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Okay, welcome to another X-Wing strategy tips. Today I want to look a little bit more at list building and not focus so much on flying. We'll come back to flying soon enough, but today is mostly going to be about building. We're going to be talking more about the 150 point building level. Now, most of you out there who've played in tournaments, most tournaments like the regionals and store championships and nationals and all those sorts of things, those are all run at 100 points. But I think most places, most game stores, most places they have tournaments, every so often will run 150 point tournament.
And certainly if you've played other tournament formats like escalation, that final round, that final game of the escalation tournaments, also 150 points. Is this going to be another one of these common point levels you need to build at and be aware of and know what cards work well, know what cards don't, and what to do if you see those cards in play both flying on your side as well as your opponent's side. So the first thing I want to look at in this 150 point level are just some of the superstars, the cards that really change the game at 150 points.
And the thing to remember here is that at the 150 point level, we just have a lot more dice and for that matter, ships flying around for the most part. The biggest, most important card, or at least single game changing pilot at 150 points is Biggs Darklighter. And often he's paired with our R2-F2 droid. What makes Biggs so, I mean, he's a great card at the 100 point level too, absolutely one of the top X-wing pilots. If you've been following the store championships at all, at least this year, and the lists that have come out of that, I think Biggs is the most commonly used named pilot for any store champion list.
He is awesome and he continues that awesomeness at the 150 point level. So what makes him so awesome? Well, it has to do with the fact that his ability is a forced ability on your opponent. It forces your opponent to do things differently. And again, our basic premise here is that at the 150 point level, you just have a lot more ships flying around the table.
And if they all have to shoot at range three onto a Biggs Darklighter who might have already three agility from the R2-F2, and if he can get behind an asteroid, you might be forced to start shooting at a ship with five agility dice for the whole first round of engagement. That is amazing, that is ideal, that is this good X-wing flying, at least for the person who has Biggs.
And while you are busily trying to throw your dice at a ship that is going to throw down five agility on every shot, the wing mates of Biggs are going to really be doing some damage to you, hopefully in range two, possibly even in range one, depending on how the spacing is. So Biggs can really, really make you hurt. Biggs also messes up a lot of your secondary weapons. We are going to see a card a little bit that we are going to talk more about that has not gotten a lot of love on the internet community, which is a travesty.
That card is assault missiles, and if you are flying lots of, let's say, TIE bombers, like Scimitar squadrons, that are all trying to get target locks for PS2, or even Gammas at PS4, well the problem is that Biggs is going to move after they move, so it can be very difficult or challenging for them to get their locks to throw down their missiles, specifically assault missiles, even at Biggs.
If you have a couple of Gammas loaded with assault missiles, and you move into range of somebody's ship and you target their rookie X-wing, and then Biggs moves into range of you, you don't get to fire your assault missiles, and chances are if you are playing against a smart rebel player, you are going to lose a couple of those bombers before they get their arsenal off. So Biggs will really mess with your opponent. It will mess with your opponent just based on shot selection. It will mess with your opponent just on range and dice advantage, just having to shoot at range three.
It might even mess up your opponent in terms of that PS, or target locks, or some other actions that require shooting at lower pilot skilled ships. So Biggs, he just changes the game so much, and that ability scales to the 150 point level, so that is sort of the type of ship we want to be very conscious of when we are building a list. The second ship over here on the right you can see is Kage. Captain Kage is not such a big deal as Biggs.
He will not, again, it is not completely forced as much, at least as Biggs is, but he is a good ship to start denying, or at least messing with your opponent's target locks. So again, if you find yourself flying against a lot of ships, a lot of squads that have secondary weapons, Kage can really mess with that. So Kage, normally, I think the 100 point level is actually pretty terrible. I mean, there will be detractors and there will be people who say, you know, Kage is amazing, and he is good, but maybe not ideal.
