Overthinking

The intro…

Yep, I’m back again!

Its been a fairly quiet week in terms of life in general but there’s been a little more X-Wing news as spoiler articles were released about the upcoming squadron packs.

Being a predominantly Rebel player I’m super excited about A-Wing Hera but I think I’m actually even more excited about i5, 3 Force Ahsoka. I’m still undecided on how I feel about the Vectored Cannons config but I can’t wait for points to come out to see if I can put Ahsoka in a Dash list somehow. And maybe Hera too? Maybe not.

Not much longer to wait now I guess!

Game-wise? Well it’s week 2 of the Sith Taker Cup.

This tournament uses the Swiss pairing system and so having won my first game last week I would be paired with another 1-0 player.

Before I go any further, here’s the list that’s locked in (well, at least until after week 2, you can change it then if you want).

Rey (68)
Korr Sella (6)
Rose Tico (9)
Finn (9)
Rey’s Millennium Falcon (2)

Ship total: 94 Half Points: 47 Threshold: 6

Tallissan Lintra (37)
Heroic (2)
Proton Rockets (5)
Advanced Optics (5)

Ship total: 49 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 2

Zizi Tlo (41)
Heroic (2)
Proton Rockets (5)
Advanced Optics (5)

Ship total: 53 Half Points: 27 Threshold: 2

Total: 196

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Resistance&d=v8ZsZ200Z244XWW245W173W174WWW193Y240X172WW102W186Y387X172WW102W186&sn=Rey-Wings&obs=coreasteroid5,core2asteroid1,core2asteroid2

As I mentioned before, as well as being locked, lists are published and so I can scout out my opponent’s list and see if I can work out how to beat it ahead of time. This worked out well for me last week as I was able to identify what to target first.

So what list would I be facing this week?

Pairing went up on Sunday evening and I’d been paired with Lorenzo Marasca. This was interesting for a couple of reasons.

First (and best), he’s someone new for me to get to know. Always awesome, particularly when it’s someone I’m very unlikely to ever meet in person.

Secondly, I’m on a Discord server with Resistance players where we discuss lists and tactics and so on. I’m not hugely active on Discord (except for arranging games) and so I more dip in to see what’s going on than anything else.

Lorenzo is also in this group and the first post I saw once I noticed that the draw had been made was Lorenzo lamenting being drawn against a Rey list with a bigger bid.

The third interesting thing though is Lorenzo’s list

Rey (68)
False Transponder Codes (2)
Rey’s Millennium Falcon (2)

Ship total: 72 Half Points: 36 Threshold: 6

Zizi Tlo (41)
Proton Rockets (5)
Advanced Optics (5)

Ship total: 51 Half Points: 26 Threshold: 2

Red Squadron Expert (43)
Heroic (1)
Integrated S-Foils (0)

Ship total: 44 Half Points: 22 Threshold: 4

Finn (30)
Heroic (1)

Ship total: 31 Half Points: 16 Threshold: 2

Total: 198

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Resistance&d=v8ZsZ200Z244XWWWWW369WW193Y387XWW102W186Y257X172WWWW175WWY350X172WWW&sn=Rey-Wings&obs=coreasteroid5,core2asteroid1,core2asteroid2

Yeah. Not a mirror match exactly but a few of the same pieces, losing most of Rey’s upgrades and Tallie to have enough points to add Resistance Pod Finn and add a 3 dice gun in the mix.

Now, my very first indication (from Lorenzo’s reaction) was that my list had the advantage over his.
I not only had the bid but also my Rey can hit harder and more consistently than his. Plus my A-Wings had Heroic while his Zizi didn’t.

Ok, all good.

Then I tested against it in Fly Casual.

I targeted Rey first and the first couple of tests went well.
Then one time, purely because of ship positioning, I tried hitting the T-70 and found I could burn it down in the first engagement, before it shoots. Hmmm…

I tried again, alternating attempts between Rey and the T-70 as the first target but now I was struggling more. The AI was getting shots on my Rey with all 4 ships and she was going down. Sometimes fast.

What to do about that…?

I also noticed that Finn was never using the pilot ability (add a blank or take a strain to add an eyeball), nor did he ever jam.

Even with the advantage of moving second and Rey not being particularly hurt by being blocked, I was only going roughly 50/50. Hmmm….

I spoke to a couple of people for advice and opinion and the general consensus was this:

  • Ignore Finn, he’s a trap.
  • Ignore Zizi, she’s slippery.
  • The T-70 can be surprisingly tough to kill. Don’t prioritise it.
  • Focus on Rey, she’s low agility, a big target to hit and the points tank of the list.

