X-Wing Escalation

Some people from my local gaming store decided to run an escalation event over several weeks and i took the opportunity to jump right in.

Sticking my money where my mouth is (see my Defender blog) I wanted to run TIE Defenders in my list and so what better way to fill out 60 points than 2 Delta Squadron Pilots.

My plan though was to beef these up with Heavy Laser Cannons and Captain Jonus in support.  I had to do this in stages, to round 2 would be Jonus and HLC on one delta.

After this I needed to add another ship and wanted something with a little punch and the Royal Guard TIE + HLC on the other Delta provided this.  It would hopefully allow for the Interceptor to act as a flanker.

My final choice was Turr Phenir, I really like this pilot for his flexibility, the remaining points allowing Push the Limit on both the Interceptors.  All there was to do was to was submit this and see how things panned out.

Escalation Squadron

Escalation Squadron

 Captain JonusDelta Squadron Pilot Heavy Laser CannonRoyal Guard PilotTurr PhenirPush the Limit   

On to the Games 

Round one I had been drawn against Simon Kane, a relatively new player, but I was not sure what he was taking he turned up on the night.  

His list was Howlrunner w. Swarm Tactics, 2 x Black Squadron and an Academy TIE.

 HowlrunnerSwarm TacticsAcademy Pilot Black Squadron Pilot 

With an excellent initiative grab by myself i had the benefit of setting up first and also going ahead of his one academy TIE…

Our set up was diagonally opposite and with a good clump of asteroids in the middle of the board I felt i had the upper hand in navigating these.

Squadrons approach through the asteroid field

Squadrons approach through the asteroid field

The initial shots when they came in were from us both underestimating ranges, leaving two black squadrons vs my two defenders.  Fortunately I rolled up 6 hits destroying one TIE for the loss of 2 shields on one defender.  The next turn saw an error from Simon with Howlrunner clipping but landing on an asteroid, taking full advantage one defender put his shots into her, the other defender taking 2 shields, but coming through unscathed.  With Howlrunner taking a hit as she moved away from the asteroid, the defender on her tail took full advantage completing the job and blowing her out of the sky.  Despite some good maneuvering the TIE fighters failed to hit the defenders even at close range, and with 2 vs 2 the defenders performed their signature k-turn keeping the black squadron in their sights, with two fully focused shots he could not dodge the incoming fire, this was enough for the Academy pilot who had seen all his betters destroyed and he flew off to fight another day.

Result 60-0 win. 

Despite some initial concerns over the mini swarm, the mistake of Howlrunner hitting the asteroid and some shocking dice rolling in the attack meant the defenders came through with a solid win.  This could easily have gone the other way.

Next up I will be facing Andy Pelton and his second round squadron of Etahn A’baht (32) + R2-D2 (4) + Predator (3), Airen Cracken (19) and Ten Numb (31).

Etahn A'Baht Predator R2-D2 Ten Numb Airen Cracken

So three on three and all of his looking at putting critical hits on my imperial ships with almost every shot.  I really need to keep the principal of take on ship down at the front of my mind for this.  The B-wing cannot dodge for toffee, but can easily be focused and target locked with Airen’s ability combined with Ethan this should be a guaranteed hit every turn.  However he has 8 HP.  Airen is the weakest ship, and also a really powerful one, but he has to shoot to trigger his ability, so that (if i survive) means i will be able to shoot back.  With predator and R2-D2 if i go for Etahn i need to take him out of he will jsut regenerate shields and my time wasted.  I think therefore i need to take on the B-wing or Z-95 to start, and again make the most of my ability to k-turn and use an action.  The next article will determine how i fare.

Thanks for reading and see you soon. 

 

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Wave 4 – It’s all about the Phantom…or is it?

At least that is all the forums seem to be talking about at the moment, making lists with Echo, Whisper or the basic guys there is no love for the other Wave 4 Imperial release the TIE defender.

I love this ship, I think it is all from TIE Fighter the computer game it totally immersed me into the world of Star Wars to the extent if me considering spending my hard earned cash on a 386 to play even faster.

One of the first games i loved on the PC

One of the first games i loved on the PC

The TIE defender was the ultimate in flying, made all the other ships look basic in comparison, i have kept that love and hopefully persuading you of that too.

