Saturday, March 15, 2014

X-Wing: Store Championship Results

Where the hell are my Aces?!

Hey everyone!  I managed to get some X-Wing in today and I played in the Brookhurst Hobbies store tournament in California.  The tournament was really cool, ran by cool guys and the people I played against were all awesome.  There was a lot of great sportsmanship being displayed on all tables and everyone was helping eachother while playing their games.  I really think the X-Wing community is one of the best I've ever played in.

Alright, so what did I take?  Since Imperial Aces isn't tournament legal yet, I took an elite Imperial list to the tournament.  The list I had was Vader, Turr and Fel.  It's about as elite as you can get without access to the Aces.

Darth Vader - TIE Advanced
Expert Handling
Concussion Missiles
Stealth Device

Soontir Fel - TIE Interceptor
Push the Limit
Stealth Device

Turr Phennir - TIE Interceptor
Veteran Instincts
Stealth Device

The list is pretty straight forward but it's pretty difficult to pilot.  You're looking at 11 Hull Points total with Vader's shields and everyone in the entire list shoots at PS9.  This is the biggest strength of the list:  PS9 allows you to move last, shoot first and out-deploy your opponents.  Vader is the alpha strike with Concussion Missiles while Expert Handling and Stealth Device makes him a difficult target to bring down.  Not to mention the natural 2 actions per turn is simply amazing.  Soontir Fel is my primary damage dealer and Turr Phennir is my flank attacker/duelist.

Okay, let's get down to the games.  I'm just going to sum it up with a couple of bullet points that I remember because after playing for 9 hours, I'm pooped.  Each of the games were 1.5 hours with 15 minute breaks in between.  We had an 1 hour lunch.

Game #1 vs. Malcolm
Wedge, 2x Blue Squadron, A-Wing
  • I took a really commanding lead by maneuvering my guys in a way that I was able to focus and take down Wedge without much return fire.  I had the initiative and even though Wedge manage to shoot back, he was unable to do any damage to Turr Phennir who finished him.
  • While I picked away at the Blue Squadron, one of the members made a ridiculous shot at Range 3, hitting with all 3 dice vs. Soontir Fel.  Alright, Range 3, Stealth Device, 1 Focus, I got this.  I roll 5 dice and roll all blanks.  Soontir dies before he gets a chance to do anything, that's just ridiculous.  Not gonna lie, I was pretty mad at this result but I kept focused in the game.
  • Early focus from his B-Wings put some damage on Vader's ship.  I play keep away with Vader and eventually draw enough attention off of him that he was able to let off Concussion Missiles and finish off his last B-Wing.  I spend the remainder of the game chasing down his A-Wing with Turr and Vader.
1-0, Match Win, 100 points destroyed vs. 33 lost.

Game #2 vs. Pete
Wedge, Biggs, Luke
  • I really enjoy playing against other elite lists because it comes down to the pilots, good maneuvering and good decisions.  Unfortunately, my opponent made some grave errors early on.
  • I played very patiently in the beginning and moved my ships up full speed, followed by a soft 2.  I know I won't be able to outjoust the Rebel Dream Team, so I wanted to utilize my long-range play with multiple actions, Concussion Missiles and good maneuverability.
  • My opponent, on the other hand, thinks that I'll be charging directly at him for a Range 1 joust so he makes a radical 3 K-Turn and falls directly in front of all my ships.  Since Turr was my flank attacker, I soft-turned with a 2 and avoided LoS to Biggs entirely, thus focusing all my shots on Wedge.  He rolls hot and Wedge lose all his shields and a critical damage which reduces weapon damage.  Meanwhile, Vader fires off his missiles at Biggs and Fel joins in on the action at Range 1, turning Biggs into a burning fireball.
  • The next few turns was clean up since there's just nothing you can do with Interceptors riding you that close.  I think my opponent was going for a high-risk, high-reward play but it didn't work against my choice to take it slow.  Instead, the tables were reversed instantly and he paid for it with the lives of his pilots.
2-0, Match Win, 100 points destroyed vs. 0 lost.

