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Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game» Forums » Sessions

Subject: The Smurfs Go To A Store Championship 08-03-14 rss

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Neil, the Tusken Tactician
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My previous list – Is This A Dagger? – comprising Biggs, two Advanced Sensor Daggers and a Rebel Operative with ion had done me well. In my last two tournaments I had come 4th out of around 16 and 5th out of around 32. I have felt that I’ve been riding my luck, though, hardly ever facing Imperial squads, which meant that my ion cannon had been extremely effective against low-agility Rebel ships. Deciding to move away from the ion meant choosing a new squadron. Apparently AABBB is called Imperial Methadone in the US but for long convoluted reasons I won’t explain here now, other than Smurfs are blue like Blue Squadron Pilots, I called AABBB The Smurf Squadron:

THE SMURF SQUADRON

Prototype Pilot #11
Prototype Pilot #12
Blue Squadron #17
Blue Squadron #18
Blue Squadron #19

In testing it had done very well – 3-0, excluding one game of statistically ridiculous dice that was a narrow loss. The Store Championship in Exeter was 80 miles from home and in an area where there were few tournaments and I knew that some of the local players would not have had much practice. I went with one of my training partners, David Sleet, who was flying Garven, Biggs, Dagger with Advanced Sensors, Gold with Blaster Turret. He had literally only flown the squad once before.

We arrived at Clifton Road Games and spirits are high. The TO announces that there will be 4 75 minute rounds. I’ve not practiced 75 minute rounds so I have no idea how this will affect my squad or play. I settle in well for the first game…

GAME 1: GREG SKINNER
Green Squadron + Daredevil + Concussion Missiles
Green Squadron + Push the Limit + Cluster missiles
Blue Squadron + Fire Control System
Blue Squadron + Fire Control System

I set up the Smurfs in the bottom right hand corner. Greg set up his two Bs in the middle and the two As to the far left. I felt good because they seemed to far apart. But my setup was designed to move slowly to draw people in and by the time we were firing his two As were at 90° to his Bs, flanking me nicely. I ran traffic on one of his Bs with a Prototype. Blue18 lost a shield and then he let the Cluster Missiles go – hit hit crit with no evade, hit hit crit with an evade. Ouch. One more hit on B18 and he was gone. That wasn’t meant to happen at all. I had a simultaneous fire return shot so one of his Bs lost 5 shields and another lost 3 when I returned fire. The next round his beached the A-wing that had fired the devastating Clusters but he managed to fire the Concussion Missile at B19 for 4 hits. A11 was destroyed and although I took a shield off an A-wing, he destroyed B19 and suddenly I was in trouble. The next turn one of his B-wings was destroyed on a rock and his beached A-wing remained stuck, took rock damage and then I shot it down. What a shift in a turn – two enemy ships in one round. After that it was a case of mopping up and I finished 100-44. A nerve-wracking start and suddenly I’m starting to realise that people are prepared against B-wings now.


GAME 2: ADAM BARKER
Kyle + Recon Specialist + Blaster Turret + Moldy Cheese
Blue Squadron + Fire Control System
Gold Squadron + Ion Cannon Turret
Rookie + R2 Astromech

Adam’s squad sets up in the middle and stays in close range to each other. By the time we’re firing, Kyle has 4 focus tokens and I’m pointing all my ships at him. My Prototypes haven’t succeeded in running traffic but I have 5 shots on him. In two shots, Prototype 11 is destroyed. I didn’t expect that. Then he strips 2 shields from B12 before ioning him. Between my four remaining shots, I only take 4 shields from his B-wing. That wasn’t good at all. Second round and Kyle’s Blaster Turret tears through my A-wing and one-shot kills him. That was not meant to happen. A range 1 shot from one of my Blues hits his Blue for 3 hits and a crit and he’s gone. I fire on the HWK and take a shield and 2 hull from it. I don’t realise it at the time but that choice of target right there costs me the game – I should have gone for the Y-Wing. I think I just went for the HWK because his Blaster Turret had just proven deadly and I thought I would have enough ships to take out the Y next.



But he ions a B again so the next round I essentially only have 2 shots. His Y-Wing does a nice sweeping three behind me and Kyle is plum in front of one of my Bs, damaged. Who wouldn’t take that shot?



