GameKnight Store Champs 2016 Recap

Well hello! So Saturday was my fourth X-wing tournament EVER, and I had a great day. Today I’m going to write about the games themselves, and hopefully tomorrow do some reflection on the lists that were seen and some of the theory that was involved. This post is quite a bit longer than I usually like to write (I usually try to limit to around 1200 words; this is well over 2000), but it’s a tournament recap, how do you cut that shorter? Anyway, you’ve been warned.

After everything, James woke up yesterday not feeling well so he ended up not coming after all. Then, to my horror, when we arrived I counted up my TFA damage deck because “that’s just what you do” and discovered there was a card missing. I ended up using the original damage deck most of the day, which was terrifying because that deck is much harsher on Ace lists, but I really only got burned on it once. That story to come.

I say again, I really feel like the meta is in a healthy place right now. The master copy of all the lists used is already up on List Juggler, and just looking at it there’s so much variety. A big surprise to me was that it seemed I was the only one running the Stresshog. Poe was the most popular ship of the day, appearing in 4 of 19 lists. A few TLTs but nothing excessive. The only real surprise for me was where the heck were all the large base turret ships? Han Solo was the only one to make an appearance. No shuttles either. 2 Boba Fetts, a single Brobots list, and one Bossk rounds out all the large base ships seen. Anyway, yup, seems pretty healthy and varied. On to the games!

In advance, I apologize for the quality of the pictures. You never want to be accused of playing the clock so any time I take pictures I try to be real quick, so I don’t always check that it didn’t come out blurry, plus it’s a phone camera. Add to that the fact that I get really nervous in competitive play so my hands get pretty shaky, and more than one picture here isn’t going to be great quality. So yeah, sorry in advance.

Game One: Cam

Cam is a regular at X-wing league, so I’ve played with him before. Great guy. Today he was flying: Bossk with Outlaw Tech, Engine Upgrade, K4 Security Droid, Marksmanship, and Hot Shot Blaster; and Boba Fett with Veteran Instincts, Engine Upgrade, Recon Specialist, and Glitterstim. What a terrific combination on those ships. Between Outlaw and K4, he almost always had either a free focus or TL on Bossk. Until this game I’d never actually played a game with the YV-666, either using or facing, though I do own one. That auxiliary arc is a major head tilt for arc dodgers! On multiple occasions I thought I was out of his arc because of course I was, except for that auxiliary 180, and ended up getting pounded.

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The game didn’t go well for me. There was a lot of bumping, a lot of not realizing just how far his ships could get with the Engine Upgrade, that sort of thing. I lost the stresshog and Poe, and at one point had Ello down to just one hull point, but he managed to chase down Bossk and take him out, which combined with having more than half damage on the Firespray actually got me the full win with 12 points Margin of Victory. Final round was called as we were setting dials, and ended with a range 3 dead ahead shot for both Ello and Boba. I had 4 health (full shields, thanks R2D2!) and he had 2, so it wasn’t possible for me to lose but maybe just maybe I could take him out, unfortunately I was only able to get one damage through and he lived with a single hull (I think). Anyway it was close, and I’m not sure what the next round would have looked like for us. Like I said, I was up 12 points and so got the full win. After the first game, 1-0 (barely).

Game Two: Scott

Scott is the owner of Game Knight (and my boss, since my part time job while I’m in school is at Game Knight), so this was kind of weird. He doesn’t get to play a whole lot but he really likes X-wing so he came to play. He’s got a rule for himself that he’s only allowed to buy one new ship for every game he plays (which I think makes a ton of sense in terms of not wasting your money, but it makes competitive play difficult), so he let himself get the TFA core and the T70 expansion after this. Because he doesn’t get to play often, it turns out he didn’t know the Tallon roll was a thing. Three of his guys Target Locked Ello, who then did a 4 straight to end up outside everyone’s arcs. The next turn Ello did his white Tallon roll (eliciting a horrified  exclamation from Scott), right onto the rear of the formation. I felt pretty bad about surprising him like that; I like to be a good sport and make sure my opponents know what my ships can do. I know it’s not my fault but still.

