It’s approaching my one year anniversary of playing X-Wing. Happy birthday to me.
I felt a real sense of trepidation when approaching this regional, my first of three in the next month.
Last May, I played at the Warboar London Regional and managed a pitiful 79th out of 92. I was very much the Green Squadron Rookie, I even took a Ghost and three crack-shot A-Wings. I learned a lot about my flying that day and how I really needed to work on sequences of play and using the abilities as read on the upgrade cards.
Though the alt art Hera Syndula pilot card looks much more like Grotbags, I was gutted that I hadn’t made the cut of top 64.
The droid eventually forgave me, but only on the condition that he take over as captain and I be demoted to cabin boy. He’s been in charge for a while now and, to be fair, he’s not done that bad a job.
With this regional, I felt that I had some things to prove to myself
- would I remember to use upgrades?
- would my flying be up to scratch?
- would I qualify for my Red Ace card?
My list for this tourney was
This comes in at 99 points, giving me a very small initiative bid to compete against Parattanni.
If you read my last article, Road to Regionals Part Three, you will have seen my predictions for the meta based on an exploration of the top 4 lists over six international regionals. I expected to see lots of Defenders, Parattanni and a creep back of K-Wings. Quite honestly, there was a real diversity amongst the lists at Exeter including one list of four U-WIngs and lots of Ghosts, but the final still came down to Andy Cameron playing Parattanni versus Luke Pearce’s Commonwealh Defenders. It was Andy that took top position – well done!
Tobias’ list was
YT – 2400 Dash Rendar
- Lone Wolf
- Heavy Laser Cannon
- Recon Specialist
- Outrider Title
K-Wing Miranda Doni
- Twin Laser Turret
- Cluster Mines
- Seismic Charges
- Extra Munitions
- Sabine Wren
- Advanced Slam
I have to say, this was an excellent first game – thanks to Tobias for being such a jovial opponent on what was about to be a gruelling day of pushing small plastic space ships and rolling dice.
When approaching the table, I looked at both of Tobias’ ships and really found it hard to figure out which should be my target priority. Bombing K-Wings can spell sudden death for Fang Fighters, especially when you take the Advanced Slam into account. Equally, the HLC on Dash is horrid and can take out the Fangs in one easy hit if used correctly with a focus and target lock (never rely on your green dice).
I weighed up my chances as to which ship posed a bigger threat, and which would be a more consistent target. You may feel differently here, but I thought Dash needed to be the first to go. I based this on my previous experience of playing Oliver Pocknell at the Shoreham tournament back in October. Though both ships are turetts, you can waste an entire game chasing Miranda whilst she simply re-gens. Consider the Clusters and Seismic Charges she has, really, you want to keep all of your ships clear of her for a while. Dash, on the other hand, has a donut hole to exploit.
During the second round of combat, Roo had suffered from Miranda, losing four of her shields. fortunately, she was in range one of Dash, as was Fenn, so she used Feedback Array to ensure an extra damage and take Dash to half points. After that, she ran and ran, trying her best to stay out of the fight.
After having successfully re-grouped Teroch with Fenn, Dash was out within the next combat phase, I can’t say that I wasn’t pleased that his threat had gone.
The two Mandolorian boys had to now concentrate on Miranda, who had thankfully gotten rid of her clusters. Roo stayed at range three, using a combination of K4 Security Droid and Unhinged to pick up a target lock and then barrel roll out of range, later passing her target locks to Fenn or Teroch.
The game went right down to the nail, with Fenn and Roo working well together. A great first game and a win.
Game Two Dan Parker 42-67
Dan’s list was
Firespray 31 Boba Fett
- Attanni Mindlink
- Engine Upgrade
Lancer-Class Pursuit Craft Asajj Ventress
- Attanni Mindlink
- Latts Razzi
Z-95 Headhunter Kaa’to Leeachos
- Attanni Mindlink
This was one of the most exciting games of X-wing I have played in a long while.
Dan was the embodiment of everything about the community that makes it so special. He was there to have a good time and ultimately remembered that order of the day should be to have fun and fly casual. If you’re reading, thanks dude.
I don’t really like taking netlists, so this is my take on a Mindlink list.
