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brettpkelly

Battle Report: Worlds 2017

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Before I start, I just want to say it was so wonderful to meet so many of the guys from the forums this past week.  You guys are some of the friendliest most supportive people I've ever met.  A special thanks to Kevin and Chuck who basically teamed up with me as soon as I arrived, Jake Peterson who organized a bunch of cool outside events, the Vader's Finest guys for their hospitality at the Surley Brewery, and Dan Taylor for all the games on Vassal.

I'll go through how I came up with this list but for the people who just want to know what I was running here is the list I took:

Hunter Brawler Combo

Deployment Cards:

  • Shyla
  • Onar
  • 1x elite Weequay Pirates
  • 1x elite Gammorean Guards
  • Greedo
  • Gideon
  • C-3P0
  • Devious Scheme
  • Temporary Allliance

Command Cards:

  • Assassinate (3)
  • On the Lam (3)
  • Heightened Reflexes (2)
  • Grisly Contest (2)
  • Tough Luck (1)
  • Pummel (1)
  • Negation (1)
  • Primary Target (1)
  • Blitz (1)
  • Fleet Footed (0)
  • Take Initiative (0)
  • Planning (0)
  • Opportunistic (0)
  • Positioning Advantage (0)
  • Element of Surprise (0)

My start in competitive IA

I started playing IA competitively late last year and went to three regional tournaments this past season.  I stole my list from the battle report "The Australian Guy at Worlds" (Wonder Twins + Obi and eSabs).  My first regional in Rockville, Maryland was a wake up call to how good the players in the competitive scene were.  My very first game was against Kody Doherty, who thoroughly dismantled me with his spy/trooper list and ended up winning the tournament.  My second game was against Paul Heaver, and I had no idea who he was.  He introduced himself "Hey, I'm Paul Heaver" and I said "cool, I'm Brett Kelly".  I also played against Ira Mayers who also happened to be in the top 8 at worlds this year and also beat me.  I came in a pretty discouraging 10th out of 21 at that tournament and didn't get the dice I wanted so badly. 

It was really the dice that motivated me most, as silly as that sounds, and I started obsessing.  I was all over the forums lurking, reading, learning.  Kody took me under his wing and we trained together at his house, testing out lists that he was creating.  By my next regional at Mr. Nice Guy Games in Pittsburgh PA I felt much more prepared.  I was not going to come home empty handed.  I don't remember exactly who I played, but I remember some really good players from around Philadelphia were out there including James Hedgepeth and Lucas Davidson.  I ended up getting 5th in that tournament but now just the dice were not enough.

Kody and I drove up to Trotta's Hobbies in New Jersey together on a snowy day in January.  By this time Jabba's Realm had dropped and I changed my list from wonder twins to Luke's Finest (I think I heard some people call it Brett's Jersey List too).  Here is a link to the Battle Report.  This is the list:

  • Jedi Luke (12)
  • elite Rebel Rangers (12)
  • elite Echo Base Troopers (8)
  • Gideon (3)
  • R2D2 (3)
  • C-3P0 (2)

This was before the points per figure rule change which nerfs the elite Rebel Rangers group, but at the time this was in my opinion the strongest list in the meta.  (especially with the Lair of the Dianoga basically being an auto-win).  All the credit for coming up with the list goes to Kody, not me so props to him.  Lucas was my only loss in the group stage, and I ended up taking out Kody in the semi-finals at that tournament and James in the finals and hoisted my first and only regional trophy.  I wasn't planning on going to worlds until that moment.

Preparing for Worlds and My Thoughts on the Current Meta

Shortly after the NJ tournament the rules changed, effectively killing trooper spam and the run your last figure in a group away from the action strategy.  This was the rise of the Weequay meta.  Around this time I started posting my own opinions on the forums and playing a lot more on Vassal with great players like DT.  I bought a ticket to worlds as soon as they were available and started really focusing on being as prepared as possible for the event.  There were three aspects to my training regiment: Practice, Planning and Exercise. 

I had been playing nothing but alliance up until this point so I decided to dip my hand into the other factions to feel out how they worked and how to beat them.  A lot of people were already playing Merc Hunters by then, so I decided to start with Imperials and then switch to Mercs later, as I'd probably take a Merc list to worlds.  I entered the BoardWars Vassal tournament with this list:

  • 2x Elite Jet Troopers w/ Targetting Computers
  • Captain Terro
  • Elite Stormtroopers
  • Dewback Rider
  • regular Imperial Officer
  • Zillow Technique

This was a pretty standard mix of the good new stuff, and a taste of Stormtroopers, who hadn't quite completely disappeared from the meta yet.  Elite Jet troopers and Terro are some of the strongest figures in the game right now, but even tweaking the list a bit I was convinced that Imperials were the weakest faction.  I should have played around more with Blaise, because DT definitely changed my mind about Imperials with one of the lists he put together on Vassal.  A dewback or Terro with Cross Training paired with Blaise and some ISB operatives can really control all those powerful hunter cards.  However, I didn't come accross this list until right before worlds, so it wasn't even in my mind.  I posted a pretty in depth article about my thoughts on the state of the meta and I think most of my assessments were pretty accurate.

