's the same problem i have with the Top Gun format. Despite canonically Rebel pilots being superior to their Imperial alternatives, Imperials have a distinct advantage by cost and their generics.

 

Here are some more good imperial pilot builds that are 30 points.

 

Delta Defender w/ X7 and TIE Mk.II, +1 PS

Already a meta thing, still good here obviously.

 

Sigma Phantom w/ Intelligence Agent and ACD

Ignores the need for high PS by seeing your opponents move EVERY TURN. 4 dice will end your opponents one ship incredibly quick combined with the knowledge of your opponents maneuver 100% of the time.

 

Gamma Squad Vet w/ Deadeye, Plasmas, EM, Homing Missiles, Chips

Devastating ordnance build. Would wipe my Rebel T-70 off the board before it knew what hit it.

 

Baron of the Empire w/ PTL, V1, Prockets, and AT w/ +1 PS

Good dial, PS 5, Prockets, and 2 defensive modifiers. Light your opponent up with the prockets and then sweep up whats left with your respectable PS and excellent mobility.

 

Storm Advanced w/ +1 PS, +EPT, VI, Prockets, X1, AC, and Chips

PS 7, both dice are hits guaranteed, prockets for offense, evade every turn for defense because you dont care about offense... it's broken compared to what Rebels can field. Believe me, i've tried. 

 

Omega Specialist w/ VI, FCS, Sensor Cluster

3 dice forward, rear arc so predictions matter less, PS 7 so it attacks first almost always, Sensor cluster for defense, FCS for offense. 

 

 

Here are the best Rebel builds i could think of, other than the T-70 one.

 

Red Squadron Pilot w/ +EPT, PTL, R7 Astro, IA

Cool. A PS4 X-Wing with no reposition actions, but hey, you can defend pretty well! Too bad you're likely going to have no offensive mods by the time you get to shoot.

 

PS3 ARC-170 w/ +1 PS, R7 Astro, Tail Gunner

Your opponent had better roll poorly on the R7 rerolls, because otherwise it's curtains. You're reliant entirely on reduced agility and your titles mods out the back to win with this.

 

Blue Squadron Pilot w/ HLC, Baffles

You line up your shot, tank the damage, fire back, K-turn, baffle away the stress, focus/TL, and pray the next shot kills because if it doesnt you've lost.

 

PS3 Attack Shuttle w/ Dorsal Turret, +1 PS, +EPT, PTL, RecSpec

Probably one of the better builds. Still PS4 and a 2 AGI 2 Hull 2 Shields ship though. Upsides are can PTL to focus evade, get 2 focuses, shoot out of arc if needed. Not great, but decent.

 

Green Squad Pilot w/ PTL, Prockets, AT, VI, +1 PS.

PS6 Procket carrier, not horrible, definitely one of the best builds here for Rebels. Not quite as good as the Baron build, though, because action efficiency is lower and so is your survivability along with it, even if you are one higher PS. 

 

Yeah, no, It's Imps all the way with this game mode.

Edited by Razgriz25thinf

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Heavily favors Empire.

 

...

 

Yeah, no, It's Imps all the way with this game mode.

 

Of course, if you're that worried about Imperials being jerks, you can pretty easily make a PS7 Y-Wing for either faction with an Autoblaster Turret and then just land on your opponent.

 

Or, if you don't want to spend that kind of premium on Pilot Skill, you can take a basic, 25pt Y-Wing with TLT and use the other 5pts for Proximity Mines, which are MUCH better in a format where Palpatine can't monkey with the results. If the enemy points at you, just drop them in his path on the following turn. If the enemy is trying to stay as far away from you as possible, the TLTs should be doing work.

 

There are also a ton of Rebel and Scum ships which can fit Tactician and still have points to increase their pilot skill, if you're worried about PtL users.

 

Just gotta think outside the box a bit.

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Heavily favors Empire.

 

...

 

Yeah, no, It's Imps all the way with this game mode.

 

Of course, if you're that worried about Imperials being jerks, you can pretty easily make a PS7 Y-Wing for either faction with an Autoblaster Turret and then just land on your opponent.

