Into the Fire(storm)

The intro…

Welcome to this week’s blog!

First of all, I apologise for the delay in posting from my usual Blog Tuesday, this has been a really very busy weekend!

I’ll start at the end – with both my wife and I having a few days of leave left to take and the kids having an inset day we booked a hotel in London and spent 2 days doing tourist-y things. It was very lovely (but tiring with LOTS of walking around!) and time together as family is always well spent.

We Londoned REAL hard!

With us doing this immediately off the back of a whole day of play at Cardiff’s Firestorm Games on Saturday I had very literally no time to get the tournament write up done by the usual Tuesday and so rather than rush something out, I’ve opted to wait a few days to make sure I get it right.

Speaking of which, let’s get started!

The build up…

If you’ve been reading the last few posts then you’re probably well aware of what I’ve been preparing for – Firestorm Cardiff’s store tournament. With all the hubbub recently over rules and bids and the like, this tournament has felt a little strage to prep for.

Firstly the format is the ‘soon’ (whenever that happens) to be discontinued Hyperspace. Secondly it’s using the ‘current’ (as in, not new), ‘official’ (well, historic FFG, since AMG are yet to produce replacement) rules.

That’s right, no RPO, no deficit scoring, it’s life as we knew it back in those innocent hazy days of the summer of 2021. And while it may sound to some like it’s harking back to those halcyon days, it’s actually felt a bit weird. The urge to build to 200 with no bid has been very strong but given what list I’m flying, definitely not a good idea.

In the weeks leading up to the tournament I played 7-8 actual proper games against people backed up by probably 10 more games in Fly casual as I got my head around the list, tweaked and changed it and learned (and was taught) how to use it as effectively as I could.

If Luke has foils closed Ahsoka can give him a boost linked focus and then he can open wings, clear stress and then lock. OR Ahsoka can give Leia a lock who can then boost for her own action. OR Leia can boost and still get an action from Ahsoka because of the ability….

The last 2 prep games were particularly interesting. The first was a mirror match against Jordan Bishop (of the Tales of a Space Junkie blog) where Jordan won the roll off but elected to be 1st player to challenge himself and see what would/wouldn’t work in a potential mirror. It started horribly for him (and, therefore, well for me) as variance swung and he lost his Luke quite early.

Things started to even out as he caught back up but time ran down and right at the death his Ahsoka got (unjustly and improbably) halved to give me what looked like a convincing win but never really felt like it.

Conversely, at Firestorm in Newport on the following evening my list was systematically picked apart by one of our locals Luke Weston who flew Shaak Ti and 3 7B Jedi Knights. A particular highlight was Luke (Weston, not Skywalker) rolling 7 evades out of 7 green dice as I continually kept failing to push significant damage onto his Jedi.

We called it when Ahsoka (my last ship) was halved with 10 minutes to go while he still had all 4 ships on the table. Not great.

After some thinking, looking back at games, suggestions from friends and opponents and around 10 last second changes of mind, I decided to takes this:

Leia Organa (77)
Millennium Falcon (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)
Instinctive Aim (1)
Proton Rockets (5)

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=v8ZhZ200Z393XWWWWWWW154Y4XWWWW142Y463X73WW102W&sn=HyperForce%20v2&obs=

Having failed to trigger Shattering Shot repeatedly and R4 Astromech on Luke feeling a bit unnecessary, I opted to lean into the bidding system one last time (and I couldn’t decide what would be best to add instead) and go for a 5 point bid. Would it be worth it? Well, let’s go find out!

The tournament…

Picking up a cheeky McDonald’s breakfast on the way (to appease the slightly grumpy teenager who was woken too early for his liking) we made our way to the new* Firestorm Games Cardiff store.

*I mean, it’s not quite brand brand new, it’s been open for like 10 weeks or so and I’ve been there but not to play any games.

We arrive and check in with the TO Paul Westwood before saying hi to friends and fellow Exiles and finding a table to unpack and set up.

Conveniently there’s a space next to Jordan who I get to meet in person for the very first time having been chatting to him regularly online because the list I’m flying is (technically) his list.

