On Saturday June 21st we hosted one of only five Regional Events in Canada for Star Wars X-Wing. I was originally going to be running the tournament but then another player offered to do that instead so that I could play in the event. So here is my report for how it went down.
We started the day by bringing together as many X-Wings as we could to get a picture for an online contest. We managed to get 98 X-Wings as shown below:
On to the individual reports for my matches. Admittedly I didn’t take any pictures or notes during these matches so my recollections may be somewhat hazy, particularly regarding what happened on specific turns and exactly when ships died, but I know for sure that the number of ships killed on each side is correct.
The squadron I played was as follows:
2x Dagger Squadron with Advanced Sensors
2x Gold Squadron with Ion Cannon Turret
The general plan with this squadron is to pull the opponent into the asteroid field. With the turrets on the Y-Wings and Advanced Sensors on the B-Wings I either don’t need to worry about firing arcs or have great maneuverability to fly around the rocks. If possible I want to ionise ships to then allow the B-wings to come in at close range to finish them.
Round 1 vs Brian Maloney:
2x Dagger Squadron with Fire Control System
I started in one corner and immediately hard turned towards the centre so that I could force the engagement into the asteroids. Unfortunately, with Brian’s pilots all haveing skill 4 or higher the initial round of firing didn’t go well for me, with him destroying one of the Gold Squadron’s before it had a chance to fire back. I stripped a shield or two from Biggs. Next turn my other Gold Squadron took some heavy damage while I almost finished off Biggs and the Red Squadron also took damage. Next up he finished off the second Gold and stripped shields from both my Daggers, while I finished Biggs and the Red and took some shields from one of his Daggers. The red dice seemed to start turning in my favour and the next round saw me finish his first Dagger while he stripped the remaining shields from both of mine. This left me with two Daggers with no shields versus his one undamaged Dagger. However, at this point the fact that he had initiative and I had Advanced Sensors meant he was in a tough spot, and my two ships made short work of his one.
Final result: Win for me. All his ships destroyed, 2 Gold Squadron lost for me. A tough one that started badly for me and could have gone either way.
Round 2 vs Jean-Luc Larue:
Omicron with Darth Vader
Howlrunner with Stealth Device
3x Obsidian Squadron
Despite being only 10 years old and by far the youngest competitor, Jean-Luc is a force to be reckoned with and had taken down Jeremy Steward in the first round, who was the winner of last year’s Regional, as well as our Ladder Tournament. I knew I’d have to be on my game.
Again I started in a corner but cut into the centre to try to draw the game into the asteroids. When playing against Howlrunner in a swarm or mini swarm I think you have two options: 1) Take out Howlrunner as soon as possible to prevent the rerolls she provides. 2) Take out the ships that are gaining the benefit from her as quickly as possible, so that she just becomes a high pilot skill TIE Fighter. With a mini swarm I think the second option is best, so I decided to focus on taking out the Obsidian TIE Fighters as quickly as I could. Dark Curse can be a major pain to kill and the Shuttle has a lot of shields and hull and I hoped to get out of arc of it in the latter stages and negate it’s attacking potential that way.
In the initial engagement I took out one TIE and damaged another while he focused on the Daggers and did some heavy damage. The next turn I killed another Obsidian and one of my Daggers received a Blinded Pilot crit, meaning it’s next attack would be negated. The following turn he made a potential mistake by targetting the other Dagger with his Shuttle instead of finishing it off for sure. This ended up leaving both Daggers still alive and able to fire next turn, albeit both close to death. Next turn he managed to kill one of them but I finished the last Obsidian as well as Dark Curse and stripped the Stealth Device from Howlrunner with some lucky shooting. The next turn he finished the second Dagger and I had damage on both Gold Squadrons but I was able to finish Howlrunner, leaving my two Golds against his almost undamaged Omicron. With the shuttle unable to turn around to get me in arc I was able to finish it off relatively quickly.
Final result: Win for me. All his ships destroyed, 2 Dagger Squadron lost for me. This could have gone worse if he’d killed off the first Dagger instead of splitting his fire but overall I felt in control for most of the game.
Round 3 vs Paul Larue:
Han with Chewie, Luke, Determination, Engine Upgrade and Falcon Title
Outer Rim Smuggler (ORS) with Gunner, Anti-Pursuit Lasers and a Recon Specialist
A second match against the Larue family, with Paul hoping to get revenge for me beating his son. With two YT-1300s with turrets I knew my fancy flying wasn’t going to count for anything so I just wanted to focus on one of ships to get him down to one as quickly as possible. I initially was hoping to take out Han first but with his upgrades he was the more slippery so I ended up going after the Outer Rim Smuggler. My red dice were once again very hot and I was quickly stripping shields from it while taking damage to one of my Daggers.
