One Sunday afternoon in April some of Toronto’s top players arrived at 401 Games to indulge in a meta-skewing Original Trilogy format for X-Wing, with a tourney kit on the line. For many of us vets this was a return to how it all began.
Full rules of the structure we tried are here http://dockingbay416.com/introducing-the-ot-x-wing-format/.
In brief, ships were limited to those appearing in the original trilogy movies with all upgrades permitted except Emperor Palpatine and Twin Laser Turrets. Each player brought an Imperial and a Rebel list, and no scum. Each round the lower ranked player would have the choice of playing his or her Rebel or Imperial list. His or her opponent would have to play the other faction. This meant that each 100 point game was a microcosm of the Galactic Civil War, but with brand new options!
New players, top competitors in the scene and old champions (in hiding since wave 4) came out. B-Wings, X-Wings, A-Wings, Firesprays, Tie interceptors and Bombers–and, of course, Falcons– came out onto the tables.
The thematic constraints took us back to a more innocent time, and re-kindled old excitement.
Ok, maybe not *that* exciting, but pretty darn exciting! The absence of certain OP ships let the wave 1-5 (ish) ships behave like they feel they should again. Tie fighters came screaming in, Interceptors harried and dodged, B-Wings tanked and let off fusillades and A-Wings leapt around the board like lightning.
The choice of faction was an interesting mechanic, for example, given these 2 lists that he had brought:
Prototype Pilot + Chardaan Refit, Horton Salm +R2-D6+ Protorps+ Ion Turret+ Vectored Thrusters+ Veteran Instincts and Chewbacca + A Score To Settle+ title (old), Smuggling Compartment+ Chopper+ C3PO+ Black Market Slicers.
Gamma Squad Vet + Protorps+ Extra Munitions+ Seismic Charges+ Chips + Deadeye, Gamma Squad Vet+ Plasmas+ EM+ Ion Bombs+ Chips+ Deadeye and Krassis Trellix+ Concussion Missiles+ Tractor Beam+ Slave1+ Chips+ Agent Kallus+ EM.
against the two Alan brought:
Academy Pilot (x3), Black Squad Pilot + Crackshot (x3), Howlrunner + Crackshot.
Proto + Refit (x3), Chewie+ A Score To Settle+ title (old), Engine Upgrade, C3PO+ Gunner.
Lucas chose his Krassis and Bombers vs Alan’s Chewie and As to bring him to victory!
The lists were punchier and more interesting than in the old days, but despite this there were no ‘over in 5 minutes’ matches. For example, this cool Fat Han & A-Wings list:
Green Squad Pilot + A-Wing Test Pilot+ Refit+ Adaptability+ Autothrusters+ Crackshot (x2) and Han Solo (old)+ Adaptability+ Homing Missiles+ Title (old)+ Smuggling Compartment+ C3P0+ Rey+ Black Market Slicer Tools+ Chips.
carried the day for Count Jackie against Andrew’s Firesprays and Vader
Darth Vader+ Adaptability+ Engine+ Tie/x1+ Advanced Targeting Computer, Bounty Hunter+ Slave1+ Long-Range Scanners and Bounty Hunter
Here is the Juggler entry for the lists we flew the imp ones are listed after the Rebels ones
I have to conclude that this format is fun as heck for its own sake, not merely as a nostalgia trip. A friend suggested to me recently that what X-Wing needs is a few different formats that bring out the excellence of the game along it’s different axes, in a way similar to Magic. Well, here is the OT format! Try a tourney like this out, adapt for your own scene and have fun!
You can be sure we had all the fun in his stead. Also, the heat was so bad in there that we had to stop after 3 rounds lest our lads began fainting. Emily P, Josh D and myself came out undefeated, given a round more (or maybe a top 4) we would have seen who the real OT champ was.
Some Testimonials below,
“I had an absolute blast at the Original trilogy tournament. I was able to bring a favourite list back from the past and it forced me out of my comfort zone to fly new ships.
There is a minority of players who, for some time now, have complained that the game no longer looks like Star Wars. The new ships on the table are unrecognizable to the uninitiated. Up until now I haven’t agreed with them, –you can’t tell someone how their head canon should be, or what they can be nostalgic about. That was until I looked around during the last round of the OT tourney.
I was immediately struck with a sense of familiarity and childlike curiosity looking around at the tables. Freshly returned from the Naboo Open I hadn’t felt that way once, even watching with heightened interest the highly skilled players at the top tables.
Here I was no longer looking at X-Wing – The Miniatures Game, I was watching Star Wars re-enacted on the table top.
Space battles from the movies come alive! I was instantly drawn into the narratives of the games around me in a way that I haven’t been for some time. Needless to say, I now understand the point of that particular minority now.”
-Devon M (LSOP)
“It was a challenging format given that it relies so little on [pilot] abilities, [but much more] on dog fighting. I chose my lists after I saw the opportunity to dust off the Interceptors that have been hiding since BMSTs came out. And my Rebel list I chose when I saw the metric graph that Devon posted about the state of the Meta with A-Wings being ranked last and said to myself, ‘I haven’t used the A-Wing my Buddy Kelvin painted for me.’ Would definitely attend another one.”
“The OT tournament was some of the most fun I’ve ever had playing X-Wing. Adding in the new layers of list building limitations breathed new life into the game for me. I toyed around with so many lists with ships and upgrades I hardly, if ever use. The thematic component of rebels vs imperials wasn’t the big draw for me, but the enthusiasm from everyone else made the atmosphere of the event super enjoyable. I definitely hope to participate in more events of this type.”
“Most fun I’ve had playing X-Wing in years. I got to play the game that got me hooked, again. Can’t wait to organize another tournament in this format. Next time, I want to get a higher point value–too many toys, too little time.”
“You couldn’t have more fun than this if you put a dozen mynocks in a can and passed it to a friend to open!”
-Aaron P (ThrowdownHorton)