My Gaming ADD, aka an (eventual) love letter to the Tie Phantom.
by Ergonomic Cat · Published · Updated
In the spirit of the Valentine holiday, I thought I’d write a bit about my favorite ship in the game, the Tie Phantom. And in the process, talk a bit about my journey to find my faction.
First, let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
I have gaming ADD. It manifests itself in a lot of different ways. For instance, at our local shop, I was apparently once referred to as “The old guy who plays all the games.” (For accuracy’s sake I’d point out that I’m only 41, I’m not old). Upon finding out that I play Pokemon, someone said “My god, how many hobbies do you have? And how do you afford them all?” (1. Let’s not be gauche and count. 2. I play cheap. That’s the subject of a future article).
So I do a lot of things. I fall in love with a new game, and I go all in. Sometimes way too far in (In three months of Warmachine I’ve owned five factions). And as part of that ADD, I jump around a lot. Many people, upon starting a new game, pick one piece of it, focus on that piece, learn it, discover it, and slowly grow.
I bought two core sets, Most Wanted and a Falcon. I picked up the TFA core set on Force Friday. I bought in to the hype. The rest came within 2 weeks. To be fair, I initially got into X-Wing to play with my (at the time) eight year old son, so I needed enough for both of us to play. I mean, I didn’t want to just fly one faction, plus the core sets came with two Tie FOs and an X-Wing, so we’re already two factions in, right?!
Initially, I played Rebels (I’ve always loved the rebels. I currently carry an orange and white Rebel Alliance wallet. My Xbox gamertag contains Wookiee. In SWG I was a Swords/MDoc Rebel PvP Wookiee), because I am firmly on their side.
Obviously, since Chewie is my favorite character, we had to get the Falcon. Which was a fantastic ship. The first game after it hit the table my son declared it OP, and informed me he needed a Decimator, so he had a big ship too.
Instead, I got Most Wanted. Because Scum! I love the Rebels in the movies, but I love the smugglers and the scum (except gorram Boba Fett, but let’s not get in to that) in Star Wars. So I got Most Wanted (and let’s be honest, the Scum Y-Wing is far cooler than the Rebel), and I saw the dial for the HWK, and the Slave I. So my son wants a big ship – there we go! I was still only playing with my son at this point, so we were really just buying what seemed cool as I gradually got exposed to the wider world of (x)wings.
So for the longest time, I flew Scum and Rebels. My first tourney was Scum (Kavil, N’Dru, Torkil and a Syck with Mangler). It was terrible. I ended without a win, and had several games where I didn’t take out a single ship. But it was also my first real set of games against real players. My first game of X-Wing against non-family humans was, I later learned, against a World’s 2014 top 16 player. And it was all amazing. Hell, I bought the HWK at the tourney so that I could play with it, and I had no regrets!
But then I watched people play Rebels. I saw the value in the Poe regen, the Y-Wing with R2, the K-Wing, and all the rest. And I loved Rebels! So I could have two factions. I’d play Rebels, and I’d play Scum. It’s all fine, it’s fine!
I picked up a few ships for Imperials so my son didn’t feel bad – a Tie Punisher (eww), a Tie Advanced (Cause Vader), a few more Ties (so he could fly a bigger swarm, which I *never* enjoyed), etc.
At one point, a local player had some ships for sale. I picked up the Tie Defender, because I don’t know why (Yes, super excited for Imperial Veterans), and the Tie Phantom, because it looked cool, and I had vague memories of it from the old PC games.
And that was it, even though I didn’t know it yet.
It took me a few more weeks to put the Phantom on the table. I mean, I was a Scum and Rebel player. Imps were dirty punks who flew Soontir Fel, or had those god-awful swarms (I tried to fly a few swarms. It never worked. I watched the videos about how a 1 bank and a 3 bank keep you in formation and a 2 soft and a 3 soft keep you from running in to each other. Didn’t help). My usual opponent flew exclusively Imperials, so I certainly wasn’t going to….
But one day I decided to try this pointed winged thing in my box. I put it on the table with a couple of Ties and some filler (probably Vader in the advanced?). I didn’t know how to build it – ACD was obvious, and those four dice (omg, four dice. FOUR!) screamed out for something – I put Predator on there because I didn’t like the points on Gunner, and then, I dunno, whatever else fit. I waffled back and forth between Whisper and Echo, but free focus seemed too great.
And that, as I said, was it. I LOVED the way this ship flew. It was fast, it was maneuverable. It jumped around like crazy from decloaking (since we didn’t read the FAQs, it did it in PS order). And it ended up at Range one of things and threw five dice, with a reroll! FIVE! The very idea! I one shot Soontir Fel. It felt *good* – like, super good. It felt as good as flying Talonbane Cobra (emo tumblr god that he is) up to Range 1, popping Glitterstim (drugs are bad, kids!), and going freaking nuts. And it happened as many times as I wanted.
And then I flew her directly in to an asteroid and rolled a hit, and got no action, and no shot, and she died.
That was the first of *many* games that ended in “And then I flew her into something, and she died.” But it didn’t matter. Up until the point that she crashed and burned, I loved her! She was my jam, my waifu, my bee’s knees.
I didn’t know at the time that I had jumped factions. I thought I was a Rebel player who really liked Scum, and occasionally played Imperials cause of that one ship. But, I mean, I didn’t fly swarms. I wasn’t Imperial. I hated the Tie Fighter!
Fast forward another three months to present day.
I traded all my Rebels off for more Cygnar and some cash. My Scum come to most game nights, but they haven’t hit the table as anything but Kath + IG-88 (I haven’t even gotten my 2nd Aggressor yet). I just. Fly. Imps. And I fly Whisper. I recently shocked people in NOVA Squadron by admitting I didn’t even own Soontir Fel. The idea that I considered myself an Imperial player but didn’t own His Holiness the Baron? It was inconceivable!
And yet, here I am. I own two phantoms, simply because the idea of flying a list of two phantoms and a filler is so gleeful. And I do it, even though I rarely win with it. I have a Store Championship coming up next week, and I’m flying Whisper, Omega Leader (A TIE FIGHTER OF ALL THINGS (although, to be fair, he’s a Tie/FO, and a huge PITA (my friend refers to him as “that cheating ship.”) to fly against)), and a Doomshuttle. The very idea is so different than where I thought I’d be when I got in to X-Wing, but I can’t imagine going to a tourney without bringing her now….
Feature image is from the great comic artist Dee Yun. Check out his other gamer related comic strips www.direman.com
Father of 3, husband of 1, gamer of all stripes (rarely an author), geek, X-Wing (Imperial and Scum), Warmahorders (and Warmahoarder), reluctant Magic Player.
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