I’ve been playing x-wing in the local competitive scene for just over two years and I’ve had a few pretty good tournament wins, including a store championship last year. After attending the 2015 regionals I ended up pretty burnt out on playing and packed my stuff away for a while. The release of “The Force Awakens” brought in a bunch of new players, including a co-worker of mine who asked me to show him the ropes for competitive play. Always happy to teach people to play, I jumped back in and decided to attend a couple of tournaments as well.
Having been out of the game for over half a year I was pretty out of date on the meta, and honestly wasn’t all too familiar with the new releases. I jumped in head first and decided to bring my former winning list, BBBBZ, to a store champs. I proceeded to have my absolute worst tournament record ever, helped along quite noticeably by TLT carriers. I’ve attended a lot of casual game nights since then, trying out a variety of lists and trying to learn about the current state of the game.
I signed up for the X-Planet store championship and I was dead set on packing up a couple of aggressors to take me through the day. The night before the tournament I packed up my beat up old core set box with everything I’d need, but I was feeling like it was the wrong choice. I had put a decent amount of time into practising this list, know it’s ins and outs and have multiple opening strategies. I just couldn’t get over how they would likely affect my MOV, almost always losing half health from each for an almost automatic loss of 50 points, with a high chance of completely losing one of the two meaning I’d be left with 25 points on the board. Not to mention the multiple turns I usually would have without shots while taking time to get my ships turned around in a desirable manner.
My mind then played with the idea of the 4x scum y wings, which would solve my firing arc issue, while still dealing the same amounts of damage. It also had the added bonus of being 4 small ships with combined shields and hull of 32. I feel a lot safer hiding behind a whole lot of health, and I’ve always been a fan of a good old fashioned joust. Twenty minutes or so before I was set to leave for the tournament I emptied out my tournament box and reloaded it with a list I have never played, or even seen played. I hoped I understood the strategies well enough to get a few wins and maybe even get that top 8 range ruler I so badly wanted. We arrived at the store and the tournament started almost right away. There were 25 participants and it was decided there would be four 75 minute rounds of swiss with a cut to top 4. A bonus alternate art Han Solo card was added to the winners prize pool thanks to Dave.
I apologise in advance if some of the lists are slightly incorrect or if I mixed up game details. I’m going based off of memory as I’ve never taken notes or photos during a tournament.
My list: 4X Syndicate Thugs + Twin Laser Turret + Unhinged Astromech 100 points
Soontir Fel + royal guard tie + targeting computer + push the limit + stealth device
Carnor Jax + royal guard tie + stealth device + autothrusters + push the limit
Turr Phennir + veteran instincts + stealth device + autothrusters
We set up the asteroids fairly scattered, I don’t think either of us were too worried about them. My first match of the day was one I had hoped not to see, interceptors could do a great job of taking advantage of that range one hole and also unloading a lot of damage. Knowing this I set up into two pairs about 2 base widths apart hoping he’d pick a pair to focus on while the other two could be free to get in some shots. He ended up setting up in the top left hand corner, almost directly across from one of my pairs. He flew straight up the side of the board, while I held back, hoping he’d eventually end up in my ideal range three zone. I fired a lot of shots that didn’t do anything, but I knew it was a matter of time until those green dice would give out. I didn’t prioritise any specific target, generally just shot at whichever ship was in range for all of my ships to attack. He was able to take out two of my y wings, but Turr and Carnor were both hanging on by that last point of hull, going down quickly after. I was left with two y wings against a fresh soontir, by this point we had worked our way to the top right corner of the board and I was able to pull out a block with one of my ships while the other fired. The next turn he k-turned, and his lack of actions those two turns brought him down.
Wedge Antilles + BB-8 + Push the Limit + Integrated Astromech
Poe Dameron + Veteran Instincts + R2-D2 + Autothrusters
Gold Squadron Pilot + BTL-A4 + R3-A2 + Twin Laser Turret
If I recall correctly he took the initiative, as we both had y wings with pilot skill of two this could have been important. Peter recently took second place at another store championship with this list and I had played against him before, so I knew he was a great pilot. The starting set-up was very similar to my first game, setting up directly across from each other. I believe I switched my pairs into columns for this game. My main plan in this matchup was to set it up so all of my ships could shoot at Poe. I needed to take him out while I had the most fire power so he wouldn’t be able to take advantage of his regeneration ability. He saw through this plan and flew strategically so I’d have to split my fire. Wedge and Poe both took damage while I ignored the stresshog. With the unhinged astromech the stress was easy to clear, and even my unmodified shots were consistently dealing damage. Two of my y wings got quite beat up and wedge popped his astromech to pull out an extra round of shooting. We both agreed that this next turn was probably the game changer, he kept Poe in the fight hoping to finish off one of the y wings. Wedge knocked out one of the y wings and somehow the y wing that Poe was after managed to survive with one hull remaining. Poe and Wedge went down leaving two of my y wings to finish off the stresshog who flew around with a huge trail of stress behind him until his inevitable death.
