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The Best Offender is a Cracked Defender (French National Batrep)

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When Imperial Veterans came out I decided to fly three defenders as an exercise to learn how to fly them, but the resulting win-loss ratio was just too good for me to ignore, so when the time came for the next road trip from Barcelona to Toulouse for the French National I already had a list in mind, which consisted of Vessery, a Glaive and Ryad, all with the X7 title and crack shot for 100 points.


The tournament had 128 participants and a cut to top 16 after 7 rounds of Swiss pairings, with an element from the X-2 tournament format in which the N players at 7/0, and 6/1 would automatically get into the top but the best (16 – N)*2 players at 5/2 would face each other in the morning of day two for the remaining positions of the cut. While I personally like the idea of a proper X-2 format more (in which ALL of the 5/2 players have a chance to make the cut but a few of the 6/1 players would also need to fight for their spots), this was an interesting middle ground.



Round 1: Juan


I expected there to have a couple of matches against other people from Spain, but to be paired with the one of the guys that I was sharing a hotel with in round 1 not half an hour after he wanted to play a warm-up match with me (I think he got bored because of the late start) was ironic to say the least. He was flying the list he used to win a 94-player casual tournament which I helped organize, as well as make top 4 in the Kashyyyk Open in Italy last June. The list was:

Dengar with lone wolf, glitterstim, engine upgrade, tactician, P1 and R5-P8, and Manaroo with recon specialist, feedback array, guidance chips, deadeye, R4 agromech, proton torpedoes and extra munitions.


He set up Manaroo off center (to my right) and facing down and I set up Ryad in the lane straight across, with the Glaive and Vessery in my right corner, and he finally placed down Dengar across from my defender duo and just outside of range 2 of Manaroo. On the first turn or two turn we both approached slowly without deviating from the lanes, and in the first combat turn I launched Ryad forward and banked the two PS6s left so that they would all be facing Manaroo. I think Juan knew that if he only had Dengar shooting at my tokened up defenders I probably wouldn’t take any damage, and he knows that I have no problem with not firing back at him when it’s inconvenient for me so he brought Manaroo in to fire a torpedo (through a debris cloud) and Dengar’s primary (range 2) into Vessery. I believe I lost a shield or two total and also took down 2-3 shield from Manaroo thanks to a crack shot and him not wanting to spend focus tokens on defense. On the following turn Manaroo came in looking for a bump (and got one with Vessery) but Ryad and the Glaive k-turned and ended up at range 1-2. Dengar was unable to cut through Vessery’s defense dice and evade token and in exchange I left Manaroo at 1 hull. On the following turn I killed Manaroo and got Dengar to bump into Vessery, but lost the shields on my Glaive due to rolling blanks at range 1. After that it was just a question of me trying to focus fire on Dengar from outside his arc and spending tokens on defense to evade as much as possible. In the end I managed to bring down Dengar with Ryad full and Vessery and the Glaive at 1 hull each, mainly thanks to R5-P8.


Victory: 100-0



Round 2: Sorry I forgot your name (maybe Antoine? correction: Seb) I should have written it down


With my first victory under my belt I find across from me an opponent flying uboats whom I believe had just beaten the two-time French national champ, Icareane (who was flying his usual swarm), so I figured that this wouldn’t be an easy match for me. He equipped all of his jumpmasters with munitions, overclocked R4, deadeye and guidance chips, and two had plasma torps (with 4-LOM and Zuckuss crew) and one proton torps (with Boba Fett crew). While trying to keep my distance on the initial approach I ended up positioning one of my defenders quite badly, and while I didn’t receive any torpedo shots on the first combat turn thanks to range 1 shots, one of my defenders didn’t have a shot and the one that was smack in between all of his ships got some pretty bad green dice and took more damage than expected, and also blanked out a bit on the reds so I was already at a disadvantage after the first exchange even without being on the receiving end of any torpedoes. I managed to kill off the 4-LOM jumpmaster a few turns later, but lost my damaged Glaive on the same turn. After that I made a couple bad decisions on token spending while simultaneously being well-predicted by my opponent and ended up losing both of my defenders in exchange for half of his Boba-toting jumpmaster.