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The T65 in the back is Wedge, and right in front of him is the hole where Biggs was at the start of combat. Poe was set up to take 3 very painful shots from his X-wings, but Poe and Ello were able to take out Biggs first and he ended up only taking 2 shots, which he was able to survive. I seem to think he even managed to keep his focus, so he got a shield back at the end of the round. Wedge disappeared next, and the two Rookies (who had both received stress from my Y-wing) were on the run, trying to find a turn’s reprieve from my guns so they could shed their stress and K-turn back to fight. They never got the chance. The ability to reposition is so crucial in this game, because it was my ability to boost that allowed me to chase him down really effectively. I won this game without losing a ship. I was now 2-0.

Game Three: Aidan

Aidan was running an interesting list. It was essentially a Scum swarm, with 3 ships that could be considered heavy hitters. He had two Binyare Pirates (PS1 Z-95s), a single Cartel Marauder (PS2 Kihraxz), a Hired Gun (Ps4 Y-wing) with TLT and the BTL-A4 title but not bot, and Kavil (PS7 Y-wing) with a Blaster Turret and R4 Agromech. I tell ya, that Agromech was made for the Blaster Turret. That Kavil build is a thing of beauty. Not that I let him get it off after the initial engagement.

Aidan set up with all his ships essentially in a line across his set up area, all facing me, all spaced about a range band apart. He was covering a wide area of the map, but every area had little coverage. I put my Stresshog in the center and Poe and Ello on the right, across from Kavil and his Kihraxz.

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Note the Z-95 just barely on the debris field. As you can see, he’s having to react to my closely grouped ships by bringing his together. His second Y-wing is completely out of the fight on this round. My Stresshog loaded down Kavil (the Scum Y beside the Kihraxz), and the two Aces pounded into that Kihraxz at range 1. I know Kavil probably should have been my first target, and he was, but the range 1 on a ship that held a decent amount of the offensive potential, especially when Poe would have had to go through an asteroid to hit Kavil, was too good to give up. I knocked it down to 1 hull, and next turn he did a K-turn with it right onto that asteroid at the bottom of the picture and rolled a crit. Boom.

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Despite the blur, I had to show this picture because of the sheet chaos that ensued. This is the next round. The Kihraxz died on the rock, and wow what a mess. His Y-wing (not Kavil) went on the same debris field that his Z-95 had just vacated, and otherwise it was just chaos.

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This is two movements after the last picture. So you missed one round, to be clear. Nothing really exciting happened, just movement and dice, nothing dying. My aces were forced last round into shooting at different Y-wings, and the same thing happened in this picture except that now my Y-wing also has the arc on Kavil, and both enemy Ys went down the same turn. After that it was just a matter of spinning back to get the Zs, which as you can imagine was no big deal.

A second game without losing a ship! I felt like I was pretty much in the groove at this point. 3-0.

 

Game Four: Jeremiah

Brobots. Here it was, the list I’d been dreading all day. Jer was flying IG-88B and IG-88C, loaded out identically. They both had the IG-2000 title (duh), Glitterstim, Crackshot, Autothrusters, Heavy Laser Cannon, and Fire Control system. Terrifying.

Especially terrifying was when I did my regular opening on my dials (4 straight for the Xs, which were on the right, and 3 straight for the Y, who was in the center), and his bots both came up the center, boosted, and had range on my Y-wing. Oh. My. Goodness. 2 shots of 4 dice, both with IG-88B’s ridiculous Gunner ability, against my teensie 1 agility. I actually lucked out really hard on this because he rolled rather poorly and I was able to take just 1 damage from one of the shots, so my Y survived. He pounded at the one straight ahead (which if memory serves was B) and gave him two stress, which was very satisfying. Both my Xs took Boosts toward the center so they could throw some dice. The next round he bumped his own ship, and just barely landed B’s large base on an asteroid. So suddenly he was only going to get to shoot once, and he still had one stress on that ship. Super bummer. I didn’t kill him that round, or the next for that matter. He managed to take out my Stresshog with C while Poe and Ello chased down B, and I finally took him out in the corner of the board.

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See? IG-88 is having a bad day.

