As I continue to receive such overwhelmingly positive feedback from my report last week I’m back with a follow up.
Part Deux: The Revenge of the Dice
I ran the exact same Crack Shot carrying A-wing list again for the final Store Championship of the season at Dueling Grounds in Toronto.
My Squad of Crack Aces:
Green Squad A-wing w/Crack Shot, Adaptability, A-wing Test Pilot, Chadaran Refit and Autothrusters x 5
The day before two Triple Toiletseat builds completely dominated another Store Championship with both making the top 4 of a 32 person event. Two weeks ago, the day before the event I won, there was another Store Championship in the area with basically the exact same Triple Toiletseat build in the top 2. The current Triple Toiletseat Terror typically looks like this:
3 x Contracted Scout Jumpmaster 5000 w/Deadeye, R4 Agromech, Extra Munitions, Plasma Torpedoes, Guidance Chips
Some also refer to that build as the Wolf Pack, but come on- just look at Dengar, his head is wrapped in toilet paper, it is all themed together, and then it is dropping torpedoes(!), enuff said.
It is a tough build that can really lay on the damage but it has plenty of inherent weaknesses that can be exploited. Those weaknesses include, being PS3, action denial, 3 large bases, asymmetrical dial, reliance on Focus (Carnor Jax, Palob, Wes Janson, etc.), and double Stress.
Toronto proper has evolved a very strong player base with list building creativity out the wazoo, thanks in no small part to The Prototype Toronto League, where players play seven games against seven opponents over seven weeks and can never use the same unique pilot twice. The league is pretty popular with over thirty participants last season, their third one. It came as no surprise plenty of the field was well prepared to deal with the inherent weaknesses of the Triple Toilet Seats.
Knowing this, and also knowing most people in the tournament, as well as quite a few others who would be there that had read my article (thank you!), why would did I decide to use the exact same list as last week? If people would play squads that can deal with Triple Toiletseats, surely they could also plan for my squad, especially with the knowledge I was attending and that I tend to keep to a particular build for a while?
Let’s just say I like a challenge.
I also like playing the same squad repeatedly against many different opponents, versus all types of lists. It allows me to develop strategies and ways to deal with the inherent weaknesses of said squad as every squad has weaknesses! These skills are of course transferable to any other squads, but I like to be able to just let everything flow second nature. Regionals are coming up, and I have signed up for two so far. When you get yourself into any tournament with a same day top cut, if you happen to be so fortunate enough to make the cut you need to be prepared to run on fumes, or it can be the worst. If I am at a tournament with a top cut even if i don’t make the cut, I usually stick around to watch as they are the most exciting matches of the tournament and you can learn a lot.
Now on to the tournament report. Twenty -six players came out, being Easter Sunday this was actually pretty good – two players brought Triple ToiletSeats.
Dueling Grounds, Sunday March 27, 2016 Store Championship.
I match up against my buddy Kelvin. Ugh. Kelvin had been running regenerating Rebel Aces regularly, but gave it up because they didn’t have enough Green Maneuver options and I had beaten it the last two times we played when I was playing the FO Crack Swarm. He decided to join me in the land of A-wings and now this was some kind of karmic payback.
Tycho A-wing w/Rage, Push the Limit, A-wing Test Pilot, Proton Rockets, Autothrusters
Jake Farrell A-wing w/Push the Limit, Veteran Insticts, A-wing Test Pilot, Proton Rockets, Autothrusters
2x Protype Pilot w/Chadaran Refit
Whew, so wow. He has the blockers, that I would rather not waste my time shooting, and he has the Aces that will have their way with me if he so decides. Days before the tournament, Kelvin joked with me that we were going to make everyone want to play A-wings. Kelvin had built his squad with the Toiletseats in mind, and later in the day when he was faced up against them, he would narrowly lose to them, because their green dice were hot and he couldn’t push enough damage through to do the job. Even so he ended the day with a respectable seventh place finish.
Our match develops into a lot of cat and mouse creeping around all the gigantic asteroids we had both brought, (again to clog up the board for the U boats-that’s another nickname for the Toiletseats).
He starts top left, I start bottom right. We end up meeting up in bottom left quarter.
