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Boom Owl

Old Players: Tell Us A Story!

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We can't bust heads like we used to. But we have our ways. One trick is to tell stories that don't go anywhere. Like the time I caught the train to the Hyperspace Trials. I needed the C3-P0 alt-art card for my Falcon. So I decided to go to the Store Championships, which is what they called the Hyperspace Trials in those days. So I took an Imperial Interceptor list, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the train cost a small fortune, even in those days, and the trains weren't guaranteed to arrive on time, or at all. "Get me home for Christmas," you'd say. Now where were we... oh yeah. The important thing was that I took an Interceptor list, which was the style at the time. They didn't have Push the Limit, because of the A-Wing shortage. The only thing you could get was Marksmanship...

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Off topic, nostalgic response - When you said “old players” —

I’m probably in the top few percentile for age in this group. And the first thing that came to mind for old gaming stories was; I first started playing D&D when the rule books were small paper books called “Men &Magic”, “Monsters & Treasure” and “Wilderness Adventures”. In those rules, when you killed a monster you rolled on a chart to randomly determine the presence of treasure and magic. The chart had indexed subgroupings and each monster was assigned one or more codes to determine what treasure they had. Turned out that whales had the best treasure. Our characters (my brothers and I) became whale hunters with fleets of ships hunting whales for treasure. We became incredibly wealthy tycoons. It was hilarious.

Sorry about that, this is just what popped into my mind when you said old player’s stories ?

 

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If we're talking old D&D...

My group started with the blue box set. Kevin was our DM. He was the one with the rules. The rest of us had no clue.

Kevin thought players had to level up to be able to pick a class. So everyone was just a generic guy until Kevin said you were experienced enough to take a written test to become a 1st level player.  We never used any ability scores or hit points. At first we didn't even have dice. We had to draw chits from the cup...

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Good memory:

I remember going to tournaments with this list:

Howlrunner + Swarm Tactics

4 x Academy Pilots

Omicron + FCS + Gunner + Engine Upgrade

100pts

That flanking Lambda was super fun and really good. I probably went 26-2 with that list. Of course one of my losses was in the Top 4 of my first Regional.

"Meh" Memory:

I remember getting bored of having 75% of my opponents running some 4 Ship Rebel list. All formation flying.

The game was actually getting quite stale. Lol. Players would try "non-swarm and non-3 dice-4 ship Rebel" lists and flop. Imperial Aces gave us some fun toys, though. But that was really Wave 3.5.

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I got into the game just as Wave 4 was announced. Played a few games, then went to a few release events (remember those? You could win the new ships!) and got totally hooked.

I loved flying Interceptors (hence the username) and my first major event list was Howlrunner, Carnor Jax and 4 Academy Ties. I even won a local event that my friend ran! Was about 20 people, and Wave 4 had just hit, so people weren't quite as skilled with the Phantom as they ended up being. After that it all went Phantom for a while lol

Still enjoy playing the game as much as I did then, and can't wait for V2 to hit.

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My first 3 games ever were tournament games with an HLC/VI Rexler Brath, 3 Obsidians, and Backstabber.  I won all 3, and got second in the tournament.  I've liked that squad ever since.  The combo of cheap, disposable TIEs and the big hammer was a lot of fun, and also something I'm hoping to replicate in the future.

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The FLGS ran the Wave 2 Pre-release tourney when you could win a Falcon, Firespray, A-Wing, TIE Interceptor, or a custom made play mat. I was the only Rebel player out of the 9 people that showed up. I was flying 2 X-Wings and 2 Y-Wings with Ion Turrets. Of the 8 Imperial players, 4 players had an 8 TIE FIghters and 4 players had Darth Vader with 5 TIE Fighters. I was able to ion 2 Vaders off the table that day. Lost one match, but ended up winning anyway. Walked away with the play mat. Good times.

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11 hours ago, Da_Brown_Bomber said:

IMHO somewhere around wave7 the game lost its way as a strategy game and became a dice game. even before wave7 the signs where there. Twin Laser Turrets helped to cement the stranglehold that was already choking some skill intensive lists out of the game. damage mitigation and regneration started to push certain rebel lists over the top. autowins and auto damage seemed to be more and more common with each new wave. FFG seemed to be scrambling to errata and nerf some balance back into the game but to me these reactionary moves were just as frustrating as the landscape of the game was shifting too fast.

I agree that maneuvering got less important when TLT came out, and the important part was getting mods.

Where i don't agree at all is that Rebels were very good back then. If so, it was for wave 7 only. Because when the Jumpmaster came out, nearly every Rebel list was useless overnight. Miranda was flown sometimes i guess, but she was far from good. Corran did not fare much better. 3 Large bases blocked him and he died, end of story. And that period lasted a long, long time. Basically until the big nerf of Jumpmasters, it was different lists of them dominating the meta. Palp Aces in different forms were present, but finding truly competitive rebel lists was kinda hard.

