After making top 8 at the Empire Games Store Championship] on January 2nd (https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1499992/report-empire-games...), I made exactly zero changes to my list and headed to the Tucson Games & Gadgets Store Championship the following weekend. This is my local store, where I've been playing for the past year. My first ever X-Wing tournament was their 2015 Store Championship, where I went 0-3.
Last year, there were 16 players. This year, TGG managed to draw 24, including a contingent down from Phoenix.
I again ran this Palpmobile list
+Advanced Targeting Computer
+Push the Limit
Omicron Group Pilot
It gives up better arc-dodging on Vader (VI/EU) in exchange for better resilience to Twin Laser Turrets. Both aces having 4 dice, double tokens, and an Emperor backing them up means it takes a while for that first hit to get through. The longer it takes, the better chance I have of winning. Since our best player at TGG has been running a triple TLT list, and this is the only thing I've been able to beat him with (having lost both times I brought EU), it was definitely a meta call.
Anyway, we had 24, so it woulf be 4 rounds to the top 4
Round 1: Joseph Hickey
Joseph's a regular at the shop, but he's only been playing about 4 or 5 months. He has Calculation/Mangler Ten Numb backed by Garven and Wedge. I know that Ten/Mangler will take down either Stealth Device with a single shot, so I split my Aces on the approach, forcing him to commit one way or the other. Darth sticks with the shuttle while Soontir swings wide. Joseph sends all his guys at Darth and the Shuttle. Ten Mangles Darth's Stealth Device. I had intended to take Ten first, but Garven ended up tokenless in a bad position, so we took him out quick. We followed that up with a two-shot kill of Wedge the following turn, and then it was my whole squad vs Ten Numb. Vader's shields were down by the time Ten died. If Ten had had VI instead of Calculation, he would have been a much harder target to deal with.
Win 100-0 (1-0 MoV 200)
Round 2: Josh Cook
Josh is another shop regular. The last time we played, he smoked my IG-88 & Thugs list. That loss pushed me to trying Palpmobile about 6 weeks ago and I haven't looked back. Josh was also running a Palpmobile list, but with Colonel Jendon and an FCS on the Shuttle and Omega Leader with Juke and Comm Relay in place of Vader. We had a hell of a position fight, and every time I got Omega lined up, he had just enough green to survive. Vader really hated him. I've never wanted Expert Handling more than when Vader had Omega on the run.
After an hour of circling each other, killing nothing, the TO calls "fifteen minutes" and I realize I'm going to have to make an MoV play. I've got his Soontir trapped between my Soontir and my Shuttle, but the score is 0-0 and we might not kill anything. I have my Shuttle bug out at full speed and point both of my aces at his shuttle, looking to get the shields down. Nothing dies, but I get his shuttle down to 3 hull left for the anti-climactic 18-0 victory!
Win 18-0 (2-0 MoV 318)
Round 3: Chris Sabiston
Chris is a new player who came over from Star Trek: Attack Wing. He's been coming to the shop recently to get some games and learn the system. He is running a straightforward 58 Dash / 42 Corran list. His lack of experience shows on turn 1 when he puts Corran straight over a rock and then tried to do his action. I have to get the Rules Reference Guide out of my box to show him the obstacle rules, which are apparently different from Star Trek. Nonetheless, Corran recovers and manages to put 4 damage onto Vader a couple of turns later, leaving the Sith Lord with a Damaged Engine and one hull. While Soontir played donut-chicken with Dash, my Shuttle moved in to cut off Corran. The block allowed Vader to 5-straight and escape from the E-Wing. Dash tried to finish off Vader, but missed and Vader plus the shuttle picked off Dash from afar with range-3 shots. We were unable to finish off Corran before time was called, but it was another no-casualty victory!
Win 58-0 (3-0 MoV 476)
Round 4: Chris Little
Chris is my regular sparring partner and the guy who knocked me out of the #1 position in the TGG League. Before today's event, we had talked about how with 24 players and a cut to top 4, MoV would be huge, as there would likely be two 4-0 players and then about 6 3-1 players, but only the top 4 would move on, so two-thirds of the 3-1 players would be eliminated on MoV. We knew the winner of this match was in, but we were both concerned about MoV, knowing the loser would need that tiebreaker. Chris is running Miranda with TLT and 3PO, a TLT Stresshog, a regular TLT Y-Wing, and a Bandit. I'm really glad I brought my Stealth Vader build.
We open in opposite corners and I send Soontir in like a bat out of hell, trying to get behind his formation without getting into the stressbot arc. 5-straight/boost-right, 5 straight/boost-right, and 5-straight/boost-right/barrel-roll gets him to Chris's deployment corner. His whole formation tries to K-turn to catch Soontir, but he just barely clears arcs and manages a shot on the stresshog. Miranda can't K-turn, so the formation breaks as Vader approaches from the front. Next turn, Vader and Soontir off the stresshog without it getting a shot off. I'm not sure if I can kill Miranda, and usually the key to beating this list is killing Miranda, but I need MoV and i'm going to try to take everyone else down first. With a two-ace list, R3-A2 was target number one.
With that job done, we turned our attention to the other TLT. The shuttle managed to get into the fight before it went down. While we did that work, though, Chris's Z95 pinged Darth's Stealth Device.
In a few more turns, the Z killed off Vader and Soontir avenged him. Going into the late game, I had lost Vader and half the Shuttle, while Chris had only Miranda left. The score stood at 62-50 in my favor. Just enough for a full win, while not eating too much MoV from the loser. Chris went into full defense mode, constantly SLAMming out of the shuttle's arc as it slowly pursued Miranda. Soontir got a few good shots, but I had to respect that 4-dice range-1 shot, lest Chris flip the game in one volley. He got the shuttle down to three hull when time was called. With no chance to TLT it to death, he just SLAMmed out of arc and we were done.
Win 62-50 (4-0 MOV 588)
I am the #2 Seed. Chris managed to make Top 4 as the #4 Seed. He will be facing Iain Hamp, who did a fantastic job running the Game Empire Store Championship in Phoenix last weekend. Iain has a TIE swarm with Howlrunner, Wampa, et al. I did not get a good look at the list, but we hope to get the lists into List Juggler this week.
I am facing Phil Booth's Brobots from Hell. The exact same list he took to top 4 at Worlds. I'm really wishing I had that Engine Upgrade at this point.
Top 4: Phil Booth
Phil is running IG-88 A & B with Crack Shot, FCS, HLC, Autothrusters, and Glitterstim. The Crack Shot and B combo will cut through my aces like nobody's business, unless they can stay out of arc.
They can't. Soontir gets blocked on turn 3 and after a full day of X-Wing and 6 weeks of training myself to protect the Stealth Device at all costs, I play right into the Murderbot plan and use the Emperor to cause a miss, which of course just means I'm facing the same shot with a Target Lock. 4 hits vs two evades makes Soontir dead when Phil spends a Crack Shot.
My Shuttle gets cut down in about three shots, and then it's Vader vs both full-health bots.
He manages to put up a good show, getting B down to 2 or 3 hull before A wipes him out.
I definitely learned the value of an Engine Upgrade on Vader that game. And of not closing too fast with Soontir.
Chris wins the other playoff, and plays Phil in the final. It's a rematch of their game in Phoenix the previous weekend. Phil wins this time through the excellent strategy of actually playing all of his dials.
I got a second range ruler and a fancy challenge coin. The store added in some extra swag, so I also got a nice canvas print of a bunch of First Order Stormtroopers to hang in my Star Wars room.
All in all, a great day. Looking forward to the next Store Championship at the end of the month!