A long time ago…
Well, about two months ago, I played in my first competitive tournament – The Store Championship at The Games Shop in Aldershot (you can read about this here).
At last count, my win rate was a measly 20% – that’s lots of room for evaluation. I’ve spent my time honing the one list that I’m determined to crack; I’ve committed to it until the Regionals at War Boar in Bromley next weekend. This tournament was my last opportunity to interact with human beings in the flesh whilst playing, as opposed to Vassal, before Regionals. There’s 100 players registered for that, I’m not sure of my chances for making top 64.
Today’s refinement of my list swapped R5-P8 and Glitterstim for Recon Specialist and the R4 Agromech. Why the change? I wanted to focus on being able to give Dengar the necessary resources to make the most of his revenge ability; Recon Spec gives me two focus tokens and the R4 Agromech gives me a target lock when spending a focus token. This still brings me in at 100 points.
Where better to try out this list than where it all began? Visiting the Womp Rats in their fetching orange t-shirts.
Game One Table seven – This was a bye. I’d messaged Tris, the TO, and told him of my woes on the Sunday service trains and he managed to pair me against another played who had not turned up.
Tris, being very lovely, managed to source parts for a list to give me a quick friendly before the first round was over.
I’ve had a lot of success with this list but that was before Autothrusters.
This was how Tris introduced the list to me, it consisted of a Millenium Falcon with Han, Kyle Katarn, Jan Ors, The Falcon title card and PTL. Tris’ second ship was a YT-2400 (a PS2 Wild Space Fringer) with the Outrider title, HLC and Mercenary Co-pilot crew.
I need to be honest – there are many crew cards, particularly Rebel ones, that I haven’t yet gotten to grips with. If, like me, you could do with a quick run down on these, have a look at the picture below (Looking back, this was one of my lessons in my previous post, May the Fourth be With Us All (or Games Where I Got Schooled – Part Deux, you can find that here).
Kyle Katarn (Rebel Aces) ‘after you remove a stress token from your ship, you may assign a focus token to your ship.’ Sounds good, huh? Epecially if you combine it with PTL but, like R2-D2, if you want to really benefit from it, your movements become somewhat limited to green manoeuvres.
Jan Ors (Rebel Aces) ‘Once per round, when a friendly ship at range 1-3 performs a focus action or would be assigned a focus token, you may assign that ship an evade instead.’ Now, my understanding (please do correct me, I make no secret of being a rookie) is that the term ‘friendly ship’ can actually be applied to yourself – get yourself a free evade when you focus. Win.
How did I fare here? Pretty, pretty, preeetty good. Han is a PS9, as is Dengar – he seemed the most likely threat so I attempted to pummel him with red dice. It worked. I couldn’t believe it when I handed the Falcon to Tris to put at the side of the board.
I did have a poor succession of two crits, thanks to a certain card. Yep. I rolled a hit (three in eight chance, don’t you know?), so I took another crit. That pretty much finished Dengar off.
After that, it was down to 88B and Dash, who was already at three hits and a crit (I forget which).
Great, Kid. Don’t get cocky!
Game Two Table one, yeah, that’s right – I got to sit at the Captain’s Table for 60 minutes. To my right, UK Nationals Champion, and member of the 186th Squadron, Jesper Hills.
My first tournament, played just over two months ago, was here. Round two, just over two months ago, I played Andrew and he was incredibly forgiving of how green I was with my Bro-bot list. Round two today, I was paired against Andrew.
His list was: Dash Rendar in a YT-2400 with PTL, HLC, Engine Upgrade, The Outrider Title and Kanan Jarrus crew. Andrew’s second ship was a Lothal Rebel Ghost, Fire Control Systems, Autoblaster Turret with Hera Syndula and Han Solo crew.
Andrew and I both took some time to look at each other’s lists before beginning. Even now, writing this, I’m beginning to see a pattern emerging where I know little about crew members who aren’t part of the Scum faction. Both Hera and Han I’ve encountered before but Han just doesn’t stick in my head, despite it being in Tom’s current list (You can find Tom’s blog here).
Take a moment to consider synergy (that buzzword of all the X-Wing Podcast Alliance). Han Solo crew combined with Fire Control Systems is a no brainer, like shooting fish in a barrel and all those other idioms that symbolise requiring little thought power.
Anyway. I digress. I assessed Dash as my biggest threat and focused all firepower on him.
Two months ago, Andrew allowed my mistake of putting my dial the wrong way when I revealed my first manoeuvre. He could have let me fly of of the board. I was determined to get my initial interactions right here.
