I figured I'd post an update as to how my day went. I've been a bit busy all week so I'm sorry I didn't get around to it sooner, if anyone actually does happen to be interested. Here's a link to the standings for the day: https://tabletop.to/sc-hyperspace-trial. I placed 29 out of 43 (or 42, since I see now that the 43 includes a player who registered and wound up not being able to make it that day). This is kind of a review of how the event went for me as a whole, and not just how the list handled, so hang in there please (I promised elsewhere that I'd post how the day went, so I'm going to copy-paste it there when I'm done typing).
It was the biggest event I've been to yet. The amount of people the last two Store Championships drew wasn't too far off from that, but we didn't have players coming from as far away and the day didn't go as long in those events. Thisnone started a bit after 10AM and I left around 8:30 after the cut when prizes were handed out to everyone that made Top 16, so that I could show my support for the other locals. The local community showed up in force but there were a lot of people who drove from hours away; people from all over the state showed up, Krayts from NC made appearances (making me super-jealous of their custom Krayt Cup "Kamino" playmats), and players from Atlanta even made the trip. I met a lot of cool people for sure.
The event is kind of making some news on the main FFG forums, the X-Wing subreddit, and an X-Wing podcast out of Florida over how it was handled (as well as events this TO has handled in Florida apparently). I'm not posting here to talk about that but it involved issues like the store not being correctly notified as to how the tournament was being ran and what time it would end, causing players with 0 or 1 win at the end of match five being asked to drop so the store could make room for a YGO card tournament, and a streamed match being stopped shortly after beginning and the players asked to final salvo for a score because the store wanted the streaming room for something else (among other issues spelled out in a lengthy google doc that is floating around which someone made to send to FFG).
The venue wasn't bad, for being a place almost everyone there had never played in and didn't know what to expect. Tables were mostly not good; they were standard white card tables pushed together that left a hump running through the middle of every mat. One table had a mat that was hanging about an inch over the side of the table, cutting some space off of the side of the game of whoever played on it. They are a sort of game cafe and sell food and drinks, though I didn't try any food. The store looked like a good place to play regular games in though and had a good selection of demo games. They knocked 50% off of all 1.0 stuff for the day (I regretted not buying the C-ROC, a Silencer, and a Decimator at those prices). Space for large events such as this one wasn't that great, as we learned after the aforementioned Yu Gi Oh tournament got close to starting and suddenly the amount of people in the store more than doubled and card game players were in everyone else's way; I was watching the game of one person I knew, in round 5, who had to keep pausing his game as groups of people kept pushing past him carrying chairs on their backs while he was getting ready to roll dice for an attack. It definitely irritated me seeing trains of people interrupt him while excusing themselves, so I can only imagine how he felt.
A couple mistakes made by me that did not involve how I played:
-I was not properly hydrated. I understand the importance of being well-hydrated for a regular day of playing but failed to drink much water in the days leading up to the event. Maybe for a regular event at the main store that hosts OP days I would have been fine but the temperature in this particular venue that ran the Trials was insanely hot. Everyone was drenched in sweat and downing water all day. I drank a ton of it but waiting until the day of to begin hydrating means you are way behind. I know the importance of being properly hydrated from my military days but didn't do so and have no one but myself to blame.
-I did not stretch before the event. This is something I've never seen suggested, unlike tips like drinking water and bringing snacks, or bringing deodorant to stay 'fresh.' It's now something I won't forget. The constant up-down in and out of my chair, combined with standing during the match and standing around in between matches, as well as being tensed up during my matches because of the stress, left me very sore afterward. My calves were stiff for like three days after the event. I'll be stretching at the beginning from now on.
