So, last weekend, Sunday 12th April 2015, I attended an X-Wing Spring Tournament at Entoyment in Poole. The event was co-hosted by Entoyment and Warez, which is another FLGS in Bournemouth. This was the 1st Tournament I’ve actually managed to attend, despite all the prep I did for the Store Championship and it was an excellent day. There was a strong turnout with 24 people showing up for the day and so we played 5 rounds, Swiss style, to determine the overall winner.
A big thank you goes out to Entoyment and Warez for their excellent prize support on the day. The tournament had official prize support from FFG by way of a Spring Tournament Kit, which awarded the winner and 2nd place acrylic range rulers, 1st-3rd alt art Tycho Pilot Cards and dice bags and the 6th-21nd all got alt art Push the Limit Upgrade Cards. In addition 1st place was awarded a signed Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett) plaque, 2nd took how an Imperial Aces, 3-5th took home a small ship, 24th place took home a Star Viper, Friendliest List got a copy of Star Wars Risk and Best Sport got some Space Laser scenery.
So, what did I take? Well unlike last time I didn’t really get around to much practice this time around and so I went with a list that I thought would be quite forgiving and easy to use, unfortunately I was dead wrong. This time around I elected to take a Scum list and thought that Duel Aggressors would be strong enough to afford me reasonable prospects. My list looked like this-
- IG88B- 36
- IG 2000 Title- 0
- Autothusters- 2
- Mangler Cannon- 4
- Advanced Sensors- 3
- Push the Limit- 3
- Feedback Array- 2
- IG88C- 36
- IG 2000 Title- 0
- Autothusters- 2
- Mangler Cannon- 4
- Advanced Sensors- 3
- Push the Limit- 3
- Feedback Array- 2
The idea was that B and C would mesh together nicely providing me a free evade and gunner effect each round. Advanced Sensors would allow me to Boost, so giving me the free evade from IG88C, the Push the Limit to focus or target lock and gain a stress that would then be cleared by the green on my dial when I revealed. In theory this should have made things very easy, especially since the Aggressor has 9 greens on it’s dial, the most of ANY ship.
The Mangler would help to stack up critical hits and IG88B’s ability would afford me a 2nd shot if the first missed or was evaded. The Autothusters would provide me with stronger defence against turrets and range 3 attacks, which would be ideal as I’d be primarily using a secondary weapon and so my enemies wouldn’t gain the bonus die for range 3 when I fired back. Finally the Feedback Array would give me the ability to cause damage to arc dodgers that tried to hug close to me, which staying out of my firing arc.
Game 1 was against 2 generic E-Wings and a Y-Wing. This game was very hard for me as it became quickly apparent that it was significantly harder to manoeuvre the Aggressors that I had hoped and, despite the number of greens on their dials, clearing stress from PtL made it very hard to keep arc on anything. Aggressors are also particularly hard to move around asteroids, due to their large base, which also makes them VERY easy to block. The Y-Wing was hard to kill, it was equipped with R2-D2 and so was regenerating shields on green manoeuvres and in the end I decided to focus on the less tough E-Wings. I took 1 E-Wing down quite quickly but then lost my first Aggressor. In the final turn of the game I used my Feedback Array to take the last hull point on the 2nd E-Wing and scrape a victory.
I learnt a lot in this game, specifically in how to move Aggressors and to not rely as heavily on PtL as this was often as much of a hindrance as an advantage. I also discovered something that I had expected, which was that the list lacks fire-power as throwing 6, or a maximum of 8 dice if both ships are in range 1 of their target, just isn’t enough for a fixed arc list that cannot guarantee shots.
Score-Win- I killed 2 E-Wings and only lost 1 Aggressor giving me a modified win.
Game 2 was against Lando and Dash combo, being a YT-1300 and a YT-2400. The YT’s were set up to complement each other strongly with Lando taking Push the Limit to lock and evade and then using Kyle Katarn to provide a focus token when the stress from PtL was removed, which could be changed to a 2nd evade by Jan Ors on the YT-2400, if it was in range 1. Also, if both ships remained in range 1 of each other, then Lando could provide Dash with a 2nd action using his Pilot ability.
