Firestorming the Port!

The intro…

Welcome to this week’s blog!

There’s not much by the way of an intro this week since I’ve got a tournament to cover! What I will say though is that UK Store Champs are being scheduled left and right and so if you’re looking for somewhere to get some official prizes and throw your hat in for a Worlds invite (!!) then your best bet is to check out for the UK.

I’m going to continue to plug tickets for the Welsh Open as we get closer. We’re just under 6 weeks out now!

I’m starting to get prizes in hand and hopefully I’ll have some pics to show you next week! What I will say though is that we will be giving prizes out like nobody’s business. Whether it’s bounties, top cut, top in faction (bottom in faction?!) and at total random, EVERYONE will be coming away with plenty of swag and memories of a great weekend.

Don’t forget that we also have a Store Champs kit so there are official alt arts AND a Worlds Invite up for grabs!

If you don’t have your ticket yet, what are you waiting for?!? Tickets are available here and you can see updates on the Facebook event page.

The build up…

So I did get to Firestorm last Wednesday for one last rep with the list before the tournament. After going well initially I’ve been faltering of late with a couple of losses, mainly my own fault due to poor position.

Here’s a reminder of the list, in case you missed it:

Ezra Bridger (Gauntlet Fighter) (7)
Notorious (5)
“Chopper” (Crew) (1)
Veteran Tail Gunner (3)
False Transponder Codes (3)
Nightbrother (0)
Swivel Wing (0)
Hera Syndulla (4)

Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (16/16) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 5

Magva Yarro (5)
Jyn Erso (5)
Ursa Wren (6)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Pivot Wing (0)

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

Saw Gerrera (5)
Hopeful (1)
The Child (7)
Leia Organa (7)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Pivot Wing (0)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (18/18) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4

Keo Venzee (3)
Crack Shot (3)
XX-23 S-Thread Tracers (4)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (7/8) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

On Wednesday I played Alex who was running his Ani + Clones list and once again, I lost. This one was weird though. We were playing Scramble and after a very tight and low scoring first 2 turns, Ani had given Magva a hammering and I expected her to die. I decided to 4 straight to block Wolfe to hopefully survive the turn and it worked. However, as a result, Alex focused for on Ezra and the following turn I lost the Gauntlet after some horrible dice and a Hull Breach as the second damage card led to two loose stabilisers, a console fire and just general pain.

When I lost Ezra and Magva in the same turn it sort of felt like the game was definitely done but I had managed to snag all 3 objectives.

Saw finished off Hawk and the next turn I managed to take Wolffe to bring it back close. It was 14 – 16 and we played one more turn. Saw was down a shield or 2 and Keo was full. After trying to work out a win condition I had a choice: kill Jag (on 6 health but definitely going over a rock) to win or claim 1 objective and block Ani (hopefully meaning nothing dies) to draw. I went for the win move (despite being very unlikely) and lost.

It was a great game. Really fun and very thought provoking.

Still a loss though.

Did I need to change my list? Should I go for something ‘meta‘? (JARGON ALERT!!)

The answer was no, for three reasons. Firstly, the top prize for the tournament (apart from the trophy!) was a free ticket for the Welsh Open. I’m TO’ing the event so that’s not much use to me. It would still be amazing to win and clearly I’d pass the ticket down but winning isn’t my priority. I’m here for the fun.

Secondly, lots of my house is packed up into boxes with varying levels of access. My X-Wing stuff is technically accessible but not easily. Repacking a new list would not be a quick job.

Thirdly, I forget triggers at the best of times. Having a new list with unfamiliar dials, abilities and triggers would likely result in at least one disaster over a day of play.

So, list locked in, it was time to play!

The batrep(s)… (JARGON ALERT!!)

A few of us met for breakfast before heading over to Firesorm and setting up for the day. There had been a couple of drops leading up to the day but there were then another three on the morning, leaving us with 15 players. An odd number wasn’t ideal but we were all still primed to have some fun playing spaceships!

This feels like a good time to break out my ‘tournament expectations’ chart. Every time I go play I remind myself of this:

  • My primary goal in a tournament is to have fun.
  • My minimum expectation of myself is to be a good opponent.
  • My hope is to break even.
  • My dream is to make the cut (or, with no cut, win?!)

Everyone is different, of course, but with where I’m at with the game, this is what I’m happy with.

