With a tournament looming at Dice Saloon on the 18th Sept, it was my first day back at the table to test some of my lists for the tournament!
I decided to give the Imperial list a go for the evening at Trinity Gaming Cafe in Lewes. So here’s a run down of the list, and then two bat-reps covering what I got up to with it.
Passive Sensors (2)
Fifth Brother (12)
Ship total: 71 Half Points: 36 Threshold: 3
Collision Detector (6)
Targeting Computer (3)
Ship total: 76 Half Points: 38 Threshold: 3
Grand Inquisitor (52)
Ship total: 52 Half Points: 26 Threshold: 2
Game One – Jason “Full Throttle” Robinson
He was also flying imperials. Vader with FCS and Afterburners, 2 Supernatural Inquisitors (one with prockets and the other with thread tracers) and Wampa. Looking at his list, Vader is the hammer, the Inquisitors are the anvil. I didn’t want to get caught between those two!
Why Wampa? Because the points fit and if you don’t shoot at him, he’s a 3 dice gun instead of 2! Makes you want to shoot him and not the others. As I thought about this, I could hear a certain Mon-Calamari shouting at me: “It’s a trap!”
Jason had the bid by 1 point, and we had no initiative clashes, so he opted for first player.
We ended up with the classic “pin-wheel” rock placement, before moving onto ship placement. Jas put all his lower initiative ships evenly spread across the middle of his board edge. I placed Echo in my left corner, Whisper in the middle and Inky in my right corner. Jason then slapped Vader down on his right, my left. I got the feeling he was going to go all in on my left. I wish I’d put Echo centre to get round the right behind everything quicker.
Turns one, two, and three were spent circling anticlockwise round the rocks with no engagements. I ended up in the opposite corner to where Echo started with all my ships a bit more bunched than I had intended. I had been going for distance to get behind at least some of Jason’s list which meant I had taken wider sweeping turns in a big circle. Jason had thrown in some shorter tighter turns, which meant he had been able to come through the rocks a bit more and cut off my flanking attempt. All his ships are better suited to any form of jousting and I couldn’t afford to get either phantom caught in more than one arc at a time.
Turn 4! Vader is likely going to come round the rock with a 3 bank to keep him relevant. I don’t think the 3 hard fits. Wampa is going to left hard turn between the rocks to keep a wide arc on everything. The Inquisitor nearest Jason’s board edge could K-Turn, but that gets him stressed and Jason, so far, has kept as many actions on the V1s as possible. A hard left turn seems likely. The other Inquisitor won’t be relevant this turn.
I de-cloak forward with Whisper in behind Inky and bendy barrel-roll de-cloak to the forward right with Echo to where Whisper Just was.
Wampa hard turns as expected and barrel rolls for position and sits with a nice wide arc. The Inquisitor supernatural barrel rolls and hard left turns to sit him with a much better arc and focus + evade. The other Inquisitor turns up the board and boosts but will be well out of range this turn.
Echo 2 forwards, Inky 3 banks left in behind the asteroid and…I make a mistake! I got greedy for position. The supernatural barrel roll from the Inquisitor has put him further back with a better arc and I boost into a red focus to get out of arc. The mistake will become apparent in a moment.
Whisper 2 forwards and I now have a strung-out conga-line of ships with only one shot.
Then Vader swings around the rock with the 3 bank, afterburner straight boosts and barrel-rolls right across the front of the rock to put himself in target lock rage of Inky. If I had not boosted and just focused, I would have avoided the lock from Vader and been out of range. I’d have taken an extra shot from the Inquisitor, but it would have only been a 2 dice obstructed shot.
But Inky has 4 green dice, focus and 2 force so should be fine form the Vader shot. Right?
Wrong! Vader rolls, modifies, and ends up with Hit/Crit/Crit. I roll my 4 greens and get a solitary, sad eyeball.
