R5Don4 alerted me to a disturbance in the force. It was a terrible threat to all X-Wing players, emanating from the Winnipeg sector. Someone strong in the force by the name of Tom Landy handily won a store championship flying a big pair of Bro-Bots.
Tom was nice enough to let us pick his brain on all things X-Wing with an interview. Hope you enjoy it.
Hi Tom. First off thanks for taking some time out of your schedule to do this interview!
No problem! I’m happy to do it.
How did you get interested in X-Wing?
I first became interested in X-Wing right around Wave 2’s release. At that time I was pretty heavy into HeroClix, and after hearing lots of good things about the game I finally broke down one day and bought the core set. From that moment on, I was hooked.
Who was your favourite character in Star Wars? Are you a big Star Wars fan?
I’m a pretty big Star Wars fan, although I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that I’d rather forget the prequels (laughs). My favorite character is the ultimate badass of cinematic history himself — Lord Darth Vader, of course. He’s just the greatest and most iconic character ever.
Do you have a big gaming background?
Yes, as previously mentioned for a time I was big into HeroClix, but the first collectible game I started playing was Magic: the Gathering way back when Revised came out. I also really enjoyed Decipher’s Star Wars CCG, too. I’m not much of a card gamer anymore, though. X-Wing, Imperial Assault, and Armada are my main focus now.
Last year Steve Smith won the Winnipeg Regional and posted a batrep for us on dockingbay416. How is the current scene there? Has the game grown over the past year?
Steve is a great guy. I’ve only had a chance to play him a couple of times at Star Trek: Attack Wing and Imperial Assault events. As for X-Wing, we have a steady group of players out here at a few different venues and attendance seems to be growing.
There was quite the reaction to the rule changes regarded half damaged large based ships awarding points in MOV standings. You flew Bro Bots, what are your thoughts?
I think FFG made the right decision with the MOV ruling. Fat ship lists were steamrolling pretty much everything and this brings them down a peg. You just need to adjust and play a bit more cautiously with them now, that’s all.
Do you have a passion for any ship or pilot in the game?
I’ve had a lot of fun with Whisper. Also thanks to the TIE Advanced title and Advanced Targeting Computer, Darth Vader often finds his way into many of my lists. In fact, those two recently helped me get second place and win the alternate art Vader from the Winter Kit. Although in that particular squad the Dark Lord was equipped with Accuracy Corrector.
Vader is fun to fly and it’s great he’s back in the meta. What was your Vader list? Why did you take accuracy corrector over advanced targeting computer? I thought targeting computer would be a no-brainer on him?
That Darth Vader list had Whisper with Veteran Instincts, Advanced Cloaking Device, Fire Control Systems, and Gunner; Omega Ace with Push the Limit and I think Darth Vader had the title, Accuracy Corrector and Engine Upgrade. I wanted to have a super heavy hitter with Whisper and Omega Ace was there just because I really wanted to try out his ability, but that didn’t leave many points for Vader. So I went the defensive route and it made Vader pretty tanky actually. It was a decent squad, but in hindsight I probably would change Omega Ace for something else since he didn’t do anything for me. Or maybe give him Comm Relay and give Vader ATC, losing the Engine. My only loss that day was to the same triple K-Wing-TLT-Tactician list I faced twice at the Store Championship this time with better results.
When you build lists, what are the things you consider?
The main thing for me is to try and make a list that can handle multiple top squads in the current environment. You can’t really build something to beat everything, but you can still try to cover as many bases as you can.
Do you play on Vassal at all?
Just recently actually. A few months ago I got it up and running, but I have only had a chance to play a handful of games.
How often do you play X-Wing?
Usually once or twice a week. There is a casual X-Wing group that usually meets every Saturday at a local shop called Maxx Collectibles that I try and attend. I also try and squeeze in one or two events a month at other places like A Muse n Games and Mighty Comics when I can.
What list did you consider the biggest threat to the one you took to the tourney?
A TIE swarm. I knew I could probably drop one or two before they even shot back, but there is strength in numbers and with only one Glitterstim on each aggressor they can still be overwhelmed if you’re not careful. Fortunately though, TIE swarms can be tough to fly so I didn’t expect to see a lot of them.
Brobots have a tough time with high PS pilots arc dodging them. Was it just Adrenaline Rush that made the difference or is there some other fundamental strategy you use when in this type of match up?
Adrenaline Rush was mainly just a nice trick up my sleeve to help make my moves a bit more unpredictable. But I wouldn’t say having the lower pilot skill is always a disadvantage. Brobots are big and can boost, so when hunting in pairs one Aggressor can often be used to block an ace pretty easily and set them up for a kill shot from the other.
Your custom painted ships look pretty sweet, what’s the story behind them?
Thanks! Well, with my disability I can’t get up and lean over the table like most players do, and sometimes those numbered ID tokens can be hard to see on the far side of the board or at certain angles. So I started 3D printing my own colored ID tokens to make it easier for me to keep visual tabs on my ships during games.
Then one day I thought I’d like to go one step further and maybe get a custom paint job since many other hardcore players were doing that. I had the green aggressor done first and I thought it looked pretty slick. My father actually did the matching purple one and it turned out great, too. I initially was going to go red with that one but then I thought that might be too Christmas-y.
At least now they don’t need ID tokens anymore and I use the 3D chits I’ve made for their Target Locks instead.
How do you mentally approach the game of X-Wing? What do you think a good player should always keep in mind?
Well, it’s important to go in with the mindset to just have fun. Then when I see a squad facing me, no matter how strong it might appear I try and look for chinks in the armor. Practically every list has a weakness, you just have to try and exploit them.
Are you planning on attending any competitive X-Wing events further up the ladder?
I’d like to, but six games in one day was pretty draining on me and I don’t think I could do more than that unfortunately.
That was a great interview Tom. Is there anything you’d like to say as we wrap things up?
I don’t think so, but thanks for the questions and bring on Wave 8!
You are quite the gentleman Tom. Thanks for the interview, may the force be with you!
Tom’s batrep can be found on FFG’s site here.
All tournament photos courtesy of A Muse N Games, located in Winnipeg.