Final Preparations?

Announcements…

Ok, this is the last of the announcement section for a little while as I’ve just finished/started a Patreon quarter. I just wanted to publicly announce the winners of the very first giveaway! (air-horns, air-horns!)

The first name drawn this morning was Paul Westwood who receives a brand new Nantex fighter. Second was Joshua Whiddett who gets an Exile damage deck holder and some tokens and third is Sean Saville who gets 3 tokens. (The live draw was done here if you want to hear me waffle on for a few minutes!)

Congratulations my people!

WOOOOO!! PRIIIIIZES!!!

Prizes and Patreon gifts will be packed up this week and either brought up to the Sith Taker Open this coming weekend (if you’ll be there!) or posted out as soon as I’m able after that!

The intro…

Well hello there! Welcome to this week’s blog!

I’m sure you’re bored of hearing about my dodgy ankle by now so I won’t go on about it too much. It is slowly feeling better and I’m hoping that by the Sith Taker Open this weekend I’ll hopefully be hobbling around with just 1 crutch at most.

Sort of like this, but maybe a little better.

No work (as I can’t do my job from home) has meant more free time and more free time has meant more prep time! Not that I’m expecting to make any great shakes this coming weekend but nothing in X-Wing annoys me more than when I screw up things that I shouldn’t get wrong and so getting reps in to get those out of my system as early as possible helps a lot.

In terms of tournament expectations, well, I’ll refer you to my (not that recently any more) recently coined:

  • My primary goal in a tournament is to have fun.
  • My minimum expectation of myself is to be a good opponent.
  • My hope is to break even.
  • My dream is to make the cut.

So yeah, breaking even will do me fine over all. Heck, even losing 6 will be alright provided I’m having fun while doing it.

If you’ve been reading recently then you’ll know the general gist of the list by now:

Dash Rendar (79)
Trick Shot (4)
Perceptive Copilot (8)
Jyn Erso (3)
Outrider (6)

Ship total: 100 Half Points: 50 Threshold: 5

Wedge Antilles (A-Wing) (35)
Outmaneuver (6)

Ship total: 41 Half Points: 21 Threshold: 2

Ahsoka Tano (A-Wing) (49)
Concussion Missiles (6)

Ship total: 55 Half Points: 28 Threshold: 2

Total: 196

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z39X133WW54W40WW157WY452X126WWWY463XWW99W&sn=Ben’s%20Dash&obs=

Having mentioned last week about removing Prockets (JARGON ALERT!!) and swapping them for Concussion Missiles, testing that change out was my main priority.

My play with Ahsoka has been fairly conservative so far, failing to fire off a single Procket while she generally cruises around the periphery, throwing actions to Dash. That’s all well and good, letting Dash do nasty things to opposing ships, but she does need to make some offensive contribution. Getting her into the range 1-2 bullseye danger zone is risky and if it goes wrong costs me my support ship.

Concussion missiles (as suggested by Jordan Bishop, of the Tales of a Space Junkie blog), allow her to roll 3 dice at ranges 2-3 while also denying the range 3 bonus. There are 3 charges too, much better than Prockets. So overall, a better option I think.

Time to give it a go I guess!

Ok Concussions, let’s do this.

It had been my plan to really break this list in properly at a local store tournament at my FLGS (JARGON ALERT!!) Firestorm Games in Newport. The tournament hadn’t really been publicised very much and most of us locals weren’t aware until quite late on. While I considered going, I thought that most of a Saturday (4 rounds, no cut) was a bit much when I’d be away for 2 1/2 days the following weekend and so grudgingly decided that I should probably give this one a miss (despite getting the go ahead from my wife!).

A quick shout out to Peter Hall for going 4-0 and winning and to his son Dylan (not me!) for going 3-1 and coming second. Great job guys!

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

Having said all that at the start about prep time recently, between missing the local tournament AND missing casual play on Wednesday I’ve actually only managed ONE proper game since writing up last week’s games. Ironic, right? It was my fourth game in a row against Jordan, with the only list tweak from previous games being the ordnance change from Prockets to Concussions.

Jordan, still weighing up options for STO himself, had decided to give a run out to a variation of the list that he won the Cardiff Store Championship with back in November.

