Tell Me the Odds
The Core Store Championship – Cedar Falls, Iowa – 02/21/16
This was the second store championship that I have played this season. You can check out my battle report for the first store tournament here.
This was my first time flying X-wing in a different town and I was excited to meet some new folks. The Core is located in Cedar Falls, which is about an hour and a half away from where I live. It’s not a huge jaunt, but still a road trip in my book! The Core is a great store filled to the brim with figures, comics, and gaming of all kinds. It has a real cozy atmosphere to it.
There were 12 pilots that came out and I recognized many of them who had traveled from surrounding areas. One thing that I’ve come to appreciate from all of these events is the amount of comradery and support from all these players that are passionate about the game. We had four rounds of games with no cut and 75 minutes per round. Prize support consisted of the store championship kit. I was really hoping to at least make top 8 to get the sweet snow blue range ruler.
MY LIST AND STRATEGY
Super Dash (36)
- PTL (3), HLC (7), Eng. Up. (4), Kyle Katarn (3), Outrider (5)
Miranda Doni (29)
- TLT (6), Ion Bomb (2), Adv. Slam (2), C-3PO (3)
100 points total
Dash ‘n’ Doni! Or as I like to call them, DnD. If you fine folks have read my other store championship battle report then you’ll remember I had a match against Josh Snowbarger and his Miranda and two B’s list. I really enjoyed playing against his build. DnD is a bit of a variation on that list. At first I started with the two B-wings and I generated some moderate success at my local league. I love B-wings, but I wish they weren’t so squishy and had a bit more maneuverability. The solution? Like the final moments of an episode of Voltron, two B-wings kind of combine into a YT-2400. It has two defense dice instead of only one, a generous amount of health, and a much, much better maneuver dial.
Here’s a rundown of Super Dash for anyone who is not familiar with him. Dash has the amazing ability to not care one iota about rocks. He’s an amazing pilot for any beginners who are still learning how to fly, but in the hands of an experienced player he is downright lethal. He’s equipped with HLC and the Outrider title, which basically makes your HLC a turret. It’s very expensive at 12 points, but very effective. The only issue is the range one donut since HLC cannot be fired at that range. This is where PTL and Engine Upgrade come in. Along with the YT-2400’s natural barrel roll action (BR for short) this means that Dash can BR and boost, most likely over rocks, to guarantee that no one gets close to his range one donut. For icing on the cake Kyle Katarn is traveling alongside Dash to automatically give him a focus token when Dash sheds his stress from a green maneuver. If Dash were indeed a B-wing/Voltron…a Boltron, then Kyle would be the giant sword. His biggest weakness is that he’s pretty predictable with only green maneuvers on straight 1, bank 1, and straight 2.
Dash is usually accompanied with Corran Horn, but I decided to fly Miranda instead. She has an amazing ability that synergizes with TLT incredibly well, allowing her to roll one less attack die to regain a shield and still have another regular attack afterwards. If she’s range one of an enemy then she could alternatively lose a shield to have a four dice primary turret attack as well. A range one attack with focus and target lock (TL for short) can be devastating. The K-wing can also perform a slam action, which allows Miranda to cover a lot of ground at the cost of not being able to shoot for the round. If I don’t feel like engaging an enemy then a slam is a great way to fly out of arc or intentionally bump to live another day for a shot that is much more in my favor. Along with the Adv. Slam upgrade I can get the coveted TL that I need for that range one primary shot later. She also has an Ion Bomb to cover her ass when aces try to flank her from behind. This is a nice trick up my sleeve that can ion the annoying flanker or force them to reposition themselves away from me (and hopefully Dash) for my range two to three secondary shots. Lastly we have the coveted C-3PO. This upgrade allows me to predict the number of evades I will roll before I roll them once per round. If I guess correctly then I may add one evade to my total. This means that if I focus with Miranda and guess zero then I am guaranteed one evade and possibly even two if I roll a focus result (one evade from guessing zero and then spend the focus token for an additional evade). This really helps mitigate damage in a way that Corran cannot do.
