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Grand Moff Tarkin…our new overlord? October 28, 2019

Today a post in the x-wing minis rule group prompted something in my head. It wasnt until I got home had the seeds it planted bloomed. And hence this post.

Extended has the lot, but there is one card Im some what surprised no one has really thought about fully.

Im talking about Grand Moff Tarkin.

By himself he doesnt seem like much, but when you put some other pieces of the puzzle together all of a sudden he becomes very meta worthy. Why and how you ask? Let me elaborate.

X-wing is as much about manouvring as it is about list building and action economy (also called comboing).

At the moment Extended imperials make very strong use of Jendon for various ships (usually inquisitors of late) to gain early locks so they can be fully moded when the dice start get thrown.

However, lately krennic has been thrown into the mix as his ability grants a lock on the action bar of the ship he is travelling on and also assigning optimized prototype to a ship (which is really good at stripping shields or flipping damage cards).

Now the key part here is Krennic adds a lock to the action bar, which then allows you to take tarkin. As a combo it is very very strong.

Why is it strong you ask? The answer is simple, action economy. THe one drawback inquisitors have is some times they need to do a lock action at an in-oppertune time, and this can cost them the evade they may normally of taken.

Using tarkin, with a bit of forethought can yield excellent results allowing you to get locks on a new ship every couple of turns, with out expending the action for it.

Acquire is a wonderful word in x-wing vocabularly.

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Predictions for the X-wing 2.0 June points update June 24, 2019

We’re nearing the bi-annual points update for X-wing 2.0.

Im gonna talk about some points updates I think you might see along with some other changes that might occur (mostly balance updates and slot changes).

Lets talk slot changes first, as this will be minor, but there may be a couple of notable entrants.

The first is Phantoms, particularly the Sigma Squadron ace, money is on they will lose the talent slot. Currently Quad phantoms with juke is a very strong combination still, even after the points adjustment in jan. This should limit the effectiveness of the quad phatoms, 3 with juke build. Likely hood: 70%

Rebel A-wings, Possibly a tech slot. A-wings for rebels are seeing little play, the addition of a tech slot, to make up for the lack of an astromech should go a long way, and make them worth their points cost.

Points changes. Some of these may seem controversial, but take them with a grain of salt.

Generic T65 X-wings -1 point. This will be combo’d with S-foils going up to 1 point. This has an added impact of giving the named pilots a slight point increase if you want to take the ability to boost in an x-wing. (maybe a few of the named pilots that dont have the Name Wedge or Luke) will probably go down a point too).

Every large ship that isnt Han or rey (or the imperial shuttle) down 1-2 points across the board.

pretty much all scum ships aside from the firespray, quadrajet and fang fighter down 1-2 points.

I feel inertial upgrades will go up a point to 2, may be 3 (or be variable based on ship size (1/2/3 – small/medium/large).

Swarm tactics will be initiative scaled (ala squad leader), probably most expensive PS6 at 6-8 points.

Leia up to 4-5 points (6 is max).

R2D2 crew up to 9.

Redline Down 1-2 points

E-wings 2-3 points across the board.

CLT for Delta-7s down by half.

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Back on the CCNA bandwagon…with esxi March 6, 2019

Ok so its been a while since i talked about networking (the computer kind not the people kind), and im a little bit excited to say the least.

Im current going through the icnd1 book and have almost completed it, but rather than use gns3 via a virtualised linux guest on my esxi server i managed to get Cisco’s ios xrv 1000 working properly.

Basically my current topology is pretty limited (just 2 ios xrvs and 2 junos vmxs) but it works.

Theres a couple things i eventually found out particularly with the ios xrv.

First to make it work in esxi you need serial dupport which is only available in the top tier esxi licence.

Secondly ensure you have sufficient memory and resources.

I would suggest once the virtual boxes are configured id set up ssh and tunnel your way into the virtual boxes via that instead. Less headaches that way.

