Trial and Error(s)

The intro…

Welcome to this week’s blog!

What news do we have this week? Well, not huge amount really. There’s been no more info from AMG about releases or anything but we do now know that the rearranged Ministravaganza will happen in July (from the 14th to the 16th) after being cancelled earlier this month due to a covid outbreak. Being that they released info on the Battle of Yavin pack shortly after the first event was cancelled I’m not really expecting all that much in X-Wing news but who know, maybe they’ve kept a surprise back for their live event?

I’ll also take a moment to plug our upcoming event! Yes, Firestorm Games Newport’s second 2.5 tournament is happening IN JUST A MONTH! We’ve got a Louis Leong prize kit, Exile Squadron themed prizes and another trophy!

If you’d like to come we’d love to see you! You can get tickets from here and there’s event info and updates on the Facebook event page.

Oh, and the AWESOME guys from the Firecast Focus will be live streaming so why not come and see if you get streamed!

Ok, I think that’s it for the moment. I guess that means we can move on to…

XTC Update…

Yep, another update! The XTC started in anger this week as the 27th of June – 3rd of July is officially ‘week 1’ of the group stage.

However, as I mentioned in the last blog, week 1 is also our break week. Everyone gets one and while there might be a debate to be had over whether it’s beneficial to have that at the start/middle/end, it is what it is and personally I’m glad of the xtra week to prep.

There aren’t many (or any?!) results populated yet but that’s because at time of publishing there’s only been 1 day for play to happen. There should be some more news on that next week.

Aaaaaaalrighty then, let’s move on!

The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

Yes, I have a game to talk about this week. Now, I did debate this question internally for a little while and I also took the question to my XTC teammates since it would directly affect them. That question? Should I batrep a game that I’ve played while using one of our XTC lists.

Clearly there’s reasons not to which would probably include giving away tricks or triggers and the like. The lists themselves are already out there in the wild but of course looking at a list on paper and seeing how it works in person is very different. Well, it is for me at least!

So with my being unable to decide what was right, I asked my teammates. This response is what I got back:

I don’t think any of us have aspirations to win this thing. we’re here for a good time not a long time. I’ve got no problem with that, unless you start slating my list choices lol

Alex Whitehead, absolute legend

And this response sums up exactly what I was looking for when I pulled a team together for XTC at pretty short notice. Do we want to do as well as we can? Of course! We won’t be pulling any punches or rolling over and giving up by any means. But do we understand our place? Yes we do.

And so, on to the game. Picking what list to play will be theoretically simpler over the next few weeks but at the same time I’ve got a ‘mission’ behind it. I’ve got to get familiar with ALL the lists in case I need to step in as sub.

I’m familiar enough with the Rebel list, that’s fine. The Imperial one, while a little more alien to me than Rebels, is also familiar enough. I know how TIEs fly, what the abilities do and while x1 Vader isn’t something I’ve flown a lot, I’ve faced it a fair amount and so I’ve got a general idea of what to do or not to do.

The First Order? I’ve simply no clue. I don’t own the faction and have only flown against Bombers or Whispers maybe twice? I may need to do something but in all honesty, I’ll be throwing Dan in if we need to sub out Phil!

Paul’s Resistance list also has pieces that I’ve flown before and so, by process of elimination, it looks like I need to take a look at our Scum list.

Quinn Jast (3)
Deadeye Shot (1)
Burnout Thrusters (6)
Jamming Beam (0)

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

Gamut Key (3)
Elusive (2)
Protectorate Gleb (6)

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

Kad Solus (5)
Elusive (2)
Cluster Missiles (4)
Beskar Reinforced Plating (6)

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

Boba Fett (9)
Fearless (3)
Jamming Beam (0)
Cluster Missiles (4)
Proton Bombs (4)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Marauder (0)
The Child (7)
Greedo (1)

Ship Cost: 9 Loadout: (22/22) Half Points: 4 Damage Threshold: 5

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:,pomasteroid2,pomasteroid3

Alrighty then , what the heck is going on here. First and foremost, we’ve got Boba. Yes, he’s expensive but played right, there’s value there with a great chassis, amazing ability and a truckload of loadout points. Passive rerolls, Force, bombs, all the good fun stuff.

Kad Solus? Well, Fangs are always fun and one with increased durability (through Elusive and Beskar Reinforced Plating) seems good.

Gamut is the support piece, here to buff whoever needs it (mostly Boba) with coordinates and token holding.

Then there’s Quinn Jast. A little blocker, there to be annoying or maybe claim objectives. We’ll see.

