So I took a trip out to Long Island to attend a much awaited regionals at GameMaster Games in Hicksville, NY. I have never really attended many tournaments so I was a bit nervous and was expecting a huge turn-out but to my surprise only 5 players signed up. I am kicking myself for not taking pictures of the matches, but when time’s a tick’n I had other things on my mind, so kudos to all those who can do this during a mtach! I’ll be sure to try and squeeze them in next time! There were 4 imperial and 1 rebel player. I was also astonished that there wasn’t a single big ship in this group of players. I’ll go through the lists as best as I can remember:
The idea was to run a 6 tie swarm as I was assuming there’d be a good number of large ships run, to my dismay there were none. I wanted to have pilot skill 3 on all my ships as I was hoping to knock out a pilot skill 1 or 2 in the first pass. This is nice in theory but also tempts you to target, well, cruddy pilots over higher priority ones (i.e. soontir or wedge). I found a few problems with this list but I’ll get to that later.
Game 1 vs.
Soontir w/ Marksmanship
Vader w/ Squad Leader
Black Squad. Tie
So I was quite scared of both soontir and less so, vader, in this set up so they were my priority number one in killing. During set up, I prioritized setting up asteroids in the corners as I wanted room to maneuver my formation. My opponent placed a few asteroids on my side but without much consequence. The end result was my asteroids in his 2 corners, and 1 in my close right, and 3 more on the right half of the board if I recall. Seeing this, I set up in the bottom left with Piqsid’s formation set up. My opponents surprised me a bit and set up his obsidian, black squadron, and soontir opposite to my own set up, with vader and the academy to the far right.
First round I sped ahead 5 with howl and black squad in the rear banking 3 to form the 6 tie rectangular formation. My opponent sped ahead 5 with soontier and crew as well as 5 straight with vader and the academy. I think we exchanged a few range 3 shots with nothing happening.
Round 2 saw my academy move ahead 3, blocking his black squad and soontir causing them to lose their actions. His obsidian blocked mine as he had initative causing a MAJOR pile up for the obsidian, avenger, and black squadron causing 3 lost actions. Ugh, major mistake on my part. I’m thinking in the future, that the 2 lead ships should be 1 pilot skill, and having initiative would be important for this, so swarms at 99 pts in the future! Shooting consisted of soontir dinging howl for 1 crit (non consequential, I think secondary weapons one), and 1 crit being redirected on black squad (turns caused stress I think). I think that’s all the damage he did, then I unloaded my swarm on soontir who quickly ‘sploded. A few more points of damage were spread to the black squad I think.
Round 3 and after were a bit of haze, but Vader and the academy came to the rescue by turn 4 but by that time the obsidian, black squad and soontir were all dead. The match ended in about 40 mins. Match win, 5 pts, no ships lost.
Game 2: vs.
Soontir Fel w/ Elusiveness and Stealth Device
Vader w/ Homing Missiles, Marksmanship, and Stealth Device
If I wasn’t scared before, this list was a big counter to my own. Mirror match with ties + stealth device. Ugh, ugh, and more ugh. Seeing this, I thought I should try and take out soontir ASAP as I wasn’t sure if I’d get a second shot at him after the intial pass. My secondary objective was to try and close quickly on vader to avoid the homing missile. Leave Dark curse and academy for last.
Set up involved, again, me placing asteroids at the corners, my opponent setting up asteroids on my half with another big gap on my left flank. That’s where I set up again, my opponent angled his ships to face mine, so he just had to execute straights, he grouped them in abreast.
Round 1, he moved up 4 with his ships, I moved up 5. No combat.
Round 2, I banked with all my ships, 3 banks. This wasn’t close enough though, as all his ships moved 2 and were close, but not close enough to avoid the homer. Vaders homing missile did 2 crits and 2 hits to my avenger, ick. I took 1 crit to black squad, and 1 crit and a hit to the avenger, he lives! Soontir had other ideas, and quickly put him out of his misery, d’oh. I returned fire and in hopes of dinking soontir’s stealth device off. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen and he evaded EVERY shot that round. This was brutal and felt pretty dejected.
