Battle Report: Extended Tournament, 2.6.19

As mentioned in my Road to Euros post, one list I wanted to test are the Hatchet Aces:

Darth Vader (65), Hate (3), Fire-Control System (2), Afterburners (6)
Soontir Fel (52), Predator (2)
Major Vynder (39), Trick Shot (2), Fire-Control System (2), Proton Torpedoes (12), Advanced SLAM (3), Os-1 Arsenal Loadout (0), Adv. Proton Torpedoes (6)
Total: 194
View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0

The list draws from the offensive threat of Major Vynder, and the end game prowess of Darth Vader, while Soontir is a respectably dangerous ace on top. Two i6 and one i4, a 6pt bid and extremely maneuverable ships mean that the main downside of this list is how error-prone it is. A wrong decision has more consequences than in other lists.

This battle report is slightly special for two reasons: One, all four games are on the same page. If you think that it is a bad idea and less reader-friendly, please let me know. And two, I will for the first time incorporate some clever methods from the X-Wing Debrief blog, specifically “Debrief Focus Points” and the “Immediate Fix” from the debrief post. But without further ado, here are the bat reps.

Game 1

vs
Scum 5Ys

Despite his young age, he knew what he was doing and pulled off some clever blocks. Unfortunately, his dad forgot to pack the dials. That’s why you’ll see a mix of different dial colors and covers. The one from the ARC is even mine – we realized that the dial is basically identical to a Y-wing, with the difference of the 2banks.

Opponent’s determining action and my target priority (partially “Plan Red”): He has Drea as i4 with a dorsal and four Crymorahs with dorsals and veteran turret gunners (VTGs). He needs to overlap their arc with Drea’s arc and try to get me into range 1-2. Accordingly, my goal has to be to take out Drea and to prevent double shots as often as possible.

Deployment: I tried to make a relatively dense asteroid field, but I also placed the spikey rock in the eastern field to make his turn in a bit harder. His block was set up in the NE corner. My Gunboat started in the middle, Vader in the SW corner and Soontir in the SE corner.

Setup Game 1

The gameplan for the first turns (“Plan Blue”): Vader will go fast and try to get behind them (or rather, flank). Soontir will threaten a flank if the Ys turn in. And Vynder will go very fast with slams, get actually behind them and light up Drea.

How it went:

Turn 1: The beginning was pretty much as it was expected. The Ys went slow. Soontir went 2 straight and rolled backward. Vader went 5 straight (but can’t boost…). And Vynder did his 3straight + 3straight slam. One comment on his formation: He had Drea in the middle. And it seemed like he wasn’t aware that a side position for the turret is more useful. I told him and asked if he was really sure that he wanted his dorsal to point backward. But that’s often a problem when playing each other the very first time: why would you just trust someone on that?

Turn 2: He started to bank in – beautifully in formation. Unfortunately, that meant he didn’t get any shots: Vynder did a 2straight + slam 2hard, locking Drea with AdvancedSLAM. Vader continued his approach with a 3bank, and Soontir bailed out with a 1hard + rolling left. That got him out of range. I think it was the right call, even if that meant he would miss the first round of combat. Speaking of which, only Vynder shot and removed two shields and dealt a crit to Drea. Loose stabilizer if I recall correctly.

Turn 3: He had to split up his block, and that hurt him. Ideally, he’d get one or two volleys off, but he could neither ignore the Gunboat on his six, nor could he k-turn the entire swarm and ignore Vader and Soontir in his front/side. Vynder only did a 2straight with the intention of a 2hard slam if the space is clear, but instead ended up taking a lock as he was not in any arc. Vader did another 3bank+roll for his approach, and Soontir took his time. The advanced proton torp from Vynder dealt some damage to nr13, including a nasty crit I think. Vader tore into Drea, bringing her down to 3 or 4 hull.

Turn 4: Two of the Crymorahs k-turned, the other two made their bump fest, and Drea ran away. Time for Soontir to swoop in with a bullseye shot. I made a mistake with Vynder and locked Drea when she was very likely going to die anyway, at somewhat between 81 and 96% chance. Is it correct to take the lock anyway? Probably not – but the slam meant that locking (and stressing!) was my only way to get a shot. Well, Drea went down before and I was still without a lost shield. That is an ideal start for me.

