So this could be tough to remember, as it's been several days since the tournament, but I'll do my best to recall anything I can.
So this was my second tournament since starting to play about a month ago, I originally went 3-0 and lost on the final table at a local AOIA. I went to the Regionals Saturday without a sure idea of which squadron I was going to fly. I'd either use my list from AOIA:
2x Dagger Squadron + Advanced Sensors
Or I'd drop some pilot skill and some damage for control and more HP:
2x Blue Squadron + Advanced Sensors
Gold Squadron + R3-A2 and Ion Cannon Turret
I was worried about that sacrifice in pilot skill, as I'd read about the Howlrunner + 6 Obsidian swarm, but I wasn't sure if that'd reach my area in terms of meta. I showed up with both lists and would decide there. I looked around for some time to see what people were flying and it was a mix of everything. With my limited experience thus far, I had no idea what to do. Literally with minutes to spare and the TO last calling for all outstanding list submissions, I made the choice, it'd go with the lower pilot skill list.
Feeling some confidence from my AOIA showing, it mostly faded seeing the almost double attendance with people coming in from longer distances. I knew no one there, no ones play styles etc, I'd be going in pretty much blind. Pairings are announced.
Captain Jonus + Squad Leader and Seismic Charges
Scimitar Squadron + Flechette Torpedo x2
2x Scimitar Squadron + Flechette Torpedo
I'd never faced bombers before, so I wasn't sure how this was going to go. I wasn't as afraid of this list as much as I would have been had it been the one I read about with all Seismic Charges. I also knew at least my Y would be safe from the stress of the Flechettes. I was given initiative and we set up. I placed my squadron and he set up directly across from my, backstabber off towards the middle. I came out of the gates slowly, I wanted to see how he'd play it and how aggressive he'd be with Backstabber. He came right at me at a decent speed, Backstabber moving quickly towards the center. I kept my slow pace as I didn't want Backstabber to get a clear shot at my flank. Keeping my Y and my forward B on the front lines, he started taking Flechette shots at that B. I managed to Barrel roll my second B back and land in a perfect spot in which he flew Backstabber in aggressively and landed him directly in front of the B. A single Range 1 shot made short work of Backstabber. From there my second B flew back into the fray as I put shots into his bombers. Amongst a traffic jam, his Jonus tried to make a K turn and failed, overlapping millimeters on my Biggs, sending him all the way back and barely moving from his starting position. I believe Biggs died shortly after and Jonus was able to make his jump. A mental slip by my opponent and he forgot to drop his Seismic Charge. He asked if I'd allow him to go back and do it and I did. While I wanted to win, I could understand it was early and not everyone was sharp right out of the gate. With the charge dropped, it luckily only hit one of my healthier B-Wings. From there I eventually dropped Jonus and the game eventually went to time. I had eliminated enough to get the 12+ needed points to get the full win.
Horton Salm + R2-D2, Proton Torpedoes x2 and an Ion Cannon Turret
Dutch + R5-K6, Proton Torpedoes and Ion Cannon Turret
Gold Squadron with Proton Torpedoes
Before we started, my opponent told me he had one the last game because his opponent hadn't took out Horton who made up a whopping 42 points of his squadron, I made a mental note to not make the same mistake. Again I was given initiative. I set up on my right side, my opponent set up in the middle. Again I started of slow out of the gate, wanting him to do more of the asteroid navigating, as well as have him have to turn into me and potentially Ion him off the board. I initially moved ahead enough to get a 3 ship line going towards his side of the board with my Y-Wing leading the charge. He sent Dutch and the Gold ahead first, with Horton trailing behind a bit. About half way down the board he turned his Gold in as I turned my squadron in. I landed an Ion shot to Dutch which kept him going forward and prevented him from turning in. Lots of target locks were exchanged and I took down Dutch fairly soon. I wanted to take out Horton, but he was trailing too far behind. My Y-Wing had ignored the initial turn in and was still headed to the other side of the board. Once his Horton had turned in, then turned again to head towards my sid eof the board chasing down Biggs, I K-Turned my Y and got behind Horton. I took down his Gold and with my own Gold focused on Stressing and Ioning Horton, I quickly took him out for the win. I believe he took out my Biggs, but I don't recall for certain.
Chewie + Assault Missiles
Blue Squadron + Fire Control System
Blue Squadron + Heavy Laser Cannon
I wasn't sure what to think of this list. It seemed too random and from previous research, it didn't seem like there was enough on Chewie to be a threat. He won initiative and gave it to me. I set up on my left side and he set up in the middle. He flew in Chewie pretty aggressively, with the Blues trailing behind. I took this opportunity to send my whole squadron up quickly to try and focus down Chewie before his Blues got to the scene. He angled in Chewie infront of my forward advance. The next turn I took that as a chance to angle in my Y-Wing to block him, or risk going off the board. My own Blues were able to get into Range 1 and the dice gods smiled on me. I was rolling as hot as I'd ever rolled, rolling Crit, Crit, Hit, Hit and the like, taking down Chewie quickly, espesially with my initial Crit being Injured Pilot. *Edit* I realize this isn't how things should have gone down with the Crit on Chewie. My opponent was the one who suggested that Injured Pilot worked on him and it confused me, but I wasn't sure myself and in the end it benefited me, so I didn't argue. With Chewie gone, I turned in to meet his Blues. With my squadron still in top shape, his Blues didn't last long. Again, he may have taken out my Biggs, but I don't quite recall, he dies so often, I just assume.
