In this ‘built’ series of articles I will take a specific ship and build out every pilot. I will try to take into account the ship itself, any pilot abilities and the lists they would form a part of.
The articles I do in this series are picked by my Patrons! I put a poll up with a list of ships to choose from and I’ll run with whatever the winner is. This time the TIE Bomber won out. If you’d like to get involved you can find my Patreon here.
As always this is just my opinion, if you have other suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments below. Some pilots will be just fine on their own, I won’t add upgrades just for the sake of it. I’ll go through the pilots in ascending initiative order.
FYI, if you don’t know I’m a Rebel only player so I’m really going out of my comfort zone with this article. With that in mind, be gentle when it comes to comments! I’m gonna try my best to build these guys out how I see fit but I’d love to see what you guys would do differently.
Scimitar Squadron Pilot
This seems pretty straightforward to me. With Skilled Bombardier working alongside the Bomber’s ‘Nimble Bomber’ ship ability you have the option of placing prox mines in six different positions. That’s some fantastic flexibility. What’s better is that prox mines are nasty as if an enemy ship goes over one and it detonates that ship suffers a hit and then also has to roll two red die and whetever hits and crits come up they have to be taken too.
That covers the back end but what about the front? Here I’ve got two options.
1. I feel like Barrage Rockets are decent as the three reds are better than the primary attack and if you don’t need to use the focus for them then you have it for the Bomber’s two green dice on defense.
2. Cluster Missiles are cheaper so if you’re feeling it you can have five of these bad boys in a list. The range is shorter so your engagement would need to change but clusters do give the option of multiple attacks each round, there’s the possibility of firing ten times instead of five.
I think I’m right in saying option two has been used recently to good effect, if I had some Bombers I’d definitely be giving it a go.
Now that we have some more options coming I thought I’d throw them into the mix too.
Concussion Bombs – Once you start letting these drop it seems things are gonna get interesting. I’ve put the bomb effects below for ease.
At the end of the Activation Phase, this device detonates. When this device detonates, each ship and remote at range 0–1 is dealt 1 facedown damage card. Then, each ship at range 0–1 must expose 1 damage card unless it chooses to gain 1 strain token.
This means that they go under shields and there is a risk of pulling a nasty crit if you don’t take the strain token. If you then take the strain that affects your maneuvers next turn.
Thermal Detonators – This….could be insane.
At the end of the Activation Phase, this device detonates. When this device detonates, each ship and remote at range 0–1 rolls 1 attack die. Each ship gains 1 strain token for each focsus result, and each ship and remote suffers 1 hit or crit damage for each matching result.
So, from my understanding (waiting for the FFG errata) you can drop two of these a turn and use the ‘Nimble Bomber’ ship ability to put them at varying angles using the bank templates. A squad of Bombers filled with these means a possible….well it’s a lot of bombs!
With both of these payloads you’re essentially carpet bombing the play area, sounds pretty cool.
“Deathfire” is five points more expensive than the Scimitar even though they are the same initiative. Wot.
I honestly don’t get it so I’m probably going a little silly here. Cluster Mines seem fun; rock up to take a range one shot then drop the cluster mine set to really get your opponent thinking. I’d be tempted to get Deathfire into the middle of things quickly, fully expecting him to blow pretty quick so that I can drop the bomb as early as possible. Dropping the mines right infront of the enemy could really mess with their next set of maneuvers.
To make sure he can go out with a bang, I’d try Advanced Proton Torps so your opponent also has to think about what’s going on ahead of Deathfire too. To me, this feels like ‘YOLO’ in a ship.
Gamma Squadron Ace
This build is nice and simple. Just Barrage Rockets. Players will look at the ship and think that you must bring bombs. But I would counter by saying that the Bomber actually has a pretty good dial with two k-turn options and five blue maneuvers. Why not just bring some rockets and use it as a quasi-jouster? Six hull and two green dice means it can probably take a few hits before going down (same overall HP as a T-65 afterall, to which you can find a ‘built’ article here) and it’s still pretty cheap. It will hate crits but just rock up and focus so you can take your shot.
A five dice shot from range three and a second five dice shot from range two? Yes please! Rhymer’s ability screams prockets and adv. protons to me. It does paint a huge target on his back but could take some of the heat away from other ships in the squad. Also even with both of these added he’s still under fifty points (at the time of writing).
After putting this together it was pointed out to me that Rhymer could also reduce the range requirement on both of these weapons to range zero, zero?!?!! To me that seems crazy good.
I’ve added Intimidation here as it could give his attacks at range zero a nice little bump.
Captain Jonus is the Bomber equivilent of Howlrunner, buffing nearby friendly ship’s missile and torpedo attacks as well as his own. I’ve continued the helphul theme here by adding Swarm Tactics and Plasma Torps. With Swarm Tactics he can bump up another friendly to I4 (handy if he has Scimitar or Gamma wingmates) so they can take their shots earlier. Plasma Torps help out his lower initiative friends too by removing one of those pesky shields from an enemy before they take their shot, hopefully giving them a better chance of sneaking some crits in.
One of my Patrons perfectly described Tomax to me, his real ability is his initiative. At I5 he is the highest Bomber pilot so once again he could be a good candidate for Swarm Tactics. But I don’t like repeating myself here if I can help it so lets go a different way.
Diamond-Boron Missiles seem like a good call if you’re using a single, high initiative Bomber as you can only take one copy of it in a squad. If you’re up against swarms of ships with two or less green dice (Aggressors, Y-Wings, Kihraxzs, Torrents, Vultures) then you’re in for a treat as ships at range one of the enemy ship you’re firing on also have to roll a red die and suffer any hits or crits they roll.
His pilot ability doesn’t feel great but if you wanted to reload your missiles then why not recharge elusive as well.
I’d be very interested to hear how you guys would build him out as this is a difficult one.
That’s every TIE Bomber built. Let me know if you agree or not and share your builds in the comments.
Until next time!