This old thing?

The intro…

Welcome to this week’s blog! We’ve got a fair bit to talk about today so let’s get started!

First of all, points!

In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last week or so, AMG have released updated points and boy, there’s a LOT going on.

I won’t go into details or analysis here because other people are going to do that WAAAAAAY better than I can but there has been a very interesting trend.

Some good pilots (and some average ones, actually) have come DOWN in price but have then also seen significantly decreased loadout value.

For example, Soontir Fel, previously 6 points and 15 loadout, is now 5 points and 10 loadout. Wedge Antilles (OG i6 Wedge) has gone from 6 points to 5 but lost 9 loadout (going from 18 to 9).

It’s a really interesting move and, if I’m honest, one that surprises me a little bit. Given that when AMG started talking about making changes to the game (to what we now call version 2.5), they wanted to see more named pilots being played and really pushed the thematic feel. In a way, reducing loadout on someone like Wedge seems to really go against the initial 2.5 design idea (expensive pilot gets lots of toys) but I actually like it.

It forces you into making meaningful choices (like, did you EVER see Wedge without Proton Torps?!) and brings pilots that were previous too expensive to be viable back into contention.

I’ll look into what it’s done to my current list later on but on the whole I like this change. It seems that the general reception has been mixed and I can see both sides but if nothing else it’ll be interesting to see how things shake out over the next few months.

In terms of upgrades, some of the expected culprits were nerfed (Elusive, Notorious, Cloaking device) and some were buffed. In a way, AMG stuck with FFG’s modus operandi by double tapping some strong lists (pilot loses some loadout AND upgrades go up in price) which still feels a little bit like an overreaction (you can’t just not have it, you really REALLY can’t have it) but there are some things I’m glad to see the back of like Cloaking Device, Overtuned Modulators Moff Gideon who went up from 3 to 4 and Cloaking Device went from 3 to 8. Either is fine but were both needed? I’m not sure.

Anyway, on the whole there’s now a totally new meta to come together and it’s going to be VERY interesting to see what lists do well at UKGE in a few weeks time!

If you want to see direct comparisons then some absolute genius has created a Google Sheet for that here.

The next thing I want to hit is tournaments, namely….

THE WELSH OPEN!!!!

I have started posting pictures of prize support in the Facebook event page but since not everyone uses Facebook I thought I’d start mentioning things here too!

While we are still a few weeks away from the event, prizes have started turning up and so I guess I should show you some of the things we’ll have available to give out!

First off EVERYONE will get one each of these:

– a Welsh Open dial cover

– a Mando head token

In the few weeks after the event we’ll be holding a painting competition where the best painted Mando head will get a prize posted to them! More details will come out about that closer to the time. There will also be the opportunity to win more of these through the weekend as spot prizes!

There will be more, of course (including more participation stuff!) but that’s what I’ve got here to hand right now. More teasers will come over the following weeks.

If you haven’t got your ticket yet then what are you waiting for?!?!!

https://www.thebattlefields.co.uk/events-at-the-battlefields/star-wars-x-wing-welsh-open-2023-cardiff

* this is a prototype, final ones might be different!
* these are not prototypes. They’re just cool.

We are super excited to host this event where we can hang out, play this amazing game and dish out some lively shiny things to you all!

Lastly, I need to give a special mention. I saw a post while finishing off the blog on the Fly Better Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/flybetter/permalink/3620863141479522/

As of time of publishing, the Fly Better Podcast has recorded it’s last episode. No matter how you feel about the podcast itself (and I’ve been listening every week for the last 4 years or so), it’s a sad day for X-Wing as a major content creator and community contributor calls it a day.

I want to thank Ryan and Dee for all the work they’ve put in to the cast and to the community over the last 8 years of broadcast. To say it’s been largely thankless is a bit of an understatement and like the saying goes, we often don’t appreciate what we’ve got until it’s gone. I will certainly miss hearing their voices every week.

Right, I think that’s it for now, let’s check out a game shall we?

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

So, in the aftermath of the previous week’s tournament I…. hadn’t changed out my list. In all honesty, with points changes imminent and not a lot of spare time these days, making, refining and packing a list wasn’t exactly high on my priorities.

