“No, I am your Father Christmas” 2016 Tournament Meta Review

On December 4th we had 32 players descend for our annual X-Wing Christmas Tournament and our new Hey that’s my Fish side event. Here are the winners and a look at the squad lists that were used.

This is the first time I’ve actually managed to get hold of all the lists and have a look though what was taken and what ended up where. Below will be a number of tables and numbers which may or maynot be interesting as well as some memes from todays offering of Trainspotting.

So, we had 32 players from around the local area and London as well as a few from Oxford, Swindon, and the south coast. Woking is reasonably easy to get to being near the M25 orbital car park, (or motorway depending on time of day) as well as a good rail link (if not striking or being repaired). With the only regional pre-Christmas up north the meta for this was probably going to be reflective of people looking at worlds lists and experimenting with stuff for the run up to Yavin and the slew of Regionals in February and early March.

Thanks to our local gaming store, Ibuywargames.co.uk for providing two FFG seasonal kits as prize support. We also had some seasonal spot prizes in chocolate gold coins as well as more Darth Vader tableware for our winners.


At the start of round 5 only a Zombie could win, breaking the 186th strangle hold.

Champion: Ollie Wright, (you can read his tournament report here)

Best painted: John Brindley

Best Sport: Daniel Brothers

Best Sport Honourable mention: Tom Tattersall, (tied sports scores, lower tournament score wins the Best sports prize, still got a drinks coaster though. (and you can read his tournament report here ).

Wooden Spoon: Phil GC

Hey that’s my Fish Champion: Justin Smith, (sadly no write up on this one)

Everyone got a couple of Crack shot tokens and an EPT card and if you finished in the top 16 some more FFG Perspex tokens.


Winners Swag, although the ships are his.

We still keep it at 5 rounds for 32 players maximum as I’m not a fan of the updated FFG guidelines of 4 rounds and a top 4 cut. The FFG store guidelines do not cater to the more casual crowd or midtable gamers who make up most of the players base at tournaments. The majority of people would rather pay their money and play five games than four at this size of event and not have it become elitist in terms of the number of matches you can play. It is more interesting going into the last round 2-2 and trying to come away with a 3-2 record rather than just going home.



The Tournament Meta

Interpreting data is always tricky as you can make it bend to whatever point you want to make or just not look at it properly and reach the wrong conclusions. A case in point would be whoever looked at the data for which airport to attack in the UK for some fundamental terrorists. For some reason they decided upon Glasgow.  Their analysis was lacking as:

  1. They had clearly never been to Scotland: Don’t make a Scotsman angry.
  2. They had clearly never been to Glasgow: Really, do not make a Glaswegian Angry
  3. They did not research what a Glasgow Kiss is: similar to a French Kiss in the bringing of two heads together, but there the similarities end.

I’ve read the testament of the head of security as he ran down on site, (collected in a humorous book of Scottish occurrences from normal folk of which this was the stand out), to which he pondered at what point it would be safe for him and his men to remove the locals from the two would be terrorists. The locals had even dragged the injured one out of the burning vehicle just to give him a kicking.

As they cleared them off the two hapless terrorists one local man who seemed to have missed out on all the fun came running in and swung another boot in at one of the stricken protagonists much to the amusement of the security staff, stating “Here pal, welcome to Scotland.”

So the morale of the above tale is when looking at data, try to look at the local environment and not get too carried away on making predictions from the naked figures out of context.

Historically the local meta has had a strong leaning towards scum as well as Imperials. That being said the large quantities of both Scum and rebels and the small showing of Imperials was a slight revelation. Looking at the players fielding scum several had moved over to Scum aces from Imperial. Rebels had a swell in numbers possibly with the recent  Heroes of the resistance release and the deadeye nerf.


No Palpatine and few defenders although they were the most popular Imperial ship by number but three of them resided in one list. Fenn Rau, Maneroo, Miranda Doni and Old Teroch were very popular and Yt1300s returned in number.

The top two lists were exactly the same, Fenn, Manaroo and Assajj. Attanni mindlink is really picking up here and starting to have several competitive falvours. The main trick is to not toss Fenn away early in the game. This build and the Bobattanni list have plenty of health to chew through which makes it possible to get some reasonable sized MOV wins.

