Down to earth…

The intro…

Welcome to this week’s blog!

There’s a few things to cover before I get started into the ‘real content’ (if you can call it that!).

First of all, the Firestorm Games Cardiff Store Championship (what a mouthful!) is coming up this weekend! It isn’t too late to get a ticket if you fancy coming along. Tickets are on sale here.

If you’ve already got your ticket, Mark Hall (the suspicious looking one in the picture, who is TO’ing the event) has asked that you sign up on Longshanks (the event link is here) as soon as possible. He’d also like to ask you to submit your list. I will echo this as there’s been a few podcasts trying to cover events lately and finding that tournament results don’t have lists available to view which makes their life just a little bit more difficult! It might not seem like a huge deal whether your list is made public or not but even just a little thing like that helps content creators out which in turn contributes to keeping podcasts and blogs having something to talk about that people are interested in.

Details will be sent out soon but if you’re coming, registration is 8:30 – 9:00 and dials down in the first round at 09:30am. Mark’s got some strong views on timekeeping so don’t be late or you’ll risk a round 1 auto-loss or giving your opponent free points if late back from lunch! It’s also worth mentioning that we’re now at 20 players so there will be a top 4 cut (as per AMG’s guidance!) and the Worlds invite will definitely be given out!

Anyway, moving on! Well, not too far, because it would be remiss of me to not mention that our Store Champs in Newport are also coming up next month. Tickets are on sale here and the Facebook event with any info (or if you need to ask any questions) if here. Again, we’re aiming for 16+ players so that the invite can be given out so if you’re free why not get a ticket and come down!

Before I get to the main part of today’s blog, I want to talk about something which is giving me very mixed feelings.

I’ll start with the bad ones. AMG’s annual Ministravaganza is coming this month. Traditionally it’s a series of live streams over a few days where they talk about their product lines, paint some things, tease new releases and generally hype up their stuff. I can’t say that I watch them religiously since it happens on US time and it’s not entirely compatible with then I can watch but normally when something cool that’s related to X-Wing happens there are enough people watching that it filters onto Facebook or Reddit fairly quickly.

AMG have released their schedule and there will be NO X-Wing content. Like, at all. I could go into a big rant here about the positivity following Worlds and having built back good vibes following the change to 2.5 but while this is definitely the place for it, now is not the time. Or rather, I need more time to process and put it all down into something cohesive and readable.

But for today, I will move on quickly, to the good feelings.

The community, in it’s awesomeness, will step in and do it itself.

I’ll continue to put out details as they become available so keep your eyes peeled for info and let’s support this event and show AMG that there’s still a lot of support for X-Wing!

Is that all for now? I mean, I could maybe give some XTC info but it’s too early for that yet, surely?

The batrep…? (JARGON ALERT!!)

Let’s talk about a game then shall we?

I’m still persisting with the same list (despite the temptation to change, more on that later), mainly because it dawned on me that it was only 10 days until Cardiff and there’s a Worlds ticket on the line that I’ve got half an eye on.

Ezra Bridger (Gauntlet Fighter) (6)
Shattering Shot (3)
Trick Shot (4)
“Chopper” (Crew) (1)
Nightbrother (0)
Swivel Wing (0)
Hera Syndulla (4)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (12/12) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 5

Han Solo (7)
Trick Shot (4)
Perceptive Copilot (8)
Bistan (8)
Millennium Falcon (0)

Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (20/20) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 6

Luke Skywalker (BoY) (5)
Instinctive Aim (0)
Attack Speed (BoY) (0)
Proton Torpedoes (0)
R2-D2 (BoY) (0)

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

Sabine Wren (TIE Fighter) (2)
Beskar Reinforced Plating (3)

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

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

There was a game already going on when I arrived at Firestorm but after sitting and watching a few minutes, Peter Hall turned up and, even though we played last week (and the week before I went on holiday!), he didn’t mind playing me again.

He’s still rocking the same ships but had swapped out a couple of pilots and upgrades since we last met.

“Vizier” (4)
Imperial Super Commandos (8)
Ablative Plating (4)

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

Major Rhymer (3)
Marksmanship (1)
Barrage Rockets (6)
BT-1 (2)
Seismic Charges (3)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (12/12) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 3

Lieutenant Lorrir (3)
Elusive (4)
Targeting Computer (1)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (5/6) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 1

“Scourge” Skutu (3)
Predator (3)

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

Morna Kee (7)
Disciplined (2)
Minister Tua (4)
Darth Vader (12)
Agile Gunner (1)
Seismic Charges (3)
Dauntless (0)

Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (22/22) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 8

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

I might have played variants of this before but there’s enough different stuff in here to warrant thinking about. Can I process it though?