My strategy is to speed forward as fast as I can with both ships to gain a substantial presence in the middle of the board with Dash while Miranda skims across the edge. I brought three debris tokens with me to cluster up the middle and allow Dash to slow roll and not worry about landing on as many rocks so he can still shoot after the activation phase. I wanted to keep Dash away from the edge of board as much as possible because he becomes quite predictable with his green maneuvers. I want to stay at range three as well so that HLC and TLT can trigger and then focus fire on my opponent’s biggest threat.
ROUND 1 – Matt Clark
Corran Horn- Fire Control System, R2-D2, Eng. Up., Push the Limit
Gold Squadron (stress hog) – BTL-A4, R3-A2, Bomb Loadout, Ion Turret, Prox. Mines
Gold Squadron – TLT
I played Matt at a monthly tournament I ran a few weeks ago. If I remember correctly he ended up flooring my list back then. Either way, it was good to see a familiar face across from me for my first match. He took initiative which meant his Corran would be moving and shooting before Miranda. I set up my debris field in the middle and Matt placed his three big rocks around them. He set up his two Y-wings in the middle (stress hog in the back) and Corran on his far left side. I wanted to keep some distance from Corran so I could take out the stress hog so I placed Dash in the middle with the intent of turning left and away from Corran and I placed Miranda to my far left side. The Y’s screamed forward in the first round with a three straight and Dash answered back with a four straight and some BR/boost shenanigans. I played the first round just right enough that Corran and the stress hog were out of range, leaving just a shot through the rocks between Dash and the TLT Y-wing. He took a couple shields and Dash was left unharmed.
Corran would be coming in hot for the next turn, so I decided to play it safe with Dash and move him to my left to regroup with Miranda. Matt’s Y’s continued going forward and he decided to drop his proximity mine. I didn’t expect the mine as no one was near it, but I did notice that it closed up the channel right before moving into the asteroid field, effectively covering his six. It was quite a clever move. I take some decent shots at the stress hog with no incoming fire except for the TLT Y-wing again. He has a good range three shot with Corran and takes the double tap but Dash with four evade dice (range three and through a rock), a focus token, and some good dice rolling is able to come away unscathed again. I meet back up with Miranda on the far left side so I can flank his Y’s as he traverses them through the asteroid field. Matt regroups on my side of the board and at one point we’ve basically just switched sides and started circling back around to engage again. I have to take a wide turn to avoid the proximity mine but we continue to arc dodge and focus on the stress hog, who dies shortly afterwards without getting a shot off the whole game.
The TLT Y-wing is the next to go as I figure he’s a quick and easy target and I want to save Corran for last so I can focus fire and, hopefully, negate R2-D2. Finally it’s just Corran left and I press my attack. Dash tries to be aggressive with a four k-turn that bumps Corran. That’s okay, though, as I’m hoping for a bump from Corran which will give Miranda a nice shot against him with no modifications. It’s about the only time when bumping with a k-turn is actually beneficial. Plus, Kyle will trigger the next turn with a green maneuver. Instead Corran is too sneaky for the block and veers off to the left to clear Dash and begin his flee back through the rocks towards his side of the board. I give chase with Miranda and Dash but cannot breakthrough Corran’s defenses. If C-3PO could talk to R2-D2 on Corran’s ship I’m sure he would be calling him a near-sighted scrap pile. I could’ve possibly had him if I held onto Miranda’s TL for a primary shot at range one, but I was flustered with time running out and was hoping for results. In the last round before time is called I gave it all I had to take out Corran, but Matt dodged everything magnificently and almost removed Miranda with the double tap.
I won this round but still felt frustrated with myself for getting too worked up to set up the right shot that could have killed Corran. I would remember to not make that mistake again. I think the game would’ve been much different if he gave me initiative because then Corran could have reacted to Miranda and arc dodged. Either way, it’s time to take a deep breath and calm down.
ROUND 2 – Matt Finin
Talonbane – Predator, Eng. Up.
