How many games?!

The intro…

Welcome to this week’s blog!

I feel like I’m saying this A LOT lately but I have rather a ridiculous amount of stuff to talk about and very VERY little time to actually type it out so get strapped in, it’s going to be quite a ride!

First of all, the next tournament at Firestorm Games in Newport is now LIVE!

It’s a doubles tournament with spots open for 12 teams over 4 rounds. You can get your tickets here. We’d love to see you there!

Now, you might be expecting an XTC update right around here but this week I’m putting it at the end for reasons that will become clear later!

Ok, let’s go!

Patreon Update…

Yes, I’m done with pushing my Patreon for the moment, the quarter is done and gifts are being sent out. Patrons, keep an eye out for messages over the next couple of days!

I do just want to say CONGRATULATIONS to Admiral_Ackbar47 for winning the giveaway draw for this beautiful LED lit TIE Interceptor!

What will the prize be next time? Well you’ll just have to wait and see!

The batreps (JARGON ALERT!!)… kinda….

As you may have been able to guess from the title, I’ve played A LOT of games over this last week. More than I’ve EVER done outside of playing a 2 day tournament.

It’s been crazy. My wife will attest to that.

First we’ll start with the ‘why’.

During the XTC, in my role as captain I opted to put myself as a sub. This was mostly because I had (correctly) anticipated that doing all of the background work and organisation ON TOP of playing games, prepping for games and maintaining the blog was going to be too much. Plus I felt bad asking people to join the team and then saying that they weren’t going to be playing much. That’s no judgement on anyone else, it’s just a me thing.

Anyway, having put in heroic efforts in the first 3 weeks (going 3-0!), Adam Shipley contacted me and asked if I would sub in for him in the last week.

Did it help that he’s the Rebel player and my preferred faction is Rebels? Yes it did. Did I consider asking Dan Barringer (our other sub) to fill in? No but only because he’d already told me that he was on holiday this last week.

Ok, cool, looks like I’m in then.

This happened to coincide with my FLGS holding our bi-monthly tournament, meaning that not only would I get at least 1 game in on casual night but 4 more games in a tournament to try and hone my strategy and tactics. Great!

Let’s get started by recapping the list I’d be playing. It’s Bartosz Wójcicki’s list from the UK Games Expo back in June:

Wedge Antilles (6)
Elusive (2)
Predator (2)
Proton Torpedoes (12)
R4 Astromech (2)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (18/18) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 3

Luke Skywalker (6)
Proton Torpedoes (12)
Afterburners (10)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (22/22) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 3

Fenn Rau (Sheathipede) (4)
The Child (7)
R4 Astromech (2)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (9/9) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 2

Kullbee Sperado (4)
Notorious (2)
R4 Astromech (2)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (7/7) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v9ZhZ20Z5X119W127W136W5WW142Y4XWW136WW105W142Y69XW453W5WWY12X455WW5W92W142&sn=XTC22%20-%20ADAM%20SHIPLEY%20-%20WALES%20-%20REBEL&obs=

It’s a Rebel Alpha list which (can) hit like a truck. It’s my style, it’s got ships I’m familiar with, I’ve flown something VERY similar before and the last time I flew this exact list (a few weeks ago), I did pretty well.

In other words, yay!

So who did I play? Well, it’s a lot to cover so let’s break it down bit by bit in chronological order.

Part 1 – Casual night…

I packed up the list and got ready to take it with me to casual night for a run out. I also messaged the group to see who would be down and whether they’d be able to play the list that I’d be facing in my XTC match. Can’t hurt to ask, right?

Game 1 – Steve Boulton

The ever lovely Steve Boulton agreed to take on the challenge and see what the list was capable of doing.

