Battle Report: X-Wing Store Championship
by William Ford · Published · Updated
Saturday, January 30, 2016
Geek City – Coralville, Iowa
I’ve been playing for about a year now and while I’ve gone to plenty of tournaments in the area, this was the first store championship that I’ve ever been to. It was fortunate for me that it was at my FLGS where I have weekly league nights and know everyone on the staff fairly well. It was a comfortable atmosphere to have my first store championship in. While there were plenty of familiar faces there was still plenty of folks I didn’t recognize as well.
There was a total of 24 pilots flying that day. We did four rounds of swiss and then cut to top four. We played 70 minute rounds. Geek City had an amazing selection of prize support and store credit to win on top of the store championship prizes.
Registration started around 10:30 AM that day. I was still waking up from a night out on the town from my birthday the previous day…not the best idea, but sometimes there’s no way around it. Due to a last minute emergency I ended up showing up a little late and had to rush to set up my squad as well. Although there’s not much you can do about emergencies I highly suggest that you give yourself plenty of rest and get to the tournament a little earlier than need be. While there are plenty of factors that go into this game, every little bit of consideration will put you in the right mood for a whole day of X-Wing strategy. Think of it as assigning a focus token to yourself before even arriving to the event.
So I’m already off to a pretty rough start!
My list and strategy:
Gold Squadron (stress hog): BTL-A4, R3-A2, TLT
Red Ace: Comm Relay, R2-D2, AT
Poe: VI, R5-P9, Int. Astro.
This is a pretty standard Rebel list for the current meta right now. While A-wings are usually my specialty, I felt like they’re just not viable enough with all the TLT, regen, and stress meta that’s going around my local scene. I saw many variations of this list at the tournament. Nothing was a mirror image to my build, but the same idea of stressing your opponent out, taking long range paper cut shots with TLT, and regenerating shields was very prevalent. My list is very jousty and tanky and I was hoping that each ship was just as lethal as the next one to give my opponent the difficult decision of who to focus fire on first. If they went after one of my T-70’s I could pull them out of the fight for a little bit while they regenerated shields. If they went after the stress hog I was hoping to capitalize with my aces while my opponent was distracted. Poe at PS10 would help against any Whisper, Soontir, or other PS9 and below aces that would most likely show up. The point of my list was to survive!
I decided to take the three biggest asteroids. I wanted to cluster up the middle of the board and try to create one lane that either my opponent would be tempted to take or I could capitalize on while I jousted. I’m confident in my flying ability so I wasn’t too concerned about any unexpected rock climbing expeditions. I kept my squad together because I wanted to try to focus fire on whatever target I would face off against. Basically I wanted to pummel and stress, regen/turn around, and press the attack.
Round 1 – Anthony Anderson
Poe: VI, AT, R5-P9
Corran: VI, FCS, R2-D2, hull upgrade
Prototype: Chardaan, Autothrusters
We were both at 99 points so I flipped my special coin that I got from last year’s Campaign Against Cancer tournament. Anthony won the toss and decided to give me the initiative so he could see where my Poe would deploy. Anthony’s list is very reminiscent of what was flown in the finals at worlds as well as being a little similar to my list. I was excited to fly against it as I have watched that finals match at least three times and had a pretty good idea of how the champs fly it. It was interesting seeing Corran with VI instead of his usual PTL. I really wondered if the higher pilot skill helped Anthony out the rest of the day.
He ended up playing it safe with Corran and Poe; opting to circle around the debris cloud in the corner he started in while his Prototype A-wing slowly moved through the asteroids. For our first round of engagement Poe and Corran were still too far away for shots. He tried banking his A-wing through the asteroids and, unfortunately, went through two rocks and landed on the second one. I think he might have been trying to go for a block but just didn’t picture the maneuver right. He rolled for both rocks and ended up taking a shield. Poe took him out pretty quickly from there and my squad focused on getting through the rest of the rocks to engage his aces.
I had Red Ace go fast around the debris to follow Poe and Corran and to flank them from behind while the stress hog and my Poe met them in the asteroid field. I felt like Corran was the larger threat with his double tap ability so my ships focused fire on him. Poe took a couple shields off Corran at range two while the stress hog gave him two stresses at range three and took his last shield off. Red Ace was still circling around the debris and didn’t have a shot yet. All in all this engagement left me feeling pretty confident. I had shields off of a stressed out Corran, my Poe could K-turn pretty easily for the flank, and Red Ace was prepping up to chase after Corran the next turn as well.