Ok, fine. I should stick with my gut.

Thursday evening finally came and I set up a room to play…

The Batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

We joined a room, spawned lists and chatted a little as we got set up to play. As I mentioned before, I had the bid and so I made Lorenzo first player.

I know I’ve covered some of this but just for consistency let’s do some Pre-Flight Checks…

Target Priority – As I (mostly) decided before, it’s Rey unless circumstances dictate otherwise.
Obstacles – Relatively spread out would be better. My Rey doesn’t mind obstacles too much but wide lanes for approach would be good.
Deployment – Lorenzo will place ALL his ships before mine go down. I’ll still deploy together but will pick the opposite corner from where he sets up.

We place obstacles and then ships and are all set, ready to go.

So, how to open? There’s a nice big horizontal lane which Rey might like. It’s a hard 2 right for her while the A-Wings will go the other way, hard turning left to zoom between the debris at an opportune moment.

Lorenzo starts moving ships. Finn and the Red Expert 1 bank towards the middle while Rey (slowly) and Zizi (quickly) go straight.

My A-Wings hard turn but I decide against boosting. And that, ladies and gentlemen, was a bad choice.

Rey takes the 2 hard turn and bumps into Tallie.

Oh balls.

Ok, well at least it’s happened early. Nothing too much has happened. I can recover. It’s fine.

Back to dials then.

It looks like Lorenzo is sending Rey and Zizi down the board edge. But Finn and the T-70? through the gap in debris probably. Maybe I should keep Rey in behind the A-Wings then to keep her away from the extra guns.

Ok, fine. 2 straights for the A-Wings and Rey will bank left in behind them. Maybe bumping them will straighten out her horrible angle too.

Lorenzo plays it slow with Finn and the Red Expert, sending them 1 forwards. His Rey does the same while his Zizi continues to stretch out the distance between them.

My A-Wings go forwards and focus without boosting. Rey turns into the back of Zizi but the angle is still awful.

Still no shooting and I feel like I’m making a bit of a fool of myself.

Dials then.

I decide that I want to engage before the (nominal) flankers come into range. The A-Wings will go 5 straight and boost while Rey will 3 bank right.

Finn and the T-70 bank in, with the T-70 going a little faster.

His Rey banks in, as does his Zizi, both taking a focus.

I move Zizi. Oh crap. I want to bank boost towards Rey but the angle won’t give me bullseye for Prockets and will point her directly at the debris for next turn. Hmmm….

I take a focus and stay put.

Tallie moves and just as I’m about to do the exact same thing, I remember the False Transponder Codes on Lorenzo’s Rey and take a lock on her, meaning Tallie (who won’t be shooting at his Rey) will get jammed (rather than my Rey). Also it’ll be handy for double modded Prockets later.

Rey banks and takes a focus.

As I look at the board I realise how horrible this is. Out of all the times I practised against this list, I never did anything like this.

Lorenzo’s i5’s shoot first. His Zizi shoots at my tokenless Tallie. He gets the obligatory RZ-2 two hits. Tallie blanks. Halved immediately. Oh.

He had intended for his Rey to shoot mine but the temptation of taking Tallie out is too great. This time the green dice bail me out though.

As I check arcs for returns fire I’m rather mad with myself, wishing I’d bank boosted and thrown everything at Rey (y’know, like I’d planned to all along).

Zizi and Tallie both fire at his Zizi and knock off a single shield before my Rey fires at his Rey and takes 2 shields.

Ok, it’s not awful but there’s a reasonable chance that his Rey could be halved had I done this properly.

Ok, well, can’t change it now. All I can do is plan for the next turn. But what to do?

I give Tallie a 3 bank to either go over or bump into Lorenzo’s Zizi (depending how fast she goes). I want my Zizi to fire Prockets at Rey. She isn’t stressed so she’s getting a 1 hard turn. Then my Rey will 1 straight, possibly (probably) bumping into Zizi but that’s ok, provided she can shoot at his Rey.

Lorenzo’s T-70 and Pod go straight, mixing up speeds again to put Finn in front this time.

Zizi banks in while his Rey takes a 2 (or 3?) straight, right at me. He misses the debris and lands squarely in my Rey’s face.

Tallie’s 3 bank lands behind his Zizi, takes a focus and rotates arc. Zizi and Rey both bump into his Rey.