I also printed his squad list so I hand it over while we chat and I unpack. I look around the room and see a fairly even mix of new and familiar faces. Exile representation is pretty good with 7 and two halves (with Dan ‘Eggs’ Xuereb and Mark Beor both being semi regulars at Newport as well as other places and, more importantly, having joined in the frivolous merch buying!) and the one drop of the day (whose mother turned up to visit unannounced!) out of the 22 registered players. Not bad!

There’s obviously a high number of Cardiff Womp Rats being that this is their home store as well as a sprinkling of Hammerheads from Swansea, Jordan representing the Vagabonds and a few others who I don’t know.

It’s a strong room too with Wales XTC captain Steve Gage, XTC players Dan Barringer and Dan ‘Eggs’ Xuereb (known in Cardiff as ‘better Dan’ and ‘worse Dan’ respectively, no idea the story behind it though!) and Gavin ‘KaPalp!’ Kirby (a name I’ve seen repeatedly over the years in various Facebook groups and cut lists!). I’m sure there are FAR more X-Wing achievements among all the players present but that’s as far as my knowledge currently extends!

As ever, 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. How much of that will be possible in this room? Well, let’s go with the first two of those and take it from there, shall we?

Paul brings the general chatter to order, welcomes us all and brings us a choice. Given the final numbers (21 players) it makes more sense to have 4 rounds of swiss instead of 5. With 1 less game happening we are offered a vote between the expected top 4 or expanding it to a top 8. The top 8 wins out (unsurprisingly, in my opinion. More means better chance of making it, right?) and with that, Paul draws first pairings and we shuffle around to our tables and get started!

Game 1 – Martin Williams

Immediately we have some Exile on Exile action! Ironically, I drew Martin in round 1 of the last Hyperspace tournament I played in. I won that tournament. Maybe it’s a sign?!

Let’s see what Martin has brought:

Bossk (60)
Cutthroat (2)
Gamut Key (6)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)

Ship total: 71 Half Points: 36 Threshold: 6

Kad Solus (53)
Predator (2)

Ship total: 55 Half Points: 28 Threshold: 2

Jinata Security Officer (30)
Dorsal Turret (2)
Thermal Detonators (5)

Ship total: 37 Half Points: 19 Threshold: 4

Jinata Security Officer (30)
Dorsal Turret (2)
Thermal Detonators (5)

Ship total: 37 Half Points: 19 Threshold: 4

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Scum%20and%20Villainy&d=v8ZhZ200Z153X375WWWW386WW92WWY99X127WWY471XW137WWWW339Y471XW137WWWW339&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Given that I’ve only ever seen Martin fly Scum I’m not surprised by this. After the last points updates I had thought I’d seen the last of Bossk though! Interestingly he’s gone for the full 200 points. We don’t have any overlapping initiatives so it doesn’t matter but it’s intersting all the same.

Super quick Pre-Flight checks:
Target Priority – any of the 1 agility ships, burn it down quickly and move on
Obstacles – close enough to annoy Bossk but not close enough to annoy Leia
Deployment – in a change from recent games, I opt to split my forces….

Martin splits one Y-Wing away from the other ships with Bossk more central. I chase it down with Luke and Ahsoka and sink some damage but fail to finish it before Bossk rolls in.

My dice are running pretty hot and my reds in particular are bringing a lot of paint. A cruel combination of my red dice and a crit coming out as a Direct Hit mean Bossk goes down in 2 engagements having only fired once.

The game goes to time as my reds cool a little and Martin pulls out some good moves but the damage is done. He gets half on Leia and Ahsoka but in the end it’s only Kad Solus left and he’s been halved.

Result: 178 – 68 win

Mini conclusion…

A good solid start! I’m happy with most of my choices and how I flew the list overall and I’m feeling positive going into the next round. Well, initially I was….

