New Toys goes to the Fantasy Flight Store Championship 2017, Part Two: The tournament

You can see my list for the tournament here.

As you might guess from the recent dearth of posts on this blog, tournaments and my attendance at them have been sparse lately, so when this store championship was announced, I was hyped, especially with the new mini wave legal.  Not playing a skirmish match since my weekend of woe months previous and being two hours away was going to stop me.  I drove in the night before to build the list and woke up early the day of to finalize the command deck.

I even made it out for a quick round of disc golf beforehand.  I lost my Big Z Nuke on the seventh hole and was looking for it until I could no longer spare the time.  Consider it an ill omen.

Against J, Better IG-88 and Focused Hunters on To Your Stations!

J was running a Focused on the Kill IG-88 list with hunter (Onar Koma with Prey on the Weak and elite Weequay Pirates) and focus support (Jabba the Hutt, C-3PO and Gideon Argus), and he knew the map well enough that he could build it from memory.  Yup.

Not much happened the first round but positioning.  My HKs took control of the two upper turrets while his Onar and Iggy moved to the lower turret.  J’s Weequays hid, he built focus and that was all of note.  We finished the round 6 to 3 in my favor, pure objective points.

Things opened up in the second round at the intersection between the doors when J finally opened his.  Iggy couldn’t finish Trip 0, and he ran for the protection of the HKs who keep him safe for the rest of the game.  The Weequays worked together to finish BT before he could take a shot, but the HKs took vengeance by acing one with Scavenged Weaponry and leaving the other on one health that Chopper took with a Ram.

This was a critical trade.  I came out ahead one point, but more importantly J was out two of his four hitters, the other two out of position at the lower turret.  His massive focus game is much weaker, too, as Iggy doesn’t need the help.  I have a solid hold on the two turrets, especially with reinforcements from solid close-range units like Shyla, my Onar and Trip 0.

I’m confident I had the advantage and could have forced him to come to me.  I didn’t.  I sent Shyla to contest the third turret against his Onar.  It ended poorly for her.  Onar hit back harder, and a Blazing Iggy finished her.  A focused Gideon finished Chopper, and we ended the round 20 to 23 in his favor after I score more objective points.

The killing continues in round three.  Iggy somehow finished my Onar by throwing only two green and five red dice at him, and my HKs sniped Gideon and Threepio and before running back to the turrets with the assistance of some move-boosting command cards.  Also, my Jawa bit it.  I’m not really sure what he did otherwise.  I scored objectives again, and the score is 31 to 35, still J’s favor.

For a brief moment I saw a chance in round four when the HKs put in work by finishing Onar with help from an Assassinate and put me at 38 points.  He has just Jabba and Iggy left, and Iggy’s kind of far away.  Maybe, just maybe, if I can keep everyone alive this round, I’ll win.  But no.  Iggy races right up in an HK’s face and drops Heightened Reflexes and Assassinate to super kill him.  Forty to 38, his favor.

For a loss, I’m feeling good.  I overextended in the second round when I had the advantage but was competitive and had a shot at winning.  There are only 15 people at the tournament.  I could still make the cut, take home some swag.

Against Other J, Jawa Rainbow and Droids on Line of Fire

Yes, J was running four regular Jawa Scavengers and two elites, and yes, they were painted the colors of the rainbow, but when you consider this same man has run a six Nexu list, also all the colors of the rainbow, and a double Rancor, Bantha (possibly inverted) list, it really doesn’t seem that strange.  Anyway, because the Jawas only count for 14 points all together, he fills out the list with R2-D2, Chopper, BT, two elite Probe Droids and a regular for a total of twelve activations.

I felt great about this match, especially as I passed a few rounds and watched his Jawas rush for the crates.  It looked like open season for the HKs as they had a long, clear line on them and opened it by sniping an elite Jawa.  BT trundles along, eager to take advantage of a Missile Salvo.  The rest of my force moved up through the door to take control of the center, and he responded by moving in his Probes.  His BT taps my Onar for 5, and that’s the round, 3 to 0, my favor.

J opened round two with Utinni!, so things are definitely going to happen.  Onar couldn’t finish his BT even with Rush and put himself in a position for a beating from everyone at the intersection.  Dueling Missile Salvos have drastically different results.  His killed my Jawa and damaged Chopper and Onar.  Mine damaged R2 and a regular Jawa and missed his elite Jawa.  The HKs did their thing and killed a regular Jawa, but the second Jawa survived with a second dodge on the reroll.  Violence continued in the intersection.  My Onar and Chopper and his regular Probe all dropped, and I conceded when last round was announced.  I had no more activations, and the score was 13 to 8, J’s favor.  I had no chance to score more points, and he hadn’t even activated most of his Jawas and their Utinni! points.

It was a frustrating match to not even go to a third round where more death would have ensued, but that was our fault for running for food and starting late.  I don’t know if I could have pulled it out if it had played longer.  Even against three-health Jawas and five-health Probes, I was spreading my damage and not finishing figures off.  I probably made a significant tactical error again by focusing too much attention on the low-point Jawas, and not on the droids who could actually hurt me.  Sniping HKs should have been enough against them, but I overreacted to the possibility of them scoring objective points on the crates.  Oh well.  Live and learn for the next time I face such a popular list.

