Captain Jack’s Butt reports from “I Find your lack of faith disturbing,” winter kit event at Ibuywargames.
“To succeed one must first fail”
Having poked fun at former England Rugby Union boss Stuart Lancaster and his devotion to Bill Walsh’s “the score takes care of itself,” I bought the book and even though only partially through it, I see why Mr Lancaster failed. Not through the philosophies of Mr Walsh, but by failing to apply some of those and not learning from errors. It’s a good book, worth a read even if you are not into American football or business strategies.
Back on track and the list I took to this five round tournament was:
Darth Vader: Veteran instincts, title, Advanced Targeting Computer, Engine Upgrade
The Inquisitor: Juke, title, Auto thrusters
Zeta Leader: Wired
Academy Tie Fighter
So in my previous article I had two different options and decided a third was going to be better, not for the first time I write a prep article then poo-poo it. Ibuy tends to be a bit scum heavy, in terms of faction, not player base and I was needless expecting a Dengar avalanche. I felt that Whisper would be near useless withPS11 or a good PS bid Dengar floating about so other options would be better. I viewed this as an experimentation event to soak up some of the new meta and try a few things as well as playing Whisperless.
My basic set up was to place Vader and the inquisitor in one corner facing across my board edge with Zeta and the academy in the other corner facing back. I had worked on a slow roll on one side whilst the other two ships would come across and join up. Seeing as no plan survives contact with the enemy, much less it’s own general, this sometimes tied one hand behind one’s back.
3 Black sun Z 95s, concussion missiles, feed back array and guidance chips
Latts Razi with stuff (this was weapons engineer, Bossk, Dengar, tactical jammer and thread tracers, not one to go back and edit a printed(?) article but Mike sent me what was on it, cheers pal).
I have a really good memory and do not need to take notes, unless sleep deprived and chasing the caffeine dragon, hence ‘stuff.’
Rather than meeting up, I split up and managed to get behind Latts but not before the inquisitor got thread traced and obliterated in two missile shots over a couple of turns. Zeta leader also bought it from some feedback arrays but Vader effectively cleared up everything else having got behind everyone, with some help from the academy.
Win 100 – 51
Guidance chips has bought ordnance back into play and is nasty if you can get the double whammy of target lock focus. Even without the focus concussion missiles and proton torpedoes should almost always net you four hits with our friend, average. Even after this game I felt the master stroke of using Juke on the inquisitor was not a master stroke and he sits more into the PTL only zone.
Howl Runner with Swarm tactics
Omega Leader with Juke and Comms relay
3 omega squadron pilots with crack shot
Having felt that the previous tactic worked well, I did so again and although drawing him through the rocks Martyn managed to thereabouts keep a reasonable formation whilst I mistimed by a round or two and failed to get the academy and Zeta leader into the fight till the two aces hilariously bought it in a shower of unmodified full hits and evade dice which specialised in the blank facings. Not to be out done, the other two managed to go down in two rounds with minimal resistance.
I realised I played it wrong and should have formed up and then split one off regardless of the dice sticking two fingers up. PTL on the inquisitor would have been useful, so would have Whisper.
IgB push the limit, Mangler cannon, advanced sensors, auto thrusters,
IgC push the limit, Heavy Laser cannon, advanced sensors, auto thrusters,
Having decided that MacDonald’s would possibly be the healthier option between it and a massive ice cream sundae from Creams, (although having seen “Super-Size Me,” I’m tempted by doing a “Super Cream Me,” version), I settled down to my tournament bogey list. For some reason I can’t beat double IG in a tournament setting. This time I worked to plan and formed up in the opposite corner while the IGs stalled in the other then broke off Vader whilst everything else went down towards the far corner and rock.
What I did wrong was not move my Academy Tie far enough forwards when it came to the initial engagement. I should have done a four forward rather than a three which meant when Zeta Leader and the inquisitor turned in I could not barrel roll to where I wanted for the following turn. This resulted in me flying a stressed Zeta leader across a rock at speed four, which although took no damage it put it out of the fight for too long. The Academy meanwhile got vapourised whilst the writing was on the wall for PTL being an auto choice for the Inquisitor.
It ended up with both Vadar and Zeta leader on one hull against a full health IGC when time was called with one round to go, (I was 49-42 up at this point). Zeta leader was facing the board edge and only a hard one would keep it in place. He got cornered and splatted. I can’t complain as a win for me due to time being called would have been a bit hollow and a win for Vid was fair as it would have been a big ask to take out a full health IG with one or two ships on one hull.
The mess up with the academy and Zeta leader cost me position and shots on the board. So far the Academy had blocked me more than my opponents which for the most part were down to bad positioning on my part.
Man Of Monkey
IgB Crack Shot, Fire control, heavy laser, auto thrusters, inertial dampners
Boba Fett, veteran instincts, auto blaster, engine upgrade and feedback array
Halfway through the previous game I accepted some of Man of Monkey’s home brew cold brew coffee which was nuclear on the caffeine scale. The urge to climb the ceilings was strong so at the start of our game I poured myself my own cold brew concoction, a more effeminate 50-50 milk version with a dash of caramel syrup. He declined my offer of my coffee and at this point I also donned the dreaded John Barrowman T shirt and tried to eat the most vile banana I have ever had the misfortune of attempting to consume. I bought the bananas on Monday, this was Sunday and the things had still not clearly ripened or the evanescent green colour was due to something else. The cloying feeling inside my mouth took about 5 mins into the game to normalise.
