Its been a while since the last post but I’ve still managed to get some X-Wing in and my first tournament of 2018 was the London Regional at Warboar games. Could Horton be good enough for the UK System Open?
After the UK team Championship, (we finished 4th), I switched to the Triple Tens rebel list in late October for a change of pace from Imperial Alpha strike. Horton was not some mere whim or an attempt to do something special with the much maligned Pilot. I found he fitted a niche in the squad I was running after having a bit of difficulty to get it right.
Airen Craken: Veteran Instincts, Harpoon Missiles, Guidance chips
Wedge Antillies: Adaptability, Plasma Torpedoes, BB-8, Guidance chips
Captain Nym: Veteran instincts, Harpoon missiles, Auto Blaster Turret, Rey Crew, Guidance Chips, bomblet generator.
Initially I had issues with the play style and how I wanted to engage with it, following the cooking instructions wrong, playing like Imperials. Just like having a good cook book or paint by numbers, if you don’t follow the method properly the ingredients list won’t help.
It was tricky to avoid tampering with it in a small way at the beginning but it certainly helped to run it as it was before looking at the plethora of new upgrades in the following waves. Apparently Trajectory Simulator might be good on Nym.
The tweaking started off with BB8 being swapped for Flight Assisted Astro mech. Flight Assisted Astro mech vs BB-8 on Wedge is not clear cut in terms of effectiveness. Both have pros and cons but not quite switching a Lemon Drizzle cake to a Ginger and Rhubarb drizzle cake.
Then Rey for accuracy corrector on Nym and finally Trajectory Simulator which although diminishes the Alpha strike variables a bit, (averagely should still get four hits with chips and target lock), the control element with flinging Bomblets is quite useful.
Horton for the Win?
I found that Wedge would often fold too easily. Two or three shots at most and Wedge was gone. The list seemed weak to high PS Imperials and Wedge’s torpedo shot was a bit too variable for my liking. Horton on the other hand can withstand three to four shots and can modify has range two to three shots. All he needs to do is focus and Cracken can hand him a target lock. His TLT is also very good against Vader and Quickdraw.
Warboar London Regional 2018
The goal here was to test the build for the System Open a couple of months later in a strong tournament setting. The overall result was not that important at the Regional as my main aim was to get a definitive yes or no on the list. My normal build had been to run Nym and Cracken as they were with Horton at PS9 with TLT, plasma Torpedoes and guidance chips. I didn’t feel I was getting the mileage out of Veteran instincts and auto blaster so decided to run ion turret on Nym with adaptability on Nym and Cracken instead and no droid for Horton:
Horton Baby One More Time
Airen Craken: Adapability, Harpoon Missiles, Guidance chips
Horton Salm: Plasma Torpedoes, twin laser Turret, Guidance chips
Captain Nym: Adapability, Harpoon missiles, ion Turret, havoc title, Trajectory Simulator, Genius, Guidance Chips, bomblet generator.
Principally I was gambling on dodging Kylo Silencer in the swiss, (a reasonable gamble), by going at PS 9 rather than PS10 and adding range to Nym’s turret shots and a control element with all the low agility ships out there.
Kylo and two TLT aggressors
Ion turret Watch: did nothing.
What was my plan? Ah yes, dodge Kylo in the Swiss.
For me the game hinged at the point of having set a trap then failing to check my dial and then have Nym go the opposite way than intended. Still Kylo would have PTL advance sensors to do silly things so it may not have made a big difference. We spent the last 20 mins or so having full health Nym trying to catch and kill Kylo
lost: 50 – 57
Dale (Top 4 French Nationals in France)
Rho Squadron, extra munitions harpoons deadeye. Quickdraw with stuff, Ryad, X7 lone wolf, stealth device
Ion turret Watch: 1 or none ions on Quickdraw.
Principally I lost this game due to making a poor initial targeting choice and not dumping all my ordnance into Ryad at start. The game ended up with Ryad vs Horton which did not pan out well.
Lost: 60ish – 100?
Dale was a gentleman though and gave me some of his fantastic Whisper, Omega leader and Juno alt art cards. Part of me is in two minds about this though, having dropped my tie phantom addiction, is this really a nice thing to do?
“oh look pretty card, you know you want to play with it don’t ya.”
PTL Fenn, Guri mindlink, Zubio Mindlink, bombs, cad bane cloaking device, stuff.
Ion turret Watch: did nothing.
Still possible to make the cut with a good MOV and to be fair having lost two games I’ve walked away with good MOV from both. Now Nigel stood in my way and he took this build to top 16 at this year’s nationals.
I dropped Zubio and his bomb nonsense first before chasing Fenn. The point of hilarity was when I decided to blow a bomblet from underneath a one health Fenn with Craken on two hull also in range. The net result was a dead Cracken but then Horton plasma torped Fenn off the board.
Guri was still a slow grind after that.
Won 100 – 23
IgC Expertise, FCs, auto thrusters, heavy laser cannon
Ventress PTl IgD crew, Engine upgrade
Ion turret Watch: did nothing.
Another part of my gamble on match ups was by dropping auto blaster to dodge double IG. I could kill one but two seemed a bit of a stretch without the auto blaster. I was less than excited by seeing one across the other side of the table. As it was Horton dispatched it with one TLT shot when it was limping on three hull with two harpoon tokens on it.
Im not a fan of the ruling that TLT or ion turrets for that matter will trigger Harpoon condition when a crit is rolled and not cancelled by evades but it is what it is. And I couldn’t complain in this case.
