Battle of Ord Ibanna – Escalation Squadrons Submitted

After my post last week about the squadron I would be taking to the Battle of Ord Ibanna I have finally submitted my list to the event and as anyone could have predicted, its all changed.

Predicting the Escalation meta

Wave 4 has turned everything on its head so trying to predict what is going to be out in (the) force is difficult but I had an idea of the things I would need to be prepared to face.

  • Phantoms – Top of the list as it’s all everyone seems to be talking about online at the moment particularly Echo/Whisper with Advanced Cloaking Device and Veteran Instincts.
  • Falcons – The natural counter to the Phantom.
  • Named X-Wings – I’m not sure this is a power list but Escalation lends itself well to starting with Luke and Biggs then adding Wedge, Wes and another name. 5 X-Wings will be tough to chew through and hits back pretty hard.
  • Tie Swarm – The Swarm is Dead, Long Live The Swarm. While the swarm might be dead, 5 Academy TIE’s at 60 points is nothing to be sniffed at, a 6th and Howlrunner at 90 points is just gross and you can still get Echo in there at higher levels. Something tells me reports of the Swarms demise are a bit premature.

I have been going backwards and forwards between different lists all week and just couldn’t settle on the one I wanted to use.  I managed to play 2 games with the squad I posted, well one game with that squad then another with a modified version after I added Dutch with an ION Turret.  I won one game and lost the other (both against Ben J using Vader, a few TIE’s and a couple of interceptors) but something that was very clear in both games is that Chewbacca with Millennuim Falcon upgrade and C3P0 is so hard to bring down that your opponent will try to overwhelm the rest of your force. With this in mind I decided to try and change things up a little and do 2 things.

  1. Make the Falcon truly the star of the show.
  2. Make the support a high priority target so the falcon gets ignored and can cause havoc.

Super Falcon

As much as I enjoy flying Chewie I knew that to make him as powerful as possible I would need to upgrade him to Han.  So thats what I went for. Han Solo in the Millennuim Falcon.  Yep, with the title. I added an Engine Upgrade, this is invaluable for keeping him alive by letting him get out of firing arcs, or into range 1 for a kill shot. To make that kill shot count I added a Gunner crew just in case I roll bad, and finally to get the most of both the Title upgrade and Engine upgrade I gave him Push the Limit pilot talent.

  • Han Solo (46)
    • Millennuim Falcon Title (1)
    • Push The Limit (3)
    • Engine Upgrade (4)
    • Gunner (5)
      • 59/60 points

No C3P0???

He come later! As this is Escalation there is only so much you can fit into 60 points. At 90 points I wanted to add some Z-95 Headhunters.  These will fill 2 roles. The first being distractions from the falcon.  Not a big one admittedly, but they are easy points available rather than a threat so I hope my opponents my spend time targeting them, but also I will be bringing Aiern Cracken.

Unleash The Cracken

Airen Cracken and a Bandit Squadron Pilot come in at 31 points (I have a spare point from the first section).  This sets me up nicely for later in the escalation as Airen has access to some great support talents to go alongside is own support ability.  At 90 points it means Han can take 3 actions a turn or my Bandit Pilot can shoot with Focus and Target lock.

  • Han Solo (46)
    • Millennuim Falcon Title (1)
    • Push The Limit (3)
    • Engine Upgrade (4)
    • Gunner (5)
  • Airen Cracken (19)
  • Bandit Squadron (12)
  • 90/90 points

Time for Tarn

Tarn Mison is one of the newer X-Wing Pilots.  He was released with the Rebel Transport and while he is a low PS pilot his ability more than makes up for it.  At just 2 points over a rookie he gets to take a target lock as soon as someone declares him as the target of an attack. With the R7 Astromech upgrade he can spend that target lock to force his attacker to reroll attack dice. The combination of Tarns ability and the R7 unit make for a really tough end game ship. Against a higher PS opponent I can focus, then get a free target lock when fired at. If my opponent misses, or I’m happy to let the shots through I can return fire with devastating accuracy, or more likely I can force rerolls and spend focus in defence. Either way Tarn is very hard to deal with once one on one I’m hoping this will give my opponents much to think about when deciding if they should chase Han or face the rest of my ships.With Tarn and his droid coming in at 25 points it leaves me space to get C3PO in the Falcon and the 2 remaining points let me get Swarm Tactics on Airen. The Cracken is running in a full support role letting Tarn shoot at PS8 with 2 actions so ignoring my support ships and chasing Han is looking less and less likely.

