So it’s a little later than I first intended, but here is part two of my Dark Sphere tournament report!
Game 4 (Andy): Decimator and Phantom (Captain Oicunn and Echo)
Great, a Deci/Phantom list… I’d heard how nasty these could be, but I had yet to face either ship on the board. This was going to be interesting…
Turn one saw careful initial moves, each player knowing what their list could manage (or fail to considering we were on table 18 of 22).
Turn two saw the two sides merging aggressively, with Vessery stripping three shields from Oicunn for the loss of one shield from Echo. Rexler fired his cluster missiles at Echo, but missed completely…such a waste…
Turn three saw Oicunn ramming Vessery and knocking off one hull point while return fire from Vessery prevents Oicunn from firing this round.
Turn four and Oicunn turns hard onto an Asteroid. Vessery moves in to perfect kill range while Rexler crashes into a different Asteroid. Vessery fires the only shots that turn, stripping four hull points from the beached Decimator.
Turn five sees Rexler hit Oicunn for a hit and a critical hit, knocking off a total of three hull points through the Critical Hit! card. Things go a bit pear shaped from here on out, as Echo lands enough hits on Vessery to kill him and I manage to roll no evades! Well…poo…
Turn six sees Rexler out of position to fire, losing a shield from Oicunn’s long-range fire while Echo repositions herself to swoop in.
Turns seven and eight saw Oicunn turn towards Rexler and the exchanges of fire knock two hull from Oicunn while Rexler lost one himself.
With Oicunn wounded on two hull, it looks like it’ll soon be Rexler vs Echo. The Decimator should die in turn nine, right? WRONG! Through some SERIOUSLY shoddy dice rolling, I manage to not inflict ANY damage on Oicunn, who in turn lands two hits on Rexler and blasts him out of space…
Damn… second 0-100 of the day…
Game 5 (Rob) – TIE Phantom, 4x TIE Fighter (Whisper, Howlrunner, 3x Academy Pilot)
Game five was going to be a bye round for me (giving me a win because I’d done so horrendously badly I didn’t even qualify to play on bottom table) but somehow had quit the tournament and not informed anyone. I was then rather politely asked to play Rob and his Phantom and mini-swarm list. Having just faced a Phantom and never faced a swarm of any kind with this list I was a little concerned, but at least I was playing a game and getting the most out of my £10!
Turn one sees both forces charging at one-another, a tactic that by now I should probably have realised doesn’t really work! I’m not using my bye, so if I lose this I’ll probably get another one next round, but I’d rather try and win at least ONE game fair and square…
Turn two sees things hotting up quickly. The Academy pilots all make a sharp turn to the right, with one crashing into an asteroid in the process and losing a hull point. Vessery and Rexler move in towards the Academy pilots while Whisper turns towards the fight and Howlrunner falls into position with her own turn over an asteroid which results in a critical hit – Thrust Control Fire. Whisper fires first and knocks three of Vessery’s shields down, while Rexler and Vessery pick off Holwrunner. To cap off the shooting, an Academy pilot brings down Vessery’s last shield and inflicts a critical hit – making Vessery unable to perform actions (oops!)
Turn three sees the Academy Pilots all perform a speed four Koiogran turn, two across the asteroid they had previously crossed and both taking a point of damage (at this point asteroids have done as much damage as my own shooting) and one crashes into Rexler. Rexler and Vessery both perform their own Koiogran turns while Whisper misjudges his decloak and ends up out of arc of Vessery. With only the two Defenders firing, Rexler picked off one of the Academy pilots while Vessery dealt a critical hit to another.
Turn four saw the two remaining Academy Pilots split up, with one moving towards the board edge and the other crashing into an asteroid and exploding. Vessery uses his action to repair his sensors (yay actions!) while Whisper circles to try and get into a better position.
Turn five saw the last Academy Pilot fly off the board, and I’m beginning to suspect my opponent is either exhausted or just fed up of rolling green dice so badly! I think I would be too in his position! Ships are still manoeuvring to get into better position at this rate, so there is no shooting – the same is true for turn six.
Turn seven sees the final showdown. Critically damaged Vessery and mostly unharmed Rexler against an unharmed Whisper. It started with Vessery making a mistake in which I hadn’t set my dial properly and did a speed two bank rather than straight. I figured this was it for my poor Defender, until Whisper performed a hard two turn and put himself out of firing position by a few millimetres. Rexler finished off the iffy movement phase by crashing into Vessery and was deprived his action. Vessery unloads his Cluster Missiles into Whisper, knocking out the shields and one hull point and the game ends as Rexler finishes off my opponent with his lasers.
My first win! 100-0!
I was understandably quite pleased with this result. After some shoddy rolling the game before, I could at least come away saying I’d won a game legitimately AND killed a named Phantom!
Game 6 (Janus) vs 2x TIE Defender (Rexler and Vessery)
A mirror match (almost). The two players on bottom table both had similar lists; mine having Ion Cannons and Cluster Missiles, both of which I was considering wasted points by this point in time, and Janus’ Defenders having Heavy Laser Cannons – something I now consider to be a vastly superior (if not fecking expensive) option.
Turn one saw the two pairs of Defenders moving forwards, mine favouring a more aggressive stance while my opponent plays it a little slower and calmer.
Turn two sees the shooting begin with both “evil” (i.e. Janus’) Defenders locking onto and firing at my Rexler. After my luck last game, my dice desert me and out of six defence dice rolled, I fail all of them and my extremely points-heavy Defender goes up in a ball of smoke in the second turn of the game…
This’ll be quick…
Turn three saw some iffy manoeuvring by both sides, the six hours of play combined with the two-on-one scenario not doing my concentration any favours.
Turn four saw all three Defenders perform Koiogran turns and a smattering of attack dice thrown, seeing both sides’ Vessery (Vesseries?) losing two shields.
Turn five and everyone Koiograns again (yay jousting!), though this time evil Rexler is hanging on Vessery’s backside like a flea on a dog. Vessery tries to fire his Cluster Missiles at Evil Vessery, but manages to miss spectacularly and loses his last two shields in the return volleys.
Turn six and I am well and truly screwed! All ships Koiogran again, and though Evil Rexler misses and Vessery has a chance to at least try and take someone down with him, he rolls badly in both attack and defence and dies rather ashamedly…
0-100 for the third time!
The event was the biggest I had ever been to, and also the most fun. The people I played against were all fantastic and every loss I had was a well-deserved win for the victor, even if one or two of them apologised for games they did not believe they should have won. The event was also the worst I had ever placed, as excluding dropouts who naturally do not count in these things, I came stone dead last!
I didn’t even qualify for the fancy art card😦
Still, I learned a lot about playing new people and have decided that Dark Sphere is definitely my go-t0 place for casual X-Wing games in the future. I also learned how not to fly in a tournament, and while there are people out there who will claim that my losses are because I ran a squishy two-ship build, I’d like to remind them that in at least two of those games I might have won had I a) equipped Heavy Laser Cannons instead of Ion Cannons and Missiles and b) been able to roll dice properly. That being said, I hadn’t gone to win I’d gone for fun – even after five defeats (three of them near-humiliating) I still had an excellent day, and really enjoyed running the list!
I will probably be tweaking it and running it again soon enough!