Fistful of Dice in Portsmouth held their second casual X-wing tournament of 2018, with 11 intrepid pilots rising to the challenge.
This would also be the first outing for the newly christened Blue Squadron. The Fistful regulars have formed a nice little group, so in good spirit figured we’d formalise it a touch. So this was the first outing for Blue Squadron, and a pretty damn successful one it was too.
First off, a huge thanks to Fistfu and the TO John. Without a venue and people to help run it there would be no tournament. It may not be the biggest tournament, but this was a thoroughly great group of guys to spend a Saturday with.
Back in February I went 3-1 on a day I was pretty proud of. Could today be any better? Let’s look at my list.
Quickdraw – Spec Ops, FCS, Advanced Optics, Expertise, Lightweight Frame
Colonel Vessery – X7, TIE Mk II, Expertise
Seinar Specialist – TLT
A pretty straightforward list using my two favourite Imperial pilots. I’ve played 12 or so games with this list in various guises, but I changed Vessery to X7 the day before, whipping off an Ion Cannon to make him more survivable whilst dropping VI on QD to make way for a second Expertise card. Risky!
Round 1 – Chris Johnson
Norra – Vectored Thrusters, Expertise, Alliance Overhaul, R5-D2. C-3PO
Shara – Vectored Thrusters, Adaptability, Alliance Overhaul, R5-K6
Fenn – VI, HotShot Co-Pilot, R2 Astromech
Two Arcs was not something I was expecting but I hoped that if I could get stuck into one of them early I could turn things my way.
We setup pretty much facing each other but I quickly turned away and moved along my board edge, as I hoped to drag his ships through the rocks. If one of them moved away from the rest hopefully I could pick it off.
Norra was that ship (I really wanted the regen off the board!), with Shara taking a bit longer to turn in and Fenn splitting off the other way. Chris hasn’t played as much as he’d like and I think we both figured that moving his coordinate away made things harder. Vess got R1 of Norra, then did the classic 4K behind as QD came in. Norra fell to focused fire, with the TLT chipping in nicely. Vess by this point was on 1 hull so I flew her out of the way.
A blocked Shara still managed to trade hits with QD, taking them both off the board. The Aggressor began chipping away at Fenn whilst Vessery blocked, and I had my first win of the day. Fair play to Chris, it was a fun game. Shame we can’t see more of him.
Round 2 – David Hawkins
Lothal Rebel – Autoblaster Turret, Rey, Reinforced Deflectors, Courier Droid
Lothal Rebel – Autoblaster Turret, Zeb, Reinforced Deflectors, Courier Droid
AP-5 – R3-A2, Courier Droid
37 hit points is terrifying amount to chew through. So after my initial joy at my win, I felt pure terror as I saw David’s list. How the hell was I going to get through that!?
The answer was patience.
I knew that in open space I’d be dead. So I nestled behind the rocks and let him come to me. David clocked my plan and was rightly weary of getting caught…so there was no shooting for 35 minutes! Everything in me was shouting “shoot him!” After all, I do call this game “pew pew”. But I held off, and sure enough the Rebels came my way.
Once it became clear we’d have to engage, I tried to get stuck in. I managed to get a Blinded Pilot onto the first Rebel just as I was R1 of it! I was fortunate again when two Autoblasters did zero damage to Vessery.
Losing QD alongside him losing a VCX seemed fair. The Aggressor was pulling a masterclass in range control, with a few tasty barrel rolls, keeping him out or in trouble as much as I wanted.
So far I’d displayed patience and skill with how I’d played, whittling down this scary list. Which makes the final round a sickener. There was luck, but I’d say it’s best I’d flown in 4 years of playing the game.
I made a mistake. Time has been called so it was about this round. I forgot about the Autoblaster on the VCX and rolled Vessery into R1 for a kill shot.
WHY DID I DO THAT.
Vessery didn’t do enough damage and in response was Autoblastered off the board. David won on points.
I’d faced down a list I didn’t fancy at all and got within seconds of beating it. Lunch was unpleasant. David was a fantastic opponent, very gentlemanly about it.