Game 2 – Dan ‘Eggs’ Xuereb

It seems that starting with a win can put you at the ‘boss level’ early! Dan’s a Cardiff Womp Rat but we Exiles also claim a little bit of him as our own as he plays here in Newport regularly. He’s recently done very well in Gold Squadron Podcast’s Galaxies series (making the cut in several of them and qualifying for the Alderaan invitational), played in the XTC for Malta and is regarded as one of the top Separatist players in the world by GSP’s Marcel Manzano.

Crikey.

He’s also a top bloke and a mate of mine so while I’m not overly positive of my chances I’m definitely looking forward to the game.

And yes, he’s flying Separatists:

Zam Wesell (84)
Count Dooku (14)
Thermal Detonators (5)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Hull Upgrade (5)

Ship total: 111 Half Points: 56 Threshold: 6

General Grievous (44)
Impervium Plating (4)
Soulless One (6)

Ship total: 54 Half Points: 27 Threshold: 4

DBS-404 (31)
Ion Torpedoes (4)
Independent Calculations (0)
Landing Struts (0)

Ship total: 35 Half Points: 18 Threshold: 3

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Separatist%20Alliance&d=v8ZhZ200Z428XWWW218W339W92W164WY305XWW207W229Y326X135WWW367W237&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Dan has also gone to 200 points and this time it DOES matter with Zam (yuck!) being initiative 5. I give Dan first player. Obviously.

Super quick Pre-Flight checks:
Target Priority – I mean, it’s GOT to be the 111 point Zam but can I get all 3 ships on her at the same time while not being rinsed by the other two?
Obstacles – the struts make this a little more tricky but I want big lanes for Leia
Deployment – Leia away from the other 2 worked last time out. Maybe do that again?

I place Luke and Ahsoka opposite Zam who immediately turns away and skirts Dan’s board edge. Meanwhile DBS and Grievous make their approach.

Dan brings Grievous in while I am careful to stay out of range of the rock mounted turret that DBS has become. Zam is still floating around in the opposite corner which allows me some undistracted shots into Grievous.

By the time Zam and DBS start angling in I’ve got Grievous down to 1 health despite him discarding not one but TWO Direct Hits with Impervium Plating. Curses!

I manage to pick off DBS and finish Grievous while running away with a badly limping (but still alive!) Leia. Luke is halved but survives a last turn shot from Zam which, despite my not halving her in return, gives me enough points for the win!

Result: 89 – 70 win

Mini conclusion…

Woah! An unexpected but very welcome and hard fought win! It definitely helped me that Dan kept Zam out of the fight for as long as he did and I think that keeping my ships away from DBS’s Ion threat was key. Zam was certainly frustrating to shoot (I think I opted not to in one turn and Dan called it right and STILL got to double tap me!) but in the end I got enough to get the job done. I’m 2-0! I have now hit minimum hope/expectation for the day. Anything after this is a bonus!

Game 3 – Iain Gardiner

My first new face of the day! As you can see from the picture Iain is also a Womp Rat and had brought one of the things I’d identified as being an issue for my list:

Dengar (53)
Cutthroat (2)
Adv. Proton Torpedoes (5)
Zam Wesell (11)
Greedo (1)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)

Ship total: 75 Half Points: 38 Threshold: 5

Fenn Rau (68)
Predator (2)

Ship total: 70 Half Points: 35 Threshold: 2

Han Solo (Scum) (48)
Qi’ra (2)
BT-1 (2)
Lando’s Millennium Falcon (3)

Ship total: 55 Half Points: 28 Threshold: 6

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Scum%20and%20Villainy&d=v8ZhZ200Z115X375W134WW336W83W92WWY97X127WY89XWW55WW79WWW152&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

High freakin’ initiative. Yuck. Funnily enough this is almost identical to a list that I built for Cai to bring before changing out Han (because we didn’t have a Scum Falcon at the time. We do now…). My bid means nothing with all 3 of Iain’s ships moving after mine. I don’t like it.

Super quick Pre-Flight checks:
Target Priority – uuuummmmmmm…. High cost Dengar? Or 4 health Fang? Or low agility but cheapest ship Han? I. do. not. know.
Obstacles – with 3 big bases on the board wide lanes suit us both
Deployment – Close together this time and see how Iain comes at me.

