The SAXH Invitational – Part 4

The intro…

Welcome back to ANOTHER bonus blog!

This is the last of my series covering games from this tournament. At the end I’ll summarise the whole event and my thoughts around it.

WARNING! THIS POST IS PART OF A SERIES AND IF YOU WANT TO BUILD SOME SORT OF TENSION THEN YOU SHOULD READ PART 1 AND PART 2 AND PART 3 FIRST! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Right, I’ve given fair warning. Off we go!

A quick recap for you – I’d been invited by the mighty Phil GC (https://suchanxwinghipster.wordpress.com/) to take part in his birthday tournament. Phil, the blogging superstar and 186th Squadron hero that he is, knows rather a lot of pretty good players (you can’t hear my tone but I’m understating for effect). So far I’ve played a world champion, a system open champion and a 186th veteran.

Not only that but I’m actually doing….ok!? I’m 2-1 and while Dash probably shouldn’t have survived as he did against Martyn in game 2 I did better in game 3. I’m on a roll! Maybe!

My list for the day was my beloved Dash Rendar with Jake Farrell and Ten Numb:

Dash Rendar (85)
Expert Handling (4)
Bistan (10)
Perceptive Copilot (8)

Ship total: 107 Half Points: 54 Threshold: 5

Ten Numb (48)
Marksmanship (1)
Fire-Control System (2)
Autoblasters (3)
Stabilized S-Foils (2)

Ship total: 56 Half Points: 28 Threshold: 4

Jake Farrell (36)
Ship total: 36 Half Points: 18 Threshold: 2

Total: 199

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z39X120WW77W54WWWY74X125W113W232WWWW313Y50XWW&sn=Dash%20Ten%20Jake&obs=

I’ve steadily improved with my openings and while I can’t always engage the targets I’m prioritising I’m doing ok at blowing stuff up (except against Oli that is…)

So who/what list will I face in the final game?

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

Before I tell you, let me paint you a picture.

At this point three players were 3-0. The main question was who would be paired against who? And who would be paired down?

Well, in a bizarre /interesting/hilarious twist, somehow I was paired UP (despite my terrible MoV!) to play against George Barker who was one of the 3-0 players!

Thanks TTS!

George was flying a Resistance list with Rey but not the Rey I was expecting:

Rey (68)
Chewbacca (Resistance) (4)
Finn (9)

Ship total: 81 Half Points: 41 Threshold: 6

Zizi Tlo (41)
Crack Shot (3)
Heroic (2)
Advanced Optics (5)

Ship total: 51 Half Points: 26 Threshold: 2

Tallissan Lintra (37)
Crack Shot (3)
Heroic (2)
Advanced Optics (5)

Ship total: 47 Half Points: 24 Threshold: 2

Colossus Station Mechanic (26)
Ship total: 26 Half Points: 13 Threshold: 3

Total: 205

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Resistance&d=v8ZsZ200Z244XWW188WW174WWWY387X116W172WW186Y240X116W172WW186Y380XWWWWW&sn=Vs%20George%20Barker&obs=

DISCLAIMER NOTE 1!!!!
Clearly the points have been updated since we played and this exact list is no longer legal!

DISCLAIMER NOTE 2!!!!
Before we began George explained the interaction between Chewbacca crew and the Fireball’s ‘Explosion with Wings’ ship ability. Since then George has researched this and found that it has been ruled NOT to work as of the rules reference update on the 28th of September.

Ok. time for my pre-flight checks:
Target Priority – Rey Rey REY! She has GOT to go ASAP.
Obstacles – I want to keep the gas clouds away from the A-Wings since they’re hard enough to damage anyway.
Deployment – Jake and Dash together with Ten a bit away. Try and hit Rey with Ten and Dash together in first engagement.

(Note to self – pre-flight checks is a catchy way of thinking things through in future. Keep it!)

George is at a full 200 (with the points at the time!) so I (finally!) get to choose whether to move first or second. Obviously I pick second. I want Dash moving AFTER Rey and the A-Wings so I can’t be arc-dodged (JARGON ALERT!!).