Game #3 vs. Dan
Jan Orz, Biggs and Dagger
  • This game is really one to remember because it lasted a very long time.  It started off pretty one-sided actually since I was able to jump on his Dagger and lay into it with everything I have.  Biggs was out of range so the Dagger was my only target.  Unfortunately, my dice were cold and his were hot on Evades (+1 bonus from Range 3) and I was unable to secure the kill on his Dagger.  Damn, that would of been really good too and would probably end the game quick.  Vader even lost his missiles while trying to bring the Dagger down, stripping his shields but doing no more after that.
  • The next couple of rounds was quite a disaster for me actually.  The B-Wing was able to shoot with tons of dice with his Heavy Laser Cannon and thanks to Jan Orz, he was able to do tons and tons of damage.  Soontir was stripped of his Stealth Device early and Turr Phennir died in one volley due to me rolling a ton of blanks and eating a Direct Damage from a Critical.
  • As I brought down Biggs and the Dagger, Jan Orz scored a 3 crits on Soontir and he exploded into a fireball after rolling poorly to save.  Direct Damage hit me again this time and I lost Fel the same way I lost Phennir.  At this point, it was just a untouched Vader left with no missiles vs. his Jan Orz.  It was really getting down to the wire but I felt that I had the advantage because I had a superior pilot and stronger craft.  I just hoped the dice weren't as cruel to me as the previous times.
  • We spun around eachother, jousting and dancing for a very long time.  I'm not sure how long it took exactly, but eventually Vader emerged triumphant and took home the win for the Imperials.
3-0, Match Win, 99 points destroyed vs. 62 lost.

Game #4 vs. Daniel
Chewie, 2x Blue Squadron
  • I think out of all the games that I played, this game was the one I was looking forward to the most.  There were basically 3 lists to beat at this tournament and it was this one, XXBB and Tie Swarm.  As I looked across the table and saw a hull disparity of 29 vs. 11, I knew I was in for one hell of a fight.
  • The game started off pretty standard.  Soontir and Vader played very aggressive while Turr was more of an opportunist looking for a way to get in.  His deployment was across the table from me with Chewie on the far edge of the board and the B-Wings with Advanced Sensors close to it.  As we advanced up the board, the B-Wings barrel rolled in unison and moved away from Chewie while the mandog advanced straight.
  • On my side of the board, I initially chose to play defensively, utilizing my Stealth Devices at longer ranges and pick away at the Falcon's laughable defensive die before I can close in for a more precise kill.  This immediately changed when the B-Wings moved away from the Falcon and came down my flank.  Since I was out of the range of the first engagement, I needed to make an accurate guess where the B-Wings were going to be next round.  I thought to myself:  If I focus on the Falcon barreling down my left, he's going to be able to swing his B-Wings around and flank me from behind.
  • I decided to surprise him and went balls to the wall to intercept his B-Wings.  Since I moved last, I guessed correctly and his B-Wings changed course and moved into flanking position up the center.  Unfortunately for him, my Interceptors made an immediate change of direction and ended up in front of his face.  Vader joined in on the action with his Concussion Missiles and before you know it, the lead B-Wing had 1 HP left and the furthest B-Wing lost 4 shields.  His reply fire was mainly directed at Vader because he blew his Focus and my other Interceptors were in bad arcs/loaded with Focus/Evade.  Vader took a beating and got stripped of his Stealth Device and his shields.
  • My next move was to concentrate on the remaining B-Wings and finish them off ASAP.  I knew that if I was able to save Vader and kill off his B-Wings, there would be no coming back because my Interceptors can play the long game vs. his Falcon as long as the dice don't suck.  Vader is also the most expensive member of my crew so he needed to just double-stack defensive buffs and stay away from the main firefight.  This strategy proved to be successful.
  • After the initial joust, being able to K-Turn at 5 gave me Stealth Device + Range 3 so it was an incredible uphill fight for the B-Wings meager 1 agility + range bonus.  Concentrated fire dropped the B-Wing with more health before Fel, boosting and barrel rolling between asteroids, was able to deal the death blow to the last B-Wing.  I virtually ignored Chewie for the vast majority of the time because I was running away with Vader while stacking Focus/Evade tokens on my Interceptors as much as I can.  He tried shooting at Turr a few times but he was just unable to do any damage to him unfortunately.  A few turns later, my Interceptors ran Chewie into the ground and it was gg.
4-0, Match Win, 100 points destroyed vs. 0 lost.

