Back down to earth…

The intro…

Yes, I’m back! I know I said I was on holiday last week (which was true) and I know that I normally don’t blog while off (also true) but I am in the middle of (well, more towards the end but let’s not split hairs) of the Sith Taker league and the days we were away managed to line up quite well with being able to slip in game 7 before the round 8 draw on Monday.

Lovely.

As such, no massive intro this week (despite there being some things to talk about. I’ll get back to normal next week!), let’s get straight down to business.

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

My list? Well, I’m on a decent run with the slightly/somewhat/much maligned Heratanni list so why change, right?

Kyle Katarn (31)
Jyn Erso (2)
Moldy Crow (16)

Ship total: 49 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 3

Hera Syndulla (A-Wing) (42)
XX-23 S-Thread Tracers (2)

Ship total: 44 Half Points: 22 Threshold: 2

Benthic Two Tubes (46)
Perceptive Copilot (8)
Leia Organa (7)
Pivot Wing (0)

Ship total: 61 Half Points: 31 Threshold: 4

Garven Dreis (X-Wing) (46)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship total: 46 Half Points: 23 Threshold: 3

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z48XWW40WWW156Y451XWW332WY36XWW54W46WW140Y6XWWWW142&sn=Rebel%20Focus&obs=

My opponent for this week is Mr Rogelio Hernandez. I’ve noticed Rogelio’s name around a few places on Tabletop.to including very recently making the top 16 at GSP’s Bespin Galaxies qualifier. Clearly he’s pretty good at this.

We arranged to play on Sunday evening (well, evening for me at least!) and when Rogelio joined the TTS room and saw my list he was…not so happy!

He’d had 2 lists in mind to try out and despite it being a poor match up for him went with the one he wanted to get some reps with.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (49)
Delta-7B (20)

Ship total: 69 Half Points: 35 Threshold: 3

Anakin Skywalker (Eta-2) (56)
Extreme Maneuvers (4)
Marksmanship (1)
Autoblasters (3)
R7-A7 (3)
Stealth Device (8)

Ship total: 75 Half Points: 38 Threshold: 2

Plo Koon (45)
Calibrated Laser Targeting (4)

Ship total: 49 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 2

Total: 193

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic%20Republic&d=v8ZsZ200Z278XWW201WY441X341W125W232W364W166Y312XWW200W&sn=x&obs=gascloud1,gascloud2,gascloud3

Interesting. It’s Auto-crit Ani and fairly stripped back Plo and Obi. Hmmm….

Time for those Pre-Flight checks:
Target Priority – Anakin is the points tank AND the damage dealer here and has just 3 hull. He’s the obvious first target but if Rogelio flys this well I won’t be able to touch him. Not much, at least. Anakin is preferred but it’s targets of opportunity since I’ll make him come to me.
Obstacles – As usual with my list, I want a range 3 cornered obstacle to give me some space to work with and then get as many clouds out of play as I can since they favour Rogelio’s list more than mine.
Deployment – Easy – my standard corner deployment.

Rogelio has the bid and (unsurprisingly) makes me first player.

We place ships and obstacles and are ready to begin.

To clarify, Obi-Wan is top right, Plo in the middle facing Anakin on the left (who is facing Plo)

Now as I said, I’m short on time so suffice to say I flip Leia to stay where I am and follow it up in turn 2 with the same again (but red this time) so that by turn 3 we’re at this game state:

Thankfully I rolled away with Hera because Anakin’s YOLO onto the gas cloud had her in bullseye for some of that ‘unblockable crit’ action which I’m pretty keen to avoid. As it is, Anakin shoots at Hera but does no damage and we’re back to dials.

Now I have some decisions to make and it starts to become clear that I’ve probably made a mistake.

If I turn now I’ve got the asteroid to contend with. Ironically, I’m the one who put it there. If I don’t turn, I’m unlikely to get Plo and I’m going to take a severe beating on my flank. I’d best turn in then.

Leia is recharged and so I spend her charges to hard stop and rotate with Benthic, take the (normally) red 3 hard turn with Kyle and 2 hard turn with Garven (who takes a lock on Anakin).

Obi-Wan shuffles forwards while Plo adjusts his approach angle over the other side of the board.

Hera just goes 3 straight (got to stay away from danger!) and focuses before Anakin (who did a systems phase Extreme Maneuvers boost) k-turns (JARGON ALERT!!) to keep some distance from the fight.

As you can see, the only ships that can shoot each other are Garven and Obi-Wan who exchange shots with Garven rolling enough paint to escape damage while knocking a shield from the Jedi. A reasonable start.

Now I have an issue. Leia is still recharging and I want to stay sort of where I am but at the same time, want mods. I’m going to have to move.

Benthic 1 straights and takes a focus (passing one to Hera), Kyle goes 1 straight but I’ve misjudged the distance and he bumps Garven. Oops!

Garven also 1 straights and moves his lock top Obi-Wan.

Plo comes 3 forwards and banks around the rock. Obi-Wan comes in hard, taking the block from Garven.

