My dry run for Yavin was the London Regional. Glorious victory or crash and burn?
I may or may not have mentioned it before but I own two small children, one nearly five years old the other nearly two. In the run up to the Saturday sleep had been reasonably attained through most of the week. After getting all my stuff together for the 5.45 am wake up and hour and a half drive I settled into bed about 11pm only for my daughter, (the youngest one), to decide that tonight would not be a good time to get more than two hours of consecutive sleep.
Personally, when people break the news that they are expecting a child, especially the first one, I congratulate them, listen intently to all their excitement and hopes as well as how they are going to do things differently, then find a quiet space by myself like in the car and cry with laughter at them for about five minutes. If you ever see a man sitting in a car in his late thirties crying uncontrollably with laughter then it’s probably me finding out that someone is pregnant.
Added hilarity was my mother sharing a vision of my death from a car accident to the wife a couple of weeks back and about 10 minutes from the venue the vehicle in front had a bed base come flying off it crashing across the road. Thankfully I was a fair distance back and there was a bus lane to swerve into. Great start to the day.
Warboar has a fully functional café which actually makes decent coffee, not the garbage you get out of those multi functional machines that at a press of a button deposit anything from hot chocolate, brewed tea, a mocha or latte into a cup from the same edifice. I watched Janus lovingly make someone a latte and although I ordered a tea he gave it a similar amount of loving, leaving the tea bag to brew in the cup and straining it out with an actual tea spoon whilst adding the perfect amount of milk. Not only will Janus always be my first, (tournament game of X-wing a couple of years back), but makes a decent tea or coffee. And coming from me that is quite a compliment as I am the self-styled Mary Berry of Yateley.
Whisper Fel to Academies
Tie Phantom Whisper: Veteran Instincts, rebel captive, Fire control systems, advanced cloaking device
Tie Interceptor Soontir fel: Push the limits, royal guard title, auto thrusters, targeting computer.
2 X Tie Fighter: Academy Pilot
The general plan was for the academies to do blocking duties whilst the two aces would nip around and batter stuff. Previous thoughts on it can be found here.
4 Lom with title and tractor cannon, advanced sensors crack shot tactician
Jump master 5000 contracted scout with deadeye, extra munitions, plasma torpedoes, guidance chips, Over clocked astromech
Jump master 5000 contracted scout with deadeye, extra munitions, proton torpedoes, guidance chips, Boba Fett crew R4 agromech
Although it was great to get to the venue and hour and a half before the first match and have a chin wag with a lot of familiar faces I felt particular rough at the start and wondered if this could be a potential issue for Yavin. That being said although my opening deployment and use of the Tie fighters could have been more optimal I was happy with the initial engagement and had Soontir break off to play chase with 4-Lomm. This enabled Whisper to do his stuff whilst the Ties blocked and died. Although Whisper took a plasma torp and lost his shields I had managed to keep out of arc of both Jumps masters and reduce one down to a few hull points.
This is when I got greedy and made a mistake. The smart thing would have been to change focus on the more healthy one as the other was off and out of the way, needing to reset its position. I got over confident and greedy and snuck whisper between the two and trying to blow the damaged one away. This I failed at,(although it was left on one hull), but whisper, although tokened up died to two shots at range one.
Fel did well to shake off 4-Lom and drop the winged Jump master and then start to work away on 4-Lom. Time was ticking at this point and I could not afford to not go offensively and ended up bumping into the jump master, as did 4-Lom in a face off. I needed to survive and although 4-Lom had no shields it would be a stretch of the dice to one shot him. As it was Soontir fell to 4-Lom and crack shot.
Jon went on to get into the top 16. 4-Lom works surprisingly nicely by stopping aces getting too close to the jumpmasters to get out of the torpedo zone. Advanced Sensors added to the flexibility and use of 4-lom’s pilot ability.
I should have heeded my own observations more from the battle report against the triple jumpmasters and played a more slower game with Whisper. True the green dice went a bit bad but then I put myself in a situation where that was a possibility. I could have played safer and even turned away to snag 4-lom at the other end of the field as a Phantom is certainly quick enough and the jumps where all down my end facing the wrong way.
Game interval: There was not going to be a lunch break as such but there were 30 mins between each round to keep ourselves topped up. This actually proved to work quite nicely.
First up Grahame and I indoctrinated a new Zombie squadron member in the carpark. Mr Parish was offered that he could either pay for the T-shirt with ‘store credit’ or cash. He chose cash, each to their own, although Grahame felt that cash was the better option.
5 Kihraxz Fighters
My head was feeling a bit fuzzy but Gary was a gentleman and had been drinking till about 12.30am to make it a level playing field. His tactic was simple, pick five ships with no modifications or abilities to forget and concentrate on the flying.
This was a great game of position and snagging stuff. With two rounds to go I had both Whisper and Fel left to two kihraxz fighters. Whisper was entangled with the two kihraxz’s and I set the dial to bug out, then changed my mind back to a hard one to try and blow one away. Gary planned for the hard one and caused Whisper to bump with no available shot and the other kihraxz sat at range one. Dead Whisper. Fel tried to take one out but time was called. If I had played safe it would have been a 60-24 win, sadly I didn’t.