After modifying, I take 2 shields and Jason has half points on Inky. Inky shoots at the Inquisitor, but with focus + evade, the Inquisitor is fine. Wampa’s obstructed, unmodified shot did no damage.
Looking at the clock at this point we are only going to get one or two more rounds. The cagey jockeying for position and all the planning of our pre-maneuver moves has meant we are only getting 6 rounds in this game. This is something to consider with this list in a tournament setting!
So, what is my win condition now? Half points on Vader is the only real option so I need to get a block and at least one gun on target. Wampa and the bottom Inquisitor are both going to go straight¬-ish forward to try and catch Echo. To stay in the game, the top Inquisitor only really has the supernatural barrel-roll left and hard one left or a supernatural bendy-boost right and hard turn left as options. The first has the chance of blocking Inky and the second could interfere with Jason’s other ships moving.
Vader is turning up towards inky.
This is where the boost into red focus last turn hurts even more. I only really have the one bank left as an option for Inky as the 1 hard will be blocked by Jason’s Inquisitor. How do I capitalise in this position? The bank-boost left puts me in a position to block the 1 bank left that is coming from Vader. but that will leave me with no shot.
OK. What if I de-cloak left with Whisper over the rock and hard one right? That’s why I gave her collision detector!
Echo will de-cloak bendy barrel-roll right and forwards then hard turn left to bring guns into the fight for the first time in the game.
All this goes as planned until Jason three banks left with Vader, not the one bank! Jason is usually an aggressive player but this time he has opted to run! He uses the afterburners boost to get out of Whisper’s arc and the only shooting is Echo at the other Inquisitor. No damage.
We do get in one more turn, although I was now too far out of position with Inky and Whisper to get guns back on target and Echo had to get out of Dodge sharpish! There was no significant pew-pew and the timer went off.
Result – Loss
- I made two errors in the game. The first was setting up Echo on the left rather than in the middle. I possibly could have got Echo round Jason’s flank quicker and the Outmaneuver threat may have forced Jason into worse positions. The second was the boost that put Inky into lock range of Vader. Vader rolling only two dice would have kept Inky above half. Also, I would have had much more open dial to the following turn to threaten position on Jason’s ships.
- Jason was also able to get the better engagement turning in harder through the rocks at a better time.
- I didn’t get enough shots off with Whisper and Echo.
Game Two – Shane Cooper
Shane brought the Republic to the table. 4 Aethersprite Jedi Knights with Delta 7-b. Another jousty list for me to try and fly around.
Shane had the bid and with no initiative clashes, took first player. He had brought gas clouds, (as you do when you have fine-tuned controls).
I popped 2 gas clouds down 2 and 2 in my corners as I didn’t plan to be near those corners for the first engagement. Hopefully, we would be beyond them, and Shane wouldn’t get the defensive bonus from them when we engaged.
Shane then dropped his ships down in his left corner in a jousting block. I set up Inky in my right corner, opposite the joust as bait. Whisper and Echo went to the other side to zoom and flank.
Shane zoomed 5 forwards down the board edge and boosted each ship in various ways to put pressure on Inky who Hard turned left and barrel-rolled back towards my board edge. Whisper and Echo both 4 forward and cloak.
I have a decision with my maneuvers for round 2. Inky is a straightforward decision. Literally! 5 forward and reposition if necessary. Echo and Whisper are trickier. Do I protect myself from the turn in from Shane and continue forward? Or do I turn in now guessing that Shane is going for Inky? I opt to de-cloak forward, turn in and barrel-roll away for range if I need to.
Shane guns forward and spreads his ships around the gas cloud going for Inky. I swing right with Whisper and Echo to set up a flank for next turn.
Inky zooms 5 forward and I take stock of my options.
I am in all 4 arcs, but all at range 3. I need a focus. If I boost + red focus, I will be out of 1 arc but stressed for next round and the fastest blue I have will be the 3 forward. I want the 5 forward again for next round to escape. I opt to sit where I am and take a focus.
