List spotlight: ABBY

I wrote this mainly for context of the How to opening post. Maybe you’re interested in this list anyway.

I don’t usually play jouster lists. The BigXXXDeal last summer had rekindled my appreciation for them. Earlier this year during winter, I played the Sloane Swarm by David Sutcliffe with some good results. And I would have switched to droid swarms for our store championships and the one Prime tournament we were going to have. That is to say, even though I still prefer boosting pilots with a bit more dependency on variance and punishing my mistakes a bit more, I have come around to play swarms and jousters from time to time.
After the January points update and the release of hotshots and aces, I stumbled upon this rebel list one day. There have been plenty people inventing this wheel, but somehow usually with Jake. Resistance currently has a nice jouster list with Cova, Kaz, Bastian and Jess, but it trades some raw firepower for utility. I wanted to revisit four double modified 3dice shots, and Rebels are the faction with that option right now. If you’ve read my Tricks, Tactics, or Strategy? post you might notice that I start with describing basic tactics and end with strategic level musings. I also use this list to describe how I try to find an opening for a list, and you can read that here.

The List

Braylen Stramm (Total: 55), Hull Upgrade
Ten Numb (Total: 55), Fire-Control System, Autoblasters, Stabilized S-Foils
“Dutch” Vander (Total: 53), Proton Torpedoes
Arvel Crynyd (Total: 37), Intimidation
Total: 200

How does it work?

Dutch is a Y-Wing. Dutch has a proton torpedo. That is most of the story here. The torpedo is important though, because a double modified 3dice attack gives you 2.8 expected damage, and an 82% chance for 3 hits.
A proton torpedo with a lock is slightly better for expected damage, at 3.0, but slightly worse with only 74% chance for 3 hits. Still, it is so close that I count it as “double modified 3dice shot”.  
Dutch also adds a bit of extra utility with his ability. He can hand a lock to someone else. Usually, that is Ten or Arvel for reasons I will explain. Apart from those, Dutch does not much besides 1 straights and the occasional K-turn when he already has a lock.

Braylen moves forward, takes a focus action, and links it into a red barrel roll. That can fail or not, he does not really care. All he needs is a stress and a focus. Boom, double modifications. In my opinion, I want to present Braylen as second target. He gets the rerolls on defense dice, too. On top, I added a hull upgrade with the three points I had left. That pushes up his points threshold to 5 damage, and it allows me to use the free rerolls just a bit longer. Braylen does not want a lock from Dutch because his ability is to reroll dice. As such, a lock would cover the same benefit and make it redundant. Braylen’s ability is also the reason why I don’t like s-foils and cannons too much on him. The s-foils and a cannon would require him to take a lock. The advantage would be that he could single modify both shots when he gets both a lock and a stress. That is not bad at all, but doesn’t fit with what I’m going for.

Ten Numb brings three upgrades. The S-foils allow him to lock and link a barrel roll. That way, he gets to double modify his primary shot if he wants to. Fire-Control System allows him to reroll just one. Focus + 1 reroll is by the way at the same 74% chance for 3 hits as Dutch. So, not bad at all. If he does that and keeps his lock, then he can spend it and attack again with Autoblasters. Now this is where Ten gets interesting. This second attack can range from 2 to 4 dice, depending on range and bullseye. I’ve had it more than once that Ten was at range 1 behind a ship, and that is glorious. With Dutch in the list, you can get more modification into your shots. Ten can focus and link a stress with a red barrel roll. The lock comes from Dutch. Now Ten modifies his attack with the stress and a single reroll. Then he spends the lock for the autoblaster and modifies that with the focus. The money shot is obviously to do this at range 1 and with bullseye on the target. Dutch can also toss a lock for the turns where Ten wants to talon roll or k-turn. That makes Ten a nice target for the free lock in some special cases.

Arvel is the fourth ship. He has only a 2 dice gun. Unlike most other ships, he is allowed to boost into a ship, and to attack at range 0. This puts him very frequently at range 0-1. Focus+Boost is a standard action combination for him. Dutch can toss him a lock, and suddenly the little A-Wing hits with a double modified 3dice attack! To make everything worse for your opponent, he got intimidation. That reduces the agility of his target by one, and makes all the attacks of your lists much stronger. However, there have been 10 dice flying past Arvel once he gets to a shot. It really depends on your expectation to outright remove a ship whether or not you want to give the free lock to Arvel or to Ten.

Combined, these four ships put 12 hits on the table, if Arvel is at range 0-1 and the others at range 2-3, and no bullseye for Ten.

The attack can be much better, starting with intimidation and ending with nice crits, a bullseye, or more range 1 shots.

Obstacle Choice and Placement

I believe you want debris and a very small rock. One reason for debris is that stress is positive for the B-Wings, and Arvel has no problem removing it if he ever overlaps one. The very small rock because more important than stress is the ability to roll – to get a stress after an action. The smaller the obstacles the more space to roll around.

I went more into obstacle placement over here. I think that generally, you want open space and at most some jousting lanes. In the example in the article, I use my obstacles to keep the way open. That has the side effect of creating a jousting lane.

Strengths & Tipps

Amazing damage output! The list is very low variance, both on offense and defense.
Three ships at i4 is quite good, and i3 of Arvel puts him in a nice position to pull off blocks, or to boost into range0 against lower initiative ships.
The B-Wings can do some tricks. I had a game today where I dialed in a 2 k-turn. If it fits – great, it fit. Otherwise I get a short maneuver with a stress, which is equivalent to an action. That way, I ran twice into blocks because I could easily take the risk.
Make sure to keep Dutch a bit behind the rest. That way your B-Wings are a wall that physically protect him from being blocked. The difficulty is to find a good balance between being close enough for the lock, and yet far enough away to
Maybe a point on shooting order. Ten and Dutch generally want to go first. These two have locks and removing the target too early is not ideal. Braylen doesn’t care at all, he’ll shoot anything. Ten should probably shoot first to remove shields and tokens with his two shots. Dutch can then crush in with the torpedo crit, and Braylen can clean up or go to the next target.

Weaknesses

  • High initiative
  • Torpedoes limited to 2 charges
  • Arvel alternates between amazing and nearly useless over the course of a game
  • Braylen’s time on target without Leia in the list
  • 25 HP are behind 1 agility and the ship can melt very fast. You will lose points
  • Swarms kill B-Wings faster than B-Wings kill swarms

Conclusion

The list is cool. A nice jouster list for the days where you just want to point at stuff, grab a bunch of dice and get a lot of hits. I wanted to try this in a tournament, but… However, I will give it a shot in XVT season 7 (see here for sign ups). I should be able to write these games up. Until then!

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