Building up the reps…

The intro…

Welcome!

Its a rather strange time of year in, let’s be honest a rather strange time period in general. In the UK we are still on lockdown (although I am working as I’m technically a key worker) and in a way it just feels like everything is on hold and nobody knows when we get press the play button again. This time last year I was in full prep mode for the UK System Open, testing and refining my lists and organising t-shirts and tokens for myself and my fellow Exiles.

I am missing Wednesday nights with these awesome people.

This year, well, not so much. System Opens, Prime Championships or even Store Champs are not even planned and I’ve not played an actual real life on the board game or seen my squad mates since September. With all FFG’s announced ships now released, the community focus turns to AMG (the gaming company, not the Mercedes…) who have announced a live stream for info on Star Wars games on the 3rd of February. We wait with baited breath for good news. I’m sure that it’s good and positive news.

Anyway, like I said, it’s all a bit weird.

With Christmas now feeling like it was months ago and Phil Pond’s 4 game birthday tournament done and dusted it’s time to get back to the Sith Takers league.

I’m currently (rather unjustly) doing pretty ok at 4-2 with 2 of the 4 wins from byes (told you!) And the other 2 from flying Rey-Wings. I’m under no illusion that I deserve to be there. I’m very much still learning the list (which takes me a while!) and while I do feel Iike I’m getting somewhere and that it’s definitely good, I probably need to refine what I’m doing though that may be more to do with getting better at working out target priority in a short timescale.

Anyway, in case you’ve not followed my blogs recently, here’s the list in full.

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

I’m sure that many/most people understand what’s happening here but just in case, Rey can use a combination of Finn/Rose/pilot ability to get ridiculously consistent damage output while Korr Sella allows you leverage the title to sloop or boost while stressed and and clear the whole lot in one go.

The A-Wings combine Advanced Optics and Heroic with their rotating arcs to also get super consistent damage output and the Proton Rockets are there for spike damage.

No, not this sort of spike.

So here I go again, let’s see if I can keep my league run going!

The Batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

This week I was paired with Gavin Boyle who I actually played against in the last season just a few months ago (and, like most people in that season, beat me).

We got in touch and organised a night to play.

When we ‘met’ (y’know virtually) we got a room set up and I took a look at Gavin’s list.

Anakin Skywalker (Eta-2) (56)
Hate (3)
Predator (2)

Ship total: 61 Half Points: 31 Threshold: 2

“Warthog” (54)
Multi-Missile Pods (6)
Ghost Company (5)
Suppressive Gunner (7)
Synchronized Console (1)

Ship total: 73 Half Points: 37 Threshold: 5

Shadow Squadron Escort (29)
Dedicated (1)
Synchronized Console (1)

Ship total: 31 Half Points: 16 Threshold: 2

Shadow Squadron Escort (29)
Dedicated (1)
Synchronized Console (1)

Ship total: 31 Half Points: 16 Threshold: 2

Total: 196

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic%20Republic&d=v8ZsZ200Z441X204W127WWWY414X326WWW351WW350W211Y431X210WW211WY431X210WW211W&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Oooh! New things!

I’ve not flown against an ETA-2 before, nor V-Wings. Could be interesting. My first thought (without knowing the points yet) was that Warthog is the priority target which, given that this list contains i6 Anakin, sounds weird and feels wrong but I feel my chances of getting a decent shot on him is slim and provided I can keep out of his bullseye he’s only rolling 2 red dice at me.

In fact, all his ships are potentially only rolling 2 reds. Hmmm….

I’m positive about my chances.

Time for pre-flight checks
Target Priority – got to be Warthog really but if he’s got any sense he’ll keep him out of the way. I’m expecting the V-Wings to screen while Anakin flanks.
Obstacles – Anakin and the V-Wings are manoeuvrable enough that they probably don’t care but Warthog less so. Rey doesn’t care about debris so much so I want to get rocks as far from each other as possible, the debris don’t so much matter.
Deployment – I’ll start with my usual deployment, particularly since I don’t know where Anakin will go.

We place rocks and deploy and set like this ready to start.

Anakin is in the opposite corner so he’s probably going to wait and see where I go before committing. I have to say that I’m surprised Warthog is where he is and was tempted during setup to turn Rey 90 degrees clockwise and dial in a 4 straight and boost to catch him early. I’m not an overly aggressive player though and so I set Rey a 1 straight to bump into Zizi who herself takes a hard 1 right to bump into Rey while Tallie sloops (JARGON ALERT!!).

