Stop. Turn. Shoot. Repeat.

The intro…

Hello there! Welcome to this week’s blog!

I warn you now, it’s probably going to be a short-ish one. Probably. Maybe. Alright, maybe it won’t. Let’s see, shall we?

You may or may not remember that a few weeks ago I suggested that I might be taking a break for a few weeks. Well, among the reasons was that I’m moving house BUT, as can happen with these things, it’s been delayed and so for now, I’ve still got time to write about plastic spaceships.

Yay!

As a result I’ve got a game to talk about today but first…. news.

It seems that the world is not yet tired of Worlds hype as the posts and pictures have continued unabashed this last week. And I love it! After pretty much a whole year of turmoil the general feel around X-Wing is actually pretty good right now. People are hyped, things have been announced and tournaments are happening.

The Sith Takers announced dates for next year’s Sith Taker Open almost immediately after the last one happened and then last Friday the tickets were released…

AND SOLD OUT! IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS!

That is quite an incredible achievement, selling out 128 tickets (plus 10+ on a waiting list!) almost 11 months ahead of the event! It’s testament to the incredible job they are doing and how fun they make their events. The STO really is a highlight of the X-Wing calendar and the massive rush for tickets proves it. Well done guys!

Speaking of events, perhaps you’d like to come to the Welsh Open in June?

Tickets are on sale here and we’re working REALLY hard to get some great prizes together. I’m not quite ready to show you anything just yet but what I can say is that we’re going to have PLENTY of participation prizes, faction prizes, spot prizes, acrylic goodies from Cog O Two, beautiful cards from FiveStraightDesigns and Vector Squadron, 3D printed Mandalorian markers for EVERYONE, maybe (definitely!) some swag that’s made it over from Worlds AND a trophy for the winner!

There’s potentially something else but until I’m sure I won’t say but if it happens then it will be pretty awesome! So don’t wait, get your tickets!

Staying on the subject of tournaments, we are (finally!) having another one in Newport! It’s on Saturday the 13th of May at Firestorm Games in Newport. Tickets are on sale now (and 2/3’s gone already!) and we’ve got plenty of swag to give away including metal objective tokens and plastic dial covers (all courtesy of Louis Leong prize kits!) plus some of our Exile Squadron themed stuff.

Oh, and the top prize for first place is a free ticket to the Welsh Open!

If you want more info or have any questions then check out the Facebook event page!

Last point on the tournament front, the ever magnificent Steve Boulton is hosting another tournament at Atlas Games in Gloucester on Saturday the 10th of June. Tickets are here and the Facebook page for that is here.

The other reason I wanted to blog this week is because we are now in the final month of quarter 2….

Patreon Update…

Yep, it’s here again already!

In case you didn’t catch what I did last quarter, all the gifts were Spaceball themed. Well, in keeping with this theme, there’s even more this time around!

First off, we’ve got two cards. Predator and Marksmanship. What could fit those I hear you ask? Well….

He’s my cousin…

If you’re interested in getting your hands on these cards and some other silly (and beautiful!) things that I get made, you can sign up to be a Patron! As a bonus you get to support me in my blogging journey too! Of course there’s NEVER any pressure to sign up and I massively appreciate all the people that have supported me at any point. You’re all heroes!

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

Following on from last week’s blog, where I’d covered two games with a ‘new’ (to me!) list that I’d been flying I got a very polite but very, uh, disappointing(?) message to tell me that I was possibly doing one of my interactions incorrectly.

Oops.

Here’s my list:

Ezra Bridger (Gauntlet Fighter) (7)
Notorious (5)
“Chopper” (Crew) (1)
Veteran Tail Gunner (3)
Contraband Cybernetics (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: https://yasb.app/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v9ZhZ20Z520XW455W23W89WWW92WWW448W449W35Y34XWW40W439W92WW140Y35X378WW453W46W92WW140Y597X116W332W&sn=Beefy%20Rebz&obs=

The interaction in question is on Ezra.

