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GREAT lower initiative pilots- Resistance edition

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With all of the discussion regarding high PS and bid wars, let’s talk about some lower PS pilots that have the potential to lure people away from the ‘moving-last’ addiction. This game can be played well at any PS level, though I’m not going to promise any Ace-flier that adjusting to lower pilot skill will come easy.

I want to bring attention to some pilots that are a great start for flying lower PS, and the Resistance is perhaps a great way to start.

 

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Greer Sonnel, RZ-2 Awing PS 4

I’m not exactly starting too extreme here. PS 4 is still relatively high, but in much of the talk I see and hear, still considered in the non-ideal zone. Greer is the first pilot I flew on the RZ-2 Awing. Her ability to change her firing arc after any fully executed maneuver provides her with a lot of flexibility, freeing up her linked action for boost, or just not having to use a linked action at all. I was surprised by how much easier it was to catch higher PS aces with the flexible arc.

 

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Zari Bangel, RZ-2 Awing PS 3

Zari makes me think of a Dash Rendar a little, because one really important limitation on maneuvers is completely removed.  You can think differently about the activation phase, because you really only have to get your ship in the general direction of the enemy, and not worrying about losing your action while bumping opens up a lot of positioning possibilities. Just don’t run into the ship you want to shoot.

Overall, the RZ-2 Awing in general seems to be a great chassis for lower PS pilots, due to it’s repositioning of the arc.

 

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Kare Kun, T-70 X-wing PS 4

Old Blue Ace, for a more civilized age. It is impressive how much better this ship/ability combo is in 2nd edition. Again, PS 4 is still relatively high, but even against the 5’s and 6’s, Kare Kun can get in some weird places that the opponent couldn’t foresee, and couldn’t escape from. BB-8 or even a standard BB unit is a decent pairing for her, because using the sideslip barrel roll and hard turning at the end of the maneuver makes for a tricky spot to deal with. Or using bb-8 to do a hard 1 and then your maneuver can put you in tough to predict spots that are tough to keep away from.

 

See the source image

Lieutenant Bastian, T-70 X-wing PS 2

Bastian may not be great by himself like the others, but his ability makes for some good action economy when paired with some friends that shoot first.

 

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Jessika Pava, T-70 X-wing PS 3

Jess, who gets a little ps boost from first edition, can be a terror with her rerolls. The key with her is to try to keep her from getting focused down by several enemies. She can outlive many higher ps aces, because of her lower ps, she has the opportunity to choose to use her charge on defense before shooting.

T70 Wexley

Temmin Wexley, T-70 X-wing PS 4

Free reposition? Why, thank you. Although it is true that reposition is the most efficient when you move last, setting up killboxes takes work, and freeing up your action for dice mods is great.

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Vennie, MG-100 Starfortress PS 2

The Starfortress itself is pretty kind to low PS, with its usually 270 degree shooting range. Vennie is boosted by every ship in his faction besides T-70’s. Chances are good you’ll be focusing a lot..

StarFortress Edon

Edon Kappehl, MG-100 Starfortress PS 3

He has a great ability for some surprise bombing, though his ability would be even better if it was lower, so that there’s no guesswork about getting blocked.

In the end, I know I can’t end the arms race of pilot skill. Poe, Kylo, and Wedge won’t be put in the box. But there is so much more to this game than pilot skill 5 and 6. I do think it would be healthy if we change to alternating initiative or random initiative, but we probably won’t get that. In 2nd edition, we have a lot of actually usable mid-PS pilots, not just the conditional abilities we had before.

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In all honesty they should drop pilot skill down to being 1-4

1 cheap generics

2 generic with elite slot as well as support named pilots or pilots who dont need to shoot first to benefit their pilot ability.

3 most named pilots and aces

4 very rare top pilots, maybe like 3 or 4 pilots with this initiative per faction.

 

ignoring what I think they should do

 

all the pilots you listed do not matter much because the cost difference between the low initiative named pilots and the high initiative named pilots is so close that you are always better off taking the high initiative. The only reason to take a low initiative is if it is a support ship.

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3 hours ago, Hobbyist said:

Just don’t run into the ship you want to shoot.

Not entirely correct for Zari;

You can 1-bank boost to clear a small-based ship you bumped into, as long as there’s nothing behind it, and then link a rotate to the rear arc to give yourself a shot if they’ve already moved... or focus and link a rotate (depending on which way you think they’re going) if they’re moving after you.

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Pretty sure Bastion and Jess are the only 2 that will see meta play.

The extended standard for "sub i5 meta" is basically 2 free actions worth of economy (Sabine/Palob/4Lom/Juke Sigma) or just severe undercosting (barrage bomber/quad).  Nothing here comes close to that, but Basitan/Jess getting free rerolls without needing to TL during their activation, offsetting part of the low PS disadvantage, puts them at the top for Hyperspace.

The rest are significantly behind. Vennie with PerCo would be playable at 60 (nien+PA money) but 77 (poe+prtorps money) is a joke.

Edited by prauxim

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5 hours ago, Hobbyist said:

Kare Kun, T-70 X-wing PS 4

Old Blue Ace, for a more civilized age. It is impressive how much better this ship/ability combo is in 2nd edition. Again, PS 4 is still relatively high, but even against the 5’s and 6’s, Kare Kun can get in some weird places that the opponent couldn’t foresee, and couldn’t escape from. BB-8 or even a standard BB unit is a decent pairing for her, because using the sideslip barrel roll and hard turning at the end of the maneuver makes for a tricky spot to deal with. Or using bb-8 to do a hard 1 and then your maneuver can put you in tough to predict spots that are tough to keep away from.

BB-8 would be a great option, but (if he's in use elsewhere) Afterburners isn't a bad call either. Anything getting you a free boost, generally.