Serissu – Stealth Device, Wingman, Mangler, Heavy Scyk title
Syndicate Thug – Proton Torps., TLT, Stealth Device, Unhinged Astro., BTL Title, Ex. Munitions
Another Matt! This was a very interesting build as I don’t really see some of these upgrades often and if I do they’re usually not on these ships. I believe Matt took initiative as well, which means Serissu moved and shot first. Dash cheered when I saw that Matt also brought three debris tokens. The entire board was basically open for Dash. With that in mind I decided to try to cluster all the debris tokens as close to each other as I could. This would make maneuvering difficult for my opponent while giving Miranda plenty of freedom to move around the edge. Serissu and Talonbane were set up in the middle while Thuggy was placed to his far right. I angled Dash towards the middle and Miranda on my far right.
First round was much like the first game with all of Matt’s forces closing in towards the middle and Dash coming in hot, but then redirecting towards Miranda’s side of the board. Dash is able to get a range three shot onto Talonbane with no one else within range. They trade two hits and continue flying. I think Matt might have forgotten to use Serissu’s ability on Talonbane here, which could’ve saved him from taking some damage.
The next round I’m able to arc dodge Serissu and Talonbane with DnD who quickly take out Talonbane’s remaining hull. Serissu and Thuggy are now in formation and turn back towards Matt’s side of the board to try and get arcs on Dash, but he’s able to dodge around them. Miranda, however, played it slow this round and met Serissu at range one. We traded some shots and we only received one shield damage each, which is perfect for Miranda, who will regenerate next turn, and not so perfect for Serissu. The next round Matt k-turns his ships to meet everyone head on. I anticipated this, my health was looking pretty good, and I knew Thuggy wouldn’t be getting his TL for the proton torpedoes. I decided to take a chance so that Miranda and Dash could both take shots on Serissu. Serissu took the stress off Thuggy with wingman, did one more damage on Miranda’s shields, and then blew up to my TLT shots. From there it was Thuggy against two pretty healthy ships. Miranda gets beside Thuggy and drops the ion bomb on the next turn. Thuggy takes the ions but blows up shortly afterward to some focused fire.
Just like my first game I think this game might have been a little different if Matt had given me initiative so that Serissu could react to where I moved. The thug was really loaded up and he did not, unfortunately, use any of his ordnance. I would also consider taking the BTL-A4 title off to give him more opportunities to attack. I might have taken a hull upgrade instead of stealth device as well.
ROUND 3 – Victor Robles
Omega Leader (O.L.) – Juke, Comm Relay
Whisper – VI, FCS, ACD, Agent Kallus
Capt. Yorr – Emp. Palpatine
Wait a sec…this list looks familiar…
Again, if you’ve read my previous store championship battle report then you’ll remember that this is exactly the same list that I flew against when I played Brad Miller. This list is all sorts of nasty…like Finn drinking water from a trough kind of nasty. Between O.L. with Juke, Agent Kallus, and Palpatine there is just so many ways to mitigate damage dealt or received. It’s quite possibly one of the most frustrating lists that I have flown against because it relies completely on shutting everything you own down and there are so many ways to do that, especially against a two ship build like my DnD list. I’m honestly not prepared to win this game.
Victor is a good friend of mine and we rode up together from our hometown of Iowa City. He’s also part of my league and I have played this list many, many times before. You’d think that would mean I would have a decent strategy against it, but you’d be wrong. The best I could come up with is to try to stay at range three of only one ship and attempt to focus fire. Alas, Victor is too good for that to happen.
I clustered my asteroids in a bit of a line in the middle while Victor placed his three big rocks in both of his corners and one of mine. He chooses Miranda as the target for Agent Kallus. Victor is at 99 points and he gives me the initiative so he can watch Miranda move and then react accordingly. All of this is not new to me. He sets up his build in the far left corner in such a way that he will be able to fortress. If you’re not sure what fortressing is it means that you intentionally set up your ships to bump so that they stay stationary in the corner and bide your time until you are comfortable to move into combat. So the idea is that you move O.L. or Whisper in front of Yorr to keep the shuttle and Palpatine in the corner away from most harm. With two aces and fortressing there is no way you will be getting close to Yorr and don’t even think about getting behind him until late in the game. I set up Miranda in the middle and Dash to my far right and pointed towards the middle.
