Split this article into 2 parts because it was getting long and wordy. Part 2 with Empire and Scum to come later this week (probably).
With Hyperspace Trials underway around the world, here’s a bunch of ideas compiled on the current iteration of the Hyperspace format. (and by no means exhaustive, many more ideas out there!)
I’ve definitely come around to liking the Hyperspace format, after initially being quite skeptical. Lots of options, every faction has something, and there isn’t quite as much dumb shit yet. Even the original three factions (Rebel, Empire and Scum), fun list building within the restricted number of ships. Feels pretty well balanced actually. (This blog rapidly devolves into saying a lot of things are good!! and I gave up on using synonyms pretty quickly)
With literally nothing to play for in my neck of the woods for probably the next 6 months, (and before the next points balance) there’s no reason for me to try keep any ‘secret tech’. Blog = talking to myself written down for others to read.
X-Wings are good. Luke is great, even without Supernatural Reflexes. Wedge is pretty good, with or without Proton Torpedoes or Swarm Tactics. Garven offers some action economy. Biggs is unsurprisingly really good. Better when paired with Selfless.
Generics Non-uniques Non-limiteds also look good, but my personal preference is to lean towards non-limited U-Wings or Y-Wings before non-limited X-Wings. Red Sq Vet Selfless caddies seem good.
Y-Wings are good. Flavor of the season is Veteran Turret Gunner (VTG) and Ion Cannon Turret. The 5 wide version of 4 Gray Sq Bombers with VTG and Ion Turrets, and 1 Gray Sq Bomber with just Ion Turret is closest thing to an ‘easy mode‘ list at the moment.
I wouldn’t expect this list to survive the July points balance. But I would be surprised if there were an ’emergency change’ like for the triple Upsilons, it doesn’t have the same ‘feels bad man‘ potential.
- Proton Torps still a good choice, moreso with Dutch for the Lock synergy. And free actions are still good even without the ordnance. Free generally equals good.
- Norra is good, 1st edition reinforce was a little busted after all.
- Horton and VTG for free rerolls on both shots seems alright too.
- Gold Sq Vets have the Talent slot to carry Selfless.
I find U-Wings super fun to fly, so I appreciate I’m probably a bit biased here. They have such cool and interesting flight patterns from being able to pivot on the spot, and even more so with super cheap Leia. Partisan Renegades are good, and not simply only as Leia carriers (though you do want Leia on one of them too).
Coordinate is good, with Tactical Officer being a solid option. Rigged Cargo Chute with the
Leia white stop pivot and drop 360 no scope drops is fun. I’m not sure if it’s actually good, because then you’re then facing the opposite direction likely not shooting, but definitely fun. Magva feels overrated and not worth the points over a Partisan, doesn’t really seem to trigger (anecdotal evidence, small sample size). But her usefulness is hard to quantify (similar to Palob) as her presence can change an opponent’s actions priority and decisions by discouraging them from taking Locks.
Side rant: Why aren’t all the other U-Wing pilots in Hyperspace? There isn’t really a good reason, it’s the only ship in Hyperspace that doesn’t have access to all it’s pilots, and a lot of the other ships (Modified YT-1300, TIE Striker, StarFortress, Scavenged YT-1300, TIE/SF, TIE Silencer and Upsilon) are only available through the conversion kits. I just want my I2, non-limited Blue Sq Scout!
Modified YT-1300s look good… IF you want to fly a large base turret. Big if for a lot of people (including me). Large base turrets with boost moving last. Oh joy…
Lando with his super coordinate is good, can keep him pretty cheap and effective, with Nien Numb being the only ‘necessary’ upgrade. Han is somewhat of a rules nightmare (FAQ plz FFG), which generally equates to being good, and he is no exception. Native dice mods, I6 with boost and he improves the already good C-3PO and R2-D2 crew cards. And slapping on Trick Shot is quite good on turreted ships, especially Han.
People may have simply had enough of 2 ship builds after 1st edition. Personally I’ve noticed my own progression from 2 ship 2-3 years ago, to 3 ship, then 4 ship, now often 5 ships and not wanting to go less than 4. But Rebel 2-ship looks to be a viable archetype. Han+Luke, or Han+Wedge or Luke+Wedge. With R2 Astromech and R2-D2 (astromech or crew), regen is coming back! It’s not the same “Corran gives zero f*cks about taking damage”, but this limited shield regeneration is still good. I was looking at Luke+Han myself, before coming to the conclusion I don’t really want to fly it myself because 2-ship and turrets, even if it looks like a good squad.
Luke Skywalker (62)
Supernatural Reflexes (24), Proton Torpedoes (12), R2-D2 (6), Afterburners (6), Servomotor S-Foils (0) – Total: 110
Wedge Antilles (52)
Predator (2), Proton Torpedoes (12), R2 Astromech (4), Afterburners (6), Servomotor S-Foils (0) – Total: 76
This is the squad renowned Polish player Bartosz (or ‘Ken’) is flying in the second season of X-Wing Vassal Tournaments and is currently undefeated. I also recall reading something somewhere (Found it: was in the glorious Krayt thread on FFG forums) recently about Polish players exploring the 2-ship build quite a bit. And the Polish meta has tended to be a bit ahead of other parts of the world, so maybe this archetype is worth a look in.
Resistance feels like A-Wings the faction. Can have any number from 1-6 A-Wings in a squad and have it be a pretty good squad.
- 6 Blue Squadron Recruits with 1 point Talent of choice
- 5 A-Wings, mix of named pilots and generics with upgrades to taste, Talents and Advanced Optics
- 4 A-Wings with a 5th different ship, a T-70 such as Jess or Bastian, a StarfFortress, or Chewbacca!