Dodge that Y-Wing

Dodge that Y-Wing

So what is it about the defender well i guess primarily its the cost of the ship.

The basic defender comes in at a whopping 30 points (Onyx at 32 and +2PS), although they are pretty sweet at that. 

Delta Squadron Pilot

Three’s across the board is very good for a small ship, as much fire power as an X-wing and B-wing, dodge of an A-wing and the shields of a Y-wing.  What is not to like?

Well it is more expensive than all of these, and imperials will say you can get three TIE fighters for that one ship which are more survivable and have more attack.

Some benefits, you have an inbuilt target lock rebel pilots know how great this is, on that turn you are out of position or at range three vs a 3 AG ship you can get this up and reap the benefits in later turns.

On top of that many dogfights end up at a point where you lose a turn turning or on a k-turn, this is where these ships and their white maneuver works a treat.  While other ships are stressed and without an action, hopefully your defender is Target locked and focused ready to finish off the opposition!

In the release there were two named pilots 

Colonel Vessery

Colonel Vessery you are reliant here on having target locks on your target so with few Imperial ships with this you are looking at flying some of these

Black Squadron PilotTargeting Computer 

or possibly 

Lambda ST-321

either way it gives Vessery a really nice bonus,with only a Focus required to gain full power shooting on the right target.  Although making him more expensive i like the following card due since i think the defender has a great ability to be a flanker, and as mentioned that K-turn can put you out of firing arcs quite easily.  

 Outmaneuver

the other big benefit is that you can use missiles on him really well,again one of the few chances to get that re-roll on your one shot weapon.

That leaves a pilot that i feel can really mess with the enemy – Rexlar Brath.

Rexler Brath

As a defender you are going to be wanting to make the most of this ability and there are few ways of doing this. One is to make sure you have a target lock on the enemy before shooting, or by having the following upgrade.

Predator

The big issue is that you are relying on your target having no shields, although it does allow you to put some critical hits on the Falcon flown by Chewbacca!

Getting expensive, you can tool him up with a Heavy Laser Cannon for that extra attack at range without giving away the extra defense dice.but you are then looking at a 47 point ship!

Support to Rexler can help make the most of his skills, Darth Vader in his Advanced passing on an action through squad leader, or Captain Jonus and his ability to re-roll secondary attacks.

Squadron Flying

Squad wise, there are options, one i have enjoyed flying is 

Captain Jonus (22), 2 x Delta Squadrons with Heavy laser cannons (HLC) (37 each).  it leaves 4 points which i like on Decoy or Swarm Tactics, i think Decoy is better because of the higher chance of the TIE Bomber taking a Critical dropping his PS, although that would only lower one of the Defenders from 1 to 0 so not a big drop.  This allows a fan favourite – Seismic charges, with Jonus at PS 6 he is moving late in the game and can often see where ships are ending their turn.

Vessery + Outmaneuver (38), Omricon Shuttle with ST-321 and Vader (love this guy for hitting AG4 ships!) (30) this leaves 32 points to spend,which is enough for two more ships of some flavour, or gamble on a High PS pilot like Soontir Fel, or a tooled up Royal Guard.

Finally Rexlar + HLC (44), Vader + Squad Leader (31), Royal Guard Interceptor + Push the Limit (25)

Yes you end up flying tricky 3 ship elite imperial lists, but they all have their place, I have not played enough games to know how they work against all opponents, but I like the “other” wave 4 ship the Imperials can fly.

See you next time, and in the mean time safe flying and avoid those asteroids.

Chris

.

Reverberation – X-Wing Wave 4

Wave 4 models arrived on my desk at work and it has again motivated me to do some writing.  Since everyone seems to be talking about Echo and phantoms, it seems a good place to start.

First off these guys move around like no-ones business and so rather than reinvent the wheel I am using the nomenclature created by Neil Amswych in the following article It’s far harder to kill a phantom

What i really wanted to understand though for myself is where ships actually could end up and can these guys really be blocked easily.

Running through the moves there are some that really jump out.

 Not a lot jumps out about the 1 turn, although E1 gets you almost back facing the other way, which is nice.

