Hello and welcome to this week’s blog!
There’s a little bit to talk about before diving in to any games, one good and one bad.
Let’s do the bad and end this section on a high.
Now, I hate to focus on negative things but something cropped up this week which can’t really be glossed over.
It became apparent this week that at Adepticon this year, AMG’s annual panel (the same one where they announced TIE Bombers and the YT-2400 re-release and teased the Gunship in 2023) may not include X-Wing.
Now, the internet being what it is this very quickly spiralled into panic and chaos and threads were locked and people told to calm down.
I don’t wish to re-ignite any debates over what is/isn’t/might be happening. Someone did chime in with a very confident ‘X-Wing dies this year’ claim but in terms of what we know FOR SURE from AMG is that their panel doesn’t specify X-Wing. It may get mentioned, it may not. At the end of the day we just have to wait for Adepticon and see.
My personal view here is that while it wouldn’t totally surprise me if AMG made this announcement, I don’t understand why an organisation in the UK has just gone and announced (and released tickets for) a series of Organised Play events which are (and I quote verbatim here) ‘brought to you by UKTC with the support of Asmodee and Atomic Mass Games’.
Creating or at the VERY least endorsing an OP roadmap for game they’re ‘about to announce’ is discontinued makes absolutely no sense to me.
What I DO know is that whether it’s sooner or later, whenever AMG do decide to call it quits and declare X-Wing ‘a complete game’, is that:
- I still own all my stuff
- I still have fun playing
- I still know other people who have fun playing
- The community that loves this game will keep it alive
The sky isn’t falling just yet but even when it does and AMG calls time, I’ll still be playing.
Ok, are you ready for the good, wholesome positive bit now? Ok, good, me too.
A couple of weeks ago I had my first guest blog written by the writer of the ‘tips and tricks’ document and Team USA player Levi Schadt.
Well, after that brilliant debut he’s go the bug and has launched his very own blog!
Writing under the callsign ‘Obi-Win’ Levi has published his first post and it’s definitely worth a read!
From a personal point of view I think it’s brilliant that he’s stepped out and started writing about the game and from a wider view to have a new content creator generating interest and excitement is amazing. It’s a great logo too! Please go and check it out, you won’t regret it!
Levi, you’ve done a great job and I look forward to reading the next post!
Alright people, this is your FINAL call to get in on Q1 of 2024! The quarter ends TOMORROW (at time of publishing) so if you fancy any of the things I’ve posted out the last couple of week now is the time to join up!
I’ve talked about the template (1 bank) , the alt arts (Second Sister and Notorious) and the spot gloss (BoY Vader). There’s a little sneaky peek at some future bits here as well. Spoilers aplenty!
I guess now it’s time to talk about the giveaway!
Yep, a pack of Resistance Y-Wings will be winging its way to the winner!
So if you’d like to get your hands on these or if you’d just like to support me in the writing of the blog and then give all this stuff to someone else then you can join my Patreon here.
I’d like to take a minute to thank all my supporters (past and present) for choosing to help me out and support the blog. I can’t even put into words how amazing it is and how incredible I think you are. Super heroes each one of you!
Right then, let’s crack on shall we?
So last week I tried out a new list to mess about with as I prepare for my upcoming trip to Chicago and the X-Wing World Championship.
Clearly I’m not looking to win it but I want to go to be a part of a big thing, possibly the biggest thing that we currently have for the game.
List-wise I’ve been enjoying and getting a decent number of reps with a Resistance list which I won my invite with. Additionally all these ships are painted and the ever-awesome Dan Eicher has been busy making me some BEAUTIFUL alt arts which I’ll have with me to give to opponents and at some point, Patrons too.
But, a I mentioned before, flying this list for up to 18 games in 4 days might get a little boring and taking an alternative just in case and to add a little variety seems like the sensible thing to do.
Last week’s list was actually pretty fun. I wasn’t all that efficient with it though and I missed triggers and upgrades were wasted. After a couple of discussions following the blog I looked at changing Rexler out for a second Decimator, because why not right? Also, green dice can’t fail me if I’m not rolling them!
After some tweaking and playing about this is what I decided on.
Rear Admiral Chiraneau (7)
Death Troopers (4)
Minister Tua (4)
Agile Gunner (1)
Thermal Detonators (5)
Ablative Plating (4)
Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (20/20) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 8
Morna Kee (7)
Darth Vader (12)
Agile Gunner (1)
Concussion Bombs (4)
Delayed Fuses (1)
Tactical Scrambler (2)
Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (22/22) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 8
“Deathfire” (TBE) (3)
Swift Approach (TBE) (0)
Conner Nets (0)
Proton Bombs (0)
Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 3
Tomax Bren (TBE) (3)
True Grit (TBE) (0)
Plasma Torpedoes (0)
Ion Bombs (0)
Ship Cost: 3 Loadout: (0) Half Points: 1 Damage Threshold: 3
Now, I know what you might be thinking – ‘hold up, I’ve seen this list in the meta! This isn’t a ‘casual fun’ list!!!’
