When a plan comes together…

The intro…

Welcome!

It’s been a relatively quiet week both in X-Wing and my life in general. X-Wing wise there are no new announcements or articles nor any major tournaments (that I’m aware of, anyway!) to discuss.

In normal life? Well it was Mother’s Day here in the UK but otherwise in the Jones household we’re just trying to creep our way closer to the eventual end of lockdown and see what life looks like out on the other side. Probably not too different from now to start with is my guess but I’m sincerely hoping that it won’t be too long before in person play is a viable option again. It’ll have been a long time coming.

In my X-Wing life it’s week 4 of the Sith Taker Cup ‘The Sequel’. Last week’s game, while SUPER fun, didn’t go particularly well (result-wise) and so that put me at 1-2 (win-loss) at the half way point.

My list is fixed for the tournament and has been talked about before so I’ll just drop it here for reference:

Rey (68)
Korr Sella (6)
Rose Tico (9)
Finn (9)
Rey’s Millennium Falcon (2)

Ship total: 94 Half Points: 47 Threshold: 6

Tallissan Lintra (37)
Heroic (2)
Proton Rockets (5)
Advanced Optics (5)

Ship total: 49 Half Points: 25 Threshold: 2

Zizi Tlo (41)
Heroic (2)
Proton Rockets (5)
Advanced Optics (5)

Ship total: 53 Half Points: 27 Threshold: 2

Total: 196

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Resistance&d=v8ZsZ200Z244XWW245W173W174WWW193Y240X172WW102W186Y387X172WW102W186&sn=Rey-Wings&obs=coreasteroid5,core2asteroid1,core2asteroid2

As I may have mentioned last week (but I can’t quite remember), I’m a fairly ok-ish player. I’m not someone who is generally looking to make the cut in a tournament. I’m in it for the fun and, for the most part, am happy to break even in terms of wins and losses. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gone 1-5 before and still had a good time (honest!) but it’s good to have goals and mine is to try for 3-3 in a 6 game tournament setting and any better than that is a bonus. Any worse than that is still fine provided I had fun along the way.

And so, with this being such a large event (193 registered players before drops), I was more likely than usual to get paired with someone on the same record as myself. I say that because there has been more than one occasion where TTO (JARGON ALERT!!) has paired me up, meaning I play against someone with a better record than me (usually, but not always, meaning they’re a better player/have a better list). Anyway, this time it had worked out how I’d expected.

As usual, once the pairings were made live I go and check out my opponent and their list. Well well well, it’s a Rebel list!

Edrio Two Tubes (42)
Adv. Proton Torpedoes (5)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)

Ship total: 47 Half Points: 24 Threshold: 3

Benthic Two Tubes (46)
Contraband Cybernetics (3)
Leia Organa (7)
Perceptive Copilot (8)
Pivot Wing (0)

Ship total: 64 Half Points: 32 Threshold: 4

Ten Numb (48)
Autoblasters (3)
Jamming Beam (0)
Stabilized S-Foils (2)

Ship total: 53 Half Points: 27 Threshold: 4

Jake Farrell (34)
XX-23 S-Thread Tracers (2)

Ship total: 36 Half Points: 18 Threshold: 2

Total: 200

View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0: https://raithos.github.io/?f=Rebel%20Alliance&d=v8ZsZ200Z8XW134WWW142Y36X92WW46W54WW140Y74XWW232W12WWW313WY50XWW332W&sn=Dicey%20Crew%203&obs=

Oh wow, that’s a LOT of synergy there. Benthic can activate first and pass a focus to whoever he wants. If it’s Edrio, he can then boost (provided his foils are closed) before activating, move and then take a 3rd action (a lock most likely). Jake can make up any shortfall on focus tokens and Ten is fairly self sufficient with a roll into red lock meaning he’s double modded.

Crikey.

I sim against it a few times with reasonably mixed results. I beat the Fly Casual AI by splitting up initially which causes the AI to split it’s forces. I then pincer back together for the first engagement so all of my list hits the same target while the AI splits fire between my ships. It’s a win but I’m not happy about it.

While prepping for the previous game I had loaded up TTS and played both sides. That’s not something I’d done before, thinking that I’d be biased one way or another with my decision making. When I tried it though I found that most moves and actions were reasonably simple and obvious choices and, when I had a 50/50 call to make for the opposing side I simply made it the worst move for my list to see how I would cope.

