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Schu81

How to fly Imperial Aces

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Hello to you, XWing Community!

I would love to ask you something about Imperial Aces.

I know there are several different lists, which qualify to go by that name, so let me show you the list, which I tried on the last tournament of my local community.

 

Soontir Fel (53)
Predator (2)
Shield Upgrade (8)

Darth Vader (67)
Fire-Control System (2)
Afterburners (6)

Grand Inquisitor (52)
Fire-Control System (2)

Total: 192

 

Why did I choose these ships?

Well, the Grand Inquisitor seems to be maneuverable and fast. Soontir is a legend and his ship looks fabulous. I love the Interceptor.  And Vader is Vader, what more can i say.

 

I found these incredibly difficult to fly, even though I am not a new player anymore. I have been playing XWing for several years.

I knew my iist would melt very quickly, if I go in for a joust, so I tried to keep the 3 ships apart and flank as often as possible.

Anyway, at some point my ships get shot at and somehow they do not withstand the attacks for long. Apart from that, I found that Soontirs attacks are not very strong, unless you achieve a perfect setup with an enemy in your bullseye.

 

So, what do I do wrong? How do you have to fly these? And how come that Imperial Aces seem to be really good at huge tournaments, even though they are rather easy to kill? Aren't other lists so much stronger than this? Or is it really just a matter of "how to fly"?

Explanations welcome :)

 

Edited by Schu81

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Just my 2 cents, but how do you set up obstacles? Whenever i play aces (Republic and Imperial) I make sure to bring the biggest rocks available (personally don't like gas clouds) and to make a tight cluster in the middle of the board. The reason is, Aces win by isolating their targets and outmaneuvering them so that ultimately the opponent has poor shots (obstructed, long range, or even both) or no shots at all, while they have decent shots, even if not ideal.

Obviously one of your ships has to act as bait, so in your case i would have Vader commit into the field of obstacles, since he is the tankiest of the bunch. As for the other 2 aces, have them circle the field in opposite directions until they find an opening to commit into the obstacle field and deal serious damage without being threatened themselves. If the opponent goes after one of the flankers, you have to either blow past them or turn around quickly enough to not take tough shots.

Also,in many cases youhave to take some risks when it comes to PS killing. Often enough your initiative is higher, so you have to try taking out ships before they fire.

Aside from all that, I'd also recomend prioritizing killing enemy ships instead of going for points, as aces thrive when facing low numbers

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59 minutes ago, LeMightyASP said:

Just my 2 cents, but how do you set up obstacles? Whenever i play aces (Republic and Imperial) I make sure to bring the biggest rocks available (personally don't like gas clouds) and to make a tight cluster in the middle of the board. The reason is, Aces win by isolating their targets and outmaneuvering them so that ultimately the opponent has poor shots (obstructed, long range, or even both) or no shots at all, while they have decent shots, even if not ideal.

Obviously one of your ships has to act as bait, so in your case i would have Vader commit into the field of obstacles, since he is the tankiest of the bunch. As for the other 2 aces, have them circle the field in opposite directions until they find an opening to commit into the obstacle field and deal serious damage without being threatened themselves. If the opponent goes after one of the flankers, you have to either blow past them or turn around quickly enough to not take tough shots.

Also,in many cases youhave to take some risks when it comes to PS killing. Often enough your initiative is higher, so you have to try taking out ships before they fire.

Aside from all that, I'd also recomend prioritizing killing enemy ships instead of going for points, as aces thrive when facing low numbers

100% this. In addition, do not be afraid of playing the long game and disengaging for one or two rounds. Try to recognize when your opponent will slip up and you might be able to get all 3 of your arcs on one ship.

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54 minutes ago, CTBaumhour said:

100% this. In addition, do not be afraid of playing the long game and disengaging for one or two rounds. Try to recognize when your opponent will slip up and you might be able to get all 3 of your arcs on one ship.

This is one of the best lessons to learn while running Soontir Fel. Even with the Shield Upgrade his TIE/in is made of paper if he's being shot multiple times. I've been most successful with Soontir when I disengage him earlier than expected and circle back around. If you wait to long to take an escape route, the opponent will close the net and take him off the field. The same is usually true for Vader and GI, though they can tank shots better with their Force.

