Hey all – well with a new job and family accidents (wife with 2 fractured elbows from a bike accident), I had around 5 months off from playing x wing (competitively or socially). With the impending Victorian Regionals though, I thought I should try to attend, if only to use (& not waste) the round 1 bye won at the Box Hill store championships!
The problem was, I really haven’t had time to think of a list let alone practice with one – so to have fun and be at least reasonably competitive, I’d take the Carolina Krayts podcast advice and not try to build a list myself, but look at the meta lists on List Juggler (or Meta Wing to be precise). My issues with this is that I don’t really like taking a tier 1 meta list these days – especially given my lack of play, I wanted to find something that was reasonably competitive, fun to fly (with challenges) and different.
Hmmm … you may think that’s a tough ask – but I found a list that sparked my interest fairly quickly. A shout out to a Canadian player (Joel Anderson) who flew this exact list in a number of Regionals in Canada. Here’s my version of that list below:
The only difference to Joel’s original list is that I only have the one Courier Droid card (hence it’s just on Lowhhrick and not on both the Wookie and Norra).
So – what appealed?
- It was Rebels – and I don’t fly Rebels that often (different – tick)
- It wasn’t a “Tier 1” meta type list (fun / different – tick)
- Joel had done well in Winnipeg and Saskatchewan (competitive – tick)
- It is different from the old twin Wookies and Arc list that used Braylen as a stress-dealer
- And … I like Wookies and the Arc!
The next issue was getting a few games in to understand the list – so I had a couple of social games (1-win vs Palp Aces, one loss vs RacLo) and then a small OP kit at Box Hill (went 2:1 with the loss going to a final salvo). I seemed to keep forgetting about Tactician on Lowhhrick – so I kept a stress token by my hand to remind me – which seemed to help.
Onto the regional competition then – 5 games under my belt – not the ideal lead up, but hey – this was for fun.
The Regionals were being hosted by General Games – a shout out to Scott and the team there as they always put on a spectacular event (the larger ones being held in the Caulfield campus of Monash University). Onto the games:
Round 1: Bye
As a result of the Box Hill Store Championship win, I took the first-round bye (as did a number of other players). This enabled me to wander around and check out a number of the lists and players in the room. What struck me was that there were a LOT of Rebel players but also there was a good variety of lists on display.
Round 2: Brendan Morrissey (3 x Y-Wings with Synched Turret, 1 x Y-Wing Stressbot)
Brendan is a very good player based in Melbourne and is especially good at flying Y wings. This list was different in that the Y’s had Synched Turret and title – so could get lots of modified shots off at range 1-2 while the stress bot was handing out stress at range 2-3.
I knew that I had to fly a perfect game to get close to defeating Brendan – so I set up the obstacles in a tight line to one side of the board while I setup on the other side of those to the Y’s. Brendan closed and in doing started to spread out his ships, while I kept a tight formation and sped forwards (4+) – the idea here was that I would only have to take on a couple of his ships at a time while focusing down the stressbot. The first part of this plan worked reasonably well – taking off the stress bot and another Y wing for damage on Lowhhrick and the loss of Norra. At this point, when in closer, I probably made a few sub-optimal tactical moves (including focusing rather than flipping over a “console fire” crit) that saw me lose one of the Wookies. One Wookie vs 2 Y-wings wasn’t good odds and Brendan made me pay for that.
Result: Loss (51-100), 1-1 with a cumulative MoV (201)
Round 3: Tim Wraight (Magic Carpet Ride – 4 x Wookies)
Tim had a 4 x Wookie list. At the Box Hill Store Champs – he ran a Ghost with all the Captured Tie variants (all painted different colors) that looked amazing! This match up scared me – he had more firepower and health than me and it would require me to fly well again to even up the score.
Luckily for me, Tim didn’t opt to fly in formation (pin wheel, 2×2), but rather have 2 Wookies to the left and 2 to the right. This allowed me to again accelerate to an engagement with only 2 ships rather than 4. Unlike the previous game – the tactics worked well and I didn’t make any poor decisions, resulting in me deleting the 2 Auzitucks before the other 2 really entered the battle. In a 3 vs 2 scenario – I backed my squad and they delivered.
Result: Win (100-0), 2-1 with a cumulative MoV (401)
Round 4: Maddison Crombie (Rey, Norra)
Tragedy! Maddison is a regular with our group and this meant that one of us wouldn’t go 3-1. What’s worse is that we missed something in the end game that hurt Maddie’s results. Anyway – with this game I decided to try to eliminate Rey first – having been suckered into chasing a re-gen rebel ship before – so that part worked OK with Rey gone for the loss of Lowhhrick (I think) and a wounded Norra. This is where it gets fuzzy as Maddie was focusing down my Norra while I was doing the same to hers. At some point, my Norra was down to 1 hull and running, while her Norra chased and my Wookie chased her in turn. At some point in a 3 to 4 turn sequence, my Norra must have taken another damage – she had a direct hit critical (so counting for 2 wounds) so should have been dead. We realized this at least 3 turns later – with the Wookie Liberator chasing Norra who was still chasing Norra.
