Yesterday was my first and only Regional tourney, and, lucky me, it was only thirty minutes down the road from me. I flew:
Z-95 Headhunter (Bandit Squadron Pilot) 12
Z-95 Headhunter (Bandit Squadron Pilot) 12
A-Wing (Green Squadron Pilot) 19
B-Wing (Dagger Squadron Pilot) 24
Advanced Sensors 3
B-Wing (Dagger Squadron Pilot) 24
Advanced Sensors 3
Total: 100 points
Generally, the Headhunters go in front to soak up hits for the B-Wing and then fly in as blockers, while the A-Wing is used as a flanker.
I was up against Chewie + Luke + MF title + PtL + 3P0, Airen Cracken, and Biggs. The asteroids were fairly clustered towards my side, in hopes of stopping Chewie from turning around too easily. The first few rounds of combat saw a couple of shields off of Biggs, who promptly ran away, and an annihilated Cracken. In response, a B-Wing went down. I chased down Biggs next, which turned out to be a big mistake. I'd hoped to bring him down pretty quickly, and thus get rid of his threat; but he managed to evade my guns for several rounds, and with his dying breath, landed four hits on a B-Wing. At the same time, Chewie was whittling down my forces as well. The A-Wing bit the dust, followed before long by the B-Wing. The Z-95s didn't have what it took to survive the Falcon's barrage, and, once the first Bandit went down, I had to concede--as long as Chewie kept evading, it would be literally impossible for me to damage him. And even if I did, he still had massive amounts of hull to chew through, while I only had a shield and two hull. Lesson learned: point the big guns at the YT-tank.
This time, I faced a list very similar to one I'd seen before: Rexler Brath + Predator, Doomshuttle, and Bounty Hunter + Recon Specialist. The asteroids, thanks to a couple of not-so-smart placements on my part, ended up in a bowling pin formation, with plenty of clear flight lines. I quickly grouped my ships together this time, and then stormed down the middle at his Bounty Hunter and Defender. The doomshuttle took up a flanking position, but I had it shooting through a rock at me. In the first round, a Z-95 went down on my side, and a couple shields came off the Defender. Then, rather stupidly, I moved forward, using one Z to block the Firespray, and entirely forgetting about the white K-Turn on the Defender. He flew behind me, and unleashed a rather lackluster salvo. In return, I pummeled the actionless bounty hunter, landing a crit (reduce primary weapon value by one). The next round, we all started chasing each other. The Defender went down thanks to the Bs, and the Firespray took a couple more points of damage. In short order, my A-Wing died, the doomshuttle was killed off (I would've preferred to focus down the Firespray first, but thanks to the placement of a B-Wing, he had a R1 shot on a nearly dead shuttle and no shot on the BH), and one of my B-Wings was brought down to just one or two hull remaining.
After that, however, things still looked bad for the Firespray--especially since I managed to barrel roll out of his arc several times with my damaged B-Wing, and landed some more damage and another crit on him. I chased after him, keeping my damaged B out of the line of fire as much as possible, and destroyed him in short order.
My biggest mistake, I would say, was not firing on the Bounty Hunter before Brath. It ended up well, but I probably could have focused down the Hunter in two, maybe three rounds, and then brought down Brath at a point where he couldn't K-Turn all around me. The doomshuttle wasn't worrying me very much at all--yes, crits hurt, but I had several ships that were much cheaper than said shuttle, but would've required it to virtually destroy itself to kill them; and a couple of ships that had tons of shields and a good chunk of hull. In a three-ship list, a suicide ship is not the best idea.
My opponent was a fairly new player, and was flying Cracken + Wingman, Biggs, Wedge + PtL, and a Blue Squadron Pilot. He flew down the edge of the board on the left-hand side, while I flew just inside the asteroids on the same side. My A-Wing came zooming in from the right, and I was forced to divide my fire as Biggs was just out of range of a couple of my ships. In the meantime, he fired mainly on the Zs. On the next turn, however, my opponent's inexperience showed up, as he bumped a few ships and sent Biggs soaring into Range 1 of most of my ships. This turn, he focused on a B-Wing, rather than the same Z, and I blew up Biggs. He then had to contend with a bunch of asteroids in the face of his ships; I K-turned and concentrated on Wedge, pummeling him until he went down. After that, I focused on his B-Wing while he brought down a Headhunter. The Blue Squadron Pilot, now limping, took a risky move which didn't pay off, and left him in the firing arcs of most of my ships. After that, Cracken was easy to bring down.
I was up against Soontir + PtL and a swarm of two Obsidian squadron TIEs, two Academy TIEs, and Howlrunner + Swarm Tactics. He set up along the right-hand side; I set my Bs and Zs up a bit more centered, with the A-Wing off to the left side. As he advanced, Soontir Fel flew down the sidelines ahead of everyone else, obviously trying to flank. I decided that the ten attack dice of the swarm were more important than the three of the Baron. My ships advanced slowly, with a line of asteroids to my right. He had to do a hard-turn to cut through them, rather than a bank, which meant that he had only a couple of shots on my ships. The first couple of rounds went well for me, with my A in perfect flanking position, coming at the swarm from the top; Howlrunner being killed off almost immediately with a few R2 and 3 shots; and Soontir still having to do some flying to reach a flanking position. In return, he killed off a Z-95. Then, a massive crash erupted, with just about everyone colliding. I'd hoped to get some big guns pointing at Soontir, but it was not to be. Fortunately, the A-Wing had Predator--virtually an action unto itself--and the B-Wings were able to use AdvS to focus before crashing.