Leia Organa (77)
Jyn Erso (3)

Ship total: 80 Half Points: 40 Threshold: 7

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

Ship total: 60 Half Points: 30 Threshold: 3

Ahsoka Tano (A-Wing) (49)
Concussion Missiles (6)

Ship total: 55 Half Points: 28 Threshold: 2

Total: 195

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z393XWWW40WWWWY4XWWWW142Y463XWW99W&sn=FAXophone&obs=yt2400debris0,yt2400debris1,yt2400debris2

With this being Extended and not Hyperspace, Jordan had dropped Compassion and the title from Leia and added Jyn crew for a 5 point bid and the ability to give both Luke and Leia an evade when needed.

Crucially, that 1 extra point over my bid means that I’m going to be moving ALL my ships before Jordan’s. Sad times.

Best do some Pre-Flight checks:
Target Priority – Leia is the big target here. Lots of health but dropping her means that Luke doesn’t get evades. Plus she’s a chunk of points.
Obstacles – If I can try to close off lanes to make it difficult for Leia, that’s the ideal.
Deployment – Since I’ll be placing first, I’ll go with a fairly standard setup of Dash with Ahsoka and Wedge on the other flank.

We place obstacles and ships and we’re ready tog et started.

Jordan’s forces are all directly opposite Dash and Ahsoka. I definitely want to avoid getting focus fired so Dash wants to get right out of there. He goes 3 bank right, Ahsoka a 1 hard right and Wedge a 5 straight and a roll away.

Jordan piles forward with all his ships, rolling his Ahsoka away too.

Interesting.

No shooting, obviously, and so back to planning we go.

I still want to avoid getting focused down so Dash and Ahsoka will both go straight, as fast as they can. Hoping that it might dissuade turning in, I decide to turn Wedge in to threaten a flank.

Jordan banks in with Leia and takes a lock on Dash, Luke closes foils, goes 4 straight and boosts into a red focus before Ahsoka banks in and spends 2 force to give Leia an evade.

This time we have shots. Dash fires at Leia but sadly (for me) it’s not quite obstructed. She spends her evade to take just 2 hits. Leia returns fire, joined by Luke but Jordan’s red aren’t great and Dash gets away undamaged. Wedge tries a range 3 obstructed shot but fails to do any extra damange.

Back to dials we go then!

Time to turn with Dash. I set him a 3 hard turn while Ahsoka will bank. Wedge 2 banks and takes a focus.

Dash takes his turn and takes a focus and evade. Ahsoka banks, spends 2 force to give Dash a roll to the right (taking a stress) to get distance. She then takes an evade and boosts right (which puts her rather closer to the board edge than I’d like).

Jordan starts moving ships. Leia goes 1 straight and rotates, wanting to fire at Wedge. Luke goes 1 straight and rolls right, Ahsoka goes faster and also rolls.

Ahsoka aside, this looks decent for me. Dash fires first, rolling 5 dice at Leia and taking 2 more shields. Leia shoots at Wedge but fails to land any damage past his greens. Wedge takes his shot back and plinks away Leia’s last shield. It’s slow going but I’m getting somewhere.

Back to planning we go and I’m about to make a mistake.

I send Wedge 2 straight, looking to block Leia. Ahsoka takes a 1 hard turn (although checking it afterwards, a blue 2 hard would have fit) and keeps her stress.

Dash takes a 3 bank. I missed the stress token (stupid pancake ships!) and it falls just short of the debris (so can’t clear it with Outrider). Balls.

Leia goes 1 straight and bumps into Wedge before Luke and Ahsoka both hard turn in and lock Wedge.

Yikes.

We engage but Dash fails to do any damage to Leia whose return shot takes 2 of Dash’s shields.

Luke and Ahsoka both fire at Wedge who somehow loses just 1 shield before returning fire at Luke and taking one of his in exchange.

Back to dials then and I’m not really happy with my positions.

Wedge wants to keep guns on target. The angle means a sloop (JARGON ALERT!!) to his left will fit.

