Tournament Prep: Colonel Vessery or Countess Ryad?

The perils of writing a tournament preparation article and publishing it before the event even when you state that time is short for writing this week means that it comes out after said event. That being said not being one to redact stuff in articles, here is my poser on Colonel Vessery and Countess Ryad.

Ryad Squadron

I wasn’t going to write out a prep article for this one but as time this week is short and the couple of more interesting articles I have planned need longer to squeeze out so here is a tournament prep article. It’s a bit annoying in one respect as I was going to start whatever article with “I would normally write a prep article leading up to a tournament about a list that I then completely change after writing, thus making the article a bit pointless so I wrote this instead.” Between juggling with a variety of real world stuff which has all crept out the woodwork post Yavin Open and the resultant lock down on tournaments and flying in general, I’ve had all of four games of X wing to prepare for a spring or summer kit event. Not sure which, just happy to get out and push some new ships around.

With limited game time and a plethora of builds in my mind I’ve kept a familiar build style and ship.

Should Vessery Have Tie/D

Whisper, Tie Phantom with Veteran Instinct, Fire Control Systems, Advanced cloaking device

Colonel Vessery, Tie Defender with Lone Wolf and Tie X7 title

Gamma Squadron Veteran, Tie Bomber with Crack shot, proton torpedoes, Extra munitions and Guidance chips.

100 points


Apparently, according to popular opinion Vessery should have the Tie/D title. I’m not saying that he should not, but the X7 title does make him and any other defender so much more survivable. In theory what I am thinking is that Vessery should probably be the third choice target at the beginning of the game as the Tie bomber can dish out some particular nasty hurt whilst Whisper will keep most opponents honest. Early on he can get the focus and evade buffs defensively and piggy back target locks from either the bomber or Whisper’s fire control systems to get a consistent damage output. This can be further enhanced if Lone Wolf is triggered.

Lone wolf is more of an insurance mechanism for the end game as I reckon he is more likely to be the only one left at the end if it goes that way. Playing with three ships or more and trying to trigger Lone Wolf all the time is a mistake as it will in general hurt your positioning. So Vessery will most likely be flying in formation with the bomber at the beginning.


Whisper’s back, back again. In my four practice games I was running Echo with the same upgrades plus Agent Kallus crew. As much as I prefer Echo’s de-cloak mechanic, and I feel I could make it work in the end, the combination of ships and the current PS8 meta for Imperial Aces makes switching back to Whisper seem a better option. I expect to see a Tie Defender or two and Vessery with Veteran instincts is also likely as well as things like Omega leader, a possible Rexlar Brath and the Inquisitor.

Although not strictly an ace in terms of repositioning, Vessery is a nice cost efficient ship which is not reliant on an Elite Pilot Skill to boost its effectiveness. I’m hoping to enjoy a bit more survivability from him than say the Inquisitor or Soontir Fel. There is an argument for Veteran instincts or adaptability and Ion engines as getting some green banks on Tie Defenders is handy. That being said Lone Wolf helps mitigate some of the draw backs of making a red hard one or two turn.


Bombing the base

Actually no bombs, but a toss-up between proton torpedoes and Concussion missiles and whether 2 points is worth it for PS 5 with crack shot. I’ve always liked the tie bomber model so happily repainted it up into first order colours. Considering the Meta and the abundance of contracted scouts and tie swarms I’ve reasoned on going for an alpha strike against these and having the added bonus of crack shot to push the damage through. Going back to my Yavin Open list I would have been quite happy to have swapped out the Doom Shuttle, (Omnicron group Lambda with Darth Vader crew), for either a PS 4 bomber or a PS2 Doom Bomber.

The choice between Concussion Missiles and Proton torpedoes is more of whether I am going to play a long game with launching them or fire at the first opportunity. The number of hits with either averagely is the same unless you can throw in an additional modification like a focus token, then concussion is better. I tried this in two games and found that I would be shooting at my fist opportunity and not hanging around to get slightly better odds with the focus token in the next turn so I’ve opted for Proton torpedoes to get a crit mechanic in.

Although Deadeye is the current defacto ordnance launcher of choice, crack shot brings in additional modification to the attacks. Although it makes launching against high PS ships more difficult by not having deadeye ,as the bomber is shooting last of my ships it helps push that bit more damage through and counteract a below average attack of say three hits with the Torpedoes. Maybe stick in a crit or two after Whisper and Vessery have dropped the shields down.

Dropping down to PS 4 would save me two points to go on either Whisper or Vessery without losing too much in terms of a PS bid or average damage output from the ordnance. On the flip side would I gain that much by adding Agent Kallus to Whisper or buffing Vessery in some way like maybe Tie/D with tractor cannon and veteran instincts or something?

Could Countess Ryad be better?

Countess Ryad with Predator and X7 title is 35 points and PS 5 which would make flying in formation with the bomber better and I would not be losing anything in the early stages of the game compared to Vessery other than Vessery possibly getting better modifications on attacks if shooting at the same target.

Should I Have PTL on Ryad?

Whisper, Tie Phantom with Veteran Instinct, Fire Control Systems, Advanced cloaking device

Countess Ryad, Tie Defender with Predator and Tie X7 title

Gamma Squadron Veteran, Tie Bomber with Crack shot, proton torpedoes, Extra munitions and Guidance chips.

100 points

So in the space of writing the retched article I have changed my mind with the help of the above throw away comments about Countess Ryad. I literally stopped writing at the above paragraph, thought about it overnight and concluded that she might be better in this squad.

Reasons being:

  1. PS5 vs PS6 is not going to make a difference as being on 100 points I expect to lose out on initiative bids against other PS6 builds. Bonus being the same pilot skill as the Bomber which frees up movement and shooting options.
  2. Not constrained by thinking about Lone Wolf. I like Lone Wolf, don’t get me wrong and I have used it on Echo to win a store championship back in the day but it works best on two ship builds.
  3. Having flown Maarek Steele, (tie advanced) with Push the limit and Ion Engines as well as Juno Eclipse I have found that when stressed not having a green hard turn makes a big difference. I am not convinced that limiting an already mildly limited dial with Push the limit is wise and that predator opens up the movement dial more effectively and allows Ryad to token up and modify attacks better.
  4. Perhaps the most important one but you purchase a Tie Defender for the chassis. Although with Vessery and this set up getting a target lock is quite likely, Ryad brings with her the same sturdiness and more movement options. Although her pilot ability is more situational it at least offers the option of executing a red hard one or two turn with a modified attack and a really flexible way of clearing it the following turn including changing facing.

The last reason is perhaps the most persuasive as I found in my last game that when Vessery was the last ship standing, getting a favourable attack positon became tricky and clearing the stress after a hard one turn took two turns in regards to re-engaging.

So that’s it.  I took Countess Ryad with Predator and X7 instead as I felt her ability may well prove better and more useful generally if flying just the one defender and this is what happened.

One thought on “Tournament Prep: Colonel Vessery or Countess Ryad?

  1. Pingback: Tournament Report Firestorm Cards Spring Kit | ZOMBIE SQUADRON

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