Armada – Sheffield Regional 2016

Background to a list

With some practice games under my belt and games at our local gaming club, Sanctuary Gaming Centre, I hoped I was prepared for the Regional.

Having played rebels almost exclusively since the game came out I was looking at taking one of my favourite leaders, General Dodonna.

Dodonna

My main reason for this guy is his ability to affect the critical hits given to the opposing fleet, and although there is everyone’s favourite Structural Damage there are some other juicy cards to fish for, (Faulty Countermeasures and Coolant Discharge are two that complement my list nicely, although there are plenty that are great).

Having run some various lists in the past I was debating over what may be best to take and reviewing the FFG community page I took a fancy to Lyraeus’ “Dodonna the Oppressor” list.  I liked the synergy and how this could perform after a few practice games .  The question was how would I fare at the Regional, in an untested meta and with players that probably have played more games than I had.

So in summary this was 3 Corvettes with Intel Officer and Turbolaser Reroute Circuits, two Scout MC30’s with Ordnance Experts, Titles, Assault Proton Torpedoes, Intel Officers and Turbolaser Reroute Circuits.

The tournament

After a little bit of chat on the forums I was looking forward to meet up with a few of the people met there and more importantly get some games played.  It was looking like it would be a long day with 4 games to be played, with that in mind I decided to play my Store Championship Bye.  Arriving a little late at 10am I expected to see the games in full swing, but as it turned out they had just got underway.

So I got chatting with some of the other guys using their byes and  got to watching some games and looking at the lists out there.

An initial look about showed lots of Rieekan and Ackbar, a couple of Mon Mothma and two Dodonna’s (so i was in for a good shout for best Dodonna…)

On the Imperial side the favourites were Screed and Motti, with a smattering of Ozzel and one Tarkin.

I had a good chat with some guys including Pete Rees, Liam Tormey and Laurence Evans about lists the prevalence of Imperials and Motti and Screed.

Round 2

Well as we had all discussed pretty much the bye players all faced each other in the first round, it was my luck to face off against Liam Tormey whom I had been having a good chat with earlier. He had taken a double ISD list with Motti leading the way.

After taking the choice of first player i decided on his objectives, and this was to be my downfall, I chose Fire Lanes expecting to be able to take out an ISD early and then try and grab objectives later in the game.  I knew it would be an uphill struggle, but i had not appreciated how much of a struggle it would be.

With some initial trade off of shots and all the objectives going to the Imperials on turns 1+2 the Rebel fleet took out Motti’s flag ship on Turn three for the loss of a Corvette in return.  The success of this though had meant travelling at speed and although i was now around the back of the other ISD I was travelling too fast to claim the objectives.  At this point i made a decision to try and keep in the fight and minimise the losses, but some good rolls at the death changed the result from a 7-3 to Liam to 8-2.

Round 3

I was hoping at this point to get a good match up, but it was against a good player in David Bone and another Imperial list.

He took first player and chose my Intel Sweep to play, with the objective spread in my favour he set his ships to fast and proceeded to take the battle to me.  I think this is where my lack of experience cane to show as I was not used to this level of aggressiveness and instead of playing to my fleets strengths – i.e. keeping at range, I over committed and proceeded to lose ship after ship in quick succession.

I almost got back into the game as Demolisher clipped the ISD and lost Monferat but he managed to escape the following turn and ran to the hills.

The battle was over really fast, and at a 10-0 to David at least I had some time to grab a bite to eat.

Round 4

With a lot of time to think I realised that in Game 1 I had played correctly but picked the wrong mission, game 2 I had a good mission, but played the wrong game, so i really wanted to make sure i played the right game and took the mission when it was possible.

I drew my namesake, Chris Leffler in this round and facing yet another Imperial list and my 4th Isd of the day!  Chris has two gladiators in support of the flagship and Screed commanding.

This time I was first player again and chose contested outpost, knowing that for the first couple of turns I would be losing out, but hoping that the firepower I knew I could bring to bear would compensate for this.  After managing to set a trap for the Demolisher, I proceeded to roll 1 hit on my close range black dice of Foresight, fortunately the combination of fire had caused some defense tokens to be burnt! So with a panic Demolisher activated and took out a Corvette leaving me on a mission to focus fire, and between the remaining Corvettes the Demolisher was blown from the sky.

With the remaining Gladiator trapped on the far side of the ISD my remaining fleet poured fire into the Flagship taking it down on Turn 4.  Heavily out numbered the remaining fighters and Gladiator tried to take down Admonition but the ship flew to safety with a parting shot to the Gladiator leaving it wide open to the combined fire of the Corvettes and Foresight.