Loss: 50-100



Round 3: Peggy


Peggy was flying a Dengar/Tel list, and they were the most colorful jumpmasters I’ve ever seen with their green/white and purple/white color schemes, both with rainbow engines and extremely detailed undersides. I can’t remember all the details of her list, but I know she had Tel equipped with Vi, torpedoes, K4 and chips (not hull) and Dengar had the title, predator and I think R5-P8 (amongst other things). 


I set up all of my defenders in my bottom left corner (with Ryad a bit to the right) and she set up Tel in the corner straight across and Dengar slight further to my right than Ryad. After approaching fast with all of my ships and being out of range, I managed to get both of my PS6 guys within 5 bases of Tel and Ryad banked towards him, all with focus and evade. After Tel moved 1-forward he ended up in range 1 of my PS6s and range 2 of Ryad, though she was just out of arc. She decided to focus + TL Vessery, and Dengar came into Range 1 of Ryad. Dengar rolled 4 hits at the countess, and she spent both tokens to avoid receiving any damage, while Vessery lost a shield. In exchange I rolled 8 focused dice into Tel with crack shot and 3 more from Ryad, leaving him at 1 hull. On the following turn I k-turned everyone while she s-looped with Tel and turned in with Dengar. Vessery lost another shield to a proton torp and I don’t remember Dengar doing any damage, but the Glaive finished off Tel the first time and Ryad got him right after. After that it was just a question of corralling Dengar once more between my ships and bringing him down.


Victory: 100-0



Round 4: Alberto “ADG”


Alberto is another one of the guys from Barcelona that I play with occasionally, and my matches against him are always very close. He was actually paired down with me as at that point he was at 3-0 and leading the Swiss while I was at 2-1. He was flying a rebel list that he’d been using a lot lately and had been having good results.

Wedge with adaptability, R3-A2 and IA,

Wes with VI, R5 and IA,

Biggs with R4-D6 and IA,

and a bandit


We ended up jousting (with both of us confident in our lists’ ability to out-joust the other) and this was by far the closest match of my tournament at this point, because we both know each other well. Each turn we alternated in accurately predicting one another for blocks/focusing damage and I managed to bring down Biggs in exchange for a damaged Vessery, and then losing Vessery and getting Ryad close to death (she evaded like a champ one turn and then mostly blanked the next) in exchange for Wedge. Wes was a pain to deal with but Ryad managed to survive 3-4 turns of shots from him (evade dice: on) and between her shots and the Glaive’s I managed to kill him without losing her, though it took a while because he turned over a couple of ship crits thanks to that droid. After Wes went down he conceded as he only had the bandit left.


Victory: 100-34



Round 5: “Morfeo” (recorded)


Yet another guy from Spain, though thankfully he’s from a different region and we’d never actually played against each other. He was flying the standard brobots (IGB&C with crack shot, glitterstim, autothrusters, FCS, HLC and the title).


