My name is Blake, and over this past weekend I participated in the North Carolina Regionals located at Atomic Empire in Durham. I finished the weekend 10th overall, and had a great time. I got to see friends I don’t normally get to see, and prove myself as one of the great Rebel players in the state.
First, let’s have a look at the list I was running over the weekend.
Kanan Biggs Hera V1.5
Biggs Darklighter (29)
X-Wing (25), R2-D2 (4), Integrated Astromech (0)
Kanan Jarrus (47)
VCX-100 (38), Ghost (0), Fire-Control System (2), Autoblaster Turret (2), Recon Specialist (3), "Zeb" Orrelios (1), Tactical Jammer (1)
Hera Syndulla (24)
Attack Shuttle (22), Nien Nunb (1), Veteran Instincts (1), Phantom (0)
Though Kanan Biggs is not entirely original, I put my own spin on it with several meta calls and personal flavors.
Firstly let’s look at Kanan, with a standard FCS, Autoblaster Turret, Recon Spec and Tactical Jammer. Zeb Orrelios is a card I’m surprised more people don’t run. My theory, which has been proven correct game after game, is that by placing Zeb onto Kanan you heavily dissuade one of the counters to Kanan, which is to bump him to prevent him from getting focus tokens. By placing Zeb onto Kanan, you are nearly assured of getting a shot off onto somebody, every turn.
Let’s next look at Biggs, who is kitted in a traditional Regen way as opposed to R4-D6. My feeling with this change is it allows Biggs to survive longer in every game, and you also do not need r4-d6 if you’re running him with Kanan.
Next, my Attack Shuttle has been kitted out for late game. Hera Syndulla is in my opinion the best Shuttle to fly, as her unpredictability scares opponents and if you get really good with her you will almost always have a range 1-2 shot. She does not have a turret, cause once again if you fly her correctly you will not need the turret. Nien Nunb and VI are the only upgrade cards I believe are needed on Hera. With Hera outfitted in this way, she is a late game closer who can handle her own in most situations.
Moving on to the tournament, which began at roughly 11:10 AM on Saturday. My first opponent was James Deitz, one of our many SlingPaint viewers! His list was as follows:
Poe Dameron (PS8 Version) (39)
T-70 X-Wing (31), Black One (1), R5-P9 (3), Pattern Analyzer (2), Adaptability (0), Autothrusters (2)
Nien Nunb (33)
T-70 X-Wing (29), R3-A2 (2), Snap Shot (2)
Jess Pava (28)
T-70 X-Wing (25), M9-G8 (3), Integrated Astromech (0)
I believe we’ll be seeing more people attempt this list. I knew however, that the firepower of the Ghost combined with the autoblaster double tap would be too much for the T-70’s though, even with Jess Pava. He lined them up in a modified finger formation at about the center of his play area, while I lined my list up in the corner with Biggs far back even with the back of Kanan. The asteroids were placed in such a way that I had a giant lane to work with going diagonally across the map. This is what I try to achieve with my rock placement, I always try to give myself two lanes to work with from the corner I want to start in. At the start of the game, I came out with a standard Rebel slow roll, while he came out swinging. This allowed me to perform a 3 bank right right into Range one of Poe in the first round of combat. Poe went down during the second round of combat, with Nien Nunb putting up a brave fight but going down 4 combat rounds later. By this point, Biggs was living on 1 hull point, with no R2-D2, which has procced three times in the game. Biggs was able to successfully lead Jess Pava on, and Hera was able to finish the game off, but not before Biggs died. Final Result 100-29 win, 1-0 record with a 171 MOV to start the day. Great start to my day, and James was a super nice guy. Thanks for watching James, if you’re reading this!
