It’s been a while since I put “pen to paper” here, so I should tell you all about my recent exploits.  Since the last update, there’s been at least one more wave for X-Wing released (Wave 11) and we’re into the Store Championship Season here in Melbourne Australia.

Last time, I described the “3 tenors” list – this list is what I’ve been flying recently, though with a tweak.

I found that having 2 very fragile ships (Duchess and Carnor) was very unforgiving in the current Meta, so I looked for an alternative and found one in Rexler Brath.  The defender comes in at the expense of Carnor and the Cluster Missiles on Quickdraw, but adds a degree of survivability and threat to the list that has (in my opinion) improved it a lot.

3TMk2

With that in mind, despite still a lack of serious match practice (contributed to by an overseas trip); I took the list to the Good Games Box Hill Store Championships.

As an aside, I have been doing a bit of work at the store, trying to build up a local player base.  This by no means is because of any disenfranchisement with my old LGS (Ringwood) – but mostly due to practicalities (being now busy on the night they play and Box Hill being my closest store).  So far we seem to have built up a good player base with a combination of experienced players and newer players.

We run a monthly 3 game tournament one night; a “Pizza and Play” the next week, followed by 2 regular “club” nights before starting with the tournament again. As an incentive to come to the club nights, each attendee that plays at least one game gets a ticket in the draw for a free small ship at the end of the quarter.  Above all, we try to ensure that we maintain a “fun” approach to the game and live the “fly casual” mantra.

So – without further adieu, the following is a summary of my games:

Game 1 – Andrew Erle (Imperial: Whisper, Soontir, Omega Leader)

Andrew was a newer player at the store and had gone for an aces list.  I always find pairing Whisper with other aces problematic, as she wants initiative, while the likes of Soontir want to pass off initiative for the last move.  In either case, this was going to be a problem for Andrew as my list was running at PS10 across the board – so both of those objectives were thwarted.  Unfortunately a bad squad match-up for Andrew.

Reasonably standard opening from both of us, but Andrew then decided to risk it and have Whisper and Soontir face off against my list – that resulted in Whisper’s death before she could get off a shot.  Next I came around and focused on taking out Soontir – leaving Omega Leader against 3 ships – not her ideal end game.  Although lasting a while, in the end the outcome was inevitable at that stage.

Andrew ended up going 2/2 and finishing a credible 12th in the tournament.

Result: Win (100-0)

Game 2 – Clint Jacobs (Scum: Asajj, 2 x TLT Y-Wings)

Clint and I had crossed swords at a few tournaments before and he’s a good and fun scum player.  This was going to be the first time I’ve come up against the “Heaver” Asajj list (believe it or not)!  My strategy from the outset was to try to keep my distance and then close and then take out the Y wing TLT’s.  I was TOO cautions and closed too slowly – this resulted in me losing all Quickdraw’s shields to an Asajj shot without a shot back and what’s worse, leave her in a terrible position.  So I lost Quickdraw early, while Rexler and Duchess managed to close with the Y wings.  I took down 1 but couldn’t take down the other (couple of hull left) – meaning that when time was called – it was a 37 to 25 loss (rather than a 37 to 50 win).

The lesson to be learned: Don’t be too hesitant to close and engage – take the hits if necessary – better to go down swinging and get some return than nothing at all.

Clint ended up 6th at the end – with a couple of really close games.

Result: Loss (25-37)

Game 3 – James Brett (Scum: Nym, Emon)

So 1-1 entering this match against James – who won the “House of War” LGS tournament around this time last year and someone who I’ve never flown against before.  James’ only mistake (IMHO) was placing his 2 ships on opposite corners at set-up – with PS10 then, I set up mine to rush Nym and did just that in the opening rounds.  Took some damage but by the time that Emon’s Frespray was into the fray, it was against my complete list and he had lost Nym.  In the end I was able to complete the strategy without the loss of a ship.

James ended up coming in 21st with his Wave 11 inspired list.