I would have liked to wind the board state back to our last known position, but we called a judge over to work out what we should do. His direction was to take my Norra off immediately and continue with the turn. Now I know we probably couldn’t wind back, but this disadvantaged Maddie more than me as she could have been making green moves and regenerating a shield / mitigating one of my damage per turn. With my Wookie Liberator at full health and behind Norra, it took her out. I still feel terrible about this.
Result: Win (100-66), 3-1 with a cumulative MoV (535)
Round 5: Aaron Harrison (Rey, Ezra, Captain Rex)
Aaron was playing an interesting list, using a standard Rey with a stress-Ezra and Captain Rex. I planned my approach and decided that I wanted to take out Rex, Ezra and Rey (in that order). Rex went early and Ezra soon followed. Rey was able to put out some damage on Lowhhrick and Norra, but with 3 ships shooting at a 1 agility ship (close range), Rey eventually fell.
Result: Win (100-0), 4-1 with a cumulative MoV (735)
Round 6: Shannon Rios (Palp Aces with Ryad & Quickdraw)
Shannon – another Store Champ and a great player was also sitting on 4-1 leading into the final round. I had a plan against Palp Aces, but this configuration threw a spanner in the works with Ryad. Shannon split his forces after a few castling rounds and I came up with a plan – I would feint towards Ryad, draw Quickdraw in and unleash all my ships on her to limit the revenge shots coming back. This part of the plan worked very well – eliminating QD quickly with only an initial revenge shot. I then focused on getting rid of the shuttle and Palpatine – if I could do this with the loss of one ship – I was confident that a 2-vs-1 scenario against Ryad (without Palp) would play out in my favour.
That’s where the plan went sour – the Lambda was down to 2 hull when Shannon made a slight mistake – forgetting that Ryad moved before my Norra, he bumped, leaving a PtL Ryad token-less with 2 of my ships at Range 1. The temptation was too much and I took a chance – changing from taking down the shuttle to Ryad – in hindsight this was a mistake as I didn’t push enough damage through (1 or 2 shields only in the initial exchange) vs more damage on Norra and a shuttle now running out of Range 3. It was downhill from there, losing Lowhhrick and Norra and taking no more points from Shannon for the reminder of the game.
Result: Loss (49-66), 4-2 with a cumulative MoV (818)
End of Swiss
So, didn’t make 5-1 to guarantee a place in the finals cut, but as it turned out, I had the 3rd highest MoV of the 4-2 grouping and came in at 14! So onto day 2.
Day 2 – Top 16: Sean Reeves (Ghost, Fenn)
Sean is another great player, hailing from Queensland. Playing Ghost-Fenn I knew again that I’d have to play out of my skin to win and progress. Setup was a “channel” down one board edge where Sean set up is ships while I set up in the diagonally opposite corner.
The opening moves were slow rolls to try to judge what we were doing. I then sped up and cut across the board at 90 degrees to initiate an engagement after Sean had k-turned with the Ghost (Choppa) and bumped Fenn. As expected we both converged head on – I had determined that I should take Fenn out and then focus down the Ghost. I expected (and took) some damage from that initial encounter, but did manage to eliminate Fenn, then had the better of a bump fest in-between the obstacles, leaving the ghost at multiple range 1 shots.
We were both taking some time with our moves as the decisions were crucial to the game state – a situation that would come back to bite me in the end game. As we progressed, the ghost was on a handful of hull and managed to eliminate my Norra and Lowhhrick. Thus I had an out of position, full health Wookie Liberator against a Ghost with only 2 hull. At this point we both realized the time and realized our win conditions – mine: to eliminate the Ghost (the attack shuttle was only worth 18 points to my Wookie at 32), Sean’s to run and keep the Ghost alive. He ran, I chased and was just out of range 3 with the Ghost close to the board edge at time! One more turn and the Wookie would have likely killed the ghost (multiple crits in play and all damage dealt face up). I had insufficient points to force a win and was knocked out of the cut.
Result: Loss (53-66)
Wow – a great day and a bit of X-wing and some fantastic games (including the losses). So what did I learn?
- The list hits like a brick if you get it right!
- Knowing when to slow-roll vs speed at the start is important
- I’m getting better at my obstacle placement and alignment with my game strategy
- I need more practice with lists prior to big tournaments
- I had 6 fantastic games of X-wing against amazing opponents
- The most important – I need to learn to play faster, that cost me at least one game