This past weekend saw the UK South-East X-Wing Regional at Wayland Games in Essex, with almost 100 people in attendance. Lists were due in on Wednesday night so they could be validated and confirmed, which meant the list I chose (for funsies rather than any desire to win games) hadn’t actually been playtested, as I usually play on Thursdays. This would come back and bite me in the behind, and rather hard.
Doors opened at 9.30am with the tournament set to begin an hour later. Due to problems with the railways (aren’t there always?) I left home at 6.30 am to ensure I had plenty of time to complete the journey despite the interference of rail replacement buses and other potential disasters. I arrived at 9.21am (half an hour before my travel apps estimated I would), with plenty of time to get some sugar and caffeine into me before the day ahead.
Note: I apologise for the blurry pictures. The camera on my iPad isn’t what it used to be, and the lighting in the hall wasn’t brilliant.
As I said, I threw together the list for fun. One or two of the cards often make their way into Rebel/Resistance “meta” lists, but the rest of them go together to form what I believe the X-Wing community now calls a “jank” list.
“Red Ace” — T-70 X-Wing: R2-D2, Comm Relay, Autothrusters (Red T-70)
“Blue Ace” — T-70 X-Wing: Flight-Assist Astromech, Primed Thrusters, Autothrusters (Blue T-70)
Jess Pava — T-70 X-Wing: Flight-Assist Astromech, Primed Thrusters, Autothrusters (White T-70)
The idea was that Jess and Blue Ace would make nuisances of themselves with their ability to perform boost and barrel roll actions while stressed, while Red Ace hangs back while tanking damage and regenerates her shields.
It didn’t quite work itself out that way…
Game 1 – Vader, QuickDraw, Nu Squadron Pilot
I’d never actually faced Harpoon Missiles before, but I’d read about how disgusting and broken they supposedly were, and looking at this match-up I was slightly (very) concerned.
The Nu moved forward at speed 3, using its Long-Range Sensors to target lock Blue Ace. All thee T-70s move slowly forwards at a sedate speed 1. Vader charges forwards at speed 4, and Quickdraw decides to hang back with a leisurely speed 1 manouevre.
The Nu banks in at speed 3 to engage the T-70s. Due to a slippy dial, Jess ends up performing a speed 1 bank which she then boosts to correct, while Blue and Red Aces both move one speed straight forward. Vader also banks in to attack, while Quickdraw banks in to attempt to attack from the flank. At this point I already see my mistake in letting my opponent dictate the engagement, and I hope that I can weather enough fire to get some hits back on something. The opening salvo hurts, a lot. Jess loses all three shields AND two hull points to combined Harpoon fire from Vader and Quickdraw, while the Nu puts the hurt on Blue Ace by stripping his shields and a hull point with its own Harpoons. All I manage to do in return is strip two shields from the Gunboat. My dice are cold this morning!
The nu pilot saunters forward at speed 1, while my T-70s all slowly move into range 1 and Jess repairs the critical hit she had received last turn (I neglected to write down what it was ). Vader banks into the formation, BARELY fitting in front of Jess, while Quickdraw is not so lucky and crashes into Jess. Jess is gunned down fairly easily at this point, while my return fire strips the final shield and two hull from the pesky Nu.
Jess is dead and I’ve only managed to hit my opponent five times. I need to start putting the hurt on things, and FAST!
The damaged Nu, realising he’s now in danger, performs a 3-speed turn and then SLAMs out of harm’s way. Blue Ace performs a K-Turn and rolls thanks to Primed Thrusters and Flight-Assist Astromech, while Red Ace simply performs a K-Turn. Vader miscalculates (maybe he’s giddy from killing Jess?) and crashes into an asteroid at the cost of a shield, while Quickdraw sloops. Both Red and Blue Aces fire at the becalmed Vader, as he’s close and token-less, but cold dice strike again and out of eight dice I roll precisely zero hits!
The Nu continues to flee, while both remaining T-70s perform 1 banks to try and corner Vader, who is extremely limited in his options. Vader performs a K-Turn over the asteroid, stripping his last shield and once again leaving him token-less. Quickdraw is a lot more calm about things, slowly advancing upon Blue Ace, who he promptly blows out of space. Red Ace, enraged by the loss of her comrades, focuses on Vader and manages to land a Direct Hit! critical damage on him. With Vader on such low health, he’s a tempting target…almost dangerously so…
Come on Red Ace! Do it for the Resistance!