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Ive not a lot of pedigree here, but some experience. My lack of pedigree does help me see bad stuff happen to them though, which helps with perspective :D

If dice are friendly to Imp aces, they can basically do whatever they like. This is why they can be seen as 'easy', at times.

But doing consistently well with them, at any level, requires a really good idea of distances and future relative positions. That takes a lot of thought, practice and a gamblers eye for bluff and chance.

You can't expect to arc dodge someone who knows exactly where you're going, even against an I1 Z-95. So it's necessary to keep as many options open as possible, while waiting for ships to be just so, opening the 2 on 1 you're generally looking for.

There's an extra sleight of hand required to set positions that look to be headed one way but can switch to another, less apparent one. It takes a keen eye to judge whether consecutive manoeuvres will land out of arc or not, on multiple intersecting paths.

In terms of positioning, games develop differently. Sometimes you need to spread considerably. Other times, that can be bad. It's too contextual for me to unwrap. But one of the basics is just bait.

1 of your 3 is vaguely expendable, you should be choosing which that is, not the opponent. Make sure they can take more attention than they're worth. Blowing  up, or just by tying up, more value than it'll lose you.

Bait too heavy, it'll die too fast, (or should). Bait too light, a 3rd of your list is irrelevant. It's entirely relative to where all the other ships are, so again, very contextual and comes with experience, rather than set patterns.

If you get this right though, you're likely winning and holding the upper hand.

Personally, I feel like this is the easiest tactic to lean into and favour a cheaper ship, or 2, rather than 60+ pt on all 3. Gives more leeway on the bait fail, at the expense of making it an obvious approach.

Assume all of your green dice will be blank and play accordingly. Patience is key and it's the main thing that helped me improve here. Try being as cagey and cautious as it's possible to be. Keep an eye out for openings as they pass you by. Sometimes you'll see what you thought was a good one, close up into a death trap. After a while, you should start to recognise situations where you could have been more aggressive and turned the game. 

It can feel a little 2 steps back, 1 step forward, if you're normally engaging after 2, 3 or 4 turns. You can only play cautiously for so long before running out of space. I'm naturally quite cagey, so my trouble is actually seizing those chances, now that I have a better handle on setting them up and seeing them. Maybe I'm not a very good gambler :D

Failing all that, roll decent dice. Then you can Yolo joust, or fly madly in all directions and just trust in tokens. 60% of the time, it works every time. 

Partly why it's often hard to see where you're going wrong with them.

 

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7 hours ago, Blail Blerg said:

Practice never getting shot. 

Against yourself.

The 'don't get shot' is the key thing. It sounds like a trivial thing to say, but what it boils down to is this: if you have a choice of move between "both parties get a shot" and "no-one gets a shot" then choose the latter.

Obviously if you can get a shot without getting shot back, that's an easy call, but as a rule, if you break off so no-one fires, an aces list will generally be in the better position one the two sides re-engage because they're in more manoeuvrable, higher initiative ships, so disengaging is generally a net win for you (this goes double with aces who can do meaningful non-attack shenanigans like recover damage, like Fuel Cells TIE/ba or R2 Jedi).

 

 

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Only you have a shot > no-one has a shot > you both have a shot.

Huge thing to learn is that no fire is better than mutual fire. 

I would look up Ollie's World's 2019 run on Youtube. Probably won't get any better education than from a World's Triple Aces winner. 

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1 hour ago, Magnus Grendel said:

It sounds like a trivial thing to say, but what it boils down to is this: if you have a choice of move between "both parties get a shot" and "no-one gets a shot" then choose the latter.

I mean, it kind of is trivial, that's the (most relevant) definition of an ace that I know.

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Not sure if it's been mentioned, try to bait your opponent through the asteroid field so they have to scatter their forces which will make it easier to take one out and not as many shooting back at you. Also concentrate on taking out one ship at a time, the less ships the opponent has the less they can shoot back at you. A damaged ship still has as many attack dice (unless specific crits of course)

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6 hours ago, Jammydude44 said:

I would look up Ollie's World's 2019 run on Youtube. Probably won't get any better education than from a World's Triple Aces winner. 

Sounds good! Have you got a link maybe? :)

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