Welcome to this week’s blog!
Things have been a bit crazy of late. Actually, that’s an understatement I think. Some days there is so much happening that my head is spinning.
I still have not. Moved. House. I am fuming. I won’t go into detail here for fear of putting you off reading my blog ever again but suffice to say, I am incredibly frustrated about the whole thing and can’t wait for it to be done with.
I will still probably need to take a week or so off from the blog when it does eventually happen but I’ve given up on hoping for a date for now, I can’t keep living my life on hold. Still, I’ll keep you updated as and when (or if?!) things happen.
Getting on to X-Wing, what’s been happening? Well, Store Champ kits is what!
The new kits have landed en masse and stores all over are setting dates for their kits with that precious bit of paper that says ‘Worlds Invite’*
*Ok, I don’t know exactly what it says but you get what I mean.
If getting an invite is something you’re interested in and you’re UK based (or want to travel to the UK I guess!) then it’s worth keeping an eye on the 186th Tournament Tracker where events are being posted.
There are a few ones local to me which I’ll mention though:
Atlas Tabletop Gaming Gloucester – 15th of July
Excelsior Comics Bristol – 22nd of July
Firestorm Games Cardiff – 9th of September
Firestorm Games Newport – 21st of October
The Newport tickets aren’t available yet as it’s a bit too far out (according to the store!) but once they’re live I’ll definitely be posting about it!
With the UK Games Expo (UKGE) now being upgraded to a full Worlds Open Qualifier there’s going to be a good number of invites up for grabs in the UK over the next few months as well as some beautiful swag to be won.
While I’m talking about tournaments I suppose I should mention…
THE WELSH OPEN!
In case you’re still on the fence about getting tickets for the Welsh Open there are some things you should know.
First and foremost, we have had confirmation that have a Store Champs kit and we will be using it! This means the winner of the Welsh Open will get a Worlds invite!
Second of all, we have one of the AMG ‘care packages’ from Worlds, meaning that we have OFFICIAL 2020 template sets, a range ruler set and a selection of very rare official alt art cards!
Thirdly, our friends at Firecast Focus will be live streaming both days of the tournament.
BUT WE’RE NOT DONE YET!
I already mentioned about participation prizes in my last blog but we’re also having some special transparent spot gloss cards made up by Cog O Two which will be awarded to the top in faction finishers. There will be a different card for each faction but it would be wrong of me not to post a just a liiiiiiittle preview of one of them, wouldn’t it!
The winner’s trophy is also in the process of being made at the moment so you’ll get a picture of that when it’s a bit more ready.
All in all we absolutely cannot wait to welcome people to Cardiff and all have a great time rolling dice and pushing plastic spaceships around together!
If you DON’T have a ticket yet but you’re interested, check out the Facebook event page for details (complete with prize spoilers as we get closer!) and you can get your ticket from The Battlefields website.
I think that’s probably all the intro you need right now, let’s move on…
So, wrapping up Q2 for 2023, Patreon gifts are being sent out over the next week or so as I get my act together and dig them out from some of the boxes I currently live out of.
I now realise that I totally forgot to tell ANYONE about the giveaway for this quarter which is for an LED lit T-70 (lit by the legendary Kei Taniguchi!). Congrats to Joshua Whiddett for winning that, it gets added to the rest of the Patreon gifts for this quarter which, if you ask me, are pretty freaking cool. But then I am a bit biased.
If you fancy getting your hands on cool shiny things or supporting me in my blogging journey (or both? Both is fine too!) then you can sign up to be a Patron here.
I’ll also mention again that I’ve added a new(ish) tier for people who want to support which gets you cards only. I can do this cheaper because they’re a LOT less expensive to post out which helps me keep things affordable. Check out the Rookie tier at £2 per month if that interests you.
The next quarter finishes at the end of July so I guess I’ll start shilling again in a few months!
The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)
So, let’s look at a game, shall we?
I played a game a few weeks ago that I didn’t blog about and while I’ve got photos and scores I’ve decided not to cover it for two reasons. The first is the time it’ll take for me to write about it and the second is that I won it. As you’ve hopefully noticed by now this blog is very much NOT about ‘look at how great I am at this game’ (because it’s not true for starters!) but is about ‘how can I get better’.