Now TTS does take a little time to set up and it did take me a good while longer than playing against the AI in FC. However, FC has a hot seat option. Why had I never thought of this before!? Also, at any point in FC I can open the menu and restart without having to reset each ship individually and without necessarily playing to full destruction. Bonus.

I set up the game for both sides in FC and tested out some scenarios.

Now it was more tricky. Jake is not a priority target but if he gets the tracers on Rey before everyone else fires then there could be trouble. Also, Edrio’s Advanced Proton Torpedoes is a concern since they’d almost certainly be double modded (either from Jake’s tracers or because of the action-fest resulting in Benthic’s passed focus token) and would probably hit after shields had been stripped, putting at least 1 crit through onto hull. I need some decent range control here to keep out of range 1 and then maybe bump him in the second engagement to avoid the shot.

Testing seemed to come down to this: if Edrio fires those APT’s, I’m in trouble. If Jake gets a tracers shot onto Rey and gives the other 3 ships double modded shots, I’m in trouble. Hmmm. An interesting puzzle.

In a couple of the simmed games I tried targeting different ships as the priority target. Each had their pros and cons. Ten Numb is relatively easy to take down with just 1 agility and prevents a possible double tap but at range 2+ he’s not too dangerous. Taking out Jake prevents the tracers but with 3 agility and a focus he’s tricky to hit. Benthic is harder to hit than Ten because with the same total health he has an extra green die but removing him stops a lot of focus passing/action efficiency. And then there’s Edrio. Sure, it’s ‘just’ a 3 dice gun on a 2 agility ship but those APT’s certainly are dangerous.

After some testing I settle on the Tubes brothers. I’m not naïve enough to think that Magne will simply let me shoot the ship I want to hit. As I approach I’ll just need to try and adjust my angles and ranges to make sure all 3 ships are hitting the same target and at least one A-Wing with bullseye for Prockets (JARGON ALERT!!) and then see how it goes from there.

And so, on to the game.

The Batrep… (JARGON ALERT!!)

Magne and I got set up, joined a voice chat and intorduced ourselves as we got ready to play.

It turned out that Magne only picked up X-Wing last summer to play with a friend and yet just a few months later was taking part in online tournaments, including having entered the GSP Sigma Qualifier just a few weeks ago. Talk about going all in!

While we chatted I had to remember what I’d learned from my prep.

Pre-Flight checks:
Target Priority – Preferably Edrio first to negate the 5 dice APT but failing that Benthic should be an easier target to catch (if not take down with that extra health over teh T-65)
Obstacles – Spread wide-ish with a decent lane for Rey to cruise down and (hopefully) sloop (JARGON ALERT!!) with impunity
Deployment – as per my usual, I’ll pick the furthest corner from wherever Magne places and put everyone there.

We place obstacles and ships and are set and ready to begin.

With Magne’s ships positioned where they are I should have time to send Rey up the left board edge and head across that nice wide lane there. I don’t really fancy the A-Wings approach between the middle 2 debris on my side but maybe I can do something about that in a minute.

Rey gets a 2 hard left turn while the A-Wings will both hard turn right.

Magne sends Benthic forwards, gives a focus to Edrio who then boosts before moving, takes his move forwards and then rolls in front of Benthic. That looks very practised. Hmmm….

Jake sidles up alongside them before Ten just shuffles forwards on his angled trajectory.

BEWARE THE ENORMOUS CARD!

No shooting this round so back to dials we go.

Magn’e gone pretty much where expected and I’m think he’ll turn in hard next. I want to bide my time with the A-Wings but the dial just isn’t built that way. They both get a 2 straight while Rey takes a lazy 1 straight.

Magne moves Benthic neatly around the gas cloud while Edrio’s hard turn puts him side by side. Ten continues to lumber 1 forwards while Jake takes a rather unexpected banked turn, more in at the A-Wings. Interesting.

I move Rey forwards and focus. I move Tallie next and then deliberate the action. A banked boost will give me a shot on Jake. I’m 90% sure it’ll be bullseye but only 30% sure it’ll be in range 2. On the other hand, it’ll put Tallie in a slightly awkward position for next turn. Maybe.

The temptation of potential Prockets into Jake (possibly meaning no tracers) is too much and I go with the focus linked to banked boost.

Zizi won’t complete that though and so she moves 2 straight and rolls left (and back), hopefully being well positioned for a hard turn next time.

