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For the Emperor! (Palpatine, that is…)

If you’re like me, you appreciate a break from all the 3+ goodness from time to time. X-wing is currently my non-40k game of choice, and you’ll be happy to note that I have finally gotten around to playing a few games with my bigass collection of Imperial ships.

The first Imperial list that I used since my first few demo games consisted of Dark Curse (TIE fighter), Soontir Fel (TIE Interceptor) and good old Krassis Trelix (Firespray-31). While I still need to learn the ins and outs of Imperial maneuvering, early results are rather promising!

Paul La Rue's lovely Krassis re-paint that has been terrorizing the locals for a while now.

Paul La Rue’s lovely Krassis re-paint that has been terrorizing the locals for a while now.

Dark Curse is a pain to hit, especially at long range. Not allowing the enemy to re-roll attack dice or spend focus tokens to hit him is huge — and with Wave 3 bringing a lot of support abilities to distribute focus and target locks around to allies, this will make him even more survivable. Just watch out for the Crew Member Luke and Marksmanship abilities, as they bypass Dark Curse’s card text.

Krassis and Soontir Fel are staples in many Imperial lists, as they really deliver once you figure out how to handle them best. Krassis pumps out large volumes of fire at long range, while Soontir Fel flies circles around people and gains plenty of free focus to boost his attacks and/or defense.

My first real crack at Imperials.

My first real crack at Imperials.

The list’s first test run was against Paul La Rue (a skilled opponent in any game, and the creator of the Exiles webcomic) who was using one of his TIE lists, and with a few hot rolls my little list was pretty dominant. The second game was against one of Paul’s Han Solo lists, and with some expert piloting on my part (driving the virtually unharmed Firespray off the board while trying to avoid collisions and asteroids) the list eventually fell apart. It was looking reasonably promising up until that traffic jam that resulted in Krassis disengaging…

We’ve learned a few things since then that led to a change in the list, specifically the FAQ entry on the Heavy Laser Cannon that allows any re-rolls and modifications to cause critical hits. Since the HLC doesn’t miss very often anyway (especially when it shoots last in your list, after Dark Curse and Soontir Fel have had a chance to strip away focus/evade tokens from your prime targets), you can save a juicy 3 points by swapping Gunner for a Mercenary Copilot; perfect for causing some more free Criticals.

The list, with a few rough edges smoothed over.

The list, with a few rough edges smoothed over.

Inspired by my fairly respectable showing, Paul recently took this variant to a tournament at Kapow Comics in Lethbridge. Like a few folks around here, Paul had been taking a few Academy TIEs as fodder/blockers, so swapping in for Dark Curse was a bit of a change of pace. As a nice little bonus, he weighs in at 19 pts instead of 24 (2×12 for the TIEs) so this frees up some valuable points for upgrade cards.

In the end Paul went 4-0 without losing a single ship! Let’s see what he has to say about this new list:

This list is a blast to play. It’s the kind of list where you are greatly rewarded for good flying and punished for bad choices.

The key to this list is only having three ships that don’t directly benefit any other ship (giving away focus, Swarm Tactics, etc.). What this does is allow you to fly all three ships completely differently which doesn’t let your opponent easily predict your movements.

Dark Curse (The Bait), this ship is the perfect ship to toss into a position to tempt your opponent. An unsupported TIE fighter is generally easy pickings but with high pilot skill and his amazing ability he’s a tough ship to catch.

Krassis (The Hammer), keep him at range three as much as possible and just beat down ships with the heavy laser cannon. Most ships can’t handle taking four hits, especially if Dark Curse and Fell have already stripped any defence tokens they may have.

Soontir Fell (The Scalpel), with push the limit and pilot skill 9, some good flying will mean he can move into a position out of ships arcs and punish ships without reprisal. Use him to take out the highest priority targets first. Also the shield upgrade saved Fell from taking a critical hit in more than one game.

This list isn’t a point and fly list, if you make a mistake or get cocky with it, it’s done. Losing a single ship will hurt you greatly and you can’t put out a lot of damage so focusing your shots on one or two ships a turn is key. This will be my go to Imperial List, at least until I have wave 3 in my hands…

Couldn’t have said it better myself. This list is a lot of fun to fly, and Paul has shown that it can truly wreck face in the hands of someone with more than an hour behind the wheel (or maneuver dial if you want to get technical) of a Firespray. Soon we’ll be able to test similar lists out with a cheapo Lambda shuttle in place of Krassis. It’ll be fun to see what you can do with the extra 10-15 points!

Let me know what you think about these X-wing articles, as I plan on writing a few more and I’d like to know what you folks want to read!

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