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Rauhughes

What!? Another Tie Defender Store Championship Report!?!?

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I attended a 19 player store championship this weekend and thought I'd give a quick report on my games. Unfortunately I don't have the time to put up my usual blow by blow reps so a think of this more as match of the day than extended highlights.

My list was the same as I previously ran, which was;

Vessery

HLC, Crackshot, mk2 engine

Omega leader

Juke

Comms relay

Epsilon ace (counts as ps 12 until he has a damage card)

Academy tie

The list is pretty straight forward. Vessery pounds things hard. This puts pressure on the enemy to deal with him and leave Omega leader alone. My plan is always to secure a OL endgame. The academy is there as a blocker, keeping vessery's 4k's open or just keeping the enemy from getting at range one of him. Epsilon ace gives me the final say in the round on target lock acquisition. Extremely helpful in the first engagement rounds. He's also very useful as a blocker too, as moving last he can anchor a flank to prevent the enemy moving that way and the academy is usually moving first to deny their resulting best moves. Together they cause real positional issues for the opponent.

R1

Rexlar Brath

HLC, outmanoeuvre, mk2 engines

Omega Leader

Omicron pilot

Fleet officer

Advanced sensors

Engine upgrade

I gave him initiative. I set up in a box centre left, whilst his OL and Rex set up on his centre left and his shuttle in his right hand corner. I debated sweeping left and going for the stranded shuttle early on but I didn't like the rock layout for that, so I banked fast to the right first round and fast left the second with Ace heading out far right flanking. Combat ensued in the second round but due to the rocks my openly had to sacrifice some actions to barrel rolling. This still left his OL without a decent shot. We traded fire and I managed to take Rex out for the loss of Vess' shields. The next round I Moved in to block OL and set up some K's for next round, which worked nicely as the blocked OL trapped the shuttle on a rock. Minimal shooting this round. I K'd most of my ships, cut off an escape route toward my lines with Vess and swept Ace into the fight. Unfortunately, his OL turned right into my trap and was wiped out by the combined firepower of Ace, OL and Vess. The next turn I gave up shots for repositioning to make sure I got behind the shuttle and my opponent concedes at the end of that round as it was evident the shuttle would never shoot again.

Win 100 - 0

Round 2

Dash

PTL, Kyle, outrider, HLC, engine

Corran

VI, R2D2, FCS

this game was much more cat and mouse and as a result I don't remember the details too clearly. I set up my box on the right. Dash took the middle and corran his far right. I moved up quickly and cut in the second turn. Corran did the same whilst dash moves forward to the centre before turning away from my forces. In he opening engagement dash is mostly out of range so i fire on corran for the loss of a shield or two off Vess. The next turn I shoot past corran and engage dash as he turns back in towards his right corner. I manage to keep Corran out of arc or at range 3 whilst I whittle down and eventually kill dash as he flees across his table edge for the loss of Vess I think. Next begins the corran chase, he takes out my academy but OL and Ace do work and eventually manage to bring corran down in the final round.

Win 100 - 56

Round 3

Han Solo

Predator, C3PO, title, engine, Luke

Jake

Prockets

Autothrusters

Push

VI

Title

I set up in a box on the right. He spends a long time debating whether to set up for the joust and eventually opts against it and sets up Han on his centre right and kale on his extreme right. I move up and cut in again whilst jakes attempts to flank and Han moves to engage. We dance a little and I'm able to get in on Han without much reprisal from Jake. Han goes down and it costs me my academy early on followed by Ace shortly afterwards. Next begins about 40 minutes of OL and Vess vs jake. Vess got shot once by Han and it cost him all his shields, so my principle concern was keeping out of range 1 of Jake with Vess and letting OL take jake down. Unfortunately, OL can't get more than one hit when he gets a shot and Jakes putting out two evades every time. When Vess does get to shot he's rolling all blanks on his initial rolls I I can only convert two hits wth my free TL and focus when available. Frustrating is not the word. I eventually get Hakes shields down and time is fast approaching. I make my first major mistake of the day and turn Vess towards Jake, knowing this round he'll have no shot and the next round I can block him and then get past for a K turn and be same rest of the game and hopefully secure more points. He following round my block

Misses by a mm or two and Jake Prockets Vess for four hits. Vess blanks out again and goes down. Time is called next round and Jake just stays out of OL's arc for the win

Loss 64 - 73

Round 4

IG88 B&C

HLC, autotrusters, FCS, title, glitterstim, crackshot.