Alas, this is where the game turned around on me. I had three whole rounds of chasing Corran through the asteroid field. I had him on the ropes! No shots were coming at me at all. For three whole rounds I focused fire on Corran and…did absolutely nothing to him. Anthony’s evade dice were SCALDING HOT and my attack dice were paltry. Even with Corran taking no actions due to all the stress he had to get rid of and my squad taking focus/TL actions I was not able to get one single hit on Corran. It was pretty frustrating to see Corran regen all those shields and shed all that stress. By this point I have to admit that I was feeling pretty upset. I wanted to continue to focus fire on Corran as we were coming out of the asteroid field so I did a four K-turn with both Red and Poe for a range one shot on Corran, who also did a four K-turn. Anthony’s Poe did a four K-turn as well for a range one shot on my Poe. I played aggressively out of my frustration and ended up losing my Poe to his and a Corran double tap at range one while I, again, (*sigh*) did absolutely nothing to his Corran with two range one attacks from Red and Poe. I’m a bit notorious in my league from having the poorest dice rolls (I’ve been nicknamed Billy Blanks), but this was too much for me. I felt pretty defeated when Poe went down in one volley of shots and I had nothing to show for it with his aces back up to full shields. That’s part of the game though, folks. Poe and Corran destroyed the stress hog shortly after while Red Ace tried to plink away at Corran. Again, Anthony’s evade dice saved Corran from taking any damage. I decided to cut my losses short and ran away with Red Ace. She survived to time, but I lost this one on MOV.
Loss. 62 – 17
Round 2: Brad Miller
Whisper: VI, Adv. Cloak, FCS, Agent Kallus
Omega: Juke, Comm Relay
Capt. Yorr: Palpatine
I won and took initiative for this game. Spoiler alert, I lost this game as well, but I didn’t mind after hearing that Brad Miller placed 10th at Worlds. He had already won a store championship, so Brad was trying a list out for fun. I think it directly counters the current stress hog meta. I’ve seen similar builds, but none capitalizing on Capt. Yorr. That guy is an MVP for taking all the stress he probably took that day. We both brought big rocks and created a lane in the middle.
He fortressed in the corner while I slowly moved in through the middle…reeeeaally slowly. The first engagement, which was about the fifth round of dials, put my stress hog at range two of Whisper. I had already forgotten about Capt. Yorr’s ability. The shuttle ended up taking both of the stresses instead and I think I magically took a shield off of a cloaked Whisper through a rock with a TLT shot.
My squad was right in front of the rock at the end of the lane. I thought I wanted to focus on Whisper since I already took out a shield. I’d have at least one good shot with my PS10 Poe before Whisper could cloak back up. I was thinking that she would decloak down to my side of the board and make a hard one to flank my squad from behind, so I pointed all my ships to the right to anticipate this. I should’ve realized he would decloak Whisper towards Yorr so he could continue to soak up stress. I ended up turning all of my ships the wrong way. This was the clinch turn that guaranteed my demise.
He chased after the stress hog until it was well out of play; I think with close to no shields left. At this point Brad started focusing on Red Ace and killed her pretty quickly. Even with her ability to generate and keep evade tokens it was not enough against the wrath I must’ve incurred on the dice gods. I rolled zero evades for an almost instant kill from Whisper.
Omega and Whisper continued to press the attack on Poe as my stress hog slowly turned around. Poe ended up having to ditch R5-P9 to survive one more round. They destroyed Poe at range three with juke/TL, Kallus and Palpatine all doing a pretty nasty number on him. I’m rolling soooo many blanks this game.
The stress hog finally turns around for one last hoorah. It’s one lonesome pig against the world! I decided to meet my fate head on and sped straight towards everybody. Omega Leader s-loops for a range one shot behind the stress hog and takes him out easily with a Palpatine crit.
In retrospect I totally should’ve tried to go after Yorr first. He was a real pain to deal with and completely shut down my list strategy. Brad is a great player and I was quite happy to be schooled by him. At least as happy as one can be and still lose.
Loss. 0 – 100
Round 3 – Aamon
Gold Squadron (Stress hog): R3-A2, BTL-A4, TLT, hull upgrade
Horton: TLT, R2-D2
Ello: Auto thrusters, BB-8, VI
Aamon wasn’t doing too well at this point either. Our builds were pretty similar except he had more TLT and I had more defense and regen. I took initiative for this game. I was hoping that my stress hog could shoot first, then do some blocking before any of Aamon’s ships could move. We set our formations right across from each and there’s little to no asteroids to deal with. It looks like this is gonna be a good ol’ fashioned joust!