The Nu continues to flee, performing a 3-speed bank and a reload action. Red Ace, rather than turning to get behind the damaged Nu, decides to perform a K-Turn to get a shot on Vader. This is a mistake I would pay for later, as though Vader is crippled he’s faster, more agile, and has greater action efficiency than Red Ace. Vader moves forwards at speed 2, barrel rolling and evading in the hopes of evading Red Ace’s shots. Quickdraw turns in hard and locks Red Ace, stripping one of her shields.
Things are about to get dicey, I can feel it!
The Nu turns back in and used Long-Range Scanners on Red Ace, who herself moves forward at speed 3 (regenerating a shield thanks to R2-D2). Vader zooms off at speed 5, while Quickdraw sloops again. Cold dice do me no favours, and the Nu strips two shields from Red Ace.
Well this isn’t going as well as I’d hoped…
At this point, I’ve realised my mistake. Trying to catch Vader is going to be next to impossible, and even if I do I can’t reliably score enough hits on a focus-evade ship with 3 agility at range 3 (that’s four modifiable green dice and an evade token) to force that last damage through. I therefore turn my attention on the Nu, who realises his danger and banks at speed 3 before SLAMing away. Red Ace responds by peforming a Tallon Roll. Vader continues to flee, while Quickdraw advances cautiously at speed 1. What little shooting there is does absolutely nothing to anyone.
The Nu banks again at speed 3 and SLAMs, hoping to put enough distance between itself and Red Ace to escape her vengeance. Red Ace banks at speed 1 to clear the stress and boosts. Vader stops running and banks around the asteroid, while Quickdraw performs a slightly more urgent bank to slot in behind Red Ace once again.
The Nu continues to flee, banking at speed 3 and focusing rather than SLAMming. Red Ace turns hard at speed 3 and boosts to get into range and arc, while Vader continues his bank around the Asteroid. Quickdraw continues to stalk Red Ace, dropping her shields back down to zero. Vader fires. Two hits and a Critical at Range 3, and I have no evade tokens. Two natural evades! I draw a faceup card, Critical Hit! Following the facedown card Red Ace had received following a Harpoon detonation, it’s game over for the plucky girl!
Result: 100-0 loss.
Thoughts: I made mistakes in this game, namely I let my opponent decide the terms of the engagement and I pursued Vader when I should have eliminated the Nu. Then I MIGHT have been able to take Quickdraw and Vader had I played daringly enough (though I doubt it). The game was an awful lot of fun, though, and my even my opponent admitted that trying to guess where one ship was going while organising THREE ships to try and defeat it required a lot more thought than he’d originally imagined.
Game 2, 3 and 4
These games were…not fun. A combination of Bombs, Harpoons, Tractor Beams and cold dice basically meant I was an observer to my own games. The notes I took would not make for a decent battle report even as a “this is how not to face list…” At the end of game 4, having had a nearly 3-hour journey in and faced with the prospect of a similar return journey, I was seriously considering dropping out and going home. Ultimately I decided not to, as although I hadn’t enjoyed the games as much as I perhaps might’ve, the people I played were lovely and I should really have expected something like that from a Regional Tournament.
Game 5 – Quickdraw, Backdraft, Countess Ryad
This was a near-mirror of the list I’d faced in Game 4, so though the previous list had battered me 100-0, I thought I’d give it a good go and if I could actually KILL a ship all day (I was still sitting on a kill count of 0 at this point), my day would be successful.
All three T-70s Tallon Roll to reverse direction, while Ryad and Backdraft do a 3-speed bank towards each other. Quickdraw is a little more cautious, instead doing a speed 2 turn.
Jess and Blue Ace both move forward at speed 3, using their Flight-Assist Astromechs to Barrel Roll then Boost. Ryad performs a rarely-seen 3-turn and uses Intensity to gain a focus token. Red Ace follows her comrades, boosting to catch up, while Quickdraw and Backdraft both perform 3-speed banks to reposition themselves for an attack run.
Jess performs a 2-speed turn, while Blue Ace moves 1 forward. Both focus to better withstand the incoming fire they know is coming. Ryad turns AWAY from the engagement, not wanting to face down massed X-Wing firepower. Red Ace turns to follow her comrades and boosts to catch up once again. Backdraft makes a speed-2 turn and rolls, while Quickdraw manages to narrowly avoid collision with a 3-speed bank. The shooting is relatively light, with Jess losing a shield, while bringing down two of Backdraft’s shields with her return volley.