He really comes to shine more at the 150 point level, just the fact that we have more ships on the board. We can take advantage of his abilities a little bit more often. Combine this with the fact that, again, at the 150 point level, secondary weapons, specifically assault missiles, are such a bigger deal. Both of these ships are counter to the idea of assault missiles, well, at least depending on how they are flown. But if you fly them correctly, we'll say, or at least ideally, they are a good match to defeat lists that rely on assault missiles. All right, two other ships over here that are worth noting.
Howlrunner and Captain Jonas, the abilities are very similar, except one affects primary weapons, the other affects secondary weapons. Both of these ships, again, scale to the 150 point level. And again, the more ships you have, the more opportunity there is to use them. Now, Howlrunner, I'll say actually the 150 point level is the weaker of the two, just because, again, the three hit points is sort of makes her an easy target. Combine with the fact that, you know, she already has a great place in the tie swarm and a six or seven ship tie swarm.
And all those ties need to be in range one of her in order to get the bonus, or at least the maximum amount of bonus. Captain Jonas is the same way, except you have six hit points, six hull there. Plus, if you're firing a lot of secondary weapons, chances are you don't need to have as many ships firing. You don't need the tie swarm. But again, both of these ships have area effects. That 150 point squad building limit, you have a lot more ships on the board. So these effects also nicely scale upwards. Again, you know, this is still your top tier.
These are two ships that will change that I think are even more important to have 150. But these two are also very, very effective. All right. Since we're talking about having just more ships on the board, what sort of ships can you expect to see? Well, basically all of them. But I want to highlight a few that, you know, scale very well to the 150 level that you can fit in most squad builds and have them contribute to your X-wing game. The first of which is, you know, your rookie pilot and blue squadron. Just sort of mainstay high attack value rebel ships.
In particular, blue squadron is probably going to give you the better bang for the buck. Just with the eight hit points is slightly mathematically better than the rookies five hit points plus two agility. So if you can, you know, blues are going to fit your needs better there. The downside is that 150 points, you know, you might also be needing the extra maneuverability of the rookies. The rookies do get around the board a little bit faster. And, you know, again, depending, it's somewhat a matter of taste, I guess, how fast you need your ships to go. Also for the empire, we have the Omicron and Academy.
And here I'm sort of advocating for a naked Omicron at the 150 level. Again, there's more ships on the board, which means there's more targets. If you've ever flown the shuttle in the 100 match, you've probably come to the situation where your opponent just flies past you. And then your Omicron, especially if it doesn't have an engine upgrade or advanced sensors or anything else fancy about it, just kind of get stuck pointing the wrong way for the rest of the match. Well, at 150 level, again, depending on how they are set up, you can often make much longer sweeping passes with the Omicron and always have something to shoot at.
Granted, you'll get shot a lot more, but you don't care. This is only a 21 point card for 10 hit points. That is amazing. So you want people to shoot at this. So just flying naked Omicrons at the 150 level, I think, is an underused strategy. And certainly there are people out there, oh no, I just clicked my mouse. Oh, I just broke everything. Okay. What happened? I don't know. There we go. We'll do that. I think we're all better now. As I was saying, flying naked Omicrons is a valid strategy at that 150 level. Academy pilots, at the 150 level, again, there's more ships.
You might say, hey, look, they only have three hull. They're going to go down even before they fire. There's going to be a lot more guns thrown at them at PS2 and higher. Your academies aren't going to stick around. But one of the nice things about academies are the fact that they're just cheap ships to have on the board. With a lot more ships on the board, there's a lot more potential for blocking. And that PS1 is actually a really nice thing to have. I mean, it can be a great thing to have at the 100 point level.
But going back a couple ships here, if Biggs wants to get his R2 off, or let's say there's other defensive combos that require actions, well, you can go and throw your academy pilot right in the face of your enemy and deny him those actions. So any sort of action-based combos can really be upset by low pilot skill. So this is an important ship to think about when you're building a squad or planning a strategy, at least, at the table against a given opponent. If they're relying a lot of actions, they've invested a lot of their squad points into action-laden abilities. Blocking becomes a really good strategy.