Round 3 we crashed a lot in the center, exchanged some shots, I believe he killed my acadamey pilot. Now I’m down 2 ships, and am thinking, hrm, that’s 32 points, should I troll and run like mad, denying him the match win. Nah, I took a chance for the win, of course.
Round 4 and on consisted of a series of short turns and maneuvers. The final turn before time was called consisted of me FINALLY, getting rid of soontir’s stealth device but alas, little too late, he lived through the whole match, and I didn’t end up killing any of his ships.
In retrospect, I should have perhaps went for the academy and dark curse first as that would have been a few less shots directed at me for the rest of the game. That being said, I think this match highlighted the major problem of my list not being able to deal with stealth devices, nor mirror matches well. Match Loss, 0 points, Modified Win for opponent as he killed 32 points of my ships despite me playing risky at the end, heh.
Game 3 (Final round) vs.
Wedge w/ R2D2
Rookie Pilot w/ R2 Astromech
Green Squadron A-Wing with Veteran Instincts and Stealth Device
Green Squadron A-Wing with Stealth Device
Ok, seeing this list, I saw more stealth device pain and knew that wedge had to go down first. No biggs on the table made me a happy camper. Next up would be the rookie, a specialty target for my list of pilot skill 3 pilots : ).
Set up again, consisting of me placing asteroids in the 3 corners, my opponent placed 2 on my edge on the right and center and one on the right board edge.
Once again, I set up left, my opponent set up his 2 awings opposite me, wedge in the center, and the rookie to my far right. I found this placement to be rather spread out and vulnerable compared to my standard 6 tie formation.
Round 1, I moved ahead 5, so did his A wings. His xwings all moved ahead 4. His a wings and my ties exchanged some minor fire, but unbelievably his veteran a wing lost its stealth device on turn 1. Geez, wish I had that luck with soontir at range 1-2 with my WHOLE swarm -_-. Cursed dice gods!
Round 2, I banked 3 to light up wedge, who did a bank 2 or 3, don’t recall. His awings went ahead 2, and his rookie pilot turned 2. Wedge killed an interceptor I believe but the combined fury of my swarm obliterated wedge in a turn. His awings dinged my other interceptor.
Round 3, I banked again, his x wing went straight 4. His awings turned into me and flanked me. I mostly ignored them and once again, my swarm offed the rookie before it could shoot. I think at this point his awings killed my other interceptor.
Again, round 4 on was a careful dance between his awings and my ties. I eventually killed the one I had knocked the stealth off. The match ended at time, I couldn’t get rid of that darn stealth device! Modified Win, 3 pts.
Conclusions: 8 pts, 2nd place based on strength of schedule.
The tourney ended after the 3 rounds, as there were only 5 of us and 1 left after the 2nd game. I wished we could have played more as I wanted a crack at the winner, who had 10 points:
But to be honest, I don’t think I would have stood a chance against 4 tie interceptors with stealth devices. This list counters my swarm so hard its not even funny. I have a feeling the meta in this group prioritizes a lot of stealth devices, and doesn't value big ships much. Its funny because I was going to run a Han Shoots First list with Han, marksmanship, gunner, chewbaca + rookies, or run Chewey w/ marksmanship/gunner, with 2 Rookies with shield upgrades, or chewey+draw fire/biggs/wedge+swarm tactics but thought that there'd be a ton of big ships and I wanted to be "different". D'oh!
There’s quite a few things I learned, among them are the weakness of my list:
1. No good way to deal with mirror matches nor stealth devices. I anticipated and had practiced against a lot of falcon builds and was confident in facing those, and in my current group people value falcons and rookie x wings quite a bit. I suppose this skewed my perception of how strong my swarm was.
