Firestorming…

The intro…

Welcome to this week’s blog!

It’s going to be a busy one today so strap in!

I want to start off with a bit of a plug. No, not for Patreon (although you’re very welcome to look!), but for XTC.

As current captain for Wales I’m looking to gather information when it comes to the 2023 events. Yes, that’s right eventS. Plural.

In person XTC is back on the table and will (most likely?!) happen as well as an online event.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that last year’s team was put together in a bit of a rush (I was only confirmed as captain about 10 days before the submission deadline!) and I really don’t mean that as any sort of slight on the players who played. I’m certainly not thinking ‘I could have had better players’ but looking forwards what I am thinking is ‘I want to get to know more people and get them involved’. It was while getting the team together that I realised just how little I know about X-Wing in Wales further than Newport or Cardiff.

Getting to know Phill Blackmore, Adam Shipley, Martyn Gruffydd and Alex Whitehead (who are all northern based) has been amazing and I’d love to see more connection between communities.

So, in order to be as inclusive as I can, I’m looking to start gathering info for 2023, starting with who is actually interested in being involved and in what way. To that end I’ve put together an info page with a questionnaire.

As it stands, it looks like there will almost certainly be both an in person event as well as an online one.

So, if you’re interested in XTC and think Wales is an option you’d like to know more about, click the link, fill in the form and I’ll be in touch!

Also, if you think someone you know might be interested please feel free to forward this link to them.

https://forms.gle/xHcznMe7oiXvNkNM6

Right, I think that’s all the housekeeping for now, let’s move on to the content!

Using the term very loosely….

The pre-amble…

If you’ve been reading the blog recently you’ll know that I’ve been mostly flying a Scum list. Three chunky ships with a good amount of health, two agility and they can all push out some damage. Plus the all-important Super Commandos, of course!

I’ve played around with the upgrades a fair bit but the ships and pilots haven’t changed. It’s been niggling me for a while that each iteration I’ve tried is ok but not quite the best it could be for the way I’m playing it.

With the recent points change making Notorious higher (correctly) costed I’ve toyed with dropping Gar Saxon from Manaroo to make it fit but I think that Gar lets her hit too hard to take it off while Overtuned lets her turn and still be modded and R5-P8, despite the risk of crits, it still worth it in my opinion.

Notorious is just too good to leave out though and so, not overly enamoured with Cad crew, I looked to make it fit on Maul. After faffing about with Veteran Tail Gunner I finally realised that I could fit Hate to keep Maul’s Force pool full.

Filling the 2 point gap on Manaroo took some deciding between a few options. Predator could be handy but really, how often will she get bullseye? Cutthroat could recharge the OVertuned Modulators or R5 but experience with this list has shown me that Manaroo is often the first to die so it seems a bit pointless.

The other option would be Expert Handling to get the barrel roll white since it’s not all that simple to clear stress on this ship.

After all this deliberation I decide to go with Predator ‘just because’ and take it to casual night.

And so, this is what the list looks like.

Manaroo (5)
Predator (2)
Jamming Beam (0)
Gar Saxon (Gunner) (6)
Overtuned Modulators (3)
Punishing One (0)
R5-P8 (4)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (15/15) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4

Q9-0 (6)
Lando Calrissian (Scum) (4)
IG-88D (3)
Heavy Laser Cannon (4)
BT-1 (2)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Razor Crest (0)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (16/16) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 4

Maul (9)
Hate (4)
Notorious (5)
Mandalorian Super Commandos (7)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Drop-Seat Bay (1)
Nightbrother (0)
Swivel Wing (0)

Ship Cost: 9 Loadout: (20/20) Half Points: 4 Damage Threshold: 5

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Scum%20and%20Villainy&d=v9ZhZ20Z117X127WW12WW441W411WW159W8Y521X45W36W10W79W92WWW451Y512X204W455W466WWWW92WW465W448W449WWiW&sn=Scum%203%20ship%20v1&obs=

I print off an Infinite Arenas sheet and head off to casual night for one last test. I end up playing against Alex Boulton who, having qualified at Belgium in September, is looking at some fun lists before starting to think about ‘proper’ lists for Worlds.

