Monday, 5 December 2016

No! I Am Your Father… Christmas! / Woking / 04-12-16

Here follows an account of one of my favourite X-Wing experiences of all time.

Spoilers! I didn’t win the tournament, I didn’t go undefeated, I didn’t even get more wins than loses… I just had a fantastic time!

So, this tournament was held and organised by woking locals Zombie Squadron and, apart from one instance of repairing, which didn’t affect me, it went off without a hitch. Well done to Ian Courtney and his Zombies!

My list

Spurred on by my experience in Harlow two weeks back and some very successful practice games, I went with a variation on the Hot Shot RAC list.

RAC – VI / Engine / Rebel Captive / Hot Shot Copilot / Gunner (63)

Vader – Adaptability / Engine / title / ATC / Prockets (37)

It’s worth noting that I had a massive panic about whether to include the Prockets or not.
I had been playing the list (sans Prockets) at 97 points for a while because I really wanted initiative against VI Rey (striping the focus with Hot Shot before she shoots is excellent) but someone mentioned that I should probably put Prockets in because it would help against 90% of the meta and being PS10, I don’t need the bid against any other matchups… so I went with it. I faced no ships above PS9 so it turned out to be the correct choice! Winning already.

The matches

Match 1 

vs Joel North

Fenn – Mindlink / Autos / title
Teroch – Mindlink / Autos / title
Manaroo – Mindlink / K4 / Unhinged / Feedback Array

Kiting with RAC, flanking Vader!

***Sparkle Motion Showdown***

Welllll, it was going to happen, wasn’t it? To be honest, at least when I knew I was playing Joel, I knew we would have a fun game.

So we set up and engaged, Vader had a few good range 2 target locked shots on Teroch but had to barrel roll to arc dodge so no focus token for him. I’d stripped focus tokens with RAC and then just needed a semi decent roll with Vader to get a crit through (with ATC)… double blanks. Oh well, it’s alright, I haven’t taken much damage, I’ll come back round and try again next turn. Which I did and, with exactly the same conditions, the exact same result happened - double blanks… still no damage on Teroch. Thankfully (for me) my luck turned after this round and I started putting damage into Fenn, who died in fairly short order. I then managed a clutch attack on a full health Roo, a nice roll with RAC and Prockets with Vader took her down to below half health. I think I killed her before the end and got the win.

Win 66-32

Match 2 

vs Alex Birt

Ketsu – VI / Dengar / Black Market Slicer Tools / Engine / Title

2 x Gold Squadron Y-Wings – Unhinged Astromech / TLT / BTL-A4

Coming up to the initial engagement

Alex Birt, eh? Of 186th Squadron Podcast fame, eh?

Avid readers of my blog (if there are such things) may remember my post regarding Warboar regionals (here) where I mentioned that I’d played both Mike Dennis and James Dowdall from the podcast and I was now hunting down Alex Birt to complete my collection! Here we go then.

It’s a pretty nasty list to look at really. If you give it the chance, Ketsu gets in to burn down your agility, then attacks, hits and brings your agility down even further with the title then each Y-wing gets 3 shots on you! Beast mode!

Anyway, target priority was always going to be Ketsu, I had to kill her before she got to put some serious hurt onto Vader! One mistake and he was pretty much dead!

So I managed to burn down Ketsu in fairly short order. I’m actually really pleased with how I flew Vader, with caution but still managing to put in a nice bit of damage. Successfully arc dodging one of the most satisfying things in X-wing.

By this point though, RAC was on 3 health and had a Y-wing hot on his tail. By the time he bought it, Vader was on 3 hull and each Y-wing had lost shields and had a few damage put into it.

Vader vs 2 Y-wings… it’s definitely possible but this time I didn’t manage it. It came down to a turn where I had both Ys looking at me and had to turn left to avoid an asteroid. I knew Alex would move one of the Ys into block me so I decided to gamble on flying over the asteroid and attempting to be out of range of the other Y. Unfortunately, it was not to be, I was in arc and untokened, I took three damage and the game was up.

