And from the ashes…

The intro…

Hello and welcome to this week’s blog!

To say it’s been a wild week in the world of X-Wing is probably not too much of an over statement. In fact perhaps the opposite.

In case you’re not aware, last Thursday (the 13th of June 2024), AMG posted the following:

As you can imagine, this wasn’t especially well received.

Well, ok, it wasn’t THAT badly received.

You see, for most of us, this wasn’t a huge surprise. If we’re honest with ourselves AMG’s actions have spoken much louder than their words despite what seemed like the best of intentions to keep things going, they’ve thrown in the towel and released the above statement.

If you were to ask me if I’m surprised then after a little thought I’d probably say that the timing is the biggest surprise. Having just announced a string of official tournaments across the next 9 months or so, I was kind of expecting this to maybe come at the culmination of these events. Or at least towards the end of them.

That doesn’t hide the fact, though, that this move by AMG (timing aside) has surprised very few people. I’m not going to delve into details here as to why it isn’t a surprise, for most of you it’s pretty obvious.

Still, the announcement has been made and here we are, players of a ‘complete’ game.

This might feel like quite a blasé response given the news but you see, X-Wing has never really been all about the studio producing the game. X-Wing has been about the community.

The end of the game has been the subject of discussion for a while now and each time the following point has been made:

When it happens, the community will step in.

And so here we are.

Three days and around 6 hours after the AMG announcement, the following was released:

As you can see, many luminaries of the X-Wing community are on board and while it may a little time until things are ready to kick off, there are definitely plans in motion to keep the game present and fresh.

You might notice that Mark Hall of Exile Squadron is in that list (woooo!) but that I am not. That is my call. Mark put both our names forward but between work, home, the blog and a million other things going on declined to be involved at this time. I will of course be FULLY supporting this as it develops and will never rule out getting more involved further down the line but at this point in time I just can’t add any more spinning plates. You can, however, rely on my to pass on any developments or news as it happens.

What is becoming clear is that a points update is the first priority but that while this is what many people are after, there are many GT events to run and the TO of each on will have to make a choice on how each one will be run.

For the Welsh Open I can confirm that it will run with the AMG points as they currently are and on a personal note, I’m glad it’s soon and I don’t have those choices to make!

Speaking of which then….

Yes! I’m bigging it up AGAIN and promoting tickets AGAIN!

The prize pool keeps on growing…

And of course, as well as the official prizes that are now firmly en route, we have this absolutley incredible flight helmet painted by the equally incredible Ryan Coyle of Ik’sentrik!

Believe it or not it’s STILL a work in progress and has a few finishing touches coming. I’m going to find it very difficult to let go of come the 7th of July!

It’s also worth remembering that your ticket includes a hot lunch on Saturday, entry to the side event on Sunday and (if you’re around!), free table space for practice on the Friday!

You can get your ticket here: https://www.thebattlefields.co.uk/events-at-the-battlefields/star-wars-x-wing-welsh-gt-2024-cardiff

And you can also check out the Facebook event page for some more information or to ask any questions!

Right, I think that’s about all the news I can muster, let’s look at a game, shall we?

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

So last week I played a game! Yaaaay!

What with everything going on Mr Boulton was of the opinion that I imght not blog about it but here I am, doing just that!

The past few weeks (or months now maybe?) I’ve been flying a Standard Loadouts only list:

Braylen Stramm (BoE) (4)
It’s A Trap! (BoE) (0)
Homing Missiles (0)
Proton Bombs (0)
Delayed Fuses (0)

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

Gina Moonsong (BoE) (5)
It’s A Trap! (BoE) (0)
Juke (0)
Proton Torpedoes (0)
Ion Bombs (0)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4

Wedge Antilles (BoE) (5)
It’s A Trap! (BoE) (0)
Predator (0)
Adv. Proton Torpedoes (0)
R2-A3 (BoE) (0)

