Saturday, 19 October 2013

The Asteroid Runners

Last night I played against Jamie in my second full size (100 point) game of X-Wing. My squadron consisted of;

  • Y-Wing piloted by Horton Salm, with Ion Turret and R2-D2
  • Y-Wing piloted by Gold Squadron Pilot, with Ion Turret
  • Y-Wing piloted by Gold Squadron Pilot, with Ion Turret
  • Green Squadron Pilot

Against this Jamie had 4 TIE fighters, a TIE bomber, and a TIE Interceptor piloted by Turr Phennir. The deployment ended up with my A-Wing opposite the four basic TIEs on the right, the TIE bomber opposite the two basic Y-Wings, and the aces Salm and Phennir facing off on the left.

As we closed my Y-Wings and the TIE bomber veered towards the left. In the second turn I did something I had absolutely promised myself I wouldn’t do – one of my Y-Wings ended its move on an asteroid. Before the start of our previous game I had commented to Jamie that the asteroid tokens were so small you’d have to be trying to land on them. So naturally I landed on asteroids at least twice. Ships that are touching asteroids cannot shoot, and my squadron doesn’t have enough firepower that it can afford to lose any.

Even so, Salm and the other Y-Wing did reasonably well, ionizing both Phennir and the TIE bomber. The TIE bomber never got to maneuver all game, and just kept drifting along until it was finally destroyed. It did get the chance to deploy a bomb that inflicted a point of damage on Salm but otherwise it barely attacked all game. Phennir got the chance to swing around for a second pass, but he too spent much of the game ionized and drifting.

But it was the basic TIEs that caused me the most grief. There were simply too many of them and they were too maneuverable. They just kept circling around chipping away at my ships. In the end I had only a single Y-Wing left (shields gone, 1 damage taken) against three almost intact TIEs. At this point I conceded the game.

So a great fun game. And it’s given me a name for my squadron – the Asteroid Runners. Named for their tendency to inadvertently land on asteroids. Squadron motto “We are the rock and the hard place”.

Reflecting on my squadron composition, I think an ion turret based strategy is viable, but it’s weak against swarms. If you’re facing three or four expensive ships it’s possible to keep most or all of them ionized. Against a swarm you can only ionize maybe half. I need to find a way to deal with swarms, and unfortunately I can’t see an option for Y-Wings that would do that. Current thinking is to go for two Y-Wings with ion turrets to deal with high-value targets, and two A-Wings with assault missiles to deal with swarms. Not sure about named pilots and upgrades at this stage.

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