Turn 5: He took me by surprise here. Vynder had to remove the stress and got blocked. Vader and Soontir flew in formation into the maw, with another bullseye shot on nr13 who was already damaged. The idea is simple: remove him before he shoots and the VTG doesn’t matter. It worked – two Ys dead and not a damage taken for my ships. Where to go from this position? There were two more behind the large central rock. I had to get out and away somehow.

Turn 6: This is a mistake that’s worthy of a debrief focus point (DFP). Two Ys k-turned over their respective rocks, one banked. Unfortunately, the banking one blocked Vader. Even worse, I moved Soontir after and bumped into Vader – ready to take 4 shots without a single token. Which was enough to remove him from the board, as basically (or literally) first damage on my list. On a side note, Vynder locked the Y to the south. He had a proton left, and the range was range 2 by 2mm, just enough to be clear but still very close. Back to the DFP: Why did Soontir end up in a position that got him killed? My contributing factors (CFs): He had no tokens; ended in a position to take 4 shots, 2 of them at range 1; he could not reposition to get away; he bumped Vader. That last one is the root cause (RC) and had a simple fix: Moving with Soontir first, instead of Vader, would leave me in a much better position: Vader takes 2 shots from a stressed Y, but he has force (and 5 HP), and Soontir can roll and boost out of there. The immediate fix (IF) is that an obvious bump can maybe still be countered, even if only by changing my order of activation! But I didn’t realize at the moment and lost Soontir.

Turn 7: Vader circled the rock for a range 1 shot, and Vynder had to turn around again and reload (you can only see one weapons disabled). The shot Y-wing got down to 1HP.
Turn 8: Vader could not remain for the threat of a bump and two shots coming from behind was too big. Vynder had to run too, with a 2bank left, 2 hard right. That had him safe behind a rock.

Turn 7
Turn 8

Turn 9 has no photo. His wounded Y ran, the other two slowly crept closer. Vader had no shot, and Vynder still circled his rock and reloaded.
Turn 10: I don’t remember how he did it, but he nicely got Vader at range 1. Unfortunately for him, it didn’t matter too much – 3 agility with focus and force and easily tank two shots.
Turn 11: Vynder slammed in front of the western rock for a 5dice proton torpedo, and Vader got close to another heavily wounded Y. Both took their targets out. We played one more turn but didn’t have range. 161-54.

Turn 10
Turn 11

Lessons/Conclusion:

To repeat the immediate fix: an obvious bump can maybe still be countered, even if only by changing my order of activation!
But there was more:

  • Don’t waste actions with Vynder;
  • careful with the slam and reload! I can’t fire anything with two weapons disabled tokens;
  • careful with using the ordnance. Sometimes, setting up a double modified shot against the actual target might be better than going for any target of opportunity;
  • Soontir dies fast;
  • Vader needs boost;
  • and the most frequent problem over the course of the day, Vynder has to go fast to get his weapons disabled for a third die.

On to the next game.


Game 2

vs
InertHan Wedge Jake

Opponent’s determining action and my target priority: This is not quite HandbrakeHan due to the lack of Kanan. He is also not fat enough to my taste. Still, Han is 101 points. That is half my Vader and full Vynder, so that would be a favorable trade. His Wedge is just one point cheaper than my Soontir, and his Jake is just one point above half-Vader. Most importantly though, we were both at 194 points total. He chose blanks, I rolled a crit – and that was a huge difference. We both have i6-i6-i4, so moving first is a big disadvantage. My main target is Han – if he’s out, I win. Wedge is second and Jake does not really matter.

Deployment: The trick against Han is to place all rocks in one corner. The area where he gets a reroll is still huge, but almost as small as I can get it with those huge obstacles. He put down Jake in the NW corner and I placed my Gunboat in the middle. I was surprised at his Wedge in the NE corner.

The gameplan for the first turns (“Plan Blue”): Go in fast with all I have! Aim for Han on turn 2 and lay in some hurt. 3+3+4 dice can do a lot of damage, I might get half even.

