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Popeslob

Taking the Sith 2 - Winter OP pack tournament report

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This weekend I competed in my first 'proper' tournament (have done some fun and quirky ones in the past). It was a Winter OP pack put on by That's No Moon and Element Games. There were 16 tickets available and the event was sold out. The whole day ran very smoothly and the TO's did a fantastic job. I will certainly be attending their future events!

 

What I took

 

I am a big fan of Scum and find them the most fun to fly. However I don't like flying BroBots and so have really struggled to make a list that can stand up to a lot of the top tier lists out there right now. I also love the HWKs and have often flown Torkil and Palob as a pair (the BroHWKs). I had played around with TLTs on both plus Latts Ratzi with some crew members to maximize his ability. However, like so many before me, I found the YV-666 pretty lacklustre so Latts got ditched quite quickly. Instead I came up with a list I liked to call the Scum convoy. It was the BroHWKs with TLTs, a Thug with TLT and 2 Z95 Pirates. I flew this for a few weeks and did well except against aces with Autothrusters who I just couldn't hit. I was expecting to see a lot of aces this weekend and ended up being so frustrated with un-hittable Soontir that I changed my list the day before the tournament and took the following having only had one practice game with it:

 

Palob with TLT, Crack Shot and Rec Spec

Kavil with TLT, Crack Shot and R4 Agromech

N'Dru with VI, Cluster Missiles and Glitterstim

Binayre Pirate

 

The idea behind this list is that it is a toolbox with different ways of dealing with all kinds of lists. It has a blocker in the form of the Pirate, TLTs to deal with low agility ships, Crack Shot and Palob's ability to help deal with aces, and a potentially potent alpha strike to deal with anything that the rest can't. Normally I would go with Lone Wolf on NDru as it pairs so well with his ability but I tend to find that at PS7 he can't get his missiles off all the time. I went with VI as it gives me a better chance of shooting aces before NDru gets murdered as well as giving me a 1 point initiative bid to choose to move after Soontir if need be. The one game I played with the list it kicked Soontir's butt so I thought why not, let's go with it.

 

Game 1

 

My first opponent was Si who was running:

 

Darth Vader with Engine, ATC, the title and VI

Juno Eclipse with Engine, ATC and the title

Omega Ace with PTL and Comms Relay

 

I set up in my left hand corner with the Pirate in front and Kavil and Palob behind, forming a little triangle. Meanwhile NDru went in my right hand corner so as to have as much breathing room as possible. Si set up all 3 of his ships slightly off centre (towards N'Dru's side) facing towards my triangle of terror. I was a little worried that he might hunt N'Dru with Darth but I thought I could probably survive his shot before shooting my missiles and then I don't care anyway. We started out with my 3 ships just going forwards slowly while his 3 ships went straight for them. Meanwhile N'Dru moves quickly up the opposite flank. Turn 2 I am extremely happy to see that he turns Juno to go after N'Dru and boosts and barrel rolls to be perfectly in front of where N'Dru ends up. N'Dru lets rip, stripping both shields and a hull from Juno for no damage in return. These two then play cat and mouse for a few turns while the other ships fight it out on the opposite side of the board. Darth and Omega Ace both try and get up close and personal with both TLTs but I make sure I separate them and a few good hits later and Darth is down to 1 hull. Kavil's 4 dice really helped here! I took out Darth and by this time Palob had ended up in range of Juno too so he took her out as well. That just left the Omega Ace which was swiftly dealt with. Palob was fantastic at shutting down Omega Ace's ability as I would just steal his focus every turn so he could never get his auto 3 crits on me. As always Si was great fun to play and we had a good laugh during the game!

 

100-0 win.

