Saturday, January 28, 2017

"Lock S-foils in Attack Position" - The Mighty X-Wing Fighter!

The X-Wing is the reason I started playing Armada.  Not X-wing.  I've never actually played a game, haha! I got into Armada to command swarms of X-wings across the table, throwing bombs at ISDs and telling Imperial admirals to Kiss my Wookiee.  Yes, I read a lot of Star Wars novels growing up.  And the X-wing series was the best.  Every now and then I try to find time to go back and reread them.  It's just so iconically Star Wars to me.




Speed 3, Health 5.  She may not look my much, but she's got it where it counts, kid.  Those 4 blue dice are great at killing TIE fighters (31.25% chance of one shotting a TIE in one roll!), especially when you bring Toryn Farr along with them.  X-wings jumping TIEs early has caused several people I know to stop bringing TIEs in our meta.  That's really more of a discussion on proper usage of those TIE fighters, which I'll let Eric handle....

The X-Wing is primarily a Fighter.  He kills TIEs, engages bombers, makes sure that anyone throwing dice is hitting your X-wings and not your bombers or support (I like Escort! I know some people find it frustrating at times, but now that Biggs is out...) When they get done mopping up squadrons, they can go be really good Bombers, provided you brought along a Bomber Command Center.  With that BCC, the X-wing rolls on average 1.25 damage, and he's hitting 85.94% of the time (if I'm doing my math right....) It's a great generalist that's well worth the points it takes to put it on the table.  Usually, it gets jumped by faster fighters (TIEs, A-wings, E-wings), but if you use Jan Ors or Biggs or Gallant Haven you can absorb some of those hits and punch back super well.  In a blob of squadrons, they're usually the guys shooting enemy TIEs and aces and trying to survive as long as possible, locking down enemies from moving.  They may not live for long, but they make the Empire pay for every point spent to kill them.

Aces
If we're going in, we're going in full throttle.  That OUGHTA keep those fighters off our backs!

Biggs is the newest X-wing ace released, and oh boy does he turn them on.  Spreading the damage around to everyone means that until he dies, no other X wing near him does.  He's upping the Escort ability on X-wings to be significantly more valuable (weirdly, he's one of the few Rebel heroes who helps the basic squadrons out. That was always more of an Imperial ability before Biggs and Nora).  Luke was always an increase in the bombing ability and Wedge was an increase in the Fighter ability, and they are GREAT at what they do.  6 Blue dice from Wedge can potentially (with a lucky roll or two) wipe TIE or A-wing aces from the board.  If he's the followup on some of the stronger aces, he can put 6 damage on something that lost either a scatter or a brace, which can rip squadrons apart.

Luke's ability is astounding, if you can get it to go off.  I've killed MC30s and CR90s with Luke's ability (Dodonna choosing the Structural Damage crit helped, haha) that were barely touched before.  The ability to just put 1 or 2 right into a hull, ignoring all the shields is frightening for some ships.  Ships without braces are one bad attack roll against them from exploding right there, all from Luke's ability.  Before BCC, he was hard to put on the table, as he was just a target for the enemy.  Now that Biggs is here, putting the 3 of these guys together with some regular X-wings is a recipe for longevity.  You just keep wailing on enemy squads, reducing damage and passing it around.  I remember one game with those whole setup, Bossk rolled his 4 black dice against Biggs and got all hits/hits and crits.  Biggs braced that down from 4 to 2, and then passed a damage off to another X-wing.  It's so obnoxiously hard to kill that it wears you down through sheer efficiency.  Throw in Toryn and you just kill all the other squadrons.  Then they get to go be bombers, which Luke loves!

I've seen people run Biggs, 2 X wings, and Jan, and it's ludicrously great as a basic stop-gap fighter squadron.  It gets in the way and gums up the works.  Give out a squadron command to get them into position, and they'll last one heck of a long time.

Yub yub, Commander.
As for Rogue Squadron, I look at them as a cheaper YT2400.  It's 4 blue dice, it has Rogue, and the Bomber ability ensures 5 of my 8 sides are doing some damage.  It's not as good as a YT2400 for a few reasons, but when I need a cheap squadron to run against enemies, I go to the realest Rogue (ability) squadron.... Rogue Squadron.  The bomber helps when it does, but outside of Rieekan, I'm usually taking them for another reason.

How to Use Them
I've run them in a swarm of X-wings, everyone and their mom has run Jan and 3 X-wings as a token screen, i've thought about following up some A-wings into a blob with some X-wings, they're great.  Provide some support to them and they can deal with problems well enough to keep you alive.  If you're running the full Red Squadron (or Biggs Bubble), keep them close.  Strike everything together, and ensure that you don't run over and separate your squadrons.  They live when they're close to Biggs and can pass hits around.  Without THAT, you're back to a basic X-wing that needs squadron commands to get anywhere and fight anything, and Jan Ors to keep them alive.  X-wings are usually your primary Fighter for tying up the enemy when you need your bombers to get anywhere.  Focus on the parts of the enemy squadrons you need taken out (Intel, damage multipliers like Nora or Mauler), and blue dice those into submission.  I love Brian Piccolo the X-wing, and I hope you do too.  They're the go-to squadron for the Rebels because they do so much more than their points make them appear capable of.

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