We place ships and obstacles and are ready to start.

I’m fairly certain that Rey wants to joust Dash and I certainly don’t want that. Jake and Dash will hard turn in as I’ve done in each game so far. I had thought about turning in with Ten when I placed him but with that A-Wing on my right flank I change my mind and set a right turn to try and dissuade them.

George’s manoeuvres are all reasonably non-committal except for Tallie (on my right) who comes forwards quite fast.

No shots this turn so it’s back to planning.

On reflection I now see that it probably wasn’t a great idea but I decide to bid my time a little more and draw Rey (the big threat) in to me and then try and blast past her at some point. What this actually did was bring her down the great big open lane between the obstacles that we’d made.

Anyway, Dash and Jake both went straight while Ten hard turned back to face George’s ships.

George continued to slow roll with the Colossus Mechanic and Zizi while Rey banked in towards my ships and Tallie went all-in on approaching Ten Numb

We’ll get some shots this time!

But not great ones apparently. Tallie and Ten are the only ships in range of anything and trade a shield each.

A slightly underwhelming turn but it’s done and we’re back to dials.

I set Ten a left bank (hoping it will clear Tallie) while Jake gets a 4 straight to take him past Dash who in turn will bank in to put his side arcs on some targets.

George send the Fireball 3 straight and then SLAMs (JARGON ALERT!!) a 3 bank into Ten’s face. Uh-oh.

Ten bumps while Jake does the full move, roll, self focus, boost, pass focus to Dash thing.

Zizi slips out from behind Rey but stays back while Tallie comes around the gas cloud to face off with Jake. Rey screams in at Dash who then takes his bank turn at the gas cloud and locks Rey.

Now we shoot. ALL of George’s i5 ships rain fire onto Dash. It’s devastating. Dash’s green dice completely crap out and Dash loses all 4 shields before then taking 2 hits and a crit which turns out to be a Direct Hit! Brutal.

Dash survives on 2 hull.

Bow it’s Dash’s turn. A full 4 dice double modded salvo lands on Rey, stripping her shields. His second shot is at Tallie but with 1 less die at range 1 only 1 hit gets through.

Ten and Jake manage zero damage between them and we’re back to dials.

Rough turn!

What to do now? I set Jake a bank to clear stress while Ten will hard turn left and do his roll and lock thing. Dash needs to get out and while, looking back, doing something a bit left-field might have had value, it’s a 4 straight I set.

George sends the Fireball in at Jake who then manages to bump into Dash (doh!!). No focus shenanigans this turn!

Ten turns and rolls, locking Rey.

George disengages with Tallie (well, as much as an RZ-2 A-Wing ever disengages!) while Rey hard turns after Dash and Zizi, well, I can’t quite remember and I also can’t tell from the image whether there was a bump. It looks like maybe?

Unsurprisingly George fired on Dash and the brave Corellian burned down in spectacular style with a magnificent crit chain,

Zizi took 2 more shields from Ten while Tallie took one from Jake.

In his final moments Dash fired but, rather frustratingly, didn’t have Rey in arc! So it was a shot at Zizi then and he made it count, taking 2 shields and putting a crit on too.

Jake took a rather ineffective shot at the Fireball (missing it) while Ten tried his luck at Rey, putting 2 crits on (Wounded Pilot and Weapons Failure).

Ok. Things are not looking too great here… How can I try and pull it back?

Ten gets a hard right turn while Jake will skit around the outside of the gas cloud and approach Rey.

George sends the Fireball in at Jake and bumps.

Ten takes the hard turn but it bumps into Rey. Oops!

Jake takes a 2 straight over the Fireball, rolls left, gives himself a focus and then boosts left.

Rey takes a 4 straight out of the congested area and repairs the Weapons Failure before Zizi and Tallie both take hard turns, Tallie to start coming around to re-engage, Zizi to start moving out but also rotating arc to rear.