What was the list? Glad you asked:

Finn (3)
Heroic (2)
Predator (2)
Perceptive Copilot (8)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (12/12) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Rose Tico (3)
Automated Target Priority (1)
C-3PO (Resistance) (7)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Kazuda Xiono (4)
Heroic (2)
R1-J5 (5)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Targeting Computer (1)
Advanced SLAM (3)
Kaz’s Fireball (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (14/14) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Nien Nunb (5)
Heroic (2)
Pattern Analyzer (5)
R3 Astromech (3)
Integrated S-Foils (0)
Jamming Beam (0)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (10/10) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Jessika Pava (5)
Advanced Optics (5)
M9-G8 (5)
Integrated S-Foils (0)
Jamming Beam (0)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (10/11) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Resistance&d=v9ZhZ20Z350X172W127WW54WY345XW348W191WWY378X172WW312W92W249W104W315Y298X172W206WW4WW175W12Y296X186W197WW175W12&sn=XTC22%20Reynard%20Combrinck%20South%20Africa%20Resistance&obs=coreasteroid0,coreasteroid1,coreasteroid2%22

Unless both Steve and I are missing something REALLY off the wall, this list is basically a Resistance efficiency list, looking to throw as many well modded dice as possible. Jess and Rose both get rerolls, Finn and Kaz both get extra dice in some form or another and Nien is a good quality, high initiative, chunky health big gun.

In keeping with my prep for the game, we played Assault on the Satellite Array.

Steve stares at the list for a little while while we set up.

Now, apologies up front, I hadn’t planned on blogging this game so no pics of it (sorry!).

Steve set up Jess and the 2 pods in the middle with Nein out to my left and Kaz my right.

I set up all 4 ships in a loose block in my right hand corner.

To summarise quickly (since I’ve no pics to break up all this text!), Kaz stayed back and jumped from objective to objective initially while Nien gunned for the flank. The 2 pods and Jess trundled up the middle.

I brought all 4 ships in through the middle with Luke swinging out a little wider.

I hit Rose first, taking her down to 1 hull for nothing in return. In the 2nd engagement I finished her off and sunk some damage into Jess before pivoting away to killbox Nien as he made his approach, wiping him out in one round of fire.

After that I just played for objectives to tick over the points threshold

Result: 20 – 13 win

Mini conclusion…

Ok, a decent start! Keep my ships together and leverage my high number of red dice and mods. I didn’t play for objectives until the end, instead concentrating on wiping out opposing ships. Overall I’m happy with this.

On to the next!

Game 2 – Alex Boulton

Another game, another Boulton!

Alex brought a list that he’s been getting some reps in with of late and boy, is it nasty.

“Howlrunner” (4)
Swarm Tactics (5)
Crack Shot (3)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 1

“Mauler” Mithel (3)
Crack Shot (3)
Jamming Beam (0)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (3/4) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 1

“Scourge” Skutu (3)
Crack Shot (3)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (3/3) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 1

Gideon Hask (3)
Disciplined (2)
Crack Shot (3)
Precision Ion Engines (2)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (7/8) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 1

Iden Versio (3)
Disciplined (2)
Crack Shot (3)
Precision Ion Engines (2)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (7/8) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 1

ISB Jingoist (2)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)

Ship Cost: 2 Loadout: (3/3) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 1

“Wampa” (2)
Disciplined (2)

Ship Cost: 2 Loadout: (2/2) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 1

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Galactic%20Empire&d=v9ZhZ20Z217X132W116WY219X116W12Y220X116Y223X381W116WW338Y218X381W116WWW338Y504X92Y221X381&sn=Martyn%20Chivers%20-%20TIE%20Swarm&obs=coreasteroid0,coreasteroid1,core2asteroid2

Yep, it’s Martyn Chivers’ list from the UK Games Expo. Eesh. TIE Swarm, and a good one at that. I’ve flown this list and it really is very nasty. I’m also not great against swarms.

And this turned out to all be valid as Alex absolutely pounded my list.

I can’t remember exactly how it went down but with more ships than me to pick up objectives plus rolling pretty much the exact number of evades needed to not die I’m actually not even sure I blew up a single TIE Fighter in the end. I definitely made Iden spend her charge though. Does that count for something?

