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Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Help me understand what makes a good team rss

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Tobias Melin
Sweden
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Hi there!

Newly inducted into this lovely game (today, in fact). Though I only own the core set, I have been reading around and trying to come up with a team I might enjoy, that would hopefully be as effective as I imagine in my head (insert cool lazer sounds).

Therefore I would like to submit my "awesome" squad for review, and all the hopefully constructive criticisms and advice you might muster. The general idea of my squadron is to have one large heavy hitter and supportive screeners that help out with the general effort and uh, killingness.

Kath Scarlet/Firespray-31 + Cluster Missiles + Slave 1 + Veteran Instincts + Mercenary copilot + Stealth Device

Howlrunner + Stealth Device + Adrenaline Rush

Academy Pilot + Stealth Device x2

This, being my first team, is probably terrible. But I hope it's.. salvagable?
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John DiMaggio
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Hi Tobias,

And welcome to this fine hobby! If I had to make any criticisms about your list it'd be the over-use stealth devices, specifically on the academy TIEs and the firespray. I don't HATE a stealth device on a firespray but this won't last against anything with 3 attack dice. The devices don't do much on the academy TIEs either, as they aren't very high priority targets.

My best advice would be make your most offensive target also the most defensible. You can do this by either flying at the rear of a formation (thereby giving your high offense target, an extra defensive die) and via upgrades such as stealth device, shield upgrade, determination, etc.

Also, in a game with dice, more is better. I don't always extend this rule to ships, but I usually feel more ships is better as well. In your squad, 4 stealth devices = 1 academy TIE. That's a whole other ship to attack, block, and receive the awesome +1 attack bonus for range 1. Not to mention, this will also make use of howlrunner's ability by having more ships.

As far as Kath goes, most people agree that missiles are really only useful if you can stack a target lock AND a focus onto your firer. Kath has no way of doing this. Also, cluster missiles tend to work better against low agility targets, but are actually pretty awful against anything with 2+ agility as the target gets to roll their defense dice twice. I don't hate mercenary copilot and it does work well with Kath's ability but the range 3 restriction is tough to achieve most of the time.

I love howl but to use her ability the fullest, you need a lot of ships, and you need to protect her. Adrenaline rush might be useful for a K-turn with howl but it's an ability more useful for ships with lots of red maneuvers. I'd probably take Determination to up Howl's survivability over AR, but YMMV.

Not knowing what type of models you have, I'm just gonna go off your comment about having a heavy hitting center (firespray) with a companion of TIEs. Could give this a shot:

Kath Scarlet + Marksmanship + Merc. Co-pilot
Howlrunner + Stealth Device
Academy TIE x 3

This is just 1 incarnation of the 4 TIE/1 firespray list as there are so so many. Here, you take out the cumbersome 1 time ordinance, add marksmanship to up crit chance and use Kath's ability more often. Howl is protected via stealth device, and having an extra TIE will help use her ability more. Your higher offensive pieces are the most defensible (stealth on howl, firespray has 10 hp). Personally, I find firesprays tough to fly in such a fashion to have Howlrunner help them but if you can manage it, heck more power to ya! Best of luck!
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Tim Woehlke
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Or, running on this theme here's another idea:

===================
Ladies Lead The Way
===================

Kath + a Howlrunner Swarm

100 points

Pilots
------

Kath Scarlet (41)
Firespray-31 (38), Marksmanship (3)

Howlrunner (20)
TIE Fighter (18), Elusiveness (2)

Academy Pilot (12)

Academy Pilot (12)

Black Squadron Pilot (15)
TIE Fighter (14), Draw Their Fire (1)

------

View: http://xwing-builder.co.uk/view/35782/ladies-lead-the-way
Tweak: http://xwing-builder.co.uk/build/35782

You're dropping Mercenary co-pilot (who I don't find overly useful) and perhaps protecting Howlrunner a little longer.
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John DiMaggio
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Snarly_Yow wrote:
Or, running on this theme here's another idea:

===================
Ladies Lead The Way
===================

Kath + a Howlrunner Swarm

100 points

Pilots
------

Kath Scarlet (41)
Firespray-31 (38), Marksmanship (3)

Howlrunner (20)
TIE Fighter (18), Elusiveness (2)

Academy Pilot (12)

Academy Pilot (12)

Black Squadron Pilot (15)
TIE Fighter (14), Draw Their Fire (1)

------

View: http://xwing-builder.co.uk/view/35782/ladies-lead-the-way
Tweak: http://xwing-builder.co.uk/build/35782

You're dropping Mercenary co-pilot (who I don't find overly useful) and perhaps protecting Howlrunner a little longer.