How it went:

Turn 1

Turn 1: I think it’s fair to say that he got surprised. Vynder with a 3bank+3bank slam and I could (obviously only) lock Jake. Soontir and Vader 5 straight, Vader taking a lock on Jake. I got a bit lucky here, Jake dying is just below 50% chance – he died. Han had a shot on Vynder but to no effect. I thought Han would turn in and drag me through the rocks towards Wedge next, so I had to decide on Vynder. Going 1 straight would be ok to leave me options, or 2 bank to get close to his 2hard turn. I thought I had dialed in the 1straight, but apparently didn’t switch back from the short lingering on a 2bank – a clear concentration mistake. Wedge had, by the way, placed himself in front of a debris with a roll, for no particular reason.

Turn 2: Vynder went towards the center. Wedge turned in, and Han did a 4 straight! I would have blocked that, but – woulda coulda shoulda – I did not. Vader bumped, and Soontir managed to roll in. I took a focus anyway, due to Wedge even if Vynder is the clearer target. Took some damage onto Vynder this turn, but also put some into Han. Still a very good for me so far.

Turn 3: The threat of the stop was real in this turn! Vynder went 2bank 2 hard, which perfectly fit between the rock and Wedge. His Wedge decided to bank north, much to my surprise. And he was debating the stop – because his 2hard would bring him into the range 1 arc of an ATP-loaded Vynder. I don’t know why he decided against the stop. The maneuvers I took were to keep Vader bumped and run Soontir away. I got do dodge Wedge and Han with Soontir. Vader would have cleared the rock, but unfortunately, I nudged it myself. He didn’t believe me (you can compare the pictures, compare the stars) and I didn’t get my range 1 shot onto Han, but that’s fine. The ATP from Vynder did some work, and I got to evade quite a bit.

Turn 4 – Vader dodging like a Lord

Turn 4: Vader was stuck on the rock, Vynder had to turn around and reload, and Soontir was coming in hot from the north. He chose to T-roll with Wedge and bank Han. Vader had to get away without bumping into a potential stop and ending up on the rock again. So a 5 straight + afterburners + roll and lock did the trick, despite losing my actual action to the rock. I think he shot Vynder again, but I’m not sure. Soontir tried to boost right, but that didn’t fit. I didn’t realize with the distance, even though the 45° trick could have told me so (see here, at the bottom).

Turn 5: I think it’s obvious what my ships were going to do: Soontir had to get out because Han would either stop or take a rear arc shot, and I was too close. Vader was going to take the 2hard – that’s why I had rolled out. And Vynder would slam. I wanted to get back into Han, so 2bank+2hard was the obvious move for me. Fortunately, Wedge bumped and allowed me a shot by Soontir (taking 2 shields!). Vader couldn’t roll out, but it was close enough that I had to try. Put in some more hurt, and Han went down to 3 hull I believe – soon 3h1s because of R2-D2.

Turn 6 (no picture): Vynder took a 2hard towards Han, almost blocking Wedge again (and denying him a good shot – he had to roll away). Han banked just 1 and turned his arc I believe. Soontir landed on a rock, taking a crit (of course…). That was a clear execution mistake, I had the right idea but took the wrong maneuver. Vader did a 3hard.

Turn 7: Here I was in a dilemma. I had to move fast enough to get a weapons disabled (and ideally advanced slam for a focus, too), but couldn’t do a better maneuver I thought. Well, I think now that a 1straight and no weapons disabled, or simply reload and just go with the ATP again would have been better – with the side benefit of blocking Wedge. But that was also in the way for Vader’s 3hard, so I ended up doing a 2bank 2hard. His Wedge did a 2hard for no real reason, even closing foils. Soontir got close and I took a calculated risk. I took a 4v2 shot for a 3v2 return, where I had better mods. The risk paid off and Wedge died. He got half points onto Soontir, but that was fine for me.

Turn 8-9 (no picture): Soontir bailed out, Vader and Vynder turned around the debris cloud. Han had this ionizing crit and started turn 9 with 3 ion tokens. I knew exactly where he was going to end up, with Vader and Vynder going for the jugular. 200-59 for half Vynder and half Soontir.

Lessons/Conclusion:

I can’t really find a good DFP here. The game was tough, despite me getting this very early almost 40pt advantage. Han with Lando defends a lot, almost every roll is an evade, and R2-D2 regenerated several shields (5 I think). His Wedge was almost entirely neutralized by my maneuvers, and his Han wasted shots on a defensive Vynder – Han can’t have both Lando and locks in the same turn, and that hurt him.

Of course, don’t land on rocks, don’t move asteroids. But overall, this was a solid game I think.


