To paint, or not to paint, that is the question

What drew me to X-wing when I first played it was that I could walk into a shop, buy a model, open it and be playing with it just as soon as i wanted.

At the time I was also playing Warhammer Fantasy Battle and enjoyed the painting and hobby aspects of the game, and was so glad that X-wing allowed me to take a break from that.

Fast forward 10 months or so and time has become a little more precious and Warhammer has dropped away for the time being, in contrast I have been playing more and more x-wing, in addition I have been multiple copies of releases when they came out.

The hobbyist in me wanted to put my mark and differentiate between models on the battle field, what follows are my edits and tweaks to the already amazing models from Fantasy Flight!

Millennium Falcon

My first attempt was to the Millennium Falcon, the ship itself i think looks fine, but the area where the engines are just annoyed me as a plain blank grey, and i wanted to add some “life” to these.

IMG_5583

The ship on the left shows the paint job and the one on the right as it is out of the box.

A-WIng

This is where I left things for a long while till my next project – the A-wing, everyone who is anyone seemed to be flying the Green Squadron A-wing (if they flew any A-wings that is), so i wanted a quick change.  I achieved this by leaving the main body of the ship alone and just over-painting the red with a green, highlighting and shading this.

IMG_5589

TIE Interceptor

Next up were some really basic mods that I have done to all of my imperial ships and that was to add a green “flash” to the tips of the guns to simulate the laser fire.

In addition after buying the Imperial Aces i wanted to have more of the Imperial Guard red ships and with a “spare” interceptor I took to a full repaint.. my first attempt.

IMG_5585

Green tips can be seen on all three interceptors and #7 is the full repaint with #10 the original Imperial Ace.

Lambda Shuttle

Sticking with the Imperials and with a similar frame of mind to earlier I added an engine glow to the Shuttle.

IMG_5591

HWK-290

Getting the bug my final ship for today is the repaint of a HWK-290, originally I repainted the red stripes with a blue, but after some consideration I went the whole hog.  Going for a light grey in a similar manner to the Millennium Falcon I applied a wash and then highlighted this, adding some coloured pipes and blue vision panels.  Although it cannot be seen I added a blue glow to the engines to finish the ship off.

IMG_557920141026_115916

In conclusion

I hope you appreciated the repaints, maybe if i get around to buying a second Firespray then I may repaint one of those, but as I only own one its staying as the original repaint at the moment.

I have been pleased with the efforts and also how well the smaller changes give some personality to the models and especially as the time taken to do this is minimal.

Soon I may have a helper to assist…

20141025_174708

Thanks for reading.

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X-Wing Knock Out – Sanctuary Games

Life moves in mysterious ways, a friend was meant to come and stay the night and whilst here “wanted to try out that new X-wing game”.  Unfortunately he cancelled last minute, freeing my Sunday up to go to a tournament.

The format was one that I have never really played in before and it piqued my interest – 150 points, Rebel Aces allowed, knockout – 2 losses and you can go home…(or play friendlies)

With 7 players turning up the owner stepped in to ensure there were no byes.

Choosing a list

Rebels or Imperials…I chose both and started to ponder things.

Imperials were Darth Vader + Proton Rockets + Outmaneuver + Engine Upgrade, Black Squadron Pilot + Draw their Fire, Rexlar Brath + Heavy Laser Cannon + Veteran Instincts, 2 x Sigma Squadron Pilots

Rebels consisted of Keyan Farlander + Heavy Laser Cannon + Push the Limit + Bwing/E2 + Weapons Engineer, Roark Garnet, Chewbacca + C3PO + Gunner + Millenium Falcon, Wedge Antillies + R2 + Push the Limit + Engine Upgrade.

Both these lists I considered would do well as they had high Pilot Skill to combat uncloaked phantoms, but in the end i chose the Rebel list.