And throwing 12 points basically at a blocker that may or may not even have a good shot, or may or may not even get an action himself, in the end really isn't a bad deal if you're going to be able to cost a couple ships piling up on your opponent's side. If you can get a rookie to crash into the academy and Biggs to crash into the rookie, I think 12 points is worth denying those two actions and still being able to get a shot off at Biggs, perhaps. So anyway, the point of this slide. . . oh, go away. The point of this slide. . .
apparently I can click anything and have interesting things happen. No, the real point of this slide is, you know, basically, basic firepower and hit points matter. And 150 points, it really doesn't matter if you have really fancy pilots. As long as you have enough hit points and enough attack dice, you'll be able to. . . let's say those fancy pilots may not be worth the investment for many of their abilities. And we'll talk about some in the next couple slides. All right. So I also just wanted to list a few other ships that are particularly useful at 150 points.
First of all, ships that give out actions, especially to other ships that may have become blocked. One mainstay of the 150 point game is that you will see these giant pileups that happen in the middle of the board or middle of the asteroid field. And if you can still get your ships some actions via, say, support ships like Kyle Katarn, Dutch, or Garvin, well, that's going to give you the upper hand. That's really going to make a big difference. So, you know, at least in Dutch and Garvin's case, they really do require an actions themselves. So if they get caught in the pileup, they will not be so effective.
But at the same time, if they can sort of stay back a little bit and come into the pileup later than everybody else, you know, it's an easy way to give your ships that are in the middle of the pileup a little bit of an advantage. I put the bounty hunter on here, not because it's really a support ship, but because it's one of those other ships you kind of want to keep out of the fray a little bit.
This is usually not a ship you want in the middle of the pileup, mainly because it has that advantage of that rear arc where it can just sort of do that hard three turn out of the pileup and still get to shoot at everybody just fine and really commit your opponent to either chasing you down or staying on course. The other nice thing about the bounty hunter, we're talking 33 points, which is expensive, granted, for just one ship. But it also has 10 hit points and 2 agility. So, you know, bounty hunters are just a good bang for their buck, really flexible. They are big, so they can easily find themselves in the middle of the pileup.
But again, with that rear arc, they don't have too much trouble getting out of it. So all these can be very useful in your build. None of these are required. But if you do use them, make sure you understand that you generally want to keep them out of the fray and you really want to use them as support ships that are staying out of any sort of pileup that happens. All right, let's change gears here. Instead of talking about things that you might want to think about, including in your 150 point list, let's talk about some things to avoid.
How can we spend points very ineffectively? Well, over here I just sort of put the list of interceptors. This is pre-imperial aces. I don't have any imperial aces in this photo, at least, though that just came out. So with these interceptors, what's the problem here? You're like, well, hey, look, 3 agility, 3 attack, kapow, right? That's a powerful ship. We want to include that. Well, here's the problem. Number one, 3 hit points. In the case of Sunderfell, 27. Most of these ships, the interceptors in particular, require on being able to outmaneuver your opponent. And I'm not saying you can't do that 150.
And in fact, I do think there's a couple of 150 point lists that use interceptors really well. But especially your named interceptors, your high pilot skill interceptors, require being able to outmaneuver your opponent. And with 150 points worth of ships on the board, your opponent just has a larger area from which they can, or a larger surface area that they can attack into. Their ships will cover a wider swath. There's less places for you to hide, so to speak. So those 3 hit points can go away rather quickly. And in the case of people like Sunderfell, again, Sunderfell is really prone to getting blocked. Sunderfell gets blocked.
And again, with more ships on the board, there's more potential for that. Sunderfell is going to get shot down pretty easily. So even though he might, you know, he'll get a shot off his PS9, so he'll shoot first. You still be sad if 30 plus points go down the drain. I'm assuming you're going to put P. T. L. on Sunder, by the way. 30 plus points on Sunder can go right away if, you know, he gets blocked or gets caught out of position. So ships that really require on, or require the ability to keep them out of the main fray, become a lot more difficult to run.