 

Game 2

 

My second game was against Tim who was flying:

 

Howlrunner

Omega Leader, Juke, Comms Relay, Stealth Device

Omega Ace, PTL

Epsilon Squadron

Academy Tie

 

I was a bit nervous about this as I know TIEs are knife fighters and my slow, low agility ships with TLTs definitely don't want a swarm at range 1. Tim started to set up in a line along the top right hand side of the board and I knew I did not want to joust with his hoard so I set up my triangle of ships in the bottom left corner again. Tim's deployment ended up being a line of 4 ships with Howlrunner behind them so they could all use his ability. I put N'Dru opposite the hoard as I didn't really know what else to do with him. I knew I was throwing him away but I had painted myself into a corner with my deployment and thought I could at least take out a TIE before dying. Unfortunately this did not go to plan as N'Dru's missiles only took 1 shield from the Omega Ace before N'Dru promptly vanished in the face of massed TIE fighters. Things were looking bleak at this point as the hoard turned to face my triangle of terror. I knew he could get to range one and stay there easily compared to my slow moving turrets so I quickly flew the Pirate forward to block and tried to fly the TLTs as unpredictably as possible. Unfortunately for Tim his Howlrunner was just about at range 3 of both my TLTs and he had barrel-rolled to get into position so he was token-less. I got lucky and managed to take out Howlrunner in one salvo and things were looking up again. Over the next few turns I managed to consistently block with the Pirate while concentrating fire on whichever TIE was in range of both TLTs. I killed the Omegas in a couple of rounds and soon it was just the two PS1 TIEs against my turrets. I can't quite remember if he got Palob in the end but I don't think he did.

 

Another win, 100 to me, I think only 24 to him.

 

Game 3

 

Game 3 was against Sam (I think, sorry if that's wrong, I can't quite remember!):

 

IG88-B with Lone Wolf, Sensor Jammer, HLC, Inertial Dampeners, Autothrusters

Thug with TLT

Thug with TLT

 

Obviously when I saw this list my immediate thought was that the IG must die asap. My previous experiences with Autothrusters have shown me how much they nullify TLTs, especially with super agile ships like IGs and Interceptors, so I am counting on N'Dru to put some hurt on the IG before he bites the dust. Sam set up his Thugs and IG in the middle with his IG on the right. I didn't want his Thugs to go N'Dru hunting so this time I set up all my ships in a square in the bottom right hand corner (so his IG was nearer to my ships than his Thugs). I immediately hard turned my Pirate and turrets while shooting forward with N'Dru. He went forward with his Thugs and banked his IG towards my corner which was perfect for me as N'Dru found himself directly in front of the IG at range 1 in turn 2. N'Dru's missiles stripped all the shields from the IG which I was extremely pleased about as I was having nightmares about them only doing one shield again like last game! However N'Dru then got one-shotted by the angry IG. Ah well, an eye for an eye. The TLTs were then able to finish off the IG but not before he had put some hurt on Palob. Between my Pirate and TLTs I was also able to take out one of his Thugs but not before Palob had bit the dust. This brought it down to my Pirate (who was seriously out of position) and my slightly damaged Kavil against his full health TLT. He managed to stay at range one and behind Kavil for a couple of turns so he was getting primary shots whereas I was getting nothing. However I then pulled a couple of hard turns while he did some soft turns and suddenly I was behind him. I managed to whittle him down with Kavil's R4 Agromech and Crack Shot (which I had forgotten for the whole tournament up until now) and I managed to take him out for no more losses. This was an extremely close game, Kavil was down to 2 health and the Pirate was shield-less by the end. The last few turns especially were really intense as we both tried to outmanoeuvre the other's Y wing. Great fun and another great opponent!

 

Win 100-54.

 

Game 4

 

So I was 3-0 so far and on table 1. Very much not somewhere I am accustomed to being! My next opponent introduced himself as Tom. It was only after the tournament that I discovered this was in fact Tom Reed who came 3rd in the UK Nationals last year, only being beaten by the guy who ended up winning the Nationals. In retrospect, maybe it's better that I didn't know this!

