John DiMaggio
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New York
New York
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Hi all,

Basically copied and pasted from the FFG forums, but for those that do not frequent them, here's my wall o' text for your reading pleasure (or scroll down for the TL;DR version ).

First of all, this is VERY LONG, so be forewarned! So I and a fellow X-wing enthusiast TO'd the Imdaar event at the Compleat Strategist this weekend. We had a total of 11 players show up. We played 4 rounds, swiss with 75 minute rounds. The following are the squads that participated to the best of my recollection as the store kept the squad lists for their records:

Top 4 (All 4 were 3:1, and had 15 pts. and are listed #1-4 by str. of schedule)

Biggs
Garven
Blue Squadron + FCS x 2

Blue Squadron + HLC x 2
Rookie X-wing
Green Squadron A-wing + Squad Leader

Soontir + Opportunist + Stealth Device
Turr + Opportunist
Bounty Hunter + Gunner

Biggs
Hobbie + R2D6 + PtL
Rookie + R3A2
Tarn Mison

The following are the remainder of the squads as best I can remember (in no particular order):

Obsidian TIE x 5
Howlrunner
Soontir Fel + PtL

Blue Squadron B-wing x 2
Biggs
Wedge + Swarm Tactics

Royal Guard Interceptor + PtL x 4

Lambda OGP?
Royal Guard Interceptor x 2?

Prototype A-wing?
Gold Squadron Pilot + Ion Cannon?
Ten Numb
Luke Skywalker

Biggs?
Luke?
Wedge?

Lambda OGP?
Interceptor?
Interceptor?
Interceptor?

I'm pretty fuzzy on the last 2 or 3 squads, honestly.

I ended up playing the Biggs, Garven, and 2 Blue squadron B-wings with FCS at 99 pts. I had played with this idea a while back when B-wings came out, and thought it'd be a really simple, strong joust squad that wouldn't be too tough to fly. Garven gives Biggs a Focus to help him live longer. When Biggs drops, Garven can give the Blues Foci to help their attacks. I also like that I can split the squad into 2 groups if I run into assault missiles or swarms.

I really wanted to avoid playing anything that was too dependent on repositioning as I knew as the TO, I'd be disposed answering rules questions, judging angles, and entering data into our swiss-matching software. I just wanted to point my guns at the bad guys and make them go boom . This worked out very well, and for any TO that is also playing with other TO’s also judging, I would strongly recommend playing a simple, uncomplicated joust squad.

Oh, and just a word of advice, line lasers are amazing!! Helps settle Line of Sight questions SOOO quickly, I highly recommend buying one if you TO. Anywho, on to the matches that I can recall! Oh, and to protect privacy I will only refer to players on a first letter basis. I also split the matches into Placement, Set-up, and Initial Approach as I strongly feel these are VERY important if not the most important aspects of the game. I kinda feel the rest of the game plays out a bit more mechanically than this part, i.e. play defensive with hurt ships by dodging arcs, running, and play offensive with healthy ships, i.e k-turning, and keeping ships in your firing arcs.


Match 1: vs. R. - 5 Obsidian TIEs, Howlrunner, Soonti Fel + PtL

Asteroid Placement:
Ouch, TIE swarm off the bat. I play a lot of TIE swarm myself so I know their weaknesses inside and out. Make them come to you, set up a crowded asteroid field, and do not joust! Make them fly that block of ships. So he's at 100, I'm at 99, I choose initiative just to get the big asteroid and plop it near center, but a bit closer to my board edge. His asteroids are placed in his 2 corners and 1 on the to my far right edge in the center. I place mine in a triangle in front of me.

Set-up:
Ack, so setup has me placing first. I set up my blues on the right, just to the right the farthest asteroid but about range 2.5 from the right board edge. I figure there’s 2 asteroids on the right-board edge, AND the triangle in the middle, so a good place to start. If I turn into the asteroid field to my left, he’ll have a hard time banking all his TIEs past all those asteroids.

He wants a joust, so places directly opposite of me. I then place Biggs + Garven on the opposite side of the triangle of asteroids to flank. I never usually would split, but given the board, and the B-wing’s durability, I figure I can stall with the B-wings behind the asteroids and bring the X-wings up around the triangle to flank the TIEs. I did NOT want to have too many of my ships facing 1 direction, as a block of TIEs can spell doom for my actions. R places Howlrunner and Soontir with the remainder of the TIEs in a 3 x 2 formation.

