By Zach Bunn– 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
- 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).
Conclusion and Thanks
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.