The countdown has begun…

The intro…

Hello and welcome to this week’s blog!

I’m going to be honest with you, this one’s a bit unusual so strap in!

Now, I’m going to break my own self-imposed rule here for a minute and stray away from X-Wing, just for a few minutes. It’s something that I am affected by, involved in and that I think (though I might be biased), is very important.

Cut cat gif before we start to keep the mood light!

Almost 13 years ago my wife and I were deeply affected by miscarriage. In the space of a year my wife experienced a ‘missed miscarriage’ (which was life threatening for her) and then 6 months later an ectopic pregnancy which, because of a particularly rare complication, not only almost killed her but left us being unable to have any more children.

Cheery stuff for a gaming blog eh? Sorry.

In this season we found a (then) newly started charity who supported us both through our losses and helped us with our grief and pretty soon afterwards we got involved in supporting the charity.

In fact his past weekend we have travelled to be a part of two remembrance services in Exeter and then Plymouth (hence not having as much time as normal for writing the blog).

So why am I bringing this up now specifically? Because it’s been a pretty important week. Several years ago the founder of the charity was approached by the UK government to co-run a review of how baby loss is handled in the UK. That review has finally concluded and one of the first recommendations (of 73!) is for baby loss certificates to be available for those who want them.

You may or may not feel like this is a big deal but there are two ways I can explain why it is. The first is to show you this article where someone we know (Cate) explains it far better than I could. The second is to show you this poem.

My wife and I were honoured to be a part of testing this system last summer and while we can’t apply for any yet (as this is currently just for England and we are in Wales), we are confident that we will soon.

If you’ve been affected by this and want to talk about it, get in touch in whatever way you like. I’m trying to keep this section as short as possible but it’s important to me that everyone knows there are people who will listen if you want to talk. When we were going through it we felt so alone, no because we didn’t have friends or family to talk to but because we thought that nobody we knew had been through it and would understand. We were wrong, many had but the taboo around talking about it meant that we felt it was only us. That’s something we’re trying to change.

If you or someone you know needs support then you can find out more by going to the website or getting in touch by messaging through the Facebook page.

Right, let’s get back to the plastic spaceships then shall we?

The main(ish) bit…

For the sake of time, I’m going to intro this by just copy/pasting what I’ve already written (yes, that’ll make sense in a minute):

This is something a bit different, let me give you some back story . I was scrolling Facebook a little while back and I came across a post by ‘Jim Bob’. Now if you don’t know who that is, he created the very awesome Infinite Arenas website which, among many other things, allows you to create custom cards to print and use to play X-Wing. Being that I’m lazy with digging cards out of my collection, I use it a lot.

Something else that Jim created is the X-Wing Hub. A page that contains collated links and information for the game so that a lot of stuff can be found in a single place.
Again, awesome.

Now what did that post say? Well let me show you:
I’ll start with a content request. I see a lot of posts on Facebook and Reddit where a person has come across their old box of X-wing stuff and they get excited to get back into the game. But then their next question is “what do I have?” and “what do I need?” I’m imagining a really useful blog or post someone could make would include photos of 1.0 and 2.0 cards, dials, tiles, etc., and an explanation of what you’d need to do or buy to get ready to play X-wing today. If someone would be willing to author this content (post on a blog or even email me a Word doc and I’ll host it!) or point me to where someone has already made such a guide then I’ll feature it on for the community.

And since I’d seen several of these posts too (mostly in the XWingTMG subReddit) I figured I’d start putting something together and , well, here we are!

So, if you are looking to get back into the game after being away for a while, or if you’ve picked up a bunch of things from someone through eBay or wherever, then you can use this page to figure out what you’ve got, what you’ll need and what you don’t. Hopefully it’ll be helpful!

Even if you’re NOT A new player I’d definitely appreciate any feedback in case there’s anything missing that would be useful or anything in there that’s confusing or unclear.

The mini batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

So, even after ALL this going on, I did actually get to play a game last week and I’m going to talk about it!