Dash is fairly simple, I considered banking left but in order to keep distance from Luke and Ahsoka goes 1 straight instead. The blue move clears the stress (allowing him to take a focus and evade) and going over the debris with Outrider lets him drop Leia’s lock. Awesome.

Ahsoka goes 5 straight, evades and boosts.

Jordan also sloops but with Leia, placing her right next to Wedge. Oh dear. Luke and Ahsoka both go 2 straight, leapfrogging over Wedge and both locking Dash.

Dash has all 3 ships in arc and range and while I’m not normally one to split fire, I want to burn Leia down, despite Wedge having the other two in his sights. Dash puts 2 crits onto Leia (Stunned and Wounded pilots). Leia rolls 4 dice (with a Force) at Wedge but does ZERO damage to him. Luke and Ahsoka have better luck though, knocking the rest of Dash’s shields off between them. Wedge rolled 3 unmodded dice at an Outmanoeuvred Luke and takes his shields too.

At this point I feel like I’m doing ok but Jordan is definitely catching up in the damage race, despite Wedge not wanting to die.

Dials, then and I’m not quite sure what to do with Wedge. I flip-flop between banking right (clears stress and possibly block Leia but might put him out of the fight) and 2 or 3 straight (clears stress and possibly block Luke or Ahsoka). I decide he definitely would rather bump into the back of them and go with the 2 straight.

Incredibly, it fits.

Errrr, what?!

Ok then. He takes a focus.

Dash 3 banks left, clearing the rock (dropping Ahsoka’s lock on the way through) and takes a focus and evade. Ahsoka goes 4 straight, evades and boosts left.

Jordan moves Ahsoka first, going straight and boosting. Just then he realises he’s made a mistake as Luke bumps into the back of her. Leia cruises 1 straight, clearing her stress, and takes a lock on Wedge.

This turn, things go completely to pot.

Dash fires at Luke but doesn’t do anything. Ahsoka fires her last Concussion missile at Dash but again fails to hit him. Leia then unleashes a range 1 4 dice shot at Wedge, rolling all paint and not needing the lock she already had. Wedge blanks out and dies.

Ouch.

With around half an hour to go I’m a point behind (with Wedge costing 41 while half of Leia is 40) but Dash is just 1 health away from being halved. Jordan had been pessimistic about his chances over the previous few turns but he was certainly in the ascendancy now.

Back to dials again. Dash hard turns left (and focusing and evading, as usual) before Ahsoka zooms 5 straight, evades and boosts.

Leia hard turns right as Jordan looks to preserve points while Ahsoka hard turns towards Dash and rolls, looking to dodge Dash’s arc before Luke closes his s-foils, banks left and boosts striaght.

No screenshot here annoyingly but this is what’s important:

Luke is my preferred target as I only need 1 hit through to get half points but Dash takes a 5 dice (with Trick Shot) range 3 shot at Ahsoka instead and, well, I’ll show you:

My initial joy at 5 natural paint died off a little when Jordan rolled 3 natural evades out of 4. No one-shot today then but Ahsoka is halved. I’ll take it.

Ahsoka fires back but can’t land any damage and we move on to the next turn.

I’m now ahead but I’m hanging on by a thread.

Over the next few turns I manage to keep Dash out of harm’s way while Jordan tries to close in for the kill.

I point Dash at Leia, looking for the block to stop her firing at him and I get it but my decision to hard turn Ahsoka rather than bank also means Leia can’t shoot anyone at all. Nice.

Luke and Jordan’s Ahsoka are now diving through the middle, trying to close on Dash.

Dash gets the hit on Luke to get him to half but takes a hit and a crit in return, giving up half points.

With seconds on the clock we go into the last turn.

Rather than accept another bump with Dash (leaving him rather exposed to being shot a lot), he 3 banks. I dial in a 2 straight for Ahsoka, looking to finish Luke off with a lock and full Force.

Jordan suddenly switches target, with Leia banking and Luke and Ahsoka both hard turning in at my Ahsoka’s vector.

Oh dear.

A bloodbath ensues.

Dash and Ahsoka finish Luke off (yay!) but Jordan’s dice suddenly turn into molten lava as he rolls paint followed by paint.

