A-Wing Ace: The Fleur-de-Lis Opening

 

The Fleur-de-Lis is simply an extension of the Korriban Cross maneuver for more than two ships. The purpose of opening with this maneuver is to control the board with a fast, mobile force and protect your “anchor” ship in a whirlwind of blockers. Since you don’t have the PS to deploy your A-Wing miniswarm reactionarily, you can use a maneuver such as this one to set up good approach vectors when engaging an opponent, as well as the angled approach that is extremely useful when setting up blocks. Additionally, you can maintain a “slow roll” manner of attack with ships that do not normally fit to that sort of style and leave your maneuvering options open.
The Fleur-des-Lis, as seen here with Wedge Antilles and four Prototype Pilots

The Fleur-des-Lis, as seen here with Wedge Antilles and four Prototype Pilots

Mechanically, it is straightforward. Set your Protos (“First Rank”) as if in a Korriban Cross, but at the limit of the R1 deployment range, and your other A-wings (“Second Rank,” in my case, they were Greens) behind and slightly “inward.” If you have an “anchor” ship that deploys at lower PS, you can deploy it in the middle of the formation. Then, hard-turn and boost across the formation. As shown in the pictures, there are several different ways to do this – curvy, straight, or a combination of the two. Your “Anchor” ship can then go straight ahead through the center at any speed necessary, if it indeed started there. From here, you will find it easy to set up aggressive approach lines to any location on the map and, especially with the example of Wedge’s Flying Circus, set up for rotating “blocking trains” with the back rank and the anchor poised to exploit the aggressive moves of your front rank of blockers.

You can go straight out for wider coverage...

You can go straight out for wider coverage…

...or even turn out to slow down and move your arcs.

…or even turn out to slow down and move your arcs.

FAQ:

Q: “Asa, where do I go after completing this maneuver?”
A: “That depends on so, so many things. Experiment a little and you will find that you have a lot of options open to approach from whatever angle that you want, and with a little range control practice, you’ll be able to time the engagement to occur in 2-3 turns. For some basic illustration on this concept, read the Korriban Cross article to see how many places you can be in just two turns. You can extrapolate from this and, above all, PRACTICE, to work out how this flexibility works for you. Finally, learn how to exploit the blocking ability of these ships, as this formation is excellent at setting up block angles.”

Q: “Asa, what sort of ships/formations is this well-suited to?”
A: “Generally, ‘Anchor+Miniswarm’ archetypes fit it well, such as the aforementioned Wedge Antilles’ Flying Circus:

Wedge Antilles

  • Push the Limit
  • BB-8
  • Integrated Astromech

Prototype Pilot x2

  • Chardaan Refit

Green Squadron Pilot x2

  • Chardaan Refit
  • Adaptability
  • Crack Shot
  • A-Wing Test Pilot

Boost is pretty essential to pull this maneuver off, although, with practice, you can do a semblance of it with no post-maneuver actions. However, since the point is to set up good angles with agile, low-PS ships, it kind of defeats the purpose to attempt it with slower ones.”

Q: “Asa, why don’t you just bank or turn in the direction that you’re already facing, instead of that fancy criss-cross?”
A: “Well, one of the reasons for doing this sort of thing is to accomplish the ‘slow-roll’ aspect of many list approaches while still maintaining a slew of open options and formation cohesion. Banking forward, I have found, simply goes too far ahead, while turning out instead of across separates the formation too much to where it becomes more difficult to bring it back together, especially if the opponent decides to try to rush one flank. Besides, it’s super fun to pull off and might impress your opponent, so there’s that added bonus!”

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