The intro…

Welcome to this week’s blog!

It still feels a little limbo-ish in the world of X-Wing right now. Unless the rules have dropped since I pressed ‘Publish’, ‘old’ rules are still the official way to play and ‘new’ rules are still somewhat guesswork based on titbits of information gleaned from streams. As I mentioned before I have actually started writing a blog about that and while I’ve been covering my prep for and experience of the Sith Taker Open over the last couple of weeks, I think that next week might be the time. Unless the rules drop before then, of course…

Anyway, last week I talked about day 1 of the rather magnificent Sith Taker Open held at Element games on the 5th/6th of February. I did… not so well, going 2 – 4 (but with some incredibly close losses) and finishing 78th out of 116 registered players. Not great in terms of results but I did have lots of fun games, met some really great people and got to hang out with my squad mates so overall, it’s still a win.

So I guess this week it’s time to talk about the day 2 event!

With the main event using the ‘old’ (technically still current) rules, the decision had been taken that day 2 would be using what we know of the ‘new’ rules. Thankfully, the Sith Takers had got in touch with Hexiled Gaming and adapted the ROAD rules Scott has been using, implementing the bits and bobs of information that AMG have passed on via various Twitch streams and then compiled it into one handy, printable, easy to read sheet. Nice.

I had intended (but forgot) to print one of these before going. Thankfully, fellow Exile Mark Hall printed a few of them and was on the fixed table next to me. Very handy!

With there being nothing in there that I wasn’t at least vaguely aware of, I was ready to give it a go. Well, mostly ready…

The pre-amble…

So, following an excellent day 1 (experience-wise), what was I going to fly for day 2? Well, I was a little torn.

The case for Dash:
Firstly, I love Dash, that’s clear. Secondly, I’d got 6 reps in (of varying quality, granted…) the day before so you could argue that I was in a rhythm with him. Thirdly, under the new rules, he gets to ignore the now rather more nasty obstacles. Lastly, assuming that new rules would be around some time soon-ish, this could be my last opportunity to fly a ship I love at an event this size.

The case against Dash:
Those obstacles he can ignore? Well, he only ignores them for activation. With the Outrider title encouraging me to go over them, a misjudgement of distance (even by 1-2mm) could mean landing ON one and not being able to shoot. Am I confident with Dash, mostly. Confident enough to GUARANTEE I’m not landing him ON an obstacle? Ummmm……

Going back to the reps the day before, well, as I mentioned in the conclusion of last week’s post, experience doesn’t mean good experience. I’d made enough errors that my confidence in the list (or rather in my ability to use it well) was a little damaged. Not that I had any aspirations for winning or anything but you don’t pick a list with losing in mind.

I also, rather late in the day remembered that I’d not thought to pack anything to make up those last 4 points in the list. With deficit scoring being a thing and zero benefits for a bid, I’d have to fill that somehow.

And lastly, a couple of conversations over the course of Saturday had perhaps hinted that old/current/FFG rules events may not totally go the way of the dodo even when we eventually get the fabled new ruleset from AMG. Never say never and all that. Maybe Dash could see the table again some day?

Ok, so no clear decision there. How about I look at the alternatives that I packed?

Option 1

Hera Syndulla (B-Wing) (48)
Fire-Control System (2)
Stabilized S-Foils (0)

Ship total: 50 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 4

Han Solo (79)
Bistan (8)
Perceptive Copilot (8)

Ship total: 95 Half Points: 48 Threshold: 7

Wedge Antilles (54)
Marksmanship (1)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship total: 55 Half Points: 28 Threshold: 3

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0:’s&obs=

This is a list I threw together based on some very, very basic principles: big orange numbers are good, double tapping is good, token sharing is good.

It’s totally untried and untested (except a few goes in Fly Casual) but looks like it might work? Maybe?

Did I fancy 4 potentially disastrous games in a row with a barely tested list? Hmmm…. not really. Between this or Dash, it’s Dash that wins out.

