Philadelphia System Open: World’s Largest Hyperspace Trial (So Far!)

On December 6 and 7, a little under one hundred people descended on the Pennsylvania Convention Center for the first System Open of the 2020 series. Being the first in the new Hyperspace-form of System Open and given the late announcement (two weeks prior to the event), the low attendance is perhaps understandable; players who had registered for the event prior to the announcement either cancelling their ticket or not attending for a variety of reasons – disappointing for them and for the competitive X-Wing community as a whole, but not necessarily surprising.

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Prize Wall in all its glory

Being Hyperspace, the range of list diversity was going to be smaller than I think anyone would like; and with four T-70s (especially low Initiative T-70s), I’d need to avoid Imperial Aces and Triple Jedi if I was to have any chance of competitive success: the downside of the event being before January’s rebalance.

Game 1 vs Jesse – Vader, Soontir, Duchess

Imperial Aces, great…

I started the game aggressive, using prodigious use of the T-70’s four-forward and native boost to force an engagement on my terms. The first engagement saw both Vader and Duchess halved for half points on Temmin, which was a favourable result for me. I made a crucial mistake the following turn, changing Bastian’s lock from Vader to Duchess before she died, meaning Vader could swing back in without feeling too cautious.

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Bad times for Duchess and Vader.

Temmin was second to fall, followed by Soontir and the Blue Rookie. Bastian and Jess, both on half, vs a 2-hull Vader should be easy, right? No. I couldn’t push the damage through, having changed that lock from Bastian and being unable to really reacquire it.

Result: Loss 130-something – 200

Jesse would later go on to make Top 4, well done sir!

Game 2 vs Marc – Resistance Beef

Early engagements yielded poor or worse results, often netting one hit with a double-modified shot that was then promptly evaded even by a one agility Resistance Transport; being brutally honest with myself, I wasn’t flying at my best, and was on the ropes from the moment my dice first went cold on me.

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Fortunately, the dice swung back in the final turn of the game. Last-minute heroics from Bastian and Temmin managed to cinch me a win by seven measly MoV.

This was a game I don’t think I deserved to win based on my early strategic decisions, but also probably did not deserve to lose based on my absolutely atrocious luck, which would come back to bite me again later on in the day.

Result: 131-124 Win

Game 3 vs Justin – Vennie, Rey, Greer

This game was brutal. The initial engagement saw Rey dropped to one hull before dying to a Console Fire the following turn. Vennie then found herself surrounded and killed while Greer, despite putting up a valiant fight, found herself corralled into a corner before the end came for her.

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Sad times for Greer…

Result: 200-24 Win

Game 4 vs Tom – Grievous, 2x Fethan Autopilots, 2x TF Drones, Baktoid Prototype

Ever have a game where you can’t hit anything? This was that game. Three shots into the Baktoid Prototype, one of which was double-modded, no damage. Tom’s evades were as hot as my attack dice were cold, and his attack dice were as hot as my evades decided they were taking their union-mandated lunch break.

Bastian managed to one-hit-kill a Trade Federation Drone and Temmin finally put the kill hit on the Bomber, but it wasn’t enough to recover from a few disastrous turns of combat.

Struts need to go up to two points, I think, the ability for things to land on rocks or debris without penalty then rotate to their heart’s content while still getting actions means that you’ve got two choices when fighting against Droids – take gas clouds, or hope they screw up. Neither happened in this game.

Result: 58-200 Loss

Game 5 vs Ben – Obi-Wan, Plo, Luminara

Who doesn’t love Regen Jedi? Oh wait, my list. Ben is a lovely guy, and a great player, but no amount of description or analysis of my moves or his moves will change the simple fact of the matter that Jedi were always going to wipe the floor with this list.

And they did.

Game 6 vs James – Sun Fac and Maul

This list was…interesting. James had gone 2-0 early in the event and then dropped to play with the fun people down at the 2-3 level. Maul with Dooku is bad enough, but when you’re also factoring in Sun Fac? I was in trouble.

Enter Blue Rookie, Hero of the Resistance.

Banking across a rock, the Rookie blocked Sun Fac. Sun Fac tried to tractor Bastian onto the same rock, failed because of angles, and promptly missed. Jess did, well, Jess things…and Bastian finished the Nantex off with a range one shot with both Focus and Target Lock.

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Not appearing in this picture: a recently-deceased Sun Fac…

Maul put up a fight; stripping Temmin and Jess of their shields, but he couldn’t quite do enough damage to get anyone off the board. Bastian half-pointed himself on a Proximity Mine which I knew was coming and decided to do the K-Turn anyway (Maul had like three Hull left anyway so the game was mostly in the bag by this point), before James conceded before losing Maul to the Rookie (who more than earned his fancy blue paint scheme).

Result: 200-24 win.

Overall Result: 3-3, 45th/98

Final Thoughts:

3-3 echoes my performance at the UKSO and 45th out of 98 is better than 299th out of 560-something. So I can be pleased I haven’t gotten worse. That said, I’m disappointed I didn’t do better. Still, it was a fun event, and I got to meet the legendary Dion Morales, Dee Yun, Chris Allen, Marcel Manzano and Paul Heaver; all of whom are really nice people with an abundance of enthusiasm for the game; if these people were in charge, X-Wing wouldn’t have any problems at all.

The points rebalance and alleged changes to Hyperspace can’t come soon enough. I wasn’t alone in feeling a little annoyed by the format change so close to the event, especially since the changes will affect every other competitive event of the 2020 season except this one: had this been Extended or post-change Hyperspace, I might have done better. I may also have done worse. The fact that I only faced one Nantex is fortunate, I believe there were four at the event spread across three lists, but I couldn’t avoid running into Jedi – I used to love flying them, but now I’ve sold mine and have to fly against them, I now understand where people were coming from.

I leave you with an obligatory swag pic before I pack away my X-Wing until the New Year’s points are released, crack open my Black-Friday Legion stuff, and start learning how to play a game that, while not a replacement for competitive X-Wing, will probably allow me a chance to breathe and reflect on why I play these games and really, whether or not competitive play is my thing after all.

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Obligatory swag pic!

If I don’t write any further entries beforehand, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays, etc and a Happy New Year! May 2020 bring balance to the meta, allow us to see through the lies of the Jedi, and introduce Baby Yoda to the game!

