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SabineKey

The Fel Challenge

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I'm down for the Fel Challenge!

I call this squadron "Sixes, Sevens, & Nines". I believe it's from Chaucer, a reference to a complicated dice game, and alludes to risking one's life in exchange for the world (Worlds). If I'm going to accept the challenge, then I may as well aim high, eh?

"Backdraft" w/ Veteran Instincts (1), SpecOps Training (0), Collision Detector (0), Lightweight Frame (2), and Comm Relay (3); 33 points.

"Quickdraw" w/ A Score to Settle (0), SpecOps Training (0), Fire Control System (2), Lightweight Frame (2), and Hyperwave Comm Scanner (1); 34 points.

Soontir Fel w/ Push the Limit (3), Royal Guard TIE (0), Twin Ion Engine Mk II (1), and Targeting Computer (2); 33 points.

Ideally, Fel will appear to be an easy target, but by flying him well he'll remain a psychological threat, the worry of leaving flanks vulnerable. However, if match up/setup is favorable, he can leap forward 5 turn 1 with a free Evade or Focus from "Quickdraw", boost, PtL the target lock, and (hopefully) strip some shields very early, particularly from the target of "Quickdraw"'s Debt to Pay condition.

Ideally, "Quickdraw" deploys a PS 0 or 6, after pointing to the fence. Between her double-tap, her EPT, and FCS, "Quickdraw" is good for the follow up of Fel's "alpha" strike, and should mean she's useful until at least mid-game, if not the end game.

"Backdraft" will start with an Evade, and hold onto it as long as possible. I use debris obstacles, and plan to cluster them, hence the CD. VI let's me move the squad/shoot in any order.

This list is a variation of the "BD"/"QD"/Vessery list.

 

Edited by Alekzanter

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It's Interceptor month for me on Vassal :)
I love themed lists, it's a potentially hazardous way to play competitively (especially with only 9 hull!), but it's a great challenge to try and make lists that work in theme also work against the meta. The main factor for these lists was the simple stipulation they must use as many interceptors as feasibly possible.

I've run the following lists so far:

Saber Squadron 1 (99pts):
Soontir Fel: (35)
PTL, RGP, SD, AT
Saber Sqd. Pilot: (26)
PTL, AT
Saber Sqd. Pilot: (26)
PTL, AT
Academy Pilot: (12)

Record: 
2 win, 2 losses. In both games that were a loss, Fel got vaporized, and the list fell apart after that.  The TIE fighter sure came in handy as a blocker, and I was desperately close to closing out with a 3 wins, 1 loss. Included a particularly good match against the Dengar-Tel Trevura list that won world's where I hovered at r3 for most of the game, Fel was bait the entire match, and the Sabers just hammered them both for a 100-0 win. Dice stats for all games were checked, nothing higher than +3 on the dice luck, so seemed like good results. 

Saber Squadron 2 (95 pts)(Thematic!):
Soontir Fel: (35)
PTL, RGP, SD, AT
Turr Phennir: (33)
PTL, RGP, SD, AT
Fel's Wrath: (27)
RGP, Targeting Comp, AT

Record: Uniformly hammered, 0 wins, 3 losses. Interestingly, Fel's wrath was ignored in mostly every game, and I was robbed twice with some terrible rerolls off the targeting computer. This despite me using him as a battering ram getting to R1 in every game, I was hoping for some great r1 damage rolls. A bit of poor piloting in the one match where I dropped him on an asteroid, mea culpa.

Saber Squadron 3 (100 pts)(Semi-Thematic!):
Soontir Fel: (35)
PTL, RGP, SD, AT
Fel's Wrath: (27)
RGP, Targeting Comp, AT
Saber Sqd. Pilot: (26)
PTL, AT
Academy Pilot: (12)

Record: Totally hammered, 0 wins, 2 losses. The loss of the initiative bid to take Fel's wrath was painful, but surprisingly I felt like FW is undervalued as a kind of ship that nobody really wants to waste early shots or ordnance at in the beginning of the game, especially if he's pointing at you with a target lock.

