An Exercise in Stupidity

The intro…

Welcome to this week’s blog!

The weeks feel like they’re flying by lately, I don’t know why that is! There also seems to be a LOT of in person events happening lately which, given what’s happened in the last few years, is REALLY great to see!

I would take the chance to promote Steve Boulton’s event this coming Sunday in Gloucester but I can’t since it’s sold out! I’m not able to go myself but I hope everyone there has a great time and kudos to whoever ends up with this trophy:

Massive shout out to Exiles Mark and Josh Hall for sorting this for Steve!

I will mention a tournament happening in Cardiff too, on the 18th of March at Firestorm Games. Details are on the Facebook event and tickets are available here!

The last one was a blast

Changing eh subject slightly, we are sorting out various things in the house and I recently tried (emphasis on the tried) to sort out my X-Wing stuff.

I was quite amused to find this box which used to contain ALL my X-Wing stuff..

Scissors for scale.

At this point, it would no longer even hold all my dials I think. I don’t have a pic of how I store everything but I probably will in a few weeks. Just thought I’d throw that in there!

Patreon Update…

Yes, I am STILL banging on about Patreon! It’s almost the end of the quarter and it’s time for another gift reveal following on from the tokens and cards I’ve shown in the last 2 weeks.

This one though I am very VERY happy with.

In keeping with the Spaceballs theme for this quarter, top level (Legend) Patrons will be getting one of these:


I’m really chuffed with how this quarter’s stuff has come out and next week I’ll show you what the giveaway prize will be for one lucky Patron too.

If you’d like to support me on Patreon (and be eligible for this quarter’s stuff) then you can sign up here.

I want to give a massive shout out to all my Patrons, you guys are AMAZING!

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

Before I get started I think it’s worth referencing the title of this week’s post. I’m not a proud person. I make mistakes and I’m not ashamed to talk about them and it’s for two main reasons.

  1. If I can’t see, understand or admit my mistakes, I’m not going to learn from them and I’m not going to grow or improve.
  2. EVERYBODY makes mistakes. Everybody. There are no exceptions. There is ALWAYS something to learn and always things that can be improved.
  3. My mistakes can encourage others. This one needs a bit more of a deep dive.

I want to just go into a little history here as I think it’ll provide some context. Way back when, I was considering writing a blog but I had something holding me back. I wasn’t very good at X-Wing. Don’t get me wrong, I was ok. I knew stuff about the game but I wasn’t going to tournaments every other week and making cut or winning them like most (or all?) other bloggers seemed to be at the time. A part of me felt that in order to do a blog I would have to be successful at X-Wing first in order for my thoughts and opinions to be worth sharing.


I eventually decided that having a blog about being decidedly average at X-Wing could be a good thing. It might encourage people to post blogs or Facebook/Reddit posts about the game without being afraid to be judged on how good they are at the game.

I saw a great post/quote thing recently which I can’t find but it was something along the lines of this (and while I’m styling the text as a quote, it isn’t a direct quote):

The point of a hobby is to have fun. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing it, you don’t have to be striving to get better. It’s ok to not be very good, as long as you’re having fun.

I love that. While part of my journey into X-Wing has been to try and get better, it’s also very important that I’m enjoying it. It’s more important than getting better.

So why am I saying all this? Well, last week I played a game of X-Wing and I made some spectacular mistakes. I could very easily just ignore that game and write about something else but, in true ‘always happy to embarrass myself’ style, I’m going to write about it.

So in the spirit of transparency and not taking myself too seriously, I will state up front that the game I’m talking about today was a TOTAL disaster. A complete and utter ****-show. Diabolical. Awful.

But all of this is only in terms of the result. I actually had a fun time despite brain-farting my way through 6 rounds of X-Wing. How did I manage that? Well, I owned my choices (especially the poor ones), decided my attitude and I had a great opponent who is always fun to play against.

So, let’s dive in and see how bad it is, shall we?

I don’t know if you read last week’s post but following a few decent games with the Ghost I’ve decided that I should at least give one of the other mooted lists a go.

Given that I’ve got some very beautifully painted ships, I decided to go for the full Rebel Alpha Strike experience and see how it fares.

