Hello and welcome everyone, back again to the X-wing Analytica blog. I’m your host, GreenDragoon. And with me, as it should be, is the most beautiful list ever: Five Awings! Whoops, wrong intro, but I’m back! (If you like the intro though, head over to Flybetter for their great podcast!)
Anyway, I have some great news: my all-time favorite list got a hefty performance boost with two new pilots: Zizi Tlo and Ronith Blario are amazing to the point of being too good. I’m not sure how long I have not played the list, but I think the last one was in September, and before that somewhere in June. In short: I’m rusty, but these two pilots plus the restricted Hyperspace format are enough motivational oil to get me going again!
Look at them, beautiful! Especially Zizi, who spends her focus on Advanced Optics at initiative 5 without consequences! And if you get natties… just take an evade. Depending on the situation, she could even be the first A-wing who wants to take a lock. But let’s move to the battle report.
It was a vassal game, and my opponent hadn’t played online for some while. I didn’t have too much time, so I had told him before the start that I’d only be able to play for an hour. I called it after 90min, much to my regret.
There will be three new additions to my battle reports, the third at least for vassal games: I will list some basics of the lists, I will use some standardized criteria to look at my game, and I will keep track of some numbers like the number of shots and total damage, the number of blocks, red maneuvers and whatever might seem interesting per game. You find the first at the beginning, the other two at the end of the report.
Finally, here is a reminder of Biophysical’s field description. Check out his blog here.
Basic list characteristics:
|A-Wings (199, first player)||Luke/Lando/Arvel (199, second player)|
|Attack dice||5×2 red||2×3, 1×2;|
4 with Protons for Luke; 3 at range 0 for Arvel
|Modifications||Focus + AdvancedOptics + Heroic||Double modification for Lando and on Luke with 2 force; Intimidation on Arvel|
|Defense dice||5×3 green||2,1,3 greens|
|Modifications||Focus+Heroic; possibly evade for Zizi||extra force regeneration for Luke|
|Health||20 (10 hull + 10 shields)||23 (14 hull + 9 shields)|
Opponent’s determining action and my target priority (including “Plan Red”): Arvel is simple enough, he swoops in, boosts into my i1 or i2, and takes a r1 shot against just two green dice. Alternatively, he can (try to) block one of the higher initiative ships and turn them into better targets for Luke and Lando. Luke feels basically invulnerable to my A-wings. He wants to blow up one of the more valuable Awings like Zizi or Greer with a proton torp, so blocking is key. And Lando has a lot of health to chew through. I will largely ignore Luke and focus on Lando. Arvel depends on the situation.
Deployment: I brought the debris, which I believe to be the best choice for A-wings for now. It will depend on the impact of jousting lists going forward, as beef hates to lose a shot but doesn’t care much about stress. I placed the two middle debris and the cloud in the west field. The obstacles strongly indicated that we would fight in the east gutter where Lando has enough space. So I placed my high initiative pilots in the west. Greer went the furthest east as I was expecting him to use his rear arc quite a bit. The order of the BSR and Ronith was a mistake, of course, they should have switched places. But they were the first ships on the map and I didn’t know yet that my opponent would set up in the NE corner.
The gameplan for the first turns (“Plan Blue”): Zoom very fast with the i5s. Greer will make delayed sharp turns through the SE corner. Not sure with BSR, whether he will charge right in or go more through the middle. Ronith will charge in, as he potentially has a lot of focus tokens available for defense.
How it went: Ok, overall. I messed up the timing, but it feels good to play Awings again.
Turn 1-2: Some maneuvering around. He started slowly in turn one and went much faster in turn two, including a boost for Lando! I did not expect that at all, and it was my luck that he only had a shot at focused Ronith. I evaded and got two lucky shields! My ships went as planned, ready for some blocks in turn 3. Tallie was a mistake, I could have brought her in behind Zizi. But I thought I’d have more time when it should have been obvious that I did not.
Turn 3: Big mistake here on my part, but first the movements. You can see the dials in the image. The important ones were Ronith to block Luke and prevent a proton torp, and BSR who blocked Lando. Ronith was a bit close, but it worked out. His Arvel took a lock on BSR and boosted into range 0. Time for some pewpew!
It was completely fruitless. Tallie still got a shot despite the bad timing. But 2v3 on Luke with force won’t get much done, so I took the 2v5 shot on Arvel. My gut feeling was right, and it is, in fact, more likely to do damage with 0.32 against Arvel vs just 0.24 against Luke. But nothing came of it, anyway. It was right to start with Tallie, but a consequence was that I fell into a mental trap. I had locked on token-less Arvel. What if I got to remove him? That would be huge, right? Maybe, but 4 more damage into Lando was yuuger. I can’t expect to actually kill Arvel with two shots, that’s just at a 3% chance. Clearly a bad choice, and yet I made it. Anyway, to make it short: Zizi took a shield from Arvel (as expected) and nothing else happened.
Turn 4: Most maneuvers seemed obvious to me after turn 3. Greer had to turn around, and the corner was perfectly safe for that. BSR would also turn there to get a rear arc shot. Zizi tried to get another block in. Her shooting first meant that she would have focus+evade to defend against Lando. Tallie had to evade the debris. And Ronith was ready to take on Arvel’s 2hard left (he went right…) or if Luke did something towards that direction. But most importantly, he had to turn around again. When I said for the previous turn that I was mentally locked into Arvel… well, that didn’t improve at all. Zizi didn’t take the range 1 shot at Lando. And worse, I rolled focus-crit against Arvel. Of course, I spent that focus because I already saw the direct hit. The crit went through, but it was a consequence-free Stunned Pilot. Tallie had a 3v2 shot on Luke by chance, but nothing came from that. Greer tried at range 3, but you’d not expect anything from that. Arvel was now on 1 hull, so I had to shoot him with BSR, right? Right? Yeah no, but I did anyway and missed. All this work and we just lost one HP each. Well, he technically lost another one to the rock.
