I’m not going to make the X-Wing tournament due to unfortunate work commitments. I have to pay the bills somehow though, and there’ll be other regional tournaments to go to. In fact, a buddy of mine is already signing us up to one! So I still had a practice game against him on Wednesday. And it went about as well Grand Moff Tarkin’s retirement.
First off, I abandoned Advanced Sensors – taking my action before I move would be nice, especially concerning bumping, ‘roids or Sengor’s Loops but the Sensor Jammer does a lot of work, especially against Twin Laser Turrets in conjunction with Autothrusters. So the Sensor Jammer stayed and this I was happy with. Those of you who’ve ready my previous entry will know this list should run two PS1 Star Vipers with Autothrusters; I swapped one out and shuffled some points over on IG-C to make room for Dace Bonearm with Greedo and an Ion Cannon Turret in this game. My rationalisation for this was that the added control and the chance to crit with the Ion Cannon versus high PS aces out of arc and then pile on Dace’s pilot ability for more damage.
The second switch out wasn’t a particular good one for this game. My buddy, Will, flew Torkhil Mux (Moldy Crow, Blaster Turret, Inertial Dampners), Spice Runner (TLT, Recon Specialist) and 2x Y-Wing (BTL-4A, ICT, Unhinged Astromech). I misevaluated, or maybe plain underestimated, my opponent’s firepower to begin with, and had literally never flown the HWK-290 before. This meant I was completely unfamiliar with its atrocious dial and made the mistake of holding back my other two ships so I could retain a semblance of a formation.
We had a central, tight asteroid field which I flew up the West side of while Will, who started in the North East side (my board edge = South, his is North), swung around to skirt its Northerly edge. I turned IG-C into the field, thinking I could move through and flank, while the StarViper skirted the North-West edge and Dace followed in behind. In the opening exchange I lost the SV’s shield but the Spice Runner lost its own. I counted this as a loss as we went back to dials.
Next turn IG-C ended up on a debris field through no fault but mine, the SV managed to bump one of two Y-Wings; the second pulled slow and had him at range 1. Torkhil flanked across the North West edge of the asteroid field and Dace flew up behind – his Spice Runner flew deeper into the asteroid field. Dace got Mux’d, then Blaster Cannon’d; this resulted in a two hits, the damage card being a crit thanks to Greedo and of course this was a Direct Hit. IG-C blew the shields of the non-blocked Y-Wing which in return took my SV down to a single hull. The blocked Y-Wing finished off Dace before he could shoot with a double crit, and the Spice Runner failed to get anything on the IG-C though a rock and out of arc.
The SV went down the next turn after some firepower was exchanged – Mux used his Inertial Dampners to stay in range, and IG-C used its Feedback Array to scratch off Mux’s shield. The rest of the game was my IG-C dancing around at long range before trying to joust something while only one Y-Wing could shoot back (the other Turrets were nearly always relevant). Sensor Jammer really earned it’s points and eventually Will stopped taking Target Locks which was the sensible thing to do. At the end of the game I’d knocked the shields off everything and got Mux down to two hull, the Y-Wings to three and four each, but due to my need to avoid focus fire I hadn’t been able to focus anything down.
Will flew his squadron like a champ the game through, clearly very familiar with how it flew and worked. As mentioned above my slow start cost me a lot, and Dace never got a chance to really shine – or fire. The loss of Lone Wolf on IG-C was also pretty painful late game, as I often lost a hit here and there due to a single success from Will getting through. Ironically, considering my earlier comments, Advanced Sensors would have been great for this game as later on Will controlled the board very well and I bumped a lot as a result. However, I arguably wouldn’t have lasted as long without the Jammer.
Initially I was immediately going to put Dace back in the box but I may hold off on this and try him again. I’m not sure a single Ion Cannon is worth his ability, but I might try it a few more times. Alternatively I could get two ICT Y-Wings for the price of IG-C; I’m not sure I like this idea. Possibly one and then Xizor or Guri but I’ll try without any other changes for a while first.
The IG-C still fought it’s corner exceptionally well, although the loss of Lone Wolf is crippling. I may get Mux or Palob instead of Dace, due to minimal Ion action noted above, and return the EPT to it’s IG home. Or I could scrap the Feedback Array, since Dace is technically meant to counter flanking aces, and get Inertial Dampers and Wired for a little more offensive power. Lowering to Mux or Palob would open up my own TLT option, and although their abilities are range 1-2 I think I could cope with the mismatch; having the longer range would mean they were better at sniping and/or staying out of enemy range.
So I’ll be keeping Dace for now and hopefully I’ll be able to make it work. The list with double PS1 StarVipers and a Lone Wolf IG-C is currently 5-1 however, so appears pretty reliable. I still haven’t fought that many turrets but I’m confident the triple Autothrusters will see them through, so that list is definitely in the wings as a back up. That’s all for now – except if you have advice on flying HWK-290’s; please get in touch if so!