Red squadron 1 (99pts) (Fel's field trip to the Royal guard):
Soontir Fel: (35)
PTL, RGP, SD, AT
Carnor Jax: (34)
PTL, RGP, SD, AT
Royal Guard Pilot: (30)
PTL, RGP, SD, AT

Record: Not bad at all, 4 wins 1 loss. I forgot how effective flying at r3 with a SD and AT makes you feel pretty much invincible. Games against a swarm of ion cannon turret Y-wings, a swarm of alphas with an x7, a QD/BD list and two games against a rhymer snap-tac list.  Of these, the most difficult was dealing with Rhymer, who pretty much shuts down huge swathes of the board, and with an Isard on board was a real pain to try and eliminate.
This is a totally viable list, very potent, and does very well.

End verdict. Interceptors are (still) brutally unforgiving, and if you plan out the initial approach poorly, you will be vaporized by pretty much everything out there. Bad dice luck will also give you a hard time. Against a list with good efficiency, you might lose one or two ships to single (!) bad dice rolls, and that leaves you with a mighty mighty mountain to climb.

I'll keep a better record of the lists I've faced in future, for better record-keeping. I think I missed a couple matches, I have a strong suspicion I'm missing two or three games which I lost, but can't remember which of the lists I was using at the time. Apologies if you saw me using one of these, totally destroyed me and don't feel it was represented!!

Edited by citruscannon

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Right, since this last match meets all of your criteria, I thought it relevant to post, and try and post an honest assessment of the match. I honestly pulled out all the stops in this game, even with dice heavily weighted in my favour, I got my opponent into an absurdly favourable position, where he was only able to take about 2 shots at me a turn, typically at r3, whilst I arc-dodged to drop biggs and dive after the stressbot immediately.

Vs:
https://geordanr.github.io/xwing/?f=Rebel Alliance&d=v4!s!207:-1,21,69:41:-1:;199:-1,2,204:-1:20:;4:-1,77:-1:20:;224::-1:-1:&sn=Unnamed Squadron&obs=

I gave initiative, I set up Fel as flanker, RGP and Carnor as bait. He charged head-on , but I dragged him into the asteroids successfully to break up his formation. I got all my interceptors into position where they could charge into braylen at r1 without any arcs on biggs. Carnor, then took 2 stress, leading to his later death, and the carefully setup charge on a stressed braylen to drop some crits into him led to a sad combined 10 dice on braylen yielding only 1 s. Although fel subsequently dropped biggs, all the stress coming from the back end of braylen then made defensive maneuvering impossible. The dice were otherwise largely in my favour by +6 at the end of the game, including a weird spike of dice mid-game which didn’t affect much, as he was just taking r3 potshots. The interceptors got absolutely steamrolled by stresshog Braylen. Even if biggs weren’t there, I still would have had a nightmarish time in this match. Using just about every arc-dodging trick in the book, and took every opportunity to ensure his ships had no tokens or shots, involving 3 braylen arcs dodged by an absolute hair, I flew my pants off this game and didn’t stand a chance. 

Opponent was very good, knew the weaknesses of his list, and set up some great bumps, but none which allowed him modified shots on bumped interceptors except for those on Fel once the RGP and Jax had died. Basically though, I had one window of opportunity to destroy the stressbot. Taking 9 hull and shields off that ship, even in two turns, without losing 2/3rds of the list was a ludicrously tough task. After my unsuccessful attempt, I got rightfully shredded by my opponent, having exposed all my interceptors at range 1.

One of those games where if my dice had been poor, I wouldn't have even made it half as far as I did.

Edited by citruscannon

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On 5/15/2017 at 5:50 AM, SabineKey said:

Greetings, all.

Recently, there has been an on going debate about the viability of Imperial Aces in the current meta. Some say that they have no place in the meta while others say they just need a skillful player to get them working. I would like to try to put this debate to bed. As both sides of the debate expect some level of failure, I believe the primary data to collect is of Imp Ace wins rather then losses. I am specifically looking for data on Soontir Fel and Carnor Jax. 