He’s brought 5 TIE Interceptors, Turr Phenir and then the four Sigma pilots from the Battle of Yavin. Lots of 3 dice guns isn’t something I’m especially keen to face but when we randomise the scenario it comes up as Salvage Mission and Alex isn’t too pleased. His ships love to reposition and they can’t do it while carrying a crate.

It’s an interesting opinion as my thought was that he’s got more ships than me which might make it tricky for me.

As we play the game out Alex targets Maul but his 2 green dice repeatedly rolling paint (plus the odd reinforce) mean that he finds it difficult to get damage on. Once I take out one of the Interceptors but still have all three of my ships on the board, even though they’re bleeding damage Alex can’t score from them.

Interceptors everywhere! EVERYWHERE!

My having a box or two across several turns means that points tick up quickly and, despite not setting a clock, we come to a conclusion eventually and it’s a low-ish scoring (as in, we didn’t hit 20 points) but convincing win for me.

Interesting.

There was no doubt from me that I’d be taking this list to Cardiff. I’ve committed to it this far, why stop now? It was good to get the rep in though.

On Friday I get my cards together, reprint my Infinite Arenas sheet (just to be absolutely sure it’s the right version!) and check I’ve got everything I need ready for game day!

The batrep(s)… (JARGON ALERT!!)

So, it’s been a little while since I’ve played a tournament so I think it’s worth a little recap on what my expectations are for the day:

  • 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?!)

Like I’ve said before, everyone is different with different experience and skill levels. I’m no top level player and know that I could just as easily go 0-4 as I could 4-0. Actually, the 0-4 is probably more likely but still, you get what I’m saying, right?

I pick up Mark and Josh and we head off to Cardiff, ready for a day of pew pew!

There’s a good buzz as we arrive and with 16 players in attendance, it’s a decent turn out! Looking around at a few lists and I’m seeing a couple of recurring themes: Scum and the Ghost. Interesting.

With Tabletop.To now having fully left the building TO Paul Westwood is running things old skool – Excel spreadsheet. He randomises pairings and away we go!

Game 1 – Ben Hyde – Chance Engagement

Over enthusiastic selfie alert!

I have to admit, I was really happy with this first matchup. Not because I’m confident I can win (because I’m not!) but because playing against Ben is one of the finest X-Wing experiences there is.

That the game is going to be fun is a given and no matter what is happening or how close or tense it is, Ben’s attitude towards playing is so joyously infectious that you actually don’t care about the result.

Wait a minute…. maybe it’s all a sneaky strategy!!!!

Since the last points update I’m really not clear on what is or isn’t meta right now but whether it’s ‘in’ or ‘out’ of fashion, what I do know is that Boba is good. Always.

Boba Fett (9)
Fearless (3)
Jamming Beam (0)
Proton Bombs (4)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Slave I (Separatist) (0)
Ahsoka Tano (Crew) (9)
Veteran Tail Gunner (3)

Ship Cost: 9 Loadout: (22/22) Half Points: 4 Damage Threshold: 5

Koshka Frost (7)
Notorious (5)
Jamming Beam (0)
0-0-0 (5)
False Transponder Codes (3)
Marauder (0)
Veteran Tail Gunner (3)

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

Kanan Jarrus (HWK-290) (4)
Maul (10)

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

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Scum%20and%20Villainy&d=v9ZhZ20Z103X121W12WW69W92WWW370W424W89Y106X455W12WW63WW369WW153W89Y457XW48WWWW&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Right, let’s hit those Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Chance Engagement
Target/Objective Priority – Ummm…… Boba is the points tank here but he’s far more durable than a ship has any right to be. Koshka is only 2 points less for what should be much less effort but Kanan is the one who will be debuffing my attacks so I should start there. Should.
Obstacles – A reasonable spread is fine for me. Maul wants a lane to chug through but otherwise I’m fairly easy.
Deployment – I may drop this part, my deployment will rarely vary with this list. It’s Maul in the left corner, Manaroo in the right and Q9 in the middle.

