Store Champs – Part 1!

The intro…

Hey there! Welcome to this week’s blog! It might be a long one I’m afraid so strap in and let’s get started!

First up, I mentioned last week about AMG’s Mini-stravaganza not having any X-Wing content this year (I’m not lingering on that, positive vibes only!!) and the community’s response being to simply do it ourselves! Well, there’s now some great, solid info!

If you check out the website you’ll find a schedule running from this coming Thursday the 14th of September through until Sunday the 17th. There’s content from TONS of community creators with painting and chat as well as multiple live streamed games and tournaments.

In my opinion this event epitomises the response that we as players should be giving. We are showing AMG that hunger and passion for the game still exists and that we will take action to promote and celebrate the game that we love without resorting to being whiners and trolls.

If you’ve got some free time on these days tune in to the live streams to show your support!

I’ll give a quick shout out now for the upcoming Store Championship in Firestorm Games in Newport. It’s on Saturday the 21st of October and we would LOVE to see you there! You can also check out the Facebook event page for more info!

Alright, I think that’s it for now, let’s keep it moving!

The preface…

If you’ve been reading recently then you’ll know that the Firestorm Games Cardiff Store Championship was coming up. I’ve not exactly got a great record in tournaments but, given that there’s a Worlds ticket available and that there’s a very real possibility that I could actually go, I’ve been sort of taking this tournament semi-seriously. I guess this is a good time to break out my tournament expectations:

  • 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?!)

I mean, I never go to a tournament wanting to come last but normally I’m not overly bothered about my final placement and maybe breaking even would be nice.

With an invite available I have to admit it’s been a little less straightforward.

On one hand, I want to do as well as possible. I’m no chump (well, not most of the time) but there’s some GOOD players down to attend. I want to find my weaknesses with my chosen list (since last minute changes don’t generally go well for me) and try to mitigate them.

On the other hand, I don’t have a huge amount of practice time. I play once a week, twice if I get the casual night early and there’s a good number of us. Given that I was on holiday and have recently moved house and have been decorating and that life has just generally been pretty busy, I’m probably not as well prepared as I should be for something I want to do well in.

On top of that, there’s my list.

Now, generally speaking, I’m not one to jump on bandwagons. If a Rebel list is strong, sure I might give it a look but on the whole I’ll pick something I like and run with that. Clearly, the down side here is that it could be viewed as hamstringing myself.

Either way, with little time to go until the tournament I was stubbornly sticking to my list. Mostly.

Ezra Bridger (Gauntlet Fighter) (6)
Heightened Perception (3)
Trick Shot (4)
Hera Syndulla (4)
Nightbrother (0)
Swivel Wing (0)
“Chopper” (Crew) (1)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (12/12) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 5

Han Solo (7)
Trick Shot (4)
Perceptive Copilot (8)
Bistan (8)
Millennium Falcon (0)

Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (20/20) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 6

Luke Skywalker (BoY) (5)
Instinctive Aim (0)
Attack Speed (BoY) (0)
Proton Torpedoes (0)
R2-D2 (BoY) (0)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Sabine Wren (TIE Fighter) (2)
Beskar Reinforced Plating (3)

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

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

Some eagle eyed, elephant brained among you might have noticed a very slight change as I dropped Shattering Shot on Ezra and swapped it for Heightened Perception. Not a huge change but I’d felt I wasn’t getting value from Shattering since it relied on my knowing that an obstructed shot would be possible and taking a focus to spend (since the Force is spent adding the eyeball result) and that not generally being compatible with Ezra’s low initiative. Heightened lets Ezra shoot without being initiative killed and maybe initiative kill something myself. It’s worth a shot.

I turned up at Newport on Wednesday and played against Peter. It’s out 3rd game in as many weeks and after being beaten last time I was pretty determined to get the better of his list this time. I pick Salvage Mission as our scenario since I think it’s what I’m weakest at personally.