 

Dash with Predator, Outrider, HLC and Rec Spec

Chewie with Predator and the title

 

I don't remember a lot about this game, other than it was quick and brutal. I set up in my usual triangle on one side with N'Dru on his own facing Dash. Unfortunately N'Dru's missiles did only 1 shield to Dash and then the HLC took him out. Not good. After that it didn't take Tom long to clean up the rest of my ships. Tom's flying was simply superb. Every time I expected him to do something he did the opposite and I couldn't get a single block or get out of range 1 of Chewie. Tom was also very patient, constantly flying just into range 3 to fire his HLC before flying off to reposition. I was simply outclassed in this game. I managed to get Dash down to 1 hull but was tabled for my troubles.

 

27-100 loss.

 

Game 5

 

So I am 3-1 and playing my friend Rob on table 2 in the last round before the cut. We both know that the winner of this is making the cut whereas the loser probably won't. Rob is a formidable opponent and is one of the best pilots in our club so I’m not liking my chances much here. He was flying:

 

Corran with PTL, Engine, R2D2 and FCS

Gray Squadron with TLT

Gray Squadron with TLT

 

I set up in my triangle in the middle this time and he set up opposite me. I put N'Dru in the bottom right corner and Rob immediately gunned for him with Corran behind his TLTs. Thanks to some good flying by Rob the TLTs came into range of N'Dru while his Corran was at range 3. Between them they were easily going to take him out before I could get to Corran so I made the decision to sink the missiles into a Y wing before N'Dru got destroyed. I took 5 hit points from the Y wing which was a good amount and I didn't mind too much when N'Dru got destroyed in return by a double tapping Corran. Rob proceeded to fly his injured Y wing towards the corner and turn in with Corran and the other Y. Unfortunately for Rob, a slight misjudgement that he barrel-rolled Corran but stayed in range 3 of both TLTs. Some unlucky green dice from him and a liberal use of Crack Shot by me meant that Corran went down without too much of a fuss. The Y wings followed suit, but not without a fight that took out Palob and the Pirate. I think I was lucky in this game in that I was able to take out Corran quickly when he is usually much more difficult to deal with.

 

So at this point I am 4-1 and am definitely through to the top 4. I have never made the cut before and can't really believe that I have!

 

Top 4 Game

 

So at this point I am in second and according to how the cut works that means I play third place. I was extremely glad about this as Tom was in first and I still didn't know how to beat his pancakes! In third was Gareth with:

 

Darth Vader with TIE x1 and ATC

Omega Leader with Juke and Comms Relay

Omega Squadron with Juke and Comms Relay

Omega Squadron with Juke and Comms Relay

 

Gareth set up in the top right hand corner in a square and I put my triangle in the centre with N'Dru opposite his ships. The plan was to put some hurt on Darth with the missiles before trying to block with the Pirate and TLT the TIEs to death one at a time. His ships and N'Dru flew at each other and I decided on turn 2 he was going to shoot forward and block me so I flew slowly with N'Dru to try and avoid this (I took the initiative so I moved after everyone but Darth). Unfortunately I misjudged his intentions as he just flew his ships forward at medium speed and when it came to getting my TL with N'Dru I wasn't sure if Darth would be in range. Oh well, might as well try and take a TIE off the board instead, so I target locked one of his Omega Squadrons. Turns out Darth would have been in range but hey-ho. The missiles only did one shield to the TIE (**** those green dice) but N'Dru survived the return fire thanks to Glitterstim. This was an unusual situation as N'Dru usually dies immediately. Unfortunately all he could do was crash next turn but luckily a misjudgement on Gareth's part meant that all of his ships crashed into each other or N'Dru. N'Dru then took the shields off Darth (forgot to roll an extra attack dice too, you can tell I was used to him being dead at this point!). N'Dru then got hammered by the TIEs and taken off the board. By now the TLTs were in range and what ensued was a car park of TIEs, Z-95s and HWKs. I think Darth was stressed from failing a K Turn last round so had to green manoeuvre forward which took him into range 1 of Palob who stole his evade for good measure. Kavil went to work on Darth and got him down to 1 health. All Palob could do was a range 1 primary shot on a token-less Darth. 2 dice, 2 hits. 3 green dice, 2 evades. Crack Shot. Dead Darth. Much hilarity was had by those watching that the Sith lord was brought down by a HWK primary shot! What then followed was a few turns of the TIEs trying to stay at range 1 of Palob and to bring him down. They eventually succeeded but not before one of the Omega Squadrons was dead. Then it was down to the Pirate and Kavil. They got the Omega Squadron (thanks to Kavil's crack shot) and Kavil wasn't allowed to modify dice because of the Leader's ability. The Pirate managed to get a crit through which took the Leader down to 1 health, it was console fire. Next turn he rolls a hit to end the game.