Gary also made the Top 16 despite the modified win and first round loss. I was not disheartened despite the 2 losses as they were both a bad decision away from a win and despite the total lack of sleep my game play was seemingly fine in general. The damage output from the Tie fighters on the other hand was not helpful.
Game interval: bought my raffle tickets on the stairs from one of the café girls dressed up as Rey. I pointed out that I was trying to work out if she was supposed to be Rey or Princess Leia but seeing as her face could move it must be Rey. It got a laugh, I still have the magic.
Nera Dentils Veteran Instincts, fire control systems, advanced proton torpedoes, proton torpedoes, guidance chips
Dutch Vander, Veteran instincts, R2-D6, Dorsal turret, proton torpedoes, guidance chips
Airen Cracken, deadeye or crack shot(?), assault missiles, guidance chips.
Azad’s list had quite a clever synergy which could pull off a potent alpha strike. Cracken shoots and gives Dutch an action which will be to target lock. This then allows Nera to target lock and for them both to fire torpedos as they have both already focussed as their normal action. Although I was planning on taking out Cracken if I could, I also had Nera down as the primary target due to the 360 degree fire arc for torpedoes.
As it was I managed to get Craken first but not before he had pulled his little stunt. Although I had presented a number of other problems with the Tie Fighters which prevented a torpedo attack on Whisper. A crucial moment came when Whisper got nuked. Whisper had the choice of sitting at range one of Nera or barrel rolling to range two. I went to range two and shot Dutch and got my focus token. I maybe should have stayed at range one and evaded as I still had a shot on Dutch even though I would have had a five dice attack back.
As it was, Fel then went in and finished off Dutch and then went after Nera now with only a range one shot at 360 degrees. Certainly without the threat at range two and three it was easy to hunt her down. The tie fighters did a bit of damaged and survived this match.
Game Interval: went in search of some lunch. I spotted Zombie Squadron wing man Phil speaking to Pete from the 186th and asked if there were any decent food places nearby. Phil stated that there was indeed a KFC, MacDonalds, Burger King, Subway and something else that sounded ghastly nearby.
Pete suggested that was not the answer I was looking for. I opted for a baguette from a local café for local people which was nice but not something to write home about.
IG88-B with Push the limits, advanced sensors, inertial dampners, auto thrusters, mangler cannon
IG88-C with Push the limits, advanced sensors, inertial dampners, auto thrusters, mangler cannon, sesmic charge
The bogey list at tournaments for me and this time not for the first time today I managed to blow the winning position again. I used the Tie fighters rather poorly in the opening engagement but they did serve as distraction enough to allow Whisper and Soontir to go unmolested to take out one, IGC, but not before Whisper took a shield from the Seismic charge.
I then fouled up with Soontir and sat at range one of IGB without enough tokens and bit the bullet. That being said Whisper had unloaded into it and we danced and traded shots as and when. I fouled up the very last engagement though, forgetting that he had inertial dampners although I may have been able to barrel roll out of range and then reset the next turn. Both on two hull and at range three I shot and did nothing, he squeezed one through and I got a crit with direct hit. Still despite that I feel I could have executed it better at the end as I had him on the back foot.
Game Interval: Had a chat with Tom Duncan by the toilets discussing hair length and job interviews as well as sharing my story about the ‘Love Punch.’ Not something you really want if offered although it is still kind of flattering.
I also wheeled out the big guns and donned the John Barrowman T-Shirt. Janus gave it the thumbs up.
Biggs T-65 X Wing, R4-D6, integrated astromech
Zeb phantom attack shuttle, Title, twin laser turret
Kanan Jarrus, Ghost VCX-100, Ion cannon, fire control system, ?
Alex unfortunately made a big error on turn two and parked his Ghost on a rock, which enabled Whisper and Soontir to take some range three shots at it as Biggs was just out behind the ghost outy of range.this stripped the shields and I then managed to run some interference with the Tie fighters and Soontir peeled off from his flanking position to get behind Biggs. All the While Whisper stayed out of the main arcs of the Ghost and pounding it’s sides.
The ghost soon went down, quickly followed by Biggs then Zeb. I’m not entirely sure if the Barrowman’s gazing eyes gave me a psychological advantage or not but many do get drawn into them.
Game Interval: I wanted an ice cream and decided that I would try the local KFC. This would be the third time in my life that I would purchase something from the Colonel. What irks me about most fast food vendors is their assumption that you know their menu inside out. The serving lady was nice when I was inquiring if she did some kind of Ice cream Mc KFC Flurry although I did ask her to spell it out as to what the silly named things actually were and which provided the most frozen pigs fat.
I came away with some kind of Ice cream sundae thing with chocolate sauce and chunks which was nice although the pot was not very ergonomic.