Great squad name, wish I had that creative streak. I find most of my squads end up with something so mundanely boring like "4-ship Garven, Dutch, etc. list"

Yeah I'm not crazy about merc co pilot either but at least it plays on Kath's ability. I'd be inclined to take it out and put Determination on Howl and just leave the squad at 99 pts for initiative tbh.
 
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Tobias Melin
Sweden
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Thanks to the both of you! I like both of your lists, and you've definitely given me something to consider with this. I admit now that I can see the relative uselessness of Stealth Devices on everything.

(I love the squadname, wish I'd thought of that!)

I hope to test a few good formations with this, still trying to get the hang of good movement and the like. Is there a big difference in uses between a Black Sqd. pilot and an Academy one?
 
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Tim Woehlke
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Enzayne wrote:
Is there a big difference in uses between a Black Sqd. pilot and an Academy one?


No. Black Squadron has a higher pilot skill and allows you to take an Elite Pilot Talent. Otherwise they are identical.
 
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Robert M.
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Snarly_Yow wrote:
Enzayne wrote:
Is there a big difference in uses between a Black Sqd. pilot and an Academy one?


No. Black Squadron has a higher pilot skill and allows you to take an Elite Pilot Talent. Otherwise they are identical.


Person 1: "Is there a big difference between a scalpel and a chef's knife?"
Person 2: "No. The scalpel is smaller and isn't usually used with a cutting board, but that's it."



Academy Pilots are cheap cannon fodder. They move first and shoot last most of the time, and while they're (almost) the least effective attackers in the game, they make up for it in volume.

Black Squadron Pilots (BSPs) are more expensive--by "just" two points, but that's a double-digit proportion of the Academy Pilot's cost. It no longer always moves first, so it's often unable to block effectively; it no longer shoots last, so it often beats some number of enemy ships to the draw; it's no longer so efficient on either attack or defense, because you can field far fewer of them.

The BSP's value is contained in its bid for a better spot in the pilot-skill order, as well as its ability to take an Elite Pilot Talent upgrade. In a lot of ways, it really is a very different tool. Getting the best vLue out of an Academy Pilot is usually about taking a few of them and keeping them together, while getting the best use out of a BSP is about carefully balancing its increased cost (and decreased efficiency) against the other stuff it can accomplish for you.

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Neil, the Tusken Tactician
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I'm really beginning to love BSPs. BSPs are most often used with Draw Their Fire, especially to protect Howlrunner. I did hear of a squad of BSPs where they all had DtF and just kept drawing crits off each other so no-one died.

Robert (above) is absolutely right - there's a huge difference between an AP and a BSP. APs can be extremely effective in running traffic, denying your opponent's ships actions. So as you start to choose TIEs, start to consider what role you want them to have - are they there to help spread damage out or to run traffic, in particular?

I also tried to fly a squad of 6 BSPs with Veteran Instincts. 6 TIEs shooting at PS6. Didn't work for toffee but that's because I couldn't fly them properly (my opponent just ran traffic on me and it was a disaster). The point is that having the Elite Pilot Talent really opens up doors and makes the BSP a significantly better ship IMO.
 
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Waspinator
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It's probably not worth it unless you're going to use the talent slot, though.
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Cletus Van Damme

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Black Squads are also excellent Scimitar Bomber wingmen when given Squad leader.

A slight alternate to Snarlys solid list posted above

Kath - Marks - Gunner (46)
Howlrunner (18)
Academy x 3 (36)
 
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Josh Derksen
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TheWaspinator wrote:
It's probably not worth it unless you're going to use the talent slot, though.


