(Almost) Return of the (not quite) Jedi

The intro…

Hello! Welcome to this week’s blog!

Now if you’re thinking to yourself ‘hang on, I thought he said there wasn’t going to be a blog this week?!’ then you’re absolutely right, there wasn’t.

I’ve just come back from 2 weeks on holiday in France (which was amazing, though I don’t recommend an Airbnb without a pool during a 35C+ heatwave!) and I knew I wasn’t going to have either time or content.

Holiday was pretty hot.

It turns out that while I was right about the time, I was wrong about the content. The build up to my holiday was SO bonkers busy that some X-Wing stuff stacked up in my head that I just had to put down in the notes app on my phone, ready to properly write about when I got home. That means I’ve got a couple of (potentially) massive blogs to write but simply did not enough time to write them by today.

So why am I even bothering to write a blog then? Well for a few reasons. It won’t be all that big this week though so adjust your expectations accordingly!

The main bit….

Part 1 – A tournament!

Yes! Already! Despite it feeling like we only just did one (I mean, we did, on the 30th of July), we at Firestorm Games Newport have our next event coming up at the end of September (just in time to practice for the London WCQ! Not that I’m going to that…).

This tournament is actually the long awaited return of the Firestorm Doubles cup arranged by the honourable Mr Richard Otton.

Why do I bring this up? Well, a few reasons actually.

First of all, while there are currently no tickets available if you fancy coming and there are any drops you can keep up with current info by checking out the Facebook page here. There’s no waiting list for drops yet but I’m sure Richard will be able to help you out if you post your question on the event page!

Secondly, as a change from the usual format I find the concept of a doubles tournament really interesting. Each pair must use the same faction and limited pilots (and upgrades) CANNOT be used across both lists. For example, if one list has x1 Darth Vader, the other can’t have either x1 Vader (nor Defender Vader for that matter).

With certain pilots being very strong (and popular) at the moment (like the aforementioned Vader or maybe Luke and Wedge in Rebels), it makes for interesting list building since both lists can’t take all the best toys.

It challenges list building and strategy (for match pairings) and changes things up just enough while still retaining the core of the game.

Lastly, as of right now I have a ticket but no partner! Yes, I was a little slow to get a ticket (y’know, because of the holiday and whatnot) and while a fair number of pairings were fairly obvious (father/son teams for example), a few were not but I was (again, holiday related) a bit slow off the mark and missed the chance to find someone.

I bought a ticket to make sure that I had a slot but as of right now I am partnerless (although I am waiting for one person to get back to me!).

Why do I say this? Well, of course it’s because I need a partner to be able to play in the tournament! So, if you fancy coming to Newport (in South Wales, just to be clear) on the 24th of September to be my X-Wing buddy in this team tournament, drop me a line and we’ll see what we can sort out!

Part 2 – XTC Hype!

The group stage of the XTC may be done and dusted but the final stage is fast approaching!

Lists and roster changes have been submitted (but not publicly published yet, as far as I can see!) and players are now frantically practicing lists ahead of this coming weekend’s HUGE schedule of play!

The qualifiers

The 10 teams above will all play each other once, meaning 9 rounds (of 5 games per round!) of round robin play across 2 days. That’s 450* games of X-Wing happening in less than 48 hours.

*that’s right, right?!?

Absolutely mental!

Having come so close to qualifying with Team Wales a few weeks ago I’m feeling a little bittersweet over it BUT the teams that made it fully deserve to be there and in all honesty, it’s going to pretty exhausting for all the teams involved!

If you want to follow what’s happening then check out the tournament schedule as it all unfolds. I’d advise to STAY OFF Tabletop.To as, with a GSP event happening on the same weekend, more people hitting refresh might push the boundaries of it a touch too far and cause some delays and NOBODY wants that!

I want to wish everyone who is taking part good luck and may the best team win!

Part 3 – The Isoplane Initiative

I’ve seen it said before that people joined for the game but stayed for the community. That’s certainly how I feel about both my local community and the wider online community (well, most of the time!).

We’d all admit this last year or so has been a pretty rough ride. Coming off the high of 2021’s XTC, it was way back in September last year that AMG started talking about what has now become the game in it’s current state and as a result I think it’s fair to say that the community has had a rough ride of it.

People quitting the game (sometimes a full rage quit), split opinions, vocal minorities and some pretty heated discussions have given the overall feel of the online community a different vibe than it had only 12 months ago. Thankfully, things have been settling down of late.

A visual representation of 6 months ago

One of the ‘feel good’ things that has come out of this period of uncertainty has been Louis Leong producing unofficial prize kits for TO’s to use in the absence of anything from FFG. Honestly, the level of effort in terms of planning, design and up front cost to something like that is huge and I can’t praise him highly enough for it.

Well, hot on his heels it seems is the legendary Isophane (aka Daniel Lim) who is spearheading a project (along with several partners which, funnily enough, includes the aforementioned Louis Leong!) which is, quite frankly, beyond comprehension.

They are planning to fund people to go to Worlds.

The website is worth a read but here’s a quote that sums it up:

The Isoplane Team wants as many people as possible to take part in the X-Wing World Championship 2023 at Adepticon in Chicago, Illinois. We are all aware that for many X-Wing players in the world this will be no small feat. Therefore we intend to help players accomplish their goal of attending Worlds 2023 who would otherwise not be able.

Honestly, this blows my mind. Funding people to travel the world to play the game we love. This is an incredible project that will give people the opportunity to do something they might otherwise NEVER be able to do.

If that’s not worth celebrating then I don’t know what is!

So if you want to contribute to making it happen then you can by buying some of Louis’ awesome metal objective tokens from his online store or follow the other instructions on the website.

In case anyone from the team involved in this is reading this, thank you. Thank you for doing this for our community. If there is anything of any use that I can do, please PLEASE let me know and I will do my utmost to contribute what I can.

You are all legends.

The conclusion…

Not a lot to conclude today I guess! I’m back at Firestorm for a game (maybe two?!) tomorrow so I’ll have a game to write about. Plus of course there’s the other two blogs I’ve already started putting down as notes. Let’s see what sort of post we get next week shall we?

The outro…

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, I hope you’ve enjoyed it! If you’d like to support me in continuing my X-Wing blogging adventure there are a few ways you can do that.

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