Sunday, August 17, 2014

X-Wing: Conclave 2014 X-Wing Tournament Report - Part 1

This week I've got another X-Wing tournament report for you to enjoy. This has taken a while to write up but better late than never as they say!

Conclave 2014 is an annual gaming convention that was held in Limerick City on 21-22 June 2014 hosted by The Gathering. This year was the first year that featured an X-Wing tournament. This clearly demonstrates the popularity of the game in Ireland which shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

Limerick City is situated at the mouth of the River Shannon
Thomond Park, home of Munster Rugby
Now that's  pretty neat

Limerick is a city located in the west of Ireland. This is where I actually grew up and the Gathering shop was where I used to play a bit of 40k when I was a wee nerd-ling. So in a sense I'm going back to my roots for this tournament!

My List

Given how I've finally become somewhat competent at running a TIE Swarm I decided to stick with it for this event.

See my previous tourny post here regarding the rationale behind this list.

I entertained the idea of swapping out Dark Curse for Backstabber for increased offensive punch but I decided against it. Dark Curse is just too survivable and is highly relevant in a game where destroying one TIE Fighter can be the difference between a win and a loss.

I also considered swapping out Swarm Tactics for a Stealth Device on Howlrunner but I predicted that having three ships at PS 8 will give me an advantage in the local meta of low PS ships so I kept it in.

The Tourny

Game 1

My first game was against GearĂ³id and his Rebel squadron.

As always I deployed the asteroids to give myself nice corridors to fly into. I set up the swarm using the standard Piqsid Opening with Dark Curse to the left of the formation directly in front of the Rebel formation.

On the first turn I flew up aggressively with a 5 straight with the swarm and Dark Curse.

On his turn, GearĂ³id banked the squadron to his left to meet me head on.

He then unleashed Wedge at Howlrunner but lucky for me (and unlucky for him) failed to take her out. The rest of the squadron was able to take out one TIE Fighter in the ensuing exchange.

With 6 ships left, I first focused fire on the closest Blue Squadron and sent him back to meet his maker. This was then followed by the Rookie Pilot. Having a focus and the ability to reroll one dice is as scary as it gets in X-Wing.

An eye for an eye and then some.

On the next turn I performed a k-turn with my swarm while Dark Curse flew to the right to chase down Wedge.

The B-Wing banked to his left which left him with no targets while Wedge k-turned towards my formation.

Wedge then did his thing and one shot Dark Curse. Damn Wedge is scary!

In the following turn I moved up with a 2 green to get rid of my stress but did a strategic bump with Howlrunner so that she stays in the middle of the formation away from range 1 of the enemy and still within range 1 of the rest of the TIEs.

The B-Wing k-turned to try to get shots on the swarm while Wedge bumped into the formation in his attempt to get rid of his own stress token.

This was now 5 vs 2 with most of my ships having focused while my opponent had no actions. I promptly shot him off the board.

A win for me. Good start to the tourny! I've never flew against Wedge before and he is rightly feared. Amazing pilot ability. However from the asteroid placement and deployment I knew I had the advantage as I was not forced to do any proper flying which is usually the first and often last mistake a player can make against a TIE swarm.

Game 2

The second game was against Joe and his TIE Swarm. Hmmm this should get interesting!

Joe went for a more elite swarm list with Carnor "Jerk" in a TIE Interceptor in place of 2 TIE Fighters.

I deployed in an almost identical position as last game in a Piqsid Opening formation.

Joe went for something completely different and deployed his swarm horizontally in 2 rows while Carnor was on the right table edge.

Once again I moved up aggressively to get right up on his grill.

Apparently Joe made a huge blunder with his deployment and put Howlrunner in the wrong place which meant he was unable to avoid a collision while trying to move up in formation. His swarm did a sharp turn to his left while Howlrunner crashed. Carnor shot straight up like a boss.

I continued to move up aggressively in formation with the intention of intercepting him as soon as possible.

On the other hand, Joe was trying to recover from his earlier blunder and failed miserably. He's lost his formation. This is never good for a swarm.

Carnor in the mean time did some fancy flying with his Push the Limit to come up behind my swarm.

On the next turn I banked my formation left and let loose with hot laser death but only managed one kill. A TIE Fighter with a focus token and luck on his side can be a pain to get rid off.

In return Joe's TIE Fighters fluffed their shots and did nothing. Carnor continued his fancy flying and shot at Howlrunner but failed to kill her. I was just out of range 1. Phew!

I k-turned with my formation but bumped Howlrunner into Dark Curse. A noob mistake on my part.

Luckily his TIE fighters didn't have the stomach for a close range fight and made a runner. Carnor on the other hand was committed and went in for glory.

And glory he found. Carnor somehow survived 5 TIE Fighters shooting at him. His ability preventing me from using my focus tokens probably had something to do with it. What a lad.

His TIE fighters were too far away and were effectively out of the game.

Carnor's luck was not to last and I promptly vapourised him during my next shooting phase. Time was called.

Another win. So far so good.

Joe's early blunder definitely cost him the game. I could see what he was trying to do: move across the board horizontally stalling for time while Carnor come in from behind and then both element jump in for the kill capitalising on Carnor's jerk-like pilot ability to get an upper hand. Luckily for me this didn't work out!

Game 3

My third game was against a young buck by the name of Seoirse.

I gathered from the grapevine that he was doing pretty well with this list. Not surprising given Han is even a bigger jerk than Carnor.

Once again my opening move was identical to my previous games.

Seoirse set up with Han right on the board edge flanked by the flying tanks on his right.

I went right down to business and moved straight up on turn 1 and banked right in turn 2 to present a wide front to catch his ships. Dark Curse moved up on the right of the swarm formation to try to fly interference.

He did the symmetrical opposite. Given that they were still in formation meant he knew what he was doing. Flying a big ship in formation with small ships is something that takes practice.

Here I became aware of a mistake on my part. If I were to continue on my current course my formation would crash into Dark Curse or an asteriod (or both) as they would move first before Dark Curse. My next movement would be crucial. If I don't recover I would loose the cohesion of my formation and end up like my last opponent that broke his formation early.

Seoirse swooped Han down the board to avoid my swarm while still able to shoot with his 360 firing.

During combat phase Han scratched some paint off of one of the TIE fighters while the B-Wings did like wise against Dark Curse.

I took a bit of time on my next turn but using my trusty MK 1 eyeball, I judged the right course of action and moved up in formation right up in the B-wings flight paths avoiding Dark Curse and the asteroid. Wow that was close!

I celebrated by turning both B-Wings into a firework display with my entire swarm.

Han on the other hand can only watch with horror.

I k-turned with my swarm anticipating that Han will loop back around up the board.

My swarm moved in for the kill against the solitary Han Solo.

With predictable inevitability, Han was swamped and promptly exploded. 7 vs 1 was never going to be a fair fight no matter how good you are.

Seoirse flew really well but unfortunately a swarm is a pretty hard counter against a Falcon and with the B-Wings taken out early there was nothing that he could do to climb back.

With that I got my 3rd win. I was not expecting this but I might actually win the whole thing! However there was still 2 games to go and from what I gathered things were pretty tight. I would need 2 more wins to guarantee 1st place.

That's it for now. Hope ye are enjoying the report so far.

I will cover the last 2 games of the tournament in Part 2 next week. Stay tuned as it will include the best game of X-Wing I've ever played. Ever. :D

Stay on target and fly casual!

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