Prototype Toronto League – Season 4 Recap

Docking Bay 416 recently featured an article on the Prototype Toronto League (PTL) – a local, casual X-wing group that has grown to 100+ members since summer ’15. I somehow ended up as this past season’s champ, so the League Boss punished me by asking for a write-up on my experience since joining the league.

I’ve only been with the PTL crew since January, but it’s been a blast. This league has been the friendliest and tightest gaming group I’ve been a part of, balancing a high standard of play with a casual environment. I know many of you have similar praise for your local leagues. Maybe it’s a Star Wars thing… but for us at least, credit should be given to PTL’s founders who’ve fostered a casual environment from the start by  implementing a very simple core rule – players can only field each unique pilot once per season (~7 weeks).

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The fam.

That core rule has had a significant trickle down effect. It certainly challenges players to try pilots/ships that they rarely fly, but it also means players are often flying something well outside of the meta. Awesome yet neglected ships like the Firespray, Starviper, YV-666, and B-wing are pretty common at PTL and are breaking the stagnation that’s been creeping onto the competitive scene. This in turn has increased the viability of even more ships, creating a “meta-less” environment where players don’t have to worry about counters and bad match-ups. It’s just really refreshing to walk into a match with excitement instead of dread to see what cool combo my opponent has cooked up.

PTL is a place where you can fly 5 Kihraxz Fighters and actually have a good shot of winning (but seriously, it’s not that bad). These matches aren’t coin tosses – skill is still a major determining factor. Competition is very stiff, and a Top 4 playoff at the end of the season makes players earn their bragging rights. Veteran players get plenty of practice, learning ships they aren’t familiar with while trying to win with creative yet viable lists. Newer players don’t have to worry about facing Palp Aces seven games in a row and won’t get punished for flying something that isn’t in the meta.

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League night at Face to Face Games

Here are just a few of the many creative lists from this past season:

William Landry
Warden Squadron Pilot [TLT, Bombardier, Conner Net, Cluster Mines, Extra Munitions, Advanced SLAM]
Warden Squadron Pilot [TLT, Sabine Wren, Conner Net, Proximity Mines, Extra Munitions, Advanced SLAM]
Bandit Squadron Pilot [Adv Homing Missiles, Munitions Failsafe]

Devon Monkhouse
Binayre Pirate [Cloaking Device]
Binayre Pirate [Feedback Array]
Binayre Pirate [Feedback Array]
Serissu [Crack Shot, Heavy Scyk, Tractor Beam]
Cartel Spacer [Heavy Scyk, Tractor Beam]
Cartel Spacer [Heavy Scyk, Tractor Beam]

Nicholas Sebastian Barz
Kath Scarlet [Predator, Agent Kallus, Engine Upgrade]
Omicron Group Pilot [Emperor Palpatine]
Academy Pilot
Academy Pilot

Graham Kirkpatrick
Serissu [Attani Mindlink, Heavy Scyk, HLC, ]
Talonbane Cobra [Attani Mindlink, Concussion Missile, Cloaking Device, Guidance Chips]
Contracted Scout [Deadeye, R4 Agromech, Proton Torps, 4Lom, Extra Munitions, Guidance Chips]

More recently, a lot of us have been using Fab’s Squad Generator for some hilarious Random Squad Challenges. I can’t recommend this enough for new players and vets alike (turns out FFG staff have been doing the same in their lunch league). For newer players, it eliminates the need to know about combos and counters – they can just focus on flying and having fun. For more experienced players it’s hard not to have fun when you’re flying gems like these:

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Nick Currie’s “Pain Train”

Here is PTL’s procedure for Random Squad Challenges:
1. Go to http://x-wing.fabpsb.net/gindex.php
2. Fill the Quick Selection box with 1’s or enter your collection manually
3. Declare your faction before generating
4. Generate your list (Mode=Optimize, Play mode=Standard)
5. You may re-roll up to 2 times but you MUST take the most recently generated list (free re-roll if your list has a unique pilot you’ve already used this season)
6. Immediately regret your decision.

Most of us are familiar with the Fly Casual philosophy (i.e. play X-wing to have fun). PTL is a group that has endorsed that concept from the start, and it’s nice to see how well the league has turned out because of it. There’s free swag for members that play enough games and raffles for newcomers/donators. Other offers include meta-busting Random Squad Challenges and really, really cool shirt designs. Oh, and we go out for some legit sandwiches and wraps after Tuesday league nights – can’t leave that one out.

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Kelvin Lau’s repainted TIE Defender – up for raffle this season!

If you live in the GTA or are just visiting, join us for some good times on Tuesdays at Face to Face Games, Wednesdays at 401 Games, and Fridays at Dueling Grounds. You can also hit us up on Facebook!

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