Gavin sends one V-Wing straight while the other turns at Anakin. Warthog 3 banks away from Rey before Anakin banks and rolls.

No shooting, obviously, and so back to dials we go. I’m still not quite sure what Gavin has in mind but I decide that the A-Wings should go up my right hand side while Rey bides her time along my board edge.

Gavin banks in with Warthog while the red V-Wing hard turns at me and the yellow one hard turns around the rock.

Zizi goes 2 straight and rolls right before Tallie hard turns and rolls right. Rey then bumps into Tallie, keeping her in the corner just a little longer.

Anakin reverses course completely, hard turning left and boosting.

Interesting.

Again, no shots so we’re back to planning.

It looks like Gavin wants to bring Warthog through the middle while Anakin will go around to my right to flank. Need to keep an eye on that.

I set a 3 bank for Tallie and a 2 straight for Zizi to bring them closer together. Rey gets a 2 straight.

Gavin sends the V-Wings towards me, going straight with yellow and hard turning with Red. Warthog goes 2 straight, clipping the debris but not taking any damage.

After my ships move, Anakin hard turns and rolls, keeping out of the fight a bit longer.

Again we are too far out for shots but I think this will be the last time.

Back to dials we go and now it’s time to make some choices.

Ideally Rey wants to shoot at Warthog but the V-Wings are a more realistic target given the current positions. I’m also rather aware of Anakin lurking at the top.

I set Tallie a hard turn (to threaten the red V-Wing), Zizi a bank (to give Anakin something to think about) and Rey a 3 straight (to threaten the yellow V-Wing).

Gavin hard turns in with Warthog which was slightly unexpected since his arc (and therefore rerolls range) is to the sides. The red V-Wing comes in hard at Rey and takes a lock while the yellow simply takes a 1 hard turn.

Tallie hard turns in and takes a focus. Zizi banks and focuses and while I think about linking it to a boost, I decide against.

Rey goes 3 straight and then red boosts right to come in at the yellow V-Wing.

Anakin goes straight and takes a focus.

This time, we shoot.

At the time of Anakin moving, I regretted deciding not to boost with Zizi since the bullseye looks lined up but in the end there’s no range at all so it would have benefitted Anakin much more.

Tallie fires at the red V-Wing but it evades the 2 hits. Rey fies at the yellow V-Wing who manages to escape taking just 1 shield.

Rey has managed to avoid the red V-Wing’s arc, meaning the lock can’t be passed around with Synchronized Console. Only Warthog has a shot (at Rey) but misses. A rather tame engagement!

Back to dials we go then.

First Zizi. I’m aware of trying not to let Anakin get an easy shot while also wanting to shoot him back. I set a 3 straight and will see where that lands before deciding on reposition. Tallie will 2 bank, aiming for a bullseye on the red V-Wing.

For Rey? Well… I look long and hard at the screen, debating whether a sloop will fit. In the end I decide not to risk it and dial in a 2 hard right turn to put guns on Warthog.

Gavin begins moving ships. His yellow V-Wing hard turns right towards Rey, as does the red one. Warthog takes a spectacularly measured 2 straight, avoiding the rock and takes a focus.

Tallie turns in and takes a focus. The boost doesn’t fit but I’m reasonably sure she has bullseye. Rey starts the turn and bumps into yellow. Damn.

Zizi takes the 3 straight and I decide to boost right and red rotate.

Anakin simply 4K’s (JARGON ALERT!!), giving him an easy bullseye shot on a tokenless Zizi. Oops.

Worse than that though, Rey doesn’t have a shot.

Anakin shoots at Zizi and knocks her shields off. In return Zizi check arc but Anakin is out. Worst of both worlds!

She does just about have a range 3 obstructed shot on Warthog and takes it, taking a shield out.

Rey’s got nothing but it’s not too bad because Tallie has the red in bullse…. no, wait, no bullseye. Balls.

Tallie takes the range 1 shot at red and takes a shield off. Not what I was expecting if I’m honest.

Gavin’s yellow V-Wing doesn’t have a shot but red and Warthog both fire at Rey and I get off slightly easy losing 2 shields.