Initial Approach:
My game plan here is to stall with the B-wings thus I 2 turn left and barrel roll forward to get behind the triangle of roids. He goes 5 forward with everything. I go 4 forward with the X-wings to set me up for a nice 2 or 3 bank around the triangle of roids next turn.

Turn 2 I know I’m going to have to get my B-wing’s firing arcs back facing the TIEs next turn, thus I bank 2 right towards the asteroids then barrel roll away from the incoming TIEs. He again goes 5 forward and tries to barrel roll towards me to gain some speed, alas this causes some Howlrunner crashing, hurray! My X-wings bank 2 and 3 respectively to set them up to turn into the triangle next turn.

Turn 3 I hard 2 turn with the b-wings to get their arcs facing the right direction. I focus as it’s the first, all important engagement. Garven does a hard 2 turn into the asteroid field, Biggs does a hard 3 turn into the field.

The TIEs at this point need to do a 3 turn to get around the asteroid on my right, and then all 3 do a barrel roll to escape my Bwings firing arcs. This turns out to be nonimportant as Soontir had done a 3 bank, a boost, and a focus to end up a range 1 of both my b-wings. Not surprisingly, Soontir dies soon after. This really sealed the game in my eyes, losing Soontir that early was devastating. I proceeded to do basic 1 moves with most of my rebel ships, and focus fired TIEs down. My opponent tried to take out my lead b-wing before Biggs got there, but unfortunately did not succeed. Biggs came back to combat and safeguarded the B-wing from more damage. I then played fairly coy with the injured b-wing and the injured Biggs while the unscathed Garven and B-wing tore through TIEs at range 1. I did not lose a ship this game.

Match Win: 1-0 (100 Points Destroyed 0 Points Lost)

Match 2: vs. C. Royal Guard Interceptors + PtL x 4

Asteroid Placement:
Ouch again! I know Interceptors can dogfight like nobodies business so I’m scared. He’s at 100 pts, I’m at 99 pts. I’m worried about getting Garven a shot to hand his focus to Biggs before the first shots are fired. However, I’m really scared that having Garven go first will really expose him to being outmaneuvered in the endgame. I choose to lose initiative. My first mistake, and this cost me dearly in actions. I should have taken initiative to get shots off first. I ended up crashing several times with Garven, also got a “Blinded Pilot” crit on Garven during this game.

I place asteroids in a line in front of him, he places them in a line in front me of, with the 2 asteroids a bit closer together on my right side. I like this set up, clear lanes for me to joust.

Set-up:
More mistakes by me! I place my B-wings side by side on the far right. Like so:

Blue Blue
Biggs Garven

First mistake, I should have placed them front-to-back so I could more easily turn into the firing lanes set up. I then place Biggs and Garven, with Biggs on the left, and Garven on the right, both behind the B-wings in a “Box” formation.

My opponent sets up in roughly a box in the opposite corner.

Initial Approach:
Again, I push my ships far past their ship specs and go 3 forward with the B-wings and X-wings. I intended to get to the center jousting lane to engage the Interceptors. Another mistake by me, as he simply goes 5 forwards and boosts. He does this again the next turn and I again, go too far forward, letting him get behind me. I now have to turn, and then bank behind myself in a very awkward position with Biggs in the front of my formation .

In retrospect, I should have slow-rolled it, and done 1 forward, see where he was going and not let him get too far behind me. To resuce my awful starting set up, I could have just 1/2 banked to my left to get my ships facing the correct orientation.

I’d describe the rest of the game, but honestly, my poor approach really sealed my fate. My opponent had some minor issues navigating through the asteroids but nothing major, I stall the lose by escaping Biggs, but I lose both my B-wings in the process. I even land one on an asteroid to finish off it’s last hp, poor flying on my part. My opponent flew very well for the mid-endgame and managed to dodge arcs, and make my X’s and B’s look absolutely silly. Good Game C, well played!

