Back to the start?

The intro…

Welcome to this week’s blog!

Life is finally feeling a little bit more normal after school holidays, our summer holiday, the XTC and more filling up my time and also my ‘brain space’ (for want of a better phrase!). The kids are back in school and our regular life routine kicks back in over the next week or so and while changing things up over the summer is always great (with late nights and impromptu days out), there’s definitely something to be said for getting back into the swing of things.

And thankfully, regular X-Wing is part of that routine!

Before I go any further though there’s a couple of things I need to cover.

First of all – NEW CONTENT!

AMG have put out ‘spoilers’ for the upcoming Siege of Coruscant scenario pack which includes more fixed loadout ships (same as the Battle of Yavin pack) which will also be legal for tournament play. This one looks to be coming out in December this year and is available for pre-order direct from AMG so I expect it’s also possible to do it through your FLGS (JARGON ALERT!!) and you should really do that as your first option.

I’m actually really intrigued how these cards will work outside of playing the scenario in the box. Will it be possible to balance them within the wider meta since the loadout (both points and upgrades) can’t be tweaked? We’ll have to wait and see I suppose!

New Content! Yay!

One of the unexpected ‘issues’ (and I use that term VERY loosely here) with being on holiday is that I come home to a backlog of podcasts. I’m currently working my way through them all (some long distance jobs in work helped make a dent in it!) but it seems that there have been a good number of big tournaments that I’ve missed altogether in terms of looking at the top performing lists and things like that.

Congrats to the winners of those events, particularly the Official Worlds Qualifier events and especially Mr Chris Patrick (aka Chrispy) who seems to be taking the world by storm at the moment, winning large events two weekends in a row! Well done!

I’ll also give a special mention here to newly transferred local Alex Boulton (son of legendary Steve Boulton!) who not only showed up his dad by making cut this past weekend at the Dutch Open Worlds Qualifier (while Steve didn’t…), but got all the way to the final and earned himself a Worlds invite along the way! Since he’s crushed me with that list a couple of times in the last few months I’m happy to take some of the credit in this huge achievement!

Seriously though, well done and enjoy Chicago!

Speaking of Chicago and Worlds, I just want to add a little reminder about two things.

First – the Isoplane Initiative. I’ve mentioned it before but it warrants raising again. The legend that is Isophase (Daniel Lim) is offering to help fund the trip to Worlds for as many people as possible. Not only is this an amazing example of altruism in terms of helping people to get to an event that they may otherwise not be able to attend but honestly, it’s an indication of the passion, enthusiasm and commitment that many still have for this game but also the people that belong to the community.

It’s quite simply amazing.

Not only that but getting as many people to attend Worlds as possible helps to show AMG that the game is alive and well and that there’s a community out there that wants OP events.

Secondly (and related), is the ‘Send Liam to Worlds‘ project. Conor Holmes is championing one person in particular to get to Worlds next year and it’s everyone’s favourite grumpy (well, slightly, except not really) Sith Taker Mr Liam Baker!

Off the back of his involvement in the Isoplane Initiative, Conor has set up a multi-tiered raffle in order to fundraise specifically to fund Liam’s attendance. Any shortfall will hopefully be covered by the Isoplane Initiative but it would be amazing to fully fund this, meaning that Isophane’s cash can be spread around even more people!

So if you fancy entering a raffle and maybe winning some sweet prizes while also helping to fulfil someone’s X-Wing hopes and dreams, check out the Google Doc on how to enter.

The main(ish) bit…?

And so we get to the game. Well, almost. Bear with me here…

You may recall that 2 weeks ago I mentioned that the Firestorm Doubles Cup is coming up and that I had bought a ticket without having a partner but was waiting on a response from someone.

Well, I got my answer and it was a yes. Who is it you ask? Well my friends, the answer is perhaps a little unexpected but at the same time, maybe not.

It’s my son, Cai.

‘That’s obvious!’ I hear you say but actually, it really isn’t.

You see Cai’s interest in X-Wing has been waning for some time. He attended last November’s Firestorm Cardiff Store Champs with me despite having not played in a little while and with ZERO practice and continued to opt not to come to casual night on a Wednesday through Christmas and into 2022.