So, my list for this game was the same as I’d gone so close to winning with the previous week at Newport:

Ezra Bridger (Gauntlet Fighter) (7)
Notorious (5)
“Chopper” (Crew) (1)
Veteran Tail Gunner (3)
False Transponder Codes (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/old/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v9ZhZ20Z520XW455W23W89WWW369WWW448W449W35Y34XWW40W439W92WW140Y35X378WW453W46W92WW140Y597X116W332W&sn=Beefy%20Rebz&obs=

Now, attendance at casual night has been interesting of late. Sometimes there’s a bunch of us, sometimes there isn’t. Tonight had been the latter, just myself and Peter Hall. He was flying the same list as he’d beaten me with two weeks before and so this would be a new and interesting challenge. Can I learn from my previous mistakes?

Captain Feroph (4)
Disciplined (2)
Targeting Computer (1)

Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (3/6) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4

“Vizier” (4)
Imperial Super Commandos (8)
Ablative Plating (4)

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

Captain Oicunn (7)
Disciplined (2)
Marksmanship (1)
Minister Tua (4)
0-0-0 (5)
BT-1 (2)
Thermal Detonators (5)
Dauntless (0)

Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (19/19) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 8

Major Vermeil (5)
Disciplined (2)
Darth Vader (12)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (14/16) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 4

Total: 20

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Galactic%20Empire&d=v9ZhZ20Z184X381WW249WY185X467WW103Y215X381W125WW49W63W79W339WW147Y183X381W26WW&sn=New%20Squadron&obs=

It’s a LOT of health, a fair amount of fire power and can really shift across teh board when it wants to.

Let’s cut straight to the Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Assault at the Satellite Array
Target/Objective Priority – Having ignored the Deci last time, this time I figure I can burn it down early and see how I go from there.
Obstacles – A wide spread favours us both so I don’t mind it BUT I’m going to string a row of obstacles along his board edge so his ships can’t easily stay together.
Deployment – I want to cluster up a little, at least until I’ve focus fired at Oicunn.

We place objectives, obstacles and ships and we’re ready to go.

Yes, I forgot to take a pic until something had moved. Sorry!

Turn 1

So my deployment has worked out well here I think. Peter’s Reapers are slightly spread out and his Deci is opposite my ships. I’m not unhappy.

The key will be down to where Peter decides to go with Oicunn but either way, I can send Ezra and Magva quite quickly up the side while Saw hangs back a little bit. If Oicunn comes in, I can jump him. If he hard turns along his board edge, he’s irrelevant for a few turns.

ROAD 1st Player – me

MY bigger ships come up the board in a slightly staggered formation while Keo swings in with a 3 bank.

Oicunn has come straight while the Reapers all go fairly fast to close the gap on my forces. Crucially, Vizier and Vermeil have gone straight rather than turn in.

Vermeil has a range 3 pot shot at Keo but doesn’t do any damage and so it’s back to dials.

Turn 2

Now we can start scoring and things are about to get interesting.

Oicunn has his arc set side to side so I figure that he’s either hard turning or going straight to come in behind me.

Given than Ezra can shoot out the back, I figure that having him behind isn’t a total disaster so I bank on the hard turn in. I want to get some focused fire in here before all 3 Reapers can do the same to me.

Ezra banks in fast, Maga goes 2 straight, Saw the same and Keo will 3 bank away from the threat of the Reapers and (hopefully) focus-boost to get Tracers off.

ROAD 1st Player – Peter

Vizier drops Commandos and then opts to go straight. Slightly unexpected.

Oicunn hard turns in and focuses before Feroph gently banks in.

My 3’s move next with Ezra banking in and reinforcing to front, Magva goes 2 straight and doesn’t bump (but it’s closer than I thought!) and focuses before Keo 3 banks right, focuses and boosts left.

Vermeil ailerons and then turns in near the rock before Saw does his 2 straight and focuses.

In keeping with my picture fails, Saw hasn’t done his 2 straight yet. Oops.

This is perfect for me. Vermeil has a range 3 obstructed shot into Keo but can’t get any damage on. My shots into Oicunn are pretty devastating as Saw opens with 3 hits out of hand.