Match Loss: (1-1) (50 Points Destroyed, 73 Points Lost)

Match 3: vs. J. Biggs, Hobbie + R2D6 + PtL, Tarn, Rookie + R3A2

I’ve played J. quite often, we’re friends, and I know he’s a strong player. I see we’re both running 4-ship rebel builds so I know this’ll get ugly really fast. Things are gonna go boom very quickly. I compare our squads and I make the assumption that I can outjoust him. As such, I take initiative so my B’s can move before the Rookie and my Biggs can move before his Biggs and Hobbie. We discuss if it’s the right play, I feel he thinks that I should lose initiative and play the reposition game with the Blue’s against the rookie but I would rather just joust. My brain doesn’t want to overcomplicate things . And honestly, I don’t like B-wings’ ability to reposition without Adv Sensors. Yes FCS can help, but it’s not enough. I like FCS B-wings as jousters, not repositioners.

Asteroid Placement:

I place the big asteroid in one of his corners I believe. He then places his first asteroid in a VERY carefully measured spot on my right side, using 2 range rules to place it at about range 5-ish. Seeing this, I know something’s up, he wants to pull some Biggs behind asteroid maneuver. I place asteroids in the corners, he places the other asteroid in the other side of the map, again with very careful placement. He can’t resist and places 1 in the center to make things interesting.

Set-up:
I set up on the right corner, he sets up in the left corner in a very complicated set up designed to get Biggs behind the asteroid he measured and what I assume his other 3 ships on either side of the asteroid, ala Paul Heaver’s set up from the 2013 finals. I just put both my Blues back-to-back and Biggs and garven to their right in a box formation:
Blue Biggs
Blue Garven

I know a lot of people have been using “aperture” or “offset” formations, but frankly, I still like box. It gives you a lot of versatility and isn’t as fickle as the other 2 can be when placing templates. Again, my brain hurts, I just wanna fly stuff and shoot things at this point .

Initial Approach:
I know he’s setting up to be by that asteroid by turn 3 or 4. I slow play pretty hard. I go 1 forwards for 2, maybe 3 turns? Then when he’s about to clear his asteroid on his side of the board, I go 3 forward with the B’s and 4 forward with my X’s. I want to be clear of my asteroids on my side before he chases me across the board. I then 2 hard turn with the Blues and Garven while I 3 hard turn left with Biggs, as this keeps Biggs at range 3 from a few of his ships.

The first exchange goes pretty poorly for him as he complex formation breaks down and he ends up banking into himself and loses Hobbie’s all important PtL action. I end up taking Biggs off the board round 1, while my Biggs survives with 1 hp left. I run biggs the next round, Hobbie follows and finishes him but I put some damage into Tarn, he turns behind me and goes up the length of the board. I k turn with B’s and Garven turns, follows Tarn, and he bites it. The Rookie stresses a B-wing but it’s now a Rookie and Hobbie vs Garven, and 2 B-wing’s. I play pretty predictably as I have the hp to spare, and finish the rookie. I have 2 B’s and Garven to Hobbie. I believe he finishes off a b-wing before Hobbie drops.

We chat a bit post-game, we agree that the first exchange losing Biggs really hurt. I also felt that B-wings are just so hard to take on by X-wings. The extra hp is so helpful and X-wings don’t really have the tools the need to reposition against B-wings. R3-A2 is definitely an impressive droid, though. For 2 points, it makes a standard Rookie X-wing into a really awesome end-game ship.

Match Win: (2-1) 100 Points Destroyed, 49 Points Lost

Match 4: vs V. 2 Blue Squadron B-wings + HLC, Rookie X-wing and Green Squadron A-wing + Squad Leader

Ouch, 2 HLCs. I see this as a variant of “Blue Thunder/Heavy Fighters” and I’m a bit scared that I can’t outjoust this squad. He’s at 100 pts, so I try and decide if I want to joust him or play reposition. I decide to use the KISS method and go with my habit of jousting. I feel having Biggs + Garven shoot first helps me overcome the loss of the range 3 bonus defense die against the b-wings’ HLC, and I may be able to split fire on the approach. Also, FCS is pretty brutal against opposing B-wings.

Asteroid Placement:
I recall this being pretty boring, I placed 3 on his side, and he placed 3 on mine. Pretty clear that we both just want a joust.

Set-up:
I set up in the right corner, again, in a box, identical to the last game. He sets up in a nontraditional off centered formation closer to his right-center between 2 asteroids. His A-wing goes on the far left, and attempts to flank my ships.