The first round of movement Victor cloaks with Whisper and fortresses with O.L. and Yorr. I race my ships into the middle as usual. My plan is to separate Victor’s aces enough that I can single one of them out. I succeed for a little while, but it’s Dash vs. Whisper. Whisper will get four attack dice vs my two and I will be left with four attack dice vs four defense dice plus Palpatine on my attack. This is not the best exchange for me but I take what I can get. Unfortunately, Victor’s dice are hot and he gets three hits in on Dash while I don’t do any damage back. Things are not off to a very good start. DnD continues to head left, but I decide to be tricky and I have Miranda go towards Victor’s side and Dash go towards mine. I’m splitting up my forces in hopes that this’ll make things difficult for Victor to focus fire on. With a TL and juke in place, O.L. fires on Miranda and is forced to spend the TL on a bad roll, but doesn’t get anything through. It’s okay for him though because he still has juke and he can acquire a TL in the next turn. Miranda’s safe for now, but may be out of the fight for a little bit while she turns back around. Dash takes more heavy shots from Whisper and returns nothing through her defenses.
At this point I think I should’ve chosen to move Miranda to the right and slammed past Yorr to get behind him. I was getting flustered and Dash was taking heavy fire from Whisper, so I tried to regroup instead.
As both my ships converged on the left side of the board Dash was already down to one hull due to a direct hit crit and Victor’s list was still completely healthy. Whisper had to BR right in front of a debris cloud just to try to get a shot off on Miranda. She was just slightly out of arc, however, and Whisper would not get to shoot which meant that Victor could not cloak back up. That’s bad news for Whisper since she’ll have to go through the debris cloud instead of being able to decloak out of the way. With only one hull left I knew that this was the beginning of the end, so Dash made a sacrifice in the next round and maneuvered right in front of Whisper for the bump. This also put Yorr and O.L. at range one of Dash but at least I’d have a really good primary shot on Whisper with Miranda. It worked out like I thought and Whisper ended up bumping Dash and landing on the debris cloud. Yorr was close enough to Whisper and took the stress for her and Victor used the opportunity to cloak Whisper back up since she did not take the stress from the debris.
I was pretty frustrated because it meant my range one shot would now be pointless from Miranda because he would have four evade dice, Palpatine, and Kallus to work with. This really bothered me as I could not figure out how I didn’t see this coming. It wasn’t until I was literally making this write up that I realized that Whisper would not be able to cloak because she bumped Dash, but we were both so fixated on Yorr taking the stress away from the debris cloud that we both missed the obvious answer. This is what happens when you get frustrated. I was still able to get two hits through on Whisper. It definitely wouldn’t have changed the overall outcome of the game, but I might have focused after Whisper if I had gotten her down to just one hull for MOV’s sake.
Instead O.L. mopped up Dash before he could shoot back. Miranda dropped the ion bomb on Whisper and sped away. I wish I could’ve capitalized on the ion, but Whisper was already running and there was no way I could turn around in time to catch her. Instead Miranda skimmed the edge of the board while trying to regen shields and take pot shots at range three. C-3PO took a nap as O.L. negated the use of his ability and I slowly dwindled down to one hull. I made it all the way to my far right corner and tried a three bank to start coming up the board again. Due to a bump on Dash earlier in the game I didn’t realize that I was skewed enough to place the very edge of my base just outside of the playing field… *sigh*
At least Miranda went out on her own terms…take that, Victor…
ROUND 4 – Kyle
Torkil – TLT
Kavil – TLT
Bossk – K4, Merc. Copilot, Tactician, Marksmanship
I always see Kyle at events in Iowa City and we always seem to talk but have never actually played against each other. It was nice to finally get a game in. Kyle’s list seemed really menacing. We both wanted to be at range three to trigger our secondary weapons as well as Kyle’s mercenary copilot. I also confirmed that tactician would work at range two from his auxiliary firing arc, so I had to be sure that I didn’t get too close. On top of all that I would be in for a bad day if I was within range for Torkil’s ability to trigger. This list would be very tricky to fly against. Other than my game against Victor I was doing quite well today and I thought that if I pulled out a win here then there was a good chance of getting a spot in the top 4.
