A Bit of Pew Pew #14

With 2.0 now upon us, I’ve taken the opportunity to start a record of my wins and losses. This prompted me to have a look back at the both the rest of 2018 and further back to 2017. That year was a rough one for me and X-Wing. There were breaks, tough tournaments, and I generally wasn’t sure what I was up to. 2018 has been far better.

That’s how it has felt anyway. From now on I want facts to back these feelings. Was I really in a rut? Were my tournament showings that bad? From now I’ll be able to see any patterns and manage my feelings/expectations.

For 2018 I knew I’d written tournament reports, so I could pull results from those. It turns out I’m not terrible! Back in Pew Pew #12 I went 3-1, finishing seventh out of twenty four. Then in #13 I ended 2-2, fifth out of eleven, and played some of the best X-Wing I’ve ever played.

I care about X-Wing, and though I may have other priorities it’s warming to know that when I put my mind to it I can play respectably. No, I don’t have any funky rulers or tokens, but I can play.

With a current 2018 tournament record of 5/3, what better way to tackle my first 2.0 tournament than with a list that I’d had one practice game with!

Rexler – Juke + Advanced Sensors
Sigma Ace – Juke
Sigma Ace – Juke

196 points of Imperial Jukiness. That is definitely not a word but I’m using it! It’s a simple list with a lot of possible final positions. They can approach separately, converging to focus fire. I’d thought of it back in August, but now seemed like a good time to try it out. The choice between Advanced Sensors and Collision Detector took some time, but I settled on the more expensive and I think personally more usable option.

So Blue Squadron hit the road, with Blue Leader, Blue Two, Blue Four and Blue Five making the trip to Entoyment in Poole. Lovely shop. Very welcoming, nice toasties, and plenty of space. You should all visit it.

Now, I don’t remember the opposing lists very well as it’s the longest day of X-Wing I’ve ever had (including travel and 6 rounds), and I was frazzled by the end of it. I’ve put down what I can but if anyone can give me more info I’ll happily change them.

Round 1

Andy  – X, X, U, AP-5

Table 1! Andy and I agreed that if it all went wrong today we’d just tell people we played at the top table and leave it at that. Rocks scattered, we set up on opposing sides. I’d hoped he’s split up but it didn’t happen, and as we both turned in I put a Sigma on a rock! The hard one I thought would squeak past…didn’t. He then took a battering and I couldn’t really recover. It went to time with me taking several ships below half health, but with only Rex left at the end I couldn’t do much. Andy was a very generous opponent and great fun to play against.

Round 2

Aiden – Luke, Wedge, Kyle

Aiden is relatively new to X-Wing, and this was his first tournament. I’m a horrible person and set up with a trap in mind. Rex faced his ships whilst the Sigmas came up the other side. He took the bait, shooting forward to chase Rex who immediately turned to join his buddies. The X’s were split from Kyle as he approached the middle of the table, which is where the Phantoms turned in and ganged up on Luke. Rex came up behind to finish the job. I lost a Phantom to Wedge but end game Rex is a beast. We talked things through a lot after; hopefully Aiden keeps at it and goes to more tournaments.

Round 3

Scott – K, Y, Corran

I hate Corran Horn. In 1.0 all he ever did was run away. Not even my Defenders could keep up. But now they have boost too! Maybe it would be different? We set up opposite, with me shooting up the right and turning in much later than I did against Andy. No blocks or rocks this time, but that K-Wing just kept shrugging off shots! Fortunately Advanced Sensors was keeping me out of Corran’s bullseye arc. The Y went down, and then I trapped the K in the top right corner. Corran did what Corran does, and cleared off near the end, but the damage had been done.

Two wins, one loss, and an MOV of 775! Absolutely chuffed with that. Entoyment set the tournament up so that after three games there would be a cut, with the top 8 going on and the rest moving onto their own other tournament. Seemed cool that everyone had something to play for. I’d already met my criteria of one win for the day so I was happy. Imagine my surprise when I found out I was currently 4th and had made the cut! Bonkers!

Round 4

Wes – U, U, X, X

I’ve only come up against U’s once before so this was very intriguing. Post cut, this was game face time. Wes was a top bloke, even when he quickly dispatched one of my Phantoms! I tried to pick off a ship and it backfired, so by turn four I’d lost a ship and he had a damaged U. Not the trade I was looking for. My brother Ben then reminded of ‘user defined win conditions’, so I decided that not losing another ship was my aim. But that didn’t mean running away, just some planning and a smidgen of caution.
For a while my two mixed it up with his four, with me eventually taking out the damaged U. I disengaged, hoping to come back round and point both guns at something. The second U came first, and this time I managed to dispatch it with minimal return damage. I realised we were tight on points, so out came the Hail Mary. Both ships surged into towards his Cavern Angel, much to the surprise of the watching Julian Hood and Phil GC. I had no idea of the odds (turns out I had a 7% chance of destroying the ship), but it worked! The Angel crumpled under range one fire and I won the game at time.
Phew.
Wes flew well which made me all the more pleased that I managed to turn it around. I’d won a match in the cut!

Round 5

Richard – 6 x Quads, Unkar

One of the most ridiculous matches I’ve ever played in, Richard’s list was frankly horrific to look at. Even Phil looked at me and shrugged his shoulders. But I had a plan! Sort of. Partly.
I flew around in my left hand corner of the board, and then once Richard had advanced a bit I took down towards his edge. Coming round at the top of the table, I managed to find two of his Quads out front without support from their buddies. They went down, but I subsequently lost a Sigma. Undeterred, I put the pedal to the metal and gunned it into his group, hoping I’d miss a lot of arcs. I did! With time running out and me slightly on top, it seemed like a good idea to bug out. But I made a mistake.
I thought that a hard three would take my Sigma nicely out of the way and the win was done. I forgot that one Quad had him in arc and could tractor him. Even with the unhelpful boost forward, a hard one would have kept me on the board. Instead I had to fly my own ship off the table after the buzzer had gone. A right kick in the nuts that my slightly frazzled brain struggled with. I could see Richard sympathised, and it meant a lot to me. I made a similar mistake in the last tournament. Hopefully I can learn from this. I’d taken on a terrifying list and was so close. Lots of positives to take, I just couldn’t see them immediately.

Round 6

I’ve never played 6 games in a day before, and after Round 5 I wasn’t sure I wanted to. But then Andy appeared again! Maybe I could learn my lessons and end the day on a strong note.
This time I did manage to draw his squadron apart and I didn’t hit any rocks. His Y-Wing went down to Phantom fire whilst Rex and the A-Wing danced at the top of the table. One Sigma went down ultimately, leaving the other two ships with one of his Xs. Rex went all in on getting to range one and three hits was enough.
Andy offered to go straight to final salvo beforehand, but I felt he deserved a game. Once again it was great tussle, with a good level of pragmatism (we were tired and forgetting things). So the tournament finished as it started, with a good game.

I wanted a win. I got into the cut and went 4-2 in my single longest day of X-Wing. What a result! Made all the sweeter by some supportive, friendly opponents who were the definition of Fly Casual. Great bunch.

The list worked a treat; I think I made some people hate Juke! But it was great to see so much variation, extended 2.0 is very exciting indeed. I made some new friends (big hugs with Phil GC were a highlight) and gained a renewed hunger. I now have facts to back my feeling that I could be a decent X-Winger.

Hopefully I can get another tournament in before Christmas. Until then, thanks for reading guys, I appreciate your time. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Fly Casual!

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