When the 2018 X-Wing Regionals season started, I was hoping to attend at least two of them in Australia, certainly the Victorian one in Melbourne, but at least one other. It so happens that the opportunity to take a weekend away in Hobart came up, so I was able to attend the Tasmanian regional held at Good Games Hobart on March 3rd. Below is a battle report of all my matches throughout the day.
I’ve been flying Dengar for a long time now, he was part of my winning list that I took to the Next Level Games Ringwood Store Championship, so I am pretty familiar with how he flies. Previously I partnered him with Captain Nym, but since all of the changes in the last major FAQ a few months ago, I switched Nym out for Asajj. I played around with a lot of different builds, but finally settled on what is known as the Timewalk Asajj build due to it’s tankiness and ability to last 1v1 in the endgame.
Dengar (JumpMaster 5000)
Expertise, K4 Security Droid, Punishing One Title
Ship Total: 52
Asajj Ventress (Lancer-class Pursuit Craft)
Lone Wolf, Latts Razzi, Glitterstim x2, Countermeasures
Ship Total: 48
I’ve had a lot of practice with this list over the last few months, and I was pretty comfortable that it could take on what I expected to see at the tournament. Expertise and K4 on Dengar make him very action efficient without the need to take focus tokens, so his offence can’t be fully countered with Fenn Rau in the Sheathipede shuttle, which seems to be everywhere at the moment. The same applies to Lone Wolf and Glitterstim on Asajj, both unaffected by Hotshot Co-Pilot or Rebel Fenn Rau’s pilot ability, or Sensor Jammer for that matter.
The Tasmanian X-Wing Regional was held at the Good Games Hobart store on March 3rd. On the day there were 24 registered players, however 4 people (including myself) used byes from their Store Championship wins, which made an effective 26 players for tournament structure purposes, meaning we were going to be playing 5 rounds of Swiss then a cut to top 8.
I was really hoping to make the top 8 to get the special dice, but it was going to be a tough road to get there given the calibre of players attending. It turns out more than half of the field were interstate players (2 from QLD, 5 from NSW, 5 from VIC, 1 from ACT, and 1 from WA if I have it worked out correctly), and quite a few of them are very well known players in the Australian X-Wing community. Luckily the Foss family decided to attend the South Australian Regional held on the same weekend instead of Tasmania though!
I used my Store Championship bye from winning the Next Level Games tournament for the first round, so there’s not much to report here.
Final Result: Win, 100:50
Round 2: Ben Doyle
In round 2, I was paired against Ben Doyle, a great player from Queensland. Ben was the 2016 Australian National champion, and has been consistently good for a long time now. He was flying a Palp Aces version known as Howard’s Aces, which consists of Captain Yorr in a Lambda Shuttle carrying Emperor Palpatine and Collision Detector, along with Quickdraw w/ Expertise, FCS, LWF, Title, and The Inquisitor w/ PTL, Autothrusters, title.
I’ve played against a few different variants of the Palp Aces lists, and I have found that generally a token stacked ship like the Inquisitor or Countess Ryad is almost impossible to kill while Palpatine is still on the board to assist with defence. Thus I decided to go for shuttle as early as possible, try and get Palpatine off the board and then work on the other two, taking shots at them if the opportunity presents itself (e.g. if I managed to get one to bump and not get their tokens, or Quickdraw without a good revenge shot).
I ran Asajj straight up one side of the board at the Shuttle, and started Dengar off on the other side of the board to try and draw Quickdraw and the Inquisitor, before booting it across to help take down the shuttle. I don’t usually mind if Dengar dies quickly, as long as the damage output he does while going down is worth more than his own points. In this case however, I made a critical error. Dengar picked up a Damaged Sensor Array while he was taking out Quickdraw, and I had forgotten to put a crit token there to remind me. For one of the moves I dialled in (one straight green to get a K4 lock) I was expecting to barrel roll afterwards, but I couldn’t complete the barrel roll due to the crit, so I didn’t end up with Quickdraw in arc, thus didn’t get my revenge shot and do the damage I needed to. Dengar died but did take down Quickdraw, and Asajj killed the shuttle, so it ended up with a 1v1 of Asajj vs the Inquisitor. I should have done a 1 bank instead of the straight, and lesson learned: put a crit token next to your ship to remind you of crits you have suffered!