Stupid brobots. I know from experience that if both bots can shoot Vess in the opening engagement he's toast and I lose. I give him the initiative so Vess can dodge them somewhat. I set up my three ties in a box on my right but Vess goes down far right out of the formation. His bots deploy centre and the other on his centre right. I move up more cautiously than normal but he 3 forwards and boosts both bots getting the academy in range on one of the bots. A natural triple evade on the first shot betrays me as the two hits he rolls converts two four on the follow up shot and he crack shots one of my evades away so I take three damage and die. Shoulda gone 2 instead of 3 forwards! Doh.

Next round he gambled big and lost. The bot coming directly at me 4 k's just I front of my remaining two ties, whilst the other s-loops to end up side by side with his bro, both facing his deployment zone. I 2 forwarded with both of my ties, so one ends up in the back of each of the bots. Whereas I'm guessing he hoped Vess was now k-Turning or doing a big sweep into the centre, Vess just one banks, which allows him to barrel roll out of arc of not bots and take a range one shot. I drop C to 3 hull and take two shields off of B. Next turn, stressed and pointing the wrong way the bots are in trouble. C pulls a white to get the block, which works vs Vess but my other two ties waste him whilst vess strips the rest of B's shields. It's just a matter of giving chase now, and if I remember correctly Ace goes down the same round as B does.

Win 100 - 29

That's enough to put me into the top 4, along with another Brobot player, the Jake/Han list I lost to and a dual punisher with Jonus list. Habit finished 3rd I got to play 2nd which was Jake/Han again. Lucky me I guess.

Semi's

This time he decided he was going to joust and set up opposite my box. I slow rolled the first turn and he came full speed at me. Round two I send the academy way out front to block Han, Vess 1 bank barrel rolls to a position which I feel will be out of arc of Jake if he 5 forwards and boosts in. OL leapfrogged Vess to Prevent a boost into range 1 of Vess if Jake banks in. Ace banks in behind Vess. The academy blocks Han, but Jake 5's forward and despite not having the room to roll away and boost in his boost in just catches Vess in arc anyway. The Prockets and Han reduce Vess to one hull, but range one shots from Vess and Ace evaporate Jake anyway. OL adds insult to injury by taking two of Han's shields. Next round OL can't sloop or K as he needs his TL on Han so he one turns for the bump. Everyone else K's or sloops to get arc on Han. Han avoids the block and finishes Vess for the loss of another shield. The next few rounds I'm able to get a bump or two out of Han and whittle away the last of his shields but it costs me the academy and Ace goes down shortly afterwards, leaving a full health OL vs a 8 hull Han. The chase begins and I'm able to keep Han in arc or get range 3 obstructed shots when I can't. Han rarely gets more than two hits which I can easily keep on top of. I take a couple of damage from some 3 hit attacks but have Han down to two health by this stage. Han gets me down to one hull the same turn I get him to one and as he k turned and has a damaged sensor array crit he can't get out of my arc next round. I'm fully tokened up and he misses with both his attacks before I punch 2 more damage through to seal the win.

Win 100 - 73

Final

The Brobot player won the other Semi so it was almost the same game as vs my round 4 opponent, except this time it was B and D.