So, having dug out all the components that I needed (minus pilots and upgrades since I opted for an Infinite Arenas sheet!) I rocked up at Firestorm Games ready to try it out.

A couple of games were already under way and so my opponent was already determined – I’d be playing Mark Hall. And what delights has Mark packed for this evening?

Jango Fett (8)
Trick Shot (4)
Count Dooku (14)
Thermal Detonators (5)
Munitions Failsafe (1)
Slave I (Separatist) (0)
Veteran Tail Gunner (3)

Ship Cost: 8 Loadout: (27/27) Half Points: 4 Damage Threshold: 5

Zam Wesell (9)
Trick Shot (4)
Heavy Laser Cannon (4)
Hondo Ohnaka (5)
Thermal Detonators (5)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Delayed Fuses (1)

Ship Cost: 9 Loadout: (22/22) Half Points: 4 Damage Threshold: 5

Bombardment Drone (3)
Seismic Charges (3)
Proton Bombs (4)
Delayed Fuses (1)
Landing Struts (0)

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

Total: 20

View in YASB 2:

Oh. Ok. I knew that this list was possible again but that still doesn’t make it any nicer to face!

Let’s do some quick Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Assault at the Satellite Array
Target/Objective Priority – The bomber is worth very few points and I’d rather not get double tapped by Zam so I guess that leaves i6 Jango to chase down, right?
Obstacles – I’d normally look at blocking off objectives with rocks but not only can the bomber land on them, he can blow them up with Seismics too. Great. I think I’m after a spread to minimise that threat and also getting some on my side, out of the way.
Deployment – This is the million dollar question here. How do I deploy this list? I think I want to joust with Kad and Boba while Gamut needs to support and Quinn…. well, I’ll work that out later. On reflection, I’m not happy with how I deployed and would definitely do it differently next time.

We set up objectives, obstacles and ships and were ready to get started!

So, knowing that Firesprays like to approach and then turn and also that the droid is likely to sit on that rock in turn 1, I’ve got a nice big open space in front of me. I decide to send Quinn fast to maybe look at scoring the top right objective in turn 2 while sending everyone else forwards at a medium speed.

Turn 1

ROAD 1st player – Me

All my ships go straight, ending up as a staggered line, ready to turn in next time. Boba took a rather unnecessary red reinforce with the intention of using Gamut key to keep it for next turn.

Mark’s dorid does in fact land on the rock while Zam goes straight and boosts to her right (just barely missing the rock!) and Jango does the same but boosts left, in towards me.

There’s no shots and no scoring to back to dials we go!

Turn 2

I’m under no illusion whatsoever that Zam is going to hard turn in at me around that rock. She will definitely turn away. What about Jango though? Hmmm…..

I set Quinn a 3 bank to dive in at the objective (since Zam is nowhere near it now) and the same for Kad. Gamut will go 1 straight while Boba will 1 bank left.

ROAD 1st Player – Me

I’m moving Boba before Zam goes but really it makes little difference as I begin a slow turn in with all most of my ships. Thinking that Mark might dive in for a cheeky shot with Jango, I realise that I forgot to Gamut Key Boba’s reinforce last turn. The blue 1 bank clears the stress anyway and so I decide to do the same again but this time actually remember to keep it.

Quinn’s 3 bank lands nicely near the objective while Boba’s 1 bank does the same. Kad’s 3 bank is followed up with a focus into boost in case anything is in range while Gamut just plods up beside Boba.

Zam turns away (obviously) but Jango also turns away while the droid detaches from his rock with a 2 straight. Curious.

We do have shots this time but, rather predictably, none of them do any damage whatsoever.

Back to planning then! Ooh, wait, I spend Gamut’s 2 charges for Boba to keep the reinforce.

End of turn score: 2 (me) – 3 (Mark)

Turn 3

This one feels….tricky. I KNOW Zam has got to move away and I know in my gut that Jango isn’t going to hard turn into my face and joust me. I also know that I’ve got a Seismic coming into the middle from the droid. Eesh.

I decide to chase Jango. Boba will 3 bank, Gamut will 2 hard and Kad will bank in and see what’s happening. Quinn….. can just collect another point from that objective.

ROAD 1st player – Mark

Here is where I start making mistakes. Well, that’s not accurate, I’ve made mistakes already I think (deployment and approach) but now I’m making more silly, obvious ones.

First thing s first, the droid drops a Seismic. Fine. Also, Zam drops a Thermal Detonator and puts a fuse on it. Interesting.

Mark hard turns the bomber onto another rock (facing away from my ships) and takes a calculate.

Before I move Gamut I check whether a 1 bank would have cleared Boba. It would. Should have done that. Oops!