So having played my list correctly at last and despite losing the objective 4-1 i pulled out a 9-1 win in the last game.

Round up

It had been a long day and it was on to the award ceremony, despite my 9-1 I was not quite close enough to the other Dodonna admiral and also to my chagrin finished in 18th just a single point off the top 16.

Still the prizes were not over and to my surprise I heard my name called out, there was a prize for the top General of both factions outside the top 16 and I had managed that feat! It came with a nice mug and a gift voucher for the store.

I learnt a lot about my list and it still interests me and i would like to fly it again, but also seeing so many other lists out there and all the variations thereof I am tempted to change to something new.

The Venue

It was the second time I have been to Patriot Games back in 2014 where I won an X-wing Store Championship but it turns out they have moved and their new venue is really good for gaming with an entire room given over to gaming upstairs with the store downstairs.

The staff were really friendly and the event was run without a hitch as far as I could see, which is what you want from a tournament from the player’s perspective.

Lists

Liam

ISD II Intel Officer, ECM, Gunnery Team, XI7, Admiral Motti

ISD II Intel Officer, ECM, Gunnery Team, XI7,

3 x Tie Advanced, Jumpmaster, Dengar

David

ISD II, Wulff Yularen, XI7, SW7 Ion Cannons, Gunnery Teams, Expanded Hanger Bay, ECM, Avenger

Gladiator I, Engine Techs, Demolisher, APT, Ordnance Ecperts, Admiral Montferrat

Raider I, Ordnance Experts, Instigator

3 x Tie Bombers, Rhymer and Dengar

Chris

ISD II, Admiral Screed, Advanced Projectors, XI7, Boosted Comms, Leading Shots

Gladiator I, Demolisher, Ordnance Experts, Engine Techs, Assault Concussion Missiles

Gladiator I, Ordnance Experts, Assault Concussion Missiles

Howlrunner, Dengar, 3x Tie Advanced

Final Standings

Although I did not stay till the end the Final Battle was between Laurence and Pete, unfortunately the Imperials won the day beating the Stalwart Rebels.  Congratulations to Laurence and his triple Gladiator list.  Nice to see a Rebel Imperial final though.

Armada Sheffield Regional

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Star Wars Armada – Spring League

I was glad to see our local store Sanctuary Gaming Centre was running another league, after several debates I settled on a variant of my store championship list dropping the AF2 in favour of a fragile but hard hitting MC-30 Scout Frigate.

I have been using Armada Warlord Solutions to build and plan my lists as it is user friendly and allows easy export of lists.

For those that read my blogs, I have been out for a while busy working for a new company and found I had less free time.  Still been keeping up the gaming but no time to blog, despite feeling the need to often!

So I am happy to write about the latest star wars game, from FFG – Armada.  I have been playing since the release, entered into several leagues and tournaments. Managed to bag a Store Championship and am off to a Regional later in May, although totally undecided on the list to take for this at the moment.

 

The lists

Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 395/400
Commander: Admiral Ackbar

Assault Objective: Advanced Gunnery
Defense Objective: Hyperspace Assault
Navigation Objective: Dangerous Territory

CR90 Corvette A (44 points), Jaina’s Light ( 2 points), Intel Officer ( 7 points), Turbolaser Reroute Circuits ( 7 points)
Total = 60

MC30c Scout Frigate (69 points), Foresight ( 8 points), Intel Officer ( 7 points), Ordnance Experts ( 4 points), Turbolaser Reroute Circuits ( 7 points), Assault Proton Torpedoes ( 5 points)
Total = 100

[ flagship ] MC80 Command Cruiser (106 points), Admiral Ackbar ( 38 points), Home One ( 7 points), Intel Officer ( 7 points), Engine Techs ( 8 points), Electronic Countermeasures ( 7 points), XI7 Turbolasers ( 6 points)
Total = 179

Squadrons: Dash Rendar ( 24 points), 2 YT-2400s ( 32 points)

James’ list was 400 points on the nose:
Gladiator 1, assault concussion missiles, ordnance experts
Gladiator 1, assault concussion missiles, ordnance experts
Imperial II class star destroyer, Admiral Motti, Redundant Shields, xi7 turbo lasers, gunnery team, relentless, leading shots

Squadrons, Boba Fett, Soontir Fel, Mauler Mithel, Tie Interceptor,2 Tie advanced

Assault Objective: Opening Salvo
Defense Objective: Hyperspace Assault
Navigation Objective: Dangerous Territory

My round 1 opponent was an old Nemesis – James Hawkins (who won the last league), we have had relatively even honours before, however the last time we met the battle was a squib and neither of us lost much in the way of ships on the way to a 5-5 draw.  I was determined to make an effort to score a win and was looking to play fairly aggressively.