The first round of shooting Poe gets his stress hog for three hits. I stress out Horton a couple times and Aamon takes some shields off of my stress hog. Next round there’s a lot of bumping. I anticipated the bumps and thought it would leave Poe to K-turn right behind Aamon’s squad while all his ships bump into mine and spread out his attacks amongst my ships so no one would be taking focus fire. Poe almost kills the stress hog, but the hull upgrade saves him. Horton takes some more stress and heavy fire, but rolls evade die like a boss and only takes one hit, which R2-D2 will easily regen.
The next round Poe finally finishes off the stress hog. Red Ace tallon rolls behind Horton to keep the pressure on. Things are looking pretty good, but again my evade dice fail me as Ello and Horton proceed to kill Red Ace in one round of shots. I don’t think I even had the chance to use R2-D2 this game.
I get some retribution in the next round as my stress hog and Poe finally kills off Horton. Stress hog slowly turns around and Ello is able to finish him off. He really shined for me in this game, so I don’t mind that he’s bacon now.
It’s just Poe and Ello left. They dance around a bit through the asteroid field. My PS10 really helped me here as I was able to react to Ello and his crazy BB-8 maneuvers and white tallon rolls. There’s lots of range three or through the asteroid shots, but I patiently wait for the good range one shot. I can feel a victory here if I just play it safe. I finally get a range 1 shot with TL and focus for the kill. This was a close game, but I was glad to finally pull a win out.
Win. 100 – 64
Round 4 – Josh Snowbarger
Miranda: Recon Spec, TLT
Blue Squadron (x2): FCS, HLC
I really liked Josh’s list. If there’s something that I like as much as my A-wings, it’s B-wings. I took initiative this round as I thought it might be a good idea to attempt some bumps on his B-wings after our initial engagement. It’s another game where we’re set up right across from each other. I fancy my jousting odds were decent here as long as I could get behind his B-wings.
First round of engagement he focuses on my stress hog. It almost dies with 2 hull left, but my focus fire brings a B-wing down to no shields. Miranda takes out the stress hog easily in the next round of shots as she flanks beside everyone. Poe ends up killing the damaged B-wing shortly after, but takes too many HLC shots in the process. I decide to run away and regen with Poe so Josh begins to focus his remaining B-Wing and Miranda on Red Ace.
This is good, I’ve anticipated this from the beginning. I decide to play it safe and let Red Ace take some shots if she can, but more or less play defensively otherwise. Unfortunately I’m not fast enough to get some decent range and regen shields and token up. Red eventually dies from a range three B-wing focus/TL heavy laser cannon shot. At this point Poe is back to full health, but I had forgotten about a Console Fire crit he got from our earlier round of shots. I felt bad about this because I like to play as honestly as I can and I was unintentionally ignoring the crit the whole time Poe was away regenerating shields. I retro actioned Console Fire immediately to try to make up for it and took a hit, then turned the crit over with an action during my next maneuver phase.
Poe comes back into the fray and jousts with the B-wing. At one point I K-turn to press the joust but only bring his ship down to two hull. In our last round of engagement I choose a one straight to shed my stress and give me a decent range one shot with focus on the B-wing. I figure if I can take out the B-wing before it shoots back then I should have a decent chance of surviving Miranda’s TLT shots on me with a focus on Poe.
Instead of flying Miranda away from the joust, Josh makes a brilliant move and maneuvers across the asteroid to get a bump out of Poe. I didn’t anticipate this and, sure enough, I ended up bumping. That’s okay though. This could still work in my favor, right? I’ve guaranteed that Miranda can’t shoot me, and while I don’t have any actions I still have a range 1 shot on a B-wing with 2 hull left. I roll my dice and get….4 focuses… *sigh* I am clearly not strong with the force. Of course, the B-wing destroys Poe with focus/TL and blanks from all my dice. I couldn’t even use Int. Astro. to survive one more round. That last move with Miranda was perfect though. Josh played this game really well and deserved the win.
Loss. 31 – 100
So, not a very good day for my first store championship. I won one game and lost three. While I’m proud to say that I didn’t fly on any rocks unintentionally (a personal goal of mine as I try to get better) the dice just weren’t in my favor that day. All of my opponents were exceptional players as well and while I left feeling a bit dejected I still left feeling proud to be a part of such a great community of people. Besides, I got that alternate art C3PO and a pilot card binder from the raffle prizes, so I left feeling pretty content. This is only the first of many store championships to come this season and I’m determined to fly better. I want to thank Geek City for putting on a great event and making me feel like I’m a part of something grand. ‘TIl next time, pilots, fly casual.
I'm fairly new to war gaming in particular and tabletop games in general, but what I lack in experience I make up for in enthusiasm! My love for X-Wing (Rebels is my faction of choice) has passionately grown over the past year as I've delved deeper into the world of hosting organized play events and miniature painting.
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