tisdag 23 september 2014

At Starfighters everyone can hear you Pew Pew

I promised earlier that I would report on my first ever X-wing tournament. You can read an introduction and about my squadron here.

"What do you mean you don't have any S-foils?"

The tournament used a five round Swiss system, meaning that opponents would be random in the first game, but in the subsequent four games you would meet someone with roughly the same points. Winning would keep you at the top facing harder and harder (or luckier and luckier) opponents, while loosing would cause you to drift down the score list and meet less successful players. After five games the two top players would meet in a final. Each game was timed for 60 minutes play time, excluding set-up. When the time was up you had to finish the current turn and then total the points lost and incurred on the opponent.

My first game was against Sebastian who flew a HWK-290 with Jan Ors and Nien Nunb, a stealthy A-wing and two rookie X-wings. His tactic would be for Jan Ors to allow the X-wings to roll additional attack dice by suffering stress, while Nien Nunb made all straight manuevers green so she could shed the Stress easily. I managed to take out the HWK early on which made things easier. However, X-wings are potent ships even when piloted by rookies, so I lost Lt Blount in exchange for one of the X-wings. Time ran out and I had scored my first win, 56 to 24.

First game underway, Sebastian on the right is trying his Sith Stare on me, but I have Jedi Coffee.
(Picture courtesy of Erik Björkelund)
Second game was against the reigning Nordic Champion, although I didn't know it at the time. Björn was flying a "Fat Han" which is a beefed up Millenium Falcon, with three Tala Squadron Z-95:s in support. It was over quite quickly and I only managed to kill two of his Z-95:s while he annihilated me. So a loss, 24 to 100.

This is a Fat Han... He's rerolling a lot of attack dice and gets two certain evade against the first attack each round.
My third game was against Andreas whom I know since before, and have played a lot of miniature games against. But this was our first X-wing game against eachother. He flew Ten Nunb in a B-wing, Wedge in an X-wing (of course) and three Bandit Squadron Z-95:s. I made an error that cost me the game when I accidentally swapped the maneuver dials on Tarn Mison and Lt. Blount. This resulted in Andreas getting to chose a manuever for Tarn Mison which caused him to perform a turn away from the dogfight instead of doing a K-turn with Porkins as was my strategy. Andreas chose the maunever well, since it not only had Tarn Mison away from the fight for a turn or two, it also landed him on an Asteroid.

It was a very close and tense game which ended up a modified win for Andreas, 66 to 71. Since the cheapest ship in the game is 12 points you have to win by at least 12 points to get a full win. I can't really remember exactly what ships we had left but it was a really hard fought furball.

"Furball" -- get it?

So, a win, a loss and a near... loss. On to the fourth game.

This time I met Adam with Ethan A'bath in an E-wing, two Blue Squadron B-wings and two Bandit Squadron Z-95:s. It's a very clever list as the B-wings and Z-95:s have the same pilot skill Adam could chose the order in which they would move or shoot each turn. They advanced in a line abreast formation with the E-wing behind, lending his ability to every ship in front. I was a bit hesitant to how I would tackle this formation, so I swung out the Z-95's on the flank and gunned them past the line to get a shot at the E-wing.

I'm helping Adam K-turn his B-wing. Note my X-wing having K-turned close to the edge of the board.
(Picture courtesy of Erik Björkelund)
This nearly worked as I managed to bring the E-wing down to one hull point before being loosing both my X-wings, despite a lot of fancy manueuvering and K-turning on the edge of the board. Suddenly I only had my "expendable" ships left, and had fired all my missiles. I managed to down a B-wing as consolation but it ended in annihilation, once again. 22 to 100.

Where did all the X-wings go? Some fancy flying couldn't save my Z-95:s now. (Notice Adam's yellow nosed Z-95:s)
Adam had painted his Z-95:s with yellow noses to match the card art and they looked very nice. It also helped to distinguish them from mine, but there were a lot of confusion going on I think with so many rebel players flying them. I might nick that idea from Adam and repaint a couple of my Z-95:s too, but mostly I'm itching to paint one as Lt. Blount who has a red striped Z-95 similar to the X-wing paint jobs.

A few moments later I very clumsily parked one of my Z-95:s in front of the remaining B-wing. Bad idea.
(Picture courtesy of Roger Gudmundsson)
My fifth and final game was against Stewe who flew imperials, at last! I was getting a bit tired of "Rebel Civil War" and Z-95:s in particular. Stewe had Whisper in a Tie Phantom, a regular Bounty Hunter (not Boba) in slave 1 and a couple of Tie Fighters piloted by Night Beast and Winged Gundark. I think the plan was to keep the opponents occupied with the bounty hunter and backstabbing them with the Phantom. However I managed to bring down the Firespray quicker than Stewe expected while he unsuccessfully tried to maneuver his ties through the asteroids. I killed one of the ties, but the Phantom de-cloaked and killed a Z-95 with one attack, and then re-cloaked again.

It was then I was a bit lucky, because I realised that cloaking and decloaking were actions, and my list was geared around dealing and removing stress. So first the phantom got hit by Lt. Blounts Ion Pulse Missiles so he was forced to fly straight for a turn, in which I could line up Tarn Mison with his flechette torpedoes, which deal stress even if they do not hit. Since I had Munitions failsafe on the torpedoes I could keep firing them and dealing stress as long as I didn' hit. I also managed to get Porkins to deal even more stress and at one point the Phantom actually had three stress tokens.

While I was chasing the Phantom the remaining tie managed to kill Lt. Blount and I realised I could chase the Phantom around the board forever, dealing stress but not hitting him, so when five minutes remained of the game I turned and attacked the Tie Fighter instead, confident that the Phantom wouldn't be able to shed all that stress in time. I was right and I won with 63 to 41.

I was this happy to finally kick some Imperial butt. (Picture courtesy of Erik Björkelund)
To sum it up it was an exhausting but fun day. All players were nice and there were no major rules lawyering going on. Those that annihilated me did so in a competent but not overly competetive way so there were no sore feelings from my side. They were simply better than me.

I won two games and lost three (although one very close) and didn't end up in last place which I fully had expected to do. I ended up 13th place out of 16 with ten points which I felt was fair. (Actually six players all had ten points in the end!) Playing games with a time limit was a new experience for me and it forced me to make some strategic decisions which I wouldn't have done in a causal game.

Joakim and Ludvig, the finalists. (Picture courtesy of Erik Björkelund)
I stayed and watched the final between Joakim and Ludvig, neither of which I had played. Joakim won and chose the YT-2400 but I think Ludvig was quite happy with his second place as he wanted the Imperial Decimator anyway.

If you want to know more about the players and what they played you can go to the Starfighters' webpage and check them out. If you live in the vicinity of Uppsala and want to try the game you can always pop by on one of our game nights.

May the Force be with You.

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