I got off to a VERY shaky start as I misjudged Sabine’s boost into 3 bank and slammed into the back of Ezra, taking a hit. Balls.

Peter then moves Morna up and takes a range 3 obstructed, unmodded pot shot into her and, well….

Yep, turn 2 and Sabine is dead with no shots taken and no points scored.


Things go better on the other side of the board though as I remove Rhymer and then Vizier. Our ships dance around as I keep Morna at arms length, taking out Scourge but with Luke on 1 hull while Lorrir positions to come back in.

Luke scarpers while Ezra and Han focus in on the interceptor.

Heightened Perception comes in clutch as Ezra puts a damage on and strips the focus before Han wipes out Lorrir and the game is done

A decent win and Heightened Perception saves Luke’s bacon and justifies it’s selection. Decision made, bring on the tournament!

The batrep(s)… (JARGON ALERT!!)

We arrived at Firestorm bright and early (ok, just early) on Saturday morning and got prepped for the day ahead.

Mark Hall was TO for the event and, following a drop we would be at 20 players. Not bad!

Round 1 was drawn and were ready to get started!

Game 1 – Mark Packer-Hughes

And right into a tough matchup!

Mark and I played each other at the Sith Taker Open earlier this year. Twice, in fact. I managed a close round 1 win in the main event but Mark definitely got his own back in the day 2 side event. How would I get on this time?

Mark was flying Resistance which, if you know or know of him isn’t’ a surprise.

Zorii Bliss (4)
Dorsal Turret (2)
R4 Astromech (2)
Wartime Loadout (2)
Plasma Torpedoes (5)

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

Ello Asty (4)
Heroic (2)
Swarm Tactics (5)
Integrated S-Foils (0)
Jamming Beam (1)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Venisa Doza (4)
Marksmanship (1)
Barrage Rockets (6)
Integrated S-Foils (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (7/7) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Temmin Wexley (4)
Heroic (2)
Ferrosphere Paint (3)
R6-D8 (4)
Integrated S-Foils (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (9/9) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Jessika Pava (4)
M9-G8 (5)
Electronic Baffle (2)
Integrated S-Foils (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (7/7) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

I should look at those Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Salvage Mission
Target/Objective Priority – Eesh. Everything is 4 points. Zorii gets double mods pretty easy, Maybe she needs to go first.
Obstacles – I want to avoid just letting this joust block come right at me. Try and disrupt on his side (*spoilers* I do NOT get that)
Deployment – I want Ezra in the middle and then place accordingly.

There’s no way to sugar coat this. Things started off badly and then got worse.

We both pick up 2 objectives each in turn 2 before things go fiarly badly in the middle of the board. I jam Ezra right up into the way but it doesn’t really matter as a good chunk of Mark’s list can re-roll passively somehow and can of course still take a red focus when bumping my ships.

Luke dies immediately as I roll blank after blank, allowing Mark to start work on Han in the same turn. Han’s rerolls ALWAYS give me worse results than the first roll as I think I manage just 4 shields from Zorii in response to Luke’s loss.

Han then proceeds to take 9 damage in one turn of shooting and all of a sudden after 30 minutes I’m 2 – 16 down with only i3 ships left, haven’t destroyed anything and am carrying no boxes.

Big. Ouch.

I call it at this point since there’s absolutely no way back and despite Zorii now just being on 1 hull, the best I can do it get to 10 points if Mark is sloppy enought to allow me to shoot his bleeding ships while he simply picks up some boxes and runs away.

Result: 2 – 16 loss

Mini Conclusion…

Well, that was brutal! I do not know how to approach or engage Mark’s list. I don’t play against lists of that style regularly and it showed here. Mark said that his list did exactly what it’s supposed to do but his decent dice and my awful dice really accelerated the result (though I doubt it changed it!). It’s a tough pill to swallow since I think this is the most comprehensive defeat I’ve had since 2.5 came out but it’s made easier by Mark being a lovely bloke. That invite it looking pretty distant right now.

