Welcome to part 3!
Before I get started I just want to quickly mention the rather bonkers Tuesday we had last week where FFG, freshly off the back of announcing (well, it wasn’t them who announced it but, you know what I mean) the transfer of X-Wing (and other SW titles) to Atomic Mass Games (AMG) went ahead and released the new Squad Builder app/website into the wild AND snuck in points for the newly released ships AND gave us the end of November points update that had been promised.
It was glorious chaos.
I won’t go into points details here (plenty of other people who are FAR more knowledgeable than I am have done that already) except to say that Dash and Outrider did NOT drop in price (sad!) but Jake Farrell did (yay!) and so did Wedge. I’ve not looked into what that means for my lists except that I now have an extra 2 points of bid on the list I talk about below. Just a little reminder that this game (and the others I’ve linked) were played before these points came out.
Ok, you’ve had your warning. Let’s do this!
A quick recap first – the rather amazing X-Wing Hipster Mr Phil GC had organised a TTS tournament to celebrate his birthday. Clearly Phil knows rather a lot of top quality players and so this would be one of the toughest fields you could hope to see in an X-Wing tournament. And me.
I was feeling rather hilariously out of my depth even before round 1 was drawn, which incidentally pitted me against world champion Oliver Pocknell.
I lost that one.
The next round saw me drawn against a System Open winner, Martyn Chivers. I somehow (probably slightly undeservedly given how the last few turns panned out) managed a win in that one, putting me at 1-1. This meant I was already faring better than I’d expected. Significantly better.
My list for the day was one I’ve been running for a few weeks now and, having learned a little of what not to do in the game against Oli and not completely borking it against Martyn I was starting to feel more comfortable with it.
Ship total: 107 Half Points: 54 Threshold: 5
Ship total: 56 Half Points: 28 Threshold: 4
Jake Farrell (36)
Ship total: 36 Half Points: 18 Threshold: 2
View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z39X120WW77W54WWWY74X125W113W232WWWW313Y50XWW&sn=Dash%20Ten%20Jake&obs=
Dash has a tendency to either live forever or burn down super fast with very few games seeing him do neither. Ten is there to throw at my opponent’s face to distract from Dash and hopefully hurt something before he dies. Jake is the focus monkey for Dash but in the last 2 games he has unexpectedly thrown out some rather important (and unlikely) damage. Heck, maybe I should even point him at enemy ships more often!
So who would I be drawn against next?
The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)
Well the answer was Simon Tournay. A great player, a lovely bloke and one of the original 186th Squadron members, having been playing X-Wing since pretty much the beginning.
Simon was running a triple silencer list (although I think he initially spawned the list twice, the prospect of 6 silencers freaked me out a little!)
Kylo Ren (76)
Advanced Optics (4)
Ship total: 80 Half Points: 40 Threshold: 3
Automated Target Priority (1)
Ship total: 58 Half Points: 29 Threshold: 3
Ship total: 59 Half Points: 30 Threshold: 3
View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=First%20Order&d=v8ZsZ200Z236XW186WWY386X348WWY284X127WWW&sn=Vs%20Simon%20Tournay&obs=
Another opponent with a crossover of initiatives at i4 and i5, another list with a bigger bid than me. I was going to be first player again and it might turn out to be important, especially with a potentially double repositioning Kylo moving after Dash.
Time to figure out target priority. Clearly Kylo is the one to get, he’s worth most points and is the one I don’t want to be facing in the end game if I can help it. Kylo is normally played very cagey though so I’ll have to see what I’m presented with and go from there!
I tried to take his gas cloud cover away (those silencers are hard enough to hit anyway!) by placing as many as I could on my side of the board and then placing debris relatively evenly since his ships are nimble enough to get around them anyway.
I place Ten Numb opposite Recoil and Rush and Dash and Jake in the opposite corner before Simon places Kylo just right of center.
It’s hard for me to predict where Simon wants his ships to go but I stick with my standard opening of turning everyone to stall for a turn. Hopefully Dash’s position will dissuade Kylo from flanking on my right but I won’t know until it’s too late.