I won the initiative roll and gave it to him, but unfortunately, I didn’t manage to engineer the first combat turn at range 1 or 2, and his HLCs and crack shot left Vessery at 1 or 2 hull in the first combat turn (I only spent tokens to let 1 hit through so that that his crack shot would only deal two damage, something that Soontir cannot allow). In exchange I managed to crack shot 2-3 shields off of IG C. On the following turn he expected k-turns and tried to block them by having both IGs bump each other. I expected him to try to block Vessery but not with those maneuvers, and his 5-forward didn’t fit, while my other two defenders had range 1 shots on IG C. Vessery died after taking two shields off of IG B, but in exchange I left C with two crits (stress and damaged engine). At this point he decided to leave both IGs (and clear some stress) in place while Ryad did a 1-bank to get parallel with C, with her and B exchanging range 1 shots, while my Glaive turned away as his k-turn was blocked. I don’t believe Ryad took any damage and she then got B into hull. On the next turn he bumped with C again and s-looped with B to get behind, while I k-turned with both of my ships, with Ryad at range 2 of C and range 3 of B. I managed to completely evade one IGs’ shots and took a single hit from the other, while getting C down to 1 hull (he popped glitterstim with C here). On the following turn he had to do a green maneuver to get dangerously close to the edge (so no boosting away) and I killed C in exchange for another shield off of Ryad. A few turns later I hunted down B and dealt it the last three damage cards.


Victory: 100-34



Round 6: Sorry I also forgot your name as well, I really need to go with paper next time...


He was flying an interesting list with Boba Fett with adaptability, dengar crew, glitterstim and an HLC alongside Kath with VI, munitions, homing missiles, the slave I title, feedback array and 4-LOM. I didn’t quite realize it until it was too late, but the homing missile combo with 4-LOM is terrifying as I can’t spend focus or evade to defend against it. Somehow he only managed to get 3 hits out of his missile and my tokened up Ryad rolled 3 natural evades, and when Boba rolled 3 hits with the HLC at her she spent her evade token to dodge it all. In exchange I peeled the shields off of Boba from range 3 spend two crack shots. On the following turn I managed to focus fire on Boba some more, though Kath had a nice range 1 rear-shot on my Glaive as her 4-forward made it by my ships. On this turn my evade dice were awesome again and I believe the Glaive lost a single shield from Kath, though Boba dealt him a bit more damage. In exchange I left Boba at 1-2 hull. On the following turn Kath k-turned out of range of almost everyone (except Vessery) and I managed to burn Boba down. After that I divided up my ships and was slowly doing damage to Kath, and he brought my Glaive down to 2 hull. On the final turn he used feedback on my Glaive who had Kath in arc from outside of hers (bringing her down to 4 hull) and in exchange I rolled 4 natural crits (I had both a focus and a TL but didn’t spend either), finishing her off. If the dice would have been average in the first combat turn Ryad would probably have lost all her shields and maybe a hull, and then that would have been a completely different match.


Victory: 200-0


At 5-1 and my great MOV I was confident that I would at least have a chance at the top in the extra round on the following morning if I lost the last one, but was already tired and dreaming of sleeping an extra hour in the morning.



Round 7: Sergi


For my final round of the day I got paired out of my block again (I was at 5-1 and he was at 4-2) and he’s also another one of the better players from Barcelona (losing in the final of the casual tournament I mentioned in my round 1 text), though we don’t play too often. He was flying:

Echo with Rebel Captive, FCS, VI and ACD,

Vessery with VI and X7, and 

Omega Leader with juke and comm relay


Finally, I’m faced against aces and I’m playing against someone that moves them well. I don’t remember too many details from this match but we ended up trading out 34-point Vesserys on the same turn, and then I managed to kill his OL in 4 shots (with him having a TL on me for two of those shots). While trying to catch the squirrely Echo I ended up losing my Glaive with 3 minutes to go, though his Echo on 1 hull and stressed. On the final turn I managed to guess his tactic of not doing a green maneuver and finished off Echo at range 1 from outside her arc and with Ryad on 3 hull.


Unfortunately, after turning in the results we realized that we had completely forgotten about his rebel captive in the later turns where we were in a hurry to kill one another, which would have drastically altered the result of the match. We went to the judge and explained the situation but it was too late, they already had the standings ready.


Victory: 100-67



This left me with a MOV of 1115 and in 2nd place, behind the only 7/0 player. Out of the nearly 30 of us coming from Spain (around 24 from Barcelona) that invaded Toulouse, 3 of us went 6/1 and half of the best 14 5/2 players fought for a spot in the top 16 on the following morning. In the end 3 of them won their games, including my round 1 opponent, making for 6 people from our group making the cut.