On the plus side, Sabine survived a game for the first time in a LONG time.

Game 2 – Dan Barringer

Well well well, a fellow Wales XTC’er! Dan was on the team in 2022, will he be in for 2023? I’m not quite ready to tell yet!

Dan’s brought an interesting looking Republic list:

“Odd Ball” (ARC-170) (4)
Fire-Control System (2)
Veteran Tail Gunner (5)

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

“Wolffe” (4)
Clone Commander Cody (4)
Veteran Tail Gunner (5)

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

Padmé Amidala (4)
Marksmanship (1)
Fire-Control System (2)
Proton Torpedoes (12)
R2-C4 (3)

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

Anakin Skywalker (SoC) (4)
Malice (0)
Ancillary Ion Weapons (SoC) (0)
R2-D2 (Republic) (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 1

Shaak Ti (4)
Brilliant Evasion (2)
Patience (2)
Marksmanship (1)
Jamming Beam (1)
R4 Astromech (2)
Targeting Computer (1)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (9/10) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 1

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

Beefy ARCs, squirrely Jedi and Padme to stop me hurting them while also pushing Proton Torps. Yuck.

Time for the Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Scramble the Transmissions
Target/Objective Priority – Probably the arcs or Padme
Obstacles – Packing Dan’s side tight will prevent the ARCs from coming through together. If I can avoid that then I’m in with a shot.
Deployment – Ezra in the middle again and Sabine wherever I like. Han and Luke can place after some of Dan’s ships have gone down and see where I can best go for flanking.

This game was… interesting.

My rock placement did push the ARCs out to the side and so I just pushed Ezra up the middle to allow Luke and Han to get into position. At the above point I had a choice to make. Will Dan hard turn his ships in? Or will he go in at Ezra?- I decide to stop Ezra and wait and see. Meanwhile Luke and Han will continue up while Sabine… Oh balls.

Sabine’s intended roll left and 3 bank to claim is scuppered by Luke’s position. What an idiot. She rolls right instead and takes her dialled in 3 bank right. I’t snot a total disaster but she does end up in Anakin’s bullseye which costs her 2 hull.


Dan went stright with everyone else, though, meaning Ezra now has to deicde whether to solo joust the ARCs and Padme or to not. Clearly I decide to not. He goes fast and straight and reinforces to rear which mostly comes off. I’ve also rather ruined Anakin’s plan as he 5 straights over the top of Ezra and then has to boost away to get out of his rear arc, putting him out of the game for a few turns.

Ezra tanks Dan’s shots but Shaak Ti fails to do the same with Han and Luke’s shots and the ETA dies.

Then, ladies and gentlemen, I manage to do something I’m sure I’ve EVER done before*.

*I mean, I probably have at some point but not for a very long time.

I put TWO ships onto TWO different obstacles in the same turn.

Thankfully i isn’t a total disaster as Han is undamaged and he’s only taking shots from 2 ships but he could have put some serious hurt into Padme and Odd Ball here and missed the opportunity. Oops.

Dan sends Padme out to claim while Anakin is doing the same while the two ARCs swing around to try and get Ezra. My position has been recovered though and in the closing stages I pick off both ARCs just as time is called.

Result: 16 – 7 win

Mini conclusion…

That was a disasterclass! Some mistakes from both of us led for a pretty funny game all in all. We basically overshot each other in our approaches and all the rock clipping and missed arcs and turns without shots was mixed with a very relaxed and fun game.

Another below average performance in terms of actual gameplay but I’m now somehow 1-1 for the day heading into lunch and ready for my burger!

Game 3 – Chris Fear

Chris is what I’d call one of our distant regulars. He comes to events in Newport and Cardiff and even sometime casual night on a Wednesday in Newport despite being well over an hour away in Swansea!

We’ve played a couple of times since he picked the game but I’ve never seen him flying Resistance….

