Existential Crisis?

The announcements…

Alrighty then everyone! This is the LAST CALL for this quarter’s Patreon deadline! If you sign up by the 30th of April (that’s this coming Saturday at time of publishing) then you WILL QUALIFY for some very lovely shiny things!

On top of that I will be doing a giveaway of a brand new and boxed Naboo N-1 Starfighter which will be added to the winner’s loot before sending out!

I want to give a quick shout out to Dan Eicher (of StraightFiveDesigns) for designing my alt arts since it’s been a little while since I’ve done so. I’m biased, of course, but the designs he’s providing are freaking awesome!

The intro…

Well hello! Welcome to this week’s blog!

This last week has been, well, a bit meh.

Me, last week.

I got a bit of a sore throat on Good Friday which developed into a full blown cold by the Monday evening. After 4 negative covid tests across the weekend I went to work Tuesday only to go home by lunchtime because I was feeling pretty rubbish.

Normally I can deal with a cold, keep working through it and shake it quite quick but this one knocked me out for the rest of the week (while testing negative on a further 4 covid tests), causing me to miss work, a social engagement and (most importantly?!) casual night at my FLGS.

This did, however, mean that I got time for a couple of online games so fret not my lovelies, I have some content! Since last week’s post was a bit of a cop out I feel that I owe you a bit more this week anyway and the time I’ve had off work has also allowed me to write a bumper blog for today.

Let’s begin, shall we?

The batrep(s)… (JARGON ALERT!!)

As I normally do when talking about multiple games, I’ll refrain from doing full turn by turn batreps because let’s face it, you’ve probably given yourself about 10 minutes or so to read this, not half an hour or more!

I used the same list for all games, the same list’ I’ve been using for a few weeks now (boring, I know!) while I continue to figure out what the heck I’m doing in 2.5!

Gina Moonsong (4)
Elusive (2)
Trajectory Simulator (6)
Jamming Beam (0)
Seismic Charges (3)
Stabilized S-Foils (0)

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

Netrem Pollard (4)
Hopeful (1)
Trajectory Simulator (6)
Jamming Beam (0)
Ion Bombs (4)
Stabilized S-Foils (0)

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

Derek Klivian (2)
Vectored Cannons (RZ-1) (0)

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

Lieutenant Blount (2)
Ship Cost: 2 Loadout: (0/0) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Magva Yarro (5)
Hopeful (1)
Leia Organa (7)
Sabine Wren (3)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Pivot Wing (0)

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

Shara Bey (A-Wing) (3)
Crack Shot (3)
XX-23 S-Thread Tracers (4)
Vectored Cannons (RZ-1) (0)

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

Total: 20

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Game 1 – Alex Boulton

Let’s start with the game I should have talked about last week. Almost 2 weeks ago now Clan Boulton braved the M4 traffic and journeyed over “The Bridge” from Bristol to make it to Newport.

I’d had a bit of a weird day in work so, knowing that they were there and staying for 2 games I opted to go a little later than normal and catch the second round of games. When I arrived Steve was already playing against Josh and Alex was waiting for me. I last played Alex back in September in a store tournament at Newport. He’d Vadered the crap out of me with Decimators then and it looked like he wanted to do the same to me now:

Rear Admiral Chiraneau (9)
Moff Jerjerrod (7)
Tactical Officer (3)
Darth Vader (14)
Agile Gunner (3)
Concussion Bombs (4)
Hull Upgrade (4)

Ship Cost: 9 Loadout: (35/35) Half Points: 4 Damage Threshold: 8

Captain Oicunn (8)
Ruthless (1)
Ion Torpedoes (4)
Minister Tua (4)
Grand Moff Tarkin (4)
Agile Gunner (3)
Cluster Mines (5)
Hull Upgrade (4)
Dauntless (0)

Ship Cost: 8 Loadout: (25/25) Half Points: 4 Damage Threshold: 8

Zertik Strom (3)
Fire-Control System (2)
Cluster Missiles (4)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (6/6) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Galactic%20Empire&d=v9ZhZ20Z214XWW50W61W26W76W355W164WY215X128WW135W49W34W76W316W164W147Y176XW113W98W&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

It’s a lot to process. Two fully tricked out Deci’s PLUS a TIE x1. This will be interesting.

