So I thought it was time to add a review for the Lambda class shuttle as it has been out a while and it is one of the most iconic ships from the original trilogy. Sadly, at the club where I game most people do not use it. The reason being two-fold I believe.
Firstly: when the model was originally released it had a bit of an issue. It was the first model with moving parts the wings that fold up for landing and down when in flight. Due to an issue with these moving parts the wings never truly folded down completely making the shuttle look a bit odd. This has since been rectified and it no longer looks like a seagull in flight but more like the epic craft it always should have been. See below:
That's much better, a truly iconic ship.
So with the model now perfect why am I not seeing many other gamers at the club fielding them? This brought me to my second conclusion...
Asking around most seem to think that because it is not manoeuvrable it cannot help them much in a dogfight scenario that the X-wing game is based around.
So I thought I would accept this as a personal challenge.
I played two games with this ship last week.
Won oner, lost one.
The first game saw my shuttle, armed with heavy cannon, sensor jammer and anti-pursuit lasers, a Tie Advanced with Vader, one Tie fighter (Backstabber) pilot and a Tie interceptor with Fell as the pilot. I made some major mistakes this first game. My opponent took 2 X-wings, one piloted by Wedge, and 2 A-wings (with a named pilot but I forget who).
We scattered a few asteroids and played the first game. Errors I made were: I put the Tie fighter near the shuttle and basically bumped them into each other for 3 turns!!! D'oh! it robbed me of actions in the action phase.
Vader got shot to pieces fairly quickly and then so did Fell. Backstabber got in a few hits but ship of the match was my shuttle with heavy cannon he blew wedge out of the sky and damaged another ship, but I had misplayed, By halfway through the game I had brought my shuttle very far forward, and was being out-manoeuvred by the more nimble fighters, Once Backstabber was down, the shuttle did not last long. We then arranged a rematch...
So, I had learnt the following:
1) Keep the shuttle to a flank aiming in to the ongoing battle, it can stay stationary and is the only ship able to do this. With a strength for heavy cannon at range 2-3 this makes it a very strong sniper.
2) Do not deploy other ships too close.
3) Do not try and engage nimbler fighters and chase them across the board as they can K-turn (loop and you cannot).
Game 2 saw my opponent change his force. He took a turret heavy list. a YT-1300 (Basically a Falcon) the HWK with turret and a named pilot as well as a Y-wing with R2-D2 in it. This would allow him to repair lost shields making the Y-wing (an already hardy ship) even tougher to destroy!
I dropped Vader for another low skilled pilot as well as the concussion missiles I had given the Tie advanced. But gave it a shield upgrade. I also added a shield upgrade to the shuttle (which was otherwise armed the same as the last game). I kept trusty Backstabber in his Tie but dropped the Tie Interceptor and Fell and instead took 2 extra Ties with the most basic pilots.
We set up the asteroids for round two.
He deployed his YT-1300 on his left from middle, The HWK in the middle and the Y-wing to his right of middle.
I deployed the shuttle on my far left flank (by itself having learnt that I would struggle to fly formation with Ties and not bump into them). Tie Advanced to middle and Backstabber and the two other Ties just to the right. I figured with 4 attack dice at range 2-3 the shuttle could afford to go it alone.
My opponent advanced boosting forward with his YT-1300 to centre of the board (Using the Luke Skywalker card as his crew) he shot at the shuttle inflicting only 1 hit which the shield upgrade dealt with his other ships advanced taking pot shots at my shuttle which I had parked facing into the centre of the conflict shielded by asteroids to its exposed left flank (giving it an extra avoid dice in defence).
My Tie Advanced moved towards the YT-1300 and the Tie squadron looped around some asteroids to take it in its' right flank, as he was heading for my shuttle. The Ties (including Advanced) returned fire knocking all of his shields down and causing one critical damage. The shuttle then opened fire with 4 attack dice; due to its target lock it had a re-roll scoring 4 hits, 3 of which caused damage. The Ties had also put in a critical hit making all manoeuvres red ones. The next turn he fled the over-lapping fields of fire only for Backstabber to pull in behind him along with the Tie Advanced to vape him that turn. Bye Bye, Luke Skywalker.
The Y-wing then, for several turns, hit the Tie Advanced with its' Ion Cannon which it eventually succumbed to. I hit the Y-wing with everything I had including the Shuttle which I had to swing round causing red manoeuvres. Causing the Y-WIng so much damage my opponent kept trying to repair with R2-D2 this left him heading fairly straight and he accidentally flew off the board, being classed as having fled the battle. The HWK meanwhile was shooting at Backstabber and eventually destroyed him, but in his pursuit I had lured him into range 1 of my shuttle. The shuttle's basic armaments are attack 3, so with the plus 1 for close range it had 4 dice! Suffice it to say the HWK and its' named pilot (sorry, forget who) were blown away. Empire victory.
So what did I learn.
1) Overall the shuttle is very resilient especially when tooled up with a shield upgrade and sensor jammers.
2) Arming it with a cannon gives it 4 attack dice in all ranges for attack, that's nasty, even someone with as poor dice luck as I managed hits.
3) The zero movement means you can get in the way of enemies and disrupt their movement or sit on a flank sniping.
4) True its not manoeuvrable, but it does not have to be. Also, that large base means your fire arc is that bit wider allowing you to target ships easier.
5) Never deploy Ties too close to it, or if you are like me you will bump into it.
Lastly, just for fun, here's a pic of the first game (Die Wedge DIE!)
Thanks for reading! Pick yours up from Creation Nation today.