Journey to PAX Unplugged: 1, 2, 3, 4

Time until PAX Unplugged: 17 days

Regular playtesting sessions remaining: 2

This weekend has been busy; eight games over two days, each event involving over an hour of travel in either direction. I am exhausted, how I expect to go six rounds on Saturday at PAX and then another five on Sunday at the main event, I do not know. Healthy food, plenty of water, and a good night’s sleep is probably the best option; snack bars and Coke/Pepsi probably the wrong way to go…

Saturday

I travelled up to East Coast Gamers in Tom’s River, New Jersey, to play in a twenty player/four round “casual tournament”. I considered bringing Wedge/Luke/Corran to get some reps in with that just in case I choose to use it as my backup, but instead took four T-70s to give them a chance to prove themselves competitively. Even though three of the pilots are Unique and have their own abilities, there is something satisfying about the simplicity of grouping your ships together and aiming them at the thing you want to die. This was going to be a challenging weekend, a true test of the list’s (and my) performance under competitive pressure in an Extended environment, and I can honestly say I wasn’t exactly confident!

Game 1 vs Chris – General Grievous, 3x Precise Hunter, Trade Federation Bomber

This list was interesting; the sheer amount of Cluster Missiles and the Hunter’s reroll ability worried me greatly. I started off facing down the enemy force, splitting away and leading him through the obstacles in the middle of the board before swinging around and deleting Grievous in one volley.

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Can’t share Calculates if you can’t Calculate!

Chris’ green dice hated him; admittedly it didn’t help that his ships were all Initiative 3 and I was getting fairly good at using the Blue Rookie and Bastian as blockers to prevent the Droids Calculating. When the last Droid fell, I still had four ships on the board: Jess and Temmin still with two shields apiece, Bastian with one shield, and the Blue Rookie at 3 Hull.

Game 2 vs Darren – Lieutenant Tavson, “Muse”, 2x Epsilon Cadets

I. Hate. Upsilons.

I made a fundamental mistake this game, in that I tried to rid myself of the TIEs before concentrating on Tavson; who had both Advanced Optics and Pattern Analyser, and thus really didn’t care about stopping and was more or less un-blockable.

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What should have been a masterful block turns into a really bad day for the Blue Rookie…

Long story short: everything died. For one and a half TIEs. A terrible way to play the game (though I believe the stop manoeuvre isn’t playing the game), my opponent entirely deserved the win

Game 3 vs Nick – Anakin Skywalker, Ric Olie, 2x Blue Squadron Protectors

Nick and I had played on Thursday, and he had made the mistake of jousting me with a rather fragile list. Suffice to say it ended poorly for him. This time, though he engaged in a much more effective manner, he still suffered the wrath of four T-70s pointed at the same target. The Torrents fell for half-points on the Blue Rookie before Nick forgot R2-A6 on Ric and bumped, quickly getting focused down and killed soon after.

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When you’re flying at low Initiative, getting arc on Aces is a real pain!

Anakin killed Jess with three minutes left on the clock, while Anakin escaped death with one Hull left; a vast improvement over Thursday’s game in which he fell with 45 minutes left on the clock.

Game 4 vs Dan – 4x Inquisitor

Four Inquisitors with Supernatural Reflexes and Passive Sensors; able to reliable token stack Focus/Evade tokens every turn, and also my nemesis chassis. With aces, killing the little buggers off was less of an issue than it is with the lower-Initiative ships.

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Snap deleted one in one shot, giving me early hope for success, but in the end the tables turned against me: two Inquisitors remained against the Blue Rookie as time was called, leaving me 2-2 for the day. 7th out of 20 was a good result given I had zero confidence in my list at the beginning, and the organiser made sure that everyone went home with plenty of prizes in alt-art cards to make the journey worthwhile.

Sunday

Sunday saw me travelling deep into Pennysylvania to Gamer’s Heaven in Phoenixville, a combined video- and tabletop game venue with an attached Ramen cafe. Though I’d gone 2-2 the previous day, I knew most of the people at this event as good players and knew that with PAX around the corner, they’d be bringing their A-Games.

Game 1 vs Matt – Grand Inquisitor, 2x Inquisitor, Colonel Jendon

Matt and I drove up together so being paired in Round 1 was a bit of a pain, especially since it was this exact list that gave my Black Aces such a rough time several weeks ago. Matt had given me some advice on how to deal with his list, however, and that was to get rid of one or more of the Inquisitors before going for the Shuttle.

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So that’s what I did. I traded down, Temmin for an Inquisitor and Jendon’s shields isn’t a good trade, especially when that means I’ve lost my “Ace” and the Grand Inquisitor is still zooming around. Instead of turning in against Jendon, I charge the Grand Inquisitor and make him disengage which frees me up to remove both Jendon and the other Inquisitor in fairly short order.

With seconds left on the clock, the Grand Inquisitor zooms into a kill-box and mistakenly decides to try and kill one of the three remaining ships rather than escaping. This costs him greatly, seeing him removed from the field just as time is called.

Game 2 vs Ted – Hera Syndulla, “Zeb”, Jake Farrell, Biggs Darklighter

VCXs scare me: four dice at range two-to-three, five dice at range one makes for a bad day for anyone unlucky enough to get caught in front of it; this one had an Ion Cannon Turret and Zeb docked, meaning potentially eight attack dice double-tapping out the back; enough to make a T-70 go away if I’m not careful.

The initial engagements went my way thanks to a combination of blocks and rough dice on Ted’s end; Hera lost four shields and two hull in exchange for three shields on Bastian, followed swiftly by Biggs getting executed by converging fire at range one.

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Somehow Temmin managed to get away with his life, I still don’t know how!

Temmin got halved by Hera, who in turn was blown apart by the Rookie (he’s really been earning his pay recently, he needs a new title!) This left four T-70s vs an A-Wing and an Attack Shuttle; neither of whom lasted long, Jess blasted Zeb in one shot while Temmin cornered and killed Jake for the second win of the event – half-points lost on Temmin and Bastian.

2-0 wasn’t where I expected to be at this point, and the other three 2-0 players had lists that frankly scared me quite a bit; I wasn’t looking forward to facing any of them, but I would have to hope that the matchup I drew was more favourable than I feared it would be.

Game 3 vs Eoin – Lothal Rebel, Luke Skywalker, Thane Kyrell

Another VCX, and two T-65 Aces; this had the potential to be rough, I could tell! The Lothal would hit like a tonne of bricks, and both Luke and Thane are decidedly dangerous targets; Luke would have to be eliminated quickly or he’d be a major problem for me late-game, if there was a late game!

Luke over-committed early and collided with the Blue Squadron Rookie thanks to Temmin’s free Boost ability (we actually didn’t think it would initially clear, had it not, Luke would have hit Jess and not taken shots) and was blown away by the combined shooting of Temmin and Jess. The T-70s then turned their ire on Thane, who met a similar fate the following turn.

