X-Wing: Barrelful of Awesome – TIE Silencers
The TIE Silencer gives us more options than we know what to do with. But it’s a good problem to have.
The TIE Silencer spoils us for choice. The modification and title slots might be no-brainers—Autothrusters and yes-I’ll-take-the-title are pretty close to automatic—but the other slots are not. The combination of elite, systems, and tech slots give us many tantalizing possibilities.
The systems-tech combo in particular is a rare one, which only the TIE/sf had access to previously… and the TIE/sf is a very different ship from the Silencer. The combination of dial, title, and actions available to the Silencer mean that a great deal of good can come from those slots. (At a great deal of cost, of course.)
Some options are good on their own, but others combine in delicious ways. Let’s take a look!
Stand-alones: Sensor Jammer, Advanced Optics
While these cards are worth taking on a Silencer, neither is particularly synergistic, so we’ll treat them individually.
Advanced Optics, while mostly there for Poe, can be used on a Silencer for that all-important action economy. I would consider it primarily if I passed on Push the Limit in favor of Veteran Instincts or some other EPT option, as without it the Silencer is dangerously low on actions. However, it’s the same cost of Pattern Analyzer, which I vastly prefer.
Sensor Jammer is one of those cards whose value waxes and wanes with what you’re facing. When there’s a lot of Expertise around, Sensor Jammer loses potency. Other foes, like those overreliant on rerolls—Harpoon caddies or the Inquisitor, say—get into trouble fighting this card. It gets stronger still if your list has other cards that deny actions, strip tokens, or force expenditures. Perhaps you want more consistency from a four point card, and that’s fair. Still, if you’re going full Cadillac on your Silencer, Jammer is a useful defensive option.
The Economy Option: Collision Detector + Primed Thrusters
This one goes particularly well with Blackout if you take Debris Fields. You have the freedom to zip through the fields, or even sit in them, while using actions to reposition, all the while retaining offensive and defensive benefits. You can take Wired or Trick Shot as economy EPT options. This all comes for only 2-3 points—nice, given the extraordinary base cost of the Silencer.
The Repositioning Option: Advanced Sensors + Primed Thrusters
This one’s also designed with Blackout in mind, with the idea of avoiding obstacles rather than flying through them. That said, there’s no reason Kylo couldn’t use it, since it dramatically increases his options for final position.
Brief aside: most of the ships with systems slots have long been subject to the tyranny of Fire Control System. That card is really good, and is even better in modern times when 2-3 ship lists are ubiquitous. The Silencer partly addresses this with its title, which gives rerolls under certain conditions… often enough, perhaps, that FCS isn’t a given. /end aside
Primed Thrusters and the Silencer dial unlock the full potential of PtL and Advanced Sensors. Let’s count the ways:
-You could do the traditional thing: Advanced Sensors to PtL before performing a green maneuver, thus getting double actions and ending with no stress
-You could use Advanced Sensors without Pushing to get actions before a red maneuver
-You could use Primed Thrusters to take one (or even two) repositioning actions even while stressed, before or after you maneuver
That’s options galore! There’s only one way to abuse PtL even more.
The Hold-the-Stress Option: Advanced Sensors + Pattern Analyzer
You might be thinking, “Wait a minute. Why would I need two things that do the same thing?” Well, they sort-of do the same thing. Both allow you to take two actions, do a green maneuver, and come out with no stress. The difference is timing: Advanced Sensors is before you move, and Pattern Analyzer is after you move. If all you’re doing is focusing and target locking, it makes little difference; for your boosts and barrel rolls, the distinction leads to wildly different final positions and trajectories. Pattern Analyzer won’t keep you from flying into bumps the way Advanced Sensors can, and tech is overall the more saturated slot, so in a straight-up comparison Advanced Sensors has an edge. Still, they each have their uses, and the number of final positions with both of them together is astounding.
The Super-Turr Option: Fire Control System + Threat Tracker
Turr Phenir is one of those fun pilots you never field. His ability may torment lower-PS foes, but his generally weak action economy, PS cap of 9, and weakness against turrets (and bombs) mean he’s got too many holes in his game. If only we could have gotten his pilot ability on a more beastly platform…
…you know, like a Silencer.
As I said above, I think First Order Vanguard and the potency of alternatives devalue FCS for the Silencer, except in this particular case. Threat Tracker needs a target lock to function; FCS gets them for you. This build seems like it screams for Veteran Instincts, doubling-down on the ability to arc-dodge at super high pilot skill. It’s also the rare sort of situation where Push the Limit is questionable rather than automatic. At issue is the fact that you can’t take advantage of the Threat Tracker while you’re stressed, meaning you couldn’t push on your normal action. You could, of course, Push off of your Threat Tracker action, even allowing for double repositioning actions when you use Threat Tracker. The tension between Pushing on your normal action and Pushing off of TT seems to give may opportunities for mistakes.
You also have to beware squads with multiple ships at identical pilot skills—your opponent might be able to mess up your plans simply by changing his activation order.
Still, much like Turr Phenir, this option seems less competitive and more “when it works it’s a hoot”.
The Leading-the-Charge Option: Fire Control System + Targeting Synchronizer
We’re venturing way outside the box here, but why not? With this build we’re using our Silencer as the lead ship for some Harpoon caddies. (Whatever flavor you wish—TIE Bombers, Gunboats, etc.) Low-PS ships eternally struggle with the problem of how to get target locks. Long-Range Scanners go a long way to help with that, but the modification slot is a crowded one for ordnance carriers.
The notion here is that the ordnance carriers take Guidance Chips and everyone focuses. When it comes time to shoot, the Silencer shoots first, uses FCS to get the necessary lock, and then lets the other ships in formation use Targeting Sychronizer to launch (while using their own focus tokens and Chips to modify).
This concept, though, has a pretty big problem with it. To wit: you could have done this with TIE/sf fighters, which have a dial much more conducive to formation flying with lumbering Bombers than your expensive Silencer. The fact that nobody went for this option with the TIE/sf is pretty forbidding for trying it with the Silencer.
~So, now that we’ve explored what all the various options are, what do I think will actually catch on?
I would bet on The Cadillac (Sensor Jammer + Pattern Analyzer), the Economy Option, and the Repositioning Option. Super-Turr and Hold-the-Stress seem too gimmicky to be consistently good, and I’m just not high on any combo with Advanced Optics. Then again, I only have a few games with the ship under my belt—who knows what else we’ll uncover?