Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Guest writer Anthony Barrett: MK X-wing 16/01/16

It was Guardians of Tyr’s first X wing event of the year and it’s always an excellent day out. I was determined to make a reasonable showing and wanted to use ships from the new films, either a T70 list or a Tie Fo swarm.
I practised my FO swarm against my mate Callum; however I feel I need a bit more practice with it before id feel confident at a tournament. So x wings it is!

I've dabbled with Poe since he was released, initially favouring r5 p9, VI and autothrusters. I’ve found this set up to fall down too easy if you can deny Poe actions, plus it almost complete cuts out boost and target lock. I find the action independence of r2d2 the superior choice, even if it limits movement options a little more. Now VI is amazing when you come up against a fel or a Vader, however so many times I’ve had a range 1 shot with Poe and completely blanked out. I therefore went for lone wolf instead for some re-roll action. Plus it makes him an end game monster!

Ello Asty is by far my favourite t70 pilot. He's nowhere near as survivable as Poe, but his white talon rolls, coupled with the option to boost afterwards, are hilariously fun to play with. Give him VI and he is often the last pilot to move to really abuse this ability. I like getting him up close and personal and didn’t expect too many turrets so I went for integrated astro instead of autothrusters. I don’t think any of the astros really synergies that well with him and my play style, so I went for r4-d6 for insurance against hlcs or range 1 attacks.
I wasn’t too sure how to spend the remaining points so I pumped for a tlt stresshog, adding in a seismic charge to give a small amount of protection to the exposed rear of this slow turning beast.
I went hoping for a positive record and 3 wins.

Round 1: vs Vader-x1,atc,predator, Juno-x1,atc,ptl, tie mk2 Mareek-x1,atc,ptl,tie mk 2
We set up with my goodie far left and the three tie adv in formation directly facing, both my xwings are in the middle of the board. My plan was to get some stress on those ties and flank with my aces. I edge forward with the y whilst the ties full speed ahead for the joust. First round of combat, Vader strips 2 shields of, Juno takes a shield and a crit- Direct hit!!! Mareek then fires and hit, crit, crit. My y went down without even getting off a shot, disaster. Meanwhile my x wings had got in behind the ties and taken all the shields from Vader. Mareek and Juno move forwards to shred some stress whilst my aces get Vader in their sites. 
Vader has no shot and Ello blasts him into oblivion with a range 1 volley. This leaves Poe to take a pot shot at Juno and strip a shield. The ties k turn to get into the action but Ello k turns right behind them. Poe moves a one straight and ends up staring down the barrel of a range 1 shot. Ello fires first and gets 4 hits in, Juno rolls…blank,blank,blank!!! Poe and Mareeks range 1 face off strips a shield from Steele and leaves Mr Dameron unscathed. Now the superior pilot skill and dial of my t-70s mean I stay out of arc of the advanced and slowly whittle down the last shields and hull of the tie.

Win 100-28

Round 2: vs Captain Jonus-swarm tactics, 2x delta squadron-HLC, tie mk 2

The firepower of the HLC’s coupled with Jonus re rolls means that I need to avoid a joust or die a horrible death. I split my squad with Ello left flank and Poe and the y on the right. He moves in formation towards Ello and my right side turns in towards the fight. I get some damage through on Jonus whilst Ello weathers some hits. He makes good use of the white k turns and the defenders get some big hits on Ello.
 R4 comes to the rescues, taking stress to cancel hits and then Integrated astromech keeps me alive long enough to take jonus down. I defender k turns behind my y wing and takes a seismic charge in the face, preceding to lose its shields to poe, before finishing of Asty. The slow turning y is then out of the fight for a while as Poe destroys the damaged defender, before the high plot skill helps to outmanoeuvre the defender and do some heavy damage. The defender gets a crit and its agility is reduced by 1, leaving the y to get back into the fight in time to administer the final two damage with its primary weapon.

Win 100-32

Round 3: vs Boba-vi, engine, gunner, inertial dampeners, 2 x syndicate thug-tlt, unhinged
I don’t feel very confident with this, concerned about Boba’s higher pilot skill and engine letting him dodge arcs. I want to get some stress on him but he sets up the opposite side to my stresshog. My x wings move tentatively at first to see where he will go before hoping to set up a flank later on. Things start badly with Ello on the receiving end of 4 straight hit, hit, hit tlt shots at range 3, no point even rolling dice and he’s down to 2 hull. 
Boba losses a couple of shields and Poe gets into range 1 of the tlts leaving Ello to take more fire. Now the dice turn and Ello rolls 2 evades 4 or 5 times in a row, surviving long enough to help my squad gang up to destroy the y wings, again my gold squad doing significant damage with both primary and tlt, using the stressbot sparingly to allow greater movement options when chasing Boba. Now Boba is facing a debris cloud head on with my y blocking a move to his right and Poe blocking his left. 
Ello is positioned perfectly that he Boba’s chosen move would leave him stranded on a debris. He has to use his dampeners and manages to get off the kill shots on Asty. Poe does some damage and next turn moves into the spot vacated by Ello, this time there are no dampeners and Boba ends up on the debris. The y wing keeps stress on to ensure no actions and my two ships whittle away the last of the feared bounty hunters health.

