Friday, June 29, 2018

Rebel Squad Pack II: A Re-Primer

So this is somewhat of a thinkpiece.....ish.  I'm not sure that I'm going to add it to the thinkpiece section, as this is about 4 specific squadrons more than anything else.  As everyone knows, I'm working on updating all my articles on the blog, as I have a fair amount that need some work in them (glances at Squadrons Encyclopedia, looks away askance).  But as I finished updating the basic squadrons article, I had a thought that may be worth exploring in some of my games (and potentially some of yours! Hence why I share!)
We're talking about these! Yes, you know of these!
So the thought I had is that there's a lot of unexplored possibilities in that squadron pack.  Yes, VCXs were big in Strategic fleets.  But up until Nathan took her to the top, who was using Hera? Similarly, I'll occasionally see a Z95 or two in the wild, but usually not much more than "well, I had 7 squadrons and 127 points of them, so...."

I'm not claiming (and if you look at my posts for each of the 4 squadrons, you'll see I don't) that you can make a squadron build with all of these in them and do well.  In fact, if I saw a build of 2 Z95s, 2 VCXs, 2 Lancers, and 2 E-wings I might have to buy you a Rebel squadrons pack 1 from the store just to help a brother or sister out, because.... wow, yeah.  But I do THINK that you can support most of your Rebel squad ball with a few scattered inclusions from here and do well or even better than well.

I think that people got so used to playing with the basic Squadrons 1 pack along with the Rogues and Villains set that we all got a little set in our ways.  Yes, Jan and 3 X-wings (man, I haven't seen THEM in a while, either!) was great.  4 YT2400s works fine too.  Why try anything new, this does what I need it to do? This is fine.  I don't have evidence of this fact, mind you, but to me it feels right.  One of Eric and my friends, Matt (waves at ATL meta) said what I think was the most apt description of the pack, that the "merely good units were overshadowed by the greats."  So sure, I could bring E-wings.... but VCXs (pre-nerf!) were just BETTER and opened up whole new aspects of the game.  For the Imperials, Phantoms were there, but why not a Defender for better? It smash squadron face then hit ship.  Big rock hurt small Rebel, grr, argh.
Maarek and Morna Kee
But Euros just had Phantoms in the top 4, and I wonder about using some of these alternate options in my own Rebel builds.  For example:

2 X-wings
2 E-wings
Jan Ors
Norra Wexley
Gold Squadron
3 Y-wings

That's 134 points, and it looks like it could put a decent hurt into Sloane Aces (I say, having never tried this blob) while also solidly contributing against ships (bring BCC, oh please bring it for those red dice) if you can find a way to command those 10 squadrons.  You could make the E-wings into 2 Lancers or 2 VCXs as well and it could completely change what you end up doing with your squadrons and ships and all.  I updated the Lancer article when I realized Ketsu can REALLY hurt a counter-Rieekan Aces strategy.

The Rebel Squadrons Pack-II gives us a lot of options, and I'm not sure they're all fully explored yet.  How good IS E-wing Snipe against Sloane aces, giving us the first shots into them where they can't counter me back (Looking at YOU, Dengar....) Knowing I can fit in 2 VCXs there, what options does that open up for me for a potential build using Strategic? I know the tendency of us all is to "play what's good, what we know" but I don't think we know ALL of what's good and what isn't yet, especially in this pack that remains somewhat unexplored.

I don't think the potential of what E-wings can do has been fully unlocked; nor has Hera or Ketsu been fully explored yet.  Those are squadrons waiting for the right fleet, and that right fleet COULD win something.  Think of it this way: EVERYONE and their moms has seen or heard of Avenger Boarding Troopers and has a plan for dealing with it.  But who's seen E-wings in the wild enough to realize what they can do to Soontir Fel?
Farmers.  Farmer's mums.
So feel free this store championship season to try some of these out.  If you want to let me know some of your experiences, I'd certainly love to listen to them, haha!

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