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A 20-hour Panic Attack (Card Kingdom & Around the Table SC report, 2/28-3/1)

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Finally starting to recover after a marathon two days of store championships. I decided to go with a Panic Attack list, first created by Jonathan Gomes and Scott Williams. For those unfamiliar with this glorious terror, it is as follows:


Three Blue Squadron B-Wings with the E2 upgrade and Tactician

One Gold Squadron Y-Wing with an Ion Turret and R3-A2.


I had the chance to observe Jonathan flying the list at a TSHFT event in Bellevue early in the year, and just fell in love with the idea. The general strategy for the list is simple: between the Tacticians and R3-A2, you are often able to create overlapping fields of fire that can stick opponents with multiple stress tokens. This is generally crippling to tentpole ships, as they spend their next several turns without tokens to modify their attacks or defense. Unlike Ion cannons, the Tactician B-Wings are also dealing full damage on top of the stress tokens, and probably more damage than they otherwise would thanks to eliminating focus and evade tokens on defense.




1st Match: Chris

Omicron Group Lambda with double Tacticians, Advanced Sensors and Engine Upgrade

Oicunn Decimator with Rebel Captive, Ysana, Dauntless and Tactical Jammer

Black Squadron TIE with Wingman


Chris said at the start of his match that it was his first tourney. Unfortunately, this led him to some critical mistakes early. His second move of the game pushed Oicunn into range 2 of all three of my B-Wings while the rest of his ships were still too far away to assist. This resulted in seven damage and three stress tokens, with only moderate damage to a B-Wing in response. Next turn, Oicunn bumps a B-Wing for one point of damage and scrapes a few more shield tokens off another, while his shuttle moved into range to attack and double-stress a B-Wing. The shuttle picked up two stress tokens along with four shields worth of damage, while Oicunn picked up a few more hits. Oicunn manages to finish off a B-Wing, but is immediately put down by the rest of the squad. After that, the TIE took an Ion hit, everyone else got behind the shuttle, and the game was pretty much over. Match win, 100-25, 1-0 record.


2nd Match: Kacy

Whisper with Veteran Instincts and Advanced Cloaking Device

Soontir Fel with Autothrusters and Push the Limit

Delta Squadron Defender


I had no idea what to expect going into this match against two high-agility arc dodgers. Soontir and the Defender both did damage to a B-Wing, but Whisper actually missed his shot. Soontir ended up in range 2 of a pair of B-Wings after using PTL and ended up with three stress tokens, while Whisper took an Ion hit. Next turn, Soontir managed to kill off the damaged B-Wing, but died in the return fire while Whisper ate a second Ion Cannon hit. The remaining B-Wings quickly finished Whisper, and the Y-Wing managed to ion the Defender for consecutive turns, allowing an easy mop-up. Match win, 100-25, 2-0 record. Very cool guy, and we ended up having enough time to run a second match, which went much more in the way that Whisper and Soontir matches are supposed to go.


3rd Match: Ryan

Chewbacca with Push the Limit, Falcon title, C3PO and Kyle Katarn

Leebo with Lone Wolf, Outrider title, Mangler Cannon and Recon Specialist


Ryan had not lost a ship to this point. He flew amazingly, consistently getting me to split shots and using Chewbacca to soften things up for Leebo to finish with the Mangler. His evade dice were also fairly strong, but when you're rolling two dice at range 3 with an evade token, or three dice with two focuses and Lone Wolf, you only need average results to minimize damage taken. I managed to stack Leebo with stress at one point, but his speed and rerolls minimized the damage. He ended up with one hull damage to Chewie and three hull damage to Leebo, including two insignificant criticals (reduced primary weapon value and extra stress token), but he still had not lost a ship to this point and would go on to a Top 4 finish. Total loss, 0-100, 2-1


4th Match: Corwin

Whisper with Veteran Instincts, Advanced Cloaking Device, Fire-Control System and Rebel Captive


Three Obsidian Squadron TIEs


Needed a strong win to stay competitive after that blowout. Whisper got a shot off early on, but took two stress tokens and an Ion hit in response and was basically out of the fight for good. He hung around for another round or two and tried to get free, but I was able to get Focused 3-dice attacks against four naked green dice to finish him off before he could get clear. He managed to get one B-Wing down to a single remaining hull, but I was able to get behind him through a combination of tactician shots, ions and range 1 critical hits that somehow always turned up Thrust Control Fire for even more stress. Match win, 100-0, 3-1.