Time to look at the last option that I packed then

Option 2

Leia Organa (77)
Jyn Erso (3)
Millennium Falcon (3)

Ship total: 83 Half Points: 42 Threshold: 7

Luke Skywalker (60)
R4 Astromech (2)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship total: 62 Half Points: 31 Threshold: 3

Ahsoka Tano (A-Wing) (49)
Concussion Missiles (6)

Ship total: 55 Half Points: 28 Threshold: 2

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0:,yt2400debris1,yt2400debris2

Ah yes, the list I took to the Firestorm Games Store Champs in Cardiff last year. Well, mostly. With no bids and no Hyperspace, I’ve added Jyn to Leia (to allow Luke to take evades) and added R4 Astromech to Luke (because blue 2 hard turns are pretty cool). I also replaced the original build’s Instinctive Aim and Prockets (JARGON ALERT!!) on Ahsoka to match with day 1’s Concussion Missiles for extra dice at ranges 2-3 with more (2 more, to be exact) charges and the possibility of flipping some damage cards.

In terms of ROAD, all ships are the same initiative so (theoretically) should be easy to avoid self bumps. All ships have the Force so even if I DO bump (self or otherwise), I still have some mods.

So as to not draw it out any longer, my poor-ish run on day 1 when compared to the top 4 finish I managed with this list in Cardiff influenced the decision. Yes, despite my initial leaning towards flying Dash all weekend, I was now dumping him for a newer model. Well, technically older but you know what I mean.

With a list selected, it was time to get some games in!

The batrep(s)… (JARGON ALERT!!)

Game 1 – Tom Fieldsend

Well, it seemed that day 2 was going to start similarly to day 1! I’d been paired with a name that I knew from various sources (namely Discord and Podcasts). Known as a fan of Resistance and of Rey especially, his list came as no real surprise.

Rey (68)
Heightened Perception (3)
Rose Tico (9)
Korr Sella (6)
Finn (9)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Rey’s Millennium Falcon (2)

Ship total: 100 Half Points: 50 Threshold: 6

Zizi Tlo (41)
Starbird Slash (1)
Heroic (2)
Cluster Missiles (4)
Advanced Optics (5)

Ship total: 53 Half Points: 27 Threshold: 2

L’ulo L’ampar (40)
Heroic (2)
Lone Wolf (5)

Ship total: 47 Half Points: 24 Threshold: 2

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0:

You may also have noticed that each of his pilots is initiative 5. Just like mine. ROAD was about to play a MASSIVE role in this game.

You may think that my several months flying a Rey-Wings list not entirely dissimilar to this last year may help me. In a way, yes, but only in as much as I know what this list does. Rey is going to face punch something (possibly several somethings) until she dies and then the A-Wings will live forever. Do I know how to stop it? Different question…

Tom ‘wins’ the first roll and therefore has the ‘advantage’ of placing all 3 of his ships before I place mine. Nice.

All my ships go in my right hand corner, directly across from Lulo. I fully expect Lulo to run as I send my ships up the side of the board. I want to try and pull Tom’s Rey through the rocks.

Lulo unexpectedly turns in and, in typical fashion, I nick a shield from him with a range 3 obstructed shot from Leia (though I can’t remember if he does anything in return).

Tom sends Rey through the obstacles but it’s not as big a disadvantage as I’d like since Tom’s really very good at this game.

Lulo ducks out while Rey and Zizi dive in at my ships. I turn Leia around the corner obstacle while Ahsoka supports and Luke, having 4-k’d (JARGON ALERT!!) the previous turn and I fully face off with Rey, wanting to put some serious hurt on. Can you guess what happened?

Yes, ROAD played it’s part. Tom went first and my full health, not evading Luke got HAMMERED by first Rey and then Zizi, taking him down to 1 health. Yikes.