Now, there’s an issue with the positions here that you might be able to see too well from this image.

Let me ‘enhance’ that for you.

I think this just about sums up the game!

George only has 2 arcs with a target himself but Ten is the lone target. Ten manages to roll an evade on both attacks and limits the damage to 2 but that’s now shields down and 3 hull left.

It’s beginning to look like ‘pulling this back’ might be a bit beyond me…

Still, I’m yet to concede a game and I’m not about to start. Bring it on!

Rather annoyingly I don’t have a screenshot of the final positions after the next turn so I can’t show you where we ended up or recall what moves I made.

In fact, the next screenshot I have is this one…

Yep, George’s i5’s finished off poor old Jake and Ten before they could do anything about it. And so I was 1 damage short of half points on Rey and 1 short of killing Zizi.

AND there was still half an hour on the clock…

Result: – 46 – 200 loss

The conclusion…

Well, that was pretty brutal!

Reflecting on the game as I’ve written this out I think that I made a mistake sending Ten at Tallie and should have gone all out on hitting Rey. I also think that delaying on my side didn’t particularly help but I don’t know that I can say that for certain.

George approached my list really well and while there is a school of thought that suggests that taking out Dash’s support tools is the best way to deal with him he quite simply can’t shoot you if he’s already dead!

I really enjoyed this game and it was great to ‘meet’ George (in a virtual sense). Thanks for the game George!

The overall conclusion…

Before going any further I want to say a huge thank you to Phil for inviting me to play. I am honoured to have been asked, had a fantastic day, learned a LOT (I mean I hope so, time will tell I suppose!) and it’s given me rather a lot to write about!

I have to say that I came into the day feeling very excited and a bit nervous. The informal ‘get together’ over Discord at the start helped me to relax a bit and, while it was a little intimidating playing against some well known names in the X-Wing community, everyone was just to great to chat with and play against that I felt no nerves or pressure at any point in the day.

I want to thank everyone I played against and for those who I didn’t, I hope to get a game with you at some point in the future!

So for those who had been asking following my last post – clearly I didn’t win the whole thing!

As I mentioned at the start there were three 3 – 0 players. They were George, Oli and Lloyd Boman. Oli and Lloyd had been paired together but with my game going the way that it did, George managed to beat me by enough points that the other result didn’t matter and won by almost 200 MoV.

And me?

Well in the end I was 2 – 2 but as my MoV was rather rubbish I was the bottom 2 – 2 and finshed in 14th place. Still, with players like Julian Hood, Kristofer Bengtsson and the birthday boy Phil GC also finishing on the same record there’s certainly no shame in that!

If you’re interested in seeing the standings the TTT link is – https://tabletop.to/42-is-too-old-to-be-a-hipster

So how do I feel now that it’s all done and dusted? Well, I feel a few things.

First I feel thankful that even in this pretty sucky season of Covid that my hobby can live on in virtual form and, while it isn’t the same, it’s close enough. I’m also thankful for new friendships and connections I’ve made. Not just on this day but over the last 10 months of online play. I know there are many that I’ll never get the chance to meet in person but for those who are in the UK I really hope to be able to play you in person some day.

Secondly I feel encouraged. I’ve never classed myself as a good player. I win some, I lose some (probably more the second than the first!) but the most important thing is actually getting to play. I sometimes give myself a hard time when I lose a game that I feel like I could have won and, although I never dwell on it too long, a losing streak can play on your mind a little.

I came into the day expecting to get heavily beaten in all four games given some of the names that I could be facing. In the end I feel that I gave a decent account of myself and while I made some mistakes I didn’t embarrass myself too badly!

Lastly I feel happy. I had a great day playing a game I love against people who also love it. There were jokes and banter and genuine competitive effort to do the best possible and get the bragging rights. In fact, not long after it was over there was a cheeky image posted by George (of Eagle Squadron) in the discord chat:

Shots fired!!

Winning? Losing? Whatever. It was the playing experience that counted. And I’ll remember it for a long while.

Thanks guys!

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