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Subject: Phantom's: Initiative or Not? rss

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David Pontier
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I've built my Rebel and Imperial lists for the Imdaar event if I should be fortunate enough to make the final table. My Imperial list comes in at 99 points and I hope that means I can dictate initiative.

With Interceptors, I know that I do not want initiative because I want to move last so I can boost and barrel roll out of arcs and boost into range 1 or possibly make sure I keep my distance from Falcons.

With Phantoms, that level of maneuverability is amped up even more and I will have an even bigger advantage getting out of arcs.

However, with interceptors, it is also nice to move last because there will be times that you can't get out of an arc and then you will know to turtle. With Phantoms, if you move last, that means you also fire last and if you can't get out of an arc, you will be sitting there with 2 agility for your opponent to blast. With Advanced Cloaking, if you can fire first, you will be able to be cloaked before any opponent ships will fire.

So, assuming you are facing a same-PS opponent ship, and you have the choice of initiative, which do you chose? I'm leaning toward giving up initiative. If I see I can't get out of an arc, then I should be able to run away and evade and still possibly have a hailmary shot on at least 1 ship so I can cloak after their high skilled pilot shoots. The exception would probably be a Han list as I'll never get out of the arc and I might as well fire first and be cloaked.
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Jason Arends
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I think it depends on which Phantom you have. Whisper (the one where you get a focus after a successful attack) I think you'd want to shoot first so that any return fire comes at you cloaked and focused. Echo (the one with the banking decloak) I think moving last is a little better considering how crazy your repositioning ability is.

If you're facing Han, you're just going to get shot at. I think PS8 is the highest you can go on a Phantom without swarm tactics helping out.
 
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Seraph TC
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I agree that moving last is very important, but honestly, I'd take initiative. The Phantom is pretty much the definition of 'Glass Cannon' - you don't want to give up the opportunity to shoot before your opponent. Advanced Cloaking Device will certainly help you out, but only if you aren't being shot at by an Autoblaster.

Your flexibility in movement should make it pretty difficult for your opponent to predict where you're going to end up anyway - try and be as unpredictable as possible I guess?

I'm throwing around a couple of ideas for Rebel lists, but the one I'm leaning towards involves a lot of PS10 - because I don't want to worry about moving before a phantom and giving the Imp player that kind of advantage.

I doubt I'm the only person thinking like this, so you may well be asking a rhetorical question...

 
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Seraph TC
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aArendsvark wrote:
I think PS8 is the highest you can go on a Phantom without swarm tactics helping out.


Actually it's PS7 base (Whisper), so you could go to PS9 with Veteran Instincts.
 
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Jason Arends
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SeraphTC wrote:
Actually it's PS7 base (Whisper), so you could go to PS9 with Veteran Instincts.


Whoop, yes, that's right. Thanks! Well, really only further increases my belief that you want to shoot first with Whisper.
 
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Jeremy Steward
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Whisper wants initiative for sure. Echo is tricker, you really want to move last but then you risk getting shot up by 6s/8s (I suspect Corran will be popular in the final round of the imdaar tournament).
 
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David Pontier
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SeraphTC wrote:

I'm throwing around a couple of ideas for Rebel lists, but the one I'm leaning towards involves a lot of PS10 - because I don't want to worry about moving before a phantom and giving the Imp player that kind of advantage.


I'm not going to argue against using PS10 pilots in this matchup because you know you will be facing a Phantom, but in general, taking PTL away from Coran or Cracken is going to really hurt them. And it will probably work to take down the phantom, but you will have a much harder time chewing through the Defender. There are just so many good combos with an E-Wing and PTL, that they almost turn into interceptors with a lot more hit points and TL.

If I was going to go the high pilot skill route I would probably just use Roark. That doesn't help with activation, but if you use him in combination with the droid that hands out a free stress and you stress one of the phantoms at pilot skill 12, then they won't be able to cloak after they fire and if they survive, they won't have a decloak phase at the beginning of the next turn and will be a sitting duck.

Activating at 10 after the phantom is nice, but you still have to guess right with your maneuver. You have a little latitude with a barrel roll, but then your attacks will be naked.