2x Rookie Pilot
2x Blue Squadron + Heavy Laser Cannon
I was starting to get nervous, this was getting to the point where I was facing off against other undefeated players who most likely had more experience than me. With only 2 games before the cut, I couldn't make mistakes and slip up. With my Advanced Sensors and my extra pilot skill from Biggs, I figured I had an advantage. Get in close and blast them down before they got me. I was given the initiative here again and I set up on my right side, he set up his Xs on his right and his Bs in the middle. He flew his Xs fast down the side of the board and hooked them in on the lower end into the middle of the board. With his Bs, he moved them towards the middle, barrel rolling a fair amount. I got my formation into the line heading towards the other side again and was at the point where I should turn in. I didn't. I don't know why, but I decided to try and go for the top and hook in from the top towards the center and make his X-Wings have to navigate the asteroids more. It was a bad plan and I knew it, but it was too late. I tried to make up for it by turning in late, I'd slipped up but I could still recover. In most situations, I'd have recovered just fine, but after my last round, Lady Luck giveth and Lady Luck taketh. In my first 8 defense dice, I rolled not a single Evade. My attack dice were equally cold. His Heavy Laser Cannons tore one of my Bs to shreds in just a couple turns, it was looking bad. Biggs was next to take heavy fire and was in rough shape. I managed to take out a B of his, but he was being able to spread out his damage and all my ships were in rough shape. Eventually with just a Y and a B left, I took out his second B but it was too late. His Rookies came in and cleaned house. It was a frustrating loss because I'd managed to salvage something from my initial slip up, but the dice didn't feel like helping out.
Howlrunner + Swarm Tactics
2x Alpha Squadron
After my last game I had talked with my opponent, he said if I won my last game, I'd have a good shot of making Top 8, and even if I didn't, I may still have a good shot with Strength of Schedule. I pulled up to my next table and saw Interceptors. I wasn't sure what to think as I'd never faced them before, but I'd hear their maneuverability was scary. This match isn't terribly clear in my head, I only remember specific parts, certain events that happened throughout. I believe he took initiative and set up. I set up on the opposite corner from him. I played it slow again, I wanted him to come at me and navigate the asteroids. I figured if he had to fight me in my corner, it'd be tougher for him to maneuver since it was fairly asteroid dense on my side. He flew his two Alphas ahead of the pack. In a slip up, he had placed the wrong dials on the wrong Alphas. Instead of 3 banking towards the center, he 3 banked towards his edge of the board. While it didn't put him in danger of flying off, it delayed that Alphas arrival to the battle. I suggested he start placing his dials beside the specific ship to avoid such things in the future. With one lone Alpha closing in, I quickly moved to intercept and made short work of it. With the other Alpha heading the right direction now, it joined the battle along side the rest of his squadron. He had ships coming in on 3 fronts, my left, right and from his side of the board. I banked in, running parallel to our edges. With Howlrunner and Lorrir coming in from the top, an Alpha from my left/rear and his Saber from my right/front. I noticed Howlrunner was pointed directly at an asteroid. Ion shots where fired and sent Howlrunner on what would be a deadly course. He'd eventually land on the asteroid next turn, then pass through it again the next, rolling damage both times and blowing up, but that hadn't happened yet and I was in a bad position. He had great position on me and as I fired the shot on Howlrunner, I prepared to K-Turn all my ships the next turn. It ended up working out and with Howlrunner exchanging pleasantries with an asteroid, I focused on Lorrir, landing a hit and a Crit which turned out to be a Direct Hit. From there I was able to clean up and redeem myself after my last game.
From here I didn't really know what was going to happen. I knew for sure I was Top 16 but I kept hearing people throw around 4-1 a number of times, so I wasn't sure where I sat. The TO gathered everyone to hand out the acrylic Evade tokens for Top 16. My name wasn't called and I sighed with some relief. The Top 8 were then announced and the translucent dice were handed up. I had managed to land myself in 4th place going into the Top 8, which I was more than happy with and more than I had expected going in. I could relax a bit now, I got some cool stuff and really had no thoughts making it too much further, I was going up against the best players of the day so I was keeping my expectations low.