We all unpacked and got ready and it wasn’t long before Mark announced first pairings.

As ever when there’s a tournament, these will be extended summaries, not a full batrep of each game!

Game 1 – Richard Otton

And I’m immediately given a very tough draw! I’ve played Richard a few times over the last couple of years and (as far as either of us can remember) I’ve never beaten him. Still, I’ll give it a go.

Richard had brought this:

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

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

Soontir Fel (6)
Crack Shot (3)
Predator (2)
Shield Upgrade (8)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (13/15) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 2

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

Iden Versio (3)
Predator (2)
Ion Cannon (6)

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

Gideon Hask (3)
Marksmanship (1)
Elusive (2)
Cluster Missiles (4)
Targeting Computer (1)

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

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

A small variation on the list he beat me with just a few weeks previous while playing Scramble. Could I do any better this time?

Let’s hit those Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Assault at the Satellite Array
Target/Objective Priority – ideally I want to smash up one of those i6’s but with a significant initiative disadvantage I’ll have to take what shots I can and try to leverage my medium and big bases on objectives.
Obstacles – After some thought following my last loss, I’ve realised I’m not putting enough planning in on obstacle placement. What I want is as many on my opponent’s side as possible and then dive down an available lane.
Deployment – my ships shouldn’t go too close together but I’m first player and so ALL my ships go down first. At least I get to pick without being influenced?

We place objectives, obstacles and ships and we’re ready to go.

I send my bigger base ships forwards while I risk swinging out left with Keo. Hopefully he won’t get murdered by the i6’s. My plan is to plant Ezra in the middle of the three right hand objectives and not move.

Richard swings his trio of TIES in while Vader and Soontir sail down my left.

Keo does get caught out but Soontir’s gone a little too slow to roll in front and get rerolls and the A-Wing survives.

I swing in with Ezra and Magva while Saw goes straight down the lane and Keo sideslips to avoid Soontir. Richard has misjudged the angle and Soontir’s sloop (JARGON ALERT!!) clips the rock. A hit on the die means Soontir loses a shield and hull and is now on 2. Harsh.

Damage was chipped in before but now it’s getting through thick and fast. Iden’s charge gets used up but the TIES live. Meanwhile Saw is taking a pounding but matched initiative and his pilot ability means the damage is going both ways.

Saw stops, knowing full well he’s going to get killed by a k-turning Gideon next turn but it forces the bump with the other TIES and keeps them in Ezra and Magva’s arcs, allowing me to take down both Iden and the Black Squadron Ace.

Soontir has disengaged to come around and try again while Vader and Gideon start on Magva.

The U-Wing survives this turn but on 1 health, meanwhile I bug out with Keo to try and block Soontir.

Magva dies the next turn but Keo, limping around on 1 hull, doesn’t and sloops over the top of Soontir to make sure of a claim in the last turn.

Ezra stops (again), which causes both Gideon AND Vader to slightly overshoot and miss arc. It’s all on Soontir but Ezrauses Nightbrother to take an evade, meaning the interceptor has to do 5 damage with 4 dice into 2 green dice which is backed up with an evade and Force.

He fails. Not only that but Ezra then uses Notorious to strain him and face punches with 4 dice, a reroll and that unused force for 4 hits and Soontir dies.

Final score: 26 – 16 win

Mini conclusion…

Wow! I know that my bigger bases gave me a technical advantage in that game but I thought that the lower initiatives would give me some problems with Richard’s i6’s being big hitters.

Richard clipping the rock with Soontir was unfortunate for him and the kill on him in the last turn really made the score look more convincing than it actually was. Still, I’m really happy with how the game went and I played it. I’m 50% of the way to my 2-2 target already. Not bad!

Game 2 – Mark Beor

Another tough game! Mark and I have played plenty of times over the years and we definitely give each other some stick while doing so!

This game was no different as we started joking with TO Mark Hall about disqualifications before we even rolled ROAD dice!

