First off, if anyone finds their way to Omaha, definitely stop by Sparta Games. First-rate store run by first-rate guys, who really have a passion for making sure gamers enjoy their time in their store.
Second off, hats off to @ThatJakeGuy, who spearheaded organizing a trip out to Omaha and made the trip awesome. A group of us from CO, KS, AR, and ND all convened at an AirBnB and had a blast. For the record, I am not a fascist J (we played a lot of Secret Hitler).
This Regional was stacked with great competitors, so I’m really pleased on how I did (undefeated up to my top 4 match, when my buddy and fellow Arkansan @Brigadierblu beat me and then went on to win the championship). Congrats, John, you jerk 😄
Before I talk about my list, I first want to discuss the field of 17 competitors. I tweaked my list somewhat to deal with the Vader and Palp threat that has done well in other Regionals. That wasn’t necessary as I didn’t face Vader all day, and very few people brought him. Most were running variations on a common counter to Vader—the Han-centered, stun-and-smuggler-heavy Rebel lists. That was good for me, since my list matches better against those lists. Despite there being a lot of Han lists, there still was a good deal of variety. I played against Han/Rangers, a Luke/Han list, a nine-activation Han/Drokkatta/Jyn/&co list, Han and Chewie. Jyn was all over the place, which just goes to show that you should never sleep on a figure just because that’s the common wisdom. I think there was still Scum Hunter fatigue, as there weren’t a lot of those lists there despite their potency. However, two Scum lists, one @ThatJakeGuy's Iggy and eQuays and the other @Brigadierblu’s Iggy and eSentries, made it to the top four. Also, not a Ugnaught in sight 😄.
We’re really in a great place, meta-wise. All factions have potent lists and lots of variety. It’s a great time for this game 😁
So, here was my list:
Alliance Smuggler 2
Rebel High Command 2
On the Lam
Tools for the Job
Heart of Freedom
I Make My Own Luck
Element of Surprise
It’s a really powerful but tricky and somewhat swingy list. It really only has three attacking figures, so you have play cautiously and make sure you’re getting enough value out of them before they die (one reason Scum Hunters is so dangerous for it). When I first fielded this I was too enthralled by Ahsoka’s mobility and pushed her out too aggressively for first-round alpha strikes. I still do that occasionally, but only when the advantage it grants me is enough to warrant it. The secret star of this list is Drokkatta, who is rapidly becoming my favorite figure in the game. The way he can spread damage around (Collateral Damage is killer) and knock off multiple figures in a single activation is great for cleanup. Of course, Han is Han, and he is up to his usual chicanery. I play him cautiously as well, as I have to keep him alive long enough to get a lot of attacks in.
Round One: Bye
1-0 Lol 😂
Round Two: Matched up against Micah (@Masterchiefspiff) on Mos Eisley A.
I was nervous going into this, since I know @Masterchiefspiff and how quickly he can turn a game against you. He was playing Han, eRangers, Jyn, Hera, 3PO, Gideon, and I think a Smuggler and RHC (correct me if I’m wrong).
I got a couple of early breaks that swung this my way. First round, I was able to take out a Ranger who moved up to take a long shot against Drokkatta but whiffed on his attack and a focused Jyn (Ahsoka and her mobility!). After that, it was an uphill battle for Micah and I got the win.
Round Three: Matched up against Tim Warnke (@The Archangel) on Mos Eisley B. He was running Han and Chewie. I think this one was streamed, so check it out if you care to.
I managed to take out Chewie with three attacks round one, and then sniped Gideon with Han’s EoR attack, while my Ahsoka X Man’ed his focused Han attack and then took a little bit of damage from his EoR. After that, I killed Jyn with Ahsoka and jumped to the opposite side of the map. My other figures weren’t damaged, and so they overpowered the rest of his without my losing any figures. Tim played well, but my early luck swung things too much in my favor for him to come back.
Round Four: Matched up against Dane, @Fightwookies, who was a fantastic opponent, on Nal Hutta Swamps A. This is my worst map, and he was running a nine-activation list, so I was really worried about this matchup. We were both 3-0 at this point, though, so we both knew we’d get dice, which lessened the pressure. His (awesome) list was Han, Drokkatta(!), Jyn, R2, Gideon, 3PO, Hera, and 2 Smugglers.