Luke Skywalker (6)
Debris Gambit (6)
Proton Torpedoes (12)
R3 Astromech (4)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (22/22) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 3

Wedge Antilles (BoY) (5)
Attack Speed (BoY) (0)
Marksmanship (0)
Proton Torpedoes (0)
R2-A3 (BoY) (0)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Corran Horn (X-Wing) (5)
Elusive (2)
Proton Torpedoes (12)
R3 Astromech (4)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (18/18) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Fenn Rau (Sheathipede) (4)
Swarm Tactics (5)
R4 Astromech (3)
Targeting Computer (1)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (9/9) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 2

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

The general idea is that in the first engagement I can fire three double modded Proton Torps at high-ish initiative and hopefully just wipe something out. All thee T-65’s have something to (hopefully) help them live longer (debris Gambit on Luke, Elusive on Corran and the regen droid on Wedge) while Fenn pottles around coordinating and (if I actually remember) debuffing opposing shots.

I was flying against fellow Exile Alex Jensterle who has been repping this Republic list for the last few weeks:

“Jag” (SoC) (4)
Veteran Tail Gunner (0)
R4-P Astromech (0)
Synchronized Console (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4

“Wolffe” (SoC) (4)
Wolfpack (SoC) (0)
Veteran Tail Gunner (0)
Q7 Astromech (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4

“Hawk” (5)
Dedicated (1)
Agile Gunner (3)
Seventh Fleet Gunner (8)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (12/12) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 5

Anakin Skywalker (Delta-7b) (7)
Crack Shot (3)
R4-P17 (4)
Shield Upgrade (8)

Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (15/15) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 3

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

Right, let’s do some Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Scramble the Transmission
Target/Objective Priority – I want to collect at least two objectives before engaging to make sure I don’t get behind. Target-wise, I’m not sure. Anakin is the main threat but can I actually catch him?
Obstacles – No bog ships for me mean that slightly closer clustering is ok but I do want to try and approach with all my ships at the same time if I can.
Deployment – Together. Can’t buff each other if they’re not in a block!

My first mistake had actually taken place before I even got to the store. As I unpacked my bag I found that I was one small base and two dials short. Awesome.

Alex lent me a base and I’d be writing Luke and Wedge’s moves into my phone during planning.

Anyway, Alex is first player for set up, we place objectives, obstacles and ships and we’re ready to go.

Turn 1

Now, I know Alex well enough that Anakin isn’t turning in this turn. I puposely set up in the opposite from from his chunky ships in order to drag them through the middle and will just go straight in this turn, locking Corran.

ROAD 1st Player – Alex

Alex goes straight with his medium base ships while Anakin banks in beside Hawk. Nothing too unexpected there.

No shots and no points as it’s turn 1.

Turn 2

Now it’s time for some decisions and I discover my first mistake. If I want to bank in with Luke and Wedge (the back X-Wings) then I have to be very careful with my distances. I don’t want to isolate Corran for a first engage where he’s the only ship in range but a 2 bank from him means that Luke can’t 3 bank and Wedge probably can’t either. Next time I’ll have to put Corran directly in front, not staggered.

I bank left with everyone.

ROAD 1st Player – Alex

Alex also banks in, with his ARCs at least, while Hawk goes 1 straight.

I bank in with the T-65’s but, with no targets in range, Corran claims an objective while the others focus/evade.

Anakin hard turns left and rolls. Interesting. He’s working on a flank.

I then make mistake number two. Fenn banks in and, to try and scare off Anakin, coordinates Corran a roll right.

Why is it a mistake? Well Anakin is now in range for a shot, armed with a Focus and Force and Corran has no tokens.

Anakin shoots at Corran and, of course, knocks 2 shields off despite my using Elusive. Corran shoots back and does nothing.

That’s it for shooting so we’re back to dials.

End of turn score: 1 (me) – 0 (Alex)

Turn 3

At this point I experience what I could only describe as some sort of psychotic rush of blood to the head. Anakin is there. He’s right there. I can get him, right?

Given his position I feel like I can not only prevent his flank but jump on him while also distancing myself from the big, slow, cumbersome ARCs. If I get Anakin here, I can clean up.

Now, go back and have a look at the last picture and ask yourself whether Anakin is, in fact, fully 100% committed to going outside of that rock. I’ll wait.