He was due to come with me to the Sith Taker Open in February but pulled out at the VERY last minute (like, our lift was almost outside the door).

Then 2.5 happened and, without really looking at it, decided that he didn’t like it.

Since then the only time he’d played was in a massive 8 player, three board melee type game which used 2.0 points and rules around April time. Since then he hasn’t played a game.

Until last week.

While on holiday we talked a little X-Wing and when I mentioned going to casual night after we returned, he said he wanted to come. I had no idea why but I wasn’t going to question it!

I found him a list and he took it and flew it against Steve Boulton. They played Chance Encounter and he won! Now, whether winning that game is what actually swung the decision I’m not sure but he came away from the night saying that it actually wasn’t as bad as he’d expected (or rather, not as bad as I’d made it sound!) and that he’d be up for playing at the doubles tournament with me.


Now, Cai is an Imperial player at heart and so I would be moving into somewhat unfamiliar territory by flying Empire with him. That wasn’t going to be the only challenge though.

He liked his list. A lot. That was great but it presented me with an interesting issue. You see, the way the doubles cup works is that each team must use the same faction and that unique pilots (and upgrades) can’t be used in both lists. Effectively you treat your two 20 point lists as a single 40 point list with regards to unique cards. Does that make sense?

Here’s Cai’s list:

Darth Vader (TIE Defender) (9)
Malice (4)
Juke (6)
Heavy Laser Cannon (4)

Ship Cost: 9 Loadout: (14/14) Half Points: 4 Damage Threshold: 3

ISB Jingoist (2)
Deadman’s Switch (2)

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

ISB Jingoist (2)
Deadman’s Switch (2)

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

“Wampa” (2)
Elusive (2)

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

Major Vermeil (5)
Elusive (2)
Emperor Palpatine (12)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (14/16) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:’s%20Return&obs=

Now, what this means is that when I build my list, I can’t use Vader (pilot OR crew), nor Wampa, nor Jingoists or Palp or, well, you get what I mean, right?

Being that Vader, Wampa and the Jingoists are present in almost every Imperial list I could find, this could be an interesting puzzle to solve.

On my first game night back I tried out a particularly silly double Deci list (including a Reaper and Wampa too!) with spectacular results. Spectacularly poor, that is. Granted, I was playing against Alex Boulton (who knows double Deci’s inside out. How to win with them and, therefore how to beat them), the matchup was VERY poor for me (7 TIE swarm!) and I was inexperienced with the faction, the ships and most of the upgrades.

Still, it was fun and I’d got it out of my system. Not only that but I had at least 4 cards in the list that I couldn’t use because they were already in Cai’s list.

Back to the drawing board then.

After a little brainstorming, some tweaking and a significant amount of time trawling TTT and Listfortress I came to a conclusion. Cai’s list already contains the best stuff. That’s not to say there’s no other good stuff out there, it’s just that with the most cost efficient TIEs and Vader off the table, I wasn’t going to be able to just pluck something off the shelf.

Having been soundly beaten by the aforementioned Alex Boulton playing Martyn Chivers’ UKGE winning list, I looked at seeing how I could take that and substitute the parts that I couldn’t use.

I came up with this:

Gideon Hask (3)
Disciplined (2)
Elusive (2)
Precision Ion Engines (2)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (6/8) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 1

Iden Versio (3)
Marksmanship (1)
Disciplined (2)
Heavy Laser Cannon (4)
Targeting Computer (1)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 1

“Howlrunner” (4)
Shield Upgrade (8)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 2

“Scourge” Skutu (3)
Crack Shot (3)

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

“Mauler” Mithel (3)
Crack Shot (3)
Jamming Beam (0)

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

Valen Rudor (2)
Marksmanship (1)

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

Black Squadron Ace (2)
Disciplined (2)

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

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

Not a terrible list by any means but not being able to take Wampa or the Jingoists certainly weakens it. Still, it looked viable to me. At least until Howlrunner gets murdered and it breaks down into the scrum.

I then looked at taking out the weakest TIEs (Mauler, Valen and the Black Ace) and replacing them with a Decimator. Because why not, right?

