I’m not having a bad Hyperspace season so far. 2 cuts in three events, a ticket to Worlds secured, it might be what I was hoping for but it is more than I expected after 3 events. One thing I’ve always enjoyed about X-Wing is pushing myself to see how well I can do. Alex Birt once described my general approach to the game in 1.0 as “having training weights” and I do really enjoy a challenge.
I was all set and decided for my list this weekend and then the app updated and Guri is back. I can’t pretend the temptation to cast aside my plans wasn’t great, I genuinely think I have issues and need therapy. But I really wanted to try the list I have worked on, so Guri stays on the shelf for another week or two. She will be appearing soon. But not this weekend.
So far the worst performing faction in Hyperspace has been the First Order. So I’m giving them a go this weekend at Brighton’s Dice Saloon. The only ship that I really like in the First Order is the Silencer, particularly when flown by Kylo, so that’s what I’m putting at the heart of the list.
After last weeks heroics from Nien and Poe at Aldershot I’m going to try a similar approach, but with a faction I have never flown before. I only dabbled for one tournament with Imperials in 1.0 last year, so they’re not something I’ve used. I think Kylo is very good, but there is no denying he is expensive, probably the most expensive ship I’ve ever flown! I know that Quickdraw is a go to choice for most First Order lists so that’s the other ship I’m taking this weekend.
Unlike the T70s where I have a bucket load of table time I’ve never flown a TIE SF before, I don’t even own one and I realised on Thursday evening as I went to put the list together that I haven’t even got a FO conversion kit, so thanks to Dale Cromwell for the lend of basically a whole list this weekend! I have managed one game with Kylo on Vassal in 2.0, it went well but hardly leaves me feeling prepared.
So here is the list. It’s 2 ships again, much like Nien Poe was from last week it’s very much a points fortress ace with a solid wing man. Unlike the resistance, my points are invested in an I5, not an I6, which will make for some difficult games.
|Supernatural Reflexes||Special Forces Tie|
|Pattern Analyser||Pattern Analyser|
|Proton Torps||Fire Control System|
69 points for Quickdraw and 117 for Kylo puts me on 186 points over all. The game plan is very simple. Against low initiative ships try not to get shot, against high initiative ships QD goes for their I6s and hopefully Kylo deals with the rest. As an end game ship a fully healthy Kylo is essentially worth 131 points, keeping him alive will be my key to winning anything.
My concern is that now Soontir is legal in Hyperspace Imperials can field 2 very cost effective I6 Aces in him and Vader. This means that QD needs to kill one and hurt the other without losing Kylo, that’s probably the match up I am most concerned about.
This QD is a manufactured Ace, the SF dial is not exactly arc dodging friendly so I’m going to be forcing the ship to do things that it’s not really meant to do, hopefully she will be able to burn enough things down before she goes. In 1.0 I hated her, she was just so ridiculous potent with expertise, fire control system, the old optics, light weight frame and generally Palpatine not too far away. She’s very different now, she can hit like a truck, but she doesn’t have all the passive mods in the world to make her quite so terrifying.
If I can get Kylo with initiative superiority he should be able to handle anything that he moves after. Generally I find three firing arcs are manageable, it will be whether I can get larger ship count lists down to that before QD inevitably dies.
The risk with a list like this is everything has to count. I love the kick you get from a high risk list when you or your opponent reaches for the dice and you know it REALLY matters. You can get rewards, you can also get heavily punished. This is the kind of X-Wing I have always enjoyed and find the most fun. I suspect pulling off a result like last weekend is probably asking way too much, I’m here to have some fun, play some games and do as well as I can.
Now, I hadn’t realised quite how intense flying this list would be, I hadn’t factored in the level of focus it would require, so I will have to apologise for no photos covered in lens flares and explosions.
6 Rounds of swiss saw me paired into my buddy Pier Horry flying Vennie. It was an excellent match to get a look at the list in. I’ve got to know it well since it’s adoption by the firestorm guys, and it’s not one you can take lightly. I was able to get the 200-69 win with it, and it was the first taste of how incredible Super Kylo is. I did however take some photo’s of Piers’ BEAUTIFUL Star Fortress.