Ben sets up all in my top left corner, directly opposite Maul. I get it, Maul’s my points tank and being that we can half point in this game there’s value there for him.

In the opening few turns Ben guns hard for Maul, sending Boba in close really fast but COMPLETELY ignoring the central objective. I bring Manaroo in through the middle and get her gun into play while managing to claim, racking up some easy points.

Boba being in my face makes it all too tempting to shoot at him but he simply shrugs off opening 4 dice salvos from Maul and Q9’s HLC (JARGON ALERT!!) as I instantly regret not shooting Koshka instead.

Things get congested and damage starts piling up, but mostly on my ships as my red dice fail to put significant damage into, well anything, while Ben’s red dice seem to be continually rolling paint. My ships are bleeding and while my Commandos are doing a reasonable job of handing out strains, I’m not able to capitalise on it.

In a key turn I send Manaroo after Koshka but the placement means that the Firespray is 2 millimetres inside range 2 of the objective and the Jumpmaster is 2 millimetres outside. And I’ve missed arc with the angle.

It’s enough to swing the game as Kanan survives and Manaroo doesn’t on the last turn.

Result: 15 – 16 loss

Mini conclusion…

I feel like I did waste two shots on Boba when hitting Koshka or Kanan would have maybe benefited me longer term. Other than that, the 2mm in/out of range swung the points and I don’t think that Ben could disagree that his red dice ran pretty hot this game while mine were sub zero when I needed them average. Still, despite the result it was a great, fun game. On to the next!

Game 2 – Chris Fear – Salvage Mission

Another game, another Swansea based player!

Chris is a relative newbie to X-Wing, having started after the change to 2.5 so all of the scenarios feel very natural to him! He’s also one of my Patrons so I am very grateful to him for his support! That doesn’t mean I’m going easy on him though!

In keeping with the general theme so far, Chris has brought a Scum list:

Krassis Trelix (7)
Predator (2)
Heavy Laser Cannon (4)
Jamming Beam (0)
Zuckuss (2)
Seismic Charges (3)
Ablative Plating (4)
Marauder (0)
Veteran Tail Gunner (3)

Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (18/18) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 5

Han Solo (Scum) (6)
Trick Shot (4)
0-0-0 (5)
Lando Calrissian (Scum) (4)
BT-1 (2)
Hotshot Tail Blaster (2)
Engine Upgrade (3)
Lando’s Millennium Falcon (0)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (20/20) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 5

Dengar (7)
Fearless (3)
Plasma Torpedoes (7)
Greedo (1)
Babu Frik (5)
Tactical Scrambler (2)
Punishing One (0)
R3 Astromech (4)

Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (22/22) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 4

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Scum%20and%20Villainy&d=v9ZhZ20Z107X127W10W12WW66W71WW103W153W89Y89X133WW63W45W79W463W107W152Y115X121W234WWW83W416W110W159W4&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Let’s do some Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Salvage Mission
Target/Objective Priority – There are three considerations here. First, I want boxes. Preferably three as quick as possible but at least one immediately. Second, I do NOT want to shoot Dengar until I have to. Third, don’t be obstructively shot by Han.
Obstacles – Spread out suits me best, especially with Han out there. I’ll take Chris’ big rocks and try to put them my side of the board.
Deployment – Same as before!

Han and Dengar both look like they’re gunning for Maul as we open but Chris suddenly swings in with Dengar while Han keeps going straight.

I put fire into Han from Maul and Q9 (who certainly did NOT want to shoot Dengar) while Manaroo trades with Krassis.

Disaster strikes for Chris as Han’s hard turn lands on the debris, leaving him range 1 of Maul’s rear arc and range 2 of Q9.

My dice run hot and rather unexpectedly, Han dies from a thoroughly disrespectful double natties (JARGON ALERT!!) shot from, you guessed it, SUPER COMMANDOS!

