Hi all, so here is my review of the 2014 Regionals, held at The Sentry Box. What I faced and how I did.
As you may have guessed by me not posting this review on Saturday night as soon as I got back, I did not win… 😀
But in all seriousness I wanted to take some time to reflect on the games so I could give as un-biased account as possible.
Starting off with the event itself and how it was ran.
Sentry Box is an amazing store in Calgary who had the pleasure of hosting the event and if you are ever in Calgary you have to take the time to have a look at this place as it is huge and the stuff they have on the shelf is very impressive.
The registration was handled really easily with them offering a discount if you pre-registers to try to avoid any delays on the day. This is really important when you consider the format with up to six 75 minute games needing to be played by the Winner and I was impressed with how smoothly it went on the day.
I suppose is can put it off no longer and will need to talk about my games at some point…
I was fielding the 8 TIE swarm I had featured in my Swarm Theory articles as it was the only list I had had any opportunity to practice with so I was fairly happy with what I would need to do to get wins.
Game 1 was against a list I expected to do well against, Han in the Falcon with Luke in his X-Wing.
Han was sporting Chewie and a Gunner with I think an Engine Upgrade whilst Luke had R2-F2 and a Shield Upgrade and Push the Limit.
I was a little torn as to what to focus down first as I knew Luke was going to be harder to kill than he could have been but wanted to reduce the Fire coming at me ASAP.
I did my usual action of playing the first 3 turns for positioning to get Luck where I wanted him and managed to take him down early with only 1 TIE down for my troubles.
I then had the rest of the game to deal with Han, I spent 2 rounds again positioning as I didn’t want to get drawn in to chasing him piece meal as that would allow him to pick of individual TIEs while reducing the advantage of my numbers.
Needless to say a game of cat and mouse ensued with me herding him around the board throwing a lot of dice at him while he did his best to target damaged TIEs until they died.
Unfortunately for me the time ended with the Falcon still having 1 Hull point left after 3 rounds of my shooting at him with at lest 3 TIE’s but the dice just didn’t fall.
The final score was 3 Downed Obsidian Squadron and 1 Downed Academy vs just Luke for me giving him the exact 13 points he needed for the full win.
Having though about it, I think I could have played with a little more urgency in the early rounds which may have given me the extra turn or two it turned out I needed but other than that I think getting Luke out of the way first was the correct move and it was just a matter of his 1 evade dice keeping him in it for the last two rounds against a lot of fire.
Game 2 I faced off against a 4X list that had me a little worried.
Wedge, Biggs, a Red Squadron Pilot and a Rookie with Wedge having Swarm Tactics meant that they would all be shooting before me whilst I would be forced to take on Biggs first.
Again my set up focused on trying to draw the X’s in to a field of battle I was more comfortable with and the game started well with Wedge taking a hit from flying over an asteroid.
As I had the positional advantage I cut in with all 8 TIE’s being able to draw a bead on Biggs with the thoughts that if I have to shoot at him lets get him down quickly. The incoming fire took its tole with two TIE’s taking damage but none going down. With my 16 attack dice I manage to leave Biggs with 1 Hull point so I was not overly disappointed.
I then needed to protect my attack dice as the next round things were going to be at range band 1 where the X-Wings really hurt! With some fancy flying (even if I do say so myself) I managed to get both damaged TIE fighters completely out of arch of all of his X’s whilst I had positioned so that no one TIE could be shot by more than 1 X-Wing and could still get 3 TIE’s to fire on Biggs and up to 5 firing on the Rookie depending on how Quickly Biggs went down.
Unfortunately this is where things went horribly wrong…
With all of his shooting going before me he managed to one shot 3 TIE’s leaving me with only 5 left alive and 2 of those were already damaged. My return fire did finish off Biggs and the Rookie but I knew I was going to be fighting an up hill battle now.
My next target was obviously going to be Wedge and with some blocking I managed to get him facing the wrong way with a stress token as he failed his K-turn but my fire again left him on 1 hull point. Wedge then had a turn’s reprieve as I had to re-position to not land on asteroids with him not being dead. I did manage to strip the shields from the Red-Squadron pilot though and only lost one of the damaged TIE’s
The game then degenerated in to an even worse version of Game 1 with me taking my 4 Ties against 2 damaged X’s and just not rolling hits while his fire took me down slowly. I did get to practice come fancy flying for when the Phantoms come out but eventually the game ended with him having both X-Wings on 1 Hull point while I was tabled. This was my low point of the day as I felt that I had flown well and just been done by the dice but that is what happens when you trust in to the full 8 TIE swarm, it only takes a little bit of early divergence win the dice to make a big impact on the game. All in I was happy with my flying but not where I was going to finish the day!