Alex was a great opponent and I’m fairly happy with how I flew, we had a chat afterwards and he gave me some tips. Good stuff!

Loss 50-100

Match 3

vs Vid Cleall

Miranda – Conner Net / Ion Bomb / Homing Missile / Advanced SLAM / Extra Munitions / TLT / Sabine
Corran – PTL / Engine / R2-D2 / FCS

Run Miranda! Run!

OK, I just faced Alex Birt who I think of as quite a big part of the community and now I’m sitting across the table from Vid!

Vid (although he probably doesn’t know this) was at my first ever X-Wing tournament (in December of 2015 at the Games Shop in Aldershot) and has probably been at about half the tournaments I’ve attended since then.

I’m pleased to say that we had a great game and Vid was amiable and friendly all the way through!

I should caveat this by saying I’ve been having a nightmare of a time against Corran lately, ever since this list made the final at Worlds, various iterations of it have been all over Vassal. I have yet to beat a list with Corran in it!

To cut a long story short, I went hell for leather after Corran. If you are going to kill him, you have to commit. And commit, I did! I ended up boxing him in a bit. However, I made a mistake here against the fiend that is the bombing K-wing: I ended up getting Vader Conner Netted in such a position that he had one hull left and would be going onto a rock on the next turn! Balls!

At this point, myself and Vid discussed the fact that, if Miranda dropped an ion bomb on the next turn, due to Sabine, Vader was dead! It was also obvious that Vader was going onto a rock and, I assumed, the turn after that, if he survived, he would have to flying over the rock to get off it… it was very unlikely that Vader would survive, even if no ion bomb was dropped.

Vid opted to save Miranda’s ion bomb, leaving Vader to the fate of the rock. I rolled a blank that time… still alive! Next turn, I managed to get the template in without touching the rock. Vader was still on the board!!!

Shortly after that, I managed to kill Corran, losing Vader in the same turn to a TLT shot from Miranda.

I had taken a shields off Miranda with a few lucky shots earlier and in the next few turns, managed to pull out the win!

I didn’t write my score down for this game, I think I still had over half health on RAC, but I could be wrong.

Win 100-37 OR 100-69

Match 4

vs Tom Duncan

Ryad – TIE MKII / PTL / x/7
Howlrunner – crackshot
3 x Black Squadron TIEs – crackshot

OK, this looks bad, but I'm pretty sure I managed to arc dodge everything here!

What is going on? I feel like I’m in the presence of X-Wing royalty! My opponents, down to a man, have been fantastic today.

I’ve never played Tom before but I don’t think it’s possible to play X-Wing in London and not have heard of the guy. I have an enduring memory of being at the Warboar regionals in May and with about 2 minutes to go until registration shut, Tom ran breathless through the door. The place erupted in cheers and applause - that is how much this community loves Tom Duncan.

When Tom realised I wrote a blog called “Confessions of a mid-table X-Winger” he had his angle. He constantly ribbed me about being a mid table played and called me out for not having Navigator on my Deci. (wtf?) So I offered him a chocolate coin that I had acquired from Alex Birt earlier in the day and that seemed to do the trick in quelling the emotional assault he was obviously trying to win the match with.

In all seriousness, I get it. I understand why he’s the darling of the London X-Wing community. I get it, but I can’t explain it. If you haven’t played him before, you should try and get a game in with him, it’s... an experience.

Anyhoo, about 57 minutes into the most recent 186th Squadron Podcast, (which you can find here) Alex mentions Tom and how he always seems to manage to point his TIE at the one thing you don’t want them pointing at, Oli Pocknell then states that he’s psychic. I think he’s probably right.