And that’s a fair point. Someone finished second at a Worlds Open Qualifier in Chile with pretty much this list.
I’m finding that striking a balance between what’s good and what’s popular is increasingly difficult. With the points structure being what it is, there’s an awful lot of instances where at X points, Y ship is bad but at X-1 points, it’s busted and an auto-include. Rebalancing loadout values can have some impact but generally speaking I think that many (or most, even?) ships are either good or they aren’t. There’s only a small number of ‘they’re just fine’ and let’s face it, when you could spend 4 points on a 10 health, initiative 5 ship that gives out free locks (I’m looking at you SoC Odd Ball!) then why on earth would you consider spending 4 points on any of SEVEN 4 point Scum Y-Wings with a loadout of 10 points or less.
Anyway, in looking for a list that doesn’t just auto-lose whenever it gets put on the table, it’s all too easy to just pick up something that’s already known to be good, or decent at least.
The down side? The more that the popular things get played, the more that people in general learn how to play to mitigate it’s strengths. Han is still very often mentioned as the bogey-man of this current points iteration but the number of Han lists showing up at tournaments is definitely trending down and the number doing well even more so.
Having something completely off the wall is always an advantage when going into an event as each person you face has to figure out how to face it on the fly. But then, by now, almost 1 year since the last major update, surely most new and different stuff has already been tried?
This game has SO many variables that I’m of the opinion that there must be SOMETHING out there that nobody’s tried yet that could actually be really good. The thing is, I’m pretty sure that I’m not the person to find it. Some people love to list build. I’m not one of those people.
Anyway, I got a little side-tracked there but I say all that to say this: I like big ships and flying them is fun. Decimators are fun. If one Deci is fun, flying two means double the fun, right?
Time to test the theory…
The batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)
So at casual night this week I played against Chris Fear who had come all the way from Swansea to Newport to play.
He’s not got many games in of late and so is trying to get back into the swing of things with his Resistance list. Since I’m trying to get used to my new list it was always going to be a more casual affair which was absolutely fine by me!
Chris’ list had some familiar pieces but them not being loaded out like mine was going to throw a little confusion my way during the game…
Rose Tico (9)
Novice Technician (2)
Engine Upgrade (3)
Rey’s Millennium Falcon (0)
Ship Cost: 7 Loadout: (25/25) Half Points: 3 Damage Threshold: 5
Nien Nunb (5)
Pattern Analyzer (5)
Integrated S-Foils (0)
Heavy Laser Cannon (5)
Ship Cost: 5 Loadout: (16/16) Half Points: 2 Damage Threshold: 3
Ello Asty (4)
Integrated S-Foils (0)
Ship Cost: 4 Loadout: (8/8) 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
Three T-70’s plus Rey can throw a lot of damage, especially with two Heavy Laser Cannons in there.
Time to check those Pre-Flight checks:
Scenario – Salvage Mission
Target/Objective Priority – Normally I’d be gunning for Rey in this sort of list but the three T-70’s give me pause. It’s probably still the right choice though.
Obstacles – We’re both looking to spread the rocks out a bit here. Spacing rocks along Chris’ board edge to prevent close formation might help me.
Deployment – Here’s the big one. I don’t quite know. Last week my deployment wasn’t too good so I want to change it up this time. I want my ships to engage together on a single target but coordinating that so that my two big bases don’t get in each others way isn’t simple. In the end I spread them out with RAC having a path of approach while Morna will go slow.
We place objectives, obstacles and ships and we’re ready to go!
Aaaaaand I already don’t really like my positioning here. Chris can bring all of his ships to bear on Morna and Deathfire before I can get RAC into the fight.
I also have to figure out if- Tomax (in between the Decis) will fit in front of Morna if I go fast enough but then I’m putting an i5 ship in front of an i4 and that’s never really a great idea.
ROAD 1st Player – Chris
Before we move ships Chris says he’s made a mistake with Rey’s position. I do offer him to move or change or check but he declines. On reflection, it’s a pretty game influencing decision.
Deathfire goes 2 straight to keep pace with Morna who goes 1. On the right hand side Tomax and RAC go faster to get into position in the middle.
Chris’ T-70’s all go straight but Rey, thinking that the 3 bank to her right won’t fit takes a 2 hard to the left. Unexpected.
No shots and no coring so it’s on to the next.
