I’ve noticed that it’s becoming popular with blogs to write some bizarre quote in the article title and thought I might jump on the band wagon. Like the popular wood preservative states, it does what it says on the tin and this is a rundown of my team’s adventure at the UK team championship 2017.
“When we first thought of running the team tournament it was definitely a ‘if we make it they will come’.
I just like to say thank you to everyone who has embraced the team format of playing with your buddies and not just individually.
As casual as it looks it’s getting more and more competitive at the top and this year’s final between two of the top UK branded teams (Weekend Warlords and 186th Podcast), was something that Ian and myself could only dream of.”
In its third year of running, the UKTC is like Carlsberg, probably Zombie Squadron’s favourite event. Barrie and Ian Wardle plus all there support team, put on a good show. Cloud City radio provided a live stream, (commentary was more ITV than BBC if being picky), while Cog O two were on site with more Perspex crack. Fifty teams of three had entered making it one hundred and fifty players on the day, (for those of you from Mynock Squadron podcast 50 X 3 = 150).
As a Squadron we had entered three teams which we had organized through asking what factions people would like to play before shuffling them about into teams. We had a warm up team tournament in August which two of our teams played in their final line ups, although the lists changed a bit before the UKTC.
Team names: (If you are expecting another piece of hard and well researched journalism like Natties: a scourge upon our green and pleasant land of X-wing you will be disappointed)
Possibly why dictatorships are best or why a referendum doesn’t always work. Last year we named the three team names after the Evil Dead trilogy of films. This year we fancied changing it to another trilogy of films but then came the problem of too many cooks. As a joke and an example for those not understanding the term film trilogy I mooted the Bridget Jones Trilogy as an example.
As no one could agree I just submitted the Bridget Jones Trilogy names, Zombie Squadron’s Diary, Zombie Squadron: the edge of reason and Zombie Squadron’s Baby. No one puts baby in the corner.
Match up process
Whichever team has the lowest overall combined squad cost, gets to choose whether they have the initiative in the match up process. If it is a draw you roll off and pray for natties. You can either choose the first pairing or cede the initiative to pick the remaining two. Unless you have a particular build type and a built in team bid, choosing first is not the massive benefit that you think it would be. Quite often picking the last two pairings is a stronger choice, especially if all three of your squads are quite solid.
Match up strategy
Let the opponents choose wrong. Even when we won the roll off, we let out opponents choose the first pairing, then we paired the last two on the theory that they will get it wrong.
Our Squads, Zombie Squadron’s Diary:
Tom, Rebels: Plot Armour
Poe PS9: Intensity, R2D2, auto thrusters, comms relay, black one title
Dash Rendar: Lone Wolf, Rey crew, Heavy Laser Cannon, title, Countermeasures
Ian, Imperials: #deathfiremeta
Darth Vader tie Advanced: Veteran instincts, Title, Advanced targeting computer, Cruise Missiles, engine upgrade
Quickdraw Tie FO/SF: Veteran Instincts, Fire Control systems, Cruise Missiles, Guidance chips, Titl, Primed thrusters
Deathfire Tie Bomber: Extra munitions, Cruise Missiles, cluster mines, long range scanners
Chris, Scum: Fenn Vents Old T
Fenn Rau: Attanni Mindlink, Auto thrusters, Title
Old Terroch: Attanni Mindlink, Auto thrusters, Title
Ventress: Attanni Mindlink
Team Total 300 points
The pairing in Italics are the pairing our opponents selected first before we chose the other two.
Round One: The Aces strike Back
Bossk missiles & stuff, Ndru, Y-wing bombs and auto blaster V Fenn Vents Old T Won
Leebo Plot Armour V #deathfiremeta Lost
Quad TLT V Plot Armour Won
Win round 2-1 MOV 325
This was perhaps the most tense set of games as all three swung at various points and were on knife edges. In my game I decided to kill Poe first which ended up with full health Vader Vs full health Leebo. This ended with Vader getting smoked on time whilst trying to get Leebo to half health. We won the round so it was inconsequential right?
Match up verdict: In terms of pairing if I were the Aces I would have paired off the quad tlt against my Imperial alpha list as that’s a near auto win although plot armour is also a tricky match up for Imp Alpha.