As first player I decided to take the Hyperspace Assault mission, knowing this would remove a Gladiator from the scene for a turn or two and hopefully allow me to gain a good position on the table before it showed up.

Set Up

The space station was set central, and I placed asteroids on the imperial side to try to disrupt their deployment and potentially cause a critical if I could force them into the hoped positions. James spread the deployment points accross the board, but towards my left and I obliged with my set up looking for the MC-30 to out flank on the left and the TRC-90 and MC-80 moving to the right and up the centre. I spread my fighters accross the board.

James set one of his gladiators opposite the TRC and the Imperial Star destroyer opposite the MC80.  The fighters were all clustered around the Gladiator.

IMG_1533.JPG

IMG_1537

The Game

I sped the MC-30 up on the left with the plan to get him up close and personal to the Gladiator hopefully unleashing a double arc blast of 5 black and 3 red dice, coupled with Assault Proton Torpedoes I hoped to take it down in a single pass, especially if i could get a couple of long range shots off on the way in.

As it happened it all went to plan, except for the 5 black dice failing to turn up a critical, thus leaving the Gladiator on 1 hull (damn Admiral Motti).  This meant the corvette took the brunt of the shots off the Gladiator before he shot killing the Gladiator and dodged off to the rear of the battlefield. James had taken the opportunity to bring the third gladiator in to challenge the MC30 but even at speed three he only managed a long range punt and Foresight put paid to any damage being dealt.

The following turn as the new Gladiator rammed the Corvette  from the world, and the MC30 was looking in poor shape, at speed 4, a ruptured engine and 1 damage, fortunately i had dialed in an engineering, which cleared the critical.

20160417_145821

So with survival in mind I powered up and set a course to safety, to conserve points.

The game swung though as the Imp SD shot and moved up to medium range of the MC80, who promptly shot 11 damage and played an accuracy on Brace, leaving X-I7 to batter through the remaining front shields to leave the ship on half health, an attempted ram using engine techs failed but left the MC-80 in close range and out of the front arc of the Imperial SD for the next turn.  What followed was not pretty, another 12 damage shot to the shield-less front arc saw the flag ship blasted from the sky.

IMG_1552

With the Imperials looking in bad shape the MC-80 took on the gladiator, but with a natural roll of 4 accuracy there was not enough damage output and I had to rely on 3 rams to kill it off leaving the remaining fighters to scatter to the stars.

The final score was a big win to me scoring 400 – 116, with a MoV 284 left a solid so 9-1 to me in the first round.

Post Match Summary

Notes on the game, almost all the commands I chose were Navigation, although early on I dialed in some engineering and concentrate fire in case i needed these later.  The maneuvering ability on the MC-80 really needed these, and although it would be nice to have included the concentrate fire, it was my positioning that helped me to the win on this one.

Although on Turn 4 this game looked like it would end in a draw, but T5 was the turning point, with the front of the damaged Imperial Star Destroyer still in the side arc of the MC-80, James activated the Gladiator to try and get some extra shots off at the fleeing MC-30, but at the long range this was ineffective.   What it meant though was that instead of having a shot at the Imperial on a shielded face all the damage went straight to the hull. No accuracy rolled, but the brace was not enough to keep the ship flying, with the exact damage being taken to kill it.  Although i think i would have got him the following turn, but it would have meant that I did not kill the Gladiator and in return the Gladiator would have savaged the MC-80.

I could foresee the MC-30 taking some damage, but I failed to grasp just how much, both times I was just in range of the chasing ships, and got away with the critical hit, fortunately as I was already at speed 4 taking the engineering was a no-brainer at this point (with an entire half of the board to fly into.  My fighters did their job well and although they went down fast they pinned the imperial squadrons in place long enough for them not to worry my ships.

Round two to come, several opponents to face, will it be more Imperials or Rebels…

Edit – 6th May

Other results in the league are in:

Greg Milne vs Daniel Scott (Imp vs Imp) – 174 to 171

Rich Tansey vs Martyn Gough (Rebel vs Imp) – 383 to 127

Next round is

Chris vs Rich

Daniel vs Martyn

James vs Greg

 

 

To paint, or not to paint, that is the question

What drew me to X-wing when I first played it was that I could walk into a shop, buy a model, open it and be playing with it just as soon as i wanted.

At the time I was also playing Warhammer Fantasy Battle and enjoyed the painting and hobby aspects of the game, and was so glad that X-wing allowed me to take a break from that.

