The Continuing Adventures of Dash and Jake

Return of the headings…

I can no longer start these blogs with ‘unbelievably I got to game night for the X’th week in a row’. Because you must be bored of it. But I got there again.

Now, before I go into details about the game (spoiler, I played a game) there’s some other stuff I want to cover.

An announcement…

You may (or may not, yet) have noticed a slight change to my blog. I have said before that I don’t run this blog with ads and I don’t look to make any money from it. Being totally honest, when I started I had no idea how many views it would even get, but neither did I really care. For me this was primarily a way to track my progress and digitally record my thoughts.

And it still is.

Now in the mean time a couple of things have happened. First I became aware that my FLGS (JARGON ALERT!!) runs an affiliate program. I didn’t look into this at first (see above paragraph, the page views comment for why) but following some conversations recently I looked into it a bit more.

I firmly believe that buying from your FLGS is important. Having seen on Facebook the dilemma that several people have unfortunately been put in that their FLGS has closed down and left them with nowhere to meet and play brings it into sharp focus. Supporting your FLGS by buying your stuff from them is vital for keeping the doors open.

I also am aware that not everybody HAS an FLGS.
In which case if you are looking for new stock of kit from an official FFG supplier I would highly recommend Firestorm Games. They have good prices and good stock availability and at least 2 of the 3 locations (I’ve not been to the Swindon store…yet) are fantastic places to buy, meet and play. As well as the link in this paragraph I’ll be adding a banner at the end of my posts and also you’ll find a link on the right hand side bar (if you’re viewing a desktop version, I’m not sure where it appears on mobile just yet).
Yes, this is an affiliate link. I doubt I’ll make enough to retire early or anything but I’m just putting it out there. Who knows.

Secondly. I was approached by an email from my contact page a short while ago about partnering up. Now having taken some time to consider the offer (mostly around my above thoughts on supporting my FLGS) I have started to partner with FluxWing Cantina.
While the store does have FFG kit listed for sale what interested me more was the option to buy individual upgrade cards. This means that if you are short of some copies of a particular card you can buy them without having to get a full conversion kit or pick up a new ship you’ll never use (costing at least £18ish) just for that 1 card.
Starting this week, as you’ll see below, where I mention specific upgrades in a list the link will take you to the page for that item on the website.
I’m excited about this partnership and I hope it helps out anyone who might be looking for specific things.

I don’t like huge blocks of text so here’s Baby Yoda to break things up.

An aside…

This week FFG made an announcement regarding System Opens. Ahead of the upcoming System Open at PAX (in Philadelphia in the US) they released the prize support (which looks great) but also info about the format. The main System Open event will now be Hyperspace and the second day side event for those who don’t make the cut will be a World Championships Qualifier using the Extended format. Here’s the full FFG announcement article.

My initial reaction was disappointment. In all honesty I’ve been honing my list and skills with Dash with the ultimate aim of playing 6 rounds of swiss at the UK System Open to see how it went. Now I can’t (unless FFG release the YT-2400 some time in the next 4 months, rather unlikely I think) and that makes me a little sad.

Will I stop flying Dash? No. I love the ship and the list and want to see how good I can get with it. And after all, I can still fly it day 2.

But now I need to find something else for day 1. When talking to my son about it he said ‘now you can blog about finding a new list’ which, while it’s a good point, does sound like he’s a little bored of me talking about Dash. I won’t take it personally. Well, maybe a little. He does have a point though.

So with a local league planned to run over December-January I have to decide whether to stick with my current list for the reps and the curiosity or use the games to find, refine and learn a new list. Probably the first one.

On a positive note, the prizes are all Inferno Squad based which my son is rather pleased about.

PRIZES!

Ok, serious stuff over.

Back to the story…

Anyway, getting back to this week.
We arrived relatively early and found Luke already there with tables set up. Matt turned up shortly after so we rolled an attack die to pick match ups. Cai faced off with Luke and I paired up with Matt.

Matt had brought the Sinker swarm (JARGON ALERT!!) that he had taken to the Excelsior Hyperspace tournament in Bristol last weekend. Matt started coming along to Firestorm earlier this year having decided to get into 2.0. It’s actually flying against (or rather being smashed by) Matt’s TIE swarm a few months ago that led me back to the YT-2400. He’s a good player, tactically astute and bold when needed.
Incidentally when I was checking before the game whether it was ok to take pictures and write about the game on the blog (as I do every time I play) he said ‘Ok but only if you refer to me as ‘Cutie Bunny Flopsy Pie’. Matt, your wish is my command!