Game 3

vs
RebelBeef XBBU

Finally, a game against rebel beef and one of our best players at that. Perfect for me to test my list.
You will notice from the large amount of text that this game did offer a lot to analyze, at least for me.

Opponent’s determining action and my target priority: Simple: He jousts. Fortress for a bit, then move towards the biggest threat (Vader, probably) and take him out. Wing it from there. My target priority: Cassian and Wedge. Only go for B-wings if there is nothing else to shoot at. And if there is not: why not?

Deployment: He placed the three obstacles in the south field, I placed the other three. His squad was set up in the usual Beef block, able to totally-not-castle for some turns. I placed down Vynder to fit through that gap right in front of him, Soontir for the wide flank, and Vader to fake the joust. This was possibly a mistake because Vader is not as maneuverable as Soontir. See also my first game, where I gave Soontir that role, and it went much, much better.

The gameplan for the first turns: The overall plan was to force him to move east, which makes his maneuvers difficult because of the way Cassian was placed. I failed to do that and did not stick to this first, simple idea. Vynder was to move through the gap and on the eastern side around the central asteroid, then threaten a deadly flank, but actually drawing so much attention that he would turn in. Soontir was to cross the middle, first signaling that I will have two of my three ships there. Vader was to fake the frontal joust, but delay. If the rebels turned into Vynder, Vader would pounce. Otherwise, Vader would get out of there.

How it went:

Turn 1

Turn 1-3: He fortressed for 1 turn, banked into the board on the second, and faked a commitment to the Vynder flank on the third. I called it, but it was already too late for Vader. Soontir went fast, slow, and slow again. Vynder didn’t even have to slam immediately. I say “didn’t have to”, but in hindsight, that may have been a mistake and he should have. My initial plan was to 3straight – 3bank right, then 3hard – 3straight the next turn. I tried that in Vassal again and it may have landed me just in range of his eastern B-wing. The idea was to then turn east and slam out of there, hopefully drawing him in. Mistake: But my timing was completely off, so I (mistakenly) abandoned that plan.

Turn 2 – no commitment yet
Turn 3 – he turned east, but it was just fake news!

Anyway, we ended up in range 3 for a proton against Ten, and he had return shots with Ten and Wedge. We traded some shields and Ten removed his stress. The opening would have been fine if Wedge had not shot. Time for a debrief focus point and some contributing factors!
DFP: Wedge had a shot on a 2-agility Vynder. CF1: I did not slam. CF2: I was too close to slam. CF3: I chose the wrong maneuver to slam and keep my distance. CF4: I underestimated our minimal speed. CF5: I underestimated Vynder’s desired speed. The last one is what I see as the root cause (RC) and it was not the first nor last time. My immediate fix: take Vynder’s slam options more actively into consideration.

Turn 4: Vader is in a bad position

Crucial Turn 4: I saw it coming, but couldn’t change it anymore. He was clearly going to remove a stress from Braylen, and turn all his ships onto Vader. Unfortunately, I was convinced that I was too close to run away. I thought I could range control and put in some damage. After all, two of my three ships had range 1 shots without any arc pointed at them, so the gambit might be worth it? I don’t think so now, but I wasn’t sure at the moment. Wedge got down to 2 hull (crazy luck, only 9% chance!), and Ten down to 3 hull (average roll, only did 2 damage with my ATPs). In return, my Vader lost almost nothing. Worth it? No, because my position for the next turn was horrible!

Turn 5: Check my heart breaking in the slow motion – this is where I lost the game!