Jess moves forward at speed 1, while Blue Ace banks at the same speed. Ryad does what she does best, a speed-3 K-Turn to attack the flanks of the T-70 formation. Red Ace bumps Blue Ace, denying her an action. Backdraft, not wanting to be in the line of fire, performs a 3-forward manoeuvre and rolls, while Quickdraw banks in to engage. The shooting this round is a little more effective, with Jess losing her remaining shields. In return, the plucky T-70s strip Backdraft’s last shield and land two points of hull damage of their own.
Jess performs a K-Turn and boosts back into close range of her target, while Blue Ace Tallon Rolls and similarly boosts. Ryad zooms forward at speed 5 to re-engage, and Red Ace shuffles forward slowly. Backdraft, conscious of having no shields, banks at speed 1 and focuses, while Quickdraw sloops to get into better position.
This is where things get a little bloody…
Quickdraw lands two hits on Jess, who is finished off by a horrific three further hits by Backdraft (cold green dice again!) In response, Red Ace kills Backdraft while Blue Ace strips two shields from Quickdraw, whose ability triggers and strips two shields from our favourite rebel in red.
I neglected to write down what Blue Ace did from this position, but Ryad performed a speed-2 K-Turn and used Intensity to assign an evade token. Red Ace performed a K-Turn of her own, while Quickdraw performed a 1-speed bank. Weapons fire from the T-70s brings down Quickdraw’s last shield and lands a Critical Hit! card on the TIE, whose ability dealt one critical damage to Red Ace – Major Explosion. The following card was a Direct Hit! of my own, and Red Ace was scattered across the cosmos, leaving Blue Ace to fight alone…
Turn 7 & 8
The photos for these turns are pretty awful, but the three ships enter a two-turn furball with nobody able to get a reliable shot on the other.
Blue Ace moves forward at speed-1, while Ryad does a speed-4 K-Turn and rolls to get a better arc. Quickdraw banks around the asteroid but doesn’t get far enough to avoid the vengeance of Blue Ace.
This is where things got both hilarious and silly at the same time. For the next ten turns, yes TEN, Blue Ace and Ryad failed to land shots on one another. For half of the turns, they didn’t even have arc on one another! For a few turns I considered fleeing, to save points and dictate the terms of the engagement, but a shieldless Blue Ace versus an untouched x7 Ryad was only really going to end one way… In the spirit of the game opposed to the spirit of saving points, on turn 21 (two minutes before the final buzzer), Blue Ace turned to re-engage Ryad. Blue Ace failed to score any damage, while Ryad quite handily blew Blue Ace out of space.
Result: 100-60-odd loss.
Thoughts: Should I have kept on running to preserve points and give my opponent a modified win rather than a full win? Maybe. Is that what X-Wing is about, even at competitive level? Not to my mind. Again, I made mistakes early on – I let my opponent dictate the engagement and getting caught in Quickdraw’s arc when shields were stripped cost me dearly. That said, again this game was a lot of fun, and shows what a lone ship can do if the pilot (and player) refuses to give up!
Game 6 – Captain Kagi, The Inquisitor, Major Vynder
No Harpoons. No Bombs. This was going to be an interesting matchup. Like me, my opponent was on 0 wins going into this game, but unlike me he had killed 0 ships all day (though I’d only killed my first in Game 5).
This was the competition for the wooden spoon. The only competition that matters!
All T-70s Tallon Roll, though Red Ace manages to bump due to a mis-timed boost from one of her comrades. Vynder races into the action with a speed-3 forward and SLAM, using Advanced SLAM to lock onto Blue Ace. The Inquisitor moves forward at speed 3, and boosts, likewise Kagi also moves forward at speed 3. This is an aggressive first turn!
Jess and Blue Ace move forward at speed 3, using their Flight-Assist Astromechs to roll and boost. Red Ace leaves them to it, moving forward at speed 1. Vynder makes a turn at speed 2 and SLAMs once again, while The Inquisitor zooms forward at speed 5. Kagi is a little more sedate, banking at speed 2. Vynder unloads his Cluster Missiles at Red Ace, missing completely (dice so cold it makes Hoth look like a tropical resort) and due to Saturation Salvo, Vynder strips two of his own shields.
Jess makes a 3-speed bank and rolls, while Blue Ace makes a 2-speed turn and focuses. Red Ace banks away from Vynder at speed 1. Vynder moves forward at speed 2 and SLAMs while reloading thanks to Advanced SLAM, while The Inquisitor does a 3-speed bank and boosts. Kagi remains sedate, and continues to cruise along at speed-2.