I switched to Mercs and started with a brawler list. Everyone was running Jabba's Alliance which is:

  • Jabba
  • Rebel care package (Temporary alliance + Gideon + 3P0)
  • 2x elite Weequay pirates
  • some combination of Vinto, Gammorean Guards, Onar, Greedo, devious scheme, prey on the weak, and black market

I tried to make a list specifically to counter this. My strategy: maximize health and defense, try to trade damage with my opponent until I'm left with 12 points of useful figures and my opponent is left with 12 points of Jabba, Gideon and 3P0. I also wanted a list that could deal with Jedi Luke, with plenty of melee damage that ignores the built in evade.  This was my first cut:

  • 2x elite Gammorean Guards
  • Shyla
  • Onar
  • Greedo
  • Gideon
  • 3P0
  • Temporary Alliance

With Shyla, Onar and Greedo all being hunters, I packed my command deck with hunter cards figuring one of those three would be alive to use them, but I found that smart opponents would ignore the pigs and kill my hunters before I got all my command cards out.  I had two copies of Pummel in the deck, but when both were in my hand I often couldn't put them both to use.  4 Gammorean Guards are a lot to throw at your opponent and can really dish out some damage, but you can almost never get their cleave off without Blitz, especially against Onar, 3P0, Shyla, Luke or Jet troopers.  The list was doing pretty well against Luke Rangers, but couldn't get over the hump against Jabba's alliance.  I also was learning the value of Black Market and Devious Scheme.  I decided to drop one set of Guards for Pirates and add Devious, giving me something very similar to what I ended up taking.  Here it is with the command card list I started at:

Deployment Cards:

  • Shyla
  • Onar
  • 1x elite Weequay Pirates
  • 1x elite Gammorean Guards
  • Greedo
  • Gideon
  • C-3P0
  • Devious Scheme
  • Temporary Allliance

Command Cards:

  • Assassinate (3)
  • On the Lam (3)
  • Heightened Reflexes (2)
  • Grisly Contest (2)
  • Parting Blow (2)
  • Tough Luck (1)
  • Pummel (1)
  • Negation (1)
  • Urgency (0)
  • Fleet Footed (0)
  • Take Initiative (0)
  • Celebration (0)
  • Opportunistic (0)
  • Positioning Advantage (0)
  • Element of Surprise (0)

Shyla is probably my favorite figure in the game right now.  She's incredibly versatile and can force your opponent out of hiding and line up shots for the rest of your list.  She hits like a truck and is surprisingly mobile, and has a decent chunk of health.  She was the perfect centerpiece and beatstick for my hunter brawler list.

Parting blow is good with Shyla, Onar, and Gammoreans, because Shyla and Onar can force it to trigger giving you a free attack.  The drawbacks are pretty obvious though: you get stunned, Gammoreans are only reliable for 2 to 4 damage per attack against a black die, and the trigger is still pretty situational.  I decided to drop Parting Blow and add Blitz and Primary Target. 

Blitz is a lot like positioning advantage, except you can often give yourself 2 damage with it instead of just 1 and you'll usually use it to secure a kill.  It's always useful on Onar, Guards, and Greedo, but Shyla and the Pirates will sometimes have too many surges rolled already and you won't be able to use it. 

Primary Target is a card that I think is underrated due to the popularity of Jabba + rebel care package.  It works a lot like tools for the job, but it will reliably get you + 3 damage out of an attack compared to just an average of +2 from tools.  It costs 1 less than tools, but the trigger is more situational.  In my mind though, you're always going to want to kill the highest point cost figure on the map eventually, unless you're playing against an 8 activation Jabba list that doesn't use Onar. 

I ended up dropping Urgency and Celebration and added Planning to make my final list.  Urgency is a really good card, but fleet footed is more versatile for trying to set up a Pummel or giving an extra movement to open a door and shoot.  Celebration is very good, but Planning lets you see more cards so I went with that. 

Grisly Contest is amazing and I used it to great effect the whole tournament.  Highly recommend throwing it in if your list has Shyla and Guards.  Opportunistic also is underrated and can be used to move up attack and retreat or to reposition a figure that isn't close enough to the action.  All the other cards in my list should be pretty obvious.

My strategy with this list: Focus Shyla and Greedo, move Shyla up as far as possible to try to get an attack off round 1, try to keep everyone else as secluded as possible.  Try to get another attack at the start of round 2 with Shyla and then put her back into a safe place.  By my opponents first turn round 2, ideally I have defeated at least 1 figure and my opponent has no targets without putting one of his own figures in a very dangerous position.  If my opponent stalls, I can go ahead and focus my pirates or Onar with 3P0 and Gideon.  By the time I get my pirates into the action, I should hopefully have On the Lam in my hand.

