Feast or famine…

The intro…

Hello and welcome to this week’s blog!

I don’t think there’s a huge amount to talk about in terms of general X-Wing news here. I will mention that there’s new podcast that I’m listening to – the Off-Meta Podcast. It’s by Stephen Kim (aka Raithos) and I actually really like it. I’m 3 episodes in now and it reminded why I liked it so much when Raithos would chime in on the Fly Better podcast. It’s good, informative content from people who know what they’re talking about. Unlike me! Anyway, I think it’s worth a listen.

In other news, there have been some more store champs, with one relatively local to me in Weston-Super-Mare run by the always awesome Richard Greenaway.

Why do I mention this one in particular? Well, as well as being attended by quite a few locals in the South Wales area, it was won by one of our very own Exiles!

So a MASSIVE congratulations to Josh Hall who went 3-1 to finish 3rd in swiss and then won both cut games to land himself a Worlds 2024 invite! Well done mate!

Patreon update…

So, it’s the last month of Q4 and I’m running through the gifts and so it’s time to cover the next one! A few quarters ago I started sending out templates with a view to supporters eventually getting a full set of Exile ones. This time up, it’s the 3 straight!

All tiers (except initiates) will get these as well as the cards from last week.

If you’d like to sign up to get some of these goodies (or just to support me!) then you can do that here. As always, don’t feel under any pressure to do so but know that any support is really really appreciated.

The batreps… (JARGON ALERT!!)

So last week I didn’t have a game to talk about and produced something a little bit ranty. Sorry about that.

I still stand by my opinions there but on the whole I don’t like to be negative. I really do hope that OP picks up. This year’s Worlds felt (y’know, from an outsider/no attender’s point of view) slightly done on the hop, as did the lead up.

This year has felt more planned and structured but I think we can all agree that it’s far from perfect. Here’s hoping that 2024 brings some improvements.

Aaaaaaanyway, while last week there was no game (which is the famine I’m referring to in the title), this week I played three (the feast. Obviously).

THREE!

Yes, circumstances fell in just the perfect alignment for me to get multiple games in. I’ts like that saying about London busses. You wait an hour for one and then three come at once.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you feel about batreps!) I don’t have time to run through each of them turn by turn but I will break each of them down a little bit though.

One thing they all have in common is that they’re XTC related. Oh yes, it’s almost time!

Game 1 – Gareth Nottingham

Last Tuesday evening my wife was out and so I had the opportunity to dust off TTS on my laptop and get in a practice game against a fellow Welsh XTC player Gareth.

Gareth is flying our Rebel list and while it’s one that you’re likely to be familiar with, I’ve not actually flown against it myself. Weird, right?

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

Wedge Antilles (A-Wing) (3)
Crack Shot (4)
Marksmanship (1)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (5/5) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Keo Venzee (3)
Lone Wolf (3)
Concussion Missiles (5)

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

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: https://yasb.app/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v9ZhZ20Z42X133WW54WW77WWWW154Y555X73W475W136W477Y452X116W125WWY597X124W99WY13XW445&sn=XTC23%20-%20GARETH%20NOTTINGHAM%20-%20WALES%20-%20REBEL&obs=yt2400debris2,coreasteroid4,gascloud4

Now before you worry about my publishing a Welsh list (THE TRADE SECRETS!!!), ALL XTC lists are now fully published and if you’re interested in finding out exactly who is flying what then you can find the document here. Brace yourself though. It’s a LOT of lists!

As Rebel lists go it’s fairly well established and well known by now. No big surprises or innovation going on here. Double tapping Han, BoY (Battle of Yavin) Luke with A-Wings and Sabine as an objective monkey.

And me? I’m flying the Welsh Resistance list.

L’ulo L’ampar (4)
Predator (3)
Marksmanship (1)
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)
Heroic (2)
Swarm Tactics (5)
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=v9ZhZ20Z239X127W125WW165Y296XW197W106W175WY297X172W198W359WWW175WY299X172W132WWWW175W12Y477XWW137W5WWWW409W234W&sn=XTC23%20-%20STEVE%20BOULTON%20-%20WALES%20-%20RESISTANCE&obs=coreasteroid0,coreasteroid5,core2asteroid0

It’s got some neat tricks but it basically wants to joust you in the face and see what’s left.