His Prototypes gum up the lanes. His Proton Rockets are pretty glorious, especially Raging Tycho’s, one shotting one of my hapless Greens. A few rounds later Jake does the same. My red and green dice run pretty cold. We play to time but all I manage to take out is one of the Prototypes with a single ship left on the board. Tycho with Rage is so good. I thank Kelvin for the loss, as now I have the opportunity to submarine my way to the top, but with an MOV like mine it was pretty unlikely. Loss 15-80
My opponent this match is Chris. The last time I played Chris, I believe, was at the Toronto Regional last year. I was playing way too bold and did a lot of dumb things that cost me that game.
Chris won the first area Store Championship this season at Hairy Tarantula North with a double Aggressor build that was a bit different than any of the builds I have used competitively and apparently we play the Aggressors in a completely different way. At a tournament last month I was playing a double Aggressor build against one of Chris’s regular opponents who was using a Vader/Whisper/FO build and by the way he was playing against me, I had thought he had never played against Aggressors before even though he actually had tons tons of experience doing so. Finally when we got to the end game, and it was both of my ships against a lonely untouched Vader, something clicked for him, where it became familiar and he knew exactly what to do, and pulled out the win. He told me he had never seen Aggressors flown that way- mmmkaaaay.
Today Chris is playing,
IG-88B Aggressor w/Wired, HLC, FCS, Autothrusters
Contracted Scout Jumpmaster 5000 w/Deadeye,Extra Munitions, Plasma Torpedoes, R4 Agromech, Guidance Chips
KaaTo Leeachos Z-95 w/Deadeye, Concussion Missile, Guidance Chips
Chris is also coming off a loss against one of the two Triple Toiletseat builds. I give Chris a bit of shit for fielding the seldom seen Leeachos.
We set up asteroids, I do my best to clog up the left side of the board.
Chris starts out with his ships spread out along his edge, his 5K in the top right corner, the Aggressor in the middle and Leeachos on the left going through the Asteroids. I set up bottom left beneath the asteroids.
We both slow roll it for the first couple of rounds. We engage at Range 2 negating my Autothrusters and, he takes out one of my ships before it can fire. I take out Leeachos. Things weren’t going great, but whatever.
A pleasant surprise, Chris’s beautiful wife suddenly shows up to meet Chris for lunch. We both tell her not to worry, this match is going to be over soon. The two of them together make a picture perfect couple that look like they belong on the top of a cake. Chris introduces me and we proceed to continue to play. No big deal, on with the game.
I feel baffled when she decides to engage me in polite conversation like any civilized person would under normal circumstances, oh that’s nice, sure why not chit-chat? I can multitask. Then out of the blue she asks if it is correct that I won last weekend? Wait, what did you say, I think-impressively informed? Obviously she is a very supportive wife, taking an interest in her husband’s hobbies but this took me off guard.
I think of the possibly this is some kind of clever ploy on Chris’s part.. I must reiterate to be clear this woman is not only absolutely gorgeous but also a complete delight to be in the presence of. The context of the tournament setting, where by comparison everyone else in the room is reduced to a troglodyte, excluding of course my opponent Prince Charming, starkly highlights the contrast.
Oh you beautiful people, living your most enchanting lives. Even when I see it first hand I can’t explain it other than knowing the world is so kind to you – must be nice! I’m in the middle of a competitive game with your husband, and I am on the verge of losing, doing my best to hold it together and keep that from happening but sure I’d love to talk X-wing with you, I wouldn’t want to be rude. So we continue to play and talk about how often I play X-wing among other X-wing related topics. I make a critical tactical mistake and Boost when I should Focus, to open up a hole for Iggy B to 4K into. I lose another ship but get the Contracted Scout to have a Major Hull Breach Crit. I continue to hold on for longer than either of us expect and thankfully the princess can no longer stand the smelly basement environment and decides to go, and I can finally concentrate again.
I find myself in a position where I can gum it up for the Aggressor and maybe do some work on him. I chase him around a bit, like sardines chasing a shark, and end up losing a ship but getting his shields off, so he’s down to half points.
Chris makes the mistake of bringing the Jumpmaster back into the fight and I blow it up while IG-88 is hung up pointed the wrong way to kill me. My two A-wings do what they can to try to make the Aggressor’s life more difficult for a few more rounds before he inevitably destroys them. Not a terrible loss though, 76-100. Chris goes on to be undefeated for the rest of the day, with his only loss in the first round and ends up in fifth place.