My second game of the day was against Jeremy MacieJewski, one of the local areas best players. He finished top 16 during the last regional event in North Carolina. He had a wonky list, that was pure genius and a joy to watch in action. It was as follows:
G-1A Starfighter (27), Rage (1), Latts Razzi (2), Collision Detector (0), Mist Hunter (0), Tractor beam (1)
JumpMaster 5000 (27), Bossk (2), Snap Shot (0)
Asajj Ventress (38)
Lancer-class Pursuit Craft (37), Fearlessness (1)
The idea was to be able to perma stress one of my ships to where it could do not actions, and would most likely do green moves. The ship he attempted this on was Kanan, and not Biggs. He did a great job of not shooting at Biggs, which was to his detriment as Biggs was forcing his fire to split. He also completely forgot about Zeb in the early game, and forced Kanan to bump into Manaroo. She was dead the next round of combat, which is where I believe his list fell apart. In any game where Manaroo is involved, you always want to kill her first as she is likely the glue that is holding the entire list together. Despite having Kanan stressed to hell, I didn’t care with FCS. My red dice were also on fire during the game, and he conceded shortly after 4-Lom died and Assajj took a 5 dice shot range 1 followed by 2 autoblaster shots putting her down to 2 health left. Great guy to play against, I really had to zone in and focus during the game. The entire momentum of the game did shift though when Manaroo ate a range one from Kanan. Going into tournaments, it’s very important to remember the cards your opponent has on their ships. I went over Zeb with him pre-game, and showed him the card as well when asked. Final score, 100-23 with only half points on the Ghost. We had a lunch break after this, and I was 2-0 with a total MOV of 348, which had me in 7th place.
Round 3 was against a good friend of mine in the area, Jonathan Lowman. He’s a great player, and is always a challenge for me! He also had a wonky list, albeit less so than Jeremy! His list was as follows:
Y-Wing (24), Dorsal Turret (3), Unhinged Astromech (1), Attanni Mindlink (1), Vectored Thrusters (2)
JumpMaster 5000 (27), Attanni Mindlink (1), K4 Security Droid (3), Unhinged Astromech (1), Feedback Array (2), Counter-Measures (3)
Fenn Rau (32)
Protectorate Starfighter (28), Attanni Mindlink (1), Concord Dawn Protector (1), Autothrusters (2)
An offshoot on the Old Fenaroo list, this replaces Old Terroch with Kavil, who is deceptively strong right now with Dorsal Turret and Vectored Thrusters. The game was a knock down drug out affair, with me charging after Manaroo to start the game. He had a great block early game onto Kanan and Biggs with Manaroo, and I also missed one autoblaster shot onto Manaroo, failing to kill her when I needed to so I could turn onto Fenn Rau and Kavil. Fenn Rau actually died first to a double Autoblaster Turret shot, with Biggs going down immediately after to Kavil. Manaroo died the next round after all this action happened, and I was forced to deploy Hera with Kanan hanging on by 3 hull points. In the end, Hera wasn’t enough to punch through to Kavil and Lowman ended up taking the win 100-69. My mistake this game was not anticipating the block from Manaroo early game, depriving me of focus tokens on both ships and the chance to double tap her with an Autoblaster shot. What I learned from this game was to be more patient on my entrance into the battle against lower PS ships with the ability to barrel roll for blocks. After this match, I was sitting at 2-1 with a 417 MOV. I did my best that game to take as many points as I could for the sake of MOV, which turned out to help me later in the day.
Round 4 began, and I was against Jon Acton playing Commonwealth Defenders, my first of the day. This was also the first imperial list I faced during the day, which was very shocking to me considering the amount of Imperial lists at the tournament. The opening of the game, and a great majority of the game was a joust session between our two lists. I came out ahead with the primary/Autoblaster combination, which killed Ryad in round two of combat, followed by the death of the Palp Shuttle in the 4th round of combat. He conceded after Palp went down, barely 25 minutes into the game. He was tired, and needed to get home to take care of things. Great guy, I wish him well in future events. This was a 200-0 win for me, pushing my MOV to 617.