So, if you believe the likes of Fel and Jax are still good, I would like to issue you a challenge to provide evidence of such. With Store Championship season starting, there are gonna be plenty of opportunities out there to test and refine an Ace build against meta builds and random jank alike. The big data point I would like is a Fel and/or Jax list making it to top 8 in the next season of Regionals (or similar or higher tiered event). 

 

Criteria to follow if you would like to participate:

1) The Imp Aces must have gone up against some meta lists and/or lists featuring things people believe are keeping Aces down (K-Wing Bombers, Sabine crew, autoblasters, stress control, Black Market Slicer tools, Darth Vader crew, token negating pilots and tech, "red dice creep", double tap Ghosts, etc).

2) A quick, honest opinion of the skill of your opponent in crucial matches. 

3) Data will be given more credence if lists involved can be corroborated with MajorJuggler's attempts to record Store Championship data or other results sharing mediums. Providing your own links will be appreciated. 

4) The only prerequisite for lists is that Fel and/or Jax is a part of it. 

 

If you have any previous stories of success/failure with Imp Aces that fit the above criteria from between the Nerfing of the Big Four and now, they will be welcomed as well. Changes to meta like a FAQ or wave release will be evaluated for impact on challenge and revisions may be instituted. 

Thank you all for your time and attention. Good luck and good game out there. If there are any questions, please ask.

Couple of questions.

1. Why specifically Jax and Fel?

2. What do you define as an Imperial Ace? and therefore and Imperial Ace "list"?

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1 hour ago, boomaster said:

Couple of questions.

1. Why specifically Jax and Fel?

2. What do you define as an Imperial Ace? and therefore and Imperial Ace "list"?

I'll answer 2 first for better clarification. I define an Imperial Ace as at least PS7 and having multiple repositional actions. Vader with EU gets in, and Whisper gets in because of decloak. If the /sf unique pilots were given EU, they would count too. 

Now for question 1, I'm going for Jax and Fel as they are in the most fragile frame of the Aces. There are also some well known predators for some of the other Aces (like TLT for Vader, high PS turrets for Whisper) that everyone knows and accepts. This is about clearing up what of the previously listed ideas can be overcome. What's a real threat and what's just a boogieman.

Originally, I was going with just Fel, as I have been seeing more debates on whether he is viable or not lately. But I decided to broaden the test to include the other Interceptor classic of Jax to test the chassis itself in an anti-Ace meta. Plus, his ability is particularly potient in the current Mindlink Heavy meta, so I felt he might surpass Fel at this time. I didn't include Turr Phennir and Tetran Cowell as they didn't make much of a splash before now. If they start to gain traction, I may reconsider that point. 

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3 hours ago, SabineKey said:

I'll answer 2 first for better clarification. I define an Imperial Ace as at least PS7 and having multiple repositional actions. Vader with EU gets in, and Whisper gets in because of decloak. If the /sf unique pilots were given EU, they would count too. 

Now for question 1, I'm going for Jax and Fel as they are in the most fragile frame of the Aces. There are also some well known predators for some of the other Aces (like TLT for Vader, high PS turrets for Whisper) that everyone knows and accepts. This is about clearing up what of the previously listed ideas can be overcome. What's a real threat and what's just a boogieman.

Originally, I was going with just Fel, as I have been seeing more debates on whether he is viable or not lately. But I decided to broaden the test to include the other Interceptor classic of Jax to test the chassis itself in an anti-Ace meta. Plus, his ability is particularly potient in the current Mindlink Heavy meta, so I felt he might surpass Fel at this time. I didn't include Turr Phennir and Tetran Cowell as they didn't make much of a splash before now. If they start to gain traction, I may reconsider that point. 

That's a shame, I love Turr. He's probably not as strong as the others, but moving in the combat phase at PS7 minimum was always something that appealed to me.