Result: can’t remember but not very flattering! A loss

Mini conclusion…

If game 1 had raised my hopes, this game had brought me back down to earth with a bang. Still, the matchup is very poor for my list and Alex played it VERY well. All of a sudden I’m very glad that I already know what list I’m facing in the XTC match.

Part 2 – A tournament…

Yes, If you’ve been reading these last few weeks then you’ll know that we at Exile Squadron held a tournament this past weekend! We have been working to build up our store’s visibility/reputation in the area and so holding good, smoothly run, regular tournaments with good prizes- is a big part of that. We are slightly limited on how many players we can host due to our, uh, unique set up but by offering these things we hope that we can make it a place that people will travel to for tournaments.

Anyway, July was our latest and, with my XTC game on the horizon, at least I wouldn’t flip flopping on what list to fly.

We had Nic and Phil from the Firecast Focus down with us to stream so we got there nice and early to set up and after making sure everyone who was coming was registered in TTT we got started with first pairings!

Now, since I’ve got a ton of games to cover, as per usual when covering tournaments these will be more like extended summaries than full turn by turn batreps. Alright, let’s dive in!

Game 1 – Chance Engagement – Lewis

The game paired me up with one of the local(ish!) players based out of Cardiff’s Firestorm store. I’d never met Lewis before so it was nice to get to know someone new!

Lewis had brought an interesting Rebel list…

Luke Skywalker (6)
Instinctive Aim (2)
Elusive (2)
Proton Torpedoes (12)
R3 Astromech (3)
Munitions Failsafe (1)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (20/22) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 3

Lando Calrissian (8)
Swarm Tactics (5)
Nien Nunb (5)
Bistan (8)
Millennium Falcon (0)

Ship Cost: 8 Loadout: (18/21) Half Points: 4 Damage Threshold: 6

Arvel Crynyd (3)
Crack Shot (3)
Marksmanship (1)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (4/5) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Ezra Bridger (TIE Fighter) (3)
K-2SO (6)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (6/6) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 1

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v9ZhZ20Z4X73W119W136W4W108W142Y43X132WW52WW77WWWW154Y51X116W125WY14XW314W&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

I figure that I need to kill Lando (to eliminate that double tap) and take it from there.

We set up and Lando seems to be ideally placed for me to wipe him out

Clearly my first mistake is that Kullbee is so far away from the other ships. At the very least he should have been hugging that left hand asteroid after turn 1.

As such, I lost him in the first engagement in exchange for just 2 shields on Arvel. Ouch.

The ROAD roll also scuppered me this turn with Luke moving before Lando, preventing me getting the lock for an early Proton Torp. I did get one in from Wedge though, chipping a few shields off.

My other mistake was setting up the corner when losing Kullbee meant that I had ZERO ships close to the objective while Lewis did, not jsut for one turn. Not even for two but for FOUR TURNS, giving Lewis 8 preventable points.

Idiot.

One of these turns included this…

Yes, Ezra not only lives despite decent shots from Wedge AND range 1 Luke but HE is in range 2 of the objective while Luke is not.

Frustrating.

Despite losing Kullbee in the first engagement and Fenn in the second in exchange for half of Arvel (1 point) and half of Lando (4 points) AND the objective points I did manage to pull it back a bit from 5 -12 but it was too little too late.

Result: 15 – 20 loss

Mini conclusion…

Well, that’s disappointing. More in myself than anything else. I’ll change how I deploy Kullbee in future and put more thought into the objectives. I should be able to lean into killing ships over objectives but maybe that’s a judgement call as I go.

Game 2 – Assault on the Satellite Array – Kyle

So, on to game 2 then! I was paired up with Kyle who was one of three guys who travelled down from Swansea to take part and while he has a history in the game it’s from quite a while ago.