Crucial Turn 5: First, let me go through what I expected: Use Leia (true). Stop the U-wing (true – but didn’t see the rotate coming). ??? with Braylen (what was I expecting?!). 1 bank with Ten to get an action (false, 1 straight. And he was triple stressed, bumping didn’t matter). 4k with Wedge (true).
Soontir had to turn away from the fight or risk being erased. This might be a conceptional error I make because I am not willing to risk Soontir in such a situation. I am not entirely sure whether that’s right or wrong. Vynder had no good position at all – he could only 1 straight, had no more advanced proton torpedo, and can’t reload and lock in the same turn. And Vader… here were my options as far as I was concerned:
a) bank towards the U-wing. This was my first idea, and for the longest time I had it set as my move. The problem with this was that I couldn’t 3bank, so no afterburners. What I did not consider was the 90° rotation of he U-wing. I didn’t know of course, but now it seems obvious. A more defensive maneuver that might turn out bad, but I’d get a good shot into Cassian.
b) 1 straight. Bump into a B-wing? Fine, one fewer shot and I still get to shoot. If I don’t bump, then could roll according to whatever direction was better, likely arc dodging something. A more offensive choice.
c) 4-5 straight! Surprise him with a full flight. He was going to 1bank Ten, remember? And more importantly, I estimated the distance of a 4 straight to land exactly on Braylen. So a 5 straight would pass him, and I simply had to make sure that Vynder was out of the way, too. An out-of-the-box maneuver choice. And the one that arguably lost me the game.
I bumped, Vader took 4 damage (down to 1 hull). Braylen didn’t lose anything, really, to my proton torpedo (a shield I think?).

Turn 6

Turn 6: Vader ran, Vynder finally died after my opponent pulled off a good block. Soontir got back into the fight and took out his arch enemy Wedge. Current points: 77 (half Ten, full Wedge) against 102 behind. I think I was still in the game, but it was very tricky. And of course it didn’t help that I lost the Gunboat, but it died to Wedge and there was no way to dodge his arc. Those blue maneuvers are relatively restricting, and it is once more a lesson to be wary of the advanced slam.

Turn 9 and end of the game. Vader started the turn in the corner where all the tokens are – perfect for a 1 straight.

Turn 7-9: Soontir was on! Time to hunt down Ten. That was a mistake and I didn’t realize it. Ten+Wedge is 101 points, I had lost 102. My win condition was half Cassian (103 points!) without losing anything. Unfortunately, I spent two of these three turns focusing on Ten and running with Vader. On top, I had also to run with the Baron on turn 8 because Soontir can’t do a red maneuver to take on two B-wings… My opponent ran Ten into the corner. I couldn’t follow, so I went for Cassian. My Vader arc dodged Cassian for turns 7 and 8, and on turn 9 I had another stupid idea: another 5 straight + boost + roll might get me into range of Ten, right? Unfortunately, the boost right didn’t fit (I wanted to roll first, but Vader can’t…), so I boosted out of Cassian’s arc. Right after we finished the game, we realized that I should have done a 1 straight! Think about it, even without the 180° rotation, Vader could still dodge the arc by rolling and take a range 1 shot at Cassian. All I needed was 4 damage by two double modified shots – a 73% chance if he didn’t go down to 1 agility. With it, the 4 damage is at 95%. We rolled it for funsies, and the depressing result: I would have won the game 103-102. But it was his well-deserved win after another very fun and extremely interesting game. 77-102.

Lessons/Conclusion:

  • Vader is not suited to play the bait. He has no 1hard and no boost+roll afterward. That means he can’t run without moving significantly closer at first. Also, Vader took only 3 shots total (, which is terrible!;
  • Vynder was misplayed, despite firing all 3 torpedoes (and dealing almost no damage with them):
    • I have to consider the slam options more actively;
    • reload+1straight is a good trick to get the third agility die…
    • … but that only works if I already have the lock I want!
    • The advanced slam is great but has to be used with caution. The 2banks are the likely maneuver for the next turn, but they need to fit;
    • 3 shots in 3 combat turns;
  • Soontir did well – again with several bullseye shots (4/4). However, he has to consistently arc dodge, and got only 4 shots in 6 proper combat turns;
  • Turns 3, 4 and 5 were all very important and are worth a second look;
  • WIN CONDITION – understand it and act accordingly!

My errors were of all types: perception error on the win condition, decision error with Vader on turn 5 (arguably 3-4, too), and an execution error with Vynder on the initial engagement. That was also a decision error because I abandoned my initial plan.

On to game 4, now standing 2-1.


Game 4

vs
Arc-77 (Mace with heightened perception, naked i2 generic, twice R2)

Second teammate. We discussed the list quite a bit, and I’ve been playing several games with the same ships myself. He has a deep bid at 193 points, just below me. Of course, I was going to get first player.

Opponent’s determining action and my target priority: He was going to nuke Vynder. I had to take out one of the Jedi as fast as possible and then try to get the other one. The ARC is an empty threat, not fast enough to keep up with the other 5 ships on the board. If I were him, I’d try to sell the ARC as a good target – shots on him are not shots on a good ship. Anakin is clearly more important to take out than Mace.