However, Warthog’s Suppressive Gunner also forces Rey to take a Deplete.

It’s all so bad.

Ok, back to planning then. What to do now? Well, the unecpected benefit of Rey’s bump is that I’m now REALLY sure a sloop will work and the Falcon title will let me do it while stressed.

Tallie wants to fire Proton Rockets at someone and so she gets a 2 bank. Zizi needs to run away from Anakin, preferably while shooting him out the back. 3 bank for her.

Gavni moves the yellow V-Wing another hard right and takes a focus linked boost. The red one hard turns right too, just taking a focus.

Warthog takes a 2 hard turn, leapfrogging Tallie perfectly and takes a focus.

Tallie’s 2 bank to longer fits and she bumps into the back of Warthog. Rey sloops, picking up a 2nd stress before Zizi 3 banks and does a focus into linked boost.

Anakin just goes straight to clear stress and takes a focus.

Anakin fires at Zizi but this time it’s just 2 dice and she evades easily.

Tallie’s only shot is at the red V-Wing and even though it’s unmodded, strips the last shield. Rey follows up with a haymaker and finishes off the V-Wing. Zizi takes a shot at Anakin but that ETA-2 is as slippery as the A-Wing and evades.

Warthog’s ability means that the red V-Wing hangs around until the end of turn but Rey’s sloop has put her out of arc of either V-Wing. Wathog fires and takes Rey’s last shield.

Ok, back to planning we go.

Zizi still needs to run away and so it’s another 3 bank for her. Tallie is struggling to get clear but I’m hoping a 2 bank will do something. And Rey? Well. A 1 straight is tempting to put a hammer blow into Warthog but I’m expecting another hard turn from him so to avoid the bump I sloop again, maxing out my stress token limit.

Warthog does not turn 2 hard. In fact he does a 1 bank. The yellow V-Wing hard turns, not clearing stress.

Tallie’s 2 bank bumps her into the back of Warthog (again!) while Rey’s sloop puts her in a great position for shooting the yellow V-Wing but a terrible position overall.

Zizi’s 3 bank is followed up by a focus linked to boost to get distance on Anakin.

Anakin gives up on Zizi and hard turns left towards the middle of the board.

At the start of engagement I’m feeling reasonably positive. Anakin has no shot, neither does Zizi. Tallie and Rey both fire at the yellow V-Wing who simply decides he’s not playing that game today and I only score 1 hit.

In the return fire the V-Wing scores a hit onto Rey before Warthog follows up, registering 1 hit and 2 crits as Rey blanks out. The first hit is a Hull Breach so the second triggers an extra damage.

This was not a good turn.

Ok, time to try and score some points. Zizi gets a 2 hard turn to clear stress and start heading into the main fight. Rey will go 1 forwards to clear her stress. Tallie will hard turn to try and get out of the way and rotate her turret to rear for some shots.

Or will she.

Gavin hard turns the yellow V-Wing right in the way while Warthog just cruises 1 forwards.

Zizi completes her turn, boosts and rotates arc (although that didn’t work out too well last time…)

Tallie bumps into the V-Wing beofre Rey does the same. It is at this point that Gavin points out the phrase ‘fully execute’ on Korr Sella. Never noticed that before. Rey sheds one stress but keeps the other two. It’s not looking great here…

Ok, this could be tight.

Anakin fires 2 dice at Zizi but misses. Zizi then uses her ability to pick up a focus.

It’s pointless though as she’s too far out to do anything with it. Tallie also doesn’t have a shot.

Rey does though and hits Warthog hard, taking the last shield and putting on a hit and a Structural damage crit.

Warthog’s return shot sees Rey taking 2 damage and just about surviving on 1 hull.

Close one.

Thankfully the V-Wing doesn’t have a shot. Phew!

As we begin planning the clock is at 4 minutes so it’s likely to be the last turn.

So what do I do then?!

Zizi will continue her return to the fight with a 3 straight. Tallie will also 3 straight and just see where everyone is before deciding anything else.

But Rey? Hmmm… Rey needs to shoot. She needs to be alive to do that. Assuming Warthog turns and the V-Wing is facing the wrong way, a hard 2 to the left will either get me out of arc or a bump (meaning I can’t be shot). Ok, let’s try that.

Warthog hard turns. Ok, not terrible. The V-Wing, it turns out, is strained, not stressed and so it simply does a 2K. Balls.