A cagey start as I try and play cautiously. I do NOT want a 5 dice range 1 shot from Fenn and I also don’t want a 5 dice Adv Proton from Dengar. Zam on Dengar means there’s a mostly a double tap whether I shoot him or not (filthy!).

With the clock ticking ever onwards I make a key error, sending in Luke to shoot at where I’m expecting Fenn to 5 straight but boosting, meaning that Luke blocks Fenn, not Leia and I present Iain with a juicy 5 dice shot.

If I remember correctly, with only Predator to mod with the shot is still devastating although the return shot from Leia is equally brutal on Fenn.

Fenn later dies but I’ve not touched either of the other ships while I’ve given up half points on all 3 of mine.

Result: 70 – 100 loss

Mini conclusion…

I took it closer than I’d expected to given the initiative disadvantage and the calibre of my opponent so, while I’m a little disappointed (as I am after every loss), overall I think I did better than I might have. Not too bad though. That puts me at 2-1 as we draw the final round. I couldn’t make the cut here, could I?!

Game 4 – Piers Horry

And whom do I face in the last round? It’s the very lovely Piers Horry. At the time I knew that I recognised the name and was sure we had played before and having since checked my blog archives we did indeed play in day 2 of the 2020 UK System Open!

So, what has Piers brought along today…

Ric Olié (44)
Daredevil (2)

Ship total: 46 Half Points: 23 Threshold: 3

Padmé Amidala (43)
Juke (6)

Ship total: 49 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 3

Dineé Ellberger (36)
Juke (6)
Passive Sensors (4)
Proton Torpedoes (12)

Ship total: 58 Half Points: 29 Threshold: 3

Anakin Skywalker (N-1 Starfighter) (41)
Juke (6)

Ship total: 47 Half Points: 24 Threshold: 3

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Galactic%20Republic&d=v8ZhZ200Z333X117WWWY332X123WWWY331X123W240WW136Y322X123WWW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

What the actual heck is this?! 4 N-1’s? Juke?! Piers reads me the abilities for Dinee and Padme since I’ve no idea what they are as we set up to start.

Some quick Pre-Flight checks:
Target Priority – Not a clue. Dinee is the most expensive and dangerous so her I guess?
Obstacles – again, wide lanes will help
Deployment – I have the bid (again) and so I’ll deploy together, knowing where everything is.

It’s a really cagey start at Piers tries to figure out where my ships are going. I remember mentioning that I didn’t even remember that N-1’s have a 1 straight as I’ve never seen them go so slowly!

I take an early advantage as I feint in with Luke and out with Leia and manage to strip shields from Padme.

This pattern annoyingly continues as I strip shields from Ric and Anakin too but can’t seem to get that third hit on any of them to score any actual points.

Meanwhile Dinee has caught Leia in arc not once but twice and manages to launch Proton Torps both times, scoring half her points. Balls. I catch Ric with another shot for 1 more hull which scores me half.

With time running out I disengage with Leia and Piers has spread his ships all around, trying not to let me kill anything or score any more points.

With just seconds left we go back to planning. I’ve got one last shot.

I get Leia right out of the way to stop Piers scoring the rest of her points. I’ve got Ahsoka and Luke still engaged and pretty healthy.

I think and I think and I think some more. I’m tired and I’ve been standing and I’m frustrated by these ships that just won’t die and their free evade tokens.

I pick one and turn in on it with both my engaged ships.

Piers moves his ships.

I’ve got Ahsoka with her Prockets (JARGON ALERT!!) charge still active and full Force. Luke’s Force pool is also full.

I activate Ahsoka first. She moves. She’s pointed at one ship but it looks like the bullseye is out. Damn. She locks the one to her right and boosts right.

Luke activates, I close the wings to try and boost around at the same target. It doesn’t fit though and the boost fails.

I fire one shot at Dinee range 1 from Ahsoka and do nothing, suddenly realising that Ahsoka turned in on the ONLY ship which was full health and would have needed 3 hits past green dice to score points.