I took one look at Dan’s list and my esteem for him shot up instantly. He was clearly flying a list of ships that he enjoyed and one that he had engineered to serve some of the same purposes as Fangaroo. Kaa’to was there to take tokens from friendly ships, consequently dealing with any shenanigans from Teroch or a Party Bus.
With Dan’s list being 100 points, I had the choice of initiative and I stupidly gave it away (Read Road to Regionals Part One and you will see why). This was a mis-play on my part that I would pay for. With me having initiative, Teroch would remove tokens from a range one target and then Kaa’to would take a token from a friendly ship and then generate another one for any ships missing a token via mindlink.
I lost Roo early, setting up with a bit of a joust in an attempt to use the Plasmas. I stupidly passed her target lock on, thus not enabling her to use them anyway and left her really very vulnerable. She spent the next few rounds kiting around the mat, generating focus tokens and surviving on one hull.
I also forgot to act on Teroch’s Damaged Engine crit, dialing in manoeuvres that he could not complete whilst stressed and then ending up with two straight forwards that put me in unfavourable positions. Learn from me – use your crit tokens; they’re a valuable reminder.
At one point I forgot to use my Concord Dawn title when defending with Teroch, Dan very graciously suggested that I lose one of the damage on him.
At the end of the final round, Teroch had one focus and a shot on Asajj that if successful would definitely give me half points and a better MOV (but no chance of killing her) and Teroch potentially surviving. I rolled a hit, a crit and two eyeballs at range one, meaning I would have to spend my focus if I stood any chance of getting the hits through. Dan rolled an evade and then used Latts to de-stress me and generate another evade. Asajj was still to return fire and I had no focus token to defend myself with Teroch on one hull.
Dan rolled two hits and then changed this to four using his target lock. I rolled two evades, one eyeball and used my Concord Dawn title but had no evade token. So close.
Close counts only in Horseshoes and handgrenades.
Betrayed by my green dice? Not really. It was an unfortunate roll given my circumstances but I knew the high risk when I spent the token – I wouldn’t have got the half points otherwise.
A really close game and very exciting.
David Briggs 100-30
David’s List was essentially a mirror match, but his Roo did not have Feedback Array, putting his list at 97 points.
David gave me initiative and I felt quietly confident, having played this list for as long as I have. My Roo suffered early, again I had tried to play her a little more upfront, which is fine for using the Plasmas, but I feel my major mistake was not using her as a turret ship and getting her out of my opponent’s arc when the opportunities to use the torps had gone.
My Roo worked well as a blocker, but this leaves her very open to attack. With the second combat phase, David and I had traded Fenn Rou (mine) for Teroch (his). Not such a great trade – one that I would regret later. I’m going to go on a limb and say that this was probably the major turning point in the game.
David outflew me and I made some rash decisions that led to Roo being fenced off of the board; yep, I flew off of the board for the first time in a long time and she still had one hull left.
Teroch was left as my endgame ship, which isn’t awful, but using him defensively is tough. we played until time was up and my greens blanked out in the final round of combat.
Game Four Sean O’Neill 100-67
Sean’s list was
Lancer-Class Pursuit Craft Ketsu Onyo
- Engine Upgrade
Lancer-Class Pursuit Craft Asajj Ventress
- Latts Razzi
- Shadow Caster
- Engine Upgrade
By now, my record was one and two. I needed to come back from the dead. It would be in games four and five where I would do this and renew my faith in my playing. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I really am not one to blow my own trumpet. When you read my next two games, I hope you will feel me justified in doing so.
As placed my ships on the table and shook Sean’s hand, he gave me a moment of recognition
Oh, you write the blog!
I cannot lie, it did make me feel a lot better.
My starting point was fairly slow, trying to consciously control my distances and avoid ranges 1-2 at any point and minimise the stress caused by Asajj. In contrast Sean zoomed in with each of his ships on a four or five forward.
I can’t really say that I remember that much of this game (sorry Sean), other than trading Roo and Teroch for Ketso. It took both of them to take her down, leaving me with my Fenn against his two shield and seven hull strength Asajj. Things were not looking good.
Range three is your friend.
These were Lloyd’s words as he peered over my shoulder. With only two hull left on Fenn, I actually took a different approach; it seemed the most reasonable that I should charge into the back of the shadowcaster. This meant that I would either bump her and be safe from a shot, or I would end up with a precise shot at range one and could take a target lock.