So I fire on Kyle at close range and only hit it for one hull. Not good dice. It takes another turn to destroy Kyle and by this time it’s my 2Bs against his Y and his Rookie. But I’m not in control of the game any more – his Ion Turret is owning me. I start dropping shots and his Rookie cleans up the mess. I eventually evade a poor ion shot but it’s too late and my surviving B has only one hull left so I call it. 55-100, 1-1. My chance of winning this tournament has now all but evaporated. I had poor dice that game but I should have gone all-out to ruin the ion turret and didn’t. A costly and stupid error. David by this point is 2-0.

GAME 3: CHRIS PAYNE

Vader + Squad Leader + Cluster Missiles + Engine Upgrade
Howlrunner + Swarm Tactics
Mauler Mithel + Marksmanship
Saber Squadron

Chris makes it very clear that this is his second ever game of X-wing. The first round he lost, the second round he got a bye. I need this. He sets up his squad in the opposite corner to me and as we move, Mauler Mithel breaks formation as the rest of his squad move 4 ahead. Then Vader, Howlrunner and the Saber all split up as well.



I have to win this. There’s lots of noise to the table left of me where David is playing Adam Pearse. They’re crashing in extraordinary ways. I try to remain focused. Mauler Mithel is out on a limb so he gets the attention of an A and a B while the rest of my squad turn on Vader and the Saber. As we get to firing range, Vader K-turns in front of my 2 Bs. A gift! I throw 8 dice with focus at him and only take 2 shields. Come on! One Prototype take a hull from the Saber and then the other Prototype fires at it range 3 through an asteroid. I roll two hits and he rolls 5 green dice. But he rolls a host of eyes and blanks and the Saber is toast. Lucky break that rather makes up for the lack of Vader damage. The next round Vader flees while Howlrunner comes into range, Mauler turns round the right-hand edge of the board but doesn’t have a shot. My B19 loses 3 shields and Howlrunner takes 1 damage. This would have been more had I not stupidly crashed two of my B-wings into each other. I’m determined not to let only 3½ hours sleep the night before (2 kids under the age of 4) and a 2-hour drive affect me but I’m starting to wonder if it is. Mauler Mithel takes a Damaged Cockpit crit and Howlrunner a shield. The next turn Vader takes a long sweeping arc out of the fight so I hunt down Mauler and kill him and then in the same turn Howlrunner and destroy her. Then an extraordinary thing happens and I drop 5 shots! Not one of my ships can fire, partially because Vader with Boost and Barrel Roll is extremely effective. The interesting thing is that although Chris is clearly new at squad design and formation flying, there are a couple of moments of real genius when he flies individual ships. At one point Mauler takes a sweeping 3 and lands right between all of my ships in a way I could never imagine doing. This is a pilot with potential. Vader finally turns and lets loose his Clusters on B17, causing three damage. Finally Vader is destroyed from a B-wing shot at range 3 through an asteroid. 100-0. 2-1. I spend a while with Chris talking about concentrating fire, about Howlrunner and formation flying and it seems to do him well for his next game where he gets his first kill. There’s a chance I’m still in this although my Strength of Schedule is by far the worst of anyone else’s so it’s very unlikely. David is now 3-0 after a game in which he crashed Garven every turn and therefore had to fire the Blaster Turret unmodified throughout.

The final round. If I’m to have any chance of ranking high, David has to lose and I have to win. David’s opponent, flying a Falcon build, sits down opposite him and explains that he doesn’t understand what’s going on because he hasn’t played in nine months. He then proceeds to fly his Falcon into an asteroid on turn 1. David’s face lights up as he realizes that he just has to hold his own to win his first tournament. So I have to win to at least just rank in the top three.