I attempted a cheeky barrel roll on Dengar after a one left turn, to discover that I had actually put myself right into range 3 of Andrew’s Dash. With HLC being his primary weapon, I gained no agility range bonus. Four attack versus my two agility and I rolled two eyeballs without a chance of a re-roll from Lone Wolf. Why didn’t I have my focus tokens from Recon Specialist? Because stupid cheeky barrel roll.
Four shields gone in round one. That stupid move on my part pretty much cost me the game.
I continued with caution throughout the remaining 70 minutes, thinking consciously about how Andrew might block me and how I might best use my, now very vulnerable, ships to gradually chip away at his 26 hit points.
Andrew tabled me. This was still a challenging game and it did help lay some ghosts to rest.
29 – 100 to Andrew
Game Three Back down to table seven. Lee had a Decimator – Rear Admiral Chiraneau with Mara Jade and Ysanne Izard as Crew, Expose and EU. MJ gives out stress at the end of the combat phase if you are at range 1 and do not already have stress.
Ysanne gives the Decimator a free focus token if it has no shields and a damage card at the beginning of the combat phase.
Alongside Chiraneau, Lee had Vader with Predator, Adv. Targeting Computer, Tie/X1 title and EU.
This list was very similar to one I played last weekend at the ibuywargames Winter Kit in Woking (you can find it here). I had learned from this experience and tried to keep both ships back at range three to benefit from the defensive range bonuses.
I have you now
My biggest mistake in the game last weekend was to concentrate on the Decimator as I needed to work away at its 16 hit points. Bad move. This time, I had Vader in my sights.
I’m also now at the point where I am able to recognise a bad move after I’ve done it; I’m actually very pleased with how critical I have become of myself. In the second round of attack, I had Dengar at Range one of Vader. With four red dice, I rolled two hits and two focuses. I already had two focus tokes and a target lock. I should have spent the token but didn’t because I had a brain fart and decided to use the target lock. I could have had four guaranteed hits, but I re-rolled my eyeballs and got blanks. Foolish.
After a while, I shot down Vader with IG’s gunner ability. He used his focus when attacking me and then evaded on my first attack. I then rolled two crits and a hit.
With the final round, I was in range one of the Decimator with 88B out of Chiraneau’s firing arc. With the higher PS, he shot first. I had an evade token and three agility dice and I needed to beat four hits with only one hull left. I rolled two evades and a focus. No Autothrusters to kick in. No chance.
I managed to get Chiraneau down to half points but Lee killed both ships. He flew better. Pew. Pew. Boom.
68 – 100 to Lee
Game four – win!!! That’s right – two competetive wins in a day! (Can you see the excitement symbolised in my exclamation marks?) Mark’s list was Dengar with PTL, Bossk, Unhinged Astromech, Glitterstim, EU and the Punishing One title alongside Boba Fett with Adaotability, EU and the Slave 1 title (just for good measure, you understand?). Table eight.
I can’t believe I have no pictures of this match.
I began quite cautiously after my Autothruster incident. 88B was still spluttering through this game and suffered quite badly in the first round of fire. I remember watching the shields go on each of Mark’s ships, I started dancing inside as I realised they were both at partial points.
Something seemed to click with my formation and eventually, Fett was caught in both firing arcs of Dengar and 88B.
Mark got half points on Dengar.
100 – 26 to me
Game five Finishing on table six. Graham’s List was two Scouts with Plasma Torps and Deadeye (one with 4-Lom and Feedback Array, the other with Glitterstim) and Palob with a Blaster Turret and the Moldy Crow title.
My Hwk dial actually squeeks when I turn it. That’s how often it has been used.
Palob most often stole evade tokens from 88B, who then suffered most of Graham’s fire. I really let myself down when I landed 88B on a rock – quite rightfully Graham shot that bot down. In the next round, I did the same with Dengar. I don’t know how I managed to survive a further two rounds but I did.
I took out one scout and very nearly took out the second; Palob got Dengar in the end. I managed half points on the second Scout.
Graham was a fantastic opponent at the end of five rounds. He was jolly, we joked – it was the definition of fly casual. Thank you, Graham.
53 – 100 to Graham
The droid has loot and he is happy.
I know where I went wrong with each of my losses and am beginning to realise that one foul move can cost you the game, no matter how early on it is. More importantly, I’m becoming able to recognise the move – I need to start thinking ahead.
A massive thank you to Tris for organizing the event. You were excellent and jolly. Thanks for having me Womp Rats.
Next week: Regionals.