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And now the VCX becomes the blocker!

Four T-70s vs a Lothal Rebel was going to be an uphill struggle for Eoin, especially as Bastian managed to keep rolling double evades while on one Hull remaining. The Lothal finally fell, having been unable to kill Bastian, and putting me at 3-0 and still in contention for the top spot – something I’d not considered possible at all with this list.

Game 4 vs Rob – Poe Dameron, Tallisan L’intra, Greer Sonnel, Zari Bangel

It was Rob’s birthday, so I was already getting some good-natured ribbing about “letting him win”. We’ve played each other once before and he soundly beat me, and his list had many advantages over mine; speed and time on target in addition to the all-important Initiative. I would have to be careful, especially with the A-Wings, as three of them with Advanced Optics could easily ruin my day.

Rob engaged too cautiously, not wanting to joust with the A-Wings; leaving them exposed from the flank without return fire; Tallie lost her shields and the next turn forced Poe to burn his Black One SLAM early to avoid being caught in four overlapping fire arcs.

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Poe and his Angels flee, but are running out of room.

Tallie was the first to fall – traded for Jess’ shields, followed by both Greer and Zari. It’s now Poe versus the world, something that he might actually be able to manage had more of the ships taken damage to their shields.

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In a last gasp to put more points on the board, Poe dives into the kill-box.

Desperate to finish Jess, Poe pounces and unfortunately fails to take Jess’ last Hull thanks to her re-roll, before being picked off by Temmin for the win.

4-0 for the day and First Place, something I didn’t think this list could ever achieve. Admittedly a significant portion of my success can be attributed to good dice rolls on my part or poor rolls on my opponent’s, but I’m finally comfortable with the list. Confident enough to take it to PAX? For the Hyperspace Qualifier, certainly. Main event? Maybe, we’ll see.

What’s interesting is just how resilient this list can be: I lost one T-70 all day on Sunday, to Matt’s Inquisitors and their Concussion Missiles; T-70s can hang in there when T-65s or E-Wings would be blown apart, which is probably why it’s my favourite of the three. I’m also pleased with how well the list performs as a group: I know I could run Temmin as a pocket-Ace against I3 ships or lower, but I can’t help but wonder if that would make Jess’ reroll less useful if she rolls particularly badly (it happens) – more experimentation is required.

There are two more Thursday test sessions until PAX, with next week being out thanks to Thanksgiving, and I’m still not sure I am 100% prepared: I’ve only got 10 acrylic shield tokens and 3 of the 4 acrylic dial covers I want if I’m taking this to an event (it’s probably a form of OCD I didn’t realise I had). I can only hope that Curled Paw Creatives comes through for me before then!

I may treat myself to a new Resistance Damage Deck as well, if it’s out before the event…

Still no news from FFG about Prize Support, which doesn’t bode well. FFG haven’t even officially announced the event yet, so it’ll be interesting to see what the numbers are like on the day.

That’s it from me for this entry, I need to find my paints and get my fourth T-70 painted; after this weekend it’s earned a paint scheme!

Tiny But Mighty – Highlander Games Hyperspace Trial

First, I’d like to thank everyone who commented on Facebook after my previous post: it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who feels that way at times, though I was surprised at some of the names I was seeing – people who I had always known were good at the game, who are still (in my opinion) better players than I am were in the same boat – it was a rather humbling experience!

In said article, I said I was going to try 5 RZ-2 A-Wings. They’ve been…hit and miss over the last few weeks; I’d won a handful of games and lost a handful of games, usually to better players with more optimised lists (looking at you Andrew and Zach!), and was reasonably confident. Confident enough to take it to a Hyperspace Trial? Not really, but I hadn’t practiced with anything else recently so I didn’t have a choice; my fellow Liberty Squadron member Nick and I bundled into the car at 7am for the two hour drive to North Jersey and the town of Boonton (pronounced “Bontoon” for some reason) for six rounds of pew-pew. Two other Liberty Squadron members joined us, Paul (there must always be two, apparently!) and Brett, and we settled down in what looked to be a fairly tough room – made all the tougher by the presence of one Duncan Howard; the man who has won four Hyperspace Trials this year with four different factions; he’s not a man, he’s an X-Wing machine!

Round 1 vs Brett – Obi-Wan Kenobi (CLT), Plo Koon (7B), Mace Windu (7B)

Round one and paired against a squadmate, typical!

The initial engagement went my way despite a mistake or two; half of Greer for half of Mace, of course Mace could run and regen like a coward, and he did. Tallie and Greer evaporated under concentrated fire in subsequent turns as I tried to put damage through on Mace, finally killing him.

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I failed to put any meaningful damage on the others before time was called; Obi-Wan having lost one shield and Plo having lost two but regenerated both. On my side, I had half a Zari who was desperately lucky to be alive!

Brett actually felt the need to apologise for winning, something I thought was a little odd; he’d outplayed me and won fair-and-square, but that’s just the nice guy he is!

Result: 72-180

Round 2 vs Kristoff – Nien Nunb, Finn, Cova Nell, Greer Sonnel

Resistance Beef, wonderful! This wasn’t going to be a fun matchup, I could tell. I’d have to hit and run hard to get the most out of the RZ-2s, dogfighting would be a nightmare, especially if my opponent kept his ships together.

Which he didn’t…

Finn fell early, the lack of Perceptive Co-Pilot meaning he got to trigger his ability once before proving that he’s not so much of a “Big Deal” after all, but things soon swung back against me; Greer and Tallie were crippled getting half points on Nien with their rear arcs.

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The Recruits are both battered down to half points before the kill shots are put on Nien and Cova, leaving Greer vs 5 A-Wings. That became four A-Wings as Zari was killed trying to put the final hit on evil Greer.

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Time was called as we placed dials, and evil Greer failed to escape for a 200-120 victory.

End of Round 2 and I’m 1-1. Already equalling Top Deck’s Trial, one win away from Warboar’s escapades and two wins away from what I would consider a completely “worthwhile” day of X-Wing given the travel times involved.

Round 3 vs Kevin – Darth Vader, Soontir Fel, Scarif Base Pilot

Imp Aces, not what I wanted to face!

I jousted the Scarif Base, deleting it in two engagements, losing half points on Zari and a Blue in the process. Vader soon found himself boxed in through cunning use of Barrel Roll-Rotate, the unmodded shots finding chinks in his plot armour, but not before he guns down two A-Wings.