It’s REALLY clear and obvious now but Tallie did NOT have Jake at range 2 (but did have bullseye. Go me!). Tallie and Jake take pot shots at each other but 2 red dice vs 4 green dice on each side goes as the maths predicts and no damage is done.

Back to dials then and this is the crunch turn.

I need to make sure Rey has a decent target. I’d prefer the bank to a hard turn for future movement options but I’m not 100% confident the bank will give me a full choice of targets.

I risk it and go for the 1 bank.

Zizi will hard turn left while Tallie will 3 bank and shoot for the gap between debris.

Magne begins moving ships. Bentic starts by banking to his left and taking a focus. He passes one of his 2 focuses to Edrio who, through some combination of moves and actions that I can now no longer recall, ends up in front of Rey with a focus and a lock. Ouch.

Ten Numb banks right before rolling left into a red linked lock (on Rey). Jake banks in around the debris, rolls, gives himself a focus and then boosts in at Rey.

Now wondering if I did the right thing, Rey banks right and takes a lock on Edrio.

Zizi hard turns, takes a focus and boosts which lands beautifully next to the debris.

Tallie takes the 3 bank, focuses and boosts, sitting perfectly on Benthic’s flank.

I’m really pleased with most of my positions here. Really pleased. Yes, Rey is probably going to take some pain but she has 3 different ships in arc and the A-Wings have EVERYONE in arc and several in bullseye.

Time to start shooting.

I can’t quite decide whether Edrio has range 1 on Rey but I’m not going to risk shooting someone else since Tallie has Edrio in Prockets range.

I start with Zizi since she has the worst shot. Her 2 dice range 3 manages to strip a shield but isn’t enough to persuade Magne to spend his focus.

Tallie goes next, unleashing Prockets. It’s 4 hits once I spend a focus and this time Magne’s hit and eyeball mean he is forced to spend his focus with his shields now stripped.

Now Rey fires. I check range and it is range 2 (so APT wasn’t a threat anyway!). I roll, add the Finn blank, spend the lock and one Force for 4 hits. Magne needs natties (JARGON ALERT!!) to survive but doesn’t get them and Edrio is gone.

Wow.

Magne begins his return fire with Jake firing Thread Tracers at Rey, scoring the hit and giving locks to everyone.

Both Benthic and Ten are range 2 of Rey and despite being double modded can only push 3 damage through between them, stripping Rey’s shields and exhausting her Force. Crucially though, the Finn/Rose combo allows me to take a lock on Benthic while defending.

Back to dials and so far, I’m really pleased. A whole ship in exchange for Rey’s shields. I’ll take that. So what next?

Assuming Magne will continue to target Rey I figure Zizi will have space to go 2 straight. Tallie is a little more tricky though and I eventually decide that Ten can’t stay where he is and so she can 3 bank over Benthic (who I assume will hard stop).

Rey will sloop to her left. Maybe I’ll hit the gas cloud but it’s not a complete disaster if I do.

Magne activates Leia crew.

He does indeed hard stop with Benthic and closes his wings to rotate 90 degrees clockwise and takes a (double) focus. Jake sloops to his left, boosts and gives himself a focus. Ten does a 2K (JARGON ALERT!!) and then rolls into a linked lock which he takes on Tallie.

My turn. Zizi’s 2 straight lands right next to Ten and Benthic and so she jsut takes a focus. Tallie’s 3 banks sails over Benthic but sits her rathe close to Ten who just locked her. I decide not to risk it and take a boost linked to a rotate to try and escape arc while still shooting. Who needs mods anyway, right?

Rey sloops, misses the gas cloud and takes a stress. Lovely.

With Ten Numb sitting rather tantalising close to Rey AND Zizi I’m tempted for a moment to shoot him before I remember that 1. Rey has a lock on Benthic and 2. He’s closed his wings and has 1 less agility.

I pounce. Tokenless Tallie goes first, rolling 2 hits out of hand. Benthic evades one and takes 1.

Zizi goes next and has caught the corner of teh base in bulleye. Prockets it is then. 4 hits/crits land as Magne’s single green die betrays him, blanking out.

Rey goes for the kill, rolling 3 dice, adding the Finn blank and spending the lock for maximum hits. It doesn’t matter what Magne rolls, Benthic is done.

Dear lord.