I think the Rebels have an advantage in the final table. They can plan their build knowing they will have a 40 point Phantom with 4 HP they have to take out. There are so many ways to counter that if you know it is coming. Meanwhile, the Imps only know that they will have to face a hard hitting Rebel squad with out any obvious weaknesses.
 
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Jason Arends
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When your tourney's over, I'd love to hear what your rebel list is. I'm not sure how I'd fit an E-Wing and one Headhunter together smoothly.
 
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Brian Huhtala
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My Imperial list uses Whisper + VI, with Advanced Cloaking Device. With this build, you definitely want initiative, so you can shoot first and get a free cloak action after you fire, ensuring the agility of Whisper is always 4 when getting shot at.
 
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David Pontier
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aArendsvark wrote:
When your tourney's over, I'd love to hear what your rebel list is. I'm not sure how I'd fit an E-Wing and one Headhunter together smoothly.


Every report I've seen so far had the Rebels winning. I'm sure a few Imps won out there, but I haven't seen those reports yet. I ran:

Blount + Deadeye + Ion Pulse
Roark + Ion
Bloodmoon + R2D6 + PTL
Blue Squad

My goal was to hit the Phantom at pilot skill 12 with the ion pulse missile. As it turned out, I drew the phantom into the asteroids and he was very limited when he decloaked so he ended up at range 1 from my B-Wing. I ditched my plan to use the Ion pulse right away, and instead promoted the B-Wing to skill 12, and unloaded, against the 2 agility Phantom. I stripped the shields and then later in proper order hit him with the ion pulse, doing 1 more damage and Ionizing him. Because he doesn't assign a maneuver dial when he is ionized, there is no point in time "Before revealing your maneuver dial" so he can't decloak when ionized. I positioned the Blue to get the phantom to crash, so he couldn't focus, and then I hit him with an Ion cannon to kill him.

Blount then shot at Rexlar through an asteroid while the defender had stealth (5 defense dice). I rolled 1 hit and he rolled 3 evades, but Blount's ability stripped the stealth device anyway. He chose to put PTL on the defender, which is a mistake, in my opinion. Since the defender's only greens are straight, he was very limited in his maneuvering, and I easily predicted him moving and killed him quickly.

He admitted that he had built a bad synergistic list and that I had more accurately built a list to take down the phantom, but he did build the Phantom exactly how I would have:
Whisper + VI + Recon Specialist + Fire Control + Advanced Cloaking.

The other reports I've seen included a Falcon with an E-wing and Headhunter. A falcon (especially with gunner) is another good way to take down a phantom. Han with VI is also good.
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Sebastian Grawan
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Quote:
Every report I've seen so far had the Rebels winning. I'm sure a few Imps won out there, but I haven't seen those reports yet. I ran:

Imperials won here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E80Y0i_NpMY
 
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John DiMaggio
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rashktah wrote:
Quote:
Every report I've seen so far had the Rebels winning. I'm sure a few Imps won out there, but I haven't seen those reports yet. I ran:

Imperials won here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E80Y0i_NpMY


I liked the Imperial list, although I'd probably have put a HLC on the Defender. That said, the rebel player really needed to initiate the fight in the center of the board with the asteroids. Losing Corran to an Ion shot to cause him to fall off the board was just devastating and could have been avoided if the initial engagement was not so close to the board edge.
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John DiMaggio
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In response to Piqsid's initial inquiry, that's a very good question! Adv cloaking device presents an interesting conflict of interests! I had never thought of that! Honestly though, if you're getting shot at, I'm not sure initiative will matter as much. I think the point is to not get shot, so for me, I'd prefer to "lose" initiative to keep my mobility. It's really a case by case basis though, and it's hard to give generalities.

I do agree though, flying at 99 pts can give you a small advantage in choosing to lose or win initiative. I've been flying more lists with this in mind and it's surprises me how often that this can make a difference throughout the course of a game!
 
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David Pontier
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JohnnyD144 wrote:

I do agree though, flying at 99 pts can give you a small advantage in choosing to lose or win initiative. I've been flying more lists with this in mind and it's surprises me how often that this can make a difference throughout the course of a game!


I really like the rule change that if you "win" initiative, you get to decide you gets it. There are sometimes I care more about where my opponent sets up than I do moving first.
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