Jess moves forward at speed-4 and boosts while Blue Ace performs a 3-speed bank and similarly boosts. Red Ace is a little more cautious, banking at speed-1 and boosting around the debris. Vynder continues zooming round the board like a crazy person, banking at speed-3 and SLAMming. The Inquisitor banks at speed-3 before boosting while Kagi continues his speed-2 journey with a bank. Once again, Vynder unloads Cluster Missiles upon Red Ace. Once again, Red Ace survives unscathed, though Blue Ace loses two shields and Vynder takes two points of hull damage.
Jess and Red Ace perform K-Turns, which is nearly disastrous for Red Ace as she bumps. Blue Ace performs a Tallon Roll and boosts to get a better firing position. Vynder calms down a little, slowing to a 2-speed bank with focus action. Kagi makes a (surprise surprise) 2-speed turn, while The Inquisitor zooms up at speed-5 to target lock Jess. Jess loses her shields to combined fire, but her return fire combined with that of Blue Ace is enough to remove Vynder from play.
Jess crashes into an asteroid, while Blue Ace bumps Red Ace. Red Ace performs a 3-forward manoeuvre to clear her stress, which is putting her dangerously close to the board edge. The Inquisitor does a 1-speed bank and focus/evades, while Kagi makes a 1-speed bank. The Inquisitor’s salvo strips two shields from Red Ace, and he remains undamaged.
Jess and Blue Ace both Tallon Roll while Red Ace performs a 2-speed turn and boosts away from the edge of the board. I’d originally intended to Tallon Roll her as well, and I think she’d have made it, but it wasn’t worth the risk. Kagi floats forwards at speed-2, while The Inquisitor banks in at speed 1 again. Blue Ace is stripped of a shield, while Red Ace is stripped of her final shield and a hull point.
Things are starting to look a little precarious!
All T-70s move forward at speed 1. Kagi makes a speed-2 turn, and The Inquisitor makes a speed-1 turn which he follows up with a boost and roll. In a stunning display of cold green dice, Jess manages to strip two shields and one hull point from The Inquisitor, evening the odds a little.
Jess makes a speed-1 bank and bumps into Blue Ace, who performs a speed-3 turn and boosts. Red Ace makes a sedate 1-bank to regenerate another shield. Kagi banks at speed-1 and bumps into The Inquisitor who has just made a speed-1 turn and turtled.
Things get messy from here on…
The Inquisitor fires first, killing Jess. Even with a focus/evade combo, he in turn is killed by Red Ace. With nothing else to shoot at, Blue Ace focuses his ire on Captain Kagi and strips the shuttle of three shields.
Blue Ace banks in towards Kagi, as does Red Ace, who hits an asteroid. Kagi stops and attempts to tractor beam Red Ace. He fails. Blue Ace hit Kagi three times, stripping his final shields and dealing a Major Hull Breach critical damage card.
Both T-70 pilots perform K-Turns to get the kill shot on Kagi, who moves forward at speed-2 and repairs the Hull Breach. Combined T-70 shooting brings Kagi’s hull down by a further three points, leaving him with only one remaining.
Unless something really weird happened here, this was endgame and everyone knew it. Blue Ace banked at speed-1 while Red Ace moved forwards at speed-2. Kagi made a speed-2 turn to try and dodge out of firing arcs, but was unsuccessful and blown out of space by Red Ace.
Result: Win 100-29
Thoughts: I won! Woo! Seriously though, this game could have gone so much differently if my opponent’s dice hadn’t hated him so much. For Vynder to lose his own shields was kinda funny, but I also felt really bad for the chap as he’d had absolutely awful dice all day (with which I could sympathise) and until Turn 9 of this game, hadn’t killed a single enemy model. That said, I think this game was when I started to finally get it right: I dictated the engagement, I concentrated my fire, and emerged victorious.
I had a lot of fun in these three games! Games 2-4 not so much, mostly because of the way things like Bombs and Tractor Beams basically remove your input from the game entirely, but that’s the state of the meta and I need to get used to it, I guess! To my opponents in games 2, 3 and 4: if you’re reading this I apologise for any saltiness you may have experienced during our games! It wasn’t you, it was me!
That said, Games 1 and 5 were two of my all-time favourite games of X-Wing ever, as having one ship flying around the board causing havoc is just funny for everyone involved!
The list was not optimised, definitely not “meta”, I’d had all of two practice games, and I think my attitude going into the tournament was less than confident. This coupled with mistakes I made due to unfamiliarity with the list and fatigue from the journey meant I performed worse than I could have done. Will I fly the list again? Definitely! Would I fly it again in a competitive scenario? Unlikely.
However, I do believe the triple T-70 list is viable if built properly and played by the right person. I may experiment further and see what I can come up with!