But is it…. fun?

The intro…

Welcome to this week’s blog!

I DO have a game to talk about this week but I’ve also got some bits of housekeeping to do so I’ll start there!

First of all – A TOURNAMENT AT NEWPORT!!

Yes, I AM going to talk about this every week until it happens (or sells out!). It’s our last one of 2022 and as well as Exile themed prizes we have Louis Leong metal objective tokens for EVERYONE* and of course a trophy for the winner!

*how many depends on where you finish!

You can check out the Facebook event here and tickets are available from Firestorm’s event website here.

So what are you waiting for?! Go get one!!

Next up I want to mention two events happening at Firestorm Games in Cardiff, the first one a Halloween themed OP kit event on the 27th of October (FB event here, tickets from here!) and the second is a full day’s gaming (including food!) of Standard 2.5 X-Wing on the 10th of November (FB event here and tickets from here!).

All these events are going to be awesome!

Alright, let’s move on to….

Patreon Update…

Yes, the end of the final quarter of 2022 is fast approaching and, following last week’s reveal of the ‘Mine’ claim tokens, this week it’s time to show you some alt arts!

Everyone will get a Hera A-Wing card while Commanders and Legends will also get a copy of Afterburners.

All my cards are designed by the amazing Dan Eicher of Five Straight Designs and we’ve already got loads of new ones planned for next year!

If you fancy getting your hands on these or any of the other bits and bobs (or you’re just feeling very kind!) then you can sign up to be a Patreon supporter here. I really appreciate everyone who supports me and I love getting cool things (well, I think they’re cool!) made to send out to people.

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

So, following several week of flying Empire I felt like it was time for a change. A change to what though? Rebels are my ‘main’ faction (though I’m telling myself otherwise to justify also owning Empire, Republic, Resistance and Scum….) but having been flying the original Rebel Alpha list over the summer I felt like I wanted to do something totally different.

You see, as it stands I’ve got no tournament to prep for until the Sith Taker Open in February and I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that when some of the upcoming card packs get released there’s the possibility that we’ll have some points changes.

So I guess for the moment I’m just flying very casual.

However… I’m not really into list building. It’s not just that I’m not that good at it (and I’m really not!) but I also don’t particularly enjoy that aspect of the game. If you were to check my YASB and LaunchBay lists you wouldn’t exactly be stumbling into some hidden gems, mostly incomplete lists (because I needed to check something about a particular ship) or meta ones.

Still, I fancy a change and so I set about looking for something that I could steal. As it happened, I listened to the Sith Takers podcast which covered the recent London GT and their guest was Dimitris Stavropoulos who had just finished second with a list that I found really intreaguing.

Maul (9)
Marksmanship (1)
Cad Bane (3)
Greedo (1)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Drop-Seat Bay (1)
Nightbrother (0)
Swivel Wing (0)
Fenn Rau (4)
Mandalorian Super Commandos (7)

Ship Cost: 9 Loadout: (20/20) Half Points: 4 Damage Threshold: 5

Q9-0 (6)
Lando Calrissian (Scum) (4)
IG-88D (3)
Heavy Laser Cannon (4)
BT-1 (2)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Razor Crest (0)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (16/16) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 4

Manaroo (5)
Notorious (2)
Gar Saxon (Gunner) (6)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Punishing One (0)
R5-P8 (4)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (15/15) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Scum%20and%20Villainy&d=v9ZhZ20Z512XW125W20W83WWW92WW465W448W449W428W466WY521X45W36W10W79W92WWW451Y117X455WWWW441W92WW159W8&sn=Unsaved%20Squadron&obs=

It’s a list with a fair amount of shenanigans and triggers but what struck me most as Dimitris was talking about was that he said that it was fun. And that, my friends, is what I was looking for.

Of course, he’d done pretty well with it in a room full of good players but it’s clearly not something that’s being played by, like, everyone right now and he also mentioned he’s been playing the list for a few months so clearly it’s one that needs a few reps. Still, the fun aspect was really appealing to me.

So, being the dirty netlister* that I am, I printed the list, dug out the bits I needed and packed it all for casual night at Firestorm.

*I’m joking, of course. There is NO shame in playing a list put together by someone else.

I ended up playing against Peter Hall who, having turned to the light side and played Rebels for the recent doubles tournament, had returned to his roots with an Imperial list.

Not only that, he has been missing playing with some of the ships which have been missing from Standard since 2.5 launched:

Major Rhymer (5)
Saturation Salvo (3)
Cluster Missiles (4)
Skilled Bombardier (2)
Seismic Charges (3)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (12/12) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Commandant Goran (4)
Elusive (2)
Hull Upgrade (6)
Sensitive Controls (0)

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

ISB Jingoist (2)
Cloaking Device (3)

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

ISB Jingoist (2)
False Transponder Codes (3)

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

Valen Rudor (2)
Marksmanship (1)

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

Lieutenant Sai (5)
Fire-Control System (2)
Jamming Beam (0)
Gar Saxon (6)
Grand Moff Tarkin (4)
Targeting Computer (1)
ST-321 (0)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (13/14) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 5

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Galactic%20Empire&d=v9ZsZ20Z204X129WW98WW88W71WWY465X119W164W374Y504X91Y504X369Y225X125Y166X113W12W429W34W249W162&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Yep, a bomber AND a space cow! Interesting! An avid Imperial pilot since, well, he started playing really, Peter has been missing playing these ships since 2.5 dropped and so he just decided to bring them along and give them a go. And why not? Having fun is what this games is all about, isn’t it?

