Wednesday, December 9, 2020

E-wings! Or: John gets whiny about Star Wars lore!

We're barrelling through Wave 5 right now, what with this and the Z95s being the only thing left on my end before I go back and update everything as needed.  Oh, and write up Sato, haha.  Anyways, let's talk today about E-wings and the Snipe mechanic!  (Warning, there are spoilers for Vector Prime below, along with a rather large rant about the Yuuzhan Vong series.  Keep that in mind if you're still reading that).
You can almost feel his disappointment for this pun.  I choose to believe he's disappointed in the Yuuzhan Vong series.
So let's throw the card up there, instead of NBA 90s stars who weren't as good as Jordan (that's right, shade thrown, New York!)
Prepare for several paragraphs of conjecture, as I don't often play them!
So it's basically an X-wing with some slight changes (ironic, since it was canonically intended to replace them).  Listing the changes in no particular order:
  • It costs 2 more points.  Which is technically bad, but it's worth it for everything else it does.
  • It loses Escort, which is both good and bad.  It's not going to be taking shots for your other squadrons, but it doesn't necessarily want to be doing that.
  • It gains a speed, bringing it to speed 4.  This is good, and it can get to speed 5 under All Fighters Follow Me! or better than speed 5 with a Fighter Coordination Team move from somewhere (see Eric's fancy MSPaint diagram in the Phantoms article about how 4+1>5)
  • It keeps the X-wing red bomber dice and 4 blue anti-squadron attack at distance 1, and....
  • It gains Snipe 3.  And THIS is why it's worth 2 more points than an X-wing.
Snipe is a great ability, IF YOU CAN USE IT WELL.  Your snipers want to stay as far away as they can while still doing damage.  It also DOES interact with Flight Controllers, so you can increase your sniping power as needed.
Shoot harder, better, stronger, faster!
Thanks to the latest FAQ, we now know how it all interacts with everything.  See the below diagram for a full explanation.
Extreeeeeeeeeeeeeme close-up!
So let's talk about each of our two E-wing friends here (conveniently differentiated by their health).  The one at 5 health can hit either the TIE fighter he's currently engaged with for FOUR blue dice (his normal component), or he can hit the Interceptor OR Darth Vader for THREE blue sniping.  He can choose to hit EITHER of them.  Even though he's engaged with the TIE fighter, it does not have Escort, so he CAN snipe if he wants to.  He is NOT engaged with Vader, so Vader's Escort ability does not factor in here.

Our slightly damaged friend with 4 health is not so lucky.  He ALSO has the Interceptor in Snipe range (he does, trust me), but he's engaged with the Escort TIE Advanced squadron.  He HAS to attack AN Escort squadron before he can try to hit the Interceptor in any way.  He can amusingly enough attack Darth Vader with Snipe, because Vader also has Escort, even though Vader is at distance 2.  So you can snipe and kill Darth Vader before he ever gets to move in and shoot you.  Everyone get that?

So why do you want to Snipe? Several reasons, but it breaks down to:
It's a LOT harder for Jan Ors/Jumpmasters to hide in a blob of squadrons when you only need to be distance 2 away to start shooting them.  And they don't get to counter back, which is good for you (especially against Shara, oof).  When you've sniped out the Intel squadron or the Ace that you really needed dead, they can go in and start mixing it up as well as X-wings if needed.  But why not just keep them dancing and letting them stay in Snipe range, where your opponent can't get at them without commanding them?  It's more fun and keeps your stuff alive, which is REALLY what you want!  (Side note: this goes out the window when you're fighting a bunch of TIE bombers.  You WANT to go in and engage them so they can't leave and hit your ships!)

They do great work with Hera, jumping all over with Rogue and killing what needs to be killed.  Bring along some Escort friends for her, though, and probably them too.  They seem like they'd be great with X-wings (or potentially A-wings) jumping in afterwards.  Let the E-wings soften up a target with Snipe, and then have the X-wings leapfrog in and finish off your opponent's damaged squadron.  Move out what you have to after that, in order to get stuff more dead.  Bringing Jan Ors for yourself isn't a foolish idea, either, what with the X-wing amount of health the E-wings have.  Everyone loves free brace tokens.

I've used them occasionally, but the main issue I've run into with them is that for 2 less points I can get an X-wing which does their job (kills enemy squadrons if they exist, bombs ships if they don't) in a cheaper fashion.  I don't think you want to run a whole slew of them, but like Lancers and VCXs, adding in a few of them seems like it would turn your list into a solid "all-arounder."  Which, in this day and age, isn't a bad thing to have, that's for sure.  In the new world of Armada 1.5, they're (in my conjecture and opinion) one of the few squadrons that still likes Yavaris.  2 red dice bombers are pretty solid (and we have an entire faction built with this principle), and snipe 4 with a Toryn boost is a 50% chance of one shotting a 3-hull squadron.

With all the counter from Plo Koon handing it out or the Tri-fighters, there's (in my opinion) about to be a lot more counter popping up.  And I didn't even mention Sloane RHD Interceptors!  Why not run the squadron that counters....counter?
I have not played X-wing. I have no intention of playing, I just like a bigger scale.  Let THAT influence the following rant.
Well, they had to put Corran somewhere I guess.  And it's not like they had a PERFECTLY GOOD SERIES OF BOOKS WRITTEN BY MICHAEL STACKPOLE AND AARON ALSTON, NOOOOOOOO! PUT HIM IN AN E-WING, THAT'S WHERE HE BELONGS! YOU KNOW THE ONLY TIMES HE PROBABLY FLEW AN E-WING? IN THAT DUMB YUUZHAN VONG SERIES WHERE THEY KILLED OFF CHEWIE! THAT'S RIGHT KIDS, SOMEONE THOUGHT IT WAS A GREAT IDEA TO DROP A PLANET ON CHEWBACCA AND KILL HIM! Sure, it was an attempt to save Han's stupid wiener son (no the other one.  Alright fine they were both wieners), the one who made Kylo Ren look well adjusted.  Yeah, it's fine, kill off the one character everyone loves for no reason than shock value! Then it turns out the Yuuzhan Vong were both "Outside the Force" and loved organ grafting and hurting themselves more than Pinhead from Hellraiser.  Ugh, that was a terrible series, and I read all of it because I'm a masochist, apparently.  Also they all hated machines and their starships were alive like a garbage version of the Zerg from Starcraft.  This was a real series of like 15-20 books, that people bought and read.