He takes the 2 hard and focuses since Kad AND Boba are both stressed and so can’t be coordinated. Wonderful planning! Quinn 1 banks and takes a focus.

Kad banks in but is WAAAAY too close to the rock. He barrel rolls (left) into a red focus, just in case.

Zam takes a ncie easy 1 bank left and focuses before I check what’s happening with Boba. He clears the 3 bank right over the top of the HWK. The 3 bank is white though and so he’s still stressed (but does still have the reinforce!).

Jango, as expected, doesn’t joust me, hard turning away. Oh great, more bombs next time!

If they were anything but Firesprays, having all of Mark’s ships being chased by my ships would be a pretty decent position to be in. As it is, I’m definitely doing thigns wrong here.

The seismic explodes and nicks a shield from Boba but misses everyone else. Jango then rolls 3 hits into Boba who blanks out. The reinforce takes care of 1 but that’s 2 more shields gone.

I manage to knock a shield or two (I forget exactly how much!) off Jango and we’re done for this turn.

End of turn score: 3 – 2

Total score: 5 – 5

Turn 4

Now, here’s where I’m getting into trouble. I’ve got Jango facing away from me, likely to drop a bomb. The bomber on a rock, likely to drop a bomb. Zam’s not too dangerous, if she hard turns then she might boost in at me but given how Mark’s played this so far, it’s not likely.

The rest of the problems are ALL my own doing. I’ve got Gamut in front of Boba AND moving first and I’ve got Kad stuck behind Gamut, moving AFTER Gamut but BEFORE Boba.


So how do I deal with this then? Well, I decide to accept the Thermal from Jango with a 3 straight from Boba. There’s a decent chance it gives me rerolls with something at range 1 and I can get some damage in and clear the stress.

I set Gamut a 1 straight to stay behind but that means that Kad can’t go that way. I guess he will go 2 straight (to clear stress and see where I’m at. Quinn, unable to reasonably stay next to the top right objective will 2 straight and try to claim the middle one instead.

ROAD 1st Player – Me

Mark starts us off by dropping a Proton Bomb (not a Seismic) with the droid. Interesting. Jango then drops a Thermal but just the one, clearly he hadn’t predicted my fast approach.

Quinn takes his 2 straight and focuses before Gamut goes 1 straight and…. focuses because Boba and Kad ARE BOTH STILL STRESSED! Mark’s droid goes 2 straight off the rock before Kad goes 2 straight. Now, I want to boost into red focus but I’m fed up of being stressed so I leave him where he is and just focus because I have no idea where Jango is going and want better options next turn.

Then I move Boba, screaming forwards and landing directly on the Thermal. Mark regrets not dropping 2. I’m 1 Force down with The Child so I take a focus. I’d have liked to boost but Jango is perfectly in the way.

Zam hard turns back in but Mark’s misjudged it and she bumps into the droid (but takes no damage) before Jango hard turns towards her and, with no shots on, takes a focus.

Activation ends and bombs go off. Boba rolls damage from the Thermal and is just barely caught by the Proton, meaning he’s lost his last shield and picks up a Damaged Engine crit. Yuck.

Zam tries to compound the damage but the Force and rerolls means Boba takes no more damage. He then fires at Jango, chips a damage and then Gamut follows up and chips another. I’m doing damage but it’s SO SLOWLY!

Nobody else can fire and so the turn is done.

End of turn score: 1 – 1

Total score: 6 – 6

Turn 5

The scores are level but I’ve done barely anything to Mark’s ships while I’ve got Boba bleeding all over the place. So what can I do about it?

Despite the damaged engine I set Boba a hard turn right to face down, well, something, thinking I can coordinate him before he takes the stress.

I set Gamut ANOTHER 1 straight (because what else is there to do with him?) while Kad will take a big swinging 3 hard turn and FINALLY shoot something. I hope. Quinn will 1 bank right because it’s just more important that he scores objectives than shoots at something to be honest.

Seems good, well, ok, fine, it seems tolerable. Let’s do it.

ROAD 1st Player – Mark

That darned droid drops a Seismic. I knew he would, I just forgot to factor it in. Crucially, Jango declines to drop Thermals. Interesting.

Mark starts us off with the droid who is high-tailing it out with a 3 hard turn to the right. Quinn 1 banks and focuses and then Gamut goes 1 straight and then I make the decision that decides the game.

Being that Boba is bleeding, I think to myself ‘if I coordinate Boba a straight boost, he will be clear of the rock when it explodes! Seems good!’ and I do that.

Some of you will have already twigged why that’s bad but let’s do the rest of activation before I go there.

