Fun? With the First Order?

The First Order has never been a faction that’s quite spoken to me as one I want to play much. I’ve definitely tried them a few times, but nothing ever clicked to make me want to play them more or use them competitively.

But over the last few months, the ideas for fun repaints on First Order ships kept happening, so time to spitball some ideas for playing them.

Of course IDOTP (it depends on the points), but who know’s if/when the new points will arrive, and how much or little they will change.

Lieutenant LeHuse

A newer TIE/SF pilot as part of the Hotshots and Aces pack (allegedly released January 31) quickly got the nickname of LeFrance, France or even simply the french flag emoji, hence the French flag inspired paint scheme.

Fun Facts about LeHuse. They were the TIE/SF pilot who fired on the Raddus in The Last Jedi when Kylo hesitated which I assume is where the epic subtitle Unflinching Executioner comes from (LeHuse is the Ackbar slayer!) and has the first name of Poldin. (Source: Wookiepedia)

What does LeHuse do? The optimal LeHuse flys around getting focus+lock double modded attacks every turn with 3 dice from Special Forces Gunner. In reality, the ability is probably a bit more situational than that, so the other thing going for LeHuse is the big orange number and affordable price point at 39 points (49 with SFG).

Synergies. The first almost auto-include upgrade card is Special Forces Gunner. Whats better than double modified dice? More double modified dice. In terms of getting the ability going, there are a number of good partners. Lieutenant Rivas is a perfect match for LeHuse, as Rivas gets free locks anywhere and everywhere, and LeHuse can make better use of them. Or even a humble Epsilon Squadron Pilot at 25 points suddenly gets the ability to effectively coordinate locks to LeHuse. Kylo Ren can do something similar, as force points and Autothrusters open up action options. If Kylo is disengaging he could lock purely for LeHuse to use, or Kylo could lock for himself, and then if he doesn’t need it, LeHuse can activate afterwards (both i5) and use it. Another option is the TIE/Ba Interceptor with the Fine-Tuned Thrusters with the extra opportunity to get locks.

Squad ideas

Link
Lieutenant LeHuse TIE/SF Fighter (39)
Special Forces Gunner (10) – Total: 49
6x Epsilon Squadron Pilot TIE/FO Fighter (6x 25)
Total: 150
Total: 199

Link
Lieutenant LeHuse TIE/SF Fighter (39)
Special Forces Gunner (10) – Total: 49
Kylo Ren TIE/vn Silencer (76)
Total: 76
3x Epsilon Squadron Pilot TIE/FO Fighter (3x 25)
Total: 75
Total: 200

Link
Lieutenant LeHuse TIE/SF Fighter (39)
Special Forces Gunner (10) – Total: 49
Major Vonreg TIE/Ba Interceptor (57)
Daredevil (2) – Total: 59
Lieutenant Rivas TIE/FO Fighter (27)
Total: 27
Zeta Squadron Survivor TIE/SF Fighter (32)
Total: 32
Zeta Squadron Survivor TIE/SF Fighter (32)
Total: 32
Total: 199

Proud Tradition

It’s all in the name, Proud Tradition, put on some Pride flags.

The second First Order only talent after Fanatical, Proud Tradition offers a similar effect in getting a focus modifier when you otherwise wouldn’t. Getting to still take a focus action after performing a red maneuver or when flying through a debris field is value! And especially good on the TIE/FO with the range of blue maneuvers to clear the frivolously acquired extra stress, including the infamous blue 2 turns.

There is a negative side to it, the chance of being flipped to False Tradition, but the cost for an opponent to do that is high, so isn’t simply going to happen the first time you attack. Sure, it will happen sometimes, on a kill shot the dead ship won’t mind taking an extra crit, or at the end of engagement with a focus token otherwise unspent. And the Proud ship needs to be stressed at that specific point too.

There’s a couple pilots with even more synergy for this. Muse can clear their own stress or from a buddy at range 0-1 at the start of engagement to prevent them being stressed for the attack, prevent Proud from being flipped. Similar for Holo, they can do a red maneuver, do a focus action, then pass off their stress at the start of engagement.