Game 3 I faced off against my only Imperial opponent of the day who was flying Soonter Fel with Push the Limit, Royal Guard title with Stealth Device and a Hull Upgrade, Carnor Jax, 2 Obsidian TIE’s and an Academy Pilot. So this game was going to come down to how well he flew the two interceptors as if he could get behind or flank me their extra attack dice over the regular TIE should tip the balance but if I could just keep shooting them in a joust my higher number of ships should pay off.
This game was very quick and very bloody! I decided that I wanted to dominate the centre of the board early in the hope of foxing him in to fight rather than let him chase me with the interceptors. He divided to try to play catch up after my aggressive opening and swooped in as I banked to face him allowing me a full opening salvo whilst his fire was split. This resulted in 3 of my TIE’s taking damage but no losses whilst I only put one point of damage on Fel, taking down his stealth device.
The my opponent did something I was not expecting and rather than banking in to me for even more fire both interceptors attempted to hop around an asteroid they we close to, possibly to flank next round but they both landed on top of it and I still had line of fire to them so I quickly finished off del and put damage on the Jax for the lost of 1 TIE.
Next round I knew it was game over as I took out Jax and an Obsidian Squadron pilot for the lost of 2 of my damaged TIEs and it was basically 4.5 TIE’s against 2 and we pretty much just jousted until he had no ships left, not very fancy but it got me my first win of the day!
Game 4 I knew this would be my final game but I still had a chance to make the top 16 after my bad start so I needed to bring my A-Game. I was up against 2 X-Wings and 2 B-Wings. It was Biggs, a Red Squadron pilot and Two Daggers with Fire Control Systems.
Looking at his list I was confidant I could deal with him as I can out fly B-Wins that don’t have advanced sensors with ease and just had to make sure that I got a favourable first pass and making sure to dance around with whatever he got the Fire Control Systems Target Lock on to negate their effectiveness.
I had to place my full Squad before anything wend down on his side for the first time since game one so I lined both groups up as if to charge the centre table and he obliged by deploying opposite me. Turn one I banked everyone hard towards my Right flank and skirted the table edge while he edged forwards.
This move caught him of guard as I continued to move to the right table edge and headed up that flank whiles he kept a slow and steady advance handing me initiative on where the fight was going to take place.
As he realized his mistake too late as I banked in as he tried to burst past the centre line of the table and get behind me. This lief me with one group that had to shoo Biggs and the other having to shoot at the Red. I stripped shields and put a point of damage on Biggs and took a shield off the Red while his fire back did nothing.
Next round I decided to hold the formations and sent the Academies forwards to K-Turn whilst the Obsidian group stalled as much as possible with some 2 forwards and a barrel roll. This left a Gap between the two squads that his ships were all pointing towards. It turns out that I had guessed his intentions correctly and he landed Biggs and the Red right in between the two groups whilst the Daggers crashed in to the back of Biggs.
This crossfire proved devastating, taking out Biggs, the Red squadron pilot and two shield from one of the Daggers.
I was not comfortable with breaking off to dog fight him as I still had 6 TIEs alive to his 2 Ships. I decided to just pin him in place and use my low Pilot Skill to full advantage and he spent the next 4 rounds moving less than a base length with both Daggers while I swapped out targets for him and piled on the fire taking down both B’s for the loss of two more TIEs.
That meant that my participation in the event was over but it was time to see how everyone else had got on and see if I had squeaked in to the top 16.
Short answer was no, I finished 19th due to Strength of Schedule as the person I beat in my 3rd game had his opponent leave so had no Strength of Schedule score on that round. I was happy with my performance on that day and maybe a bit of quicker play and a little luck and who knows what could have happened!
The top 4 lists were;
2 x Gold Squadron with Ion Turrets
2 x Dagger Squadron with Advanced Sensors
Omicron with Darth Vader
Howlrunner with Stealth Device
3 x Obsidian Squadron
3 x Bounty Hunter
Wes Janson with Swarm Tactics
2 x Blue Squadron
I am really looking forward to the next event with the wave 4 ships being out and seeing what changes are made to peoples list, and if I happen to get a break form moving 8 TIE fighters around than all the better 😀