You and I both know that he is not. Alex, a very experienced Republic player, even more so.

So, with this wild plan in my head to knock Ani out, what do I do? Do I 1 straight to victory? I mean, there’s very few places he can go and not get shot if I do that.

No, reader, I did not.

I did, in fact, eff this turn up completely. And no, you have NO idea how badly yet. No idea.

ROAD 1st Player – Me

Let’s start with what Alex did. The two ARCs bank into the middle (both focusing) while Hawk sidles up into the group and takes a reinforce to front.

Ok, are you ready for this? I’m not sure I am…

Corran moves first, moving 1 straight and locking Anakin and, with R3, Hawk (for good measure). Next is Wedge and it’s at this point I realise how badly I’ve messed up. Wedge banks right and bumps into Corran. I follow it up with a hard turn right from Luke, bumping into Wedge.

I can’t look at it.

It’s Anakin’s turn to move and I think to myself it might all be ok when he lands in all my arcs.

Anakin 1 banks to his right, rolls and boosts.

Oh. Man.

Maybe I can recover something with a coordinate from…. never mind. Fenn bumps into Wedge just to complete the full ‘I’m a screw up’ set.

In case it isn’t clear just how bad this is, I took a closer shot.

Honestly, just look at it. Wow.

I’ll be honest, at this point I knew I’d lost the game. There was no doubt in my mind. Before a shot was fired, I was goosed and there was no way out. I’ve got all my ships facing the wrong way and the enemy lining up to take unanswered shots in my soft, exposed underbelly.

And it’s justified because I’ve been a COMPLETE idiot and done it ALL to myself.

Start shooting with Anakin starting things off by hammering Luke, taking shields and putting a hit onto hull.

Corran fires the ONLY shot that I have this turn. It’s range 1 into Anakin but not only is it obstructed, I’ve failed to open his s-foils so it’s only 3 dice. I take 1 shield from Ani.

The ARCs open fire and while Luke makes a good effort of it, he dies from Jag’s shot.

What a mess.

End of turn score: 1 – 6

Total score: 2 – 6

Turn 4

Now, as it happens I’m not really all that far behind in terms of scores since Alex hasn’t picked up any objectives. That’s just about the only positive thing going on though.

I decide I need to try and get some points and shift my priority to nailing one of Alex’s 1 agility ships. I set Corran a 1 bank left, Wedge a 4-k (JARGON ALERT!!) and Fenn a 2 hard left. I’d have done the 3 hard if it wasn’t red since what I’m after here is to coordinate a mod to Corran who will boost for his own action. We’ll see.

ROAD 1st Player – Alex

With the crap shoot no longer right in front of him, Alex needs to assess what to do next. He takes a very neutral 2 straight with both ARCs (with Jag stealing the right hand objective from me) while Hawk decides to leave the party and banks right (and claiming the central objective)

Wedge takes his k-turn and sits rather conveniently outside of danger. Corran’s 1 bank sits him next to the rock and he boosts left. No shot on Hawk though. Rats.

Alex sends Anakin out with a 5-k before Fenn turns in and coordinates Corran a barrel roll. I’d have been much happier had I been able to do that with a 3 hard though since he’s now pretty close to the rock.

I’m tempted to claim ownership of the Fang from the next table at this point!

Luck continues to elude me as Corran gets hammered by Anakin (with the help of a Crack Shot that I rolled him into) and then Jag, leaving him on 1 hull.

He fires a Proton Torp at Hawk but with just a single mod in hand fails to take full advantage.

Wedge and Fenn have both chipped a little damage from an ARC but at this point I can’t remember which and honestly, it doesn’t really matter any more.

End of turn score: 0 – 2

Total Score: 2 – 8

Turn 5

I’ve lost. There’s no way back from losing Corran and no way to avoid it either. I just need to try and make his shot count before he he dies.

I set him a 1 bank to keep Hawk in arc. Knowing that he’s likely to need support I decide to YOLO with Fenn and bank him over the rock. Why not at this point?

Wedge will 1 straight to clear stress.

ROAD 1st Player – Me

Alex k-turns both his ARCs while Hawk takes a 2 hard turn, looking to get back into the action. He reinforces.

