Profile photo of Zach Bunn By Zach Bunn On February 24, 2014 Posted In X-Wing Miniatures Game

2014 X-Wing Store Championship Report

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February 24, 2014

I’m going to be really candid, it’s been tough to squeeze time in for X-Wing for the past few months. We have a lot going on here at Team Covenant and combined with getting store champ / regional practice in for the card games I take pretty seriously, I haven’t had a chance to sit down (or stand up) for X-Wing games. Outside of a tournament at The Covenant Store back in January, I haven’t had time to play or build lists since before worlds (November).

Going into the Store Championships that happened this past Saturday at The Covenant Store, I really wasn’t too ambitious about my performance. I decided to play my favorite list, because I’m most comfortable with it and I always have a good time using it. If I made it out of the day with a winning record I would be happy.

The list I used was as follows:

Darth Vader (TIE Advanced)
– Stealth Device
– Elusiveness
– Concussion Missles

Soontir Fel (TIE Interceptor)
– Stealth Device
– Push the Limit

Turr Phennir (TIE Interceptor)
– Stealth Device
– Veteran Instincts

Some of the players at the tournament hadn’t ever seen TIE Interceptors effectively and were shocked to see an Imperial TIE list with only three fighters. I was just looking to have a good time and get some games of X-Wing in. The event had twelve total players and I was ready to blow some ships up!

At the end of this report you can see the video of the live stream that was happening all day. I think four of my five games were under the camera, if you care to see any of the matches in particular.

Round 1 – John Andrew

In the first round I was paired against John Andrew, a very friendly and relatively new to the competitive scene local player. He was running a really interesting Rebel build. I was able to get the advantage early and knock a few of ships off the board and it was all down hill from there. The game finished pretty quick.

After such a solid start and not wanting to have people think I was ‘scouting’, I decided to sit back and relax by reading my copy of Edge of the Empire while I waited for all the other games to finish. As I was sitting and reading, the other games finished and the pairings for the second round were announced.

Just like Gary showing up in Pokemon, my pairing was announced and it was… Dennis Harlien.

Round 2 – Dennis Harlien

Thankfully, Dennis was not running a double Falcon list as I had expected. He decided to run a B-Wing + Falcon list instead. He placed both his ships to the very right of his side of the board. I knew I didn’t want to take him on head on and wanted to use the asteroids if at all possible. After having seen him win our regionals last year going up and down one side of the board and not having to maneuver at all, I decided I wasn’t going to play that game and placed all of my ships to the right. I was going to go up and down and we were either going to be taking a draw or he was going to be coming to my side of the board.

Thankfully, after three turns of us just going up our respective sides of the board, he decided to turn to the middle of the board instead of just k-turning and so, the real game began.

Because the Falcon and the B-Wing each only have agility of 1, the longer I can stay at a distance from his ships the better off I will be. In a scenario where we are both at range 3, he is rolling 3 attack dice against my 5 defense dice while I’m rolling 3 attack dice against his 2 defense dice. Those odds are strongly in my favor.

I was able to position well and score lots of damage quickly on both of Dennis’ ships. Once we engaged, the game happened fast and before we knew it I had won the game.

Round 3 – Ryan Weissinger

Going into the third round, there were there undefeated players. Myself, Eric, and Ryan. I was paired against Ryan and Eric was paired down against Dennis.

Ryan and his friends traveled in from out of town, so I had never had the privilege of playing against him. When I saw his list, a TIE Swarm, I was a bit nervous. I knew if I could even the numbers out a bit I would have the advantage, but if the first strike didn’t go well for me I could be in trouble. Similarly to when I was playing against Dennis, I knew that if I could force the game to happen in the asteroids I’d be in good shape. It can be difficult to keep a swarm in formation through asteroids.

The defining moment came when Ryan took the maneuver that you can see below:

My plan was to get to his side through the asteroids and I think he knew that. He decided to take a less than fantastic current turn to hopefully have better position later in the game. He did a k-turn with almost his entire formation. Unfortunately this stressed his fleet and limited his movement options going into the next turn.

In the turn picture above, I was able to use Turr and Vader (using his missiles) to blow up Back stabber. If you watch the full game, his maneuvering sacrifice didn’t pay off. It ended up giving me the better positioning from then until the conclusion.

Insanely, I actually ended up winning the game without taking a single point of damage on any ship. It was pretty brutal. I found myself in a very unexpected position, which was the 1 seed going into the top 4 cut. Maybe I’d end up with that Imperial deck box after all…

Top 4 – Taylor

Going into the top 4, there was a tie for the 4th seed between Taylor and Will. They had a playoff game that was win or go home and Taylor was able to grab the win. As a recent addition to the local X-Wing crowd and this being his first tournament, Taylor had an impressive showing by making it to the top 4. Taylor was running a five TIE list, 3 Academy Pilots, Soontir with Push the Limit and Stealth Device, and Turr Phennir with Stealth Device and Push the Limit.