5th Match: Jeremy


Four Academy TIEs

Two Scimitar Bombers with Seismic Charges


I'd played Jeremy once before, and remembered him to be a lethal Swarm pilot. He was also apparently the first person to kill one of Ryan's ships. This match was just textbook Imperial doctrine. I took out an Academy TIE during the first round of shooting and damaged another, but he chipped me with Backstabber from the flank and damaged a B-Wing. Next round, another Academy blew up, but so did the B-Wing. An attempt to hit Backstabber with a stress/Ion combo missed. From there, it was just a slaughter as his ships used their superior numbers and 3-on-1 dice advantage at range 1. I eventually killed all the Academies, but his Bombers nailed two B-Wings with both Seismics, and the two of them were able to team with Backstabber to finish my remaining squad en route to a heartbreaker of a Top 8 loss (he lost on a DRAW after declining initiative -- if there's a worst way to lose in this game, I cannot imagine it). Loss, 48-100, 3-2.


Ended up placing 9th out of 33 players, just missing the Top 8 cutoff. While there are plenty of what-if scenarios running through my head, trying to figure how I could have bumped my standing up by one more position, I felt pretty good with the way that I played and was excited for the next day.


Surprisingly few turrets overall, with a large number of small-ship builds and about 10% Scum & Villainy.

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My local FLGS. Home turf, and they allowed me to drink beer at the table, which gave me a strategic advantage (or so the beer led me to believe). I didn't take any notes here, but will try to remember all of the upgrades here.


1st Match: Jordan

Corran Horn with Push the Limit, R2D2 and Fire-Control System

Luke Skywalker

Two Talas (?)


Forgive me, but I can't remember what rounded out this list. However, this was another case where Jordan was unfortunately a player who didn't get to play much, and was apparently in his second match. Corran and Luke both put Target Locks on different ships, but then both went after Luke's target. When he announced that he was going to use Corran's double-tap at range 2, I asked if he wanted to retroactively move the TL to that target since we both forgot about his FCS, but he declined. Unfortunately, this was a pretty quick match that ended 100-0. 1-0.


2nd match: Richard

Dash Rendar with Lone Wolf, Outrider, HLC and Recon Specialist

Corran Horn with Push the Limit, R2D2, Hull Upgrade and Fire-Control System


I've played against this list enough to know that CORRAN HORN MUST DIE, so I set my force after him as quick as I could. I managed to load him up with stress tokens, taking damage to a B-Wing in response. Next turn he landed a couple more hits on a B-Wing, but Corran went down after being blocked in a volley of range 1 shots. A B-Wing went down, but Dash was angled in towards a corner. I was able to load him with stress and tag him with a couple of Ion shots to keep him pinned down for a little while, while taking severe damage on the Y-Wing. He managed to escape and force me into range 3 shots, but the Y-Wing was able to get clear of him. One of those shots ended up sticking him with a Blinded Pilot, which was effectively the game. He had to slow down enough to let me get a single range 3 shot in order to flip the Blinded Pilot over, and I was able to land the last two hits I needed for the kill. 100-25, 2-0.


3rd match: Bradford

Howlrunner with Determination and Hull Upgrade

Two Black Squadron TIEs with Draw Their Fire

Four Academy TIEs


I already knew from yesterday that TIE swarms were a problem for me, and Bradford was actually the winner of the Card Kingdom tourney using a different list. Ultimately, much like the previous third match, this one was a blowout. I tried again to focus down the Academy TIEs before they could shoot, but Bradford made terrific use of Draw Their Fire to keep the killing critical hit from actually landing on the target. I managed to finish one TIE, and could have killed a second had I remembered to use my Y's Ion Turret instead of going with the main guns, but he slaughtered me. 12-100, 2-1.


