Finding my groove

I realise that my personal X-Wing history isn’t all that interesting for most people and, to be honest, I’m ok with that. I’m not expecting hundreds of site visitors or that I’ll be able to retire from affiliate links (particularly since I don’t have any!). As I’ve mentioned before this blog is primarily for historical reference for myself.

Yes, that’s your warning that more historical content is inbound. Sorry if that’s not your thing. Battle reports, list building analysis and tournament self reflection are coming. Eventually. I promise. Really.

If you’re diving straight in at this list then some context my be helpful, check the last 2 blogs here and here.

Ok, preface over. Here we go!

It’s possible that I’m overselling it slightly.

Picture the scene. It’s early 2018. Christmas has passed and my son and I now have more ships at our disposal and a (slightly) better understanding of the game. We’re heading to our club night roughly once a fortnight and are getting to know the other guys better and really enjoying the overall experience.

It’s at this point I make a decision. I need to know what I’m doing. Don’t get me wrong, I know the game phases, can tell a movement template from a range ruler and all that. What I mean is, I need to actually be able to have a plan for how to play. The tournament experience had left me feeling inadequate and I didn’t want to just stay as I was, making up lists on arrival and flying my ships at (almost) random.

Side note – I am planning a ‘get better’ type post with some practical things in it. I realise that’s ironic since I’m telling you all I’m not that good but I have improved since starting and I’ll talk about what’s helped with that. Consider this paragraph a placeholder and I’ll add the link when it’s done.

I had chat with one of the more experienced guys at the store and looked at what ships suited my still developing play style what was quite easy to fly and also effective in the current meta even though I didn’t really know what that was at this point. Something that had recently done very well at a few tournaments was Miranda Doni in a K-wing with Captain Nym in a Scurrg-H6 bomber. We didn’t have a Scurrg but we did have a shiny new (well, pre-loved, new to us) YT-2400 and so began my affair with Miranda Doni and Dash Rendar.

Unfortunately I can’t quite remember the exact list but I do remember that Miranda had Twin Laser Turret and possibly bombs and dash had lone wolf.
I’ve recreated it as best I can here, using the original YASB but here’s the plain text.

Dash Rendar — YT-2400 36
Lone Wolf 2
Heavy Laser Cannon 7
Outrider 5
Ship Total: 50

Miranda Doni — K-Wing 29
Twin Laser Turret 6
Harpoon Missiles 4
Sabine Wren 2
Bomblet Generator 3
Advanced SLAM 2
Ship Total: 46

An actual photo of actual X-Wing. Finally!

I played a couple of games with this list and really enjoyed how it all worked. I loved completely ignoring obstacles with Dash and it helped my game to not have to worry about whether or not I would hit something or land on something and get no action and/or shot that turn. Also, the fact that both ships could fire any direction without having to turn around also helped me as a relatively new player to the game.

2nd side note – lots has changed from 1.0 to 2.0. How turrets worked was a significant one of them!

I went on to play only this list for about the next 6 months or so. I made some tweaks to the list with the help of some other guys at my (Jargon Alert!) FLGS which included adding harpoon missiles to Miranda as listed above.

Unsurprisingly, the more I played this list the better I got with it. I became more confident in selecting manoeuvres, more competent in using different tactics against different lists and better at selecting which actions to take in what circumstance. Apparently practice does make perfect. Well perfect is a bit of a stretch but you know what I mean.

Again, it’s a while ago now so I’m a bit hazy on dates and exact details but June 2018 my FLGS held another store tournament. Again my son and I were keen to enter and have a fun day playing X-wing. The complication was that my wife was working and needed to be picked up at a certain time and so we knew we may not be able to finish out the final match. We decided to go ahead anyway and just play what we could.

3rd side note – I think I have decided that I will now better record my lists for tournaments because I only approximately remember my list and have no idea what my son flew on the day. I’ll work on that. Sorry.

We rock up to the store and find it’s a decent turn out. Because of the size and location of the store tournaments are normally limited to 12/16 players depending on what else is going on. It had sold out and everyone had showed up. Yay!

This time it felt different. If you haven’t read about my disastrous first tournament experience, take a look here. It’s ok to laugh, honestly. I’m over it.
My son and I were both more confident and composed. We had some sort of plan or strategy, had practised the lists we brought and were generally more comfortable than the last time.

And so, I began. With a loss.

I’m like 90% sure this pic is from the tournament. Let’s just run with it shall we? Cai is enjoying throwing many TIE fighters around the table.

In the first game I played against one of the guys from the Cardiff store, Stephen Gage, and got battered. I had made a bit of a mistake towards the end of the game (I can’t remember what exactly but I do remember discussing it) but I then found out that he had just finished in the top 8 at a massive event at Birmingham the previous weekend. That helped me to feel a bit better about it! He also gave me some lovely Welsh dragon lock tokens! Bonus loot!

I don’t remember who my opponents were in the next 2 games but I do remember that I won them both (though not easily at all) and was very pleased with myself.

Then came game 4. I was paired against another guy from Cardiff (who I remember I had played at my first tournament and lost to, quite hard). I mentioned that I may have to bail out early as I had to pick up my wife but wanted to play as much as possible. We agreed that if it got to the point when I had to leave that we would see how the points were but accepted that if I needed to concede in order to leave I was fine with that.

Again, I’m possibly (definitely) exaggerating the drama. It looks good though.

Since time was against us I started quickly and was slightly more aggressive than in my first few games. I don’t remember the exact list he played but I seem to remember there was at least one, possibly 2, Auzituck Gunships.
We engaged in the middle of the board facing side to side and while I can’t quite remember exactly, I do remember wiping out an Auzituck far quicker than I had any right to do so. I then lost Miranda to my own proton bomb (having been blocked but dropping the bomb anyway) but also finishing off at least 1 (of not 2?) of his ships with the same bomb combined with Sabine crew.
At that point my opponent (knowing I was short on time) admitted that taking on my full heath Dash was impossible with what ships he had left and conceded the game!

We did end up having to leave before round 4 was complete but we both left pretty happy with how the day had gone. My son had lost the first 3 but was winning in the last game when we had to leave and had enjoyed the day overall. It turns out that I finished 3rd overall and won an alt-art card that I picked up the next time we were down at the store.

It turns out that maybe I wasn’t too bad at this game after all!