I came in second place overall once all the points were calculated.  The only other player to get 4-0 was another Imperial player piloting a Tie Swarm list with Howlrunner + 6.  After scores were tallied up, it came down to "strength of schedule" as we were all pretty tired and didn't want to play a tie-breaker.  The scores were pretty close, so I didn't care too much.  I congratulated the winner, traded away my Store Championship tokens + ruler for a promo Wedge and Mauler Mithel card.  Not a bad showing considering I haven't played X-Wing since last November.

What I learned from the experience:
  • Playing with cool guys with good sportsmanship is the most important thing about this game.  People helped me move my ships, I moved their ships, we talked, laughed, joked and raged about the crazy stuff that happens during the game.  Once the dust settles and there's a clear winner, we still joke around and congratulate each other.  This is the best part about playing X-Wing.
  • Flying the 3-ship Imperial list is really quite challenging.  The thing about Imperial ships is that they don't have the bonus of shields outside of Vader, and you're literally holding your breath everytime someone lands hits.  Even with 5 agility dice and a Focus, Soontir Fel still managed to disappear because of bad dice rolls.  Unlike other lists that can afford losing a 12-point Tie, I can't do that because it's literally a third of my entire army's shooting strength.  Once the shooting ability of the list goes down, your chances to win decrease dramatically.  You really have to out-think, out-anticipate, play your best and pray to the dice gods from time to time.
  • The top 3 lists being flown was: Tie Swarm (the winner), my list and XXBB.  I really wanted to fight either the XXBB list or the Tie Swarm list.  The Swarm list could have been difficult to fight, but with good asteroid deployment and smart maneuvering, I think I could have a good chance at taking first.  Against the XXBB, this is one of the most flown lists I've seen on Vassal, so I have a pretty good understanding how to fight against this specific list.  It's a naturally good list and probably one of the most common "to beat" lists in any tournament setting.  Oh well, maybe next time.
  • Lastly, if I was to change anything about the list, it would be to drop Vader and pick up Carnor Jax.  There's so many times that I was riding someone's ass with my Interceptors and I wished they didn't have Focus/Evades or be able to spend any of it.  I really think Carnor Jax will change how the game is played because his battlefield effect is massive.  You will be able to outjoust most people with your Interceptors, which is something Interceptors should never do but at least now you have the option to do so.  The ability to deny Focus and Evades will make the matchup vs. Tie Swarms even better since Evade tokens is mostly an Imperial trait.  Oh, and there's Targeting Computer too.  There's just way too many times I'm riding someone's ass with Fel and I have to pick at them with Focus, Evade, Focus.  I would much rather Target Lock, Evade, Stress, Focus because this drastically boosts my attack proficiency.

Alright, that's all folks.  Thanks for reading, catch you next time.


Alex Wobbema said...


Rory Blans said...

Thanks! I just did my second store championship and usually "play safe" with a 5 tie swarm. 3 tie fighters, 1 advanced (with homing missiles if its a tempest or vader with engine upgrade) and 1 interceptor ussually soonthir fell with push the limit. I hadn't mustered the courage to fly with anything less simply because I presumed that would be auto loss for imperial builds. Once i get my imperial aces this week I will definately put in some games with 3 interceptors or 2 interceptors combined with an advanced to start practicing some real red baron dog fight techniques.

HERO said...

When I first got into the game, the one thing that I wanted to fly was Imperial Aces. I was told that it was the most challenging list to pilot correctly so I prepped myself mentally for it. If you look back at my first game X-Wing game in October last year, it was pretty clear that I was invested in making the list work. I've had some good games with it, but I've also had some terrible games where I just die to bad rolls. It seems like the 3-ship list for Imperials suffers from bad luck the most out of all the lists I've ever piloted simply because of the absolute nature of Evade dice and 3 Hull.

Check out the first X-Wing related post I made last October:

Rory Blans said...

Thanks for that link. Tie interceptors are my favorite ships as well. On my latest store championship though, the one game I lost was because I stressed out soonthir fell near a y-wing with ion turret... Stupid stupid stupid... Locked down the entire game because he couldnt do any actions and died offcourse after 3 turns...

Simrat Sharma said...

very nice post thanks for sharing this post and thanks to keep me updated ,,see more gaming update at

Michael York said...

Love the blog you have... really managed blog..

well... I am providing tips to play candy crush saga - candy crush level 135

Smarf said...

Can someone please explain how Expert Handling works? Since the barrel roll is a free action does that mean you still get to do a regular action (evade, focus, boost, target lock etc.) that round?

Post a Comment