Hi All, now that Wave 4 had been around for a few days I decided to get a battle report together featuring some of the new ships!
So taking advantage of the long weekend here in Canada I managed to convince my Wife that whilst doing some gardening was all good what we should really do is a battle report featuring some of the new ships.
So, my main goal was to have some fun with the TIE defender and as I had been struggling to fit it in to a more conventional list I threw all of my ideas out the window and just embraced the defender for what it is. A high Tech powerhouse that should be able to bully any other fighter in the game one on one. With this in mind I came up with the following
TIE Defender Swarm
Rexler Brath (51)
TIE Defender (37), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), Push the Limit (3), Engine Upgrade (4)
Colonel Vessery (47)
TIE Defender (35), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), Veteran Instincts (1), Engine Upgrade (4)
So fully embracing the Elite nature of the Defender I went with both named pilots, Veteran Instinct on Vessery to bring him up to pilot Skill 8 meaning that the can fire at the same time as Brath, hopefully triggering his Card Text for Free Target Locks whilst letting Brath spend his Lock if necessary. Both Defenders get Engine Upgrades to add maneuverability and unpredictability to their locker and they also both get Heavy Laser Cannons to throw out 4 dice at all range bands and prevent an extra evade dice at range band 3 due to them being secondary weapons.
The Rebel list was a mini swarm just taking advantage of fielding the new ships with the B-Wings adding some reliable Fire and a good amount of Hit Points.
It’s A Mixed Bag
Blue Squadron Pilot (22)
Blue Squadron Pilot (22)
Tala Squadron Pilot (13)
Tala Squadron Pilot (13)
Blackmoon Squadron Pilot (29)
So relatively low Pilot Skill compared to my Two ship list but if they could concentrate fire it could be a quick game…
The Imperials gained the initiative sitting at 98 point so I tried to force the majority of the asteroids on to the Rebel side of the table but we ended up with a ring of Asteroids and then on to Deployment.
So with all the Rebels going down before the Defenders the deployment was something I had been thinking about whilst planning the 2 ship list and the Defenders white K-Turn. Seeing that the E-Wing had been deployed as a Flanker with the B’s and Headhunters in a box formation on the opposite flank I decided to not give anything away and deployed on the back line facing off against each other looking like a head on collision.
The E-Wing burst forwards at full speed whilst the Rebel ships on the right flank were a little more cautions due to the slower nature of the B-Wings.
The defenders on the other hand started having some fun right from the off, with Vessery doing a 5 forwards and then Barrel rolling in to the table whilst Brath pulled out the White 4 K-Turn and then Busted to bring himself in to formation with Vessery. (I was really happy with my guessing on deployment as I didn’t measure anything and they are withing millimeters of being lined up side by side!) Both now gunning for the E-Wing.
Seeing the threat to the E-Wing it tried to stall this turn to give the 4 man group time to get in to a firing position, unfortunately the Engine Upgrades ensured that I had all the movement I needed to sneak both ships in to range band 3 with Brath taking the Target Lock as he moved first and seeing as he was just in range Vessery took a Boost to take advantage of his lock. The E-Wing had Evaded whilst the 4 Ship Group started to cut across the table to help out their isolated comrade.
As the shooting began I remembered to do Vessery first as i normally forget about Veteran Instincts but with it being the whole premise of the list, it was a little easier to remember and the free Target Lock let me get 4 hits with the first shot of the game. Only 1 evade on the 3 dice forced the spending of the Evade token for Two shields lost and then Brath opened up and and took the last shield down and put one point of damage on the E-Wings hull, no to bad for an opening volley.
The return fire went on to Vessery and got 2 Hits and with 4 Evade dice I got 4 eyeballs but with no focus tokens I was down two only one shield with him.
I gambled this turn as I really wanted to just focus down the E-Wing before I had to take on the other 4 ships, so a K-Turn and Focus for Vessery and a Two ahead and target lock for Brath (who luckily didn’t crash) The E-Wing did a K-Turn hoping to at least get behind one of the Defenders but I had managed to out bluff the movement and was just out of range of the B-wings who came through the gap to occupy the center of the asteroid ring.
The E-Wing unsurprisingly went down under the weight of fire but with the positioning from turn 2 I don’t think there was much else she could have don’t that would have kept it alive.
This turn was the inevitable joining of the party by the B’s and Z’s with them deploying to cover as much of the table quarter we were fighting in with lines of fire as possible. The Defenders also cut in with Brath pulling the White K again and boosting in to position and then using Push the Limits to get a target lock on to the B-Wing that had locked on to him whilst Vessery did a hard 3 and then boosted to get in to Range Band 1 of the closes B-Wing in the hope of putting some potential Crits on to it. (this was me being stupid really as I would be firing him first to take advantage of his free target lock so would only be taking shields down but I got excited…)
The fire from the defenders stripped all 5 shields from the closes B with Vessery taking some punishment this round and being left on 1 Hull point, he so far, had failed to make a single evade in the game but was still alive so would just have to do some work before he went down.