So, on the plus side, given her position, Rey looks out of the fight for at least 2 turns to get around the corner rock. And truth be told, it’s pretty lucky for me because if she’d done that 3 bank in, Tomax and RAC were WAAAAY too far out of position to contribute.
In this turn I’ll pick up boxes with Tomax and RAC while Morna, who reinforced to rear last turn and will flip that to front this turn, and Deathfire will launch forwards at the T-70’s.
ROAD 1st Player – Me
Deathfire jumps forwards and launches a Proton Bomb before taking a focus. Morna goes 3 straight and takes a focus.
Chris’ T-70’s bank in, neatly surrounding the Proton Bomb with Temmin locking Morna while Nien and Ello take focuses.
Tomax goes straight and RAC banks and both pick up boxes while Rey’s 2 straight puts her just barely out of range to pick up a box. Chris can’t catch a break here.
Morna spends a focus to Vader Temmin after the bombs go off. A decent start.
No shots for Rey and while Tomax and RAC try to put some chip damage into Rey nothing gets on.
Nien and Ello start pushing hits into Morna, stripping shields before Morna and then Deathfire bring Temmin down to 2 hull including a Panicked Pilot. Not bad.
I’ve picked up 2 boxes and nothing died so we move to the next.
End of turn score: 2 (me) – 0 (Chris)
Right, this one is interesting. Morna will drop a Concussion bomb because it might catch Temmin before shooting forwards. I can also flip the reinforce again. Heck, I might even pick up a box.
Deathfire will 5-K (JARGON ALERT!!) to get out of the way while Tomax will 3 hard into the fray and then RAC will bank in behind.
ROAD 1st Player – Chris
Deathfire’s k-turn lands perfectly between Nien and Ello before Temmin… y’know what? I actually can’t remember how he got there but he’s next to the rock but right next to Morna’s bomb.
Nien and Ello both go straight and, after a little thought and some friendly discussion, both boost in order to get out of Morna’s arc (and Vader range).
Rey rounds the rock and boosts to finally get arc on someone.
Tomax turns in but I do then twig that since he’s carrying a box, Tomax can’t do his roll, lock, focus nonsense, leaving him not quite where I wanted.
RAC then sails in and is SO VERY CLOSE to bumping Tomax
No claims this turn. Interesting!
The bomb goes off and does clip Temmin who opts for the strain just in case it’s a Direct. No Vader this time as Chris has dodged it.
I focus my fire on Nien (in the green & white T-70) since Ello can’t be shot by my Bombers and get shields down.
Chris opts to focus his fire on RAC and strips the Deci’s shields and puts two hits into hull.
Nothing dies and so back to dials we go.
End of turn score: 2 – 0
Total score: 4 – 0
Things are a little more congested than I’d like here so I’m hoping that ROAD will do me a favour. Deathfire will go 3 straight in order to clear stress and pick up a box. Morna will 3 bank right and pick one up too. It’s now that I have to think about where RAC goes because Morna HAS to drop another bomb.
Tomax will 3 straight while RAC will attempt a 3 bank left to get away from the bomb.
ROAD 1st Player – Me
Balls. I did NOT want to move first. I also make a few mistakes. Strap in.
Morna drops a concussion bomb before Deathfire goes 3 straight, clears stress and picks up. Morna then banks right and also picks up. That’s 4 boxes in tow. Not bad.
Temmin banks out of danger, clears the stress and strain and takes a focus.
RAC attempts the 3 bank over the top of the other two T-70’s and, well of course it doesn’t make it. He basically stops in place and with the Dauntless title on Morna, can’t even reinforce. Balls.
Tomax goes 3 straight and it’s at this point I realise he can’t pick up because he’s already carrying. Nice one genius. Oh and he’s almost on top of the concussion bomb. Wow.
Rey hard turns right and then boosts left to sidle up next to RAC. Ello goes for a white Talon Roll (JARGON ALERT!!) but bumps into Rey, leaving him facing the wrong way. Nien banks into RAC and takes a red focus
The bomb goes off and RAC, Tomax and Nien all take damage cards. I opt to take strains because Tomax likely isn’t getting shot and RAC doesn’t care about strains.
Morna could Vader Rey but since I’ve not yet started hitting her it doesn’t feel worth it now. Ello’s just out of range so I keep the force for her shot.
With Tomax facing the wrong way, RAC is my only shot at i5 and I take it at Ello, bringing him down to 3 health remaining.
Fire rains in on RAC from Chris’ ships and I’m fortunate that he survives on 1 hull. Wow. There’s at least one crit so the box is dropped.
Morna also goes in at Ello and I manage to get second T-70 down to 1 hull without killing it. Dammit.