GAME 4: ADAM PEARSE
Blue + Heavy Laser Cannon
Blue + Heavy Laser Cannon
Rookie
Rookie

Adam narrowly lost to David a couple of games ago. This guy knows what he’s doing. He sets them up in pairs, Blue with a Rookie in front and each pair fairly far from each other. I’m aware of the potential flank. But my squad draws him in so there’s no flanking – it’s essentially a straight on joust and I outnumber him. Until turn 1 when he wastes an A with with an HLC shot. B18 loses 3 shields and then I let rip on his B23 – 3 shields, 2 shields, 1 hull, 1 hull! So close!!! That would have been a fine swap – a Prototype for an HLC-carrying Blue Squadron. We draw very close to each other 4 ships on 4 ships, although one of his is very badly wounded. B19 loses 3 shields and then he lets rip on B18. It loses all its shields and then suffers 2 crits – a minor explosion which hits and then a Blinded Pilot. He’s dead and it’s the worst crit I possibly could have had because although I’m at the same PS and was about to unload 4 dice with a Focus on him through Simultaneous Fire, because he won initiative. That’s crappy luck – lose initiative and lose simultaneous fire to a 1 in 15 chance crit.



I suddenly feel the game slipping through my fingers. His B23 is destroyed and his B24 loses 3 shields but it would have been much, much more. The next turn 17 loses 2 shields and 19 is destroyed and I know I’m in trouble now. I focus on his B24 and it loses 2 shield and 2 hull, taking two crits – a Minor Explosion and a Structural Damage. He rolls for the Minor Explosion and I need the luck to go my way. It doesn’t and he’s fine and yet again, as has happened a lot today, I’ve pummeled a ship and left it with one hull remaining. I’m starting to getting really frustrated. The next turn I move my remaining A-wing 2-forward and focus. His B24 is within range 1 with 0 agility. All I have to do is roll a hit. I throw the dice down. Blank blank eye. What? I had a focus, I’m fine. “I was prepared for you to tip the entire table there,” says Adam. I’m still in it but this is going to be tough. It’s a B and an A vs a B and a Rookie. I K-turn my B17 and he loses two shields and takes a crit. Guess what? Thrust Control Fire – now I have two stress tokens. So it’s no surprise that the next turn he focusses on B17 and destroys it. In the return fire I hit his Rookie hard and get a Direct Hit on it. Once again, a ship reduced to one hull remaining. It’s two Rookies against my Prototype and no amount of clever K-turning over an asteroid (with no damage taken) will save me. I keep trying to run traffic but fall millimetres short right in front of a Rookie, who rolls hit hit hit crit and I roll blanks in evades and it’s all over. 2-2.

David goes on to win the tournament with an impressive 4-0 and Adam comes second with 3-1. I in no way took the following photograph of David and his certificate as a subtle expression of my frustration:



I place 5th out of 9. There are two ways of looking at my result. On the one hand, my dice averaged out fine – some great rolls and some crappy rolls but the crappy rolls were in the games when I needed them most. Certainly the Blinded Pilot crit was devastating. So on the one hand I could say that I had some bad luck and finished middle of the pack in a tournament where I should have done better. On the other hand, I’ve now finished 4th, 5th and 5th in my last three tournament and went home with an acrylic range ruler, Ten Numb card, a Black Squadron pilot card and two giant cards, so a bit of a swagfest, frankly. Before the tournament I was ranked 8th in the UK so I’m probably going to drop slightly.

The Smurfs are going to be retired. They just weren’t working for me as well as I needed. Certainly, I really missed Advanced Sensors on the B-wings. Also, of the 9 lists there, 7 were Rebel so my older squadron would have done well. My next tournament is on Friday and I have no idea which list to run. I’m a little deflated because even though it was a fun day I know I could have done better and I have no list for the next tourney, where I really need to do well (to justify the time off work). There will need to be much training and soul-searching over the next few days.


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Vayda
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New Jersey
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Don't worry: Tuskens are easily scared off, but will soon return with greater numbers (wins)!
If you can do as well as you have with Awings...

I placed 6th of 12 in a local store championship, I feel you. I had a howl with mini bomber swarm. It was due to unbelievable dice luck. Has anyone ever only manged to score 3 damage in a 75 min round? Or a total of 4 evades (with 5 ships)?gulp

There were so many rebels, Bwings (13!) everywhere: BBB, XXBB, XXBB, 2x Falcon, 2x Falcon, Falcon BX, BBBX, XXBB, and 4 imp lists.
Top 4: both 2x falcon lists, Biggs walks the dogs, and a howl swarm.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Elk Ridge
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Our tourney last week had an interesting top 4 mix:
#1 : XXBB (Biggs, Rookie, Dagger + Adv Sensor x2)
#2 : FYY (Han + Falcon + Luke, Gold + Ion Turret x2)
#3 : FLTT (Krasis + Captive, Lambda Yorr + Gunner + Fire Control Systems + Intel Agent, Academy x2)
#4 : Int and 5 TIEs (Soontir, Howlrunner, Dark Curse, Academy x3)

Other fleets though were FireFireTIE, XBAH, FireTTTT, IntSwarm, XXBH. A decent mix for a tournament (I flew Han + Y-Wings and placed 2nd).

