Feeling Rusty

Announcements…

Yes, a new section!! Just a quick bit of text before I get started this week. I promised I wouldn’t bang on about Patreon when I launched and I think I’ve been pretty good so far. I do just want to say that the cut off date for the first ever set of gifts is the 31st of January and anyone signed up by that date will be eligible for the items in their tier.

And what gifts are they? Well, I’m glad you asked!

Some of the gifts for the Veteran, Commander and Legend tiers!

Plus there might be a little something else in there, since this is the very first set being sent out!

There will also be the very first giveaway. I’m not telling you what that is yet though! Check back next week to find out!

So if you are at all interested in supporting my work on this blog and getting you hands on some shiny things please consider signing up to be a Patron. No pressure though! Honest!

Right then, that’s done, let’s move on!

The intro…

Welcome to this week’s blog!

This week has been….quiet. I went to hospital for a follow up about my ankle which looks to be healing nicely but that’s pretty much been the highlight. Other than that I’ve pretty much just been making deeper butt indentations in the sofa.

*Not my actual sofa. Nor my actual butt print.

Now, you’d maybe think that means I’ve had LOADS of time to play TTS games and get in loads of reps ready for the Sith Taker Open. Well if you think that, you’d be wrong.

Between getting ‘stuff’ done, going to hospital and being in the same room as my wife when she’s working from home (which is 4 days a week at the moment), the opportunity hasn’t really arisen. Mainly since I much prefer playing with voice chat over Discord and she’s on the phone or Teams calls quite a lot.

But on that one day my wife went to the office, there was my opportunity.

That also happened to be the day that my last post went up and I got an offer for an almost immediate game at a convenient time (i.e. before the wife or kids were getting home) and so, I took it.

The person in question? Mr James Humphery.

James and I played each other a few months ago and while we’ve never met in person (yet!), he’s been commenting on my blogs for quite a while so it feels like we know each other. Know what I mean?

Anyway, following last week’s rather disastrous game against Jon Vicary I was keen to get back on that horse and keep figuring out the best way to fly my list in preparation for the Sith Taker Open (STO) on the first weekend in February.

Which leads me nicely on to what that is…

Dash Rendar (79)
Jyn Erso (3)
Perceptive Copilot (8)
Outrider (6)

Ship total: 96 Half Points: 48 Threshold: 5

AP-5 (32)
K-2SO (6)
R4 Astromech (2)

Ship total: 40 Half Points: 20 Threshold: 3

Luke Skywalker (60)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship total: 60 Half Points: 30 Threshold: 3

Total: 196

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z39XWW40W54WW157WY72XW314WW5WY4XWWWW142&sn=Dash%20Luke%20AP-5&obs=

Now the eagle eyed (or elephant memory’ed?!) among you may notice a small change from last week. I dropped Trick Shot from Dash. Why? Well, the main event is using the current/old/classic/whatever rules which includes bidding. A Dash moving first in an i5 matchup is a sad Dash.

Dash: I have to go….first?

I figure that Trick Shot is the least necessary upgrade here and dropping it gives me a 4 point bid. I think that this is enough to outbid those who who have ‘accidental’ bids. This list will never have enough points to spare to challenge those who are bidding hard (like 8+ points) and so I feel this is a reasonable compromise. I’ve not been deliberately chasing obstructed shots to trigger it anyway (I’ve found that trying too hard tends to put me in bad places) and so it’s more ‘nice if it happens’ rather than ‘my list depends on it’ sort of thing.

Anyway, James and I arranged a time, loaded up TTS and got a Discord call going.

Time to play!

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

After a little chatting to begin, James and I started loading up lists and getting ready to start. Let’s take a little look at what James has brought.

Major Vonreg (54)
Daredevil (2)
Pattern Analyzer (5)

Ship total: 61 Half Points: 31 Threshold: 2

“Holo” (53)
Proud Tradition (2)
Pattern Analyzer (5)

Ship total: 60 Half Points: 30 Threshold: 2

Sienar-Jaemus Test Pilot (31)
Ion Torpedoes (4)
Conner Nets (3)

Ship total: 38 Half Points: 19 Threshold: 3

Sienar-Jaemus Test Pilot (31)
Ion Torpedoes (4)
Conner Nets (3)

Ship total: 38 Half Points: 19 Threshold: 3

Total: 197

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=First%20Order&d=v8ZsZ200Z381X117W206WWY382X319W206WWY498XW135WWWW68WY498XW135WWW68WW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Well well well. My first ever game against FO Bombers! And, strangely, Conner Nets too I think! At first glance it seems fairly straight forward. The Bombers want to ion you while the aces sneak in and nail you while not being shot back at.