Then it was my turn. Luke and Leia poured range 1 shots into Rey, stripping shields and doing some serious hull damage. I saw an opportunity. Ahsoka fired Concussion Missiles.

She did some more damage, taking Rey down to 3 hull, and, with the missile’s ability, flipped a card over to a crit. Loose Stabiliser while facing the board edge. Very nice.

I also needed to flip one for Luke since he’s range 1 of Rey. Can you guess what it was?

Yes, it was of course a Direct Hit and Luke is dead by my own hand. Hilarious!

I then compounded that choice by doing this the next turn.


So that’s 1 auto-damage for Ahsoka (thankfully the roll didn’t add another!) plus ending up at range 1 of Rey. Also, it’s not obstructed. Of course.

Somehow Ahsoka survives that barrage (thankfully she was in side arc, had this been in Rey’s front arc she’d be toast) and has dodged Zizi’s arc. Meanwhile Leia fires at Rey (who took a damage with Loose Stabiliser to turn) and finishes her off.

The rest of the game is a bit of a blur (and no more photos!) BUT I can very clearly remember the end.

With time running out Leia manages to hit Lulo again who, despite having the Lone Wolf reroll just can’t seem to roll decent green dice and he dies.

At this point, I’m very sure that I’m definitely ahead but Leia is bleeding damage and picks up a Fuel Leak in the process.

Zizi is undamaged (because A-Wings) and as time is called, dives in and fires at Leia who has 2 hull left. Leia has an evade and so I’m confident she lives…..

Until Tom rolls 2 crits out of hand. Leia evades the one but the second crit lands and triggers the fuel leak to finish her off.

Result: 147 – 172 loss

Mini conclusion…

Wow. A super close game lost on that last roll of the dice. If anything other than a crit comes up there, Leia lives and I win. Still, it was a good, fun game.

I didn’t mention ROAD through that mostly because I can’t remember turn by turn who got first player. However, that’s not to say it didn’t have a major impact. I’ll get into it more in the main conclusion but it definitely played a massive part in this game. Can I say whether it was good or bad? No, not really, I’d just say that it was different. Like I said, more on that later.

What I DO want to mention though is that through the whole game (not sure how many turns?!), I was first player only TWICE. How’s that for variance eh?

From talking afterwards, I think that there was only really 1 turn for Tom where him being 1st player messed up his plans. I can’t recall planning any turns that were negatively affected by the player order but then again, I was only first player twice!

Tom was a great opponent and it was a really good, really close, really fun game.

On to the next!

Game 2 – Rory Wilson

My second pairing was against the very lovely (if sliiightly hung over?) Rory Wilson! What wholesome goodness was he flying?

Boba Fett (85)
Lone Wolf (5)
Proton Bombs (4)
Hull Upgrade (5)
Slave I (6)

Ship total: 105 Half Points: 53 Threshold: 6

Koshka Frost (70)
0-0-0 (5)
Seismic Charges (3)
Rigged Cargo Chute (4)
Hull Upgrade (5)
Marauder (6)
BT-1 (2)

Ship total: 95 Half Points: 48 Threshold: 6

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0:,vt49decimatordebris0,vt49decimatordebris1

Double. Sprays.

Yes, for the second time in 2 days I’d be up against double Firesprays. Awesome.

And again, ROAD would play it’s part with his Boba being i5 like my whole list. Should be interesting!

I started by drawing Rory’s ships across towards me, aiming to send Leia up my right flank.

We traded a little range 3 fire with no real effect. As I hit the the corner I decided it was time to take some action and dialled in my turns.

Rory then made a fatal mistake.

Or at least, it should have been. Boba landed on the debris, took a hit from the roll as well as the stress and would not be shooting.

In return I had 3 shots into Boba, Luke’s being range 1, and a lock or 2 thrown in for good measure.