Etahn A’baht + R2 Astromech + Advanced Sensors + Push the Limit
Tarn Mison + R7 Astromech
Bandit Squadron Pilot X3
We Flipped a coin for initiative, which I won and took for myself to prevent his z-95’s from blocking my movements. I’ve played Joe before a lot of times and even this particular list. He set up in formation towards the center of the board while I kept to my left side columns. I worked my way down the board forming a conga line as he called it. His ships turned in towards me. I had range with all four ships on the lead z-95 and range with two of them also on Etahn. Z-95 went down easily leaving me to get Etahn down to hull as well. He focussed down hard on the lead y wing, eventually taking it down and then he lost Tarn as well. The game ended with two y wings on the board after making quick work of the z-95s. I don’t think any part of this game ended up outside of that top left side corner.
Miranda Doni + C3PO + Twin Laser Turret
Gold Squadron Pilot + BTL-A4 + R3A2 + Twin Laser Turret
Gold Squadron Pilot + Twin Laser Turret
Bandit Squadron Pilot
I had the initiative again and set up again on the left side in columns spaced a base or so apart. He set up right in the centre of the board with all of his ships facing towards each other. I moved ahead, he moved nowhere. I moved ahead, he moved nowhere. This continued until I had another line up formed and had finally made range, at this point he turned his ships out to start moving. My number one target was Miranda, again I didn’t want to have a y wing facing a regenerating ship on it’s own. She went down in the second round of shooting leaving me to start working on the other ships. There was a lot of self bumping on my part and it took a little bit of time, but eventually I took out the remainder of his squad.
Semi-Finals I was the top seeded player after swiss with four full wins
Bossk + Engine Upgrade + Gunner + Feedback Array + K4 Security Droid +Predator
Syndicate Thug + Twin Laser Turret + Unhinged Astromech
Spice Runner + Twin Laser Turret + Greedo
I took the initiative for this round, again due to another y wing with the same pilot skill. He set up in the top left corner while I set up in the bottom right. He moved forwards and I turned towards the left. We met in the bottom left area of the board. I gunned as hard as I could for Bossk knowing he would take at least 2 rounds of fire, possibly more. After the first round of fire one of my y wings landed himself nicely on an asteroid while another was in range one of Bossk who made it to round three before losing his final hull point. His y wing and spice runner both had a bit of damage on them and I had to keep switching targets due to range. His spice runner took way more critical hits from Greedo than my ships did, but he had managed to take out two y wings, thanks especially to that nice range one shot from Bossk earlier. His y wing ended up on the same asteroid mine had been on earlier and I was able to finish it off.
Omnicron Group Pilot + Emperor Palpatine
Omega Leader + Juke + Stealth Device + Comm Relay
Echo + Agent Kallus + Sensor Jammer + Advanced Cloaking Device + Veteran Instincts
I was nervous going into this match. I know Dave is a really great player, and had actually already won another store championship. I was worried that I’d just never be able to land any damage on Echo which would eventually lose me the game. Dave took initiative and set his shuttle in the top left corner. I set up my squad directly across, I figured I’d go for the shuttle, who could go down in two rounds, and switch to the other targets if presented with an opportunity. His other two ships were set up on the other side and worked their way through the asteroids. His shuttle did a stop maneuver while I headed right for it. For the first round of shooting I think only my lead y wings had range on the shuttle. For the next turn, he moved his shuttle up as far as it would go, causing all of my ships to bump, I got lucky and he landed Echo on an asteroid. Sensor jammer on Echo, after all my ships had just bumped, got me frustratingly nowhere. My fire was split for the next few turns based on the ranges of his ships. Eventually Omega leader was taken out along with a y wing, with another just barely hanging on at two hull. Echo with two hull landed in front of one of the y wings at range one, and for the first time all day I fired my primary weapon, hit, hit, crit. He evaded one, but it wasn’t enough, I had managed to take out echo, leaving me with 3 y wings to finish off the shuttle. The shuttle tried to remove the damaged y wing who managed to hang in there, leaving me to pull out the win.
Overall I’m really happy with how the day went. I know people love to hate on thug life for being “easy mode”, but I like to think with the success I had that there was some skill involved. I think it’s such a great tournament list because of the simplicity, fewer tough decisions help prevent that mental fatigue you start to get in the last couple of rounds. If I were to fly it again I think I could improve by splitting the damage better to help increase my MOV. I’m not opposed to flying the same list at multiple tournaments, but with wave 8 out I think I’m going to trade it in to try out some new combinations and hopefully have a good grip on the state of the game in time for regionals.