So now, I’m 0-2. No way I can possibly make top 4. At a tournament there can only be one winner and today it sure isn’t going to be me. If the pressure was off before because I had already won a Store Championship this season, it was completely off now.
My opponent is Jeff. I played Jeff at the big 42 person Store Championship at 401 Games in January, but I do not recognise him at all because not only is he dressed in a much younger and casual fashion today including a hat, but also his playing has really developed by leaps and bounds. Most importantly though I play a shit metric ton of X-wing, I can’t keep everyone I meet straight unfortunately.
His list is
Redline TIE Punisher w/Fire Control System, Extra Munitions, Plasma Torpedoes, Cluster Missiles, Guidance Chips
Darth Vader TIE Advanced w/Predator, TIE x1, Advanced Targeting Computere, XX23 S-Thread Tracers, Guidance Chips
Ahh all my old friends were back. I was happy to see no Engine Upgrade on Vader, but was not looking forward to dealing with Redline hanging out in the back causing havoc. I needed to do whatever I could to deny him actions and stay out of his arc.
We cluster all the rocks in the middle and then proceed to mainly stay in the clear area on the right side of the board. Wampa gets a lucky crit only once, to do his “Wampa Magic Trick” and put a hull damage on a previously perfectly healthy A-wing. We have a long grind before either of us made any significant headway, the only casualty being Chaser. A locked up, heavily damaged A-wing survives a Range 1 barrage from Redline’s Cluster Missiles, I’m pretty sure Vader was just out of Arc or he would have finished him for sure. Redline falls, Wampa falls. Vader against the swarm, Sith Rage is on but the annoying acrobatic A-wings all survive until time is called. Full win 66-0. Jeff finishes 15th, going 2-2.
My opponent is Scott. I have never played him before, but he is all smiles and seems to be having a really great time. I am very impressed with his accoutrements, which I wish I took a photo of. I am even more impressed when he tells me he made them all himself, acrylic templates, damage deck holder, and gorgeous birch ply template tray. Very slick. His list for the day:
Wedge X-wing w/Predator, BB-8, Integrated Astromech
Poe T-70 X-wing w/Push the Limit, R2-D2, Autothrusters
Biggs Darklighter X-wing w/R2 Astromech, Integrated Astromech
I start in the bottom right corner. Scott starts in the top right. He comes at me full speed. I hard one turn away. He continues coming at me full speed. I creep behind the Range 2 gutter in my starting area, behind the asteroids. He turns in for the joust, I come around to meet him, and do some fancy 3 bank followed by 1 bank boosts in a snake pattern to get in formation. We meet and I block Wedge but take some Range 1 fire from both Poe and Biggs, and all my shots are forced to go to Biggs, and he is taken out. I do a bunch of K turns, and stick an A right where Wedge would like to K turn to. Poe beaches himself on a rock. Wedge crashes into my trap.
Next round my A’s fly out of the K turn with 5 straights to close in on Wedge, who needs to clear stress himself. Poe is not able to get back into the fight yet. Wedge clears his stress, but falls to heavy fire, and it is Poe against the Swarm. Everyone Target Locks Poe. Poe gets blocked. Poe makes a valiant effort to take something with him before he falls to a fury of Range 1 carnage. Full win, 100-0. Scott ended up in 20th place and I ended up the bubble boy, in 9th just 5 MOV points behind Triple Toiletseats sitting in 8th.
Here is the full tournament report on List Juggler
Autothrusters were not a significant advantage for me today, I only faced one turret ship. In the match ups I did have, a TIE Swarm variant probably would have done better, just because more ships, can concentrate greater fire power. I do like the A-wings though, enough that I caved and bought everything I need to play this squad without having to borrow anything.
The winner of the tournament played
Soontir Fel TIE Interceptor w/ Push the Limit, Royal Guard, Autothrusters, Targeting Computer
The Inquisitor TIE Advanced Prototype w/ Push the Limit, TIE/V1, Autothrusters
Carnor Jax TIE Interceptor w/ Push the Limit, Autothrusters
How did Crack Shot do for me? If the dice aren’t there to push through, it is not much use, but it sure scares people.
Dedicated to the memory of Rob Ford.