In the mid game came a controversial moment when I was moving one of my ships past an asteroid and bumping into another of my ships. When I tried to place the moving ship the models ended up touching but the bases weren’t touching so I knew I’d have to remove a peg to get them to fit properly. I put the moving ship down and it’s back end of the base was just resting on the asteroid. After removing the peg and replacing the ship the back end had just cleared the asteroid and now the bases were in contact. Paul was unconvinced, thinking I’d bumped the second ship slightly, allowing there to be enough room for the moving ship to make it past the asteroid since he’d seem me place it down initially with it’s back end resting on the asteroid. I felt positive that I hadn’t moved them but I offered a dice roll to determine the result. Paul declined the dice roll and allowed me to complete the move as I was declaring, with the ship clear of the asteroid. It was a crucial moment as this allowed that ship to fire and I was able to finish off his ORS before it could fire that turn.
Han was able to finish off a damaged Dagger and a damaged Gold before the end, but a temporary 4 on 1 and then 3 on 1 meant I was able to strip his shields and start doing heavy damage before eventually finishing him off.
Final result: Win for me. All his ships destroyed, 1 Dagger and 1 Gold lost for me. I hate when a controversial moment is crucial as it leaves a bad taste for both players but I genuinely feel like the right thing happened. It may have turned out differently otherwise but it’s hard to say and I may well have gone on to win anyway. Who knows?
Round 4 vs Mike Mitchell:
Soontir Fel with Push the Limit
Howlrunner with Stealth Device and Determination
4 x Academy Pilot
At this point MIke and I were two of four unbeaten players. As before when playing against Howlrunner and a mini-swarm I decided to focus on the Academy TIEs first to reduce his number of attacks. I planned my usual engagement in the asteroids and he set up his mini-swarm together with Fel off to one side to flank. However, in the initial turns for some reason he brought Fel back in behind his main force and through the middle.
I managed to take out a couple of Academy TIEs early, taking some damage to a couple of ships in return. When Fel came through on the next turn it was a little congested and he wasn’t able to get out of arc so I took the opportunity to focus on him and kill him in one turn. I lost a Gold squadron in return but then finished a third Academy TIE and then up against Howlrunner and the final Academy I used the ION Turret to good effect and was able to finish him in short order without further loss. My red dice once again were hot.
Final result: Win for me. All his ships destroyed, 1 Gold Squadron lost for me. This ended up being a relatively straight forward win, partly down to his decision to bring Fel in behind rather thank flanking from out of arc. My red dice sure helped though!
This concluded the swiss rounds with me ending as one of only two players unbeaten and therefore I was for sure making the top four cut. The final four ended up being myself and Terrance Tripp both with 4-0 records, and then Darryl Olstad and Jean-Luc Larue both at 3-1 (Jean-Luc had gone on to win his 3rd and 4th rounds after losing to me.
Semi-Final vs Darryl Olstad:
3x Bounty Hunter Firespray
I wanted to avoid having him focus all three of his Bounty Hunters on any one of my ships so I set up in the left corner and he set one up in his right corner to joust and two in the middle pointing towards my left corner so he could fly through openings in the asteroid field in a straight line. I started by turning hard to the right and then back inside to the middle as I so often did. He brought all three straight forward as expected and when we engaged I was able to focus all of my fire onto one ship, stripping all of it’s shields and doing heavy damage, whereas he was forced to split his fire somewhat.
The next round with a combination of blocking and ion turrets I forced his damaged ship to stay in arc of the Daggers and was able to finish it. One of his undamaged ships flew straight ahead through the melee to get a shot with it’s rear arc, but with good red dice I was able to double ion it. This proved fatal as the next turn it had to move 1 straight, taking it too close to the edge to be able to recover the turn after. It did get one final shot, helping to kill one of the Daggers before flying off the board the next round.
Darryl managed to finish off the other Dagger in my chase for his final Bounty Hunter but I was able to successfully ionise it a number of turns and keep my ships mostly out of arc until finishing it off for another relatively comfortable win.
Final result: Win for me. All his ships destroyed, 2 Daggers lost for me. I felt like my flying and use of Ion Turrets in this game was excellent and proved the difference.
Final vs Jean-Luc Larue:
Jean-Luc had taken care of Terrance (our Store Championship winner) in their semi-final so it looked like a rematch was on the cards.
I wanted to repeat my strategy from the first game by going after the Obsidian TIEs again. I think I may have got into his head with the last game as he made some early flying mistakes, landing a couple of his ships on asteroids and I was able to punish him for it, taking out a couple of TIEs early, followed shortly after by the shuttle (partly down to his use of Vader and the fact that he brought it right through the middle this time.
I lost one Dagger but finished the other Obsidian TIE and then Howlrunner before chasing a damaged Dark Curse for a couple of turns. He resisted my attacks and got some damage in himself but eventually succumbed to the onslaught of attacks.
Final result: Win for me. All his ships destroyed, 1 Dagger lost for me. I flew well and he made a few mistakes which meant that the game ended up slightly easier than the game we’d played earlier. More excellent red dice definitely helped.
So, despite very little preparation I somehow came through to win the tournament, going unbeaten, destroying all enemy ships and never losing more than two of my ships in any given match. I feel like my dice rolling was good overall but also that my flying and use of ion turrets was excellent throughout. I do feel like the matchups I got were favourable throughout as well, as full on TIE Swarms definitely provide a tougher challenge.
Next step, a chance to go to Nationals, if I can afford the flight, hotel and time off work!