 

Or, if you don't want to spend that kind of premium on Pilot Skill, you can take a basic, 25pt Y-Wing with TLT and use the other 5pts for Proximity Mines, which are MUCH better in a format where Palpatine can't monkey with the results. If the enemy points at you, just drop them in his path on the following turn. If the enemy is trying to stay as far away from you as possible, the TLTs should be doing work.

 

There are also a ton of Rebel and Scum ships which can fit Tactician and still have points to increase their pilot skill, if you're worried about PtL users.

 

Just gotta think outside the box a bit.

 

 

1v1 I'd bet on an x7 defender over an autoblaster y-wing.  A tlt version might do better, but still wouldn't give it good odds.  Likely won't do more htan 1 damage in a round.  If the defender is getting shots, it can probably do more.  Proxy mine of course could make a difference depending if it gets dropped and how much damage it does.

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"Clawhammer Cobra"

(Talonbane's little brother)

PS8 Khiraxz

Black Sun Ace - 23

+1 PS - 2

Vectored Thrusters - 2

VI - 1

Glitterstim - 2

PS 8 with VT in this format means moving last or late with some reposition. 3 red primary, 1 hard turns and VT for keeping guns on target. Stims for when you are trading dice.

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Y-Wing

Grey Squadron Pilot (21) (Pilot Skill 4 add EPT)

Call Sign: "Shotgun"

Rage (1)

R2 Astromech (1) (Designated: R2-B9 Nickname: Benny)

Twin Laser Turret (6)

BTL-A4 Y-Wing (0)

Total: 29 points

 

Probably wouldn't be great, but it would be tons of fun to fly.

Edited by eelaypuff

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Call Sign: "Sour Skittle"

Ship Name: "The Black Mambaaaaa"

 

T-70 X-Wing

Blue Squadron Novice (24)

PLT (3)

R2 Astro (1)

Pattern Analyzer (2)

Integrated Astro (0)

Total:30 points

 

Lots of green to PTL/PA Focus/TL without stress.......and....I like the T-70's

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Call Sign: "Sour Skittle"

Ship Name: "The Black Mambaaaaa"

 

T-70 X-Wing

Blue Squadron Novice (24)

PLT (3)

R2 Astro (1)

Pattern Analyzer (2)

Integrated Astro (0)

Total:30 points

 

Lots of green to PTL/PA Focus/TL without stress.......and....I like the T-70's

 

Unfortunately, you're two or three points under costed.

 

Either you take the Red Squadron to bump this build up to 32pts (you probably have to remove the pattern analyzer) or you need to spend 3 points getting up to PS4 (2pts) and then buying an EPT slot (1pt). 

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I'm a fan of T-70s too.

 

Callsign: Apis

This T-70 sports nose art of a bee shooting lasers from its stinger

 

Red Squadron Veteran

Integrated Astromech

Crack Shot

Targeting Astromech

Primed Thrusters.

 

30 pts

 

 

and A-Wings

 

Callsign: Magpie

Part of "Black Diamond Squadron" (I've repainted my A-Wings)

 

Green Squadron Pilot

Autothrusters

A-Wing Test Pilot

Juke

Push the Limit

Chardaan Refit

 

5pts on PS bump to PS 6

 

 

 

 

P.S This is a great idea, seems like alot of fun. I am keen to try it out with my gaming buddies. Cheers for posting it up

Edited by Izza

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Loving ALL of these.

 

While I'm having a fun time envisioning all of these cool pilots and ships, Clawhammer Cobra and Shotgun (really dig the concept of Shotgun) are especially charming. Should this be a contest? Maybe later.

 

I think if I weren't flying the TIE Advanced I posted earlier, this would probably be my second choice:

 

Hired Gun (20) 
Ship:  Y-Wing /  Pilot Skill: 6
Call Sign: Blast Zone
 
Add EPT Slot (1)
Veteran Instincts (1)
Autoblaster Turret (2)
Bomb Loadout (0)
Unhinged Astromech (1)
Proximity Mines (3)
Vectored Thrusters (2)
 
Total: 30
 
 
Keep 'em coming! Good times.

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