Players 32 Ships 83 Average per player 2.59375
Scum 13 Ships 35 Average per player 2.692308
Rebel 13 Ships 31 Average per player 2.384615
Imperial 6 Ships 17 Average per player 2.833333


From a list style perspective the two ship build was popular again and only one player went above three ships in a list. And that was the swarm player in the room switching to a Countess Ryad and mini swarm.

No. Rebels Scum Imperial Total
2 6 4 3 13
3 7 9 2 18
5 1 1

Looking at this it is safe to assume that three is the magic number at the moment and two is not bad either.

The break down of the factions in finishing positions shows scum in ascendancy although Imperial did well despite the lack of numbers playing. The top six includes the winner and all the 4-1 win record. Top 10, the top third of the tournament with the better 3-2 win ratio is still bulked out with scum. Once we included all the 3-2 win ratio the rebels start to make their presence felt.

Rebels Scum Imperial
Top 6 1 3 2
Top 10 2 6 2
Top 16 7 7 2

From recent experience and from this small sample it shows rebels can be competitive but are not the blunt instruments of old and MOV will be an issue if you get into a cut scenario with the lower minimum win requirement to qualify.


A number of questions to contemplate

Q. It’s a reasonably sized small tournament but not a store champs or regional. Would Palpatine and the defenders have been more prevalent if something was on the line?

A.Probably. The timing window and judging by which players had switched to what suggests that players were experimenting with new builds with similar playstyles in the run up to the main batch of regionals and Yavin.

Q. Does the low number of Imperial players skew any meaningful information in regrads to Imperials?

A. Yes and no, or sunny with isolated rain showers. Looking at the Imperial builds in general one would say that you have a theme of what is viable for Imperials and/or needs tweaking in the lists used. Full blown swarms, (six plus ships), are probably dead and buried.

Q. Did rebel withdrawal syndrome open the flood gates after the dead eye nerf and HOTR release?

A. We saw a number of rebel builds from worlds and an uptake in the new pilots from HOTR, (well Rey and PS9 Poe). Timing wise as above it all fits into experimentation with an eye on the prize. Certainly the option of running rebels again without relying on Biggs or vast amounts of hit points opened the field.

Q. Can we see this as a trend country wide or is it more of a localised phenomenon?

A. Tricky one to predict. Palpatine builds and triple defenders are still good and with the release of Swarm leader coming up should bring more Imperials back into the mix. Although Swarm leader can be used by any faction the more natural fit is with Imperials due to the abundance of cheap evade action ships.

It may still be difficult for multiple rebel builds to get into a cut due to the amount of MOV they can haemorrhage.

Q. Is Scum the new dominant faction?

A. It is certainly popular. By design now it is combining some of the rebel synergy style with the maneuverability and hard hitting effect of the Imperials. Manaroo was the most popular ship followed by Fenn Rau in a myriad of combinations. Mindlink was popular.


Lazy archive shot of round 4

Conclusions: Is this going to be reflective of the UK Meta going forward?

Local knowledge, as highlighted at the beginning is useful to consider. In the case in point of our two hapless would be ram-raiders, if they had selected an English airport they would probably have been manhandled to the ground but then offered a cup of tea.  I personally prefer the Scottish outcome.

Thirty two people is a small sample size that although a number of competitors came from afar there were also at least half localised competitors with localised biases. It is hard to point to the small number of Imperials and larger number of rebels being being reflective of larger events moving forward. I would expect an overall more equal distribution.


Caption Competion: What would Begbie say about Mindlink?

When building a list for upcoming events I would bear this in mind:

Expect to see mindlink, Manaroo, Fenn rau and Lancers.

More rebels, notably Miranda and its worth planning how you may deal with multiple bombs.

More Falcons: maybe not as prevalent as back in the Fat Han days but expect them.

Dengaroo: have a workable plan, it’s still out there so be ready for it.

Palpatine and Friends are still about, just not in Woking on December 4th.

Tie Defenders are still about too, get ready for Vessery with swarm leader and two X7s

Tie mini swarm might be viable. Expect to see many attempts to utilise Swarm leader going forward

RAC Decimator with Hotshot Gunner with flavourings is going to be popular, especially when Kylo crew appears.