His list though was bang up to date:

Anakin Skywalker (6)
Predator (2)
R2-D2 (Republic) (8)
Calibrated Laser Targeting (0)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (10/10) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 2

Obi-Wan Kenobi (5)
Heightened Perception (3)
Extreme Maneuvers (5)
Predator (2)
Calibrated Laser Targeting (0)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (10/10) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 2

Plo Koon (5)
Heightened Perception (3)
Marksmanship (1)
R4-P17 (4)
Calibrated Laser Targeting (0)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 2

Ahsoka Tano (4)
Heightened Perception (3)
R7-A7 (3)
Calibrated Laser Targeting (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (6/7) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 2

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Galactic%20Republic&d=v9ZhZ20Z273XWW127W340WW200Y278X72W341W127WW200WWY312X72W125W214WW200Y276X72W364WW200&sn=Athersprite%20Squadron&obs=

Three high initiative ships with Force aplenty. Fragile though. I definitely need to avoid being in bullseyes too.

This time I did set up in a block while Kyle set up fairly spread out with Plo opposite my block and Ahsoka way out on the other side.

Kyle shot forwards with Ahsoka and she eventually became the running joke of ‘1 hard turn and focus’ to the point where we just left the token next to her.

Plo and Obi snaked their way into the middle while Anakin shot through and out the other side.

Kyle really prioritised objective scoring, picking up 4 points in turn 2 and 3 in turn 3.

Plo strayed a little too close to my block of ships and Kyle’s green dice abandoned him as the Jedi exploded. Anakin eventually turned in and approached but committed a little too hard, allowing me to killbox him and wipe him outa turn after Plo expired.

Obi had taken a little too long to get into the fight and while Kyle was chipping damage into my list, none of it was fatal and in what turned out to be the last turn Kyle’s greens failed once again leading to Obi’s demise and giving me 3 objective points.

Result: 24 – 12

Mini conclusion…

Well, that went pretty well! The dice favoured me, that’s for sure but I’m happy with how I managed to engage ships without taking too much damage in return. Kyle did pick up a lot of points despite not killing any ships.

Incidentally, Nic had wanted to put me on stream but Kyle had just played on it and so someone else had the pleasure. Maybe next time?

Game 3 – Salvage Mission – Phil Pond

Or maybe not! Phil was not only on a fixed table but since he’s on stream A LOT for Firecast it’s generally accepted that he doesn’t go on when they travel to a tournament.

Phil and I have played before so I know he’s a top player. What list had he brought with him?

Kylo Ren (TIE Whisper) (6)
Malice (4)
Brilliant Evasion (2)
Predator (2)
Concussion Missiles (5)
Pattern Analyzer (5)
Enhanced Jamming Suite (0)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (18/18) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 2

Commander Malarus (3)
Marksmanship (1)
Cluster Missiles (4)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (5/5) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

“Nightfall” (4)
Marksmanship (1)
Proton Rockets (8)
Sensor Scramblers (1)
Enhanced Jamming Suite (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (10/10) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 2

“Scorch” (3)
Fanatical (1)
Advanced Optics (5)
Electronic Baffle (2)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

“Grudge” (4)
Elusive (2)
Electro-Chaff Missiles (4)
Skilled Bombardier (2)
Proximity Mines (6)
Delayed Fuses (1)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (15/15) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=First%20Order&d=v9ZhZ20Z487X418W199W127W99W206WWW413Y266X125WW98WWY489X125W102W415WW413Y262X181WW186W106Y496X119WW420W88WW70W236&sn=2022%20XTC&obs=coreasteroid1,core2asteroid4

Ok. Now, my reps against FO are fairly limited and this list contains some things I’m not really very familiar with (namely TIE Whispers but also the bombers to an extent). Still, I’ll give it a go!

I deploy in a block again with Kylo and Malarus directly opposite, Grudge in the middle and Scorch and Whirlwind out on my left flank.

Things started out very well with me mostly avoiding the pretty unavoidable chaff cloud and, slightly surprisingly, taking out Kylo very early. Wow.

As the game wore on I chipped down Whirlwind and Malarus but Phil was able to switch ships in/out meaning I struggled to pin down a single target.

Not only that but Phil had taken the time to pick up some crates while the early engagement had meant that I’d prioritised action efficiency over objective scoring. There’s a theme here eh?

The crunch turn happened just after the above picture was taken.