After some tweaking and headsimming (JARGON ALERT!!) I ended up with this:

Captain Oicunn (7)
Marksmanship (1)
Disciplined (2)
Imperial Super Commandos (7)
Skilled Bombardier (2)
Thermal Detonators (5)
Tactical Scrambler (2)
Dauntless (0)

Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (19/19) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 8

Gideon Hask (3)
Disciplined (2)
Elusive (2)
Precision Ion Engines (2)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (6/8) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 1

Iden Versio (3)
Marksmanship (1)
Disciplined (2)
Heavy Laser Cannon (4)
Targeting Computer (1)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 1

“Howlrunner” (4)
Shield Upgrade (8)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 2

“Scourge” Skutu (3)
Crack Shot (3)

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

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

In my head I’ve got a chunky, hard to kill (in a low number of turns) ship which can joust into something (and still take a reinforce when bumping), do some strong damage at range 0, drop some annoying commandos into the mix and then drop bombs on the way out.

Tactical Scrambler means Ociunn will screen for the incoming TIEs who come up behind with Iden protection for Howlrunner and rerolls for everyone.

It works in my head and that was good enough for me. I’d deal with any problems when I played it. And there were certainly some problems….

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

So with my bag hurriedly packed I headed down to Firestorm for casual night.

Now, I was in an interesting situation as I had an eye test scheduled for 6:30pm in the same Tesco where Firestorm is so I was planning to play as much of a game as possible before dropping everything and then packing up later.

When I got there one of the guys already set up was Steve Boulton and so, I unpacked and set up as quickly as I could to make sure we got in a meaningful amount of game time.

Steve was heading to the Netherlands just a few days afterwards so you’d think he was getting reps with a list but in fact he was flying something that he was NOT intending to take in order to get it out of his system and avoid a last minute list change.

Poe Dameron (HoH) (6)
Heroic (2)
Ferrosphere Paint (3)
R4 Astromech (2)
Integrated S-Foils (0)
Proton Torpedoes (12)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (19/19) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 3

Kazuda Xiono (4)
Notorious (2)
R1-J5 (5)
False Transponder Codes (3)
Advanced SLAM (3)
Targeting Computer (1)
Kaz’s Fireball (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (14/14) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Wilsa Teshlo (3)
Ferrosphere Paint (3)
Ion Cannon Turret (5)
Bomblet Generator (2)
Targeting Computer (1)
Engine Upgrade (3)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (14/14) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 3

Lega Fossang (4)
Tierfon Belly Run (0)
Ferrosphere Paint (3)
Ion Cannon Turret (5)
Electro-Chaff Missiles (4)
L4E-R5 (3)
Targeting Computer (1)
Engine Upgrade (3)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (19/19) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Shasa Zaro (3)
Tierfon Belly Run (0)
Ferrosphere Paint (3)
Dorsal Turret (2)
Proton Bombs (4)
Targeting Computer (1)
Engine Upgrade (3)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (13/13) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 3

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

Now, being in a bit of a hurry I paid all too little attention to what Steve’s list was doing. I wouldn’t come to regret that later though, would I?!


Alright, let’s do some Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Assault at the Satellite Array
Target/Objective Priority – There’s a nice juicy Poe to score some points from, other than that I want to use my high number of manoeuvrable ships plus my big base to claim objectives.
Obstacles – I want the middle as clear as possible. Do I achieve that? No. No I don’t.
Deployment – Given what I know now after the fact, all I can say here is ‘not what I did’.

Are you getting a vibe from this about the result already? Go take another look at the title of the blog and see how you think it might fit in….

Anyway, let’s get started!

I’m 1st player for set up, we place objectives, obstacles and ships and are ready to begin.


I forgot to take pics of some rounds INCLUDING turn 0. What a n00b! Turns out my brain is still on holiday!

I set up Oicunn in my right hand corner, while the TIEs set up in a 2×2 block around range 2 to his left but facing him (so pointed at my right hand board edge) intending to hard turn en masse and fall in behind the Deci.

Meanwhile Steve had put Kaz in my top right hand corner while Poe and the Y’s were in my top left.

I start by banking Oicunn in, giving me turning options while my mini-swarm hard turns left.

