Friday, October 19, 2012

X-Wings Among the Asteroids

So after playing Fantasy Flight's new Star Wars X-Wing game with a friend's miniatures a bunch, my stuff finally arrived and I got to take them for a spin.  My sons graciously allowed me to play the Rebel side for a change and we decided to try out Mission #2: Asteroid Run.  Here is a rundown of the fleet builds, each totaling 100 points:

Rebel Force
  1. X-Wing - Wedge Antilles (29)
    • R5 Astromech (1)
    • Swarm Tactics (2) 
  2. X-Wing - Rookie Pilot (21)
  3. X-Wing - Rookie Pilot (21) 
  4. Y-Wing - Gray Squadron Pilot (20)
    • R2 Astromech (1)
    • Ion Cannon (5)

Imperial Force
  1. TIE Advanced - Darth Vader (29)
    • Marksmanship (3)
    • Concussion Missiles (4)
  2. TIE Fighter - Black Squadron Pilot (14)
    • Determination (1)
  3. TIE Advanced - Tempest Squadron Pilot (21)
    • Concussion Missiles (4)
  4. TIE Fighter - Academy Pilot (12)
  5. TIE Fighter - Academy Pilot (12)
In this mission, one of your ships is carrying important intelligence, but has been damaged and can only move distances of 1 or 2 for the first four turns of the game.  To win, the Rebels must keep the damaged ship alive and get it off the one of the Imperial board edges after the start of turn 5.  I chose my Y-Wing for this role as it can absorb three more hits than an X-Wing.

The Imperials chose to split their forces with Lord Vader and the Black Squadron Pilot on one edge, the Tempest Squadron Pilot and the two Academy Pilots on the opposite.  I set up my Y-Wing to head towards one of the Academy Pilots and aimed my X-Wing squadron at the other two Imperial ships on that side.

My plan was to (hopefully) take out a couple of the Imperial ships in the early rounds which, though they would come back as Academy Pilots with the reinforcement rules, would give a bit of respite to my Y-Wing.  This did not work out at all.  I lined up some good combined fire on the TIEs on turn 1, but nearly all my hits were blocked.  I did catch a break on turn 2, when the TIE Fighter that had passed by my Y-Wing tried a Koiogran Turn that ended slightly off the board edge.  However, I failed to make good guesses as to where the TIEs were moving and ended up with two ships without targets to shoot at on turn 2.  Here's the position at the end of turn 2:

You can see above two of my X-Wings were out of position, while the Imperial ships were zeroing in on their objective.  On turn 3 the Y-Wing found itself in the crossfire of both TIE Advanced ships and the newly arrived TIE Fighter reinforcement.  The Y-Wing was blown apart and the Imperials took the victory.   Below is a photo of the final position:

While the Imperials certainly had some luck on turn 1 with the dice and I maneuvered poorly in turn 2, I think the biggest mistake I made was in my force composition.  I really underestimated how hard it was going to be for my Y-Wing to stand up to the Imperial onslaught.  I need pilots that will help me more defensively.  To that end, I have devised a new force composition to try out.

Rebel Force Redux
  1. X-Wing - Biggs Darklighter (28)
    • R5-D8 (3)
  2. X-Wing - Garven Dreis (26)
  3. X-Wing - Rookie Pilot (21)
  4. Y-Wing - Gray Squadron Pilot (20)
    • R2-D2 (4)
I dropped the Ion Cannon for R2-D2 who can help the Y-Wing regenerate shield points.  Biggs Darlighter's special ability is to force enemies to target him instead of other ships within range 1 of him, so he'll fly in close formation with the Y-Wing for added protection.  Biggs will be flying with R5-D8 who can help him repair hits.  Finally, I'll take Garven Dreis who can give a spent Focus token to any friendly ship within range 2.  That can also be used to add to the Y-Wing's defenses.

Hopefully I'll get a chance soon to see if I can redeem the Rebel's reputation.  Or at least keep my Y-Wing alive a couple more turns...

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