Sunday, August 24, 2014

X-Wing: Conclave 2014 X-Wing Tournament Report - Part 2

Last week I published Part 1 of my tournament report of the Conclave X-Wing Tournament held in Limerick, Ireland, back in June 2014 (which can be found here). Part 2 of the report is now here so read on and enjoy!

As a quick recap from last week: I finished up with full wins from my first 3 games. However there were still 2 games to go and a loss or even a modified win in these last 2 games may kick me back down the ladder. The tournament was still wide open and ripe for the taking.

In the last few tournaments I attended I got a bit complacent in the latter stages of the events which had a negative impact on my final placing. This was an important lesson that I took to heart and was determined not to repeat this time around.

Conclave X-Wing Tournament 2014 (continued)

Game 4

My 4th game was against Justin and his elite Imperial Squadron.

This looks to be a pretty elite list with lots of TIE Interceptors. Darth Vader in the Lambda is extremely dangerous against other Imperial lists so I had to keep an eye on him while the Interceptors can be very potent if flown well. For those of you unfamiliar with this so called 'Doom Shuttle', Darth Vader's crew card has the ability whereby he can inflict 2 damage on the Shuttle for 1 automatic critical hit against an enemy ship that was the target of the Shuttle this turn. So against other Imperial lists with no shields this becomes pretty nasty.

The asteroid placement phase was pretty tactical. I needed corridors to fly into but I also wanted to obstruct the Shuttle as much as possible while I assume Justin was trying to do the same to my swarm. We ended up with a clump of asteroids in the middle. Given that I had to deploy first with my PS1 Academy TIEs Justin had a slight advantage. I set up in the middle so that I can turn either left or right depending on where he ends up. Justin set up his entire squadron in the corner of the table to my right.

On turn one I flew straight up into my standard swarm formation. Justin flew straight up with the Doom Shuttle followed by his Royal Guards.

I can see he is trying to flank me. It would be too dangerous for me to try to turn right into him at this stage as the asteroids were just too numerous. I played it safe and continue to shoot straight up hoping the big asteroid in the middle will protect my flank.

Justin saw his opportunity and came in for the kill. With a combination of some fancy barrel rolling and boosting actions, he was able to fly around the asteroids and into range with 2 of his Interceptors.

He was obviously going for the rear rank with Howlrunner and the Black Squadron Pilot (BSP).

This was some pretty impressive flying. He managed to get 2 Royal Guards in range and arc while none of my ships had an arc to any of his ships. This does not bode well!

He let loose with his Interceptors and got in a lucky crit against the BSP through the big asteroid. He also took a hull from Dark Curse. I couldn't retaliate this turn.

On the next turn I started to turn the swarm to my right. I couldn't do a sharp right as the BSP would definitely landed on the big asteroid. Knowing how slippery Interceptors can be I instead prioritise the Doom Shuttle and did a bank 3 towards it.

Once again Justin did some seriously epic manouevring and managed to get 2 Royal Guards and the Shuttle in range this turn. While the Royal Guard in red looped all the way behind my swarm. All the Interceptors were well out of my firing arc. Damn this guy is good!

With Swarm Tactics I had 3 ships at PS8 and got the jump on him. I shot them all at the Shuttle to whittle down some shields. Justin returned the compliment by blowing up the damaged BSP and chip some paint off of Howlrunner. Darth Vader also performed a Force choke in exchange for 2 hit points. The rest of my TIEs fired and did some serious damage to the Shuttle leaving it with only 1 hull point. I had to kill something fast as Justin is currently winning by killing my BSP earlier.

During the next turn, Justin had the initiative and given the flight path the Doom Shuttle took last turn he was forced to fly over an asteroid. I had my fingers crossed and the Force was obviously on my side as he rolled a damage symbol and blew himself up! Take that Vader! I've finally pulled ahead.

On my activation I did a k-turn with my swarm formation to try to catch his squadron in my considerable fire arc.

Amazingly, Justin was able to jink all three of his Royal Guards out of arc/range of my entire swarm. I couldn't believe this. I couldn't fire on any of them!

The only Interceptor that could fire let loose at Dark Curse and dropped him down to 1 hull. This was very worrying as he obviously figured he only needed to destroy 1 more TIE Fighter to win and Dark Curse was going to be the unfortunate victim.

I was on a precipice here. I had to keep Dark Curse alive at all cost.

Once again my swarm struggled to get any decent arc on the 2 Royal Guards to the left. While behind my swarm the other Royal Guard was dueling with Dark Curse. With the help of a barrel roll and a fortunate movement I managed to stay out of arc.

Noting of note happened during combat phase. This was turning more into a cat and mouse game.

On my next turn I thought I had cornered the red Royal Guard but to my surprise I turned the wrong way and 4 of my TIE Fighters were out of arc. Oh uh this is not good. There is no way for me to kill an Interceptor in time now.