Shortly after this I took the only crit of the day from the original deck that was troublesome: Blinded Pilot. In the original deck, you have to be able to shoot someone to turn it down. In the new deck, it’s basically the next combat phase you get to turn it down. Poe carried that crit for 3 rounds, and finally flipped it down when he landed range 1 of IG-88C’s face, losing out on his chance to shoot and instead becoming space dust. Ello pulled it out, unsurprisingly, since he was down to just one or two health and Ello was full, but it was frustrating to lose a ship for no reason except that the old damage deck sucks. Anyway I won it with 37 points still alive, to finish out the Swiss rounds 4-0.

This picture is just for your amusement. His ships are PS6 and my two aces are 9 and 10, so I definitely moved after. Look what a good pilot I am!

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Not.

Cut to Top Four

I made it! In fact, with a 4-0 record I was seeded the #1 position coming out of Swiss rounds. The top four prizing was a blue range ruler and a thick coin with Rebel and Imperial symbols on opposing sides (sorry Scum). Jer’s Brobots took the #3 position, so he would be facing off against Gini’s 4 TIE Advanced list (2nd place), and my first elimination game would be against Aidan once again, who managed to secure the #4 seed. CaptainFantastic did not make the cut, so I was able to use his TFA damage deck for the elimination games, which was nice, but ultimately didn’t matter. Suddenly I’m not sure that was even legal, but the TO didn’t mind, so whatever I guess.

Semi-Finals/Game Five: Aidan

This game was a lot closer than our first one. For one thing he was a lot more focused on getting rid of my Stresshog, which he was able to do.

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I was again able to load up Kavil on the opening pass, but he also got a lot more guns on my Y-wing than last time. In this picture my Stresshog is right in the center, at range 1 of the Kihraxz and in arc for his warthog TLT Y-wing on the left. My little buddy didn’t survive the round.

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This is where it really started to go badly for him. Kavil got himself stuck on that rock when he tried to clear his stress, and didn’t manage to move for the rest of the game. Seriously, he spent like 3 rounds not moving, and on the 3rd round I blew him up anyway. Ello took out a headhunter the same round Poe took out Kavil, and then things were really in my favour. This was pretty close to the end of the game:20160220_190958.jpg

This got described as a “carousel of death”. Both my ships had shots and neither of his did. It was pretty quick. Aidan definitely played better this game, and I look forward to playing him again!

In the meantime, the feared Brobots fell before Gini’s TIE Advanced squadron, to my surprise, so that was who I would be playing next.

Finals/Game Six: Gini

So 8 hours is a lot of X-wing. We started a few minutes after noon and this game ended at about 8. I was so tired at this point I didn’t even take any pictures of the game. Gini was flying 4 TIE Advanced: 3 Tempests (PS2) with title and Accuracy Corrector, and Vader with title, Advanced Targeting Computer, Predator, and Engine Upgrade. It’s a fierce build because he’s able to free up the actions on the little ones for either defense or repositioning, because hey 2 hits no matter what! Predator on Vader was a surprise but again, it meant he didn’t necessarily need his actions for attacking. Gini set up with his three peons on my left and Vader on the right. I put Poe and Ello down across from Vader and Goldie in the center. First move I went forward and he took Vader hard and fast toward the rest of the group. I got outflown hard in this game. I left my Stresshog out in the open where he was able to pounce on it with all four of his ships, so I only got one shot off with it. I put the two stress on Vader, but in return I took the Pilot Skill 0 critical hit, which next round cost the Stresshog his attack since he went down to a PS2. Had he not taken that crit he would still have been able to shoot, but alas, he did not. I tried to get Poe back in the fight too quickly and cut across the front of his group, earning me a series of bumps and ultimately Poe’s death. By 8pm I was down to just Ello against 4 TIE Advanced. I’d taken the shields off almost all of them (another error, but sometimes you only have one target), but realized there was just no way I could outplay him to win. I was exhausted and frankly I had another commitment to get to, so I conceded the game at that point. My only loss of the day was in the final, which SUCKS. But hey, I had a great day, played lots of X-wing, had a blast, and met some great people. I look forward to playing again!

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