Let’s do some quick Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Assault at the Satellite Array
Target/Objective Priority – Eesh. Alex’s large base ships mean I’ll need to have 2 ships next to an objective just to stop him scoring it. I need to claim some early points and focus fire one of the Deci’s to be in with a chance.
Obstacles – Tight clustering is good for throwing seismics and even better with Alex trying to bring large base ships in to play. I’ll keep on that.
Deployment – This is tricky. I’ll need to spread out to claim objectives but at the same time I need to focus fire. I get 1st player for setup so I get some decent control over where the objectives go but less information about where Alex places his i3’s.

We place objectives, obstacles and ships and are ready to start

As we plan for turn 1 I’m not overly happy with how things are set up. If Alex goes fast with the x1 he could claim 3 objectives in this turn but I guess that would put it in a pretty bad spot. I want to claim on the flanks while threatening in the middle.

Fast moves from Magva and Blount mean I claim on my right while Alex’s turn out with Oicunn threatens my A-Wings on the left. Zertik falls short of claiming the middle so we start with 2 points each,

Moving into turn 2 I’m at a bit of a loss with what to do with my A-Wings. It turns out that I do exactly the wrong thing with Hobbie who bumps into Oicunn. His pilot ability means a haymaker is coming and Hobbie promptly dies.

Meanwhile Gina has thrown a Seismic into the middle and catches the x1. I follow up with shots from Magva and both B-Wings but Zertik lives on 2 health. Balls.

To make matters worse, RAC takes a shot at Shara from range and she blanks on green, taking her immediately down to 1 health. This is not good.

With ships placed where they are Alex picks up 3 objective points plus 2 for taking out Hobbie versus my 1 objective. I refuse to panic though. I just need to take out one of those Deci’s and I’ve got almost half the target points. Assuming the x1 now does a runner, I’m looking to take on Oicunn. Two early shots from the A-Wings have laid the ground work, taking out his shields and a simultaneous fire from Hobbie before dying helped too. Only 12 more hull to go I guess!

With Oicunn clearly turning in, I dive Shara in at RAC, hoping to dodge his arc since she really does NOT want to get initiative killed by landing in front of him. Magva stays still with Leia while Netrem and Gina turn in.

Alex bugs out with Zertik which leaves me free to pound the Deci with three 3 dice guns. A reinforce from Oicunn means I only get 3 hits through this time but Shara’s Thread Tracer shot means my future shots should be better. We nullify each other on most objectives and score 1 each this turn, taking the score to 4 – 8.

Now we get into the scrum as Alex dives in with RAC. He also drops a concussion bombs (which I had TOTALLY forgotten about) to finish off Shara.

RAC blocks Gina which stops he getting arc on Oicunn while Netrem has shot off towards the top right corner, thinking ahead to future turns rather than this one. Oicunn’s left turn catches me off guard but Magva has stopped again, this time with Contraband, to get a decent shot into his flank.

All the while Blount is just pootling around on the right, making sure he’s collecting points.


RAC takes a shield from Netrem while Oicunn and Zertik work together to strip Magva of her shields. In return I punch 3 more hits onto Oicunn and 2 shileds from RAC. I’ve picked up 1 more objective than Alex this turn but losing Shara puts me further behind again with the score now 6 – 12.

Oicunn is getting closer to being dead though and Netrem’s position means I can nail him with a bomb. Will it do any damage? No. Will being ioned stop him from shooting me? Also no. Will it stop him from reinforcing…..? Oh yes, yes it will.

Now it all goes off. Netrem drops his ion bomb on Oicunns face. RAC pulls out a systems phase boost drops clusters on Gina and turns away to sit on an objective. Gina drops a seismic and dives in at Oicunn.

Meanwhile, fully accepting the self bomb, Magva turns in to chase Oicunn while Blount also turns in, stays close tot he objective AND will get to shoot this turn!


Zertik turns in to fire at Magva’s flank but will be eating that seismic, leaving him on 1 health (yes, I know Magva will take it too!)

It’s carnage.

The bombs all do their thing with Magva and Oicunn now ioned and Magva and Zertik caught by the seismic.

