Just had a great time last weekend at the LGS in a 40 point tournament. I think I was coming off a run of 3 pretty competitive tournaments and I have to say that the 40 pointer was a hoot in comparison to the seriousness of regional tournaments. I think the less competitive format turned folks a little nicer, the meta was so different that it was fairly unpredictable and you could jam through games. We did 5 rounds in just over 4 hours.
I ran 2 Academies+Backstabber and here's a mini report of how my tournament went:
Round 1 Vs. Vader with PTL, Engines, and Missiles
A very tough match with Vader either remaining at range 3 or out of my arcs completely. I got a lot of shots, but they were all at range 3 and with Vader's 3 actions he nearly always had a focus and evade. In hindsight, I should have changed my tactics early and broken up my formation to try and triangulate him. Not helping me was that this guy is a very good and very careful player and has won or placed at a lot of local tournaments. The game ended up being very drawn out, but still seemed inevitable from early on. Vader's puny 2 dice just couldn't do much damage, and I couldn't do any at all. I didn't plink away a single shield before losing all there TIEs. Result: Loss
Round 2: Bye
Round 3: Vs. Y-Wing with Ion Cannon and an A-Wing
This match up was more to my liking. I wasn't at all worried about the A-wing as long as I could stay far enough away and focus on the Y-Wing. Just as planned, I sped past the A-wing who spent a couple of turns maneuvering back to get a decent shot. The Y-Wing was kind of a sitting duck and he only started ionizing my ties just as he was running out of board space and had to start turning back into the center. Because of this, the 1-straight maneuver with barrel roll was actually what I needed to stay on his tail and keep shooting. A lucky break came when I got a critical hit and he lost his secondary weapon. That allowed me to risk sitting in front of the A-Wing for one more turn. With the Y-Wing finished off, I was able to back up, get backstabber his ideal range 1, out of arc 4 dice shot which did 3 damage. In the next turn or two I plinked the last hull off the A-Wing. Result: Win
Round 4: Vs. Ten Numb with Veteran Instincts, Advanced Sensors and Autoblasters
This is the match up that had me most terrified going into the day. I knew that he could reliably single-shot me each turn and my opponent is also a friend that I have played enough games against to know that if I gave him the chance, he would take it. The one thing I really had in my favor is that I usually field B-Wings myself, and so I was really familiar with the maneuver dial and where he could go each turn. Unlike my match against Vader, this time I flew in formation only up until first shooting, and then I split up to triangulate fire on him. He smoked Backstabber early, but after that his dice were against him and he didn't single-shot anyone the whole game, and rarely rolled an evade. Even at range 1, he had at least one or two shots that only did 1, or no damage. Because I could reliably predict where he was going to go, I was able to get both academies shooting at him each turn. It came down to the wire in the last turn when I had just 1 hull on each academy and he had two hull on the B-Wing. But he whiffed his attack against one of the academies and they were both able to deal damage and seal the deal. Result: Win
Round 5: Vs. Wedge with PTL, R2-D2 and Engines
This round was against another friend who I knew was very canny and a strong player, with an absolute beast of a ship, but fresh off my victory against what I thought was the most terrifying adversary of the day, I was feeling a little cocky. Again I headed up the board with my academies in formation and backstabber jostling for the flanking shot. Turn one of shooting was eventful: He one shotted one of my academies, but I took both of his shields with return fire and, moreover, was in perfect position to follow up with some great shots the following round. Needing to get out of danger in a hurry, Wedge had to forego the shield repairing green maneuver to get the heck out of Dodge. I had a good shooting position but whiffed my dice rolls and only knocked a single hull point off. The next couple of turns he was able to outmaneuver me and get his shields back up without sustaining any more hull damage. I got a couple of shots knocking off shields, only to see them come right back. In the meantime, I had some defensive luck and Wedge only managed a hull point off of me here and there. Finally, he turned back on me for what would surely be a brutal attack run, but I predicted his move and managed to stop it with my academy pilot running interference and set up a range 1, out of arc shot with Backstabber with a focus token while Wedge was down a shield (maybe two... I can't completely remember) this was my proudest moment of the whole tournament! I grabbed 4 dice for backstabber and promptly rolled 4 blanks. Ugh! Within a few turns, Wedge was back up to 2 shields and I was out another TIE fighter. The battle ended anti-climactically when I misjudged an asteroid by about a millimeter and lost my last hull point on the thing. Result: Loss
Anyway, it was a tremendously fun day and the games were surprisingly epic for being so small. I highly recommend trying out the 40 point format if you get the chance.