Echo 1 Turn Positions

Echo 1 Turn Positions

The bank maneuvers give some great 90 degree super tun options, an effective double bank when starting off with the C/D  The other one is the A which gets a horizontal shift with a 90 degree turn.

Echo 2 Bank positions

Echo 2 Bank positions

Apart from a lovely symmetrical display (something akin the the red arrows) 

Echo 2 Straight positions

Echo 2 Straight positions

(something akin the the red arrows) 

Echo 2 Turn positions

Echo 2 Turn positions

The three bank though and some distance can really be had, great for that sudden random change of direction when needed.

Echo 3 Bank positions

Echo 3 Bank positions

Echo 3 Turn positions

Echo 3 Turn positions

Echo 3 & 4 Straight positions

Echo 3 & 4 Straight positions

The longer straights get some distance on the board, and allow a great bomb burst, remember all of these can be k-turns.

Then there are the fun things, so echo is stuck behind an asteroid, but you want that 1-turn you can with a E 3 bank, followed up with a barrel roll, its all the actions, but you dodged that asteroid.

When a 1 bank is just not possible

When a 1 bank is just not possible

if there was ever the time when you wished you were facing 90 degrees to the side again with the E 2 bank and barrel roll gets you almost back in spot.

Left turn

Left turn

The regular phantoms are not as maneuverable, but they still get some speed around the board, these are much easier to predict, but also for the player flying these, its a lot easier to end up where you want.

Phantom 1 Turn positions

Phantom 1 Turn positions

Phantom 2 Bank positions

Phantom 2 Bank positions

Phantom 2 turn positions

Phantom 2 turn positions

At least the straight gets you going forward, unlike echo, where you have to be a pulling a bank.

Phantom straight positions

Phantom straight positions

At 

Phantom 3 bank positions

Phantom 3 bank positions

Phantom 3 turn positions

Phantom 3 turn positions

What have i learnt, not sure but I think that piloting echo will be as hard as trying to anticipate where it will end up.  

The regular phantom will still be awkward, but a lot easier to hit.

What can counter this then, especially as a popular choice on echo is Veteran instincts to get a pilot skill of 8.  Well 360 shooting is nice, i still think that Vader gives some grace with this, especially in a slow shuttle.

4 evade dice is nice, but is still only 2 evades with a focus, so getting the hits on this guy will take it down.

Now to decide whether to fly this guy in my next tournament in August…

Rebel Scum – X-Wing Tournament

First off its been a while since the tournament but finally I have found a spot to write the blog, Match of the Day on TV family in bed.

The build up to this event was really good, plenty of chat and updates on entrants, leading to 36 people signing up for the event, certainly the biggest event that I have been to for X-wing.

The venue

The venue

With having been on holiday and not having had the chance to play since Patriot games I had thought about a new list but with no practice fell back onto the same list.

Omicron Shuttle with Vader, Gamma Bomber with Concussion Missiles and Seismic Charge, 2 Academy TIES, Turr Phenir with Push the Limit

So without further adieu onto the games.

Game 1

Game one and its the Aces! I was drawn against Cadan who had taken an elite three ship imperial list all with stealth devices…it was going to be hard to hit them, I had to hope that Vader would do his thing.

Game 1 - Cadan Jones

Game 1 – Cadan Jones

So I set up with Vader in the corner in an attempt to keep the Aces in sight for as long as possible, the aces in the other corner seemed to have a plan to try and flank my force.

Vader surveys the Imperial Aces

Vader surveys the Imperial Aces

It was a tricky game this but things helped when an Academy took a pot shot at the Royal Guard at Range 3 through an asteroid…scoring 1 hit…and promptly 6 evade dice later bam bye bye stealth device. With this and more focussed fire the Royal Guard went down, but Turr died in return, but some poor maneuvering saw Soontir Fel hit an asteroid and then Vader took his chance and crushed him. The remainder of the game saw Carnor Jax outflying everyone and in a reverse of the royal guard TIE kept his stealth device all game, despite a critical from Vader.

Carnor Jax dodges another bout of incoming fire

Carnor Jax dodges another bout of incoming fire

I have to say this is my closet game to date in X-wing winning by 65-64.

