Whelp Squadron Pilot: Tie Defender list

Now that all of my rebel ships have been stripped down and are firmly out of commission for a bit it’s the perfect opportunity to have a small foray into the dark side! I’ve been on holiday for the past few weeks which has given my plenty of time to do some theorycrafting!

After playing around with interceptors in our local league I’ve really come to admire their natural speed and flexibility when equipped with Push the Limits. I’m also trying to innovate something with the Defender as I believe it’s a formidable adversary if I can just find the right way to play it!

 So here’s what I came up with:

Rexler Brath – 37

  • Push the limits – 3
  • Heavy laser cannon – 7

Carnor Jax – 26

  • Push the limits – 3

Saber Squadron Pilot – 21

  • Push the limits – 3

Yes I know, that Defender costs as much as a Falcon but I feel that with this load out it can create ample opportunities to make its points back. The heavy laser cannon, although expensive, means that Rexler will always be rolling 4 attack dice and his unique pilot ability covers the cannon’s inability to produce critical hits pretty well. Using Push the Limits I can keep both offensive and defensive bases covered. I think I’ll always prioritize barrel rolling out of enemy firing arcs rather then going for a second offensive action unless I have a juicy target lined up and can go for gold with a target lock and a focus marker to really push Brath’s pilot ability all the way. As the Defender has a fair amount of green maneuvers and the all important white Korrigan turn I shouldn’t have to worry about stress markers either.

I think my main objective with this ship is to create something that is a solid contender no matter what however when the dice get hot I can go all the way and cause some serious trouble for my opponent with critical effects. Against lists with large ships the strategy should be self explanatory. With swarms however things get a bit trickier and Rexler will need help from his squad mates in order to bring that damage to bear.

Carnor Jax is definitely the man of the hour in that respect. His role is to use his pilot ability as aggressively as possible providing huge benefits to the rest of the squadron as it boosts both survivability and damage output. As mentioned above I love just how much you can do with an Interceptor and Push the Limits. It’s a ship that suits Jax’s pilot ability perfectly and allows him to maintain offensive power even if I use my actions defensively. Something I will always do if I think he’s going to be in the line of fire, much like with Rexler.

As much as I would of liked to of filled the 3rd slot with another one of the Interceptor’s great named pilots or even a Royal Guard Pilot, the Saber Squadron Pilot was the only affordable choice. The upside to this guy is that despite his low pilot value he still has access to an elite talent upgrade allowing him to take the quintessential Push the Limits. It’s not that much of a hindrance as he still has a relatively good pilot skill compared to most unnamed pilots so will still be firing before them and against higher skilled ships he isn’t really a priority target with Rexler and Carnor flying around.

If there was one element that was susceptible to change in this list then it’d be the heavy laser cannon. It’s a big investment and I’ll be keeping my eye on it to ensure it pulls its weight. If it doesn’t theres a lot I can do with those 7 points. Swapping out the Saber Squadron Pilot for someone like Soontir Fel would be high on my list, otherwise I may consider kitting the Defender out with improved engines in order to give it a bit more survivability with access to the Boost+Barrel Roll combo.

I think that whether it be against swarms or large ships the biggest element of success with this list will be carefully weighing the use of defensive actions against offensive one. I can’t afford to lose ships early in the game here, especially the Defender. I should edge on the side of caution, using my defensive capabilities and maneuverability to create favorable exchanges of fire. I shouldn’t be afraid to really push the limits of these ships however and go all in when a good opportunity presents itself!

I’m going to try and drop into a tournament ASAP and take this for a test drive. I can’t promise I’ll do well with it given my relative inexperience in the game and especially with these ships but it’ll give me a better idea of its viability and I’ll no doubt get some useful feedback from the other players.

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2 thoughts on “Whelp Squadron Pilot: Tie Defender list

  1. Hello,

    I recently tested the Interceptor + defender combo to great effect last week:

    Rexler, predator, HLC
    Royal Guard, PTL, shield upgrade
    2 Academies (where would I be without my Academies…)

    The idea is to give your opponent something to concentrate on : the 2 academies, who will be able to prevent actions by blocking and fill the role of Carnor in your list while being more resilient.

    Rexler has predator over PTL, because the 4 greens on the defender dial are all straights, which makes you really predictable once stressed. (You could probably swap predator with Lone Wolf once it comes out for the additional buff to defense).

    The Royal Guard was there mostly to use my latest repainted model, but I found it pretty efficient for the points. You could downgrade the shield to hull for an initiative bid if wanted.

    Try it, I think you will find it easier to fly than a 3 flanker list.

    Not sure where you live, but if you’re free in Paris Tuesday night, we could have a game at my place.

    See you,
    Ica

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one trying this out!

      The PTL on Raxler wasn’t to be used every turn, it was mostly situational depending on wether I really needed that extra burst of firepower of speed. Given the amount of White actions on the Defender including the K-turn I can hang on to that stress a fair amount of time if needed. But I agree that if you try to use it to its fullest as on the Interceptor then yeah it is a bit predictable!

      I did consider Predator also, though maybe not enough as in retrospect I can see how useful it could be on Brath.

      I also really like the Royal Guard Pilot, I would of taken one if it wasn’t for the 1 point difference with the Saber Squadron Pilot.

      Fially the Ties, I can see what you mean about them doing teh same job for more resilience, I will definitely try it out!

      As for Tuesday night I’d love too, PM me the details 😉

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