Also another thing to remember the network cards listed in the virtual machine stats wont reflect whats actually there.

For ios xrv the first network card is the management port (but we dont use that one) so the ports start from nic2 on in esxi.

Vmx needs to use the first two interfaces the rest are counted 0 to what ever.

Ill write up another blog detailing the configuration and some tips about both the ciscos and the juniper boxes.

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Why Quickdraw is one of the most annoying units in X-Wing right now December 21, 2018

Currently in X-wing there are some interesting ships floating around. We’re seeing a preponderance of Poe, Rey, Redline, Whisper, and even Soontir.

However, I honestly think with all the double tap shenanigans going on, QD could actually be the most annoying ship currently out there.

Currently the usual build starts out like this:

"Quickdraw" — TIE/SF Fighter 45
Special Forces Gunner 10
Ship Total: 55

However, to build to taste, you really need to add some defense in there, to really maximise the use of her double tap.

So we add in Shield Upgrade 6 bringing our total to 61.

From here, we could build further, but at this point QD is quite solid. However, you could always add Fire Control System 3 and maybe to take advantage of Special Forces Gunner Trick Shot 1 while in between obstacles.

I’ve tried Juke on QD and it works rather well, but you really need a way to provide coordinate support to her, unlike phantoms, Juke isnt a must however.

QD is pain to deal with, as generally you will find she moves last, and always has an arc facing you, so if you have arc on her, you may not want to shoot at her, if she will possibly finish off a ship in her arc. I’ve had several games where QD has been the only ship in my opponents arc, and they didnt shoot at her because of the possibility of taking another 3-4 attack dice.

Now, lets look at SF Gunner, QD is in very rarefied territory of a ship having not one but top possible bonus attacks. Admittedly one happens after you lose a shield, the SF Gunner one happens if your arc in in your rear arc. Admittedly, it can only be 2 attack dice, unless you are in range 1, or obstructed with trick shot, it can be a powerful tool to prevent followers, and especially at PS6, makes an interesting side dish of hate.

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Tails of the 5 Ship Rebel List December 11, 2018

I’ve been spending some time playing a 5 ship rebel list, and thus far pretty happy with its results.

Theres more work to be done, but Im getting there I believe.

AP-5 — Sheathipede-class Shuttle 30
Ship Total: 30

Blue Squadron Escort — T-65 X-Wing 41
Proton Torpedoes 9
Servomotor S-foils 0
Ship Total: 50

Wedge Antilles — T-65 X-Wing 52
Servomotor S-foils 0
Ship Total: 52

Roark Garnet — HWK-290 Light Freighter 38
Ship Total: 38

Lieutenant Blount — Z-95-AF4 Headhunter 30
Ship Total: 30

This is the list so far, and I’ll explain some modifications I’ve made to it since.

The two most important parts are weirdly enough, Roark, and AP-5. Both ships give me the flexibility I need to put the PS5 gang at bay.

Roark, is simply because he lets me shoot at PS7, and AP-5 allows me to coordinate actions even to stressed (just one though) ships.

I like the idea of Blount however, Im not too keen on his resiliency. So I’ve swapped him out for Sabine in a Tie Fighter, as well as moved the Torpedo’s to Wedge. Generally I’ll gun for the weakest ship in my opponents list and try and tag team it with everyone.

Im trying Cavern Angels instead of Blue Squadron Escort, just so I can fit on deadmans switch, which makes the xwing a bit of a time bomb. A fairly resilient timebomb admittedly.

The main idea with this list is to basically try and trap the enemy within a bit of a kill box, boxing them between Roark, the xwings and ap-5. Sabine/Blount, is more for straggler duties.

Im still not entirely happy with this list, but more testing is required.

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Why are things so…common…?? December 4, 2018

Ok, the title, may seem a little wacky, but when you read the article, you may be like, “aaahhh I get it” and then (hopefully) “why is that the case!”.