Shane takes his first shot. Range 3 with a lock. 3 hits. Inky rolls 4 greens…3 blanks and an eyeball! Talk about de-ja-vu! He spends a force to take 2 hits. Half points. he then tanks the next 3 shots without using a force or a focus. If I had taken an evade, I could have avoided half points.
Echo has a range 3 shot on her closest Jedi. She rolls and mods and gets hit/hit/crit. Shane only gets the one die due to outmaneuver and loses all shields. Half points back which puts us at 26-25 in Shane’s favour.
Next turn, Whisper needed to de-cloak right and right hard turn between the rock and the gas cloud which leaves me not a lot of actions for Echo. I decide to de-cloak right barrel-roll forward and then 3K turn in front of the gas cloud. This puts both ships with guns on the Jedi but with range if Shane decides to turn in and chase Phantoms instead of Inky. Inky needs as much distance as possible so will 5 forwards and bank boost right. This leaves him the long forward move or the hard one the following turn.
Shane brings the Jedi round the gas cloud following up on Inky and takes reposition and locks. Inky follows up the bank boost with a red focus. The stress isn’t a huge deal as the 3 blue forward next turn puts him behind the gas cloud and the 1 hard is also blue.
The damaged Aethersprite ends up in range of both Whisper and Echo and they combine for an initiative kill. 1 less shot in on Inky. Inky starts to show his stuff as he shrugs off all the incoming shots. I’m now 49-26 up. To be fair to Shane, his target lock rerolls on pretty much all his shots so far have not helped him pump up the damage output from his Jedi at all.
At the start of round 4, I need to clear Echo from Whisper’s path and she is stressed from the 3K needing a blue move to clear, so I will de-cloak left barrel-roll backwards and then blue 2 bank right to follow up on the Jedi. This leaves Whisper clear to de-cloak 2 forwards and 2 hard turn right to be behind the Jedi too. Inky has the option to 3 forward behind the cloud or turn 1 hard right. I don’t want to be so far out of the fight, so I decide to turn in. I’m happy to trade Inky for another half of a Jedi at this stage in the game.
Shane decides that this is the turn to stop chasing Inky and turn in on the Phantoms. I always forget how far Aethersprites can travel with the potential to double reposition.
All Shane’s ships end up facing back up towards his board edge and he gets a block in on Whisper that works in my favour as Whisper lands in none of Shane’s arcs. Echo, however, ends up at range 1 of 2 ‘sprites and opts to take a cloak action to gain 2 extra green dice. The gamble to turn Inky back in early looks like a good one as he is behind all the Jedi. I boost into a red focus to get to range 1.
Whisper and Inky combine to delete the Jedi nearest to the centre of the table. Juke has factored in both of Whisper’s attacks so far in this game. The 2 shots into Echo take her to 2 hull and half points. Thanks to taking out the second Aethersprite, I am still ahead on points.
Back to dials. I’m pretty sure Shane is going to K-turn both his ships and plan accordingly. Inky will 1 bank left to clear stress and have a range 3 shot on the Jedi. Whisper will de-cloak right and K turn to put her roughly next to Inky. Echo will bendy barrel- roll de-cloak left and back and K turn down the right side of the gas cloud to keep guns on target.
I’m not a fan of K-turning with Phantoms as the blues on the dial are so limited and they can’t take the evade action after de-cloaking but sometimes board position and keeping pressure on your opponent is a better option.
All goes as expected and planned until I completely forget what I had planned for Echo!
I put the 2 bank template down and move Echo bendy barrel-roll left and forward!!!! This puts her smack in front of a gas cloud ready to K-turn. Shane very kindly offered to let me take the de-cloak back, but as this was practicing a possible tournament list, I chose to live with my mistake as if it were a match game. Echo went over the cloud, took a stress and a strain. As you can see from the next picture…
Echo did not survive the 2 incoming shots. The strain and no mods were fatal. Not the end of the world. 98 points for Shane’s 2 ships was still more than the 93 he had for Echo and half of Inky. But it made things far more interesting for the rest of the game.
