Two tournaments this weekend and a bit of a break from just writing about Star Vipers like I have been for the last few weeks. They’ll still feature somewhat heavily but as Saturday at Incom Gaming in Cheltenham is a hangar bay I get to have two lists for the day.
The format Nick has decided on for the day is based on the format that Eclectic Games used for their 40th anniversary event a while back, where I was fortunate enough to win a copy of Guns For Hire, a somewhat game changing experience for me as numerous blog posts over the last few months will attest to.
To give a brief outline of the format the first round starts with a roll off to see who picks their list first, their opponent can’t chose a list from the same faction, so no mirror matches. The subsequent rounds are decided with the the player with the lowest MoV picking their faction first and then their opponent having to pick a different faction.
It makes for some really tactical play when choosing lists and the person with the lowest MoV is in a very strong place to put the match up in their favour. If you run events and want a really entertaining format then it’s well worth looking at. I guess hangar bay is as close to “casual play” as I get…
One of the highlights of coming to Incom is the burritos that they get bought in for lunch at these events… they run plenty of great events across a variety of game systems so it’s worth checking out what they have going on even if you’re not coming to play pew-pew.
The first list is the Vipers of the last few weeks, lots about it in the last few posts:
|Guri||Dalan Oberos||Prince Xizor|
|Push the Limit||Push the Limit||Push the Limit|
|Star Viper MKII||Star Viper MKII||Star Viper MKII|
|Fire Control System|
The second I’ve only used at one tournament previously, and I think is one of the most entertaining list’s I’ve ever flown, even if some people don’t understand the virtue of an 18 point initiative bid.
|Soontir Fel||Kylo Ren|
|Push the Limit||Push the Limit|
|Stealth Device||Advanced Optics|
|Royal Guard TIE||First Order Vanguard|
And for anyone thinking “but you could have a third ship in that list”, the answer to that is I DON’T WANT ONE!
Game 1 was against Toby Harris, it was so engrossing that I totally forgot to take a photo. We’ve played a couple of times before and the games have always been tight, but this one took the biscuit. I got to fly Kylo and Soontir against his Dengar and Bossk.
It was a game where we each made on huge error. I did a dumb boost with Soontir which put him in “gonna get killed” territory of Bossk’s side arc, then he used 4-Lom to stop Soontir using his evade token, which promptly meant that 2 turns later Bossk would fly of the table thanks to one too many Ion tokens. Dengar and Kylo then did each other in. So it went to Final Salvo from mutual destruction… then a re-roll on Final salvo.
A great result for Toby as it meant he was guaranteed the pick of his next round as the lowest MOV winner, and an awful one for me as it made me the highest scoring winner. I really should have picked the Star Vipers and made him fly his YT-1300s, cause that would have been a much more favourable match up.
No two ways about it, Miranda had to die in this one. Too many times have I run into her at the end game and come second. So I gunned straight for her and the opening engagement dropped her shields and put a couple of damage on her. It took a couple more turns to engineer a kill shot, during which time Crimson Leader managed to hit one or two rocks.
Dan had a crazy dice roll imbalance, the Z flew over rocks for fun taking no damage, while the Bomber took a hit every time. When I turned the aces on Crimson leader after the Z was dead there was only 5 damage to do on the big fella, which happened pretty quickly. After the frustration of the opening game getting a 100-0 win was much appreciated.
Huw wanted to play against the Vipers but elected to use his Scum so I ended up with Kylo and Soontir again. It went wrong. Very, very badly wrong. I’ll let Kylo explain it to Darth Vader, that way my dice rage can be his instead.
So we had loads of time for another game. Huw had read about the Vipers from previous blogs and wanted to play against them, and I am very pleased to say they didn’t disappoint. The Vipers closed in and did bad things to first Palob then Huw’s Guri. My Guri dropped and as we ran out of time a half health Assaj was left against Xizor and Dalan. The fun I had during this game left me thinking “why have I even bothered trying to fly the Imperials”.
It started well for the Ghost, punching 4 damage onto Dalan, but then the arc dodging began and the Vipers first swarmed the Arc then turned their attention to the Ghost. I don’t think the Phantom 2 title is as good as the Phantom 1, the variance of two attacks vs Autothrusters compared to the four attacks the Phantom 1 title gives made my life a lot easier. Getting in another 100-0 win made for a very strange day of games!
I finished 4th out of 12, at the top of the 2-2s but can’t help thinking if I’d stuck with the Vipers more I could have done better. Just to say again, this is such a fun format for X-Wing, and I really hope to go to more events like it.
One thing that became abundantly clear during the 4 rounds is that the Vipers are infinitely more fun and harder to pin down than the PS9 Imperial Aces…
…so it will come as no surprise which list is heading to to Firestorm Cards in Basingstoke with their bomb mad local meta on Sunday.
