Midlands and East Anglia ETC Qualifier Report

Fortunately I don’t have an Editor on my back to get an article out as the ugly head of real life intervened this week. Slightly late, but better late than never.At twenty past six on Saturday the morning the alarm went off and I rolled out of bed, not feeling too bad considering I had gone to bed at 1am. After getting dressed it dawned on me that I could have easily slept for another half an hour by decided to score some wife points by doing the washing up I should have done the night before as well as lightening the load on the throne.

Despite all this I missed breakfast due to the awakening of the small people which started with a wailing sound from my 4 year old son. Assuming that he had fallen out of bed I was less amused to see it was over the fact that he could not transform a particular transformer. One of mine too.

Other than a quick refuel of the car I picked up Man of Monkey and had an uneventful journey up to Milton Keynes arriving early enough for a Coffee and peruse around the out of town shopping centre. It was held at Wargames Workshop in Milton Keynes and run by Luke Townsend and Lee Williams from Cloud City Radio Podcast, (check it out on sound cloud. It’s a bit like a British version of the Kessel Run Podcast). My only gripe was the 15 minutes for lunch due to over running but this at least had the positive of preventing us from trekking over to Macdonalds and we settled for a slightly healthier Tescoe’s meal deal.

Macdonalds

“I figure that a man can only eat a certain number of Macdonalds before exceeding that limit kills him.” Grahame Gibbon of Tolworth First Founding.

So no last minute change of list this time. I was quite happy with sticking two fingers up to popular opinion of PTL, Stealth Device and Auto thrusters and running Carnor Jax with Veteran Instincts with Hull and Shield upgrades and it worked well. So here is the list for reference:

First Order Fat Jax

Carnor Jax: Veteran instincts, Royal Guard title, Hull Upgrade, Shield Upgrade.

Whisper: Veteran Instincts, Fire Control System, Agent Kallus, Advanced Cloaking Device

Zeta Leader: Veteran Instincts, Comms Relay.

99 points

game face

Game 1

Paul

3 X Storm Squadron pilots (PS 4 ), with title, Accuracy corrector and twin ion Engines

Lt. Colzet with title, Accuracy corrector, proton Rockets and twin ion Engines

99 points

Kallus targeted a Tie advanced, No.41 I think.

I know how deadly accuracy corrector swarm can be with Tie Advanceds having been on the wrong end of Mike Dennis’ one in a final last September or October. With the set up I started with Whisper in the middle and the other two opposite the swarm along the right flank. I promptly ran away with all my ships to the rocks on the left where they were densely packed before turning back into Paul’s swarm which had gamely given chase.

Carnor Jax got into the mix and denied a lot of evade tokens which made Whisper and Zeta Jones’ job easier at dropping a ship at a time. I managed to destroy everything for no loses. Jax had taken a few hits which left him on two or three hull.

Result Win 100 – 0

Game 2

Lenny

Omnicron group pilot with Emperor Palpatine crew

Sontir Fel: Push the Limit, Tie Royal Guard Title, Auto thrusters, stealth device.

Darth Vader with Title, Advanced targeting computer, Predator and twin Ion engines

98 points

Kallus targeted Darth Vader

There were a lot of Palpmobile lists mainly containing Soontir and Darth Vader in some form or other. We got speaking to Lenny at the venue when we arrived and found out he lives about 20 minutes from me. He also got to play and beat Man of Monkey in round one.

This was a tight game which revolved a lot around the middle of the board till I made a break for it with all my ships to get behind the Palpmobile skirting the bottom edge. It certainly highlighted how difficult it can be to kill the two aces with the Palpatine re-roll. Despite dropping Vader’s Shields early on, even when I got them actionless or token less the palp re roll made a telling difference. Time was called with one round left to play and the Palpmobile was sitting on one hull, but so where Jax and Whisper.

I’d managed to block Soontir Fel with Zeta Leader and Vadar had harmlessly, albeit luckily for me, ended up alongside and out of arc of Zeta Leader. With Whisper having gone off out of harms way all I could effectively do with Carnor was a 5K Turn which left him and the shuttle at range 2 of each other. I rolled two hits and won the game. It’s a shame we couldn’t play it out though.