Rey (7)
Heroic (2)
Rose Tico (9)
Novice Technician (2)
Finn (9)
Engine Upgrade (3)
Rey’s Millennium Falcon (0)

Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (25/25) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 5

Ello Asty (4)
Heroic (2)
Marksmanship (1)
M9-G8 (5)
Integrated S-Foils (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Nien Nunb (5)
Heroic (2)
Pattern Analyzer (5)
R6-D8 (4)
Integrated S-Foils (0)
Heavy Laser Cannon (5)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (16/16) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Temmin Wexley (4)
BB Astromech (4)
Integrated S-Foils (0)
Heavy Laser Cannon (5)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (9/9) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

It’s somewhat reminiscent of Mark’s list (which triggers me a little) but upgrading one 4 pointer to Nien and then swapping in Rey.

Let’s check the Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Chance Engagement
Target/Objective Priority – Rey. All day. If I don’t deal with her she will ruin me.
Obstacles – A little tighter than normal I think. Rey wants to come and hit me, I want to put things in the way.
Deployment – Ezra in the middle, clearly. Then respond to Chris’ placement with Luke and Han while Sabine just has to not be in the way.

From this position I’ve somewhat limited what Han and Luke can do but Chris is about to make a game changing mistake. He goes 2 straight with Rey where a 1 straight gives him better options.

A slight misjudgement from that position means that when Ezra turns in to block Rey’s turn, she just goes straight instead and just barely clips the obstacle int he middle. Worse than that, though, Ello’s dive into the middle isn’t blocked by Rey. He makes it past and, well, it isn’t pretty.

Chris tops my move in the previous game and puts two ships on the SAME rock. Skillz.

As if to rub salt in the wound, I’ve got all 4 of my ships pointed in that direction. Ello dies and Rey takes a beating. Big oof.

Rey dies the following turn and while Chris scores half of Han, Nien follows and just Temmin is left as I hit the 20 points.

Result: 20 – 7 win

Mini conclusion…

I was concerned about this matchup after the game with Mark but Chris’ miscalculation with Rey proved too costly for him. Chris is good fun to play and even whent higns were going wrong, to his credit he took it in his stride and laughed it off. He’s a top bloke.

So, back to a positive record and on to the last game of swiss then!

Game 4 – Steve Boulton

A fellow Exile! Steve and I have played rather a lot over the last year or so and apparently I’m on quite the win streak against him. I’m not keeping track personally but it looks like Steve has been! What’s he got today then?

Zorii Bliss (4)
Dorsal Turret (2)
R4 Astromech (2)
Wartime Loadout (2)
Plasma Torpedoes (5)

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

Jarek Yeager (3)
Marksmanship (1)
Heroic (2)
Concussion Missiles (5)
Targeting Computer (1)
Kaz’s Fireball (0)

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

Ello Asty (4)
Predator (3)
M9-G8 (5)
Integrated S-Foils (0)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

Nien Nunb (5)
Elusive (4)
Pattern Analyzer (5)
R6-D8 (4)
Electronic Baffle (2)
Integrated S-Foils (0)
Jamming Beam (1)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (16/16) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3

L’ulo L’ampar (4)
Predator (3)
Shield Upgrade (8)

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

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

It’s MORE Resisitance! Whaaaaat?!?

5 ship again, similar to Mark but with Lulo taking a 4 point slot and one dropping to Kaz at 3 to allow for Nien at 5 points. Was this going to be another Resistance bloodbath?

Time for some Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Assault at the Satellite Array
Target/Objective Priority – Try not to die immediately.
Obstacles – I want to avoid a jousting block so a relatively tight cluster I think
Deployment – Look, you know by now….

Things start off relatively ok as Steve’s spread out ships trundle forwards. We trade some early shots but I’ve already made my mistake, I’m just not paying for it yet.