Anyway, Mark had brought a very interesting looking list

“Odd Ball” (Y-Wing) (4)
Elusive (2)
Dorsal Turret (2)
Plasma Torpedoes (7)
R4-P Astromech (2)
Synchronized Console (1)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (14/15) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4

“Kickback” (SoC) (3)
Diamond-Boron Missiles (0)
Munitions Failsafe (0)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 3

“Contrail” (3)
Dedicated (1)
R4-P Astromech (2)
Alpha-3B “Besh” (0)
Proximity Mines (8)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (11/11) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

“Knack” (3)
Fire-Control System (2)
Synchronized Console (1)
Mag-Pulse Warheads (4)

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

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

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

Wilhuff Tarkin (3)
Elusive (2)
Cluster Missiles (4)
R4-P Astromech (2)
Alpha-3B “Besh” (0)

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

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

I think I read the list over twice before we started and still felt none the wiser as to what to expect. Still, that’s all part of the fun, right?!

Let’s check the Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Chance Engagement
Target/Objective Priority – man. I don’t fancy my chances in this scenario against 6 ships with are mostly throwing 3+ dice and none worth more than 4 points. If I can take out an i5 before it fires all it’s torps then that’s ok I guess? Otherwise it’s just make sure I stay within range 2 of the middle and just try not to die?
Obstacles – Again, 3 in a row along my opponent’s board edge.
Deployment – Now, looking back at the pictures, I think I didn’t do this as well as I could have. I set up similarly to the first game (but on the left). I should have gone right to try and prevent the formation that Mark brought in.

We place all our stuff and we’re ready to go!

The position of the arc bothers me but there’s nothing I could do about it as he placed after me. As I said, placing to my right may have helped since he’s got space to bring his formation to the left of the top middle rock but not right.

Anyway, I come forward reasonably aggressively but go defensive with mods, picking up evades and a reinforce with Ezra.

I hope that the False Transponders might help to reduce the first volley of fire but Mark opted into shooting at Magva instead of Ezra. She took some hits but nothing too bad. I manage to combine U-Wing fire and take out Contrail though. Not bad.

Mark then makes an error with Tarkin, putting him in the way of where Knack wanted to be and has to boost him out of the way, putting him out of the fight.

Magva and Ezra stop (causing Wolffe in the arc to bump Ezra) while Keo finally comes in from behind and Saw turns in to the flank.

This turn is brutal as I take out Kickback AND Oddball AND Mark has no ships in range 2 of the middle.

I do lose Magva though so it’s not all good news.

What IS good though is that Mark’s ships are all out of position and need to turn while I control the centre and can stop again. Which I opt not to do, instead sending Ezra into Knack’s face (reducing the incoming shot to 2 dice unmodded) and killboxing Wolffe and getting half of him too.

Final score: 18 – 10 win

Mini conclusion…

I won again!?? I was unsure heading into this game. I felt that Mark’s higher initiatives and ordnance would hurt me but some dice variance plus Magva’s ability to limit Mark’s offensive rerolls meant his torps and missiles were far less effective than they could have been. It was a good, fun game. Thanks Mark!

So here I am at 2 wins and my hoped for result is achieved! We break for lunch and after a quick pastie from Greggs it’s on to round 3!

Game 3 – Gareth Nottingham

Now this was pretty cool. I’ve known Gareth about a year now but we’ve never actually played each other before!

Now, what was he flying…

Commander Malarus (3)
Cluster Missiles (4)

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

Lieutenant LeHuse (5)
Proud Tradition (2)
Special Forces Gunner (5)
Afterburners (10)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (17/18) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

“Quickdraw” (6)
Proud Tradition (2)
Fanatical (1)
Pattern Analyzer (5)
Special Forces Gunner (5)
Fire-Control System (2)
Afterburners (10)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (25/25) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 3

Major Vonreg (6)
Outmaneuver (12)
Fanatical (1)
Pattern Analyzer (5)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (18/18) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 2

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

More high initiatives! And…. TIE/SF’s?! I’ll admit that I’ve not seen those in a while!

Right’s on to the Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Scramble the Transmission
Target/Objective Priority – I need to claim objectives here. Malarus isn’t enough points to warrant the effort needed so unless Vonreg pokes his head out where he shouldn’t, I’ll go for the SF’s I think.
Obstacles – Same again, 3 in a row along Gareth’s board edge.
Deployment – Given that the obstacles didn’t pan out as well as I’d have liked (check out the photo below), I place where Ezra can get the best lane to the middle and everyone else inside of there.

Now, this game swung on one move. I’ll let you know when we get there.

Having played a LOT of times against Alex Jensterle and his 7B Anakin, I know that Vonreg is bait and will turn in whenever he feels like it. I’ll send Ezra fast to keep Vonreg honest but my goal is to get to the middle and point left at some SF’s.

