As the anticipation for all the new X-wing stuff builds, I am still enjoying the heck out of what we already have available. A ton of league matches have been played in recent months, with a brand new list used almost every time out, but my recent game at 150 points was probably the most fun of all.
Ward came over on Sunday night and we decided we should try a game using a little more of our ever-expanding collections. 150 lists were quickly put together, and we piled over a dozen ships onto the board. We didn’t take a photo every turn, but we have a good number of shots that show the flow of this epic battle. First off, our army lists:
My build was based on a combo of Kyle, Garven and Dutch all passing around piles of free tokens at all times. Really just something fun and silly that you can’t afford to take at 100 points, supported by a trio of A-wings looking to make the most of all the free tokens to fire plenty of focused concussion missile attacks.
Ward took a mixed approach, with the Bombers dropping down in front of my A-wings on the left flank, Howlrunner and friends slightly more towards the center, and the two named Interceptors dropping in the middle/right of the board, looking to outflank.
We assigned some dials, moved up a little, and my stupid Green Squad A-wing boosted when he really shouldn’t have, getting in the way of the Prototypes and putting himself within range of the Bombers… they took him down to 1 hull point but he survived to fight on. After that silliness, we moved on to turn 2.
For turn 2, we both move up slowly, with the exception of the crippled A-wing, who hit the gas and tried to get the hell out of dodge. Multiple shots are taken, but nothing too crazy until one of the A-wings uses his free target lock (thanks Dutch!) to blast Howlrunner to bits with a concussion missile.
Turn 3 got a little bit rowdy, and it’s a shame there’s no picture of the action. Anyway, the A-wings make a hard right turn, the one nearest the board edge bumping a TIE Bomber. Not a huge issue, as he can be given a freebie focus/TL later if necessary. They make enough room for Dutch, Kyle and Garven to inch ahead and throw a pile of tokens at the board. The wounded Green just swoops around and tries to set up a future attack run.
For the Imperials, the Academy TIEs turn into the traffic jam and try to cause some havoc. The Bombers take a shot at Kyle, and will need to turn around to get back in the action next turn. Most importantly, the two Interceptor aces are closing in on Kyle and Garven. They don’t manage to kill them, but damage is beginning to mount on both ships. In return, the turrets ionize Turr and give him a critical, such that any time he bumps a ship he will take damage. He has to be pretty careful from now on!
Turn 4 was a mess. Ships everywhere, plenty of point blank fire, and Kyle/Garven were both starting to feel the pain after taking a couple hits. Luckily, Turr was messed up and ionized, the Bombers had long since blown their missiles, and there was just one TIE left. Things seemed pretty decent, though the game was balancing on a knife edge. Whoever starts losing their wounded ships first would be faced with an uphill battle in the endgame.
After our turn 4 moves, everybody except Fel managed to avoid bumping (Turr, the slippery bugger, even managed to barrel roll into position to get a range 1 shot at Garven!) so there was a ton of damage about to be dealt. I had assumed Turr was going to be doing not much of anything this turn, so all attention was on Fel. Note the pile of red target locks…
By end of turn 4, both Garven and Kyle were both shot to ribbons and reduced to their final hull points. There were a few close rolls, with them needing to dodge coup de grace shots from the Bombers at range 3. All those focus tokens come in handy! Garven failed to kill the TIE in front of him, who then stripped the shields off the Prototype, even with a focus/evade combo.
More importantly, I throw everything I can at Fel and take a few hits off him with turrets. The GSP A-wing then fires off his concussions, and manages to just finish the Baron off! That’s a huge relief going into turn 5.
Turn 5, many ships are bleeding out now and it’s only a matter of time before the board starts to get cleared off. Turr finished off Kyle, and Garven returned the favor against Turr. The head-on between the leftmost Academy TIE and Prototype is a stalemate; they dodge everything. The other TIE vs. Prototype showdown doesn’t go my way, as the wounded/stressed A-wing dies.
We jumped right into turn 6, and I didn’t get a photo until the end of the round. The GSP blocks a TIE Bomber, while the untouched Prototype swoops in behind him. Garven and Dutch try desperately to kill the Gamma Squadron Bomber (who had 4 hull remaining by this point) before he can kill Garven, but to no avail. The GSP A-wing avenges his death, and the Prototype softens up the remaining Gamma slightly.
So casualties are really mounting fast. Dutch and two A-wings are left against the remaining Gamma pilot and two Academy TIEs. You can do it, guys!
No pics for the next few turns, but the Green Squad A-wing breaks off hard to the left before K-turning (remember, he only had 1 hull remaining at this point). One of the TIEs gets him as he re-engages. Meanwhile the Proto skips over the rock with a straight 2 (no damage) and starts pumping shots into the Bomber, while Dutch goes after the TIE on the bottom right of the image.
After a few turns of Dutch spinning in circles and ionizing various ships, the A-wing and Bomber hammer each other pretty good at point blank range while an ionized Academy TIE drifts towards the edge, as you can see below. Both Imperial ships are down to their last hit, so it’s pretty much game over at this point.
The slight angle of the TIE fighter means its hard 1 to the right may have been just able to save it from flying off. I didn’t like that, so I decided to gamble and use the Prototype to block him off the edge. I knew there was a good chance he’d fly himself off trying, but since you almost never get a chance to push someone over the board edge, I had to go for it! Dial in a 2 bank to the left and cross your fingers, little A-wing.
Success! The A-wing manages to force the TIE off the board. He gets to feel like a champ, and it’s up to Dutch to kill the Bomber right now so the Proto doesn’t share the same shameful fate.
The Bomber does a K-turn, hoping to get a shot off before Dutch takes his last hull point. Dutch pulls yet another hard 2, narrowly avoiding the rocks, and with the Gamma dropping in front of him he gets to focus rather than TL. This works out nicely, as I roll triple eyeballs and there’s no possible agility roll that can save the Bomber. Victory for the terrorists!
This game was a blast. Tons of action right from the beginning, with a messy turn 1 for me making things very dicey for a little while. That Green Squad A-wing never should have boosted, and the mistake probably should have killed him. Since I wasn’t expecting any shots on turn 1, I also allowed Kyle to bump so he couldn’t even give a free focus to help the little Green guy survive the missiles. I really should have been more cautious, moved up slowly and made a deposit in the Moldy Crow’s focus bank, but obviously it worked out okay in the end. The GSP barely survived the barrage, flew through the pack and scored a few kills (including Soontir Fel) before going down in the later turns.
The Kyle/Garven combo was a lot of fun, and Dutch really completed the trifecta of action economy nicely. He survived the game with all of his hull/shields intact, which was pretty awesome. The focus factory was a more immediate threat, and his ion turret landed a few hits, keeping the enemy from being where they wanted to be. Being able to fly a weirdo list like this is half the point of bigger games.
If you haven’t played any of these larger battles yet, you really should try it. They are pretty wild, with ships everywhere and some combos that you’d never see in a smaller game. Some bombs or assault missiles might be worth bringing next time; they would really help clear out some of the blobs of ships more quickly!