With XTC week 1 being Assault at the Satellite Array we decided to play that scenario.

Gareth placed his ships diagonally opposite mine and some points were scored as we approached the middle.

Keo got lucky as Lulo jumped over the top and took a 4 dice shot from his rear arc but whiffed (JARGON ALERT!!) horribly.

The game took a significant turn as I banked into the middle, planning to target Luke and ignore Han while Gareth totally disengaged the T-65, leaving me just A-Wings to shoot at.

Wedge lived on 1 hull and ran while some slight misjudgement on my part from turn 0 meant I’d bumped and now managed to fail some K-turns because of it.

It did unexpectedly mean that I now had 3 ships facing Luke at reasonably close range and with the scores really close and time almost gone…

My laptop blue screened and rebooted.

Wow.

We discussed the game afterwards and I think that Gareth was in the better position to go on and win the game had we not crashed, based mostly on position and ship health. I almost certainly would have taken Luke off the board but would have lost Zorii and likely taken some big damage on something else. And I was facing the wrong way.

Lessons learned for me and for Gareth here which is beneficial all round.

Game 2 – Rebecca Westwood

Now here’s an interesting one.

On the Wednesday it was casual night and I’d packed up the same Resistance list to try out in person.

Also attending was another Welsh XTC’er, Rebecca Westwood. She’s flying our Imperial list.

Tomax Bren (3)
Saturation Salvo (2)
Barrage Rockets (6)
Bomblet Generator (2)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (10/10) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 3

Captain Jonus (4)
Saturation Salvo (2)
Barrage Rockets (6)
Bomblet Generator (2)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (10/10) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Major Rhymer (3)
Saturation Salvo (2)
Barrage Rockets (6)
Concussion Bombs (4)

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

Darth Vader (BoY) (6)
Marksmanship (0)
Hate (0)
Afterburners (0)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 3

Fifth Brother (4)
Brilliant Evasion (2)
Homing Missiles (5)

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

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Galactic%20Empire&d=v9ZhZ20Z205X129WW97WWW67WWY203X129WW97WWW67WWY204X129WW97WWW355WY564X125W204W105Y394X199WWW100&sn=XTC23%20-%20REBECCA%20WESTWOOD%20-%20WALES%20-%20EMPIRE%20fd&obs=coreasteroid2,coreasteroid3,coreasteroid4

I know that this list is another popular one but once again, I’ve never actually faced it before.

Once again I took my jousting block and pointed it at something (or somethings) I wanted to delete.

Despite forgetting to Swarm Tactics, I managed to take off a Bomber before it did too much damage and this time I’d got my spacing right to avoid self bumps (I blame TTS!).

I then turned in and managed (luckily, if you ask me) to take out Vader in the next engagement. The Bombers started dropping bombs which took their toll (particularly when Lulo took a Concussion bomb, opted to flip the card and it was a Direct Hit!) but the damage to Rebecca’s list was already done.

I scattered my ships and took another bomb to score the 3 objective points needed to claim the victory. A super interesting game with much to discuss afterwards on how we could each have done things differently.

Game 3 – Phill Blackmore

Yes, the X-Wing Dad is back for Wales in XTC and with my wife being out again we took the opportunity to have a very ,casual learning game.

Phill is our Republic player and again, his list is something you’d rather expect to see in the current meta (JARGON ALERT!!)