Turn 5: I fully expected him to shoot a proton torp into Greer or BSR – time for another block! I would have loved to 1turn with Tallie, but was afraid it wouldn’t fit. I tried and it barely fit. The 1hard changed Zizi’s maneuver, who preferred a 2hard left, into a 3bank. But I judged the consequence as catastrophic, with a possible double modded shot from Lando as punishment, and I didn’t want to risk that. I didn’t revisit all of my maneuvers when I finally decided against the 1hard, and that was of course a mistake. The rest of the maneuvers seems logical to me. BSR maybe not, he ran. I was very sure that the end position would allow me to 1hard in the following turn, so I saw that as a small risk to be safe from a torpedo. And finally, Ronith had to focus and turn the arc, so he was never going to get a shot. But that is fine, this turn was to reorganize. I shot Luke with Zizi for no damage, and Lando shot Zizi for no damage. Apparently he fell into the same trap as I did, mentally locked on Zizi. No damage dealt this turn.
Turn 6: He was locked into a trajectory with Lando, and that allowed me another block (though I almost missed it). That set the course for Zizi in my opinion: turn around with a 1hard and kite Lando along. He was so focused on Zizi that it might work very well. Arvel had to turn in and would go 1v1 against my BSR. So what about Greer and Tallie? Greer could go around the debris or try and cut the corner. The problem with the latter is that it would force me to roll or lead to a potentially bad position in turn 7. And I wasn’t going to shoot too much this turn, anyway. So I decided on the long way around. Quiz for you: does a 3bank+1bank boost land on the debris? I thought it does, but it does not by few millimeters. Tallie went after Arvel. Her and BSR would be able to take him out at around 50% chance, depending on the range of course. Unfortunately, my opponent took the calculated risk of a 3bank himself, clearly less risk-averse. I reversed it, but he said it was a calculated risk and he intentionally took it. That meant I had just one shot this turn, into Lando. I spent the focus and took two more shields off him. Keep in mind, that was the second attack on him after the first in turn 2!
Turn 7: The stage was set for another round of concentrated fire. Zizi with the obvious right turn, both 1 and 2 are possible. Tallie can turn in and boost for a shot on Lando. Greer has an obvious 2 hard coming, same for BSR. And Ronith decides between turning in or going with the rear arc again. The latter would have been better, but I decided on the former – he almost died for that…
Lando did his turn, as did Luke. By the way, Luke, how about another block? Sponsored by a 1hard+boost from Zizi! Tallie, Greer, and BSR did the obvious maneuver, and Ronith made his little mistake. The result was that Ronith ate a 4v3 shot from Lando: hit-hit-crit, and I rolled blank-blank-focus. Time to use his ability! I pulled the focus from Zizi who had already shot and was no possible target anymore. The crit was luckily no direct hit. Luke tried his best, but Ronith’s focus allowed him to stay alive. 3 of my ships hammered into Lando including a direct hit, the other two into Luke. A total of 4 damage dealt this turn, compared to 6 in the previous five turns of combat. Who would have thought that a 1agility ship is susceptible to damage! Anyway, we were at around 90 minutes played here, and I had to go. 79-20 win, with just half Ronith lost. The observant reader will realize that I would have lost with two small changes: No direct hit and a dead Ronith would mean a 37-39 loss.
Welcome back to the knife’s edge that is Five Awings!
Using some standard criteria (objective, mass, simplicity, security, maneuver, surprise):
- I lost my objective during the game. It should have been Lando, but I weirdly got stuck on Arvel after taking that first shot on him. That was not the idea.
- Focus fire was ok-ish. Three turns of combat had together 12 shots, and three others only one each. In the multi-shot turns, I shot 3/3, 2/4+2/4 and 3/5+2/5 on the same ships. I should have shot Lando instead.
- My plan wasn’t simple enough. The initial turns and delays would have to fit perfectly, and they didn’t. Tallie was too late in turn 3 and that made her shot even worse – when it’s already the weakest in the list.
- Security was maintained in most turns. Turn 4 was a bit greedy with Zizi when I spent the focus on offense. The rest was good, as I didn’t allow him to surprise me.
- The maneuverability of my ships was used well, I think. I allowed him to shoot defensive Zizi for some turns, and then he had to switch again.
- I think I managed to surprise my opponent with my blocks, and that definitely paid off! It largely neutralized Luke.
- Mental trap: don’t keep shooting a ship just because it was the right target for one shot. Stick to your plan.
- … but still, prefer focus fire!
- … and stay flexible, alter your plan if necessary!
- Be aware of your maneuvers and how they influence each other.
- Remember: Awings often want to turn away, not in.
|Turns of combat||6/7|
|Damage dealt/total hp||10/23|
|Damage received/total hp||4/20|
|Abilities used||2x Greer, 0x Tallie, 6x Zizi|
|Friendly opponent (out of 10); Fun had||10; yes!|
Edit: an earlier version mentioned that wave 6 would be officially dropped on January 31st, based on this message. However, Alec Thorne said earlier today, January 15th, on Facebook that he will talk to Alex Watkins later today to discuss what exactly will be legal at the UK System Opens in Milton Keynes on February 8th/9th, and at the Texas System Open from February 6th to 9th.