Peter was convinced that his ships would just start dying when we set up but once we’d rolled Salvage Mission as our scenario I really felt like his higher ship count would work in his favour both for objectives and focusing fire.

While I’m at it, let’s do some Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Salvage Mission
Target/Objective Priority – Ummmm…… the Lambda? It’s potentially coordinating and getting good action efficiency. It’s also the joint highest costed ship in the list.
Obstacles – A spread favours both of us, giving some nice lanes for the big ships.
Deployment – Eeesh. I don’t actually know. I mean, I have more thoughts now that the game is played but ahead of the game I didn’t have the opportunity to check out a stream so I basically had no idea.

We place objectives, obstacles and ships and we’re ready to go!

Turn 1

So, my higher initiative means I got to place the Razor Crest and Gauntlet after Peter’s ships were down but I’m still not very happy with what I’ve done here. Maul can go straight between the rocks, sure but Q9 is now either going to have to go slow and turn in behind Maul or go all the way around the outside of that rock. Not ideal. Hopefully I can nail the Lambda before anything too bad happens.

I want to slow roll a bit since the Gauntlet can’t 1 straight and I’m planning to have Manaroo pick up the closest objective in turn 2.

I set 1 straights for Manaroo and Q9 while Maul will stop.

ROAD 1st Player – Me

Peter seems to have a similar idea, with his TIEs staggering their straight moves while the Lambda and bomber move up slowly.

No shots and no scoring so on we go!

Turn 2

Maul needs to clear his stress while potentially pick up crates with the other two. It’s a 2 straight for Maul while Q9 goes 1 straight and Manaroo banks left.

ROAD 1st Player – Peter

Manaroo banks let and picks up her crate then ALL of Peter’s ships move. Sai and Valen both pick up crates while the Jingos bank in, Goran ducks out and the bimber bumbles slowly forwards.

Q9’s 1 straight puts him in range to collect while Maul just sits in between the rocks.

Unusually for a 2.5 game, there are no shots in turn two! We’ve each got 2 objectives though so we’re off the mark for scoring.

End of turn score: 2 (me) – 2 (Peter)

Turn 3

And here’s where I start to come unstuck. Where am I actually going? Manaroo is blocked off by Maul so needs to hard turn left. It’s not a total disaster since she’ll have TIEs to shoot at but it’s not what I feel I should be doing with her.

Maul has options. I’m planning to drop Super Commandos and so with Cad crew I could boost. Do I want to though? Ideally I want to smash something in the face. I dial in a 2 bank left, despite initially wanting to focus down the Lambda.

Q9 is also a problem. Do I go out and around the rock? What else can I do?! I eventually settle on a 1 bank left to get arc on something and deal with the consequences later.

ROAD 1st Player – Me

Alright then, here we go!

Maul drops the Super Commandos out of the left side with a bank template (thanks Nightbrother!) before we get started. I then send them 2 straight towards the TIEs.

Manaroo’s turn in is followed by a focus as Peter’s TIEs all dive in towards the middle (but none of them hit the Commandos). Sai pulls out a HUGE 3 straight. Ok then. I did NOT see that coming!

Goran is still pottering around behind the Lambda while the bomber is struggling to get in to the fight.

Maul’s 2 bank somehow fits in the large base-sized gap so he takes a lock on Sai. Big mistake. I’ll tell you why in a moment.

Q9 1 banks in and, in a (soon to be failed, I’ll come back to that too!)) eureka moment, evades into a linked roll left to get a green token to spend on Lando.

At the start of engagement Peter uses Goran’s ability on Sai, allowing him to remove the lock Maul took AND get an evade token. Balls.

Maul and Q9 both fire range 1 at Sai and somehow I only manage to take TWO shields from him. Criminal!

Peter’s ships focus fire onto Maul and while he does a little better than I did, it’s still only 4 hits past my green dice out of 5 shots (three of which were range 1).

Manaroo and the Super Commandos both fire at Jingoists but do absolutely nothing and Peter and I both just stand there a moment wondering how on earth this many shots (9 I think?) did just 6 damage between us.

At this point I remember how the rules work and that Q9 couldn’t barrel roll since he’s carrying a crate. Rather than roll back ALL the shots (since he was first to fire), we deice that I’d opted to drop the crate during activation and Peter places the objective nearby.

