"Howlrunner" w/ Swarm Tactics
"Mauler Mithel" w/ Swarm Tactics
Total Squad Points: 99
This is just a basic TIE Swarm. I took a more useful set of upgrades this time, however- Swarm Tactics actually get my ships shooting before several other pilots, and it was definitely helpful in this game.
Luke Skywalker w/ R2-F2
Rookie Pilot w/ R2 Astromech
Rookie Pilot w/ R2 Astromech
Gold Squadron Pilot w/ Ion Cannon Turret, R2 Astromech
Total Squad Points: 99
3 X-Wings and a Y-Wing. R2-F2 with Luke makes him pretty tough to kill, and the R2 Astromechs should give the X-Wings more maneuverability. I am happy to see the Y-Wings in the list, of course.
A quick note about our setup- I basically set up everything right in the middle, as you can see from the picture. BK put Luke Skywalker and the Y-Wing off to my right, and the two Rookie Pilots off to my left. It was different than I'm used to seeing, so I was eager to get into action.
Regardless, our first turn is of course, uneventful. We both move forward towards the center. Exciting.
I have a choice here. I could go to my left, crush the Rookie Pilots, but then I'd have Luke and a Y-Wing behind me, which could really suck (getting hit with an Ion Token, then having Luke move to range 1 and Target Locking would be a dead TIE a turn, I'm sure). I decide to bank to the right, and take on Luke early.
Unfortunately, my piloting skills suck. A bunch of my ships run into themselves, but in general, I do manage to get my ships pointing the right way.
Both of BK's groups of ships turned slightly and headed towards the center.
We exchange some long range shots to little effect- the sole casualty is a single shield is taken off the Y-Wing.
Well, it's action time. I figure that BK's ships are likely to bank to their right, and rejoin their buddies. However, I didn't want to fully commit to that way, so I tried to slightly go BOTH ways. Because the ships are already in position to not fall on top of one another, I actually get to take actions with everyone. Those actions, however, are 7 Evade actions. Seven. Yes, exciting.
BK's left group of X-Wings is forced to send one of them through the asteroid, but doesn't take any damage. The Y-Wing does bank to his right, but Luke goes straight forward, depending on his high agility to see him through the firestorm.
Well, he's right there. A few TIEs shoot at Luke, but fail to do any damage, and in return he deals a point of damage to one of my Academy Pilots.
On my left, I'm a little more successful- my massed shooting takes all the shields off the Y-Wing, and get a Critical Hit onto the starfighter (something minor). BK's Rookie Pilots deal two points of damage to an Academy Pilot as well.
So, three turns in, I'm in position to start hurting the Y-Wing, and I'm taking damage on my TIEs at a fairly mediocre rate. Not looking too bad, so far.
Alright, what to do now? I'm fairly unsure about how well I can hurt Luke without sending every ship after him, and decide to give up on that for now, and focus on the other ships. I send my guys to the left, and try to spread out to cover as much of the board with firing arcs as possible.
BK sends his ships basically right into the middle of my lines.
I start off with some shooting at the Y-Wing with Howlrunner and a Swarm Tactic'd Academy Pilot, but fail to accomplish anything. Luke follows with a shot on Howlrunner, hoping to lower the effectiveness of my entire fleet, but fails to put any hits through (2 hits and 2 evades, I believe).
Mauler Mithel, however, has much better luck and lays into the Rookie Pilot right in front of him, rolling up four hits (to no evades), destroying him, and giving the Imperials the first confirmed kill of the match.
The Academy Pilot I had used Swarm Tactics on with Mauler also finds some success, and deals two damage to the Y-Wing right in front of him.
The Y-Wing gets a little revenge, however, and manages to put an Ion Cannon shot into one of my Academy Pilots, making my maneuvering a little more annoying next turn.
Unfortunately for said Y-Wing, he doesn't get to stick around and take advantage of it, as my remaining Academy Pilots bring him down.
At this point, things are looking pretty good. I've killed two ships, and although I've taken small amounts of damage on a few of my TIEs, I haven't lost any. If I can get my ships pointing the right direction, I should be able to depend on my weight of shots to carry the day.
Every one of my ships turns around, except for the one that had an Ion counter. BK's ships slowly move up into the teeth of my squad.
My shooting is all at long range, and I fail to accomplish anything. BK's limited shooting is much more effective, however, and his Rookie Pilot puts two damage on an undamaged TIE (unfortunately, the only one he could get in his firing arc), both of which are critical (I don't remember the exact effects).
Now, ships are about to get close, which means things could get very ugly.
And they do. I screw up all of my maneuvering, meaning almost none of my ships actually get actions (smooth), but unfortunately for BK, that's all that goes wrong this turn.
My shooting starts fairly weak- one of my Academy Pilots, shooting with Howlrunner's Swarm Tactics take a shield off of Luke, who fires back and gets FOUR hits... which I then proceed to evade all but one of.
My next shot takes two shields off the Rookie Pilot, who's shooting does nothing.
I finish my turn with two Academy Pilots, each shooting at Luke. Three shots apiece.... and each rolls three hits. Luke can't keep up with that kind of rolling, and gets destroyed.
With only a single Rookie Pilot facing off against my entire force, even damaged as they are, we decide to call it.
This will probably be the last time I run a TIE swarm in a friendly match for some time. I'm really too eager to try all the new ships, and I really want to try running multiple TIE Advanced and see how they perform, as well as using the new Wave 2 ships. Running all these TIEs was fun, of course, but I want to try something different.
It's hard to say what I did wrong or right about this game - I got so lucky with dice at times that it didn't matter what I chose (killing Luke, for instance was almost purely luck). Obviously, I really REALLY need to work on my maneuvering, since I spent two turns without actions, practically. My overall game plan worked better than my last TIE Swarm game (I didn't lose Howlrunner right away, for instance), so that's progress.
So yeah, next time I play as the Imperials, look for a something with more variety as my list!