I fire another at Ric from Luke at range 2 with wings closed. That does nothing too. If Piers has shots I can’t remember them and they have no bearing, the game is done and I failed to do the required damage.

Result: 40 – 23 loss

Mini conclusion…

Oh wow. Talk about poor, poor choices. With the game done we discuss it and Piers cannot understand why on earth I didn’t boost straight with Ahsoka and keep Luke’s foils open and gun for Ric. I undo the bank boost with Ahsoka and look at the straight boost. It gets Ric with bullseye. Not only that but if I’d kept Luke’s wings open and he kept the same manoeuvre I’d would have been rolling 8 red dice with locks and Force at an unshielded Ric with 2 health left and maybe an evade. That choice has cost me a win to go 3-1 and definitely make the cut.

The conclusion…?

At this point I’m feeling slightly dejected but at the same time a little bit hopeful since the numbers suggest that at least a couple of 2-2 players will make it into the cut.

As Paul begins to run through the standings I begin to pack up, knowing that while possible, it is quite unlikely I made it. Prize collection slows things down a little and my curiosity gets the better of me and I look up the ladder.

I’m 9th.

I have missed cut by 1 spot!

ONE!

But worse than that, I check MoV and I was just 5 behind fellow Exile Alex! 5!!! Oh man! Immediately I get flashbacks of the small margins that I missed through the day that could have meant that I’d be in for my first ever cut.

Then something happens.

Paul asks the top 8 if anyone is intending to drop and Iain Gardiner raises his hand.

Paul looks back down at his list “that means that Dylan Jones makes it into the cut”

I’m in a cut?!?

I’M IN A CUT!!!!!!!

At this point I’m trying to stay calm on the outside but inside I’m whooping and cheering.

I frantically start unpacking again and make a slightly awkward phone call to my wife that we won’t be home just yet as we wait for the top 8 draw. Technically it looks like I should be facing ‘better’ Dan (Barringer) who is top of swiss having gone 4-0 for the day (congratulations on that Dan!) but somehow (TTS!) I’m paired up with ‘worse’ Dan (Xuereb) again!

The outro…

Game 5 – Top 8 – Dan Xuereb (again)

Guess who’s back, back again. Xuereb’s back, tell a friend….

Now, ‘revenge of the swiss’ is a phrase I have heard many times on various podcasts and experiencing a cut for the very first time gives me an interesting dilemma. How on earth do I approach this game with our last game so fresh in my mind?

Do I play the same? I mean, I won so that makes sense. But then Dan is a very good player and will certainly adjust his approach this time.

What do I do?!

The saving grace is that I still have the bid and will clearly be making Dan go first again.

Super quick Pre-Flight checks:
Target Priority – ZAM! If I can!
Obstacles – Spread out is best!
Deployment – Same as before?!

Dan sets up pretty much identically to our first game. So do I.

This time Dan’s approach is slightly different with DBS and Grievous going a little slower but Zam still heading off into a corner to hide for a few turns.

Again I manage to head Grievous off with all 3 ships while Zam and DBS are too far out but AGAIN the little **** won’t die!

He dives off to clear some stress from a Panicked Pilot while my ships regroup on the left flank. Over the next few turns Zam approaches while DBS just turns on his rock, pointing wherever Leia is heading.

Then I make a mistake with Luke as Zam comes in hard. Compounding that mistake I move Ahsoka first, putting her in Luke’s escape route and then failing the boost to get out of the way. Bad times.

Luke pays the price, losing his shields. He resists the temptation of the range 1 shot into Zam for fear of being killed by the Zam return shot and so joins Leia in shooting at DBS.

Fast forwards a few turns and Leia finishes off the Hyena while Luke and Ahsoka go in hard at Zam and Grievous (who has finally come back in). Grievous dies (finally! AGAIN!) and while Zam takes some damage she manages to take out Luke in return.

With the clock counting down it’s clear that I can’t simply avoid Zam for the next few minutes, I will almost certainly lose half points on Leia which will put Dan ahead. Zam’s lost a few shields but with that Hull Upgrade on there I need 6 damage on her for half points. All 4 shields and 2 damage cards.

