Fine Tuning…

The intro…

Hello and welcome this week’s blog!

The only ‘intro-y’ thing I can think to mention this week is the Welsh Open again.

Tickets are up, prizes are brewing and we’re very excited with the plans we have in motion!

It promises to be even better than last year so don’t delay, pick up your ticket!

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

Given the events of last week’s blog (both positive and negative in terms of game results!) I’ve decided to fully stop messing around with other lists and make sure I’m 100% comfortable with my main worlds list.

Being that my worlds trip is definitely more for the experience than for the performance, I wanted to lock in my list (or at least the pilots) quite early on with the intention of getting alt art cards made to give out to my opponents .

Well, mission accomplished! I have 25 copies each of the 5 ships I’m flying and acrylic copies for myself and perhaps as a future Instagram/Patreon giveaway prize.

I want to give a special shout out here for Cog ‘O’ Two for the acrylic printing and to the amazing Dan Eicher for designing the cards. Dan has recently re-opened his Etsy shop so if you’re after some custom designed cards you should definitely check it out. He’s an incredible designer and an even better bloke!

So, ships are painted, alt arts are made. I guess I just need to practice then eh?

My almost locked in list for worlds is:

L’ulo L’ampar (4)
Heroic (2)
Shield Upgrade (8)

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

Jessika Pava (4)
M9-G8 (5)
Integrated S-Foils (0)
Jamming Beam (1)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (6/6) 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)
R4 Astromech (2)
Wartime Loadout (2)
Plasma Torpedoes (5)

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

Total: 20

View in YASB:,coreasteroid5,core2asteroid0

I say almost as there have been two things I’ve been unsure of since the points change.

1. Jess
Jess losing 2 points in the recent update only meant my losing Electronic Baffle which, in all honesty, I never once used. I had been using M9-G8 and generally locked Ello to give that ship a passive mod but several people had talked about using R2-D2 instead. This gives Jess 4 additional charges to use as well as her recurring pilot charge and can be used to regen shields if you want. The general idea is to be as tanky as possible.
After my first game trying it I wasn’t sold but since then I’ve had Jess survive turns she really shouldn’t have and still push damage even after rerolling for defence. I think I’m sold on it now.

2. Lulo
This is more tricky. Having lost 2 points of loadout I had to change from Shield, Predator & Marksmanship and had three distinct options
A) Shield Upgrade & Heroic
B) Advanced Optics, Predator & Heroic
C) Advanced Optics, Lone Wolf & Heroic

While shield has definitely saved me multiple times, losing offensive mods kind of negates taking Lulo in the first place. The idea is that he’s a 3 dice well modded gun in a more mobile chassis than a T-70. This combo is just double defensive and while that can have it’s place, it isn’t right for me.

So that leaves options B and C which only differ between the choice of Predator and Lone Wolf.

This choice, in my mind, comes down to a play style choice. Am I going to flank with Lulo or stay with the other ships? Looking back at games I’ve played, the answer seems to be a bit of both, often depending on the sort of list I’m facing. Clearly I have to pick one.

My printed Infinite Arenas sheet that I’ve been using for a while now has Predator on it and so no that’s what I’ve been using but to be honest I’m thinking that Lone Wolf might be better for two reasons. First, Predator depends on me getting bullseye and while Lulo is the most likely of my ships to manage it (and it ties in nicely with R6-D8 on Temmin) it’s not a given. Also, it’s offensive only and I’m already down a shield since the points change.
Secondly, as hinted at above, Lone Wolf is more flexible in that I can use it offensively or defensively.

Now, a feature of my list is damage output with passive mods and while Lone Wolf does enforce me to fly a certain way (keep Lulo out of range 2 of my other ships) I think I can do that and still focus down a target. I just need to keep my brain fully engaged!

So, Lone Wolf it is then. Now, did I change my list before playing? No!

Most of this has been floating about in my head over the last w weeks or so but I’ve only pinned it down when writing this post after the game.

No, this time I used Predator.

So, I rocked up to Firestorm Games in Newport just as Steve Boulton was finishing a game against Chris Fear and Rebecca Westwood turned up a few minutes later.

I would play Steve. He was on a bit of a limited time schedule but that was fine by me as it was Valentine’s day and getting home earlier would be a bonus.

Steve was flying and experimental list as he continues his process of elimination for a worlds list.

