Saturday, 15 July 2017

“I can fly anything.”

I don't think Poe Dameron got enough screen time in TFA, I'm sure there is a fat stack of director’s cut material lying about somewhere explaining, amongst other things how he survived the TIE fighter crash, got off Jakku and got back to the Resistance in time to then lead a flight of X-wings in a rescue mission…As this is my opinion, I felt it was time that I put Poe on the table in an X-wing game. I've had the Heroes of the Resistance expansion for ages but haven't used either of the ships in anger. Being a bit ‘gamey’ I did my research - on the FFG website, not Reddit - and put together a Poe/Rey list that was pretty filthy with lots of synergies going on.

My list was:
Poe (P9), Black One, BB-8, Push the Limit, Integrated astromech and primed thrusters (40 points)
Rey (P8), Millenium Falcon (loop version), Fin, Recon Specialist and Expert Handling (59 points)

It was a really solid list and especially with Poe’s sequencing of Actions it raised a few eyebrows…
It went something like this:
Poe pulls a green manoeuvre, BB-8 gives a free barrel roll, this activates Black One and clears a target lock [need to check that one is allowed]. Push the limit then gives me 2 more actions if unstressed or a free boost if I am stressed (because of the primes thrusters). I don't have the cards to hand but I took the set off the FFG website and it's all explained there.

Rey is all about getting into primary arc to re roll 2 blank die, the new Falcon title lets you pull a bank 3 manoeuvre and then rotate the ship 180 for a stress. This is huge for the falcon and gives you much more scope for getting into good shooting positions. Fin as a crew member gives you a free blank dice for both your attacking and defending rolls. He's expensive and as a crew for anyone else I doubt he's worth it (unless of course you have a target lock).

The first game was a relearn for both myself and my opponent as neither of us had played in a long time. We made some mistakes - chiefly thinking that TIE interceptors had 4 hull and not 3 but it went well otherwise. After the match there was a lengthy discussion on the bloat issue surrounding X-wing - with so many cards that can be used in conjunction with one another is the game a bit broken? I'm not sure, I think it's hard to keep track these days, I'm about 3 waves behind now so I've got no idea what the meta is - but, there comes a time when you also have to self regulate, Poe/Rey combo is tough to play against and probably not much fun to be on the receiving end of that but at the same token, I really like the fact that the build is fluffy and it isn't an impossible list to play against. A fully kitted out Echo or Whisper would be a nightmare for them as their arc dodging abilities are ridiculous, equally, a Decimator would be able to sponge a lot of damage and still dish out plenty in return. I also think a TIE swarm would be an issue just through sheer volume of fire.

To get their own back, we played what was in theory a 4 way battle but was actually a Kill Poe Dameron mission. The other players had Luke/R2D2, Dutch Vandar with lots of ordinance and Nera Dantels. I set up in the middle and raced towards Luke, I kept stripping his shields but R2 regenerated them far too quickly and I kept crashing into him (because he was being flown like a 90 year old pensioner!!!) my plan had been to take out look and then get behind the much slower Y and B wings but I was eventually brought down by weight of numbers. It took them over an hour but Poe was killed. Next they went cut throat and turned on each other, Nera died next which left Dutch and Luke to slog it out, neither being able to finish the other off in the time we had remaining.

I hope we get to do more X-wing, I'm going to try and tone it down so it doesn't become dull for the other players, especially those who have a smaller collection and just don't have access to the cards needed for these bonkers synergies. Maybe we could have a house rule limiting upgrades…

Still, I will be breaking out team TFA again at some point, of that there can be no doubt! I think I might try out my U-wing next time, or maybe the Ghost…


  1. Well, Poe was actually supposed to die in the TIE crash with Finn taking up the mission of getting BB8 to the Resistance. Apparently Poe tested well with audiences though, so they brought him back late in the game - hence his surprise return toward the finale.

  2. Not sure how much truth there is in it, but I'd read that the actor playing Poe sort of pleaded for his life as he'd got so attached to the character (saw the potential to become massively rich if he had a larger part in the new trilogy), but that same magazine article also said he was originally supposed to die in the TIE fighter crash.

  3. I've done some digging, this story was from an interview with Oscar Isaac in GQ magazine - apparently JJ Abrams called him when he got back to New York and said he'd fixed it so Poe wouldn't die