The debate on the meta rages on, “leaked FAQs” filling the aether with opinions and angst. I don’t particularly care about what we don’t know in the world of X-Wing, I care about what we do! Fellow Zombie Ian Courtney shared a really well thought out, if somewhat deep, post on the meta. Really worth reading… maybe twice…
A week to go before jetting off to the European Team Championships in Spain, and I’m practicing flying my Corran Poe list with the cunning use of flying Scum. Not the usual Firespray laden list with that I’m asscociated with, however Mandalorians are very much going to be present.
I’ve had an idea stirring for a few weeks in the deepest recesses of my jank filled mind, which as the title of this post may imply is contrary to what I’d be expected to fly by most. Last weekend after the tournament in Aldershot the esteemed Alex Birt made a passing which flushed the idea from those darkest recesses into the light.
“I wonder how you would do if you actually flew a good list…” Alex Birt, 186th Squadron 23/07/17
Backhanded compliment acknowledged. I wonder too. Let’s find out!
So this week we’re getting filthy, well as filthy as I can bring myself to come to be. Oli Pocknell and I have talked several times about this list over the last few months. It’s been on my Radar for several months and fits my natural inclination to play somewhat aggressively. The aces tournament at Warboar recently reminded me how much I love flying ships that have to point at what they’re trying to kill, and how much fun flying by the seat of of your pants is. One bad dice roll and…
I do need to have a theme, and for this theme we’ll be going with the Concord Dawn, because y’know, more than one Protectorate in a list is SO VERY RARE these days.
Naturally the next ship in the list is going to be Old Terroch, because he’s brilliant… there are just so many ships that hate seeing him on the table. For the third Ship we’ll be taking the least used of the named Mandalorians. Kad Solus, is a natural fit in how I want to play…
As far as build goes there were a couple of options to look at, but only ever one that was going to make the cut in the current game status. The ships are going to have the classic combination of upgrades that you find on Protectorates everywhere:
All of which would leave me with a somewhat excessive nine point bid. So I’m going to spend 6 of those points giving Fenn and Terroch some plasma torpedoes.
This isn’t the first time that I’ve run protectorates with mindlink, but it is the first time I have run three of them competitively.
|Fenn Rau||Old Terroch||Kad Solus|
|Concord Dawn Protector||Concord Dawn Protector||Concord Dawn Protector|
|Attanni Mindlink||Attanni Mindlink||Attanni Mindlink|
|Plasma Torpedo||Plasma Torpedo|
I’ve shared these boys before but here’s them again. Nickname a ship the Fang and an Old Wolf Player will be compelled to grab a paint brush.
Kad Solus is the Blood Claw, Fenn Rau the Grey Hunter and Old Terroch the Long Fang. And for those of you who STILL don’t paint your dials: try it, it is the best part of this hobby… ish.
When I bought these happy chaps it was with the intention of running them as a squadron with Push the Limit. There’s a natural flow to the Protectorate from my early tournaments running A-Wings and Interceptors. Plus they are possibly the best looking ship in the game. At first I didn’t get them, they’re high risk jousters, not arc dodgers and I wanted them to be arc dodgers, but now I get it.
There are certain things that I’d rather not see, bombs… autoblaster turrets… so Nym then… he’ll likely put big holes in my little squishy ships very fast. Maybe not as fast as the three of them can put holes in him but that’s an equation I’d rather avoid balancing. My usual unhappy match ups aren’t going to be so prevalent here, Miranda is an issue, Dash, RAC and Rey are always going to be tough, but not easier for this list than others I have flown recently.
Getting the excuses out of the way early:
- I’ve never flowng this list before..
- I was at a stag do in Bristol yesterday and got 5 hours sleep…
This weekends tournament is the sold out Store Champs at Eclectic games in Reading and it’s my first visit to the store, there are some familiar faces, all somewhat surprised by what I’m flying. Four rounds and a top four cut could be ahead.
So how did it go?
Game one made the whole thing about more than seeing if I could do well over all. I was thrown in against my good mate Martyn Chivers. Now Martyn and I play a lot on vassal, where it’s all a little crazy thanks to the dice generator. But in tournaments Martyn has never beaten me, so he really wanted to end that streak and I really wanted to keep it going. Martyn’s list is a joy to behold, 6 tie fighters all from wave one and two and he fly’s it well. Protectorates though are pretty good against tie fighters, and as time on the round was called I had lost Old Terroch, and Martyn had only a PS1 Tie interceptor list. So that was a win, 82-33.