I'm not saying you necessarily can't do it, but it's just more difficult. As far as the lower point interceptors, you might have a better deal here. But at the same time, with a lower pilot skill, they can get shot down very quickly and very easily before they even get a chance to shoot. So if you're investing a lot of points in these low pilot skill pilots, you're playing a gambling game to some degree. The Alphas, however, you know, they do have their uses for blocking. Sabres can make up a potential strong link in a swarm tactics chain. So again, these two ships do have their uses.
But again, high pilot skill ships that cost a lot of points, that have abilities that can be easily taken away from you through blocking or just having more ships on the board, these are death traps at the 150 level. You might be able to do these fine at the 100 point level, assuming you don't run into a Falcon or a bunch of ion turrets. But very rough, hard to do at the 150 point level. And if you've done the 150 point level and you've had good success, I commend you. You are an ace pilot. Nice flying. But again, you're making the game a little bit harder for yourself than it has to be.
What else to avoid? Well, here's sort of another example of the same thing. Han Solo is a great pilot. There's been many tournament winning lists that feature Han Solo. 13 hit points, right? That's great. 3 attack, that's great. 360 turret, you say, hey, that's great too. Except again, here's the problem. It's 46 points.
And with 46 points, how useful is your 360 degree turret going to be when there's already 10, 12 other ships on the board? And if you have, if this was just two ships on the board, the 360 turret is amazing because you can just fly to avoid your opponent and wherever you go, you'll be able to have a good shot. And with the 250, you probably don't need the turret. If you just fly Han straight, you'd be fine. I'm sort of, my feeling is that if I was able to take 10 points off of here and take away the turret, I'd be perfectly happy flying Han Solo in any 150 match.
I think a lot of points just on the ship cost factored in that turret, and that turret may or may not be useful. The fact that he's PS9 also can mean that he has the potential for blocking. And of course, with the turret, Han Solo can usually stay out of getting blocked a lot easier than someone like Suntur. But it's still kind of a gamble. I think the 150 point level, having more hit points, having more guns firing are more important than maneuverability. And a turret is basically just improved maneuverability. I mean, it's a significant improvement to maneuverability, but that's what you're improving when you have a turret.
So Han Solo, again, something to avoid at the 150 level. There's actually 150 point, actually I think it was my first 150 point tournament game ever. I blew up Han Solo's ship on the very first round of Rolling Dice. Again, if you have five or six ships and they're all shooting at a Falcon, it's going to get beat up pretty quickly. Any of these high value targets can get essentially shot down over one round. So investing a lot of points in something you may or may not get returns from, where those same points could have bought you over 20 points worth of B-wings.
20 hit points, that is, so you can stay around a lot longer. What else we got? Oh, Rebel Captive. So this isn't so much a thing to avoid. Again, Rebel Captive is one of, in my opinion, the best crew to have on the Imperial side. Again, sort of like Biggs and like Kage, it's one of these cards that messes with your opponent's list. If your opponent's list is something really well, this could perhaps prevent it from doing something really well. Think of lists that have a really high PS pilot and maybe a couple lower PS pilots.
Well, with Rebel Captive, do you really want to give your high PS pilot the stress, especially if they have something like PTL or some other ability that they're trying to make use of and get the most efficient play out of? This will make them think twice. And if your opponent, however, has a whole bunch of low PS ships that are all the same PS, Rebel Captive they can probably deal with pretty easily. But again, with mixing lists, with special abilities and higher PS with lower PS, it's a bit more difficult to use. Now, here's the downside. Here's why it's sort of under my things to avoid category.
Again, Rebel Captive is one of those cards that's most effective when there's fewer ships on the table. Sort of similar to Han Solo, similar to Suntr Fel. These are all ships that do really, really well in one-on-one matchups. Being able to give your opponent, or forcing your opponent to take a stress every turn with Rebel Captive, if there's only one ship on the board, is amazing. Once your opponent has five ships on the board, your opponent can spread that stress around to the ships that are going to do a green maneuver anyway. So its effect is diminished.