Now for the actual game play. I liked the list quite a bit and would even consider flying it in extended. I had some really good opponents though who definitely outflew me and some times where I just blanked out on strategy and didn't know how to handle what I was facing. I didn't do as badly as I could have done though, especially with my last matches before this day being more than four months ago, so I'm ok with my performance I guess. Though doing better and getting dice would have made my day, the middle of the bottom half is probably where I deserve to be. I had high hopes when I was 2 and 2, when the matches I had lost were not blowouts but also I had scored a decent amount of points in the ones I had won. But I knew I needed to have a strong showing in the next two. Early on in match five I realized I was not only going to lose but lose badly to someone who wound up making the cut.
I agonized for quite a while over whether I should equip the Shield Upgrade on Fel or not. I decided that if I took the shield I'd lose points off the bid, and I thought the bid would be really important. I figured that either way I would wind up regretting not going with the other option: either I keep the large bid and see Fel get one-shotted multiple times and wish he had a shield, or I take the shield and run into other lists that beat me on bid by a few points and wish I had not brought the shield. I beat everyone on bids (I'd have to look on the list but I may have had the largest bid there) and the matches I won made good use out of it; I doubt I'd have won those without it. Fel didn't immediately blow up too much though; I waited all day for it to happen and it took until match 5 for him to blow up in one attack.
Here's a run-down of the games I played:
First round was a match against a First Order list comprised of a Kylo Silencer with Hate on it and two more generic Silencers. Went to time, 93-69 in my opponent's favor. I was only able to get half points on Kylo and another Silencer.
Round Two was against some of the day's popular ships, from the Rebel Beef lists. My opponent flew a Cassian Andor U-Wing with Leia on it, Braylen and Ten Numb in B-Wings, and an X-Wing piloted by Thane Kyrell. I wound up taking that after time was called, 150-38.
Third Round was a fight against an Atlanta player. He flew a list that was a bit similar to the last one: Cassian in a U-Wing with Leia, Wedge instead of Thane, and Braylen and Ten Numb B-Wings. I started the game off suuuuuuper-slow and was far away from any engagements for a long time, because I wanted his blob of Rebel ships to split up so I could pick them off. He flew them perfectly and did not split them up ever, and it was a loss for me after time was called at 65-25.
The fourth engagement was against a guy who plays in Charlotte. He flew an Imperial list and finally my 15pt bid came in handy. It was Major Vermiel in a Reaper, Fel, and a Vader kitted out the same as mine. I killed the Reaper in one round of fighting and got half points on the rest; he got half points on Stele. 151-27 me.
Fifth round was a match against a player who made top 8 flying something similar to my second and third match. Cassian in a U-Wing with Leia, Ten Numb, Than Kyrell, and a generic Y-Wing. I tried to bait her into chasing Vader and she then did what I was hoping my opponent would do in round three and split them up, but then she brought them together at the perfect moment and melted Stele and destroyed Fel. I had left him too close in one round and decided I needed to go on the offensive to keep him alive so I flew the other two to his rescue and they paid the price. Vader had no hope except to take out a Y-Wing before blowing up. 200-45, my loss
Sixth and last round was a battle against two Firesprays with lots of bombs and mines. My opponent flew Emon and Krassis. Stele died to bombs fast and Fel got blown up quick too, but not before he and Vader put enough damage on Emon for Vader to kill him later. Krassis had full health and Vader was in a bad spot. I debated throwing in the towel and stated my intention to my opponent, but then I acknowledged that he probably drove out to actually play games and not have people quit, so I played it through. Vader died a round or two later, making it my opponent's win at 200-95.
So 29th place. About middle of the bottom half. Not as bad as I was worried about though, so that's good. Despite the heat in there, I had a lot of fun still. Glad I got to play for the first time in months. It got me wanting to go to the System Open in Atlanta in two weeks but I don't think I can manage that one. That is also a 4+ hour drive for me, compared to the hour to get to this event.
Thanks for the advice. The list is great, just maybe not the person flying it so much. But I did have some tough competition too, so I don't want to take anything away from them. That rebel list with Leia in it is a tough one as well; I've seen the complaints in a lot of places after facing it and I'm not going to call for nerfs or anything, just acknowledge that it is a hard one to beat.
Thanks again though-