The second game was another grudge match, this time against Phil Pond of the Basingstoke based Firestorm Squadron. He’s been running Fenn, N’Dru and Ventress for months and we’ve had some crunching games in the past. But again I have a 100% record against him in tournaments, and that’s not something I wanted to lose.
This game was decided in the first engagement when my Fenn fired some Plasma Torps at his Fenn and hit a natural 2 crits and 2 hits only for Phil to blank out, so one evade from autothrusters. From there on in it was a hunt, his Fenn died next turn. N’Dru got battered and Ventress against three functional Protectorates was always going to have a very hard time. 100-0
I didn’t even get a picture of game 3… it was that intense!
To say game three was epic doesn’t cover it. Elliot Roberts with his Dash Miranda… YAAAAAAY. Anyone who’s been reading this over the last few months knows that Dash is one of my pet hates and I’m not really Mirandas biggest fan. I was helped early game by Fenn managing to only take 2 lots of Sabine damage from three cluster bomb tokens. Fenn kept the pressure on Miranda while the other two hunted down Dash.
It ended with Fenn against Miranda, and with two minutes to go Fenn landed the killer blow on Miranda, with only one hull left to his name. It was a truly epic game, and I was relieved to win it 100-62.
The last game of swiss was against Dan Flewit running Vessery, Quickdraw and Backdraft. I flew this one pretty well and Dan had PS advantage over two of my ships with VI, VI, and Adaptability giving him PS 8, 9, 10. I had to block, and I did. Trapping Quickdraw on a rock so Fenn could mug him from range one, then to finish a block on Vessery so Fenn could mug him to. Another 100-0.
So that was swiss done, and I was top. This is unusual for me! Mr Birt’s question seems to have found an answer: I can do pretty well with ships that are used to flying on the top tables, and had a lot of fun flying them.
So to the Semi-Final against Richard Elliots beautiful T65 swarm! Such a beautiful thing. Unfortunately for Richard I’ve flown against similar to this flown by Ben Cooper down in Brighton, so know what happens when it gets to focus fire on something. The fact that Richard has got this list to the top four today means he knows what he’s doing with them too.
I set up looking like I was going to joust, and pulled his formation into the middle of the table, then scattered, using my ships in built re-positioning to stay out of danger. He turned and understandably went after Fenn, which let the others close in on his formation from behind. What ensued can only be categorised as brutality as the Fangs tore through the X-Wings from every direction at once.
At that moment my brain just screamed “GODDAM I LOVE THIS LIST”. My third 100-0 win of the day and my second Store Champs final of the season.
On the other table Dom Flannigan and Mark Feldschreiber from Firestorm Squadron were battling it out for the other spot. The incredibly effective Fenn, Dengar, Inaldra list and Nym/Dengar. Mark won with his shiny wave 11 ship and the Final was set. I love playing good mates… but when they have a ship that is categorically built to kill lists like yours then a bit of anxiety is permitted.
My Anxiety was justified! Nym battered me faster than I could put damage through on him. The combination of Veteran Instincts, Bomblets, Genius, Autoblaster Turret and Accuracy Corrector makes very short work of 4 health ships. Mark flys well, and has been running Dengar with expertise pretty much since the U-Wing came out. Flying against him is always a cagey encounter, but when he has a ship that can kill a Protectorate a turn with ease the game was only ever going one way.
TO for the day, Sketch Drayton, handed the winners plaque to Mark. Congrats buddy, you smashed me!
6 games, 5 wins, 3 100-0s. Good day! I really can’t complain. Before I started this blog I had never made any cut or come close to top 8 finishes in any tournament. Since then I have made 3 top 8s and 2 top 4s. Practice helps.
Mindlink is still godlike and I do think changes are needed to it. Protectorates are hugely fun and potent ships to fly and I think I’ll be flying them again sometime, but with the Rise of Nym is their time limited?
Next Week: THE EX-WINGS GO TO SPAIN
If you want to find tournaments local to you then head on over to the 186th Tournament Calendar and find one to go to!