Wedge AntillesPush the LimitEngine UpgradeR2Chewbacca FalconGunnerC-3POMillenium FalconRoark GarnetKeyan FarlanderPush the LimitWeapons Engineer   Bwing-E2   Heavy Laser Cannon

Players – Martyn Gough, Melvin  , Rich Tansey, Craig Sharp, Terry Carr, Grahame Mulliss & myself Chris Taylor with Rich Lacey acting as a spare.

The Plan

Without knowing anything about others lists and 150 point games really opening up some nice combos i was hoping that my PS 12 out put and Chewie would help solve that pesky Phantom issue.  Roark is never meant to fight but just stay at range three and if he gets a shot its a bonus.  Wedge does what he does and with the boost can hopefully get into the right position to deal a killer blow, Keyan i hoped would work – the round where he needs to shoot i would take PTL with a barrel roll or a focus and target lock saving the focus for defense if needed.

Would it work though?

Onwards and upwards to see how things would pan out…

Round 1 – vs Martyn and three tooled up Imperials,

  • Whisper +Advanced Cloaking Device + Veteran Instincts + Fire Control System + Gunner,
  • Colonel Vessery + Heavy Laser Cannon + Veteran Instincts + Assault Missiles,
  • Boba Fett + Proton Bombs + Weapons Engineer + Flechette Torpedoes + Predator + Assault Missiles + Slave-1

Things were about to get messy, the imperials had the drop on the rebel fleet with Pilot Skill 8,8,9 to my 4,5,7,9 so i spread out hoping i could take it slow and get my ships to bear before he could engage.  Round 1 and i actually remembered to take photos so here is their story.

DSCN0001

After exchange of fire the falcon is left on a single point of hull with just Boba Fett to shoot…but to the rescue comes Wedge causing a Blinded Pilot Critical leaving Boba Fett rolling no dice and with that Keyan blew him from the sky.

DSCN0004

Not to be outdone the imperials chase down Chewie but in doing so leave an opening and Whisper goes down.DSCN0005

Not one to give up Colonel Vessery takes the fight to the Rebels causing Keyan be destoryed.DSCN0006

The star of the show, Wedge, did not lose his cool and closed to point blank range to destroy the Colonel.DSCN0008

Roark spent the game flying around rescuing the recently shot down pilots, but was the star of the show giving Chewie what he needed to put the initial damage onto Whisper.

Win for the rebels 150-94

DSCN0009 Games in progress

Round 2 – Rich T

Rich was flying an Elite Rebel list of three A-wings and 2 B-wings, embracing the spirit of the Aces he had:

  • Tycho Celchu + Veteran Instincts + Chardaan Refit + Stealth Device
  • Jake Farrell + Veteran Instincts + Chardaan Refit + Stealth Device
  • Gemmer Sojan + A-Wing Test Pilot + Veteran Instincts + Chardaan Refit + Stealth Device
  • Keyan Farlander + Veteran Instincts + Heavy Laser Cannon + Advanced Sensors
  • Ibitisam + Veteran Instincts + Ion Cannon

Now before i get into this game i have to mention Rich’s first game vs Grahame everyone had finished except these guys and with 5 mins to go it was 0-0 eventually the game was won by Rich as Grahame flew Krassis off the board!

Rich vs Grahame in the great battle of evading DSCN0010

Knowing how hard it was to hit the A-wings I decided that the way forward was to take out the B-wings first and I set this up to go forward.

With Rich having the Pilot skill i set up in a corner so that i could bring all my guns to bear, Rich set up with his A-wings in line and the B-wings looking to come around the flank.

DSCN0013

The forces engage with Rich’s Keyan Farlander going down in the first pass, but Wedge is Ion’d and heading towards an asteroid with no shields

DSCN0014

The A-wings turn in to bring their guns to bear,

DSCN0015

Chewie boosts to safety while the A-wings get behind Wedge and Keyan, but fail to make the most of their shotsDSCN0016

Keyan and Ibitsam face off with Keyan coming out the winner, whilst Chewie chases down Jake.DSCN0017

After leading the remaining rebels on a merry old dance eventually Jake was bracketed by the remaining ships and was destroyed.