 

So I’m through to the final but facing Tom again. I know I'm outclassed but am just happy to be there!

 

Final

 

Playing against Tom's Dash and Chewie again, still no idea what to do! I decide that I will basically do the same thing again and see if it works this time. Probably not the best strategy but it's late and I'm tired! One thing that is different is that I gave Tom the initiative instead as I knew trying to block him was futile! Set up with the triangle in the middle and N'Dru opposite Dash on the right. This time the missiles did all 5 shields and suddenly I might be in with a chance! He blocks N'Dru with Chewie and Dash kills him, but I don't mind as he has done his job. However I am then too keen to try and capitalise on the situation and fly the Pirate at his ships too fast and without support. Pirate dies and its my turrets vs his shield-less Dash and full health Chewie. Again, Tom flys spectacularly and makes me either unable to fire on one of the ships or am forced to split my fire between them. HLCs make a mess of low agility ships though and he finishes me off without too much trouble. To be honest I'm glad he won as he is the much better pilot (as well as a nice guy!) and deserves it.

 

I am extremely happy to have come in second and had a great day. Really looking forward to Store Championship season but not sure what to take now. I still can't help but feel I got lucky with my matchups, only facing things my list is designed to counter. N'Dru was also a bit hit and miss, the missiles either being a game changer or a complete flop. I feel like if I am investing a quarter of my list in him then I want a more reliable result! So back to the drawing board for a while, have a month before my next tournament so we will see what transpires before then. Thanks for reading!

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Yeah that match up really showed off the value of glitterstim, N'Dru may have wiffed with the missiles, but he lived through 4 range one focused shots, including Vader's ATC. 

 

Even I managed to crack a smile when Palob killed Darth, especially after you reassured me I had rolled well enough to avoid the shot, only to have a crackshot card waved triumphantly in my face! 

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I didn't say this before, but I find Crack Shot on the TLT carriers an interesting choice. My first reaction, was skepticism, since those pilots usually fight out of arc, but on further consideration, I really like the early firepower it gives them on the turns when it's easy to keep things in arc. I wouldn't have thought to use it, myself, but I dig it.

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I didn't say this before, but I find Crack Shot on the TLT carriers an interesting choice. My first reaction, was skepticism, since those pilots usually fight out of arc, but on further consideration, I really like the early firepower it gives them on the turns when it's easy to keep things in arc. I wouldn't have thought to use it, myself, but I dig it.

 

It's definitely situational but when it works it is worth it's weight in gold. I find that TLTs struggle with 3 agility ships (unless you have 4 of them, then its just a matter of time) but being able to knock the stealth device off Soontir or kill that ship with one hull left is great. It is also good when your opponent spends his token to survive an attack, only to have it go through anyway (leaving him exposed to the next shot) or it acts as a deterrent to them using tokens as they know you will push the damage through anyway. And they are only 1 point each, what else are you going to stick on them?! I do agree about the first turns too, I tended to try and spend it as early as possible to make sure I could actually use it.

Edited by Popeslob

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