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Subject: HLC on B-Wings... why? rss

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Reaper Steve
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I'm trying to understand why B-Wings with HLC are so popular. Seven points is a high price to trade a 3-dice primary for a 4-dice secondary that doesn't do crits and can't hit at range 1. Clearly, I'm not seeing the synergy, please help.

B-Wing primary attack dice:
Range 1: 3+1
Range 2: 3
Range 3: 3 (defender gets +1 Agility die)

HLC:
Range 1: no
Range 2: 4 (no crit)
Range 3: 4 (no crit)

So is the trick to keep the B-Wing w/ HLC back at range 3?
 
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Henry Small
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Firing at range 3 with 4 dice and your opponent not getting that extra evade dice is pretty good.
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Dan Shessel
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Plus at range 1 you get 4 Die anyways. So you always have 4 attack plus the bonus of the Defender not getting any extra Defense Dice.
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Reaper Steve
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HS109 wrote:
Firing at range 3 with 4 dice and your opponent not getting that extra evade dice is pretty good.


Yeah, I guess that is a two dice swing in the B-Wing's favor. So I guess the trick is to keep it at Range 3.
 
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Reaper Steve
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Thanks for solving my dummy moment. I forgot I still have the primary weapon, duh. So a B w/HLC would be rolling 4/4/4, with the defender not getting an Agility bonus at R3. No crits, though.

Great shield remover.
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Matthew Rooks
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Perhaps even more importantly, also a great alpha-strike TIE-killer.
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Tim Woehlke
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Reaper Steve wrote:
Thanks for solving my dummy moment. I forgot I still have the primary weapon, duh. So a B w/HLC would be rolling 4/4/4, with the defender not getting an Agility bonus at R3. No crits, though.

Great shield remover.


In a lot of instances four dice are pretty stellar crits or no crits. As I've pointed out before if you take Fire Control System and Focus and HLC you've got a pretty stellar chance of getting three hits anyway, maybe four. I'll take that against three evade dice.
 
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Robert M.
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Snarly_Yow wrote:
In a lot of instances four dice are pretty stellar crits or no crits. As I've pointed out before if you take Fire Control System and Focus and HLC you've got a pretty stellar chance of getting three hits anyway, maybe four. I'll take that against three evade dice.

Yeah, this. Particularly in combination with a Fire Control System, it actually looks like this:

Round 1: 4 Attack with Target Lock or Focus at Range 3, no bonus defense die
Round 2: 4 Attack with Target Lock and Focus at Range 2

That gives you a 65% chance of killing a TIE fighter, who in the mean time probably gets a single attack with 2 Attack against 2 Agility (1 plus 1 for range). It's also almost a 45% chance of killing an X-wing or HWK, which is definitely worth going for.
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Henrik Johansson
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Allso, the HLC only converts the initialy rolled crits to hits. If you use targetlock or marksmanship or any other reroll/modify ability to get crits after the initial roll, you can still get crits.

Desipte that, I'm personaly not a fan of the HLC. It might just be me beeing not so good at maneuvering, but I rarley get a second chanse at a range 3 shot after the initial pass.
 
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Ted Swalwell
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Smuggler wrote:
Desipte that, I'm personaly not a fan of the HLC. It might just be me beeing not so good at maneuvering, but I rarley get a second chanse at a range 3 shot after the initial pass.


Though in the B-Wing's case, the HLC also helps at range 2 - which I frequently get after the initial pass.
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Dr. Thisson
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Also, overlooked so far is the B-wing's potential for crowd control with Ion Cannon. The costs compare very well to the y-wing or HWK, but you can ionize at range 3 to set up a strong attack the next turn.
 
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Jeff Dunford
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Thisson wrote:
Also, overlooked so far is the B-wing's potential for crowd control with Ion Cannon. The costs compare very well to the y-wing or HWK, but you can ionize at range 3 to set up a strong attack the next turn.


I don't think the Ion Cannon is "overlooked." The problem with the Ion Cannon is it doesn't do enough. If it prevented actions and/or attacking that round, it might be worth it. But a white 1-straight often allows a ship to act (Boost? Barrel Roll? Focus? All of these, if you Ionize an unstressed Soontir Fel/PtL, for instance) AND fire that round, and you've only done 1 damage to it. That's not enough against ships with lots of shields/hull (X-wings, B-wings, Bombers) not to mention is only 50% effective against big ships. Sure, it can mess up the formation flying of a TIE swarm, and in principle you can send a ship into an asteroid or off the table, but those opportunities don't come around as often as I'd like - certainly not enough to stick an Ion Cannon on a B-wing.

