Squad building with the Nantex*

*I say Nantex, but what I really mean is Ensnare.

“Fair and balanced”

Despite being the latest game breaking apocalypse (complete with a Friday the 13th release date), there don’t seem to be too many Nantex lists floating around.

Quite possibly due to the rapidly approaching World Champs and maybe people wanting to keep their tech secret. But I’m not going to that, and none of the people I’ve been talking/testing with who are going are choosing Nantex, so I have no qualms just writing anything and everything I can think of.

Or people are ignoring it and hoping it goes away….

The new Republic BTL-B Y-Wing is neat and all, but it has nothing on the Nantex in terms of new mechanics and interesting-ness. Both with or without Ensnare the Nantex is a far more new and exciting ship with new and different mechanics and flying style. Ensnare is pretty darn ridiculous too.

I had been meaning to fly some Separatist swarms for some time, hadn’t gotten around to it. Networked Calculations, Struts, interesting dial (hard turns instead of banks), all cool things. Also getting to say “Roger, Roger” a lot was quite appealing. And the hideous Vulture paint schemes were the final straw in getting me back into miniature painting.

Let’s play some Separatists!

I found myself building an awful lot of lists, mostly different combinations of Nantexes and Vultures, different amounts of each and thought I should write them down to help me keep track of them a nice blog for the people.

One Nantex

Sun Fac+6

The most obvious ‘cookie cutter’ Nantex build uses the I6 glue that is the mythical Sun Fac.

List
Sun Fac Nantex-class Starfighter (54)
Ensnare (24) – Total: 78
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Total: 198

Sun Fac with Ensnare, add Vulture droids up to 200 points. Similar list to the one XY came up with to win the Australian System Open (Dooku+6). Sun Fac can do a few more nasty ace tricks, but loses the strain given out by K2-B4 (actually quite a lot of strain), and the health of the Infiltrator.

Similar desired outcomes with the squads, tractor something for it to be lit up by the Vultures at fewer agility, but would definitely fly differently. Sun Fac needs to get into R1 to tractor, cannot tractor large bases, and is a much more fragile lynchpin if he gets attacked.

Could also drop the Grappling Struts or even an entire Vulture to get a bigger bid for Sun Fac (or different loadouts for the Vultures; I3s, DFS311, ESCs, Buzz Droids), as Sun Fac is most powerful when he is moving last.

Chertek Vulture Swarm

Variation on the above, dropping I6 Sun Fac for I4 Chertek and freeing up 29 points for more toys for the Vulture swarm, in this case, a Tactical Relay Belbullab.

List
Chertek Nantex-class Starfighter (39)
Ensnare (10) – Total: 49
Captain Sear Belbullab-22 Starfighter (39)
TA-175 (5), Soulless One (6) – Total: 50
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Total: 199

Sear’s ability and TA-175 make the Vultures a whole lot scarier, as well as gaining another good mid range ship in the Belbullab (3 attack dice behind 7 health and 2 agility isn’t nothing).

The downgrade from Sun Fac to Chertek is pretty significant with I5 and I6 ships being able to reposition away from the Ensnare Danger Zone. The bubble is still quite big to avoid and will have enemy aces running cautiously, whilst still getting to move after a large number of ships (I1-I4).

2 Ship: Nantex+Sith Infiltrator

For completeness, I’ll mention this attempt at 2 ship glue build.

Link
Sun Fac Nantex-class Starfighter (54)
Ensnare (24), Predator (2) – Total: 80
Darth Maul Sith Infiltrator (67)
Hate (9), Tractor Beam (2), Proton Torpedoes (13), General Grievous (3), Chancellor Palpatine (13), Shield Upgrade (4), Scimitar (4) – Total: 116
Total: 196

This one’s popped up on List Fortress/Meta Wing, been talked about a little, because there’s those players out there who are not quite over 1st edition and only want to fly two ships. Can drop upgrades to taste to get the desired level of initiative bid.

I don’t think it works well or will be any good.

Berwer Kret

Brewer Berwer Brewer seems pretty terrible overall, but looks interesting enough to at least theory craft to try make work. Might be handy to help set up some nasty double modded attacks, and apply tractor tokens with Ensnare to those attacks. His ability needs Locks, so let’s double down on those Locks with some Munitions.

List
Berwer Kret Nantex-class Starfighter (40)
Ensnare (16) – Total: 56
Techno Union Bomber Hyena-class Droid Bomber (26)
Proton Torpedoes (13), Landing Struts (1) – Total: 40
Techno Union Bomber Hyena-class Droid Bomber (26)
Proton Torpedoes (13), Landing Struts (1) – Total: 40
Techno Union Bomber Hyena-class Droid Bomber (26)
Concussion Missiles (6), DRK-1 Probe Droids (5), Landing Struts (1) – Total: 38
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Energy-Shell Charges (5), Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 25
Total: 199

Set up Locks on a Target with the Dank droids. Brewer tractors, shoots and hits that target, everyone gets to take a red calculate action, and nukes it into oblivion. Neat?

Not really. You could achieve the same outcome with just the Dank droids. Set up Locks early, then calculate on the engage turn. What small base ship do you need to throw 2 ProTorps, a Conc Missile and an ESC into? And if not small, tractor token isn’t doing anything. Brewer’s ability only works on a single enemy ship, so all the double mods going into one target which is likely overkill.

Brewer is 22 points cheaper than Sun Fac for one less initiative, so that’s probably a better use, I5 Ensnare with no pilot ability. Still better than Gorgol. No ideas at all for Gorgol.

Two Nantexi

(I should probably put the rules for Tractor in here somewhere)

While one Nantex with Ensnare is enough to send any small base ship into PANIC, medium and large base ships don’t care about a single tractor token. Solution? Multiple instances of Ensnare in the squad, giving the same enemy ship multiple tractor tokens, and getting to tractor medium and large base ships.