The ion feels moot now though as Gina, Magva and Blount focus fire on Oicunn and manage to take him out. Nice.

In return Magva takes more fire from the heavily bleeding Zertik while RAC is out of range for any shots.

At this point I realise we didn’t set a timer….

However, I’ve scored 3 objectives to Alex’s 1 and I’ve also got 8 points from taking out the Deci, making the score 17 – 13. What a turn around! We decide to do another turn since at least one of us will hit 20 points.

Annoyingly I forgot to take a photo of the final positions but basically RAC, Gina and Netrem were positioned to mean they were effectively out of the game (aside from objectives, obviously).

Magva took the 1 straight ion move while Zertik dived in behind and took a lock for a nice range 1 4 dice shot.

Blount finally decided to leave his objective and 2 bank in at Zertik (and in fact actually STILL caught the objective!) and focused.

This was going to come down to 2 shots.

Blount fired at the 1 health Zertik with 4 dice (range 1 plus the extra die from his ability) and rolled…..

In you can’t see it, that’s 3 blanks and a hit. Awesome. Zertik dodges it, of course.

The 4 dice roll from Zertik on Magva does land but fails to kill her as she survives on 1 hull.


Had Magva died there it would actually have ended up 19 – 19 but as she survives, I not only deny Alex those 5 points but pick up the middle objective.

Result: 20 – 14 win

Mini conclusion…

That was intense. Finding/remembering tactics to deal with different lists isn’t a strong point of mine I don’t think and while I knew that getting one of them would give me a chance, the sheer amount of stuff they could do (that I kept forgetting) mean that it cost me ships.

Alex played his list really well. He certainly knows his way around a Decimator and made me pay for not paying enough attention to what his list did. It was a good fun game which I really enjoyed!

Game 2 – Jordan Bishop

I mentioned earlier that I wasn’t very well last week. This meant being at home and since I’m at home, I could try getting an online game in, right?

Willing to put up with coughing and spluttering, I chatted with Jordan, who is prepping for various tournaments and trying to hone a Scum list for some of the big ones coming up in the next few months, we found an opportunity to play and we took it.

The Mandalorian (7)
Fearless (3)
Juke (7)
L3-37 (4)
The Child (6)
Jamming Beam (0)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Mandalorian Optics (5)
Razor Crest (0)

Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (28/28) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 4

Kad Solus (4)
Hull Upgrade (4)

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

Gamut Key (3)
Protectorate Gleb (6)
Deadman’s Switch (2)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Manaroo (4)
Notorious (2)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Punishing One (0)
R5-P8 (4)

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

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

Total: 20

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Yeesh. Jordan and I have been discussing for a while that people don’t seem too fussed about Mando and are generally underwhelmed by him. Jordan’s experience is rather different and he is really enjoying flying him and is finding some decent success with him. Who am I to argue with that?

Let’s do some Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Scramble the Transmissions
Target/Objective Priority – I know from experience that Jordan’s list can be quite brutal. That said, while I was setting up for the game I didn’t really have much of a game plan aside from ‘don’t get behind on objectives’ and ‘Traj Sim is good, right?’
Obstacles – A tight cluster in the middle for the aforementioned Traj Sim seismics. Other than that I’ll try and place rocks inside of wide objectives to force Jordan around the outside of them, hopefully delaying a turn in.
Deployment – Like I said already, no game plan means I’ll put the A-Wings together to claim one side, Magva and Blount on the other and the B-Wings centrally to throw bombs out with.

We place objectives, obstacles and ships and get ready to start.

My minimum goal here is to get 2 objectives under control. I’ll send the A-Wings up to claim but not go so fast that they can get nailed by Mando. On the left Blount and Magva will streak forwards to claim while the B-Wings will go up the middle to threaten bombs being thrown.

The only shot is a long range exchange between Shara and Ahhav with Ahhav coming off worse by taking 1 hit. Jordan and I both claim 2 each and we’re back to planning.

Gina throws a Seismic forwards at the start of next turn but, having been caught a few weeks ago Jordan is wise to the Traj Sim now and makes sure to be well clear.

Blount and Magva angle in to get some shots at Manaroo but Kad swings around the outside to fully flank.