Jump master 5000 contracted scout with deadeye, extra munitions, plasma torpedoes, guidance chips, feedback array. Over clocked astromech
Jump master 5000 contracted scout with deadeye, extra munitions, plasma torpedoes, guidance chips, 4-Lom crew Over clocked astromech
Jump master 5000 contracted scout with deadeye, extra munitions, proton torpedoes, guidance chips, Boba Fett crew R4 agromech
Finally a list I was really prepared for. Sadly like most of the matches it started well, the middle was fine then at the death it went tits up. I probably didn’t optimise the Ties as well as I could have done and they did what they had been doing for most all day. Blocking with a mixed bag, shooting nothing and getting vaporised too soon.
The Rebel Captive really came into it’s own in this match and I played the long game which did mean spreading damage but staying out of trouble. After destroying one and getting the other two down to half strength I had to reset and this is where it started to unravel a bit. A few truns later Ifound myself with Soontir trying to get out of the torpedo zone and I gambled on trying to boost and barrel roll into range one which I failed at. I could have gone in the opposite direction which would have at least allowed me to get to range three and behind a rock.
Soontir melted and then Whisper had the ignominy of having a crit go through to stop it shooting the next round followed by a good piece of blocking and a proton torpedo to the face.
Ross seemed immune from Barrowman although it could have been aided by the bottle of Old Mount Kiwi and Lime Cider. This is surprisingly really nice although as I was driving I could only watch and weep silently on the inside as Ross drank it.
The Tournament Meta
The wave eight meta has hit and started to evolve from the initial triple Loo-boat frenzy. The Meta did have a reasonable number of loo boats with the top 16 kindly collated by Jesper Hills here.
Triple Loo-boats were present as well as swarms making a big impact at the top as well as two double IG lists. Double loo-boats plus a friend have come into vogue to try and bail out some of the boat’s issues against other lists, Zuckass and 4-Lom in particular. Naturally there was a good smattering of Imperial Aces either with or without Emperor Palpatine. Rebels were a bit thin on the ground.
Double IG88 lists could start making more of a comeback as they are a good all round list against the current three main archetypes of Loo-boats, Aces and swarms as well as the odd Ghost build or two. That being said bath IG88 players finished 13th and 16th in the Swiss rounds with a 4-2 record. Jesper, our current UK National Champion, then went on from 16th to win the event. Looking to Yavin though does double IG88 have the legs to make it to the top eight cut with an 8-1 record? On the plus side for the build there is not much in the way of a hard counter to it and if you make the cut with it you have perhaps a foot in the door.
Where did it all go wrong?
In hindsight small errors in the four losses lead to four defeats from a point where it was all chugging along in a good position. I could blame the lack of sleep, hour and a half drive, flying bed, dice going wrong at crucial points and the exciting prospect of Jason the Warboar manager wearing the R2-D2 dress if the charity raffle target was reached. As it was, it was poor decisions at the crucial points that capitulated all four games, not wishing to take anything away from my opponents who were all great to play against and played well. On the plus side despite feeling totally knackered throughout the day till the caffeine high of the raffle I didn’t feel the tiredness had a massive impact.
I finished in 63rd spot and the highest of the 2-4 win-loss record. Grahame finished 79 MOV points off the cut in 25th with a 4-2 record, Phil in 59th with a 3-3 and Tom in 72nd with a 2-4.
Reverses engineering the scores at what might have been would have left me at:
Game 1: 66-24 (on the assumption I went and clobbered 4-Lomm with Whisper and downed the damaged jumpmaster before time was called)
Game 2: 60-24 win (if whisper did a runner)
Game 4: 100-58 win (if Whisper barrel rolled and then made a new approach on a double stressed IG).
Game 6: 83-58 win (if Soontir ran away and bought Whisper one more turn and maybe didn’t get fragged straight away)
And to balance it in theory due to the fact that by changing the results I would play a totally different set of opponents, reverse the two wins to loses with the same margin and I get a 4-2 record with an MOV of 587, 200 less to make the cut. Even looking at it by just adjusting the two most likely results that I could have won, (the games against Gary and Dimitris), and adding the two wins I got, would leave me on a 4-2 with a MOV of 736, 48 points short of the cut or the difference of losing two tie fighters.
This was the crux of the issue. The Tie fighters for all the blocking they did just had lousy damage output and proved too easy to destroy when there was nothing else viable to shoot at. I feel that with more play time I could potentially get more mileage out of the Tie fighters but playing time is not what I have got left. Three academies on the other hand may be better, or maybe none at all.
I’m going to have to reassess the squad for Yavin as the tie fighters do not carry enough clout in the current situation against all builds. As a workout the event went really well and has continued to teach me caution over aggressiveness. This is perhaps where the lack of sleep and lower concentration allow me to give in to my baser instincts to just go and hit someone in the face.
Jason the all the staff put on a great event at Warboar and raised over £2000.00 for the cancer charity CCT Tiger Ward. Jason was very fetching in the R2-D2 dress although the young lady wearing it earlier in the day did carry it better. He had a nice pair of pins though and should not be discouraged from wearing that sort of attire in the future. I would recommend waxing first. I also won two Star Wars cook books which Grahame found rather amusing, like it was my destiny to bake the galaxy.
In the meantime, back to the drawing board.