This match went back and forth the whole time. I can’t actually remember the details, so hopefully Dane can fill in some of what happened in the comments, but I eventually won 40-39 on the last die roll. Really, it was such a great matchup and Dane knew exactly what he was doing with his list.
4-0! I managed to be the only undefeated out of Swiss.
Top Eight Match: Bryce, @brystrom1, on Jabba’s Palace A
Bryce was running Han, Luke, Jyn, Rebel Care Package, and 2 Smugglers. I’m always nervous going up against Luke the Destroyer, so I was sweating the matchup. I had a monstrously lucky first round, though, which swung it too far in my favor for him to come back.
I had the side with the stairs, and I used Drokkatta to snipe Hera who was back by his terminal. Then he moved Jyn up a space too far and I was able to move up with Han and one-shot her. Han was exposed, and I had rolled well enough that I could chance rerolling a die since even if it were Tough Lucked I would still kill Jyn, so I played Officer’s Training and drew the exact card I was fishing for: On the Lam. That proved hugely important. His focused Han moved up, and then I played On the Lam, moving behind the center wall in the main room so that I had LoS to his Han and he didn’t have it back. I then returned fire, did massive damage, and then added to it with my EoR. He started with initiative but I stole it with Han’s card, killed his Han with mine and then moved back. Some lucky card draw and I was up a Han on him, and there’s not much any list can do about that. I killed his Luke before he drew SoS and that sealed the game.
Top Four Match: This was the matchup I was hoping to avoid, at least until this point. I got paired with my friend John, @Brigadierblu, who lives 10 minutes from me. We play all the time so I wasn’t eager to play him after driving six hours (our other Arkansan, Wendy, got paired with him first round). He was running a list I knew all too well, since we’ve been practicing together. Iggy, eSentries, eJawa, 3PO, Gideon, Hera, Greedo, and Devious (his MVP).
We drew the map I was dreading: Nal Frickin Hutta. And with Devious he had the bottom, and I was stuck exposed at the top. At the start I thought I had at best a 40% chance against him, but probably more like 30%.
Well, that percentage tanked after a poor play on my part and just bad strategy. My list just doesn’t do well on this map against sniper lists.
I tried to hide my units at first with 3PO and my Smuggler. Operation body shield didn’t work well though. His first Sentry killed 3PO and then his second did 5 damage to Han. I returned fire with Tools for the Job, but then like an idiot I added a Red and then fell short by one accuracy. Ugh. Then I moved up and took a focused Drokkatta shot on his Iggy—a risky move because of the range. But all I had to do is not roll the absolute minimum on four dice. I rolled the absolute minimum.
Then he moved up with Iggy and attacked Drokkatta with Tools for the Job, pushing 10 damage through. Yeah. This game was not going well.
And then he played Blaze of Glory 😂
I eventually lost 27-40 (I scored some objectives and eventually killed Iggy), but honestly it was more like 4-40.
I just don’t think I can beat his list on this map if he has Devious and draws Blaze first round, not without an insane amount of luck. On the other maps, both John and I agree we’re pretty evenly matched, with me having the edge on Mos Eisley and us being about 50/50 on Jabba’s, but ugh those Swamps are killer for this matchup for me.
It’s a weakness of my list, but I went home with a solid record, my only loss coming from my local gaming buddy and eventual champion (again, congrats @brigadierblu!), and some pretty dice, damage tokens, and points dial.
I’m headed to the KS Regional in a month, but I think I’m going to try out something a bit quirkier. However, if anyone is looking for a really fun list, try mine out. It takes a lot of getting used to, but it really is a blast.
Also, you should definitely check out the final on the stream. Dave (@seef1033) and his intriguing Han, eEchoes, Jyn, 2 Smugglers, and support list was really fun to see, but he suffered from the same problem I did in matching up with John’s sniper bot list on Nal Hutta. However, Dave made it much more of a game and played way better than I did, so check it out for pointers.
To everyone I met up at Omaha and the familiar faces I got to see again (looking at you, KS contingent!), thanks for making this such a great event!