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Soontir proved untouchable all game, and I had lost my lead. I needed Vader to die, and with two healthy A-Wings left, if he did, my opponent would have to get lucky with Soontir to grab the victory back. My moment came with five minutes left on the clock, an unmodded range 3 shot into Vader put the Sith Lord down, and my opponent conceded – Fel was flying away from the A-Wings, and now with a 30-ish point advantage, he knew he’d never catch them in time.

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Result: 200-116

2-1, I am very pleased with myself right now!

Round 4 vs James – Heff Tobber, Blue Scout, Benthic Two-Tubes, Magva Yarro

Ugh, four U-Wings! I wanted to hate this game, but James was a lovely guy, and actually a lot of fun to play against. Failing to block Benthic through my own greed meant that the Leia carrier survived turn one, which hurt a lot in turn 2. We would later discuss this, and we agreed that Leia surviving was huge for him; he suggested I should’ve come in from the side rather than straight jousting, but I think had I just prevented the distribution of Focus tokens, the effect would’ve been the same.

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I flew my arse off (James’ words) to try and claw back as many points as I could, and at no point was there a point where I knew I would lose. Heff fell, leaving it 2v2, but Greer couldn’t put damage through to get the final hit on Magva. Time was called and a half-pointed Greer breathed a sigh of relief, and I immediately went to find myself a bottle of water.

Result: 2-2 and 23rd place out of 42

Round 5 vs Mario – Sinker, 104th Battalion Pilot, 4x Gold Squadron Troopers

This matchup didn’t fill me with confidence, the Sinker Swarm has proven it can dominate most matchups, and I’d never flown against it. I knew Sinker had to die first, but I also knew it was common to deploy him on the far side of the formation, and Torrents are a pain to kill.

So when my opponent deployed Sinker on the near-side, I was a little perplexed, but it made my job easier! Using the RZ-2’s blistering speed I closed the gap in two turns, half-pointing the isolated Sinker in a single engagement. Gunned down the following turn as he tried to flee, Sinker contributed nothing except a distraction, though I lost a Recruit in the process – still trading up, however!

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Fate is fickle, and a series of blocks and natural hits left Tallie a smoking wreck, trading down for a measly Torrent not even worth 2/3 of her points. Still, I bounced back, dropping another Torrent to one hull with a Loose Stabiliser and killing the second Arc. Now it was a game of cat-and-mouse between RZ-2s and their Torrent pursuers.

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Time is called as we place dials down for one last engagement. The damaged Torrent dials a two turn, dying as he completes the manoeuvre. Concentrated fire brings down a second in the same turn, leaving one healthy Torrent out of arc to attack anything and bringing the game to an end.

Result: 175 – 119

3-2 and I’ve already reached my goal! Three wins makes this my most successful Hyperspace Trial and ties the UKSO for “proper” event win/loss ratio! I am over the moon at this point, but I don’t let my excitement get away from me – the 3-2 bracket is looking pretty tough, and I’d need some luck if I was going to go 4-2!

Game 6 vs Andrew – Kath Scarlet, 2x Bounty Hunter

This was going to be an interesting game; Firesprays have a lot of health, a lot of firepower, and are more manoeuvrable than you think. They’re also something I don’t want to block, as it gives Kath rerolls, and enemy rerolls are bad!

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Andrew’s evade dice were cold for the first few engagements, the one evade he rolled I apologetically Crack Shotted – I usually don’t like Crack Shot, especially in situations like that, but as he said “you use what’s good” and I wanted to go 4-2 as much as he did. The first Bounty Hunter was halved and the second lost its shields in exchange for half points on a Blue Recruit.

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Subsequent engagements saw both Kath and the other Bounty Hunter halved for half-points on Zari, I was constantly trading up. The Bounty Hunters’ luck finally swung, and I started losing A-Wings at a worrying rate. I finally managed to put both Bounty Hunters down with minutes to spare, for my fourth win; making this my most successful major tournament ever!

Result: 200 – 120

As the results were collated, I reflected on the one year since 2.0 was released. I’ve had more ups and downs in one year than I think I ever had in 1.0, but I also think this is a good thing; it means I love the game again. I wouldn’t have felt bad about going 1-5 at Top Deck had I not known I could do better, had I flown a “proper” list or if I’d just spent a little longer thinking about my manoeuvres.

Finally the results were posted:

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Seventh place with an MoV of 1360 and a SoS of 0.49 (I still have no idea how that works), edging Round One opponent Brett by the cost equivalent of Tallie, securing my place in the Top Eight and giving me all sorts of prizes! Unfortunately, I cannot compete in today’s Top Cut due to a family wedding, but I’m not too proud to admit I was not looking forward to playing Duncan Howard (Second in Swiss) in the Top Eight game. Lovely guy, wouldn’t want him wiping the floor with me, however!

My dropping puts Brett into Seventh (sorry) and fellow Liberty member Paul into Eighth; I expect one of you to win it! Also big shout out to Sol Guerrera who came top in Swiss; he and several of his New York buddies have adopted me as one of their own through interactions in Discord and at the Top Deck Hyperspace – I honestly don’t know what I was worried about when I moved, everyone here is lovely!

I’m going to finish with this, an obligatory swag post:

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I’m probably going to take a break from RZ-2s for a while; I still haven’t flown the N-1, the Resistance Transport/Pod, and I kind of want to try Anakin in the Y-Wing as a Torpedo carrier; I don’t expect he’ll be any good, but it’ll be funny!

Or Precognitive Reflexes Luke…

I digress! Thank you to everyone for your continued support; without it, I probably wouldn’t be playing X-Wing competitively, and certainly not writing about it!

Until next time!

 

Palate Cleanser

After the Top Deck Games Hyperspace Trial, I was in a bad place when it came to X-Wing. It hadn’t been my worst performance in the six or seven years since Wave 1 of 1.0, but it was bottom two when it came to fun (February 2018’s event at Wayland takes top spot thanks to things like Harpoon Missiles). I felt dejected, despondent, but most of all, I felt embarrassed – I’d let the whole “Two-Ship Paul” thing become something I prided myself on, and it all came crashing down around me in a torrent of sweat and poor decision-making. It’s probably not surprising to many, especially those who have been in similar situations, that I almost took a several-week long break from X-Wing.

Fortunately I cooled down enough to remember that first and foremost, X-Wing is meant to be about fun. Winning is the icing on the cake, and I can’t go to Worlds anyway! I packed the Jedi away, and broke out a faction I have flown once since arriving in the US – the Rebellion. I briefly considered Resistance, but they’ve always been my more “serious” faction, and that’s how they’ll stay for now.