4th match: Chris

Mandalorian Mercenary in Slave 1 with an Ion Torpedo

Two Black Sun Soldiers with Assault Missiles

Syndicate Pilot with Ion Turret and Unhinged Astromech


SCUM SIGHTING!!!! I needed a strong win to have a shot at this store's Top 4 cutoff, but this one presented a tough matchup. My traditional approach with this list had been to stick to a formation, allowing me to maintain those overlapped firing arcs. On the first round of actual shooting, he was able to get a TL on the center of my ships with his Merc, as two ships were exactly one ion hit away from landing on the same asteroid. His attack roll: three blanks and an eyeball. This is why you don't spend points on missiles, folks. Our Y-Wings exchanged Ion shots, but mine was able to drift forward aimlessly while his landed on an asteroid. He also had one of his Zs land on a rock, who died before firing his missile. The second Z was able to launch, but only landed one hit and I was able to endure the splash. Ultimately, this one was another blowout and I got the 100-0 win I needed. 3-1.


With only two 2-0 players, I had enough MOV in my three wins to squeak into the Top 4. Bradford and another player also dropped to give other players a chance to play for prizes, so it was really more of the Top 2-6ish.


5th match: Pieta (sp?)

Oicunn with Determination, Dauntless title, Anti-Pursuit Lasers, Rebel Captive and Saboteur

Soontir Fel with Push the Limit, Stealth Device and Hull Upgrade

Academy Pilot


I'm the sole local league player representing the home team in the Top 4. After the first couple of moves, I was able to catch the Academy with a couple of long-range shots, but did no damage. Next turn, Soontir joins the party and chips a B-Wing, but he moved into range 2 of a B-Wing and within arc of the Y-Wing to it. He avoids taking any damage, but is triple stressed and the chase is on. He kept trying to get away with speed 4 moves, but only ended up staying in range 2 and taking more stress tokens. I finally landed a solid critical hit reducing him to PS0, followed by two more damage from the Y-Wing, and he was finished off the next turn. Meanwhile, another of my B-Wings went chasing after the Academy, who was perfectly happy to lead him on a merry chase, while my third damaged B-Wing scraped at Oicunn, and stupidly bumped him only for me to ask, "Wait, do you have APLs on that thing?" Took a crit, dropping his shields, and Oicunn followed by moving past him and blasting him into dust.


From there, my B-Wing stopped chasing the Academy and finally turned around, like an old codger who finally chased those hooligans off his lawn, and turned to join the Y-Wing and remaining B-Wing to engage Oicunn. I landed a couple solid shots, but Determination allowed him to shrug them off and his sheer size kept me from being able to K-turn behind him. I tried flying past or around him, but he actually managed to somehow execute a geometric masterpiece of a turn that had him in contact with both my B-Wing and Y-Wing. As time expired and the TO called for final rounds, realizing my B-Wings had one and two hull remaining, I made a desperate dash to get away and try to survive on time. Alas, Oicunn was able to get the Hail Mary range 3 shot against the single-hull B-Wing, rolling two hits against my blank and eyeball evade result to secure the win. Tremendous matchup. 48-50, 3-2.


Overall, while I could have done better against the swarms, I can't complain about this build. I felt I had a chance in just about every game I was in, and its combination of durability and stress mechanics will keep it strong against arc dodgers well into wave 6. I can also say that, after nearly 20 hours of X-Wing over two days, I don't know if I ever want to fly another B-Wing for at least the next two months. :D


EDIT: Lest I forget, serious thanks to both venues for running a great event. Both were great sports after the event ran longer than originally scheduled (Card Kingdom apparently wrapped their finals at 2AM), and Around the Table in particular did a wonderful job at picking up extra prize support for players in the form of Think Geek swag, so that even people who didn't place in the Top 8 could still go home with something fun. Also thanks to just about everyone I saw playing, as there was a solid Fly Casual attitude for most of the event. The Puget Sound X-Wing community is amazing.

Edited by PhantomFO

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I have to agree with the fly casual attitude, in general.  Around the Table was my first Store Championship tourney and I had a blast.  Had three VERY close matches out of four (literally down to the last roll) and the general attitude was pleasant and fun despite being a "high profile" tournament.  Just reaffirms why I love playing this game and makes a newcomer like me appreciate feeling welcome in tournaments.

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