I’d dialled in a 2 hard turn right with 1 health Wedge and intended to take out Grudge who was carrying a crate.

The important part happened when Wedge bumped into Grudge and opted not to take a red focus. Fenn then turned in and coordinated Wedge a focus. There we go, no stress for Wedge, right?

Wedge, Luke and Kullbee all fired into Grudge but not only did he not die (living on 2 health), he took a crit, dropping the crate.

‘Great!’ I thought to myself ‘one less point he can score’.

How naive.

No longer encumbered by that crate, Grudge did a systems phase boost (which, had he either died or not taken a crit, he couldn’t have) and promptly dropped a Prox mine on Wedge’s head and killed him.

Balls.

Grudge then successfully ran away while Kullbee succumbed to some random fire to push Phil over the points threshold.

Result: 22 – 11 loss

Mini conclusion…

While not exactly an unexpected result given my opponent, I felt that after taking out Kylo I had a decent chance at winning this and threw it away. Discussing that crunch turn just after it happened, Phil asked why I hadn’t barrel rolled Wedge with the coordinate from Fenn rather than take the focus.

I can’t exactly say that I had a good answer. He pointed out that the barrel roll would have meant that not only would Grudge have been affected by Wedge’s ability but would have given a range 1 4 dice attack rather than a range 0, 3 dice one. It’s a good point. Grudge dying there would not only have netted me a few points but would have meant that Wedge would have survived at least one more turn and could have dealt some more damage or picked up a box and run away.

Still, some lessons learned there hopefully.

On to the next!

Game 4 – Scramble the Transmissions – Mark Hall

mark hall
Sorry Mark, this continues to be the only pic of you that I have!

Well well, after a day of playing visiting players my last game of the day would be against TO and fellow Exile Mark.

Not only that but it was finally my turn to be on stream!

What filth had Mark been rocking today?

Jango Fett (8)
Trick Shot (4)
Count Dooku (14)
Thermal Detonators (5)
Delayed Fuses (1)
Slave I (Separatist) (0)
Veteran Tail Gunner (3)

Ship Cost: 8 Loadout: (27/27) Half Points: 4 Damage Threshold: 5

Zam Wesell (9)
Trick Shot (4)
Heavy Laser Cannon (4)
GNK “Gonk” Droid (5)
Thermal Detonators (5)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Delayed Fuses (1)

Ship Cost: 9 Loadout: (22/22) Half Points: 4 Damage Threshold: 5

Bombardment Drone (3)
Seismic Charges (3)
Ion Bombs (4)
Delayed Fuses (1)
Landing Struts (0)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Separatist%20Alliance&d=v9ZhZ20Z429X133WWW218W339WWW236W370W89Y428X133W10WW32W339W92W236WY325X71W317W236W237&sn=jango%20zam%20bomber%20final&obs=

Double sprays. Yuck. Now, I’ve played against Mark a good few times with this list (or one very much like it) and so this was as much a case of playing the player as playing the list.

I again set up in a corner and am intrigued when Mark puts his drone in the middle, Jango out on my flank and Zam almost (but not quite) opposite me.

He starts boldly, sending the drone 5 straight into the middle, Jango banking in towards the middle while Zam goes 1 straight.

Mark turns the drone in at me while Zam and Jango both now turn away. I decide to pounce on the drone and while I don’t kill it, it sits on 1 health in front of my list with an ion token. Nice.

For some reason I had opted to take a shot at Zam with Luke, not expecting Zam to have the double tap card selected. I was wrong. Zam fires twice at Luke but doesn’t have any mods and fails to do any damage. Incidentally, neither did Luke.

Fully accepting his fate, Mark’s drone goes full kamikaze, launching a seismic charge 1 straight, going 1 straight to sit on top of it and blows up the rock in front of him. He kills himself, sure, but he does take a shield from both Luke and Kullbee and forces Wedge to barrel roll away.

With the drone gone I could focus down Zam and while she did technically survive the turn, she did take a Loose Stabiliser crit which forced her to fly straight into a rock and die automatically. Super harsh.