Rush and Recoil go straight before all my ships hard turn and the i4’s roll left. Kylo banks to the middle and rolls back away.
It’s all fairly non-committal at this point and we are WAY off shooting so it’s back to dials.
I want to entice Simon to joust Ten (in order to hit them with Dash as well as Ten) so he’s going to hard turn right. Jake will go straight to stay close to Dash who, in turn, will bank in to try and get someone in arc.
Simon brings Recoil and Rush forwards, boosting with both but one being a banked boost which landed rather prefectly:
I shuffle all my ships around before Kylo banks in and sits next to the middle gas cloud with a focus for good measure.
Kylo fires first, hitting Dash for 3 before Dash and Ten go to work on Rush with Ten getting to play his double tap trick. He survives on 2 hull though and in return he and Recoil take 3 shields from Ten Numb.
It’s already going better for Ten than in the last game!
Back to dials we go. I want to try and finish Rush off but he’s now operating at initiative 6 which is going to make it more difficult. I figure I can try for a block with Ten while Dash, who is wary of Kylo coming in on the flank, will try and blast past him while keeping rear arc on, well, whatever he can hit. Jake will do Jake things and hopefully not end up somewhere too stupid.
Ten pulls out a 2K (JARGON ALERT!!) while Jake goes 4 straight and rolls to give Dash a focus action.
Recoil sails right over the top of Ten Numb to stare into Jake’s face. Dash takes the 3 bank to get some distance in and focuses before Kylo slowly comes around the gas cloud and Rush…well… lands this:
With everyone moved we end up like this:
We are sure as heck shooting this time, but not everyone. Rush and Ten have no arc on anything so Kylo fires at Jake and gets 1 hit on. Dash fires at Kylo and misses. He then fires his second shot at Recoil and misses that too.
Nice work Rendar.
Jake shoots at Recoil but can’t take advantage of the range 1 bonus and dones no damage before Recoil takes his turn and takes Jake’s other shield.
Not a great round for me, that one.
Still, I’ve got all my ships on the board and Kylo keeps buring his Force down so there’s still hope.
Back to planning we go. What to do next?
Ten needs to turn but a bank to clear stress will put him in no-man’s land so I embrace the stress and give him a white hard 2. Jake will hard turn too and continue being a focus monkey while Dash will hard turn and turn his turret somewhere useful.
Ten turns and hangs on to his stress and Jake hard turns and then rolls towards Kylo, handing Dash a focus.
Recoil hard turns around the cloud before Dash hard turns around the debris and turns his turret.
Kylo goes for a hard turn to chase Dash but bumps Jake (yay!) and then Rush bumps into Ten Numb (another yay!). Not too bad!
Still no shot for Rush so it’s Dash first. He shoots at Kylo and, somewhat predictably, misses. But the shot onto Recoil is devastating. 3 hits and a crit and Simon’s green dice blank out leaving him to lose his shields and then flip over a Direct Hit! Recoil is on just 1 hull but nobody else has him in arc to take advantage!
Kylo fires at Ten from range, hitting for a shield and a crit. He’s not dead though!
Jake isn’t shooting anyone so Recoil takes his shot at Dash and takes his last shield.
Back to dials again and it’s hotting up now. I’ve lost half points on Jake and Ten and I’m 1 health point away from half on Dash too. In return I’ve got 2 of the silencers almost dead but Kylo is untouched.
Ten will bank to clear the stress this time while Jake will hard turn back in and Dash will continue his orbit of the debris.
Jake turns, rolls (gives himself a focus) and boosts (and gives Dash a focus). Ten banks in and while I want to roll and lock he’s too close to the gas could so has to make do with just a focus this time.
Recoil turns left but bumps into Jake. Dash banks and takes a lock on, err, someone (it’s been a week ok! I can’t remember!) before Kylo bumps into the back of Recoil. Yes!