Maul drops the second set of Commandos and then turns away while Q9 clears his stress by gunning full speed at Dengar whose 4-k past a rock last turn now means he either has to while 4 straight to clear the debris or turn left to clear his stress.

Q9 not only manages the block but crucially blocks him onto the central debris cloud.

Harsh.

This time I’ve technically got 5 guns on target with both Commandos in play and Manaroo having turned in.

It’s the perfect opportunity to shoot at Dengar since he’s on the obstacle and can’t revenge shot me but even I’m shocked as every hit lands and the Jumpmaster burns down in a single round of fire, finished off by, you guessed it!

Pew pew!

Two ships down in two successive rounds of engagement. Wow.

I switch tactics and try to distract Krassis with my full health Manaroo while Q9 turns around and Maul saunters off to pick up a crate.

As my points total ticks up to 20 Chris’s red dice decide it’s their turn to catch fire, rolling 4 hits/crits out of hand into Manaroo and then the Veteran Tail Gunner shot into Q9 also rolling 3 natural hits/crits. Q9’s first damage having been a Hull Breach catches up with him and the TWO Structural Damage crits means he burns down spectacularly to give Chris 6 points.

Q9 is really REALLY dead.

Result: 20 – 6 win

Mini Conclusion…

This was one of those games where everything went right for me (well, except that Hull Breach…) and everything that could have gone wrong for Chris, did. Cold green dice and twice landing on rocks while my red dice rolled hot quite quickly got to the point of ‘feels a bit bad’ but fair play to Chris, he didn’t give up and played the game with a smile on his face. What a hero.

Game 3 – Paul Westwood – Scramble the Transmission

After scoffing some lunch (I had the burger, it was very nice!), I now got paired into TO extraordinaire, fellow XTC teammate and overall nice guy, Paul Westwood!

Sadly though, I didn’t much fancy the look of the list he was flying….

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: https://yasb.app/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v9ZhZ20Z54X119WW234WY392XWWW137W58WWW90WY69X132W438W0WWY4X419W133W136W5WW142&sn=Ghost&obs=

Mark Beor is also running this list and Josh Hall has a variant of it. Mark is now around 15 reps into playing it and he’s only lost with it once or twice so I’ve heard. Do I know how to fly against it?

Let’s try some Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Scramble the transmission
Target/Objective Priority – Crikey. The Ghost is the easiest to damage (unless it’s reinforced, of course) but Cracken and Fenn are both dishing out actions and Luke is torping things. I’m genuinely not sure.
Obstacles – I try to place to avoid having a jousting lane through the middle to make it difficult for Paul to approach.
Deployment – Same again!

With Manaroo being the lowest initiative ship on the table she goes down first and initially I’m not too disappointed when Paul lines all his ships up together directly across from her. She’s the cheapest one and if she can distract Kallus while I approach then maybe I could come in on a flank?

I very quickly make a mistake though.

Having initially turned left with Manaroo to avoid the direct joust with Paul, in turn 2 I go for a 4-K, thinking he might turn into the middle and go for Q9.

He doesn’t. Well, not with Kallus, at least.

Uh-oh…

Yes, this does go as terribly as you’re thinking it will. But maybe not in the way you’re thinking.

Manaroo takes some long range damage before then going kamikaze in at Kallus. Q9 hard turns right and calculates while Maul comes up behind but Maul’s 2 bank fall short of getting him in arc to shoot and what happens next is ridiculous.

Fenn swarms Cracken up to i6 and rolls his 2 dice pea shooter at Q9 and takes off a shield. Cracken fires plasma torps at Q9 and rolls all hits/crits. Q9 blanks out. I spend a calcualte to reroll the 2 greens (with Lando crew) and blank out again. Q9 loses his last shield and takes 3 hits/crits to hull. Then Luke fires at i5 witha proton torp (from a lock courtesy of Cracken) and rolls all hits/crits. Q9 blanks out and dies.