Wins are good, of course, but I definitely learn more from losses and, dear reader, I have one to talk about. Oh, spoiler, sorry.
Anyway, after a very up and down few weeks we have the Newport store tournament coming up on the 13th of May and while I’m not eligible to win one of the top prizes (that free ticket to the Welsh Open!), I’d still certainly love to earn a trophy! So I headed along to Firestorm in Newport with my very poorly packed case and took an age to get everything out and set up to play.
I’m sticking with the list I’ve been using of late, mostly because I don’t have time/head space to repack but also this list is good fun and I’m really enjoying it. I’m sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but we like what we like and for me, this is cool.
Ezra Bridger (Gauntlet Fighter) (7)
Hera Syndulla (4)
Veteran Tail Gunner (3)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Swivel Wing (0)
“Chopper” (Crew) (1)
Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (16/16) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 5
Magva Yarro (5)
Ursa Wren (6)
Jyn Erso (5)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Pivot Wing (0)
Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (14/14) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4
Saw Gerrera (5)
Leia Organa (7)
The Child (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
Now, caveat, I’ve STILL not reprinted my list so Ezra still has both Chopper crew along with Contraband which do NOT synergise well. My solution to this was to ditch Contraband and put in False Transponder Codes instead but my failure to get my printer out and actually do it means I’m stuck with it.
Still, it’s not the end of the world, the ship still functions without it.
I ended up playing against Peter who had brought…..
Captain Feroph (4)
Gar Saxon (6)
Targeting Computer (1)
Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (9/9) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4
Imperial Super Commandos (7)
Ablative Plating (4)
Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (11/12) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4
Captain Oicunn (7)
Minister Tua (4)
Thermal Detonators (5)
Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (19/19) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 8
Major Vermeil (5)
Darth Vader (14)
Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (16/16) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4
Oh good Lord! There might only be 3 green dice in the whole list but it’s 40 health to get through. Plus there’s a bunch of pieces that I really don’t like (like Darth Vader crew). This….. is going to be tricky.
Let’s hit those Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Chance Engagement
Target/Objective Priority – Be in the middle. If I don’t get to shoot the Deci early on then it’s basically not worth it (except it is. More on that later). I’ll need to take down some Reapers I guess…
Obstacles – I tried to get them spread apart for my own convenience but keep them close on Peter’s side to prevent multiple ships coming down a single lane
Deployment – Peter ends up being first player so three of his 4 ships go down first. I’ll loosely group together (for Magva protection) but on a side that makes it difficult for him to approach.
We place the objective, obstacles and ships and we’re ready to get started!
You can’t quite see Saw but he’s to the right of Ezra, facing to my left. I want to zoom Ezra and Magva up the middle near the rock, ready to turn in. Saw will bank in while Keo will angle in to try and launch Tracers. Peter’s positioning maybe indicates that the Reapers will go fast up the left side but I’m not sure what the Deci is doing. I’m aiming to maybe catch it in the middle.
ROAD 1st Player – Peter
Peter’s Reapers do go up my left side but not as quickly as I expected. Oicunn just goes 1 straight.
Ezra takes a 4 straight while Magva goes a little slower, Keo slides up next to her and Saw slots in behind.
No shots, clearly so it’s back to dials.
I have mixed feelings about my positioning here. The main issue is Magva. The 2 straight last turn gave me options but that now means I still have to decide between going straight to keep her with Ezra or hard turn left. I eventually decide to go straight (yes, despite what happened in a previous blog!). Keo banks in while Saw will go straight in behind.
ROAD 1st Player – Peter
This time the Reapers do go fast with Vizier darting into the middle while the others continue to flank. Oicunn continues on his 1 straight course.
Ezra banks in and reinforces to front, Magva goes 3 straight and takes an evade. Keo banks left and I ponder the action for a moment. I’m pretty sure that Saw fits in behind but I decide to focus into a red boost to the right.
Saw slides forwards and takes a focus.
This time we do have shots. I suddenly wonder whether boosting Keo was a mistake because they’re now in two arcs not one AND the Tracer shot is obstructed. It’s too late now though!
Saw fires at Vizier, then Keo with Tracers and then Ezra with a lock (from the Tracers) and Force but all I manage is to take both shields. A little disappointing.