Feroph shoots at Magva and clips a shield but then Keo fires Tracers into the Deci and gets everyone a lock.

Magva and Ezra both fire double modded shots into Oicunn and score 3 hits each, meaning he’s now down to 7 hull remaining. One shield for (more than) half a Deci. Pretty good.

Peter has scored 2 objectives to my 1 but I can accept that based on the damage done.

End of turn score: 1 (me) – 2 (Peter)

Turn 3

I have to make sure I kill off the Deci. If I let him get away and get jammed up with Reapers it isn’t going to be good.

That said, I decide to stop. Saw can decide whether to turn or not after Oicunn has moved. Ezra’s angle means he’s probably got a shot no matter what, it’s Magva that is on the fence. Keo will hard turn left in case Oicunn bolts.

ROAD 1st Player – Peter

Now, being first player screws Peter a bit here. I activate Leia before we get started.

Vizier banks in at Saw (having dropped the second lot of Commandos) before Feroph ailerons in at Saw and then 3 banks over the top of him (I’m really not sure how that fitted!!). Oicunn guns it with a 4 straight to get away.

Knowing where Oicunn is was vital. Ezra stops and spends Nightbrother for a focus. Magva stops, rotates and takes a focus and Keo hard turns left and takes an evade.

Vermeil angles in at Saw too before Saw stops and focuses.

What ensues is pretty brutal. First off, Peter uses Vader crew to burn Saw’s focus. Yuck.

Vermeil fires at Saw and takes 2 shields off. Saw fires at Oicunn and puts 2 hits on. 5 to go. Feroph doesn’t have a shot so Oicunn takes aim at Saw (despite Keo being range 1), takes his last shield and puts a hit through.

Keo and then Ezra fire at Oicunn. Both are double modded and between them they manage to get the 5 hits needed and Oicunn is gone.

Magva shoots at Feroph (since he’s closest and not obstructed) and takes both shields.

Vizier then fires at Saw, rolls 3 hits out of hand and Saw blanks out. Big Ouch. Saw is down to 1 hull.

I’m still really winning the damage race. Hard.

Not only that but Oicunn’s death means that I get to claim the middle. Just….

Big oof.

End of turn score: 9 – 1

Total score: 10 – 3

Turn 4

Ok, the biggest hurdle is cleared. If I can score some objectives and maybe kill another Reaper I think I’m all good. Oh, and I need Saw not to die ideally.

I set Saw a 4 straight to bug out. Magva will stop again (this time using Contraband) while Ezra will bank. The stop is tempting (especially when at full health) but banking means I’m going to score more objectives. Keo will fully disengage and go full objective monkey mode.

ROAD 1st Player – Me

In a classic ‘medium base fits anywhere’ move, Peter ailerons with Vizier and then banks left…

Ezra banks in and reinforces to front while Keo goes 5 straight and focuses. Magva stops but doesn’t rotate, opening wings and taking a focus.

Feroph sloops (JARGON ALERT!!) to his right before Saw puts his foot down and screams out of range. Kinda.

Vermeil ailerons right and then sloops right as well, leaving him facing my ships but pretty far back.

So there’s no shot for Saw nor for Vermeil nor Keo. Magva fires at Vizier though and takes both shields and puts a crit on – structural damage. Interesting.

Magva tanks a few shots with minimal consequence. Now, remember I said Saw was out of range? Well, he’s out of range of ships but remember those Commandos?

Last time we played, it was Commandos that took out Saw. Was this going to be a repeat?!

Thankfully it wasn’t as Peter rolls a single hit and Saw spends his evade to dodge it. Close one!

End of turn score: 3 – 1

Total score: 13 – 4

Turn 5

I’m picking up a pretty unassailable lead here and while Saw’s health is looking pretty ropey I could lose him and still be on top. I starting thinking about win condition and that 5 health structural damage Reaper is looking pretty juicy.

I decide to stop again with Magva. No Leia or Contraband but I have a lock and that’ll have to do.

Ezra will also stop and rotate while Keo will continue to pootle about and claim an objective. I set Saw a 3 bank left because that pesky Commando still has 1 charge left and I’m not sure where it’s going.