Deployment: We built this dense field in the middle. Clearly, one of us was wrong if we both wanted to fight there. He set up his arc in a way that allows him a straight lane through after a 2hard and the Jedi would turn in sooner or later.

Setup

The gameplan for the first turns: Fake extreme aggression with Vynder, to the point where he can’t ignore him. Move in fast with Vader who is superior to Mace, and slowly with Soontir as the inferior ship to Anakin.

How it went:

If you read the X-wing debrief blog, you will come across a concept called alibis. I quote:

To start the debrief, start by acknowledging the things you can’t control. Identifying these alibis – whether its a late start to the game because of a table swap, a massive ship bump that caused significant repositioning, or significantly off-the-average variance – is critical. We identify the alibis first so that they don’t skew the actual analysis of the game, because in most cases there are lessons to be learned beyond even the most impactful of alibis.

dsul413
Turn 1: what a start….

Turn 1: Why do I bring that up now? You see, I did a 2 bank with Soontir and rolled up. I thought about putting down a token – my next maneuver was going to be blue – but why bother? I tell you why, because Anakin after a 2straight + roll + boost gets a shot. And deals a crit. Which is a ridiculous start to a game. That aside: remember the rule of 11? If both move 11 ship lengths, you get shots? Ah, are you aware that it is wrong, and that the actual distance is 10.5? Because clearly, I wasn’t. 3 straight + 1 base + 3straight + 1 base = 8. His 2turn + base = 2.5. That is 10.5 total, just a tiny bit more because of the 2 turn being more than 1. That meant we were in range of each other. Which meant I took a lock and shot a torpedo, removing 3 shields. Now, the advantage of Aethersprites is that they are so flexible, and he could easily roll+boost to cover enough distance for a shot on Vynder with Mace, too. So I also lost 3 shields, and at this point, I was sure that I had sold my hyper-aggression. [Small addition: it was pointed out to me that this is due to an actual difference between US and European mats. The EU mats are 90cm, the US mats are 3 feet or 91.44 cm. That is he almost 0.5 ship length difference, as 1 ship length is 4cm. Thanks to Sunitsa]

…but maybe the result wasn’t as initially intended…
Turn 2

Turn 2: Vynder went slow, unlike his ARC with a 3straight. Mace took the 5k to recover a force. My Vader dropped a friendly “Hello there” after his 3 hard. And Soontir took his 2bank+boost for a nice shot on the trooper – and blocked Anakin in the process. Vynder was taken out, Mace lost 3 shields to Vader (half points!), and the ARC got down to very few hull with a loose stabilizer crit. 56-64.

Turn 3: bye bye Trooper. You are, after all, just a clone and meant to be disposable.

Turn 3: I expected a 4k from the ARC, but he took a 2hard and blocked Vader. Mace ran off to regenerate a shield, and Soontir went after the Clone with a bullseye while dodging Anakin’s sloop. This turn got me 2 shots for none back, as I took out the ARC with help from the crit. Just one more shield on Mace and I’d be up 77-64. Not an ideal start, but I’d consider myself to be ahead. Unfortunately, the 2hard right for Soontir didn’t fit, so I couldn’t immediately pursue Mace there. But anyway, Annie was my more important target.

Turn 4: where should I go next?

Turn 4: Vader went straight, but unfortunately too fast and couldn’t boost. Soontir fled behind the rock, ready to turn either left or right in the next turn. What I should have done was the left boost. I wanted to go after Anakin, I didn’t need options to not do that. No shots for me, and only one for Mace, but with no damage from 3vs5 dice, which is an 85% chance. For the next turn, Vader would turn in and Soontir should have 1hard turned left. (south-east). But the mind in a fourth tournament round is fickle, and mine had other plans. Now in hindsight, I think I should have disengaged completely – something players don’t do nearly enough.

Turn 5

Turn 5: I don’t know why I did the turn right with Soontir. Vader was still fine against his former self, even pushed some damage through. This is almost puzzle-worthy. What to do next? I couldn’t do a 4k due to Anakin and was not comfortable with a Tallon left due to the threat of Mace’s 1hard. In his shoes, I’d have 1hard left, boost right, and roll right with Mace, then 2bank right with Anakin and reposition as needed – or disengage towards the south. But just the idea of that 1hard by Mace was too much to the Tallon for Vader.