Peter’s return fire is equally disappointing though, doing no damage to Keo.
We’re both range 2 of the objective so back to planning we go.
End of turn score: 1 (me) – 1 (Peter)
Here is where things start getting messy. And annoying. Annoying as in I’m annoyed at myself for AGAIN parking a U-Wing next to a rock and needing to stop and rotate to be able to shoot. Eesh.
I’m concerned about Vizier just piling into the middle and blocking everything up so after a fair amount of deliberation I set Keo to 4 straight, Ezra to 1 bank in and both U-Wings to stop (with Magva rotating).
ROAD 1st Player – Me
So being first player doesn’t especially help me here with Vizier being i2 but it turns out that it doesnt matter as Vizier just bugs out altogether.
We paused the game at this point as 4 or 5 of us discussed a rules question brought up by Peter’s choices.
He opted to do the ailerons move ONTO the gas cloud, use the pilot ability to coordinate and then take his manoeuvre to get off it. Now, this raised a few questions.
- Can you ailerons ONTO an obstacle? Since the errata’d ability says ‘boost’ and not ‘boost action’ we eventually deemed that it doesn’t fail.
- Can you coordinate on a gas cloud? Clearly the normal answer is no BUT, since the wording is that you skip your perform action step, this pilot ability happens outside of that step (After you move using your Controlled Ailerons ship ability, you may perform a <coordinate> action. If you do, skip your Perform Action step.). Therefore we deemed that it can happen.
- If you ailerons onto an obstacle and you then get ionised, do you immediately perform an ion manoeuvre? We deemed no based on some other ruling (which I have now forgotten) where ion tokens issues after a dial is set would come into effect after the next planning phase. It didn’t matter anyway since Peter rolled a hit, not a crit.
Who knew one move could cause so much trouble! If you’ve got opinions on any of these very informal rulings we’d be interested to hear!
With Vizier out of the way I now moved Keo up into the middle and evaded while Ezra banked in and took a reinforce to front and Magva stopped, rotated and took a focus (yes, I used Leia this turn) .
Feroph banked in slowly while Oicunn did the same, both focusing. Saw stopped and focused before Vermeil came in fast around the outside, angling in at Saw.
Oh, I should also mention that Vizier dropped Commandos in the last 2 turns too. For the first time this game, Vader crew on Vermeil comes into play and strips Saw of his focus.
Now, annoyingly, I can only shoot at Vizier with Saw and Magva and Keo can only shoot Commandos.
Saw goes first, hammering Vizier with 3 crits and a hit OUT OF HAND.
Vizier evades one but the crist all go onto hull, leaving him on 3 hull and some nasty crits (none of which I can recall).
Vermeil goes next hitting Saw hard and stripping his shields. Ouch. Magva follows up Saw’s shot onto Vizier and gets the damage needed to finish the Reaper. One down!
Keo can only fire at Commandos and fails to hit while Ezra goes range 3 obstructed into Feroph but misses too.
Rather than fire on Saw, Feroph goes for Keo, as does Oicunn and between them the strip the A-Wing’s shields, claiming half points.
Overall an ok turn but man, my positioning is BAD.
End of turn score: 5 – 2
Total score: 6 – 3
Ok, let’s evaluate. Ezra is full health and in the middle facing left. Ideally I want to hard turn left but I have a horrible feeling it’ll land on the gas cloud and no shooting is not an option. I opt for the stop.
Keo is facing the wrong way altogether. The force charge is inactive though so it’s a hard turn sideslip there.
Magva and Saw. Hmmm….. Both have Contraband active so, after a little deliberation I decide to stop again. Is that the best choice? Let’s see…..
ROAD 1st Player – Peter
With the i2 gone, Peter moves his i3’s with Oicunn dropping a Thermal Detonator and then banking…away?!? Feroph takes a left out of my book and stops (which, in all honesty, I forgot Reapers could do).
Keo sideslips and focuses into a linked boost to angle back in at the fight. Ezra stop and, given that Feroph stayed put, ops not to rotate. I take a damage to take a red reinforce. After all, he’s got health to burn at this point.
Magva spends Contraband and stops, taking a focus.