Kylo Ren (7)
Instinctive Aim (2)
Lone Wolf (3)
Advanced Optics (5)
Proton Torpedoes (12)

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

“Grudge” (4)
Automated Target Priority (1)
Electro-Chaff Missiles (9)
Thermal Detonators (5)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (15/15) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Commander Malarus (3)
Cluster Missiles (4)

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

Lieutenant Galek (3)
Proud Tradition (2)
Heavy Laser Cannon (5)

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

“Midnight” (3)
Predator (3)
Crack Shot (4)

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

Total: 20

View in YASB:

Two things are stand-out here. Silencer Kylo who can instinctive aim proton torp you in turn 1 if you’re not careful and Electro-Chaff chucking Grudge.

The other 3 ships are all 3 agility 2 dice guns worth 3 points which automatically bumps the first 2 ships up my target priority list.

Speaking of which, let’s look at those Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Assault at the Satellite Array
Target/Objective Priority – Kylo probably but out of what’s left, Grudge is the easiest to take out.
Obstacles – a reasonably wide spread to allow my ships to keep formation.
Deployment – A standard block with Lulo flanking. Even though I’ve got Predator and not Lone Wolf…

We place objectives, obstacles and ships and we’re ready to get going!

Turn 0.75??

Turn 1

Ok, yes, bit of a giveaway here but I did forget to take a picture before we started. My bad.

Now I did make a bit of a basic mistake here. It was only when setting dials that I asked/found out about Elecrto Chaff on Grudge and that this was the ‘scream forward and torp you in turn 1’ Kylo.

As such, I opted to 1 straight my block and 3 bank with Lulo. My actions were… somewhat improvised.

ROAD 1st Player – Me

So yes, I shuffle forwards and then consider splitting my block a bit to minimise the negative effects of the chaff cloud when (not if) it gets used.

Jess and Zorii stay put and lock a rock while Temmin and Ello both roll left. Annoyingly I would later find that this puts them outside of range 1 for Jess. Silly me.

Lulo 3 banked left and since it’s before Kylo I’m unsure how far it’ll take him. Left roll left and pray it’s far enough.

Kylo comes 5 straight and focuses into a red boost. Grudge had come 2 straight, slower than I’d expected, while the i5 FO’s did the same. Midnight did teh same bur rolled to his left rather than focusing like the others.

The only possible shot between Kylo and Lulo and I’m praying it’s out of range.

We check… and it is OUT of range.

No shots, no scoring, on the the next turn.

Turn 2

So, what now then? I figure that Grudge hadn’t come far enough to launch the chaff cloud next turn. At least, if I remember how it works correctly. This means I can 2 straight my split block again in relative safety.

What about Lulo? I can’t risk the highly modded Proton Torp, especially without a Shield Upgrade. I opt for an attempted bump and dial in a 3 bank right.

ROAD 1st Player – Steve

Grudge comes forwards slowly again and focuses. Jess and Temmin come 2 straight and focus too. Galek and Malarus come 2 straight again with Malarus locking Jess and Galek, unable to reach Jess, locking Temmin and picking up a stress from Ferosphere.

Kylo comes 2 straight and rolls left to get arc on Lulo. This is going to be close.

Zorii and Ello slide up behind the other T-70’s and both focus. Lulo takes his 3 bank right, landing RIGHT in front of Kylo. I take a focus and boost, unsure if it gets me clear of Kylo’s arc but it does. Phew!

Midnight hard turns and rolls right, looking to claim the nearby objective.

With Kylo missing Lulo, the only shots are the i5 FO’s and my front T-70’s. Malarus has her ability active but she’s the only target I can focus on.

Steve’s FO’s both go in at Temmin and take 2 shields between them. I go at Malarus and take her shield in response. Not a terrible trade I suppose, especially with Mal having used a charge fairly early.

Steve’s got 2 objectives to my 1 and with that we go back to dials

End of turn score: 1 (me) – 2 (steve)

Turn 3

Now’s the time to prep for engagement. Where do I go though? Anticipating the chaff cloud right in front of Jess, I decide to bank left with JEss and Zorii while Temmin and Ello will go straight. Lulo is a bit out of position but I dial in a hard 2 left, looking to get around the rock to come in next turn.

ROAD 1st Player – Steve

Grudge makes his move.

A system phase boost and launch of the Chaff is follow by a 3 straight. Unfortunately for Steve, this puts Grudge onto his own chaff cloud only by the nubs. Harsh.

Jess banks in and lands on the chaff cloud. She gets jammed, loses the lock from Malarus and after rolling, does NOT take a strain. I’ll still be able to shoot and can still Jess re-roll so actually, it’s not too bad.

Temmin goes 1 straight, falls short of the cloud and focuses.

Galek banks in and rolls right, into my left flank and dodging Temmin’s arc. Malarus also banks in but Steve’s got his distances wrong and she bumps into Grudge. No damage but she won’t be re-taking that lock on Jess thankfully.

Kylo banks in, focuses and links it to a boost. There’s no dodging a torp this time.

