So Imperial Veterans are now out and this was my first event with them flying about.
My first big decision of the day was whether to purchase a coffe on route from either Greggs the bakers in Yateley or Costa in Hartney Whitney. Famous ex-residents of Hartney Whitney include Johnny Depp. Pros and cons are simply parking on street could be tricky in Hartney Whitney although it would be a better if not more expensive grade of coffee. Also if I am gunning for a Mocha I am not a fan of Costa’s Mochas. Greggs has given itself a bit of an image adjustment to aim at the coffee market although the quality is not quite in the same league as Starbucks or Costa. Surprisingly I opted for a Mocha and visited Greggs instead and added an Almond croissant for just an extra 30pence. Bargin!
Whilst having a chat with a couple of guys from the 186th outside the venue whilst turning up early I forgot I was holding the croissant in a paper bag and just crushed it up to turf it into a bin along with my empty coffee cup. Surprisingly the croissant was not that badly damaged and unfurled quite reasonably much like a regen rebel list. I put this down to the fact that Vid was not wearing his customary hat. This was only the second time of seeing him without the hat and just in case anyone wonders, he does actually have a full head of nicely coiffured hair and just likes wearing hats. He is not the Edge of the 186th who had been wearing a beanie hat since the 1990’s to hide his reflective dome.
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.
I typed out my rationale for this in a previous rambling here so I had 4 games to question the theory of Predator versus PTL, (push the limit) on Ryad.
Poe Dameron T-70 X Wing Push the Limits, R5-P9, Auto thrusters
2 x Red Squadron Veterans T-70 X Wing Predator, R2 astro Mech, Integrated astro mech
We set up in opposite corners and Steve rushed quickly down and across the board to engage. This slightly surprised me as I was casually turning in, albeit casually for a Bomber and Defender which is in fact relatively quickly. The defining moment came early on as Ryad and the Bomber had a Veteran at range three and took it down in one exchange of fire. Slightly above average but I could live with that.
Whisper then joined the fray and it went downhill relatively quickly for Steve. One highlight was my bomber carefully teeing up another Torpedo shot only to then roll four blanks. We had time for a rematch which sadly we couldn’t conclude which was much tighter. The Bomber repeated its trick of rolling four blanks against Poe.
Poe Dameron T-70 X Wing Veteran Instincts, R5-P9, Auto thrusters
Blue Ace T-70 X Wing , R-D2, Intergrated astro mech Comms relay
Jake Farrell A-Wing Push the limit, adaptability, Charadan refit, test pilot Title.
Rebel regen, a blast from the not too distant past and sharing similar regenerative qualities to a Greggs croissant. My set up inexperience cost me in this and some bad flying with the Bomber and probably not running away fully with Whisper mid game. I initially ran away from Jake and Blue ace with Ryad and the Bomber when they set up in front of me and I should have just jousted them and flanked in with Whisper.
I lost the bomber early and late game ended up on the back foot. I tried to get Whisper behind Poe or Jake When I should have committed both ships to take out Blue Ace. I almost got a sneaky win at the death by managing to manoeuvre Blue Ace between a mauled Whisper and Ryad . A crit and the integrated astromech saved blue ace and James won the game. I flew poorly at times and did not get the damage output from Whisper that I needed.
Chewbacca,YT-1300, Predator, han solo crew, C3-PO crew, Engine upgrade, Millenium Falcon title
2 x Green squadron A-Wing Veteran instincts,lightening reflexes, Charadan refit, test pilot Title, stealth device.
It started well which was made better when Jamie parked the Falcon on a rock for the initial engagement. I ignored the A wings and decided to concentrate on taking down the falcon before I lost a ship. Crucially I should have run away with Whisper at this point but didn’t and ended up at range one of all his ships and took damage. I then lost Whisper the following round despite being cloaked and having an evade token. Chewy got two damage and I failed to roll an evade.
The bomber went next but not before it took out an A wing which had K turned with its last Proton torpedo thanks to simultaneous fire. From where Ryad was positioned I chased the Falcon and slowly started to chip away at it as it was under half its starting hull and shields. I needed to kill one ship to win, and both to get a full win.