Why Rebels, you may ask? These guys:

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Rogues Old and New!

These three represent my favourite Star Wars characters, old Legends or new Canon. Sure, Corran is a bit (a lot) of a Mary Sue, but he’s still pretty cool. They’re also three of my five favourite Rebel pilots, and they all have funky official alt-arts (Thane still needs one, and Frosted Norra only comes out on special occasions).

The list itself is pretty simple:

Palate Cleanser

Corran Horn [E-wing]
-Fire-Control System
-Predator
-R4 Astromech

Luke Skywalker [T-65 X-wing]
-Servomotor S-foils

Wedge Antilles [T-65 X-wing]
-Servomotor S-foils
-Predator

Totalling at 191, I have points to spare for toys such as regen on the two T-65s, but I wanted something I didn’t have to think too hard about. And it’s done me a world of good. The Rebel faction doesn’t have any true Aces; those with the Initiative lack the double-reposition without upgrades, and anyone that can double-reposition is I4 or lower (looking at you Jake Farrell!) This list isn’t designed to just joust, though it’s fairly good at it assuming it’s not outnumbered.

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Corran makes for an excellent flanker, as does Luke when you get it right.

The key is to bait and switch. Corran can fly in infinitely-tight circles with the one turn being white rather than red; this allows him to have more time on target with actions; it also makes him effective bait, allowing Luke and Wedge to mop up. Mostly people tend to go for Wedge first, however, which means Corran and Luke do the heavy lifting.

I’m currently 5/3 with this list, so it’s not perfect; I need to learn to fly it better, and it probably needs refining with the nine points I have left. Still, it’s not given me any true hard feelings (though Strikers with Proximity Mines remain a challenge), so it’s doing the job.

I was even taking it to a tournament yesterday, until pride got the better of me, and I decided to shamelessly rip off Jon Fawcett’s list from the Sith Takers tournament held in Stockport on the 3rd of August – the day before my 30th birthday. I felt this might be a sign, and “Two-Ship Paul” wasn’t resting as easily as I’d hoped. I’d even painted a CorSec E-Wing for Corran!

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Be gentle, it’s not finished!

There were only seven of us, and I got the first round bye which kinda sucked, but it meant I got a proper feel of the rest of the competition before my first game.

Which was almost a mirror-match: Luke and Corran vs Luke and Corran. Fortunately I had the choice on initiative as my opponent had loaded up with a few more toys such as Lone Wolf on Corran and Supernatural Reflexes on Luke, which meant my opponent was going first.

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Honourable Joust!

During the first engagement, Luke ate two Torpedoes which dropped him to one Hull. My own rolls were less spectacular, and it was only the double-tap from Corran which levelled the playing field. Unpainted Luke bugged out, followed by painted Luke who used his Afterburners to line up a Torpedo shot and delete his evil and extra-expensive twin. Alas, even with three charges from R2-D2 Luke could not evade Corran forever (mine was larking about on the wrong end of the board and unable to intervene) and he fell.

I could’ve run for 45 minutes, I had a 16pt bid and my Luke was cheaper than his, but that’s not how X-Wing should be played at an event like this. Corran vs Corran, what could go wrong?

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Round and round the gas cloud…

Eventually, with minutes to go both E-Wings were down to one hull. The fateful encounter could not be prolonged any longer. I should’ve disengaged, but that felt like it wouldn’t be a suitable ending to this game; I had to kill Corran, or he had to kill me. It was the only way.

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Standoff…

Unpainted Corran fired first with Focus, Lock and Lone Wolf. One hit snuck through; painted Corran was dead. Painted Corran returned fire, with only his Target Lock to modify. Again, one hit snuck through. Unpainted Corran was also dead.

We looked on in amazement, or possibly horror; the previous 70 minutes had been some of the most stressful and enjoyable play either of us had ever had, and it meant nothing; for the first time since Wave 1 of 1.0, I was going to Final Salvo.

Graham rolled, two hits, some focuses, some blanks. My roll had a lot of focuses and I prepared to congratulate my opponent, until I saw the third hit result. First Final Salvo, first win on Final Salvo. A 200-200 victory.

My second game was against Wedge/Luke/AP-5, and though I managed to delete Luke it came at its own cost; my Luke was crippled and easily finished off by Wedge, who then spent the next thirty minutes chipping away at Corran as he tried to re-engage; leaving me 1-1 with a Bye and 5th out of 7.

Normally, I’d be disappointed with a result like that; nobody likes a bye in 3 round games and I felt I could’ve played both my games better; not jousting Torpedo carriers with Torpedo carriers or focusing on Wedge rather than Luke would be my two lessons to take home from this. That said, it was a lot of fun, and that’s the point of the game, isn’t it?

I may keep this as a backup for games when I just want to chill out with a beer, though Brilliant Evasion is going in the bin. Heightened Perception may be the way forward, possibly for Luke/Wedge 2.0?…

Though I cannot make the NOVA Open due to monetary concerns (moving abroad is expensive), I need to look to the future – there are still Hyperspace Trials to attend, and potentially PAX Unplugged this winter. This list, while fun, isn’t going to do me any favours competitively and only really serves as a reminder of importance and relevance of the Rule of 11. For competitive play, I think I need to go back to the Resistance and investigate the Transport and Pod (the Silver Ace has been experimenting with Finn, he’s apparently A Big Deal), or table the N-1 and see if I can make a halfway decent showing with the Republic.

Although this guy could tempt me towards The Dark Side…

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Thanks for reading!

Fallen Order: Top Deck Games Hyperspace Trial

Yesterday, July 20th, saw 48 people arrive at Top Deck Games in Westmont, New Jersey, for New Jersey’s only Season 2 Hyperspace Trial. It was, shall we say, unseasonably warm – a real feel of 105 degrees Fahrenheit, which in English is…hot.

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I had been uncertain what to fly in the days leading up to the event, and was debating running Anakin/Obi-Wan/Plo Koon with CLT and R2 Astromech; it was fun but had gone 2-3 in testing so it probably wouldn’t hold up competitively. Instead I went back to Anakin/Obi-Wan and made a fatal mistake, not only was I flying on about five hours sleep, I’d dropped the Shield Upgrade from Anakin to retain a bid deep enough to outbid Imperial Aces – this would prove to contribute to my undoing in so many games!

Game 1 vs Keith – Mace, Luminara, Saesee

This was going to be an interesting game; I know Keith from two Discord servers and we’d been discussing the pros and cons of Jedi for a while.