With my first attempt at this, we bumped and I was safe. On the second turn, Sean moved forward and changed the angle of his mobile firing arc, anticipating that I might try to fly to the right. In fact I flew two forward and landed in range of a clear shot and he couldn’t then return fire. On the third attempt, we bumped once more and on the fourth, I was able to kill Asajj.
It was high risk, and I don’t know that I would do it again but I got the win I needed to take me to two and two.
Game Five Adam Wilson 100-67
Tie Interceptor Carnor Jax
- Push the Limit
Tie Defender Countess Ryad
Tie Defender Colonel Vessary
Back from the dead? You might think that I had already somewhat done that in my previous game. Check this shiz.
Like many who have been playing a list for a while, I have two or three opening set ups that I defer to based on my opponent’s list. I have worked on these for a long time via Vassal offline and Tuesday nights with Tom, Lloyd and Full On. Why would I deviate from these tried and tested starting points when I know what works?
I write this as a tale of stupidity – a proper face palm moment. I’m reluctant to explain the exact mechanics of how I did this (it is still Regionals season, after all), but let’s just say that I slooped Roo to the left in the opening round and then attempted a three bank too close to the edge of the board on the next go.
I flew the ship off of the board within two rounds.
I couldn’t believe it. I actually felt worse for Adam, feeling this would be a quick and boring game for him. I honestly think there was a point where he would have let me take the move back – I wouldn’t have let him do this.
I continued with Fenn and Teroch, business as usual. My normal approach with defenders is to lead them into the rocks, minimising the opportunities for the 4K turns to be taken.
As I led Adam in, I ended at a point where both Fenn and Teroch were at range one facing Ryad and Vess. I used Teroch to strip the tokens from Ryad and both then focussed fire on her. After my opening debacle, I couldn’t believe it when Adam lifted Ryad off of the board. She had exploded.
One round later, it was the same with Vess.
Teroch earned his weight in gold in this match. When his greens did blank out, Adam quickly did the maths and declared that Fenn was more expensive than Carnor by one point. With thirty minutes left to go, I couldn’t justify running. I. Just.Couldn’t.
It may have looked like I might be running with Fenn initially, but I decided to use the space of the board to give him a chance to generate a target lock and then turn around without having to incur stress and gain a focus token just in case Carnor were to survive my attack.
It took a while, but I managed it. Nobody was more shocked than me.
Joel: How’s your day been so far?
Alex: Better. I’ve managed a few more wins now.
Alex: Do you know who you’re playing against? Have they put it up?
Joel: No. Hopefully it’s not you, otherwise I’ll shit my pants.
Game Six Alex Birt 0-100
Another mirror match, although Alex had Extra Munitions instead of Feedback Array.
We were both at 99 points. We rolled for initiative, Alex won the roll and then gave initiative to me.
I had sought Alex’s sage-like advice online a few times about the use of Fangaroo, and it seemed only fitting that my final game before the cut would be placed against him with this list.
He schooled me. He schooled me good.
I didn’t commit to a target, being too cautious to really make an aggressive front. At one point, I thought I might manage half points on Roo, but I couldn’t manage it. I can’t say it was game six fatigue – Alex flew better.
Alex made it into the top 16 cut and then the top 8.
Out of 120, I came 57th. That’s 22 places higher than last year. As a percentage, 92 were at the London Regionals last year and I came 79th, that means I was in the bottom quarter. This year, I made it into the top third and I have another two regional tournaments to go.
Full On came 17th, Tom 20th and Lloyd came 30th. Well done, lads.
What did I learn here?
The basics, keep your ships on the board – Don’t fly them off.
I need to figure out what I’m doing with Roo, I have a week to refine opening set-ups and the pace of them. I’m also not sure that Feedback Array is a good choice. I have jousters in my list, but Roo isn’t one of them. I might experiment with Extra Munitions.
When faced with adversity, I have the skill to pull it put of the bag – games four and five proved that.
Do I switch to Parattanni? Not likely, it’s too late in the game and I made some silly errors here.
Do I feel prepared for Warboar? Maybe. I had some incredible news on Saturday that means there are some changes afoot, Tom did too. More of that later.
I actually can’t wait.