Monday 18 April 2016

X-wing: Testing the Ghost

Hi folks,

Last week the Wave 8 X-wing ships hit the shelves at my FLGS, so I helped myself to a VCX-100 Ghost.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, the Ghost is the ship used by the main characters in the series Star Wars Rebels. It is a large, expensive, ship with the potential to dish out an incredible amount of punishment.

Wade gave it a test run for me, teaming up with Godfrey and 150 points worth of Rebels: Kanan Jarrus in a VCX-100 (Ghost, "Zeb" Orrelios, Dorsal Turret, Recon Specialist, Fire Control System) Ten Numb in a B-Wing (Autoblasters, B-Wing/E2, Hera Syndulla and Push the Limit), two Prototype A-wing pilots (Stealth Device and Chardaan Refit) and Sabine Wren in an Attack Shuttle (Phantom, Ezra Bridger, Stay on Target).

KuriboGoomba and I chose 150 points of Imperials, which included Rear Admiral Chiraneau in a  Decimator (Ruthlessness), Colonel Jendon in a Lambda-Class Shuttle (Accuracy Corrector, Hull Upgrade, Darth Vader and ST-321), Carnor Jax in a TIE Interceptor (Elusiveness, Stealth Device, Royal Guard TIE and Autothrusters) and a Royal Guard Pilot in a TIE Interceptor (Wingman, Stealth Device, Royal Guard TIE and Autothrusters).

During the first turn the Rebels made a run for the left flank to put early pressure on the Decimator and distance themselves from the Interceptors as much as possible. The Decimator got a long range shot off at the red A-wing, stripping its two shields (and Stealth Device) and causing the blue A-wing to take one damage from Ruthlessness. The return fire picked away at the Decimator's shields.

Godfrey does his first X-wing maneuver ever.  "You've taken your first step into a larger world."

The Ghost then lined up the Decimator in its next maneuver phase. At point blank range the Ghost and B-wing teamed up to reduce the big ship to just 6 hull points in a single turn. Ouch! The Decimator continued to focus on the A-wings swinging around behind it, but they evaded the fire. The B-wing took some damage to its shields from the Lambda-Class Shuttle and the TIE Interceptors.

As the two fleets passed each other, the Ghost launched the Phantom to pursue the Decimator. This reduces the effectiveness of the Ghost itself significantly; it can no longer use its rear firing arc or fire its turret on the same turn as the primary weapon. Goomba and I were now aiming to take down the Attack Shuttle as soon as possible. The Phantom stripped another four hull points off the Decimator with a devastating Range 1 volley, but was immolated by the return fire from the large ship. The B-wing managed to destroy the Royal Guard Pilot but was taken out by the Lambda-Class Shuttle.

With the Phantom destroyed, Wade and Godfrey sent the A-wings out to finish the Decimator and maneuvered the Ghost into a position where it could use its only active firing arc. The red A-wing pulled a gutsy maneuver, turning within a hairs-breadth of the Decimator. Gallingly, it was snuffed out for its temerity before it could even take a shot! Carnor Jax added to the Rebel woes by destroying the blue A-wing.

Knowing that Kanan and the Tactician on the Ghost would continue teaming together to make it hard to hit, we sent Carnor in to do his thing. With Carnor within range one Focus and Evade actions can't be made and Focus and Evade tokens can't be spent. This acts as an effective foil for that build of the Ghost. Carnor poured fire into the Ghost causing significant damage, but was reduced to one hull point himself in the process (there goes Stealth Device). The Lambda-Class Shuttle also caused a hit, which Darth Vader used to cause an additional critical hit at the cost of two hull points.

With just the Ghost left, Wade and Godfrey threw caution to the wind and plowed the Ghost into the Decimator. With Zeb Orrelios on board the ships could still shoot each other, even though they were touching, and the Decimator was finally destroyed.

With the Decimator down and both Carnor Jax and the Lambda-Class Shuttle holding on by a few hull points, the Rebels could sniff an unlikely victory. The Ghost pulled a K-turn and lined up on the Lambda-Class Shuttle in an attack run that was almost assured at taking it out. Unfortunately for the crew of the Ghost, I predicted the maneuver and put Carnor Jax into the perfect position to deliver the killing blow, which he did spectacularly!

For his first game Godfrey did very well, especially considering the complexity of the upgrade combinations he had to work with. The Imperial fleet was also pretty lean, compared to the point-sink of the Ghost. It is a beautiful ship to play with, with many different possible builds and interesting special rules. To get the most out of it, though, you need to purchase the Attack Shuttle and keep it docked for as long as possible. That is a 60+ point investment for one ship. I am not saying that it isn't worth it, but you can get a lot of TIEs for 60+ points, which the Ghost will struggle to deal with.

If you have any interesting builds or tips for using the Ghost and Phantom, please leave them in the comments below.

See you across the table,


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