I’ve been looking at the lessons that I need to consistently learn
Here’s a fairly concise version of them:
- It’s good for a reason – There’s a reason that there is a meta and why current things are used a lot. They’re good and they win matches! Don’t turn your nose up because you didn’t think of it.
- A special snowflake – 3 Ion Delta’s didn’t make me cool, it made me lose. Rule of cool is great, but have some sense and know what you’re setting yourself up for.
- Initiative bids are an upgrade – Giving yourself a chance to play in the order you want to is important. Not spending points is not a waste!
- It’s not their fault – Got spanked? Threw it away? That’s unfortunate, but it isn’t your opponents fault. Keep the saltiness to yourself, shake their hand and move on. There’s always another game so learn your lessons and move on.
Rules #1 and #2 were used heavily whilst I built a list for a tournament at my local shop Fistful of Dice. Gunboats were an easy starting point as I’d been waiting for them to come into the game. Fond memories of TIE Fighter on the PC came to mind and I’d never used a ship that could SLAM. It seemed like an obvious and thematic thing to do to put them with a Defender.
Discussing the list with Ben and Greg led to me begrudgingly dropping the Defender for an S/F. I’d used Backdraft a few times and really liked him. But this time it was all about Quickdraw, now quite the force to be reckoned with. I had practice games and they went well! But then I changed things the night before. A ridiculous thing to do, but this is what I settled on…
Rho Squadron – Advanced SLAM, Harpoon, Deadeye
Rho Squadron – Advanced SLAM, Harpoon, Deadeye
Quickdraw – Advanced Optics, Special Forces title, Fire Control System, Lightweight Frame, Expertise, Harpoon
Before you ask, yes I had Extra Munitions and Guidance Chips on the Rho’s before I made the change. Let’s not go too far into that one. It’s a flavour thing but such a late change did worry me.
List made. Practice complete. Tournament time! This is the point where it all falls apart for me generally. My brother Ben would admit later than it was more important to him that I did well. Soppy git, but my tournament showings have been demoralising. It would be nice to buck that trend.
Game 1 – Greg – Kanan and Fenn
I’d heard about this list and knew it wasn’t an awesome game to start with. Then there’s Greg, an experienced player who I know from Brighton. It wasn’t going to be easy.
Probably didn’t help that I completely forgot that Quickdraw had FCS for the WHOLE GAME. I might have killed Fenn if I’d remembered, who skated by on one hull for a long time. I didn’t shower myself in glory, but I did last up until 4 minutes left. Lots of lessons learnt on how to approach and remembering my abilities that prepared me well for the rest of the day.
I can’t be upset with a loss when it played such a big part in my performance over the day.
Game 2 – Don – Carnor, Fel and Blackout
I very rarely table people. It’s quite uncomfortable for me as I’d much rather have a closer game.
Unfortunately Don did exactly what I wanted him to do, which was joust. Carnor was one-shotted by a Harpoon. Soontir managed to get behind the Boats, but Quickdraw had their backs and one-shotted him too. It was a brutal exchange that left my squad intact and Don with just Blackout.
The Gunboats split apart and slammed whilst Quickdraw stayed behind the Silencer. It was a matter of time really. What made it worse for Don was his Hoth-like dice whilst my reds came from Mustafar.
Game 3 – Pete – Syndicate Thugs and Tel Trevura
Possibly the most mentally exhausting game of X-Wing I’ve ever played. Definitely one of the best.
Honestly, I thought my harpoons would wreck this list, but Pete flew it well and we ended up 1v1 after Tel pulled off a frankly ridiculous fatal 4 hit attack on Quickdraw. A TLT Thug versus a Harpoon Rho probably didn’t make for a good spectacle, but I stayed either in the R1 bubble or out of R2-3 with judicious use of the SLAM for at least 25 minutes. I didn’t want to run away, but when I noticed I only had one minute left and my ship was worth 3 points more it was the only logical thing to do.
Pete is always good fun to play against and this was a really well-matched game that typified X-Wing for me.
Game 4 – Dan – Boba and Kath
My aim for the day was 2-2 so I felt fairly relaxed at this point. Dan’s Firesprays were 3-0 so this looked like a tough one.
I lined up in the centre whilst Dan placed his ships in the right corner (my right). His plan was to hard two into the table and then move on whichever ship presented itself (I think). A misjudgement with rocks led to Kath arriving at the party before Boba. She promptly ate two Harpoons and an R1 shot from Quickdraw. She then got up tight behind Boba whilst the Rho’s moved away and reloaded. Once again the dice seemed to be on my side. One of the Rho’s went down after blocking Boba onto a rock, but the other two ships finished it.
One small mistake cost Dan that game. It feels odd, but I guess I capitalised on it and I’m pleased I managed that. I’ve been a pro at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory before!
What a day! 3-1 and seventh out of twenty four is possibly my best ever tournament showing! I’m extremely pleased and it’s given me a great boost moving forward. I think I applied all four rules, and I took lessons from the first game to improve my play for the rest of the day.
Fistful of Dice were great hosts, everyone was in a good mood, and there was a lot of variation in the lists being used. Overall a great day. Thanks to those I played and to everyone for making a great local tournament.
What’s next? I’ll be trying to use the Kimogila in a list! Not sure if I’ll be taking it to any tournaments but I feel good and it’s a ship I want to try.
Thanks for reading! Fly casual.