So I am a game store manager in Loveland Colorado so I don’t often get to compete at games that I enjoy. I did however find that I could go to this event in Colorado Springs which was a regional event. While I don’t have any aspirations to go to Worlds (I am nowhere near a playgroup that I can playtest as much as I would need to do to be a great player), I thought this would be a great gaming experience. Now I recently made friends with a local gentleman named Lee Lahti who was kind enough to drive me to Colorado Springs to attend with his son Sean. Now Lee and I have been doing some play-testing in Fort Collins at Haunted Game café on Mondays. We are usually only able to get in 1-2 games a week which to me isn’t great play-testing, but I think it’s enough for a new/expensive miniature game. So we left from Ft. Collins at around 8:45 am, the event started at 12:00pm. Yeah, that is quite a haul for a tournament that I wasn’t super serious about. We get there and I have some Arby’s for breakfeast. Gamer’s Haven is a pretty decent store all things considered. They are primarily a gaming store with a focus on Miniature Wargames (Flames of War, and Warhammer) they do however have a good collection of board games, as well as a good collection of role-playing games, supplies, and a smattering of trade paperback comics. What they had 0 of was X-Wing miniatures because the game is really over with the players in Colorado Springs. In my neck of the woods people see it as an expensive game, or it just hasn’t caught on, but in Springs it is insanely popular. So I was becoming worried that I was really going to get the pain brought to me for my inexperienced play. Play eventually started at 12:30pm. We had 21 in attendance. The TD did his best to not pair us up with people we travelled with, and he tried to avoid Rebel/Rebel matches in the first round.
Lando Dutch A-Wing
Lando Calrissian (51)
Upgrades: Determination (1), Homing Missiles (5), Nien Nunb (1)
"Dutch" Vander (32)
Upgrades: Proton Torpedoes (4), Ion Cannon Turret (5)
Prototype Pilot (17)
I really like the synergy of Lando and Dutch quite a bit so I wanted to play with it. I had seen lists with Garvin or Biggs as the third ship, but I really wanted some long range 4 red dice attacks to take advantage of the Lock/Focus of Dutch and Lando. So that’s the way I went. I was toying around with Swarm Tactics on Lando to boost Dutch or the A-Wing, but then I realized that the 7 might not be high enough, so who cares and go for survivability with Determination.
I had played this list only once, though I did play a different version of it at one point which got torn up by a 5 swarm (that version had no warheads or ion cannon).
Opponent – Michael Ballard
Michael Ballard List
Academy Pilot (12)
Academy Pilot (12)
Darth Vader (36)
Upgrades: Homing Missiles (5), Swarm Tactics (2)
Upgrades: Squad Leader (2), Stealth Device (3)
Obsidian Squadron Pilot (16)
Upgrades: Stealth Device (3)
We were playing on a felt mat and we were on a tall table so I was standing this game (I had a lot of energy after the 2 Hour Drive). I needed a reminder on the initiative rules for tournament play, which I thought I was going to be ridiculed about. Strangely enough no one else really knew about that rule either. Then when we started setting up I reminded Michael to get out asteroids in which he let me know that he had never used asteroids. So I was immediately relieved that my opponent was not that experienced. Now I am not going to do much of a play by play but I decided to target Vader first because he didn’t have stealth, and I didn’t want to launch my weapons at a 4 agility ship. Michael used Vader , Obsidian, and Howlrunner up the middle, using his Academy Ties to flank me. I used my Falcon and Y-Wing up the middle (You’re not flying into the Asteroids?), and used my A-Wings Speed to whip around my opponents left flank. I engaged Vader with Locks and beat him up pretty good and used the A Wing to finish them off. Then I took pot shots at Howlrunner and Obsidian when I could to hopefully pop his upgrade. Michael forgot to use his actions a lot. I reminded him for the first couple of turns, but I’m pretty sure we would have times out if I kept reminding him throughout, and he knew he was forgetting so I didn’t feel too awful about it. Long story short After knocking out the Stealth Devices on his Tie Fighters I was able to mop him up in short order. Michael was a friendly opponent, but he clearly was still learning. He really couldn’t get much damage on any of my ships, if he really focus fired my Falcon it might have been rough, but it seemed like he hadn’t played against the ship too much.
Match Win 5 +99
MVP – Secondary Weapons taking out Darth Vader.