So to my mind this means that either Chopper or Contraband needs to be dropped. Contraband leaves more points left to spend but while dropping Chopper seems more suitable (given that Ezra takes damage to do it), I actually think that it gives more utility.

However, with work being as busy as it is at the moment, by the time I’d seen this and got home it was FAR too late to change it for casual night.

And so I’d compromise, keeping both but applying them s they should be. If Ezra takes an action while stressed, he’ll take a damage (or flip a damage card).

At casual night I was facing off with Peter Hall. We’ve played MANY times over the years and as well as being a really lovely bloke he’s a good player and loves experimenting with new lists and combinations. This week he’d brought a very interesting one:

Captain Hark (7)
Agent Kallus (5)
Tiber Saxon (4)
Beskar Reinforced Plating (6)
Swivel Wing (0)

Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (15/15) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 5

Lieutenant Karsabi (5)
Deadeye Shot (1)
Advanced SLAM (3)
Os-1 Arsenal Loadout (0)
Plasma Torpedoes (7)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (11/11) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

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

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

“Vizier” (4)
Imperial Super Commandos (7)
Ablative Plating (4)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (11/12) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Galactic%20Empire&d=v9ZsZ20Z515XW15W442WW445W449Y162X343WWW104W139W234WY227XY227XY185X467WW103&sn=Unnamed%20Squadron&obs=

Yes, it’s Extended. No, I don’t mind. Peter loves to fly certain ships and who am I to stop him? It’s interesting having a Gauntlet in the list but the commandos on another ship. Still, that Gunboat can hurt me if I’m not careful and extra shots from the commandos could potentially hurt. I not NOT fancy trying to tank 7 shots in one turn!

Time for some Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Assault at the Satellite Array
Target/Objective Priority – This is my list’s strongest scenario. I can out-claim most other lists with medium/big ships AND can stop in place for multiple turns. In terms of targets, I want to get either the Gauntlet or Reaper. The Alpha-Class will be annoying but it’s more of a target of opportunity I think.
Obstacles – Wide spread works for me but crucially I need there to NOT be rocks between objectives.
Deployment – This one’s tricky. Peter is 1st player for setup so ALL his ships go before mine. I’ll get into that in a moment.

We set up objectives, obstacles and ships and we’re ready to go!

Turn 1

So, Peter’s deployment is interesting. No grouping together means that I have to pick a target and stick with it. Since I want to take out either the Gauntlet or Reaper, I want to converge on the middle. The top left TIEs mean opening my flank but I know from experience the other way, taking out a Gauntlet is no mean feat. My plan is to park my Gauntlet right in between the three right hand objectives and stop forever while the U-Wings and Keo hammer Peter’s Gauntlet.

Ezra and Magva (right of the middle) will go 2 straight, Keo will bank right while Saw (with Keo on the left side) 1 straights in behind.

ROAD 1st Player – Peter

Peter moves all his ships and really the only one that catches me off guard is the 2nd TIE in from the left banking in towards his Gauntlet. I’d kind of expected the TIE’s to stick together. I’m fine with it though as I’m now much less concerned about the flank.

My ships move as planned.

No shots (but only just!) and so it’s back to dials.

Turn 2

I start to rethink my strategy. Which isn’t great for turn 2. That i2 Reaper has the option to come in fast for a block OR hang back for big shots and I have to make a 50/50 call on what I think he’ll do.

No, stick to the plan. 3 straight from Ezra and sit in the middle of the objectives, reinforce to front and tank as much damage as possible while pumping damage into Hark. Keo and Saw will come in towards the middle.

ROAD 1st Player – Peter

My fears were realised as Peter, after dropping commandos with Vizier, aileroned a 1 bank and then went 2 (or 3?) straight right at Ezra. Man.

Karsabi banked in slowly and took a lock on Ezra (declining to SLAM this time) while Hark piled forwards and focussed and the BSA (Black Squadron Ace) came in behind. The flanking TIE simply banked to sit on an objective.