Man, this is confusing to write!

Ok, shooting time.

His Rey doesn’t have a target (yay!) but his Zizi fires Prockets at my Rey (booo!) and scores, getting 3 hits past her green die. Ouch.

My Zizi has nothing in arc but Tallie shoots at his Zizi, taking her last shield. My Rey only has the T-70 in arc and range and, using the Finn/Rose combo gets 3 hits but Lorenzo rolls 2 evades to only take 1 hit.

The T-70 responds by landing a hit and a crit (a disabled power regulator) past Rey’s greens. Finn follows up but can’t land any further damage.

Engagement done and this time I’ve come off rather worse. I’ve taken 5 hits on Rey in exchange for a shield on his Zizi and a shield on the T-70. Not where I wanted to be in the damage exchange race.

Ok, dials then.

This time it’s got to be a sloop (JARGON ALERT!!) from Rey. She’s likely to die this next turn under focus fire and so I have to make her damage output count.

Tallie will take the long way around the debris to circle back in with a 3 bank.

I really don’t like my Zizi’s position though. She’ll get a 2 hard turn to try and get bullseye on, well anyone will do really.

Right, time to see how bad it is. Lorenzo banks in with Finn while the T-70’s 1 straight perfectly lands without bumping into him.

His Rey sloops before his Zizi perfectly lands in teh spot she just vacated.

Ok, my turn. Tallie takes the 3 bank, then boosts (just to make sure she’s out of Rey’s way) and rotates arc.

Rey sloops onto the debris, taking no damage and picking up 2 stress.

My Zizi tries the hard turn but Lorenzo’s Zizi has blocked it. Poop. No tokens for any of my ships then I guess!

Lorenzo’s Zizi doesn’t have a shot but his Rey starts pouring fire into mine, landing 3 hits. I evade one to take 2, giving up half points.

My Zizi and Tallie both fire at the only common target they have – the T-70. Both are tokenless and between them only manage to take a single shield.

Sensing that I’m about to lose Rey I decide to go for the ‘down in flames/hail Mary’ range 1 shot into Zizi. 4 dice, add a blank, spend it for a lock, reroll everything (because the roll sucked) and spend a Rey force for a total of… 2 hits. Zizi evades it.

What a waste.

It’s Lorenzo’s turn again now and the T-70 and Finn both fire at Rey but somehow she survives on 1 hull. It’s more than I deserve.

Ok then, dials again.

It almost doesn’t matter what I do with Rey. Except it does. A 1 straight will clear the stress but give me no shots. A sloop, if it completes, will give me options. Ok, done.

Tallie will hard turn in because, dammit, SOMEONE will eat Prockets this turn and I don’t care who.

Zizi needs to get out of the traffic jam so it’s a 3 bank for her.

Right, let’s see then.

Finn banks right at Rey, clearing the strain he took last turn and takes a focus. The T-70 goes for a bank too but bumps into Finn. Lorenzo’s Zizi banks right over the top of them both, takes a focus and rotates arc. Rey simply goes 1 straight and takes a focus.

Ok then. Tallie hard turns and takes a focus. Zizi’s 3 bank falls at the first hurdle and bumps into Finn. Rey’s sloop was, well, wildly optimistic and she bumps into my Zizi.

Lorenzo (correctly) points out that Rey’s position on the debris meant that the manoeuvre went over the debris again and I need to roll for damage. If it’s a crit then she dies.

I roll.

It isn’t a crit. Phew.

Lorenzo starts combat with Rey, scoring 3 natural hits on my Rey as she vanishes in a puff of disappointment.

His Zizi, with no Rey to fire at, puts another hit onto Tallie, leaving her on 1 hull.

But before my Rey’s fiery remains burn out completely, she fires a volley at her namesake but again, the rerolls are disappointing and she scores 2 hits, taking the last shield and putting 1 damage onto hull.

My tokenless Zizi fires at the blasted (and equally tokenless) T-70 who just laughs it off before Tallie launches Prockets at it in anger.

The Red Expert simply rolls natties (JARGON ALERT!!) to take 2 damage. One of them is a Panicked Pilot though which will help in the short term at least.

Finn doesn’t have a target and the T-70’s shot at Zizi (who now has a focus, having fired already) thankfully misses.

Ok, a quick stock take. I’ve lost Rey and Tallie is on 1 health (and has spent her Prockets charge).

In return I’ve got… umm….. half of the T-70 and half of Zizi. I’m 2 damage away from half on Rey but haven’t done anything at all to Finn.