Going into the game, I knew that Soontir and Turr would be the difficult targets. This meant I really had no choice but to aggressively go after the Academy pilots early. If I didn’t, they would be concentrating fire on me while I was trying to take down the more difficult targets.

I was able to do two damage to one Academy Pilot and kill another on my first turn, thanks to aggressive maneuvering on both of our parts. Once I removed the other two Academy Pilots it was rough going for Taylor. We ultimately had similar lists, but I was moving second and had more fire power which led to me winning.

On to the finals!

The Finals – Eric Schoppel

In the final round, I ran into another great local X-Wing Player Eric. He’s been playing since nearly the beginning and made it to the finals of the Kessel Run event at The Covenant Store. Unfortunately for me, one of his good friends also has a soft spot in his heart for The Elites list so my list had very few surprises in store for him.

He was running Wedge Antilles with R2D2, Kyle Katarn with the upgrade that let’s him get two focus and then keep his focus at the end of each round, and then two of the lowest point cost A-Wings.

After seeing his list, I knew the last ship I wanted to take down was Wedge. With R2D2, I’ve just had so many games where you spend the first few turns laying into a ship for it to run away and regenerate. Kyle and the A-Wings would prove to be easier targets and I knew if I could get them off of the board I could easily out maneuver Wedge to give myself the advantage.

I don’t want to spoil too much of this game as you can watch it (below, starts at time mark 7:12:10).

Watch live video from TeamCovenant on TwitchTV

Conclusion and Thanks

After playing a full day of competitive X-Wing again, I can’t help but be buzzed about this game. As I’ve said from the beginning, it’s probably the most fun game I’ve ever played.

With Imperial Aces, big ships, and wave 4 in the pipeline, I think this game has an amazing future ahead of it, with a great company making it and an amazing community playing it. I’m making a commitment to get more games of X-Wing in more consistently and will be the first in line for the upcoming releases.

I want to give a shout out to all the players that attended and for the fantastic community that continues to form around this game. I had a blast all day long and couldn’t have asked for better opponents. Also, congrats to Eric for making it to the finals after such a grueling day of competition.

Until next time, may the force be with you.


  1. “I’m going to be really candid, it’s been tough to squeeze time in for X-Wing for the past few months. We have a lot going on here at Team Covenant and combined with getting store champ / regional practice in for the card games I take pretty seriously, I haven’t had a chance to sit down (or stand up) for X-Wing games.” – Retweeted by @HumbleBrag

    Just bustin’ your chops, Z-Man. Congratulations on the victory!

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  2. Your nickname being “War Pony” made me burst into a fit of laughter.

    I love that TIE list – ran it a few times when you weren’t looking. You have so much control with it. Move anywhere you want! Kill!

  3. Just watched the finals, looked like a good match. Only a few points where I was screaming at the monitor because someone did the opposite of what I would have done.

    Our 8-week league is wrapping up soon, followed by the avalanche of store championships mid-late March. I’ve got a few lists on my mind…

    Have you considered VI/Homing missile for Vader? Makes the mirror matches a lot more fun when you have a PS11 dude who can shove a TL/F missile up your tailpipe, and they can’t spend an evade to keep your Stealth Device intact.

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      1. A decent chunk of the locals play PS9 lists on a regular basis, so the PS11 idea has been in my head for a while. Vader is really one of the only dudes who doesn’t need the EPT in the same way as all the other PS9s.

    1. I suppose VI on Vader really depends on your local meta. There’s a few odd points you have to play with, I’m not crazy about Elusiveness on vader as his greens are pretty bad, and it hurts his already kinda cruddy dial.

      If your meta isn’t saturated with PS 9, I’d go with PTL on Turr. Yes you want to attack first, but I find more often than not, I’d like to have a focus/evade sometimes when you just can’t escape. I’m fine with PS 7 most of the time, as PTL just means you Focus/Evade if someone is going to shoot you first. Just me though.

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    2. So I decided I should try the list I recommended, and I brought the Vader Shoots First build to week 7 of our league. First game was against Jan Ors, Kyle and Wedge. Both HWKs had blaster turrets. A few iffy decisions on my part, followed by awesome rolls like 0/4 on red dice and 0/7 on evade dice for Turr, added up to a loss. Jan Ors was the last ship standing.

      Game 2 went better. I fought Chewbacca, Jan Ors (with ion turret this time) and a Rookie. Turr went down when Chewie rolled 5-dice with TL and focus (I was like 2mm away from bumping him like I wanted…) but Vader and Fel wiped the board clean.