Game 2

This game saw me draw a double firespray list flown by Matt

Game 2 - Matt Robinson

Game 2 – Matt Robinson

Knowing i could not face off against the superior fire power for long I decided to take out Krassis, but this failed and I fluffed a maneuver causing a failed k-turn on my bomber. What this meant in the long run was that the I only could then shoot Boba and stripped his shields too.

The only highlight for me was eventually (with a single hull remaining) Krassis misjudged a turn and flew off the table!

Krassis flies off the table in an attempt to fly another day.

Krassis flies off the table in an attempt to fly another day.

Still this left Matt the winner with 76-46.

Game 3

So dropping down the tables a bit I faced Paul who was flying Mr Han Solo himself.

Game 3 - Paul Davies

Game 3 – Paul Davies

I felt confident again going into this game and again I wanted to reduce the firepower that Paul could bring on me so with the rookies flying forward I flew everything towards them with Turr distracting Han on the flank.

Han Solo is intercepted by an Imperial fleet

Han Solo is intercepted by an Imperial fleet

With one rookie blow from the sky the entire force flew after Han and with the combined wire power stripped his shields and Vader causing a stunned pilot on Han. With my swarm in front of him it was only a matter of time till his destruction.

Chasing Han

Chasing Han

With the falcon destroyed the rookie was next and I ran out 100-36 winner.

Game 4

So after chatting with a mate Marcus Pitt and his opponent, Martin, whom he had just beaten. Interestingly all three of us had Vader in an Omicron shuttle. So as we finished chatting about how well this ship was doing the draw came up and I was playing Martin.

Game 4 - Martin Hotchkiss

Game 4 – Martin Hotchkiss

So with us both understanding what Vader can do I also knew how important it was to reduce the fire power and so used my academy pilots as they should be used and blocked where I could. Despite the bad turn shown below where I flew Vader onto an asteroid it was the poor flying of the firesprays that let Martin down and a couple of crashes for him later in the game was the downfall for him.

Close quarters flying

Close quarters flying

Once the shuttles were at each others throats I had the fire power to take his down, swiftly followed by one of the Firesprays. Despite my ships being on their last legs I ran out 67-0 winner.

Game 5

After this game I found time to chat to the guy who was on the top table and he was flying Han, and I really wanted to get to play him as my list works well against falcons, but with my early loss it was going to be hard.

So turning up to my table I met Mike, and sure enough he placed a Falcon down in front of me!

Game 5 - Mike Parkinson

Game 5 – Mike Parkinson

So facing Chewbacca and two y-wings I instantly decided to completely ignore the Y-wings and just focus totally on Chewbacca. Even though the y-wings had turrets I did not think that once the Falcon was down they would have the agility to take out the TIE fighters.

Chewie tries to avenge the loss of Han

Chewie tries to avenge the loss of Han

Despite losing Vader he managed to go down fighting and although he could not cause any critical’s on Chewbacca he did a couple of extra points of damage which saw him off. In return even a y-wing had no problems staying on the tail of the shuttle! The only problem for the rebels was they had 4 TIE’s on theirs.

I ran out 100-24 winner.

Game 6

By this time I was getting tired, and there were a few guys all on 4 wins unfortunately I was in last as one of these was a modified win. The draw seemed to suggest Marcus would play another guy we knew from the Warhammer scene Shane Metcalf, but Cadan had been winning too and so as we had already played he drew Marcus and I drew Shane.

Game 6 - Shane Metcalf

Game 6 – Shane Metcalf

So yet again it’s a falcon and Han was piloting it, I had obviously not done enough to kill him before. Shane had been playing this list really well and with two elite pilots with Marksmanship I really had to do something about one of these and fast.

The final approach

Ten Numb flies into the combined firepower of the Imperial fleet

This time it was Ten Numb that drew the firepower of the Imperium and he was blown out the sky in short order in exchange for an Academy TIE.

Not Han again

Not Han again

With my 4 ships against Shane’s one I used Vader to destruction doing as much damage to Han as he could before he was destroyed. Still it was a chase and Han was the deer in the headlights. The Bomber had a target lock from early in the game and the targeting computer had time to compute the optimal shooting pattern. Han tried to finish off the damaged Academy TIE but failed and in the end it was his shots that took the final hull point.