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Just ran Fel, Jax and Vader (standard aggressive loadout) against a very skilled T-70 pilot at a final of a eight person single elimination. I thought I had the best rock placement and turn 0. I came in hot and had great rock blockers, but Jax was focus fired and despite loads of green, couldn't find paint hardly at all at range two from his squad. D***, that stung! However, from turn three on, I didn't loose a hull on Fel or a shield on Vader and almost kept his 70s stressed trying to get an arc, and without shots on lots of turns, save a few range threes or through rocks. Tabled him with the two old guys. I'm proud of them despite the meta passing them by.

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Another interesting point of data to gather would be if the inclusion of Jax/Fel in your list was part of your success or if the ship was a hinderance/handicap that you had to overcome. Whether you win or loose, what you fight, and how many consecutive games you played with the list (tournament) is important but if you feel like you could have had better results for removing Jax/Fel and adding a different ship (an SF or Defender for instance) I feel that's important too.

Ultimately though the capstone of this thread will come with Store Championship and Regionals results where people have accepted the Fel Challenge.

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20 minutes ago, spartan1128 said:

Another interesting point of data to gather would be if the inclusion of Jax/Fel in your list was part of your success or if the ship was a hinderance/handicap that you had to overcome. Whether you win or loose, what you fight, and how many consecutive games you played with the list (tournament) is important but if you feel like you could have had better results for removing Jax/Fel and adding a different ship (an SF or Defender for instance) I feel that's important too.

That's a good question, and one I've been keeping mind as I've experimented with Fel.  The speed and offense he provides with Targeting Computer is not something Defenders can provide at the 34 point range.  A basic x7 at 34 points (so no PTL or Predator to enhance offense) doesn't provide very impressive offense.  If you've got a defensive squad, that's okay, but I'm not sure it's going to help you win a lot.  

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36 minutes ago, Biophysical said:

That's a good question, and one I've been keeping mind as I've experimented with Fel.  The speed and offense he provides with Targeting Computer is not something Defenders can provide at the 34 point range.  A basic x7 at 34 points (so no PTL or Predator to enhance offense) doesn't provide very impressive offense.  If you've got a defensive squad, that's okay, but I'm not sure it's going to help you win a lot.  

Surely Vessery can provide the damage you need. Juke + X7 is 35 pts, and gets TLs from the other two ships.

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20 minutes ago, Biophysical said:

Yes, if you have TLs in the list Vessery will get it done.

Sorry, I was talking in the context of your double SF list with FCS on both PS9s, so a target lock is a safe assumption. Shooting last with Juke will also help with dealing damage, although TIE mk2 (+crackshot?) might be better with all the stress floating around in the meta.

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25 minutes ago, CRCL said:

Sorry, I was talking in the context of your double SF list with FCS on both PS9s, so a target lock is a safe assumption. Shooting last with Juke will also help with dealing damage, although TIE mk2 (+crackshot?) might be better with all the stress floating around in the meta.

Yeah, with SFs, you're in good shape.  That's very close to what @SOTLhas been running.  It changes the squad from "SFs help Fel win the end game" to "Defender helps SFs win the end game".  Not better or worse, I think, but different.

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10 minutes ago, Biophysical said:

Yeah, with SFs, you're in good shape.  That's very close to what @SOTLhas been running.  It changes the squad from "SFs help Fel win the end game" to "Defender helps SFs win the end game".  Not better or worse, I think, but different.

It was the first list I thought about as response to this challenge - I could drop Fel in relatively easily as replacement for Vessery.

But as I said at the top: I don't think he helps me much in winning the games I was losing, but he probably does give me a weakness I need to protect in games I was already winning.  It would be a brave man who ran Soontir without a bid when there's Dengar & Tel operating at PS9 and 98pts... that seems like a great way to give the opponent a 35pts head start.

Edited by SOTL

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12 minutes ago, SOTL said:

It was the first list I thought about as response to this challenge - I could drop Fel in relatively easily as replacement for Vessery.