      I would have preferred to face an Imperial list to see how the alternate build worked against more evasive targets, but whatever :-)

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  4. Haven’t watched all the matches, just your matches vs Eric, Dennis, and Ryan. From those, you definitely deserve to win the tournament. You had strong maneuvers, and good asteroid-ladden fields, along with good set-ups (avoiding jousts), in most games. Kudos! Would love to hear more about your games, and what you liked/disliked in certain matches as far as maneuvers, set-up, pivotal moments, etc.

    I’m really surprised you won the game vs. Dennis. I would have thought a falcon would be a hard rock to your scissors. Alas, I think the asteroids were a bit too clumped for him, and his b-wing was really out of position. Losing Ten without using the HLC really hurt him. Also, letting Soontir escape really hurt him. I liked your escape with soontir and your aggressiveness surely paid off with that focus/boost on the last round. Soontir was most likely going to die, and you knew Han with Gunner shot was gonna toast him. I did like the focus/TL with vader at R1 too, easily could have focus/evaded, that was good action choice. And lastly, as much as dice are part of the game, they did not give you that game. You played a strong game, with good decisions from asteroid placement to maneuvers. You deserved that win, against a tough match-up. Congratz!

    Against Ryan, you pretty much summed it up, that massive K-turn was a nail in the coffin and limited his movements too much. Everything past that was just gravy, and you played it very well, avoiding arcs, abusing boost/barrel roll to it’s fullest. Stealth-device is notoriously hard to break with a TIE swarm, so this was gonna be tough for Ryan. Also, asteroid placement really hurt ryan, he needed a spread out field. Also, his formation really hurt him, turn 1 crashing was not a good start, and backstabber ended up really out of place. You definitely set-up well, used the asteroids, and didn’t joust the swarm. Also, the choice to pursue the out-of-position backstabber and shoot backstabber with a non Focus-TL missile was smart. I normally like a Focus-TL missile but you had a good opportunity to take out a ship after it was already damaged, not to mention one without a focus token. Good job, well maneuvered, set-up, and played.

    Vs. Eric
    Asteroid placement strongly favored you, and the board was a bit too crowded. He had A-wings and a turret, so it wasn’t all bad, but your PS 9 and interceptors would make him look silly in such a tight asteroid field. I did like your choice to stay in the asteroid field, but why not place bottom by wedge? Take him out while A-wings are on the wrong side of the board? They could have caused some awful blocking issues, so I see your rationale about just getting the most ships off the table as fast as possible.

    I liked your end-game maneuvers with Soontir, and I think his survival to the end-game pretty much sealed Eric’s fate. Soontir makes wedge and any other dog-fighter look foolish endgame :P. I’m not sure I totally agree about not killing Wedge first, I think with the missile + soontir + Turr, you could finish Wedge off without R2D2 getting more than 1, maybe 2 regens. The A-wings aren’t too much of a threat to you, but I do like removing ships early. You did that well with the early missile, and clearing the board of a potential blocker for your ships was a good plan as well. You did well executing your plan, avoided wedge’s arc’s most of the time, and pretty much neutralized his special ability damage effect by not getting shot. I found the lack of Focus+TL attacks by Kyle to be a mistake, and wedge moved too quickly most of the time, 1 green moves would’ve been preferable to the 2 greens.

    Great games, and you definitely won with a good list, smart asteroid placement, good set-ups and good maneuvers. Watching your games definitely makes me want to play Interceptors and try out the new Imperial Aces expansion! Great job, and thanks so much for the live-stream!

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    1. Whoa. Thanks for the comment. 😀

      I think there are a lot of macro level concepts in this game that players can easily write off and blame on dice. I really appreciate your analysis of my play and am glad you had a good time watching.

      Since playing in the store champs, I’ve become obsessed with the game again and can’t get enough. Super excited for Aces, Wave 4, and big ships. It’s going to be a great year for X-Wing.

      1. You’re very welcome, Zach! I enjoyed watching the games, and please extend my gratitude to everyone there at Team Covenant!

        Finally got around to watching your game against Taylor. Losing initiative was a great start for you, and asteroid placement really benefitted you. Having a clustered asteroid field “rocks” when running high PS interceptors :).

        I thought with more ships, it would have been prudent for taylor to formation fly and try to joust ya. Alas, his TIEs were a bit spread on start-up, and you made a really good choice of deploying bottom right AND aggressively pushing up 5-straight, and removing those 2 TIEs from the ends of Taylor’s over-extended formation. The choice to shoot missile at the non-evading TIE that had barrel rolled was also wise. I may have shot the missile first though, to see if Turr or Soontir would need to finish off the TIE in case it didn’t die but it worked out for ya.

        Again, a good game for anyone to watch if they’re interested in how to use barrel roll/boost to avoid, and maintain firing arcs. And I also liked your management of Vader’s target locks, even when he didn’t have a shot, he was setting up for TL/Focus attacks later. Well done and thanks again for the video.


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