With my ships out of formation, I hammered down his TIEs, killing off all but three. A few rounds of tricky maneuvering saw me botch a few moves; the only reason I didn't lose the game here was because of Advanced Sensors. My ships were scrambled all over the place, and I bumped several times. The A-Wing went down (I'm pretty sure Soontir one-shotted it, but I could be wrong). One of the B-Wings was limping. We only had one more turn until time was called at this point, and I had the damaged B barrel roll out of arc and behind a rock. Only one TIE now had a shot at him. But, in my effort to get the Z-95 out of arcs, I ended up with Soontir Fel facing me from an inch away. He had a focus and evade combo, but it wasn't enough by itself. The shields on the Z went down. My B-Wings brought down a TIE before it could shoot, and the remaining two took shots at the Headhunter--but only rolled one hit. I sighed in relief (despite rolling two blanks to evade), and, after counting up the scores, we found that I had only won by seven points--had that Z-95 not survived, I would've lost.
I flew well at first, but after running into that massive swarm head-first, my maneuvers just went downhill. I managed to make up for a couple of stupid mistakes that should have cost me the game, including leaving that Headhunter with no shot and an angry Interceptor right in front of it.
Game Five (top 8!)
My opponent was flying an unusual list: Chewie tank with Gunner, and Corran with Engine Upgrade, FCS, R2-D2, and, I think, Predator. I knew that Corran was going to make a mean flanker; but I also knew that I had to go after the Falcon while I still had three-dice attacks. Unfortunately, in doing so, I committed myself too much, and, thanks to the very unexpected move of Chewie flying four-straight through an asteroid, I had no shots while Corran was on my tail. I tried desperately to turn around, but the damage had already been done. My opponent was a much better flier than I was, and the Chewie tank stood up to my sustained fire. My ships were all out of line, and Corran took them down while I threw everything I had, ineffectively, against the Wookiee. I got him down to one hit point, but by that point I only had two-attack ships left (an A-Wing and a Headhunter). The tank held on for three more rounds with one hull left, while Corran blew up the Z-95. The A-Wing went all-out in a futile attempt to take off that one point of hull, flying through an asteroid up to range one, where he promptly got one-shotted.
Nonetheless, I was quite happy to have made it this far. I just came for a few games of X-Wing, and walked away ten hours later with some shiny prizes. I definitely deserved the loss; even if Chewie had been blown up, I wouldn't have had anything to go after Corran Horn with. He was a better pilot than me, and better at predicting my moves than I was at guessing his--I was doomed as soon as I flung my force at that Falcon, even as soon as I allowed Corran to sneak up behind me. I've run the situation over a few more times in my head, and decided that the only shot that I would've really had would have been to split my force; yes, it's risky, but even with two attacks per turn, Corran can only kill two ships a turn with amazing luck, while Chewie can only kill one a turn, max. If I had done that, and managed to stay on Corran's tail, I think I would've stood a shot a winning it.
A Few Afterthoughts
There were a few things that I thought were interesting with this tournament. For one thing, everyone seemed to be prepared to beat the crap out of Phantoms--but only one Phantom was actually found in the tourney. Seems to me that people are just about as afraid of flying them as they are of fighting them (and I can't say I'm not--Echo is incredibly difficult to fly well, and one bad move costs you hugely).
I was glad to see that a two-ship list (in which one ship is not a Falcon) can be perfectly viable, as long as you fly it well, but I really disliked the sudden and enormous spike in the number of YT-1300s. I understand that everyone wanted them for turrets, but I think that a big part of the reasoning behind flying one is C-3P0. Now, I don't want to sound like a sore loser or anything, but that card seems to border on overpowered with the Falcon, whether he's on Han, Chewie, Lando, or even an ORS. My list usually chews through Falcons in two, maybe three rounds; instead, I found myself pummeling them for five turns or more, and only scratching the hull. And this wouldn't even be all that bad, if it weren't for the fact that I have no idea what I could've done better to counter it. I know only two Falcon lists are mentioned, but I also flew a friendly game against another one--I had all my guns firing on him, with him flying straight at me, and it took (I think) five rounds to bring the monster down. In the meantime, most of my force had been decimated. You can't ignore the tank, but you also can't ignore the rest of the squad. Anyone have a strategy that works well here? Have others have the same experience, or am I just angry because I lost?
And finally, I was really surprised by how much people talk about the dice (mostly to complain). Now, this was only my second tournament, so I don't know if it's similar everywhere else; but almost ever time I saw or heard anyone lose, I heard something like "and then the dice betrayed me, and I whiffed my roll, and lost." Now, obviously, dice can be lucky or unlucky; but you only really hear about them being unlucky. It seems like an excuse that so many people use now, when, in reality, you have just about as many brilliant rolls as you do terrible ones. I rolled awfully for the last five rounds of my final game; but I also rolled really well in the first few rounds (on the rare opportunity that I got a shot). And even if I had rolled better, it wouldn't have made much of a difference--I still would have lost, just not by as much. Is this just me, or does anyone else feel the same?
Edited by Ailowynn, 20 July 2014 - 11:55 AM.