Squad ideas

Link
Kylo Ren TIE/vn Silencer (76)
Brilliant Evasion (3) – Total: 79
Longshot TIE/FO Fighter (31)
Proud Tradition (2) – Total: 33
Muse TIE/FO Fighter (30)
Proud Tradition (2) – Total: 32
Omega Squadron Pilot TIE/FO Fighter (28)
Proud Tradition (2) – Total: 30
Epsilon Squadron Pilot TIE/FO Fighter (25)
Total: 25
Total: 199

Link
Lieutenant LeHuse TIE/SF Fighter (39)
Proud Tradition (2), Special Forces Gunner (10) – Total: 51
Holo TIE/Ba Interceptor (54)
Proud Tradition (2) – Total: 56
Lieutenant Rivas TIE/FO Fighter (27)
Total: 27
Longshot TIE/FO Fighter (31)
Proud Tradition (2) – Total: 33
Muse TIE/FO Fighter (30)
Proud Tradition (2) – Total: 32
Total: 199

Honorable Mention to Pattern Analyzer, for being some super nonsense with Proud Tradition. Do a red maneuver, get a Pattern Analyzer action and get a Proud Tradition focus action. Then, if you’re Holo, it’s repeatable and turn into a Defender. Sloop, evade+focus, pass stress, repeat.
But it’s Extended only. What a shame.

Quickdraw

Quickdraw is currently banned relegated to Extended play, but the Sheriff hat idea was too good to pass up. Quick on the draw. Like a cowboy.

Sheriff Quickdraw

Not sure if this is a hot take any more, but I strongly believe Quickdraw is way overrated and overplayed, and simply not very good at all. 1 dice mod (from single action) across 2 attacks isn’t remotely threatening. In particular, the light Quickdraw builds, with just Special Forces Gunner, and maybe Fanatical. Why Fanatical anyway??? It might be that they can’t pull their weight in a 3 ship build, might work better with 4 ships? But cool name, and cool hat, so let’s try find something.

Fire-Control System sounds like good value on Quickdraw, as it can spread a single action lock into multiple weaker dice mods over several attacks, to get more out the bonus attacks. At only 2 points, sure, why not.

The somewhat recent Major Vonreg’s TIE expansion pack had a few new options for Quickdraw, a couple of the upgrades cards even have TIE/SF art if you needed the hint. Namely Mag-Pulse Warheads and Deuterium Power Cells.

Mag-Pulse Warheads can offer an alternative build for Quickdraw, one that utilizes their big orange 6 more than the pilot ability and is more of a support ship. Quickdraw shooting first with Mag-Pulse can neuter an incoming attack with deplete and jam, protecting your own ships. Also with the missiles on board, you can use the Heavy Weapon Turret ship ability to shoot them out the rear arc.

Link
Quickdraw TIE/SF Fighter (45)
Mag-Pulse Warheads (6) – Total: 51

Another option is to load Quickdraw out to the teeth. Lots of options here, Deuterium Power Cells for the regen, Pattern Analyzer with Proud Tradition for double action sloops (or 1 hards), Afterburners, Shield Upgrade, Collision Detector, Advanced Sensors? (Probably not Advanced Sensors, 10 points is a lot without Quickdraw having extra tricks to exploit it)

Link
Quickdraw TIE/SF Fighter (45)
Crack Shot (1), Deuterium Power Cells (9), Special Forces Gunner (10), Fire-Control System (2) – Total: 67

Link
Quickdraw TIE/SF Fighter (45)
Proud Tradition (2), Pattern Analyzer (5), Special Forces Gunner (10), Fire-Control System (2), Afterburners (6) – Total: 70

Feels like an awful lot of points invested, but maybe has a higher upside/potential?

Kylo Ren

Mr Ren got a hot new ride in Rise of Skywalker, that appears to be the result of a TIE/SF and a TIE Silencer having a baby. It’s a pretty straightforward conversion, and mostly still looks like a TIE Silencer, though the TIE Whisper release for X-Wing is probably only a matter of time.

Panels sucked, white sucked, would not recommend.

And it is a more practical option than my previous ride for Kylo!

A brief dip of the toes into First Order towards the end of last year.

Kylo is indisputably the best piece the FO faction has to offer (Turns out force is really good) so it’s hard to argue against including him any First Order squad. Good ship chassis, good initiative and 2 force points.

And then you can kit him out to suit any taste. Keeping him lean with no upgrades is really good for 76 points. To start loading him up, I initially thought Advanced Optics was a pretty good place to start, before running the numbers (thanks Gate of Storms).