I think the recent absolute Rebel dominance has deleted some other chapters of X-Wing from our brains.

Speaking of the Very beginning, it was Tie Swarms that were good and really dominant basically until the Phantom came out. It was often accompanied by a Howl miniswarm, but honestly, Whisper could solo anything that had lower PS than it and was not a really  hard hitting turret on its own.

Wave 1 it ruled undisputed, with 4X pretty far behind as second best.

Wave2 , 3 Firesprays was a lot of HP to kill so it could kinda compete, but thats it.

Wave 3, 4B lists and BBBBZ came and gave Ties a run for their money, but i think it was established that they still had the advantage in most situations, even in a joust.

Wave 4 brought the Phantom, the first ship to really break the meta imho. That brought Fat Han to the table (The YtT-1300 was largely overlooked before Whisper meta, really nobody played it since you stand no chance against a well flown Swarm) Fat han however was the only real counter to Whisper.

After that, Palp Aces made an appearance, and Soontir was the sauce for a time, while RAC Whisper also stayed playable. From then on, i believe you know the story...

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4 minutes ago, Biophysical said:

My first 3 games ever were tournament games with an HLC/VI Rexler Brath, 3 Obsidians, and Backstabber.  I won all 3, and got second in the tournament.  I've liked that squad ever since.  The combo of cheap, disposable TIEs and the big hammer was a lot of fun, and also something I'm hoping to replicate in the future.

Back then did people try to run Ace + 3 Support ships or was the 4th needed since things actually died? 

I don't think I ever once saw Ace + 4 Ships from the Imperials in 1.0. 

Everytime I look at it I want to condense it down to Vader or Defender + 3 ships instead of 4 tie fighters. 

But thats probably just the 1.0 in me that can't seem to forget how effective and fun QD + 3 Gunboats was. 

Trying to think of it in terms of how many Tie Fighters = Dash. Is it 2, 3, as many as 4?

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10 minutes ago, Boom Owl said:

Back then did people try to run Ace + 3 Support ships or was the 4th needed since things actually died? 

I don't think I ever once saw Ace + 4 Ships from the Imperials in 1.0. 

Everytime I look at it I want to condense it down to Vader or Defender + 3 ships instead of 4 tie fighters. 

But thats probably just the 1.0 in me that can't seem to forget how effective and fun QD + 3 Gunboats was. 

Trying to think of it in terms of how many Tie Fighters = Dash. Is it 2, 3, as many as 4?

There was a List in wave 1 with Vader, Howlrunner and some BSPs with Swarm tactics, where you essentially tried to stay in formation so that Vader and Howl could daisy chain pass on their high PS and you could alphastrike something before retaliation. I won my very first Tournament with that list. Worked like a charm against rebels. Against a real swarm though it was sometimes tough luck...

I think it was this here that i ran.

Darth Vader (29)
Swarm Tactics (2)

"Howlrunner" (18)
Determination (1)

Black Squadron Pilot (14)
Swarm Tactics (2)

Black Squadron Pilot (14)
Swarm Tactics (2)

Black Squadron Pilot (14)
Swarm Tactics (2)

Total: 98

Edited by ForceM

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16 minutes ago, Boom Owl said:

Back then did people try to run Ace + 3 Support ships or was the 4th needed since things actually died? 

I don't think I ever once saw Ace + 4 Ships from the Imperials in 1.0. 

Everytime I look at it I want to condense it down to Vader or Defender + 3 ships instead of 4 tie fighters. 

But thats probably just the 1.0 in me that can't seem to forget how effective and fun QD + 3 Gunboats was. 

Trying to think of it in terms of how many Tie Fighters = Dash. Is it 2, 3, as many as 4?

I don't really think Ace+3 was a thing mostly because aces were cheaper in those days.  Vader, Whisper, and Fel were usually run with 5 TIEs, I think.  The Defender was just pricier, so I went with 4.

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I came in just as Wave 6 Hit. However, basically that’s whe the game took off at our local Shop. 

I was determined to make Echo work, kept flying 3 Alphas with a loaded Echo. That list did so much to teach me how to properly fly it’s kinda silly.  Misjudged where and exactly the facing Echo would go. Not having as much space as I thought so had to decloak a different way and be out of position. 3 Months of games before it clicked! When it did it was beautiful to watch those Intercepters and Echo dance. Then Wave 7 Hit and suddenly all the dancing in the world looked pretty and was pretty worthless. Wave 8 just put the final nails into that coffin.  The thing was back then you had to really think about what you could do and what your opponents ships were capable of. 