Magne fires back with Jake at Rey and lands a hit (which, also gives me the chance to lock him with Rey) but Tallie has dodged Ten’s arc and so he has no shot.

This really was one of those ‘wow, did I just do that?’ moments but in both the positive AND the negative way, simultaneously.

Two engagements, two ships killed, no points given up. Awesome.

Stomping over a relatively new player. Jerk.

There’s a bigger discussion to have here which I’m not going to do now but I felt very conflicted at this point.

Anyway, back to the game.

Dials again and now things are quite different. Ten is my next priority target since he can hit me hard if he wants to.

The thing is, Tallie’s position sucks, Zizi needs to pick a direction and Rey, well, she needs to shoot stuff (i.e. not bump).

I decide that Tallie will take the long route around the gas cloud so takes a 2 hard left. I’m not fussed on Zizi turning right and rotating turret since she could end up in Ten’s arc so she’ll turn right and I hope I can judge distences correctly since Rey is simply going to sloop back to where she came from.

Magne banks left with Ten who then rolls left and locks Tallie. Jake simply hard turns left and focuses, clearly hoping to bump Rey who should, by normal logic, take a blue straight or bank.

Rey cares not for logic and sloops right over Jake’s head to get another stress.

Zizi’s hard turn is scuppered since Jake is in the way and she bumps into the back of him. Tallie’s hard turn is followed by a boost to again duck out of Ten’s arc.

With Tallie galavanting off in the corner and Zizi bumped, only Rey has a shot and boy, it’s a juicy one.

She rolls 4 dice, adds a Finn blank and spends the previously acquired lock for 4 hits. Jake pulls out his decent green dice, rolls 2 eyeballs and spends his focus. This still takes his shields and gives me half points on him though.

With his focus gone Jake’s return shot on Rey does no damage and so back to planning we go.

Now what.

Rey could still sloop one more time but now there’s a much higher chance of bumping whichever direction I pick. No, it’s time to clear those stress tokens with a 1 straight.

Tallie will finish her spin around the cloud with a hard turn while Zizi…ummm…. what will Zizi do? In the end I plump for a 4 straight to get out of the way.

Looking for a bit of a reset himself, Magne sends Ten 1 bank right to clear his unspent stress and takes a focus while Jake hard turns left and boosts away, gaining a focus in the process.

Tallie turns, focuses and rotates her arc back to the front. Zizi’s 4 straight clears Rey and might get me rear arc on Ten so she focuses and rotates arc.

Rey goes 1 straight and takes a lock on Ten.

Zizi isn’t shooting anyone this time and Tallie’s range 3 shot into a focused Jake does nothing.

Rey fires 3 dice plus a Finn blank into Ten and takes 3 shields off.

Magne has no shots and so we’re back to dials again.

I decide to try and split my focus with Rey going after Ten and the A-Wings chasing Jake.

Rey gets another 1 straight but the A-Wings need to sort themselves out. Zizi will hard turn left while Tallie will 5 straight over the top to gain ground on Jake.

Magne 2K’s with Ten to face off with Rey. Jake takes a 1 hard turn left and then boosts, picking up a focus too.

Zizi’s 2 hard turn doesn’t go exactly where I’d like and while I should probably boost I just end up taking a focus and rotating arc for some reason.

Tallie’s 5 straight lands in Jake’s flank and I decide against boosting, just taking a focus.

Rey’s 1 straight lands right in front of Ten and while I consider just taking a lock and blasting him, I also don’t want to give up points and so she takes a bank boost left to dodge his arc while still having a shot out of the back.

Sneaky Rey.

Tallie fires at Jake, rolling 2 hits. Jake’s dice fail him but not completely, meaning 1 hit goes through and Jake survives on 1 hull.

Rey fires at Ten, rolling 4 dice at range 1. She’s got no lock (and no Finn/Rose shenanigans since it’s not front arc) but still lands 3 hits, all of which go through leaving Ten on 2 hull.

Tallie is just out of Ten’s arc so there are no return shots for MAgne and we go back to dials.

This time I’ll turn in with both A-Wings while Rey will also hard turn to try and get back into the action.

Magne begins moving ships. Ten goes 2 straight, giving up on Rey and honing in on Tallie who he still has locked, taking a focus and linking to a roll left.

Jake hard turns left, rolls and takes a focus, blocking up Tallie’s route.

Rey hard turns and, despite being stressed already, boosts right.

Zizi turns in and just takes a focus. Tallie’s hard turn bumps her into Jake.

