On Saturday, February 21, 2015 I attended my first X-Wing tournament (and 7th through 10th games of X-Wing) at The Friendly Troll in Toronto. It was an excellent event, with a great group of players. G took a few pictures and notes on the games to help me write up my thoughts on the games and the tournament overall.

The Friendly Troll was a gaming store that G was familiar with. I was impressed by the sizable gaming space they have downstairs, made it perfect for holding a tournament.

One of the coolest things we saw, was a guy (whose name I unfortunately can’t recall) who had his X-Wings and B-Wings mounted to their stands with ball mounts and magnets. This let him pose his ships at any angle on top of their stands, which looked amazing!

There were 12 people participating in the tournament, with a mix of lists that included a couple of other Decimator/Phantom lists, a dual TIE Defender list, BBBBZ, a TIE swarm, but surprisingly no Fat Han lists.

I was impressed at how friendly and collegial everyone was at the tournament, it was great to see such a friendly atmosphere in a competitive setting, and it was great to meet and chat with a bunch of skilled X-Wing players. I’d also like to especially thank the T.O. for getting someone to lend me a Daredevil card as my TIE Interceptor Expansion, which arrived in Canada on the 11th of February, remains at the tender mercies of Canada Customs…

I managed to go 0-4 in a series of very close games, but I’ll save my overall analysis of why that was for the end of this piece. First I want to comment briefly on each game and what I think I did well and poorly in each game before looking to more general thoughts.

My list, once again, was my Devilmator/Whisper list I’ve been running in our video battle reports:

Captain Oicunn — VT-49 Decimator  42
     Daredevil    3
     Gunner    5
     Rebel Captive    3
     Moff Jerjerrod    2
     Engine Upgrade    4
     Dauntless    2
“Whisper” — TIE Phantom  32
     Veteran Instincts    1
     Fire-Control System    2
     Advanced Cloaking Device    4
 Total 100

 

Game 1: Lorenzo vs. Jeff  A

Close Quarters with a Firespray and an Interceptor

Jeff A had:

Krassis Trelix — Firespray-31   36
     Heavy Laser Cannon     7
     Seismic Charges     2
     Recon Specialist     3
Alpha Squadron Pilot — TIE Interceptor    18
Alpha Squadron Pilot — TIE Interceptor    18
“Dark Curse” — TIE Fighter    16
 Total  100

My first opponent was Jeff, flying Krassis, a couple of Interceptors, and Dark Curse. He deployed across most of his side while I deployed both my ships in one corner. This ended up being a very close game, Jeff did an excellent job keeping his ships able to concentrate their fire on OIcunn as circumstances led me to split my fire more than I would have ideally liked.

In the end it came down to only Whisper and Krassis remaining alive as time began to ran out, and unfortunately, under the added stress of the time constraints I mistakenly boosted with Whisper to get the Firespray in her arc (rather than correctly using a barrel roll). As soon Jeff pointed out my mistake, I immediately conceded the match as I did not want to gain any benefit from having made an error.

The TO had us dice off Firespray’s shooting at Whisper to determine whether it would be a match win or modified match win, though I would have been perfectly comfortable conceding a full match win, given my error.

This game provided a very good introduction to how different this game is to play under 60 minute rounds as compared to the games I had been playing against G. The time pressure means you need to evaluate the board and decide on your maneuvers and actions very quickly, and some mistakes with positioning Whisper and forgetting that the evade action icon is not the boost action icon resulted.

Why hello there, Dark Curse…

I actually did pretty well keeping Whisper out of the Firespray’s arcs for most of the game.

 

Game 2: Lorenzo vs. Victor

…RAMMING SPEED!

Victor had:

Rexler Brath — TIE Defender 37
     Veteran Instincts 1
     Heavy Laser Cannon 7
     Ion Pulse Missiles 3
     Shield Upgrade 4
Colonel Vessery — TIE Defender 35
     Decoy 2
     Heavy Laser Cannon 7
     Shield Upgrade 4
 Total 100

My second game was against Victor, who seemed to be well versed with X-Wing and with tournament play. Victor and I ended up deploying in opposite corners. I knew immediately what this game would come down to: Whether whisper survived the PS 10. Unfortunately, I was too aggressive with Whisper and put her in a position to be destroyed on Turn 4, which was the deciding factor in this game. Given the limited maneuverability of the TIE Defender (aside from the white K-Turn), I was able to ram them repeatedly with Oicunn, and in the end the game came down to Oicunn with 2 hull left against Vessery with 1 hull left. Unfortunately for me, Victor got the two hits he needed and thus Oicunn died before being able to land the killing blow on Vessery.