Steve’s Y’s all go slowly forwards while Kaz banks towards the middle and Poe….goes 4 straight and boosts.


Now I have a decision to make. If he’s going to flank with Poe I could try and catch him isolated. He’s worth a chunk of points so I think it’s worth a look. I dial in hard turns for my TIEs again while Oicunn will take a long bank to point at Poe.

This….did not go well.

Oicunn moved first, of course and then Gideon bumped into him. Ah. Then Iden bumped too. Gideon takes a damage, Iden does not.

Oh dear.

Was it worth it though? Nope. Steve hard turned with Poe and rolled away, back in towards his Y-Wings. My only consolation is that those Y-Wings had still gone slowly so I wasn’t getting shot.

Rookie moves!

So I guess Poe will be taking his time then. Fine.

My experience with Dash has taught me what a big base ship can and can’t do and it looks to me like Oicunn will fit a 1 hard turn there. I’m hoping to catch Kaz or maybe a Y-Wing if they stray too close. It’ll also let me hold two objectives.

I’ll turn Giedon and Iden in behind and hard turn the i5’s.


Except TIEs can’t go slow so guess what?

Yep, you got it….


Giedon bumps into Oicunn and Iden into the back of Gideon. This time both take a damage.

I can’t even be mad, it’s just stupid on my part. Really, really stupid.

However, Steve didn’t see that 1 hard coming from Oicunn and plants a Y-Wing in range of a couple of my ships and I manage to strip it’s shields and put a damage on. Not bad.

Next turn is going to hurt though.

The barrel roll from Scourge means I can actually claim 3 objective points this turn, putting us at 4-4 overall.

Now for the crunch turn. I want Oicunn to ram something so I dial in a 1 bank left for him but AGAIN I fail to fully consider all possibilities.

Steve ‘wins’ the ROAD roll and the Y-Wing moves first. Fine for Oicunn, less fine for the following TIEs.


Gideon doesn’t take a damage (thankfully! He’d have died!) but Iden does. I now have 2 TIEs on 1 hull and I’ve done all that damage to myself.

Still, Scourge is doing pretty good and while I’ve missed the bullseye on that Y-Wing by a fraction he’s going to get a chance to hurt it pretty badly…

Except Poe launches a Proton Torp and double mods it for 3 hits. Scourge blanks out. Iden is too far away. Scourge dies before shooting.

Thankfully I have 4 other shots on the Y-Wing and I manage to take it out, scoring me….3 points?!? THREE?!?!? OH MAN!!! Oicunn takes a cheeky punt at Poe and scores 2 shields from him. It’s a start I guess!

Steve gets 3 shields from Oicunn but the rest of my TIEs all survive.

Steve picks up one more objective that me so scores 6 points to my 5, making the score 10-9.

Into the last turn and I’ve got one eye on the clock as my appointment is looming large.

I want Poe. Steve’s positioning means he is likely to score more on objectives but also probably take out at least one TIE. I need those big Dameron points to have a chance at winning.

I bank Oicunn again, looking to block Poe and prevent any repositioning while following in the with the TIEs (carefully this time!).

Steve’s Y-Wings gently angle in while Kaz SLAMs out of Iden’s arc to try and stake a claim on the nearby objective.

Poe does indeed bump into Oicunn. Lovely.

Poe smashes a shot into Gideon but I spend Iden’s charge to save him. Sadly Howlrunner doesn’t have arc on Poe for the chance of any damage to give Gideon the extra dice. Booooo!

Steve’s Y-Wings try (and fail) to take out any of my 1 health TIEs while Gideon and then Oicunn hammer Poe with all they’ve got (Howlrunner rerolls and all) but Poe survives on 2 hull. So close.

My alarm goes off, indicating that I’ve got to go. We’ve got probably 20-ish minutes left if this was a standard game but alas, we have to call it here.

Oicunn clearly claims the central objective but Iden prevents Kaz from getting the bottom right, meaning we score 1 point each

Result: 11 – 10 loss

The conclusion…

In real life, black and white terms, I lost. Let’s break it down a little though because actually, I don’t think it’s that cut and dried.

First of all, the mistakes.

