Summer Kit – Warboar Games, Bromley (or how I learned to stop worrying and say Zuck-Ass). 

I gave it far too much thought but I played #Dengaroo at the #Warboar #SummerKit last weekend and I got to meet ALEX DAVY!!! (bit of a geek out).

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How badly do you want to win? One of the most important things to remember is that, despite the dice and the X-Wing swag, we’re still pushing little bits of plastic around a mat that looks like an imagined vision of space. Until now, I’ve been striving to find a list that contains ships I love; is fun to play; competitive and hopefully has a bit of fluff thrown in.

I say ‘until now’ because I have been faced with a bit of a moral dilemma. I’ve been to as many tournaments as I can muster since March 5th and written about every single one. I’ve tried to avoid netlisting and avoided lists that I thought might represent an instant ‘win button’. I dread the idea that I might come across as that guy, whilst still trying not to judge those that lay down triple jumpmasters or Palp Aces. I want to win, but I want to earn it. I certainly don’t want a win at the expense of my opponent’s enjoyment.

So – is playing Dengaroo putting all of my morals aside? Am I cheapening myself? Ultimately, am I being a bit of a dick by playing this list?

You can read David Sutcliffe’s thoughts on Dengaroo here. David’s blog is always a good read and I feel like I’ve learnt something from it with each pos. The main points are that Dengaroo reduces variance. If you’re playing this list, you’re aiming to win. He compares it to a Fat Han paired with a Palp mobile.

I’ve actually given Dengar quite a lot of thought since Wave 8 hit, I’ve tried to make it work with a couple of different variations, mainly focusing on my Den-Bot build. My post, Dirty Den(gar) hypothesises a number of different lists, and even looks at a Dengaroo (I want to add – this was months before JB’s Dengaroo, though I’m not sure why), but it wasn’t really like Jeff Burling’s at all. In fact, I’ve wanted to experiment with a Dengaroo build since playing Jamie at Marquee Models when I realised how great the potential synegy between the two could be (read about it here).

For those not in the know, Burling’s Dengaroo is as follows:

Dengar

  • Lone Wolf
  • Plasma Torpedoes
  • Zuckuss crew
  • R5-P8
  • Glitterstim
  • Punishing One title card
  • Countermeasures

Manaroo

  • Push the Limit
  • Recon Specialist
  • Unhinged Astromech
  • Feedback Array
  • Engine Upgrade

This beast of a list comes in at 99 points.

I’m not necessarily against netlisting but I think if you’re going to do it, you should see how the list works and then tweak it.

Tom had mentioned that he had played against a Dengaroo build where he had been bruised and battered by a Dengar with the Overclocked R4. This rang true with me when I thought back to Jamie’s Dengar and Manaroo list at the Spring Kit at Marquee Models. I hadn’t run Dengar with Zuckuss since then because of the mistake I had made with the stress. I had challenged Jamie to re-roll his agility dice at range three whilst already stressed – this gave me four tokens to clear. I lost the game because I hadn’t been anticipating the stress and didn’t know what to do with it all.  Jamie, on the other hand, had the Overclocked R4 and continued to gain focus tokens from Manaroo. Essentially, he had an infinite Glitterstim (which helps when you think about Dengar’s revenge ability), gaining another focus after spending it and gaining stress.  My Dengar, on the other hand, had no Manaroo and very little chance of clearing the four stress tokens. No actions. Pew. Pew. Boom.

My main changes to the list were to consider how I might keep Dengar with an opportunity to modify his dice despite the stress induced by constantly saying ‘Zuckuss’ to anything on a green dice with a bit of paint.

I also wanted to give Manaroo some deterrants from others attacking her. I dropped her Unhinged Astromech and gave her R5-P8. The possible perils here are that the dials is great on left hand side so the Unhinged Astromech helps when clearing the stress induced by PTL. I also put Gonk on her rather than Recon Specialist (thanks again Jamie), building her defences and keeping her alive longer to best support Dengar.

