Com-Scan #2: "The Hateful 88"

Welcome squad leaders to Com-Scan,  Jon B here to give you my full report, thoughts and tactics, on the squadron flown this week on XWX.  To make sure that you are brought up to speed, make sure you watch this week’s video;  Having acquired a taste for T-70s I take my Rebel squadron to face off against two IG-2000 Aggressors (B/D)! Let’s see what happens.

Down to the wire there, if there ever was a reason not to let droids into your bar, IG-88 takes that reason, laminates it, and frames it with macaroni shells, then shares it on instagram.  Back to the game, the IG-88 pilot is pretty interesting, with option to take 2 out of the 4 of em,  you can really fun combinations of pilots, this is what Matt and I settled on:

• IG88-B    
Veteran Instincts      Fire-Control System      Heavy Laser Cannon      Inertial Dampeners  IG-2000      Autothrusters

• IG88-D
 Veteran Instincts      Fire-Control System      Heavy Laser Cannon      Inertial Dampeners  IG-2000      Autothrusters

Matt and I did a lot of talking when the Aggressor first came out, but we never really had the opportunity to get it on camera. Now we just a small portion of its potential, and that is a scary thought. There isn’t a wrong combination of IG-88 pilots, and the fact that it is just begging to be tooled up, means you will see many different versions of the two aggressor list. No matter how you build your aggressors, you need to keep this in mind, it’s not a tank, it’s not a Falcon or a Ghost, in fact it can be very fragile; with 4 hull and 4 shields it is the most fragile large base ship! I want to talk about each of these “pilots”, their upgrade cards and how this all ties in for playing it out on the table.

IG-88B (B stands for Badass)

So here we have the iconic killing machine, the Star Wars terminator himself: IG-88B. He is the one we see in the movies, he is the bounty hunter and rival to Boba Fett. All this and we haven’t even seen his card, which we need to take a quick look at:

You will notice that his ability mirrors that of Gunner, except better, it allows your aggressor to take a risky shot, and if that fails take it again with your cannon.  This guy is just solid, he is great at hunting down high agility pilots, or pounding away hull off a tanky ship. Coupled with upgrades like Autothrusters and Fire-control systems you can easily stay at range three, rock your ridiculous number of defence dice, use defensive actions, and still blast ships consistently out of the night sky. You almost always see this “B”adboy flying one of the two Aggressors.

IG-88D (That’s right, the D)

As I already implied with the phallic imagery and suggestive name, this guy is a dick, why is this guy a dick and Mr. Suckerpunch isn’t? Well it’s not that complicated. His pilot ability is makes his ship ridiculously agile. Here is his card:

The Segnor’s loop was introduced with the star viper and it’s a pretty sweet manoeuvre, then this guy comes out of nowhere and not only can he do them, he MAY also do them with turn templates.  He may make this call after see where lower pilot skill ships have gone, and if his basic S-loop might be blocked he can just opt to use the pilot ability and get into an even better place.  To add insult to injury, Matt decked both of these goons with Inertial dampeners, so if you somehow managed to block him at every turn, he can just hit the brakes, stress himself out, and blast whatever loser tried to cause Mr.Roboto to bump. The IG-2000 Aggressor has one of the best dials for a large ship, The sheer amount of green manouvers means that getting stress isn’t that big of a deal, you get disengage if need be and come back when the fight is over. The sad thing is there is one thing I have left out, one thing that makes these two tin-men complete monsters.  

The IG- 2000

The Aggressor comes with a non-unique title card, known as the IG-2000, for the low-low cost of 0 points this title grants both pilots the other’s pilot ability. As long as B is alive, D has B’s ability and vice versa.  This is super cheeky, and I love it. With that in mind, any player going up against these things should try their best to focus one down as fast as possible, they are tricky, they are agile, they have some really psyche out abilities and the longer both are alive, the quicker you will be dead. There is a reason this one little 0 point upgrade gets a whole section to itself.  Matt told me that he wanted to play an epic game with all 4 IG-88 pilots, he laughed, I did too, and then I cried.

Dealing with the H8 H8 

As you saw in the video the Aggressors are not some punk fighter you can easily plink off, they are assassins, they are there to pick you off one at a time and they have the fire power to do it. The trick with this is finding out what they want to kill first and set a trap for them, if this plan is good enough for Boba, it’s good enough for you. Every squadron is different and there are so many premuations of the 4 IG—88s and their upgrades that makes a one-size fits-all defense difficult.  

The Aggressor is not tanky and if you can focus one down, you have a good shot on taking out the other. A cheap blocker works wonders here, forcing your opponent to blow his inertial dampeners on your terms is crucial, and forcing your opponent to breaking his fighters apart so he has to split his fire will be a real game changer. Obstacles are your friends; despite his great dial, this technological terror hates rocks, especially large ones, learn how to fly fast and loose with asteroids and use them to your advantage! We see in the video that I made a couple of mistakes in my choice of actions late game, but early game I really tried to control the battlefield, Another thing to keep in mind when facing off against the ‘Brobots’ They don’t have 3-turn maneuvers, this is somewhat mitigated by their boost action, but not entirely.

 These ships are not the biggest fan of stress, though they can shed it very effectively, if you can actually save your stressing in reserve it will make those middle engagements that much easier. Keep this in mind, you can be stressed and pop inertial dampeners, so hoping to get stress in early so that he won’t pop those elicit upgrades is an unwise plan, stressing them on the turn these dampeners are popped on the other hand is a great idea.


Final Thoughts

Aggressors are one of the few large ships that can effectively dogfight, and superiority fighter or interceptor like Tie Fighters or A-wings can make this ship very aggravated. On XWX we talk about focus firing and disengaging, these are staples of winning tactics, the Aggressor is tremendous at being completely relentless, and they can easily leverage those HLC range 3 shots after a boost. What are very difficult are incredibly tight maneuvers. Often a cluster or slow flying ships will bog down the Aggressors, robbing them of actions, they may have to perform a red move, or pop their dampeners, moves such as these are when you can maximize your advantage and reposition. 

I like the Aggressors, they are everything I want out of a scum ship, and the IG-88 is such an interesting character, considering he has no lines in the movie.  I hope this com-scan report will prepare you for your battle with Aggressors, and be sure to leave a comment on helpful tips that worked for you against the Aggressors

Next week Com-Scan will be reporting on my games on a recent Store Championship, where I used none other than, Dark Lord of the Sith; Darth Vader. See you next week!