Last time I discussed list building using the new Wave 14 upgrades to the T-65 X-wing. This past weekend I put one of those ideas to the test at a local Store Championship. I took a variation of my 5 ship rebel list, or 5SR.
- Ezra Sheathipede w/ R3-A2, Operations Specialist, and Crack Shot
- Captain Rex
- Cavern Angels Zealot w/ Draw Their Fire and Chopper Astromech
- Cavern Angels Zealot w/ Selflessness and Flight Assist Astromech
- Cavern Angels Zealot w/ Crack Shot and Flight Assist Astromech
I’ve really enjoyed flying it in practice as handling this many ships and dials is a fun challenge to me. It’s a puzzle for opponents in terms of proper target priority. The combination of Rex’s suppression, Selflessness, and DTF really spread the damage around, making it difficult to burn down any single target. Chopper is super fun to use now that X-wings have so many free upgrades he can discard for shields. Also the list some impressive offense as Ops Spec crew plus Ezra’s coordinate meant my X-wings often fire with doubled modded Target Locked and focused attacks. I like how the list matches up against other meta staple too. Well, except for heavy bombing lists, I like its match-ups. We had 19 players, which meant 4 swiss rounds and a top 4 cut. Surely I could just dodge any bombers throughout the day, right?
Young Jordan flying Hera Ghost w/ autoblaster, accuracy corrector, Intel Agent, Nien Numb plux Jake w/ Push the Limit
Jordan decided to joust me on the board edge with Hera, hoping to cause a bump with my front row and to autoblaster Rex off the table. I used the rule of 11 to avoid the bump and set up range 1 shots. Jake tried to flank, but not very wide. Rex survived due to a use of Selflessness to draw off 2 damage on the second attack. My whole formation opened up at range 1 and left the Ghost with only 3 hull. The rest was mop up from this point, as Ezra double stressed the PTL Jake. Win 200-0
Corey flying Rear Adminarl Chiraneau w/ Krennic, Vader, Intel Agent, Seismic Torpedo, Engine Upgrade, VI plus Ryad w/ Lonewolf, x7 title, and hull upgrade
Corey had already won a Store Championship and was proudly using his alt art Krennic, but Decimators do not like lists with 4+ ships. Corey set up Ryad to straight joust my whole list and put RAC in the opposite corner. While Ryad is an 8 health monster in this set up, going 1 vs my whole list was what I wanted to see. Both my Crack Shots were used in the opening round to do 2 damage and my formation was set up to block all of Ryad’s K-turn options. Ryad dealt no damage, and RAC fired uselessly at Range 3. After opening well, I played like a moron the next two turns. I moved my X-wings out of order and failed to autoblock myself which left room for Ryad to 5 K-turn behind me. My other X-wings Tallon Rolled and would have had beautiful Range 1 shots on a tokenless, Lone Wolf deactivated Ryad. Luckily, I also had decent shots at RAC and took those instead and did 6 total damage, including his use of Vader to put a crit onto Rex. Draw Their Fire and Rex’s green token stack kept him safe otherwise. My mistake the next turn was a 1 hard turn for Rex in the wrong direction. It was a total mental lapse in setting my dial. If I had gone the way I thought I was going, I would have had a green token stack and blocked Ryad. Yet again I had the block set up and whiffed it. The field was a total scrum at this point and I lost Rex, but made him use Vader to do it at least. RAC took 4 total damage, leaving him with 6 remaining. The next turn my X-wings turned around on RAC as he tried to break back out of the furball and he tried to burn down my Draw Their Fire X-Wing. I Chopper’d twice to help him survive and killed RAC. After that, there were a few turns of pinning down Ryad and chipping away at her. I luckily recovered from my poor early play. Corey is an excellent player, but the Decimator just wasn’t survivable enough to take advantage of my early mistakes. Win 100-14.
J.T. playing Control Bots.
J.T. and I had actually played a few weeks ago at a small kit event. He had control bots then and I had a similar FSR list. Control bots do not like R3-A2. It severely limits their advanced sensors and Push the Limit usages. Another key is the turn Zero asteroid strategy. The Control Bots love asteroids and having a dense field to take advantage of their Ion Cannons and Tractor Beams. I like to build a very tight grouping of obstacles to clutter up one part of the board. This should leave a large part of the field open. This open area is where you want to engage the Bots. J.T. flew much better this match and did a good job of drawing me into the asteroid field, but the 5SR just has too many guns on the table to avoid. The opening combat left IG-88B double stressed and on one hull. A Range 1 rear arc shot from Ezra actually killed him the next turn. He did manage to tractor beam the Crack Shot X-wing onto a rock twice for a damage each time and then got a Range 1 double modified attack to finish the job on him. Thanks to the tractor beams, that X-wing was out of the defensive bubbles of Selflessness and DTF. But the rest of my formation was in a good chase position to keep him stressed and whittle the final Bot down. Win 100-21
Patrick playing Nym and Sol Sixxa
I drew a bombing list, but at least it was in the final swiss round, and I didn’t need a win to make the cut. This list type scares me do death when I’m flying a jousting, formation based list. I hate bombs, especially Trajectory Simulator launched bombs. I was pretty sure my Margin of Victory was good enough to make the cut with a loss. There was a very good chance we’d meet again in the cut, I resigned myself to taking the loss and learning his play style as much as possible for the probable re-match. However Patrick made two errors this game which had large implications on the outcome. He decided not to straight joust my list. The bomb, missile, and harpoon splash damage would have left my list in tatters. Yet he set up in the middle and came at me at an angle, making the bomb launch impossible. The second error was he got greedy and decided to split his missile fire. A cardinal rule of X-wing is to concentrate your fire. Patrick fired his missiles at two different ships, hoping to create Harpoon condition triggers with