I’m rather far behind here but I won’t give up. I need to see if I can claw back some points for the MoV.

Time to get out of the traffic properly now. Tallie gets a 3 bank left while Zizi, desperate to actually take an action during activation, will go 4 straight.

It’s a regroup turn for Lorenzo as he gives Finn a 3-k (JARGON ALERT!!) and the T-70 1 banks to clear one of it’s stress tokens. Rey banks onto the debris (taking no damage) and rotates her arc (because, title) while his Zizi 3 banks right, focuses and then boosts left.

I smell blood.

Zizi goes 4 straight, focuses and boosts right while Tallie’s 3 bank is followed by a focus and boost left with both chasing Lorenzo’s fleeing Zizi.

Rey’s rotate hasn’t given her arc on either of my ships but Lorenzo’s Zizi’s rear turret shot gets the last damage needed to finish off Tallie.

In response Tallie and my Zizi combine to take Lorenzo’s Zizi off the board.

Man, am I glad there aren’t any duplicated ships left on the board!

The remaining 15(ish) minutes are spent with both Lorenzo and I jockeying for position as I try to line up Zizi’s bullseye on someone to use the Prockets while he tries to kill my last ship.

In the end Zizi survives on 1 hull but with her Prockets charge still intact. What did I manage to do in return? I got 2 hits onto Finn. That’s it.

Result: 89 – 170 loss

The conclusion…

Well that hasn’t happened in a while. No, not losing (clearly that happens fairly regularly!).

No, I got tilted.

By my own actions.

In the very first turn.

Yes the dice were perhaps a little unkind through the first half of the game (or rather, they were more kind to Lorenzo’s attacks than to mine!) but I put myself in the positions I did to enable that to happen.

As well as the incredibly poorly executed first move, I had overthought the match up in the build up and that’s interesting.

You see, one of the (many) things that I consider a weakness in my game is that first few minutes of saying hi to someone while simultaneously checking out their list and working out how to deal with it. It follows, therefore, that a tournament where lists are fixed and published should be advantageous to me, or at least less disadvantageous, if that makes sense.

That proved to be the case last week where I practiced against the list in the build up to the game and had made some decisions in advance in terms of target priority.

But this week I feel like that exact same process was my undoing.

From the pairing announcement I could tell that Lorenzo was nervous about the match up as I had the bid. Pre-game he also said that he didn’t like his list very much and would possibly look at changing it after this round. Both of these things contributed to my feeling like I should do well.

Yet when I tested against the list in Fly Casual I had mixed results. Yes, my Rey had superior damage output but the extra gun in the list (and it being a 3 dice one with 7 health) was trouble for me.

Should it have been? I’m undecided. I think actually that the Fly Casual testing didn’t help me here. For example, in FC Finn only ever took a focus and fired 2 dice. It didn’t use the pilot ability nor did it jam. Even once. I was aware of them but not having realistic testing threw some uncertainty in.

My overall feeling was that the game would come down to dice variance.
IF I could focus fire his Rey with all 3 ships and IF both Prockets hit hard and IF I didn’t lose a ship in reply then I’d be in good shape, even if his Rey didn’t die then as long as she’s limping then I’d be ok. And that’s assuming no screw ups on my part.

Obviously that’s no how it went and, following some horrendous decisions on my part (in several turns) followed by some great positioning and approach on Lorenzo’s part, I lost Rey and half of Tallie for half of his Zizi.

It was always going to be a massive uphill battle from there and while Zizi gave it a go it was just too much.

In the end the score is a fair reflection of Lorenzo’s choices and general play. Despite screwing up very early on and quite probably being in my own head too much I still enjoyed the game and in particular the challenge of seeing what I could still manage to do with just the two A-Wings remaining.

Lorenzo was a great opponent (good luck in the rest of the tournament!) and while this isn’t my first loss with this list, it’s certainly the biggest screw up I’ve made with it. Could I have won had I played it better? Maybe. Again, I think it would have come down to dice, particularly the Prockets rolls.

I’m not afraid to write about or make public my mistakes. It’s long been a common phrase (a clichĂ© even) that you learn more from a loss than a win. It’s certainly true and I think there’s a lot of value in making sure that my losses and disastrous decisions are recorded as well as my (somewhat limited number of) glorious triumphs. It’s how I’m going to learn and get better. Well, learn at least!

Still, it’s all done now and I have (hopefully!) learned some lessons about myself and the list.

Bring on round 3 next week!

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