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Stay On The Leader

Kylo, Vessery, Omega Leader

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So, UK nationals are about a month away.  I don't have a squad, and my commitment to Imperials just looks more and more foolish.  Before I give it all in and run Triple Jumps I want to give one last push to trying to get the Upsilon Shuttle into a half-decent squad.

Expert Handling/Baffle give me the option to have an actually quite maneuverable shuttle.  Baffle damage will not be a key feature but an 'in case of emergency break glass' type deal.  I toyed with having those 3 points (Expert Handling/Baffle) as Ruthlessness or Swarm Leader, but figured a shuttle that had a chance of keeping arc on things was better than one that hit a bit harder but struggled to get something to fire at.

What do you reckon?  

I've got an option to move ASTS onto Kylo Ren, which both replaces Expert Handling and Agent Kallus to free up 4pts.  I'm just not sure what I'd do with those 4 points... 



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Kallus and A Score To Settle are both really good cards for a one-on-one fight, but that's an issue for the Upsilon, which generally has to take on whatever it can get  a bead on (which is why I'm not as die-in-a-ditch over fire control for it as some people). 

The Upsilon is a good ship, but I think you've left it in an awkward place - either it needs a big investment to turn it into a capable "dogfighter" or else it's best kept cheap as a support ship with some teeth.

I've been considering using one as a support ship for a snap swarm:

  • Major Stridan - Fire Control System, Operations Specialist, Systems Officer, Tactical Jammer
  • Omega Squadron Pilot - Snap Shot, Primed Thrusters x 3

Stridan doesn't cost too much, and gets a decent stab at a target locked/focused attack as well as throwing a target lock and 1-2 focus tokens out to other friendly ships; that's a lot of action economy.

It might work with your list above, though it's probably better with a TIE/d version of Vessery - more shots, more chances to trigger op/spec. I'm not sure if you'd be able to fit in tractor/ruthlessness vessery.


Alternatively, if you want to take Kylo Ren and pull some serious moves with him, then whilst Expert Handling is nice, I'd be tempted to take Engine Upgrade/Daredevil/Pattern Analyser. This lets you do some seriously daft things with the shuttle (including coming about 180 in a turn), and leaves your systems slot and crew slots free to make you actually dangerous when you get a shot at something.

Fire Control System/Gunner/Tactician/Kylo Ren's Shuttle (for stress control of your target) or Fire Control System/Gunner/Operations Specialist/Weapons Guidance (for more punch) are both nasty, but expensive, combinations.

The problem is that if you take a combination like that, you categorically cannot afford a kitted out ace plus a pocket ace backing him up - I'd either throw in as much of a swarm as you can afford to watch his back, or else throw in a support ship to feed him actions and tokens.



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If this is a list for a major competitive event, then the first thing you need to do is figure out what the top meta 'bugbears' are going to be.  Then build your list to give yourself the best chances to beat those lists (and cross-fingers that you actually get your preferred matchups).

So right now we know Telgar, Nymgar, 'fairship' rebels & mindlink scum are pretty popular.  How does your list stack up against these enemy ships?  I think not well.  You are at PS 6, 6, 8.  No help against the slew of PS 9 ships.  And even against the rebel list (all PS 5 or lower), you have one ship that is simply not pulling its weight (omega leader since you are depending purely on luck to put any meaningful damage on biggs, although he acts as good bait in that particular matchup, since a lot of players have an unnatural hatred of OL).

So to beat these kinds of lists as an Imperial, I think the best options right now are to 'out-PS' them (something Imps can do easily) or swarm (or at least, bring lots and lots of guns).  The biggest problem imho is fairship rebels.  You really have only two options to deal with it: tons of red dice to overwhelm damage shunting shenanigans or ordnance to bypass Biggs ability (Rex in particular is your ideal first target since he's easiest to kill and his ability can really hinder any attempts to joust the rebels).

Now, I think an Upsilon can do the trick because the rebels can't escape its firing arc and against more nimble scum lists, its a big chunk of health that your opponent probably wants to save for last.  For that reason, you either build it with Baffle or Engine Upgrade (otherwise it spends too much time failing to keep anything in its arc).  But what to pair it with?  If you go the 'lots of guns' route, the cheapest option are TIE strikers.  If you go the ordnance route, then its either bombers or TIE/sfs.  A third option that I've been using to good success against the current top meta lists is a TIE/D defender (or two).  Ion cannon is particularly strong right now as a counter not only to Fairship, but to Nym and jumpmasters.  

