New X-Wing Strategies for Scum and Villainy: Lean Han and the Outrider

It has been a busy end of the 2014 year and there really hasn’t been time for all my hobbies. Really, I have too many interests, so my enjoyment of the Star Wars Miniatures game X-Wing has been on hold for a while. I did manage to watch the matches of Paul Heaver at the Worlds X-Wing tournament at Fantasy Flight Games and enjoyed watching his “Fat Han” build dominate the competition. Those matches can be seen below and are well worth viewing for their strategy. X-Wing has become even larger over the last year and there are no signs of it stopping. It’s a fabulous game as I’ve said before—and it keeps getting better. Even with all the innovation that has went into X-Wing from FFG it was great to see the Han Solo build win Worlds. I have used a similar build from the start of X-Wing but it was the addition of the Headhunters and the Artoo card that put the Fat Han build over the top—and Heaver exploited it brilliantly over the course of the 2014 season.

For anyone who has been wondering about the content of the new Star Wars films, hard-core fans know that the rumored abandonment of the Expanded Universe is purely a false flag attempt to throw people off the trail of the actual plot. In the gaming universe, FFG has shown that more than ever the Expanded Universe is shaping the future of Star Wars for the better and for me personally, there has been nothing more exciting than the Wave V addition of the Rebel faction YT-2400 Outrider which fits perfectly into a strategy I had been wanting to work on for the 2015 evolution of the meta game. imageThe news coming out of X-Wing is so exciting that sometimes I wish I could afford to just play that game all the time. I would love to spend the rest of my life playing it all day every day and I’d never tire of it. For guys like Paul Heaver they are able to delve into every aspect of the game strategically which would be a lot of fun. I can maybe get a game of X-Wing in about two times per month. But some people who I know are able to play several times per day and 12 to 20 per week which is the best way to really get good at the game. Now with all the expansions coming into play, there is a lot to keep up with—but its fun trying. For 2015 the biggest news is a Star Destroyer huge ship coming to the Empire faction and the advent of the new Scum and Villainy faction. It is that new faction that had my interest in devising a new strategy in how to deal with them once they hit the market. For me, that will involve the new Outrider.

It took me until February of 2015 to finally get to play a game with the YT-2400 but I’m happy to report that it is the perfect complement to the traditional Fat Han build replacing the old Twin Falcon builds as a viable strategy. The Outrider fits in as a perfect complement to the Falcon with its 360 turret ability, and barrel roll. On the Falcon I typically use Expert Handling ability to get a barrel roll out of the Falcon so having two large ships that can barrel roll in and out of firing arcs is the key to making this a build that I think will work best in dealing with the new faction of Bounty Hunters.

What will set the Scum and Villainy faction apart from the previous Rebel and Empire factions is that the bounty hunters will utilize illegal armaments and dirty tricks. So it will turn the game meta on its head and make the game so much more dramatic—as if it needed it. The addition of the new Boba Fett Firespray under the Scum faction is going to be a really difficult ship to deal with along with IG-88 and other pirates. So firepower will be needed that can fire behind those dirty tricks. That’s where the YT-2400 comes in. The feature build is the use of a Heavy Laser Cannon from range 2-3 to pick off foes from a safe distance using the barrel roll to stay out of the line of fire.

The version of Fat Han that I’m using is a very fast Falcon that I’d call a “Lean Han” and the YT-2400 decked out with a HLC and the Outrider card which allows for that secondary weapon to become the primary. With the two speedy YT family ships on the board at the same time using Han’s re-roll ability to make sure he hits each round, it will be the most effective counter to the meta-game that is coming if you are a Rebel player—which of course I wouldn’t consider playing as anything else. The games I played with the pairing were very successful even against a TIE Swarm so the YT for me is a dream come true.

The guys who are playing double-digit games of X-Wing per week are really lucky. I would consider retiring from all my many tasks and becoming a professional player just because it’s so much fun to play. I think it far surpasses Chess as a game of strategy and is showing signs of maintaining great depth for the future. The game is huge now, but after the next Star Wars film comes out in less than a year it will really explode because of all the new ships and characters who will be made into ships in the game. The Scum and Villainy factions along with the Outrider are great examples of how FFG has used the Expanded Universe to build a great mythological gaming experience and for Star Wars to really work; the new films will need to tap into all this background going into games like X-Wing. Many of the cards offered with the ships come from characters only referenced in the novels and comics, so the direction of X-Wing indicates the direction of the Star Wars franchise from Disney over the next six years. A decade from now X-Wing may be a massive game full of loyal fans that will greatly eclipse what Magic the Gathering is today. It is really fun to watch this phenomenon mature into something special.

I played a game over the weekend at 4 AM and found myself so consumed with the strategy of X-Wing that I felt like I was on vacation from the mundane world of normalcy. It’s no wonder the game is gaining so much in popularity. What’s better is that every month more and more players come to the game as newcomers and with them will come a host of bizarre strategies and attempts at innovation. Right now, Paul Heaver is the top player in the world—for two years in a row. The trick in becoming so good is in figuring out what the new meta game will be, and developing a strategy in how to deal with it. “Fat Han” was last year’s strategy. This year it will have to be something else. For me, it will be a twin Falcon/Outrider build with a Lean Han advancing with great maneuverability through and around obstacles. From my perspective speed and firepower are the only ways to really deal with the Scum and Villainy faction. But we’ll see. Part of the fun with the game is in figuring out those kinds of things—and seeing how they play out in real life against a real player. As usual, FFG is at it again, and stronger than ever. They really are an amazing company. Their products bring me great joy, and I know by the game’s popularity that I’m not alone. It is certainly one of the bright spots in the modern world. Myth made into a community of neat people who give me hope on humanity. I love X-Wing Miniatures.

CLIIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Rich Hoffman

Visit Cliffhanger Research and Development

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