Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Battle Report - 31-07-16 – LvlUp – Bournemouth – Deal or no deal format

I just paid £50 for a ticket to an X-Wing event! It wasn’t Worlds, or Nationals. It wasn’t a Regional or even a Store Championship. It was a four round swiss (with a cut to top four) event at a store I’ve never heard of in a place that is over two hours away from my house. Am I mad?

No! Because this is a new format that LvlUp have come up with themselves. Each player payed £50 and when they arrived at the store on the day of the event, they were given a blind box containing around £60 worth of (relatively) random ships. These ships (and pilot / upgrade cards) were all you could use for the whole event. A few weeks before the event, the store put up a poll on facebook to ask each player which faction they wanted. How cool does this sound???

So I chose Rebel, why? Because I think they have the least amount of variable and the least amount of ‘bad’ expansion packs. It’s quite interesting to look at some builds and see if they are possible in this format.

Imperial builds

Soontir – NO! The average Soontir build is – title / PTL / Autothruster / Stealth Device (or targeting computer) Soontir himself comes from the Interceptor pack, the title, PTL and targeting computer comes from the Aces pack, Autothrusters from the Starviper, Stealth Device from Slave 1 or M3-A. So even if you were REALLY lucky and got an Interceptor pack, Imperial Aces and a Slave 1, you still wouldn’t have Autothrusters.

Whisper – This is possible. The Phantom pack comes with ACD, Rec Spec, Tactician and FCS. The only thing that you are missing from a great Whisper build is VI (which is in the Slave 1 and Falcon packs)

The Inquisitor – Not likely… the only way an Imperial player can get PTL is through Imperial Aces and there is no way to get Autothrusters. Pretty nerfed really.

Scum builds

BroBots – Well, first of all you would have to be lucky enough to get two Aggressor packs. And a Starviper for at least one copy of Autothrusters. The Aggressor DOES come with Mangler cannon but there is no way to get HLC for this build (it comes with the Hound’s Tooth but then 2 x Aggressors and 1 x Hounds Tooth is WAY over £60) Also, there is no way to get Advanced Sensors (Lambda or E-wing), PTL (A-wing or Imperial Aces) or FCS (B-wing or Phantom) Once again, this build will be nerfed.

Y Wing shenanigans – Forget this, the only turret that is native to Scum is the Autoblaster Turret. Not being able to pull any post movement repositioning actions, it’s pretty much not worth it.

Dengar / Party Bus – These are pretty viable I think, you won’t be able to get the full crew compliment (unless you get a Jumpmaster and Mist Hunter) but you’ll still be able to get some good combinations and tricks (R5-P8, Lone Wolf, Feedback Array, K4, Outlaw Tech) etc.

So far it looks like Scum are pretty reliant on upgrades found in other factions and Imperials need to be pretty lucky with the combinations within their boxes to construct their aces.

Rebel builds

Full disclosure, I chose Rebels so this will probably be pretty biased. It is however why I made my decision so I'll fill you in anyway.

Miranda – I find Miranda needs as little as just a TLT to be really useful. The K-wing expansion pack comes with two copies of TLT. Winner!

Ghost – My favourite Ghost build is with Hera and Ezra, unlimited red moves plus a built in dice modification on each attack (all that comes in the Ghost expansion). It is unfortunate that the Ghost doesn’t come with FCS but it’s still pretty good.

Dash – OK, you would have to be pretty lucky with your boxes to get a full on Super Dash (YT-2400 + A-wing for PTL and Falcon for Engine Upgrade) but even with just what is in the box, you can come up with a 50 point HLC /Outrider / Lone Wolf Dash build.

All this is well and good but I think what clinched it for me was the power of low PS Rebel ships. Low PS X-wings, A-wings, B-wings, T-70s and Z-95s are all well costed and pretty good even naked (or at least with what is in the individual boxes, anyway)

Here’s what I got in my box:

2 x A-wing
1 x B-wing
1 x Rebel Aces

When I opened my box, I was actually pretty disappointed. I really wanted a K-wing! But I set about making the best of what I had.

