I haven’t updated the blog since March and a lot of has happened in X-Wing-land since then, including the introduction of two new factions. The Republic and the Separatists are a big deal to me, a child of the early-aughts, someone who owned a plastic curved-handle Count Dooku lightsaber and an Oppo Rancisis action figure. I fondly remember DURGE. One cannot fondly remember DURGE and then think, “I’m going to sit out Wave 3.”
Having played the Republic almost nonstop since its release and having watched the Phantom Menace behind-the-scenes 50 times, I feel qualified to write this guide. To understand how to fly the prequel ships, you must first speak the prequel language: memes.
1. V-19 Torrent
I think there’s a perception that the Republic owes its early success to the Jedi. That’s only partly true. The winning formula is the combination of expensive do-it-all aces and dirt-cheap high-HP generics (the 104th Battalion ARC-170 and the Gold Squadron Trooper V-19 Torrent). It’s an obvious thematic design (Jedi generals leading expendable, nameless clones), but it makes list building very easy, even with just three ships upon release.
Both the ARCs and the Torrents—but particularly the Torrents—are just as useful as distractions than as actual attack platforms. Thanks to their five hull and two agility, the Gold Squadron Trooper basically cannot be one-shot, and usually invites preposterous overkill. Like poor Oddball in Revenge of the Sith, the Torrents’ deaths give the Jedi time and space, so they can set up for a favorable endgame. Like Anakin, you may be tempted to jump in the fray and save them. But oftentimes it’s better to take the safest route to engagement, even if it means a Trooper dies unceremoniously.
Even without Aethersprites, in the soon-to-be-ubiquitous Sinker swarm (with four Torrents and either a 104th or an N-1), the GST’s damage-sponging ability shines. Your opponent will work so hard to hear that Wilhelm scream, only to realize they’ve gained just 25 points.
2. Naboo N-1 starfighter
Did you ever hear the tragedy of Ric Olié The Fast? I thought not. It’s not a story the CIS players would tell you. It’s a Republic legend. Ric Olié was a pilot of the N-1, so powerful and fast he could use the maneuver speed to influence the midichlorians to create dice…He had such a knowledge of the dial that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying. The five-straight is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural. He became so fast…the only thing he was afraid of was going slow, which eventually, of course, he did. Unfortunately, his opponent went four straight; then his opponent killed him without mods. Ironic. He stop others from going slow, but not himself.
See above Torrent analysis, but these dudes can actually do damage with three red dice. I think every single pilot in the pack is competitively viable in some role. They melt fast (and I’m vaguely interested in Angled Deflectors on Sinker) but for the cost it’s hard to complain.
4. Jedi in the early game
I’ve mostly flown Aethersprites with the Delta-7B title, so I can’t speak to Calibrated Laser Targeting or naked builds. Dropping your most expensive aces down to two agility necessitates a very simple philosophy: don’t get shot early…or ever, preferably. If there’s a move that might result in taking fire…don’t do it. Exceptions include:
- You’re sure you’re going to be behind a gas cloud.
- You’re confident you can initiative kill and opponent’s ship before it shoots back.
- You’ve already made a hash of the game on Turn 4.
5. Jedi in the mid-game
Once you’re ahead on damage, Jedi can trade a few shots, with the knowledge that they can regenerate shields off R2. The only situation in which I condone not taking R2 on a ‘sprite is if you already have R2 on another, more costly pilot and are strapped for points.
R2 Astromech on the Jedi is admittedly kind of NPE for your opponent, but can be overwhelmed with any amount of focus fire. If you’re going to stay in arc of an enemy ship for whatever reason, it’s worth doing math in your head as to the most possible damage you could take. Generally speaking, if I know I’m taking a four-dice shot, I grab a purple evade.
6. Jedi in the late game
Unless you’re moving first or leveraging Obi-Wan or Ahsoka’s abilities, Focus is the worst action on the Aethersprite card. In order for these ships to be worth their points, they need to make their shots count. Liberal use of the lock action—combined with force points—make the Jedi pilots incredibly consistent on offense.
This reliability is why I haven’t messed around with CLT much. Going from locking every turn with Delta-7B to trying to line up a bullseye seems like a big leap in style of play. The expensive regen Jedi flanked by the tanky clone pilots gives you a win condition so obvious, you can explain it with a meme listicle.
7. In conclusion
It’s a system we cannot afford to lose.