He sets up on his right and I do the same. I've got a nice asteroid set up on my side and in the centre to make life difficult for him coming in. I move up the flank fast with all except the academy he turns in to advance along my board edge. He feints in before slooping with B and turning back towards his board edge with D as he realises that the roids give him no good engagement route whilst I turn in and slowly advance to the middle. The academy is able to get on B's tail and starts plinking away. I move to block his B from turning towards me with the academy and everyone else guns 5 forwards whilst his D is still looping around the corner asteroid in his bottom right, heading back towards where he deployed. Academy gets the block leaving B still stressed and without arc. My entire list has arc so he has to pop glitterstim ending up double stressed. He still gets dropped to 3 hull. Next turn his B has nowhere to go so try's a one bank but ends up bumping. D turns back into the fight but it's too late to save B who is removed next turn without ever having fired. D manages to put a good hit on Vess. I reposition and require my locks, doing some token damage to D along the way. The next turn sees D and Vess in a range one joust, which leaves the Aggressor on hull and vessery dead. He pulls a beautiful sloop to land a couple of mm from all three of my remaining ships. Unfortunately OL's K turn puts him at range one and I roll three natural crits to blow D out of the known universe.

Win 100 - 44

So there you have it. 1st place after some of the most stressful games of my life. I really did not enjoy the end games vs Han/Jake both times and against corran/dash. They were stressful encounters where one mistake and it was over. Luckily I only made one mistake in those three matches and it didn't end up costing me too badly. OL is an absolutely monster, as is Vess and this difficult decision on who to target first was what let me exploit people with this list. Most of the time, as long as I'm getting my damage out whilst they're taking out Vess or OL, I'm still in a better position than they are. I'm loving epsilon ace too. Having the first and last say during the activation phase is a very powerful tool which can be abused to create a navigational nightmare for your opponent. I'm glad I went crackshot over VI on Vess. I accept Vess is going to die, I just want him to cripple you list first. Crackshot makes him much better at this than having the ps bid over dash and Miranda, and occasionally other OL's.

I know Bio's defender and two t/o aces list is doing well this year, for anyone who a) prefers to have that 4th ship and b) are confident in your own blocking capabilities, I would suggest you give this list a spin and see how it works for you as I'm certainly having some good success with it at the moment.

Thanks for reading, and I guess I'll see you at regionals!

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Thanks man! I'd love to give you some info on the ther semi but despite being played on the table next to ours Han and Jake just soaked every ounce of my concentration that I never even got to glimpse over at what was going on. I'm pretty sure the punishers claimed one of the IG's though. That was Tom's first lost ship of the day!

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I love that people are having success with these list variants. I believe we've stumbled onto an archetype folks. This also goes to show, our favorite defenders less needed a fix and more just needed reliable wingmen (FO's are just amazing, am I right?). Not to say I won't appreciate the titles and I'm really looking forward to tie/d vessery in my own variant.

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The FOs just seem to work with Defenders so very well. They are very good at staying on target, which compliments the Defenders white K-turn, and they give you some useful mass to support the very points-concentrated Defender. Throw in their natural TL support with Vessery, and it makes a lot of sense that he's seeing his share of Store Champ success.

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The FOs just seem to work with Defenders so very well. They are very good at staying on target, which compliments the Defenders white K-turn, and they give you some useful mass to support the very points-concentrated Defender. Throw in their natural TL support with Vessery, and it makes a lot of sense that he's seeing his share of Store Champ success.

FO sure (see what I did there?  HA!)

 

I've been cooking up a Fel, Vess + Epsilon Ace list and I like its potential.  It will be awesome when Imp vets is out, but until then, its still not bad:

Vess w/ VI & HLC = 43

Fel w/ PTL, title, autos & TC = 34

Eppy Ace w/ comm relay = 20

97

 

Epsilon Ace is surprisingly great in this set-up.  No one cares about him, despite being PS 12 and with Comm Relay, he's free to grab TLs whenever without too much concern for his safety.  Its also not hard to get in behind enemies with him, and at R1, his attacks are meaningful.  So far, I've been using Fel as bait.  He's a pretty spicy meatball, so opponents tend to take it, allowing Vessery some fully modified (and unanswered) shots to start off the match.  Its been working out so far, but since I have no chance to go to a Store Champ this year, I won't be able to put it to the ultimate test (maybe Regionals?  Not sure, but here's hoping!)

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