Ion Cannons are best on support ships that aren't really there to do damage anyway: Y-wings, HWK-290's, maybe Lambda Shuttles (too bad it isn't a 360° turret on that hulking Shuttle). But a B-wing is a 3-attack ship. Putting an Ion Cannon on it actually nerfs its already great offensive power. I'd rather have a naked B-wing any day; or, if you want to improve it, put an Autoblaster or HLC on it.
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Scott M.
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Smuggler wrote:
Allso, the HLC only converts the initialy rolled crits to hits. If you use targetlock or marksmanship or any other reroll/modify ability to get crits after the initial roll, you can still get crits.


Whoa where is this clarified concerning target lock?
I agree with Marksman or any modify ability but Target lock is simply a reroll of the weapon attack. Rules for the weapon still apply....

I have never seen it played this way even at two tourneys I have been at!
 
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Dr. Thisson
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All valid points, but people do field y-wings and HWKs to use the ion turret. The B-wing can field an ion for fewer points, and can fire it from further away, potential gaining a free target lock in the process and setting up an ATP the following turn. And you still have a ship with 4 attack dice. So you've got a lot of tactical flexibility compared to having a support ship that is not likely to deliver much actual damage. I like the flexibility the B-wing provides and how it makes your opponents choices more complicated. It's much easier to predict what a ywing or HWK will do, and the penalty for misjudging a BWing can be severe.
 
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Lando
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atraangelis wrote:
Smuggler wrote:
Allso, the HLC only converts the initialy rolled crits to hits. If you use targetlock or marksmanship or any other reroll/modify ability to get crits after the initial roll, you can still get crits.


Whoa where is this clarified concerning target lock?
I agree with Marksman or any modify ability but Target lock is simply a reroll of the weapon attack. Rules for the weapon still apply....

I have never seen it played this way even at two tourneys I have been at!


First:

Q: If a ship attacks with Heavy Laser Cannon,
can it modify attack dice to get a (crit) result?
A: Yes. All (crit) results on attack dice are immediately
changed to (hit) results after they are first rolled, and
then the dice may be modified as normal.


Second, page 11 of the rulebook:

3. modify attack dice
During this step, players may resolve abilities and
spend tokens that allow them to modify attack dice.

This includes adding die results, changing die
results, and rerolling dice (see “Modifying Dice
Results” on page 12).

If a player wants to resolve multiple modifying
abilities, he resolves them in the order of his
choosing. If the attacker and defender both have
abilities that can modify attack dice, the defender
resolves all of his abilities before the attacker.

Spending target lock tokens

If the attacker has a target lock on the defender, he
may return his pair of assigned target lock tokens
to the action token supply to choose any number of
attack dice and reroll them once (see “Combat Phase
Example” on pages 14–15).

The attacker may spend target lock tokens only
when he is attacking a ship that his lock is targeting
(i.e., the red target lock token near the targeted ship
must match the letter on the blue target lock token
near the attacker).
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Tim Woehlke
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Thisson wrote:
All valid points, but people do field y-wings and HWKs to use the ion turret. The B-wing can field an ion for fewer points, and can fire it from further away, potential gaining a free target lock in the process and setting up an ATP the following turn. And you still have a ship with 4 attack dice. So you've got a lot of tactical flexibility compared to having a support ship that is not likely to deliver much actual damage. I like the flexibility the B-wing provides and how it makes your opponents choices more complicated. It's much easier to predict what a ywing or HWK will do, and the penalty for misjudging a BWing can be severe.


I love the fact that the B-Wing doesn't need any support or formation flying. With X's and any Tie you need to group them together to make sure they last and get off multiple strikes on a single opponent. But with the large Hull/Shield value of the B-Wings you can fly them solo fairly safely. Get one with an Auto-Blaster flying into a swarm, another with an HLC staying safely back, and one more naked and your opponent will have some tough choices to make.

Sadly, the only other Imperial build that offers that sort of flexibility is dual Firesprays.
 
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Ed Raz
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Reaper Steve wrote:
Thanks for solving my dummy moment. I forgot I still have the primary weapon, duh. So a B w/HLC would be rolling 4/4/4, with the defender not getting an Agility bonus at R3. No crits, though.

Great shield remover.


crits are nice but can be overrated:

If you're firing on ships with no shields like ties / interceptors they are going to die pretty quickly anyway.

If you're firing on ships with shields often the shield will absorb it.

Don't get me wrong, its nice to score a crit now and again, but I personally don't build my squads around it.
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Robert M.
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atraangelis wrote:
Smuggler wrote:
Allso, the HLC only converts the initialy rolled crits to hits. If you use targetlock or marksmanship or any other reroll/modify ability to get crits after the initial roll, you can still get crits.


Whoa where is this clarified concerning target lock?
I agree with Marksman or any modify ability but Target lock is simply a reroll of the weapon attack. Rules for the weapon still apply....

I have never seen it played this way even at two tourneys I have been at!

