Sunday, 27 March 2016

X-wing, St Leonards, 27/03/16, by Jay Whitbread

WARMAWING III - My first X-Wing tournament 19/03/2016

What is Warmawing? That's a good question, so I'll explain. The club I attend (1066 wargaming in St. Leonards, if you're ever in the vicinity) holds tournaments on Saturdays throughout the year and, to make things more viable, they usually double up so you get two systems running their
event on the same day.
Warmawing was the first of these, mixing Warmahordes and x-wing to spawn the event Warmawing. As you may have guessed, this was the third such event. So, now you know...

List building is never a strong area for me. I go with what looks fun, as opposed to what might be more competitive. On this occasion, I decided to
seek guidance from the Force, asking one of wisdom and insight for advice. I knew what ships I wanted to run, I'm a big fan of the TIE Fighter F/O.

It is agile and tricksy, looks cool and it has shields, so what's not to love? With assistance from my wise friend, I crafted a list I was content with, even getting my favourite pilot, Soontir Fel, into the mix. As we all know though, the Force has a will of its own and it threw me a curveball in the shape of...Wave 8 landing two days before the event! One shiny new ship later, my official list looked a bit like this:

Omega Squadron pilot - Crack Shot
Omega Leader - Juke, Comm Relay
Zeta Leader - Wired, Twin Ion Engine MkII
The Inquisitor - Opportunist, XX-23 S-Thread Tracers, TIE/V1, Stealth Device

So, first round was random and I was drawn on table 10 against a friendly lad running Dengar and Bossk. I knew I wanted the Inquisitor to be away from the brunt of battle, so he flew down the left flank whilst the three TIE F/O shot off down the right. First blood went to the Empire, with a range 3 shot slapping a shield off Dengar.

That's when my education started. Dengar shot back. All of a sudden, my plan of swarming the JumpMaster and hammering it enmasse was a poor plan. Yes, mistakes were made! Watching shields disappear on ships, only for them to regenerate is very disheartening when you see your own ships dropping like flies, yet this is what happened. The game ended as a white-wash, the Empire defeated. I scored zero points.

Not the start I washoping for.

Round two - I came up against another Imperial fleet, this one featuring Soontir Fel, Darth Vader and a shuttle carrying Palpatine. Lessons learned from the previous game meant I was more cautious with the Inquisitor and more focussed with the mini-swarm. The three TIE F/O buzzed down the right flank again,intent on the shuttle. All the time that was alive, the Force was with my opponent. The Inquisitor, in turn, started hunting Vader and was unlucky not to take him early on.

In the meantime, Fel was in position to cause some serious damage to the mini-swarm but fortune favours the brave, he failed to take any of them down and was blasted from the skies for his troubles. Vader started to ladle out the damage and, sure enough, ships died. So did the Lambda though, leaving Vader on his own. Time ran out and the result was a victory by 13 points.

Round three - I moved up the tables only to find myself facing one of 1066's very own Dark Lords of the Sith! Danny had a list built around one ideal: doleout the damage as quickly as possible. Carnor Jax, a Decimator and a TIE fighter presented me with a challenge and, sadly, I wasn't up to the task.

The Decimator sat there and pummeled the Inquisitor first, Danny being sure to eliminate the unknown threat first with a combination of Vader and a Gunner.Thankfully, this ended up granting me half points for the Decimator, the only points I would score in the game. Each ship was rapidly picked apart and the game ended well before time, Danny apologising for the righteous smack-down he had handed out.
For my part, I appreciated that but it wasn't necessary, I was grateful for the lesson.

Round four - Back down the tables I went, to face another 1066er. The Rebel scum was basing his list around a B Wing, with A wings in support. Both fleets advanced hard and then the shooting began.

An A Wing went down early but the Rebels were determined and soon took down the Inquisitor, luring him into a killing field and dispatching him in one round of shooting. A TIE F/O also fell but so did another A Wing.
The game timed out, with me scoring one point more! The narrowest of wins...

Final Round - Lost two, won two...I was happy with that result so far. My final challenge was another Rebel list, this one touting the all-new Ghost. I spent a lot of the game chasing it around the table. The Inquisitor managed to stay alive almost all game on this occasion, whilst a TIE F/O also joined
dead pile. Having dispatched his support ship, an A Wing, I had thought I was in with a chance only to find that he could deploy an attack shuttle! What devilry was this?!?

Thankfully, it died relatively quickly but it diverted shots away from the Ghost. As time dwindled, we were told to finish our current round, one last shot from the Omega Squadron pilot hit home on the Ghost, delivering a crit...I needed to get this thing to half points at least...the crit was a Direct Hit, the double damage doing enough to get me the points, granting me a two point victory!

What can I say about my first tournament?

I'm glad it was a "home" event, it made things a bit easier for me. Playing this showed me one thing, it doesn't matter how competitive you are, the people involved in x-wing are always so chilled out. The atmosphere was fantastic, inter-table laughter mid game is not something I am used to.

Given that I had played less than ten games of x-wing before the event, I felt a sense of achievement at finishing 14/26 and am looking forward to improving my game even more.