the TLTs and bombs later for maximum area damage. Instead, thanks to some solid green dice from X-wings, I only lost a few shields. In return fire, I left Sol Sixxa mangled. The next turn saw Sol blocked, unable to drop bombs, and dead. Nym did use Genius to drop a Bomblette to hit the two already damaged X-wings, but they limped on. At this point in the match, my attitude shifted 180 degrees. At the start, I was more than happy to float forward and be blasted apart by the bombers, not being too tricky in my approaches. However, his mismanagement of the opening engagement left me with a real chance to table him. A total victory could push Patrick’s MOV low enough to miss the cut. Bombs are that scary to me that I decided to try and put them out of the tournament then and there. I turned on my ‘try hard’ mode and went for the throat. My wounded X-wings closed their S-foils and bugged out, trying to preserve their points. Chopper went to work, discarding free upgrades left and right. I reorganized my forces while Ezra stressed Nym and tied him up for a few turns. In the final turn, I misjudged and barrel rolled a limping X-wing instead of performing a boost action. This left him in range of a bomblette and I of course rolled 2 hits and it died. Nym expired as well, but he had managed to score a very valuable 21 points. Win 100-21
Patrick would make the cut in 4th place, thanks to those 21 points he scored. Luckily, I finished 2nd in swiss(odd pair-down results left us with 2 undefeated players after swiss) and at least we wouldn’t be facing each other in back to back matches. Patrick is a great dude and wonderful opponent. We did discuss the game and what went wrong from and the lessons he learned. He pointed his mistakes out himself, so I hope I’m to being too critical in analyzing his play. We both moved on to the elimination rounds.
Top 4 Cut
Rey w/ Expertise, Kannan, Finn, Engine Upgrade. Norra w/ Predator, Saw, and R2-D2
Richard is a brand new player and has only been playing a few weeks, but he built a brilliant list. For a beginner, this list is a great place to start. It’s only got two dials to manage, its not action dependent for dice modification, and it throws a ton of red dice. Rey is always a dangerous creature, thanks to the sheer amount of damage she can put out. My damage spreading techniques held my list together while I tangled with Rey a few turns, waiting to set a kill box for Norra when she moved close enough. Many players would have tried to chase Rey after I had removed her shields, but I knew if Norra made it to the endgame, she’d be unkillable with R2-D2. I was biding my time to spring a trap on Norra. She melted to my concentrated fire and my whole list was still alive, if barely. The next few turns saw Rey continue to blast chunks out of me. Each of my ships were now severely damaged, setting up a scary situation where Rey could easily PS kill one each turn. Rey shot down 2 ships this way but had simply taken too much damage along the way to survive. Richard played superbly and was the first opponent of the day to destroy a 2nd ship, but I was victorious and into the final.
Would I meet Patrick again, with him having the advantage of lessons learned? Sadly for him, he was defeated by another rebel list. Instead I would face similar rebel formation list flown by a veritable world class player, Charles H. Charles made the Top 16 cut at this year’s World Championships and was flying the exact same list. He was eliminated at worlds by a bombing Nym list and used his lessons learned to defeat Patrick’s Nym in their top 4 match.
Charles H’s FSR List
- Ezra w/ Snap Shot, R3-A2, Ops Spec
- Low w/ DTF, Rey, Tactician
- Jess Pava w/ M9-G8, Primed Thrusters
I had actually had a few pre-Worlds practice matches with Charles and had flown this list myself. I used it to win that kit event in which it had beaten J.T.’s Control Bots, so I knew what the list could do. However, while I was capable with this list, Charles is a master of it. He was well practiced with it and it was an impressive thing to watch.
I was hoping I’d have the advantage with a 5th ship and make use of the extra offense I had. In the opening engagement, Pava was the only target I could concentrate fire on. I had my X-wings all Target Locked and focused, thanks to my own Ops Spec, but it didn’t matter. I’ve played games with Pava where she used her rerolls to maximum effect and refused to take damage, especially with Low nearby to protect her. I’ve also seen her roll fist fulls of blanks and take massive damage spikes even though you’ve protected her with proper formation and a stack of focus tokens from Ops Spec. In this match, the first outcome happened. Pava refused to take damage; her green dice didn’t have blanks. Charles positioned her correctly to take maximum advantage of his list’s defensive abilities and it paid off big. After two rounds of close range fire, Pava only lost her shields and then was able to slip out of my cross-hairs. He then correctly targeted my Selflessness T-65 first, who did the exact opposite of Pava, and that X-wing crumpled like paper. I had lost my offensive edge far too early, as Charles’ list was the one slinging pure red hate my way.
I was behind, but still in the fight until I incorrectly judged a X-wing’s move trying to avoid his Ezra’s Snap Shot. I banked hoping for a block, where I should’ve gone straight. The move left me out of total position, Snap Shotted, double stressed, and eventually dead. It was the only Snap Shot he got off the whole game and it was costly. I battled on, eventually taking down Ezra as a small consolation prize. Considering that he had only lost his Rex once through all of swiss, I took that small victory. We nearly used the full 2 hour final time limit as the game mercifully ended with about 5 minutes left.
My biggest mistake was misjudging and getting my X-wing Snap Shotted and killed, but Charles outplayed me and beat me with his greater experience with his list. He taught me lessons to take forward to my next tournament. So while I was defeated, I left that match a better player, which is all you can really ask for.
Final result- 2nd place and very satisfied after a full day of great games with even better opponents.
Until next time,
Cheers and happy hunting.