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Keith’s game went…poorly… Anakin and Obi-Wan managed to dodge arcs or shrug off damage when they were targeted. Anakin put in a lot of work, first cornering Mace and removing him, and crucially removing Sense from Keith’s arsenal. Luminara fell next, before Obi-Wan finished Saesee.

Result: 200 – 0 Victory.

Game 2 vs Rob – Temmin, Jess, 2x Blue Rookie

This was going to be a tough matchup, and I’d lost to this list with my triple CLTs last week, so I wasn’t convinced. On the other hand, I was riding a 200-0 victory so I felt anything was possible. The early engagements saw one Rookie fall and Temmin’s shields stripped, and then I start to make mistakes.

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Temmin refused to die for far too long, allowing Jess and the Blue Rookie to put damage on the two Jedi before they could disengage. Both suffered a Direct Hit! as the first damage card dealt, leading to two very dead Jedi.

Result: 100 – 200 Defeat

Round 3 vs Eoin – Soontir, Vader, Tomax

This should have been a relatively decent matchup against fellow expat Eoin; so long as Anakin stayed out of the I6s arcs, I stood a reasonable chance of winning. Vader and Obi halved each other, Vader being far closer to death than Obi-Wan, which was a fairly decent opening engagement.

Then Anakin blanked out thanks to a rookie mistake on my part, and died…

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Obi-Wan vs The World is great, when your opponent has I5 or lower. Against I6 there was only so much he could accomplish, and though he managed to half-point Tomax, he too fell.

Result: 68 – 200

By this point, I think it’s probably something like a hundred degrees in the store, it certainly felt cooler when I stepped outside for some air. I’ve had two stupid losses, I’m tired and a bit discouraged, but if the matchups are kind I know I could still go 4-2 and at least win some prices.

Round 4 vs Cal – Boba/Guri/Zealous Recruit

Another relatively decent matchup! Or so I thought…

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The Fang got crippled early, while Anakin found himself boxed in and immediately dropped down to half points. Though Obi-Wan finished off the Fang, Anakin was destroyed soon after for half points on Boba; Obi-Wan falling soon after.

Another game I screwed up by allowing my opponent to block me. Even with Supernatural Reflexes, Obi-Wan can get predictable, and by now I’m actively considering I might just drop – it’s too hot for me to concentrate enough to fly this list.

A quick trip to Wawa and a 44oz Coke later (I don’t know what that is in litres, but I imagine it’s one or more), and I make the possibly stupid decision to stay and try for 3-3.

Game 5 vs Etienne – Maul, DBS-404, 3x Vultures

This matchup wasn’t one I was looking forward to; I’d been paired against it earlier only to be repaired, and now apparently fate was going to laugh at me.

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Maul was halved early, with DBS-404 the first to fall. This meant Grievous recharged, meaning Maul didn’t die to Anakin, and survived to kill Obi-Wan. Anakin struggled against the remaining ships but was unable to evade them; one clutch manoeuvre took Anakin from 4 health to 1, and just when I thought he was safe, Etienne said “Discord Missile” and, just like that, my blood is boiling as hot as the outside temperature and I’m now 1-4.

At this point it’s eight o’clock and I really should have dropped; but I paid $25 to play six games, so six games I would play.

Game 6 vs Cooper – Poe, Nien, Cova

Another simple matchup, another cluster that I could have and probably would have won had I not been flying like an absolute moron all day.

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A misjudged SNR puts Obi-Wan perilously close to the board edge (I thought I’d done a 5k, I’d dialled in a 5f instead), though next turn he managed to save it by barrel-rolling out and doing a one turn. Poe and Nien were dropped to half points, before Nien’s Autoblasters killed Anakin thanks to one uncancellable critical hit (I hate that card already!)

Result: 68 – 200

Overall Result: 1-5

This story has a moral, and a warning. I would also like to take this opportunity to state categorically that it was my mistakes (or hubris) that cost me games; my opponents were nothing but lovely people, and I apologise to any of them who read this if my attitude (particularly in games 4-6) made the game less fun for them!

Moral: Don’t play tired. Don’t play angry. Certainly do not play dehydrated! If it stops being fun, go home. You’re not doing yourself or your opponents any favours, especially if like me you were a hot and salty mess. It’s better to take the financial hit in “wasted money” and any blows to your pride for dropping, and getting out of the situation that’s upsetting you.

WarningUnless you are a gifted player like PhilGC or Nick Tobin, janky/fun lists like these do not work in a competitive setting! Taking them to a competitive event runs a certain level of risk, and you need to be damn sure you have as much fun losing with these lists as you do winning with them. If you don’t, shelve them and run something boring. Rebel Beef, for example (it’s still out there!)

So what does this mean for me? Well, I think I’m shelving the Jedi for a while. Maybe. I’m hesitant to shelve them entirely, they’re new and they’re still fun, I just think I made a bad judgement call this event. Plus I invested in fancy dial covers and templates when they came out, so it’d be a waste of money to simply discard them (though if anyone wants to make me any offers, I might be open to selling?)

One thing is certain though, I won’t be flying any two-ship lists for a while! Two-Ship Paul is dead! Long live Two-Ship Paul!

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Two-Ship Paul is Dead! Long Live Two-Ship Paul!

A Wargamer Abroad: Settling In

I have now resided in the United States for nine days, and life is proving to be different in some ways and remarkably different in others. For example: in New Jersey there are petrol station attendants who fill your car up for you, and the prices on things do not include tax. The weather has proven distinctly England-like, however; blue sky and sunshine one moment, thunderstorm the next…

Weather and petrol-pump trivia, aside, it’s been a busy nine days. I have, however, managed to get myself down to the local gaming store on the last two Thursdays to introduce myself to the locals. I was nervous; though I’d introduced myself through the local gaming area’s Facebook group, these were new people and as I’ve mentioned in this blog before, anxiety around new people is something I suffer from fairly regularly. This wasn’t going to be Warboar, Wayland, or Dark Sphere, these weren’t going to be my friends from TNX or the 186th members I remain in contact with; all I could do was hope for the best.

I needn’t have worried: Top Deck Games in Westmont, New Jersey is a lovely store. The range of items stocked is large and varied (including Sisters of Battle models for those 40k players who wanted something different), the staff are great and the locals are all lovely people. Originally I hadn’t intended to get any games in during my first week, but applying for for phone contracts, debit cards and Social Security Number is long process that involves an awful lot of waiting around; so last Thursday I grabbed my box with whatever was left in it from the last time I played – which turned out to be Anakin and Obi-Wan.

