Tuesday, February 14, 2017

YT-2400s: Fear the Angry Frisbees!

So I've come to realize that in order to discuss the proper way to Squadron Build and (somewhat) run squadrons, I'd prefer to have all of the squadrons having been discussed.  Eric and I started this to help newer players get some things under control (I wanted to write squadrons, Eric wanted to stop people from hating on the Raider and TIEs, haha), so it makes more sense in my mind to have discussed all the existing squadrons BEFORE I get into how to run them and in what combinations and such.  So my GOAL is to hit one of these every night this week, publish them in the morning, and then write another one that night.  So you get a week of articles! And I get a week to learn Vassal and then take easier to see/understand pictures! Everyone wins!

So let's talk YT-2400s, the second most loved squadron from Wave II.
Shadows of the Empire was a pretty great game.  Especially when you get to fight Wampas on Hoth.
As Eric said yesterday, Rogue lets your squadrons move and attack without having spent a squadron command/token to do so.  That's not to say "You don't need to."  I've had my squadrons jumped by 4 Rogue Firesprays that were commanded by an ISD, and it shocked the heck out of me.  As Eric pointed out, you get less mileage out of doing it, but if you want an alpha strike with them that'll put a serious hurt on the enemy squadrons, commanded Rogues can get the job done and then you don't really ever need to worry about them after that.  It just gets prohibitively worse the more you do it.  Doing it once to get the alpha is great (and a hilarious second turn move, if you have a ship that wouldn't mind pushing squadrons).  Doing it for 3 turns means you should have taken regular fighters for cheaper.

What the YT-2400 does well, though, is function in a slightly different role than an X wing or an A-wing.  The A wing lurks on the fringes and prevents a bomber cloud from moving/picks off squadrons on the edges.  X wings escort friendly squadrons/Jan Ors, and are great in a blob of their own, slowly eating a bomber cloud (either from the inside, if you can keep everything near Jan, or the outside if they're all clumped together) or preventing your bombers from getting attacked as they make their way towards the target.

Do you remember that scene in Rogue One where the X wings attack the Science Base on Eadu and just go in and start womping everything? YT-2400s are kinda like that.
We should communicate with our Flight Commander to see if the attack is still on, but on the other hand, LEEEROOOOY JENNNKINS!

YT-2400s come in, usually unsupported and just crack squadrons over the head.  They're rolling 4 blue dice, which is as good as an X-wing (and the best the Rebellion has to offer).  Their 4 speed means that they can get to almost anywhere they need to (try not to let them get jumped, if you can help it...), and with Rogue they can fire and then move.  With 6 health, they have very good odds of surviving most attacks or counter attacks on them (2 TIEs need to roll perfectly to kill them).  And with Rogue and all that, they have very good odds of surviving into the later stages, where they can move and throw black dice at enemy ships.  Individual damage dice HURT, as they make defense tokens nearly useless (Yes, let me redirect this ONE damage.  Such a great use of my defense token....), and with the black dice rolling you have 6/8 sides with that damage.  A 75% chance of rolling a damage is great! (If you really wish they were bombers, I'll hit Lancers in a few days, haha)

I used to run 4 of these as my squadron component when we were in Wave 2, but now I'm not sure I've seen them used as much (too many other options on my part, too much to try, haha).  As Eric pointed out, Rogue squadrons haven't been seen as much* since we got flotillas and squadrons became easier to command.

*I say as much, because people still use them.  I've used them in a pack of 8 with Cracken.  8 of them clean up any enemy squadron presence FAST, and then they go flotilla hunting.  Even if we just roll the average and only hit the flotilla 6 out of 8 times, that's only 2 attacks scattered (and we're at that point again, where you have to use and potentially burn away the Scatter on the flotilla to not die from ONE DAMAGE.  So aggravating to happen to you, so wonderful to see it from the YT-2400 side).  That's 4 left, and HEY LOOKIT THAT! 4 damage is EXACTLY enough to eat a shield and then deal the 3 HP the flotilla has.  Even Bright Hope, just hit it in the rear zone.

