Ordinance and You.

TO and X Wing guru Harrison Sharp gives Ordinance a second chance! Here he tells us why it’s worth you taking another look at this seldom-used part of the game.

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Greetings, Holonet! I’ve been scouting out the Wave 8 meta – yes that was a pun – and boy, have things changed for Ordinance! Before this wave hit, missiles and torpedoes were pretty much relegated to the back of your upgrades folder, but no more! With some of the new cards and pilots, as well as some surprising resurrections of old ones, the humble torpedo has skyrocketed to the top tables!
If you’re still reading after yet another bad pun, then strap yourself in as we delve into just what happened to make Ordinance such a game changer.

Firstly, if you haven’t already, I would suggest reading my old tactica about missiles, Getting the most out of Ordinance. All done? Good. As you can see, Wave 8 had started to be spoiled at the point of writing that article. We had our first look at Guidance Chips, but one critical piece of the puzzle was still missing, and that was the Jumpmaster and its generic pilot, the Contracted Scout. The Scout is a strange generic, as it is Pilot Skill 3 with an Elite Pilot Talent slot on its Upgrade bar. It also has room for two torpedoes, as well as a Crew and Salvaged Astromech slot. This gives the Scout a crazy amount of adaptability, as well as all of the tools needed for Ordinance to find a home. Let’s take a look at the build that is currently taking the meta by storm:Contracted-scout_ship

Contracted Scout
Deadeye
Extra Munitions
Proton Torpedoes / Plasma Torpedoes
R4 Agromech
Guidance Chips

This terror comes in at 33 or 34 points, meaning you can fit three in a list. With Deadeye you don’t need to have a Target Lock to fire off your torpedoes, just a Focus Token, so there’s no need to be in range to acquire one. The R4 Agromech allows you to acquire a lock on the person you fired your missiles against, so you have a way to modify your attack. Finally, the Guidance Chips mean you can convert one of your misses into a hit. If you splashed out the extra point and went for the Proton Torpedoes, you can also convert a Focus result into a crit. Add all of this together and you have over a 90% chance of getting four hits and crits. Ouch! There isn’t a lot out there that can stand up to an Alpha Strike of 12 damage, so this list has become rightly feared. There are, however, other uses for this crazy stack, so let me invite you to see some of the crazy ideas my mind has conjured up. Now I’m no space wizard, but my conjurings aren’t half bad, at least in my opinion, so let’s have a look at my first idea. For this one you have to ask yourself “what’s better than four dice?”

Miranda Doni
Extra Munitions
Homing Missiles
Twin Laser Turret
Guidance ChipsDeadeye

Five dice, that’s what. Clocking in at an impressive 42 points, Miranda is looking pretty expensive; however, she has a high enough Pilot Skill to get in and acquire her Target Lock, and with the Homing Missiles she gets to keep it to augment her attack. She can also drop a shield to add an extra die to the shot, and with the TLT she can drop a die in the next turn to regain it. If you’re worried about Aces not being in range for her to get that lock, you can always run Airen Cracken in the humble Z-95 with Veteran Instincts for 20 points. That way he can fire first and, as long as he is in range 1 of Miranda, he can pass her off an action to get that all-important lock. This synergy will also make sure that she has a Focus Token to help further augment her attack, and if you really wanted to get some more of the Ordinance goodness, you can always give the Cracken a set of Homing Missiles and Guidance Chips as well! If you want to round this out into a list with a gimmick, then why not try out this little number:

Miranda Doni
Extra Munitions
Homing Missiles
Twin Laser Turret
Guidance Chips

Airen Cracken
Veteran Instincts
Homing Missiles
Guidance Chips

Jan Ors
Wired
Twin Laser Turret
Nien Nunb

Total 100 points

The idea is simple: rock up with a Focused, Target Locked, six-dice missile shot that also doesn’t allow your opponent to use Evade Tokens. For any target that’s scary, and for an Ace, that’s a terrifying prospect. Yes, this list is a one trick pony, but that’s a one hell of a trick! The synergy of this list is also pretty good. Cracken makes sure Miranda can fire, Miranda fires and makes use of Jan’s ability, which stresses her out so that Wired kicks in for re-rolls. After you’ve fired, Nien Nunb gives Jan a big green move to get her out of dodge and back into range to keep using her TLT. After the initial Alpha Strike, as long as Jan stays near Cracken, she can pick up a Focus and a Target Lock, as well as augmenting his measly two-dice shot to give him a better chance of putting in some damage.Nien_Nunb
Let’s take a quick step back and have another look at Miranda, as she really is the lynch pin of this list. Miranda is a monster in the end game, especially against lower Pilot Skill ships than herself. I have had the distinct displeasure of having to chase her down with a TIE swarm, which should on paper be the perfect counter to her. However, with the SLAM action and a TLT she is surprisingly difficult to pin down if she doesn’t want to be caught. With that in mind, if you are going to give this list a fly, I would suggest trying your best to make sure she survives to the end game. That means if you have a chance to fire off that extra set of missiles and maybe die in the process, just keep them. Grab a Target Lock while speeding around the board for use with them later, then get into a good position for another pass. It’s not worth losing Miranda, as the other two ships in the list don’t have her survivability.
Talking about survivability, that’s what this list suffers from. A HWK-290 and a Z-95 can and will be burnt down very quickly, so you just have to make sure that you get off your Alpha Strike quickly and give your opponent very little to fire back with. The other points of failure of this are that there is very little burst damage after the initial Alpha Strike, which may be a problem if your Alpha fizzles; also, you are very reliant on your synergy between the three ships to make the most out of your missiles. Because of this, if one of the ships is shot down, it makes the rest of the list’s job much harder than if you had just lost a normal Z-95 or TIE Fighter.