Round 3 – Daniel Smith
Asajj Ventress – Double Glitterstim, Push the Limit, Latts Razzi, Gyroscopic Targeting
Ketsu Onyo – Double Glitterstim, Fearlessness, Dengar, Shadow Caster, Gyroscopic Targeting
A bit of lunch and a good chat with the rest of Blue Squadron later, I was ready for another game.
The previous game taught me a lot, so at the sight of two Lancers I went for a similar approach and stuck to my plan of hugging the rocks and staying safe until an opportunity presented itself. Dan didn’t have a great approach, hitting a few rocks on the way, and that luck continued with his dice rolls. His greens in particular deserted him as I managed to get to Ventress with Ketsu out of range.
Ventress went down to focused fire from all three (TLT again chipping away! Great little ship that Aggressor). I’d taken some damage and got thrown onto a few rocks but hadn’t lost anyone yet. Fair play to Dan, Ketsu had me worried, even when she was down to 1 hull. I feared a turnaround, but managed to finish the job.
I could see Dan wasn’t too happy so gave him a hug, got a picture, and moved on.
Round 4 – Pete Mugridge
Rey – Millennium Falcon (HotR) Title, Finn, Countermeasures, Expertise, Kanan, Smuggling Compartment
Jan Ors – Vectored Thursters, TLT, Wired, Chewie
Top table. I was not expecting it but still very pleased. Last time I pipped him in a closely fought and well flown contest. This time? I’ll admit some trepidation as I’d already flown against his ‘janky’ list a new nights previously and been fairly soundly beaten.
But now I had a newfound patience and confidence with which to tackle him!
Once again I ran for the cover of the rocks. But Pete didn’t muck around. He came up and cut across the board, catching me out. The Aggressor could still kite, and QD was far enough away to get into a better position. But Vessery was going to get caught, so I turned him in to face the enemy. We then sort of criss-crossed each other, with Jan flying right through TLTing, whilst Rey and Vess switched positions with Sloops and 4Ks. QD cleared off to come back round.
Vess did some good damage to Rey, but took a beating too before being blown away, leaving the Aggressor and QD to come back round. QD didn’t last much longer, so with the clock ticking down it was between his list and my Aggressor.
I think I flew that little turret pretty damn well, and then the buzzer went. Jan was gone, and Rey was on two health, whilst ‘Little Aggie’ was on the same. Rey had been knocked down to PS0, so I turned in to make sure I could get a TLT shot. Yeah my MOV would be better if I lost on a points count, but there was a chance to win and I went for it. I only managed to take out one of the two hull, leaving Rey clear to win the game.
Pete and I have a habit of having cracking games each other and this was no exception. I need to be more careful with calling his lists janky in the future. My second post-buzzer tight loss of the day.
|Peter Mugridge||4||651||Rey and Jan||Rebel|
|David Hawkins||3||499||Two Lothal Rebels and AP-5||
|4||Phil Rawles||3||477||Three T70’s||
|Chris Cooper||2||515||Quickdraw, Vessery, TLT Aggressor||Imperial|
|Don Shields||2||391||Three Silencers||
|7||Chris Johnson||2||331||Norra, Shara, and Fenn||
|Jack Prowting||2||330||Three Crimson Bombers||Rebel|
|9||Dan Smith||1||277||Asajj and Ketsu||
|Ewan Whitmore||1||266||Quickdraw, Inquisitor, Yorr||
|11||Nick Bird||1||201||Poe, Jess, Gunship||
Lots of Rebels! A nice mix of ships though isn’t it?
2-2 is average, but I think the MoV tells the real story. Personally I feel that this is the best I’ve ever flown, and is proof to myself that I CAN fly decently when I give myself a chance. Sure, I could have gone 4-0 if I’d been more cautious, but that’s not me. I call X-Wing ‘Pew Pew’ for a reason; ultimately I want to shoot ships. It’s my personality and my preference. So even though it cost me I’m glad I was true to myself. I showed patience and some decent decision making for once and it helped me massively. Lessons definitely learnt for the final months of 1.0, and for 2.0!
For 2018 I’m 5-3, which I’m pretty bloody pleased with. I might get one more tournament in before 2.0 comes around. No idea if that list will include a Reaper or not, but after this showing I’m looking forward to further proving to myself that I can play the game I love to a decent level.
Thanks for reading, and Fly Casual!