The 5th Galaxies Qualifier event, Ryloth, happened this weekend. Usually, I would have done the fast meta analysis. But this time I participated, and despite playing against two-time champion Faan and one-time finalist/one-time semi-finalist Daniel, I somehow stumbled into the cut. So instead of the timely meta before cut, you get this battle report.
I played R-AAA-y Wings:
72: Rey (68), Contraband Cybernetics (2), Rey’s Millennium Falcon (2)
46: Zizi Tlo (41), Heroic (1), Advanced Optics (4)
41: Tallissan Lintra (36), Heroic (1), Advanced Optics (4)
41: Greer Sonnel (36), Heroic (1), Advanced Optics (4)
View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0
A slim Rey with title and Contraband Cybernetics (CC), plus Zizi + Tallie + Greer with Heroic+Optics. The reason I took this list instead of R-AA-y Wings with a fully loaded Rey and two Proton Rockets is simple: in my last game before the event, I had 3 hits in 28 red dice. Mods brought that up a bit of course, but it was extreme. I am aware that this won’t happen often. But something like this can tilt me during 12 hours of X-Wing. On the other hand, the super-accurate Optics-shots and a strafing, kiting Rey trade the overwhelming firepower for more numerous and more accurate shots. Over the course of 6 games I value that more. On top, the style suits me more. But I think the other list is more fun to play and has more extreme matchups – in good and bad ways. I went up to 200 points by adding CC. That decision hurt just in one game I was going to lose anyway against Faan. In the others it didn’t matter, and I loved the extra flexibility. So I would do that again, and I might try the same list in my Coruscant run in 3 weeks.
I looked through the top32 players before I knew the matchups, and there were a lot of bad matchups. Outstanding were the Sloane swarms as very hard matchups. I’ve played SOTLs ReaperSloane swarm at an event and some more games. The list is really good and comfortable to play. In other swarm lists, you’re always worried about losing a ship. Here you don’t mind at all, and that makes it much more comfortable to play. Then I saw that I was paired with Michael (Malazaht)!
52: Omicron Group Pilot (43), Admiral Sloane (9)
4x Academy Pilot (22)
Alpha Squadron Pilot (31)
View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0
In my opinion, there are three ways to tackle a Sloane Swarm:
- Take out the carrier as fast as possible
- That is hard for me because the Reinforce vs my paper-cut shots helps a lot. I lack the firepower to do that quickly
- Go after points and not ships! Two half TIEs are as good as a full TIE
- TIEs have 3 hull, so the first half of points is protected by more hull…
- It is anyway tricky because 6 TIEs can easily damage Rey. Removing them is also important to keep her alive.
- The ultra-patient game. Try to drag him through the obstacles, let him separate the faster TIEs from the slow Lambda, and pounce on those leaving the r3 protective bubble
- This only works if he lets me. The 16vs9 red dice final salvo means I will be under Zugzwang – at least until I scored points.
Basic list characteristics:
|R-AAA-y Wings (200)||LambdaSloane|
|Attack dice||3×2 red, 1×3 red||3×3 red (Wampa!), 4×2 red|
|Modifications||Focus + AO + Heroic|
Rey’s ability +Lock
|my stress gives him options to pseudo-double mod with a single reroll|
|Defense dice||3×3 green, 1×1 green||6×3 green, 1×1 green|
|Modifications||Focus+Heroic; possibly evade for Zizi|
Rey’s ability in front arc
|most likely focus all game; Lambda can reinforce|
|Health||23 (14 hull and 9 shields)||28 (6×3 and 6+4shields)|
Opponent’s determining action and my target priority (including “Plan Red”): He has to burn down Rey and keep all his ships into the range-3 bubble of Sloane. My target priority is the Lambda or any ship outside the bubble. In some cases, an A-Wing can afford to take a rear arc shot to destroy a ship and then run the next two turns, so that is something to keep in mind.
Deployment: He placed the east center debris. I put down the two southern debris and one of the top clouds. He started the placement with the Lambda and then set down his TIEs. Wampa is blue.
The game plan for the first turns (“Plan Blue”): I believe the plan is almost written already. I will have to catch strugglers or the Lambda. I will avoid self-stressing – but keep CC in mind if I delete a TIE and want actions anyway. With the help from Mark and Matt and the rest of you guys, I have a nice opening that allows me to keep Rey in the corner for 4 turns:
That way, I should be able to know where the Sloane swarm is going. I expect them to turn in with a 3hard and then move along the western edge. Maybe turning into the middle in the third turn.
How it went: Better than expected, but not good enough.
Turns 1-3: I did the opening with my delayed Rey and Tallie. Greer was brought over. What struck me as interesting was that he opened with 1hards and rolls. Even more special, he did not care about formation at all in the next turns and came to the eastern side. So I decided for turn 2 that Zizi would go west. In the ideal case, she would get a couple TIEs behind her and keep them away from Rey. He had 3 shots on turn 3 I believe, but Zizi is a tank at range 3.
Turn 4: I decided to move Rey on this turn because it looked like the took the bait that is Zizi. I had the decision to make here of either going 5 straight and get behind the Lambda, or turn away and keep dangling that target. Luckily for me, I decided on the safe option in turning away – because he would have called the 5s. Greer went fast but didn’t dare to boost out of fear of the red reroll. In hindsight that was overly cautious. Tallie went even faster, plus could afford the boost due to arc-dodging red. Rey missed the shot by a hair after boosting straight. A slightly faster maneuver and I’d have been really happy with that start. Important for me was that he had only two shots to my three – against a swarm! More importantly though, this position was great as it put Wampa, the squint, and brown out of the picture for some time. Green, Yellow and Red would obviously turn in, but I should be able to take those shots.
