No description has been generated for this video.
Welcome to another X-Wing Strategy Tips. Today I want to talk about keeping HowlRunner alive. And this is again a common internet topic post. Here's what HowlRunner does for you. She's actually just a run-of-the-mill TIE fighter, just got three little hull points and all the standard specs, really with two exceptions. Three I guess if you count the cost, but the two exceptions are number one, she has the highest pilot skill of any of the TIE fighters. She ranks up there at eight. That's near Vader territory. And number two, her ability is sort of lauded as the centerpiece for almost any good TIE swarm.
So if you're running a lot of ships, basically you center them around HowlRunner and you're going to have a good game as long as she stays alive. Her ability allows other ships to basically reroll one of their attacking dice. While it's not quite the same as getting a whole bonus attack die to attack with, mathematically speaking, at least in terms of average attack output, it's very close to being up there as mathematically the same, at least as far as average output is concerned. So how do we actually keep HowlRunner alive? Well, here's a mistake I see a lot of beginners playing. They're playing with their squadron. They're forming up their TIE squadron.
Let's get some ships here in front of me. Maybe you guys can see these. Maybe you can't. There's four. Oh, I didn't make more. I should go make some more. Oh, they're on the table. I can see them. Let's use X-Wings. Pretend these are TIE fighters. All right. There you go. That's a TIE fighter. There is a TIE fighter. And we've got our six piece TIE fighter swarm. Now here's the first mistake. A lot of you will put HowlRunner right in the middle.
They assume, well, that's got to be a good place for her because everything around her at range one gets a bonus. Well, yes and no. In this case, well, I mean, yes, always yes. I'll give you that. But I'd still argue in this case, if you are tightly packing, you are good at flying, and you can fly in formation without crashing, and you should watch my episode number one on that. If you don't know how to do that, that'll give you some pointers. Put HowlRunner closer to the back. In this way, you know, range one is still about two and a half ship lengths away.
So as long as the other ships stay within two and a half ship lengths, you're fine. And that really does give you nearly a half ship length to play with. Again, this can get a little bit difficult when you're turning and breaking out of this formation, but at least as long as you're in this straight six phalox kind of formation, you're fine. So how put her near the back, right? Number one, you need to keep her alive. Three hit points is not a lot, even though she has three, you know, defense dice. This is what your opponent is going to go after.
Second thing you can do, and I've been, I think this is a valid strategy, especially if you're not playing with a six tie swarm, if you're only using maybe a four, maybe like a flanker like Vader or something. Stealth device is a very common choice. It gives her a bonus die. But, you know, I have people who will play with that even when she has self device, it just makes it makes her, it makes them even more bloodthirsty for her because once they do hit her, another three points, your squad just got blown off, right? The stealth device no longer works.
If you don't know what stealth device here, I'll put it up on the screen. All right. So let's say you're not paying the extra three points for stealth device though. And you just keep picking on focus tokens for your action thinking you can use these for defense. Well, I'm going to tell you again, if you're just using the straight up howl runner, wife is not a good choice. And the first thing has to do with a simple math in terms of production, your defensive dice each have two eyeballs on the die, meaning that there's a one, you know, 25% chance of making one each time or at least a 0.
25 rate of defensive evade production on each die roll that you do. So in other words, in order to equal one automatic evade, you need to be rolling forward defensive dice. So if you keep at a distance, right, or you have stealth device, you get four dice and these things are actually equal in terms of production probability. However, this one is the sure thing and it's so often that, you know, especially going up against a high agility ship, like, you know, three or even four, you know, it's not like your opponent is going to be pummeling you for three or four damage and you need to roll three or four evades and get a focus token.
You just need to prevent one, maybe roll two evades and there's one you need to get. So take the sure thing, take evade. In general, when you're playing with Howlrunner in a group, you know, I would say you should probably be evading, you know, 80, 90% of the time, unless of course, there's no ship that can hit you. But if you're in the swarm, every ship is going to want to hit you. Oh, a second reason why people like to take focus because I feel like it gives them flexibility. They're saying, well, I can use it for attack or I can use it for defense. This is something of a lie.
It kind of depends on the pilot skill. Here's the situation. Let's say you have Howlrunner attacking somebody at range two. I'm going to use my little Y-Wing here. Here we go, Y-Wing and Howlrunner and they're just range two. There we go. She's bio. She should be in the swarm, but let's just go with it. And Howlrunner focused and she rolls a hit in a eyeball. That's a good roll or even just an eyeball. That's probably not as good of a roll, but a hit in an eyeball. Here we go. Here's some dice, hit in an eyeball.
Do you want to spend your focus token now, if you have a rebel swarm right here, to actually change this eyeball into a hit? Well, if it's the last hit on a ship to kill it, you probably do. Of course, you don't know that until the defender roll, so it's, you know, you're still gambling a little bit, but if it's a Y-Wing, yeah, of course you do. It only has one defense. However, once you spend it to blow this ship up, guess what's going to happen? Howlrunner is now naked and is saying to your opponent, just fire away at her. Just go for it.
This is a tragedy, right? Her pilot skill is almost too high in this regard, for at least this one case. In general, you know, a big advocate of having higher and higher pilot skill. More pilot skill is usually to your advantage, but in this case, you actually want to know who's firing it. If you want focus to be successful, this is. You want to defend first and then spend it later to attack. You don't want a pilot skill of eight where you have to decide right away, do you want to spend it on attacking or defense? So that kind of works against her. So again, evade, evade, evade.
Last thing, and I think I've already sort of alluded to this, but I just want to make it very clear, keep her out of range. Do not let her get too close. Once you start to get too close, she does have a high pilot skill, so it's very common that you can do a K-Turn right where your opponent has been. We talked about this a little bit more in my episode one, or even just fly her through and give her a second chance later. Don't leave her on her own.
One of the last games I played, I played against an Imperial player who was using Howlrunner sort of the basis, and I had you know, again, a squadron over here and then I had a basically a decoy boost double action kind of, you know, ship over here. I think it was actually Tycho that pushed the limit and, you know, sent them both down and his squadron was right down the middle and didn't know which way to go. And this is something I talked about in the Vader video. I like to use Vader like this sort of as this decoy flanker that zooms past the enemy and around to the back.
Well, if you're flying a tight Ty squadron and you're not really good at maneuvering the squadron, he tried to split up his ships and go in both directions at once and basically left Howlrunner just all by herself in the middle not knowing where to go and she got blown up, I think, by round three with very little effort. So if you're playing against Howlrunner, you know, do try to split up the squadron. I'm not a big advocate of some people will say just throw a ship in there and just block the whole thing, cause the whole thing to crash. I'm not an advocate for that. It's just going to get you killed.
If you're blocking into a squadron, it might, you might prevent your opponent from getting some actions for a little while, but you're going to pay the price too for it. That's not how you should go about trying to destroy here. Don't be a suicide bomber. Be smart, you know, force the squadron to go to you and break her out of range. So, hey, if you're playing as Howlrunner in short, take a vade, use stealth device if you feel like you need it, could benefit from it, and always keep her to the back as far as possible.
Even if one of your ships doesn't get the bonus reroll, I'd rather have that than have her get blown up. Make the enemy fire at your more expendable ships. You know, every time, every time you see your opponent go for an academy pilot or Howlrunner or something less, you're in good shape. .