Right. Ok then.

There’s some level of justice as Q9 and Manaroo manage to take down Cracken but trading a 3 point shop for a 6 point one is something I could have done without. Still, I’ve got 2 objectives to Paul’s 1 so I’m not massively behind.

Time for mistake number two now as I opt to bump Manaroo into Kallus rahter than 3 straight over the top, meaning that the Ghost’s 4-K puts him directly behind a badly bleeding Manaroo. How I didn’t see that coming I’ve NO idea.

Luke and Fenn both fire into Maul who responds by smashing some damage into Fenn, however my hope of finishing him off is quickly snuffed as Kallus mercilessly rolls 8 dice (5 dice range 1 primary and 3 dice range 1 dorsal) into Manaroo and she explodes.

Two meaningful turns of engagement, two ships lost. I think Chris might be willing this at me from across the room somewhere as revenge for our game!

Here comes mistake number three as I forget to drop Super Commandos which would have strained Fenn and possibly got a shot at him. Maul did tag an objective last turn though which means I’ve now got three (not for long though) but now he’s got Kallus approaching from behind with only one target to hit.

That lack of strain comes back to haunt me as Maul’s shot hits Fenn but he takes just 1 damage, living on 1 while Kallus launches another offensive.

With time running out Kallus drives in at Maul while Luke spans the distance to the far corner to claim Pauls second objective.

Fenn dies this time but it doesn’t matter as Paul will hit 20 points at the end of the turn. The question is, will he pass it?

Kallus nails Maul again with the double tap but somehow Maul survives on 1 hull and the game is over.

Result: 16 – 20 loss

Mini Conclusion…

Firstly, considering that I was one hull away from total destruction of my list (which would have been the first time since I started playing this list!), how on earth I managed to stay within 4 points of Paul I’ve NO idea. That’s the power of objective play I guess!

Secondly – how many mistakes?!? This was definitely my worst performance of the day. The misjudgement with Manaroo was one thing but losing Q9 so early and forgetting the Commandos was just too much. I think that if I had a few reps against this list I’d have a better chance of beating it but considering my errors, I guess I should be pleased it wasn’t far worse. I think someone else got beaten 24-0 byt this Ghost list on the day. Ouch.

Lastly, Paul realised after the game that if he hadn’t claimed with Luke in that last turn then the game would have played another turn where he could have claimed it AND taken down Maul to give him an extra 12 victory points. I’m rather glad he claimed!

So, going into the last game I’m at 1-2. Can I get a win to break even?

Game 4 – “J” – Assualt at the Satellite Array

A new person! Clearly a local of the Cardiff store (deduced from the Womp Rats t-shirt!) the mysteriously named “J” was someone I’d not met or played before. Unfortunately we didn’t get much time to chat before or after the game except for a little awkward banter when Andrew in the seat next to him asked if J reads the blog and Mark Hall (sat next to me) eagerly took his opportunity to embarrass me with a little ‘and do you also know he’s…’.

Hopefully we’ll get more time to chat next time J!

He was flying a Separatist list that looked a bit tricksy.

Jango Fett (8)
Notorious (5)
Savage Opress (10)
Thermal Detonators (5)
False Transponder Codes (3)
Delayed Fuses (1)
Slave I (Separatist) (0)
Veteran Tail Gunner (3)

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

DFS-081 (2)
Energy-Shell Charges (4)
Independent Calculations (0)
Grappling Struts (0)

Ship Cost: 2 Loadout: (4/7) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 1

Cad Bane (Separatist) (5)
Predator (2)
Ion Cannon (6)
Heavy Laser Cannon (4)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Engine Upgrade (3)
Xanadu Blood (0)

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

General Grievous (5)
Outmaneuver (12)
Impervium Plating (0)
Soulless One (0)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (12/12) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Separatist%20Alliance&d=v9ZhZ20Z429X455WWW436W339W369WW236W370W89Y311X209W367W208Y538X127W11W10WW92WW107W472WWY305X126WW207WW229&sn=Unsaved%20Squadron&obs=

I’m not a fan of CIS generally. When I’ve flown it (which is maybe twice?) it’s felt terrible but when I face it, it feels strong. It’s weird.

