Dark Sphere X-Wing Tournament – Part One

Good evening boys and girls, tonight’s offering is a report of the Dark Sphere Store Championship for X-Wing that I attended this last weekend. The event was attended by close to fifty people, and what follows is my own humble (and mostly disastrous) account of the six swiss-style rounds leading to the final…

My list:
Rexler Brath with Veteran Instincts, Ion Cannon, Cluster Missiles and Shield Upgrade
Colonel Vessery with Decoy, Ion Cannon, Cluster Missiles and Shield Upgrade

I don’t often run Imperials, and I’ve never run Defenders in anything other than their basic Pilot Skill 1 form. This list boasted speed, manoeuvrability and firepower though so I was confident that if I was going down I could at least take SOMETHING with me…

Game 1 (Oliver): Dual YT-list (Chewbacca and Dash Rendar)

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Turn one saw the two sides approach each other fairly cautiously, the two larger ships boasting better firepower, hull and shields than the two Defenders but lacking somewhat in speed, manoeuvrability and agility. The 360 degree turrets on both ships (Heavy Laser Cannon of course on Dash!) meant that my agility and manoeuvrability advantage were somewhat nullified – I was going to have to get clever, or get dead!

Turn two saw the opening salvoes of what would become a rather tense game as the four ships closed into firing range. Rexler and Vessery both open fire on Dash, knocking three of five shields from his YT-2400 while return fire strips three of four shields from Rexler’s Defender – hardly a fair trade!

Turn three saw me make something of a mistake as Rexler decided to target Chewie instead of Dash, knocking a paltry one shield from the YT-1300. Dash and Chewie, in revenge, blast all four of Vessery’s shields away from his Defender and leave him not only unable to fire because of fire arc issues, but totally defenceless!

Turn four saw something of a change in fate for the Imperials as Vessery performs a Koiogran turn to get out of range as Chewie and Dash blitz towards my side of the table. Dash doesn’t quite make it far enough, however, as Rexler curves in behind at point blank range and strips his final two shields and causes two points of hull damage.

Turn five saw little in the way of effective shooting, with Vessery not doing anything, Rex hitting Dash for one hull point and Chewie hitting Rex for his last shield and one hull.

Turn six  is where things change in the favour of the Imperials. With no shields and very few hull points standing between the brave Imperials and the cold vacuum of space, the pair converge on the crippled YT-2400 of Dash Rendar and open fire. When the light-show is over, Dash is nothing but free-floating atoms…

Turn seven saw no shooting as ships repositioned themselves to square off against one another. Though the Imperials are winning in points, Chewie has more hull and shields remaining than the two Defenders had combined at the beginning of the game!

Turn eight saw a minor mistake on the part of my opponent in that Chewie crashed into an Asteroid (pretty sure Han would’ve avoided it!) Without actions or shooting, Chewie sat helpess as Vessery streaks in and causes three points of shield damage to the beached YT-1300.

Turn nine saw things go a little wrong for the Imperials… I say a little, when really I mean really, REALLY wrong! Chewie, now free of the Asteroid, turtles (by which I mean performs a focus and an evade action) and so neither Rexlar or Vessery manage to score a hit. On the other hand, some excellent marksmanship and totally abysmal evade rolls saw Chewie blow poor, heroic Vessery out of space…

Turn ten was going to be the final round, we both knew it. Unless my manoeuvring was clever and I somehow avoided Chewie’s guns… No… But all was not lost! I was at range three and there was an Asteroid between us, so I had five evade dice to roll against Chewie’s two hits! Surely I could manage that, or at least some focuses to convert into evades?

Five. Natural. Blanks.

Poor Rexler never knew what hit him…

Thus game 1 ended in a defeat, 52 points to me and 97 to my opponent…

Game 2 (Danny) – Firespray and 2x Interceptors (Kath Scarlet, Soontir Fel and Turr Phennir)

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Turn one saw the two sides creeping towards one-another, wary of just what the other is capable of. It’s all a little timid for the Imperial Navy, but what can you do?