What happened? Well, tokenless Boba who couldn’t trigger Lone Wolf simply nattied (JARGON ALERT!!) his way out of trouble, taking just 2 damage from the 3 shots (so 3 damage in total, including the debris hit). Not only that but Koshka took the range 1 shot into Luke and took his shields.

Not exactly the damage trade I’d hoped for.

Things continued downhill from there as Koshka stayed put by bumping into the back of Boba (and not taking damage) before Boba chased off after Leia.

Koshka’s stop meant that Luke bumped into her (and opted for the red focus) while Ahsoka tried turning out of harm’s way, only to get halved by Koshka when not dodging arc.


I was trying desperately to get guns on target and chip down these pesky ships when it became my turn to make a massive error. And mine cost me.

While I was getting my head around ROAD I made a basic mistake with my OWN ships, not fully thinking about which order to move them in. As a result I panic dialled a 4 straight for Luke which left him here…

And he promptly died.

I did manage to get some big hits into Koshka though who was now badly limping. I banked Leia and dived in with Ahsoka to get the kill shot.

Except it didn’t kill her. Koshka then took her range 1 shot into Ahsoka who blanked out and died.

Right. So, a slightly damaged Leia vs two Firesprays then. What could go wrong?

Here they come….

Over a couple of turns I managed to finish off Koshka while chipping some damage into Boba but the boosts into range 1 coupled with Lone Wolf now being permanently on meant that Rory’s dice were being far more consistent. Leia, however, was being incredibly resilient with her green rerolls from the Falcon title coupled with the evade token I was always taking.

As the clock ticked down Leia was still holding on to her full points. Just.

As time was called and with Boba now halved, Rory dropped a Proton Bomb and banked away. Interesting.

Thankfully, I’d predicted the drop and had 3 banked in the opposite direction. A red boost meant that I’d dodged the bomb but 1 more hit would mean half points.

We measured for range. It was out. No shots.

Result: 148 – 117 win

Mini Conclusion…

ANOTHER close game! Crazy!

When Boba refused to take significant damage when parked on the debris and then I lost Luke AND Ahsoka in consecutive turns to the all powerful Koshka Frost I thought that the writing was on the wall.

Thankfully I was able to pull it back towards the end. I think though that if Rory had chased Leia with Boba in that last turn instead of banking on the bomb, he’d have got the half points on her. Whether she’d have finished him off in return is the question that will never be answered.

ROAD played it’s part with me being first player more than the 2 times I had been in the first game. With Boba chasing it certainly favoured me to go second since he could boost in after me if I’d already moved but by now it was becoming part of the puzzle of the game to consider.

Overall I’m satisfied with how this went and knew that I needed to concentrate more in order to keep my ships safer than I had done in the mid-game.

Despite (or even because of?!) the tension in the last few turns, it was a really enjoyable game and Rory was a great opponent.

That puts me at 1 – 1. I’m on target for the break even!

Game 3 – Matthew Vicary

Well, well, I got a Vicary! I’ve played Jon a few times online across various tournaments and always come off second best. Is it time for some family vengeance? Well, it depends on what Matthew’s brought with him…

Darth Vader (TIE Defender) (112)
Ship total: 112 Half Points: 56 Threshold: 4

Fifth Brother (44)
Ship total: 44 Half Points: 22 Threshold: 2

Seventh Sister (43)
Ship total: 43 Half Points: 22 Threshold: 2

Total: 199

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0:

Oh wow. That is interesting.

3 ships, no upgrades, plenty of Force, plenty of mods.

And for the first time today, no overlap in initiative, no need for ROAD rolls.

I don’t have a great history against Defender Vader. I just have to make sure I actually hit him…

It was a cagey start as we circled for position with both of us heading for our right hand flanks. Matthew turned in first, still keeping his ships in formation.

We plinked at each other from range but Matthew was unhappy with how he’d positioned his ships around the gas cloud.

The following turn Fifth Brother dived in hard, blocking Leia. Luke hadn’t turned in hard enough and I wasn’t able to focus fire quite as I would have liked.