On the right the A-Wings dive in at Mando, looking to be behind but instead cause bumps all round. Ahhav has dived out in front to claim the objective but all he can do is take it from me.

The B-Wings swing out in either direction while Gamut just turns along at the back to follow way behind Manaroo

The damage exchange goes poorly for me here as all my ships can manage is 1 shield from Manaroo (from 3 shots) while Manaroo and Kad take Blount down to 1 health.

Jordan picks up 2 points to my 1 on objectives.

I turn the 2 A-Wings to claim the objective but it takes actions from both since I can only clear it on the first try. Gina pivots to angle in at Mando while Netrem approaches slowly too. Blount dives out towards Gamut but Magva’s 2 straight (to clear stress) does NOT get past Manaroo and that’s a problem. Kad bumps her as a result while Manaroo sloops (JARGON ALERT!!) over the top.

Magva gets away with it a bit but still loses some shields while Blount and Shara manage to take Gamut down to 1 health (variance, amarite?!) but on the other hand Mando knocks 3 shields from Netrem.

The next turn I try and get a little too fancy for my own good. I trigger Leia. Magva stays still and rotates but in a moment of not concentrating, she spins 180 and not 90. I come to regret this later. As it’s now white she takes a focus too.

Blount and Shara dive in hard at Gamut and he blows up at the first shot but I 100% missed the Deadman’s Switch which in turn kills Blount. Awesome.

Magva’s wrong rotation means I miss a range 1 shot into the back of Kad which is unfortunate. Netrem’s 3 bank left and roll lands in pretty much the worst place ever. The Seismic that Gina thrw takes his last shield and then Mando hits him with 4 dice at range 1. It’s all paint and Jordan spends Force to make it all hits. Netrem blanks his green and he’s dead.

He did catch Mando with an ion bomb though so it’s not ALL bad news. Just mostly.

Magva plinks 2 shields from Manaroo and while I’ve still got 4 ships left, things do not feel like they’re going my way and I’m 8 – 14 down on points and Jordan’s biggest point vale ship has only lost a single shield.

I decide to go for Manaroo so angle in with Gina and both A-Wings. Magva is basically useless at this point. Stressed and facing the wrong way so can only bank to try and clear.

Kad has overshot Gina but can still get a shot onto Hobbie.

Gina, Hobbie and Shara lay into Manaroo and cruelly fall a single hit short of taking her out and she survives on 1 hull. In return she annihilates Shara. Cool.

This takes the score to 9 – 19. The game is essentially over as I’d need to kill Manaroo (on 1 hull), Kad (on 3 hull) and Ahhav (on 2 hull) AND take another 2 or 3 objectives while not losing any ships in order to win.

We play the turn out anyway and Mando, Kad and Manaroo manage to kill a full health Hobbie to finish the game out.

Result: 11 – 23 loss

Mini conclusion…

Ok, mistakes were made, yes but a few things happened here.

Firstly, I fully acknowledge that Jordan is a better player than I am. He thinks about the game differently and when we play it’s always a very tough challenge (while also being fun because he’s my mate!).

Secondly, I very much played the scenario and not the list. Looking afterwards at the damage spread on Jordan’s list, Gamut was dead, Manaroo was on 1 health, Kad had 3 left, Ahhav 2 and Mando 7. Had I actually focused some fire properly I could possibly have taken 2 of those ships out of action. It not only nets me more points but prevents incoming damage and more objective scoring by Jordan. The turn 0 ship placement is what drove this, really.

Thirdly, yes, I made some poor choices. Throwing a seismic into where Netrem was going only for him to be met with Mando at range 1 was just careless and silly. Also, missing the Deadman Switch on Gamut and going in for the range 1’s was wasteful and meant that Jordan could fire elsewhere after finishing Blount for ‘free’.

Overall I was a bit off my game, whether that’s down to my being ill or just a little rusty I’m not sure but credit where it’s due, Jordan bossed this game right through.

What can I learn from it? Well, don’t be quite so eager to bomb myself should be up there. As should anticipating future moves, both mine (obviously!) and my opponent’s. I still think that balancing objective points and killing ships is an issue. I suspect that ignoring my right hand side and flying everything straight at Manaroo and Kad might have caused Jordan some problems. Maybe. I might talk about that a bit more later on.