His list was the Ric version of the swarm which, in full, is this:

“Sinker” (54)
R2 Astromech (3)

Ship total: 57 Half Points: 29 Threshold: 5

Ric Olié (42)
Crack Shot (1)

Ship total: 43 Half Points: 22 Threshold: 3

Gold Squadron Trooper (25)
Ship total: 25 Half Points: 13 Threshold: 3

Gold Squadron Trooper (25)
Ship total: 25 Half Points: 13 Threshold: 3

Gold Squadron Trooper (25)
Ship total: 25 Half Points: 13 Threshold: 3

Gold Squadron Trooper (25)
Ship total: 25 Half Points: 13 Threshold: 3

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic%20Republic&d=v8ZsZ200Z280XWWW2WY333X116WWWY321XWY321XWY321XWY321XW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

As for me, you’re probably used to this by now. I went for Crack Shot on Jake as Composure didn’t seem to work for me last time out. It was a bit of a toss up between Crack Shot and Predator but in the end went with Crack Shot for no real reason other than to see if I’d make use of it.

Dash Rendar (98)
Lone Wolf (5)
Bistan (14)
Perceptive Copilot (8)
Shield Upgrade (6)
Outrider (14)
Rigged Cargo Chute (4)

Ship total: 149 Half Points: 75 Threshold: 6

Jake Farrell (36)
Outmaneuver (6)
Crack Shot (1)
Proton Rockets (7)

Ship total: 50 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 2

Total: 199

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z39X124WW77W54W165W157W96Y50X126W116W102&sn=Dash%20%26%20Jake&obs=

Now this week I have an interesting situation. Matt reads my blog. Every week. He knows how I fly it, what obstacle placement I want and what I do/don’t want to happen. I was going to have to be either really good or really unpredictable to make this work. On top of that Matt’s list had multiple low cost targets and a very slippery Naboo starfighter which has the potential to give me problems.

Batrep time…

With a massive 1 point bid I made Matt first player and we placed obstacles. I managed to get a pretty good placement with a close cluster. Matt had a wide lane to my left to place his Torrents and Sinker. I placed Jake off to my left while Matt placed Ric just to the right (well, my right) of the middle. Dash went just left of the middle and we were ready for dials.

AVOID THE SWARM!!

From the outset I intended to stay clear of the Torrent swarm as long as possible, hopefully dragging them through the rocks. Any opportunity to take pot shots at Ric would be a bonus.

I turn Jake and Dash hard right while Matt shuffles his swarm 2 forwards (1 for the ARC) and Ric moves cautiously forward.

In the next turn the swarm moves the same distance while Ric moves forwards and rolls out from behind the rock. Jake and Dash both move forwards along my board edge.

Every day I’m shuffling

Another turn and the swarm moves inexorably forwards while Ric takes a 2 bank in towards the middle. Jake moves forwards and boosts to give Dash a focus before Dash takes a 3 bank in. With focus tokens in the bag Dash measures for a lock on Ric and (lsightly unexpectedly) gets it.

With Dash being the only one on the table who is able to shoot he takes the shot on Ric and rolls….

Statistically unlikely. And yet not the first time it’s happened.

Yep, 4 blanks. Thank goodness for the lock eh? Reroll them all and get… 1 hit. With a focus and evade Ric is clearly fine. Right.

Could be one of those nights.

Before moving on I have to make a special mention for my son Cai flying on the next table. He’s clearly been influenced by my flying of Dash:

YOLO!

Anyway, getting back to my game. Matt turns the Torrents in and starts bringing Sinker in behind. Jake moves forwards and boosts to give Dash another pair of focus tokens. Ric pulls out a 5 forwards barrel roll and boost to get away from Dash. Dash then moves a 1 bank having hoped (in vain) to catch Ric in arc. Another turn with no shots but now the Torrents are looking to close in on Dash.

The Torrents break formation to spread arcs and catch Dash with one of them YOLO’ing over the debris (and taking no damage). Sinker also moves in over debris (also taking no damage, a recurring theme for Matt through the game) while Ric turns around to start coming back in. Jake skirts the edges with a 1 hard turn and roll to hand off more focuses while Dash dials in a 4 forwards to keep options open in further turns (having been herded in last week and REALLY not enjoying it).

