The intro…

Hello and welcome to this week’s blog!

This is going to be a pretty short one because:

  1. I’ve had a CRAZY busy weekend. If you read a recent blog where I mentioned a charity my wife and I volunteer for. Well this past weekend was a fundraising ball at a very fancy hotel in London. It was 12 hours of work on the Friday, 18 hours on the Saturday, 4 hours of sleep and then some packing up on Sunday before driving home. It was a tremendous amount of work but totally worth it as it was a huge success!
  2. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but OMG WORLDS IS THIS WEEK!!!!!!

So the spare few hours I’ve had have involved packing printing, prepping, repacking, checking to do lists and packing again. That hasn’t left an awful lot of time for blog writing!

I did play a game last week and I felt it has value to cover so I will get to a brief batrep.

First though I want to reiterate something.

If you are at worlds and you read the blog – PLEASE COME AND SAY HELLO!!!

I am not great in large social situations so please don’t be afraid to come and say hi, chances are pretty good that I’ll have something I can give you!

Last thing to mention is the upcoming store tournament in Firestorm Games in Newport on the 20th of April.

You can sign up for your tickets here by putting your name in the comments and sending money over PayPal as per the instructions. The winner gets a free ticket to the Welsh Open and we’ll have plenty of other prizes to give out to everyone. It’s going to be awesome!

Alright, that’s about it for the intro. Onwards!

The batrep…? (JARGON ALERT!!)

Ok, so I managed to get down to casual night one last time before worlds. I’ve prepped, I’ve got in plenty of reps, I’ve got plans and strategies in my head, I’ve got triggers memorised. Things are looking good, I think. I’m feeling positive about being able to get at least one win in Chicago.

Maybe it’s time to experiment a little?

Josh was also at Firestorm and is also going to worlds. He’s had his list since around May or June last year and knows it inside out. We’ve played a few times and while it does things that can give me serious issues I think that on the whole I’ve got strategies to mitigate some of those issues and give me a decent chance.

So what do I do? Well, let’s take a look.

Josh’s list is tricky to face as it’s so many ships. Annoyingly I don’t have the list to hand but it’s the two 2 point Z-95’s, a sprinkling of V-Wings, a Torrent and Padme.

Now, if my experimentation comment earlier wasn’t a hint, I did NOT stick to some of the things that I know my list needs in this game. I’ll get into why a little later on but let me illustrate by showing you the board state after deployment.

There’s 2 things to notice here. One is fairly obvious – my ships aren’t together. This was semi on purpose as I looked to work out how to get my ships to converge nicely. Since we were playing Salvage I was also quite adamant that I wasn’t going to pick up boxes with either Temmin or Lulo since it shuts down their pilot abilities.

The second thing was a complete fail on my part. Josh has a HUGE amount of space to approach me whereas I’ve got rocks all over the place.

Can I overcome this? Let’s find out…

On the plus side I’ve managed to pull Josh all the way to the middle without engaging, get Lulo in a great flank and pick up an objective.

The negative? I’ve got Ello and Zorii too far out and the wrong way around.

The next turn is where things get tasty…

Mistakes were made here but they’re not apparent yet. Jess is too close to too many opposing ships and Ello is miles away, rendering swarm tactics completely useless.

Things seem like they’re ok as I take out both Z-95’s without losing a ship myself but only because Jess unjustly lives on 1 hull.

Things then devolve into a scrum and while I lose Jess, I’m chipping reasonable damage in to Josh’s ships but there is a problem. By delaying the initial engagement I gave Josh’s superior numbers enough time in the right positions to pick up multiple objectives while I picked up just 1 (since I refuse to pick up with Lulo).

At this point I make another mistake, probably a game changing one, as Temmin drops into the middle but declines to pick up the objective. A limping Kickback picks it up while also blocking Ello and then lives when he had a 50/50 chance to do so.

I don’t lose any more ships while tkaing out one more of Josh’s but as he’s outscoring me 3-1 on objectives I’m rapidly running out of win conditions as he scatters.

The timer goes and the game is over.

Final result: 11 – 17 loss

The conclusion…

Without wishing to sound cliched about the ‘you learn more from losing than from winning’ thing, I genuinely learned some very interesting and potentially valuable things in this game.

First up – turn 0 is important. Now, of course I knew thins anyway but I found that my focus was all wrong. When the obstacles had gone down I had left a really good and obvious place for Josh to deploy and I had to choose whether to accept the joust or not. If Josh can get all 7 ships onto 1 target then I just straight up lose that so placing where I did was my best remaining option.

This, coupled with objective placement and Lulo not wanting to pick up a crate meant I was pretty badly hamstrung before we’d even set any dials.

The second thing – Picking up with Lulo or Temmin, while not ideal, is sometimes necessary. Had I done with either when they first had the opportunity then I’d have at least been closer in score.

Third – staying in a block, while making me slightly predictable, really is for the best. Without it Jess loses her effectiveness, Ello can’t swarm, Zorii’s options for getting double mods reduces.

To be fair, Josh played this really well and made good choices in when to turn in and fire and when to pick up and scatter. It was also good fun despite the result!

Would it have been nice to win? Of course. I think that I’ve got some great information from it though and while it’s technically stuff I already know, the reinforcement of it is important and well timed.

So that’s it for this week! I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t expect a blog from me next week as I’ll only just have got home and will likely be maybe just a little tired. The following week I’m away so it may be a couple of weeks. Sorry!

I’m off to finish my packing and get ready for my flight! I’ll see you on the other side!

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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