Time for some quick Pre-Flight checks:
Target Priority – Hmmm….. The bombers will most likely approach first so while the aces are more points, I’m less likely to get decent shots at them, especially if I get ionised. Take the Bombers first I think.
Obstacles – James has brought big rocks. I want a tight cluster to leverage Dash’s abilities but I’d rather he not need to spend actions to barrel roll off rocks just to be able to shoot. Cluster but spread the asteroids around.
Deployment – This is what sunk me in the last game. This time I’ll put AP-5 closer to Luke and bring Dash over towards them.

My 4 point bid has done the trick here and I give James first player, meaning only Vonreg moves after Luke and Dash. Nice.

We place obstacles and ships and are ready to start!

I’m fairly certain that Vonreg is NOT going to turn at Luke so I’m looking to get my forces together on my left flank, making the bombers come through the rocks. I set AP-5 a hard left tuen, Luke will go 2 straight while Dash will go 1 straight.

James boosts the bombers in the systems phase and then they bank in. Holo hard turns left while Vonreg banks away.

No shooting here obviously and so back to dials it is.

Knowing that the bombers can move quickly with the free boosts means that this time Dash needs to move a little quicker. I still think they’ll be out of range this turn though so I can take 2 turns to be where I want to be.

AP-5 banks right while Luke also banks right but then rolls left. Dash takes a 2 straight this time.

Meanwhile James sends the bombers straight while Holo nestles in behind them and Vonreg heads in towards them too.

No shots again so back to dials. I’m pretty sure we’ll be shooting next round. Time to make it count.

Wanting to keep him out of the way, I set AP-5 a 1 straight. Luke will 1 bank right to point at the bombers while Dash will also bank right, bringing his arc to bear. AP-5’s position means he won’t be able to coordinate Dash so Luke will get buffed here.

AP-5 gives Luke a calculate and tress with K-2SO in the systems phase while James boosts his bombers. AP-5 moves and coordinates Luke a focus but he’s just a little out of range 3 of Dash so can’t convert it to an evade as I’d planned.

The bombers bank in faster than I expected with red locking AP-5 and yellow locking Dash.

Holo banks in behind them, keeping his distance.

I move Luke, already loaded up with 2 Force, a calculate and a focus, clear the stress with a blue 1 bank and take a lock on red. I want that bomber gone.

Dash banks in and takes a focus and evade before Vonreg, spooked by Luke’s position, semi-disengages with a 5 straight before taking a daredevil boost back in.

Vonreg is out of range and Holo is as well so it’s my 5’s to shoot first. I start with Luke who…. FORGOT TO OPEN S-FOILS! Dammit!

Luke rolls 2 dice at the red bomber and spends the calculate for 2 hits. The bomber blanks out and loses shields. Man, that could have been better if I’d remembered to open foils!

Still, now it’s Dash’s tur…… OH DEAR LORD NOOOOO! HIS FREAKING ARC IS POINTED OUT THE FRONT!!!!!!

Maybe you noticed in all the other screenshots. Maybe it was obvious. I always ALWAYS set Dash up with his arc side to side. I simply forgot here and so it never even slightly crossed my mind to turn it for his action.

No shots for Dash.

I know my chances of killing that bomber weren’t all that high but a double modded attack from Luke with blank greens meant that it was entirely possible with a shot from Dash. And that would have prevented what happened next.

The red bomber fires Ion Torps at AP-5, does 1 damage and 1 ion token.

What’s more, AP-5 can’t shoot because of his angle.

Back to dials we go and my brain enters ‘damage limitation’ mode. I’m counting AP-5 as basically dead. If the 1 straight doesn’t put him off the board then even in the best case he just moves and does nothing. He can’t co-ordinate as he’s ioned, he could only focus, which he can’t, because he’s a droid.

What do I do with the other two then?

Since Dash can’t get coordinated, I don’t want to spend an action rotating so he needs to turn in at the enemy. It’s a hard turn for him. Luke will bank right. Ideally he won’t bump since it denies him an action, not the bomber but at least bumping means that Luke isn’t getting shot.

Here we go then.

AP-5 gives a calculate and stress to Luke. The bombers both decline to boost.

Right then, lets’s soo. AP-5’s 1 straight does NOT take him off the board! YAY! He can’t take any actions though. Boooooo!

The bombers both go straight, the red goes 2 (so as not to clip the debris) and yellow goes 1. Red locks AP-5 again while yellow takes a focus.

Holo comes in right behind yellow and focuses up.

The red bomber has blocked Luke’s path and so the 1 bank bumps but still clears the stress from AP-5. Which is ok-ish, I can still shoot yellow and essentially have 3 Force.

Dash hard turns, lands on the debris and uses Outrider to get rid of yellow’s lock before taking a focus and evade. Man, I love this ship.

Vonreg turns in and lands right behind Holo.

NO SCREENSHOT BECAUSE I AM SILLY!