Hera hard turns in behind Benthic and takes an evade before Anakin (who barrel rolled in the systems phase) banks in towards Garven.

Now we’re in for some action.

Hera can’t shoot so Anakin starts, followed by Plo but between them can only manage to get 1 shield from Garven after some pretty poor dice.

Garven fires at Anakin but nothing hits after Force is spent, Kyle and Benthic opt to fire at Obi-Wan and strip his shields, getting him to half.

Not bad.

However, my positioning is now an issue.

I suspect Obi-Wan is going to 5-k over the top of me but what can I do about it? Not an awful lot. At this point I want to try and threaten Anakin then.

The simplest choice is with Garven, he will 4-k. Despite Leia not being ready to use I’m going to red stop with Benthic and Kyle in order to try and keep Anakin in arc. I’ll be low on tokens but should be ok. Hera will just go straight behind them.

Benthic Kyle and Garven all ‘move’ before Obi-Wan 5-k’s over Kyle with Anakin spending a force to remove Obi’s stress as then then locks Benthic.

Plo 1 banks in and, after some deliberation, rolls right and takes a focus to dodge some arcs and have a juicy CLT shot.

Oh dear.

Hera’s 2 straight should have been a 3 straight. She bumps into Obi-Wan, leaving her tokenless AND outside of Kyle’s arc.

Oh dear oh dear.

Anakin, who had systems phase rolled again, banks away from Benthic and then boosts back in to dodge his arc completely.

Oh. Balls.

Just before shooting begins I opt to give Kyle’s last focus to Benthic since Obi-Wan’s lock seems to indicate that’s who he’s going to target.

The only saving grace this turn was that Anakin had missed getting arc on Hera. Hera fires unmodified at Plo and not only gets 2 hits but Plo rolls poorly and loses his shield. Screw you probablility!

Despite revenge not being a very Jedi thing to do, Plo and Obi-Wan conspire to hit (the now tokenless) Kyle and almost but not quite kill him, leaving him on 1 hull. Ouch.

Garven takes a range 3 pot shot at Plo, his only valid target and again, despite the odds, gets a hit on, taking Plo to half.

Following up on the unlikely dice is Kyle who fires from his side arc at Anakin at range 2 with his 2 dice, unmodded gun. At Stealth Device Anakin. Did it hit? Of course it did, knocking out the Stealth Device.

At this point we checked the dice stats to see if what we felt was being borne out. It turns out it was, with my dice luck score being around 2 and Rogelio’s being -4.5ish.

Harsh. And that’s AFTER Obi-Wan landing 4 paint on Kyle in that turn with no lock. Crazy.

Back to dials then. As I reflect now on that turn, I felt it went poorly for me but could (and arguably should) have been so much worse.

But in-game me still has some poor choices to make so let’s carry on!

I still have a positioning issue. Benthic is facing the wrong way. Leia is recharged but if I stop and rotate now while he’s stressed I won’t have many tokens. Kyle is also stressed so a stop might get me a block or shot into Obi-Wan, I’ll again be lacking in tokens.

Ok, let’s start easy. Garven has to come in and clear stress, it’s a 2 straight for him.

Benthic….after some deliberation I decide to bank away with him. It clears stress and lets me white stop/rotate next turn. Plus he can still pass off a focus.

Kyle. Hmmm…. I’m confident a straight move won’t hit the rock but a bank left definitely will. Too fast going forwards and he’ll bump Garven. It’s likely he’ll die this turn but at least if he takes a blue move he will be able to pass a focus first. He’ll go 2 straight.

And then Hera. Hmmm… I’m expecting Obi-Wan to maybe go straight or bank right to chase down something. And Plo? Well, I’m not sure. His options are somewhat limited because of the threat of Leia allowing me to keep 2 ships where they are. I decide that I want Hera flanking if possible, in decent position to hand off some tokens. It’s a 3 hard turn for her.

Benthic moves and passes a focus to Garven. Kyle moves and focuses. Garven moves and locks Obi-Wan.

Now, what will Rogelio do….?

Obi-Wan hard turns away and boosts, trying to keep some distance from the fight. Interesting. Plo hard turns into the spot he just vacated. Rogelio considers rolling to block Hera but decides against.

He didn’t need to as Hera’s 3 hard turn is just about blocked anyway. Oh.

Anakin hard turns in and eventually decides that Kyle must die and boosts in after him.

Ok, shooting time!

Hera unexpectedly has a range 1 shot at Obi-Wan and puts another damage on, leaving him on 2 health.

Anakin mercilessly wipes out Kyle before Garven responds in kind, getting 2 more hits onto Obi-Wan to finish him off.

Blimey.

At this point, I’m reasonably confident. I’ve got Obi-Wan down and half of Plo.

You should never underestimate my ability to screw things up though.

At this point I decide that Plo is the target I want to hit. Anakin is so damn squirrely that, given the ship positions, I’m more confident of getting arc on him.