Turn 5: Zizi ran away, but not too fast. I wanted to keep him behind her for as long as possible. As you can see, brown took a damage from Zizi who got away unscathed. Tallie just went straight. I was pretty confident that I wouldn’t get blocked by Red. Rey 2banked left and had to correct the arc with a right boost. Greer stayed slow with a 2 straight, mainly to keep the space free for Rey.
Unfortunately, the shots from Red, Green and Lambda removed 2 shields from Rey, while my shots also removed 2 from the Lambda. And Greer into Red did nothing at all. One possibility is that I should have shot Red instead of the Lambda. It was a good opportunity, and I remember that I consciously decided against it.
The next planning phase is where I messed up. So think for a moment what you would do with Rey here.
Turn 6: The 3 stragglers finally realized that they should turn back to Rey. Green and Yellow were obvious enough. His Red TIE failed to get past Rey. He said that was not intentional – but it perfectly blocked Greer. My alternative move was to do a 1hard right and turn away. But I – wrongly – thought that Greer would then be a target in too many arcs. His Lambda did a red 2hard left. I did not expect that move at all. Tallie went 5 straight and afforded a focus+rotate. Rey did the 2 bank left. Mistake: Now here is why I messed up. Rey should either have slooped right into the corner – that increases the distance to the TIEs and CC would still give me an action. The other option was to boost+rotate with Tallie to then allow Rey to boost out of the Lambda’s arc. More importantly though, a boost of Rey – or a sloop – would set the stage for turn 7. As it was now, I put myself into a horrible position. The Squint, Wampa, Brown plus the previous three Green, Red and Yellow as well as the rear arc of Lambda would all guaranteed get a shot into Rey on the next turn. That was the mistake of the game, and I paid for it. The other important thing that happened here was that Yellow removed two shields from Greer. Put a pin in that one.
Turn 7: Brown surprisingly went a bit right, but the rest concentrated on Rey as expected. His Lambda and Yellow made their own bump-party, which blocked Greer’s 2 hard right. But luckily, Greer actually touched the Lambda and got a range 1 shot into Red. What you don’t see on the picture is Green at range 1 of Rey. Here I just had to remove it as defensive measure. I had CC for the double stress, so I was willing to take the risk – even if I would suffer from rerolls. But it was not Rey to remove Green, it was Greer! Best outcome possible. Also, I made another mistake with Zizi. I shot Brown, hungry for those points. Instead, I should have shot Wampa to turn off the third die. That would have saved another hull on Rey, which will be important next turn. Now she went into the next turn with 4 hull and incoming 3-4 shots.
Turn 8: I was pretty sure that the Squint would 2 hard left and catch my 4straight. The possibly third mistake was that Rey did not 3 hard left. I had the damaged engine crit, but also CC. The goal would have been to bump Wampa and remove that shot. But I decided to remove Wampa entirely, that works, too, and moved just 1 straight. Tallie went past the squint for a juicy range 1 shot onto Wampa. Zizi was blocked by a clever 1hard + barrel roll left from Brown. It sucked to lose the action, but I was glad I stayed behind Brown. Greer tried the 2hard right again. If I was going to bump the Lambda – no problem, remove a stress and take no shots. If it fit, then I could free rotate despite the stress and get a shot anyway. So my i5s shot Wampa and took him out. In turn, Rey just so died with exactly the right amount of damage. That mistake with Wampa cost me now. Score was now 93 for him and 26+11+22+29=88 for me. Now take out the pin from Greer’s damage. The more frequent result is to take 0 or 1 damage at 63%, which puts me ahead. We also had just a single turn left on the clock.
Turn 9: It was a very simple situation. Brown had 1 hull left. I had 3 ships. I had to shoot Brown 3 times, to first strip the token and then remove the ship. Ideally without spending tokens myself to survive the return shots. The Lambda wouldn’t do anything anymore. Five hull was too much to try to remove it entirely anyway. I think he couldn’t turn past Greer. The Squint came out of the corner for a shot on Tallie. Red and Yellow would of course just turn in, no surprise there. My Tallie would turn left and boost right to get a shot on Brown. Greer had a nice 2hard left with focus to also get a shot. And Zizi would just have to turn one side, focus and rotate. The closer the better. Brown would ideally block Zizi. Uh… We both messed up a bit.
He forgot the plan with Brown and bumped himself. No token?! This game is over! Except… Greer ended up in a way that the shot was just barely through the cloud. Visually, it was extremely close and in my zoom-in not obstructed, but the chat dictates what happens. And Tallie didn’t even have a shot on Brown at all after the bump. No problem, right? Range 1 Zizi is hyper-accurate into an unmodded ship. The two combined shots have an 85% chance to kill Brown.
Just to put this into perspective: If a good fairy had visited me before the game and told me I could play the hard matchup, or I could have an 85% roll to win then I would definitely take that deal.
But it was not meant to be. Brown evaded, and no more damage was dealt that round. That sealed the deal at 88:93 and ended my short run into the cut.
We had a super fun game, interesting down to the last roll. I thoroughly enjoyed the tournament. Thanks to all my fellow players: Enno, Faan, Daniel, Will, Elliot, Nobbie, and Michael! I hope you had as much fun as I had. And also a big thanks to Dion and the GSP crew!
How would you play against a Sloane Swarm? And what should I bring to Coruscant? I think I will bring R-AA-y Wings instead, because I will need the haymakers of prockets, and I do not expect to win 3 let alone 5-6 games to make the cut. That was it from Ryloth from me. Until next time!