A small but strong turnout with some really powerful lists on display. 2 Nym Mirandas, a Kanan Fenn, lots of PS 11 Rebels and Imperials, it promised to be an interesting day.
So, when you pull this list round one, it is a moment of despair. It’s a good list, and Miranda is just super good against Star Vipers. I was able to liquidate Nym quickly enough, he’s the head of the “not a fan of being hit by multiple ships in a turn” society, but it cost me 2 Starvipers to do it, and try as Xizor might he just couldn’t get the shots on Miranda as James slammed away. As far as losses go 100-53 isn’t bad in terms of MoV and against a list as strong as this on reflection I was pretty happy with it. Dice moans aside James flew it very well and deserved the win, graciously offering me the opportunity to try and submarine for the rest of the day!
2 Ion turrets! Kavil with a synced turret and the token thief Palob… When I rolled into range one with Xizor with a lock and Guir with a lock and focus, only for my 8 red dice to do no damage at all to Palob I feared the worst, however as dice so often do the variance balanced out in the game. Dace was prime target, firstly cause of his pilot skill and secondly because he has the ability to add auto damage from Ion tokens, then Palob cause he just ruins action efficiency. At the end of the game Guri landed the block on a limping Kavil and Xizor cruised in for the kill shot on the stricken Y-Wing.
The real challenge of this game was range controlling from the Vipers, landing anywhere in Dave’s range 1-2 bubble early on would have meant losing a ship, so splitting the formation and picking on one ship on its own was the tactic, which fortunately worked. At the end of the game the Autothrusters had had to more than earn their points cost, but 100-0 win put me back into a good spot for the event.
Martyn’s list is the closest thing to a mirror match that I have flown against, both his vipers being of the Push the Limit Variety, and Fenn “I’m a monster in this aces battle” Rau. My Guri was moving first which mean that she was acting as blocker, a role which she very much enjoys.
After the opening engagement both of us were feeling a little sore! Fenn had taken the -1 Agility Crit, and my Guri was limping around on 2 health. I think my extra practice with the Vipers, and familiarity with Fenn put this match up in my favour, and I managed to achieve something I’ve not seen before in a game, and certainly not done before.
I killed all three of his ships in one turn, which was the plan, but I never expected to happen. Fenn had a range 2 shot and my Guri with no mods, and she was fine, then Xizor finished his Guri, Dalan shot his Assassin with a lock and focus, and then my Guri shot his -1 Agility Fenn from range 2 with a lock and focus. Everything went boom all at once! From 100-100 to 100-0 in one turn was pretty satisfying, and pushes me a little bit further ahead in tournament wins against one of my best friends in the X-Wing world. Double bonus then.
This is a tough match up, and a really, really good list. Two Ps11 X-wings with re-positioning options is not an easy game. Fortunately Jason gave up trying to predict where I would be after the opening engagement. The Vipers jumped on the Sheathipede at the first opportunity, he was target number one all the way, his ability to hinder my damage output and improve the efficiency of the X-Wings made him the most important ship to kill, and conveniently the easiest.
With 3 vs 2 I was able to trade Wedge for Guri, leaving Poe against two Vipers with time running out. The heavily injured Xizor disengaged for a bit, letting Dalan keep the pressure on Poe, and as the buzzer for time on the round rung out out the Resistance pilot had 3 dice to cause 4 Damage on Mr Oberos to win the game, which fortunately didn’t happen. It was such a great game, cat and mouse dog-fighting all the way and possibly one of the most entertaining games I’ve played with the Vipers.
At the end of it Jason’s brain had melted a little at the Vipers mobility, had he dropped either Xizor or Dalan he would have been a deserved winner of the game, but I had just enough to get through. A win, 58-32.
All of which left me on 3-1 and second for the day, which I was totally pleased with. As is becoming a tradition at Firestorm Cards there were nominations for best opponent, won by Mr Oliver Pocknell, and I won the favourite list prize for the second time running, last time I got Sabine, this time I got a Finn.
The day was won by Nic Harris, of Firestorm Squadron using a certain Nym and Miranda list, losing just one ship in the course of the day, which considering the strength of the field was no mean feat. Even post the nerfs to Genius, Trajectory Simulator and Slam that list still has a lot of answers to a lot of questions… can we maybe evaluate a certain Sabine Wren next?
The outcome of the weekend was really pleasing. Sure the Imperial Aces at Hangar bay had let the side down, but I got in 5 tournament games with the Vipers, plus the “revenge” game against Huw on Saturday (so 6 really) and managed to go 4-1 (5-1) with them as a list, including 3 100-0 wins and no 100-0 loses. All of which makes them my only real choice for the Opens and Regionals to come.
Maybe, just maybe Practice does make perfect(ish).
Next Time: THE STAR VIPERS GO TO A(nother) REGIONAL
If you’re looking for tournament play then head over to the 186th Tournament Calendar.