After some playtesting with Tom, my take on the list was the following:

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 12.47.52.png

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 12.38.27.png

This is 98 points. It’s a list that I’ve tweaked rather than one that I’ve simply ‘stolen’.

My biggest problem when considering whether I should or shouldn’t play the list at this tournament was what my opponent might think of me. How would I feel being the guy that made them re-roll their evades? to quote Sutcliffe:

If there’s any part of the Dengaroo build that feels ‘unfair’ it’s probably this – the first time you roll three Evades and have to reroll them into two blanks and a Focus you’re going to feel like maybe Zuckuss is a problem for 1pt.

How much do I want to be that guy? What’s it worth? I practised saying ‘Zuckuss’ all week to see how it might feel.

To think back to my day job for a moment, even though it’s the holidays, I’m drawing on Atticus Finch

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it

How would I feel if someone Zuckassed me (I’m verbing it) at every turn? Well, actually is it any worse than Palpatine? How about Vader’s target locked crit? Is it broken, or is it levelling the playing field in an a meta that is already swayed towards the Imps?

Disclaimer: by referencing To Kill A Mockingbird, I am in no way comparing my X-Wing woes to the black civil rights movement. This is not a valid form of inequality.

On the morning of the tournament, I listened to Jeff Berling talk about the list on Stay on Target (you can download it here). Until this point, I had my five A-Wings in my bag as well as my two Jumpmasters. Whether it’s fate, or luck, or Karma – I took this as a sign -for a day, I was going to own being that guy and see what happened.

When I arrived at Warboar and saw that UK Nationals Champion Jesper Hills was playing a very similar Dengaroo list, I didn’t feel so bad.

Game One 100-57 (win)

Michael’s list was

Tie Advanced X1 Darth Vader

  • Determination
  • Advanced Targeting Computer
  • Engine Upgrade
  • Tie/X1 Title

VT-49 Decimator Rear Admiral Chiraneau

  • Veteran Instincts
  • Moff Jerjerrod
  • Anti-Persuit Lasers
  • Dauntless Title

Tie Fighter Tie Academy pilot

Looking at this list, the potential danger is RAC. He’s set up to bang straight into you and make you suffer for it.

The Dauntless title encourages you to overlap another ship whilst still gaining an action at the expense of a stress token. Anti-pursuit Lasers lets you benefit of an enemy ship bumps into you.

Both Vader and Chiraneau benefit from being able to dole out Crits through Adv. Targeting Computer and RAC’s ability.

I introduced the list sheepishly as ‘something nasty I’m trying out’ I was jolly and apologetic.

I went straight for Vader and then when Michael realised this, he held the Datk Lord back and I focussed fire on the Decimator.

When I did cause Vader’s explosion, He then took out Dengar through simultaneous fire.

What of Zuckuss? After the first few rounds of combat, I owned it.

Game Two – Ghost Busters

100-57 (win)

Paul’s list

VCX-100 Lothal Rebel

  • Fire control Systems
  • Auto lasted Turret
  • Extra Munitions
  • Proton Torpedoes
  • Chopper crew
  • Sabine Wren crew
  • Guidance Chips
  • Conner Net

VCX-100 Lothal Rebel

  • Fire Control Systems
  • Twin Laser Turret
  • Hera Syndula crew
  • Ezra Bridger crew

When you have a list where the strength lies in the manipulation of the dice, facing two ghosts with agility dice is an interesting match up.

My biggest mistake here was to get both ghosts mixed up. I could have asked Paul to clarify which was which but I didn’t, instead, I ran away because I anticipated a bomb being dropped on me.

Dengar was is trouble when the Ghost with Sabine aboard was close enough to drop a bomb but Paul didn’t take the opportunity. Dengar took a final shot at Ezra and caused the final explosion.

Dengar then drew a Weapons Failure crit, this was awful considering the Jumpmaster’s poor relationship with dice. Lone Wolf. Lone Wolf all the way.

Manaroo only really came into play once throughout this game. She spent her time running away and passing tokens to Dengar. This was where I learned that I needed to work on when to use PTL and planning a move ahead, especially when trying to clear her stress.