Padmé Amidala (4)
Marksmanship (1)
Passive Sensors (5)
Proton Torpedoes (12)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (18/18) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 2

Anakin Skywalker (SoC) (4)
Malice (0)
Ancillary Ion Weapons (SoC) (0)
R2-D2 (Republic) (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 1

“Odd Ball” (SoC) (4)
Selfless (0)
Veteran Tail Gunner (0)
R4-P Astromech (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 5

“Wolffe” (SoC) (4)
Wolfpack (SoC) (0)
Veteran Tail Gunner (0)
Q7 Astromech (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4

“Jag” (SoC) (4)
Veteran Tail Gunner (0)
R4-P Astromech (0)
Synchronized Console (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Galactic%20Republic&d=v9ZhZ20Z332X125W240W136WY574X418W486W340Y577X130W89W213Y578X492W89W365Y579X89W213W211&sn=XTC23%20-%20PHILL%20BLACKMORE%20-%20WALES%20-%20REPUBLIC&obs=gascloud4,gascloud5,gascloud6

Now, what’s interesting is that he’s not available to play in week 1. We have a break in week 2 so he’s looking at getting in practice (and judging matchup strength) against Columbia’s lists. We’re playing Chance Engagement in week 3 so I looked through the lists and picked out the Resistance one to play against Phill.

Ello Asty (4)
Marksmanship (1)
Heroic (2)
M9-G8 (5)
Integrated S-Foils (0)

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

Temmin Wexley (4)
R6-D8 (4)
Integrated S-Foils (0)
Heavy Laser Cannon (5)

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

Jessika Pava (4)
R4 Astromech (2)
Integrated S-Foils (0)
Heavy Laser Cannon (5)

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

Venisa Doza (4)
Marksmanship (1)
Barrage Rockets (6)
Integrated S-Foils (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (7/7) 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=v9ZhZ20Z299X125W172WW197WW175WY297XWW359WWW175W10Y296XW5WW175W10Y606X125WW97WWWWW175WY477XWW137W5WWWW409W234W&sn=T70%20s%20%2B%20Zorii%20XTC&obs=gascloud5,gascloud3,gascloud1

It’s not dissimilar from our own meaning I’ve got a decent idea on how to play it and can give us a realistic view of things.

This time I was playing on a different computer (so no blue screens of death today!) and while the performance was better we did have a bit of lag ont eh voice channel which made thigns a bit annoying.

We jousted, my ships against Phill’s ARCs and we actually BOTH failed to take off a ship int eh first engagement. Jag burned down the following turn as Doza survived on 1 hull and I took Padme down to the same.

Ships got halved left and right but the crucial moment came when Doza just caught Anakin at range 2 with the rear arc, fired Barrage Rockets and rolled 3 hits naturally.

Anakin blanked out and died. Wow.

We agreed that this was somewhat of a statistical outlier and discussed next moves had Anakin lived and what effect that would have had on the result.

Technically a win for me but, as with all these games, winning isn’t the only, or even the main, goal.

The conclusion…

Team X-Wing is really really interesting.

X-Wing on its own is a very fun game but by it’s very adversarial nature or pitting one player against another, it can be easy to miss opportunities to grow and develop by discussing with your opponent what you could or should have done and way in which you both could improve.

Playing practice games in XTC is refreshing because unlike in single player casual or tournament games, the aim isn’t necessarily to win.

Playing through and talking about target priorities and which moves to take as you go are done with the aim of sharpening and honing each other in order to get the best possible result when the real game happens. I often talk about getting in reps with a list to practice for a tournament and of course there’s the old adage ‘losing is learning’ but really, are we learning as much as we can from individual losses? Certainly we aren’t unless openly discussing the game with your opponent is part of that process and I for one am guilty of relying solely on my own view of how I can improve following a bad game.

Outside perspective is not only good, it’s vital for making the most optimal decisions consistently and team X-Wing is the perfect opportunity to get just that.

I do love XTC.

On that subject, if I’ve tickled your fancy for some team X-Wing and you’re UK based, the Sith Takers Squadrons tournament is coming up on the 21st of October and they’re 1 team short for even numbers on the day.

If that’s too short notice (and I’ll admit, it’s pretty short!) then you should maybe start planning ahead for the UK Team Championship which is coming up at the end of April next year.

That’s about it for this week. Pop back next week where week 1 of XTC will have started (and we’ll have first pairings!!!) and maybe I’ll have played some more games!

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:
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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