Plus, Initiative 4 isn't that bad. It's still the equal of generic Sabers/Rogues/Skulls and similar 'top-end' generics

Her value boils down to how well you can exploit her manoeuvrability. Unlike the others, there's no way to parlay that ability into free dice-modifying action.

5 hours ago, Hobbyist said:

Lieutenant Bastian, T-70 X-wing PS 2

Bastian may not be great by himself like the others, but his ability makes for some good action economy when paired with some friends that shoot first.

Very much so. Some people have suggested torpedoes, but the fact that his ability is range 1-2, rather than range 3, makes me hesitant - if packing a torpedo squad, you probably want the first engagement to occur at range 3, where the T-70 gets 3 green dice against primary weapon return fire, and poking one ship forward into range 2 just makes it a target. He pairs extremely well with M9-G8, though - lock a high initiative friend to give them rerolls, then move the lock onto their target to mess with that target's shooting, and then spend it on Bastian's own attack.

5 hours ago, Hobbyist said:

Jessika Pava, T-70 X-wing PS 3

Jess, who gets a little ps boost from first edition, can be a terror with her rerolls. The key with her is to try to keep her from getting focused down by several enemies. She can outlive many higher ps aces, because of her lower ps, she has the opportunity to choose to use her charge on defense before shooting.

Initiative Boost but a weaker ability - unless you're prepared to equip a minimum 5 point astromech and burn its charges, her ability has become once-per-turn. An R5 astromech is a nice cheap option just because you can use it for its intended purpose OR spend it on a dice reroll in a pinch (A BB astromech is the same price but "stuck to my wing like Glue" Jess Pava generally isn't going to want to be barrel rolling all over the place that much).

5 hours ago, Hobbyist said:

Temmin Wexley, T-70 X-wing PS 4

Free reposition? Why, thank you. Although it is true that reposition is the most efficient when you move last, setting up killboxes takes work, and freeing up your action for dice mods is great.

Very much so. Snap is incredibly mobile - and whilst @prauxim is correct that multiple dice modifiers are probably more valuable, if Snap has an equal or lower initiative buddy to fly behind, Composure lets you turn that free boost into a free focus, which is also valuable (move, attempt a boost into your wingman, fail the boost, focus, perform normal action - probably Lock). Snap, Jess and Bastian can all get focus-and-reroll attacks without stress, and are cheap enough to kit out fairly generously.

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A very good (top 4 worlds player) of my acquaintance has said that Vennie surprised him by how good it was as soaking damage leaving the rest of the list to light opponents up.

He was on this Vennie build ... I've added Jess and Bastian, but you could build whatever else you wanted around it.

Vennie (67)
Perceptive Copilot (10)
Paige Tico (7)
Veteran Turret Gunner (8)
Seismic Charges (3)
Proton Bombs (5)

Jessika Pava (52)
Integrated S-Foils (0)

Lieutenant Bastian (48)
Integrated S-Foils (0)

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0

 

Edited by Dreadai

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2 hours ago, SOTL said:

Great low Initiative Pilots: Jess, Bastian, anything in an A-Wing.  That's it.

 

That's nearly half the low initiative resistance ships. 😄

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7 hours ago, Dreadai said:

He was on this Vennie build ... I've added Jess and Bastian, but you could build whatever else you wanted around it.

I was looking at Vennie just this morning.  I’ve been wanting to put together a Gunship StarFortress with 3x A-Wings in support.  I just can’t find space for bombs of significance.  Remember, Vennie’s ability only price on friendly turret arcs.  The T-70s won’t help him.  You could trade the Shield Upgrade and 3PO for PerCo in this build.  PerCo is more offensive oriented.

MG-100 StarFortress - •Vennie - 92
    •Vennie - Crimson Cutter (67)
        •C-3PO (6)
        Shield Upgrade (4)
        Veteran Turret Gunner (8)
        •Paige Tico (7)

RZ-2 A-wing - Blue Squadron Recruit - 36
    Blue Squadron Recruit - (32)
        Advanced Optics (4)

RZ-2 A-wing - Blue Squadron Recruit - 36
    Blue Squadron Recruit - (32)
        Advanced Optics (4)

RZ-2 A-wing - Blue Squadron Recruit - 36
    Blue Squadron Recruit - (32)
        Advanced Optics (4)

Total: 200/200

View in the X-Wing Squad Builder

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I flew against a vennie with perceptive, Rey gunner tonight. Great list. He is a tank. Flown with tallie and Lulo just couldn’t push any damage through. Guaranteed 2 evades a turn. 

Edited by Dreadai

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Get M9G8 in the list and lock Vennie w/ Paige + Vet Gunner + C3PO. Pretty powerful ship.

Vennie (67)
C-3PO (Resistance) (6)
Paige Tico (7)
Veteran Turret Gunner (8)
Proton Bombs (5)

Jessika Pava (52)
M9-G8 (7)
Integrated S-Foils (0)

Lieutenant Bastian (48)
Integrated S-Foils (0)

Total: 200

Joph aint a bad ship either for carrying an important droid like M9G8. He can take awhile to kill.

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I've been out for a while, but the fact that Vennie has a better version of scum sabine's ability (remember he works with himself as it is not "another friendly") made him the most interesting bomber for me outside Edon (one of VERY FEW pilots that benefit from lower initiative)

You could build a real fortess out of that guy

Course whether or not that matters given the bomber dial is another story 

Edited by ficklegreendice

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I know bombers are 'ok' and not 'great' ships in general competitively, but i included them because the named lower ps pilots were good 'for the ship'.

i skipped generics, since they speak for themselves.

the only falcon candidate is resistance Chewie, who just doesn't seem to have a great ability that makes him stand out. fell free to convince me.

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