Game two against Ben Lee. An absolutely mesmerising encounter. Ben flying the Resistance 5s got a win. It all swung on one block by him early on, and then one massively important dice roll late in the game. But again Super Kylo was a monster. Dodging 4 arcs for nearly 30 minutes, finishing off L’uko and then getting Nien down to one hull, if it had gone on for another 2 or three turns then I suspect Kylo might have been able to pull it out of the bag. 78-128 loss.
Game three and Steve Boulton. Steve played brilliantly, but as the game concluded realised that he hadn’t been taking the stress for coordinating through out the game with his U-Wing, then promptly called judge over Kris Mitchell and conceded the match up. A true gentleman and great sport. There was no two ways about it, his actions showed just what a fantastic level of character we are blessed to have in the X-Wing community. 200-0 win, which I was fortunate to have.
Onto round four and Robert Haigh flying double sprays. So happy to see it on the table, I love seeing people enjoying Firesprays. This game was going so right until I got it so wrong with Kylo, I thought I’d dialed in a 2 bank for a kill shot on Emon, instead I had put in a three bank, which was a bump. Robert’s Boba duly took advantage and the Knight of Ren went Pop. Quickdraw gave it a damn good go though, finishing off Emon and taking boba down from 9 health to two, but with only one shield left when Kylo died it was always going to be an up hill struggle. 150-200 loss. But another blinding match up.
Round 5 and paired into into fellow 186th Joel North, running a very familiar Trip-70 list. Joel’s head wasn’t particularly in the game by this point in the day, and by his own admission that led to some silly mistakes. With Nien and Poe dead and one hull gone on QD in exhange Joel conceded the match up for another 200-0 win.
The final round of swiss was against another 186th (so my third of the day) LLoyd Boman with Cassian/Leia, Norra, Wedge and a generic double tap Y. This was a match up I did not want to see, that list is mean. I traded QD for wedge, so Kylo had 3 ships to deal with on his own. Cassian went, then I was able to get the other Y-Wing. Lloyd had a full health Norra vs my two health Kylo and we had half an hour to play. Up on points and down on health Kylo ran. He ran and ran and ran because that was the win condition. As time was called I had scraped a win by something like 15 points.
So 4-2 and the wait to see if I would make the cut…. I came 9th, missing out by 8 MoV to my good friend Conor McNama. But being a 2 day event there is always the chance that someone may drop, and sure enough a couple of people couldn’t make it, so I travelled back to Brighton on Sunday for my cut game against Andy Cameron, flying Wedge, Thane and Han.
This was one of the tightest games of X-Wing I have ever played, Andy, nursing an Ed Holmes inspired hangover played a great game of X-Wing. It’s almost impossible to describe the narrow margins this game went by. I think I flew as well as I have ever flown anything. Thane never got a shot all game. The falcon was left on one hull. Had the two crits Kylo fired into his father resolved the other way around I would have won it, but that’s the game. I was just so thrilled to be in the cut again. To play such an exciting game of X-Wing and to have gone 4-2 in swiss with a list comprised of 2 ships I’ve basically never flown before was way more than I hoped for, the cut was a bonus!
In conclusion, Super Kylo is a MONSTER OF A SHIP. Is Super worth 24 points? Absolutely. He’s incredibly fun to fly and can do things that most other ships only dream of, give it a go, you might just grin your way through every match up.
Oli Pocknell was another to benefit from drops in the top 8, and he only went on to win the whole thing! That’s his second 50+ player event he has won in two weeks. Not bad going. (Ps Soontir Cromwell went 5-1 in swiss and then made the top 4 with his 181 points of Imperial Aces)
I was due to head into central London next weekend but have decided to take a weekend off, I’ve got something in the pipeline so there should be a post on Sunday, but I won’t be playing a tournament unless one more local pops up. I will be off to Cardiff in a couple of weeks though for Firestorm Games’ HST. Pretty sure I can come up with some nonsense to push myself with there too.
Next Time: A WEEKEND OFF?
If you’re looking for X-Wing events to head to then go to the 186th Tournament Calendar and see what’s about.