As you almost certainly know if you’ve read the blog recently, I’m prepping to go to Worlds. My main list is locked and loaded (well, I think so anyway…) but since I could be playing up to 18 games in 4 days I really don’t want to be in a position where I’m bored of the one list I took. I want a little variety.

I’d previously been messing about with an Imperial list with at least one Decimator (sometimes two!) and some TIE Bombers which are all fine but they’ve still been feeling like they’re a little bit ‘try hard’. Try hard is fine for the main event but on the other days I’m good with something that’s a little less intense or at least, if it’s not as good on paper, I’m feeling less pressure over how well I actually do with it if you know what I mean.

So when I saw what Ben Saunders (of the What the Actual Zuck blog) took to the Sith Taker Open last weekend, my interest was piqued. Long time readers will know why.

Wedge Antilles (BoE) (5)
It’s A Trap! (BoE) (0)
Predator (0)
Adv. Proton Torpedoes (0)
R2-A3 (BoE) (0)

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

Gemmer Sojan (BoE) (3)
It’s A Trap! (BoE) (0)
Precision-Tuned Cannons (BoE) (0)
Chaff Particles (BoE) (0)
Target-Assist Algorithm (BoE) (0)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Fenn Rau (Rebel Fang) (5)
Predator (3)
Beskar Reinforced Plating (3)
Mandalorian Optics (3)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (9/9) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 2

Dash Rendar (YLF) (7)
Trick Shot (4)
Ursa Wren (6)
False Transponder Codes (5)
Ablative Plating (4)
Outrider (0)

Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (19/20) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 5

Total: 20

View in YASB:

Yes, Dash Rendar is back!

If we’re being totally honest, this dash is NOT as good as the old Dash. Smaller gun, worse ability, no gunner slot. He is cheaper at 7 points but since that’s the same as i6 Han who, despite the recent nerf, can still double tap and heavily mod and the same as Lando (customisable) who can double action and double tap or the new standardised loadout Lando who can do, well, so much that I can’t remember it all.

But Dash holds a special place in my heart and I mean, just LOOK at that paint job! How could I NOT take it to Worlds?!

Speaking to Ben after STO he was finding that Dash had the propensity to just melt if he felt like it. 2 green dice on 10 health seems fine until something gets into range 1 and you’re down to 1 green die and very little in terms of defensive tech. Then 10 health disappears rather quickly.

Still, he can be a blast to fly with a pretty fast dial for a big ship and if you can get the enemy to focus on the other (pretty scary) ships in the list then maybe he’s got a fighting chance of staying alive.

Since rocking up somewhere with a list and NO reps is most certainly NOT my modus operandi, I decided I’d better get the ships out and give it a go first.

I turned up to casual night at Firestorm Games in Newport and got a game against fellow Worlds prepper Steve Boulton, fresh from the Sith Taker Open himself!

He was in for some testing after some disappointing results with his FO list but now having tweaked the list and being armed with some more strategic information.

Kylo Ren (TIE Whisper) (5)
Brilliant Evasion (2)
Instinctive Aim (2)
Concussion Missiles (5)
Advanced Optics (5)
Enhanced Jamming Suite (0)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (14/14) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 2

“Whirlwind” (4)
Fanatical (2)
Marksmanship (1)
Cluster Missiles (4)
Advanced Optics (5)
Enhanced Jamming Suite (0)

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

“Quickdraw” (5)
Swarm Tactics (5)
Fanatical (2)
Targeting Synchronizer (3)
Special Forces Gunner (0)
Fire-Control System (2)

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

“Midnight” (3)
Predator (3)
Crack Shot (4)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (7/7) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Commander Malarus (3)
Cluster Missiles (4)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (4/4) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Total: 20

View in YASB:

As I’m on a bit of a time crunch, this will not be a full batrep! (sorry or you’re welcome, depending on your view on them!)

Issue number 1 with a new list is knowing how on earth to deploy. I did not.

I figure that Wedge and Fenn want to go and face punch things while Dash flanks. Gemmer would typically be an objective runner but since we’re playing Chance Engagement he (he? she? they?) will just try and perhaps do some blocking and be a nuisance.