Gareth sends the SF’s faster than I’d expected and now I have a choice to make. Saw banks away from them, diving in behind Magva while Keo does the same. Nobody is facing the right way and I’m not too happy.


Vonreg boosted left after his 5 straight.

Quickdraw takes a pot shot at Saw and Ezra does the same at Malarus but nothing much is done either way.

My choice here is what to do next.

Vonreg’s boost indicates that he’s either turning in at Ezra or will have to turn out again (since a straight will clip the rock) and spend another turn not shooting. I decide to gamble and go straight with Ezra and bank with Magva. I’ll have 2 guns on him.

The positioning of Gareth’s other ships makes this a relatively low risk gamble since Malarus is facing the wrong way and both SF’s are pretty far out. I fell like it’s worth the risk as next turn I can just stop and rotate and if Vonreg didn’t turn in then he isn’t shooting me.

Ladies and gentlemen, it was worth the risk.

Vonreg then makes the mistake of shooting at Ezra. He’s reinforced AND then hits Vonreg with Notorious. The shot does a little damage on Ezra but the return shot gets 2 past the green dice and Magva’s shot does the same. Vonreg is gone, I’ve scored 6 points for very little loss.

Saw takes a little heat from the SF’s but the game just swung heavily in my favour.

I hard turn with Magva and stop with Saw and Ezra as I figure out who to target next. The SF’s go for a flank on Saw and punish him pretty hard, especially when I hit Quickdraw and trigger the bonus shot.

The SF’s then sloop out while Malarus dives in. I bug out with Saw, trying to survive just a little longer but I’ve now also got the objective advantage, picking up 2 objective points to Gareth’s one.

My ships focus down Malarus and she dies. With time running out I’ve got 4 ships to Gareth’s two but Saw is certainly going to die.

I decide to embrace it, banking left and claiming the objective. I 3 bank with Ezra to block the SF’s approach on Saw while Magva and Keo just pootle about. It’s too late to kill an SF (with Ezra only getting a range 0 shot anyway) and Saw does die but it’s too little too late for Gareth

Final score: 19 – 13 win

Mini conclusion…

What is happening?!? That entire game swung on Vonreg’s boost in turn 2. If he doesn’t boost in, I probably don’t risk it. Crazy. I think I played the rest of the game right and Gareth definitely never made me feel safe with the win (even though he told me afterwards he felt it was a lost cause).

It was a great first game (well, for me at least!) against Gareth and even though he was fighting an uphill battle from early on his attitude was exemplary and he was a great opponent.

Game 4 – Paul Westwood

I’m still a little bit dazed when Paul approaches me and tells me we are the only two 3-0 players and so the ‘final’ will be between us! Paul had been at breakfast at the start of the day and I knew what he would be flying. A rather familiar list, actually.

Airen Cracken (3)
Elusive (2)
Plasma Torpedoes (7)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (9/9) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Alexsandr Kallus (7)
Dorsal Turret (2)
Saw Gerrera (9)
Veteran Turret Gunner (5)

Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (16/16) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 7

Fenn Rau (Sheathipede) (4)
Swarm Tactics (5)
Tristan Wren (2)
“Chopper” (Astromech) (2)

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

Luke Skywalker (6)
Shattering Shot (3)
Trick Shot (4)
Proton Torpedoes (12)
R4 Astromech (3)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (22/22) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 3

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

I’ve played this list (well, a slight variation of it) and another one a bit like it at the STO. I know what it does and how it works. I hadn’t faced it in a while though and while I racked my brains during setup I could not for the sake of me think of a clear plan to deal with it.

So let’s do the final Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Salvage Mission
Target/Objective Priority – I mean, get a box and then pick a target. I’d like to take down the Ghost but my range control needs to be spot on.
Obstacles – Big rocks along Paul’s edge are vital. If I can split the Ghost off I stand a better chance.
Deployment – all my ships go down first so I’ll be as neutral as I can, placing in the middle.

I’m not confident here but I like how things are positioned. I stagger my ships approach, stopping with Ezra as I wait to see how fast which ships approach. I’m highly aware of the Trick/Shattering shots on Luke so I don’t want the obstructed shot but it will force him to stay out wide.