It was a win, but for the first 30 minutes, this game was fairly tight. Had Paul remembered to use Sabine and dropped the bomb, Dengar would have been down. He would have damaged his Ezra but it still would have had 8 hull.

Dengar’s Sloop cutting it incredibly fine.


Game Three
100-49 (loss)

Dimitri’s list was

YV-666  Bossk

  • Marksmanship
  • Heavy Laser Canon
  • Dengar crew
  • 4-Lom crew

Jumpmaster 5000 Contracted Scout

  • Deadeye
  • Plasma Torpedoes
  • Extra Munitions
  • Overclocked R4
  • Guidance Chips

M3-A Interceptor Cartel Spacer

  • “Heavy Scyk”Interceptor title
  • Proton Rockets
  • Guidance Chips

After two wins, I was paired against Dimitris, who I had previously played at the London Regionals.

I wanted to stick to the plan; hold Manaroo back and play Dengar up front. By round two of combat, Dimitris had jousted me with both his YV-666 and Contracted Scout. Dengar melted. I should have flipped Counter-Measures early but I was so thrown by the unexpected combat that I fell to pieces. I managed to use Dengar’s revenge to make an impact on Bossk but I was still a ship down.

With everything resting on Manaroo and her pitiful two attack dice, my only plan was to run and use Gonk to build up shields whips using the range bonus to increase her agility dice.

I had an opportunity early on to use Manaroo to attack Bossk and change the odds a little, but I went for the Scout at range one instead without any modifiers for my dice. Silly move.

I eventually used the revenge bot to take out Bossk, ensuring that I wasn’t completely tabled.

“Keep your distance, Chewie, but don’t, y’know, look like you’re keeping your distance.”

As I went into Game Four, I noticed that the name just below mine on the leader board was Alex Davy. Coincidence?
As I approached the table, I noticed that said Mr Davy had an American accent.

“Excuse me, you’re not the Alex Davy are you?”

“Why yes I am!”

Shakes my hand.

He shook my hand?! Alex Davy playing on the table next to mine! I don’t really allow myself to use exclamation marks, but in this instance, I think it’s appropriate.

I took a moment to ask him his thoughts on Dengaroo. At first, he gave me a rather non-committal ‘It took Jeff Berling to crack the code’ but after I bought him a beer,

‘We always intended it to have synergy…it’s not easy to fly…we are going to have to keep an eye on it’

Me with Alex Davy


Game Four 64-100 (loss

Alex’s list was

Tie Interceptor Soontir Fel

  • Push The Limit
  • Autothrusters

Tie Defender Rexler Brath

  • Tie/X7 title

Tie Defender Countess Ryad

  • Tie/X7 title


I think that Imperial Vets has done an amazing job of re-invigorating both Defenders and Bombers. The Tie/X7 title is one of the main reasons I considered moving away from Phoenix Squadron (my A-Wing Crack Swarm) in the first place; gaining an automatic evade when you make a 3-5 speed manoeuvre ad then having the opportunity for your actual action is tough to break through. Then there’s the White 4K-turn, which might make them predictable, but is still sound. Countess Ryad might only be a PS5 but her ability to turn all straights into a K-Turn is just plain awesome, especially as you get to decide when you have revealed your dial.

This list’s inclusion of Foontir Sel the. Makes it difficult as you’re facing three ships that can turtle up, each of them with a higher PS than Manaroo.

I felt good when Fel was the first to explode with a combination of shots from Dengar and Feedback Array to deliver the final blow. Simultaneous Fire meant that Dengar was badly wounded and the Defenders made short work of him.

Alex went straight for Manaroo and I didn’t protect her well enough. With Engine Upgrade and PTL, she can be quite tricksy but with only two attack dice, she simply can’t cut through the /X7.

I managed to help Ryad explode before losing.