Two from two and things were looking good for the Knock out with a 150-37 win.

Game 3 vs Melvin and an 4 X-wings and an E-wing list, it was a lot of attack dice and this scared me especially if all those ships could be brought to bear in one turn.

  • 3 x Rookie X-wings with R2 Astromechs
  • Wedge + Shield Upgrade + R2 Astromech + Outmaneuver
  • Corran Horn + Veteran Instincts + R2-D2 + Shield upgrade + Fire control system

With a split set up Chewie was concerned of the triple rookies on the flank, as for the remaining ships i wanted to get Wedge taken down as he could be a real threat to Keyan or Chewie.

DSCN0018

Chewie takes the brunt of the rookie’s fire, but survives to take out Wedge

DSCN0019

The ships re-position for the next round and Keyan judges his turn to combine with Chewie and blow a rookie from the sky.

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With the ship advantage the rookies are destroyed and the chase is on for CorranDSCN0022

150-0 win (although my squad was pretty beaten up)

Three games, three wins and 4 players left going into the last round and I had played all three but they had not played each other.

I drew for my sins Rich and his elite ships again, the result was the same, although I lost Wedge early i managed to kill his B-wings and despite losing Roark for the first time over the weekend I ran out 150-56 winner.

Time to call out Honest Sith’s Insurance brokers

DSCN0023

In the other game Martyn beat Melvin leaving me on a 4-0 record and Martyn on 3-1.  With the time 5.30pm and the potential for 2 further games to try and decide this (I lose one and the a final game as a decider) we could have been looking at a 9pm finish and so we decided to call it there.

Tournament thoughts

Keyan Farlander – wow what a pilot, certainly man of the match, although I think in part due to Chewie taking the heat off him. Burning the stress to shoot was really effective.  Roark was a close second, this is the first time i have flown him with no upgrades and i think that was best as it meant I did not need (nor was i tempted) to fly him close to any fighting like i would have done if he had a turret – he actually took down a B-wing at range 3 in the last game too!  Gunner on Chewie or the Turret on Roark – gunner was certainly the better option.  I think weapons engineer was slightly wasted and Jan Ors on Roark would have been possibly a better choice.

The format knowing it was 2 losses and you were out was fine for this weekend, however we all underestimated how long this could go on.  With just 8 players we needed a potential 6 games and with 90 mins being allowed for each round there just was not enough time in the day.  If we had dropped to 100 point games and 60 mins we would probably have had the time to fit these in.

Still I was more than happy with a 4-0 winning record and took a small ship home with me at the end of the day.

A big thanks to my opponents and Martyn for organising and Rich for hosting this at Sanctuary Games,

I will be back for another tournament.

One final note was to the guys I did not play and their lists.

Grahame

  • Krassis Trelix + Heavy Laser Cannon + Gunner + Homing Missiles
  • Capt. Jonus + Proximity Mines
  • Turr Phenir + Veteran Instincts
  • Soontir Fel + Push the Limit
  • Dark Curse

Terry Carr

  • 4 X-wings and a Y-wing (unfortunately i missed taking notes of his list)

Craig Sharp

  • Dark Curse
  • Backstabber + Shield Upgrade
  • Obsidian Squadron
  • Howlrunner + Veteran Instincts + Stealth Device
  • Whisper + Advanced Cloaking Device + Veteran Instincts
  • Krassis Trelix + Stealth Device and Proximity Mines

One last note I am assisting in running a tournament in Derby, England on the weekend of 21-23 November.  If any of you readers would like to attend details can be found here http://bloodandglory.baddice.co.uk/

Thanks for reading and see you next time.

Chris

X-Wing Escalation Round 4

Well the last round was upon us and I was up against James and his TIE Defenders…supported by Whisper.

Delta Squadron Pilot  Delta Squadron Pilot 

Rexler Brath Veteran InstinctsHeavy Laser Cannon

WhisperAdvanced Cloaking device Advanced SensorsNavigatorVeteran Instincts

My list had Turr Phenir and Push the Limit on him and the Royal Guard, with Capt. Jonus and 2 defenders with Heavy laser cannons.