2. Interceptors are fragile, and even in a swarm, you just have to find a way to protect them. A stealth device on them helps their survivability tremendously. Also, I feel running interceptors in a swarm defeats the purpose of their maneuverability. I think they’re more adept at running as flankers, or as a 4 tie/stealthed up elite group.
3. Homing missiles are amazing. Not only can you not evade, there’s a good chance of getting 4 hits. This alpha strike was a big kick in my pants, and I’m sure can be useful against opposing stealth devices.
4. Howlrunner is useful round 1 and 2, but after the initial alpha strike, her usefulness goes way down and individually as a ship, she’s just a tie fighter and as others have mentioned, 2 attack dice just doesn’t cut it in the middle/late game.
5. 3 attack dice is amazing, and almost necessary to punch through stealth devices, make koigran turns actually threatening, and increases your range of damage out to range 3 against low agility ships.
6. Good asteroid placement really helped my formation flying, and funneled opponents towards my blob. I really would like to see more articles/posts on asteroid placement relative to your squad composition. While I do think a spread out board is nice for swarms, I find ties to be incredibly maneuverable and in the middle/later game, asteroids seem to annoy less maneuverable ships more than Ties.
7. Keeping an eye on the clock really helps you make informed decisions. I will be sure do this more next time around, as I often was frantic and very surprised when there was only 10 minutes left in a game. Perhaps the excessive stealth devices/imperial mirrors contributed to the longer games, heh.
8. Rock (Swarm) - Paper (Interceptors/stealth) - Scissors (Falcon)?
So I'm starting to wonder if there's a rock/paper/scissors (yes, yes, Lizard/Spock) mechanic to X-wing. I find the above to be true, and will often see Falcons counter inteceptors, Firesprays counter falcons, and swarms counter falcons. Elite/stealth groups will counter swarms and 4 ship builds, while 4 ship builds (Xwing+shields, or int+stealth) will destroy big ships (in some instances). Moving forward, I'm thinking if I should even bother to acknowledge what my list is weak to (i.e. If I'm weak to swarm, bring assault missiles, weak to big ships, bring proton torpedoes or homing missiles?), or just make sure I win the matches I'm strong against and pray that I don't get paired with my counter?
9. Exponential Factor to Stealth Devices?
A fellow gamer, perhaps even the tourney winner made an observation about the value of stealth devices. Again, this may be in the light of the local meta there but there was a discussion about how their value increases as the game goes on as people will have less opportunities to focus fire down targets after the initial pass. Perhaps this is in the light of a falcon-light meta?
Ok, that was horribly long but wanted to rant as I had ever-so-much in my first X-wing Regionals! I’ll be sure to be back and will welcome anyone who wants to play in the New York City area! Message me, if interested! Would love to get some practice in before regionals at Compleat Strategist! Oh, and I do want to thank Piqsid, Vorpal Sword, Hothie, Kelvantiberius, Theorist/Littlebull? (I’m sorry I don’t know your real names!), Scott Egan, Scott Williams and many of the bloggers on team covenant for their awesome articles, posts, and help they've shown the X-wing community. Also, thanks to the http://www.themetalbikini.com/, great blog, definitely check it out as they have some great info there too!. I’ve been a long time lurker and you’ve all been incredibly informative in my X wing learning experience. Thanks for reading!
TL;DR: Went to regionals in Hicksville, NY (yes, this is a real city name). Got 2nd place, a good bunch of swag, and had a great time. I learned that stealth devices and imperial mirror matches are tough nuts to crack. Looking for any players in the New York City area!
- Last edited Mon May 6, 2013 9:26 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun May 5, 2013 2:45 am
You need to fix your Opponent 2 link, it just goes to the voidstate site w/o list.
With only 5 people it is hard to really say what would have happened in a larger environment.
The Rock-Paper-Scissor is correct but you have not factored in the Rebel fleets sans falcon, nor the Slave I's position.
I think either that area should advertise more, or atleast get a steady group going before it hosts a regional event. I assume EVERYONE got decent prizes though.