I wanted a blocker so I knew I wanted a Prototype A-wing in there. Put that in with the Chardaan Refit and I have the first 15 points of my list. I also wanted Jake. With the only two EPTs in the box being PTL and Deadeye, I decided to just go with a cut down Jake with just PTL and the refit on, another 25 points.

I have tried out Keyan a few times before when I was new to the game (with not much success) and thought that he was probably the best bet for a B-wing “Ace”. I wan’t sure what to put on him yet though so I thought I’d fill out the rest of my list first then come back to Keyan.

A Blue B-wing with FCS comes in at 24 points. A pretty good bet I reckon.

So, with my Proto A-wing, Blue B-wing and Jake, I had 36 points in which to make Keyan work. I knew I wanted PTL on there to proc his ability but the only actions the B-wing has are focus, target lock and barrel roll. Keyan’s ability is, in effect, a focus so there is no point PTLing for a focus. This means that you will target lock and push for a barrel roll. The problem is barrel rolling is not always desirable… I need another action. Jan Ors!!! With Keyan, PTL and Jan (crew) I can get a target lock, evade and stress (which can be spent and used as a focus) every turn lovely stuff!

So my list was this:
Prototype A-wing – Chardaan Refit (15 points)
Blue B-wing – FCS (24 points)
Jake Farrell – Chardaan Refit / PTL (25 points)
Keyan Farlander – PTL / B-wing/E2 / Jan Ors (35 points)

The wave 3 boys!

The matches

Round one vs Don Shields

In the box: Decimator / Imperial Veterans

Maarek Stele – Crack Shot / Tie/D / Tractor Beam
Rear Admiral Chiraneau – Systems Officer / Ion Torps / Proton Bombs / Ruthlessness

I should not have won this! (Spoilers: I did) I constantly put Keyan in danger and pretty much relied on Don's bad dice to win me the game :( 

I was conscious of Ruthlessness so I set up in a line across my edge of the board with about range 2 between each ship, Don set up to joust Keyan. The first engagement went alright for me, all my ships had shots on at least one ship. I began by trying to take out Maarek but decided very early on that I should be focusing on the Deci, so I did, with everything! After a round or two, Keyan was on 2 hull and had the Agility – 1 crit. Bad times! However, there were about three times where RAC had range one shots on Keyan and almost totally blanked out. I had my evade from Jan so could soak up at least one shot per turn. Can I just take a minute to thank Jan? She saved my ass MANY times through this whole day. She is just awesome!

Anyway, I took out the deci, never bothered with Maarek. Don took out both my generics.

That pesky Decimator is off it's stand

Win 61-39.

Round two vs Gary Brailsford

In the box: Ghost / T-70 X-wing

Kanan – Reinforced Deflectors / Hera / Chopper / Dorsal Turret / Ghost

Sabine – Phantom / Zeb

Ello – Integrated Astromech / Targeting Astromech / Cool Hand

The first thing I noticed about Gary’s list was that he didn’t have Ezra on the Ghost. We discussed this and he said that he couldn’t make the points work. I also realised that if he was going to stress himself with Hera, Kanan’s ability would not proc. What I didn’t expect was how good Reinforced Deflectors are. I kept getting 3 or 4 hits (B-wings at rage 1!) and regenning shields for Kanan!

Anyway, the Ghost went down fairly quickly (although he did take out my Blue B-wing first) and then Gary flew Sabine off the table (it was a very close thing).

It was about this time when my inexperience with flying A-wings reared it’s ugly head. I kept doing 3Ks where a 5k would have been better, judging distances badly, etc. This came to a head in the last round when I flew what ended up being a naked Jake with no shields into a range one engagement with naked Ello. Ello killed Jake, Jake damaged Ello (simultaneous fire) then Keyan killed Ello.