Corran banks in and re-locks Hawk before Wedge 1 straights. With the game lost and me just trying to scrape backa little pride in the scoreline, I roll Wedge to his right, away from the ARCs and hoping to catch Anakin.

Fenn dives over the rock, taking a damage and (of course) taking a second from the roll. Nice. He coordinates Corran a focus before Anakin screams in with a 5 straight, getting right in Corran’s flank.

I sawrm tactics Corran up to i6 to avoid being initiative killed and fire a Torp at Hawk, this time getting much better results but still being somewhat neutered by the reinforce. Hawk goes down to 4 hull left.

Fenn fires range 1 at Anakin and knocks a shield off.

Anakin then fires, absolutely slaughtering Corran. Ouch.

It’s Wedge next and he’s already got a lock on Ani from earlier so launches Torps at him. It’s pretty devastating and Ani just barely survives on 1 hull.

Hawk chips a shot into Fenn but does nothing before the ARCs both fire at Wedge. They’re both unmodded though and can only drop 1 shield between them.

End of turn score: 0 – 7

Total score: 2 – 15

Turn 6

I feel like this is it. Alex can turn his ships onto whoever he likes AND claim two objectives. This is almost certainly the last turn. Can I kill something? ANYTHING?!

Time for more drastic measures I guess.

I decide to YOLO Wedge over the rock. I mean, why not? I’m hoping to get into range 3 of Hawk and fire a torp, hopefully double modded with Fenn hard turning into the middle.

If Alex has got any sense (and he has), he’ll send Ani away, not wanting to risk losing those points.

ROAD 1st Player – Alex (yes, it has been fairly one sided!)

Both ARCs simply 1 straight, looking to clear stress and keep guns on target.

Hawk hard turns again, swinging back in to the fight.

How did I NOT consider the straight moves from the ARCs?! Wedge 4 straights over the rock but can’t do the intended free 1 straight boost from Attack Speed as it’s blocked by Wolffe.

Anakin does in fact 5-k while Fenn hard turns in and coordinates Wedge a lock on Hawk.

Anakin takes a shot into Fenn and lands a hit, leaving him on 2 hull. I managed to miss Hawk with Fenn’s arc so it’s a range 3 unmodded shot into Anakin (you never know!) but doesn’t get that last hit.

Wedge launches a torp into Hawk and rolls enough paint but Hawk dodges one and reinforce cancels another meaning that Hawk survives on 2 hull.

The two ARCs both fire into Fenn and, with no mods and 2 hull, he doesn’t survive.

End of turn score: 0 – 6

Final Result: 2 – 21 loss

The conclusion…

See, told you it was a disaster!

Now, of course the main turn it went wrong was where I turned on Anakin. I made a bad assumption based on poor information. When you couple that with some horrible positioning for the multiple self bumps and realise that the whole point of my list is to hammer something in the first engagement then it was just some really REALLY bad decision making on my part.

While checking with Alex if he was ok for me to post his list this came up in conversation:

And that just about sums it up. My own mistakes put me on tilt and I failed to recover.

The worst thing though is that as a result, I’ve still got no idea if this list is viable. I feel like it maybe is if I can make a couple of turn 0 adjustments and not fly it like a complete tool. It’s hard to know for sure though and, given how I’ve been doing with the Ghost list, it’s very tempting to just put this list away for good.

Getting back to what I say waaaay back before the game started, I did actually have a good time. I felt stupid with the bumps, sure, but when it comes to it, you can’t take yourself too seriously.

There are plenty of learns for me in this game: Jedi are slippery, don’t assume you’ve got them trapped. 1 forwards to victory is a popular idiom for good reason. Do not plan to fly your ships into the same spot.

Anyway, with that debacle behind me, will I fly this again? Perhaps. I’ve flown plenty of Rebel lists before but this one feels different for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on. Is it that they’re vulnerable to being 1-rounded? Or is it the range control in getting the action efficiency right? I’m really not sure. Maybe I’ll try something else and then come back to it.

Anyway, that’s it for me for this week. I’ll be back next with a game that went a bit better for me. I mean, it can’t be worse. Can it…?

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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Exile Initiates:
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You are all amazing humans!

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