So, just a few words from the tournament organiser’s perspective, guest writer Ollie.
The 20th February saw 20 players head over to St Paul’s Church Hall in Chessington for Tolworth First Founding’s first ever X-Wing Tournament: ‘What a Piece of Junk!’
Attendance was somewhat lower than desired but clashing with store championships around the area was inevitable during this peak season of Fantasy Flight Organised Play. What that did result in was a tournament with a fun, casual atmosphere that was enjoyed by all.
Wandering around the room and chatting to the players, I found that there was a real mix of ability and experience with seasoned tournament professionals squaring up against those who had never attended a tournament in their life. This sort of environment provides a fantastic learning curve for newer players (and nine year-olds – more on that later!) and allows players the opportunity to try out some lists that might be considered a little more left-field.
Looking out for what might be termed the “meta” of the tournament, it was hard to pin down. There was a huge variety in the lists with almost every ship in the game making an appearance; even the YV-666 and the Starviper got taken for a spin (but only because I’m a Scummy hipster…). TIE Bombers and Defenders were, naturally, absent as everyone awaits the Imperial Veterans expansion with bated breath. Y-Wings and TIE Interceptors were perhaps the most widely used ships, the former in both Scum Thug and Rebel form (usually a stressbot, of course) and the latter often piloted by everyone’s favourite Ace, Soontir Fel.
Speaking of aces, Poe was seen on a few tables doing work as he continues to prove himself one of the best pilots in the game. “Whisper”, too, seems to be making something of a resurgence, being flown admirably by our deserved winner. Vader popped up here and there toting, as ever, his Advanced Targeting Computer. There were more than a few TIE Advanceds scattered throughout the lists with Accuracy Corrector being a popular choice in that System Upgrade slot. The (relatively) new TIE/fo fighters seem also to have had something of an impact, with Omega Ace cropping up in a few lists and inspiring fear and hate in equal measure in his opponents.
Having had to step in as the “odd-man” due to a no-show I even got to play a few games while organising the tournament (Note: This is not preferred – organising a tournament is stressful enough without having to think about how you’re going to deal with that Soontir that’s flanking your squadron). It was, as ever, an enjoyable experience and my opponents were all a joy to play against; the threats of disqualification if they didn’t let me win had nothing to do with it. Nothing at all.
One of the highlights for me was the fact that current First Founding Chairman Jon Corps brought his son, Zak, along to the tournament. Prior to this, the nine year-old had played 2 games of X-Wing in his entire life (and that was the evening before the big day). A full day’s gaming can be a tiring affair but Zak firmed it all day and even got two solid wins in (once actually destroying his opponent’s fleet without losing a single ship and once beating his father in a kind of Kylo Ren/Han Solo situation). The kid didn’t get cocky and put in a great show – a real trooper and testament to the fact that it’s never too early to start kicking ass and taking names on the tournament scene. For putting in such a great show (and for putting up with all of us scruffy-looking nerf-herders), we awarded him the Under-14s Prize.
All in all, it was a great day’s gaming. From my end at least everything ran smoothly and, as far as I could tell, the punters were pleased. I look forward to the next one!
“Sorry about the mess.” – Zak Corps (be the first to destroy an Ace, Pilot Skill 9 or above, this round)
“Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.” – Tom Forster (be the first to destroy your opponent’s squadron without losing a ship)
“Never tell me the odds!” – Mike Commodore (destroy a ship which has a target lock on the attacker)
“Great shot, kid. That was one in a million!” – Ian Courtney (one-shot a ship in a single round of combat)
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” – Jim Hoy (collect the most stress on a single ship)
Under 14s Prize – Zak Corps