Kad takes his 3 hard turn and boosts into a red focus. He IS shooting this turn.

Zam hard turns left, towards the rock that’s about to blow. She’s undamaged so far and so is fine to just tank it.

Then Boba moves. I reveal the 1 hard turn right and bump into Jango who has yet to move and pick up the stress from the Damaged Engine…. Do you see it yet? Maybe you need the picture. Hang on.

Jango attempts a 3 hard right but bumps into Zam but takes no damage for the bump.

Right, here’s the pic.


Yes, that is a stressed Boba facing the board edge with a Damaged Engine crit.

Big. Sigh.

We do take some shots here (I mean, Boba doesn’t, of course) and I’m getting close-ish to killing Jango (maybe 3 hull left?) but the turn is done and, in all honesty, so is the game.

End of turn score: 1 – 1

Total Score: 7 – 7

Turn 6

But we play it out anyway because who knows, maybe I’ve got the angles all wrong?

Just in case you haven’t clocked it, here’s my dilemma. I’ve got Boba Fett here:

He’s got a stress and a Damaged Engine crit. This means that all my hard turns are red so if I dial one in, I take a stress manoeuvre (a white 2 straight) which takes me off the board. Because of the slight angle in relation to the board edge, it’s possible that a blue 1 bank will make it but given how much further it goes than a 1 straight, it’s not likely. Gamut moves first and could coordinate, yes, but a Damaged Engine crit isn’t repairable and Firesprays can’t barrel roll.

There’s absolutely no way out. Boba is a dead man walking.

I dial in the 1 bank.

What about my other ships? Well, Gamut will 2 hard turn to put a gun on someone while I’ll swing Kad in to do the same. Quinn, in a rare moment of bravery, decides to maybe use the Burnout Thrusters to try and block Jango.

Let’s see then.

ROAD 1st Player – Me

Just in case Boba does make it around that turn, Mark decides to make sure he’ll pay for it.

Can’t beat a bit of overkill, right?

But alas, Boba’s is not the only move I’ve messed up.

Quinn 2 banks at Zam and then SLAMs a 2 straight at Jango. Gamut hard turns and focuses.

Mark’s bomber sails off into the sunset before I hard turn Kad…right into Gamut. Brilliant. No action but thankfully no damage either.

Boba takes his 1 bank and….

So near and yet, so far.

My blocking efforts were in vain as Jango 3 banks right over the top of Quinn after Zam’s 1 straight into no-man’s land.

No pic I’m afraid but no news either. I try but fail to put enough damage into Jango to score any points from ship kills while Mark, on top of picking up the 9 points for Boba, collects 2 objectives to my 1.

End of turn score: 1 – 11

Total Score/end result: 8 – 18 loss

The conclusion…

Right, let’s be honest, there’s quite a lot gone on here. Most of it is me being stupid though. Let’s break that down.

The matchup was unfavourable. I think. Determining match ups isn’t a strength of mine (which is ironic given my team role in XTC!) but given what I want to do with this list (get up close) versus what Mark wants to do (run away, shoot out the butt and drop bombs) it clear that against an experienced Firespray pilot (which Mark is) I was going to have a tough time.

I feel like I could talk about dice being fickle but Mark’s list makes good use of gaining and exploiting dice modification (with locks and extra dice and Force and the Dooku ability) and he leveraged all that well. My list also has good passive dice mods but I failed to fly it in a way that let me use them properly. That’s on me, not the dice.

The crit was unfortunate. In fact, virtually any other crit in the deck and I’m fine, Boba doesn’t fly off the board and maybe does enough to kill Jango but let’s be honest here, I’m 100% culpable. My desperation to avoid the seismic (just 1 single damage) caused me to coordinate that boost when I already had the crit and knew that the 1 hard turn would stress me out AND that Jango would move after Boba, guaranteeing the bump with that red 1 hard turn.

It was a silly mistake and poorly thought out. I’d have been much better off taking the seismic crit and surviving until at least the engagement phase of that turn since the boost into bump angles meant that Boba ended up not being able to shoot that turn anyway.

And it isn’t like Boba is a cheap ship….

But, keeping honesty set to on, that’s far from the only misstep I took with Kad failing to pull his weight and Gamut being in the way too often.

I’m not being too down on myself though. This was my first go with this list and I fell like I’ve learned a bit about it. I know that I’m a player who needs reps to be comfortable with a list and I guess this is the beginning of that journey. Even in a defeat like this I do find some satisfaction in knowing that there are clear and obvious things I can learn and improve on.

The big question, though, is will I fly it again? You’ll have to wait and see I guess!

The outro…

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