As the city we live in continues to look more and more like Echo Base every day, we are taking a break for the holidays before getting things going again int he new year. Hopefully we’ll see some Imperial Aces before play starts up again, but with Fantasy Flight’s totally reliable release schedule for X-wing who knows.
Anyway, the league at Mission Fun and Games in St. Albert wrapped up last week, with some pretty epic showdowns. Entering the final week, there was quite the logjam at the top of the leaderboards. Two players (Paul and Davyd) were tied at the top of the standings with 5 wins, with three more people (myself included) with 4 wins. It was all going to come down to the final week, and some head-to-head match-ups.
After vowing to spend my entire 40 hour work week devoted to finding the ultimate squadron for the final Saturday, I actually put little-no thought whatsoever into new builds. Instead, I just fell back on the list I had the most fun using earlier in the league — Chewbacca, Dagger Squadron B-wing with Advanced Sensors, and Blue Squadron B-wing with Heavy Laser Cannon and Fire Control System. A very mixed bag of tools, but everything is capable of both dishing out and taking a beating. Decent pilot skill ratings, decent mobility with the Falcon and Advanced Sensors in the mix, a turret for flexibility, and some heavy hitting from the Blue for taking down big targets.
The first game of finals week was against Sam’s list with Evasive Handling and R2 unit on Wedge, DTF Luke with R2-D2, and Horton with Ion Turret, Protons and an R5 unit. Sam really knows her way around Imperials, so I was kinda surprised to see yet another Rebel build instead of the tried and true Bounty Hunter/squint combos. Her reasoning: “Too many turrets!” which is entirely fair since a lot of people lately have been running Y-wings and/or HWK-290s. Ion Turrets really mess with squints, especially ones that use Push the Limit for maximum maneuverability and stacking of tokens. You can’t hide from turrets, and if you take a single ion hit your stressed Interceptors are screwed.
I have been drawing a ton of these three ship builds throughout the league, with a couple of games involving 4 small Rebel ships but most of them featuring either three named Rebels or a pile of Bounty Hunters if they are playing Imperials. So far, I have to say that B-wings really don’t mind these types of lists. Neither does Chewie, really. I am not paying a huge amount for my pilot skill ratings in my list, so going last isn’t a huge deal, and it’s really damn hard to one-shot any of my ships so I can feel confident about getting the first kill in many match-ups.
The game stared out with us meeting in the middle. I was only in range of Horton with a couple of my ships, so my focus shifted to the Y-wing instead of Wedge, and it was blasted out of the sky on the second volley. Sadly not before the Dagger was hammered with Ions and blasters, and forced to skip a point blank shot due to a critical hit. After Horton went down to focused fire, a potshot was sent into Luke (or was it Wedge, with Luke drawing the critical and healing it with R2-D2?) but that made no difference.
In the end, the wounded Dagger was sacrificed to allow the Blue with HLC to target lock and K-turn, while Chewie also soaked some serious firepower without any trouble and chipped away at Wedge. HLC did most of the heavy lifting, at least until Chewie decided to start rolling nothing but critical hits! 100-27 victory for Chewie and friends.
Paul won his first match using a pair of PS3 Bounty Hunters with Seismic Charges and Soontir Fel with Push the Limit. A pretty nasty combo, as Paul is very experienced running Fel and Krassis with great success. I like running the same list he usually does (Krassis, Fel and Dark Curse), and have played against Firesprays more and more lately so I wasn’t quite so scared going into this final match. I was admittedly a little worried about Seismics vs. two B-wings that might not be able to get out of the way. Luckily, there was never a chance to drop them.
A little bit of pressure was certainly felt though, as Paul could clinch the league with a win and I would certainly need a win to grab a piece of first place.
Paul really likes to play Fel aggressively, rocketing ahead 5 + a boost on turn 1, and then swooping around to cause mayhem while the Bounty Hunters do their thing. Seeing Fel with a stress token going into turn 2, I was able to look at the board and feel fairly confident that a hard 2 was the only logical choice for Fel to clear stress and get his defences back up. Facing the Falcon’s turret, clearing stress was an absolute must.
After deciding that I had to go for broke, I assigned Chewie a left bank to cut off Fel’s advance, while the Blue veered away from the oncoming Firesprays and aligned his HLC with the dreaded Interceptor pilot. After Soontir Fel bounced off the hull of the Falcon, the focused HLC was able to blast him into oblivion in one shot while the Dagger and Falcon threw the rest of my firepower at the middle Firespray, taking out its shields.
The second round of fire was relatively uneventful, with the Firesprays K-turning, and the B’s taking cover through the asteroids and repositioning while Chewie arced around and kept firing at the wounded Firespray. On turn three, the Dagger went down but with the help of an asteroid collision, the rest of my firepower was able to finish off the Firespray and start on his wingman. Facing the relatively unharmed Blue Squad member with HLC and FCS (the perfect combo for slaying large ships at range) and the Millennium Falcon, the Firespray didn’t have much of a chance really.
Especially when I just couldn’t miss with my dice! There were plenty of rolls where a target lock and/or focus went unspent, as all dice naturally landed hits on target. Paul and I agree that I played it smart blocking Fel early, but the dice made it an absolute landslide of a game.
Once again, the Sacrificial Dagger was lost but the Blue and Chewie do the heavy lifting on the way to a 100-27 victory.
With a pair of wins on the final week, I posted a solid 6-1 record through 7 games. Paul and Davyd posted 6-2 each, for a big old three-way tie for first! A lot of fun was had by all, and I walked away with a bag of the shiny plastic stress tokens from the league kit, which I promptly split with Paul for more shield tokens (he had two bags from season 1 and I only had one, which didn’t give me enough shields to equip some of the swarmy Rebel lists I have been messing around with lately).
Tip of the cap goes out to Trevor for hosting, and Mission Fun and Games for allowing us to use their gaming area on Saturday afternoons. We are all looking forward to getting back at it in January, once the holiday shenanigans cool down for our friends in retail.
We were all cool with a first place tie, but since we had a bunch of models and not a whole lot else to do from 5-6:00 on a Saturday afternoon, we decided to have some fun and play a tiebreaker game. After putting our heads together on what to do, we decided upon a 50pt mirror match, with all of us using one Rookie and Blue Squad B-wing with HLC. We deployed as per the Attack Wing three-way deployment style, threw a ring of asteroids in the middle of the board, and let the shenanigans ensue. To keep things fair, we also rolled off for initiative each round, as all ships on the board had PS2 and going first all game would be a big advantage to someone.
Paul decided to “be Switzerland for a while”, flying around the edges of the board while Davyd flew in my direction and my ships decided to bob and weave through the asteroids for little-no good reason. A lot of the time when you’re playing you stay away from asteroids when you think you might be able to fit through them, and with the pressure off I was more than willing to have some fun and risk hilarious smash-ups just to see if I could make it through! The answer was “no” on at least a couple of occasions, as my Rookie finished himself off by clipping an asteroid when trying to bump an enemy ship to avoid being shot.
Meanwhile the Blue did some damage against Davyd and Paul’s squad finally turned into the center of the board to join the fray. My B-wing, who lost his shields hanging out in the middle of the board too long, decided that being Switzerland wasn’t such a bad idea after all and took the scenic route while Paul and Davyd blasted away at each other for a while at point blank. The final joust of the game saw my Blue firing first and laying into Paul’s sole remaining ship, who was just able to soak the fire and cause three hits in return. My green dice don’t deliver, and the league ends with a moral victory for Paul!