USA Game #1 vs Mike – Soontir, Vader, 3x Academy Pilots

I’ve played against similar lists with Anakin/Obi-Wan and come out on top, but today The Force was most definitely not with me! I believe that focusing on Vader rather than Soontir first meant I lost ground fairly early on in the game, and struggled to claw it back. By the time the game finished, I had only managed to halve Soontir and Vader and damage one of the Academies. Still, it was a great game and Mike was a fun opponent to play against!

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Two on one, and I still came off worse… Photo credit to Lou Caravelli

Now aware that before I start throwing silly lists around, I needed to get the measure of my new opponents, so this week it was time to bring something a little more ‘serious’ to the table. My variation of the “Danger Zone” list has always been good fun to fly, while also being one of the more ‘competitive’ lists I’ve used this year.

USA Game #2 vs Graham – Anakin& Obi-Wan

This was an interesting game; Graham was running a variation of the list I ran last week, but with Afterburners on both Jedi rather than the Shield Upgrade on Anakin.

The first engagement took place in the centre of the board and went my way; Graham’s dice rolling cold from both ships while L’ulo did his thing and stripped Obi-Wan’s shields in one hit. L’ulo would pay for this insult, however, as he was the first to fall.

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Things are looking rough for Obi-Wan, here!

Obi-Wan found himself surrounded and killed by a vengeful Poe/Nien double-team, and from there it was only a matter of time before an aggressive Anakin was finally hunted down. Graham and I discussed this after the game; had Anakin disengaged after losing his shields rather than turning in to finish L’ulo, he might have survived longer; but ultimately I think removing a ship from the board was the right move to make at that time.

USA Game #3 vs Lee – Iden, Gideon, Del, 2x Nu

This list was an odd one; I’ve never seen low-Initiative Gunboats used without Ion Cannons and the Assault Configuration before, so I was wary of what this list might be able to do; especially if I accidentally wandered into Range One of any Advanced Proton Torpedoes…

L’ulo committed to the engagement too early, though was fortunate enough to avoid the worst of the punishment through initial clever range control and then a lucky overlap. Poe and Nien swung in from the flank, chipping away at Iden and Del before shifting their focus to the Gunboats.

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The board becomes more than a little congested at this point!

L’ulo finally found himself shieldless thanks to Homing Missiles, and began the process of trying to disengage in a way that meant he could still engage; he didn’t play any further role in the battle except to bait the TIEs and eventually die to Iden and Gideon. Poe deleted the two Gunboats in quick succession, before linking up with Nien again and going to town on the TIEs. The game concluded with Del Meeko, who had been untouched for the majority of the game, suffered a Fuel Leak from overlapping an Asteroid and then suffered one sole Critical Hit which put him down for good.

USA Game #4 vs Kevin – Boba/Emon

Firesprays and Bombs. I’ve flown against a similar list flown by TNX Squadmate Jake, but at the time I was using Wedge/Luke which meant I had to adopt a bold but cautious style of play. Now I had half again as many ships, only half as many Torpedoes, and zero Force. Kevin had just annihilated a four Fang list through careful bomb placement, so I knew I couldn’t afford to be too bold; I could joust the list and stand a reasonable chance of coming out ahead, but I wasn’t going to if I could avoid it.

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Thanks to a bold play by Kevin, I’m forced to accept the joust.

Kevin didn’t let me avoid it, and as the ships crossed paths, L’ulo had lost his shields and Emon was down to four Hull. The second engagement saw L’ulo fall to Boba, but Emon fell to Nien who had Tallon-Rolled into his blind spot at Range One.

Nien and Poe went to work hunting Boba, but it was difficult work! I managed to get my dials confused at a crucial moment, leaving Nien out of range and Poe at range one of Boba in his front arc, but fortunately the dice gods were with me and Poe didn’t suffer as much as he should have. Boba did finally fall, but it was touch and go for a moment; Poe was on dangerously low health, and though Nien was still mostly healthy, he’d struggle to catch Boba if the Firespray decided to simply run for it.

 

Four games and three wins in my first two weeks in America, I’ll take that! However, in this case it’s not about the winning at all. My fears have been allayed; there is a local store, the X-Wing scene is thriving, and the local players are all friendly. Furthermore, I’ve got a Hyperspace Trial in about six weeks, which I wasn’t expecting! What more could I ask for?

I’m also tempted to check out the Last Chance Qualifier in October, though that one depends entirely on available funds and wife points… I’d better start being more helpful around the house!

Big thanks to Mike, Graham, Lee and Kevin for the games, and to Lou and everyone else at Top Deck Games for making me feel welcome so far!

The Last Hurrah!

As the time for the great move to the wilds of New Jersey draws closer, I find myself in a position to reflect on the last eight months; arguably the best eight months of X-Wing I have had in the seven years since the game was released. 2.0 rekindled my love for the game, and in a way, for Star Wars in general – I’d still gone to see the movies and I’d dip back into the DVDs or books now and then, but I was less enthusiastic about the franchise in general.

This is not a post to reminisce about my favourite 2.0 memories, I’ll save that for the night before 3.0 drops! This is, however, the opportunity to document my last (possibly last ever) tournament in the UK. I was originally not even going to attend, as I’ve still got a buttload of undergraduate marking to do and I didn’t particularly feel too keen about the prospect of being kicked up and down the tables by people who regularly do just such a thing! However, I started my 2.0 journey at Warboar and it seemed only right to end my UK journey there as well, so off I went to a 13 player event with… you guessed it… two ships.

The List

Anakin Skywalker – R2 Astromech + Delta-7B + Shield Upgrade
Obi-Wan Kenobi – R2 Astromech + Delta-7B + Supernatural Reflexes

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This list isn’t mine; I was intrigued by Nicholas Tobin’s two Jedi list that made it to the final of the Bloomington Illinois Hyperspace Trial; I’ve flown Anakin and Obi-Wan together in the past, but the upgrades were different and giving Supernatural Reflexes to Obi-Wan rather than Anakin didn’t feel right when I saw the games. Still, I wanted to see whether the list had legs (or whether Mr Tobin is some kind of Delta–7 savant). It flies almost exactly the same as “my” (thanks again Sharqqy!) Anakin/Saesee list, except the lack of Afterburners means I could be burning through an awful lot of Force to get into position / out of danger.