Other than that it’s always a pleasure playing Jordan, even though he beats me most of the time!

Game 3 – Petter Ellingsen

Yes, my people, there is a THIRD game to talk about!

The Sith Taker league has restarted and my first pairing was against Petter Ellingsen who I played against back in September last year and in February this year.

In the league the scenario is set by round so going in to the game I already knew which it would be. The question is, what was Petter bringing?

Maul (8)
Hate (4)
Notorious (2)
The Child (6)
Veteran Tail Gunner (2)
Thermal Detonators (5)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Tactical Scrambler (2)
Nightbrother (0)
Swivel Wing (0)
Cad Bane (3)

Ship Cost: 8 Loadout: (27/27) Half Points: 4 Damage Threshold: 5

Q9-0 (6)
Savage Opress (10)
Autoblasters (4)
Greedo (1)
False Transponder Codes (3)
Hotshot Tail Blaster (2)
Razor Crest (0)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (20/20) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 4

Manaroo (4)
Marksmanship (1)
Autoblasters (4)
Deadman’s Switch (2)
Punishing One (0)
Watchful Astromech (2)

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

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

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Scum%20and%20Villainy&d=v9ZhZ20Z512X204W455W453W89WW339W92WW110W448W449W20Y521X436WW232W83W369W463WW451Y117X125WW232WWW93WW159W410Y249X&sn=Unsaved%20Squadron&obs=

Oh, ok. That feels like a lot of big ships.

Let’s do some Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Assault at the Satellite Array
Target/Objective Priority – Eesh. Take a ship out. Preferably Maul or Q9. And score on some objectives, of course.
Obstacles – Tight clusters are my friends again here.
Deployment – I wanted to change things up a little. With Petter placing first at i3 perhaps I could move Netrem out of the middle where he normally goes.

We place objectives, obstacles and ships and are ready to start.

Unfortunately I missed screenshotting the turn 0 placement (sorry!) so let’s get down to it.

Now, full disclosure here, I was still feeling a bit unwell and it was still quite early in the morning (around 8:30ish). As well as missing a pic of deployment I also did NOT read/digest the list correctly and when I was asked which ships should take the conditions for The Child. I picked Gina and Shara with the intention of getting locks on the Razor Crest before I fully realised that he was on Maul.

The last mistake this game? Don’t count on it!

I’m already regretting my deployments as we head into turn 2 with 2 objectives each but Magva and Netrem are facing down Maul and Manaroo.

On my right Blount will hover around the bottom right objective but the A-Wings will zoom forwards to get behind Q9 and try to be annoying.

The A-Wings did NOT get behind Q9, bumping instead and with Shara a little too far out, not claiming the objective. Also Gina’s Traj Simmed Seismic ONLY caught Hobbie thanks to the bump. Awesome. On the left though Netrem’s Ion has caught both Petter’s ships. Sadly, they can still fire back.

My choice of target also didn’t help as I began to realise just how the Maul build works. Two shots into Maul did three damage and Petter spent 4 Force (which doesn’t automatically regenerate due to The Child) and STILL ended the turn with full 5 active Force. Filthy.

Those three damage were the ONLY damage I managed to do as Q9 simply refused to take anything from Hobbie or Gina (while Shara just barely missed arc) but in response Petter managed to put 3 damage on Netrem, 3 on Gina and 2 on Magva (plus the 1 on Hobbie that I did to myself). The very definition of a poor trade, I feel.

Not only that but with two big ships looming over Magva and Netrem, where the heck and I going to put them?!

I decide to drop the second Ion with Netrem and sail over the top of Manaroo with a Leia assisted 3 bank while with Magva I accept the ion and go 2 straight to clear the stress. Had I gone 3 instead, she would have dodged Manaroo’s arc. Unfortunately, the 2 stopped short of that.

Ahhav has decided he (she? No idea on the lore for this ship) wants in on the action but is too late as 3 naked dice from Maul followed by 4 with a focus from Manaroo explodes Magva with not an evade in sight. In simultaneous fire Magva plants 3 more dice into Maul but does nothing whatsoever.

