Regarding Echo, canonically there have always been female pilots/stormtroopers/officers in the Empire, so she's not worked her way into a gentleman's club, though you don't exactly get given a Tie Phantom without being one of the best **** pilots around.
Speaking of Tie Phantom pilots, Whisper's another one I'd like to see some background on.
Plus, the generically-named aces from the episode 7 ships. We know Red/Blue Ace aren't Snap Wexley, Jess Pava, Ello Asty or Nien Nunb, since they all have pilot cards, so just who exactly are they?
Omega Leader I actually think the opposite of - keep some mystery as to just who can do these unholy things with a TIE/fo's targeting computer.
There are differences... grab your round-dish YT-1300 and compare these spots:
Will it matter to most people that there are differences beyond the radar dish? Probably not.
Did FFG really need to go to all the trouble to make another YT-1300 model with tiny differences in detail rather than slap a new paint job/dish on the old model and call it a day? Certainly not.
Did FFG really need to make another T-70 model with a different droid as well as a repaint. No.
But they did.
Yes they are a company and have to make money to stay in business, and yes they are at the mercy of what new and/old ships are introduced in the movies - they may even be contractually obliged to release them in an Episode VII format ... but rather than slap together a repaint of two existing models with a minor change (dish), they went to the effort and trouble to re-model them in keeping with the movie.
Intentional draws are a thing, and part of why they are a thing is because you can literally end up playing games that have no meaning, or where 'not losing' is more important than actually winning, which can be tedious for all involved.
What you need to do is adjust the tournament structure to take this into account. You shouldn't end up with a situation where two people taking a draw is better than actually playing the game.
You also shouldn't end up in a situation where winning or losing will make a huge difference to the results... and taking a draw will affect that fact. If the people taking draws are guaranteed a spot no matter what other players did, hey, that's the game, y'know? Might as well grab a break.
We just need them to tweak the ranking system so that you can't take a draw and in doing so lock others out, and then accept it's a thing from hereon in.
So even as I begin to write this I know that it's probably a futile effort. Internet forums and Facebook posts are rarely, if ever, the place for debate. Never the less, I write. I was one of the Top 8 in Roanoke this past weekend (#8). I'm not part of Nova, or a podcast so I'm not speaking for any of the other 7 players. I'm just a schmuck from a small town who enjoys competing in x-wing events and having fun. I've not read all of the forum posts or Reddit threads on this topic since Sat. nor will I. I don't need the the online crowd to pressure me into anything. Amongst all the debate over Intentional Draws regarding this event it has also been a subject of curiosity, at least early on, of "did they all get together and decide this?" "Was it a protest?" Words like "cartel" are being put out there. To my knowledge, either here or on their FB group page, only the Nova guys have spoken about it and they have used phrases such as "we" (thus, probably unintentionally, seemingly referring to the whole Top 8). They have indicated that it was not a protest. This has thus given the community at large the assumption that the entire Top 8 was of one mind and, unfortunately, associated us all with some of the, shall we say, less than respectable verbal actions that some of the top 8 have spouted.
So where do I stand? First, then entire thing went by quickly. The final round pairings went up with a crowd hovering around the sheets. A joke was made something along the lines of "what if the entire Top 8 just drew?" I don't remember the exact quote but it did seem jokingly. Players dispersed to collect their stuff and get to their tables. I never spoke to a single one of the other top 8 during this time but it quickly became clear, as I got to my table, seeing and at that point, hearing, the other top 8 tables talking with a TO and performing their desire/decision to take the ID. Without knowing their reasons, here is what went through my head in the short time I had.... In the first Regional of the season, how powerful a message would it send FFG OP if the Top 8, that included the 3 time World Champ, a Worlds Top 4 and a well known podcaster, all took the ID? Would it be enough to protest the rule in this manor to get them to change the ID rule ASAP? So I made my decision. The next thing I know, my opponent is there as was the TO. Having never done it before we awkwardly fumbled our way and my opponent officially offered me the draw and I accepted..... as a protest. A short time later I had a moment in passing with the gentleman running the twitch feed and we both expressed our hope that this would send a message to FFG.
Now, having said that, and truly hoping that after all this that FFG will QUICKLY change this rule, did I make the right decision? Would I do it again? No. I made the wrong choice. I don't like the rule and even though I thought what I was doing might help bring change, I still should have said "no, I want to play out my last game." In the short time I had I mentally projected onto the others, especially Paul, this notion that we were making a point.... apparently I was wrong. That's my fault, not theirs. We didn't talk and they never actually said that, so I shouldn't have assumed that. I've seen the posts by some of the Nova guys, including Paul. They have clarified that it wasn't a protest, that, while they don't like the rule, they used it simply to secure their Top 8 place, no more, no less. You know what, that's their choice and it is currently allowed, so that's their right to do so. However, that being said, the tone that at least a couple of them have taken, as well as the other vitriol that has come about...... Nova doesn't speak for me.
I made the wrong choice and I regret it.
This was to be my only Regional this year and it's now something that I'll just have to forget, lumped in with one or two other bad events that I've been to in my 3+ years of playing this game. I want nothing to do with name calling, or FB ranting. No matter how nice or how... not nice, the comments will be on this thread I won't argue back or probably even comment. For what it is worth I just wanted to give my reason, however misguided it has turned out to be. I've unfollowed the Nova FB group page, as well as some others, because quite honestly I"m disappointed in the tone of some of the represented players. I know that some have said that some of them were openly mocking lower tier players at the event after the ID. I personally didn't hear any of that so I can't speak to that. But I know what I've seen in their online response and I don't want to be associated with it. Everyone has their opinion and that's great, but unfortunately like everything else it seems that all we can do is resort to name calling anymore. I'm disappointed in both Paul AND Doug Kinney for their comments and rants.
As the 2 World Champs I'd like to expect better, but you know what, I don't know either of them outside of some online comments and their appearances on podcasts. So my expectation of them is on me. No one is perfect and anytime emotion gets involved bad things are likely to happen.
So in closing I offer my apologies for this mess. I thought I was being apart of something to help change a bad rule. At least a part of that is happening, I'm sure FFG is wide awake to this issue now if they weren't before. Again, that doesn't make the decision right however. I don't expect a rush to my defense either. I'll go back to playing x-wing eventually, mainly local events as I'm not the type who has or probably ever will travel to Gencon or Worlds, etc. Hopefully this rule will change and this will all be behind. While I've enjoyed listening to podcasts and reading discussion on forums, etc. they don't define this game or the "meta" for me. Personally I think too many, including myself in the past, have put too much stock in what the world champ thinks, or what the Scum & Villiany, the Nova's, the Mynocks think .... or what Fly Casual should or should not mean. Again, I'm guilty of this too. I also agree, as some others have pointed out that the problem isn't just the ID, but also the current round structure, number of players, dealing with drops, etc., etc. But I'm not a math guy so that's for others, smarter than me, to debate and discuss. I also want to express that the Regional itself, the building and the TOs, did a great job and the event ran smooth. The staff at Star City Games were nice and on top of things. I hope that all of this doesn't reflect on them.
For those who read this post, thank you for your time.