Ello slides 1 straight and focuses and Zorii follows suit. Immediately I realise that I’ve missed Zorii’s trigger. Balls. No double modded Plasma this turn then!

Lulo hard turns, rolls right and boosts left.

Midnight simply 2 straights and focuses, thinking only of the objective.

With no shot for Midnight, it’s Steve’s i5’s to fire first.

Kyle goes first, firing n Instinctive Aim Proton Torp into Jess. It’s obstructed and between the extra green, Jess’ reroll and Steve’s very average dice, Jess takes a single hit. Nice.

Malarus also goes into Jess and takes another shield while Galek takes the range 1 into Temmin and takes his last 2 shields.

Now it was my turn. I’d swarmed Jess to i5 from Ello who was now range 1 of her and sank 3 hits into Grudge. He dodged 1 but took the same from Zorii and then 3 hot dice from Ello finished him off.

Temmin then took a shot into Malarus who ability couldn’t mitigate the blanks Steve rolled and suddenly Malarus is down to 2 hull.

Kylo is just barely in range of the middle objective so Steve gets 3 points to my 4 from Grudge.

End of turn score: 4 – 3

Total score: 5 – 5

Turn 4

Ok, one ship down, another halved. But looking at the board, it looks rather like Kylo is locked into coming between the two central rocks. If I can take him out I think it’s game over. I set hard a turn for Zorii and Jess will Talon Roll (JARGON ALERT!!). I debate banking with Ello but I think a hard turn will fit once Zorii moves so set that too. Temmin will 4-K (JARGON ALERT!!) in order to preserve his health and also lay claim to the objective. Lulo can bank in and, depending on 1st player, reposition if needed.

ROAD 1st Player

With Grudge gone it was now Jess and then Temmin first. Jess hard turns in and I realise that K-turning Temmin was redundant since Jess was range 1 of the objective already. Oops.

Jess focuses and Temmin takes his stress.

Malarus and Galek zoom past my ships, Malarus disengaging and Galek K-turning. Kylo goes 2 straight and focuses.

I spring the kill-box with Zorii going first and locking Kylo, Ello hard turning onto the the chaff cloud and the Lulo banking in, taking a focus and boosting into range 1 of the Silencer.

Midnight hard turns and locks Jess.

Midnight shoots first, blanks, spends the lock and gets a single hit. Jess blanks and spends her charge to reroll and gets an evade.

Kylo shoots next, spending another Proton Torp to fire at Jess. Steve’s dice end up with a crit and two hits. Jess rolls greens, blanks again. I spend my 3rd R2-D2 charge to reroll into 2 evades. Nice. Jess loses her last shield.

Galek goes range 1 into Ello and takes a shield but the T-70 is still very healthy.

MY return fire is pretty devastating.

Jess is swarmed up to i5 so goes first, taking Kylo’s 2 shields. Zorii follows up with a range 1 shot before Lulo goes range 1 with dice and takes Kylo off the board.

Ello finishes the i5’s be putting a hit into Malarus (leaving her on 1 hull) while Temmin fails to damage Galek.

Malarus and Midnight are just barely in range to get Steve 2 more points while I get 2 as well.

As I mentioned, Steve is on the clock and calls it here.

End of turn score: 9 – 2

Final score: 14 – 7

The conclusion…

Wow, ok.

Steve’s mis-play with Kylo (bringing him between the rocks) was his undoing here. Had we played to time then I’d clearly have lost at least 1 ship but with Malarus’ charges spent (and down to 1 hull) the rest of the game is very much in my favour. I could disengage and pick up objectives or maybe even chase down 1 more ship and still pick up the odd objective. I’m pretty confident I could have seen out the result.

It wasn’t a perfect game though. While I still think rolling Temmin and Ello was the right move, it did mean losing reroll buddies for Jess and the option to Swarm her too. I also mis-played the first engagement, losing Zorii’s double mod.

My play with Lulo in the first two turns was, in all honesty, more luck than judgement and he could just as easily have been torped off the board.

All in all though I’m happy with how I played it. I think targeting the Bomber fist was right (4 points and less agility) and when Steve presented me Kylo I wasn’t going to pass that up.

Predator worked out for me here but if I’m going to use Lulo like this then Lone Wolf is definitely the choice to make.

So with just three more Wednesdays that I can make it to casual night between now and worlds I guess I’m in the final prep stages! Remember to come back 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.

You can follow my social media accounts for updates

If you’re looking to buy some gaming ‘stuff’ and don’t have a local gaming store, you can use my affiliate link for Firestorm games. They’re great!

If you would like to directly support the blog then please consider becoming a Patron! I would be forever grateful!

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, Mark Packer-Hughes

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!

Leave a Reply