Welcome to Battle Reports, where we run down strategy and the ins and outs of a particular tabletop game.
This time, we tackle Fantasy Flight’s X-Wing Miniatures Game in a battle between Rebels (Rainbow Squadron) and Imperials (Kath Scarlet’s Hunting Party).
Read on for strategy, army lists, the battle report and some post-game analysis and advice.
This was a 125 point game.
Don’t know the game well? Get the basics from Fantasy Flight, watch this tutorial or buy the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game Core Set.
As an experiment, I tried to field as many ships as possible and keep modifications to a minimum in an attempt to have more shots on enemy per round than trying to do special moves.
With that in mind, I selected a capable squad leader and then built two attack groups using the standard Squadron Pilot from each respective Rebel fighter class.
I balanced the two attack groups as best as possible, by implementing a combo of Heavy, Standard and Sprint fighters within each attack group.
I ate up most of my point allotment by fielding as many ships as possible, so I was quite limited with what few ship upgrades I wanted to select.
The upgrades I did select were prioritized as follows: 1. Astromech Droids, 2. Fixed Secondary Weapons (i.e.- Ion Cannons), and 3. NO disposables.
I didn’t bother to employ any Unique upgrades, so this meant that several of my ships did not receive ANY mods when it was all said and done. I was perfectly OK with that, mainly because I wanted to see what the standard ‘Squadron Pilots’ could do when they were used together.
Given that each squadron within the Rebel Fleet is typically designated by color, I dubbed my team the Rainbow Squadron.
E-Wing with pilot Etahn A’Baht (32)
Y-Wing with Gold Squadron Pilot (18)
Z-95 with Bandit Squadron Pilot (12)
B-Wing with Blue Squadron Pilot (22)
X-Wing with Red Squadron Pilot (23)
A-Wing with Green Squadron Pilot (19)
This was the first time that my opponent had had the opportunity to fly Slave-1, so he centered his strategy on that ship.
He relied heavily on upgrading his ships (especially his flagship) with modifications of all kinds.
His mod selections focused on equipping his support fighters with crafty Shield/Hull Upgrades, along with Targeting Systems that gave them the additional use of Target Lock actions.
The Slave-1 was outfitted with Secondary Weapons of every sort, along with Unique ship upgrades that gave my opponent an added opportunity to inflict Stress and safeguard the effective use of his Secondary Weapons.
The Slave-1’s pilot, Kath Scarlet, gave them no quarter, so that they might behold and fully comprehend the bitter taste of her unyielding wrath.
Firespray-31 with pilot Kath Scarlet
TIE Interceptor with pilot Kir Kanos
TIE Interceptor with Saber Squadron Pilot
TIE Fighter with Academy Pilot
TIE Fighter with Academy Pilot
The battle was over within nine rounds.
Each Rebel attack squad started the match by immediately splitting on an oblique course to either side of the battlefield, while the Imperials came straight on, screaming in toward the middle, so that they might get into range more quickly.
The Rebels’ first wing managed to stay in formation for four turns, and then the Y-Wing broke off to engage the enemy ships that were now behind them.
The second wing broke formation almost immediately, as there were no apparent boons toward staying together, and they were able to engage the Imperials on that side of the field in Turn No. 2, thanks to the Imperials’ hasty advance.
We decided to play this battle in an asteroid field, which added another wildly entertaining element to the game. My Rebel ships took a pounding from colliding with asteroids and space debris than from their Imperial adversaries.
Luckily for my Rebels, it only reduced their shields. (Thank God for shields!)
IN the end, my Rainbow Squadron left the field victorious.
We used Ion Cannons heavily, and it was a fairly effective strategy.
They managed to provide adequate support (thanks mainly to 360° turrets) while keeping several Imperial ships disabled and out of the fight for at least a few rounds here and there—just enough to be disruptive and turn the hunters into the hunted.
Because my Rebel ships either managed to stay out of its range/firing arc altogether OR successfully disabled it through ionization, the Slave-1 only had only two to three viable shots for the entire match.
Some of this ineffectiveness to first-time piloting of Slave-1 by my opponent, as he might not have fully grasped the capabilities of his ship. For example, he deployed Proton Bombs during the battle that ultimately turned into a botched attempt. He should have saved them for a more opportune time.
He did, however, make good use of his pilot’s Characteristic Skill and Co-Pilot upgrade (Mara Jade) as several of my ships did manage to become Stressed at several points during the latter half of the matchwhile I was engaged with the Slave-1.
The worst of it resulted in my B-Wing losing the opportunity to perform a ‘Koiogran Turn’ maneuver that might have allowed me to button-hook and re-engage the Slave-1 directly for another shot while being pursued.
Thankfully, my E-Wing was heading straight toward us in the other direction, and managed to take out the Slave-1 before it became a problem for the B-Wing.
Overall, the Rebel Rainbow Squadron took every opportunity to make the most of their shots and whittle their opponents down in relentless succession. Of course, much of this came down to making good rolls and executing timely tactical decisions.
So, the B-Wing has terrible limited maneuvering. It will become Stressed if it does anything other than go forward OR make slight movements to one side or the other. (FACT: 40 percent of the B-Wing’s movements cause it to be Stressed, with only about 27 percent of its available moves releaving stress. Most of those are only within a Movement Range of one.)
The B-Wing is nice if you can get in close enough to engage another ship at Range 1 because then it can pack quite a punch. But it’s still not the ship to have caught from behind since it can’t really maneuver without becoming Stressed.
I didn’t utilize Astromech upgrades nearly as much as I should have. They don’t appear all that impressive or effective, but given the right situation, these little guys will prove their worth above and beyond for you.
Take R5-D8, which I used with my Y-Wing, a ship heavy on hull but light on shields. He can make repairs, and he managed to negate nearly ALL of the damage cards that I gained throughout the course of the battle. (FACT: A green defense die has either Evade or Focus on 62.5 percent of its surfaces, so you have nearly a 2/3 chance for repairing damage to your ship with the use of R5-D8.)
Anyway, my experiment worked.
You don’t need to be flying the best pilot or fielding the most modified ships in order to have an effective campaign. Even an average group of pilots can take down the mightiest of foes when they’re working together effectively.
My advice: Devise a simple strategy and stick to it; The battle itself will tell the rest of the story.
I’ve found that it’s as much about learning your own ships’ limitations as it is about matching up the right ship against your opponent.
MVP of the match: ETAHN A’BAHT: E-Wing Class
Honorable Mention: BLUE SQUADRON PILOT: B-Wing Class