Round 2: 186th Silly Squadron
Dengar Nym V Plot Armour Won
Raclo Vader with adaptability V #deathfiremeta Won
Braylem and stressful Wookies V Fenn Vents Old T Lost
Win round 2-1 MOV 400
Maybe the moral to the story is not to pair off against the guy you played and beat on the Wednesday night before and then tell them how to beat Dengar Nym. The other moral tale is to tell your Imperial player, Tom Duncan, that the tournament starts an hour earlier than it actually does. That way you get to play round one with three players. Janus and Pete still won round one without him but I gave him a sad face with our match up when a bomb drop by Deathfire managed to get all three clusters on Vader with no shields.
Bye bye Vader
Match up Verdict: “We did that wrong.”
“Is that the hats or the pairings?”
Round 3: A Good Blaster by your Side
Carnor, Double Edge and Whisper V Plot Armour Won
Fairship 2 V Fenn Vents Old T
Telgar V #deathfiremeta
Win round 3-0 MOV 600
There was a request if they could have their arses back but I’ve lost their addresses so if you are reading this just PM me. I‘ve left them in the fridge, in boxes and named.
Match up Verdict: Actually I’m not really sure what I would have done to pair up. Maybe Telgar or Fairship would have been better against Plot armour. Although Carnor and Whisper are good at taking on Dash the other two lists may have been able to bludgeon through Poe.
I gave them all a caramel waffle biscuit each though, Waitrose no less darling.
Round 4: Papa and the Smurfs
Triple Scouts V #deathfiremeta Lost
Op Cubed V Plot Armour Won
Raclo Quickdraw PS 10 V Fenn Vents Old T Won
“This is the Reeds Isn’t it?”
The Reeds, (an Ex UK champion, an Italian open and National champion plus Scott), pulled out a piece of A4 paper with match up notes on it whilst we started to free style think. Fortunately Chris pointed out I had that clip board thing with an excel spreadsheet of all the match ups on it and suggested we use it like we had in the previous rounds.
After they paired Scott and his Jumpmasters off with me I pointed out that our only remaining ‘green’ match up was OP Cubed V Plot Armour as Meta wing has that as a 100% win rate for Plot Armour based on a massive sample size of two cut games. Tom didn’t seem convinced but to reinforce the decision I also pointed out that Chris has three ships, two of which have auto thrusters which may fair well against Raclo.
After Scott crushed me and Tom crushed Tom, (meta Wing baby), a small crowd gathered to watch Craig play Chris which ended with Quickdraw going down and both the big ships under half health at time.
Match up Verdict: I’d have been tempted to put Raclo against Plot armour. Scouts V Imp alpha is about a fifty-fifty match hinging on one bad move from either side, which I duly served up. They must have done their homework on that one.
Win round 2-1 MOV 322
Round 5: Weekend Warlords
Op Cubed V Plot Armour Lost
Imp Alpha Kylo Shuttle V #deathfiremeta Won
Trip Scouts V Fenn Vents Old T Lost
Lost round 1-2 MOV 208
Having defeated the first UKTC champions, we now had to deal with the reigning champions. This served up our only defeat of the weekend and I wonder if our choice of pairing was correct in hindsight. According to Meta Wing, (massive game sample of two) plus the result of the previous Plot Armour Vs OP Cubed match I felt we were one up before a die had rolled.
Maybe we should have factored in that George had flown the YT 2400 a lot in the past year and later he stated that he had flown Plot Armour a fair bit too, (Meta wing really needs to factor these things in). It’s not like the Warlords are on some rich run of form for the past year, are they?
I also feel that I was stung a bit by my bad judgement call in the previous round against triple jumps where I messed up the alpha strike. Chris didn’t fancy either triple jumps or Imperial Alpha whereas I felt even if I lost the initiative roll I could leverage Deathfire to overcome Imp Alpha. Maybe we should have chosen our pairings differently but a loss of confidence against Jumps and a reliance on Meta wing and the clip board indicated this was the correct decision.
Match up Verdict: George Dellapina cares little for Meta Wing and reasonably claims to channel “the Force.”