I then chased down Jango and, through a combination of range 1 and Proton Torp shots, took him out in one turn as well.

Wow.

Result: 23 – 3 win

Mini conclusion…

I’m pleased with the win, of course but the game did feel a little anticlimactic given how quickly Mark’s ships burned down. A bit of a ‘feels bad’ game for him I’m sure but he’s a lovely bloke and took it in his usual good humour.

If you fancy watching the game at all you can check out the stream here. Our game starts at around 5:40

Tournament conclusion…

That result leaves me at 2 – 2 and 5th place, exactly in the middle! Overall I guess I could be disappointed with that since I felt I was in with a chance in all 4 games had some small decisions be changed but actually it’s probably about right.

I hadn’t gone into the day with high hopes, I’d very much seen this as an opportunity to get 4 reps with the list in preparation for the upcoming XTC game and with the pressure very much off I’d really enjoyed the day.

If you want to look at the TTT stats you can do that here.

In the end it was Firestorm Womp Rat Gareth Nottingham who went 4 – 0 and took home the fairly sizeable 3D printed A-Wing trophy! Congratulations Gareth, well played!

I do want to say a massive thank you to Mark Hall for TO’ing a good, smooth event (as always!), to Firestorm for hosting us and a special thank you to Nic and Phil from Firecast Focus for travelling a fair distance to stream what turned out to be just a 10 player event.

Nic spoke to us all at the end and emphasised that small local events are actually the lifeblood of X-Wing and that big international 500+ player events don’t happen without local events keeping the foundation of the game in place.

I wholeheartedly agree with this and it’s been good to see a number of local events going of late. Hopefully the return next year of official OP and a route for Worlds qualification will bring people back to events of all sizes. I’m looking forward to it!

Right, so that’s about it for….. hang on….

XTC Update…

Yes! I still need to talk about the XTC!!!

It’s certainly been an interesting ride thus far, very much a rollercoaster ride.

You see, the XTC has been especially weird for us. After winning against Malaysia and then drawing with Spain (who were one of the seeded teams AND were 2-0 at that point) we thought that the match against the Czech Republic would be the decider with South Africa having already lost 2 games.

Win and we’re in the finals, lose and we’re out. Simple, right?

Except we drew.

Right. So what did this mean? Well, it was still relatively simple. If we beat Soth Africa in our final week, we’re in. If we lose or draw, we’re out and Czech Republic are in.

It was tense for us and possibly even more tense for the Czech players who were no on their break week and so simply had to wait and see what our result would be.

Sadly for us, my pairing went far worse than they had in previous weeks. I will do a blog about all of the pairings and things around them at some point in the future but basically we had been rating our matchups on a scale of 1-5. 1 is bad, 5 is amazing. Once the parings are done I then add the numbers up, giving a number between 5 (all terrible 1 out of 5 matchups) and 25 (all amazing 5 out of 5’s).

In previous weeks I’d managed to get us 15 (average) or above. This week though I dropped the ball and we ended up with a total of 11 out of 25. Three 3’s and two 1’s.

Ouch.

Two games were played early, Paul’s Resistance vs Scum and Alex’s Empire vs CIS. We lost both.

We were at 0-2 things were looking bleak.

Then Phill took his FO to a win over South Africa’s Rebel list to give us back a glimmer of hope.

My game was scheduled for the Monday night and, despite hoping to do my captainly duty and take the pressure onto myself in the final game, Martyn let us know that due to some personal circumstances (don’t worry, he’s ok!) he would need to be subbed out. This would have been simpler had our other sub, Mr Dan Barringer, not come down with covid!

Still, after a flurry of messages and the kindness of Pierre Lopes (captain of the South African team) we now had a date – Friday night. A long wait for us all (including the Czech players!) but first I had to try and keep us in the tie.

The Batreps – Part 3 – The XTC…

Alright then, here we go!

Now we already knew that the scenario for the round would be Assault at the Satellite Array and while I had been paired into Reynard Combrinck but South Africa had also made some changes and so I was playing against Cedric Jacques instead.

