Well hello there boys and girls!
This was originally going to be a 40k-related post; covering the new edition, what’s new, etc.
However, as I attended an X-Wing event this weekend and took some photos, I thought I would report on that instead! Sunday morning saw the “Assault at Imdaar Alpha” event being run at Tabletop Nation in Hockley, Essex (which is in England for those who don’t know!) The event was to be run as a Swiss-style tournament, with the top four players receiving one of four pre-release ships from the next wave of models as their prizes. Obviously the lure of the new vessels was strong, so I thought I would take a break from my traditional elite 3 X-Wing list (which is hardly the most competitive, but keeps to a theme) and try something new.
The internet and several friends suggested including B-Wings, but I did not own any and would be unable to secure any before the event. Even if I had been able to; the B-Wing is slow and ugly, and I do not think I’d have enjoyed using them – let alone the spending of £20+ on more ships! As a result, I created what I like to call “Noob Squadron” – a squadron composing two Prototype Pilots in A-Wings and three Rookie Pilots in X-Wings. They would move first and fire last, which could be a problem, but there a fair amount of shields and hull points standing between me and defeat – plus at 97pts I was almost certain of having the Initiative against similarly low-pilot skill lists such as the Imperial TIE Swarm.
I present to you, Noob Squadron:
Opposing Forces: Chewbacca in Millenium Falcon with Push the Limit, Dagger Squadron B-Wing with Advanced Sensors x2
This was hardly an ideal match for me. I outnumbered my opponent but he was going first, and the only chance I had was to knock out his B-Wings quickly and try and pick off the Falcon at range 3. It didn’t quite work that way, as the Daggers killed an A-Wing early on in the game, though then both B-Wings fell to X-Wing fire in the same round. My remaining A-Wing then decided enough was enough and fled from the board (a result of me accidentally choosing a 5 straight manoeuvre rather than a 5 reversal), allowing Chewbacca free reign to use his turret to pick off the remaining X-Wings, who were starting to accumulate damage points. Instead of keeping out of range and going for a modified win, I decided “to hell with it, it’ll be fun” – BIG MISTAKE! Before time ran out, I lost two damaged X-Wings and turned a 54-34 lead into a 76-54 defeat.
Opposing Forces: Soontir Fel with Push the Limit and a Targeting Computer, Sabre Squadron TIE Interceptor with Push the Limit x2, Alpha Squadron TIE Interceptor.
This was a more appropriate match for my list, or so I thought. Things went south quickly, my main mistake being boosting straight up the centre while allowing Fel and his cronies to close at the same speed. My mistake hurt from turn one, losing me a Rookie and a Prototype in the opening salvoes. The Noobs hit back, destroying a Sabre before another Rookie was destroyed by Fel. The remaining Rookie destroyed the Alpha, before both remaining ships were mercilessly gunned down by Fel and the remaining Sabre – final score a defeat of 97-42.
Opposing Forces: Howlrunner, Dark Curse, Academy TIE Fighter x2, Scimitar Squadron TIE Bomber, Lambda Shuttle
FINALLY! A list I thought I could beat! The game went well from the start for me, with one of the Prototype A-Wings claiming an Academy pilot as first blood. The Imperials responded by killing one of the Rookies with a well-placed blast from the Shuttle. The remaining Rookies soon engaged and defeated Dark Curse and Howlrunner, before Vader used The Force to crunch one of the Rookies. The remaining Rookie, bent on revenge, defeated the Shuttle and the Bomber in subsequent turns, and would have destroyed the remaining Academy pilot had I not reminded my opponent he had an unspent Evade token (oops!) that kindness bit me in the arse a little, as the Academy pilot then destroyed the remaining Prototype at point-blank range, ending the game 88-59 in my favour.
Opposing Forces: Darth Vader, Black Squadron TIE Fighter, Obsidian Squadron TIE Fighter, Captain Jonus.
Interesting match this one, my opponent had poured a lot of points into Jonus’ TIE Bomber, probably more points than the Bomber cost originally, in fact! The game went horrendously badly for my opponent from the start; losing the Black Squadron fighter to a Prototype early on, followed quickly by Jonus and the Obsidian Squadron pilot. Vader wreaked his revenge, however, bringing down one of the Prototypes – but his vengeful streak ended prematurely at the end of the remaining Prototype’s Laser Cannons, ending the game 100-17 to me.
After four games I was at two wins and two losses, equalling my score from the Regionals waaaay back in 2013. What I hadn’t banked on, and this was a surprise for all of us; was that the competition had been so close that there were five of us in the running for third and fourth place – and I WAS ONE OF THE FIVE! A Tiebreaker round was therefore arranged, and I went into the game that would ultimately decide whether I walked away with free stuff or not!
Opposing Forces: Wedge Antilles with Swarm Tactics and Shield Upgrade, Wes Janson with Veteran Instincts and Shield Upgrade, Biggs Darklighter with Shield Upgrade
This wasn’t going to end well. The three X-Wing list was something I’d planned and ultimately decided against. My only saving grace was my agility, but I didn’t know whether that would pay off… It didn’t… Biggs went on a rampage, finishing off two Rookies damaged by Wedge and Wes in short order. By doing this, he’d separated himself off from the group and without protection Wes soon found himself very very dead. Biggs then picked off one of the Prototypes, and while the remaining two Noobs tried to get into arc to fire at Wedge – a move that would’ve worked had one of us not nudged the board accidentally and forced the Prototype into a position where it couldn’t fire at Wedge (we rolled for it in the end, I lost that roll). Killing Wedge wouldn’t have saved me, but it would have felt GOOD! Sadly, the remaining two Noobs fell in short order handing my opponent the victory of 97-34 and fourth place!
Overall, I finished with two wins and three losses – putting me in seventh place. Though a little disappointed I didn’t win anything, it was an absolutely amazing event and gave me a chance to catch up with some great gamers who I hadn’t seen in over a year!
There is another Imdaar Alpha event on Saturday so my next entry will be covering that, before moving on to something else fun – what that is, I know not!
Until next time!