But as I said at the top: I don't think he helps me much in winning the games I was losing, but he probably does give me a weakness I need to protect in games I was already winning.  It would be a brave man who ran Soontir without a bid when there's Dengar & Tel operating at PS9 and 98pts... that seems like a great way to give the opponent a 35pts head start.

Yeah Vessery seems to be the more solid option on paper, though I haven't tried those particular builds yet. I wonder if Carnor might work? People really hate Carnor in my experience, even more so than Soontir, which makes him an excellent flanker. Plus Fenn hates his R1 bubble of suck.

I'm actually waiting for my second SF to arrive, but when it does I think I'll experiment a bit with the 2x SF + X. I'm thinking maybe throwing in the standard 26pt Omega Leader and putting Sensor Clusters on the SFs and a Missile on Quickdraw might also work. I've run Quickdraw + Omega Leader + Vessery before, and it was a solid list. Pure Sabacc is also another great, cheap flanking option.

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1 minute ago, CRCL said:

Yeah Vessery seems to be the more solid option on paper, though I haven't tried those particular builds yet. I wonder if Carnor might work? People really hate Carnor in my experience, even more so than Soontir, which makes him an excellent flanker. Plus Fenn hates his R1 bubble of suck.

I'm actually waiting for my second SF to arrive, but when it does I think I'll experiment a bit with the 2x SF + X. I'm thinking maybe throwing in the standard 26pt Omega Leader and putting Sensor Clusters on the SFs and a Missile on Quickdraw might also work. I've run Quickdraw + Omega Leader + Vessery before, and it was a solid list. Pure Sabacc is also another great, cheap flanking option.

But Carnor again... doesn't help in the Expertise Dengar matches at all, and I already beat the Mindlink lists.  Plus I have to protect him against all the stress and bombers a lot more than I do Vessery.

Carnor supports the alpha striking version, I think, dashing in to stop them from focusing on defense - that's what the Tomax/QD/Carnor list was doing in the German open.

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2 minutes ago, SOTL said:

But Carnor again... doesn't help in the Expertise Dengar matches at all, and I already beat the Mindlink lists.  Plus I have to protect him against all the stress and bombers a lot more than I do Vessery.

Carnor supports the alpha striking version, I think, dashing in to stop them from focusing on defense - that's what the Tomax/QD/Carnor list was doing in the German open.

Haha, great analysis. I almost hesitate to suggest it, but maybe Rhymer is the answer. When has that ever been the case? :D

35 Rhymer w/ Snapshot, Captive, Tactician, LWF.

Stress control is always handy, especially against all those big ships.

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3 minutes ago, CRCL said:

Haha, great analysis. I almost hesitate to suggest it, but maybe Rhymer is the answer. When has that ever been the case? :D

35 Rhymer w/ Snapshot, Captive, Tactician, LWF.

Stress control is always handy, especially against all those big ships.

I was just thinking about that! The SFs have the firepower to carry without major damage by Rhymer.  I think you do OpSpec instead of Captive, though.

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4 minutes ago, SOTL said:

Personally I think Vessery is the answer.  If it's not Vessery it could be Vader and run everyone at PS9.

What's your EPT for Vader?  Without Engine Upgrade you have lots of options.  With it you become pretty limited.  Trick Shot seems good, though.

Edited by Biophysical

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3 minutes ago, Biophysical said:

What's your EPT for Vader?  Without Engine Upgrade you have lots of options.  With it you become pretty limited.  Trick Shot seems good, though.

If I've got 34pts it's either a PS10 Vader with engine, or PS9 with Predator and TIE MkII for better greens.

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4 minutes ago, Stay On The Leader said:

If I've got 34pts it's either a PS10 Vader with engine, or PS9 with Predator and TIE MkII for better greens.

I was thinking you wanted Engine, but to keep it at PS9 so you have movement flexibility.  I guess two PS10s get pretty easy in that list, though.  If you do double PS10, do you bother with VI on Backdraft?

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