Ahsoka obliges with several blank greens and dies in one round of fire to two shots, leaving Leia nobody to shoot at.

Result: 128 – 146 loss

The conclusion…

Ok, let’s start breaking this down.

First of all, yes, I lost.

But.

It was from a winning position. Sounds like a negative, sure but until I lost the 55 points of Ahsoka in one hit I was in front.

Was putting Ahsoka where I did a bit stupid? Yes it was. Given the time left (i.e. just enough for 1 turn) and Dash’s position, just the 1 hit on Luke combined with Ahsoka not losing any points would have given me a win here.

So why did I turn in with Ahsoka? Well, in all honesty, I’m not sure.

Describing most of my adult life…

Part of me wanted to finish Luke off. I also assumed that Jordan would chase after Dash. That meant that Ahsoka could take her lock and fire some modded Concussion missiles at him (or just a range 1 3 dice shot).

I did not predict Jordan turning in on Ahsoka but with hindsight, it’s a choice I should have seen coming. Dash had been halved but given that he was on an outward trajectory, would have tokens galore and 2/3 green dice, Jordan would need to do 4 damage after mitigating all of that to score any extra points.

Whereas Ahsoka could be hit with multiple range 1 shots to yield more points, provided Jordan caught her in arc, which he easily did. Looking back at screenshots, I think that getting out of there would have been tricky with a 5 straight being blocked by the asteroid although a 4 straight, evade and boost right would have been enough to keep her reasonably safe given Jordan’s final positions. That said, since I assumed the chase on Dash, putting her there would have been dangerous too.

On the plus side, the first half of the game went pretty well. I was able to keep most of Jordan’s list at arm’s length while chipping away and minimising incoming damage. I didn’t quite get full value from Wedge (even though he was technically traded for half of Leia which is about the same) since he only fired a handful of times before dying. I think out of this list the part I struggle with the most is using him effectively. Knowing whether to turn in and press the attack or disengage and circle around for another go is something I need to figure out. Out of the three ships, Wedge might be (definitely is) the most expendable but he still needs to bring good value. I’ll need to work on how to do that.

So, what can I take from this overall? Well, I think things are going ok. I need to remember that Jordan is a very good player (he has won a store championship and made several cuts after all!) and took it close despite our playing so many games in quick succession.

I do need to keep an eye on the game state (namely scores and time) and think about Wedge’s attack vectors and whether to continue to engage or not following opening shots.

I will get time for a couple more games (online and, hopefully, in person) before the Sith Taker Open so I get to play around with it a little more before getting to Element Games on the 5th of Feb.

At this point, have I put ANY thought into what I’ll take for the day 2 event on Sunday?

Ok, fine, I have put some thought in but no preparation (i.e. reps) and no final decision yet. Does that count?

The options currently under consideration are:

  • This same list (since Dash won’t be legal in 2.5)
  • The Leia, Luke and Ahsoka list I took to Cardiff
  • A Rebel i6 list
  • Something else totally different, Double YT-2400’s perhaps?

When will I decide? Well, probably on Saturday evening after a full day of Dash play. He is my preferred option just because I don’t know when he’ll be playable again but if I’ve been battered all day then maybe one of the other lists will give a change of flavour.

Anyway, at the moment that’s a problem for future me. In the mean time I’ll just cacrry on being excited for this coming weekend.

I can’t wait!

Before I go….

Right, so after all the games, the prep, the testing and the tweaking IT’S ALMOST TIME!

So, wonderful readers of my humble blog, if YOU will be at Element Games this weekend for the Sith Taker Open 2022 please, please, PLEASE come and say hello to me! Whether we’ve met before and chatted extensively in person, played online at some point in the last 2 years or if you’ve quietly been reading the blog, even just this one time, come and say hi (and let me know you read the blog if you do!) and I will a) be delighted and b) dig out something to give you.

I’ll be the one in a black Exile Squadron t-shirt, very little hair and a chunky looking (and deceptively heavy) space boot on my right foot.

I can’t wait to see you if you’ll be there! I an HYPED to finally be back at a big tournament!

The outro…

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you’ve enjoyed it! If you’d like to support me in continuing my X-Wing blogging adventure there are a few ways you can do that.

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