As rain cancelled play for my participation at my local Store Championship at Ibuywargames.co.uk or more accurately an invite to a 40th birthday party, I managed to wangle going to my old gaming club’s first X Wing event instead the week before.Due to a couple of store Championships going on there were only 20 entrants including the TO Ollie who had to play as odd man, which is always preferable than having a bye. You can get away with this in events of 32 players or less but it makes it a bit stressful for the TO but Ollie managed it well and kept everything to schedule. With Ibuywargames store championship the following week some people were using this as a practice event and Ian at Ibuy kindly provided some FFG kits as prize support and Ollie got some Millennium Falcon shaped focus tokens manufactured.
Being 5 rounds of Swiss with twenty players it was possible to lose a game and still win if your MOV was good enough.
The list I decided to run was my First Order Fel list but I gave Zeta leader Juke to try it out:
Whisper: Vi, ACD, Agent Kallus, fire control
Zeta leader: juke, comms relay
Soontir fel: PTL, royal guard title, auto thrusters, targeting computer.
I figured that Juke would act as some kind of continuous crack shot considering I normally shoot with Zeta Leader last even when toting Veteran Instincts. My set up in general would be to run both Zeta Leader and Fel together on a flank with Whisper starting in the middle then trying to out flank and be a general pain.
Whisper, Vi, ACD, recon Spec, fire control
Omega leader, juke, comms relay
2 x Zeta squadron Tie/fos
Kallus targeted Whisper
Omega Leader was a popular choice at this event and it seems Omega leader is getting popular in general. Personally, I don’t feel it has the damage output to make it really lethal but a thorn in the side none the less being able to slowly chip away.
Mark won the choice for initiative and took it. I was happy with this as it meant I could arc dodge with Soontir and as long as I evaded in Whisper’s arc with my Whisper I would be in a happy place. Mark set up his two Zetas and omega leader on my right flank with his Whisper pointing towards his right corner, just off set from them. I placed Zeta leader and Soontir on my left corner with Whisper in the middle. My priority was to take out his Whisper first and try not to tangle with the mini swarm till his whisper was gone.
This proved quite a tense and high manoeuvring game as his whisper went across his table edge and down to engage the approaching Soontir and Zeta leader. I feigned with Whisper to engage the mini swarm and then bugged out to attack his Whisper. I thought about it but felt it might be too much of a gamble if my defense dice went south against the three ships early on.
After the initial engagement where both Whispers had dropped a shield off each other, (Soontir bumped his Whisper), I managed to get my Whisper behind his and chase it down with Soontir managing to swing back in and corner it for the kill. Time ran out as my ships engaged the mini swarm.
Whisper, Vi, ACD, Agent Kallus, fire control
Omega leader, juke, comms relay
Soontir fel, PTL, royal guard title, auto thrusters, stealth device,
My Kallus targeted Whisper
His Kallus targeted Soontir
We had a chat at the beginning of the day where Mike said quite unashamedly that he took the list from the website although swapped Zeta leader for Omega leader and the odd change here and there. He was hoping for a win or two and not to come last.
So rocking up for the next match I assumed that he had reached his target and would be about to put his feet up. He set up all three ships in the middle while I was going to flank round with Fel and Zeta through the rocks on the right edge whilst Whisper held my back edge then sweep in. The crunch moment came when all the ships were clustered around the large rock in the middle and his Phantom only had one place to decloak.
Sadly my phantom also had limited options due to having pulled a K turn to get his Soontir at range one which came to nothing and as Mike had the initiative my Phantom ended up at range one of his. My choices were either to barrel roll into range two and get shot or barrel roll backwards so at least I could shoot too. I could either cloak up or evade but felt as he had focused and both were a shield down I may as well face off as I had the Kallus buff. I also moved Soontir into range one too from behind but Zeta leader was going to bite the bullet from his Omega and Fel and duly did so.