Round 5 of the day began about an hour later, and I was matched up against my second imperial list of the day. This was Chuck Stocky, a player from Richmond who drove down to play in the Regional. His list was as follows:
Special Forces TIE (29), Push the Limit (3), Electronic Baffle (1), Special Ops Training (0)
Darth Vader (37)
TIE Advanced (29), TIE/x1 (0), Predator (3), Engine Upgrade (4), Advanced Targeting Computer (1)
Omicron Group Pilot (30)
Lambda-Class Shuttle (21), Electronic Baffle (1), Emperor Palpatine (8)
A very different version of Palp Aces, but Palp Aces nonetheless. This game came down to an epic 30 minute duel between Hera and Vader, I had given him initiative knowing that Hera might be a factor this game, and she was. In the end, Hera couldn’t survive the crits from Vader, and fell with around 5 minutes to go in the round. My greatest mistake this game was not recognizing the threat from QuickDraw, as he obliterated Biggs within 2 turns of combat, which is below average for my Biggs life expectancy. Biggs Darklighter should survive at least 4-5 rounds of combat, if he does you’ve probably won the game. This was a great game though, and coulda gone either way during the 30 minutes that Hera and Vader dueled.
I was 3-2 heading into Round 6, with a MOV of 680. I was 17th at this point, the lowest I had been in the standings all day and was heading into a must win situation for myself. Win and I’m in, lose and I’m out.
My last game of the day was against Brian Harper, who was also in a must win situation to make it to the next day. The following is the list he was running:
Y-Wing (24), Autoblaster Turret (2), Unhinged Astromech (1), Veteran Instincts (1), Vectored Thrusters (2)
Fenn Rau (34)
Protectorate Starfighter (28), Push the Limit (3), Concord Dawn Protector (1), Autothrusters (2)
Trandoshan Slaver (34)
YV-666 (29), 4-LOM (1), Zuckuss (1), Dengar (3)
To be quite honest, I wasn’t sure what to make of this list when I saw it placed before me. My first thought was to try and get rid of the Party Bus first, followed by Kavil, then Fenn Rau. I stuck to that gameplan, as he left the Party Bus out to dry while he was swinging Rau and Kavil around. I was able to destroy the Party Bus before Kavil and Rau ever got into the fight. Kavil then got stuck at range 1 of the Ghost in the rear arc, with Biggs blocking any way out for him, Kavil died in one round of fire from the Ghost. Fenn Rau was trickier, but an autoblaster shot nearly got him down until he killed himself on a rock trying to get away from the Ghost. 200-0 victory, that locked me into the top 16. I once again got my rock placement perfect, allowing myself two lanes to work with on the map, and I was also able to successfully corner my ships so that Biggs could take full advantage of the Tactical Jammer.
I ended the swiss rounds 10th over, with the 5th best MOV in the tournament. I was super proud of myself, as I had met my initial goal of just making It to the top 16. The next goal was the templates.
The elimination rounds started the next day against my good friend Nymz from Slingpaint. We play each other a lot in the Charlotte area, and were both very sad that we had to play each other in the first elimination round. Nymz runs Commonwealth Defenders, and I was one of his primary practice partners for the tournament. This game ended within 20 minutes of started, as I badly misjudged a situation on the board with my Ghost. I had just done 5 points of damage to Vessery, and had taken all the shields off the Palpmobile. I fully expected him to block with his shuttle, and if he didn’t I thought the bank maneuver I did would give me enough of an angle to stay on the board next turn with a hard right 1. I was drastically wrong, and the Ghost along with Hera flew off the board. A heartbreaking way to end the tournament but I was very proud of Nymz.
Overall, I was the best performing Rebel player at the entire tournament, and one of only two to make the top 16 cut. This event proved to me, that I have the potential to win a Regional event with Kanan Biggs, and I’ll be trying again at the Macon Regional and again at the Tennessee Regional event in December and January. I learned a lot over the weekend, caught up with great friends, and came home with immense pride after I stopped sulking over the loss.
Thanks for reading this far, if you have any specific questions about my list, the tournament, Rebels, or my future plans for Macon and Tennessee, feel free to do so in the comments below. Thanks again, and take care!