Still, the new range 0 firing rules meant that both Leia and Ahsoka were able to shoot at Fifth Brother and knocked his shields off. Decent start.

In response Matthew poured fire into Leia but her evade and reroll were proving troublesome.

Then both TIE Advanced’s disengaged while Vader turned in on Leia. Was this my opportunity?

Leia fled while Luke and Ahsoka chased Vader.

I managed to get rid of Vader’s shields before he turned away to disengage but not before Leia had taken a beating, just surviving on 1 hull but with a Panicked Pilot crit giving her 2 stress and needing to turn around a rock.

Meanwhile the two Inquisitors had come back in and tried chipping at Luke and Ahsoka but with little effect. Knowing how tanky Vader is, I turned my sights on them.

Fifth Brother burned down and while Vader zoomed back in, he wasn’t able to halve Luke or Ahsoka. Luke, however knocked Seventh Sister’s last shield off while Leia just cruised out of range to secure her points.

Result: 123 – 83 win

Mini Conclusion…

That was a tough game. Three ships that don’t easily take damage versus my three that seem to either die or take none at all, depending on how my dice feel.

The new bumping rules came into play a couple of times and I think I managed to use it to my advantage. Luke in particular being able to take a red focus when bumping and change it to an evade with Jyn feels particularly nice. As does clearing the stress with a blue 2 hard turn with the R4 astromech.

The more I fly this list, the more I like it!

Matthew was a lovely opponent and while he was frustrated with himself for a few of his choices, he recovered well and wasn’t salty (JARGON ALERT!!) about it at all.

Game 4 – Oliver Williams

On, then, to the fourth and final game of the day 2 event! In keeping with the general theme of known good players, I was drawn against Oliver Williams. Oliver had made the cut from day and dropped into the side event after being knocked out in the top 16.

And what had he chosen to fly?

Darth Vader (TIE Defender) (112)
Ship total: 112 Half Points: 56 Threshold: 4

Academy Pilot (22)
Ship total: 22 Half Points: 11 Threshold: 2

Academy Pilot (22)
Ship total: 22 Half Points: 11 Threshold: 2

Academy Pilot (22)
Ship total: 22 Half Points: 11 Threshold: 2

Academy Pilot (22)
Ship total: 22 Half Points: 11 Threshold: 2

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0:

MORE VADER! This time just the Dark Lord plus 4 canon fodd…Academy Pilots. Once again ROAD would play no part since we had no overlapping initiatives. I just needed to knock out some of those blasted TIE’s before Vader can smash me to pieces.

Again I decided to go up my right flank. This was towards Vader but I didn’t really expect him to come and joust me while his TIE screen was over the other side of the board.

He duly ducked out while the TIEs spun in formation and started to angle in at my ships.

Oliver certainly got the better of the first proper engagement, diving in with his TIEs to block Leia. I threw Ahsoka in, looking to take at least one TIE off the board before they fired while Luke followed up behind.

Oliver gunned at Ahsoka, not Leia as I’d anticipated and following a devastating barrage from Vader, Ahsoka disappeared with a follow up shot from an Academy Pilot, allowing the rest to fire at Leia.

Oh dear.

What had my i5’s done before the TIE’s fired? Not a lot. Maybe, just enough? I had taken out 1 TIE and put damage onto another, scoring 33 points for the loss of Ahsoka. Maybe not enough then.

The TIE’s weren’t in a great position now though and as they tried to turn and/or continue to block Leia, she cruised right over the top with a huge 3 hard turn, blocking Vader in the process.

While range 0 shots are nice, they’re certainly not range 1 modded shots and so while Vader failed to do anything significant to Leia, she managed to put some more damage into a TIE, taking one off the board. Luke didn’t quite have Vader in arc but he was now stressed and facing the wrong way.