In the exchange between the two phantoms I was lucky as Mike rolled poorly and I only dropped a hull and a shield with my Whisper and then the return fire plus Fel took out his Phantom. The following turn Mike parked his Soontir on a rock and that was it for him and Omega leader followed two turns afterwards.
Overall I had used both Zeta Leader and Whisper poorly and got away with the win due to the fickleness of dice and a rock placement. I felt it would have still been doable if both Phantoms had taken each other out as Mike had opted for the initiative and my Soontir was more offensive with the target lock which really paid off in finishing off both Whispers I had played against so far, but it would have been difficult with the sniping Omega leader.
Horton, VI, r2-d6, ion cannon, engine upgrade
Y-wing twin laser turret, R3-A2, BTL-A4 title, ( a Stress hog)
Y-wing twin laser turret,
Bandit squadron Z 95
Kallus Targeted Horton
Grahame set up everything on my far left with Horton just off set towards the middle. I placed Soontir and Zeta on my right with Whisper baited out on my left. My plan was to offer up whisper then run away while Fel and Zeta get behind the stress hog and everything else and start picking things off. This kind of worked till I decided not to stick to the plan and went aggressive with Whisper and managed to get Zeta in a really weird and ineffective position due to barrel rolling towards the right edge.
Whisper got into range one of the stress hog and Z 95 then barrel rolled so to be out of the stress hog’s arc. Both Whisper and Soontir, who had now come in from grahams edge lit up the Z 95 only for it to still be left there on one hull. Previous to this Horton had come in and ionized Whisper. Having recloaked due to the Z 95 being at range one I only had two options for decloak which were either ahead and bump Horton or to the right and park on a rock. As it turned out going right and parking on the rock would probably have been the better choice. Whisper then bought it but not before collecting a bucket load of stress tokens and no one to shoot at.
On the plus side it allowed Soontir to take out the Z 95 and then get behind both Y wings. Whilst Horton chased and ionised Zeta Leader back to Grahame’s board edge, Soontir nestled into range one of the 360 degree Y wing and worked it down. By the time the stress hog had dropped its stress and K turned to re-engage, Soontir was coming back in and dropped it’s shields. Grahame then kindly parked it on a rock taking damage and Soontir finished it off. Zeta Leader did have a target lock on it but managed to keep its clean sheet of not firing in this game.
Taking out Horton would be tricky and time was ticking by. I ran Soontir in, did some damage but ended up getting ionised whilst stressed. I avoided getting destroyed in the next turn then as time was called managed to dart out of range to safety.
This game really emphasised how good Soontir can be if played well and also how fragile if just thrown in. I played poorly with two out of three ships. Zeta leader did not fire a shot all game and I should have been more cautious with Whisper. Horton was annoyingly good with the upgrades.
YV 666, bosk crew, gunner
2 binayre pirates
Guri, predator, sensor jammer, auto thrusters.
Kallus targeted Guri
Ollie was currently fretting about being TO and odd man and sitting on table one, I offered to remedy that. After the near miss of the last match I decided to stick to the simple plan of getting behind the Hounds tooth and taking it out first. I would leave Guri till last and take out a Z 95 if the opportunity presented itself.
I did precisely that although it was not without its speed humps. Ollie set up with the hounds tooth on my left corner with the two Z 95s in the middle. Guri was sandwiched between them. I placed Whisper in the middle and the other two on my right. I motored forwards down the right flank with Whisper creeping up through the rocks in the middle. Ollie moved his fleet towards the middle to engage through the rocks. Zeta Leader found itself at range one of a full health Z 95 and promptly one shotted it. The next turn then had me turn my sights onto the Hounds tooth.
Fel at this point was chugging along Ollie’s board edge and I found myself just out of range on the hounds tooth. I boosted and target locked, bagging the focus, did a shield’s worth of damage and then got one shotted with help from Bosk, gunner and a double damage crit. A little tear rolled out of the corner of my eye.