I asked Kniffen about it specifically at the GenCon tournament--I was running Krassis+HLC. His answer was that rerolls aren't affected by the HLC's no-crits policy. (I'm paraphrasing, of course.)
 
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jeremy betsch
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iNano78 wrote:
I don't think the Ion Cannon is "overlooked." ~ I'd rather have a naked B-wing any day; or, if you want to improve it, put an Autoblaster or HLC on it.


I love the idea of the Ion Cannon on a B-wing, because it allows you to easily set up your next shot on anything that isn't a large base (and sometimes even then if you run two of them). Check out something I'm calling the Killer Blues.

Imagine this: Blue Squadron Pilot with Ion Cannon and Fire Control System (27 points)

The BSP takes the first round to ion his opponent and gets a free target lock from the deal. He then knows EXACTLY where his opponent is going to be next turn, barring barrel rolls/boosts (and those can only get you so far), so he can easily set up for a range 1 shot. If the opponent swings right/left with the boosts and rolls, then you roll into range again, otherwise you focus. Now you have a range 1 (4 dice) shot with TL (and probably focus) against an already wounded ship. It's a killshot.

For Large ships, line up two of these (total of 54 points) and now you're gonna ion the big guy and get two R1 shots off against him, again with TL and most likely focus.

Add advanced proton torps for an additional 6 (for 33 per ship, or 12 for two, at 66 points total) and now you're slining three garaunteed hits against the opponent, plus two additional red dice, since the APTs turn blanks to focus and you have the focus action from your free target lock. You can use the last 33 points for a support craft, a loaded X-wing, or another Killer Blue.

The Ion Cannon is what makes this work so well, because you know where your opponent is going to be. With that knowledge, even the crappy dial of the B-wing can be mitigated to a great extent.
 
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Jeff Dunford
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eruletho wrote:
iNano78 wrote:
I don't think the Ion Cannon is "overlooked." ~ I'd rather have a naked B-wing any day; or, if you want to improve it, put an Autoblaster or HLC on it.


I love the idea of the Ion Cannon on a B-wing, because it allows you to easily set up your next shot on anything that isn't a large base (and sometimes even then if you run two of them). Check out something I'm calling the Killer Blues.

Imagine this: Blue Squadron Pilot with Ion Cannon and Fire Control System (27 points)

The BSP takes the first round to ion his opponent and gets a free target lock from the deal. He then knows EXACTLY where his opponent is going to be next turn, barring barrel rolls/boosts (and those can only get you so far), so he can easily set up for a range 1 shot. If the opponent swings right/left with the boosts and rolls, then you roll into range again, otherwise you focus. Now you have a range 1 (4 dice) shot with TL (and probably focus) against an already wounded ship. It's a killshot.

For Large ships, line up two of these (total of 54 points) and now you're gonna ion the big guy and get two R1 shots off against him, again with TL and most likely focus.

Add advanced proton torps for an additional 6 (for 33 per ship, or 12 for two, at 66 points total) and now you're slining three garaunteed hits against the opponent, plus two additional red dice, since the APTs turn blanks to focus and you have the focus action from your free target lock. You can use the last 33 points for a support craft, a loaded X-wing, or another Killer Blue.

The Ion Cannon is what makes this work so well, because you know where your opponent is going to be. With that knowledge, even the crappy dial of the B-wing can be mitigated to a great extent.


Sounds great. Try it.

I ran my double B-wings with HLCs + Chewie against an almost mirror with Ion Cannons on his B-wings + Chewie in a tournament 2 weeks ago and I didn't lose a ship. Now, the dice were on my side (I was rolling 3-4 hits with most of my Focused or Target Locked shots), took down Chewie in 2 turns, but I laughed a little inside every time he chose the Ion Cannons over the primary weapons. One of my B-wings even got ionized into an asteroid and took damage, and it still wasn't a close match.
 
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Tim Woehlke
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iNano78 wrote:

I ran my double B-wings with HLCs + Chewie against an almost mirror with Ion Cannons on his B-wings + Chewie in a tournament 2 weeks ago and I didn't lose a ship. Now, the dice were on my side (I was rolling 3-4 hits with most of my Focused or Target Locked shots), took down Chewie in 2 turns, but I laughed a little inside every time he chose the Ion Cannons over the primary weapons. One of my B-wings even got ionized into an asteroid and took damage, and it still wasn't a close match.


Right on. It's way difficult to justify Ions on the B-Wings mostly because if you have HLC + Fire Control System there's a good chance on a reroll with Focus you're going to do 4 points of damage. Now, do I want to do 1 point of damage to set up a shot or do I want to do 4 points of damage right now?

Let me think...

On the Y-Wing it totally makes sense. He's only rolling 2 die as it is and likely will only do 1 damage anyway so the Ion is a solid benefit. On a B-Wing you're totally limiting the potential.
 
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