This list can fall apart against a good player who either controls the command decks with spy cards or kills shyla early, especially with an early take initiative + squad swarm.  But I was having a lot of success with this list too.  On vassal I think I went about 12-12 with this list, with all 10 losses coming against DT, which is more of him being a better player than me rather than the list being bad, and the other 2 losses coming from Morfo's Bantha list on "To Your Stations".  I felt pretty good about taking the Hunter Brawler combo to worlds.

I experimented with dropping the other set of Guards for Pirates and black market, the list that ended up winning it all.  This list is obviously very strong, and I might have taken it if I had practiced more with it and if I had another Weequay Pirate Deployment card.  If you don't mind me ranting for a sec, you have got to be kidding me FFG that you don't put 2 elite deployment cards in each box for each set of figures you're including.  The cost of entry to this game is already so steep and now you're expecting me to shell out 75 bucks just so I can run 2x Pirates, Jets, or Guards?  Give me a break.

I also got to experience the 8 activation list that some of the Kansas guys were running before I left for Worlds.  I got no practice with it, but after playing against it several times and seeing how well it did at worlds I honestly believe this is the strongest list in the meta right now:

  • Onar
  • 2x elite Weequay Pirates
  • Vinto
  • Greedo
  • Hired Guns
  • Gideon
  • 3P0
  • Black Market
  • Temporary Alliance

The 8 activation list from Kansas had Jabba instead of Onar, but I really think Jabba is overrated.  Round 2, Jabba can order an attack for 2 VP's, but Onar can just attack and move for free.  Also Jabba has 10 health, but it's useless because your opponent can just ignore Jabba and still win.  If you don't have a 3 dice attacker in your list Jabba's order hit is a lot worse, and order hit will never catch a good player off guard.  I have never seen a good player try to take out Jabba, even if he's in an attackable position his deployment zone that should be a pretty obvious sign how valuable Jabba really is.  He's not a terrible figure by any means, just overrated, especially compared to Gideon and 3P0.

Another thing I did to prepare was try to memorize some common dice rolling odds, for instance the odds of a focused Shyla doing 6 damage vs. a black die is about 78%.  I figured I'd see that situation a lot, so I thought I'd commit it to memory.  I did the math for the odds of all the weequay and Gammorean guard rolls to compare their damage output in case I wanted to tweak my list a little bit.

The only other thing I'm going to say about my preparation is don't underestimate the importance of your health.  It's a lot harder to maintain focus for 6 hours of intense gaming if you're not in decent physical shape.  Sometimes it's hard to find the motivation to work out, but if you try to remember that running and eating right are going to help you win dice, I find that makes it a lot easier.
 

Making the Cut

Day 1

I knew the competition at worlds would be fierce.  The east coast meta was strong with players like Paul Heaver, James Hedpeth, Lucas Davidson, Ira Mayers, Matt Moutoux and Kody Doherty.  I knew there would be a pretty strong showing from Kansas, I've seen Micah Crosley and Matt Landsdowne play on Vassal.  I also knew Morfo was coming from Spain and he's a strong player.  I went in with the mindset that no player would intimidate me, but I have to admit, I was worried about playing DT.  He and I had been playing on Vassal several times a week and he had gotten the best of me with all three factions.  It had been several weeks since I had beaten him.  Even so, I tried to focus on one game at a time and thought if I had to play DT I would try to play mistake free and just give myself a chance to win. 

If you were there I was the guy off in the corner every game doing stretches and jumping jacks and whatever else I could to stay loose.  I probably looked like a doofus, but I really think people underestimate the importance of keeping your blood flowing.  After 5 hours in the chair, people make a lot of mistakes.

By the way, I'm gonna keep track of how many times I got to play "On the Lam".  JUST FOR FUN

Match 1: Gaining Favor

My first match was against Phil Wiest, a Minnesota local who was running a pretty standard Jabba's Alliance squad. 

  • Jabba
  • 2x eWeequays
  • Onar
  • eGammos
  • Gideon
  • 3P0
  • Temporary Alliance

Phil played pretty well, but he made a mistake when he interacted with a patron and shot at shyla with one of his weequays instead of hiding and attacking shyla.  She ended up living, when one more surge would have killed her.  The game was pretty close until the start of round 3 when I activated my elite Gammorean Guards.  I used "Blitz" to cleave 2 and I used "Grisly Contest" and ended up killing one of his Guards, One of his Pirates, and Onar all in one activation.  Phil didn't let this loss psych him out, he ended up climbing from 0-1 and making it all the way to the top 8 where he met up with me again.  That story comes later.