Result Win 29 – 0

Game 3

Chris

Miranda Doni with tactician and Twin Laser Turret.

Red Ace with Comms relay and R2D2

Y Wing Gold squadron with Twin Laser Turret, BTL A4 title and R2A3, stress bot.

99 points

Kallus targeted Miranda

After setting up in opposite corners and skirting around the edges to make the initial attack runs, Whisper danced in and out before I pushed in with all three, dangling Carnor Jax out as a target while Whisper and Zeta leader pounded the Stress Hog. Jax got stressed up and I decided to chase down Miranda with him as he was limping on two hull at this point. As Red Ace and the Stress Hog moved into the middle I finished off the Stress Hog with Whisper.

I then got greedy and should have run off to re form with Jax and Zeta Leader, who had just taken a face full from Red Ace, and decided to push on to Miranda. I did a conservative move with Whisper which ended up out of range of red ace who had done a hard three and boost back towards Miranda and managed to get into range one of Zeta Leader. In one fell swoop I went from winning to losing two ships in one round.

All was not lost though as Whisper was on full health and all I needed to do was kill one ship for a modified win. I stupidly decided to joust and subsequently rolled badly,(or possibly average being on the wrong end of three modified attacks) and got down to one hull with a crit from red ace making my hard turns red. This left me in a position to not be able to shoot and re-cloak the next turn and subsequently Whisper went up in smoke.

Result: Loss 26 – 100

Crit meme

Game 4

Matt

Rear Admiral Chiraneau: Predator, Emperor Palpatine, Ysanne Isard, engine upgrade.

Sontir Fel: Push the Limit, Tie Royal Guard Title, Auto thrusters, stealth device.

Kallus targeted Rear Admiral Chiraneau

Having played against a similar list a couple of weeks ago I felt confident about this although knew it would not be a walk in the park. My plan was to try and get Jax into range one of Sontir Fel then nuke him with everyone else. My only reservation about this was from the experience against Lenny in game two with the Palpatine reroll. At range three, even actionless, the combination of Palpatine and auto thrusters would negate two hits and even at range one or two with the initial four agility dice and Palp it would still be tricky unless  I could get a couple of ships in there to shoot.

Matt set up on my right flank whilst I set up Whisper in the middle and the other two on my left. I kept whisper in the middle whilst Jax and Zeta flew into the rocks in the middle. Matt pushed the Decimator and Fel down to my board edge. Despite managing to block Fel a couple of times  I could not push any damage through as Jax had bumped into the Decimator making its return trip back towards matt’s edge.

The deciding moment came when I got behind Fel with Jax and ambushed him with Whisper. Unfortunately for Matt in trying to reposition and get Whisper in arc he left Soontir Fel in range one of Whisper but unable for himself to shoot. I boosted Jax into Range one, (who had been mauled by the Decimator by this point) and Whisper put three hits and two crits into Fel, aided by his target lock. Matt rolled one evade and that was Soontir gone.

The Decimator in return smoked Carnor but with Zeta Leader on full health and even with Whisper on one hull and the Decimator now at half strength I managed to hunt it down over a few rounds.

Result Win 100 – 34

Game 5

Jason

M3-A Interseptror Serissu.

4 X Kihraxz Cartel Spacers

Kallus targeted a Kihraxz, No.41or 43 I think. The one starting at the back.

I’ve played against five Kihraxz before with a Vader, Juno and Palpmobile list. Needless to say the outcome was not pretty as I went down to two or three Kihrax versus the palpmobile and called it there. I felt that this list was probably superior to the five Kihraxz and that I must not get carried away trying to snipe at Serissu at long range when removing the more deadly offensive threat of the Kihraxz would be more vital.

The odd thing or clever thing that Jason did was to bring three debris clouds. When we set the obstacles up we had the rocks in three corners with the debris in the middle. Jason set his swarm up on my left flank whilst I set whisper in the middle with the other two ships on my right. I headed off to the top right corner whilst Jason moved forward then turned back into the middle and back towards my top right corner. Rather than go around the debris fields he flew straight over them, and was unlucky by rolling two crits for two of his ships, dropping a shield each.