I immediately don’t like how I’ve deployed. I decide to turn right with Wedge and Fenn to delay an engagement in the middle while Dash will go out wide right with Gemmer.

A sound idea but it turns out that Kylo isn’t afraid to come in at my face when I’m clearly keeping my arc side to side…

My Fenn trades shots with Whirlwind from range, taking 1 shield off the Whisper. Kylo shoots at Dash and 3 hits means 3 shields down. Of course.

The next turn is the crucial one and, well, it doesn’t go as well as I’d like.

Gemmer having the systems phase reposition (and not the linked boost like I’m used to) means that I can choose to try and block Kylo or take a focus but not both.

I go for and miss the block and subsequently decide that Dash does NOT want a 4 dice bullseye shot from Kylo and so he rolls away. Not only does this mean I can’t mod his shot but he’s now stressed AND Steve hasn’t taken a lock with anyone so I’ve got no free locks from Ursa Wren.


In the middle Wedge and Fenn have dived in and done their nonsense (Fenn will remove Wedge’s deplete when Wedge fires). But what can I manage to do?

Malarus dies and I get 2 shields from Kylo but it costs me another 3 health on Dash (bringing him down to 4 left) and 5 on Wedge (leaving him on 2, thank goodness for the baked in shield upgrade!).

The problem now is that I’ve got two slightly fragile ships and still need to take at least 1 opposing ship off the table. Quickdraw is out of bounds, I can’t afford to trigger the bonus shot. Kylo, while damaged, is moving away.

Wedge runs while Fenn talon rolls (JARGON ALERT!!). I get 2 more hits into Whirlwind and take a shield from Midnight but Dash is taken down to 1 hull and while scores are close so far I’m about to give up 4 more points when Steve gets the other half of him,

Wedge continues to run while Dash manages a sneaky arc dodge. Fenn dives in to chase after Whirlwind (or possibly Kylo, depending on final position) but fails a boost and finds himself in a kill box.

We all know what happens here.

Yes, Fenn kills Whirlwind but Kylo and Quckdraw wipe him out in 2 shots. Balls.

Dash hits Midnight for 2 but the FO survives on 1 hull.

Time is just about up so as we go into the last turn I know the game can’t be won. I get out with Gemmer while Wedge talon rolls to al teast be able to shoot one more time.

Steve has 2 i6 ships coming in at me so maybe if I can dodge Quickdraw’s arc with Dash I can make him have to concentrate fire to get one of my ships.

He doesn’t need to. Midnight wipes out Dash at i6 and then Kylo, from range 3, takes a punt at Wedge but can’t finish him off.

It doesn’t matter anyway, the game is done!

Final result: 13 – 19 loss

The conclusion…

On the face of it, yes, it’s a loss. It feels like a big-ish one considering the ships I lost but losing Fenn from full and then the second half of Dash in two consecutive turns are what did it, really. Well, that and failing to get decent shots with Dash when needed.

Steve’s call to joust Kylo into Dash is probably what won him the game. That early choice that I allowed meant that Dash was in trouble early on.

Steve’s list has a lot of green dice going on and while he did blank out with Malarus when it counted, the others just seemed to roll enough paint when they needed it.

My main issue here was the turn 0 deployment and the approach with my i6 ships.

I was first player during deployment and looking back, I should probably have deployed like this:

Dash on the left, placed sideways and moving across my board edge and then Wedge and Fenn on the right, moving into the middle.

Of course, this is based on where Steve placed his ships and only Whirlwind was down when I placed Dash. Still, I think it keeps Dash in a safer spot and allows him to sail up the right flank since it’s likely Kylo would have turned in to the middle earlier.

Still, it was an enjoyable game (I always love flying Dash!) and I got to spend some time with Steve which is always, ok, mostly good!

Love ya buddy!

I do feel like Han would probably be a better piece in the list as he’s just better value for the points but this list isn’t about value, it’s about fun and I love flying Dash!

That’s about it for this week. Pop back next time as I continue my prep and remember to check out the new page!

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

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Kevin Larsen, HasNolo, David Bryan

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You are all amazing humans!

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