Which is why we have the (unloved) PS3 Obsidian squad TIE.
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Tobias Melin
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Hello again everyone!

Thanks for the help with my team, and also the ensuing discussion. I have added the knowledge to my grand database of knowledge. I've also decided to run this as my empire team, and I will be trying out a few versions of the list before I settle on one I'm most pleased with.

However, I come back with a different list in mind. I figured it would be prudent to reactivate my old thread rather than pester everyone with a carbon copy. The fact of the matter is I am interested in running a rebel sortie as well, and to that end I have come up with a ragtag squad of pilots that to my mind would work well.

This is why I have returned. Would you care to aid me in revealing the (perhaps grand) flaws to my otherwise incredible plan?

=============
Unsung Heroes
=============

100 points

Pilots
------

Kyle Katarn (33)
HWK-290 (21), Veteran Instincts (1), Ion Cannon Turret (5), Recon Specialist (3), Moldy Crow (3)

Tycho Celchu (34)
A-Wing (26), Assault Missiles (5), Push the Limit (3)

Biggs Darklighter (33)
X-Wing (25), R2-D2 (4), Shield Upgrade (4)

------

Thanks on beforehand
 
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Firstname Lastname
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hmm, few tips:

>never pump too much upgrades into one ship. While granted, you have things like Wedge + PTL + R2 astromech + engine upgrade + APT which is generally a pretty strong combo, most of the time having too much upgrades on the ship is a very big nono. How much is too much? general rule of thumb: 3 upgrades is the maximum you should go, 1 or 2 is good enough, heck most of the time they work just fine without tacking on anything (eg. Biggs, Turr)

>Try not to have too much things that eat actions on 1 ship. eg. you can stack experthandling engineupgrade R2F2 on Wedge, but he still only gets to use 1 action per turn, so all these upgrades basically do nothing because you have no chance to use them

>For rebels, focus more on their teamwork synergies, eg. Dutch, Garven, any of the HWKs, etcetc.

>For imperials, make sure that their upgrades make sense (eg. Soontir + PTL, Turr + Veteran Instincts, Maarek/Kath + Marksmanship etc), and concentrate more on your flying.

>all missiles and torps are complete crap if you simply fire them off just like that (with the exception of homing missiles). You almost always have to have a focus token or some other modifier (eg. Horton, Jonus) to make them worth the points you are paying for.

>avoid the TIEadv unless it is piloted by Darth Vader. That is of course, unless you are playing a casual game and do not mind losing

>avoid the PS4 mooks, unless they have the EPT slot or if you are going Dagger Bwing + adv sensors. They are nearly always not worth their points

>for rebels, 4 small ships are nearly always better than 3 small ships. Same goes for falcon + 2 small ships vs falcon + 1 small ship
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John DiMaggio
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Agree with Durham on all points. Specifically regarding your list, you lack firepower. After you launch that missile you're attacking with Biggs Tycho and an ion cannon. You'll be lucky to kill 1 TIE per turn with that : /. If you want to use those pilots, find a way to get to 4 pilots. I'd drop Biggs' upgrades + the missle and get kyle a blaster turret. At least get a rookie xwing in there. Apologies for poor grammar, on my mobile. Good luck!
 
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Matthew Saville
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As an upgrade to your previous list:
(changes made Bold)

Kath Scarlet (44)
Firespray-31 (38), Marksmanship (3), Ion Cannon (3)

Howlrunner (20)
TIE Fighter (18), Squad Leader (2)

Academy Pilot (12)

Academy Pilot (12)

Academy Pilot (12)

Slightly easier to kill Howlrunner, but the focus should still be on Kath.
The Ion cannon doesn't synergise with her, but it does rob the target
of it's bonus defense die at Range 3, and with Marksmanship they either
get an Ion token or a Stress most of the time
This makes her 'annoying' and more likely to be shot at, taking more
pressure off Howlrunner.


===


As for your new list, i've been running a 4 ship Rebels that looks like
your sort of way to fly.


