Sunday, 20 November 2016

Sparkle Motion Squadron / chapter 1 / The Sparkle Awakens

OK, so first off, here is my apology for being rubbish at updating my blog recently… sorry!

And here is what I’ve been up to since failing to update my blog.

Ibuywargames / Woking / 16-10-16

I’d been running Raulob Roolink (Fenn Rau / Palob / Manaroo all with Mindlink) for absolutely ages at this point, basically since the dial for the Fang had been spoiled after Gencon. I’d had A LOT of practice with this list, on Vassal and on tabletop (subbing the Fang dial for the almost identical TIE/FO dial) so I definitely should have taken this list, right? I didn’t.

At the eleventh hour, I decided to take a “jank-tastic” Imperial list consisting of Quickdraw, RAC and Scourge. It was crap and I went 1-3 :( Interestingly enough, the players who were running Mindlink Scum lists all ended up near the top of the rankings.

Lesson learnt – don’t change your list at the last minute. Idiot!

This was taken during my only win of the day

Ting Comic-con / Tring / 22-10-16

So, I wasn’t going to be an idiot this time. Raulob Roolink it was! And I did great! I was 2-0 after the second round (out of four) and I got paired against Joel who was also 2-0.
Joel was also running a Mindlink Scum list but with Old Teroch in place of Palob. Myself and Joel had played out this matchup 6 or 7 times and because of my initiative bid, I had come out as the winner every time. Before we started the match I went to the toilet, whilst in there, I revelled in the fact that after this match I would be 3-0 and in with a pretty good chance at winning the whole thing.

The 186th Squadron have a motto, “our overconfidence is our weakness”. Yep, you guessed it, I lost against Joel! Made a silly mistake because I was so sure of victory.

Anyway, I won my last game, went 3-1 and came 3rd in the rankings, certainly not awful! Joel came one place above me. Awesome!

Lesson learnt – don’t take matchups for granted. Idiot!

Conquest / Shoreham / 29-10-16

Here we go again. Raulob Roolink for the win! Oh, wait, actually, no. I came 13th of 15 players in this one.

Why? Was it the list? Nope, I hadn’t changed a thing since last tournament. (Even though, when I told fellow X-Winger Simran how I was doing he asked, and I quote “Are you running that Quickdraw bullshit again?”) Did I make any silly mistakes? Not really. Was it just not my day? I guess not.

Lesson learnt – sometimes it’s just not your day. Possibly the most important lesson that you can learn in X-Wing!

About 30 seconds before Palob went pop!

Which brings us up to date!

Marquee Models / Harlow / 20-11-16

So three important things have happened in the run up to this tournament.

1) The FAQ. Triple Jumpmaster U-Boats have effectively been nerfed so hard that they are (almost) dead. A few people are still running them and making them work but they are not half as much of a “meta concern” now as they were.

2) Heroes Of The Resistance has dropped. Ever since Rey and Finn were spoiled, she has been seen all over the Vassal community. Especially VI’d up to PS10. Many things die to this! Also HOTR brings us a new, PS9 version of Poe. Now he’s PS9, he can use his EPT for things like PTL or predator. This expansion is pretty big for the meta!

3) SPARKLE MOTION SQUADRON IS BORN! Yep, we got us a squadron! It was only a matter of time as a load of us play together at Dark Sphere on Tuesdays (and the 186th Squadron name was already taken). Four of us were in attendance for this tournament. Myself, Joel North, Lloyd Boman and Full-On Paul (henceforth to be referred to as FO) and (spoilers!) we put on a pretty good show!

What was I flying? I’ll tell you

Marrek Stele – x/7 title / Juke

RAC – VI / Hot Shot Co-pilot / Gunner / Rebel Captive / Engine Upgrade

What’s that all about then?

So ideally, Marrek gets his focus and evade from a 3 speed move and the title. RAC moves last and takes a target lock on something in range 1 or 2 (to proc his ability) which is also in Marrek’s arc.

RAC fires and uses no modification; the best result here is that the first attack is completely evaded. The beauty of this is that no matter what the defence dice are, the defender must use his focus to modify his dice, even if he rolls no eye results and modifies zero defence dice.