Win 100-32

Round 4: vs Poe-vi,r2d2,autothrusters, Wes-vi, Cracken-vi, Bandit

I really like the look of this list, with good synergy and 3 PS 10 pilots this could be a really tough list to face. I spread my ships with Ello and the gold to the right and Poe far Left. He sets up in formation facing Ello and gold. His ships initially go towards Ello and I bring Poe in to flank, however he then leaves the bandit out with Ello and his wingmate, whilst the 3 aces move in on Poe to all be range 1. Somehow Poe faces all of their fire without losing a single shield and takes shields from Wes, whilst Ello strips shields from Cracken and the y wing gets 2 stresses on Poe. 
Next turn the bandit K turns into a seismic charge, whilst Wes and Cracken die in quick succession. The stress builds on Poe who can’t turn so runs to clear stress and the Bandit blanks evades to die. Now my 3 ships hunt down Poe, who survives one or two turns longer than expected thanks to R2D2 and some poor rolls on my part, though he soon succumbs like the rest. In the end I won this with relative ease, however if it wasn’t for some big luck with Poe remaining undamaged in the first round of firing, things could have been very different.

Round 5: vs Soontir-ptl,stealth,autothruster, 3x Tempest Squad- accuracy corrector, tie mk 2
So here I was, top table with a very healthy MOV one more game to win. With 98 points he had initiative so importantly for him, Soontir would move last. It was a little dejavu to round 1 with my y wing far left and 3 advances in formation opposite, Poe and Asty in the middle facing the baron. I had learned from round 1 and knew he would go for my stresshog, so I turned him in to run from the Ties whilst my aces went towards Soontir. Next round I went aggressive and turned Poe away from Soontir and into range 1 of the advanced. 
Ello got no damage through with a range 3 shot at Soontir, but lost 2 shields in return. Poe then took a shield of an advanced but lost 3 himself in the onslaught. I was fairly happy with this as he can regen and it gave my y wing time to prepare to get to Soonts. The next turn started how I wanted. Ello k turned in front of soontir blocking his movement and denying actions. The 3 advanced all k’d behind poe who 3 forwarded to regen a shield. Instead of focusing for his ability I boosted to get out of arc of 2 ships and a range 3 of the third. 
With 3 dice, autothrusters and lone wolf I was fairly confident of evading damage. Soontir had no shots and Ello and the stresshog took out an advanced. Poe then had to evade 2 accuracy corrected hits from the forward Tempest and rolled Blank, Blank, Blank!!! I couldn’t believe it, Poe was now down to 2 hull and there was not enough board to try to run away and boost again. This could have been the beginning of the end. The 2 remaining ties moved forward hunting down Poe who regened a shield and focussed up behind a rock. Asty white talon rolled behind the advanced and the stresshog followed them up the rear. 
Soontir moved into position to get shots at Poe. Both advanced lost all shields and Soontir couldn’t get a hit through on Poe, leaving him free to regen again next turn. Now Poe managed to block Soontir from getting an arc whilst the tempest turned away from battle. Over the next few turns, Poe was able to regen to full health using the green 1 straight and Soontir was not in position to get arc. The tempest died and finally the stresshog got through on Soonts. He then took a crit, stripping his stealth device and meaning all future damage was dealt face up. Next turn he took the final two hits and was blown to space dust, leaving my Squad undamaged and victorious!!!!

Win 100-0

I couldn’t believe I’d won it. 5 wins out of 5 and better than I ever could have expected going into the day. Ello was so much fun to play consistently getting into range 1 and putting on the hurt. Poe did not die the whole day and was a beast as usual. Finally my little y wing, after dying so horribly in the first game, only lost 3 more shields in the last 4 games. He chipped in with damage at important times and the stress was invaluable when needed. The seismic charges were a good little addition and were dropped in 3 out of 5 games doing damage.

I can’t wait to play this list again, perhaps even try it for the store championships.

Anthony Barrett