After some turns of jostling for position, I’d dropped another 2 TIEs, leaving 1 plus Vader. Meanwhile Oliver had dived in for a shot at Luke.

Then a pivotal moment. While Luke and Leia started to chase down the last remaining Academy Pilot, Oliver revealed Vader’s dial with a puzzled look on his face. He had misdialled.

I did offer for him to change it but he stuck with his dial and send Vader 4 straight. Away from the fight and with the clock ticking down.

While Vader tried desperately to turn around, the Skywalker twins chased down the last lonely TIE and on the very last turn, I called a 50/50 move with Leia to catch the TIE in arc.

Armed with an evade and some hope, the TIE had dived in at the corner, counting on no more turns.

It didn’t matter as Leia rolled her 3 reds, spending a lock and Force for maximum hits while Oliver’s green dice abandoned him and the TIE died.

There were no more turns, making it too late for Vader to cruise in and salvage something.

Result: 88 – 86 win

Mini Conclusion…

Ho-lee cow. Have I EVER had SO MANY close games in such a short period of time?!

The game felt like a bit of a let off. Had Oliver changed his dial then Vader would have chased down and more than likely have killed Luke, giving him the game.

To his credit, Oliver took it well and the game was really enjoyable from start to finish.

The conclusion…

What an epic day.

Regardless of results I had 4 really good, really fun games against 4 great people.

In the end, while I had gone 3 – 1 (yay!), my pretty terrible MoV combined with quite a lot of people (7 out of 80. I mean, that’s almost 10%) going 4 – 0, I ended up finishing 22nd, over 200 MoV points short of a top 16 prize. Still, I got a top 32 prize, this very beatiful Fenn Rau alt art, courtesey of Louis Leong’s really incredible tournament prize pack.

Overall I’m really please to have gone better than breaking even but even happier to have even been in the room and playing plastic spaceships with such an awesome group of people.

So I guess all that there is left to talk about now is ROAD and the other new rules?

I guess the first thing to say is that ROAD itself had a pretty mixed impact on my games. In one game it mattered a bit, in one it mattered a LOT and in the other two it had no bearing whatsoever.

Looking at the game against Tom where it mattered a lot (with every ship on the board being the same initiative), I certainly played differently than I normally would have. I’m not sure if I’d exactly describe it as more cautious but it was probably along those lines, especially with the added risk of being punished harder than usual for bumping my own ships.


Working out positions and whether another ship may or may not be there became a huge factor but, as the game wore on, something became apparent.

Bumping is primarily seen as bad. Then over time you realise that it can be beneficial in certain circumstances, either in preventing your opponent from getting actions or to deny your opponent a shot at you.

What I started to find here was that the new rules as a whole (as in, not just ROAD for player order) give this all a very different spin.

Range 0 shots mean that I can bump someone and still have a chance to damage that ship BUT it’s a poor quality shot. Not only that, but if it’s my ship that’s bumped into my opponent (rather than the other way around), I could still opt to shoot at a different target with a better quality shot.

Bumping yourself might well be worse but bumping into opponents is simultaneously less AND more dangerous and less AND more beneficial. Weird.

I don’t want to dive too deep into my full thoughts or a review on new rules yet because officially, they aren’t here yet. With no proper announcement or documentation we are effectively working on what could still be proved to be incomplete information. I know that’s relatively unlikely at this point but it’s still possible. Once new stuff is properly out and I’ve played it a few times I’ll talk about it some more.

Having said that, if it’s at least even close to what I played in this tournament, I’m fine with what I’ve seen and experienced. I can’t precisely define it as better or worse, it’s simply a bit different. It’s definitely still interesting and very playable. It is exciting and still fun.

I know I’ve talked about it already (in the last TWO posts!) but this really was a fantastic weekend. I want to say a massive thanks to the Sith Takers for organising the closest thing we’re likely to get to a System Open this year and going all out on prize support.

I’m looking forward to the next one already!

The outro…

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