Record: 1-0

On the Lam used: 0 times

Match 2: Spoils of Crime

I didn't write the guy's name down from round 2, but I know he was from London.  He was also 0-1 so I was the 1 swing game for round 2.  He had a 5 activation Imperial list with no Zillow, which on paper seemed very weak to me, but I was not going to underestimate him, especially because elite Jet Troopers are very strong on Jabba's Palace.  His list:

  • 2x eJet Troopers w/ Targeting Computers (16)
  • 1x eStormtrooper (9)
  • Captain Terro (7)
  • regular Royal Guards (8)

Round 1 he moved one of his Jets way too far up, in range of Shyla's whip.  Shyla whipped him even closer, allowing my other figures to get shots off at him.  He also put Terro in the Rancor Pit, I guess he figured it was fewer spaces away from where I had positioned my army and he could hide behind the door until round 2 so I wouldn't get any shots off on him round 1, but he had to waste an activation opening the door round 2 and only ended up getting 1 flamethrower off before I killed him (although he did force me to discard On the Lam and Heightened Reflexes).  By the end of round 2 I was way ahead on material; half his army was gone and he had only killed greedo and a Gammorean Guard.

Record: 2-0

On the Lam used: 0 times

Match 3: To Your Stations

I didn't write down the name of my opponent for this one either.  He was running Jabba Hunters with no Alliance and only 1 set of elite Weequays.  His list:

  • Jabba (6)
  • elite Weequay Pirates (7)
  • Vinto w/ Prey on the Weak (6)
  • Onar (6)
  • Greedo (4)
  • elite Gammorean Guards (8)
  • Black Market (1)
  • Devious Scheme (1)

Not sure what his last point was, but I think he had Survivalist on one of his Pirate groups.

He won initiative and forced me to go to the bottom side (toilets).  He positioned his guys so they weren't going to open the door, so I took the hallway with the two stations.  He ended up rushing Onar up really far to kill one of my Pirates round 1, but that spread his army out way too much.  I focused on the half of his Army that was on my side of the map and traded figures until I was winning on material.  Once again Jabba wasn't really worth his points.

Record: 3-0

On the Lam used: 0 times

Match 4: Reconnaissance

The first time I played against Ira I was a fresh tournament noob and he dismantled me on Leia's map.  Now I was a veteran and ready for revenge.  We were both sitting at 3-0 records and another win would almost guarantee that we would be getting some dice.  Ira was running the standard Jabba's Alliance:

  • Jabba
  • 2x elite Weequay Pirates
  • elite Gammorean Guards
  • Vinto
  • Gideon
  • 3P0
  • Temporary Alliance
  • Black Market

This was exactly the matchup I had prepared for, so I was ready to trade my figures and whittle him down to Jabba, 3P0 and Gideon.  He started with initiative and decided not to open his door.  I used a focused Greedo to open my door, but left him vulnerable.  He pushed Vinto up and killed my Greedo, but a focused Greedo with a parting shot is not a terrible unit to lose.  My parting shot didn't kill his Vinto and he tucked him away in his secluded hallway.  My last activation I ran shyla up and pulled his Gideon off his terminal and killed him.  I started round 2 with Shyla and killed a pirate, but I couldn't retreat her all the way back to safety.  We ended up just throwing our figures at each other round 2, with almost nothing surviving.  My Onar lived with one health which made a big difference in the trades.  I ended up winning a 40-31, but it was closer than the score would have you think.

Record: 4-0

On the Lam used: 0 times

Match 5: New Ownership

By this time I was feeling extremely confident.  There were 7 people left with 4-0 records and DT was not one of them, meaning I would not have to play him today.  I got matched up against Matt Moutoux, one of the Philly guys that had been at some of the same regionals as me.  He was I think the only one to make it to the top 16 without running scum, so props to him.  His list:

  • Jedi Luke (12)
  • Elite Rangers (12)
  • Obi Wan (7)
  • Gideon (3)
  • 3P0 (2)
  • Smuggler (2)
  • Rebel High Command (2)

This was pretty close to my old list and I was pretty comfortable with the ins and outs of how it worked.  Step 1: don't every open your door against rangers.  He misplayed his opening a bit by pushing his smuggler towards his terminal and then coming back with him to open the door, and couldn't reach the pit.  He ended up throwing Obi Wan in the pit, thinking if any of my guys jumped there, Obi would make short work of them.  That was a big mistake, Obi had to sit on an objective by himself the whole game.  He also put Luke up on Jabba's throne, which is way too far away from where I was putting my army around the middle of the map (where I could hide from rangers).  I got a focused shot off on Luke with my Greedo and dealt 6 damage.  I ran my Shyla all the way over to his terminal with Fleet Footed, preventing him from drawing 3 cards at the end of round 1. I activated Shyla first in round 2 and she killed one of his snipers by using Heightened Reflexes.  I ran her away and he had no good targets to shoot at without completely exposing his snipers.  I killed his Luke with my Pirates before he could activate in Round 2 thanks to Primary Target.  He actually ended up scoring 34 points because I let him have the objectives, but by the end he had only Gideon, 3P0 and Obi wan left and I had almost my whole army.