There’s not a huge amount to say about this game, I took out Howlrunner in the second turn of combat. My Deci had take a fair amount of damage though. A few turns later, I had an important decision to make. I had a Vader target lock on TIE A but had two TIEs (let’s call the A and B) in my arc. B had already had his focus stolen by RAC so I decided to Procket B, I killed him, no problem but then had TIE A, who still had a focus, put two damage through on Vader.

Later, Tom said I probably should have gone for the TIE I had the target lock on, I was likely to kill it anyway with a focus and Target lock and then I would have had a TIE with no focus shooing at me as opposed to a TIE with a focus token shooting at me. Fair point, we live and learn… well, Vader died soon after but, you know, the point was still good.

The match ended with RAC on PS0 against Ryad and a TIE. No arc dodging for me! RAC died and the final result was:

Loss 100-49

Match 5

vs Martyn Chivers

Fenn – Fearlessness / Autos / title
Serissu – title / Mangler / Stealth Device / Mindlink
Manaroo – Mindlink / Rec Spec / R5-P8 / Plasmas / Guidance Chips

Erm, I think Vader is doing some kind of evasive action there...

This game. This game! A rollercoaster of emotions. Seriously!

I got a pretty good first engagement, RAC and Vader had shots on Serissu and only Serissu had a shot back. I stripped tokens AND got a hit in with RAC! Stealth device down! I was at range one with Vader with a focus but no target lock… I know I shouldn’t but I couldn’t stop myself: Prockets!

This should have been very good, it wasn’t - 1 hit, 1 eyeball and 3 blanks. I spent the eyeball and Serissu got two evades… Prockets wasted. Sad face!

After that, some stuff happened, including Martyn doing some excellent blocking of my RAC whereby I had to sit on a rock for two turns with a console fire!

In the endgame, I had Vader vs Manaroo and Fenn. I was chasing Fenn down, I had one thing in my mind, Vader was 37 points, so was Manaroo. If I managed to kill Fenn, it would be final salvo. 2 dice each, it was my best shot!!!

Final turn of the match – 2 hull Fenn is focused and facing away from Vader, I have him target locked and I have a focus. I shoot, I get a hit, and an eye, I spend my focus and add the crit for ATC.

Fenn rolls an evade and an eye. A crit goes though… is it a Direct Hit??? No!!!!!! It’s Major Explosion, if Martyn rolls a hit, Fenn is dead and it’s down to final salvo. Martyn rolls a hit.

****** FINAL SALVO *******

I roll a hit, the crowd goes wild!
Martyn rolls a hit, the crowd goes wild!
I roll another hit, the crowd goes wild!
Martyn rolls an eye, the crowd goes wild!

I’ve done it, I’ve won, this is the best moment of my life! (It’s probably not, but, you know? I was in the moment, right?)

Phew, OK, let’s clam down and fill in our score sheets.
OK” I say “you’ve killed 63 points of my list and I’ve killed 63 points of your list”
Hang on!” exclaims Martyn “I had a one point initiative bid, you only killed 62 points!”


Loss 62-63

Yep, the final salvo was all for nothing, Martyn had already won.
I should probably be salty about this, but you know what? After an experience like that, there’s no way I could be annoyed. It was one of the best games of X-Wing I’ve ever played! Bloody awesome!

So, in the end, I came 19 of 32 players, just about still mid table. I did, however, win a prize for the best sport, voted on by my opponents from the day. Thanks everyone!!!

I think it’s also worth mentioning that ALL of my opponents, came higher than me in the rankings, even Joel and Vid, who I beat so I’m still fairly pleased with my showing. My Strength of Schedule would be off the chain!

Before signing off, I'd like to say thanks to all my opponents and that I really hope I have the pleasure of sitting across the table from all of you again!

Right! No tournaments in the diary now until Exeter regionals so it’s time for the fun lists to rear their peculiar looking heads. Also, the TIE Striker article just dropped, time for some list building I feel!!!

Until next time, Redd XIII, standing by!


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