So far for each class of ship, they have the same dial, and the same upgrade stack aside from the EPTs (Elite Pilot talents – called talents in 2.0).

It got me to thinking, why is this the case? Why does poe, have the same upgrade stack as a blue squadron rookie aside from the EPT??

Surely he’d have a more customised ship, and thus more options for upgrades?

The primary answer to this, is to make the dev’s lives a little easier, for balance purposes. But with the AI and deep learning tools available these days, surely they could utilise those data munching techniques to mix things up? It appears not to be the case sadly.

Interestingly, upgrade slots and point costs are the two variables they can change up with out having to errata a card.

FFG have announced previously that they will be doing point massaging in January sometime. Now will this also mean some changes to some upgrade slots? It could, and some ships could definitely use a change to their upgrade slots for sure.

I’ve talked about this with regards to Boba Fett (and the firespray in general), but from an overall perspective, there could be some ships that benefit from a slight tweak to their upgrade stack. Hell even tweak some individual pilots to maybe have an additional upgrade slot, or remove a slot as the case may be as a balancing option, rather than just a point adjustment.

I’m definitely for point adjustments, but in some cases, I think the ships in question are already pretty expensive, and are pretty borderline. Boba being a very good example of this, and maybe guri to a lesser extent.

But we also have to remember this isnt taking things into isolation but in reference to the other ships available.

I expect however, FFG will probably just do the easy way out and just do some point adjustments, and to be fair – I dont expect them to be the ones we expect them to be. Expect a few surprises in there for sure.

As an added gift, I’ll give you a couple ships/upgrade cards where I believe they will get a point adjustment and why.

Palob – palob is a critical piece with a lot of scum lists, expect to see the ship pop up a little bit in points about, 3-4 at most.

Proton Torps – this is a given, considering their popularity, however, I dont think they will get a point increase, just most other missiles/torps will get a point decrease, except for…

Barrage Rockets – Expect these to get hit with a 2-3 point increase at most. Very common and very useful, not as awesome as proton torps, but still highly effective.

Tie Phantoms – Expect maybe a slight point increase for these ships, maybe 2-3.

YT2400 – We will probably see a slight point reduction here, but not much – I’d be surprised if dash gets one – but the others definitely. Probably 3-5 across the board (dash aside).

Jump Master 5K – ewww what a pile of dog poo. Definitely no where near as good as the 1.0 variant, even with its upgrade slots available. My expectation is we will see a pretty decent point drop on these babies, even dengar(!), I think as much as 10 points, currently, its almost unflyable, especially with all the other super efficient ships Scum has.

Decimator – Another big ship thats probably over costed, arguably, so, I think if they do give it a point cost reduction, it will hopefully be a fair bit, as is, its pretty much unusable, especially when you have ships like the upsilon class shuttle, a good 24 points cheaper for 2 less hull, 1 more agility, and no turret (and no bomb slot), while we wont see a 20 point reduction, but more likely a 10-15 at most.

Anyways, I’ll leave it at that, happy flying!

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Back to Basics in 2.0

X-wing 2.0 is a similar beast but yet a much different one to 1.0. The game has changed substantially, yet is still the same, the game is coming back to a manoeuvring game more than a pure slugfest of 1.0.

My nats experience showed me that my ability to manoeuvre is severely lacking, so what do you do? You practice, and stick with a list. As some of you may know, Im terrible in that regard, I hate playing the same thing over and over again. But the reality is if I am going to improve I will need to stick with a particular list, or at least a couple of elements of the list.

There is several options available for a good ship for properly playing the manoeuvre game.

The obvious 3 is Soontir, Darth Vader and Fenn Rau.

Lets have a look at all 3 options, and potential combos with other ships.

Lets have a look at the dials

This is the Dial of the Fang Fighter.

Interceptor Dial.

Tie Advanced x1 Dial.

Looking at the dials, the first thing that stands out is how similar all 3 dials are, particularly the Fang and Interceptor. The only tangiable differences is the fact the Fang does Talons while the Interceptor does sloops, and the interceptor has 2, 3, and 4 forward blues, while the Fang only has 2 & 3 forward blues.