Let’s look at some Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Salvage Mission
Target/Objective Priority – Get at least 1, preferably two boxes. Nail that Deci and see what else can be hit.
Obstacles – Preventing Peter an easy route to get his ships through the middle is key. Having obstacles for Han to make use of is also quite important!
Deployment – Oh boy. I could write here what I should have done but instead I’ll jsut show you what I actually did.

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

Turn 1

I don’t know it yet but I’ve already screwed myself here. Can you see it? Yep, it’s placing Han Solo inside of Ezra, meaning Han will have to go fast to get out of the way or Ezra will have to go slow to let Han lead. Either way, it’s bad.

And Luke… oh, you can’t see Luke? Hang on…

He’s outside of Ezra and already I hate what I’m doing here.

I send Luke up the flank with Ezra banking in, Han going fast to get out of the way and Sabine screaming up the middle to maybe claim the objective next turn.

Now, normally I’d break down what happens here and in what order but I’m going to run with the end of turn position so you can see just how bad it is. In turn 1.


Han boosted to get clear of Ezra but that’s left him stressed and VERY limited on moves next turn. Sabine is floundering in the middle and Luke and Ezra are WAAAAAAY out of the way.

Bad. Bad. Bad.

Turn 2

Right, how can I redeem this? I abandon the plan with Sabine to pick up a box and instead launch her at the Deci. If she can block then it prevents Morna getting the reinforce and I can pile into her. Han now has to decide between rotating and focusing. I look at thte 2 straight with Ezra but it’s too tight, he has to stop to not self bump. Luke will go for the objective on the right and see if anyone is in his arc.

The answer is no.

Peter uses Lorrir’s weird rolls to flank where I’m sending Luke with nothing I can do about it. Not only that, Morna 3 banks right rather than taking a 1 straight, going right over the top of Sabine.

She bumps into Vizier but it’s not really a huge issue. Peter then bring to the bomber gently around and skims Scourge along his board edge.

This positioning is BEYOND awful. I’ve got ONE shot and it’s range 3 at a TIE fighter. Just awful.

Han puts a damage into Scourge so that’s something. I guess.

Then, having Vadered her evade away, Morna simply one-shots Sabine as my greens blank out. Luke only loses 1 shield from Lorrir’s range 1 attack (although it’s a crit so I drop the box) but Han loses 4 from Vizier and Rhymer as I reroll green blanks into more green blanks.

This is not going well. At all.

Turn 3

Han’s 1 straight last turn was to facilitate a clear 4-k (JARGON ALERT!!) this turn. Will it be worth it? Man, I hope so. I need it to be. Luke and Ezra both need to come in and do some damage now but what do I do about the interceptor? Those bendy rolls make it very hard to predict so I set a Talon Roll (JARGON ALERT!!). I mean, at this point, why not eh? I go to set a 2 straight with Ezra but my hope of catching Lorrir sways me into changing it to a 1 bank right. Maybe I can get him?

Peter swings the Deci around (after dropping a seismic) while Vizier and Rhymer trundle into the middle. Lorrir pulls some absolute nonsense to effectively half reverse sideslip half a base to his right. Madness.

Peter’s made an error, though and Scourge now bumps into Lorrir and takes a damage for it. Luke also bumps into Lorrir and while it isn’t ideal, Luke is now pointing directly at a 1 health TIE at range 1 with no mods.

Han’s 4-K clears but AGAIN he can’t focus for double shots.

But it’s ok because there’s only 1 ship in his arc anyway.

The seismic takes Han’s last shield before denying him a Trick Shot on Vizier. His normal shot takes a single shield from the Reaper. Luke finishes off Scourge while his reply shot (since they’re both i5) takes a shield.

Han takes shots from Lorrir and Rhymer and once again I’m rerolling green blanks into more green blanks as Han picks up 3 damage cards.

Taking out Scourge catches me up following the loss of Sabine but with just 5 hull left, I think Peter’s going to score 7 points from Han very soon.

Turn 4

I’ll be honest, at this point the loss felt inevitable. Han’s bleeding and about to burn down, Luke is stressed and facing the wrong way. I’m carrying a single box and don’t have many ships left with which to carry. The main question now was can I try and scrape back some points to make it respectable?