Deathfire and Temmin don’t have shots so it’s the end of the turn.
It’s at this point that I realise a few things
- RAC didn’t drop Thermals which would have definitely got Rey and one might have got Ello.
- RAC has Ablative Plating meaning I could have simply not taken a damage from the concussion bomb.
- Morna has delayed fuses so I could also have stopped it exploding.
- I forgot to check Temmin’s range when he moved to see if Death Troopers would have prevented him removing the stress.
Nice work doofus.
End of turn score: 3 – 0
Total score: 7 – 0
Alright, I’m up but I’m definitely about to give up 7 points from RAC. I need to be sure to keep the boxes I have and I HAVE to kill at least 1 of the T-70’s. Preferably both but it’s not essential.
Tomax will turn around, RAC will go straight but slow (to block Rey if I move first) and reinforce rear. And hope.
Morna will hard turn to keep guns on target while Deathfire will hard turn to keep guns on, well, something I hope.
ROAD 1st Player – Me
At this point I start dropping bombs. All. Of. Them.
Deathfire drops a Proton, Tomax an Ion (why not, right?) Morna her last Concussion and RAC two Thermals. Screw it.
At this point I realise Deathfire can’t boost after the bomb drop like I’d planned (boxes eh!) but the hard turn still puts him in a reasonable place and he focuses.
Morna hard turns and, since she’s unlikely to die, takes a focus to enhance her attack.
Temmin hard turns in and focuses but it’s definitely in range of the thermals. Nice.
Tomax takes a 3-K before RAC goes 2 straight and reinforces to the rear.
Rey turns after RAC and bumps into him, taking a red focus because at this point the timer has gone off so why not?
Ello and Nien now dive in at Morna with Ello bumping into her.
The bombs go off. But this time I remember Ablative.
At this point I ponder a rules question – does Ablative prevent damage from one bomb or any/all bombs if there are multiple?
Anyway, the important thing here is that Nien takes no damage from the two thermals that catch him but Temmin isnt’ so luck and finally dies.
Other bombs go off but there’s very little that matters as Rey’s pretty healthy and nobody cares about ions in the last turn.
Morna Vaders Nien to force him to drop his focus token.
RAC fires at Nien and scores some damage but fails to kill him, leaving him on 2 hull. Tomax fires at Rey and puts one hit on.
Rey fires range 0 into RAC and while Chris can’t mod it he doesn’t need to and RAC dies.
Nien and Ello sink shots into Morna but she’s healthy enough to tank it.
Morna’s turn to shoot now and I have a dilemma. She can shoot range 0 into 1 health Ello who has a focus OR she can shoot range 2 into tokenless 2 health Nien with the help of a focus token.
I settle on Nien and Morna rolls all paint out of hand.
Nien blanks and dies and the game is over.
End of turn score: 11 – 7
Final score: 18 – 7
So yes, that WAS fun.
Some of the hilarity though was due to my sheer incompetence. While I managed to avoid smashing my two Decis into each other, having RAC eat one of Morna’s bombs was a bit embarrassing. Though not as embarrassing as remembering Ablative plating a turn too late.
The lessons learned here? Well, remembering triggers and upgrades is pretty important. Dropping bombs, Ablative Plating, Delayed Fuses, Death Troopers, Tactical Scrambler. All screwed up at some point. Still, it’s the sign of a good list when you screw up and it still does alright.
Do I need to change anything? Ummm…. maybe? I’m not sure Concussion Bombs is a wise choice for the safety of my own ships but I’m sure I can get used to it, especially when I actually remember Ablative Plating. I think the only other question marks are over Tactical Scrambler and Delayed Fuses, whether those points can be better spent. Perhaps Disciplined could be sacrificed on Morna as well if something was worth adding. Overall though I do like this setup.
Writing this up a few days later and it seems that a few people have jumped on the Deci train with 4 Empire lists out of 14 attendees at the Wampa Warm Up event in Element Games in Stockport this past weekend. The two published lists had 3 Decis between them. One of the other lists belonged to Joaquin Gonzalez who came second in that Chile WoQ I mentioned last week so it’s likely he was still rocking two of them. The other list wasn’t published but since Sith Taker Tim did mention seeing plenty I’ll assume there was at least one!
Going back to what I said in the pre-amble, does this mean people will have a plan against them? Maybe. Still, I think at this point that’s better than me trying to re-invent the wheel with very little skill or experience!
I want to say a huge thanks to Chris for the game. It was great to play such a relaxed, casual game while working through the challenge of getting used to something new and a bit different.
That’s about it for me today. Thanks for reading, come back next week where I (hopefully!) will be talking about a REAL prep session.
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