So Corran in his......E-wing..... (it's fine, it's fine, you can paint it Cor-Sec green and black and pretend it's an X-wing)...... is really just an upgraded E-wing.  He gets Rogue, Snipe 4, and 2 brace tokens.  Other than that, it's the same as a regular E-wing.  Snipe 4 is better than Snipe 3, and he has a much better chance of one-shotting a TIE or Interceptor with it (and especially with Toryn's help!).  You've also got a better chance of rolling an accuracy against scatter aces than with Snipe 3 (rolling 4 dice has a better chance of seeing an accuracy than rolling 3 dice, crazy how math works like that!), but you're using him for Snipe.  Hit the targets that need to be hit, before they can shoot you back.  There's also about a 3% possibility that you can get the one accuracy you need and 3 damage, making TIE aces quite sad with him near (they can brace the 3 damage down to 2, leaving them with 1 HP left).  Snipe away!

Corran works really great at killing enemy squadrons trying to occupy your bombers.  You want to be using him to wipe out enemy squadrons as much as possible, especially with his sniping ability.  With Rogue and speed 4, you're able to get to almost anywhere you need to (stay within 3 of Toryn) while still being able to snipe the distance.  He's a Red dice bomber, which isn't BAD, but using his ability to finish off opposing squadrons first (that are stopping your other bombers from doing the job they want to do) is a better use of his ability.

I also will fully admit that I wouldn't have placed 4th at the Michigan Regionals if I hadn't taken the Roquax "Adar Tallon and Corran" combo.  Adar activates, sends Corran out to go Snipe something.  When the squadron phase happens, Corran can then run back to safety/near Adar Tallon if needed to be launched again next turn.  Or he can Snipe another squadron or shoot whatever's engaging him.  As I said a paragraph ago, stay near Toryn in case your blue dice don't roll that well.
It looks like a slightly less stubby Viper from Battlestar Galactica!
For a few more scattered thoughts on them, feel free to read THIS

How to Use Them
It's very similar to an X-wing, and that's a decent way to think of their usage (go reread the article I just linked to, haha!).  Primarily, they should be killing your opponent's fighters.  If you CAN Snipe, generally, do so to ensure both your opponent's Counter can't trigger and they have to activate to attack you back.  HOWEVER, don't let those unengaged squadrons then activate and go tag your ships, as that's a recipe for a bad time where your ships get attacked.  Snipe clears away the squadrons you want to, at distance 2.  You paid points for it, so you might as well consider using it, haha!  After that's done, bombs away!  If you're bringing them, make sure you have a reason you're using the reason you paid 2 extra points for them, otherwise they SHOULD be X-wings instead.


  1. Well, if you HAD to kill off Chewie....Dropping a freaking ENTIRE planetary body on top of him would do the job wouldn't it?

  2. X-Wing is my favorite EU series and it annoys me to no end that Corran is in an E-Wing and doesn't have a unique ability like other pilots, just Rogue and "shoot farther."

  3. Here here!! Well said. I personally will be swapping out those darn E-wing models and putting Coran's actual CorSec X-wing on his base. No matter how much therapy I go to it can't erase the awful memories of the Vong.

  4. First off, great blog as always.

    As to the Corran Sinpe 4, if you hit the TIE ace with 3 hits and an accuracy, he can still Brace to 2 hits. So he survives--barely. Or did I miss something?

    1. You did not, no. It's a little unclear in my post, but he's shooting different things in those sentences (i'll edit it in a minute). If he shoots a basic TIE/Interceptor, he has a good chance of rolling 3 hits. If he shoots a scatter ace, he has 1 more dice added in, which is another chance of rolling the accuracy he needs to make them sad. If he rolls the perfect accuracy and 3 hits, at best they can brace it down to 2 hits, leaving them with 1 HP (so an accuracy and a damage kill them). I'll clear it up for us all now.

  5. Question: does anyone have an opinion on how Tycho+Shara+2 E-wings would work?

    1. They can work, so long as you keep commanding your squadrons. It's like a slightly upgunned Shara/Tycho/2 E-wings. They don't have escort though, so focused fire on Shara may cause problems, and without Jan around, your E-wings are X-wings without brace tokens. But if you get an alpha with them, they work very well!

  6. Well, let's be fair- New Jedi Order isn't a bad series because Chewie dies, or because the Yuuzanh Vong are masochists, or because they use organic technology, it's just bad because the characters are all annoying and the writing is garbage outside of maybe four scenes.

  7. Replies
    1. No. At least some portion of the enemy needs to be at distance 2 to use Snipe.


  8. You'll be happy to know that in X-Wing they've added Corran in his X-Wing!

  9. I see Snipe 3 as a "1 dice in your favour" sort of thing, in that while attacking you roll 3 instead of 4, in order to avoid 2 dice of counter.
    Considering Hera(xwing) with adept1, does this make xwings more worth taking over ewings to win the damage race, since only escorts benefit from Hera(wing)? (both benefit from Toryn)