Opponent -Chris McKay
Lando Calrissian (60)
Upgrades: Veteran Instincts (1), Cluster Missiles (4), Luke Skywalker (7), Weapons Engineer (3), Millenium Falcon (1)
"Dutch" Vander (39)
Upgrades: R2-F2 (3), Proton Torpedoes (4), Proton Torpedoes (4), Ion Cannon Turret (5)
This looked like a scary game. I was hoping to not play a “mirror” match, but in lieu of a 3rd ship he tricked out his stuff. Chris was a great guy, he even had a injured hand and was competing today. Now because he had high pilots I had to set up my A-Wing. He then set up his team across from me, so I set up my Falcon and Y-Wing in the opposite corner. We had a pretty tight Asteroid field set up so I decided to use that to my advantage. I did not ever want to be in front of him so he could get strong long range shots on me. So on my first turn I peeled my A-Wing to a hard left to follow my Falcon and my Y-Wing. I then literally decided I would try to ship around him with my whole team. I think for 20 minutes we just circled around the map not being able to do anything. I knew on the second lap with my Y-Wing I would cut across the middle to try to target lock one of his ships. I was able to target lock his Y-Wing finally and lit him up with proton torpedoes. I brought my Falcon and Y-Wing across the middle to hit his Y-Wing hard just so I could keep him from having any of his torpedoes. After that He was able to use his Falcon to beat up on my Y-Wing which he proceeded to blow up. At this point I knew I was winning and so I played very conservatively, trying make my opponent chase me and I could use my 3 red dive against his 1 green die. I was worried to get too aggressive with the A Wing because of his gunner on his Luke Gunner on his Falcon. So I tried to kite him to death with my Falcon, which was very successful until time was called. Which I was okay with because I determined that we were not going to immediately interact because if I did I think I would have paid. So overall I kind of “gamed” the game and it got me a modified win, which at the time I was pleased with. Chris took the strategy lightheartedly because I was worried that it was not fun of me to do that.
Modified Win 3 +39 (8+138)
MVP – Me for Outflanking his Torpedo Boat.
Opponent – Travis Butchka
Prototype Pilot (17)
Prototype Pilot (22)
Upgrades: Assault Missiles (5)
Arvel Crynyd (28)
Upgrades: Assault Missiles (5)
Tycho Celchu (33)
Upgrades: Assault Missiles (5), Swarm Tactics (2)
Just seeing the 4 A Wings in front of me makes me panic a little bit. Lee and I had discussed the nightmare troll list from the internet that looked like 4 Prototype A wings with Homing Missiles and Stealth Devices. The goal of that list was to hit something hard and out fly your opponent for a modified win. It seemed annoying and I hadn’t tested against it yet so I was slightly worried. At this point in the day I was tired from standing for two matches (I am not in shape and was wearing new sandals that hadn’t broke in yet). Thankfully we had some folding chairs to sit in, and my opponent Travis had also not had a lot of sleep. He was not also planning on trolling me in the fashion I had worried about. Initially we start to go at it, he actually takes my A-Wing bait on the left flank while I take my Lando and Dutch up the middle through the Asteroids (Princess Leia still Hates me). I am able to catch his Arvil at long range and I drop two target locks on him. I use my missiles and torpedoes for a grand total of 2 hits to drop his shields. In the following rounds I try to finish off his Arvil, but I just can’t hit a darn thing. He uses his evades to make his guys hard to hit. When he realizes that he went the wrong way passing my whole fleet he U-Turns his squad (except Arvil because he’s trying to shake my A-Wing). He starts nailing me with Assault Missiles and me like a moron keeps my Dutch and Lando in formation so I let my Y-Wing take extra hits. I am actually very fortunate that his missiles don’t wreck Lando too bad and he realizes that he picked the fight with the wrong ship a I begin to kite three of his ships through asteroids. I finally finish off Arvil with my A Wing and bring it back to fight his other ships. I get a lucky shot with my Y-Wing and Ionize one of his cruddy A0Wings into an asteroid (which hits him) and my A-Wing picks him up and finishes him. At this point I am up by a decent amount but it still won’t be a full win at time, thankfully he makes a crazy move by bringing his Tycho into point blank range with my Falcon (though he anticipated I would move in fron of him, so he moved a little too far. I get a very luck shot on his Tycho (Triple Crit with a hit) and blow it up. At this point I will have a full win killing 83 of his points. My opponents made a lot of errors and I still felt very lucky to get away with that one. At this point I realize I am 3-0 which is way better than I thought I was going to be.