Initial Approach:

I start out fast as I want to clear asteroids on my side. I go 3 forward with the B’s and 4 forward with the X’s. I want to fight in the center lane, a bit closer to the line of asteroids on his side. He goes straight 2’s then banks left, then banks again to face me but he’s in a line. I have now put distance between my B’s and X’s so I hard turn 3 with both of my x’s and 2 turn with my B’s to form a firing line. I really like my approach.

He’s not in a great position as his ships are in more a line formation facing me, and his A-wing is flanking but I’m not concerned about that. My main concern is getting a b-wing down, get rid of those HLCs. If I get a good focus-fire shot on the X-wing, I’d take it, but I prefer taking out Blues + HLCs.

First shots go my way as I’m in range of 1 of his blue’s with HLC and Rookie but his last Blue with HLC is out of range, ouch. He has to attack a b-wing but can’t reach Biggs, so has to split fire. I’m liking this scenario. I put a few points of damage on the blue, and the rookie. I split damage, as I’m more concerned about putting damage on the HLC b-wing. I take some shots on the rookie that I have to with 1 blue and garven I believe. I take a shot on the HLC B-wing with 1 blue. I think I take 1 shield off the blue and 2 shields off the Rookie. Biggs is out of range.

I 2 bank with my blue on the bottom of my row of ships, and go 1 forward with everything else. I think he bumps my B-wing, and goes 1 forward with everything else. I shoot first with Garven and Biggs and they’re both range 1 to the rookie. I toast the rookie before he shoots, then with initiative manage to get the b-wing down to 1 or 2 hull. He gets Biggs down to 1 hp left with HLC shots. The A-wing isn’t doing much as he’s using squad leader to give his blues actions.

Next turn I think he expects Biggs to hard turn but I go 4 forward instead and save him. I finish off his 1 hull B-wing and now it’s Garven + 2 near full b-wings vs. a-wing and a b-wing. The A-wing tries to chase down biggs but can’t get past his focus token for a few rounds. My 2 b’s and Garven finish his HLC b-wing and then come to Bigg’s aid. They finish the A-wing and Biggs manages to live through till the endgame with some squirrely 2 turns, and 4 straights. I try not to k-turn to keep his focus token up while Garven and crew finish off the A-wing.

Match Win: 3:1 15 points (100 points Destroyed, 0 points lost)

So at the end of 4 matches, of 75 minutes a piece, we’re all exhausted. I announce the top 4 players by strength of schedule, myself, V. from my 4th match, M., and J. from my 3rd match. We’re all 3-1 at 15 points. I state frankly that I have no real preference on which ship I receive so I step down from the top 2 match to offer the 2nd and 3rd place players a chance to play in the top 2. Both players are also exhausted and we just chat about our options. We discuss possibly playing a 2v2 team game as the format of the rules seems to really hinder the 3rd and 4th place players as they basically sit and watch the Top 2 players play, that’s a bit boring, honestly. We talk about everyone’s preferences on which ships people really want. V wants an E-wing, M. would like the Defender, J. would like the Phantom….and I’m more than happy with the Z-95! Heck, as I know I’ll be getting at least 3 or 4 Z95s, this works out great for me! Ok, so we happily divvy out the ships, and get a beer around the corner at the local pub to celebrate an awesome day of X-wing!

TL;DR – Played a XXBB Squad of Garven, Biggs, Blues + FCS x 2. Went 3-1 and ended up 1st overall by strength of schedule. I walk away with a Z-95 and have a beer with my fellow X-wing pilots at the end of a long day of gaming .
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Chris Brown
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There is no reason to have two A's at the beginning of aardvark. I simply won't do it.
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What tournament software did you use?
 
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John DiMaggio
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http://www.afewmaneuvers.com/topic/582-pairing-program-with-...

So far it's really useful. Make sure to read the read me file beforehand, but it hasn't failed me yet .
 
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Chris Brown
United States
Fort Wayne
Indiana
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There is no reason to have two A's at the beginning of aardvark. I simply won't do it.
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That's a decent program, but has a few hang ups that I'm not keen on. I took a lot of ideas from it for my program Cryodex. Just good to know people are using good software. Some people are running these tournaments with completely incorrect software or just pencil and paper.
 
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