Ezra’s 3 sraight bumped into the Reaper but crucially didn’t finish on the rock. Phew! I decline the red focus.

Keo comes in fairly quick and takes a focus while Magva sidles up next to Ezra and coordinates him a red reinforce. Ability activated and reinforced to front. Nice. Though Magva is a little exposed…

Saw banks in behind Keo and also focuses.

Saw fires at Hark and chips a shield off with Peter opting not to spend his focus. Most of Peter’s list fires next as Hark, the rear BSA and Vizier all go in at Magva, stripping shields and putting 3 damage into hull, leaving him on two. Ouch.

The flanking TIE takes a pot shot at Saw and, obviously, takes 2 shields. Typical.

Karsabi, having the lock on Ezra, fires Proton Torps but between the reinforce and Magva’s ability preventing more than one reroll, takes just 1 hit but with the torp ability, loses 2 shields.

In response, Keo fires Tracers at Hark and lands it, giving all my ships a lock on him.

Magva and Ezra both fire on Hark too, buffed by the locks, and take the 2 shields and put 3 damage into hull. Not bad.

Crucially, Ezra is just about range 1 of the middle so I get that one.

End of turn score: 3 (me) – 2 (Peter)

Turn 3

So, Magva’s taken a heavier beating than I’d have liked. So…

In the end I opt to go all in on the stop. I’ll activate Leia and only Keo will move, taking a 2 straight.

ROAD 1st Player – me (for the first and ONLY time!)

Vizier still moves first and it seems I’ve made the right call as he just barely lands a 1 hard right turn. He did drop more commandos though and they decided to stay still while the rear ones hard turned to their right.

My use of Leia, while beneficial, wasn’t perfectly planned though with Magva and Ezra already being stressed. Their stops are white but Magva uses Contraband to take a focus and Ezra, reluctant to take an action becuase of Chopper crew, uses Nightbrother to take an evade.

Keo 2 straights and, with a lock on Hark from the Tracers last turn, takes a focus.

Now comes the part where I reiterate how important it is to read your opponent’s cards.

Hark sideslips. Interesting.

Since Keo is to his right he goes left and takes a stress. Karsabi comes in towards Ezra and focuses while the two TIEs go straight and focus.

Saw stops and since Hark is no longer in range, locks Vizier.

This engagement is pretty brutal. Saw takes a punt at the Reaper and takes it’s 2 shields. Not a bad start. I decide to fire with Keo first before settling on who to shoot with Ezra and Magva but with Keo landing some damage and both of them having locks it was a pretty easy choice when it came to it even thought the Reaper was tempting.

Peter’s green dice failed repeatedly and even after using both Beskar Reinforced Plating charges, Hark exploded.

Not bad.

Simultaneous fire was in play though but Hark’s parting shot (as well as both BSA’s attempts) failed to put any more damage into Magva.

Harsh.

Karsabi found the range 1 shot into Ezra too tempting but the evade helped him to escape with just 1 crit (a Console Fire). One commando takes a pot shot at Keo which allows him to spend a Force.

All my ships still covered the same areas so objective scoring was the same as last time.

End of turn score: 10 – 2

Total score: 13 – 4

Turn 4

That’s a tough one on Peter. One round of hot dice swings it heavily. Still, Magva is bleeding badly and I can’t rely on her surviving.

Since Keo spent a force I can now sideslip the A-Wing and look to keep on target with the Reaper being my next best shot at scoring points.

I’m unsure about the 2 bank in with Saw so it’s another stop from him (since I’ve not spent that Contraband yet) and Ezra… Hey! Ezra’s only got 2 stress, I’ll stop again and take a damage with Hera crew.

Magva will…. Ummmmm…. Well, the Reaper is stress and facing more the left side of the board. In order to stay out of an arc I’ll bank right with her and see what happens. Maybe she’ll live?

ROAD 1st Player – Peter

Vizier goes first, taking a 1 straight, bumping into Keo and taking a red focus. Assuming a big 4 straight (I think?), one BSA turns left to block Ezra while the other angles in towards Keo but also bumps him and also takes a red focus.