Vermeil declines to aileron and just 1 banks in with a focus. Saw’s stop now feels like a really bad choice. He takes a focus because otherwise it’s just a default damage from that Vader crew…
And yet with a very tempting target right in front, I opt to just take the damage on Saw to keep the focus, meaning all shields are now gone. That’s not a move I’m going to regret, is it?
Vermeil fires at Saw and spends his Force to get 3 hits. Saw blanks out and takes them all. Uh-oh….
Saw fires back at Vermeil but whiffs (JARGON ALERT!!) badly, just getting a single hit onto the Reaper. Feroph shoots at Saw too but missis before Magva takes her shot at Vermeil but also manages to do no damage. This really isn’t going great is it?
Oicunn’s only shot is at Ezra which he takes and misses which then triggers Notorious and he gets a strain. It feels a little pointless on a zero agility ship but he is range 3 and it does give me a reroll. Ezra’s shot is at Oicunn which takes 2 shields. It does feel a little pointless though as I’ve clearly left it WAAAAAY to late to do major damage to that Deci.
Keo fires a 2 dice shot at Feroph which does nothing. We’re done, right?
Ah, no. Pete’s Commandos have a shot which they take at Saw. He rolls 2 hits out of hand and Saw blanks and dies. Well, wow.
End of turn score: 1 – 6
Total score: 7 – 9
Ok, so truth be told, I’m struggling to see a win condition here any more. The Deci still needs to take 6 damage to get halved and while halving either of the two Reapers might be achievable, it probably isn’t with Magva hiding behind that rock, stressed and having to move this turn.
In the end I make a massive hash of this turn so let’s just get right to it…
ROAD 1st Player – Peter
Oicunn drops a Thermal Detonator and 1 banks left before turning his arc. Feroph declines to aileron before taking a 3 straight towards Magva.
Now, what I had planned to do here was to hard turn Keo in to shoot at at Reaper while Ezra would go 3 straight to maybe take a front shot at Oicunn and rear shot at, well, whoever ended up there.
Now, despite looking at the board long and hard, I really screwed this up. I move Ezra first, except I’d dialled in a 2 straight (to clear a stress) rather than a white 3 straight. That then meant that Keo failed to complete the 2 hard turn, rolled for a self bump damage (which I didn’t) and just sat there like a chump.
Magva banked left which looked like it would clear the rock. We spent several minutes working out if it did or didn’t and in the end I rolled a red die to make the decision. It hit. Magva takes a damage (losing her last shield) but doesn’t take a second from the die roll.
Vermeil stops, leaving him facing off with Magva at point blank range.
Long story short here, I do precisely zero damage to any of Peter’s ships while Magva takes enough to be halved.
End of turn score: 1 – 3
Final result: 8 – 12 loss
Well, as much as I managed to keep it close for the most part, I definitely made some significant screw ups there to contribute to my own downfall.
Not least, my turn 0 deployment. I don’t know why I keep putting a U-Wing into a spot where they get trapped next to a rock and want to turn. I could have hard turned with Magva in turn 2 but since by then I’d already committed to the middle with Ezra it felt right to keep them together.
My choice to keep Ezra in the middle and pointed left and my decision to effectively disengage with Keo before turning around just meant that I left Saw to take the brunt of the fire and didn’t get my guns pointed at the right targets fast enough to make it a price worth paying.
Two medium and one big base take up a LOT of board space and I think I need to better figure out how to place these ships in such a way that I don’t end up hamstringing myself by turn 3. Obstacle placement and ships deployment are the key factors there.
My thoughtless last turn exacerbated the issue somewhat but the damage was done waaay before that and I was probably quite fortunate to have kept it as close as I did.
Still, it was a good, fun game which was also really interesting. It’s always great playing Peter (no matter the result!).
Am I ready for Newport? Ummmmmm, maybe? Maybe not? There’s no pressure since I won’t win the WO ticket so perhaps with a relaxed approach and a little post-it note on my glasses to stop me putting ships by rocks then maybe I’ll get a win or two through the day. I won’t bore you with my tournament expectations right now (I’ll bore you with it next week instead!) but while a trophy would be lovely, breaking even would be cool and having a great day of play is just fine.
So, there’s 1 more game before Newport happens but by next Tuesday the tournament will have happened. Come back next week to find out how (badly?) I did!
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