Dash fires at the stressed and unmodded Torrent and gets 2 hits on. A second shot at the top most Torrent yielded 1 hit. This could be slow going with lots of incoming shots.
The return fire starts but from range 3 and with a Lone Wolf charge still intact Dash manages to tank them all with no health taken. Not bad.

Now I had an idea with the next turn which I was quite excited to try. My plan was to move forward with Jake, roll towards Dash and have Jake give himself a focus before taking a red boost left in towards the Torrents, handing Dash a focus and potentially getting an opportunity for a Proton Rocket shot.

Awesome in my head.

Matt moves his Torrents mostly as expected except for the one that is looking to get a block on Dash. Tricky. On a plus side (well, for me anyway) one of the torrents has clipped a rock. It takes no damage (sigh) but at least it can’t shoot Dash this turn.

Sinker moves forwards to put 2 of the Torrents in range for rerolls. Extra tricky.

And now Jake.

Jake moves 3 forwards, barrel rolls and… Oops. Looks a bit close. Like, really close.
Now here’s the dilemma. To make this work Jake has to give himself the focus after the roll because after the boost he’s stressed so can’t take another action. However if the boost doesn’t fit he doesn’t move anywhere and doesn’t get bullseye. Also if that top Torrent does have the block on Dash I won’t get a focus which will mean 1 less shot and possibly more vulnerable in defence.

So the real question here is how ballsy am I feeling.

The answer is not very. I chicken out, give the focus to Dash and leave Jake where he is with no mods. Once I’d made the decision I did actually put the 1 bank template down and I still couldn’t tell whether it would have fit.

Ric moves up closer before I find that the single Torrent doesn’t have the block on Dash (which at this point I would have been happy with since it would mean he can’t shoot me) and so I’m stuck with no other action to take (with a lock on the lowest health torrent already and not enough room/don’t want the stress for a barrel roll to possibly get out of arc of the closest torrent). Cuite Bunny Flopsy Pie reaches for his imaginary violin in sympathy.

It was so close to something beautiful.

Ric shoots at Jake (unobstructed, just) and even at range 3 my green dice betray me and he loses 2 shields putting him at half points. Unfortunate but not disastrous.

Dash shoots at the locked torrent and wipes it out. He takes a second shot at the range 2 torrent sitting on the rock (since Dash loses a red die at range 1) and puts 2 hits on. Jake fires at the same torrent and doesn’t get any damage in (but at least he fired!!).

The torrents open fire. The rock one can’t shoot. One fires on Dash (putting on 1 hit) and one on Jake (doing no damage).

At this point we are actually level on points with 1 torrent being the same as half of Jake.

One down, five to go…

Back to dials we go and I anticipate Matt chasing down Dash with sinker and the torrents while Ric chases Jake. I dial in a 3 forwards for Jake hoping to get one of them in bullseye and unleash a 5 dice Prockets attack. I give Dash a 2 bank to keep those torrents in arc.

I wasn’t expecting what happened next.

Matt went all in on Jake.

Oh….umm…..

The torrents all turn in, sinker comes around to give them rerolls and Ric blasts into range 1.

Jake slams into a torrent. No action. No escape.

Ric shoots first and even without an additional die (since he didn’t go faster than Jake) he rolls 3 hits. Just 1 evade for me and no mods mean that Jake is toast. MUH DICE!

I’m robbed of Jake’s return shot and slightly frustrated that he’s gone with both his Crack Shot AND Proton Rockets charges unspent.

Dash only has one of the Torrents in arc and even though it’s got a focus Dash manages to get 3 damage on from range 3 and take it off the board.

Score still even. Jake for 2 Torrents.

Another one bites the dust, Just not quite fast enough.

With not long left on the clock we pick up dials.

I now need to come in with Dash to try and get multiple shots to get enough damage to put me ahead. Matt isn’t keen on pressing in, wary of the double taps, but, having previously thought he’s be up before finding out that Jake is just 50 points, knows he isn’t winning with this game state.