Game Five 34-57 (loss)

Mark’s list was

Tie Interceptor Soontir Fel

  • Push The Limit
  • Royal Guard Tie title
  • Stealth Device
  • Autothrusters

Tie Adv. Prototype The Inquisitor

  • Push The Limit
  • Tie/V1 title
  • Autothrusters

Tie Defender Maarek Steele

  • Adaptability
  • Twin Ion Engine
  • Tie/X7 title

There’s a point at the end of a tournament where I have found myself accepting my fate and often having a great game. Not today.

My opponent and I were both two and two. After two losses, I was happy to just simply play. I knew that winning might well take me into the top 16 still but I had already met Alex Davy; I was on a high that outweighed a further win.

Aside from the Defender, two of my opponent’s ships had Autothrusters; I think the lists are fairly evenly matched.

I killed Steele first, again using both Dengar’s Torps and Lone Wolf with a focus token from Roo, then a range one shot from Roo that successfully meant my opponent was a ship down.

Meanwhile, both the Inquisitor and Fel had done some work on Dengar and he was out too. Dengar’s revenge ability left a nice dent in Fel and then Roo used Feedback Array to leave him at one hull. This had all happened in the first 30 minutes, it was now that my opponent told me how scared he was of Manaroo with Feedback Array and the revenge bot. He then told me he was going to run away. I giggled and gave chase.

He continued to run with both ships. To run and run.

I managed to Gonk Manaroo back up to full health and gave good chase, engineering at least two more opportunities to get a shot in on Fel where My dice blanked out each time.

45 minutes of chase are really not fun. I mean, it could be fun but probably not when you’re opponent has declared that he is running away on several occasions and refuses to engage your ship.

Perhaps this game was my karma moment for all of my Zuck-Ass shenanigans. Who knows.

I do know that this win must have been really important for him to have played this way. I begrudgingly shook his hand and then attempted to make make small talk after the game had ended. He promptly packed away and left, not making the top 16.

“You may dispense with the pleasantries, Commander. I am here to put you back on schedule.”

So, I played a a variant of a ‘nasty’ It list and I’m proof that it wasn’t such an easy win button for somebody of my experience.

Is the list too nasty to play? What if your opponent’s play experience? I want to say that it can’t be much fun for them, but then there is a (perhaps more ruthless side of me) that says the game is what it is. The list doesn’t abuse any rules or even bend them. The point cost makes it seem unfair and perhaps Zuck-ass might need an amendment. Who knows?

The Mynocks interviewed Jeff too (you can find it here), fittingly titled Episode 27: If it aint broken…no one flys it!

Jeff vehemently defends himself when Dee refers to the lis as broken. Jeff states that he came up with this as a Rebel player who needed a counter to Palp and Omega Leader. At one stage he will only accept that the list is ‘broken’ if it can be agreed that other aspects of the game are also ‘broken’.

Blair Bunke is certainly no fan of the list


What have I learned about the Dengaroo?

The loss of Manaroo disrupts the synergy and then Dengar is inevitably too squishy on his own, especially if you have the Over-clocked R4 on Dengar who is then too stressed to take any actions.

A final point to address from Sutcliffe’s article is how he perceives the list to be tier two in Europe, losing out to Aces and other ships that have a better hold on their dice.

A key point of difference between Han and Dengar is precisely what cost Jeff Berling the final game against Soontir Fel: Dengar doesn’t control when his ‘Gunner’ second attack triggers.

Dengar’s revenge isn’t quite a gunner ability. If your opponent chooses not to attack you and you are without initiative, you lose out on your ‘double tap’.

Would I play the list again? Certainly. Am I That Guy? I hope not.

For now, I’m going to pack my tournament case with both Phoenix Squadron and Dengaroo. Let’s see how that plays out.

So I didn’t make the top 16 and come away with my alt art Predator card. I did, however, completely geek out over Alex Davy and buy him a beer. I had a quick chat with him about Dengaroo and he signed two cards for me and one for Tom. I’ll take that as a win.

2 thoughts on “Summer Kit – Warboar Games, Bromley (or how I learned to stop worrying and say Zuck-Ass). ”

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