Fast forward 10 months or so and time has become a little more precious and Warhammer has dropped away for the time being, in contrast I have been playing more and more x-wing, in addition I have been multiple copies of releases when they came out.

The hobbyist in me wanted to put my mark and differentiate between models on the battle field, what follows are my edits and tweaks to the already amazing models from Fantasy Flight!

Millennium Falcon

My first attempt was to the Millennium Falcon, the ship itself i think looks fine, but the area where the engines are just annoyed me as a plain blank grey, and i wanted to add some “life” to these.

IMG_5583

The ship on the left shows the paint job and the one on the right as it is out of the box.

A-WIng

This is where I left things for a long while till my next project – the A-wing, everyone who is anyone seemed to be flying the Green Squadron A-wing (if they flew any A-wings that is), so i wanted a quick change.  I achieved this by leaving the main body of the ship alone and just over-painting the red with a green, highlighting and shading this.

IMG_5589

TIE Interceptor

Next up were some really basic mods that I have done to all of my imperial ships and that was to add a green “flash” to the tips of the guns to simulate the laser fire.

In addition after buying the Imperial Aces i wanted to have more of the Imperial Guard red ships and with a “spare” interceptor I took to a full repaint.. my first attempt.

IMG_5585

Green tips can be seen on all three interceptors and #7 is the full repaint with #10 the original Imperial Ace.

Lambda Shuttle

Sticking with the Imperials and with a similar frame of mind to earlier I added an engine glow to the Shuttle.

IMG_5591

HWK-290

Getting the bug my final ship for today is the repaint of a HWK-290, originally I repainted the red stripes with a blue, but after some consideration I went the whole hog.  Going for a light grey in a similar manner to the Millennium Falcon I applied a wash and then highlighted this, adding some coloured pipes and blue vision panels.  Although it cannot be seen I added a blue glow to the engines to finish the ship off.

IMG_557920141026_115916

In conclusion

I hope you appreciated the repaints, maybe if i get around to buying a second Firespray then I may repaint one of those, but as I only own one its staying as the original repaint at the moment.

I have been pleased with the efforts and also how well the smaller changes give some personality to the models and especially as the time taken to do this is minimal.

Soon I may have a helper to assist…

20141025_174708

Thanks for reading.

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.

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.

Dogfighting

Another day another X-wing dogfight, this time vs Ed Morris. Now Ed is a recent (re)convert to X-wing according to Ed he was the King on jumping on the bandwagon, at the time X-wing came out…unfortunately he never told us all how ace the game was and sold all his stuff!

Fast forward a year and Ed has bought himself some Rebel (scum) to fly with…

Game 1

Ed flew a mixed squadron – Red X-wing with Proton Torps, Garven Dries, Rebel Operative in HWK with recon specialist and blaster cannon, Grey Y-wing with Ion Cannon.

I took an Imperial fleet led by Kath Scarlet, Merc Copilot, Slave 1 & Proton Torpedoes, Turr Phenir with PTL, Backstabber and an Academy TIE

The fleets deployed with the rebels taking the centre the imperials taking a dispersed formation with Turr leading Backstabber in a flank attack.

Set up

Set up

Advancing to attack speed Turr showed Backstabber how to do things getting into the flank of Garven with a decisive boost before barrel rolling out of range of the HWK’s blaster turret.

Forces advance

Forces advance

The initial exchange of fire saw Garven taking 2 hull points, Academy taking damage and while Kath’s shields held they were severley reduced, in return she stripped the shields from the Red Squadron.

Things were getting tight and all the fighters were angling for the perfect shot, in the confusion Kath misjudged her turn slightly clipping the asteroid. Garven had pulled the perfect maneuver and managed to get out of range while getting all the TIE’s into range.

Close maneuvering

Close maneuvering


Under the weight of fire Backstabber could not dodge all the shots fired into him and was destroyed. While Kath was left frustrated as she dodged fragments of rock missing her opportunity to fire. Turr kept his focus and damaged the HWK leaving it with a single hull.

TIE down - its Backstabber

TIE down – its Backstabber

With the Academy Pilot feeling the pressure he K-turned in an attempt to take down the three ships that were chasing him.

Unfortunately Kath had planned on the Red Squadron following them but with a surprise turn it meant she was stuck in the asteroid field still. To make matters worse Turr failed to finish off the Red Squadron and in return the Red scored a direct hit on Turr!

Kath struggles through the asteroid field

Kath struggles through the asteroid field

The Imperials were in trouble, but the rebels were desperately trying to keep their battle scarred ships flying.