Result: Win (100-0)

Game 4 – Johnny Candlish (Scum: Triple Scurrg)

So now, with 23 players, this would be the last game of the Swiss rounds and I was (surprisingly) sitting 3rd, behind the 2 undefeated players so far (Darby Maling – multiple store champion and regionals winner, and Harry Leach – also a store championship winner from last year if I remember correctly).

Johnny would have to be one of my favourite players in Melbourne – really fun, nice guys and not afraid to take on different lists.  This time he and some of the regular crew from the “Flying Banthas” group (who play out of Gatekeeper Games in Fitzroy) devised a Scum triple Scurrg, alpha strike list using cruise missiles.  Not having faced these (or any other Wave 11 ship) before, I took this game slowly.

The initial turns were Johnny taking long range target locks on Quickdraw and then Rexler, while I tried to look for an attack vector that would minimise his ability to get a good move in to launch the missiles.  In the end, I think I had to take one cruise missile on Rexler to close and then concentrate on taking down one Scurrg at a time.  In close, Johnny’s list had a couple of autoblaster turrets – so I had to be careful of range, while playing with the arcs in range 2.

In the end, I was able to remove 2 out of 3 of the Scurrgs when time was called, for the loss of Duchess.  I think I could have played this a little better, maybe being less tentative, but was happy with the outcome – Top 4!

Johnny ended up just out of the Top 8 by 15 points on MoV at 9th.   

Result: Win (66-26)

Top 4 – Nick Hendley (Scum: Triple Scurrg)

Now into the elimination rounds!  Harry managed to defeat Darby, meaning I’m 2nd after Swiss and now facing Nick in the Top 4. For the record, I have never beaten Nick in a game to date!  Last time we faced off was in the Top 4 at the NLG Ringwood Store Championships last year where he knocked me out.

Nick was flying exactly the same list as Johnny did in the last round (both of them being “Banthas”) – so at least I had some idea of what the list does and what Nick’s strategy will be (slow roll – position well for a 3-4+ move and launch the Cruise missiles).  The respective openings were similar to the last game but Nick managed to get some good positioning in to launch the cruise missiles and damage Rexler.

When in closer though, the aces shone and were again able to take out 2 of the Scurrgs – but this time for the loss of Rexler.  So into the final!

Result: Win (66-37)

Top 2 – Harry Leach (Braylen, Jess, Biggs, Rex)

Well – last game for the championship and the furthest I’ve progressed into a Store Tournament!  Harry (another “Bantha”!) had managed to dispatch Darby again, quickly this time and was able to watch the last half of my game against Nick.

Harry was flying a list that I had tried to fly before (unsuccessfully I might add) but have the utmost respect for!

Again a cautious approach by both of us and then a bit of a traffic jam – I was focusing down Biggs successfully and, in the second round of shooting, Harry went for a k-turn with Rex and ended up on a rock having taken a critical damage before from shooting … and ended up killing himself.  So now that was down to 2 vs 3 (albeit one of mine, Rexler – was badly damaged).  Used both ships to focus down the ARC and get rid of the stress mechanic – which really meant that I was sacrificing Duchess as Jess was concentrating on killing her.

So in the end it was a shoot off between Jess and Quickdraw (both undamaged at the time if I remember correctly) – Quickdraw’s ability meant that if Jess damaged her – she could shoot back again (when she lost a shield) – but Jess had integrated Astro, meaning that she effectively had 1 more hull to play with. So for a couple of rounds, it was like a 2-on-1 situation.  Also the accuracy corrector meant that I knew I would get a guaranteed 2 hits per shot (regardless of back or front arc).  In the end, shooting first was probably the deciding factor as Jess went down with Quickdraw on 1 hull.  Game over and an awesome one at that.

Result: Win (100-64)

So surprisingly (given my lack of match “fitness”), I managed a breakthrough win in the Store Championship 2017 season!

Given real life and other commitments, I probably won’t be able to get to another Store Championships for a couple of weeks – so stay tuned!  For those interested in stats – see the infograhic below for the squad breakdowns:

GG BH SC17 infographic

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