If your opponent was flying a 4 ship Rebel list in formation you had to figure out how to approach it to minimize shots while maximizing your own. Facing a 2 ship list you kinda had to joust or block and hope for the best with multiple shots going in before they shot back. Imperial Aces or swarms, oh the dancing and guessing and second guessing that had to be done. 

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41 minutes ago, Biophysical said:

It's really a beautiful archetype.  Lots of efficiency and space control in the TIEs to shape the board, and an ace to provide repsonsiveness and focused power.  

It's actually bombs that were the nail in the coffin of the mini-swarm. It really only disappeared when Bombs became so prevalent.

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3 minutes ago, ForceM said:

It's actually bombs that were the nail in the coffin of the mini-swarm. It really only disappeared when Bombs became so prevalent.

Im guessing 2.0 Bombs will be effective against swarms still? Its not as dumb as action bombs...but it wont be all that hard to drop a few during the system phase and make a couple ties sad.

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Started in wave two, just myself and one other guy made up the local scene. Played all the time had a blast. Hated the Falcon, had Soontier die at range three behind a rock many times but stuck with the Empire. Our group grew, I pulled together a crew that played at my place as many as 7 and 8 people at a session. Team epic became a flavor we enjoyed, watched a cloaked whisper at range 5 get one shot by a CR-90 pre range bonus nerf, 9 green dice with a focus but still she was dust.

Best tournament experience I took RAC and a PS1 Defender with an ion canon. Yes it was pre-veterans. Played all day lost the Defender only once and it was on the last match. Watched as RAC flanked a whole Swarm of Z-95s that turned into bump city because of the ion canon messing with the Swarm formation and good ol cherry just popped each z one by one. Still love playing both defenders and that VT-49. 

Army made me move on eventually and I found myself again without a squadron. Started building fresh. Found some good guys and kept flying, built up another group, at the height we had about 6 players where I worked. There was a game of x-wing almost everyday at lunchtime. People playing the models they had, but we let that proxy flag fly for any card a person wanted. It was always about flying ships and saying pew pew while quoting our favorite movies. Then I started to meet people in my line of work that play the game only to learn the person that got them into the game were taught by me. Nothing better than knowing the comradery went on without me. One of my padawans even finished top 8 at the local Regional! 

Now the Army has once again said, "Time to move out Soldier." So I am again getting ready to depart another built up group. All while the game is going through its greatest shift ever. So I am getting my last games in with my group as a depart and prepare myself for a new adventure.

X-Wing has grown beyond a competition for me. Now it's about getting together with good people to play a fun game over some cold beers. The community is more important than any one game and I look forward to the next version. All shall fear my new Gunboats/Defenders and reinforcing Decimator!(lol, jk) But if anyone between Seattle and Fargo wants a game at the end of August, or if you are currently serving at Fort Lost in the woods, shoot me a PM I would love to get a game of x-wing, armada, or even rebellion in because table top games are about bring people together in the spirit of lighthearted fun competition in a universe we all love.  That is why I will continue to play.

 

Edited by zingerwhip
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Prior to the arrival of the TIE Phantom, 7 TIE Swarms was the meta. You either were flying it (Howlrunner, Obsidians, and most likely Backstabber or some combination of other named pilots), or you were building lists to beat it (Biggs walks the dogs, or Biggs with three advanced sensored B-Wings). 

Turrets existed, but with TIE swarm out there, they just couldn’t do enough damage before the TIEs burned down their tokens and laid serious waste to their ships. You never saw Y-Wings or the Falcon on the table.

Good TIE Searm players were great at blocking, and while Aces like Vader, Wedge, and Soontir were out there, there were being blocked out and crushed by the sheer numbers of the TIE Swarm.

 

That’s why Biggs walks then dogs was so good. You couldn’t block out B-Wings because they still got their actions. Biggs forced them to shoot non-optimal targets while the B-Wing hit hard on Howl and low PS TIEs. 

 

I do feel like like the game was more based on flying and positioning rather then combos and upgrades. Generic pilots were just far more point efficient. To the point where almost no one ran named pilots.  Like ever!

 

Im not saying it was the best time for X-Wing, but it most certainly was more rewarding for pilots who know how to fly, block, and position themselves in the right spots. 

 

The converse of that though meant that with TIE Swarm being so good, other ships did not shine at all.  It took the Phantom to check the TIEs to bump them down a hair to allow other ships to rise up in the meta.  

 

And this is where, in my opinion, the real power creep started in the game. 

 

Phantoms beat TIE Swarms

Fat Han beats Phantoms

TLTs beat Fat Han

Autothrustered Palp Aces beat most

and so on...

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