Two and three ship builds are going to be the norm, if they were not already.



Hey that’s my Fish: the game everyone actually came to play.

Hey that’s my Fish

A full blown review of the HTMF meta can probably wait for another day but from my initial observations yellow seems the weakest faction of Penguins whilst blue and red battle for the dominant spot. Just as rock, paper, scissors has a meta and one choice is less successful, the same psychological rules apply to choice of penguin faction.

Yellow penguins will not win the Galactic Championship 2017 in June at the UK games EXPO. You read it here first.



More Stats

Ships by Pilot type

Pilot No. Pilot No. Pilot no.
Miranda 5 Manaroo 7 RAC 3
Warden Sqd 3 Fenn rau 6 black Sqd 3
Poe Dameron PS9 3 Old Terroch 4 Ryad 2
Dash 3 Assaj 3 Marek Steele 2
Corran Horn 2 Dengar 2 darth Vader 2
Jake Farrell 2 Ketsu 2 Oincun 1
Rey 2 Thugs 2 Whisper 1
Chewbacca 2 Contracted Scout 1 Delta Sqd 1
Braylem 2 Moralo Eval 1 howl Runner 1
jan Orrs 2 Trandoshan Slaver 1 Tie Fo Omega Sqd 1
Han Solo 1 IG88B 1
Norra 1 Boba Fett 1
Thane 1 Talonbane 1
Biggs 1 Kavil 1
Lothal Rebel 1 Serissu 1
N’dru 1

Numbers by Ship type

Jumpmaster 5000 10
Protectorate Star fighter 10
K wing 8
lancer 5
Tie Defender 5
Yt1300 5
Arc 170 4
Decimator 4
Tie Fighter 4
T70 X wing 3
Y Wing Scum 3
yt 2400 3
A wing 2
E Wing 2
HWK Rebel 2
Tie advanced 2
VYV 666 2
aggressor 1
Firespray Scum 1
M3 interceptor 1
T-65 X wing 1
Tie Fighter FO 1
Tie Phantom 1
VCX-100 1
Z 95 scum 1

The Lists

Bear in mind there might be an odd mistake as only three had nice shiney print offs to hand in.

1.Ollie Wright  5-0 MOV 926

Fenn: Mindlink, AT, Title

Manaroo: Mindlink

Asajj: mindlink, latts

Win rate 4-1

  1. Calum Brown MOV 812

Fenn: Mindlink, AT, Title

Manaroo: Mindlink

Asajj: mindlink, latts

  1. Pete wood (186th) MOV 687

Galaxy 7 note

  1. Tom Forstner MOV 683

Marek Steele: Juke, X7, Ion Engines

RAC: VI, Gunner, Hotshot, rebel captive, EU

  1. Tom Duncan MOV 651

Countess Ryad: PTL, Ion engines, X7

3 x black squadron: crack shot

Howl runner: crack shot

  1. Alex Birt MOV 631

Ketsu: VI, Dengar,BMS, Shadow caster, EU

2x Thugs: TLT, Unhinged, BTL-A4 title

Win rate 3-2

7.Martyn Chivers

Fenn: Fearlesness, Title, AT

Serisu: Mindlink, Title, mangler cannon, Stealth Device

Manaroo: Mind link, Plasma Torps, Recon Specialist, R5-P8, Chips

8.Craig Bradford

Fenn: Mindlink, AT, Title

Old Teroch: mindlink, AT, Title

Manaroo: Mindlink, unhinged astro, Feedback array, K4, APL

  1. Matt Button

Dash: PTL, HLC, Out rider, Kanan, EU

Lothal rebel: auto blaster turret, FCS, Hera, APL.

  1. Pablo telford

Fenn Rau: PTL, AT, Title

Old Teroch: Fearlesness, AT, Title

Contracted scout: Trick shot, K4 security droid, Unhinged Astromech, Plasma Torpedoes, EM, Chips.

  1. Stephen Donn

Braylem Stramm: Gunner, r3A2, Title

Poe PS9: PTL, BB8, primed Thrusters, Black one

Biggs: r4D6, Integrated.

