Doing My Duty…

The intro…

Welcome to this week’s blog!

I don’t think there’s a huge amount of news (X-Wing related or otherwise) that I feel the need to cover except for one – The Cornish Nationals!

Held in Truro in deepest darkest Cornwall is was a hard fought tournament with a Store Championship kit at stake. In the end it was won by Tin Squadron’s Chris Burnett with the invite going to Ryan Coyle. Congrats all round!

Ok, let’s get on with the main topic.

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

Now, you might have noticed something missing this week. That’s right, no XTC update! Why’s that? Well, there’s a perfectly good reason.

A big part of being in a team is working together for a mutual benefit. What does that mean in this case? Well, one of team Wales’ players and local Exile Steve Boulton is playing our Resistance list. His preferred faction of late is First Order but he took on the Resistance as we have a few players who like FO.

I had gone onto Discord with Scotland’s team captain Rory to make our pairings and ironically, Steve was going up against FO.

While it’s easy to assume that this would mean that Steve would have an advantage, he was actually not 100% sure on how to approach the game.

He was planning on coming down to Firestorm with the Resistance to play a game and, being the selfless (and humble) captain that I am, I suggested he bring Scotland’s FO list and I would play it against him.

Why did he have to pack it? Well, I do not own the faction. At all. We used to, back in the 1.0 days but when my son Cai and I bought conversion kits for our ships we decided not to stick with FO and we sold on the few ships that we had.

As mentioned last week, I’d been thinking about a change from, ironically, the Welsh XTC Resistance list and so this was an opportunity to try something new without having to put a lot of thought into exactly what it would be.

The purpose of the game would be to try and help Steve find the best way to approach the Scottish list to give him the best chance to win against it when the time came on the Sunday morning. Hence the reason the XTC update will be at the end, to add a bit of drama and tension for the actual result!

So, let’s look at the lists. First, the Welsh Resistance list Steve would be flying:

L’ulo L’ampar (4)
Marksmanship (1)
Predator (3)
Shield Upgrade (8)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (12/12) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 2

Jessika Pava (4)
M9-G8 (5)
Electronic Baffle (2)
Integrated S-Foils (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (7/7) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Temmin Wexley (4)
Heroic (2)
Ferrosphere Paint (3)
R6-D8 (4)
Integrated S-Foils (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (9/9) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Ello Asty (4)
Swarm Tactics (5)
Heroic (2)
Integrated S-Foils (0)
Jamming Beam (1)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Zorii Bliss (4)
Dorsal Turret (2)
R4 Astromech (2)
Wartime Loadout (2)
Plasma Torpedoes (5)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (11/11) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Resistance&d=v9ZhZ20Z239X125W127WW165Y296XW197W106W175WY297X172W198W359WWW175WY299X132W172WWWW175W12Y477XWW137W5WWWW409W234W&sn=XTC23%20-%20STEVE%20BOULTON%20-%20WALES%20-%20RESISTANCE&obs=coreasteroid0,coreasteroid5,core2asteroid0

Now this is a good list. I like it, I like flying it and I think I’ve got a reasonable handle on it.

And I would be flying Scotland’s First Order list:

Kylo Ren (TIE Whisper) (5)
Instinctive Aim (2)
Fanatical (2)
Concussion Missiles (5)
Advanced Optics (5)
Enhanced Jamming Suite (0)

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

“Blackout” (5)
Trick Shot (4)
Advanced Optics (5)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (9/12) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Lieutenant LeHuse (4)
Barrage Rockets (6)
Special Forces Gunner (0)
Munitions Failsafe (1)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (7/7) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Commander Malarus (3)
Mag-Pulse Warheads (4)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (4/4) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

“Midnight” (3)
Fanatical (2)
Swarm Tactics (5)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (7/7) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=First%20Order&d=v9ZhZ20Z487X73WW181W99WW186WW413Y237X133W186WWWWY397XWW97WW182WW108Y266XWW311WWY233X181W132WWW&sn=XTC%202023%20-%20DAVE%20WYNNE%20-%20SCOTLAND%20FIRST%20ORDER&obs=coreasteroid5,core2asteroid4,core2asteroid5

I have to admit, it was only when I arrived that I realised something. I’ve no idea how to fly this list.

Steve and I had a bit of a chat about what some of the ships do and discussed some of the upgrade choices.

The scenario was already set and so we got ready to play.

I took a few minutes to work out how I wanted to play this and set up as I set out tokens and cards while also thinking to myself ‘am I actually helping if I don’t play this very well?’. Can’t beat a bit of imposter syndrome eh?

We places objectives, obstacles and ships and were ready to start.

I have to admit I was a little surprised when Steve set Temmin up away from the other T-70’s. I’d placed the rocks as close to his side as I could to try and leverage Blackout’s ability. I also thought that the jousty block of Jess, Zorii and Ello was far out enough that I could take a swipe at Temmin before they make it into the fray.

I went fast with Kylo and Blackout while the block of Malarus, Midnight and LeHuse went a bit slower.

Temmin was locked in to coming straight while Lulo turned along his edge and the jousty block came slowly along the right edge.

Next I moved up faster, looking to position Blackout behind the rock, the block of 3 ships straight up the middle at Temmin while Kylo would come along the flank, either banking in to shoot or taking the objective. Or, as it happened, neither of those.

Steve had won ROAD and so ALL his ships moved before mine. I hadn’t thought that Lulo would hard turn in and so when Kylo banked left I opted for the lock on the A-Wing rather than boost in to catch Temmin and put myself at risk.