We set up in opposite corners with my interceptors trying to get around the flank, James had the initiative due to being one point lower than me.  I turned my defenders into the fight and as the ships approached managed to get several shots off, but only succeeded in stripping away the shields from one defender, in return I lost the shields on one of mine.

This is where I started to make mistakes, I had not been thinking straight and forgot about initiative and James blocked me with his defenders causing a triple ship pile up.  With both rexlar and whisper getting into range they did 7 hits out of 8 on Jonus who failed to dodge any and was blown from the sky.  In return I stripped a few shields from the other defender, but it was looking bad.

Defender Traffic Jam

Defender Traffic Jam

Que mistake 2 instead of regrouping I tried to maneuver to get shots, i should have flown off and got myself into position, this culminated with the royal guard landing on an asteroid and instead of being behind the defenders with a barrel roll boost he was right in front of both and with no shot – oh the shame, James took no pity and blew him from the sky.  Turr had tried to out flank Whisper, but to no avail and with a bunch of shots and failed dodges Whisper took him down before he could return fire.

WIth just two defenders vs all James ships i managed to get a consolation defender, and for a moment had several hits and a crit on Whisper…but he dodged enough to take the shots on his shields.

Now it was just a case of when not if and Whisper took down one defender with Rexlar pinning the other down and the game was over.

I was down 150-30

Conclusions

I needed more practice with this last list and James flew his list really well, the early mistakes really hit me badly, and i threw away both Interceptors when I had no need to do so these guys were in a great position to do some real damage and would hopefully have meant it was tit for tat ships for a while longer.

Whisper with the high PS and Navigator meant I really had no chance of getting him pinned down as he was always moving after my ships and I needed to rely on killing the other ships fast to enable me to get whisper in a cross fire and hope!

Hopefully the remaining games will be played soon and the final results issued, just as soon as i know them i will post them up here.

Thanks for reading.

X-wing Escalation Round 2

Although we have made it to round two, i am still yet to play a game at Santuary…maybe next time. So Andy suggested the Lincolnshire Poacher in Nottingham.  

Before the game I had looked at Andy’s list and had considered how i needed to fly my ships, for details have a look at my Round 1 blog

The Squadrons

With the asteroids down, we deployed in opposite corners, me in formation with Delta #13 having the Heavy laser cannon mounted and was deployed closest to the board edge.

Deployment

Despite my thoughts initially about staying out of Etahn’s fire arc, Andy flew him straight down the board, and for some reason I dismissed him from my mind i was so focused on taking out Airen Cracken and Ten Numb.

Tactical maneuvers

This was almost my downfall as he flew in from the flank blanketing my ships with his sensor arrays, this allowed Ten Numb to gain a double crit, on Delta #13 but fortunately one was saved.  Airen took another hit off Delta #14, but then it was the Imperials chance to fight back, and with a focused HLC shot at Airen he took 4 hits, dodging one to stay in the game.  Jonus clipped Ten Numb dropping a shield.

Fire at will

Airen was now running scared and banked to get out of the arc of the imperials, fortunately flying so close that he could not be targeted, however with Ten Numb, Jonus and Delta #13 all performing K-Turns they fired on one another with shields being burnt on both sides.  Fortunately Etahn clipped an asteroid and ended up directly in front of Delta #14 who did not shirk his duty and promptly took his shields leaving him on one hull.

Running the gauntlet

The following turn all the ships tried to disengage, and the shots fired were largely ineffective, but both sides had all their ships alive, so it was with several long range shots Ten Numb took three long range hits on Capt. Jonus then in the crossfire he failed to dodge the incoming fire from Etahn and was the first casualty of the battle.  However in return Delta #13 took aim with his HLC and blew Ethan from the skies, taking faith from his imperial comrade Delta #14 took focusd his fire and Airen was clipped spinning into a nearby asteroid.  With things looking grim Ten Numb tried to disengage, but with two delta squadron on his tail he was destroyed before he could plot his escape to hyperspace.