2 Nantex + Vultures

List
Chertek Nantex-class Starfighter (39)
Ensnare (10), Crack Shot (1) – Total: 50
Petranaki Area Ace Nantex-class Starfighter (38)
Ensnare (10), Predator (2) – Total: 50
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Total: 200

The one squad in this blog I’ve actually played a couple games with, had a couple games helping a buddy prep for worlds. And not going to lie, playing the Nantex (definitely a bit badly) was a little soul-destroying. I guess I’m not going to move away from high ship lists any time soon, Nantex too good against an individual ship.

Similar to the Sun Fac + 6 squad, but downgrades Sun Fac to 2 lower initiative Nantex, while still keeping the swarm presence with 5 Vultures. I think these mid initiative Nantexi might be the best of the bunch, in terms of efficiency. So much cheaper than Sun Fac, and still really good, moving after a large amount of the field, and still forcing higher initiative aces to stay away.

Having a bunch of Vultures is also great to hand off the Tractor tokens to if no enemy at range 1. The Nantex get their agility back, and the Vulture might be able to reposition to a better position.

Grievous + 2 Nantex

List
Sun Fac Nantex-class Starfighter (54)
Ensnare (24), Predator (2) – Total: 80
Chertek Nantex-class Starfighter (39)
Ensnare (10), Crack Shot (1) – Total: 50
General Grievous Belbullab-22 Starfighter (44)
Outmaneuver (6), Impervium Plating (4), Soulless One (6) – Total: 60
Total: 190

Grievous is a pretty decent 2nd/3rd ‘ace’ or flanker, and finally has some friends to run him like that in a low ship count list. Not really my style, would prefer at least one more ship, if not 4 or 5 more.

Sun Fac. Good looking bug?

Red Nantex Three Nantexes

Grievous + 3 Nantex

List
Chertek Nantex-class Starfighter (39)
Ensnare (10) – Total: 49
Petranaki Area Ace Nantex-class Starfighter (38)
Ensnare (10) – Total: 48
Petranaki Area Ace Nantex-class Starfighter (38)
Ensnare (10) – Total: 48
General Grievous Belbullab-22 Starfighter (44)
Impervium Plating (4), Soulless One (6) – Total: 54
Total: 199

My preferred version of the above Grievous + 2 Nantex squad. Getting a 4th ship and a 3rd copy of Ensnare seems great!

Having Soulless One alongside three Nantex also seems pretty fitting.

3 Nantex, 3 Vulture

List
Stalgisin Hive Guard Nantex-class Starfighter (34)
Ensnare (10) – Total: 44
Stalgisin Hive Guard Nantex-class Starfighter (34)
Ensnare (10) – Total: 44
Stalgisin Hive Guard Nantex-class Starfighter (34)
Ensnare (10) – Total: 44
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Discord Missiles (4), Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 24
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Discord Missiles (4), Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 24
Trade Federation Drone Vulture-class Droid Fighter (19)
Grappling Struts (1) – Total: 20
Total: 200

Even better! 6 ship list with 3 copies of Ensnare. Neat.

Four Nantices

Quad Nantex

Quad Nantex. Been hailed as the return of Quad Phantoms.

List
Chertek Nantex-class Starfighter (39)
Ensnare (10), Crack Shot (1) – Total: 50
Petranaki Area Ace Nantex-class Starfighter (38)
Ensnare (10), Predator (2) – Total: 50
Petranaki Area Ace Nantex-class Starfighter (38)
Ensnare (10), Predator (2) – Total: 50
Petranaki Area Ace Nantex-class Starfighter (38)
Ensnare (10), Predator (2) – Total: 50
Total: 200

Looks mean. All in on the one strategy of Ensnaring things, then murdering them. Four copies of Ensnare also makes tractoring even large base ships a real possibility and quite terrifying. Barrel roll them onto an asteroid, or boost them towards the board edge, large ships move fast.

Note: per ability queue rules update, Ensnare only triggers if the Nantex in question has a tractor token at the end of the activation phase. Cannot have no tractor tokens, then get passed one from another Ensnare and trigger their own Ensnare.

More than Four?

Five? Not getting Ensnare, completely different beast. Nanticies without Ensnare might have a place, but can figure that out later

Other Notes

Vultures: I like Vultures as the Nantex wingmen of choice, and heaps of different ways to tool them out. I think Grappling Struts are a really good option as Nantex don’t mind playing around the obstacles to tractor ships onto them. Energy Shell Charges are solid, and I think Discord Missiles are criminally underplayed. Promoting to Initiative 3 Separatist Drones is another option, but I’m not sure I’d do that if it meant I got less ships total. DFS-311 also looks really good to pass a Calculate token to a Nantex giving it an extra dice modifer (Evade + Calculate 3 dice defense ain’t bad).

Bid: The size of bid required is uncertain. You can go silly with 30-40 bid for Sun Fac, but then I think you get wrecked but anything you don’t hard counter and actually spent all their points, not just 75-80% of the points. And in the mirror match, do you want to move last or Ensnare first??? (I don’t know the answer) Edit: Ensnaring first isn’t helpful as they are already tractored, move last it is

Gravatic Deflection: Also seems good, but is an expensive 2nd talent after Ensnare. I’m not sure.

There you have it. Some ideas. Probably some good and some bad. And many more out there for sure. Got to put a list around something before you can really evaluate it properly.

-Nathan

One thought on “Squad building with the Nantex*

  1. Nicely done. I was going to just Vulture swarm with my Separatists, but you’ve shown me a better (or at least more entertaining) way. I gotta try out the Quad-Nantices: The Devil’s Ensnarement!

    Like

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