Record: 5-0

On the Lam used: 0 times

Day 2

At the end of Day 1 a lot of us went out to this pizza place in downtown Minneapolis that had Star Wars trivia.  I almost feel bad for the regular people who were there because we completely dominated trivia and won a star wars themed trivial pursuit.  Thanks again Jake for organizing that.  I stayed away from pizza and beer, just having a salad, hoping to stay fresh for tomorrow.  By this time I was almost guaranteed a top 16 spot, even if I lost two matches in a row.  The only thing I was worried about was losing my first match and then getting matched up against DT to finish 5-2.  I really wanted to finish strong and get a high seed.  My teammate Kevin was sitting 4-1, but had a pretty weak strength of schedule, so I was rooting for him as well, he'd have to win 2 in a row to make the top 16.


Match 6: Line of Fire

There were 4 people left with 5-0 records after day 1: Paul Heaver, Matt Lansdowne, Lucas Miller, and me.  Paul was running a Bantha and I really didn't want to get matched up against him.  I think my list is more consistent than a Bantha list, but even a bad player with a Bantha can dominate the best lists with lucky draws/rolls, and Heaver is not a bad player.  Matt was running the 8 activation scum list popular with the Kansas guys, and I knew that was a strong matchup against my list too.  So I was hoping to play Lucas, who I think was running a pretty normal Jabba's Alliance.  For those of you keeping track, yes those are 4 scum lists, but even though they all have weequays, they play extremely differently from each other. 

I ended up getting paired up against Paul Heaver, who is such a classy guy, he even remembered playing me back in Rockville last year.  I didn't write down his whole list, because I was pretty distracted after the game, but I know he wasn't playing Devious Scheme, which I think is a really strange choice for a 7 activation Bantha list.  I took the top side of the map, which is pretty defensible.  I made sure to spread out my figures in case he found a way to get the Bantha into my hallway early round 2.  He ended up leaving his bantha 1 space away from my door, sitting on top of the middle terminal at the end of round 1, with my focused Shyla sitting 1 space away from my door and waiting to activate.  I had fleet footed in my hand so I was able to open my door and move up a space to get an attack off on his Bantha.  I figured he didn't have Jundland or he would have opened the door himself round 1, but he must have drawn it right at the end of Round 1, so he used it to Stampede Shyla. 

Round 2 started and I activated my Pirates hoping to kill the beast before it got to activate, however even with "Assassinate" in my hand, I was 1 damage short.  He made a very unexpected move and stampeded shyla and ran his Bantha all the way back to his deployment zone.  I was thinking to myself "great now that thing is out of the way with 17 damage on it and I'm sitting here with a relatively healthy army in good position to attack the rest of his army."  Shyla recovered, attacked a Guard and ran away.  He ended up pushing his guards right up in my face giving me plenty to think about.  I made a huge mistake by picking up a crate with Greedo, which basically took him out of the game. 

At the end of round 3 I was ahead, but he brought his Bantha all the way back in and stampeded for 2 damage on 2 of my figures.  Then he got off ANOTHER Jundland Terror (with a 3 damage stampede) then stampeded again at the start of round 4 with another 3 damage roll.  He ended up killing 2 of my pirates and leaving shyla and Gideon with 1 and 2 health respectively.  I tucked shyla away behind his bantha in my deployment zone, but I couldn't end up hanging on.  He won 40 to 30-something.

Record: 5-1

On the Lam used: 0 times

Match 7: Reconnaissance

I got paired up against, guess who: Dan Taylor.  I was actually kind of glad to get a shot at him before the playoffs started, but I was a bit disappointed that my chance at a top 4 seed was disappearing quick.  We have played each other a lot the past couple of weeks and we were both very familiar with each other's lists and play styles.  His list was very similar to mine:

  • Shyla
  • 2x elite Weequay Pirates
  • Greedo
  • Onar
  • Gideon
  • 3P0
  • Black Market
  • Temporary Alliance

He took the toilet side and ended up running a focused Greedo all the way to my terminal round 1.  I killed his greedo with mine, but he took out a pirate.  He got take initiative off round 2 and used it to plan and focus with Gideon with the doors still closed.  Since he didn't open his door and start shooting with his pirates I figured he must not have Squad Swarm in his hand yet.  I had Shyla right next to his door so I could have opened and attacked, but I felt a little safe so I decided to move 3P0 up next to Shyla instead to give her an extra extra evade.  He popped his door open and lit Shyla up with Squad Swarm and got exact damage to finish her off.  I figure he must have drawn it with that planning.  His next activation he got a max roll with Onar to 1 shot a Gammorean.  This game was a blow out and I conceded half way through round 2 to start prepping for the top 16.

Record: 5-2

On the Lam used: 0 times

Best of the Best

With a 5-2 record I actually had to win some tiebreakers to get into the top 16.  It would have really sucked to only lose to the two players who ended up in the finals and not make the top cut.  But luckily I ended up with the 2nd toughest strength of schedule in the tournament.  I'm actually glad I got some losses in during Swiss where it didn't really matter, now I was focused and ready to play as mistake free as possible. 