5 Death at range

The battle in the end going to the imperials and a 90-22 victory.

Aftermath

There were a few mistakes on both sides, me forgetting Etahn’s ability, although I did want to focus on the other ships, i had not intended to let him get on my flank by so much.  The mistake on Andy’s part was a dial error in not putting the right maneuver down for Airen which meant he was just outside of range 1 of Ten Numb so his ability was wasted.

Bizarrely three of the ships were taken out on the same turn and all the shots were at range 3, i was particularly disappointed in Jonus failing to roll 1 evade on 4 dice, coupled with Andy’s 6/6 hits (but that made up for my luck in shooting his ships earlier), but with a K-turn and stress he could not dodge.  This was a double blow as the delta lost his HLC re-roll and only took two hits on Etahn, but it was enough ditto for my shot at Airen Range 3 and snuck the one hit through that was needed.

Next up is ….I don’t know, unfortunately my next opponent has not pre-submitted their list so I will be flying into the unknown.

My list has now expanded to include a TIE Interceptor which I hope to use as a flanker, and the rest of the force will hopefully act as a hammer…but what will I be facing…

X-Wing Escalation

Some people from my local gaming store decided to run an escalation event over several weeks and i took the opportunity to jump right in.

Sticking my money where my mouth is (see my Defender blog) I wanted to run TIE Defenders in my list and so what better way to fill out 60 points than 2 Delta Squadron Pilots.

My plan though was to beef these up with Heavy Laser Cannons and Captain Jonus in support.  I had to do this in stages, to round 2 would be Jonus and HLC on one delta.

After this I needed to add another ship and wanted something with a little punch and the Royal Guard TIE + HLC on the other Delta provided this.  It would hopefully allow for the Interceptor to act as a flanker.

My final choice was Turr Phenir, I really like this pilot for his flexibility, the remaining points allowing Push the Limit on both the Interceptors.  All there was to do was to was submit this and see how things panned out.

Escalation Squadron

Escalation Squadron

 Captain JonusDelta Squadron Pilot Heavy Laser CannonRoyal Guard PilotTurr PhenirPush the Limit   

On to the Games 

Round one I had been drawn against Simon Kane, a relatively new player, but I was not sure what he was taking he turned up on the night.  

His list was Howlrunner w. Swarm Tactics, 2 x Black Squadron and an Academy TIE.

 HowlrunnerSwarm TacticsAcademy Pilot Black Squadron Pilot 

With an excellent initiative grab by myself i had the benefit of setting up first and also going ahead of his one academy TIE…

Our set up was diagonally opposite and with a good clump of asteroids in the middle of the board I felt i had the upper hand in navigating these.

Squadrons approach through the asteroid field

Squadrons approach through the asteroid field

The initial shots when they came in were from us both underestimating ranges, leaving two black squadrons vs my two defenders.  Fortunately I rolled up 6 hits destroying one TIE for the loss of 2 shields on one defender.  The next turn saw an error from Simon with Howlrunner clipping but landing on an asteroid, taking full advantage one defender put his shots into her, the other defender taking 2 shields, but coming through unscathed.  With Howlrunner taking a hit as she moved away from the asteroid, the defender on her tail took full advantage completing the job and blowing her out of the sky.  Despite some good maneuvering the TIE fighters failed to hit the defenders even at close range, and with 2 vs 2 the defenders performed their signature k-turn keeping the black squadron in their sights, with two fully focused shots he could not dodge the incoming fire, this was enough for the Academy pilot who had seen all his betters destroyed and he flew off to fight another day.

Result 60-0 win. 

Despite some initial concerns over the mini swarm, the mistake of Howlrunner hitting the asteroid and some shocking dice rolling in the attack meant the defenders came through with a solid win.  This could easily have gone the other way.

Next up I will be facing Andy Pelton and his second round squadron of Etahn A’baht (32) + R2-D2 (4) + Predator (3), Airen Cracken (19) and Ten Numb (31).