We jockey for position and chip away at each other and with time called we start moving ships in the last turn.

Leia hard turns to point her flank at Zam who has turned and boosted. Ahsoka’s sloop is misjudged though and she doesn’t have Zam in arc. Balls.

Zam fires at Leia and gets the half points.

Leia fires back, spends the lock and Force and gets the last damage needed to halve Zam. Dan can fire back with the Zam condition but it doesn’t matter, even fully killing either of my ships (unlikely with no mods) wouldn’t give him enough points.

We’re done.

Result: 145 – 100 win

Mini conclusion…

IS THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENING??!? I have won in a cut! Against a VERY good player! Looking back at the game I think that aside from the mistakes with Luke (which I got away with!) I played it pretty well. At this point I’m slightly giddy on a dopamine rush and have to make ANOTHER phone call to my wife. At this point I’m burning through wife points pretty fast!

Who’s left in? Who will I draw next?

Game 6 – Top 4 – Gavin Kirby

Ok, Gavin is someone I’ve certainly heard of (in an ‘X-Wing famous’, very good player sort of way) but never played against or met. Let’s have a little look at what he’s brought along. Oh dear….

Omega Squadron Expert (33)
Fanatical (1)

Ship total: 34 Half Points: 17 Threshold: 3

Omega Squadron Expert (33)
Fanatical (1)

Ship total: 34 Half Points: 17 Threshold: 3

Omega Squadron Expert (33)
Fanatical (1)

Ship total: 34 Half Points: 17 Threshold: 3

Omega Squadron Expert (33)
Fanatical (1)

Ship total: 34 Half Points: 17 Threshold: 3

Omega Squadron Expert (33)
Fanatical (1)

Ship total: 34 Half Points: 17 Threshold: 3

“Longshot” (30)
Ship total: 30 Half Points: 15 Threshold: 2

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=First%20Order&d=v8ZhZ200Z285X181WWWWWY285X181WWWWWY285X181WWWWWY285X181WWWWWY285X181WWWWWY263XWW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

It’s a swarm. Not only is it a swarm but five of them are 6 health. Luke and Ahsoka might be able to tank the 2 dice shots but Leia won’t.

Let’s get some quick Pre-Flight checks:
Target Priority – it doesn’t matter. Guns off the board ASAP is key!
Obstacles – again, wide is better for me
Deployment – together probably but where will depend on where Gavin goes.

Gavin deploys in 2 groups of 3 while I put my ships together in my bottom right corner.

Gavin’s ships are fast. I need to make sure the first engagement doesn’t involve 6 ships firing at Leia.

I go to go straight and then fake out, turning in and across my own board edge.

Falcon turning hard left in 3…2…1….

It catches Gavin out and the result is his top right group having to turn back in while the first group approaches me.

I manage to initiative kill an SF in the first engagement (yay!) but the disengage costs me half of Ahsoka from long range shots. Leia orbits the swarm and I manage to take out another but it’s costing me as I lose half points on Luke due to poor positioning and Leia creeps ever closer to her threshold.

As we enter the last turn I’ve chipped some more damage in but it’s now inevitable that I’ll lose half of Leia. I set her a 3 bank, intending to boost to dodge arc of the SF I’m sure wants to block.

It doesn’t work out and Leia hops over the top, landing at range 1 but with her arc pointing the wrong way.

Ahsoka’s manoeuvre is also wrong, being blocked. It means she isn’t getting shot but she also isn’t giving Leia an extra action or taking a meaningful shot. Luke is safe but irrelevant.

With my brain, legs and back all a little tired I decide simply to rotate Leia’s turret and see if I can get the unlikely kill.

I can’t. The red SF survives and takes it’s range 1 shot into Leia, scoring half points and securing Gavin’s place in the final

Result: 85 – 98 loss

Mini conclusion…

With hindsight being 20:20 I now know that simply banking the other way with Ahsoka (where she wouldn’t have been blocked) AFTER boosting with Leia would have meant that Ahsoka could have given Leia a lock OR rotate OR an evade, all of which would ahve given me a better chance at getting what I needed to survive/kill and get the win.

