I had a blast last night playing with gamers from three States at the 4Plus Club in Omaha. The tournament was supported by Fantasy Flight Games and was a lot of fun!
The purpose of this tournament was (I think) to have some fun and to help some people prepare for the Worlds Tournament. There were a lot of people I knew there. Two former students (Daniel and Morgan and five or six people that I played Star Wars Miniatures with years ago (Jimmy, Chris Miller, Troy, Doug, a few others?). Headliners included Doug Kinney, the 2012 World Champion and Paul Heaver, the 2013 World Champion. Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri were all represented.
Chewie + Jan Ors + Millenium Falcon
Blue Squadron + Heavy Laser Cannon + Targeting Computer
Gold Squadron + Ion Turret + R2 Astromech
Hit points, hit points, hit points and Evades. That was the goal. I’m new to the game. I need as many hit points as I can get.
Now, I don’t make it a habit to memorize or track what my opponents play, so if you’re here for a fully detailed report, you’re going to be disappointed. Sorry. I’ll remember the ships, but the upgrades? Not happening.
A brief run down of my four games:
Morgan is a former student of mine and has more experience than me. He was running another Chewie, a Y-wing and Biggs. His Y-wing had an Ion Turret and his Chewie was far better equipped than mine, but I don’t have the exact details. Early in the game, Morgan had Biggs out of range one of the Y-wing and I focused fire and took it down. Then I purposely overflew Biggs, K-turned and took him down. In the interim, he plugged away at my ships. At all times I had one more ship than him. It was very close at the end because his Falcon was better equipped than mine. Ultimately, it came down to me needing to Evade a hit to survive, did so, and took out his Falcon with one Hull left on mine. I flew the game pretty well.
My second game was a lot of fun versus the 2012 World Champion. Doug was flying a variation of his TIE Swarm with seven ships, including Howlrunner with Swarm Tactics, Backstabber and a bunch of unnamed pilots with PS’ from 1 to 5. I actually did really well. My goal was to fly on the periphery and use my turret advantage to get outside of his firing arcs. I also wanted to try to eliminate one TIE per round. For the most part I did this and surprised Doug on a couple of my maneuvers. I followed the plan successfully for about half the game. Eventually, I was in his arcs and was taking a lot more hits than I could evade away. I definitely had a chance, flew it well, and was proud of my ability to hold my own against the World Champ! I felt good about this loss!
David is a super nice guy and a newer player like myself. His Rebel Swarm was simple, yet effective:
Outer Rim Smuggler + Stuff, Blue Squadron X2 with FCS on each, 2X Z-95
Here are some pics from our game. We got in quite the scrum. Sorry for being out of focus.
I got some goods hit in early and one of the B-wings went down quickly. The two Z-95s followed after that, one on an asteroid hit after being ionized. That’s always satisfying. The game turned against me when I mis-calculated some moves and did a really unnecessary own squad pileup that threw me out of position and allowed him to get an extra round of hits in without me being able to respond effectively. It came down to Falcon on Falcon, I think. It went his way and he pulled off the victory. I made that critical positioning mistake that took me out of the game, but it could have gone either way and it was another satisfying loss. This game really punishes you for being too aggressive and not dotting your “i”s and crossing your “t”s and that’s a big part of what I like about it.
I was apprehensive about this one as it was the first TIE Phantom I’ve ever faced. Elijah’s squad was:
a fully loaded Whisper with Stygium, Advanced Cloak, Sensor Jammer and something else, Vader with Engine Upgrade and Dark Curse.
I really feel like I should have won this one. I had a ton of hit points and the advantage with turrets. His list was super maneuverable with the Phantom and using most of his actions for extra movement options on Vader. Still, I had some solid hits on Vader right from the get-go. He boosted forward on turn 2 to get in range of the B-wing, missed and took two hits from the B-wing with HLC in return. We traded some hits, but the real turning point was when I had another personal pileup and got Chewie on an Asteroid. That was really the turning point, because my B-wing got out of position. I managed to snipe Vader for the kill in a few rounds and then it was Falcon with 11 Hit points left versus a Phantom. I lost. It was really frustrating. I was Evading and getting target locks. There were four consecutive rounds in which I engineered three and four hits on red dice versus the Phantom and he just rolled a ton of Evades and focused a ton of them away. I got him down to two Hull. I mean, I really was just unlucky. If not for the early mistake or the dice going average, my Phantom record would have been 1-0. Such is a game with dice and tactical mistakes. ;P
I got 16th with the second highest Margin of Victory for the people who went 1-3. This is a huge victory for me as my tournament goal is usually not only to win one game but also to play good games and to learn. Aside from single critical mistakes in my last two games, they were all close and I flew very well overall. So, a huge personal success for me. I learned a ton from watching the 2012 National Champ move his ships.
There was a TON of prize support for this tournament, given the number of people (20) and a five dollar buy in. I’ve been to tourneys in the area where a field of eight didn’t get any prize support to the bottom half. There was two Rebel Aces (the last place person got one), a Defender, a Phantom, an E-wing, some Gen Con satchels, acrylic range markers, a wide variety of acrylic tokens (shield, focus, mines, more), alternate art cards, giant pilot cards, laser range finders, autographed cards by the designers (Doug and Paul), and cardboard boxes.
For my placing I never expected to get anything close to what I got:
That’s three really nice prizes for 16th place. That’s generosity. I was aided by the fact that veteran players have tons of ships and prefer the acrylic tokens a great deal. That giant card has Boba Fett on the back and aren’t available anymore, I’m told. It’s a really cool promo and is a lot of fun. Oh, yes, I’m using it in games. I don’t care how I look.
So, a hugely successful tournament. I learned a great deal and had a lot of fun losing three games. I got to connect with some people I hadn’t seen in a while. Chris, congrats on your marriage! It was awesome to see Morgan again and get to play him and to help Daniel recover from a Magic tournament that didn’t get going. I played strong with only a couple critical mistakes. I’ll be back to 4Plus when my schedule is a little freer than it is now!