The torrent facing the wrong way pulls a talon roll, the other takes a 3 bank but doesn’t clear the stress from going over debris the previous turn. No action. Sinker moves 1 bank, just about avoiding the rock but bumping the torrent. No action. Ric goes 5 forwards and boosts left.

Dash goes 1 bank left and takes a double focus.

Now it gets interesting.

Ric fires at Dash and gets 2 hits on. Hmmm.

Dash fires at the closest torrent and gets 2 damage on. Not at half points.
Dash takes a second shot, this time at the ARC. 2 hits and 2 crits. The arc rolls…. blanks. 3 shields down and a disabled power regulator. But not half points. The closest torrent takes a shot, aided by a sinker reroll but Dash evades aided by a Lone Wolf reroll.

With just seconds left on the clock Matt considers not playing the next turn, believing that he can’t win. In reality he only needs to put 3 damage onto Dash to get half points and could have several shots to do it. We decide to play out another turn and pick up dials.

The closest torrent takes a 2 bank, the other banks in but is too far out for any action. Sinker goes 1 forwards while Ric banks and takes a lock.

Dash takes a 1 hard turn and focuses up.

A final showdown

Ric fires and 1 hit gets through. Dash has a tough choice to make. Shoot the torrent at range 1 (with 3 red dice) or Ric at range 3 with an evade token (with 4 red dice). I’ll decide that later. Dash first shoots at Sinker and gets 2 hits through, taking him to half points. With a focus and Lone Wolf charge still intact I decide to go for the range 1 torrent with Dash’s second shot. I roll the reds and get 3 hits (meaningLone Wolf can be saved for defence). The torrent rolls a single evade taking him to half points too.

Now it’s down to Matt’s red dice (and my greens I suppose).

Sinker rolls 2 dice from his rear arc but at range 3 doesn’t get any damage on.

The range 1 torrent rolls but is still stressed and has no mods. 1 hit, 2 blanks. He is in position for a Sinker reroll though, takes it and rolls…a blank. Just 1 hit to take. Dash evades it. The furthest torrent just about has a range 3 obstructed shot and rolls…. 2 blanks. He rerolls one from Sinker. Into a blank.

So with that we’re done. Matt has destroyed Jake for 50 points and I’ve got 2 and a half torrents and half of sinker for a total of 92 points.

Conclusions…

Speaking to Matt afterwards he was frustrated with himself for not using the R2 charge on the ARC which could have saved him half points on Sinker. He also thought that Jake was worth more than his 50 points and that trading 2 torrents for Jake would put him ahead.

On Dash Lone Wolf paid for itself over the course of the game once again (in both attack and defence), conclusively proving to me that it’s keeping it’s place. I didn’t get to drop the rigged cargo (again). I may have to re-think it’s inclusion if it seems like the bid becomes more important. I don’t think there’s anything else I can spend the points on but maybe that needs further investigation. Inertial Dampeners is an option (although I’d have to drop some points elsewhere to fit it in) or possibly Contraband Cybernetics for a ‘get out of jail’ turn.

And then there’s Jake. I was a little disappointed that he went down the way he did, particularly with 8 points of unused Crack Shot and Prockets (JARGON ALERT!!). That said, as was pointed out to me, if Jake is being shot at it normally means that Dash isn’t and that’s kind of the point. I do feel like I’m starting to get the hang of flying an A-Wing. A few more reps and maybe he’ll even do some reasonable damage before burning down. Maybe, I can hope can’t I?

So what about the list in general? Well I’m now 4-1 with it including some strong meta lists and very good opponents. I know I’m not a top level player (and probably never will be, not that I particularly aspire to be one) but what I guess I’m seeing is that finding a list I enjoy and flying it over and over is making me better with it. Crazy, right?

I really need a decent picture of these two ships together. In the mean time, there’s this one.

If you’ve read this far – well done. I know my blogs are long, hopefully they’re entertaining enough to keep you reading this far.
You might remember that I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that there’s a 1 day tournament coming up at my local store that I was preparing for.

Unfortunately due to a family bereavement we aren’t going to go. It’s times like this that bring reality into focus, that help you really see what’s important. Friends, family and living life fully. Spend time with people you love and do things you like doing. No amount of money can buy back time.

Thanks again for reading.

This blog is supported by Flux Wing Cantina.
Links from cards mentioned through this blog post will take you to the relevant page to buy that card from Flux Wing.
These links are sponsored.