End of turn score: 1 – 2

Total score: 3 – 4

Turn 4

Ok, now I am in a spot of bother. Where do I go from here? I’ve got a basic choice with Maul – hard stop or 4 straight. I need to push damage and the 2 dice rear gun isn’t likely to do that against much of Peter’s list so I opt for the stop.

As a result, Q9 will also need to stop so he’ll use contraband to still get an action.

As for Manaroo? Well, I’ve really screwed myself here haven’t I. A 4K (JARGON ALERT!!) won’t fit and I really want to keep the mobile arc out of the front for the extra die.

I decide to take a hit for this turn (literally) and dial in a 3 sloop (JARGON ALERT!!). Will I regret it? Probably. Definitely.

ROAD 1st Player – Me (again!)

I take the opportunity to drop my second Commando unit, putting them right under Sai, immediately giving him a strain. The other Commandos stay put but rotate so they can shoot Sai.

Manaroo’s 3 sloop lands on a rock (AND takes the rolled damage) as I’d expected but once Peters TIE have moved only one of them can shoot her so it’s not all bad?!

A couple of Peter’s ships bump into Maul which, on reflection, would have been much better had he not been staying exactly where he was. Annoyingly, I forget to use Nightbrother for a token while stressed once the move is done. Oops!

Q9 flips contraband, red stops and takes a double calculate.

I’ve not got a picture of this turn (sorry!) but it was quite the mess.

Sorry!

I can’t remember all the ins and outs here but the recurring theme of the game continued as I try (and generally fail) to put damage into the Lambda. Being powered up by the red token removal and free evade is making even this 1 agility ship difficult to take down.

Of course, I’m not helping myself by taking Manaroo out of the engagement phase by being landed on a rock like an idiot.

There are a couple of strains in play (one from a Jingo shooting Manaroo, maybe one from the Commandos?) but I still can’t leverage it into doing enough damage and only put another 3/4 hits onto the Lambda.

Peter has much better results though, bringing Q9 from full health down to 6 hull with the TIE Bomber finally weighing in.

No ships die though and so we’re still just scoring from the objectives.

End of turn score: 1 – 2

Total score: 4 – 6

Turn 5

The timer has actually already gone but with lots of time lost to resolving bumps we decide to go another turn.

This time I set Maul to do what he should have done last time and 4 straight out of the middle. Q9 will 1 straight to clear the stress and Manaroo will do the same and hopefully I can take out the Lambda.

ROAD 1st Player – Me (of course!)

I relocate one set of Commandos to go where Maul currently is, hoping to catch someone with a strain while the other stays put.

Peter’s TIEs scatter a little, a mix of turning to shoot and getting out of the way while Manaroo completes her 1 straight and takes a focus.

The key moves are yet to come though…

Sai takes a hard turn, clearing Maul and landing right in front of Manaroo. Then Goran turns around the rock, facing away from teh fight, and rolls left, blocking Maul’s 4 straight.

Oh dear.

Maul stays where he is but this time I DO remember to use Nightbrother and take an evade.

Q9 moves forwards and bumps into the back of Maul, taking a damage.

Oh dear….

Maul takes a range 0 shot into Sai and does 1 damage, Q9 follows up and does…another 1. Certainly not ideal. The Lambda is left on 3 hull but it’s not over yet with Manaroo left to fire.

Peter focuses all shots into Q9 this time and my greens just keep giving blank after blank and the droid burns down with the very last shot.

Balls.

Manaroo takes the 4 dice range 1 shot (with a focus and R5-P8 reroll) and comes up with….2 paint. Peter doesn’t evade it but it doesn’t matter, Sai lives and Q9 is dead and the game is over.

End of turn score: 1 – 8

Total score: 5 – 14

The conclusion…

Well, the score looks rather more lopsided than the game felt for sure. With slightly different dice results Q9 could have lived while the Lambda could have died which would have given me a 10-8 win but actually, the result isn’t what was important here.

No, the big question is – was it fun?

Well the answer is yes, yes it was.

Big shots from powered up ships should normally hit harder than they did here (although maybe less so against 3 agility ships) but while I should have had some better positional play (had I actually thought about what to do with Q9 and Maul properly) I did actually really enjoy playing with this list.

I think with some better turn 0 planning (i.e. some planning) things could have gone better but still, even with a loss here I found the list fun to fly. Plus they look cool on the board and we all know that’s what matters the most!

Will I fly it again? Probably, yes. This list doesn’t need tweaking or optimising (some one else already did all the hard work there!) so I know that with some better idea of what I should be doing then maybe the next game will be better in terms of a result but actually, plopping Super Commandos and getting free rerolls is pretty cool.

The list is on stream a couple of times with Firecast Focus from the London GT so perhaps this time I’ll do some homework and see what it’s supposed to be flown like!

I really- did have fun with this list and I’m looking forward to trying it out again!

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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A MASSIVE thank you to my wonderful Patrons for their ongoing support for the blog and enabling me to give away shiny things!

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

Exile Commanders:
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You are all amazing humans!

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