Still, Gavin played very well and totally deserved to get to the final!

The conclusion (finally!)…

What

A

Day

Where do I even begin?

I’ll start with the list/games. Overall I am really happy with how I played. I think that dropping Shattering Shot and R4 Astromech was the right call although in the end EVERY list I went against had gone to the full 200 points which I found REALLY interesting. Clearly people are ready for the world of deficit scoring and (perhaps to a lesser extent) ROAD (JARGON ALERT!!). In the end it did mean that I could have maybe kept R4 but I can’t say that I missed having it at any point.

It certainly helped that these ships are ones that I’m quite practiced with and that the archetype is very similar to Dash + X which I’ve played a LOT of over the last few years. It seems that I have a type.

I do consider myself very fortunate to have made the cut by way of another player dropping but I was just 5 MoV away (and one poorly chosen boost!) from achieving that myself. Still, it’s my first ever cut and I will take that all day long!

To then go and win in top 8 (defeating the reigning store champ! Sorry Dan!) and be SO VERY CLOSE to getting into the final is just something else.

I’m chuffed!

I want to give a BIG shout out and congratulations to the eventual winner Mr Jordan Bishop!

WOOP WOOP!

After somewhat of a crisis of faith in the list last week and a poor run of prep games, to go on and win the whole tournament was a massive achievement and thoroughly well deserved! If you want to read about Jordan’s day then you can check out his blog about it here.

I have to admit that it almost didn’t go that way though! While packing up after my top 4 loss and getting some grief from Cai about being the last to pack up, I noticed 3 rebel dials next to the board I just played on. To avoid more jibes from Cai I quietly picked them up and stuffed them in my Feldherr bag while we said our goodbyes and headed out.

I had made it about 3 minutes down the road when my phone rang…

“Dylan, you haven’t picked up my dials by any chance, have you?”

Errrrr……..

I immediately turn around and head back, all the while Jordan is insisting that I don’t need to and that Paul has spares and it’s ok. I went anyway and had Cai run them in as I turned around (like an embarrassed COWARD!!).

I felt SO bad! Of all the distractions that Jordan didn’t need right at the start of the final!

Thankfully he won anyway and sees the funny side of it now. It’s going to take a while to live that one down!

Now for the mushy sentimental bit.

I want to say a huge thank you to all my opponents on the day (Martin, Dan, Iain, Piers and Gavin). ALL of my games were great fun (yes, including the losses!) and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time across the table from each of you.

I want to say a special thank you to the awesome Ben Hyde This was the first time we met in person following our online game a few months ago. He not only gave me some incredible alt arts but also gave my son Cai his most fun game of the day AND was voted the ‘best sport of the day’ (or something like that, I can’t remember the exact award name!).

Genius alt arts!

A HUGE thank you goes to Paul Westwood for TO’ing the event. It ran super smoothly and the added awards and rewards help to keep things fun and interesting. You are a star!

Thanks to Firestorm Games in Cardiff for hosting the event. The new venue is a very lovely space and the café food is delicious!

A special thank you to Cardiff Store Champion Jordan Bishop for not only being ok with me taking his list but first telling and then showing me how it works and for the friendly chats around it all. You are a scholar and a gentleman sir and your win is very well deserved!

Lastly I want to say thanks to my son Cai. He was dragged out of bed far earlier than he wanted while feeling a little rough and then played 3 games (and had a rest during the bye!) with an unfamiliar list and THEN had to wait for me to play not one but TWO cut games. He never moaned (not once we’d got as far as the car, anyway!) and supported me in his own unique (annoying!) way when I was doing well.

Cai – you are awesome and I love you!

In case you’re interested at all, here’s a link to the TTT event for the day.

Right, that’s it from me for this week. This has been a MONSTER of a post so well done for making it this far (even if it was in multiple sessions!). Normal-ish service (whatever that is?!) will be resumed next week but for now, thanks and bye!

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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