Now, again, it's still a really useful card, and if it makes it into the endgame, it could easily win you the game. It could make a huge difference. But, by itself, it's probably not going to work out as well for you as it would in a normal 100 vs. 100 point game. So, something else to think about. Again, any cards that excel on those one-on-one matchups are really going to be things that you want to think twice about before taking. Let's talk about some upgrade cards. I guess that last one was an upgrade card, but we'll hear. . . I put the slide in the wrong place, apparently. Let's talk about Advanced Sensors.
This is one of the most lauded, I guess, Advanced Systems cards that people have been playing with and winning a lot of tournaments with. And, again, one of the reasons is that extra flexibility for many, many situations. The added benefit at the 150 level for Advanced Sensors, even though you're making a ship, probably in this case a B-Wing, but also perhaps a Shuttle, even though you're adding to the point cost and the potential loss from losing that ship, this is a card that excels in close fight clusters of ships that are just jamming and blocking into each other. That tends to happen more at the 150 level, where you get a bigger pile-up.
And Advanced Sensors is one of those cards that will just cut through that pile-up and keep your ships exactly where you need them to be or keep them focused or target locked. So you can kill the ships in the pile-up before they can kill you. It's a great card for any sort of pile-up type of situation you're anticipating. So 150, it's very welcome. Draw Their Fire is a card that has made it into a lot of tournament-winning lists. But I think by the X-Wing community at large, it's still somewhat underrated. I know Jonathan Gomes' build, it's a 4 X-Wing build with Luke and R2-D2 and Draw Their Fire.
I think he came in fourth in the Nationals, or I guess the Worlds tournament with it. He made heavy use of Draw Their Fire by drawing crits onto Luke and then healing them with R2-D2 in the early game. My friend Jeremy Wiley won a store championship using Draw Their Fire on Chewbacca in a Biggs and Jan Orrs list that was quite potent. Again, it's really hard to shoot Biggs anyway, if he's hiding behind a rock or at range 3. If any crits that would normally go through get drawn off to Chewbacca, well, Biggs is a really tough cookie to break. But again, it's one of those area of effect abilities.
So if you put it on a pilot, say Chewbacca, and you have more ships on the table because you're playing at that 150 point level, it's still a really, really useful card. Now if your opponent comes out swinging for Chewbacca, that's fine too. You do want to find pilots that you can put Draw Their Fire on that you don't really mind losing, or at least have the ability to do something with that crit damage. But anyway, it's still an area of effect card and something we want to keep in mind when we're playing these 150 point matches. Oh, Squad Leader.
Squad Leader is one of my favorite cards in X-Wing as far as upgrades go. I put Squad Leader in probably too many lists. But again, it's one of those extra flexible actions. Similar to how Advanced Sensors can help you in any sort of pile-up or blocking situation, Squad Leader kind of does the same, although you don't get. . . Squad Leader, you know, you cost one ship an action to give it to another ship, but it's that ship that might need it more. The other thing that Squad Leader really helps out with is those secondary weapons.
Putting Squad Leader on a high pilot skill can now use that action to give a lower pilot skill a target lock at essentially a higher PS value. It's one of my favorite upgrades to put on Captain Jonas, for instance. Jonas, you know, I really don't want to put a whole lot of missiles on him because, number one, he's already a target. Number two, I want to put those missiles on the people around him, which means I really don't care about Jonas's shot a whole lot. I care about him for his rerolls.
So if I put Squad Leader on him, I can essentially take any scimitar or gamma and give that gamma or scimitar a PS6 target lock on a ship, or the equivalent of what would be a PS6 target lock. So Squad Leader, again, it's just the flexibility of the card unless you deal with a lot of different situations. Seismic Charge, again, we're talking about 150 game, more ships on the table, just area of effect damage. And Seismic Charge is one of the cheapest ways to do some serious area of effect damage. This is only two points to do a damage to everything in an area. It's completely anti-swarm.