This time James’ TIE Barons can both shoot at stuff. Thankfully it doesn’t go as badly as it could and between shots from both aces AND the yellow bomber, I lose 1 shield from Luke and 1 from Dash. Could have been worse.

Like it was for AP-5.

Yep, James followed up with a second Ion Torp, hit AP-5 and this time there’s no escaping his fate.

Ok, so I lost AP-5. I can still do stuff though, Dash and Luke are both pretty good. Let’s see if I can pull this back.

With the bombers both close, I decide to split up and go fast. I set Luke a 3 bank, looking to hunt down Vonreg while Dash dials in a 3 hard to the right, taking him out of the way with a clear board in front of him and able to fire from his rear arc.

Then some bad things happen.

Firstly, James boosts the red bomber to it’s right in the systems phase, right over the top of Luke and drops a Conner Net onto him. 1 auto damage and 3 ion tokens.

Having never faced Conner Nets before, James informs me that the move I have set will still apply for this turn and the ion affects the turn after. So that’s something I suppose.

The red bomber then sloops (JARGON ALERT!!)to get out of the way. The yellow one then banks left towards Dash and rolls left before Holo does exactly the same.

Hmmm…..

Dash’s 3 hard turn no longer clears (because of Holo, not the bomber) and so he sits where he is with no tokens.

Luke’s 3 bank takes him to where Holo just left. He takes a focus but with Jyn crew takes it as an evade. Also, I FORGOT TO OPEN S-FOILS!

Vonreg goes stright, stopping just short of bumping Luke but then Daredevil boosts out of Luke’s arc.

Wow. This really isn’t going great.

No shot for Vonreg so it’s Holo to shoot first who targets Dash and knowcks a shield off.

Dash takes a look at the return shot but the range 1 doesn’t favour it. I opt instead to shoot at Vonreg (since he won’t get the obstruction bonus and is tokenless) and somehow, despite his lack of mods, manages to halve him as James blanks out. It feels undeserved but I’ll take it.

The only other shot may have been the red bomber onto Dash but if it was in arc (which I can’t remember!) it was a 2 dice, unmodded, range 3, obstructed one which did exactly what you’d expect it to do. Nothing.

Back to dials then. Or in my case, dial, since Luke’s ion tokens now come into play, leaving only Dash’s moves to decide.

I’m on the ropes here and getting the cheap bombers is no longer my best option. I bank on Holo chasing Luke and decide to bank Dash into the middle.

This time I knew it was coming. In the systems phase, the yellow bomber bank boosts and then drops a Conner Net onto Dash. One damage and 3 ions. Ouch.

James now plans ahead with both bombers staying out of the fight and taking a reload action to get a charge back on their ion torps. Holo sloops left and then uses Pattern Analyser and Proud Tradition to boost towards Luke and focus. Yikes

Luke takes his 1 straight and focuses but as Dash is in range, takes it as an evade with Jyn. Also, I GOTGOT TO OPEN HIS S-FOILS!!!

Dash takes his 1 bank left which bumps into Vonreg but means that he stops just short of the central asteroid (yay!). No action (again) but it does mean that he clips the debris and can remove one of the ion tokens. Small mercies!

Vonreg hard turns and again Daredevil boosts, looking to get his arc onto Dash.

And he does get it, rolling 3 reds at Dash. Since it’s obstruced Dash rolls 3 greens and, for what feels like the first break of luck I’ve had all game, rolls this:

HALLELUJAH!

Holo fires at Luke but Dash’s close proximity means that James opts not to spend his focus on the shot. Luke blanks out (ah well, it was fun while it lasted!) and spends the evade to take 1 hit meaning that he’s now halved.

Dash checks his arc. Holo is range 1 with a focus (3 unmodded vs 3 with a focus) but it seems the yellow bomber is in (4 unmodded vs 3 unmodded, no obstrucion bonus due to Outrider). I hesitate since halving Holo is what I want but the maths doesn’t support it and I take the shot at the bomber and manage to get 2 hits on, removing it’s shields.

As we go back to planning I check the clock. There’s about 3 minutes left. I mention to James this is almost certainly our last turn in case that affects what he’s doing.

But what the heck am I going to do?

I try and visually gauge a Talon-roll (JARGON ALERT!!) with Luke but it really looks like it’ll land him on the asteroid. I’d risk it if it was a debris but I have to shoot with him this turn. I have to. It seems a 4-K (JARGON ALERT!!) is the only choice.

Dash wants to keep his arc on target AND get mods. That means it’s got to be a straight or bank, plus I have to factor in the asteroid. I set Dash a 1 bank left.

Let’s see how this goes.

The bombers leverage their free boosts to try and get back in the fight while James, fully understanding that he’s in the lead, disengages with the two aces.