Han finally goes down

Han finally goes down

So the final game was over and it was another big win to me 99-36 and a points total of 23/30.

My results

My results

So we all retired to wait for the final results, all that was know was that “Andy” had won…but seeing as there were tow on the top table which was it…

The wrong Andy got his hands on the medal...temporarily.

The wrong Andy got his hands on the medal…temporarily.

Well it was not this one – unfortunately the organisers had the wrong total and shouted the incorrect surname.

So congratulations to Andy Southern for winning against a big field of competitors and also how he only just pipped Andy Robinson to 1st by a few points killed.

The right Andy wins the event

The right Andy wins the event

I finished a respectable 4th just behind Marcus. We all had 5 wins, but my modified win earlier in the tournament meant I could not catch them.

The full standings for the event are below.

Top half standings

Top half standings

Bottom half standings

Bottom half standings

Lessons Learnt

Well another tournament done and dusted and it’s time for some lessons learnt. First of all I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my opponents, yet again every game a cracker and played in the right spirit of things.

My list flew well yet again and with 10/11 wins across two tournaments it seems it is quite forgiving too. Having said that the game I lost was to a solid list which was flown well and coupled with some mistakes on my part let me down. Cadan with his aces also gave me a run for their money.

The aces make a solid list and I am tempted to fly some of these next time I get a chance to. What it seems though is that the falcon builds seem to really struggle against this build. Three faced and maximum points against all of them. I am yet to face a proper swarm with these guys and I still feel that may the downfall of the list still.

I lost to the twin firespray list and this I should have been able to deal with, I thought that the only opportunity to do this was to focus fire, but I tried to outflank with Turr and this seriusly reduced my fire power, in hindsight he should have been front and central for the initial run on the ships. I think that would have given the extra few hits which would have possibly taken Krassis down.

Any way I came away with another card box and with the number of cards stacking up with all the ships I have this is a great for my storage, in addition all the players there came away with a promo Y-wing card and a Acrylic token.

It was my first trip out to the North West Gaming center and I must say that the place was really well set up for gaming. There was plenty of space around the boards for tokens, cards and elbow room, food amenities and the Element Games shop were all spot on. It was also an easy drive in over the Pennines from Nottingham.

Finally a big thank you to the event organisers and Sai Harris who ran the ship really smoothly I would definitely attend an event run by these guys again.

Thanks for reading, till next time.

Patriot Games 2014 Store Championships

So although I decided to keep with the principle of what I wrote in the build up blog https://mincoire.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/sheffield-patriot-games-store-champs-build-up/ with some tweaks to my list I had settled it down from those discussed to the following 5 ship list

Omicron Shuttle with Vader
Scimitar Bomber with Concussion Missiles and proximity bombs
Obsidian TIE
Academy TIE
Turr Phenir with Push the Limit

With a chance of a practice game on the Thursday night my mate Adam came over and we had a couple of interesting games.

The first was Adam with 4 rebel ships – Green Squad Awing + PTL and Concussion Missiles, Red Squad Xwing with R2 astromech, Biggs with R2 Astromech and Y-Wing with ion cannon.

I took a spread formation to try and make him break up his firepower, with Turr on the flank and big white meandering through the asteroids to give him as many options as possible.

Imperial patrol moves to intercept a rebel invasion force

Imperial patrol moves to intercept a rebel invasion force

Adam duly did this with the Ywing breaking off to make use of his 360 ion turret in the Alpha strike Biggs went straight back to the medical ship for some serious healing, in return the imperials suffered some damage but came through with all ships flying.

With the Imperials focusing their fire on the Ywing the rebels managed to take down a TIE fighter.

Vader mind games pulls the rebels into the imperial trap

Vader mind games pulls the rebels into the imperial trap

With the destruction of the xwing the Imperials moved in for the kill

Locked on...

Locked on…

We had time for a second game so Adam changed his list and took a 6 ship imperial list… 2 TIE advanced, 3 TIE Fighters and an Interceptor. With him outnumbering me I took a compacted formation so that hopefully I could bring all my guns to bear on a single target.

Imperial training maneuvers

Imperial training maneuvers

As expected a few ships went down and everyone congregated in the middle of the board for a tea party, although the only crashes were Adam into Vader – the wrong guy to annoy! Once he realised that the paint work on his shuttle was chipped he used the full power of the force to take it out on the opposing pilots responsible.