The native ability of the Interceptor makes it much more manoeuvrable (ability to perform a boost or barrell roll after performing an action) than the Fang (which is more about getting into front arc and range 1 of your opponent), and the Tie Adv X1.

Im going to focus on the Imperials as they really benefit playing the outmanoeuvre game with their abilities.

My current idea is this:
Soontir, Vader & Pure Sabacc.

Thats 166 base. Which leaves some decent points for upgrades.

First Im going to waste some points on shield upgrade for Pure Sabacc, as his ability actually is worth having the shield on him, which is 6 points.

Next up is mandatory FCS on vader, due to the ability x1 has. This leaves 25 points.

Following that, Id argue Soontir really benefits from having predator due to his pilot ability gaining a focus by being in the bullseye.

More talk about this another day. I have something else I need to get off my chest first…


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Struggle of the Gunboats. November 14, 2018

Had a tourny finally, didnt do too well, but learnt a bit.

This was the list I ran.

Nu Squadron Pilot — Alpha-class Star Wing 35
Advanced SLAM 3
Xg-1 Assault Configuration 0
Tractor Beam 3
Ship Total: 41
Half Points: 21 Threshold: 4
Nu Squadron Pilot — Alpha-class Star Wing 35
Advanced SLAM 3
Xg-1 Assault Configuration 0
Tractor Beam 3
Ship Total: 41
Half Points: 21 Threshold: 4
“Redline” — TIE/ca Punisher 44
Advanced Sensors 8
Proton Torpedoes 9
Ship Total: 61
Half Points: 31 Threshold: 5
“Whisper” — TIE/ph Phantom 52
Juke 4
Ship Total: 56
Half Points: 28 Threshold: 3

Most of the games were reasonably close. 2 were on stream, one vs dual firesprays, the other vs Redline, phantom and Sai. The last game I won vs Sabine in the attack shuttle, wedge, ten and jan. I managed to wipe sabine out in one round, then it was dog and tail for a bit till I got wedge to fly off the board thanks to a perfect tractor shot.

The Phantom I found was the weakest link, more so probably cause I ended up putting it in bad spots – some times had some bad luck (first game 3 shots vs 5 defence dice being a good example).

I feel like the Nu’s did very well in most games, their slam manoeuvre allows me to close up quickly and pour fire into enemy ships, while my other ships move into position.

Nu Squadron Pilot — Alpha-class Star Wing 35
Fire-Control System 3
Homing Missiles 3
Advanced SLAM 3
Os-1 Arsenal Loadout 0
Adv. Proton Torpedoes 6
Ship Total: 50
Half Points: 25 Threshold: 4
“Redline” — TIE/ca Punisher 44
Proton Torpedoes 9
Ship Total: 53
Half Points: 27 Threshold: 5
Nu Squadron Pilot — Alpha-class Star Wing 35
Fire-Control System 3
Homing Missiles 3
Advanced SLAM 3
Os-1 Arsenal Loadout 0
Adv. Proton Torpedoes 6
Ship Total: 50
Half Points: 25 Threshold: 4
Colonel Jendon — Lambda-class T-4a Shuttle 46
Ship Total: 46
Half Points: 23 Threshold: 5

Im gonna try this out when I get a chance, it should be quite an effective hammer and anvil list, redline and the Lambda should be effective anvils, while the Nu’s bring it around.