Round of 16: Futil


Surprisingly, the they ended up creating a new tournament for the 16 players and I ended up paired with the player that was 4th at the end of the Swiss the day before. Furthermore, this was the guy that I had to play in the last round of Swiss in the previous years’ national for a spot in the top cut. It was a nerve-wracking match which I was surprised to win as his list was basically my anti-list, but I somehow managed to pull it off. So now we have our rematch in the first round of the top and I know that he’s a good player, and furthermore he’s flying uboats which I didn’t do too well against the last time I faced them. His configuration was:

JM5K 1 (the bumpmaster): plasma torps, GC, OCR4, deadeye and feedback array

JM5K 2: plasma torps, EM, GC, OCR4 and deadeye

JM5K 3: proton torps, EM, GC, OCR4, deadeye, Boba Fett

*I’m pretty sure he was at 100 points but I can’t remember what the last two points were spent on.


He set up all of his ships at the top-left corner (my point of view) and I put Ryad in the middle-right and Vessery and the Glaive at the bottom-left straight across. He approached slowly while I was banking and barrel rolling towards my board edge with the PS6s and Ryad threatened to cross the middle to flank but instead I moved her around the big rock in the bottom-right corner where there was a semi-dense cluster. In the end he had two jumpmasters one behind the other and committed to coming in through the cluster, and the Boba one coming towards my board edge at an angle. The first combat turn saw his bumpmaster launch its only torpedo at Vessery with focus & evade and he knocked off two shields with everything else out of range. Ryad was straight right from the cluster facing in and the PS6s had just k-turned into my right corner and were also facing left. The next turn ended up being the definitive one of the game and depended on whether I could predict his block. His bumpmaster did a 1-forward to de-stress from the overclocked and barrel rolled to block Vessery’s 3-bank and 3-turn in, and the other two moved 1-forward and focused. Ryad went 4-forward and ended up right next to JM5k 2 and outside of arc, my Glaive (who was behind Vessery) did a 3-turn and managed to squeeze right by the bumpmaster and an inch from JM5K 2, and Vessery did a 5-forward, passing the block and landing right in front of JM5K 3, so no torpedoes were fired. Between 8 focused dice and crack shot, I got JM5K 2 down to 3 hull (and he got double stressed), and Vessery knocked 3 shields off of JM5K 3. In exchange my Glaive received 3 primary shots (2 from range 1) and took a bit of damage. The best part about this position was that I could k-turn freely without any risks of blocks and continue laying on the pressure. He quickly s-looped the bumpmaster and went forward to get JM5K 2 away and de-stressed, but then I laid into JM5K 3 and on the following turn got it to 1 hull. The bumpmaster also managed to block Ryad’s k-turn, and a now turned-around JM5K 2 hit the Glaive with a plasma torp, leaving it at 1 hull. I turned everything towards JM5K 2 to kill it before it fired its final torpedo (while he ran with JM5K 3) but it survived at 1 hull (and with a pile of stress) and fired his last plasma torp into Ryad (now at 2 hull). Then the final turn is played and I destroy JM5K 2 while the bumpmaster zaps my 1-hull Glaive into oblivion. It was a very tense match and every turn took ages to think about, but overall a great game.


Victory: 50-33


At this point 3 of us 6 invaders that made the top got knocked out, the only two rebel lists in the cut faced one another, and my friend’s dengaroo knocked out another uboat list.



Quarter-Final: “Da Dieg”


Diego’s a guy with a Spanish name who’s actually French, who was also running uboats and was (I believe) a friend of my previous opponent. I believe that his version consisted of proton torps on all three (maybe one was a plasma) and he also had a Boba crew on one and 4-LOM on another if I remember correctly.