We flew around the board, the Inquisitor doing a point or two of damage here and there, but Asajj wasn’t able to do all the damage back that I needed to finish him off, even though I did remove his shields. The Inquisitor ended up finishing Asajj while he still had two hull left.
Final Result: Loss, 69:100
Round 3: Rob Zamykal
Rob is a local player from Hobart, and was running a version of Fenn Poe Low, with Rebel Fenn w/ VI, Flight Assist Astromech, Hotshot Copilot, with Poe w/ VI, Black One, R2-D2, Advanced Optics, Autothrusters, and Lowhhrick w/ Rey, Courier Droid, and Lightning Reflexes (that 180 degree turn can be really awesome on an Auzituck).
In this game I decided to focus down Fenn first to stop his pilot ability and HSCP, then Lowhhrick, before trying to get rid of Poe. I was mostly successful with the first two parts, but the game went to time with a half-points Asajj chasing Poe who only had two hull left, no shields.
Final Result: Loss, 57:76
Round 4: Ryan Kerr
At this point, after two losses, I knew that I had to win both my next games to make it into the top 8 and keep my dream alive. I probably also needed to win them quite well to make sure I was at the top of the 3-2 bracket. My losses were fairly close so I wasn’t sitting on terrible MoV. I was very nervous before this round, just coming off two losses and knowing I needed strong results from here to keep to my target.
My round 4 opponent was Ryan Kerr, who I believe is from Bruny Island and made the drive up to Hobart that morning for the tournament. Ryan was running Miranda w/ TLT, Harpoons, Bomblet, Sabine, LRS, along with Lowhhrick w/ Draw Their Fire and Wookiee Commandos, and Rebel Fenn Rau w/ HSCP + VI + FAA. I’m not a huge fan of Miranda, so I was a little bit disheartened knowing I needed to win this one well while facing her.
For this matchup, I knew Miranda was the big one, if I could get rid of her quickly, I should be pretty good from there. I had Dengar deliberately eat the 5 dice harpoon so that I could get a revenge shot on a Miranda with one less shield, and I followed that up with a range 1 shot from Asajj through a rock to do some devastating damage to her. I also had stressed Miranda so that she was going to be a lot more predictable the following turn to try and clear it. The following turn I managed to cause Miranda to bump, and finished her off with a range 1 Dengar attack. After that I was able to dodge Lowhhrick’s arc with sloops and finish off both him and Fenn pretty quickly.
Final Result: Win, 100:26
Round 5: Ewan Anderson
So now we’re at the pointy end of the tournament and I’m 2-2. I need to win this to stay in it, and I think I need to win it pretty well. My opponent this round is Ewan Anderson, another local from Hobart. He was running an interesting list consisting of Echo, Pure Sabacc, and Major Stridan in an Upsilon with Systems Officer. That’s a lot of red dice capability!
The Upsilon shuttle shouldn’t be underestimated with it’s 4 dice primary, so I knew I needed to be careful with it, but I also needed to get damage onto Sabacc quickly, and take out Echo if the opportunity presented itself.
I split Dengar and Asajj up for deployment to try and get a pincer move happening, trying to split their fire and work them down. Unfortunately it wasn’t as effective as I thought, I did end up taking one or two shots from the shuttle onto Dengar, and he died a fair bit earlier than I was hoping.
In the end I did manage to win the game, but it was a lot closer than I was hoping, with only a half points Asajj left on the board at the end.
Final Result: Win, 100:76
End of Swiss
That last match cost me, not a great MoV there. Our match was finished fairly quickly, and as I handed in my results, I saw that I ended up 3rd of the 3-2 bracket, with an MoV of 598.
Final Result: 3 Wins, 2 Losses, total MoV 598
Based on the number of players, I was expecting the final cut to top 8 to be everyone who did 4-1 or 5-0, and the top two 3-2 players. So I packed up my stuff, a tiny bit dejected (understatement) that I was going home without sparkly dice. As the results kept trickling in, I noticed that I was still in 8th place…
It reached a point where there were only two matches still being played, only one of which could have a possible chance of upending my 8th position. One of the games was between two 2-2 players, and if one of them won it 100:0, there was a chance they would overtake me. I watched this match nervously, and it reached a point where both players had removed one ship each, so at that point I knew there was no possible way they could overtake my total MoV.