Rush hard turns and then rolls left just barely missing the gas cloud (that’s the 3rd tight move this game Rush!) and taking a focus.
Rush shoots at Ten but despite being range 1 can only land 1 hit (leaving Ten on 2 hull). Dash shoots at Rush but can’t land enough damage and the gas cloud saves him from taking anything.
Dash takes his second shot at Recoil and gets the last damage through to finish him off. One down!
Kylo fires at Jake who evades all but 1 (leaving him on 1 hull!) before Jake takes a pot shot at Rush (and misses) and then Ten takes a range 1 shot at Kylo and strips his shields.
IT’S SO CLOSE!!!
Time for dials again. This time Jake will bug out (before he can die!) with a hard right turn. Ten will KK-turn again while Dash will 3 bank.
Jake turns, rolls, takes a focus, boosts and gives Dash a focus (it’s just so beautiful when it works!). Ten does his 2K, hoping to do something useful (spoiler – he doesn’t). Dash takes his bank and locks Kylo.
Kylo hard turns in at Dash and stops just short of a bump. Rush decides to disengage, banking right and boosting left for extra distance.
Rush isn’t shooting so Dash gets to go first.
Does Rush look in range of Dash to you?
Rush is in by the very finest of margins. While Simon curses his choice of move Dash rolls dice but STILL can’t land the final blow on him.
The second shot at Kylo is double modded though and despite having the Force to help him out Kylo takes 2 crits including a Hull Breach. Ouch.
Kylo returns fire at Dash and lands 3 hits himself, scoring half points. Jake and Ten are both redundant at this point with no arcs on anything.
Time is running out so it’s time to think tactical.
I send Ten in at Dash to force a bump. Best case is that Kylo overshoots and can be shot by Ten and/or Dash, worst case, Kylo bumps and can’t shoot Dash. Jake will hard turn right to try and stay relevant.
Ten goes straight, clears stress, rolls and takes a lock on Kylo. Jake turns, rolls and hands a focus to Dash. Dash shuffles forwards into Ten.
Kylo bumps into Dash (yay!) while Rush hard turns in, rolls and boosts.
This time Dash manages to roll 3 hits and a crit. Rush rolls 5 (!) greens, gets 3 evades and 2 eyeballs. No gas cloud bonus for you! The crit goes through and Simon pulls out… a Direct Hit! Rush is (finally!) down.
We’ve time for 1 last turn so I should try and hold on to the lead that I think that I have!
Jake takes a 2 forwards and rolls away. Ten hard turns to get out of Dash’s way. Dash then hard turns onto the gas cloud and rolls, hoping to be obstructed but falls short!
Kylo takes a 4K (which, if I’m honest, I didn’t think would fit!)
None of my ships can fire but Kylo has a range 3 unobstructed (dammit!) shot into Dash. He takes it but even backed up by the Force he can’t land any more damage on the sneaky Corellian and the game is over.
Result: 157 – 100 win
WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING?!?
Another win! ANOTHER ONE!
I’m freaking 2-1 in a tournament with champions and veterans and experts!!
And not only that but I’m actually quite happy with how this one played out. Aside from the odd turn where I misread what Simon was doing and positioned Jake and Ten where they couldn’t shoot of course.
Every game with this list is helping me to refine what I’m doing and making me try to think more steps ahead, namely with Jake. Dash having a double modded shot is so powerful that it’s very important that I make it happen as much as possible. I’ve rather got away with Jake being in very vulnerable places and I know that won’t always be the case.
It’s also pretty important that Ten gets to shoot and make full use of his double taps. It’s always harder against higher initiative ships as I can’t always get the lock he needs but using him to try and block is an acceptable second role. Hopefully he won’t always be as expertly avoided as he was in this game!
Again this was a great game and Simon was a great opponent to play against. My experience of the day playing in this tournament was certainly surpassing my expectations, yes in results but also in terms of hanging out with people over Discord and playing.
So 3 down, 1 to go! What will my next pairing bring?
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