- 3 A-Wings, and Poe
- 2 A-Wings, eg in four I5s (L’ulo, Tallie, Nien, Ello)
- 1 A-Wing, eg Poe, Nien, L’ulo
- You get the idea
Yes they are clearly very good. Too good? Unsure, not broken but probably a little too good. A price bump by a point or 2 in July seems likely.
For loading out A-Wings, there’s a range of Talents, ‘do what you want man‘. Missiles seem bad, but the Tech slot is interesting.
Advanced Optics is a good option on the lower initiative A-Wings. 2 attack dice with Focus and Advanced Optics has an 81% chance for 2 hits. It’s better on low initiative as Focus token is spent 75% of the time, so you have knowledge of whether you need it for defense or not. Can still be useful on the higher initiative aces if they have successfully arc dodged.
T-70s are good (see my other blog on T-70 action efficiency). I didn’t really mention Astromechs in that blog, but M9-G8 is pretty darn good. Extra good on Bastian. And Resistance get access to shield regen here too, with the R2 Astromech. The regen fits the Resistance playstyle of .. ah .. running away. It is how the A-Wings tend to fly
It is a .. strategy. They don’t die quickly or kill anything quickly. (I guess some people like to fly that, I’m not here to judge.)
The large base Resistance ships haven’t had too much of a look in, but there’s no reason they can’t be good with the great crew they have access to, Rey gunner, C-3PO in particular. If TIE Swarms ever pick up in a huge way, Trajectory Simulator StarFortresses are waiting in the wings.
Did you know: Chewbacca works on himself! Ultimate revenge shot! Chewie and 4 A-Wings keeps getting better. (reading the cards is a good strategy)
No more Dormitz and Hyperwave. Oh well.
This was a short section.
No, just kidding, the First Order has other toys to play with. For starters, the basic TIE/FO Fighter has lots of fun pilots.
Null and Rivas (the Inconvenient Witness himself) fight over being the best independent filler ship. Longshot, with Trick Shot gives the glorious feeling of throwing 4 dice with a TIE Fighter from downtown. Scorch is great as one of those pseudo 3 attack dice ships. Fanatical is a good upgrade to put on these TIE/FOs, after they lose their one shield, they get a guaranteed offensive dice mod, so can then use their action for defense, or barrel rolling, or acquiring a Lock for double mods. TN-3465 might have something epic to be uncovered. Muse offers good support, in particular when paired with
an Upsilon Tavson.
Tavson is good. To the point where the other Upsilons aren’t really worth talking about. At only 6 more points than a Starkiller Base Pilot, unless you want to fly more than 1 Upsilon, it’s probably worth finding the points for Tavson.
Rules note: When Tavson takes 2 damage in one shot, you can spend 2 charges to take 2 actions. Each damage is assigned individually.
I cbf finding the section/sections in the rules reference that confirm this at the moment. Actually that was really easy. Entry on Damage, second paragraph “When a ship suffers damage, that damage is suffered one at a time.” Rules Reference version 1.0.2
Phasma is a good upgrade, unlike the movies she does something sometimes. Pattern Analyser is great, even better paired with Muse, to clear the stress ready for actions in the Engagement Phase.
TIE/SF Fighter, effectively two ships in one. With Special Forces Gunner, or without. A Zeta Sq Pilot at 34 points compares pretty well to the acclaimed Resistance A-Wing (Blue Sq Recruit at 32 points), with 2 extra health for the loss of an agility and the boost action. Seems alright.
Quickdraw (much like Dengar) is a shadow of
his her their* former 1st edition self. But load him her them* out with SF Gunner and don’t expect more than you paid for, he’s she’s they’re* more than good enough. And Backdraft doesn’t even SF Gunner, keep the turret arc pointed back and always have 2 dice out the front, 3 dice out the back.
Edit: Copy of my response to a Reddit comment that Quickdraw is female: “QD has literally no back story and was made up for this game. And I’m not a fan of arbitrarily designating all the unknown characters to female, as it can lead to unnecessary objectification (see some of the alt arts out there, not all but some of them). That being said, I used ‘he’ and ‘him’ without thinking, so I’m probably part of the problem. Mini rant over”
These ships (TIE/FO, TIE/SF and Upsilon) lead to some cool 4/5 ship builds, pick and choose the pieces you like til it works out well.
Unlike his grandfather, Kylo is still content to equip Supernatural Reflexes, and finish what Vader started.
Supernatural Kylo as an archetype still has legs. Phil Horny recently won the American Top 50 invitational, with several games on GSP stream giving us a masterclass.
- Top 8 against Empire (Vader, Vermeil, Gideon, Countdown)
- Top 4 against Rebel (Luke, Blue Sq Escort, 2x VTG Gray Sq Bombers)
- Final against Resistance (Poe, L’ulo, Tallie, Bastian)
Kylo Ren (76)
Supernatural Reflexes (24), Pattern Analyser (5) – Total: 105
Fanatical (2), Pattern Analyser (5), Special Forces Gunner (10), Fire-Control System (2) – Total: 64
– Total: 31
This is the build that Phil took to the Invitational.
It’s not really my kind of ship, (hence I’m just saying here’s what someone else did, go look) but clearly can still be good.
To be continued…
This article is getting quite long, and with two factions still to go I’m spliting it into 2 entries. Stay tuned for Empire and Scum in part 2 later this week (probably), and some thoughts on the faction specific Talents.
Good counter = 39
Requested RSS feed still on the To Do list. If anyone wants to get in touch and do it for me that would be awesome. It looks like a 5 minute job for someone who knows what they’re doing (which I do not).