Here's a couple of Upsilon builds that I know to work well (based on experience----some my own and some from other players, like Biophysical who's had some success with it):

--SBP w/ baffle & hux = 36

Basically the cheapest support shuttle you can get.  Hux works best with at least 3 ship lists of course.  Good candidates would be Quickdraw + Backdraft (with VI, these guys are really strong against top meta lists) or a trio of Strikers (personally I would stick with Countdown + generics, but VI Duchess + initiative bid is a nice cheap way to get an edge against Nym).

--Kylo w/ VI, FCS, intel agent & engine = 42

This is the cheapest version of this build.  Biophysical ran it a bit, but he added more stuff (Pattern Analyzer, title and Rebel Captive if I remember correctly).  VI is there to get an edge against Ventress, Vessery and the like.  If you are running an Upsilon, it must have Baffle OR Engine upgrade.  If you leave home without one of these, your shuttle is going to be useless for a good 25%-50% of the match (depending on what you're up against, and its too expensive for that kind of 'down-time').  I don't think VI is essential (or even Kylo) because you can make good use out of intel + engine. 

Also, regarding the title vs Rebel Captive: the captive is superior, especially on Kylo.  Its nice to have both if you have the points, but if you can only take one, try to get Captive first (unless you simply don't have points to spare).

--Stridan w/ FCS, systems officer, targeting synchro & engine = 43

At first glance, this build seems unreasonably expensive.  Until you realize that it basically guarantees that one of your other ships is ALWAYS shooting with fully modified dice.  So to make the most of it, you want a powerful attacking list to take full advantage of the 'free' target lock Stridan provides (and if he has a shot on something, its actually 2 free target locks).  I'd say ordnance bombers, pure sabaac, phantoms and even a TIE/D defender could get a ton of mileage out of this combo.

If you want some ACTUAL full list ideas, just let me know, I have tons ;)

However, to be perfectly honest, I would not take an Upsilon to a major event at this time.  Despite the fact that it has some interesting interactions, I think Imps can do better with either their Aces or just maximizing number of ships on the table (and the cost of the Upsilon limits your ability to do that).

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Over in the Imperial Firespray thread I saw that an Imperial List with Kylo and Kath Scarlet went 4-0 on a SC the other day, if the minimum requirements to your list Kylo/Upsilon here is the post, it's actually a very interesting list and major kudos to the guy who used it.

On Monday, August 14, 2017 at 3:18 AM, Rolotamasi said:

Mike over at @coreliandesignbureau just went 4-0 and won a SC with the following Imperial Spray:

Seeing red (100/100)
Firespray-31: Kath Scarlet (38 + 15)
    + Veteran Instincts (1)
    + "Mangler" Cannon (4)
    + Rebel Captive (3)
    + Andrasta (0)
    + Engine Upgrade (4)
    + Bomblet Generator (3)
Upsilon-class Shuttle: Kylo Ren (34 + 13)
    + Predator (3)
    + Collision Detector (0)
    + Emperor Palpatine (8)
    + Kylo Ren's Shuttle (2)



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My thoughts:

"Quickdraw" (29) w/ Veteran Instincts (1), Fire-Control System (2), Lightweight Frame (2), Special Ops Training (0)

Kylo Ren (34) w/ Expertise (4), Electronic Baffle (1), Weapons Guidance (2)

Sienar Specialist (17) w/ Twin Laser Turret (6), Lightweight Frame (2)

Total: 100

Ran this same squad the other day, but with a Ion cannon Vessery instead of Kylo against Nym/Kavil/Ndru the other day and it worked well. Vessery only got one shot before dying, but that Sienar TLT blocked Dru like a boss while chewing up Nym. Quickdraw was default endgame ship with Agression priority being Vess,TLT,QD. Just like I wanted.

Now to this build. Kylo will draw the same aggro as Vessery, but get the benefit of IWSYTD, and can stop,baffle+focus. Expertise + WG is equal to a TL+focus.

Could dropped LWF on TLT, for jammers + intel agent on kylo. Use kylo as a range 2 buffer for the TLT. I did this with a Uwing and TLT hwks in regionals in january and it worked great.

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