Yes, that's right Ello - follow that Prototype Pilot

Win 100-49

Round three vs Andrew Wall

In the box: Tie F/O / Imperial Veterans / Tie Bomber

Omega Leader – Juke / Comm Relay

Tomax Bren – Crack Shot / Assault Missiles / Long-Range Scanners / Proton Bomb

Countess Ryad – Tie/D / Tractor Beam / Adrenaline Rush

This was a matchup I was dreading for two reasons, 1) Omeaga Leader, it’s the perfect build straight out of the box for the best 26 points in the game! And 2) Andrew Wall. I’ve seen this name (well, Andrew ‘Hazard’ Wall to be specific) all over various facebook groups so I was pretty sure he was going to be a good player!

So my opening was awful, I flew Keyan over the same bit of debris twice in two turns!!! Andrew was being cautious with his approach though which allowed me some time to try and sort out my rubbish start. I was attempting to go for Omega Leader but Andrew did the bait and switch technique and I couldn’t get a shot. Not long into this, my Blue B-wing died, however, I did manage to take Ryad down with a few well placed range 1 shots! So Proto, Jake and Keyan vs Omega Leader and Tomax! Keyan died soon after.

Time was called and we were down to the last roll. My Prototype vs a one hull Tomax. Proto rolled one hit. If Tomax rolled no evade, he was dead and I have won the game. Tomax rolled no evades!

Well done mate, that's exactly how you play this game. All ships facing the wrong way with one on debris!

Win 71-59

Interlude 1

Tom – I’m 3 and 0. What is going on?

Joel – I think you are second as well…

Tom – WHAT???

End of Interlude

Round four vs Stephen Ashton

In the box: 4 x Tie F/O / Tie Advanced Prototype

The Inquisitor – Deadeye / Tie/v1 / Homing Missiles / Guidance Chips
Omega Leader – Juke / Comm Relay
Zeta Leader – Juke / Comm Relay
Epsilon Ace – Juke Comm Relay

Stephen was a great opponent, the most friendly of the day and this was a great game, a real dogfight! Fantastic!

The funny thing was that there ended up being two distinct battles. The B-wings vs The Inquisitor and the A-wings vs the F/Os. I took serious risks with Jake and the Prototype and flew them straight at the three F/Os in the hope of taking one out and then steaming on past them without taking too much damage. Amazingly, that is exactly what happened and I took out Zeta Leader. I took heavy fire though and both A-wings were on one hull by the end of the battle.

Whilst this was going on, the B-wings and The Inquisitor were facing off. From what I remember, The Inquisitor went down before firing the Homing Missiles but did cause me a fair bit of hurt.

After that it was a bit of a furball between all the remaining ships, I did manage to take out Epsilon Ace but Omega Leader was just too much of a stretch. When time was called, I still had all my ships and Stephen had Omega Leader left.

2 B-wings vs The Inquisitor and 2 A-wings vs 3 Tie F/Os

Win – 74-0

So, ummmm, if you’ve been keeping up, that means… I went undefeated. I went undefeated. I went undefeated. (had to write it a few times, just to make sure it was real) I WENT UNDEFEATED!!!

Interlude 2

Joel - Dude! You've made the cut!

Tom – I think I'm going to have to drop

Joel – WHAT???

End of Interlude

I came second in swiss (of twenty two players) and was into the top four cut! I did however have to drop due to various time related issues (letting my third round opponent, Andrew Wall, into the cut).

So, that was an amazing day. I loved playing my list, it’s such a shame that it’s not competitive in the current meta (I wish we could go back to wave 3 days) otherwise I’d run it non stop!

I have also learned that the next time I go to a tournament with a top cut, I should definitely not organise anything for that evening. Don’t get me wrong, I’m soooo happy with ending second in swiss but the possibility of winning the whole thing (or even coming in the top 4) would have been lovely. Anyway, next time, eh?

Thanks! I couldn't have done it without you.


  1. Congratulations! Time to change the title of the blog....??

    1. Thanks! Let's wait and see how well I do at the next 'standard' tournament before I go and do anything too drastic!