There is another option, but has less ships…

Nu Squadron Pilot — Alpha-class Star Wing 35
Fire-Control System 3
Homing Missiles 3
Advanced SLAM 3
Os-1 Arsenal Loadout 0
Adv. Proton Torpedoes 6
Ship Total: 50
Half Points: 25 Threshold: 4
Nu Squadron Pilot — Alpha-class Star Wing 35
Fire-Control System 3
Homing Missiles 3
Advanced SLAM 3
Os-1 Arsenal Loadout 0
Adv. Proton Torpedoes 6
Ship Total: 50
Half Points: 25 Threshold: 4
Rexler Brath — TIE/D Defender 84
Juke 4
Fire-Control System 3
Tractor Beam 3
Ship Total: 94
Half Points: 47 Threshold: 4

It does have less health, but rexlar could prove to be an ace in the hole especially with his manoeuvrability – in saying that however the health is a lot less and is susceptible to being one shotted.

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Best pilots of X-wing 2.0 September 25, 2018

Had a few games of xwing 2.0 and so far I like what I’ve seen.

Most upgrades are worth it in one way or another which is also good.

Some builds like being naked others spamming upgrades.

This top 10 will be based not necessarily on the ship they are in but what they can take for upgrades, their action bar and pilot ability.

10. Wedge, wedge being wedge one less defence die when making an attack, either primary or secondary so torpedoes on him are brutal. Plus combined with the usual xwing sfoils upgrade and some solid slots makes for a very good pilot with a very scary capability.

9. Han solo (rebel), while he is above wedge a lot of that is due to the fact he’s got a bow tie arc shooting 3 damage and if within 0-1 of an obstacle he rerolls dice. The ship has solid action economy and also being ps6 means he is capable in a fire fight and is more long lasting than he should be.

8. Han solo (scum), while less firepower than his rebel variant, he has better health when combined with the escape craft plus also considerably cheaper. When combined with a couple choice upgrades he can be incredibly scary to face.

7. Boba fett. Boba is arguably the epitome of a solid pilot with a very solid ship. When combined with his upgrade slots and a healthy ps5 he can punish the unwary for sure.

6. Lando calrissian (rebel) ps5 with a brilliant ability (being able to grant a friendly ship within 0-3 an action after performing a blue maneuver successfully) makes him incredibly powerful. However his points costs hurt the most there.

5. Iden Versio, arguably the tie fighter you want to have in your swarm every time. Yes he’s a tie fighter, but the ability for once a game the ability to ignore damage for iden or a friendly tie fighter within 0-1 means that tie swarm will last just that bit longer and make you hit harder.

4. Luke Skywalker, the top 4 had a small gap between them all, but luke is 4th simple to because he is only ps5. Super natural reflexes combined with sfoils means he has superior flexibility when it comes to repositioning ability. He is arguably one of the best repositioners in the game with SR and s foils.

3. Guri, the star viper is arguably one of the best repositional ships bog standard in the game. Combine with guri free focus ability if within 0-1 of an enemy and pretty much any combo of upgrades will work with Guri, making it a stand out, but the next two are a level up there.

2. Darth Vader, combined with his ship ability, throw on SR and FCS (fire control system) and you have a a ship that has solid repositioning and good fire power thanks to advanced targetting computer. If luke was ps6, he would be here instead.

1. Palob Godalhi, a hawk on the top spot??!! Yup his ability to steal a focus or evade combined with some other upgrades and crew and you have a scarily resilient ship that can also make enemy ships not so resilient.

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X-Wing 2.0 – Got games September 23, 2018

So, finally had a couple of 2.0 games.

The list:

My opponent ran Rebel Lando w/ Bistan, nein nunb, Jyn, and Luke with instinctive aim, R2D2, proton torps and S-Foils (that was close to what he was running, nothing else I can think of.

Both games ended up being luke vs boba at the end, the first game my opponent flew lando off the board by mistake, the second time, I managed to kill him out right, but in hindsight I should have targetted luke instead of lando, as lando had the 1 less defence dice crit, and only had 2 health, where as luke had 2 health left as well.

Guri sadly was lost relatively cheaply, and I really need to pick up my game plan on him, as Im losing him too easily.

In saying that, his maneuverability is out of this world, I loved flipping him about and doing crazy shit.

I plan on using guri again, in a slightly different configuration, maybe combined with 4lom and something else.

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