Looking at the maths, the advantage gained from having a focus for Optics as an offensive action over a lock is very very small. And even at 4 dice with 2 force available, the lock is actually better. In my opinion the upside nearly insignificant, and Optics is a waste of points. For an offensive action, just take the lock.

Onto the more fun luxury upgrades. Primed Thrusters let’s Kylo do some crazy things, like repositioning after a red maneuver, and it turns out the Autothrusters ship ability has no once per round clause, so Kylo can take 3 actions for the cost of 2 stress tokens. Any of the Torpedoes (Advanced Proton, Proton or Plasma) can be good for upping Kylo’s offensive, depending which type you prefer and how many points available. Proton Rockets are also cool The missile options aren’t as exciting, though Mag-Pulse Warheads do have some good utility as a reliable way of triggering Kylo’s seldom used I’ll Show You The Dark Side ability.

There aren’t any stand out force talents, though Brilliant Evasion probably isn’t a shit take if you have the points. Fortunately for non-First Order players, Kylo doesn’t have a modification slot, so no Deuterium Power Cells regen.

Squad ideas

Link
Lieutenant LeHuse TIE/SF Fighter (39)
Special Forces Gunner (10) – Total: 49
Kylo Ren TIE/vn Silencer (76)
Total: 76
3x Epsilon Squadron Pilot TIE/FO Fighter (3x 25)
Total: 75
Total: 200

Link
Kylo Ren TIE/vn Silencer (76)
Brilliant Evasion (3) – Total: 79
Longshot TIE/FO Fighter (31)
Proud Tradition (2) – Total: 33
Muse TIE/FO Fighter (30)
Proud Tradition (2) – Total: 32
Omega Squadron Pilot TIE/FO Fighter (28)
Proud Tradition (2) – Total: 30
Epsilon Squadron Pilot TIE/FO Fighter (25)
Total: 25
Total: 199

Link
Kylo Ren TIE/vn Silencer (76)
Brilliant Evasion (3), Proton Torpedoes (13) – Total: 92
Holo TIE/Ba Interceptor (54)
Proud Tradition (2) – Total: 56
Epsilon Squadron Pilot TIE/FO Fighter (25)
Total: 25
Epsilon Squadron Pilot TIE/FO Fighter (25)
Total: 25
Total: 198

Link
Kylo Ren TIE/vn Silencer (76)
Brilliant Evasion (3), Proton Torpedoes (13), Primed Thrusters (9) – Total: 101
Blackout TIE/vn Silencer (63)
Outmaneuver (6), Proton Torpedoes (13), Advanced Optics (4) – Total: 86
Total: 187

Putting it all together

As I finish writing this, I’m putting together a couple squads in my box for next casual games I go to (was meant to be today, but had to be rainchecked.

Hyperspace
Kylo Ren TIE/vn Silencer (76)
Total: 76
Major Vonreg TIE/Ba Interceptor (57)
Daredevil (2) – Total: 59
Longshot TIE/FO Fighter (31)
Proud Tradition (2) – Total: 33
Muse TIE/FO Fighter (30)
Proud Tradition (2) – Total: 32
Total: 200

Extended
Quickdraw TIE/SF Fighter (45)
Mag-Pulse Warheads (6) – Total: 51
Holo TIE/Ba Interceptor (54)
Proud Tradition (2), Pattern Analyzer (5) – Total: 61
Muse TIE/FO Fighter (30)
Proud Tradition (2) – Total: 32
Omega Squadron Pilot TIE/FO Fighter (28)
Proud Tradition (2) – Total: 30
Epsilon Squadron Pilot TIE/FO Fighter (25)
Total: 25
Total: 199

Between those two squads I check off most of the things to try. I even squeezed a TIE/Ba into both of them without having done a custom one, to gain familiarity with playing the ship, which is good practice for flying against them. Know your enemy. A hologram style Holo does sound pretty cool though….

Should be fun, even if it the First Order.

-Nathan, Supreme Leader in training

2 thoughts on “Fun? With the First Order?

  1. Great article and love the FO. Tie’s are so cheap and Silencers are so expensive, fly them both right and you can have some great rewards. Happy Flying.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for taking the time to document and share your thoughts!
    Looking at getting back into Xwing and First Order calls to me, so it would be good for me to learn what they can do.
    I’ll let my brain catch up to my heart…

    Like

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