In Wave 5, if you don't want to run a pack of 8 of them, how do you use them? Since Rogue squadrons activate in the squadron phase, and generally not during the ship phase (see the previously discussed "why didn't you bring a non-Rogue squadron" a few paragraphs ago.) they make great counter-arguments to what your opponent is doing, especially combined with regular squadrons during the Ship Phase.

Example: Jan Ors and 2 X wings get activated by a Pelta during the turn and move in to hurt some Imperial squadrons.  During the Squadron phase, your YT-2400s can either go in and finish off the engaged squadrons, or go hit something else you need hit.  The next turn, Jan and the X wings can either come in to free your YT2400s up if needed (if you hit something else), letting you move elsewhere to engage things, or they can go lock down a different part of the bubble (if you moved in and helped them kill whatever was engaging them).  Leapfrogging like this (as I mentioned with E-Wings and A-wings in the A wings article) will force the enemy to shift his squadron focus and try to determine what to stop and how.  With 6 health, the YT2400s taking the first attack is fine.  When the X wings move in afterwards, their Escort (and Jan's Brace Tokens) will keep some damage off the YTs.  When the enemy is dead, you've got Rogue YTs (and commanded X wings!) to go chase down and finish off ships that have tried to get away.

Jan also has a good synergy with the YT2400s.  By letting them use her brace tokens, enemies have to deal more damage to them in order to kill them.  If they attack Jan, you use your YT-2400s to hit them back and then escape (or move to an unengaged spot).  If they hit you, Jan keeps Bracing hits away.

The other thing that YT-2400s do well in Wave V is provide the squadron component that Commander Sato likes.
So I don't need to command.....ANY SQUADRONS?
A wings have that problem with him where their lack of hit points means they're going to get swarmed and explode faster than you'd like.  But YT-2400s not only get to move closer to the enemy ships, but they also can attack after doing so.  This is a simpler version of Hera's ability, but 3 YT-2400s is 2 points cheaper than Hera and 2 A wings (It's not necessarily BETTER, mind you, just cheaper, and it doesn't require squadron commands on your part.  I'm still puzzling out Sato, and have some ideas I'll try with him soon).

And as I mentioned previously, I've run 8 of them (eBay is your friend for buying these, kids! That or a friend who wants to split multiple Rogues and Villains packs with you.  Side note: you will probably never need 4 YT-1300s, 4 HWK-290s, or 4 Jumpmasters for the Imperials.  I do have friends that swear by the YV-666s and Aggressors, and Firesprays and YT-2400s are always great, but you really won't need that much Intel ever), and people have placed highly in tournaments running a swarm of 8 under Cracken or Ackbar.  As soon as you're done winning the squadron war (again, 4 blue, 6 health.  You've got good odds, though I won't tell you them, ha cha cha), you let them go Rogue and just start hitting ships with them.  They've got to deal with your Ackbar side arcs or your Cracken ships running all over the map, leaving them open to attacks from the YT-2400s.  It's a combined arms approach the Rebels have always been good at.  Try to avoid the side arcs of that MC80, and then here comes 8 black dice in individual packets!

Star Wars EU Books: Because we needed a fake Han Solo to rescue Leia from a green alien with a topknot who had magic seduction powers.  That's not even the third worst story I've read, either.  LOOKING AT YOU, VECTOR PRIME!
Dash is an upgraded YT-2400, with a built in reroll.  If he's engaging one squadron, it's one rerolled blue dice.  If he's firing on a ship, it's a built in BCC.  If he's engaging 3 squadrons, that's 3 dice rerolled.  It's also a great way to get shot by multiple squadrons at once. I've often had problems diving Dash in to bite off what I think he can chew, and then he does not.  Keep in mind that the reroll happens all at once.  So even if i'm engaged with 3 fighters, I can't reroll one dice 3 times, it's 3 dice ONE time.  Two ships engaged is just one reroll on the black dice from Dash's ability.  The bomber is quite useful at finishing ships off, and as I said, Sato loves him (Sato loves ALL the expensive Rogue Aces.... at least Hera makes A wings fake Rogue!)

The YT-2400 hasn't been used as much recently, but they get work done with little investment from you, other than deploying them right.  Give them a try!

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