The Rebels tried to hold position as much as they could to try to continue the joust for one more round before they had to K-Turn or go evasive.
Again she just miss judged the distance on the 4 K which got Vessery out of arch whilst Brath did a 2 Ahead to clear the stress and then Barrel rolled to get out of arch of all but 1 Rebel Ship then Pushed the Limits to get a Target Lock on to the Damaged B-Wing which took the fire from Vessery first and went down leaving Brath free to strip 3 shields from the other B-Wing. The only Shot from the B-Wing got 2 hits as the target lock was on the wrong defender but the Evade dice continued to mock me with 3 blanks.
With my confidence high now I got a little complacent and whilst I knew the Rebels would have to K-Turn this round or be faced with unanswered fire I miss judged the distance they would be going. Vessery’s K-Turn was blocked by the Headhunters but he was out of arch of the B-Wing meaning he only had to contend with one Headhunters shooting, Brath also went for a K-Turn electing to keep his stress for better positioning next turn.
Both Defenders focused on the B-Wing this round and even without any re-rolls this round took down it’s last 2 shields and all of its hull points with a lucky Direct Hit from Brath.
The shooting from the Z-95’s was split due to Vessery’s collision (More luck than judgment this time…) taking the last shield from Brath and putting a point of damage on to his Hull (still no Evade’s…) but the Range band 1 shot at Vessery came up with 3 Eye Balls much to my amusement.
Vessery again went for the K-Turn ( I am sure I said in my review that the Defender was going to get gimmicky to fly at first..) landing behind both the Z-95’s whilst Brath crashed in to the lead fighter, with the other out of his arch. (It did clear his stress though so I was not too down about it.)
Shooting this round was getting much tighter as both the Headhunters were undamaged but I still had two much better Defenders on the table even if they were starting to bleed a little.
Vessery Boosted in to close range of the rear Headhunter and opened fire doing 3 Hits, all of which got through whilst its shots on to Brath left him with 2 Hull points.
Focusing both Defenders on to the Stricken Z-95 I wanted to ensure that I at least went in to the next turn 1v1 with it banking away to line up a shot for its wing-man. Vessery K-Turns (no really he did, it’s white on the Defender you know…) and then boosted to be right behind his foe whilst Brath Banked in and just avoided the crash whilst he target locked.
Shooting predictably dealt with the damaged Headhunter with the surviving one choosing to shoot at Range band 2 on Brath rather than Range Band 3 on Vessery. This resulted in a a Hit and a Crit but I finally managed to evade something with just the Crit getting through and damaging my Primary Weapon reducing it to 2 until repaired.
So 1 Undamaged Z-95 against 2 Defenders both on 1 Hull remaining. the game was getting tense and I decided to try to pull range and take advantage of my Heavy Laser Cannons again, especially whilst Brath’s primary’s were damaged anyway.
With the Z-95 banking in Brath K-Turned whilst Vessery Banked to face off against him but ended up in a collision rather than the Range band 1 shot I was hoping for as I broke for the center table.
My shooting managed to knock down a shield but the Tala Squadron pilot was a Hero and got two hits on Brath, unfortunately Brath finally managed to jink his fighter and evaded bot shots to last for at least one more round!
Concerned that I was getting predictable I deiced not to K-Turn this turn which ended up costing me a round of shooting as I was out bluffed by Gill, with Brath Colliding with the Tale squadron Pilot whilst Vessery covered a lot of table in preparation for next round with his Hard 3 and then a Boost to the right.
Without many options this round the Z-95 went to start the bank around the asteroid hoping that that and range would give it one more round to position. This almost worked out with me miss judging the hard turn on Brath and just clipping the Asteroid in question, luckily no damaged came about and then Vessery managed to roll a hit and a Crit with 2 Focus, promptly spending the token for 4 hits meant that a at least 2 evades from 4 Dice would be needed, only one was rolled exploding the last Rebel for an Imperial Victory.
Well it was a very enjoyable game, that could have gone either way despite the early mistakes by the Rebels.
It was our first go with the Wave 4 Ships and I was impressed with the Defender List to be honest, I know I was lucky to get the Evades at the end when I needed them but feel that is balanced out by the damage I took early. I do think this list could have been flown better and I did get K-Turn Happy in the middle of the game but with the Engine Upgrade as well it becomes so versatile.
From a Rebel Perspective I think being so aggressive on turn 1 with the E-Wing was a mistake and that a slower advance may have been the order of the day, other than that I think that luck played its part in the end game and that attrition almost won out the day. I do think that replacing the Blackmoon Squadron E-Wing with Two Prototype Pilot A-Wings with Chardaan Refit’s (once Rebel Aces hits the shelves) will keep the style of the list the same but will just preform better in almost all cases but then it could just be inexperience with the E-Wing in general talking.
Thanks for reading people and if you would like to read more of my ravings please take a look at my blog at The Dice Hate Me – Kris
I hope you have enjoyed the read people and I will be sure to post another battle rep once I try out some more Wave 4 Ships or I am considering taking the two Defender list against a 2 Falcon list to see if I can get the damage down quickly enough…