Zizi moves, focuses and boosts to get Warthog in range. Tallie goes straight, focuses and rotates arc to also (just about) get Warthog in arc. Rey completes the 2 hard turn but as she’s stressed, there’s no action.

Anakin follows up his pre-position boost with a 3 straight to get Zizi at range 1 in bullseye. Oh…

Anakin rolls 4 dice at Zizi, gets a reroll with Predator and lands 3 hits. Zizi rolls 3 eyeball results, spends the focus and then spends her charge to get it back. Close one.

She then fires Proton Rockets at Warthog, scoring 5 paint and spends the focus for 5 hits. Warthog’s Structural Damage means they all go through.

With Warthog down Rey takes a range 2 rear arc pot shot at Anakin and rolls 3 hits out of hand. Anakin rolls 2 evades and an eyeball and spends a Force to take nothing.

Warthog may be down but he isn’t out yet thanks to his pilot ability. He lays into Rey at range 1 and finishes her off.

The V-Wing takes a shot at Tallie just at the timer beeps but rolls blank and eyeball to close out the game.

With Rey gone and Anakin unhurt I’m convinced that it’s Gavin’s game but as we tally scores we find it’s considerably closer than expected.

Wow.

Result: 120 – 121 loss

The conclusion…

Well that was….a few things actually.

First, it was close. Sort of. I don’t believe I’ve ever played a game that came down to just a single point! Strangely I didn’t feel disappointed though, probably because I had flown so poorly with Rey and was convinced I’d lost by quite a way. Being just 1 point behind was a relatively pleasant surprise! That said, I would have still needed 2 damage on either remaining 3 green dice ship to score more points and, let’s be honest, got rather lucky not taking any damage from Anakin in that last turn. You could argue the same about Anakin not taking any damage from Rey in the last turn though. Close on paper, in practice, possibly less so.

Secondly, it was frustrating. Not the game experience nor the result per se but how we got to it. To have bumped SO many times with both Rey AND Tallie was, well poor on my part to say the least. To be fair to Gavin he was doing brilliantly to keep sticking ships in the way and keeping Warthog’s side arc pointed the right way. I just got to a point of second guessing my moves once I’d made the bad choices to put me there in the first place.

Thirdly, it was humbling. I’d gone into Phil Pond’s birthday tournament expecting to lose a lot. And I did. But most games were close. I came into this game optimistic for a win, if I’m being honest, even more so when I saw Gavin’s four 2 red dice ships across from me. My choices through the first few turns seemed ok to me but once Warthog got Rey in side arc it was all downhill.

Fourth(ly?!), it was a learning experience. I screwed up quite badly with Rey, making mistakes on positioning, pushing the stress mechanic to the limit and not knowing that Korr Sella only works on ‘fully execute’. When you combine that with sending Zizi on a wild goose chase and missing bullseye a few times, well, these things all add up.
I guess in a way I’m fortunate to have only lost by that one point.

Lastly, despite what the previous paragraphs might imply, it was fun. X-Wing should always be fun. If it isn’t, you’re doing it wrong. Yes there might be frustrating dice or mistakes (see above!) but getting the chance to take 2 hours out of your day to play a game is the chance to take your focus off everything else in life and enjoy doing something cool.

So, another close game with this list and another game where everything hung on the final round of engagement. Had Anakin blanked out instead of rolling all paint or if the LAAT not been Warthog then I’d have won it.

Stupid Warthog.

On reflection I could probably have sent Rey in hard after Warthog from turn 1 while flanking with my A-Wings for either some unanswered shots on the clones or keeping Anakin busy. Also, looking back at it my obstacle placement wasn’t too great as there was no clear lane to send Rey down. Still, losing is learning, right?!

Credit to Matt Farr for this excellent meme

So there we have it, this puts me 4-3 with just one game left this season. I can’t see myself moving up a league with either 5-3 or (more likely) 4-4 but, having moved up with a 1-7 record last season, who knows! Either way I’m just happy to keep getting paired with new and interesting people and having the opportunity to keep playing this game I love.

If we’re being honest with ourselves though, we’d much rather be playing in person, wouldn’t we? Maybe someday…

If you’re looking to buy some gaming ‘stuff’ and don’t have a local gaming store, you can use my affiliate link for Firestorm games. They’re great!

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