Jamie tried to block the chasing Ryad with his other A Wing and boosted to get position. This is when Ryad’s ability kicked in. As I had dialled in a 5 straight manoeuvre I switched it to a K Turn and ended up facing the A Wing at range one. A four or three manoeuvre would have had me bumping. I focused and took the full health A wing out in one range one shot courtesy of Jamie not getting a single evade when he needed it. I then continued to chase the Falcon and snag a hull here and there. Time was called and it had one hull left.
Café Nero, I said to myself.
Actually if I wanted to self-flagellate it would be a Vanilla Latte from a McDonalds or any cup of instant.
Sontir Fel Tie Interceptor Push the Limit, Tie Royal Guard Title, Auto thrusters, stealth device.
Inquisitor Tie Advanced Prototype: Push the limit, auto thrusters and title.
Maarek Steele Tie Defender, Adaptability, Twin Ion Engines
Mark won the choice for initiative and handed it to me, which I prefer if I am flying Whisper although I don’t really mind being the other way around. I’m easy either giving or receiving.
Mark went really aggressive at the beginning and came straight down my throat. That’s space ships travelling quickly and aggressively, not anything else like ‘store credit.’ This caught me a little off guard with Whisper but I managed to reposition and exchange range one shots with Fel. I rolled one hit, he rolled four blanks and did not have an evade token.
I went into full blocking mode after this which helped once Maarek had overflown the engagement. There was one point when Mark managed to almost turn the tables with Fel once I had smoked the Inquisitor and just by a few millimetres could not boost due to a rock to get Whisper out of arc. Ryad finished Fel with a range one shot.
With just Maarek Steele left versus Whisper and Ryad I carefully regrouped although Mark plunged straight back in to disrupt this and take on my ships one at a time. He almost got Whisper but a quick barrel roll left me with a range one shot with a target lock and that was that.
The bomber did well although only inflicting one point of damage on both Fel and the Inquisitor. I had managed to block Fel to set up a range two shot with the proton torpedoes through a rock. I got four hits, mark rolled three evades. I only scored the hit on the inquisitor because of crack shot and that too was four hits.
In conclusion I quite like the Greggs new coffee shop style look and if hunting for a Mocha it is my closest vendor and reasonably priced. If looking for a latte I can get a free Latte at the local Waitrose of a similar or slightly higher quality.
In terms of ‘Should Ryad have PTL,’ I much prefer predator on her and would also feel that outfitting a Glaive squadron pilot with X7 and predator would also be very useful. Ryad and a Glaive in the same squad? Predator certainly upped the offence and in all four games I never lost all my shields thanks to having both evade and focus tokens and predator kept the output constant. The reliability of the Tie Defender withX7 plus Predator really shone
Maarek Steele in a Tie Defender did mildly cause me concern for the Crit mechanic he offers but as the game progressed against Mark I felt it highlighted why Vessery or Ryad are better. Mark did select Maarek correctly by not chasing points after the pilot ability but I felt that either of the other two ships would offer a bit more.
The bomber on the other hand was a bit of a mixed bag. When you spend 26 points in an Imperial squad you have to ask yourself the question whether it is better than Omega leader? Situationally there would be occasions but in the four games I played it varied and then at times I felt was it worth spending the two points for the extra PS and crack shot. Dropping it to the PS4 would allow Agent Kallus to set up home in Whisper and that would have changed the outcomes in two matches and made one a lot easier on occasion.
I felt the weak link was the bomber and slotting in either Omega leader or a 24 point option of either a doom cow or Zeta leader would have been better. I could have flown the bomber better at times but I am not so convinced on the investment in points in this build.
From a playing point of view I didn’t feel like I played at my best and made errors with Whisper. Part of this was down to not flying the exact list before and relative inexperience with the ships but I felt I did well with the Tie Defender. This I can put down to the test flying in Yavin. There were times when I pulled it out of the bag like in game three where despite dropping down to just Countess Ryad from a favourable position I managed to work out that either finishing off the Falcon or swatting the A-Wing would give me a modified win and not panic about it. As of today that would now be a full win as modified wins have been dropped.
I finished fifth out of fourteen which would have been third if modified wins had been scrapped the week before. Such is life. Annoyingly I missed playing Tom Duncan’s Tie Swarm or the eventual winner Vid and his double contracted scout and Zuckass list. As much as you can prepare for the ‘Meta’ it does not mean you will play it.