Roark Garnet (29)
Blaster Turret (4) Recon Specialist (3) Moldy Crow (3)

Rookie Pilot (22)
R2 Astromech (1)

Blue Squadron (25)
Advanced Sensors (3)

Gold Squadron (24)
Ion Cannon Turret (5) R2 Astromech (1)


With this list you have 3 Firepower 3 weapons, an Ion weapon, and 2 turrets.
That should be enough firepower to ruin any ships day.

Using a trio of PS2 ships is an advantage because you save points for
the upgrades, and you get to choose the order in which they move, so
you tie yourself up less if you have something collide.

You use Roarks ability to make one PS12 for shooting each turn, which
offsets the loss of options you might get by doing things this way.
It's a nasty suprise to anyone thats not been on the recieving end before.

Lastly, Roark is going to be the target here, so fly slow & casual turn 1
to start banking those Focus tokens.
 
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David Pontier
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Enzayne wrote:

=============
Unsung Heroes
=============

100 points

Pilots
------

Kyle Katarn (33)
HWK-290 (21), Veteran Instincts (1), Ion Cannon Turret (5), Recon Specialist (3), Moldy Crow (3)

Tycho Celchu (34)
A-Wing (26), Assault Missiles (5), Push the Limit (3)

Biggs Darklighter (33)
X-Wing (25), R2-D2 (4), Shield Upgrade (4)


The X-Wing (Biggs) is the most powerful ship in this list, and so he would be my first target even without his ability. So if he was a Rookie X-Wing, he would serve the same purpose. Also, Biggs ability is only good at range 1. Tycho shines when he goes 5-forward and boosts in to range one. He is super maneuverable and doesn't need to shed the stress. Kyle has a 360 firing arc, so he doesn't have to be pointed at ships in order to shoot them. This allows him to avoid the main "Joust" and fly off to the side and around asteroids without crashing into the enemy. However, Biggs is a leash you are tying to these versatile ships forcing them to fly in formation. The list is fighting against itself.

Tycho is best suited to fly with other 3-attack ships like B-Wings and X-Wings which your opponent will focus on. Since Tycho does less damage and he can focus+plus evade whenever he wants, your opponent will waste attack die on him when trying to kill him compared to rolling those same attack die against a less agile X- or B-wing. So if Tycho is ignored, he can boost in behind an enemy at range 1 ans still get 3-dice attacks.

Kyle shines best with ships craving the TL+F combo, so I would recommend flying with lots of offensive ships (Falon, X-Wing, B-Wing). Biggs certainly enjoys the free Focus from Kyle, but he will be using it on defense, not offense, so your most powerful attack ship will usually be rolling naked attack dice.
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Davyd A
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Enzayne wrote:

=============

Pilots
------

Kyle Katarn (33)
HWK-290 (21), Veteran Instincts (1), Ion Cannon Turret (5), Recon Specialist (3), Moldy Crow (3)

Tycho Celchu (34)
A-Wing (26), Assault Missiles (5), Push the Limit (3)

Biggs Darklighter (33)
X-Wing (25), R2-D2 (4), Shield Upgrade (4)

------


With Recon and Moldy Crow, there's no good reason not to by flying the Blaster Turret - same range, same arcs, same dice, more damage, less points. It's only downside over the Ion turret is needing that extra focus, and you're more than covered there.

Biggs is there to provide cover - but he has nothing to cover, since Kyle's not that powerful and Tycho will be long gone. By dropping him to a Rookie, you can bump Kyle to Jan - whose ability works over a long range, so she doesn't need to hold formation with either, and can be very usefully used to bump either the Rookie or Tycho. Or drop the shield upgrade, switch the turret, drop Veterna Insticts, bump Kyle to Jan, and bump Biggs to Luke, who is a pain to kill.

In terms of basic design, though, I like to have a "Base of Fire" in a rebel squad that's something like 2 X-Wings or 2 B-Wings, and then add in support ships (like the HWK) or roamers (like Tycho or a maxed-out Wedge.) Ideally I have 4 ships on the map when flying rebels, so that losing 1 doesn't leave me in w world of hurt. That's partly my style, though - I know people who are very, very good at the 3 ship Rebel lists.

 
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