Anyway, let’s get some Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Assault at the Satellite Array
Target/Objective Priority – I’m torn. I want to dissuade Grievous from flanking but Jango is where the points are at. Thankfully my big bases give me an edge on scenario points, provided I can put them in the right places.
Obstacles – Ideally if I can get the big rocks away from the objectives then I can try and stop the Vulture just hanging out and ticking over. I’m second player though so it isn’t looking likely.
Deployment – Same. As. Always.

J deploys Grievous on my far left while the other three bunch up the top right corner. With Manaroo having just been murdered by a Ghost in a similar setup I’m not feeling too happy about being ganged up on again.

I turn in with Manaroo while gunning forwards with the other two.

Yes, I am using Ben Hyde’s signed mat!

Maul catches Grievous and chips a little damage off which, unfortunately, sends me down a rabbit hole I later regret.

I make several bad calls in the next turn, leaving Manroo and Maul with no shots while Q9 sits in front of an obstacle with four incoming shots and, inevitably, gets ioned by Cad.

Awesome.

He does put some more hurt onto Grievous though but wouldn’t you know, one is a crit and yes, it’s one he can discard. Great.

The next turn is a slight improvement as Q9 ion moves to his left to at least get himself some obstacle cover while Manaroo’s turn in blocks Cad and, the pièce de résistance – Maul turns in and sits range 1 of THREE objectives. Three!

Maul’s position is BEAUTIFUL

By now Grievous has turned around and J is concentrating fire on Q9 while I go back and forth between shooting Grievous or Jango.

Unfortunately I do a bit of both and again I get a crit into Grievous and AGAIN it’s a ship one that he can discard. I really hate that ship….

Then J makes a mistake, momentarily forgetting that initiative is a thing (goodness knows we’ve all done it!), bumping Grievous into Jango who himself then banks right.

Q9 takes a 5-K to get out of trouble while Maul, rather obviously, stays exactly where he is score another 3 points (well, he scored 2 and cancelled out Jango scoring the middle one).

Some big damage is traded and while Jango is now shieldless and Grievous is on 1 hull, NOTHING IS DYING!

As we start the next turn, time is called so this will be the last one. What do I do?

I go slowly forwards with Q9 to clear stress and strain and try to shoot. Manaroo hard turns left to try and block Grievous while Maul banks into Jango to effectively stay where he is again.

This could be a tense turn!

I totally misjudge where Grievous is going as he sloops (JARGON ALERT!!) left and ends up right behind Manaroo. Cad turns and boosts to also sit at range 1 of the Jumpmaster.

Jango hard turns left but since he’s stressed he’s now got nothing to shoot at and can’t boost.

Maul shoots the Vulture and…does nothing. Q9 shoots Grievous and…does nothing.

Uh-oh.

Grievous and Cad BOTH pour fire into Manaroo but both of them whiff (JARGON ALERT!!) and Manaroo survives. In fact, everyone survives. That’s right, NO ships died in this game!

Result: 9 – 7 win

Mini conclusion…

That feels…. unjust. I’d have to say that I didn’t really deserve to win that game. Beautiful placement (even if I say so myself!) of Maul aside, I should have lost and if I’m being honest with myself it’s because I split fire between Jango and Grievous. Had I focused down on either one I’d almost certainly have killed them and `banked the points. Jango took enough fire to get down to around 5 hull and Grievous survived on 1 having used both his Impervium charges. If Grievous dies I can tolerate the loss of Manaroo. If Jango dies, I’m happy as Larry.

Anyway, I apologise to you J (since I know you’ll probably read this!), you probably should have won that!

The conclusion…

Well, that was interesting!

First and foremost, I had a great day of playing X-Wing. It’s important to separate the results from the experience and, as I mentioned way back at the start, setting your expectations is a big part of that.

