As much as I like to muse about how to stomp someone’s face into the dirt I also like to paint things. It really upsets me to admit that I got inspired by Wretched Scum’s flame painting guide of how he did his fantastic Fenn Rau. I had also been toying with the idea of mindlink for a while before it became popular.
Warning: Explicit flame painting hobby content puncturing attanni mindlink musings and list building.
In fact it was suggested by Man of Monkey that I write an article about Mindlink. Instead I choose to think of a top tier list and why it may not win Worlds 2016 and write about why it might not do so. And why it could win but that bit always gets ignored, (metal bikini I’m looking at you). If you want to read about mindlink in detail check out Stay on the leader blog spot for two great articles about it as well as a pretty good reason not to watch Pacific Rim.
If you take anything away from it, disregarding all the useful mindlink goodness, then the fact that Pacific Rim is a shitty movie should be the most important life lesson and hopefully two hours saved. I’d always been curious with what they had done with all the left over robot smack down footage from the first three transformer films. Having seen the trailer to Pacific Rim I saw that they had cobbled all the left overs together with some incoherent plot with humans. Or was that Transformers four? Regardless I thought I would watch it for free on T.V. one day as it looked kind of fun but thankfully Mr Sutcliffe’s review has saved me the pain.
I’m forever grateful.
Anyway, scum is great to paint in regards to the freedom it gives you if you want to be authentic in the paint jobs. You can legitimately in regards to this thing called ‘fluff’ paint what you like. I read this painting guide somewhere on line about doing flames on Fenn Rau and got inspired and found the guide quite useful. Its from that site where someone wrote about Dengaroo would not win worlds 2016, we had a chuckle about that at our latest club meet up.
Which ships to Paint?
Seeing as Mindlink is the new hotness from some small foreign meta I decided to go along those lines.
The 186th Special
Fenn Rau: Attanni Mindlink, Auto thrusters, Concord Dawn protector Title
Old Teroch: Attanni Mindlink, Auto thrusters, Concord Dawn protector Title
Maneroo: attanni Mindlink, K4 security droid, unhinged agro mech, feedback array.
Benn Rau took this to the quarter finals at Worlds whilst Jesper Hills took his variant, the 186th Hill Special or 186th HWK Special or whatever he calls it, to the top twenties, swapping old Teroch for Palob. So jumping on the Mindlink train I had been looking at incorporating an IG88 of some kind. Initially I was tinkering with IG88D crew on Palob with IG88C and Fenn Rau but although I liked the final result of the list building puzzle from a play style perspective I needed something more in your face.
The problem with net listing the new hotness is that the play style may not work for you. Naturally this is something you can find out by playing the list but as I mentioned before in a swarm article if I run into a mirror match against a player well versed in the list I’m immediately on the back foot. The 186th Special still has a lot of the onus on one ship doing the hard yards, even more so in Jesper’s version. This is the one reason I would not run Dengaroo myself as all the offensive output is in one place, although if I did, I would take Nand’s version, Nandaroo. It’s a two edged blade where you can hit hard but foul up and everthing can come tumbling down pretty quickly.
With all this in mind I came up with this:
Fenn Rau: Attanni Mindlink, Auto thrusters, Concord Dawn protector Title
IG88B: Attanni Mindlink, Fire Control Systems, Heavy laser Cannon, auto thrusters
Kaato Leeachos: Attanni Mindlink,
With the remaining four points I’ve looked at the following options:
Cluster bombs on IG88B (4): good in theory, better with munitions. Conner net maybe?
Burnout slam on the IG88B (1): worth a punt for repositioning, I prefer it over inertial dampners.
Seismic charge on IG88B (2): maybe, but Feedback array on Kaato might be more useful.
Upgrade Kaato to N-dru (2): naturally only when flying Kaato does the Z95 for fill the range requirements for N’dru.
Feedback on Kaato (2): we will see but has potential.
Deadman’s switch (2): guaranteed to bite me at the wrong point.
Proton rockets and Chips on Kaato (3): not bad but I like the bid and burnout slam.
Concussion or cluster missiles on Kaato: getting the target lock on high PS ships and rounding off at 100 points total.