Round of 16: Spoils of War

My opponent was Micah Crosley, one of the Kansas guys who had been doing well with the 8 activation scum list.  He and I were the 8 and 9 seeds and the top of the 5-2 records.  His exact list:

  • Jabba
  • 2x elite Weequay Pirates
  • Vinto
  • Greedo
  • regular Hired Guns
  • Gideon
  • 3P0
  • Temporary Alliance
  • Black Market

DT's only loss was to this list so I was a bit nervous about how I'd match up.  I actually think the Gammoreans I was running would do better than the other set of Pirates in this matchup, because the hirded guns would basically be useless attacking.  I figured I'd just ignore them and focus on taking out Vinto and his Pirates.  I mentioned this earlier in the post, but I really think that an 8 activation list with Onar instead of Jabba is the strongest list in the current meta. 

I guess Micah had the same opinion of his hired guns, because right after the support activations he opened his door and put one of his hired guns in an exposed spot that my focused greedo could reach, almost daring me to attack him.  I waited a couple activations until his Vinto had activated.  He left his Vinto behind the wall by his terminal (right side of the map), out of range of all my figures.  The only problem was, I was holding Opportunistic in my hand.  I ran Greedo out and exploded his hired gun for whole points, but I also played Opportunistic to get Shyla close enough to whip Vinto out.  Micah is no slouch of a player and saw the danger that Vinto was in.  He decided to block Vinto off with his Greedo, basically sacrificing Greedo to save Vinto.  I took his sacrifice and killed his Greedo and got parting shotted for 4 damage. 

At the start of round 2 I activated Shyla, taking out a Pirate and retreating behind my Gammorians.  He pushed Vinto up, but couldn't secure a kill. 

The ending of this game was actually really interesting.  He had 2 exhausted Pirates left with 5 damage on each of them and only Jabba left to activate.  I had 2 pigs, Onar, and a Pirate left, but Onar was heavily damaged and one of my pigs only had 1 health left.  Both Onar and the damaged pig were just out of line of sight for his pirates.  On some of my previous attacks he was pausing after dice were rolled, so I suspected he was holding onto "On the Lam".  If I had attacked his pirates, he would have "Lam"ed to get in range of Onar and then Order hit.  I decided to just play it safe and pick up crates instead of giving him a chance to get any more points.  Game went to time, 21-11.

On the Lam used: 0 times

Round of 8: Gaining Favor

Since I was the 8 seed I figured I'd have to go through the 1 seed to get to the semi-final, but hometown hero Phil, who I had played all the way back in round 1, pulled through and beat the 1 seed.  The 1 seed was Matt Lansdowne who happened to be the only guy who beat DT, and Phil was the only guy to beat Matt.  I would have loved to see Phil go on to the top 4, but I was not going to hold anything back against him.  His list again:

  • Jabba
  • 2x eWeequays
  • Onar
  • eGammos
  • Gideon
  • 3P0
  • Temporary Alliance

My list was specifically made to counter the Jabba Alliance, and Phil already got a taste, so I think he was a bit nervous.  I must have gotten something in his list wrong, because we rolled for initiative and he took the top hallway.  With a couple activations left in round 1, he put Onar all the way at the end of the top hallway, which was just in range of Shyla's whip.  I ran up and pulled Onar down.  I moved my Gamorrean Guards in a position so Greedo could get an attack off on Onar without triggering "slow on the draw".  I don't think I've played as aggressively as I did after that, since all my figures were already up and exposed.  I killed 2 Pirates with the first activation in round 3 with take initiative. 

Phil was a great opponent but I think the marathon of 9 straight games was starting to get to him.  Still, I have mad respect for the guy for making it that far and taking out some top tier opponents.

On the Lam used: 0 times

Semi-Finals: To your Stations

I knew if I was going to win I was going to have to go through DT.  This was the moment of truth.  He had beaten me probably 10 times straight leading up to this match, but I was determined to give him a run for his money.  For this match I was on the featured table, which was awesome, but I think it was kind of distracting having to place my focus tokens on the board instead of on my cards.  At one point in the match I focused Onar with Gideon, but didn't put the focus token on him and completely forgot he should have been focused. I know a lot of people were complaining about the paint, I was borrowing about half my figures from Kevin Conners who had nice paint jobs.  However, my pirate group and Gammo group had very clearly marked bases with stripes denoting which was which, and honestly I think the painted figures are a lot harder to tell apart.  So I decided to stick with my white Gammos and Pirates.

I didn't take notes on this match since it was on the stream, but honestly I remember it very well just because it's been replaying in my head since Friday. We rolled for initiative and he won it. DT ran one of his pirate groups up to his door and hid them, but he kept them 1 space away from the door, instead of right next to the door. I had pushed Greedo up instead of Shyla because I knew he wasn't going to open up, and I figured if I wanted to I could run all the way up and open his door.  His other set of pirates were hiding out by his terminal and it seemd like he was moving his whole army up to the right, away from the hallway with the 2 stations.  Now, this is not my normal strategy at all, but he was basically daring me to go for objectives at this point.  I decided to throw my guys as far into the 2 terminal hallway as possible since his army was no where close to striking distance.  I left Onar until last so I could push him off the last terminal if I had to. 

