Last post I took a look at some of the things that I anticipated happening with with the points change we got on Monday and I’m largely happy with how things have changed. The example I looked at was the Boba Guri I was running for the first few months of 2.0. That list has gone up in points to 207, a 22 point increase… personally I don’t think it was THAT strong but it’s increase was due to Boba and everything he had on him taking a fairly significant bump up.
Still the increase wasn’t as much as the Deathrain, Redline, Whisper list that we saw doing so well, the standard load out on that is now 235 points! (and it can’t take Vader Crew on whisper anymore). Lot’s has been said by a load of people all over the place about the impact of the points changes but the general consensus is that they are positive.
My Boba may be now nigh on unplayable at 107 points but that’s a trade off I am happy to make to see an increase viability across the factions, a nerf to proton torps and trajectory simulator and making big base ships somewhat more viable than they were. The re-pointing encourages diversity, and that’s awesome.
The other big news of the week is that FFG have again renamed and restructured their OP levels. This article was such a highlight of the week, an acknowledgement from their part that things have got a little bit complicated and a positive step to re-brand so that players and event organisers have an easier road map to follow about what events mean what.
The guys from the Firecast have been able to get one of the games I played last weekend up on their YouTube channel, my round 4 match up against Jim Fyrth (T-65s and Corran vs T-70s) the other one, against Calum Brown should hopefully go up in the next few days. (apologies for the accidental S-Foils flip, it was a total mistake on my part and fortunately had absolutely no impact on the game). Please head over to their Facebook and Youtube pages and give them a follow. They’re live streaming games every other Friday so if you want a regular X-Wing show have a look.
This weekends tournament was another sold out event at Ibuywargames in Woking. I’ve said it many times but Ian Simpkins’ events regularly attracts one of the toughest crowds in the South East and this event was no exception to that. We’ve even been joined by (Birthday Boy) Dale Cromwell and Oli Pocknell, both of whom have made the long drive from the south coast (or as Lewis Witham would say “France”) to Woking just to up the quality…
I’m anticipating this being the toughest tournament in 2.0 so far. Not only because of the calibre of competitor, but also because of the points changes. There is no way of knowing what is going to be there, only who, and there are multiple top tier players in attendance. The tactics developed against list for the last few months may not work or be needed, so there will be a lot of learning to fly.
The event is Extended but once again I’m flying the Triple T-70s that have stood me so well in the last few weeks. I have made one change to the list, at the behest of James Dowdall, I am giving Black One a try.
I’ve not had it in the list before because I’m not convinced how good it is. I’m taking it because it’s been recommended by player I have a lot of time for suggesting it is a good too for dealing with a TIE Swarm. I think it is best on Nien: the ability to slam into a stress free red move is super cool and adds a level on unpredictability to his already versatile movement options.
This brings my list to 191 points in total, which means that while I’m less likely to control the initiative but against the majority of people I should still get to make that choice. What I’m hoping for is an abundance of Swarms. Running into them repeatedly today would do two things:
- put a huge dent in my win ratio
- give me some games to mull over and learn from about how to take them on
I’ve only played against one TIE Swarm, Lloyd Boman last time I was here. It’s one of the heaviest loses I’ve had with the list and was a great learning experience, so more of the same won’t go amiss. I need practice, and seeing as how tournaments are my only real practice I won’t complain if I run into them all day long.
Let’s start with an easy game eh? or not… Julian Hood taking full advantage of the Rebel points changes. Four K-Wings with Barrage Rockets and Prox Mines. This is possibly the cagiest start I have ever played to a game. Trying to pull Julian out of position as much as possible. There’s no way I could take on that much firepower head to head.
Fortunately for me Julian made a very uncharacteristic mistake, blocking himself and the T70s took full advantage, burning down the stricken ship in a turn. I was already up and feeling good about the game, but any hope Julian had of pulling it back was scuppered as he proceeded to roll double blanks on his reds for 6 rolls in a row, when he had focus tokens to mod. 200-89 win.
Black One Report: used to get an early slam in for position with Nien. Game changing, no. Useful yes.
Game two against Bernardo Hourmat, flying Midnight, Quickdraw, Backdraft and Scourge. This game was the tale of Black One. Nien did a 4 forward, then slammed a 4k over debris, then pattern analysered a focus into a linked roll, and did it all unstressed for the cost of an ion.
I think this may be the coolest move I have ever pulled in a game of X-Wing. That turn massed fire from the 3 T70s tore the shields of Quickdraw (including the shield upgrade) and put a crit, in exchange for two shield on Nien. My early positioning got me the advantage and I went on to win it 200-92. Sadly Nien’s early heroics did not see him live through the game.
Black One Report: Game changing.
