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Preparing for my first X-Wing Tournament, Part 3

 

X-Wing Store Championship 2015 Prize Support

I’m writing part 3 of this ongoing series a week late. The original idea was that I’d post an update on a weekly basis based on the games that I’ve played. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get any games in last week, hence the lack of an article. This week though, I’ve managed a couple of games and so actually have something to report.

This week I managed to try 2 more lists, Super Fast Dash and wingman and 5×5, being Chewie and Leebo. For Dash’s wingman I have previously failed utterly with using Etahn A’Baht as he was just too slow to keep up with the Phantom and so I got picked apart fairly quickly. Mixing things up I changed Etahn for Corran Horn and tried again. The list went like this-

Dash Rendar- 36
Push the Limit- 3
Engine Upgrade- 4
Recon Specialist- 3
HLC- 7
Outrider- 5

Corran Horn- 35
Veteran Instincts- 1
Fire control System- 2
R2-D2- 4

Total- 100 points

The first game was Dash and Corran vs a Phantom and Mini-swarm plus Shuttle. My plan here is simple, Arc Dodge everything as much as possible while keeping the Outrider out of range 1 of the Phantom and keeping Corran as close to the Phantom as possible, while arc dodging. Corran is more or less dispensable, once he kills the Phantom, which is the number 1 priority target.

I’m not much of an arc dodger. Throughout this whole process I’ve discovered that I’m a tankier kind of player. Unfortunately the meta is moving away from that kind of play and so I need to adapt or die, more than ever once wave 6 hits because of those pesky Auto-Thrusters. This was my real test to see if I could actively arc dodge a significant number of ships.

The initial joust went as expected and Dash took a little damage but I managed to lure the Shuttle to one side of the board. I then quickly made a dash (no pun intended) for the opposite side of the board and tried to keep the action there as I knew that would rule the shuttle out for a few turns as it turned around. I managed to keep Dash and Corran out of most of the arcs, most of the time as they specifically chased and hunted down the Phantom. Given the proximity of Corran and his PS (my opponent didn’t take VI on his Phantom) the Phantom stayed cloaked for a good while, but was still worn down slowly by the repeated fire of Dash and Corran.

The Phantom died as soon as it decloaked, Corran taking its last hull point and I felt pretty confident from then on. I hate Phantoms, with a passion, because they are too slippery, and so taking one out with negligible damage to my own ships was satisfying. By this time though, the shuttle had made its way back around and the Mini-swarm that had been pecking away at Corran had closed in. Some effective shooting caused Corran to get an Stunned Pilot critical and then some clever blocking caused him to fly straight into a TIE, taking more damage and blowing up.

Dash, fortunately, managed to keep dodging around the edge of the action, taking shots with his HLC and picking apart the more nimble TIEs since the Shuttle was facing the wrong way and wasn’t a threat. The game ended with my opponent conceding after the death of the final TIE and the realisation that his Shuttle wasn’t going to be able to get Dash in arc to shoot him. A win for Dash/Corran.

I’m pleased to say that I learned a lot from this game. I’m substantially more confident around arc dodging and positioning and was able to use my high PS and actions to my advantage minimising the number of ships that could take a shot at me.

My next game, back on Vassal this time, was against an Echo and Chireneau Phantom/Decimator combination. Despite my better judgement I elected to take out the 5×5 list of Chewie and Leebo this time. Ultimately I figured that I’d probably face this set up, or something similar, and if I couldn’t figure a way to beat it with this list then the list probably wasn’t going to make the cut. The list looks like this-

Chewbacca- 42
Millennium Falcon- 1
Gunner- 5
C-3PO- 3

Leebo- 34
Outrider- 5
HLC- 7
Dash Rendar- 2
Determination- 1

Total- 100

I knew going in that I had to be very cautious of my positioning. In previous games the Phantom got within range 1 of the Outrider and shut down it’s HLC while utterly obliterating it with 5 attack dice. This time I planned to keep the Falcon very close to the Outrider to cover the Doughnut Hole and give Chewie range 1 shots at the Phantom if it got too close. I also knew that, if possible, I needed to block the Phantom to make sure I dictated where it would be so I could pour shots into it. The Decimator was less of a concern because I knew that it’d go down fairly quickly once I focused fire on it.

Chewie and Leebo with Determination are probably the most durable combination of Pilots in the game. Between them they can ignore a fair number of criticals and so you actually need to do the full 23 Hull and Shields as damage without hoping for Direct Hits and while you are doing it there is a good chance that they will remain at full strength and mobility.

The game started off well enough, I took a couple of pot shots at the Phantom but didn’t really do anything. The Phantom hit Range 1 of the Outrider on the next turn, which meant that the HLC had to target the Decimator and Chewie could take a couple of shots Echo, with 4 dice. I has successfully managed to block the Phantom this turn with the Outrider so it didn’t get an action to really hurt me.

For the next couple of turns I whittled the Phantom down while weathering the storm of fire which dropped Leebo to no shields and Chewie to just 1. I was worried that I would lose when I got a little luck and my range 1 shot at the Phantom, with a focused Chewie, was enough to take it out. I’d elected to focus, rather than evade with Chewie after noticing that my opponent was prioritising Leebo as the weaker target and so took a risk, one that paid off.

With the Phantom dead (that’s 2 in two games for anyone counting), I focused 100% on the Decimator. Unfortunately in the very next turn it got very close to poor Leebo and opened up. My opponent had locked Leebo and also had Predator and a Gunner on it, meaning it hits very hard at close range especially combined with Chireneau’s Pilot Ability. My opponent picked up a whole handful of hits and criticals and I drew 2 for each, as per Leebos ability. Luck struck again as the first critical hit cards were both Pilot cards, which were promptly discarded for no damage because of Determination. The second gave me the option between a Munitions Failure or an Damaged Engine.

I was about to take the Damaged Engine (which almost certainly meant I’d lose the game) when it occurred to me, Leebo was on 2 health and there was no way he was getting away from the Decimator next turn, it’d be back in range 1 and kill him. But if I took the Munitions Failure I could drop the HLC and get a power 3 shot at the Decimator right now and maybe another next turn if I somehow survived. It was worth a try as a low power shot is better than no shot, especially when it’s unopposed by agility.

The shot hit and caused critical damage, which gave my opponent a Damaged Engine. This suddenly meant that Leebo had a chance to get away and that he’d struggle to keep up with the Falcon, which could now dictate the pace of the battle. My opponent conceded at this point and I racked up my 2nd win is as many days.

The last game taught me a few things, not least of all that accurately blocking Phantoms is hard but worthwhile and that keeping both ships together is absolutely paramount for this list. Between the 2 lists I used, Corran and Dash is by far the most powerful but it’s also harder to use. 5×5 is a good list but it relies on a lot of luck to beat a Phantom and I suspect a swarm would also ruin it through weight of fire without exception arc dodging on my part.

I’m going to try both lists a little more but, at the moment, I’m leaning towards the Dash/Corran set up, possibly with a couple of tweaks. I’ll report back next week, hopefully, with my progress.

Until then, Fly Casual.

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