I don’t know that I’ve done THAT MANY self bumps in ONE GAME in a very, VERY long time. Maybe ever. The combination of my setup (facing my TIEs away from Steve and then turning 180 degrees in the first two turns), my strategy (using Oicunn to screen the TIEs to take advantage of Tactical Scrambler – which I totally forgot to use) and changing my tactics to catch Poe (who looked to flank then ducked back in) just put me in such a mess I struggled to get out of it.

By the time I had the opportunity to get things clear of each other I had to decide between bumping or not getting shots and this list’s purpose is to pepper things with super accurate shots. Not a great choice to have to make and ALL of my own doing.

I also need to address the Super Commando situation. No, I did not forget about them (despite not mentioning them in the batrep!). Firstly, I misread the card and tried to deploy them out of the front. Which is wrong. They have to be dropped out of the back by the Deci but you can decide whether the COMMANDO token uses front or back guides. So I did deploy, incorrectly, and then take them back.

Lesson two was about WHO they affect. I declined to deploy them in that same turn and the one after because I didn’t want to strain my own ships by running over them. That is also NOT how that works, only enemy ships are strained.

Then there’s things like getting Scourge outside of Iden range, missing bullseye with, well, nearly everyone, forgetting Tactical Scrambler. Is that everything?

And yet…

Despite the myriad disastrous self bumps, Scourge deciding to just explode before shooting, failing to fully grasp how commandos work (and so failing to use them at all), a totally improvised (but bad) turn 0 and pivoting from my original plan and falling for the fake flank, I actually only lost this by one single point.

Not only all that but I’d got Poe in a bad spot and with 2 health left I could maybe have taken him out next turn too to score a chunk of points if I hadn’t had to leave.

I should also consider that Steve’s list is a version of one that made the top cut at Gencon a few weeks ago and that Steve’s certainly no slouch at this X-Wing business.

So, I guess maybe it’s not all that bad? Especially for a first go.

I wonder whether with some improvements to setup, looking again at upgrades and (most importantly) remembering how to actually fly ships with bumping, this might have some legs, for the doubles cup, at least. By virtue of the list restrictions this will never be a top tier list, I know that. But given what tools I have at my disposal to play about with I think this might case some problems for opponents.

What can/will/should I change about the list? Let’s see…

The TIEs are fine I think. There are a couple of things I didn’t trigger (Iden’s HLC, Crack Shot with Scourge) but overall I think they’re ok (though I have swapped out Hask for Mauler for the higher initiative to try it out). The main bulk of changes will be on Oicunn.

Let’s see what I did and didn’t use:

Disciplined – gave him a lock when Scourge died, very handy. Pretty cheap. Stays in.

Marksmanship – forgot it on the one shot where it would have triggered (on Poe). Still useful unless I need the points elsewhere. Stays in. For now.

Thermal Detonators/Skilled Bombardier – I group these together because without the bombs there’s clearly no point in keeping Bombardier. My thought with bombs is that in some of my previous Deci games it’s hard to keep one in the fight. If I can cause some damage on the way out then I should. This will need a little more time before deciding I think. Jury is out. In for now? Maybe depending on what points I have/need.

Imperial Super Commandos – Hmmmm…. I think that Seventh Sister is probably a better shout with Oicunn wanting to be range 0 of ships and lets me do nasty things to people. For example, in that last turn when Poe bumped Oicunn and took the red focus I could have changed it to a tractor token, reducing his agility for the two incoming shots and maybe killed him. I like the idea of annoying things buzzing around, possibly straining (or at least making my opponent consider whether it’s worth it to avoid) and even a couple of free shots. It’s a lot of points though and there’s a reason we’re not seeing them in the meta.

Dauntless title – No brainer. Stays in.

Tactical Scrambler – useless in this game but only because I was useless in this game. On one hand I think it may still have some value, on the other I think that my overall strategy of running TIEs behind Oicunn is flawed and therefore this has no place in the list.

At this point I’m very open to suggestions for the Oicunn build (bearing in mind the list restrictions, of course!). Seventh Sister seems good, Moff Jerjerrod might help me get the Deci engaged faster, further than that I’m a little stumped. Please comment with suggestions!

Anyway, that’s enough from me for now, pop back next week and see what I tried out next!

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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