Game 4 against Denny the Sicilian. Denny and I have now played numerous games, and they’ve always been good. He was running Whisper, Vader and Soontir, coming in at 189, so naturally he put me in to fly first. This was great, cause I need the practice. The early game went really well for me, I got Whisper down to one hull very fast, unfortunately I couldn’t find a way to get that last damage on.
I got rid of Vader, Nien again proving to be the equaliser there. He didn’t ge the kill but his mobility meant that Denny was finding planning for where he would be to be difficult. A lucky/unlucky kill shot on Nien from Whisper tipped the game to Dennys favour and Poe couldn’t avoid the attentions of both Soontir and Whisper. He tried, but ultimately failed.
The game was super close and while I lost 103-200 it game me a lot of confidence going forward that should I be moving and shooting first this list definitely has legs.
Black One Report: Didn’t get used. the one time I hoped to line it up I misjudged where my initial move would leave me so I had to abort!
Denny would go on to conquer all on the day, finishing up 5-0 with a nail-biting win over my next opponent…
Another nail biter, this time against Ian Courtney, flying Duchess, Howl, Iden and two other inferno squadrons. I elected to move and shoot first and was really happy with how I got the opening engagement. Nien did another 4 forward K-Turn trick to sit in the pack of ties and get to put 4 focused dice into Howl, dropping her to 1 and leaving her with a console fire. Poe and Ello burned Iden’s token.
I anticipated a K-turn from Ian the following turn, he turned hard into me. Still I had a focus lock on Howl at range one from Poe and 4 dice from Ello, and Howl still had a console fire. Naturally Howl survived. The return fire from the 4 TIEs, assisted by Howlrunner re-rolls, dropped Poe, but I still wasn’t in bad shape. Duchess was on fire, Howl was on fire and I was in a good position.
The following turn I got the kill on Howl but that extra turn had really cost me. A lucky double damage at range 3 on Nien dropped him and having been 2 vs 3 and feeling confident I was suddenly 1 vs 3 and feeling doomed.
Ian flew it really well, but it felt very much like a missed opportunity for a win against a top player with a good list. 100-200 loss but some interesting conversation points raised (to follow in a bit). Again, much like the game against Denny I totally think this was a winnable match up. If howl drops to the 8 red dice and the console fire I think I probably go on to win it, but such is X-Wing.
Black One Report: Getting Nien in that position on turn two was amazing and the whole point of why I have included it in the list.
The final game of the day was against James Khan flying Corran, Gavin and AP5 with Leia crew. As you know I have a soft spot for the E-Wing and I think that since the points changes it’s become viable again. With Gavin on the table there was no way I wanted to let James put a proton torp into me, so I led him on a bit of a dance in the early game. Switching ships in and out and making him spend actions on moving those target locks.
The key ship to kill was AP-5 because the added action economy and the now worth taking Leia meant that Corran could be very much a problem, and AP is easier to kill than Corran.
With the support ship gone Corran became the target. I had to sacrifice Ello to pull the E-Wings into a bad spot so Nien and Poe could do their thing, but that was a totally worthwhile trade off. The end game saw Gavin fending off the attentions of Poe and Nien, he hammered Nien with a torp but not enough to kill him, before Poe dove in for the range one kill shot. 200-92 win.
Black One Report: When the E-Wing goes 5 forward and boosts and you want to put the pressure on 3 forward slam is very helpful!
Did Black One make a difference? YES. I will be keeping it in the list. Thank you Mr Dowdall.
The other possible change is going to be looking at putting elusive on Nien. Ian Courtney and I discussed it at some length as an alternative to Heroic, he’s going to some maths on it in an upcoming Zombie Squadron blog, which I am looking forward to reading. Nien I think it may well be the best candidate in the game to take it. So next time out I’ll be looking at that.
3-2 left me 8th and takes my tournament tally for 2.0 to 69% wins overall. The T70s have done me proud in 4 round events but in the two 5 round I’ve only managed a 3-2 score line. What this tells me is more practice is needed. Most of the time I’m doing things pretty well with the list, it’s now about ironing out those little mistakes that cost games here and there.
Having played against Hyperspace list and Extended lists on the day, I geniuinely don’t think there is a gap in power between what the two game modes have to offer. The lists I lost to were not HS legal (Ian’s by a single upgrade) but then I beat to Extended lists on the day as well. The top three on the day went Extended (Denny), Hyperspace (Dom Flannigan), Extended (Ian Courtney). It is distinctly possible that X-Wing is in the healthiest state of balance it has been in for a while.
And that’s it for this week, next week there won’t be a post. I’ve got a board gaming weekend with a bunch of mates, so I shall be off playing other things. The weekend after that I’m heading down to Entoyment in Poole.
Next Time: HEROIC, HEROIC, ELUSIVE?
If you’re looking for tournaments to head to then the 186th Tournament Calendar is a great resource.