It really makes your opponents think twice about K turning behind you, especially if you have a slightly higher pilot skill pilot. It's the fact that it's so cheap, only two points, and it doesn't cost you an action. And the damage is automatic, that makes this card so potent. And again, just with more ships on the table, you're going to have more chances to use it. Which brings us to the last big upgrade here. I mentioned this one earlier in this little talk. This is one of the most potent missiles in the game. I've fired assault missiles that have done nine damage on one shot, for instance, especially the 150 point level.
There will be a part of the game where missiles in what we'll say, area of effect damage will make a bigger difference as ships get more and more crowded onto the limited area of the board. Now, it does cost five points, and I think this is why the internet does not like it. The internet doesn't like a lot of these one shot weapons in general. But assault missiles you really have to think twice about, because the potential for huge amounts of damage is very, very large. And second, if you are packing some assault missiles, your opponent is going to be very, very cautious to fly in any sort of tight swarm.
Or will prevent them from using their area of effect abilities, like bigs. All the ships that want to be protected by bigs need to be in range one of bigs. Well, guess what? Assault missiles damage. Everything in range one of the defender, i. e. bigs. So this is sort of the direct counter to many of these other abilities that I've already shown you here. Now, one other problem with assault missiles, though, is that people often try to put it on a too low of a pilot skill kind of ship.
And so they can't get their target lock until their force is already engaged and they can never get the missile off and they go to bed without firing the missile. I'm not saying you can just throw assault missiles on everything and expect it to turn out well. But what I am saying is, if you can have an assault missile and get a target lock at a high enough PS, and especially if you can get a second action or a focus pass to you via people like Kyle or Garvin or Squad Leader, or even just have Jonas there, your chances of hitting and doing massive amounts of damage are huge.
This is a really, really significant card that not enough people are playing with. I think this is one of the key cards, whenever you play a 150 point game, that you have to look for immediately. If you set your ships down at the table, you have to immediately look over to your opponent's side of the board, do they have assault missiles? Again, the damage output on these things can be huge if they are timed correctly and if you are flying your ships close together.
Now, you could say, well, what if I'm carrying a bunch of assault missiles, right, I have maybe five or even ten points wasted, quote unquote, in assault missiles, and my opponent doesn't put their ships together, they spread them out? So now, if your opponent's ships are spread out, that's going to benefit you if you can pick off the individual ships of your opponent before they have a chance to surround you. So if you are changing how they would play because you're having a five point card, that's going to benefit you more than the five points.
Especially if you have reasonably fast ships, and if you have them on tie bombers, tie bombers are actually pretty fast, you can get down to the other end of the board and start picking off their spread out line of ships before the other ships have a chance to surround you and get in on the combat. So assault missiles, even if you don't really get a good shot with them, if you can change how your opponent flies their ships and perhaps goes into some less than ideal situations, they can still totally be worth the five points just to modify the psychology and the strategy of the game. There's a quick review of all these cards.
I think you probably can see some themes here. We're talking about a lot of cards that either deal with pileups really well, like advanced sensors and squad leader, or dealing with cards that have area of effect damage. Again, the general things to avoid at 150 point games are cards that invest too much in being able to move around the board, and cards that invest too many points into special abilities that may or may not be useful, or into high pilot skill that you don't really need per se.
So, in conclusion, if you haven't played any 150 point X-Wing, you should, because it's just a different variant on the same game we all know and love. It's got a lot of different subtleties to it, a lot of different things to think about. For me personally, I still actually prefer 100 point matches. I think it's a little bit cleaner. I think 150 points can degenerate sometimes into just a giant pileup and jousting, as good of a pilot you and your opponent might be. That just might be how the game turns. So I still prefer 100 points because I feel like it's more of a dogfighting game.
It feels that way to me at least. 150 points can also be a nice change every once in a while. So there you have it. Build some lists and fly casual. .