Turn 6: the obligatory brainfart turn

Turn 6: Soontir was easy, 2hard and boost. I don’t know what I did, but his angle is clearly more than 135° from the previous picture. I must have moved really sloppy, costing me the engagement focus and a predator. And Vader, well I didn’t want to do a 2hard because of the cloud – and did it anyway. No clue what I was thinking, but clearly it was not much. He somehow dodged Anakin and Mace… Speaking of the devil, Mace used his heightened perception to force me spending a focus on defense and reduce Soontir’s offense. He rolled hit-hit-crit, I rolled triple blanks and Soontir was no more. We could have stopped at this point, but I enjoyed the game too much to do so.

Turn 7: what was I thinking?

Turn 7: Oh, this is another good one. Here is what I went through: “I can’t hard left because that moves over the cloud. But I could use afterburners to still get my actions. That means I have to 3 hard for the speed. No, that lands me on the asteroid and would be horrible! Oh I know, I can do a Tallon roll!”
Of course, Vader’s Tallon is a 3hard. And, according to my own thoughts, would land me on the rock. Needless to say that it cost me a shield, which I fully deserved at this point. The end position was not too bad, to be honest, but I’d rather have taken the 4k or 2 hard instead. In my mind, my 2hard right was so obvious that I couldn’t do that.

Turn 8: I took a hard turn, as did Mace, and Anakin did his sloop again. Mace had taken a target lock on a previous turn (turn 6 I think) and had double modified shots. I think I was down to 3 hull at this point, but no clue. Three damage is a 22% chance, that’s low but not extreme. I don’t remember exactly how it ended, but he killed Vader in this position. Overall, I dealt the Jedi only 5 shield damage, which was clearly not enough. 200-42.

Lessons/Conclusion:

  • Put that focus down!;
  • Rule of 10.5;
  • Don’t try fancy tricks, play a solid game. Linear rather than paradoxical strategy;
  • The lack of boost really hurts on Vader;
  • No brainfarts;
  • Don’t give up 20% of health on Vader. Especially if he’s in the last ship…

Overall on the tournament

It was a really good one, despite the 6/11 finish. I got to play again. And I got to play three meta staples, or even four if we consider 5Y to still be one. The games were rather diverse in the type of playstyles I had to bring to the table. The last game is bitter-sweet because it is basically a show off between my two contender lists. I wasn’t previously aware that Vynder is so crucial, to be honest. Old habits die hard, and my old list had a 26 (now 52) point Gunboat – almost perfectly swapping the cost of Gunboat and Soontir. It also helped me realize how dodgy I have to play Soontir while Vader and Vynder want to get in there. All in all, I don’t think the list is ideal. These four games are also very helpful to see the huge value of Jendon+Palp. I might try the proper Hatchetman list instead. But large ships… eh, it’s just not for me.
Changes I’d do anyway are:

  • bring gas clouds instead of asteroids;
  • remove trickshot from Vynder: I don’t set it up intentionally. Maybe it’s better with clouds and a coordinate from Jendon, but not in the aces list;
  • Sense on Vader. Seriously, Sense everywhere! That gives me a 5pt bid instead of 6pt. Still high enough, but not nearly as problematic if I lose it.

Back to the Jedi. Mace and Anakin are great, and I can’t wait for that republic Y-wing to get a cheap torpedo carrier next to them.

In the meantime, I’ll go back to the question of ARC vs Torrents.
Oh, and congratulations to Bartosz for winning UK nationals with 5 A-wings, that is amazing! I strongly doubt that the list will survive the points change, but otherwise, I would jump back into it now. The Deltas are close enough though.

One thought on “Battle Report: Extended Tournament, 2.6.19

  1. Well a rather nice After Action report for these four games. I especially enjoyed the last one due to being the one playing the Jedi. It was a really fun and interesting game due to having such manoeuvrable ships fighting each other. Both of us were really fatigued going into this game but none the less made it a fun affair (I did enjoy our discussion before, during and after the match a lot). All in all you had several less favourable manoeuvres which cost you the game (and blanking out on defence with Soontir).
    I’m looking forward to play you again with a tweaked list on both sides (you really made me value that Sense upgrade).

    Like

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