Game 1 vs Phil – Count Dooku, 4x Drones with Homing Missiles

I’ve played against this list before, I think I was using Poe/Nien, and I told Phil at the time that the Homing Missiles were a waste of points: low Initiative Drones really want Energy Shell Charges (not that I’ve ever flown them). Phil had actually made a list with ESC, then upon finding out this was his last chance to try and beat me (he’s come close but never succeeded), he went back to the Homing Missiles in case we were paired up – we were.

The first two engagement phases went poorly for Phil: two Drones were reduced to one Hull apiece in each phase, in one shot. This, I believe, put him “on tilt” (I believe is the phrase) as he then proceeded to make some very “interesting” tactical choices in order to get his Missiles off.

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Simplest solution to not die? Ram the only ship that has arc on you!

The Drones were picked off one by one, leaving Dooku alone against two Aethersprites that, thanks to arc-dodging and only taking two shots from Homing Missiles, still had shields. Getting damage through into the Scimitar was difficult at first, as it was cloaked with a Stealth Device, but once that extra evade dice went away, it was all over. Phil conceded with twenty minutes remaining, well-aware that a two-Hull Infiltrator didn’t really stand much chance against two healthy Aethersprites that refused to stay in arc; Heightened Perception or no Heightened Perception.

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“This time we’ll take him together.” “I was about to say that.”

Result: 200 – 0 Victory.

Game 2 vs Henry – Lando Calrissian, Jan Ors, Braylen Stramm

Henry’s list has been described as “that hot mess that Henry keeps somehow flying successfully” – it’s beef, but it isn’t. It’s also something you don’t want to mess up your engagement against, as I have found to my detriment in the past. The last time I flew against this, I was using Anakin and two Generics, and I had Lando down to one hull when I lost, so I knew it wasn’t unbeatable if I didn’t make any mistakes.

So what did I do? Got Anakin killed in the first engagement and left Obi-Wan to do the hard work by himself…

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Obi-Wan vs The World!

This is where the Jedi Master shone; Supernatural Reflexes at I5 moving last meant that Obi-Wan was able to make short work of Braylen and Jan. Unfortunately, Lando proved too tough for the plucky little Aethersprite and though I had knocked down four of his shields, I was unable to put enough damage through without suffering in return.

Result: 113-200 Defeat.

A chat with Henry over a beer at lunch highlighted what I’d done wrong: I’d gotten too aggressive with Anakin, and then the dice betrayed me (as they do when you do something stupid) – six consecutive blank green dice hurts, but you can’t blame variance when you’ve willingly put yourself in that position; though had I managed to kill Braylen and not just wound him, it might have been a different story…

Game 3 vs Ashley – 2x Jedi Knight, 2x Gold Squadron Pilot, 1x 104th Battalion Pilot

I’d seen this list used on Thursday, and it looks fun. I can’t say I like CLT on the Jedi Knight, but from what I saw, lining up that bullseye on anything I3 or lower is a lot easier than you might think and the list certainly has enough red dice being thrown about to really ruin someone’s day if they tried to joust it. Like I might have earlier this year.

So I didn’t. Except when I pushed Obi-Wan and Anakin through the middle of his formation which he’d obligingly split to avoid an asteroid. The Torrents fell early, taking surprisingly long to die (except it’s not really surprising when you consider they have five hull and look at how dice averages work out), followed by the ARC.

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Obi-Wan saw Anakin “killing younglings”, and decided to help!

Two Jedi against two Jedi. Delta-7B against CLT. Ace against Generic. Ashley saw which way the wind was blowing here, and conceded once both Jedi Knight had gone to half points; he simply could not keep the two higher-Initiative ships in arc.

Result: 200 – 0 Victory

Game 4 vs Rob – Deathfire, Lieutenant Kestal, Pure Sabacc and Redline

This was an interesting list, the inclusion of Kestal based on the misconception that a ship could fire a primary AND a turret (thankfully not without Veteran Turret Gunner). I started by playing cagey, staying in Range 1 of my board edge while I wanted to see what Rob would do and chipping away at Deathfire at long range. The mistake came when I misjudged how aggressive Rob would be with Pure Sabacc, blocking Obi-Wan’s lines of retreat and rolling five naked dice into the Jedi Master. Obi-Wan blanked and then exploded. Flying is for Droids, after all.

So, Anakin against the world? I’d hoped to go 3-1, but I figured if this game was enough fun I would be willing to accept that I had made some terrible mistakes and take pride in the 2-2 with a list I’d never flown before. Either way, it was time to see whether or not Anakin was worth the ninety points I’d paid for him.

In short, yes. Yes it was. Deathfire died first, followed shortly after by Kestal. Sabacc gave me a little bit of grief, but his Advanced Ailerons scuppered him by ensuring that no matter what manoeuvre he did (barring S-Loops or K-Turns), I could turn inside him with the Aethersprite’s frankly mental dial.

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Redline watches as Pure Sabacc falls. (The charge token on Redline is a Stress standin).

Catching Redline was a lot more difficult than one might expect, as Rob likes his K-Turns; he was desperate to get the second Torpedo off. Unfortunately he was scuppered by Anakin’s insane repositioning ability.

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Not even Redline can run forever…

With a lot less time left on the round than any of my previous games, Redline finally fell, giving me a 3-1 with a list I’d never used before.

Result: 200 – 98 Victory

I admit I was surprised to go 3-1, though the two 200-0 wins were the most surprising aspect of the event for me. I was a little annoyed that I made two elementary mistakes which got half my list deleted in single engagements, but that’s the risk you take with lists like this – one day I will learn!

As I packed up my things, all I had to do now was see how the 3-0 game was going; if Jake won with his 5 A-Wings, I’d be in third place thanks to MoV. If Simran won with his Anakin/Mace/2x Torrents, I would be in second. Either result would please me, as until now my best 2.0 result at Warboar was fourth (on May 4th, ironically). Simran won his game 41 – 13 (ish), putting me in 2nd place, and giving me a pleasant end to my UK competitive (if you can call it that!) career. What’s more, I think this has set my opinion that the Delta-7 is the most fun ship in X-Wing in concrete! I can’t wait to see what they do with the Eta-2 (here’s hoping for Wave 6!)

So that’s it for 2.0 in the UK (except this Thursday, assuming I make enough progress with marking papers and packing!) I’d like to thank everyone I’ve played against or spoken to; you know who you are! I’d also like to thank the staff at Warboar Games and my fellow TNX’ers for making me feel welcome these last eight months or so! It’s really been appreciated!

As of my next entry, I’ll be a rambling expat diving into the North American meta where the bids are shallow and a fellow named Duncan is on a crusade to win a tournament with every faction! This is both exciting and terrifying! Wish me luck, everyone!