There was opportunity to play X-wing during the weekend, and what else than with the big ships. We had something around 250pts per side, and both sides equipped forces with the huge ships. Imperials had Raider, Decimator, and two Ties. Rebels had Tantive IV, Hawk, B- and Y-wing. It was a first game with those, and we were not very familiar with things. We had a high hopes about fun game, where the big ships would pay a major role. However what happened during the game, was rather weird.
Early on turn 2, Tantive blew up. On turn 1, reinforce was used on fore, yet still all shields were lost on a first shot. Second turn choice was to either reinforce with no shields, or bring shields to max. I opted to recover. I used Hawk additional attack dice to give extra punch to my attacks, but Raider Fore was still left with ample shields after total of 11 dice worth of shots. Losing fore, I also lost all energy, crews and weapons, save one quad laser but that was before Decimator finished it off with a single shot.
The idea was to slip into very close range of the Raider that was equipped mostly with long range Turbolasers. Trouble is that even tough it was known that Raider would burn most of it’s energy in the single broadside, it was not known that this single range 5 attack would destroy Tantive without any chance of retribution. Lesson learnt, since huge ship will not survive for more than a turn, or max two, equip it for only single turn massive onslaught, with initiative of 12 for shooting. Ignore all finesse and tactics. Immensely stupid and boring, but it is the FFG way.
Y-wing and B-wing were shot down before they could make any effective shots against anyone. Only loss for Empire was a single tie that happened to be on a wrong spot. That with Tantive being able to shoot once in the whole game.
Of course Y-wing and B-wing were on a wrong side of the Tantive to start with – a fault of my teammate, but that has little to do with the level of destruction inflicted. Yes, he should have been able to be in attack position, but that would only mean that while Tantive went out, so would the Raider. In both cases, it would be close to pointless.
I have heard the huge ships being on a weak side, but what the...? I’ve always thought that the so called critical hits in regular game are, well a bit meh. Now, think about it, if you get a critical hit on Decimator (upgraded with extra hull, it has 17 health), there is not a single one that would disable, or even slow it down. Considering that fore of Tantive IV has maximum of 13 health, save one or two, every critical is immediately fatal. One could say that here seems to be a bit of disparity. Either the Huge ships should have doubled the shields and hull strength points, and/or at least have critical deck similar to rest of the ships. Ships like Decimator should have their values cut to half, and use some large ship specific critical deck which would be as severe as the one for Huge ships.
It almost looks like there has been some weird design ideology (originating from the tournament scene, no doubt) that the games must not last longer than hour and therefore the really big ships must comply and die quickly. Hence, let’s make the really big ships very, very brittle. After all, for example the aft of Tantive IV is actually weaker than Y-wing.
Hey FFG, I have a news flash for you: Epic play is long by definition, there is not point to reduce the huge ships to single shot wonders just because of some artificial tournament playtime limit…
Out of curiosity, there was another game where two extremely well performing A-wing alpha strike team harassed Decimator for a long time with one B-wing, and it took them about 10 turns to kill it. Meanwhile Decimator walked away from many, many critical hits without any trouble at all.