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

Gemmer Sojan (BoE) (3)
It’s A Trap! (BoE) (0)
Precision-Tuned Cannons (BoE) (0)
Chaff Particles (BoE) (0)
Target-Assist Algorithm (BoE) (0)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Hol Okand (BoY) (3)
Dorsal Turret (0)
Adv. Proton Torpedoes (0)
Precise Astromech (BoY) (0)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 4

Total: 20

View in YASB: https://yasb.app/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v9ZhZ20Z658X502W100W69W236Y659X502W123W136W317Y661X502W127W134W503Y655X502W518W507W517Y563X137W134W480&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

It’s a good list. The main reason for flying is that it’s easy to set up and, truth be told, with no tournament that I’m playing in (since I’m TO’ing the Welsh Open) on the horizon, it’s been with half a mind of being familiar with the B-Wings and half on giving opponents practice and exposure against them.

As I mentioned, I flew against the illustrious Steve Boulton. Normally flying FO, he’d departed his usual faction and, a little like me I suppose, picked up a top meta list. Perhaps the toppest one right now:

“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

“Odd Ball” (SoC) (4)
Selfless (0)
Veteran Tail Gunner (0)
R4-P Astromech (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 5

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

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

“Broadside” (3)
Ion Cannon Turret (5)
Proton Bombs (5)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (10/10) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 4

“Matchstick” (3)
Ion Cannon Turret (5)
Ion Bombs (4)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (9/9) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 4

“Slider” (2)
Dedicated (3)

Ship Cost: 2 Loadout: (3/3) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Total: 20

View in YASB: https://yasb.app/?f=Galactic%20Republic&d=v9ZhZ20Z579X89W213W211Y577X130W89W213Y578X492W89W365Y364XW138WW69WY365XW138WW317WY545X210WWWWW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Yep, filthy Republic beef swarm. Yuck.

The closest I’ve come to playing this was when Mark Beor flew it at the Newport tournament we held a few weeks after Worlds. I can’t remember the exact list composition but I did manage to win the game.

Let’s do some quick Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Assault at the Satellite Array
Target/Objective Priority – Get an ARC off the board before it shoots to start with.
Obstacles – Close together!
Deployment – The B-Wings want to stay close, Hol not too far and Wedge able to flank in. Gemmer wherever possible to be annoying.

We placed objectives, obstacles and ships and were ready to get started! Oh, and apologies for the shiny board, we both forgot our mats!

I deployed in a block with the exception of Gemmer. My thought here was to basically joust the top left ARC (Wolffe) and then turn in.

Steve feints out with Wolffe though, hard turning away while the central ships start heading in to my block while the right hand Y-Wing and Slider go wide of the top right rock.

From here it’s fairly clear that Wolffe (top left), Broadside (top left) and Jag (middle, closest to me) will be coming in either side of the top left obstacle. My challenge is to range control that well enough to get optimal shots in. Gemmer, meanwhile, just needs to be claiming an objective and be annoying.

Technically speaking, I manage it.

All my ships have shots into the one ARC and I’m claiming 2 objectives. Hol and Wedge both have double modded Advanced Proton shots into Jag and the B-Wings also have good double modded shots.

I make 1 mistake here – I forget to trigger Braylen’s ability and pick up an evade.

My 5 dice range 1 double modded shot from Wedge… comes in at 3 hits after re-rolls and a focus. Not. Ideal. Jag dodges one. Eugh.

I need all shots except Gemmer to take the ARC out but I do manage it AND it happens at i4 so Jag never shoots. Nice. I also, by Selfless and Gemmer’s shot, strip Odd Ball’s shields and put 2 damage cards on. Nice.

The down side? Broadside ionises Braylen. Poop. Also, Hol is sort of facing a rock and is stressed.

Here’s where things start going a bit wrong. Ok, a lot wrong.

First of all, we both start dropping bombs. I drop a Proton out of the side with Braylen (which hits Gina. And Braylen. And Broadside) and Steve drops an ion with Broadside. It is carnage.