Rebels return to the fight

Rebels return to the fight

Despite suffering ion damage from the Y-wing Kath had managed to clear the asteroids and had a shot on Red, but still failed to finish him off, obviously suffering from the asteroid scare earlier in the day. Still Turr had managed to get into long range taking him down.

Red Squadron down

Red Squadron down

With time running down Kath kept in range shooting down the Hwk, Turr taking revenge on Garven who had been desperately trying to fly the damaged x-wing to safety, but this maneuver had left him open to an Ion shot from the Y-wing through an asteroid and with an evade…
well you can see the result of that below!

Ships blow up in cleansing crossfire

Ships blow up in cleansing crossfire

With the dust settling, Kath left the wreckage of the TIE’s behind flying off to fight another day.

A cracking game with the Imperials winning by 19 points.

Back to the academy

Crashing how have I not learnt yet! Flying big ships is where it let me down, I badly estimated the extra distance they move and having two turns of Kath not shooting was really bad and almost cost me the game. Turr was great he got unlucky with the direct hit otherwise he would have survived the game.

Kath wasted the Merc co-pilot but that was really due to her failed shooting rounds, but the time it came into effect it did not matter anymore.

As we had discussed before the game Ed would have been better upgrading the Hwk to Moldy Crow to hold onto the focus tokens, as he failed to get a single shot off in the game. Although with more practice flying it would have worked well, but two crashes into ships meant no action – no focus – no shot.

The Y-wing with the ion was again ace. I don’t know why imperials think these won’t hit a TIE three shots with a focus has a really good chance of hitting and the same number of evades is less likely.

Ed flew Garven badly, but partly because he was so badly shot up in the initial pass. He really needed to be unstressed to make the most use of the passing focus token, but for three turns he had stress.

So we both could have flown a little better, but i really liked this list.

Game 2

Ed wanted to take an elite squad and took Han and Wedge with all the upgrades in the world. (yeah i forgot to record them all but Han had Chewie and Luke on board…draw their fire too)

Against him I flew Blue squadron B-Wing with Advanced sensors and Heavy laser cannon, Biggs with R2 D2 and shield upgrade, Horton Salm with Proton Torpedoes and Ion Cannon.

So in the battle of the elite fighters who would come out on top…

We both set up facing each other, my battle plan was to well kill one ship fast so I wanted Wedge out of the way so I could focus on Han.

Fleets deploy

Fleets deploy

With Horton leading the way Han was the only valid target for a target lock, but once Wedge moved up Biggs and Horton took shots at him to strip away his shields. The Blue only could target Han and pinged off a few shields.

Biggs protects

Biggs protects

Wedge took aim with his proton torpedoes, but lacked the Force to ensure they hit their target and Biggs survived both ships incoming fire and R2-D2 got busy repairing shields.

With limited room to move Horton clipped Biggs as did Wedge, unfortunately this meant the Blue squadron hit Wedge at close range, although Han managed to draw some of the fire leaving wedge on a single hull point.

Wedge is in trouble, but Han takes one for the team

Wedge is in trouble, but Han takes one for the team

Again Han had to shoot Biggs but to no avail.

With Wedge in trouble Horton still managed to keep in range of Biggs further frustrating Han.

Wedge down

Wedge down

Although now the fleet was getting dispersed and the B-wing was starting to take heavy damage and despite making it behind Han he was a sitting duck.

Han goes on the offensive

Han goes on the offensive

His sacrifice had bought time though for Horton to turn to face Han and release his torpedoes, and Biggs to swing around to get into the fight.

Sitting duck

Sitting duck

Han took the chance to shoot up Horton as they passed but Biggs scored a lucky crit causing a damaged engine, and with this Han was struggling to control the Falcon.

Biggs flies into range...

Biggs flies into range…

Biggs had got into protection range and Han failed to make a dent, in return another crit took out the sensor array and Han was desperate to fly away, but Horton and Biggs could sense the kill.

...and protects Horton

…and protects Horton

In his excitement Biggs over shot Han, but Horton managed to keep calm and with a shot from his Ion Cannon took Han down.

Horton takes down Han

Horton takes down Han

Back to the training academy

This was more of a fun game – who does not want to fly the Falcon with all the bad guys in it.

While I did not take a list specifically against the falcon I really enjoy flying Horton, his ability helps the Ion hit every time. Biggs of course is really strong and while I do not normally beef him up the extra shield and R2-D2 makes him really resilient, but i suspect that vs a swarm this list would struggle.

The b-wing wow I loved it although they do die fast.

I hope you all enjoyed the read, any hints tips are always welcome.

Chris