He ran his greedo up and killed one of my pirates on my terminal.  I did 3 damage in return, which didn't feel too great. 

By the start of round 2 I had gotten all 9 objective points and pinged Greedo for 2 more damage to put him to 5.  He took another damage with black market leaving him with 6.  In order to execute my strategy I had to get my stragglers into the terminal hallway and completely abandon my terminal.  I wanted to make sure he had nothing good to shoot at.  I activated my Gammoreans and took a swipe at Greedo, praying he didn't have On the Lam.  I was holding Grisly contest and could have just killed him with that, but I figured then I would have just wasted my Gammoreans, since they had nothing else to shoot at.  (Last week I posted in the rules questions forum about playing Grisly after On the Lam and you can't do it so no luck there.)  I ran my Gammoreans as far as I could toward the 2 terminal hallway.  His greedo ran back in and killed my 3P0 with a max roll, taking away one of my activations. 

Now I wasn't quite sure what to do.  His greedo is sitting exposed in the middle of the map, but if I rush him with Onar I'm taking 1 damage plus giving him a free attack on me for probably 6 more.  I have a focused Greedo available, but I didn't want to waste that attack on a 1 health greedo.  Shyla is also in range and focused.  Really no good options for taking care of that little bugger.  I decided to retreate with Onar, still planning on my strategy of hiding all of my guys either in the 2 objective hallway, or in my deployment zone.  Plus now Gideon was able to focus him without moving himself up.  I probably should have put Onar by my terminal with the Gammorean who was sitting there and the Pirate in the corner, but I was worried he'd pull onar out and kill him with Shyla.  At this point I was ahead on points and I just had to focus on survival.  He moved up with... I think his Onar? and attacked my pig by the terminal, dealing decent damage.  Pretty sure I rolled 1 block on the black die every single roll this match. 

This was a really interesting part of the game, I moved my greedo up and attacked his Onar.  I took a couple damage but dealt some in return.  Now I had a wounded and focused Gammorean Guard in a fairly exposed position, and if I killed his 1 heath Greedo it was pretty much a dead pig too.  I positioned my Greedo so that if he killed my Greedo, I'd parting shot his Greedo and since the figures aren't removed from the board until after both parting shots resolve, he wouldn't have a target except for a dead Greedo.  Confusing, I know, we had to ask a judge about it.

He put his pirates up to control the lone station which had line of sight to my focused Gammorean.  I decided to fully commit to the points strategy and move my pirate over to contest the terminal and save the pig.  I probably should have ran my pirate to hide in the hall with my other figures, but hindsight is 20/20.

We traded a couple figures and by the end of the game he had Shyla, 4 pirates, 3P0 and Gideon, and I had Gideon, Shyla, a full health pig and a full health Onar. 

I took out one of his Pirates with Shyla and played opportunistic to get away from his Shyla.  He negated it, which kind of screwed me, because now even with Fleet Footed I couldn't get out of range.  I played fleet footed anyway to put myself as far away as possible.  He pushed his Shyla with Gideon, which I was expecting. 

I had a focused Onar, but I had not marked him focused so I totally forgot about it.  If I had marked him I might have run up and attacked his Pirates by the station, but since they were hidden and I couldnt get adjacent, I decided the best play was to run and push his Shyla back so she couldn't take either of the terminals where my Shyla was hiding.  He had Urgency so that push didn't matter anyway, and he ended up killing my Shyla.  I attacked his Shyla with my Guard but did less damage than I expected or needed.  Beginning of the next round he plays take initiative and I emphatically throw down Negation.  I ran my Onar up to his Shyla and with a desperate "Primary Target" and a max roll took her out.  I had Blitz and Positioning advantage in my had so I was pretty confident I could kill her anyway, but the max roll felt good.  Also, Onar should have already been focused, but whatever.  Onar was now too exposed.  If he died the game would be over, so I had to commit everyone to blocking him.  I ran my Gideon down to block, and he got 1 shot. 

I took a long time to decide what to do with my Gammorean.  Basically I could be a meat shield, which was the higher probability play, but if he had fleet footed then he would just win automatically.  I put the Gammo in the way and prayed for no fleet footed.  I got my wish but he dealt 6 damage to my pig.  With all his rolls, Onar's bonus evade or block would not have even mattered.  In the last 3 attacks I did not get 1 chance to trigger it. 

If I had take initiative I would have won, but my last draw was "assassinate".  Now he had to kill a 2 health pig and a 4 health Onar with 2 unfocused Pirates or I would win.  I also still had an evade to give out with Onar, so my chances weren't terrible.  He played "Element of Surprise" to get rid of the Gammoreans defense die and finished him off.  His last attack against Onar was 1 damage short with Onar's +1 block, but he played positioning advantage to finish me off.