Time to call Honest Sith's insurance...

Time to call Honest Sith’s insurance…

With some final turns my imperials gained the edge and took the modified win.

Last minute changes
With two days to go and no more games I kept looking at the list and the biggest issue was that the bomber was rarely in the right place to drop the proximity mines and with the 2 speed he was struggling to get a target lock on ships unless he zoomed forward. So i upgraded him to a Gamma Squadron with Concussion torpedoes and seismic charge.

PICTURE

The Big Event

14 players had turned up to play at the event so it was a good field, one of the initial things that we could see was that there were 5 imperial shuttles at the event all in different lists. There were also a couple of swarm lists a double fire spray list or two and basically limited rebel forces.

The venue was well set up with just enough space, although tight, it was manageable. Cheap all day parking was right around the corner, Sheffield city centre was just up the road, and greasy kebab shops down the road!

Patriot Games Store Championship

Patriot Games Store Championship

With all the players showing up we all received a promo card of Ten Numb, these little touches are what I love about the game, and so at least I was going home with something.

So the random draw saw me paired off against Ben Johnson – one of my regular opponents, but hey with several guys I know this was probably always destined to happen at some point. 4 rounds 75 mins here we come…

Round 1
Ben took a double Firespray list with a totally tooled up Kath Scarlet and Krassis Trelix.

Ben's List - Round 1

Ben’s List – Round 1

Ben had told us all that he was taking this list a few days before and it was one I did not want to face, the high pilot skill would outshoot my guys, so my plan was to try and take down one ship at a time and so I focussed on Kath as she held the most points. With this in mind Turr went off on the flank and the rest flew at the Bounty hunters.

The bomber was blown from the sky in the opening salvo before he even fired a shot, the assault missiles chipping off a hit on a Fighter and the shuttle, but with focused fire Kath lost all her shields and took a crit from Vader, followed on a subsequent turn by a second crit, it was a gamble but hampering Kath was worthwhile and left her on a single hull point which allowed Turr to finish her off next round.

With Kath struggling to pilot her ship Turr finishes her off

With Kath struggling to pilot her ship Turr finishes her off

Krassis was now flying on borrowed time with three ships against one he managed to take down Vader but not before suffering serious structural damage and the constant nipping of the TIE’s took him down.

Win to me 99-60 wipe out

Round 2
Next up was a new opponent – Timo – flying 2 Red Squadron Xwings and 2 Dagger Squadron Bwings with Ion Cannons

The game went well for me and despite having some red hot dice at the right time there was one big error made. I managed to take down a Bwing early on with again a flanking Turr with Vader blowing up the Ion cannon this meant the shuttle was safe from being escorted off the board (it could only now take one ion a turn which gives at least one turn for a maneuver)

So the error well I kept on mucking up my maneuver with a TIE and failing to judge the distance to clear the base of the shuttle which meant he was right at the back of the board. However he came free just at the time when the X-wings wanted to K-turn to get into the game, with a regular move he landed in the only spot on the board that meant both X-wings crashed into him, so not only were they stressed, facing with their backs to my ships the only target they could of had was the TIE they had crashed into! at this point in the game it was 50-48 points to me so it was the pivotal moment of the match.

K-turn what k-turn

K-turn what k-turn

With this the imperials killed one and stripped the shields on the others, with the number superiority it was a case of mopping up the remaining ships which was duly done.

Win 100 – 48 wipe out

Round 3

This time I was facing off against James Hewitt – who had a Shuttle and Two Bounty Hunters

James Hewitt - Round 3

James Hewitt – Round 3

He set up with an interesting formation that I had not come across before with all three sideways on the back edge, anyway in my mind I needed to again focus fire, but at the same time I thought that Turr could get behind the shuttle and that he duly did and single handedly stripped away shields and hull. This though was not the pivotal moment, again as I have said before this game is all about maneuvering. Knowing that James had some tough ships I focused fire on one bounty hunter stripping away shields and hull. Leaving this…

...come on and do the conga...