I had fun rolling dice, chatting with old friends and making some new ones while pushing plastic spaceships around. What’s not to love about that?!

I want to say a big thank you to Paul Westwood and Gareth Nottingham for organising and running the event and to Firestorm Games for hosting. It really is a beautiful venue and if you ever get the chance I recommend attending an event there. We even got food as part of the ticket price!

Well done to Steve Boulton for getting to 3-0 before then mercilessly beating his son Alex to go 4-0 and win the day.

The event was Christmas themed (yes, I did take a Christmas jumper, no I didn’t wear it. Only because I didn’t want my Exile t-shirt covered in green fluff though!

I have to give a special mention to Andrew Robinson who went the extra mile with his ships, flying Box (Bossk), Santa Fett and ‘Kan-angel Jarrus’. Top man!

You 100% need to zoom in on this picture. DO IT!

Now for the self reflection I guess.

In terms of the list, look, this isn’t some top performing meta list (one person did well with it at one event and it’s not really been since since). Is it good? Yes, I think so. Playing against Ben’s Kanan was really quite frustrating and it would be great to add in to this list but once you start shuffling pilots and chassis’ around I think you lose the ‘soul’ of this list as it currently exists. Is it worth it? Well, that’s a thought exercise for another day I think.

Where I’ve normally lost Manaroo and not the other two ships (which is fine, she is the cheapest one!), today I felt that both Manaroo and Q9 had weaknesses that could be improved on (especially when Q9 got one-rounded. Eesh) but the list is fun to fly and despite the perceived (by me, at least) drawbacks such as low ship count/high ship cost, occasional lack of mods, limited manoeuvrability, I do find that this list has performed above what I’d expect. And I like that.

Quite how I managed to get this many reps into this list before realising that Q9 having Contraband is somewhat of a redundant upgrade is a bit beyond me. I’ve been using Contraband to get calculates on hard stops, talons or k-turns. See what those things all have in common? They’re advanced manoeuvres. And what’s Q9’s ability? Yes, you can still calculate on an advanced manoeuvre for the cost of a strain. If I do continue with this list, that’s definitely a tweak to make!

As for me playing it? Well, that’s a bit of a different story. Against both Ben and J I made poor targeting decisions. I took a couple of shots against Ben’s Boba, then repeatedly failed to roll paint into Koshka while really I should have been pumping the damage into Kanan. I almost got him but it was too little, too late. Doing that a few turns earlier might have got me a win there.

CURSES!

Against J I split my fire. I concentrated too much on Grievous whereas if I’d put the same number of shots into Jango he’d have certainly died and while I still won that game it was more down to Maul’s placement rather than anything else.

Against Paul? Well, heck, where to begin. Manaroo should never have 4-K’d and I’m still a bit shell shocked over losing Q9 in three shots. I should definitely have been a bit more coy in my approach to that list but would need some more reps against it to try and figure it out.

What I find really interesting is that all four games had very different types of result.

Against Ben I played well(ish) and lost when it might have been possible to win (but for those pesky dice!)

Against Chris I played well and won.

Against Paul I played poorly and lost (though by nowhere near as much as I probably should have)

Against J I played poorly and won.

Weird.

In the end 2-2 is fair and breaking even nets me my hoped for expectation for the day. Seventh place overall and second of the 2-2’s, behind Mark Beor’s beastly Ghost list. Not too bad!

I miss Tabletop.To

So is it the end of the road for me and this list? Honestly, I’m not sure?!

I do enjoy flying it. It’s not mentally draining and I’m mostly there with remembering triggers. Mostly.

Then again, there is some other stuff I want to look at. That Ghost list that Mark and Paul were flying, for one, then maybe some lists with the Battle of Yavin pilots? Double Resistance Falcons with Lando from the Hotshots pack?

The bigger question is – will I actually get time to re-pack my case before Wednesday?!

That’s it from me for this week. Thanks for reading, I’ll catch you next time!

The outro…

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