Shane banked his ships in right and barrel-rolled left to keep arcs across the board not expecting the 5k from Inky. It was a gamble from me. If he’d chosen not to roll, he’d have got a perfect block in on Inky. As it turned out, Inky landed out of Arc with a marginal range 1 shot on the nearest Jedi. By about 1mm. Stressed Whisper was not hanging around so de-cloaked to the left and 2 banked left to clear stress. As she wasn’t going to be shooting anything this turn, I took a cloak to up her survivability.
Inky took the only shot and halved another of Shane’s ships. I could breathe a little easier.
I wasn’t sure what Shane would do next turn but knew that his win condition was now to halve Whisper. So I dial in a 1 bank with Inky to clear the stress. He can always take an evade if things look bleak and if he pops, Shane is still behind.
I decide to do something funky with Whisper. I’m going to de-cloak right over the rock and 3K turn onto the other rock spending both collision detector charges. I don’t think Shane will expect this and it will put me in a decent position. to engage or run away next turn. Shane moves the Aethersprites to catch Inky. The 1 bank followed by a boost + Focus gets him out of 1 arc and loaded up with mods to take whatever comes at him. Whisper K turns and sits on the rock. More on the rock than I intended. I’ve only got the right de-cloak option available next turn unless I want to eat a rock. Doh!
Whisper shoots at a Jedi and takes off some shields. Juke again! Shane shoots at Inky with no effect.
Next turn, everyone knows where Whisper’s de-cloak will take her. To her right. She is also stressed so limited blues will cramp her style. I dial in a blue 2 straight. I know Shane is turning up the table towards Echo so Inky will hard 1 left to get out of potential arcs.
Shane white hard turns the stressed Jedi, keeping the stress and banks the other one right…and bumps himself. Both Jedi have no mods. If Shane had activated his ships in the reverse order, one would have had actions and/or reposition. Whisper 2 forwards and takes an evade. Shane and I discussed the merits of cloaking. With 2 incoming shots in a match situation, I would. But I also would have run away hard with Whisper the turn before instead of funky K turning.
So, in the spirit of a casual practice game, I took an evade. I can’t remember what happened in this final round of engagement. I can’t remember if Whisper did damage to score more points, but Shane didn’t do enough damage back to halve Whisper and so the game ended up a win for me.
Result – Win
• Juke and Outmaneuver are both great upgrades and pushed through a lot of damage, even at range 3. But I have to factor in the fact that Shane’s ships only have 2 green dice and they both push the list up to 199pts. I lost both bids today and only the fact that there were no initiative clashes made that ok.
• Shane’s target lock re-rolls weren’t great for most of the game and that helped keep Inky out of trouble after the first shot that took his shields.
• Inky shouldn’t have given up half points so easily. Again! It should have been a bit more comfortable.
• Don’t K-turn Phantoms. It isn’t worth it the following round.
• Phantoms get punished if they are put in the wrong position and only a couple of initiative kills stopped them taking more incoming fire than I would like.
I decided at the end of the last blog to cut down my lists from three to two due to time constraints. Facing Shane’s Jedi Knights gave me a look at how Aethersprites might work for me. I’m not great at flying a formation block of jousters and I don’t like the 2 green dice in defense. They are also the ships I have least practice with, so I am going to save them to try out after the tournament.
I like the Imperial list, though, with so many de-cloak options, my head was swimming after two games. There will be four at the tournament.
The list needs a bigger bid, so I need to slim down the upgrades. Maybe Targeting Computer from Whisper? I didn’t use it, and still have Juke.
My next games are on Thursday, and I will try flying the Dash/Ahsoka/Wedge list and let you all know how it goes.
Thanks again for reading, and thanks to Jason and Shane for practicing with me.