My opponent ran this list very well and managed to maintain cohesion throughout the majority of the game, enabling both ships to complement one another. Additionally my opponent was very tactical with the damage he took from my Manglers, ensuring that he only ever took 1 damage so that I couldn’t strip him of his tokens and use the IG88B ability to have a 2nd shot. This meant that I really struggled to wear him down and, combined with the difficulty of keeping both IG’s consistently in arc, I didn’t even manage to wear a single ship down to it’s hull throughout the game.
The game almost went to time with my 2nd Aggressor lasting until the very final turn before being taken out. I struggled from exactly the same issues in this game, namely properly manoeuvring the Aggressors through asteroids and keeping arc. I think that having Autothrusters was the only reason the game ran on as long as it did, as it generally allowed me to reduce the damage I was taking since I was facing two turreted ships that were, more often than not, out of arc.
I definitely took my worst beating of the day in this game but since my opponent was the ultimate winner of the day and he went on to a perfect score of 5 x 100-0 wins, I don’t feel too bad about it, especially since I was so close to forcing him to a modified win.
Score- Loss 100-0 in favour of my opponent.
Game 3 was against 3 A-Wings and a Y-Wing. The A-Wings were all loaded up with Proton Rockets and the Y-Wing was had an Ion Cannon. I’d learnt a little bit by this game and immediately tried to focus all of my fire on one ship, dropping an A-Wing fairly quickly. I still wasn’t used to manoeuvring a large ship through asteroids and managed to repeatedly land on them, taking damage as normal (anyone who knows me knows that 90% of the time I hit an asteroid, I take damage). My opponent did a good job of blocking my movement options, restricting where I could go and reducing arcs but some lucky rolls for defence against the Proton Rockets really helped me in this one.
The Y-Wing went down second, it’s low Agility not being much of a match for the duel Mangler cannons focused on it and another A-Wing followed thereafter to the Feedback Array. The game went to time with a single A-Wing left on the table for my opponent as the paired IG’s simply didn’t have the firepower to take it down in time, given how difficult it is to maintain arc with them.
Score- Win, my opponent had one A-Wing left on the table giving me a modified victory.
Game 4 was against 2 A-Wings and 2 Y-Wings. Unfortunately I forgot to take any pictures of this game. This was a similar list to the last one, except that the A-Wings were equipped with my favourite pair of Elite Talents in Push the Limit and Outmanoeuvre. Both Y-Wings were set as warthogs with the BTL-A4 Y-Wing Title and an Ion cannon.
This game went quite well and I managed to take out the basic A-Wing fairly quickly after I accidentally fortressed in the middle of the table. A Y-Wing followed soon after before the first of my IG’s was taken out by a very tenacious Jake Farrell in an A-Wing with the aforementioned Elite Talents and Autothrusters. I wisely focussed on the other Y-Wing as it was the easier target and took it down at the same time as my 2nd IG took a critical hit from the out of arc Jake Farrell, causing me a 2nd point of stress on top of the stress I’d acquired that round from pushing the limit.
This second stress spelled the end for me. Jake successfully outmanoeuvred my floundering Aggressor and managed to take my last 2 hull points before I could clear both points of stress. It was a close game, Jake was down to just hull by the end and we have 5 minutes left of the hour when my 2nd Aggressor died. This was definitely one of the most fun games I had in the day, with a lot of very tactical thought from both my opponent and me and I certainly feel I’d managed to fly the duel IG’s better this time around.
Score- Close loss, 1 A-Wing remained with 2 Hull points and no Shields.
Game 5 was against Duel Decimators. I was actually pretty pleased with this match up right until my opponent told me that both of his Decimators caused stress every round, making it significantly harder for me to make the most of my 3 actions. One Decimator was set up as Captain Oicunn, Ruthlessness, Mara Jade and Dauntless, the other was a Patrol Leader with a Rebel Captive and Darth Vader.