Won: 100 – 0
Vader, Cruise, no engine
Quickdraw, VI FCS, LWF
Inquisitor, PTL, AT thrusters
Ion turret Watch: did lots
After a cagey engagement and nuking the Inquistor off first things were going well. Vader ionized onto a rock and then onto a bomb and dead and quickdraw ionized constantly bumping into cracken. It almost fell apart spectacularly when Andrew Pattison, Grand Moff of the 186th and Imperial fanboy stood by the table to watch, as Nym then failed to ionize Quickdraw and Horton without a focus smugly took aim at Quickdraw now shieldless.
First shot triple eyeballs, I gave him a dirty look. Next shot one eye ball two blanks. “Horton re-roll,” I happily proclaimed. Two more eyeballs rolled.
He backed away apologetically taking his Sith aura with him.
Nym then folded like a wet blanket, (that saying really makes no sense when you think about it), and as Quickdraw sat between Cracken and Horton at range one of both I felt the dream was about to die. As it was I had no need of my green dice and Horton then promptly one shotted Quickdraw with his primary weapon.
Dice can even out in the end I guess, but it felt a bit harsh on Micheal at that point.
Won: 100 – 43
Janus (sporting his 2nd place template tray from UKTC in an act of pre-game psychological warfare).
Fenn mindlink, Guri Mindlink, Thweek FCS
Ion turret Watch: did one thing.
I would say that this is the best triple starviper list I’ve seen and Janus writes about it here. Yes its only two but you get an accurate cutting edge that isn’t so flakey to dice variance in Fenn Rau while Guri and Thweek are much better than the other vipers. You also only need one harpoon missile upgrade kit to play it.
This was much closer than the final score suggests as Horton was limping round on one hull at the end and even a PS 0 Thweek proved tricky to wear down. A combination of ion turret and bomblet finished off Thweek. Fenn took an early game plasma torp to the face from Horton, (principally by disrespecting Horton), which knocked off two hull and resulted in a cagey game of cat and mouse between Fenn and Nym.
The bomblets eventually prevailed as they finished off a ship at some point every now and again when it was limping on one hull. Surprisingly not Cracken this time.
Won: 100 – 23
Final Standing on Flight 1: 9th out of 82 with 866 MOV, top of 4-2
Overall combined flights: 17th of 141 players, 2nd of 4-2
They had decided in advance due to having 200 available places that they would go for a top 32 cut. There were two drops from the cut above me which bumped me up to 15th seed on the day.
Why so sad?
Possibly the worst result as I was effectively hoping to get a definitive answer by running in either 5-1 or better or go down 2-4. Its tricky to evaluate in regard to submarining after the first two rounds and having not played against non-regular opposition flying Ghost Fenn, Nymiranda or Quickdraw and three gunboats.
With a week between the swiss rounds and the top 32 cut I’d already decided the ion turret on Nym just didn’t work for the list. On the other hand Nym and Cracken at PS 9 rather than PS10 was not such a handicap as I feared it might be.
Miranda: TLT, sabine, harpoon missile long range scanners Bomblets.
Ezra in Sheathaped: R3-A2, gunner,
Lowhrick: Selflessness, Rey
The problem here was that with the time between the games I figured out what my opponent was running and tried to plan for it. This was in many ways a mistake as rather than set up as normal I decided that a straight up joust would be the best solution. Whilst the maths said nuking Lowrick off the board in one would most likely occur, if you have not put the practice into jousting straight up you can come undone.
I misjudged the engagement and only got two pieces of ordnance onto Lowrick which left him on one hull and able to shoot. Liam managed to also perfectly judge a two bank turn with Miranda in the furball that I didn’t think was possible a couple of rounds later that really swung the game.
Nym had taken heavy damage in the opening round and despite removing Lowhrick, Nym followed soon after. Without being able to leverage three ships on Miranda it soon ended up as a Miranda Vs Horton off in the end game which Miranda won.
A lot of how the list works is to carpet bomb in front of the ships and then release a rather accurate alpha strike with splash damage. Experience taught that a straight up joust across the table it was harder to achieve this without your opponent’s co-operation. In all three losses I failed to set up the carpet bombing adequately and fudged the alpha strike either through poor target selection or a miss-management of the engagement, (not checking dials or poor selection of maneuvers).
If keeping with the list I would go back to auto blaster on Nym and then consider what to do with the three points left over. Extra munitions for Nym would be a consideration or crack shot on Nym and Cracken.
As for Horton he has proved rather good and either pushing him up to Ps 9 or attaching Chopper with the Btl A4 title and bomb load out is a possibility.
Horton: TLT, plasma torpedo, bomb loadout, BTL- A4 title, guidance chips, Chopper
After firing the torpedo you burn the title first then regen your way through chips and bomb load out. It could be enough to swing a small margin of games that previously went south.
The other option is to reinstate Wedge or another third ship. Having got better at flying rebels in formation with Horton, (early on I had a tendency to send Nym or Wedge off like an Imperial ace), I feel that I could utilize Wedge better.
Wedge: Intenstiy, BB-8, plasma torpedo, guidance chips.
I found when testing with a PS11 wedge, Poe and Ap-5 with MG8-9 whatever that whilst Wedge utilized the Flight assisted astro mech early on, most of his maneuvers when in the thick of it would trigger BB-8 and that BB-8 would at this point be more useful. Wedge feels like a Rebel Quickdraw, just without the revenge shot.
Is this list going to the system Open?
I’m happy with the archetype but have put it and Horton as a backup list as I look for another option which is currently Rey and Lowhrick. From a Math perspective the Triple ten or Horton build can deal with Fenn Ghost but the Triple ten list can’t have fallen so far down meta wing for no reason.
Besides, thinking about actions, and thinking in general is overrated, but adding a Britney Spears song title to a list name is not.