This was slightly problematic as I had played his list with my “Piece of Junk” winning list and got trousered by it a couple of weeks before hand. Fortuitously man of Monkey had left his A game at home as well as his dice rolling ability. The seductive eyes of Barrowman kept lady luck at bay and I managed to drop Bobba quickly before focusing on the IG. I lost the Academy pilot but the three aces nibbled away at the robot with ease as they surrounded it from all sides.
I’ve played with Bobba and IGB before and it is very much a finesse list to use but can and does hit hard when used right. The problem we have both always found with it is that Bobba is very brittle.
Hera Syndulla in the Ghost: Auto blaster turret, Accuracy corrector, engine upgrade, Zeb crew, Title
Ezra Bridger in The Phantom, Elusiveness, Dorsal Turret, kyle Katarn , Hull upgrade, title
Z 95 tala squadron concussion missiles, guidance chips
This game threw an unexpected curve ball at me- I always make sure that I explain how everything interacts and works in my list. I have always done that with Warhammer 40K as well as X wing, especially with new units and rules. As much as I pride myself with trying to stay on top of rules and unit knowledge I missed how exactly the two titles on the phantom and ghost interact. It was loud in the room and I may have missed something but I was under the understanding that it could fire the dorsal turret at the end of the combat phase.
So whilst the game took shape my Inquisitor casually moved into range one of the Ghost. Had I known what was about to occur I could have barrel rolled out into range two but as it was I decided to go offensive and accept that dropping two shields would be worth it as I would be behind the ghost the next turn. Much to my surprise the auto blaster fired twice removing the inquisitor without the need to roll dice. It’s not the mechanic I had the problem with, it was not knowing that it did that. Knowledge is power and it’s as much my fault for not knowing and pressing about what it actually does.
Nonetheless it was a good thing as it turned what would have been a gentle stroll in the park into a more interesting game of cat and mouse. Also it has forever etched in my mind the combination of auto blaster turret and accuracy corrector on the Ghost. I fed the ghost the Academy to get it out of the way for a few rounds so I could take out the Z 95 and Terry fell for it. I repositioned for the Ghost’s next run which took it through the dense rocks and I started to work it down. I positioned Zeta leader poorly and ended up reluctantly feeding the Ghost Zeta leader to get it off on the wrong way again so that Vadar could munch on it from afar and out of arc.
Terry eventually jettisoned the Phantom which I ignored and flew around knowing that pulping the ghost would give me a win. If time allowed I would then take out the Phantom. As it was time was called on the round that I took out the ghost as it was playing chase me with Vader for a modified win.
What did I learn?
Whisper would have done well in all my games and that the Inquisitor really needs push the limit. Sadly I did not get to go against a Dengar but missile spam is real but is certainly a bit over rated unless you let it shoot at you. The top three finishers all had a Dengar and friend(s) and I still feel that it’s a bad match up for Whisper to a certain extent but I probably overreacted by throwing the Tie Phantom out of the pram. After all, I can deal with a Han or Poe, even a Tinky Winky.
From a playing point of view I probably at times tried to mimic the behaviour of the lists I had been running recently and that did not play well with what I had in front of me. The game against the crack swarm was certainly a good example of both not playing to a pre organised plan and trying something with ships that could not pull it off as effectively.
Darth Vader: I used him much better and really shone.
Inquisitor: Tricky one this. Even with PTL it flies differently to Soontir Fel although not a million miles away. To a certain extent it reminds me a bit of how I used to play with Echo, sniping at the back. I did not do this with the Inquisitor and this is probably his best role.
Zeta Leader: I missed the Comms Relay. I was advised that there are better options than this pilot but I’ve found it suits my approach well. Not sure about wired as an EPT still.
Academy tie: I certainly need to get back to flying some more ship heavy lists if I am to utilise it’s effectiveness.
I came away with more questions than answers about what to fly. Guidance chips has certainly had some effect and is going to cause issues for ships like the Y wing. It is certainly not the end of TLT lists but it does offer a hard hitting alpha strike against them. That being said you would be lucky to take out a PS2 Y wing in two concussion missile strikes with guidance ships. If that has come from a Z 95 you are then left with a Z 95 to deal with whatever is left. The Ghost struggled all day and there were quite a few about in various load outs. Personally I would stick a TLT on it with fire control then add some flavour although the flying partner or partners is the tricky bit.
Going forward I’m thinking of bringing Whisper back. The combo of Darth, Soontir and the Inquisitor is tempting but I’m thinking of Soontir, Whisper and Zeta Leader with some tweaks. Dengar could be an issue for Whisper but then there is usually one ship on the other side that is more of an issue to either Soontir or Whisper than the other.
All in all it was a good day out and added some familiarity of what the new ships will be like in upcoming events.