REJOICE! I’m in the top 8! By 1 MoV as it turns out, 9th place had 597!!
We ended up with one 5-0 player, four 4-1 players, and three 3-2 players in the top 8. Ben Doyle was the undefeated player, and given I was 8th I was expecting to play him again in my top 8 match.
It was about 7pm at this point, and some of the players were flying or driving long distance to get home that night, so unfortunately the 7th place player had to leave. This bumped me up into 7th place, which meant my next opponent was the 2nd placed player. Of the top 8 players, 4 were Victorians.
Top 8: Anthony Shakoush
Anthony is a player from the Onyx Squadron in NSW, and he was running Plot Armour, with Dash painted in a Black One paint scheme to match Poe. Dash had Lone Wolf, HLC, Title, Rey, Smuggling Compartment, Rigged Cargo Chute, Countermeasures, and Poe w/ VI, Black One, R2-D2, Advanced Optics, and Autothrusters.
With his fellow squadmates providing support and caddying his templates, we set up for the match. I don’t have a good record against Dash and Poe, so this one was going to be interesting.
This game was amazing, we played at a pretty fast clip, and it was back and forth the whole time. I managed to trade Dengar for Poe, leaving Dash and Asajj to battle it out. Dash kept trying to keep at Range 3 to get the HLC shots in while Asajj’s shots back weren’t as powerful. I slowly had to keep blowing my glitterstims and countermeasures to keep the damage trade in check, and we got down to 2 hull Asajj vs 3 hull Dash.
At this point, Dash picked up what turned out to be a devastating crit, Damaged Engines, so all his hard turns were red. I managed to get Dash near the board edge, and used Asajj’s speed to catch up to him inside the range one donut, but I had to turn my arc so I had no focus to use on offence. I did manage to get one damage through though, but more importantly I was able to give him a stress.
The stress was really going to cost his actions, not being able to barrel roll, so it forced him to do a 1 straight green to clear due to the board edge, and I managed to leapfrog him with a 5 straight of my own due to the way we ended up facing, still inside the range 1 donut.
I then did a risky but calculated turn, landing on a debris, and hoping to not get a crit, or at least not a Direct Hit or a Blinded Pilot. Luckily I didn’t, and I still had my mobile arc pointed back towards Dash. I needed to do this move so that I could possibly end up with Dash moving into range 1 of me. Dash had to do a hard turn of his own to clear the corner, ended up in range 1 like I hoped! He then tried to barrel roll out to Range 2 and I thought I was going to be a goner with Dash getting to shoot me first, but I was very lucky that the judge reminded both of us of the Damaged Engine crit!!! In all the excitement of the match so far and the 1v1 chase, we had both forgotten the crit! The hard turn Dash did was red, so the stress prevented him from being able to barrel roll, so I was still in the range 1 donut and the dice gods were kind to me, with Lone Wolf I was able to roll enough damage to finish him off.
This was an absolutely amazing game, and given the number of people crowded around the table to watch, I don’t think I was the only one who thought this.
I’m into the top 4! Not only am I getting dice, but I’m getting a full set of templates as well! I was over the moon at this point.
I’d also like to make a big shout out to the Onyx Squadron guys, they we approachable, magnanimous, and hilarious all day, they really showed what we all love about the X-Wing community.
Final Result: Win, 100:76 (not that MoV matters in Elimination rounds).
Top 4:Andrew Frederick
Andrew is a fellow Victorian, and was running a rebel swarm list that consisted of AP-5 w/ M9-G8 and Weapons Engineer, a cheap Stressbot in the form of Gold Squadron Y-Wing w/ Dorsal Turret, R3-A2, and Title, Rex in the stolen TIE Fighter (a.k.a. best 14pts in the game), and 2x Green Squadron A-Wings w/ Juke, Snapshot, Title, and Refit. Not only that, they all had a matching blue and white paint job, which made the whole squad look amazing on the table.