  • Han Solo (46)
    • Millennuim Falcon Title (1)
    • Push The Limit (3)
    • Engine Upgrade (4)
    • Gunner (5)
    • C3PO
  • Airen Cracken (19)
    • Swarm Tactics
  • Bandit Squadron (12)
  • Tarn Mison
    • R7 Astromech
  • 120/120 points

Roll out the big guns.

Escalation squad building often comes down to adding ships 30 points at a time and I’m not a massive fan of this, however seeing as I knew the last 30 points get no further upgrades and have to work with what you already have there was one ship that seemed like a great choice.

  • Blue Squadron Pilot, Heavy Laser Cannon.

The B-Wing with HLC is a solid choice in any squad but throughout the Escalation I tried to build with this final spot in mind. I’ve already included a few things that this ship needs to get the best from it

  • Han Solo and Tarn Mison – alternate priority targets so the slow an expensive B-Wing doesn’t become top of the most wanted list.
  • Airen Craken – he can pass an action and PS8 to let the Laser Cannon fire with Target Lock and Focus each turn. The B-Wing takes his focus action at PS2 but. The target lock comes in after Airen (and Han) have fired so is flexible in target choice.
  • Bandit Squadron Pilot – a blocker to stop actions and create space.
  • Han Solo (46)
    • Millennuim Falcon Title (1)
    • Push The Limit (3)
    • Engine Upgrade (4)
    • Gunner (5)
    • C3PO
  • Airen Cracken (19)
    • Swarm Tactics
  • Bandit Squadron (12)
  • Tarn Mison
    • R7 Astromech
  • Blue Squadron Pilot, Heavy Laser Cannon.
  • 149/150 points

So do I handle my predictions?

  • Phantoms – I should hope so. It’s the reason I am bringing Han.
  • Falcons – against MF and C3PO upgrade it’s tough. I have the Laser Cannon at 150 and the Bandit for action denial at earlier levels. Push The Limit will help too as gunner will be little use vs an evade token and C3PO when a clever player will let 1 hit through to limit the damage gunner could do. You really need to be getting 3 hits to strip the token and force them to use C3PO too so your other ships can do as much damage as possible.
  • All the X-Wings – I’m hoping Han can do his thing here. It’s possibly the worst match for me once Cracken dies as Han fires then all the X-Wings attack before the rest of my squad. If Cracken can stay alive and keep passing PS8 and actions then I should be ok.
  • Swarm – oddly enough I am least worried about this one. If I have Han left vs 5 Academy TIE’s at the end I have won by 2 points  I just need to manage which ships I target first.

So after all this I should be easily walking away with 1st place.  I have the best squad and have analysed all my options taking into account all possible counters and adjusting accordingly.  This escalation nonsense is too easy!!!

Should be simple right?

See you in a weeks time for my tale of woe and misery as I bounce off every asteroid from here to Ord Ibanna.

No promises just yet but I am taking my recording gear and am hoping to get some video at the event.  Keep and eye on our YouTube Channel for the videos

One Response to “Battle of Ord Ibanna – Escalation Squadrons Submitted”

  1. Ben,

    I Like your list and have been toying with one of my own, it does include wave 4 but i think it is a nice all comers list.

    60 Points
    Start with Carnor Jax Shield Generator and Stealth Device Royal Guard TIE Push the Limit (36)
    Omicron Shuttle with Vader (24)

    90 Points
    Scimitar Squadron Bomber with Proton torpedoes (20)

    120 Points
    Colonel Vessery in a TIE Defender with Predator (38)

    150 Points
    Backstabber (16) and Black Squadron with Targeting computer (16)

    The plan for this would be Carnor Jax is hard to get,also he stops the offensive and defensive capabilities of swarms and other ships. Although harder to use vs the falcon, he does not need to get close and with PTL, & stealth its going to be hard to hit him.if he Focus Evades every time.

    Vader works well once the falcons shields are down, even to the point of sacrificing him for adding crits. Against a swarm, you can cripple elite TIE’s with no shields or destroy ones left on a lone hull point at any range.

    The bomber comes in at 2 cheaply but with a good chance to fire and get some good hits/crits on a target with the missiles. 6HP is hard to take down as well, so if crippled he can fly off into the distance. Later on he provides a great buddy to colonel vessery as the bomber can focus on target locking ships that vessery wants to shoot.

    Vesery steps in next as the heavy hitter. Vs the swarm stuff he gets 2 re-rolls and hopefully Target lock and focus, i know there is some redundancy there, but it is still useful against the higher level targets. Possibly predator should be swapped to something else.maybe outmaneuver or marksmanship.

    Finally two TIE’s are added for the last game, again these are just blockers target lockers etc.

    What are your thoughts?

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