This caught me out a bit but I had already had Whisper and Zeta turning around the other side of the rock, along his board edge, whilst Jax had K turned and was doing a straight 3 back towards the swarm. The initial engagement had me taking out the Kallus marked Kihraxz first, just due to position, with Jax sitting range one in front of the swarm. He took a bit of damage and then 5K turned behind them and serissu. Whisper had the space to do Whispery things and the swarm fragmented a bit.

When Serissu was alive and in range, it was remarkable the amount of evades Jason would roll from the defensive re-roll. Alas the reverse was true when Serrisu got taken out over a couple of turns by Zeta Leader and Carnor Jax Jason could not roll an evade for toffee. There was a point when Whisper had snagged a debris field and was stressed and had three Kihrazx at range one of him. Whisper and Zeta leader dropped a damaged one a piece when statistically I expected only one to go. The return fire was equally unfortunate with Whisper unscathed.

With just two Kihrazx left and my squad relatively untouched apart from a battered Carnor Jax running around at PS0 I dismembered them one at a time. It was helpful that with Serissu gone the ability to roll an evade had too. The last nine evade dice Jason rolled had not a single evade on them.

Result win 100 – 0

Kihraxz meme

The Dust Settles

Overall I finished in third place which was pleasing and I got some shiny Perspex items from Cog O Two as prizes. Would I make any changes? The Hull and shield upgrades on Carnor Jax did work well although the two games in which I lost Jax was against turrets. I’m tempted to put auto thrusters on instead of one of the other upgrades, probably shield upgrade.  And maybe play a bit smarter too.

Zeta Leader and Whisper performed well although I’m tempted to tweak Zeta Leader again. I was talking with Mike Dennis who was having some success with him recently running with Wired and a Stealth Device. This made me think about doing a Wired, Stealth Device and Comms Relay combo for 27 points. In general I still fired with Zeta Leader last during the tournament and only avoided one pile up with Whisper because of VI.

The lists at the event where varied although there were more Imperials and a lot of Palpmobile lists. Also three ship rebel regen was about and even a four lambda list was floating near the top end. Omega Ace was also popping its head up a bit. The winning list was a rebel swarm of three bandit Z95s, two T65 X Wings and a B wing.

I feel the conclusion to this is really to fly what you know and have a plan and capacity to deal with K Wings, regen, three ace builds, palpmobiles, stress hogs and swarms. Also from the last two events I played at large ships and two ship lists are still about and competitive.

ETC Qualifying

I made the top six of candidates to qualify for the final qualifier but alas I have had to pull out as of the Friday just gone due to a potential opportunity that may foul up me playing X wing tournaments till the summer. To be going to represent England in Greece in August I could not guarantee I would be getting enough tournament games in between now and then to be at the top of my game for it. I still booked the Open tickets as a fail safe which I think should be okay regardless although I could be a bit rusty going into that.

The Team England committee have to be commended for setting up a very transparent system which is open to anyone who wants to take part in the event at short notice.

auto thrusters

Tweaking

First Order Carnage

Carnor Jax: Veteran instincts, Royal Guard title, Hull Upgrade, Auto thrusters.

Whisper: Veteran Instincts, Fire Control System, Agent Kallus, Advanced Cloaking Device

Zeta Leader: Wired, Stealth Device, Comms Relay.

100 points

I had thought that Carnor Jax is effectively going to live at either range one or three for most games and splashing out on Auto thrusters might mitigate early damage. That and dealing with turrets which was the one thing to bring him down in combination of poor tactical play. There was not a time I felt that I missed Darth Vader instead, which did surprise me a bit, but Jax fore filled his role in most games adequately, especially in neutralising Fel’s tokens for the kill in game 4.

 

is a trap

Stealth Device on Zeta Leader is not something I am 100% convinced of but combined with the evade, a possible focus and wired should make him more tanky. The drop back to PS7 with Zeta Leader is not devastating and wired may well trigger more with the additional defence die. Only time will tell though.

12512605_10153221371741857_9074807005477899725_n-2

My next event is at Tolworth First Founding’s “What a piece of Junk,” tournament in a couple of weeks time, which I’m looking forward too.  Tolworth was the first gaming I group I went to and it will be good fun to see some familiar old faces, then hopefully stomp on them.

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