During this match I didn’t position myself as well as I did with the previous though the first combat turn was quite similar with his front ship firing its only torpedo at Vessery with everyone else out of range. Unfortunately for Da Dieg, he was incapable of getting 4 hits with any a torpedo on that round (or any of the later ones), and I evaded it without spending any tokens (though he blocked my evade token with 4-LOM). On the next turn Vessery took two proton torps to the face and came out with 1 less shield. After spending 3 of his 5 torpedoes in exchange for a single shield, there was basically nothing he could do as I was simply unloading into one ship one turn, killed it on the next and then moved onto the next one. Average dice on both of our parts would have turned that into a completely different game where I would have been hard pressed to come back from an early advantage on his side, but sometimes those are the dice.


Victory: 100-0



Semi-Final: Raphael (recorded)


Raphael had just finished defeating my dengaroo-flying friend with a PtL Ryad, procket Inquisitor and palp shuttle (leaving 2 invaders in the top 4), and I was aiming to get revenge for him =). He gave me initiative and set up in the top-left corner with his ships nearby to block the shuttle for a few turns, as palp aces tend to do, while I was looking for a way through the asteroids to get to the shuttle. In the first real combat turn I sent Ryad 4-forward and barrel-rolled just around an asteroid to try to get his inquisitor and Ryad to bump against me, while Vessery who was right behind her went 5 forward to get range 2 on the shuttle. My glaive also did a 3-turn at the top of the board and also reached range 2 of the shuttle. In the end he went forward with the inquisitor instead of turning in (and didn’t get a shot), but his Ryad did bump into mine and took an unmodified range 1 shot at Vessery. In exchange I pummeled the shuttle’s shields and got 2 crits on the hull, which gave him a stress token and no way to block my k-turns. The following turn sees Vessery finish off the shuttle while the inquisitor is turning around and Ryad deals a damage card on Vessery. Unfortunately for me, I was pretty badly positioned for focusing on his Ryad or Inquisitor, and we plinked a few shields off of one another here and there until he got his proton rocket off on the Glaive (lost 2 shields spending focus an evade) and then blanked a defense roll against Ryad (range 3 through an asteroid), leaving him at 2 hull. Now it was a game of survival and in the end neither of us were able to get more than one shot on any defending ship per turn, meaning that everyone had focus + evade every turn and as neither of us blanked any defense rolls, no more ships died when time was called.


Victory: 29-0



Final: Dalarisse (recorded)


I’m now playing at my first final in a big tournament after having made semis a few times in others. Funnily enough Dalarisse gave my only loss in last years’ Swiss rounds and now we were meeting up in the finals after he beat the last one of my friends still in the top. He was flying the palp ace standard of Soontir (with stealth), the Inquisitor (with procket) and the palp shuttle. We ended up placing 3 large asteroids in a straight line along my left side of the board and he put his shuttle in the top-left corner at 45 degrees (and later placed Soontir and the Inquisitor nearby) while I decided to put my PS6s in the bottom-left corner and Ryad looking down the lane on the other side of the three asteroids. I quickly moved forward with my defenders and watched him position the Inquisitor so that a bank would make him parallel and face to face with Ryad, and Soontir was in the left lane along the edge and facing towards Ryad’s lane. I wanted to move Ryad with a 3-bank but if Soontir moved forward and the inquisitor banked in then she’d be on the receiving end of 9 red dice, plus the shuttle from range 3. In the end I decided to make a 3-turn left to seek cover from a rock and sent Vessery and the Glaive 5 forward and into range 3 of the shuttle. The inquisitor did a 1-bank and locked onto Ryad (at range 3 in front of him) and Soontir did a hard 3-turn right ending up smack in range 1 of my Glaive and bisected by my firing arc, with an asteroid blocking his barrel roll out of arc, so he turtled up. He was also at range 2 through an asteroid of Ryad’s arc. The inquisitor did 1 damage to Ryad and Soontir saved his tokens. Vessery fired at the shuttle and then I gave into temptation and rolled 4 hits with the Glaive against Soontir. He spent focus, evade and the emperor to evade 4, only for my crack shot to break his stealth device. Unfortunately, Ryad only rolled 1 hit and he was able to evade it with his focus and 4 dice.