Turn two saw some pretty weak opening salvoes. The two sides continue to cautiously approach one-another, with a handful of range three shots being thrown just to test the water. Rexler scrapes two shields from Kath, and loses one shield of his own for the trouble.

Turn three sees the action really heating up! The two sides converge, with Fel and Turr crashing into Kath due to a misjudged manouevre. Rexlar begins the festivities by opening fire on Kath and stripping her of her remaining shields, while the return fire strips Vessery of three shields and Rexlar of two. Vessery manages to land a lucky critical hit on Turr, which could come in handy later during the game!

Turn four sees it all go a little pear-shaped as Vessery, through no fault of his own, is blasted out of space by a Direct Hit! critical damage card, though Rexlar has his vengeance by putting two points of damage on Fel.

Turn five sees Fel fleeing, trying to preserve his last hull point. Kath follows, shielding the smaller ship while Turr performs a Koiogran turn to get a better shot at Rexlar. Enter the previously-mentioned critical hit, as the Koiogran is a red manoeuvre Danny has to roll an attack dice and see what happens. Hit! Boom! Something vital falls off and Turr is down to one hull point. Rexlar tries to finish him off, but nothing happens…

Turn six sees some more careful moving from my opponent, while Rexlar continues his quest for vengeance. It seems he gets a little careless in his endeavour, though, as he is hit for two hull points – one of which damages his sensor array and means he cannot perform any actions until it is repaired.

Turn seven and eight are pretty much endgame. One shieldless Firespray plus two critically damaged Interceptors STILL equal more than one ruined Defender. If I can somehow kill Turr AND Fel and live to the end of the round, I may win…

Nope…

The game ends with me having killed a big fat nothing! Ah well, there’s always next game…right?

Game 3 (Peter) – E-Wing, 2x A-Wing and 2x Z-95 (Etahn A’baht, 2x Prototype Pilot, 2x Bandit Squadron Pilot)

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This was a game I was confident I had a chance at winning! Low pilot skill and low hull make fun targets, though the agility on the A-Wings and E-Wing were going to be annoying…

Turn one saw both sides charge at each other, with only Etahn veering away from the merge zone.

Turn two saw the ships merge, Vessery hunting down the Z-95s while Rexlar went after Etahn. Rexlar’s shooting strips two shields from Etahn, while Vessery’s strips both shields and a hull point from his chosen Bandit target. In return, Vessery soaks up ten shots for the loss of only three shields.

Turn three saw the A-Wings turn in a rather odd fashion while the Bandits seem to get confused and crash. Rexlar continues to pursue Etahn, managing to miss him entirely while R2-D2 gives the E-Wing a shield back. Elsewhere, Vessery takes a shot at one of the Prototype Pilots and strips its shields, losing his last shield in return.

Turn four sees it all go a bit weird. Vessery manages to crash into an Asteroid and lose two hull points from a Z-95’s shooting while Rexlar finally gets through Etahn’s shields and sets his control console on fire. One more hit would put the annoying E-Wing out of my misery, but it was not to be…

Turn five saw the end of brave Colonel Vessery, cruelly brought down by one of the A-Wings he had attacked earlier. In revenge, Rexlar abandons his pursuit of the ever-shield-regenerating Etahn (maybe a mistake) and blows the damaged Bandit Squadron pilot from the board.

Turn six saw a little manoeuvring but no effective shooting, while turn seven and eight just see ships flying round in circles unable to fire. The same is true of turn nine and ten as the clock is running down. With ten minutes to go, Rexlar kills the damaged A-Wing.

Turn eleven sees endgame, whether by time limit or Rexlar’s demise. Rexlar goes for the glory of killing the damaged Etahn, but some poor dice see him only strip two shields before two measly attack dice sneak through his three evade and Direct Hit! him out of the game.

Third game, third loss. 30-97…

I’m going to end this entry there, as this has been over 1500 words already and I’m only half way through my day! The next entry may make it online tonight, but if not, check back again tomorrow for the exciting conclusion!

Part two here!

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