Etahn A'Baht Predator R2-D2 Ten Numb Airen Cracken

So three on three and all of his looking at putting critical hits on my imperial ships with almost every shot.  I really need to keep the principal of take on ship down at the front of my mind for this.  The B-wing cannot dodge for toffee, but can easily be focused and target locked with Airen’s ability combined with Ethan this should be a guaranteed hit every turn.  However he has 8 HP.  Airen is the weakest ship, and also a really powerful one, but he has to shoot to trigger his ability, so that (if i survive) means i will be able to shoot back.  With predator and R2-D2 if i go for Etahn i need to take him out of he will jsut regenerate shields and my time wasted.  I think therefore i need to take on the B-wing or Z-95 to start, and again make the most of my ability to k-turn and use an action.  The next article will determine how i fare.

Thanks for reading and see you soon. 

 

Wave 4 – It’s all about the Phantom…or is it?

At least that is all the forums seem to be talking about at the moment, making lists with Echo, Whisper or the basic guys there is no love for the other Wave 4 Imperial release the TIE defender.

I love this ship, I think it is all from TIE Fighter the computer game it totally immersed me into the world of Star Wars to the extent if me considering spending my hard earned cash on a 386 to play even faster.

One of the first games i loved on the PC

One of the first games i loved on the PC

The TIE defender was the ultimate in flying, made all the other ships look basic in comparison, i have kept that love and hopefully persuading you of that too.

Dodge that Y-Wing

Dodge that Y-Wing

So what is it about the defender well i guess primarily its the cost of the ship.

The basic defender comes in at a whopping 30 points (Onyx at 32 and +2PS), although they are pretty sweet at that. 

Delta Squadron Pilot

Three’s across the board is very good for a small ship, as much fire power as an X-wing and B-wing, dodge of an A-wing and the shields of a Y-wing.  What is not to like?

Well it is more expensive than all of these, and imperials will say you can get three TIE fighters for that one ship which are more survivable and have more attack.

Some benefits, you have an inbuilt target lock rebel pilots know how great this is, on that turn you are out of position or at range three vs a 3 AG ship you can get this up and reap the benefits in later turns.

On top of that many dogfights end up at a point where you lose a turn turning or on a k-turn, this is where these ships and their white maneuver works a treat.  While other ships are stressed and without an action, hopefully your defender is Target locked and focused ready to finish off the opposition!

In the release there were two named pilots 

Colonel Vessery

Colonel Vessery you are reliant here on having target locks on your target so with few Imperial ships with this you are looking at flying some of these

Black Squadron PilotTargeting Computer 

or possibly 

Lambda ST-321

either way it gives Vessery a really nice bonus,with only a Focus required to gain full power shooting on the right target.  Although making him more expensive i like the following card due since i think the defender has a great ability to be a flanker, and as mentioned that K-turn can put you out of firing arcs quite easily.  

 Outmaneuver

the other big benefit is that you can use missiles on him really well,again one of the few chances to get that re-roll on your one shot weapon.

That leaves a pilot that i feel can really mess with the enemy – Rexlar Brath.

Rexler Brath

As a defender you are going to be wanting to make the most of this ability and there are few ways of doing this. One is to make sure you have a target lock on the enemy before shooting, or by having the following upgrade.

Predator

The big issue is that you are relying on your target having no shields, although it does allow you to put some critical hits on the Falcon flown by Chewbacca!

Getting expensive, you can tool him up with a Heavy Laser Cannon for that extra attack at range without giving away the extra defense dice.but you are then looking at a 47 point ship!

Support to Rexler can help make the most of his skills, Darth Vader in his Advanced passing on an action through squad leader, or Captain Jonus and his ability to re-roll secondary attacks.