One of the advantages of the XTC is that once your pairings are done you know exactly what you’re facing. In my case, I was flying the Resistance list I already covered above.

Finn (3)
Heroic (2)
Predator (2)
Perceptive Copilot (8)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (12/12) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Rose Tico (3)
Automated Target Priority (1)
C-3PO (Resistance) (7)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Kazuda Xiono (4)
Heroic (2)
R1-J5 (5)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Targeting Computer (1)
Advanced SLAM (3)
Kaz’s Fireball (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (14/14) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Nien Nunb (5)
Heroic (2)
Pattern Analyzer (5)
R3 Astromech (3)
Integrated S-Foils (0)
Jamming Beam (0)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (10/10) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Jessika Pava (5)
Advanced Optics (5)
M9-G8 (5)
Integrated S-Foils (0)
Jamming Beam (0)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (10/11) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Resistance&d=v9ZhZ20Z350X172W127WW54WY345XW348W191WWY378X172WW312W92W249W104W315Y298X172W206WW4WW175W12Y296X186W197WW175W12&sn=XTC22%20Reynard%20Combrinck%20South%20Africa%20Resistance&obs=coreasteroid0,coreasteroid1,coreasteroid2%22

Rerolls and extra dice scattered throughout and jousty as heck. But as good at jousting as my list? I’m not too sure. Maybe.

My target priority will depend on what he throws my way but the two T-70’s are the prime targets, removing the teeth from the list.

I set up as I had been in the last 3 games, staying relatively close together in a corner while Cedric spread his ships across his side.

The key though was that Nien was directly opposite. Could this be my opportunity to take him out quickly?

I started with 3 straights for everyone to close distance, planning to go slowly next time.

This worked reasonably but in turn 2 I ‘won’ the ROAD roll, meaning that Luke couldn’t take his lock on Nien, taking it on Finn instead.

This didn’t matter though as Wedge’s double modded torpedo was followed up by a standard Luke shot and a cheeky Kullbee one and Nien bit the dust.

Yay! I also managed to chip Finn’s shield off.

In response Wedge took a little bit of a beating, surviving on 2 health while Kullbee evaded the shot he took but I forgot to use Notorious on it.

Still, a great start!

Now Wedge needed to run so, anticipating straight moves from Jess and the pods, I set Luke a 3 straight, Wedge a 4 straight, Kullbee a 4-K (using contraband to get a focus too).

Here I make 2 mistakes, one small, one HUGE.

The small one is misjudging the distance with Luke. The 3 straight followed by a banked boost does NOT give me arc on Rose. Still, he’s dodged a lot of arcs.

The HUGE one is that after Wedge takes his perfectly judged 4 straight, I opt for a boost left. I do NOT know why I did this. Maybe it was for better positioning the following turn?

The upshot of this is that it puts him into range 1 of Rose. Rose has Automated Target Priority so had Wedge not boosted, she would have HAD to shoot Kullbee. As it is, she can shoot Wedge. She does so, rolling 2 hits and an eyeball out of hand and uses the calculate from ATP for a 3rd hit. Wedge rolls and blanks out. He’s dead.

Fenn somehow escapes being shot 3 times COMPLETELY unscathed, meanwhile I get both pods down to 2 health.

Cedric’s Wedge kill plus one objective now puts him marginally in the lead.

I now have to send Luke around the rock since I can’t risk the 2 hard landing on it while Fenn and Kullbee have to fend for themselves.

They do a decent job of it initially, taking Rose off the board but in spectacular fashion Fenn goes from full health to dead in 2 shots.

Ouch.

I’m still outnumbered then and Cedric is now accumulating objective points too. I talon roll (JARGON ALERT!!) Luke since he already have a lock on Jess and Kullbee dives in at Fenn.

Luke’s Proton shot is very poor but the following turn he’s able to dive in to range 1 and this time takes her out.

Kaz’s SLAM off a rock means that he and Finn can hit Kullbee and he gets burned down too. It’s a bloodbath.