Given how close the end of the game was, I believe I could have won if I had not lost Whisper so early. I should have been more patient with her and made sure to get fully behind the Defenders before decloaking to fire. This game also showed me that it is often not worth it to use Daredevil for a double ram too early in a game. I would have gained more from keeping stress off of Oicunn and letting him take actions when the Defenders K-turned until later in the game.

Gratuitous extra pic of Oicunn and the Defenders.

 

Game 3: Lorenzo vs. Matthew

Always bring extra pegs when playing Oicunn kids!

Matthew’s List: 99 Points

Lando Calrissian — YT-1300 44
     Veteran Instincts 1
     Nien Nunb 1
     Millennium Falcon 1
Wedge Antilles — X-Wing 29
Arvel Crynyd — A-Wing 23

My third game was against Matthew, who was apparently playing a Falcon for the first time. He could have fooled me with how well he used it! From my recollection, he deployed Lando and Wedge near each other, with the A-Wing on the other size of his deployment zone. I deployed both my ships in one corner to try and focus on the X-Wing first. This game is the hardest one for me to analyze.

For most of the game, I believed I had a very good chance of winning, until Oicunn took 5 damage on turn 7 and was left with 1 hull against Crynyd with 2 hull, and he hit with both dice at range 3. On turn 4 Wedge had 1 hull left after taking one hit and two crits that turn, and Lando had 3 hull. I think if I’d managed to finish Wedge off on this turn (like, say Matthew drawing a direct hit crit card), I could have finished Lando off on Turn 5 and been in a much stronger position to close out the game against the A-Wing (as Whisper would have been alive, since Lando finished Whisper off on turn 6).

 

…Whisper probably shouldn’t have been that close to Lando…

Game 4: Lorenzo vs. Tristan

Whisper and an opposing Sigma Squadron Phantom

Tristan’s List = 99? Points (I think I’m missing an upgrade Tristan had on Howlrunner):

“Howlrunner” — TIE Fighter 18
Academy Pilot — TIE Fighter 12
Academy Pilot — TIE Fighter 12
Academy Pilot — TIE Fighter 12
Academy Pilot — TIE Fighter 12
Sigma Squadron Pilot — TIE Phantom 25
     Advanced Sensors 3
     Intelligence Agent 1
     Stygium Particle Accelerator 2

Tristan was fun to play against, being very friendly and enthusiastic. He was apparently also fairly new to the game. I knew right from seeing his list that the clock would be the issue: Basically, given unlimited time, I had little doubt that Whisper would essentially be able to finish off that whole list by herself, but doing it within 60 minutes was another matter entirely.

As I suspected, the clock ran out before Whisper could finish the last TIE Fighter and with Tristan having 1 TIE Fighter and his TIE Phantom left alive, he won a modified match win. This game I think I played pretty much spot on, but some relatively uncooperative dice meant it just took too long to clear his ships.

 

Overall Tournament Analysis

Going into this tournament, I didn’t realize that the rounds would be 60 minutes. This has very serious implications for my list that I did not anticipate. In my games against G, there were times I would break off from a concentrated attack to set up better positioning for later turns, but this becomes impractical when playing against such a tight clock.

Another big issue is that my list is basically premised on Whisper being alive at the end of the game to finish off whatever enemy ships were left to table the opponent for the win. Again, under the time constraints of 60 minute rounds, this is a huge problem because I’m virtually certain to lose Oicunn every game and thus be in a 61 point hole that it’s hard to make up against multi-ship lists.

That brings me to Oicunn. Two issues: He has no evade, and using Daredevil too early means not being able to take actions (i.e. target lock), which I think may have had more value than getting in an extra point of ram damage. The no evade issue is also a real problem because it means I’m almost certain to lose him in every game, meaning I’m unlikely to win modified match wins without virtually tabling my opponent.

Obviously, I also need to practice flying Whisper more against higher PS pilots. I still don’t have a good sense of how to keep her alive against opposing ships that shoot first, and it’s clearly something I need to work on. On that same theme, I should have been using opposite corner deployments with my two ships, this would have made it easier to get Whisper behind higher PS small-base ships

Finally, I just need to practice making decisions quicker. The time pressure of a tournament requires that I be able to evaluate and decide on actions very quickly, and I need to get in the habit of doing so.

I’m probably going to use virtually the same list next tournament, just to try an evaluate the relative importance of list vs. decision issues, but at some point I’m likely to try a Kenkirk/Ysanne version of this list.

 

Overall Tournament Experience

As I said above, this tournament was well run, a great learning experience, and everyone was very friendly and welcoming. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to participating in more tournaments in the future. If by some chance, one of the players I faced manages to catch this point, please do let me know what you think I did well or badly, as it will help me clarify my own analysis!