ROAD 1st Player – Peter

Alright then, let’s go!

Peter turns his Commandos hard right. Saw isn’t getting shot! But have I screwed myself by going too close to the rock?!

Vizier sloops right. Perfect! Feroph banks right to clear stress and takes a focus.

Magva stops and rotates, taking a stress. Ezra stops, rotates and spends Nightbrother for a focus. Keo sideslips to recharge the Force and boosts right for no reason whatsoever.

Vermeil jumps over the top of Feroph, hoping to get a shot on Saw but Saw takes the 3 bank left, misses the rock and takes the safest focus he’s ever taken.

With no Saw to fire on, Vermeil shoots at teh reduced agility Ezra and knocks the last shield off. Feroph tries the same but can’t get any damage on.

Now it’s my turn. First Magva, range 1 with a lock onto stricturally damaged Vizier and comes up with 4 hits. Niiiice. Ezra follows up and the Reaper explodes.

The Commandos take their shot into Ezra but miss and with that, time is up and the game is over.

End of turn score: 6 – 1

Final score: 19 – 5 win

The conclusion…

A win! And a good one. Redemption from my last defeat to this list AND getting to the point of understanding how my list works best. The irony of the timing isn’t lost on me…

I picked a target early on and saw it through. If that hadn’t worked out then I had a plan to accumulate objective points while reorienting my list. Assault is definitely a favoured scenario for my list and, if I stick with it, I need to work on how best to approach the action based scenarios – Scramble and Salvage. Still, this feels like a bit of progress.

There’s clearly no point in going into this any further because this list is now defunct. Well, sort of. Let me show you:

Ezra Bridger (Gauntlet Fighter) (6)
“Chopper” (Crew) (1)
Veteran Tail Gunner (5)
Nightbrother (0)
Swivel Wing (0)
Hera Syndulla (4)

Ship Cost: 6 Loadout: (10/12) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 5

Magva Yarro (5)
Jyn Erso (7)
Ursa Wren (6)
Pivot Wing (0)

Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (13/14) 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)
Elusive (4)
Mag-Pulse Warheads (4)

Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (8/8) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 2

Total: 19

View in YASB 2: https://yasb.app/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v9ZhZ20Z520XWW23W89WWWWWW448W449W35Y34XWW40W439WWW140Y35X378WW453W46W92WW140Y597X119W311W&sn=Beefy%20Rebz&obs=

First, the big change. Ezra is now 1 point cheaper. That means that my ‘filler’ piece (Keo) could be upgraded. Quite significantly. But upgraded to what? I’ve now got a huge number of options. I could stick with an A-Wing and take i6 Hera, I could take any of 3 ARC-170’s to get a bit gun and another medium base. I could pick from a number of T-65’s, or Dutch for lock passing, or a Fang Fighter?! I think I need a bit of time to think about what role this ship will play and go from there.

Add the Fang, divide by the T-65 and carry the A-Wing….

Next, the smaller changes. Ezra has lost Notorious AND False Transponders due to price bumps and a loss of loadout. Magva has lost Contraband due to the rise on Jyn. How does that affect them? Are they still worth taking? Do I need to fly them differently? What ‘global effect’ upgrades (like Leia or Jyn) do I need to keep and what’s more optional and how do I shuffle things around to fit?

I know lots of people wanted this change before Expo but for me, I’m actually glad I don’t have a tournament to prep for right now. If you’ve been following the blog for a while you probably know that I like to get a good number of reps with a list and making a change and diving straight in doesn’t usually work too well for me (although it’s not unheard of!). I often miss triggers and don’t think through turn 0 and repetition (and blogging about it!) helps me to mitigate that a bit.

I’m looking forward to trying out some things here and seeing what happens.

If you’ve got any ideas on how to fill out that 4 point slot in my list or rebalance my upgrades then I’d love to hear them! Just comment wherever you’ve seen this posted!

That’ll do for this week I think. There might be a blog next week but we FINALLY Have some movement on the house move and we might (hopefully!) be in final preparations so my time might be limited. If not, I’ll be back soon enough!

Oh, and don’t forget, buy a Welsh Open ticket!!

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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Exile Initiates:
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