To make things worse Justin sent another Interceptor as back up to go after Dark Curse. He now had 2 Royal Guards with PTL on his back.

He tried to predict Dark Curse's movement and attempted to block my flight path with a barrel roll. Thankfully I made the right decision and moved 5 straight running right past both Interceptors. Given that one of them still had range and arc on him I barrel rolled to bring an asteroid between us.

Time was called and this was to be the last action of the game. It was now down to one combat phase to decide the game. Justin only needed to take down 1 more hull point at range 3 to win.

He rolled to attack...............and I dodged them all!

I just about pulled a modified win.

This was the best game of X-Wing I've ever played. It was so close. It went right down to the last dice roll. Justin did the best flying in X-Wing I've ever seen.

He did exactly what he needed to do against a swarm, that is force me to do some actual flying. However I couldn't believe he was able to stay out of my arc for so long. The game was all about out-predicting each other. A proper mind game.

With my modified win I was still in a good position for 1st place. However at this point there was 4 people that could take top place. It all depended on the last game. I needed to win my last game.

Game 5

My last game was against Gary with another elite Imperial squadron.

This is an interesting list. Nice to see a TIE Advance for a change. I have to keep my wits about me if I'm to pull this off.

Again I set up using my standard deployment strategy. Gary split up his squadron with the TIE Fighters on the left and the TIE Advance and Carnor on the right.

On my activation I went in hard and fast. Gary likewise came straight at me. His strategy was sound: present me with an option and force me to make a decision; go left, stay on course or go right.

Against a potential indecisive player this may have worked. Unfortunately I ain't got time to be indecisive. I banked 3 to the left against what I considered to be the softer target. I knew a TIE Fighter's minimum move is a 2 which meant that I will likely be in range 1 with most of my ships.

My prediction was bang on. His TIE Fighters came right up into my range 1 band while his Interceptor and TIE Advance was trying desperately to catch up.

I put my swarm tactics to work and shot one Obsidian Pilot (OP) down while my other TIE Fighters took the other OP. His Mauler Mithel had no arc on me while Carnor was at range 3 and did no damage.

During the next activation I did a sharp right 1 while Dark Curse k-turned.

We traded blows but neither of us took down a ship.

Next I did a k-turn with the swarm and landed Howlrunner on an asteroid like a noob. However I judged this to be the optimum manouevre. I had both Maarek Stele and Mauler Mithel in my sights.

We unleashed hot green lasers at each other and I took down Maarek while he took out Dark Curse. I was also able to put a crit on Mr. Mauler.

I then banked 2 to the right to catch the lonely Mauler Mithel. He didn't last very long. Carnor again was trying to turn back into the fight but was only at range 3 and did nothing noticeable.

I k-turned with the swarm to finish the job but at range 3 was unable to put enough damage to take out Carnor. In reply, Mr. Jax one shot a TIE Fighter.

He then k-turned behind me while I moved up 2 straight to get rid of my stress. This is getting a bit worrying. Carnor was doing the Rambo and might just pull it off if his luck holds. Thankfully he crashed and without a focus failed to take another TIE Fighter down.

Time was called and this was to be the last turn. I k-turned while Carnor continued on and crashed again. We unloaded on each other but no more casualty was inflicted. And that was that!

Hooray full win for me! :D

This meant I took 1st place. My first X-Wing tournament win. Yay!

My prize for winning Conclave 2014

In Closing

This was a brilliant tournament. Winning it obviously helped a lot in forming my opinion of the event but I really enjoy the 5 rounds format. Playing more games means you get to play against more people as well as against more diverse lists. More bang for your buck as they say.

I also feel it allows your dice to balance out more. You can have a horrid time in a 3 game tournament if you had really awful dice in just one of those games. While in a 5 game tournament you can recover from an early defeat and still do really well.

As always I didn't really expect to win but I know I fly a TIE Swarm pretty well so I did go in with the intention of doing my best to win it. I felt the level of competition was pretty high. GearoĆ­d and Joe whom I beat in game 1 and 2 ended up in second and third place respectively. So that means I was the only one that they lost against.

This is all good as the more good players I play against the better I will get myself. This is of course true of the X-Wing community in Ireland in general. My hope is one day for one (or more) of us to develop to the level where we can compete at the highest level of competition that the big boys in the FFG World Championship plays at.

The event itself went very smoothly so thanks to Kevin and the rest of the Gathering team for running it! Conclave is a really cool event and I hope X-Wing will be a regular feature of the convention going forward.

That's all from me this week, I hope you enjoy the write up. If there's anything you think I can include to make my tournament reports better do let me know! I plan to go to many more tournaments in future.

Again stay on target and keep the flying casual! :D

(Note: If I got any details wrong about the event or any of my opponent or lists. Please let me know and I will make any necessary corrections. I can be contacted at

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