Against E, Hera’s Hunters on Spoils of Crime

Another classic hunter list (Shyla, Onar, two elite Weequays, Jabba) but experimenting -with Hera this time.  Neither of us made a real play for the crates, so the action centered on the violence in the space between our deployment zones.  I opened the action by, as was my wont this tournament, by overextending and sending Shyla in deep to knock out a Weequay with the help of Heightened Reflexes.  For her efforts, she was pulled in by E’s Shyla and finished off by her, an Onar working Extra Protection and Hera on Stimulants.  My Onar knocked out a second Weequay, finally using Prey on the Weak but was rewarded by receiving  exact lethal damage from his Onar.  The HKs chipped in some damage but not enough to finish anyone.

The trades were not good.  I was down two of my hitters in exchange for just two Weequays, but I have initiative, and BT is in position to rock his Onar with Tools for the Job.  But E has Negation.  That’s game there.  His Onar Rushes my Jawa to finish it and knocks out an HK with his attack.  I could have activated the last HK to try and chip out the last damage on Hera or a Weequay but prefer to target the already activated Onar instead.  Onar goes down and so does my unactivated HK.

Some other stuff happened en route to his 40 to 14 victory, but I’ll not bore you with the mop up.  Suffice to say, the game was lost on that Negation.  That’s why you play it.  I’m definitely not saying that I would have won with initiative, especially down Shyla and Onar, but knocking out an unactivated Onar and keeping two units would have made things a fair bit more competitive.

Bye

And so I suffer my worst loss of the day in receiving a bye.  Truly, not playing at all is the greatest disappointment.

Lessons

I really need to work on overextending and recognizing when I have the advantage and forcing the opponent to come to me.  I need to build better lists.  I need to expect Negation and Take the Initiative and how hard they can bone me if I position too optimistically.

Thoughts on the new toys

0-0-0 is feast or famine.  If you can start your activation next to a target, Invasive Procedure into a focused attack is absolutely brutal.  The trouble is setting that up.  Even with a list trying to move enemies around, it never worked out.  Perhaps with some Officers pushing Trip 0 around, he could make something happen, but that wasn’t my list.

BT-1 is a glass cannon.  Even with ten health, he withers under focused fire, but he can allow two-shot kills on Onar before then.  I think the Missile Salvo is a bit of a trap.  Three attacks is fun, but without a surge for bonus damage, they split the damage too much without finishing units.  It might be more useful in a list with a lot of blast or Vinto to add the last few points of damage.

Navigation Upgrade (the permanent command card that grants movement points to droids) could be great with BT and his partner, but the tempo hit of spending an action on it was too much and left the card in my hand every time I drew it.  I never drew the other new command cards, so there’s nothing to say for them still.

C1-10P is fun, but I just don’t see a place for him.  I didn’t contest terminals much, and they seem generally less powerful with the heavy use of Jabba and Black Market allowing extra draws regardless.  Ram is cool, I guess.

Not much to say about the elite Jawa Scavenger.  He can punch through more damage than you’d expect, but he’ll probably die first.  But that’s not why you run him.  Bring in the droids and then just open doors and go for objectives and terminals.

Thanks

Thanks to my opponents.  Thanks to my wife for giving me the weekend off and staying with the boy.  Thanks to the guy who came to his first tournament and ran Darth Vader without his coming upgrade.  Thanks to my friends who came over for games that evening and let me win two of our three games of Knizia’s Samurai and both games of Inis.

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New Toys goes to the Fantasy Flight Store Championship 2017, Part One: The list

It’s time to come clean. I only play skirmish at tournaments. To really be competitive, I’d probably have to buy doubles of big boxes to get two the two sets of elites I need, and that’s not worth it. That’s also fine. I find Imperial Assault has a solidly casual atmosphere that is aware it’s playing a dice game and can be supportive of the guy who runs six Nexu lists.

Most of the time this laid back attitude is no problem, but sometimes it leads me down dark paths as I bring lists that pack in as much of the newest releases as possible rather than something I might have tested once. With that in mind, I present New Toys.

Prey on the Weak goes on Onar, and Scavenged Weaponry starts on the HKs. It fits in every new model but Hera Syndulla from the latest wave, and only misses Trusted Ally from the skirmish upgrades. If Fantasy Flight wants droids to be viable, I will play droids, especially when so many of them are also hunters, probably the best trait in the game right now.

Not much to say about the list itself in this post. The analysis will come in the tournament report. It’s a pretty standard hunter list with the droids glommed on. It could probably be better  with C-3P0 switched in for 0-0-0 and someone else for Chopper, but good wasn’t necessarily the goal. There was a definite push strategy to the list. 0-0-0 can be brutal if he starts the turn next to a target, lackluster otherwise with melee and a speed of four. Shyla, Onar and Chopper all provide some pushes to get enemies in range.

Nothing too exciting with the command deck otherwise. Plenty of standards (Take Initiative, Negation, Element of Surprise), hunter synergy (Assassinate, Heightened Reflexes, Tools for the Job), movement pumps (Hit and Run, Opportunistic) and new droid synergy (Navigation Upgrade, Shared Experience, Targeting Network).

Look forward to the tournament report in the next day or two.