My son has been looking for a good A-Wing build, he loves those ships. I'm going to recommend this one and see what he thinks...

-shnar
 
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Neil, the Tusken Tactician
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virferrorum wrote:
Has anyone ever only manged to score 3 damage in a 75 min round? Or a total of 4 evades (with 5 ships)?gulp


At the tournament we ran a few months ago, there was a match where neither player destroyed one ship. I'll ask how mmuch damage they did.
 
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David Pontier
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Oak Forest
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Tusken Raider wrote:

We arrived at Clifton Road Games and spirits are high. The TO announces that there will be 4 75 minute rounds. I’ve not practiced 75 minute rounds so I have no idea how this will affect my squad or play.


How long are your practice games? An hour? Or do you play them untimed?
 
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Vayda
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Piqsid wrote:
Tusken Raider wrote:

We arrived at Clifton Road Games and spirits are high. The TO announces that there will be 4 75 minute rounds. I’ve not practiced 75 minute rounds so I have no idea how this will affect my squad or play.


How long are your practice games? An hour? Or do you play them untimed?


I can't speak for Tusken, but our game night and all our home games are 60 min. I very much dislike 75 min.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Elk Ridge
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75 min is the "official" tournament time, though they allow for 60 to 90 min as the organizer sees fit. I like the longer games, since I tend to fly Y-Wings and the 1 damage doesn't kill fast enough in 60 min games.

-shnar
 
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DoctorMike Reddy
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Aberdare
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A great battle report. Do you keep notes during play?
 
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Chris Payne
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Exeter
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Tusken Raider wrote:

(snip)

GAME 3: CHRIS PAYNE

Vader + Squad Leader + Cluster Missiles + Engine Upgrade
Howlrunner + Swarm Tactics
Mauler Mithel + Marksmanship
Saber Squadron

Chris makes it very clear that this is his second ever game of X-wing. The first round he lost, the second round he got a bye. I need this. He sets up his squad in the opposite corner to me and as we move, Mauler Mithel breaks formation as the rest of his squad move 4 ahead. Then Vader, Howlrunner and the Saber all split up as well.


What Neil doesn't know is that Game 1, turn 2, I crashed into an asteroid severely damaging the ship, so the Mithel break is as I realise that I have to do that if the same is not to happen in turn 3 in this game. I'm starting to learn that I need to look not 1 but probably 2-3 turns ahead, given the turning curves and lack of a slideslip manouvre (barrel roll goes some way to make up for it) which I'm used to from my WW1 aeroplane games. Those asteroids are from memory the same reason for the split when Vader goes alone.

With my practice games having been defeated by localised flooding (I only unwrapped the game at Christmas) then I'm learning fast as they say. By the next game I've learned of the need to stack ships, and managed to get some 5 dice attack rolls (Mauler base 2,+1 short range, +1 special ability and +1 howlrunner, and Interceptor - base 3, +1 short range, +1 for howlrunner).

The crit - blinded pilot - was fairly devastating. Left with one ship with a pilot with a skill of 0 then I called it a day, giving the full 100 pt victory to Neil.
 
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Chris Payne
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Why are advanced sensors on the B wings so useful ?

I bought the last remaining B wing in the shop at the end of the tournament. My first game was against a 2x2 formation of X wings(front) and B Wings (back) that flew mostly int he square formation until events forced it to split.
 
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Devon Y
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Advanced Sensors are a fun utility addon for consistency I feel... They essentially allow you to always take your action (with foresight); you get your free action if you would end up bumping either a ship or asteroid, you could barrel roll pre-movement to avoid a collision entirely, take focus or TL then K-turn, take a barrel roll then reveal a red 1-bank to turn your B-wing 90 degrees in essentially the same spot, etc... Barrel roll and boost can have interesting effects when used before movement, which people tend to not expect initially.
 
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