Plasma Torpedoes on Fenn (3): interesting benefits in terms of total points cost for Fenn but guidance chips would be useful if running it.
Black market slicer tools (1): worth a punt but I need my actions on the Z95 to focus.
Initiative bid: 99 points useful against Colonel Vessery and rebel PS9 which should be 100 point lists. I feel that maybe to guarantee Fenn moving last 95 points is the total to go for rather than 96 or 97 points in the UK meta.
Early games ruled out cluster bombs on the IG88 and pointed to the fact that I need to get the Z95 involved rather than just hugging the back edge generating focus. Regardless of how I play the Z95 tends to die and initially the IG88 has done most of the heavy lifting. If it does too much heavy lifting it begs the question about why not just run double IG88.
Flying Fenn has been a bit of a puzzle to unlock. Fenn is like the bastard child of Soontir Fel and Whisper; you get the dice of a phantom at range one and near enough the dial of an interceptor but without the token stacking and cloaking. It dawned on me that it is very much like flying Carnor Jax with Veteran instincts, something I’ve flown before but with the added extra action from Mindlink. My most recent game had me fly the IG88 badly only for Fenn to pull me out of jail and put the coup de grais on both Jake Farrell and Poe Dameron.
My current build has been to use Burnout slam on the IGG88 with N’dru replacing Kaato and a 99 point bid. My reasoning is that IG88B has the arc and fire power to whittle down the higher PS arc dodgers whilst Fenn cleans out the smaller stuff. The bid is for Tie Defenders and rebel builds which will normally top out at 100 points. Problems so far are that I’m not getting the benefit of N’dru’s shooting bonus for the most part. The next run out I’m going to switch back to Kaato with a feedback array. I also feel that the PS5 of Kaato synergises with the list better to get both the other ships double focus if I want.
You really need three ships at least in a mindlink list to gain the benefit of the focus sharing. Stress is not the negative as first feared and red manoeuvring is fine if you plan adequately for it.
What’s in a name?
Initially when I stared playing around wave 4 I found the whole squad name thing somewhat silly but now I spend a great deal of my time thinking of the appropriate squad name. For example, with this list I have run through these options:
Figachos: Fenn, Ig88B, Leeachos
Ned’s Fig: N’dru, Fenn, IG88B. This I like but constrains me to using N’dru which may not be the way forward. On the down side I picture in my head a naked Sean Bean as Ned Stark with just a Fig leaf covering his modesty.
Flaming Mindlink: Says what it does on the tin but does mean I have to play with ships with flames on them. Could be a life choice but I don’t know how long I could go down that road, might be a bit 1980’s manga for my liking.
The Zombie Special: the list is probably not original or special enough unless you are using ‘special’ in a derogatory way.
The 186th Zombie Special: now this, this has promise. Give a little bit of homage to the origins of bringing mindlink to the fore on Fenn Rau but adds my own flavour and icing to it. It’s like I’ve been impregnated by the 186th and given birth to…
Yeah, let’s just leave the weird analogies there.
(Edited)I did set up a poll on our faeces page if anyone wanted to click an option. as it turned out, having seen worldwide what happens when you let people vote in 2016 I consulted the Godfather of Mindlink in the UK and he not only gave the list a modest thumbs up but suggested a reference point for a name.
Fenn Rau: Attanni mindlink, Title, auto thrusters
IG88B: Attanni mindlink, Fire control systems, Burnout slam, Heavy laser cannon, auto thrusters
Kaato Leeachos: Attanni Mindlink, Feedback Array
After hastily looking through my time table of events this looks like ‘the one’ to take to Yavin. I have one tournament at the end of December and maybe one somewhere prior to Yavin. The Tug boat might be an option instead of the Z95 as the focus generator depending on the points cost of the as yet unrevealed pilot. This could mean taking the list to 100 points and dropping the concord dawn title. Still plenty of time to play around with the fine tweaks although I’m favouring Burnout Slam on the IG88B and Feedback Array on Kaato.
If nothing else I have had fun painting flames on ships and hopefully will burn a path through to Yavin.
Drum roll, Ba Dum Cha.
Few know that bear baiting ‘talk’ show host Jeremy Kyle is a big X-Wing fan, so it’s over to JK to take it away.