Full Win 5 +83 (13 +228)
Opponent – Doug Mudd
Gold Squadron Pilot (18)
Gold Squadron Pilot (18)
Biggs Darklighter (28)
Upgrades: R2-F2 (3)
Wedge Antilles (36)
Upgrades: Proton Torpedoes (4), Marksmanship (3)
At this point I was undefeated, sort of. I had 13 points while there were two players ahead of me with 15 points each. So the modified win actually kept me out of the finals. There was no top four or anything. Which was unfortunate so I had to try to win here just to get a solid second.
Doug is an older gentleman which is strange, I don’t see too many silver haired men playing games that I play but this was the exception. He was a very nice gentleman and was great to play against. At this point I was very tired and realized that I wasn’t going to be winning the event so I just thought I’d give this my best shot to go undefeated.
Doug had other plans. He flew his group right up the middle and I did my normal trickery with juking and jiving with my flying turret. I cut my A-Wing up the middle to take the Y Wings and Biggs straight up. It was then that things got very nasty. I decided to not unleash my torpedo volley on a mere Y-Wing because I’d like to save them for the real threats Biggs or Wedge. However he was positioning a Y-Wing very near me and he kept it out of Biggs Range, so I could take medium range shots on his Y-Wing. So I hold back my Torps and Missiles and just throw primaries at the Y-Wing, I roll fairly lack lust against his 1 Green Die twice. Meanwhile Wedge goes after my Dutch and hits me for 3 hits and drops my shields. Then he proceeds to hit my A Wing (that I stupidly brought up the middle with an evade) with his Biggs and his Y-Wing with 4 hits (my evade dodges one of them, yep 6 green dice and no dodges for me). This was basically worst case scenario because now I had no chance of really going toe-to-toe with him but I decide to make the best of it. On the next pass Wedge hits my Dutch with a Crit which drops my Y-Wings payload. I use my turrets to do some damage and I play my A-Wing perfectly to not get shot at and get a close range shot on his Y-Wing #1 but I proceed to miss on all three reds (I had to evade because I had 1 HP and was moving first). In the next round he finishes off my A-Wing and my Y-Wing but I do get to finish off his wounded Y-Wing. So it is now 3-1 with his minty Wedge. In that round I actually did some damage to Biggs and I still had a lock on him with Lando. I do a U-Turn when he brings his Wedge and Biggs up to attack me, and I use the homing missile to take Biggs down pretty fast. At this point it is a VERY close game, so I start to try to kite his team as much as I can getting in shots on the low evasion Y-Wing. I get a round where I rock him for three damage and my Falcon is beat up with 4 hit pints on it (Determination ended up saving me 2 Damage at that point in the game. They however call time when I am trying to get more damage on the Y-Wing. I end up losing by 3 lousy points, but it was really over for me after the opening salvo when he knocked my legs out from under me. I have no doubt that Doug would have beaten me if the game continued.
Loss 0 +46 (13 +274)
At the end of the swiss I ended up in 7th Place because so many other players received 3 full wins. I wasn’t even the highest with 13 points because Doug beat me and had better rounds before me. I was a little grumpy about the scoring but I have since realized that a Partial Win is basically a Tie. Sadly I would like to see people receive points for being within a close margin, but I think FFG wants to detract from people playing for modified wins, so they try to penalize that as much as possible. I also realized that I should be that sad about it because I just wanted to play, and play good and enjoy the game. There were only a couple of times that I forgot to take actions on ships (way less than my opponents slip ups throughout the event. For 7th place I got the cool plastic Focus Tokens so I can’t say I walked away empty handed and plus I got to play more X-Wing than I had in the last two weeks. Overall it was the best tournament that I have attended for this game so far.
What to take away . . .
I think this is the first weekend of Regionals. So if there is anything I want you to take away from this tournament report is that it is deathly important to not get a timed out win, just like you do not want a tie in most Swiss Style events. That partial win in my mind was just as bad as a loss in some ways. It kept me from playing in the finals so it was not good. While I thought I played pretty darn good in my Round 2 match up, the cat and mouse game I played ended up costing me, pretty big time. If you are going to make a list you want to make sure you have a list that kills your opponents in 75 minute rounds. Partial wins will not get you qualified. I thing strong secondary weapons can help win games faster because you should be getting strong long range hits on your opponent. But that’s really just my opinion, I love me some warheads!
Normally I would do prop and slops but this Report is already really long, and I will be impressed if anyone kept reading at all. I just want t to thank Gamer’s Haven for hosting a fun and fair event, and thank all of my opponents for being great to play with! Most of all I must obligatorily thank George Lucas for being able to play in this awesome world.
- Jason "Qui-Gon" Keen