Steve had banked in with Jess and Zorii while Ello continued straight to come in for the wide flank. This meant I would have a little more time before getting hit. Not a bad thing. For me, anyway.

I hadn’t gone fast enough with my block of three though and so my only shot onto Temmin was from Blackout. It wasn’t a bad one though as Blackout’s obstructed, Trick Shot combined with his ability meant that his shields got stripped in exchange for 1 shield on the Silencer. Not bad.

We’d both claimed an objective so it was 1 point each.

Now we were heading into the scrum. I’m expecting Temmin to go fast to get a block. Bearing that in mind but also with the three ships on my right heading in, I have to make a choice.

I decide to move up and out of the way with Malarus to bank in with Blackout while LeHuse will bank right at Jess. The spacing won’t let me bank with Midnight too so it’ll be a 2 straight to xtake on Temmin.

Kylo is a tricky one. I’m looking to go quite fast at Lulo in case he comes at me so as to minimise any incoming shot.

It turns out to be a bit of a mess.

Jess comes in 2 straight with Zorii coming in behind while Ello turns in and focuses. Temmin comes in fast while Lulo turns in at Kylo.

Thankfully, I called most of it.

Malarus jumps over TEmmin and just barely squeaks in a roll to the right to get out of Blackout’s way as he banks right. LeHuse banks right at Jess (which now feels rather suicidal) while Midnight rills up into Temmin’s face. Kylo bumps into Lulo which I’m actually fairly happy with.

What followed was a slightly one-sided exchange of damage. Blackout and LeHuse forced Jess to spend her focus and reroll charge and still stripped shields and put a damage on. Midnight put 2 damage into Temmin (including a Blinded Pilot). In response Midnight got hit by Zorii, Jess, Ello AND Temmin and still lived on 1 hull.

Kylo and Lulo exchanged shots but while Lulo lost a shield, Kylo came out unscathed.

All in all, Steve’s got 2 heavily damaged ships while I’ve got 1 ship almost dead. I’ll take it.

Now, I forgot to take a picture of the next turn but I failed to keep focused down on a single target which was not a great feeling.

I got Temmin down to a single hull and stripped Zorii’s shields and put 3 damage in, falling just short of the kill. In return I lost Midnight and, well, that’s it.

This puts Steve ahead since we’ve each scored 3 objectives. Still, Jess, Temmin AND Zorii are all looking pretty fragile.

I follow up by taking out Jess but can’t get hits through on anyone else, leaving both Temmin (who is running) and Zorii (who isn’t) on 1 hull each while my remaining ships are all pretty healthy.

Temmin runs for his life while Zorii hard turns and opts to claim rather than focus. Ironically, with Ello nearby, he could have done both had he remembered to trigger Zorii’s pilot ability.

Steve has managed to bag all 3 objectives but I get the kill on Zorii which puts me ahead.

Zorii takes a shot at Malarus who has no charges, no tokens and 2 hull left and rolls….2 eyeballs. I roll ym greens anyway and there’s not a single evade. Had Steve remembered the Zorii trigger, Malarus is dead.

With Zorii dead and time up, I just about take the game.

Result: 12 – 10 win

The conclusion…

Well, wow.

First of all, I’m pretty chuffed that I’ve got a win here with a list I’ve never flown from a faction I don’t own. Whether it was my approach with these ships or the fact that I know the opposing list so well is pretty hard to determine but from a purely self focused point of view, that’ pretty cool.

But, is that what was best in terms of the bigger picture?

While playing we discussed the turns and positions and when we got to the end some of the reasons for decisions that we each had taken.

I feel that the Resistance list is strongest when Zorii and the T-70’s are flown as a block and suggested Steve try that in his game. He’s also missed some triggers through the game (such as Zorii’s focus but also keeping Ello close enough to Jess to Swarm her up to i5). When given the opportunity to change these decisions Steve had insisted he didn’t, that he learns from the pain.

So I guess the question is, did it work?

XTC Update…

Well, our games against Scotland were certainly eventful.

We started with a win, Rebecca Westwood taking the Empire to a 20-15 win in an almost mirror match. Peter Lake then took on the Republic with his FO list on stream. It started ok but some horrible green dice meant that Grudge was lost quickly and while he put up a brave display, couldn’t pull it back once Vonreg burned down too.

So, 1-1 then.

On Saturday Mike Upton went into the Rebel mirror match and came up trumps with a strong 21-7 win.

Later that same day Phill Blackmore took on the Resistance with his Republic squad and so almost had it right up until the last shot of the game when Poe jumped in and wiped out Padme to squeak a 14-13 win.

So it was 2-2 and it all fell on Steve’s game.

Crikey.

So, what happened in Steve’s crunch game? I’ll let him tell you…

He won! That puts us at 3-2 and we win the round. Yay!

It’s been said over and over that you learn more from a loss than from a win and that’s clearly the case here. Steve said he remembered his triggers and clearly it’s made a difference!

We’re now into the final week of the XTC group stage and are up against Ireland. I chatted with Irish captain Rich Polley to put pairings together and this is what we’ve got for round five:

Fancy graphics eh? Got to get me one of those…

After a lot of discussion among the team we discovered that, with a VERY unlikely series of events we could, possibly, technically, still mathematically qualify for the finals.

I mean, we’d need Ireland to beat Hellas in their unfinished round 4 games (but ony beating them 3-2) and then beat Ireland 5-0 and even then I’m not quite sure what the next tiebreaker is.

Long story short, we’re probably out of contention but the XTC has been full of surprises so far. Nothing’s certain until all the games are done!

https://www.longshanks.org/event/11045/

That’s all for this week I guess, I’ll see you back here next week!

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:
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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