I set Luke a 1 bank left and would regen a shield since he won’t be shooting anyway.

Han would 2 bank right (since the rock is now gone and he needs to clear stress) and then focus (finally!). Ezra will hard turn left because then he can remain stressed (switching on his ability), he can evade with Nightbrother and can maybe sink some damage into Morna,

Peter Sloops (JARGON ALRET!!) with Vizier before coming slowly in with Rhymer. Morna hard turns again and picks up a box (since she just barely didn’t bump the Gauntlet)while Lorrir bumps into the back of Vizier (but takes no damage)

Han takes a shot into Morna at range 1 before doing a second shot into Lorrir. The shot against Morna is good, putting 3 damage cards on but the shot against the interceptor is dodged. I simly cannt touch Lorrir!

Ezra sinks a little more damage into Morna and for a moment it looks like Han will survive despite drawing TWO direct hits.

Then the Commandos fire.

Of course they finish him off.

Turn 5

Now, in all honesty, I forgot to take any more pictures and while it could be construed as my not wanting to be embarrassed by the result, it was more that I’d accepted my fate and was actually enjoying the rest of the game play out.

With Han gone Peter turned his attention to my remaining ships but a stunning Proton Torp from Luke into Vizier looked to level the playing field slightly.

The Reaper went down the following turnafter Ezra was faced with a choice between Vizier and Lorrir but no more ships died after the Reaper and with Peter having picked up a few more boxes, the game was done.

Final result: 11 – 17 loss

The conclusion…

Well, well, well. A loss to bring me swiftly (and deservedly) back down to earth following what’s been a pretty decent run with this list..

I’ve been looking back over the pictures while writing this and recapping the game in my brain and I’ve come to the conclusion that I lost this game in deployment.

Han’s positioning relative to Ezra’s meant that he was always going to be in the way. Taking the early red boost was a theoretical way out of it but then got him stressed and with his arc facing the wrong way. It also locked him in to the lane he was in (despite it being ALL the way over the other side of the board) which proved his downfall.

I also changed my mind on Luke’s purpose which put him too far out of the fight for too long.

The risk I took with Sabine going for the block didn’t pay off, particularly with me forgetting the Darth Vader trigger.

Yes, dice went against me on several occasions (SO many green blank outs!) but even if variance had been more balanced the long and the short of it is that I’d screwed up my positioning to the extent that my list was fighting with 1 hand tied behind it’s back.

Peter took full advantage of this and correctly prioritised taking down Han which, as I’d served him up on a silver platter, wasn’t as hard as it should have been. I mean, rerolling blanks into blanks several times didn’t help either mind you…

Overall, this game was a bit of a reality check. I’d played against it (well, a version of it) twice before and won both games. If I’m being honest I probably didn’t put in enough thought at the start of the game and it ended up being a very deserved win for Peter.

So what am I learning (or re-learning in some cases…) from this with just 1 more casual night before Cardiff?

  1. Have a plan for my ships is priority number one. I had a plan on this occasion but it was a bad one, poorly thought out. The silly thing is, I DO have a plan. Which leads me to my next point…
  2. STICK TO THAT PLAN. Unless things are going horribly (which does happen), don’t deviate.
  3. Remember what ships want to do. Just because Han can boost, doesn’t mean he should. Not with my build, at least.
  4. Don’t blank out on dice. I can influence that, right?

The funny thing is, I did actually enjoy this game. Peter’s enthusiasm for playing stuff that he enjoys, tinkering with pilots and loadouts and trying again is equalled only by his joy in seeing it come off in a game, even if it’s only one time.

I need to thank Steve Boulton for his contribution to my downfall, reminding Peter to use Darth Vader crew at the appropriate time if it was missed but actually it all added to the enjoyment and banter that was flowing at the table.

I’d lost this fairly early on and I knew it. I attempted to recover but when that failed I played with more freedom and felt quite relaxed, knowing for sure that those darned Commandos would be the ones to finish off Han.

The question I need to ask of myself is – will I have the humility and character to be so relaxed at Cardiff with a Worlds invite on the line? I sincerely hope I will, will make sure that I will. No level of win is worth being a jerk for.

And so, with that, I think I’m done for this week. I’ve got one more rep (maybe two?) at casual night tomorrow (as at time of publishing) to try and iron out kinks and make sure I know what I’m doing as best I can. Check back next week to see how the tournament went!

The outro…

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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

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