At this point the score is 18-19. Finn is on 2 health. I need to kill something.

I decide to chase Finn.

Luke does a 4-K (JARGON ALERT!!), getting him at range 1 of an objective to give me a point while Cedric doesn’t.

Luke shoots at Finn, range 1 but no lock, only Force and puts a single hit through. Finn lives. On 1 health.

It’s 19-19.

The timer beeps somewhere in the background but we had paused a couple of times to check things. Cedric suggests another turn. We both want a result of some sort here and a tie seems pointless.

I’m clearly going to go 1 straight with Luke to chase Finn. Kaz is double stressed so can’t SLAM to reach an objective.

I NEED to kill Finn. If he lives, he’ll claim the objective. If he dies, no objective and I get 3 points and win. Simple.

Finn goes 2 straight, clearing his most recent strain and double focuses. Luke goes 1 straight and locks.

It’s a range 1 shot, double modded.

Finn. Must. Die.

I roll the dice.

2 hits, 2 blanks.

I reroll the blanks

I get a hit and another blank. Balls.

It’s still 3 hits though.

Cedric rolls his greens

He gets 2 natural evades, takes a strain, adds an eyeball and spends a focus for 3 evades and lives.

Result: 19 – 20 loss

Mini conclusion…

Wow.

I’ve had plenty of thoughts about this game in the day or so that I’ve had to think about it but in the end it was a good, fun game and could really have gone either way in the end.

After taking a big advantage when Nien died I then made a couple of crucial mistakes. In the turn where Wedge died it was the ill thought out bank boost that did me in. Had he not banked in, Rose would have HAD to shoot Kullbee due to ATP and even then, had I remembered Fenn’s ability I could have stopped a damage.

The other major mistake was sending Kullbee and then Luke to try and kill Fenn. In the last 2 turns I chased him hard but fell short by a single hit of taking him out.

After the game I had a message from Nic Harris who couldn’t understand why I hadn’t chased Kaz instead since he was on 3 health. This was my fault. With Kaz having shuffled his damage cards a few turns earlier, his cards were still stacked and I missed that he’d taken any damage at all. It looked at a glance like he had 5 hull remaining.

Had I realised this I’d have swapped targets and taken him out instead, especially since the panicked pilot crit he was carrying meant he could neither SLAM of focus.

Still, it was a good (if very tense!) game and I enjoyed it.

If you fancy watching the stream and living through the tension with me, you can see the match here.

That loss means that sadly, despite there technically being one game left, we could no longer win the round and that puts the Czech Republic into the finals and Wales out.

The conclusion…

Wow. What. A. Ride

It has been a very crazy week and it’s rather annoying that EVERYTHING has fallen on this one week when I’ve got so much to say.

I’m not going to go too in depth here about the XTC because not only have I already rambled on for FAR too long already today but I’d need more time than I currently have available and have more words than I’d ask you to read in one go. There will be a separate post at some point. I promise.

For now though I would like to say a MASSIVE thank you to my team.

Paul Westwood
Phill Blackmore
Alex Whitehead
Adam Shipley
Martyn Gruffydd
Dan Barringer

You guys have been amazing, putting in the work with list building, matchup strengths, practice games and strategies and it’s been SO great to get to know you all a bit better through the Discord chats we’ve had and all the random WhatsApp messages. The camaraderie, banter, encouragement and support has been just so great to experience.

Since I’ve been doing mini conclusions most of the way through I’m going to leave it here for this week. I’m pretty X-Winged out from the last 10 days or so but I’ve still got LOADS I want to talk about so keep an eye out for future posts.

I do need to add that I’m now on holiday for a couple of weeks and so with the way the dates work with having time to write, it might be that there isn’t a blog until the 30th of August(!). That feels like a long time at the moment (and maybe a short one might sneak in somewhere) but I’m sure it’ll fly by!

In the meantime enjoy your summer (or whatever season it is with you!) and I’ll be back soon!

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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A MASSIVE thank you to my wonderful Patrons for their ongoing support for the blog and enabling me to give away shiny things!

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