Hera will go 2 straight (only because I’m worried a 2 bank will hit the rock), Garven will 2 straight while, with Leia activated, Benthic will pivot AND pass focuses. Ok, sounds good.

Then….Anakin boosts in the systems phase. Ah.

Benthic stops, rotates and passes Garven a focus. Garven’s 2 straight now slams into Anakin. No further actions.

Plo sloops (JARGON ALERT!!) right and stays where he is.

Hera takes her 2 straight, takes a focus (spoiler – this was a mistake!!) and boosts right to make sure she’s range 2 of Garven.

Anakin VERY unexpectedly k-turns over the top of Garven. Oh no.

This is where things got weird.

Hera fires at Anakin and, as you’d expect, does no damage.

Anakin does his unblockable crit thing on Garven (which, if I’m honest, I hadn’t thought about since earlier in the game). 2 crits. One to shield and the second…. a Direct Hit. Obviously.

Garven is suddenly looking rather fragile as Plo lines up a range 3 shot with 2 dice. He spends a force for 2 hits.

I roll Garven’s 3 greens, suddenly regretting not taking an evade with Hera. Yes, Garven does blank out and dies.

Benthic takes his range 3 shot at Plo but now Rogelio’s dice are fully on his side and Plo evades the lots of them.

But where does that leave the score I hear you ask? Well….

Yes, Garven’s blank out and subsequent death gives Rogelio a win by a single point.

Result: 94 – 95 loss

The conclusion…

Well, that was interesting!

Some small mistakes and unfortunate crits/dice towards the end seemed to combine to cause my downfall – in particular taking a focus with Hera (not an evade), picking up a Driect Hit with Garven, going for Plo in the last turn (and not Anakin when I neede 2 hits onto Plo but just 1 on Anakin for half), things like that. BUT, my main mistake I think came much earlier than that.

After the turn 1 and 2 stops/turns I should have moved much faster up the board. To his credit, Rogelio split and approached very well with his ships and by the time I wanted to turn on him and shoot things I had Kyle and Garven placed WAY too close to the rock in my corner, boxing Kyle in and leaving me stuck with few places to go and Leia not yet recharged.

I should have been around half way up the board by the time I turned on Anakin and Obi-Wan, not where I was.

Sounds about right!

Also, on reflection, sticking one of the gas clouds where the tiny corner rock was would probably have helped too, since my issue with Kyle was not only missing out on an action but a shot too. I’d have been much more inclined to send him over a cloud than a rock.

In reality though, I was well beaten here. Rogelio was VERY surprised that the final score was in his favour and was sure he had lost.

We had checked the dice stats around 3 turns of engagement in and they were, well, not even. I can’t remember the exact figures but my luck score was approximately 1ish while his was around -4. I know dice shouldn’t be a factor (fly better, don’t get shot, etc) but in reality you can do everything right and still blank out which is what he had done.

What’s interesting is that by the end of the game our dice stats were pretty much even (-0.6 for me, -0.1 for Rogelio) so while they had swung massively in favour for me in the early game, they’d swung back later on, in particular when Garven was defending from Plo!

When it comes down to it my positioning and target priorities from mid-game onwards is what caused the result and, dice aside, I should have been able to stay in front once I had got there and even then I only managed to lose by a single point in the last turn of the game by taking a Direct Hit and blanking out.

Still, losing is learning (even if it’s technically stuff you already know!) and as I’ve mentioned before, even though this list is good and there are people who believe it is too good, it IS beatable and it DOESN’T auto-win.

Anyway, this puts me at 4-3 going in to the final week with the opportunity of breaking even at worst and I’ll take that all day long!

Before I go…

Ok then big brain people of X-Wing, I have a question/favour to ask.

I mentioned last week that I’m booked in for AN ACTUAL IN-PERSON REAL-LIFE TOURNAMENT, right?!

Well, I’m pumped for it!

However, As I also mentioned, it’s Hyperspace and therefore, I have a slight problem.

What do I fly?!

Looking at online Hyperspace results on TTT gives me a couple of ideas but going back to real life play throws in that extra conundrum – do I have the ships?!

For example, Procket Barons of the Empire or Fivesight Inquisitors? Nope.

TIE Strikers and Commandant Goran? Can’t.

I DO like the look of Matt Cary’s list of Hera, Ahsoka, Luke and a Blue Squad but I need to try it out before deciding. There are a few 5 Rebel A-Wing lists too but they’re just so fragile, y’know?!

The other thing is that my son Cai is coming too. He’s not played much during the pandemic (not at all online and just a couple of in-person games last summer) and while his expectations are low (he just wants to play!), he’d also like to make use of at least one of his ‘new toys’ which we’ve picked up since the first lockdown and are yet to be used (or even opened!) which includes a TIE Brute, ETA-2, V-Wing and LAAT. He only really plays Empire and Republic.

So, please, spam me with list suggestions! We need to make some decisions!

Thanks for reading, I’ll hopefully ‘see you’ (well, not really but you know what I mean…) next week!

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