…come on and do the conga…

Basically my ships moved first and crashed, this meant james ships were stuck, to make things worse he dropped his seismic charge blowing up the rear Firespray and damaging the shuttle! After this turn the shuttle was down and I had only taken 1 hit on Turr and an TIE from the seismic charge.

Needless to say the remaining firespray went down in short shift.

Win 100-0 wipe out

Now all of a sudden I realised that this was the best I had ever done at a tournament previously I had only won two games, and with only one other player on three wins I went off to find Lee Duncan to fight it out for the championship.

Round 4

Lee Duncan – Shuttle and 5 TIE fighters

Lee Duncan - Round 4

Lee Duncan – Round 4

Setting up opposite each other we started the final round with the winner taking the prize.

Vader vs Vader...

Vader vs Vader…

The big question was who had the “real” Vader We both made a fairly aggressive start moving fast up the pitch, this left my shuttle in range of two PS6 TIE’s with a hit + 2 Crits and 1 dodge Vader shot his force lightning taking one TIE down this was a big bonus to me as we were now down to the same number of ships for the loss of two shields.

Lee focused his fire on my shuttle, but a combination of bad rolls to hit and the odd dodge left my Vader alive. The TIE bombers proton Torpedoes and Turr Phenir hit for 7 on Lee’s shuttle and he rolled no evades! With three hull points left my Vader opened up and with his force lightning took down the impostor.

Then came the interesting point in the match, I forgot to drop my bomb before revealing my dial I had it planned but then just forgot at the critical time. As it was the final there were no take backs, the rules are the rules and both of us wanted to win, but then Lee made a similar mistake and shot with his PS4 pilots effectively skipping two of his PS6 guys. In a regular game I believe we would have both given take backs, but in the last game we both stuck by the rules. Either way it did not effect the game negatively and we both carried on flying, rules are the rules and it is more sporting to play by them than use “puppy dog eyes” for take backs.

Feel the force

Feel the force

Lee’s luck deserted him though at this point and pretty much every hit I put on him went through his defenses, “the real” Vader tried to get out of dodge landing on an asteroid, surviving the first hit, but failing to dodge the second and the shuttle crashed and burned.

Most others around us seemed to have finished and a mini crowd was gathering, but Lee was by now flying on empty and down to two TIE’s both on a single hit and mine were largely undamaged. The final shot of the game with my TIE fighter flying through an asteroid, shooting 1 hit and Lee picking up his three evade dice and stating to the watching crowd, “three blanks” sure enough the prediction came true and with that the match was over.

the championship shot!

the championship shot!

Win 100 to 24 wipe out

This was certainly the hardest of the games and certainly the most tactical, there were very few errors by either team, and it pretty much came down to the dice, today they were in my favour.

The whole weekend was really good and culminating in a win!

The Prize

The Prize

Now I need to arrange a pass out to a Regional Tournament…

A big thanks to all my opponents each game was cracking and they typically came down to a bit of luck and maneuvering.

Sheffield Patriot Games – Store Champs build up

After a fun outing with the rebels at my last tournament I thought I would turn to the Dark side. I wanted to fly a variant of a list I have flown before.

Vader – Squad Leader & Concussion Missiles, 2 x Academy & Backstabber in TIE Fighters, Scimitar Bomber with Proton Torpedoes and Concussion Missiles

It flew well and only just lost 2 games (1 ship difference) won 2 and lost one bad. So it was 2-3 overall but some glimmer of hope still exists for me. The problem i had was firing both sets of secondaries off the bomber, but despite this it was still a good way of getting two sets into one list.

The variant i wanted to try included Aces but i was not sure if these were legal, if they were I was going to fly with Kir Kanos and a hull upgrade for those extra hits and survivability.

However in the absence of aces my plan is to have a go with one of the following.

2 Academy, Dark Curse in TIE’s
Colonel Jendon in ST 321 with Advanced sensors
Scimitar Bomber with Proton Torps and Assault Missiles

My hope with this is that it is a 5 ship list so that the TIE’s can fly some interference, but also that the shuttle is more resilient than Vader and can do the same thing i.e. pass on a target lock to the bomber. The risk is that the Bomber does not get to shoot both sets of missiles off which happened in the last match up.