For this example, RAC rolls hit, eye, blank. The Defender he is shooting at rolls 2 evades. More than safe BUT he loses his focus because he MUST spend it.

Then gunner kicks in and RAC uses his target lock and (if possible) his ability to gain as many hits as possible, the defender has already spent his focus so is much more vulnerable!

Finally, Marrek shots (ideally, he still has his focus and evade tokens) and jukes away an evade result the defender rolls. Much hurt!

Also, rebel captive pisses everyone off (PTL my ass) and engine upgrade allows me to boost out of people’s arc, continuing to deliver the campaign of “maximum-screw-you” to my opponents.

So how did it work out on the day? Well, I’ll tell you.

Match 1 vs Joel North!

Rey – VI / Finn / Hot Shot Copilot / Homing Missile / S-loop title

Jake – VI / Autothrusters / title / PTL / Prockets

The first engagement


Joel had been speaking to me earlier about whether to run Fangaroo or Jake/Rey. We had discussed it and he had gone with Jake/Rey. He had no previous experience flying Rey but is a seasoned A-Wing pilot.

Both our lists are 98 points (which is bad for me). My list is 98 points because I have hated facing PS10 Rey on Vassal and wanted the initiative so I could strip her Focus token with Hot Shot before she fires. My initiative bid was not enough, we rolled, Joel won the roll off. This was a bad start!

Joel gave me initiative. I jumped for joy inside!

Jake looked like he was coming in fast but then broke off and flanked. The problem Joel faced here was that RAC was never going to allow Jake to keep his focus long enough to fire his Prockets. I managed to take Jake off the board in the first few turns of combat without taking too much damage myself and then it was just a slug fest to get Rey off the board. I lost half points on the Deci and it was all over

Win 100-32

Match 2 vs Federicco Ciccotti

Poe – Sensor Cluster / PTL / Black One / Autothrusters / R2-D2

Rey – s-loop title / Kanan / Finn / VI

Another PS10 Rey list, this time, at 100 points. I took initiative and began the onslaught. We set up to joust and I did a 5 forward with Marrek. To get out of taking a range one shot from Marrek, Poe had to boost on past my list giving him no shot that turn. I went all out on Rey and managed to make quite a dent in her health. For the next few turns, Poe was turning round so Marrek was on blocking Rey duties and RAC just stayed out of Rey’s arc and kept shooting until she was dead. By this time Poe had turned around. Unfortunately for Poe, VI RAC with Hot Shot is about as much of a hard counter as Poe can get. He did not last very long.

Win 100-0

Match 3 vs Terry Mitchell

Ryad – x/7 / Crackshot

Vessary – x/7

Galive – x/7 / Juke

That's not the best place to sit Marrek!

This is it! Final round and I’m 2-0. If I get this right I go undefeated! I wasn’t too worried about seeing triple Defenders, my list has about a 50/50 chance against triple Defenders.

The first engagement did not go too well for Marrek, 3 Defenders lined up in front of him. I barrel rolled to get out of the front one’s arc… and it wasn’t enough, he was still in. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been though, he lost his shields but was still alive.

After this, Marrek refused to die. A combination of RAC deleting focus tokens and Marrek juking through evade dice resulted in a turn where Marrek killed the Glaive and then Vessary killed Marrek.

Now it was my full health Deci vs Ryad (who has spent her Crackshot) and Vessary. We had a quick chat about points, I was currently up by one point! From then on I knew that if I killed either one of his Defenders and he got half points on my Deci, we would be tied and it would go down to a final salvo!

For some reason, I didn’t focus fire. I ended up at time with half points on the Deci and having done 4 damage on Vessary and 3 damage on Ryad. I really should have focus fired on either one of them, at least then there would have been an even chance for the final salvo.

Loss 34-67

So there we go, not a bad showing. Here are the rankings for the Sparklers

1st – FO (Go Sparkle Motion!)
3rd – Lloyd
5th – me
7th – Joel

Sparkle Motion Squadron; we came, we saw, we ranked in every available odd numbered place up to 9th. Boom!

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