Squadron Flying

Squad wise, there are options, one i have enjoyed flying is 

Captain Jonus (22), 2 x Delta Squadrons with Heavy laser cannons (HLC) (37 each).  it leaves 4 points which i like on Decoy or Swarm Tactics, i think Decoy is better because of the higher chance of the TIE Bomber taking a Critical dropping his PS, although that would only lower one of the Defenders from 1 to 0 so not a big drop.  This allows a fan favourite – Seismic charges, with Jonus at PS 6 he is moving late in the game and can often see where ships are ending their turn.

Vessery + Outmaneuver (38), Omricon Shuttle with ST-321 and Vader (love this guy for hitting AG4 ships!) (30) this leaves 32 points to spend,which is enough for two more ships of some flavour, or gamble on a High PS pilot like Soontir Fel, or a tooled up Royal Guard.

Finally Rexlar + HLC (44), Vader + Squad Leader (31), Royal Guard Interceptor + Push the Limit (25)

Yes you end up flying tricky 3 ship elite imperial lists, but they all have their place, I have not played enough games to know how they work against all opponents, but I like the “other” wave 4 ship the Imperials can fly.

See you next time, and in the mean time safe flying and avoid those asteroids.

Chris

.

Reverberation – X-Wing Wave 4

Wave 4 models arrived on my desk at work and it has again motivated me to do some writing.  Since everyone seems to be talking about Echo and phantoms, it seems a good place to start.

First off these guys move around like no-ones business and so rather than reinvent the wheel I am using the nomenclature created by Neil Amswych in the following article It’s far harder to kill a phantom

What i really wanted to understand though for myself is where ships actually could end up and can these guys really be blocked easily.

Running through the moves there are some that really jump out.

 Not a lot jumps out about the 1 turn, although E1 gets you almost back facing the other way, which is nice.

Echo 1 Turn Positions

Echo 1 Turn Positions

The bank maneuvers give some great 90 degree super tun options, an effective double bank when starting off with the C/D  The other one is the A which gets a horizontal shift with a 90 degree turn.

Echo 2 Bank positions

Echo 2 Bank positions

Apart from a lovely symmetrical display (something akin the the red arrows) 

Echo 2 Straight positions

Echo 2 Straight positions

(something akin the the red arrows) 

Echo 2 Turn positions

Echo 2 Turn positions

The three bank though and some distance can really be had, great for that sudden random change of direction when needed.

Echo 3 Bank positions

Echo 3 Bank positions

Echo 3 Turn positions

Echo 3 Turn positions

Echo 3 & 4 Straight positions

Echo 3 & 4 Straight positions

The longer straights get some distance on the board, and allow a great bomb burst, remember all of these can be k-turns.

Then there are the fun things, so echo is stuck behind an asteroid, but you want that 1-turn you can with a E 3 bank, followed up with a barrel roll, its all the actions, but you dodged that asteroid.

When a 1 bank is just not possible

When a 1 bank is just not possible

if there was ever the time when you wished you were facing 90 degrees to the side again with the E 2 bank and barrel roll gets you almost back in spot.

Left turn

Left turn

The regular phantoms are not as maneuverable, but they still get some speed around the board, these are much easier to predict, but also for the player flying these, its a lot easier to end up where you want.

Phantom 1 Turn positions

Phantom 1 Turn positions

Phantom 2 Bank positions

Phantom 2 Bank positions

Phantom 2 turn positions

Phantom 2 turn positions

At least the straight gets you going forward, unlike echo, where you have to be a pulling a bank.

Phantom straight positions

Phantom straight positions

At 

Phantom 3 bank positions

Phantom 3 bank positions

Phantom 3 turn positions

Phantom 3 turn positions

What have i learnt, not sure but I think that piloting echo will be as hard as trying to anticipate where it will end up.  

The regular phantom will still be awkward, but a lot easier to hit.

What can counter this then, especially as a popular choice on echo is Veteran instincts to get a pilot skill of 8.  Well 360 shooting is nice, i still think that Vader gives some grace with this, especially in a slow shuttle.

4 evade dice is nice, but is still only 2 evades with a focus, so getting the hits on this guy will take it down.

Now to decide whether to fly this guy in my next tournament in August…