But as he can pick up a target lock on turn one through the colonel he only has to sneak into range 3 to fire off the assault or proton’s, meanwhile Jendon can be passing his locks off to others to give them the best options on that initial pass.

The risk with this is having to commit to the target lock in advance, rather than using the Vader option which gives me the flexibility to pick who will be in range at the time I want to shoot.

Which is why i had an alternative but only being a 4 ship build is a big risk…

Vader Assault missiles and Squad Leader, Scimitar Bomber Assault missiles, Turr Phenir with PTL, and Night Beast.

The thoughts are pretty much the same, but it is a much more maneuverable list but it will mean Vader sticking his nose out to be shot down, the double assault missiles have been taken because I keep seeing closed up Rebels, or other swarms and getting those hits spread around chipping some shields off should be good. Also with Biggs floating around Turr should hopefully finish him off allowing the Bomber to shoot up a Bwing or Wedge if he is about, hopefully taking them both out early.

Still to have a few practice games this week with this, but I feel that my list will be something along these lines…the exact composition is still TBC.

Anyway I hope to be back soon and after the event with some feedback on how the chosen list flew, and as always some lessons learnt.

Thanks for reading.

Asteroids

In my first tournament I asked one of my opponents if there was actually some tactics for placement of the asteroids, with a knowing wink he said yes…

My eyes were opened when I was playing Andy in a 60 point skirmish and we did not really put any down the asteroids in any order and it left the way open for the 4 ship swarm to fly up against a Firespray stripping it of shields in the initial pass.

It was then it sunk in, the rocks are there to not only make the game more interesting, but also to give your ships protection.

My last couple of articles were about dodging asteroids, and this is based upon the same principle.

If your swarm is facing off against one ship and it can fly in formation and unload, then the ship is going down.

With some strategic placement of asteroids though you can force formations to break up early and hopefully put one or more ships out of position.

Of course your opponent will be trying to do the same thing. So once the asteroids are down on the board take a look and see if there are any channels to fly down.

This tactic can also be used to your advantage why flying against a swarm of ships since if you can force them to break formation first then hopefully you can keep all your guns to bear whilst reducing the number of incoming shots.

For example in the picture below Han is under some pressure from Marak Ste.. – nah it’s Vader and his swarm of TIE’s. As it stands the TIE can focus fire, keep their formation and hopefully come out the winner on the initial pass.

Asteroids 3

but…with some key asteroid placements and assuming the same line of attack it is obvious that for the TIE’s to avoid hitting those Rocks and bumping up their premiums then they need to re-organise.

Asteroids 4

So in the same situation the formations of both teams will possibly have broken up as the attack runs are set up.

Asteroids 5

Obviously this is where your flying choices come into things, but one thing is for sure the asteroids make the game way more interesting to play.

Lanes
The other thing to therefore consider when you are flying with your ships is what lanes you can drive in, its a bit like the motorway just try not to hog one lane all the time it does not always work. What I aim to do is look at the asteroid setup and decide where I can fly and how many ships abreast can make it down the lane. Then depending on the set up of the two fleets try to make it happen.

So Vader is leading his wingmen on an attack run and has picked a lane through the asteroids wide enough to fly three abreast while the Rebel A-wings have picked a similar lane wide enough for them.

Asteroids 7

but again with a slightly different placement and you can clearly see that to avoid the asteroids you would need to break formation.

Asteroids 8

One more from afar Vader has picked a perfect line and no maneuvering is required on the way into the attack on the YT-100 picking these lanes to fly in can help your game massively especially in the alpha strike.

Asteroids 6

Back to the academy

As pointed out by some kindly fellows on Facebook sometimes it is worth flying through the asteroid, there are several reasons for this.

1 This game to me so far is half about your moves and half about your opponents, they are second guessing where you are going to move and vice versa, so flying through an asteroid may throw their game plan and benefit yours, if it does go for it. Just don’t land on top of the damn thing!

2 If you have shields its not the end of the world taking the hit, yes you lose your action but having all your guns to bear following this and being in the right place for subsequent turns is possibly more important than trying to dodge around the asteroid.

3 Flying into an asteroid or positioning so that a subsequent turn means you will hit it can be even better if it means your opponent hits you and lands on the asteroid.

As always I welcome your comments and hope this helps you fly to victory.