Her death gives Netrem a Hopeful boost which means he can fire at the ST-70 but neither he nor Gina can push any damage through. Meanwhile Q9 also fails to damage Gina. Small mercies eh!

Losing Magva and losing out on objectives to the large ships means I’m suddenly very behind. I need to kill a ship. Given my positions and despite the track record of no damage so far, I decide to go for the ST-70.

Hobbie races off towards the top left to (possibly) contest the objective there while Blount turns to try and actually shoot. Shara turns tight while Gina and Netrem gather in the middle.

Ahhav is also heading for the top left objective and while Manaroo ions her way on to the asteroid (taking 2 damage), Maul stops and rotates while Q9 opts not to flip contraband for the planned talon roll and simply 1 straights instead.

I have shots on Q9 with Shara, Netrem (just barley) and Blount. No, of course I don’t do any damage but Shara rolled all natural paint with Thread Tracers to give everyone locks on the ST-70.

Meanwhile Ahhav rolls his 2 dice at Hobbie (who barrel rolled so has no token), range 3 obstructed and, well, this happens

Eesh. That’s Hobbie halved then.

The score keeps rolling up and Maul sitting on 2 objectives isn’t helping. Still, I’ve got to try something. I decide that Netrem needs to push on fast and see if he can catch Q9. I’ll turn Blount too while Shara will systems phase boost and go 5 straight.

I turn Hobbie in towards Ahhav and it stops just short of the bump.

Unfortunately, I totally forget to boost with Shara and her 5 straight not only ends up on the asteroid but also bumps into Gina and takes 2 damage and can’t shoot. If that doesn’t sum up this game then I don’t know what does!

Not only that but Q9’s talon roll (JARGON ALERT!!) and subsequent roll with Contraband put him outside of Neterm’s arc and at range 1 of Blount. Awesome.

Maul then fires at focused Hobbie, rolls all paint and Hobbie blanks out AGAIN and dies. Cool.

Q9 hits Blount while Manaroo fires at Gina but neither dies (thankfully!). Only Blount and Gina have shots but neither does anything significant and with Q9 counting for 2 ships in the bottom right objective Petter claims enough points to hit the limit.

Result: 9 – 20 loss

Mini Conclusion…

Ok. That was…. not great. A complete disaster? Maybe not at first but it felt like it descended into one at the end.

Dice did not help, of course, but that’s no excuse. I AGAIN failed to kill a ship and had spread damage rather than focusing down. Looking back, I had 4 ships on the right had side which could have dived in and hammered the ST-70 who was pretty isolated but I prioritised scoring objectives and started putting damage on far too late.

Had this been Scramble and not Assault then my Ion bombs would have been awesome in the positions I got them, leaving Maul and Manaroo drifting, unable to claim and having to circle back in. Unfortunately what actually happened is that they kept on claiming multiple objectives while systematically wiping my ships off the board.

The dice certainly didn’t help me but by being in the positions that I was, I was giving them the opportunity to not help me and that is what I need to work on.

A bit tough to take and a poor start to the new Sith Taker league but no more than I deserve given a poor turn 0, not reading Petter’s list properly and several in-game mistakes.

AND on top of all that, I forgot to use Sabine. Again.

The conclusion…

Ok, so 3 games played in the last 2 weeks, how do I feel?

Well, it depends.

Right now (which, to be fair, is almost immediately after the 3rd game, which I lost and wasn’t even close AND I’m still feeling unwell) I’m feeling like I’m a bit of a funk to be honest. Once I get to the point of setting up to play, adjusting my tactics depending on the scenario is something that I’m not doing. Heck, I didn’t even really look at the list properly and pick up that it wasn’t Mando in the Razor Crest and that The Child was on Maul until somewhere into turn 3!

Being honest and real, it feels like when I win, it’s close and I was lucky and when I lose it isn’t close and it’s deserved. Whether that’s true or not is a LOT harder to determine, harder now than it was in 2.0 I think.

Do I need to change list? Perhaps. That will mean I need time to figure out how to play it though. That in itself is fine, it’s just that between learning triggers and effects and still trying to learn how best to approach 4 different scenarios AND generally getting 1 game a week, I feel like I’m not getting anywhere.

