Now I have a bunch more ships, I thought I’d have a go at building a pair of proper 100 point squads. This turned out to be more fiddly than I expected.
For the Rebels, I figured I would build a ‘Battle of Yavin’ squad of X-Wings and Y-Wings. The Y-Wings are slow, tough, bomber-style ships that can have 360 degree turrets, so one of these guarded by a couple of nippy X-Wings seemed like a good idea.
100 points sounds like a lot but you find they soon get used up once you have picked two or three ships. Even though most of the upgrades cost only 1, 2 or 3 points, you still have to careful as they all add up.
For the Y-Wing, I chose the pilot Dutch Vander. He gives friendly ships free target locks, which allow you re-roll your attack dice. He has an Ion Turret, which can fire in any direction and stuns the defending ship, preventing it from manoeuvring for a turn.
I also gave him an R2-F2 astromech which can boost his agility by adding a defence die as an action. I did wonder if this was any good since it costs an action and is worse than a plain evade token, but then I realised Y-Wings don’t have evade at all so this is the best they get :).
This totalled 23 + 5 + 3 = 31 points.
I wanted a change from Luke, so I chose Biggs and Wedge for the X-Wings. Biggs has a neat ability which means enemy ships must keep shooting at him in stead of anyone else. I gave him R2-D2 to make his shields last longer.
Shields are good because critical hits on shields only count as regular damage.
Biggs costs 25 points and R2-D2 costs 4, so he totals 29. So far I have spent 60 points.
The plan for Wedge was for him to be killing enemies while the enemy wasted time shooting at Biggs, so I wanted to focus him on attack and so gave him Marksmanship and R5-K6 for extra target locks. This is 29 plus 3 plus 2 equals 34 points.
I am not doing too bad, having only spent 94 points. What to do with the final 6?
I did consider giving Wedge a proton torpedo for 4 points, but instead gave Biggs a shield upgrade to make him tougher. This also costs 4, leaving me 2 remaining points.
You can’t just stick any upgrade on any ship, you are limited by the icons on the pilot card. The only option left for Wedge was a missile of some kind and none of them are cheap enough. I have used up Biggs’ two upgrades. So that only leaves Dutch. He has two icons left, but like Wedge they are both missiles, so I can’t actually spend those last two points!
Having a total of 98 can be an advantage, as if two pilots are tied for pilot skill then the one in the squad with the lowest points gets initiative and shoots first.
For the Imperial squad, I wanted to try a mini-swarm of TIE Fighters, with an Interceptor skimming around and the TIE Advanced as support.
I made the Interceptor the star of the squad with a decent pilot, Turr Phennir, who gets free boosts and barrel rolls.
The idea is that he can do an extra boost or barrel roll after firing to dodge out of the firing arc of the defending rebel ship so they don’t get to fire back.
I gave him Veteran Instincts to give him a high pilot skill, so he moves last and shoots first. This totals 26 points.
I had a lot of points left, and TIE Fighters are cheap, so I could have the TIE Advanced also be a named pilot. I decided to try Maarek Stele, who does harder damage. I gave him Squad Leader to improve the other TIE’s movement, and Cluster Missiles to punch past defenders’ focus.
This left 41 points. A basic 1-skill Academy Pilot TIE Fighter is only 12 points. I chose to have two of these, plus the named pilot Night Beast who gets extra focus actions.
The game was kind of close, but the rebels led most of the way and won in the end.
Biggs took lots of hits to his shields and 2 hull damage, but kept restoring his shields with R2 to stay alive. This seemed a good combo.
The Y-Wing was ok. It is very tough and got to fire a lot. The problem was the turret is a secondary weapon which doesn’t get a bonus at range 1, so it actually only managed to hit once.
The Interceptor did loads of arc-dodging which was great fun. Then it got taken out with one shot.
I kept forgetting to use the Squad Leader extra actions, and the missiles on the Advanced weren’t very good. For the following game I switched the missiles for a Shield Upgrade.
The Imperials won this second game easily with no losses, due entirely to bad flying by the Rebels. The X-Wings cornered in front of the Imperials while trying to avoid being blocked. (You are blocked if you land on top of another ship, and you lose your action for the turn which is bad). The Imperial blasted away at point-blank range, getting all sorts of bonuses and crippled the rebel fleet in one turn.
After this defeat, I think being blocked is definitely better than ending up facing the wrong way.