I managed to get Zeta Leader and Whisper behind the Hounds Tooth and take it out, followed promptly by Guri who had got badly out of position, then the lone Z 95. I was impressed with the basic Trandosian Slaver with Bosk and Gunner although once behind it, like the shuttle, it’s in trouble.
Captain Yorr, flechette cannon, emperor Palpatine
Omega leader, juke, comms relay, stealth device
Soontir fel, PTL, royal guard title, auto thrusters, stealth device,
Kallus Targeted Soontir Fel
After four roundsI I was the only undefeated player but with the players below within touching distance on MOV it was win or bust. With all the Stealth Devices and effective double actions I felt the clear target here was the palpmobile. Harry Decided to go aggressive and central with the Palpmobile with Omega Ace next to it and Soontir off on my right flank. He chose to let me have the initiative. I set Whisper up central and the other two ships on my right flank facing his Soontir.
Harry pushed forward while I slow rolled with Zeta and Fel. Whisper scuttled off to the left and Omega ace broke off to chase. His Fel moved into towards the centre then started to move forward to face down my Fel and Zeta. Whisper had a pot shot at the shuttle then I moved in for the kill. I managed to get Fel behind his Fel which bumped into Zeta Leader whilst Whisper barrel rolled into range one of the shuttle. The combined fire power of the three ships knocking the Shuttle down to three hull points with no shots back in reply.
I killed it off the next turn while omega ace repositioned to re-enter the fray and his Fel danced with Zeta Leader a bit more. Whisper and Fel took out Omega Ace and then we had a Fel-Off. Not wishing to exchange shots with Whisper at range one he barrel rolled and boosted towards my Soontir. We dropped off two hull points a piece and then chased around the central rock. I did a 4k with Whisper to catch his Fel in the middle of my Fel and Whisper but Harry unfortunately snagged the asteroid on the way round to engage my Fel again and rolled damage. Game over.
Harry was very gracious and said that I simply out flew him at every turn culminating in him planting Soontir on a rock at the end. I’m not sure that Omega Ace is offensive enough in a Palp two ace build but it had obviously worked well for him up until this match.
Or maybe rode ones luck a little and had my opponent’s bad decisions counter my own. I saved my best performance for the end and could have potentially got a 100-0 against Ollie if I had been more conservative. As it was my over enthusiasm for Fel digging me out of trouble while playing Grahame cost me against Ollie. The ‘clever’ K turn with Whisper against Mike in round two was silly and again potentially costly. I should have gone the same direction but forwards 4 instead of K turning for a cheeky shot to nothing. Mike did very well in what was his second X wing tournament and came second by defeating Grahame in the last round and giving Grahame a new found hate for Agent Kallus.
As much as I like the list, I do feel it has a weakness to higher PS which Grahame exposed as well as Man of Monkey last Thursday. Juke didn’t seemingly work as often as I would like which has me thinking about trying crack shot. It’s tempting to put Vader back in as although Soontir is more action efficient this results in him getting stressed and stuck on 2 speed turns. With Vader you have the option of the entire dial unless of course you are stressed. I feel Vader could have certainly performed as well as Soontir although with the targeting computer Soontir is a bit more reliable offensively if you get a bad roll.
Of the three events I have been to so far this year which each had a different localised pool of players, it has been rather Imperial dominated with Palp lists and even Decimators making a return. Omega Leader has popped up a lot in the last two events whilst the rebels have been toting Miranda, Poe and the Stress Hog in a variety of combinations.
Of the 15 tournament games I have played the break down in factions has been:
The average number of ships per game I faced in all 3 events was 3.5.
With my next event likely to be a Winter Kit event at Ibuywargames in March its disappointing to miss out on the store champs and by the looks of it regionals but I have the Yavin Open to look forward to. It’s going to be interesting to see what Wave eight will bring, and the changes needed to combat it. With the Inquisitor coming out apparently soon I’m looking at potentially putting him in a list with PS11 Vader and two omega aces with crack shot or maybe Fel. Of course there is Imperial Veterans to consider but when that is coming out who knows.