Round 6: Tartan Tuskens
Twin Shadows V Plot Armnour Won
Raclo Inquisitor V Fenn Vents Old T Won
Miranda, Biggs, Heff Tober V #deathfiremeta Won
Win round 3-0 MOV 409
I’m still not sure whether Ed Holmes is Liverpudlian, Scottish or South African due to his pronunciation of Heff Tober. The base requirement for the Scottish Rugby Union team is that you need to be either Aussie, Kiwi or South African with a tenuous link to Scotland so I’m assuming the same is required for what is the basis for Scotland’s ETC team. I did offer the services of both my children as they are half Scottish and I did wear a Kilt to get married. My wedding dress actually cost more than the wife’s and I found it strangely liberating to wear.
There was a bit of pre-game tilting as I celebrated the team initiative roll of natties in our favour by calling natties with jazz hands, much to the amusement of two thirds of both teams. This was followed up by the ritual sharing of Buckfast of which I remembered just in time that I was driving and declined. Tom on the other hand took a large swig and was quite chatty on the journey home.
This round was perhaps the highlight after being gifted shitty alt art cards of Dengar and Miranda plus Ed Holmes’ monologue about his dislike for the terminology “Natties.” I also discovered his soft one in my bag a few days later.
Match up Verdict: We all should have paired Chris and Ed to play as they both had a similar disdain for the term and use of the word ‘Natties’ and both had a deep interest and knowledge of Buckfast.
Final placing: 4th (12 points of MOV off third or a Darth Vader getting smoked at time in round 1)
If strength of schedule had been used, we would have finished second. As it is I’m not a fan of strength of schedule for a multitude of reasons but might make this an exception. Joking aside we were very pleased with where we finished up. Our only loss was against the winners Weekend Warlords and we picked up some good team wins on the way. It was a bit galling to see Crimes Against Millinery finish second, (186th Silly Squadron, now on the banned list for London fashion week). Galling mainly for the headwear, but we will have ample time to literally throw things at them in the coming months like the popular tome “The Mode in Hats and Headdresses, revised Edition 1959.”
For the squadron as a whole it was a good finish and improvement on last year. Edge of reason ended up with a 4-2 record in 15th taking their second loss in round six and Baby in 34th, 3rd of the 2-4 bracket. More importantly everyone enjoyed themselves and Matt from Zombie Squadron’s Baby picked up the E-wing spot prize for decimating a Quad TLT list in round four with his take on Kannan Biggs. It’s certainly a great group bonding event.
No naked weird stuff or un-British hugging though.
Quality of the tables
My fave moment was walking over to Phil GC in round 4 to chat about how I heard he had 5 a wing UKTC cards to use for his fleet, he looked at me in awe of what was happening on another table, “Look at the pedigree of players in that match up. Both Nerfherder champions, Scottish regional winner, European champion, 1st Yavin open champion, ex national champion, worlds top 8 player, unbelievable!” I said to him “please put this in the blog”
Ian Wardle October 15th 2017
I initially misread this on facebook or Phil’s blog and thought he was about to talk about the quality of the table itself, which as a trained carpenter I would find quite interesting. He expanded upon this quote in Cloud city radio’s round up of the event where they then gazed to the table next to it, “and look next to them you have the Reeds, Ex UK champion, Italian open and National champion plus Scott. Playing Zombie squadron’s Diary, er… ”
There were no easy games as such. Three of our opponents finished 4-2, two ended up 5-1 and the Warlords went 6-0, but that was on a knife edge for them. To retain the title is quite an achievement; the field looked harder than the year before. Well done warlords.
I would thoroughly recommend playing in team events like this or an ETC structured one. It adds an extra dimension and you can bring non meta ships and lists back to the fore like Phil did with 5 crack A Wings with auto thrusters or Chris with Fenn, Old Terroch and Ventress. The list match up process is a game in itself and a lot can hinge upon getting it right or wrong. There is also the other dimension of player match up too, if you know enough about your opposing players that could circumvent possible good and bad list pairings.
So hopefully we will back next year, looking to just modestly win one more round than this year.
Useful Links and further reading