Final score was 37-40.

On the Lam played: 0 times


So that's where my journey ended, in the top 4.  DT is definitely a better player than me, and he deserved to win it all, but I am proud of myself for putting up a good fight.  Congratulations again to him!  Now bring on the new droid meta!

Edited by brettpkelly

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Thanks for posting this! I've had IA since it came out but my buddy and I have only started playing it (specifically skirmish) since March, seeing all these battle reports and various threads has helped us come up with new strategies and such. 

We generally tend to just pick a map from all available but I'm starting to think we should look into playing more tournament maps (unfortunately Canada doesn't have much for IA), I'm really hoping the droid wave changes up the meta a bit but eWeequays seem to one of if not the best unit in the game at the moment. 

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Quote

 

By this time I was feeling extremely confident.  There were 7 people left with 4-0 records and DT was not one of them, meaning I would not have to play him today.  I got matched up against Matt Moutoux, one of the Philly guys that had been at some of the same regionals as me.  He was I think the only one to make it to the top 16 without running scum, so props to him.  His list:

  • Jedi Luke (12)
  • Elite Rangers (12)
  • Obi Wan (7)
  • Gideon (3)
  • 3P0 (2)
  • Smuggler (2)
  • Rebel High Command (2)

 

  •  

Matt Moutoux was a legend in the stream chat. Everyone was rooting for him until we reazlied he was out. The only non merc player, he was the Hero this meta needed. I play the exact same list in my piddly local tournaments and I always keep Obi-Wan and Luke together at the start, it's like a beef wall that shoots back at you. 

Great write up, thanks for that.

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10 minutes ago, Masterchiefspiff said:

Great write up man! Our game was super fun and thanks for the kind words. You were a great opponent and it was awesome getting to hang out at worlds. Now I should probably get to work on my write up haha, putting me to shame how fast you did it! Did you write on the plane ride home?

I spent a long time writing yesterday.  I tried to get my gf to proofread because she was an English teacher but she only got about half a paragraph in.

Edited by brettpkelly

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7 minutes ago, caseycheesecake said:

Great recap, thanks!

Was anybody there from CA (NorCal to be specific)?

I just got into this game a few months ago and I'm having trouble finding any tournaments.

I'm not super familiar with the scene over there, but the best place to start is the store championships page.  There are about a dozen in CA, so find one close to you and go meet some people!

 

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3 hours ago, FrogTrigger said:

 

  •  

Matt Moutoux was a legend in the stream chat. Everyone was rooting for him until we reazlied he was out. The only non merc player, he was the Hero this meta needed. I play the exact same list in my piddly local tournaments and I always keep Obi-Wan and Luke together at the start, it's like a beef wall that shoots back at you. 

Great write up, thanks for that.

Thanks for the kind words!  I would have loved to have brought the rebels even closer to the finals, but unfortunately the scum finally cut me down.  Here's hoping for next year!

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On ‎5‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 3:53 PM, brettpkelly said:

A special thanks to Kevin and Chuck who basically teamed up with me as soon as I arrived, Jake Peterson who organized a bunch of cool outside events, the Vader's Finest guys for their hospitality at the Surley Brewery, and Dan Taylor for all the games on Vassal.

It has been a pleasure to playtest with you on vassal and to team up at worlds. I started playing in January of this year. You and DT have taught me a ton.  I'm no were the caliber of writer or note taker, to write up such battle reports. I will make note that vassal or no vassal seemed to be a huge factor. I had great games, against great opponents. I was surprised how nice everyone was and I really enjoyed going out. Thank you all! If you make it to Nationals. I look forward to showing you my favorite Korean BBQ and a great oyster bar. Good luck in all you games. Please ask me to play on discord.

Edited by HustlenFett

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Awesome post Brett. Thanks for that. 

It still surprises me that people go down into that rancor pit when there's a massive fight going on in the middle of the room. 
Yeah you get some points but when you're taking someone like Obiwan or Davith or a Gammorean out of the fight upstairs you end up giving your opponent a huge positional and figure advantages that tends to snowball a lot faster than some objective points do. 

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9 hours ago, Inquisitorsz said:

Awesome post Brett. Thanks for that. 

It still surprises me that people go down into that rancor pit when there's a massive fight going on in the middle of the room. 
Yeah you get some points but when you're taking someone like Obiwan or Davith or a Gammorean out of the fight upstairs you end up giving your opponent a huge positional and figure advantages that tends to snowball a lot faster than some objective points do. 

I agree.  

But there are some valuable VPs to be gained, and potentially saved (ie, if the figure going down the rabbit hole would be easily defeated).  I'd normally only send a regular Jet Trooper or Alliance Smuggler or Hired Gun down to the pit.  Those figures aren't going to provide a lot of offense, and will be more likely to just die on the main level, so I might as well send them to a place where they can do something useful, like racking up a pile of mission VPs over the course of the game.

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