Chatting with Jordan following my 3rd game he suggested I try something different, something more like the list I used in Cardiff and Manchester as perhaps it suits me more based on my history with Dash lists and, over the last 6 months, Leia in the Falcon:

Leia Organa (8)
Bistan (8)
Ursa Wren (6)
The Child (6)
Millennium Falcon (0)

Ship Cost: 8 Loadout: (20/20) Half Points: 4 Damage Threshold: 6

Thane Kyrell (4)
R3 Astromech (3)
Hull Upgrade (4)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

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

AP-5 (3)
K-2SO (6)
R4 Astromech (2)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Ezra Bridger (TIE Fighter) (3)
Brilliant Evasion (2)
Hondo Ohnaka (5)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (7/8) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 1

Derek Klivian (2)
Ship Cost: 2 Loadout: (0/0) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v9ZhZ20Z393XWW77W439W453WWW154Y9XWW4W164W142Y72X314WW5WY14X199W333WY461X&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Double tapping Leia with co-ordinated actions, free locks and still having 5 ships. Looks like it could be fun!

Maybe I’m just overthinking it all? Maybe I’m not being jousty enough with what is, essentially, a pretty jousty list. Maybe I should get back to the X-Wing mind set I had before and play for position and shots and focus less on objectives? I feel like I’ve intended to do that in many games but as soon as I start placing ships I just gravitate towards placing and dialling moves for objectives. It’s strange.

Whatever happens, I know that 2.5 is the future, locally and globally. A core of regular players (which includes me) have got a decent number of games in and bought in to scenario play (for better or worse!). We do still have some local players who are yet to try 2.5 and so there’s hope that our numbers will start to come back to what they were pre-covid. I know that isn’t the case everywhere though as comments on a post in the ‘X-Wing Ready Room’ Facebook group brought up mixed responses with some groups increasing but others disappearing altogether.

Globally, well, look, AMG haven’t made changes just for the sake of it (despite that being how it feels sometimes) and future content will be 2.5 focused with the purpose of selling units and making money (like any business, right?). With some people seeming to take AMG up on their statements of ‘take it or leave it’ (generally speaking) and selling up their collections, the pressure really is on for them to deliver an excellent gaming experience to draw new players in. And they need to do it quickly before even more people simply lose interest.

Getting back to my play, perhaps what I need is an attitude or expectation adjustment. Probably both. By the time I’d made it to top 4 of of a reasonably sized tournament in Cardiff last November it had been 3 years since 2.0 had released. I was doing pretty ok. Then 2.5 drops and I guess a part of me expects that I could just sail through the transition and pick back up almost where I left off.

Is that reasonable though? Especially given what I already know about myself in terms of learning and how I process information? No, it isn’t. But given that I write a blog (not that that should have anything to do with it!) and have previously been able to (sometimes, intermittently) mix it with the big boys, have my expectations quietly and subconsciously increased? Is my ego now being thwacked with a rolled up newspaper (metaphorically, of course. I’m not actually doing that to myself) every time I don’t win a game?

Back when I started blogging I stated that I was an ‘average Joe’ player. Not good, didn’t really travel except for System Opens, just enjoying playing a game I love and maybe trying to get a little better at it.

Has that changed? I guess it has. Countless games against top players in big tournaments, little tournaments and casual nights alike sharpened and honed me. One of the purposes of writing the blog in the first place was to help me to self review and improve and, while it may have been slow and steady (peaks and troughs rather than a steady incline) I think that I probably have improved.

And perhaps that’s why I’m finding the change to 2.5 difficult. I’m not a fast learner, I know this. When you throw multiple changed factors (objectives, list building, shorter games/turn/points limit) into the mix then it makes it harder still to adapt.

And then when I see others doing well at 2.5…..?

NOT the first time I’ve had feelings like this if I’m being honest!

Which then forces me to think, where am I finding the joy? It’s not just in the winning, is it? I’ve always played for the fun and for the social interaction. The wins were a nice bonus. Perhaps over this same journey that has shifted? I’d like to think not but maybe it’s time to take a good long look at myself, be honest about what I want and then figure out how best to achieve that.

It might take a little while to work through that process but that’s ok. I’m not going anywhere.

The outro…

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Exile Initiates:
Douglas Thomson

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