Luke’s 4-K puts him a little further out than I’d have wanted while Dash’s 1 bank easily clears the asteroid and takes a focus and evade. In a moment of comedy, I FORGOT TO OPEN HIS S-FOILS but this time James very kindly reminded me. I may need him standing next to me in all future games where I play an X-Wing.

Interesting.

No shots for Vonreg or Holo so it’s me to shoot first. At this point it’s pretty impossible for me to win as AP-5 and half of Luke is more than half of Vonreg plus half of anything else. I’d need to fully kill Holo here to do anything at all and all I actually manage to do it take 1 shield from Holo.

Result: 31 – 70 loss

The conclusion…

Another game, another mess of mistakes.

Now, there are 2 different ways I can look at this game.

The first is the most obvious and the one it’s very tempting to dwell on – I’m an idiot. Let’s expand on that.

Firstly, CHECK DASH’S ARC. To date I’ve never set it incorrectly at setup in person (and only a handful of times on TTS that I can recall, always fixed in first turn well before engagement) so the chances of my doing that at STO is (hopefully) very slim.

Secondly, S-Foils. Dear Lord, how many times in my life am I going to forget S-Foils?! Last game I forgot to close them at setup when a boost would have been useful. This time I close them and then forget to open them in every. single. turn (including the last one as I was James who reminded me to open them!). And all this DESPITE my mentioning it to James before we started AND making my s-foils token massive. Again, I’ve been better with this in person by putting the token on the dial (although I do have a history of messing it up in general!).

I had thought my initial approach was actually pretty decent. I felt I had a shot of at least crippling, if not possibly destroying the red bomber (though it was unlikely). Instead of rolling 7 double modded dice at it (had I actually done it all properly) I rolled 2. Failing to destroy it on account of two very silly mistakes is what spelled the end for AP-5 as red then ioned him off the board. Wasted points. Just like last week.

So long, AP-5 and K-2SO…

Considering that losing AP-5 meant that I lost the ability to double mod with Dash and that Luke didn’t shoot for 2 turns (and only rolled 2 reds on most turns that he did shoot) I think that I actually didn’t do too badly. I halved Vonreg and almost halved both bombers. Had I managed to just do a little more then it would have been much closer. Still, I went to time and only lost 1 ship. I’ll take that for now.

On top of all of that I feel that some of the reasons for my downfall are pretty specific to James’ list. Conner nets and Ion Torps aren’t all that common but were very effective in this game and well used by James.

Incidentally, James was, as before, a pleasure to play against and thanks againa for the game mate!

The second way to look at this is, at least that’s all it was (me being an idiot, that is).

Now, this doesn’t detract from or diminish the first point. I’m certainly an idiot and the two very simple, very obvious things that I forgot (or for the S-Foils, kept forgetting) are things that I very VERY rarely do in real life games. In fact, I rarely forget them on TTS either. This game is more the exception than the rule.

Other than these two things, which meant that the first engagement went significantly worse than it should/could have, the only other thing I’d really change about the game is my lack of consideration of those Conner nets and Ion Torps. They didn’t affect my play as badly as they could have (particularly with Dash dropping one to avoid being ioned) but the simple fact is, AP-5 got ioned off the board having taken no shots and one coordinate, Luke fired twice (once with foils closed) and Dash failed to take any double modded shots.

And after all that disaster, I still lasted to time and lost by 40-ish points.

So, the learning points for this week are really quite simple:

Don’t forget the basics!

Is this run of games giving me doubts about the list? I wouldn’t be human if it didn’t. I do feel there’s legs in this but I have started giving consideration to other options. When you add to this the full rules that are being used for day 2, I am starting to consider some alternatives

Yep, as well as ROAD, range 0 attacks and obstacle changes are being used. The main thing this changes is Dash. Yes, he can ignore the rocks while moving, therefore not caring about damage, stress, strain or ion but the big thing is that he can’t shoot while overlapped since he is only ignoring the obstacles while he is moving (and not while he is shooting). Now, I can hear some of you screaming ‘JUST DON’T LAND ON THEM THEN!!’ and that is valid but it makes being blocked all that more dangerous.

I remember watching one of the AMG Twitch streams and people started screaming about OP DASH with the new rules. I felt then that these calls were unjustified and this makes them even more so. When you add in that the YT-2400 hasn’t been released in a black box, Dash’s time was over anyway.

So, what will I actually do? I’m not sure.

For the main event I could drop AP-5 and take Ahsoka instead but that also means dropping something from Dash (probably Outrider? Possibly Perceptive?). I’ll have to try it out a little before taking it further.

For the day 2 event the list I took to Cardiff looks more and more appealing. Lots of Force plus it not being Hyperspace means I can add Jyn to Leia for some extra defence.

Lots to ponder. If you’ve got any thoughts please comment wherever you found the blog and let me know!

In the mean time, have a great week, I’ll catch you next time!

The outro…

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