Speaking of TIE Fighters, if you don’t like flying that Rebel scum and instead prefer the ships of the legitimate Imperial regime, then don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about you. Looking at the new TIE Advanced Prototype has given me a few thoughts of how to splash some missiles into a list to make this ship really pack a punch.

Swx40_guidance-chipsBaron of the Empire
Juke
Concussion Missiles
TIE /v1
Guidance Chips

Baron of the Empire
Juke
Concussion Missiles
TIE /v1
Guidance Chips

Baron of the Empire
Juke
Concussion Missiles
TIE /v1
Guidance Chips

Gamma Squadron Veteran
Crack Shot
XX-23 S-Thread Tracers
XX-23 S-Thread Tracers
Guidance Chips

Total 100 points

Xx-23So this list contains three of the Pilot Skill 4 TIE Advanced Prototypes, each with a missile to give a pretty good Alpha Strike, but instead of rounding out the list with a fourth, I’ve taken the new Gamma Squadron Veteran TIE Bomber that is being released with the upcoming Imperial Veterans expansion and given him some XX-23 S-Thread Tracers. This is to guarantee that you’re able to fire off those missiles, even if your opponent moves after you do. The synergy of this list is simple. The whole squad rocks up and Focuses, then the Gamma Squad Veteran fires off his Thread Tracers, having a Focus Token and a guaranteed hit from the Guidance Chips. As you gain a free Evade Token when acquiring a Target Lock, once you’ve got your four hits, you can then use Juke to drop one of your opponent’s Evade results down to a Focus. This is a pretty scary prospect, as with three of these bad boys letting fly, your opponent will run out of Evade tokens before you run out of missiles.
I particularly like this list as once the Barons have fired off their Ordinance, they are still very good ships. The combination of Juke and the v1 title is brilliant, especially if your opponent has had to K Turn to get shots and is now without a Focus Token to flip that Juked-down die back up. Two-attack dice ships only really work if you have a way of either reliably getting them more dice, such as the Inquisitor, Zeta Leader or Backstabber, or if you have a way of modifying your opponent’s green dice to offset your lack of firepower, such as Omega Leader or a Black Squadron Pilot with Crack Shot.
The TIE Advanced Prototypes fall into a weird place in the Imperial pecking order, as they are more expensive and a higher Pilot Skill than your go-to blocker, the humble Academy TIE Fighter or even the new Epsilon TIE FO, but they are still two attack dice, meaning they really struggle to punch through 3+ Agility ships. Juke and the title are the great equaliser in this regard, as you can force your opponent to either make sure he has a Focus Token to spend, dictating some of his actions, or being able to push through more damage than a two-attack dice ship should. Add to that the fact that the title gives you both of the best offensive and defensive actions in the form of Target Lock and Evade, and you have a ship that is very manoeuvreable and reliable. Pilot Skill 4 is also a great place to be in the current meta, meaning you can fire before those pesky Jumpmasters, and with 12 attack dice going their way, hopefully remove one before it even gets to shoot.
I think this list has a lot of play as, just like the Rebel list above, you do not have a huge amount of punch after the Alpha Strike, but this is offset by Juke and Crack Shot if you didn’t use it for your Thread Tracers. The ships are all quite difficult to take off the board, either through high Agility or just a lot of hits to chew through, and they also have a decent amount of action economy. There is, however, no all-star end game ship that stands out in this list, but once again that can work in your favour as, after the Bomber throws off it’s free Target Locks to everyone, there is no clear target. In fact, once the Bomber has done its job, it becomes lowest on your opponent’s target priority, and if he’s already put some shots into it, then he has the tough choice of either switching targets or trying to take out the least important ship.

Hopefully I’ve given you something to think about with these lists. Whether you’re an Imperial, Rebel or Scum player, the new Wave 8 Ordinance has something for you to try out! So why not pull those old cards out of the folder, dust them off and let them see some table time? Preferably with as many trench run quotes as possible!
Until next time, this is your friendly Recon Specialist signing off.

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Have a few list ideas of your own? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to read them!

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