Karsabi goes in 2 straight, looking to finish Magva. Both commandos stayed put, by the way.

Ezra stops, takes a 3rd stress, takes a damage and discards the stress. Cool.

Magva 2 banks over the top of Vizier and takes a focus but Jyn crew allow is to be taken as an evade.

Keo sideslips around to the left and focuses before Saw spends contraband, stays still and takes a focus.

Saw fires first, landing 3 hits onto Vizier. The Reaper just barely misses arc on Keo so shoots at Saw but doesn’t land anything. One BSA doesn’t have a shot but the other does and hits Magva for 1, leaving her on 1 left.

Any hopes of her survival are dashed as Karsabi fires at range 1 and puts 2 damage on. Goodbye U-Wing.

Magva takes a parting shot into the TIE in front at range 1 but can only get 1 hit past Peter’s green dice which have suddenly come to life.

Keo and Ezra both fire into Vizier but the Reaper survives on 1 hull.

End of turn score: 2 – 2

Total score: 15 – 11

Turn 5

All of a sudden it’s close again but that Reaper is riiiiiiight on the edge. He’s clearly running away, I just need to make sure to kill it and claim at least 1 objective to hit 20 points.

Keo is Force-less again which will allow me to sideslip if I want but I think a normal hard turn will get me closer. Ezra will turn as well. I’m bound to bump into something but I can at least start turning my arc to get a shot.

Saw’s positioning means that I’m unlikely to get a decent angle on Vizier’s escape vector. He’ll just 1 bank instead and try to be a pain (while also picking up an objective).

ROAD 1st Player – Peter

Vizier is stressed so can’t aileron and so takes the fastest blue straight available and evades.

The top right BAS hard turns to be sure of claiming while the other takes a 2 straight to try and block Keo.

Karsabi goes 1 straight to block Ezra.

Has ROAD played it’s part here?!

Keo hard turns over the top of the TIE and focuses before Ezra attempts the turn. He’s got plenty of health so I take a lock while stressed in exchange for a damage.

Saw banks in and locks the Gunboat. Maybe I can take his stress in case he can unexpectedly one-shot Keo!

Saw fires at Karsabi and takes 2 shields but fails to strip the focus.

Karsabi then goes next, trying a shot into Keo but fails to land any damage.

Neither TIE has a shot so it’s looking pretty good here!

Keo fires at Vizier and lands the killing blow. Ezra, clearly not doing anything to the Gunboat, fires at the commandos at range 2 and takes them out. It doesn’t score me anything but I take a little pleasure in it.

End of turn score: 6 – 1

Final score: 21 – 12 win

The conclusion…

You know, I really like this list! Of course it’s all rose petals and unicorn farts so far (as in, I’ve won all 3 games with it) but I’m familiar with the triggers and I feel it’s got decent play in several scenarios.

I do need to look at what to do about the Contraband/Chopper ‘non-bo’ on Ezra. I initially debated which it was best to remove. After a little investigation though it became a bit more obvious. Removing Chopper only gives me 1 point back which there’s very little I can do with. Not only that but if I remove Contraband I lost Notorious by default. Since Notorious is pretty good I looked at what other Illicit I could swap in and was immediately presented with two options: False Transponder Codes and Overtuned Modulators. Since I’m potentially (hopefully!) getting free locks from Keo’s Tracers, jamming a target while getting free locks feels like pretty good efficiency to me.

I’ve swapped it out and will give it a try this week.

Moving on (or rather, going back?!), there won’t be a blog next week as I’m away and the next week or two after, well, it’s going to depend on the house move stuff. The fact that it’s all out of my hands is driving me nuts!

Still, I shall return one day, don’t you worry! In the meantime keep enjoying the Worlds podcasts and blogs and I’ll see you soon!

Don’t forget – Welsh Open, Newport tournament, Gloucester tournament and Patreon!

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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You are all amazing humans!

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