I didn’t favour myself in this matchup, I didn’t think I was going to be able to take down all of those ships with all of those green dice, while stressed. I set up Dengar and Asajj a bit apart, hoping to split the squad and pick of whatever bits I could, hoping to kill the Y-Wing early so that I could avoid Dengar getting stacked with stress so that Expertise would still work in my favour.
In the very first move of the game, I intended to do a 1 bank then barrel roll Dengar to line him up in a good lane, but the barrel roll to the right like I wanted juuuust wouldn’t fit. So instead of doing the logical thing and barrel rolling to the left so that I didn’t have to dodge a debris field the next turn, I had a complete brain fade and just focussed. I think I was just super excited that I was getting templates as well, and didn’t quite keep my mind on the game.
As you can see in the pic below, two turns later Dengar was in a really bad spot. At this point when the photo was taken, he’d taken shots from all the ships, and was on two hull left, double stressed, suppressed from Rex, with a console fire… He didn’t last the next turn.
I did manage to kill the Y-Wing, and then after that it was a suppressed Asajj being chased around the board, trying not to land in range 1 of the snapshot A-Wings, trying to do whatever she could to keep alive and chip away at the remaining ships. In the end, all she managed to do was 1 damage to Rex before her health got chipped away.
However, there was a twist! Andrew had to leave to catch a flight after this game. This would have left Ben Doyle, the winner of the other Top 4 match without an opponent, a bit of an anti-climax to the tournament. In order to have a Victorian contest the final, Andrew conceded the match before quickly running to the airport to get his flight home!
I am very grateful to Andrew for doing this, which meant I was through to the final table! This result was so much more than I could have hoped!
Final Result: Win, but technically would have been a loss 23:100
The Final: Battle of the Bens Rematch
In the final match I was facing up against Ben Doyle again, flying Palp Aces. This match started almost the same as our first match back in round 2, I was trying to follow the same plan but do it without making a silly mistake this time.
I skirted Asajj along the edge of the board to joust the shuttle, again using Dengar to bait the aces and trade damage. In the first attack, Ben even declined to shoot at Dengar with Quickdraw to avoid the revenge shot, however I had no such compunction and stripped two shields, but copped a revenge shot back.
I managed to kill the shuttle, lost Dengar, then killed Quickdraw, leaving a rematch of Asajj vs The Inquisitor!
This lasted quite a while, and we paper cut each other one health at a time down to the point where we had two hull each. I managed to get a lucky crit through with a long range shot, which was a thrust control fire, leaving the Inquisitor double stressed and one hull left, but the following turn I couldn’t capitalise.
A turn or two later, Asajj was alongside the board edge, and the Inquisitor was in the middle of the board, facing directly at her. The following turn I thought he was going to do a 4 straight to clear a stress, which would have put him directly behind me and dodged my mobile arc, but still left him room to do the 1 hard the turn after to chase me.
I had to make a decision, do I move straight and rotate my dial but no focus, or do I risk a bank turn with the rock close to me and get the focus? I deliberated on this for a while, ruing the decision not to practice my banks and obstacle dodging. Would I hit the rock? How far across would the one bank take me? I didn’t want to do a 2 bank because then I would be at least range 2 of where he ended up, and most likely too far across and he’d still managed to dodge my arc. What to do?
I dialled in the one bank. Turns out, the rock was closer than I thought, and I put myself onto it. I should have listened to my brother and never trusted a bank. Sure enough, the 4 straight happened, and the Inquisitor was right where I thought he would be, in range 1 in my arc, but I couldn’t shoot him! To add insult to injury, I rolled a hit on the rock, leaving us at one hull each!
In the end the Inquisitor managed to chase Asajj down and do the one extra damage needed to finish her off, leaving Ben Doyle the Tasmanian Regional Champion!
Final Final Result: Loss (69:100 again!)
I was super excited to have made it to the top 4, and even managed to play the final table due to a lucky (for me) scheduling issue. I got the sparkly marbled dice I was hoping for, and a full set of templates to match the Store Championship range rulers! Here is my squad with the Top 4 winnings.
A big thanks to the local Tasmanian guys for an excellent tournament, certainly one of the most exciting and fun for all involved that I have attended. All of my opponents were great fun, and I think everyone flew their hearts out on the day, we all had a great time.