Soontier Fel + Royal Guard TIE, Push The Limit, Shield Upgrade and Targetting Computer
Bounty Hunter + Ion Cannon and Rebel Captive
Omicron Group Pilot + Darth Vader
I wasn't sure how to approach this, I'd never faced anything like it before. My opponent did however mention how important Soontir Fel was to his list. I made the mental note and we began. Initiative for me and I set up in my right corner, he set up in the opposite corner. Any time I feel unsure I tend to slow it down and this time was no different. I formed my conga line towards his side and 1 Forwarded. His shuttle chugged along the top, his Bounty Hunter hustled forward and banked into the center and Fel hauled ass to my side of the board. I wanted Fel, but I was already half way up the board. I turned in hoping to put down fire on the Bounty Hunter. My first few volleys put a dent in the Bounty Hunter, but Fel was making a push to get all the way across the bottom and behind me. I banked down towards the bottom and was preparing to K-turn to counter Fel. Fel turned in hard facing the top left corner of the board and got on the backside of Biggs behind an asteroid. My B's had both K-turned and were along side the Bounty Hunter, facing back towards the top right corner of the board. Ignoring the Bounty Hunter now, I 2 Hard Righted my Bs and they landed side by side, waiting, just to the left of the asteroid Fel was behind. Fel Hard Turned left out from behind the asteroid and landed directly in front of my Bs, bumping one, but leaving the other with a Range 1 shot. Shots were exchanged and Fel was torn apart. From there, the Bounty Hunter ended up Ioning my Y "off the board", I tried to 2 hard turn back into play, my base ending up just millimeters off the board. Biggs went down at some point, along with the Bounty Hunter. My Bs turned to face down the shuttle and ended up destroying it. Both being Pilot Skill 2, the shuttle fired off the last shot and took a B down, leaving me with one and the win.
2x Rookie Pilot
2x Blue Squadron + Heavy Laser Cannon
This was a rematch with the fellow from Round 4, the only one to go undefeated that day. I was nervous, but knew if I played properly and the dice weren't against me, I had a fair shot. This game went very similar to the first time we faced off, this time however, I turned in at the right time. We engaged and my dice were more generous this game. We both did a number on each other's ships, I lost Biggs and a B, he lost an X and a B. My Y-Wing and his Ion Cannon and R3-A2 played a key roll this game. I sent his full health B into an asteroid, Ioned and Stressed. This allowed me to get me remaining B behind his, while circling my Y back around to chase as well. His X-Wing was headed towards his side of the board, chasing my Y, but was met with an Ion shot, a stress, and my Y jumping over him with a 3 Forward to carry on the chase of the B. With the X-Wing headed for the edge of the board and not an immediate threat, time winding down, time was called as I got in behind his B. Luck was with me and a little dice luck, I landed the hits I needed to Down his B, giving me the win.
It was now 8:30pm and I was beyond tired. I'd been playing for 11 hours with barely a break and my brain was aching. I hadn't expected to come this far and now understood how mentally taxing X-Wing really was in a tournament setting. AOIA was only 4 games and was draining enough, this was now twice as many games and I had probably doubled my total of X-Wing games played overall, just in this one day. I did my best to focus.
Game 3 - Final
Howlrunner + Swarm Tactics
Mauler Mithel + Swarm Tactics
2x Alpha Squadron
2x Academy Pilot
This was the biggest swarm I'd ever faced and I was worried. In a sense it was similar to the Howlrunner + 6 Obsidians I had feared with the higher pilot skills and the ability to make at least 2 more have higher as well. I don't recall who had initiative, but I believe it was him. He set up in his right corner, myself in my right corner. He came out flying, 5 Forwards heading towards my side of the board. I came out typical, getting my conga line in order. Again more 5 forwards on his side. I slowed it down, but kept forward. He Hard turned in towards me, luckily I had also hard turned in towards him as well. My squadron was a bit higher now towards his side, and his towards mine. I 1, 2, 3 banked down towards him. My B in the middle though, having been bumped off angle in the conga line by the Y-Wings engines, was off by a bit and ended up bumping into the back of my B throwing off my formation a bit and a mental slip and I had forgotten to Target Lock with Advanced Sensors before the bump. All 3 of my front line took shots at Howlrunner. He Evaded everything. I needed my luck with the dice to change or this wouldn't go well. It was Biggs' turn for the Evade luck and he managed to survive a number of Range 1 TIE shots. With a traffic jam starting to form, I managed to barrel roll one of my Bs into a prime position and move forward, landing right in front of where Mauler and Howlrunner would eventually land with my other B K-Turning and doing similar. After the initial volleys, a Range 1 shot from one of my Bs into Howlrunner; I score a hit and a crit, which flips into a Direct Hit. Howlrunner goes down. My Second B takes the opportunity to fire Range 1 into Mauler; hit and a crit, another Direct Hit and both Mauler and Howlrunner are gone in the same turn, there was the luck I needed. Biggs is finally taken out and with my 2 Bs and my Y, I try and focus down the Alphas. After our maneuvers, time is called. With a badly damaged B wing, we finish out the turn, with both Range 3 shots from 2 Academy Pilots and an Alpha, the B wing survives, giving me the win.
It was quite a day, things went much better than I had expected and I met some great opponents. I hope I can continue my success going forward and I look forward to Nationals in October.
Edited by The Motivation, 26 June 2014 - 11:18 AM.