On the next turn I had Ryad do a 5-k turn so she’s right next to the board edge facing where Soontir will surely end up (though he boosted and barrel-rolled out of arc and into the bottom-left corner, so he’d be out of the fight for two more turns), while I did a 3-turn with my Glaive so that the Inquisitor would bump into him with his 1-turn. Vessery then went forward to work some more on the shuttle. Though the Inquisitor had no actions, between his shot and the shuttle’s Ryad lost all her shields and got a direct hit (despite having a focus and evade for defense), leaving her at 1 hull due to blank dice. After that I had the Glaive bank away and take a TL on the shuttle for Vessery while Ryad 3-turned left towards the shuttle (that did a 0) and ended up face to face with it while blocking the Inquisitor (again). Vessery and Ryad lit up the shuttle (leaving it at 1 hull) and Ryad successfully weathered the unmodified range 1 shot with 3 green dice and an evade token. The next turn had me make 3 k-turns while the inquisitor decided that it wasn’t safe to sit in arc of 3 defenders and ran, but Soontir was finally about the rejoin the fight. A turn or two later saw Soontir face to face with Ryad, who boosted into range 1 and took an evade and focus token. He tried to roll for 4 hits, but wouldn’t spend the token if he couldn’t guarantee 4, and we missed each other. Then he tried it again and once more didn’t manage 4 hits, but this time I had two shots on him and finished him off. The Inquisitor later knocked a shield or two off of my Glaive with his proton rocket, but between my three ships I soon hunted him down.


Victory: 200-0



Woohoo! My first major tournament win! After finishing in the top 5% of about half of the major tournaments I’ve been to since I started playing I was super happy to finally make it past my semifinal curse, make it to the final and win it all. Sadly while I got a bye for Worlds there's no free trip to the US as the that goes to the best French player (I knew this going in so there were no unpleasant surprises), and I told the TO that I would renounce it to Dalarisse as I won’t be able to go anyway. Either way, I’m still ecstatic over the win three days later and can’t wait to go back next year.


As a final recap, the play area was great and the temperature inside was perfect despite how hot it was outside, the prize support was good (though last year's was better), and the organizers did a great job if you discount the standard one-hour delay that tends to crop up in every big tournament. Thanks for a great tournament!

Edited by darthlurker

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Thanks! I think that most people are too used to seeing crack shot on 2-dice attacks and when 3 (or 4) dice are coming at you crack shot becomes a much more fearsome thing as some ships simply melt under that kind of firepower. It's beautiful  :D

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Hi everyone!


Sorry for the time it takes but yes, we're working on it.


The videos will be soon available on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtBvT1AvpZjslMC_P0bN-Pg


Congratulation again Darthlurker or Sithion  ;)

you showed us great games and it was a real pleasure to be at the first sit to "judge" you and your opponents.


I wish to thank all the players for the great time we had, such a cool weekend!


Hope it'll be such funny next year  :)




Azkel from l'Escadron des Têtes Brûlées 

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Gotta love having three x7s on the board!


As noted in another thread, my 6.5 year old son took 2nd in a local tournament with triple x7 crackshot Glaives, pushing me to 3rd place with my scummy list. Fear not, gentle readers, I soundly beat him in our made up top 4 bracket the next weekend to see who would have won. But then, we went to the actual winner of the tourney to help him prep for Nationals (who was top 4 at the Rochester regionals as his most recent accolade) and my son also beat him 100-33.


While the list is a huge part of it, crackshot x7s hit are and are evasive, he flew them well throughout!


Félicitations pour la belle victoire! I'm looking forward to watching the recorded games.

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