Luke took an Attack Speed boost in turn 1 that means his next move has to be a hard turn in and not a bank which in turn means that Luke misses a turn of shooting. It looks to not be a disaster just yet as I manage to take out Zorii before she unloads both Plasma Torp charges.

Luke’s dodgy position now means he has to hard turn out behind Ezra but now he’s in arc of all 4 of Steve’s ships and the ‘curse of Skywalker’ strikes again. Blank greens.

He doesn’t even hold out to soak up all 4 shots, burning down after just 2, allowing Steve to put some hurt into Ezra.

Points had been level up until then but Nien has lost shields and Ezra dashes back into the middle to make a claim on the middle objective and reinforces to the rear.

I use Heightened Perception to try and take Nien out before Ezra’s inevitable end but where my greens have failed me, Steve’s hold out. Nien lives and Ezra does not.

Steve’s forces scatter as he aims to pick up the last 4 points needed to win from objectives and there is absolutely nothing Han nor Sabine can do about it.

Result: 12 – 20 loss

The conclusion…

That result puts me at 2-2 and right in the middle of the pack and nowhere near the cut. After losing the first game I knew my chances of making it were slim although it appears I was helped by Mark Packer-Hughes’ run who went 4-0 which certainly helped my SoS (JARGON ALERT!!).

With Stev and Dom Flanigan both having made the top 4 but also both already having Worlds invites, they both drop to allow someone else to get a chance. After two hard faught games Mark Packer-Hughes emerges triumphant!

It was a great day of X-Wing and both Mark Hall and I want to thank everyone who came. If you want to see all the lists and results you can check out the Longshanks event:

I want to thank all my opponents for great games. It had been my birthday the day before and this really felt like a good fun thing to do with my day to celebrate!

I also want to thank Mark for TO’ing the event (even though we had some issues with Longshanks resulting in a no-show almost making top 4!).

So, what about me and my list? Well, I’ve mixed feelings.

On one hand, 2-2 is a decent showing, particularly with some good players in the room. I never really fancied my shot at a worlds invite here but it has highlighted some things.

I am hamstringing myself with this list. It isn’t a counter to some of the strong meta (JARGON ALERT!!) lists that are doing the rounds. Basically I’m taking one of those lists and making it worse just to satisfy my need to be slightly different and to keep using a ship that I like. There’s absolutely no problem with bringing stuff you like, of course, but then has to go hand in hand with an adjustment of expectation. List building is not a strength of mine and so expecting to do well with one of my own cobbled together creations is unrealistic.

And so, I have a choice to make. If I do want to try and win the invite available at Newport, what am I going to fly? And this is where I’m torn.

I have a list I want to try, not because I think it’s good but because I think it’s fun. There is NO way that list will get me a win in Newport.

Then again, why am I playing this game in the first place? Is it for the glory of winning? No, it’s for the fun and friendship. As much as I want to attend Worlds I’ve never assumed I’d win an invite, just attend the Last Chance Qualifier and hope for the best. Even then, not getting out of the LCQ wouldn’t be the end of the world, I’d be there for the overall experience of it.

In terms of this list, I think it’s time to retire it. XTC is coming up and I’m likely to name myself as a sub which means I’ll have 5 lists I need to know how to use properly. Any test TTS games will likely be with lists that we need to know how to fly or how to fly against so in keeping with my needing reps, maybe I do need to look at a decent meta list which suits my play style and get some practice with.

Which list will that be though? I guess you’ll have to come backand find out!

Thanks for reading!

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.

You can follow my social media accounts for updates

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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:
Douglas Thomson

Exile Rookies:
Ben Kennedy

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

Exile Commanders:
Kevin Larsen, HasNolo, David Bryan

Exile Legends:
Rebecca Westwood, Admiral_Ackbar47, Phill Blackmore, Chris Fear, Jamie Howard, Sean Oakley, James Humphery, Opi-Wan Kenobi

You are all amazing humans!

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