  1. Vid: Rebel

Corran: PTL, FCS, R2D2, EU

Miranda: TLT, EM, Homing mIssiles, Sabine, conner net, Ion bombs, Adv Slam

  1. Sketch Drayton

Rey: Expert handling, Title HOTR, Kanan, Finn, Smuggling compartment, counter measures, glitter stim

Miranda: TLT, C3PO

14.Andrew Hazard Wall

Miranda: TLT

Norra: PTL, BB8, Title Nien Nunb

Thane: R3A2, Title, Vectored Thrusters, Title, Chopper

  1. Phil barber

N’dru: VI, Homing missiles, Glitterstim, Chips

Manaroo: PTL, Unhinged Astro, K4, BMS, EU

Trandoshan Slaver: 4 LOM, Zuckuss, Dengar, Feedback array.

  1. Ollie Pocknell

Jake Farrell: Proton Rockets, Title, VI, AT, PTL

Han Solo: Predator, luke skywalker, C3po, EU, Title (MF)

Win rate 2-3

  1. joel North

Fenn: Mindlink, AT, Title

Old Teroch: mindlink, AT, Title

Manaroo: Mindlink, unhinged astro, K4, Plasma Torps, Chips

  1. Justin Smith

Talonbane Cobra: Predator, Glitterstim, vectored thrusters

Old Teroch: VI, Title, AT

Kavil: VI, unhinged, TLT, Vectored thrusters.

  1. tom tattershall,

Rac: VI, Hot shot, Gunner, rebel Captive, EU

Darth Vader: Adapability, TITle, ATC, EU, Proton rockets

20.Chris Stokes

Rey: VI, Title HOTR, Kanan, Kyle, EU

Poe PS9: VI, R2D2,weapons guidance, Black one, AT

  1. John Brindly

Corran: PTL, AS, R2D2, EU

Chewbacca: Expert handling, anti pursit lasers, intel agent, C3PO, Title (MF)

22.Simrandeep Pone

Whisper: VI, FCS,Kallus, ACD

RAC: VI, Gunner, Darth Vader, EU.

  1. John Wainscott

Miranda: TLT, Homing Missiles, Rey, Guidance Chips

Dash: PTL, HLC, Out rider, Kanan, EU

  1. Chris Cowley

Countess Ryad: Hull upgrade, X7, VI

Marek Steele: Juke, X7

Delta: X7

  1. Steve Burton (Zombie Sqd)

Dengar: Lone Wolf, plasma Torps, counter measures, Zuckass, inertial dampners, overclocked R4 Title

Manaroo: PTL, Proton Torps, Gonk, Unhinged astro, Feedback Array, Chips

26.Mark Feildschrieber, Scum

Dengar: PTL, Bossk, Unhinged Astro, Title, EU

Ketsu Onyo: Fearlessness, K4, Gyroscopic Targeting

Win rate 1-4

27 Mike Manners

Moralo Eval; HLC, Bossk, IGD, Hot Shot co pilot, Feedback array.

IG88B: Fearlessness, HLC, FCS, Glitter Stim, AT, TITLE

  1. Joel Sutton

Darth Vader: VI

Captain Oincun: Predator, Mara jade, Gunner

Omega Squadron Pilot

  1. matt Balding

Asajj: VI, Dengar, Glitterstim, Inertial Dampners, Shadow caster title, Gyroscopic targeting.

Boba Fett: Fearlessness, Latts, Glitterstim, Slave 1 title, EU, Seismic Torpedo.

  1. Daniel Brothers

Dash: PTL, HLC, Out rider, Kanan,

Chewbacca, Trick shot, C3PO

  1. PHIL GC

Jake Farrell: Refit, Title, VI, AT, PTL

Poe PS9: PTL, BB8,Sensor Clusters, Black one, AT

Jan Orrs: adaptability, auto blaster Turret, Vectored Thrusters

Dropped after round 2: had the wife’s car keys.

  1. Jon Corps 0-2 (had to return his wife’s car keys, sad times)

Jan Orrs: VI, TLT, Nien Nunb

Miranda, Auto blaster turret, EM, Homing missiles, Chips

Braylem Stramm: R2D2, chopper, title

One thought on ““No, I am your Father Christmas” 2016 Tournament Meta Review

  1. Pingback: X-Wing Theory: To net list or not to net list, that is the question? | ZOMBIE SQUADRON

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s