Not only that but I decide to pre-boost with Gemmer and then hard turn right, thinking I’ll burst past the Y-Wing and Z-95 and be able to circle an objective.

That’s also carnage.

Gina, Braylen and Broadside take the Proton, Wolffe, Hol and Braylen take the ion.

Not only that, Gemmer’s over-ambitious boost into hard turn puts him (her? they?) on a rock. I roll and it’s a hit. Gemmer is halved and can’t shoot.

I decide to put all fire into Wolffe but my red dice continue to suck while Steve’s greens hold up and from 4 shots (3 of them modded and one range 0), I take 2 shields from him.

Balls.

Opting not to go in at Odd Ball here was a MASSIVE error.

In response Steve’s ships bring Braylen down to 1 hull while Gemmer picks up a Damaged Power Regulator crit from Matchstick’s ion turret and is as good as dead.

I’ve got 1 objective while Steve has 3 and my advantage has slipped away. Not only that but three of my ships are ionised and can’t turn back to fire at, well, anyone, really.

I missed a photo of the next turn but the one after (the final one, as it worked out) shows you all you need to know.

I’ve got 4 ships on the table, none near objectives (well, 1 is but it’s outnumbered due to base size) and none with shots.

Steve picks up 4 (!!) points from objectives for 2 turns in a row and ion bombs Gemmer into a rock to finish him (her? them?) off.

A promising start utterly undone.

Final score: 9 – 18 loss

The conclusion…

Wow, ok!

Steve and I were both in agreement after the game that at no point did it feel like the score differential would be as high as it finished. Clearly the two turns where Steve picked up FOUR objective points and I didn’t get any plus my, uh, miscalculation, with Gemmer really pumped Steve’s score up very quickly.

That, though, is my fault.

The biggest problem I had is one I caused myself. By deploying off to one side, while I did manage to delay two of Steve’s ships engaging with my main block, it allowed Steve to get a better position for objectives later in the game as his ships just lived long enough to get away . It’s quite unbelievable that only tow ships died all game and Gemmer’s death is 100% on me. I allowed Steve to score 15 points in objectives by not finishing things off. which leads me to the second biggest problem…

Ion.

Steve’s ion capabilities basically neutered my list after the first engagement by wither preventing my double mods or denying me shots altogether. It’s been a long time since I’ve come up against an ion ‘control’ list but that’s very much what this is and I can see now why Illy did so well with it at Worlds.

I’d thought that taking out an ARC before it fired so early on would put me firmly ahead and it did, sort of, but Steve bringing the ion into play so quickly then meant I never finished off another ship. I made a poor choice not going in harder on Odd Ball when I had the opportunity and of course made a monumental mistake with Gemmer which led to the A-Wing’s demise. Even without considering the potential difference in objective scoring, that would have put me on 13 points and Steve on 15 which is possibly more reflective of how the game played out.

Maybe. At a stretch…

Still, I definitely would think about approaching this list differently next time. I don’t think it’s unbeatable but it’s certainly strong!

Steve had done his homework and watched some games with it to know how best to fly it and while he said he was concerned at the opening engagement he did did well to follow it through to the final result.

So that’s about it from me this week! Thanks for reading and remember, get your Welsh Open ticket and X-Wing is still alive and kicking!

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:
Douglas Thomson

Exile Rookies:
Ben Kennedy

Exile Veterans:
Mark Beor, Daniel Barringer, Michael Bird, Steve Boulton, Jason Desmarais, Darin Schwarze, Alex Peters-Bean, Mark Packer-Hughes

Exile Commanders:
Kevin Larsen, HasNolo, David Bryan

Exile Legends:
Rebecca Westwood, Admiral_Ackbar47, Phill Blackmore, Chris Fear, Jamie Howard, Sean Oakley, James Humphery, Opi-Wan Kenobi

You are all amazing humans!

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