I still want to stall a little so while Keo swings in and picks up a box I’m going to bank right with everyone.

Some long range shots are traded but nothing really happens other than Cracken’s lock triggering Ursa Wren on Magva.

The next turn is pretty major though. At this point I’m cursing myself for picking up a box with Keo because what I want to do is 5 straight, roll and boost with him to block the Ghost. Instead I 3 bank right to maybe get a Tracers shot off. Ezra will hammer in fast, looking to block and prevent some actions while Magva will 4 straight and Saw 2 straight.

It doesn’t go to plan.

I move Ezra first and suddenly realise that Magva’s 4 straight should have been a 3 as she bumps into the Gauntlet.

Not only that but Paul turns Kallus hard to his right and does NOT bump into Keo, landing squarely in range 1.

Kallus 1 shots Keo. Balls. That’s 3 points lost cheaply AND a box dropped.

Meanwhile I get Fenn down to 1 hull and Cracken halved. Luke has lost a shield too. Ezra and Magva have taken some hits though.

Next turn I call the k-turns (JARGON ALERT!!) from Luke and Cracken and line up some lovely shots.

Saw has picked up a box too and takes his opportunity to finish off Fenn. Magva and Ezra roll hot and take out Luke, leaving just a limping Cracken and full health Kallus. I’m ahead on points and Paul thinks it’s over.

I have problems though. Magva has two shields gone but Ezra is hurting and Cracken is escaping.

Magva turns out right while Ezra stops and turns to face down the Ghost. Both are a mistake.

Kallus initiative kills Ezra with some hot dice while Saw just falls short of killing Cracken.

Then, with very few options, I make a silly choice with Magva and bank towards an objective and pick it up.

Kallus hard turns at her.

Saw kills Cracken. Another 3 points in the bag. But is it enough?

Kallus fires his primary at Magva. It’s all paint. Magva dodges one but takes 3 hits and a crit. The crit? A Direct Hit, of course.

He follows up with a Dorsal shot and it’s 2 hits. Magva blanks and dies.


There’s time left on the clock but the game is done.

Final score: 18 – 19 loss

The conclusion…

How close was that!?!?!?!?

That last game has been on my mind a LOT over the last few days. There are so many ways that could have gone in my favour. If the crit isn’t a direct. If Paul’s rolls hadn’t been all paint (with Magva’s ability preventing rerolling more than 1 die). If I’d taken an evade (with Jyn crew ability) rather than picking up the box.

So. Many.

And that’s not even mentioning if I’d done a 5 straight with Keo instead of the 3 bank and he hadn’t died or if I was properly keeping track of my Leia charges (which might have meant I could stop with Magva instead of bank).

Still, the dice and cards fell the way that they did and my choices seemed right at the time. Hindsight eh? Maybe I just need to shuffle better!

Congratulations to Paul who got his hands on the trophy and also got a free ticket (ok, a refund on his already bought ticket!) for the Welsh Open next month!

Anyway, I can’t be too mad with him, he is one of my Legend level Patrons after all!

We all got our hands on some lovely Exile swag (yes, I’m biased!) and I think everyone had a good time!

I want to say a big thank you to Mark Hall for TO’ing the event. Everything ran so smoothly that we actually finished about 45 minutes early!

If you’d like to see the final standing you can see them here:

So, having almost given up on this list, a bit of time and purposeful thought into how to actually play it seemed to pay off! It is a fun list (for me, anyway!) and I like how it works. Maybe I just need a bit of work on Salvage Mission! The big question though is what will the points change bring? Will my list get nerfed? I doubt it. I do wonder if anything in Rebels will come down in price though which might make some changes possible.

The next event on the horizon is the Welsh Open and the plan at the moment is for me to help Mark with TO’ing that so as it stands, I’ve got no tournaments to rep for!

Will I manage to make it to an OP Store Champs this summer? Well, we’ll have to wait and see. The still as yet not occurred house move means that the ongoing chaos following whenever it happens will now run further and further into the year, It isn’t impossible though.

That’s it for now, Thanks for reading and, unless I’m moving house (rather unlikely!) then I’ll see you back here 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.

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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:
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Exile Rookies:
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Exile Veterans:
Mark Beor, Daniel Barringer, Michael Bird, Steve Boulton, Jason Desmarais, Darin Schwarze, Alex Peters-Bean, Mark Packer-Hughes

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