I elected from the start to Kill the decimator with Vader on board, since it’s is a truly legitimate threat to the Aggressor’s low hull total. If I could take enough hull off that decimator it would make using Vader a risky proposition for my opponent. Fortunately for me, neither Decimator has an Engine Upgrade and so I could mostly stay out of arc of both ships and really make the most of my Autothrusters which, combined with IG88C’s free Evade on the Boost, meant that my Aggressors could take a fair amount of the damage from the Decimators.
I managed to take down the Decimator with Vader in without losing an Aggressor, which significantly improved my chances of winning. By this point, however, one of my Aggressors was down to a single hull point left having turtled up and led both Decimators on a merry chase for a few turns. Unfortunately the next couple of rounds left me without shots as all 3 remaining ships ended up bumping near a board edge and, given the large bases, found it hard to break free without going off the table. This worked to my opponents advantage as his remaining Decimator could still cause me damage by bumping me and so he started wearing down my undamaged Aggressor.
It took a couple of turns to work my way free and, almost immediately the heavily damaged Aggressor was taken out leaving us going 1 on 1 for the final 10 mins of the game, both with fairly heavily damaged ships. On the last turn I was left on a single hull point and my opponent was on 2 when I took the risky step of taking no defensive actions and hard turning to face my opponent, taking stress to PtL and both Focus and Target Lock. Fortunately the move paid off as I managed to cause those final two points of damage and win the game with a hard fought modified victory.
Score- Win, 1 Aggressor with 1 hull left giving me a modified victory
That left me with a final score of 3-2 for the day, which I’m more than happy with considering it was my first Tournament. Overall I came joint 6th on win/loss record and 10th when you take into account Margin of Victory, which put me in the top half of the table. The day was certainly a learning experience for me and it was good to play some strong players with strong lists.
I have some thoughts on the Aggressors and the Upgrades I took-
- Autothrusters are worth every point and these certainly kept my ships alive much longer that they would have otherwise.
- Push the Limit is not as good on Aggressors as expected. On paper getting 3 actions every round seems excellent but having to clear stress really limits their movement, despite the 9 green moves on their dial.
- Aggressors are very hard to manoeuvre in general. Their large base, combined with slow speeds means that asteroids are a large problem for them and they are very easy to block.
- An Aggressor with Autothrusters and an Evade token is very hard to kill and this would be worse if you added a sensor jammer.
- IG88B’s Gunner ability seems excellent but doesn’t come up as often as I would have thought. People played very tactically against it, taking just a single point of damage to prevent the secondary attack and so I’m not sure that B is as good as I thought it would be.
I genuinely don’t know if I’ll take duel Aggressors to a tournament again. They elicited a certain amount of fear from my opponents but most people found that they were not as horrific as they had been lead to believe but they are very hard to kill. If I did take them again I’d probably go with C and D, to provide more movement and I’d swap Push the Limit for Predator and take out the Advanced Sensors and put in Sensor Jammers.
A friend ran a single IG with a Kath Scarlett Firespray on the day and came in 3rd and that’s a list set up I quite like. I think the Aggressor is a little misleading in that you assume you are making a weaker list by not using multiples of them and taking advantage of the IG2000 Title but I’m inclined to think that this might be a bit of a trap. A Firespray actually covers many of the weaknesses of and Aggressor pretty well, it’s mobile, it’s rear arc means it can keep enemies in arc for longer and it can put out some fairly significant firepower (Kath can put out 5 dice in a range 1 attack using her rear arc and that equals a Phantom). I plan on exploring this combination a little further to see if I can make a strong list with Boba Fett and an Aggressor and I might try that at the next event.
This is my alt art PtL Card-
These are the alt art Tycho and dice back that my friend won-
There are a few more Tournaments in my area over the next few months and I’m hoping to make it to at least 1, but ideally more and I’ll be sure to write up a report and post it for your reading pleasure as and when it happens. Until next time, Fly Casual.