Kyle gave me initiative to see Dash move first before both Kavil and Bossk. I think he understood the value of three clustered debris clouds in the middle of the board and placed one of them towards my edge of the board. Along with his rocks we made almost a straight line of debris and rocks from my left corner to his left corner. He set up his whole squad in his far right corner with Bossk closer to the middle and Torkil all the way to the edge. I placed DnD in the middle and made sure that Miranda had a straight shot in between two rocks if she decided to head straight towards the other side of the board. Torkil was my primary target, then Kavil. I figured if I could get the TLT ships off the board then Bossk would be a sitting duck once I flanked behind him. Also, I wanted to keep Kavil at range three, but also in front of his firing arc so that his ability wouldn’t trigger.
Kyle does a little bit of fortressing on his first turn and I decide to play it safe and not move too fast. The next round he banks all of his ships inward and I veer DnD towards the middle of the board. I played it just right so that Miranda was out of range and only Kavil and Torkil had shots on Dash at range three. If there’s one thing I can be proud of today it would be my first pass flying. Each initial volley between ships was at range three with only one or two ships in arc and the rest too far away to shoot. Dash was able to get a nice shot in on Torkil bringing him down to two or three hull, but they were also able to hit Dash back for a few shields. I decided to split DnD up at this point and sent Miranda toward Kyle’s side of the board and Dash came back towards my side. Dash was able to position himself at range three of Torkil again, but Miranda landed right in front of Bossk and right beside Kavil. This was both good and bad, as it meant Kavil had no shot on me, but I’d be feeling it from Bossk. In addition, I was close enough to Torkil for his ability to trigger and bring Miranda down to PS0. Torkil was destroyed shortly after by Dash, but Bossk answered back with some heavy fire on Miranda. I believe he took out all my shields and even put a damage through due to Bossk’s ability.
Miranda would have her revenge next turn however! I dropped the ion bomb to hit both Kavil and Bossk. This was the only time the ion bomb served any real purpose in this tournament. I think it was well worth it, though, as it served as a reminder to not get behind me or else suffer the consequences. The ioned ships gave me the opportunity to get Miranda behind Bossk and Dash at another range three shot on Kavil inside his arc. By this point Dash was into hull damage. Leading into the next movement phase I knew that Dash was in trouble. Kyle’s squad had slowly moved across the middle and cornered Dash. I knew that Dash wouldn’t have any way of surviving the next assault. Not all hope was lost though. It had taken a good portion of Kyle’s focus fire to bring down Dash and I had already taken out a third of his list and Kavil was also leaving smokey entrails in his wake. As long as DnD was able to take down Kavil in this next round then Bossk would be as easy as shooting womp rats in my T-16 back home.
Thank goodness for the simultaneous attack rule. Dash was able to stay on the board and fire back due to being the same pilot skill as Bossk and Kavil. This gave me just enough of an edge to kill Kavil and leave Miranda right beside Bossk. Bossk had a sliver of a range two shot on Miranda for a tactician and marksmanship shot but it was too late. I would be able to fly behind the Hound’s Tooth the next round. Now came the final dance as Miranda followed Bossk’s lead all around the map, plinking away with TLT shots while regenerating her shields and periodically getting some nice range one primary attack shots. Bossk eventually fell around his starting position over on Kyle’s right side of the board to secure me the win for the final match.
Kyle’s list was devastating and I can see just how effective it is against aces that want to get in too close. The Hound’s Tooth may be Scum’s space cow, but it can turn and still get some arcs with some good maneuvering and distance.
I ended up in fourth place! That means I was able to procure both the championship range ruler as well as the tie breaker coin. I’ve been close to winning a tournament before, but this one felt the greatest to me because of the amazing prize kit. I left The Core feeling elated and excited for the next store championship. I want to thank The Core again for providing the room for the event and Jeff Mastin for running the tournament. You really made me feel welcome. I can’t wait for the next opportunity to face off against all the folks up in Cedar Falls and the surrounding Iowa area. The community is running strong and new people are popping up every time we hold an event. Thanks for reading and, as always, fly casual.
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About The Author
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.