Rey is out of the picture but Tallie just has Ten in arc. She isn’t focused though and her shot does nothing. Zizi doesn’t quite have arc on Ten and so fires at Jake, point blank landing 2 hits. Jake natties out of trouble this time.

Ten has a shot now though and fires at Tallie, spending his stress to get 3 hits. Tallie evades one but the other two get through to strip her shields.

Ten then spends his lock to fire Autoblasters with 3 dice since Tallie is in his bullseye. Unfortunately (for Magne) he rolls 2 blanks and an eyeball and is all out of mods.

With the clock running down we go back to dials again.

Rey will 2 bank to clear the stress while Tallie will attempt to turn right and get out of Ten’s way while Zizi will bank over Jake’s current position.

Magne hard turns Jake who then rolls left, takes a focus and boosts right. Ten hard turns left , rolls right and locks Zizi.

Rey takes the 2 bank, clears the stress and takes a focus. Zizi banks over the top of Ten, takes a focus and rotates arc. Tallie’s hard turn bumps into the back of Ten, keeping her behind him.

Neither Rey nor Tallie have shots but Zizi rolls at Ten from her rear arc, landing 3 hits once her focus was spent meaning Ten was done whatever he rolled.

Jake doesn’t have arc on anyone so we’re back to dials.

Tallie will bank right to go around the debris. Zizi has her arc facing backwards so I give her a hard right turn. Rey will hard turn around the gas cloud.

Magne goes fast with Jake, going 5 straight, rolling right, picking up a focus andthen boosting left towards Rey.

Tallie banks and focuses. Zizi hard turns but is still stressed so no action for her. Rey hard turns and bumps into Jake.

No shots for anyone here and with just seconds left on the clock we go for one last turn.

Tallie and Zizi just get neutral moves to just not die. Rey gets a 2 straight to hopefully cruise straight over Jake.

Magne decides to send Jake a 1 hard turn left, keeping his stress and hoping to block Rey. But Rey’s 2 straight takes her past him and she takes a lock.

With the clock fully run down Rey rolls 4 dice at Jake, spends the lock and a Force for 3 hits.

Jake rolls his 3 greens, needing 3 natural evades to live. He failed (rolling 2 blanks an an eyeball) and dies.

Result: 200 – 25 win

The conclusion…

Wow.

This was one of those games where everything just went right. In fact, the only bad thing was losing the half points on Tallie when she bumped Jake.

Almost but not quite.

I got the ranges I wanted for Rey, landed bullseyes with Tallie and Zizi when I needed them and had space to dodge arcs from time to time.
Magne didn’t do anything particularly wrong I don’t think, my red dice rolled particularly well (and Magne’s greens badly) in the first 2 engagements and once I’d taken 2 ships off the table there was no coming back.

When talking the game over afterwards I can’t really see that Magne did too much wrong. Edrio was at range 2 when he should arguably have made range 1 to use the APT’s in the first engagement but that was made moot by being taken out before getting to fire.

Benthic went down due to losing a green die when rotating but to be honest, in his position I’d almost certainly have done the same thing in order to keep guns on target. The only thing I can possibly think is that maybe he could have approached more aggressively and given me less time to get ranges and angles right. That was made tricky by starting more in the corner and perhaps if a lane through the middle had been made with obstacle placement he could have cruised forwards before then diving in at whichever side I’d subsequently placed my ships.

Having spoken before hand about Magne being pretty new to the game (like, less than a year playing) this did feel a bit harsh. I’ve been on the receiving end of games like this and so I know how it feels. He took it incredibly well and gave no hint wanting to throw in the towel or thow his toys out of the pram. His ‘screw it, let’s try this’ move with Jake in the last turn particularly sticks out as an indication of a player who doesn’t take himself too seriously and is in it for the fun above all else and for the community to gain new players with this attitude can only be good for the game as a whole.

Overall it’s a little bit of a ‘feels bad’ win but at the same time it’s quite affirming to know that I can do ok with this list and at the game in general.

How I felt after 2nd engagement. The guy that is me, not the seal. Usually it’s the other way around, I know.

This result puts me at 2-2 overall and my MoV (JARGON ALERT!!) isn’t’ too bad either. Let’s see if I can hit my 3-3 target and what opponent and list week 5 brings!

http://dylan-jones.co.uk/xwing/

When a plan comes together

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