Harrison Sharp on the Wayland 2018 Regional

Harrison is our X Wing X-pert here at Chaos Cards. When he’s not writing up articles for us lot at CCHQ he’s at our tabletop gaming centre running our tournaments. We’ve told him to go home and get a life that isn’t based around tiny plastic spaceships, but he just doesn’t listen.


Welcome back, fellow pilots. This week we’re going to be jumping into my experience at the Wayland Games Regional. With only a few brave troopers at my side, we set out bright and early to make the trip up to Hockley. This was going to be a long day! I am still running 3bQD, as I didn’t have a chance to get any reps in with something else and it had served me well at the Warboar regional over the last fortnight. Before I jump into my games I want to give a special mention to Dale Cromwell, who gifted me a set of Nu squadron and Quickdraw alt arts for my squad. They’re absolutely brilliant and I was blown away by the gesture. Dale, you’re a legend!

Round 1 Bye

I decided to use my regional bye on this event, as it will probably be the last regional I can make this season and I didn’t want to waste it. Me and my squad-mate, Ricky, both had a bye; so we went off for the round 1 breakfast club. We went to a cafe that was recommended and it didn’t disappoint.

 

 

 

 

Round 2 Vs. Darren (Victory 100-66)

“Chopper” — VCX-100 37
Fire-Control System 2
Twin Laser Turret 6
Sabine Wren 2
Ghost 0
Ship Total: 47
“Crimson Specialist” — B/SF-17 Bomber 27
Trajectory Simulator 1
Bomblet Generator 3
Deflective Plating 1
Ship Total: 32
“Zeb” Orrelios — Attack Shuttle 18
Dorsal Turret 3
Phantom 0
Ship Total: 21

Darren was a great opponent and had a really interesting list. I decided that the bomber probably had to die first, mainly because Darren set it up closest to me. Auto-damage is a proper pain, especially with 4 ships on the board, so getting rid of the bomber quickly was priority 1. We jousted and I got off all Harpoons into my target, but not a single crit. The bomber then proceeded to chase me around for the next half an hour on 3 hull, refusing to take any more damage! Quickdraw was the dodging king of both range 1 of the bombs and the bomber itself, which was an even scarier bomb just waiting to go off! While she played around with the bomber, my boats harassed the Ghost half way across the map. The Ghost was dealing a fair amount of damage to my boats, who I was desperately trying to get out of range of the TLTs. The bomber took far too long to die, but eventually went down in a ball of flames when we met back up in the middle of the map. I had lost 2 gunboats and the last was about to go down in a hail of TLT fire, but the Ghost was badly damaged and my fully healthy QD managed to seal the deal, then unceremoniously dumpster Zeb when he deployed, keeping out of arc and at range 3 while chipping away at him.

Round 3 Vs. Alex (Victory 100-78)

Lothal Rebel — VCX-100 35
Sensor Jammer 4
Twin Laser Turret 6
Ezra Bridger 3
Maul 3
Engine Upgrade 4
Ghost 0
Ship Total: 55
Fenn Rau (Sheathipede) — Sheathipede-class Shuttle 20
Veteran Instincts 1
Hotshot Co-pilot 4
Flight-Assist Astromech 1
Ship Total: 26
“Zeb” Orrelios — Attack Shuttle 18
Phantom 0
Ship Total: 18

Here it is; the boogieman of the Meta. I was very worried about this list, as all my testing against it has not been very favourable to me. This led me to try something out that I had been thinking about after my last loss. I had been moving through the middle of the board to engage the Ghost in my other matchups, which had led me to have to guess which way it was going to turn. If I guess right I get treated to a range 1 primary in my face, if I guess wrong then I’m out of arc and stuffed. This time I decided to hug the edge of the board, bringing the Ghost along the opposite board edge to my deployment and giving him only 1 way to turn if he wanted to. It worked like a charm and my first engagement had QD and my blocking boat bumping into the Ghost, allowing me to take some shots at Fenn, while my other 2 boats launched harpoons at the Ghost. If I could get a crit through on the second shot, I could strip a shield from QD and blast Fenn at range 2 again. I was really pleased with my engagement, then disaster struck. With Fenn shooting at range 3 and the Ghost at range 2, he managed to remove a fully healthy boat. 7 damage in 1 turn was a massive swing and left me with only 1 harpoon to launch. I was pretty shook, but stuck to my plan of get the heck out of there and reload. I managed a good disengage and the Ghost, which had to go forwards into my deployment zones’ corner, was out of range of everything. I reloaded and re-locked and brought everything back in to the fray I went through Fenn to get to the Ghost and brough him down along the way, which was very fortunate, but meant QD was shooting elsewhere. The Ghost switched to shooting at QD and we ended up with QD at range 1 with a tricky decision. Kill the Ghost and die herself, leaving a gunboat to finish the job, or let the Ghost live and drop my last gunboat. I decide to take the shot, and hope that my 2 health gunboat can SLAM away to win on points. Zeb deploys and gives chase and I have a decision to make, Zeb has either done a hard 2 to get me in arc with my disengage, or 3 bank in to try and get the shot on the joust. I bet on the fact we had both been really agreessive in our play all game and went for the disengage. I guessed right and managed to get away long enough to target lock Zeb and come back around with a fully modded Harpoon shot. I got my range 3 engagement, and when Zeb spent his focus to try to kill my gunboat and failed, I knew I had my opportunity. 4 hits and a blank evade dice later and I had won.

Round 4 Vs. Jonny (Victory)

Lothal Rebel — VCX-100 35
Sensor Jammer 4
Twin Laser Turret 6
Ezra Bridger 3
Maul 3
Engine Upgrade 4
Ghost 0
Ship Total: 55
Fenn Rau (Sheathipede) — Sheathipede-class Shuttle 20
Veteran Instincts 1
Hotshot Co-pilot 4
Flight-Assist Astromech 1
Ship Total: 26
“Zeb” Orrelios — Attack Shuttle 18
Phantom 0
Ship Total: 18

That’s right, another Ghost Fenn! After facing the exact same list the round before I was confident that I could get another win; but I was concerned about how my MoV was going to be affected by yet another close match. Jonny confessed that this would be his 4th matchup with the list, having unboxed the Sheathipede that morning to play it. Going 3-0 at a regional with a list you’ve just picked up is an amazing achievement! We set up in opposite corners and I pulled off the same opening as before. Jonny decided to try to kite me around the map, which led to me catching him in the middle of the board and broad-siding the Ghost. I left it on 2 hull remaining with harpoons sticking out of the flank of the great white whale. The next turn Fenn got in the way of QD at range 1 and my dice decided to add insult to injury. I took the fully healthy Fenn off the board with 1 shot! The Ghost shortly followed and Jonny called the game. I managed to get the fastest win of the round and netted myself a TIE Punisher from the pool of prize ships I had to choose from.

Round 5 Vs. Lloyd (Defeat 55-56)

 

Dash Rendar — YT-2400 36
Lone Wolf 2
Heavy Laser Cannon 7
Rey 2
Countermeasures 3
Outrider 5
Ship Total: 55
Miranda Doni — K-Wing 29
Twin Laser Turret 6
Harpoon Missiles 4
C-3PO 3
Bomblet Generator  3
Long-Range Scanners  0
Ship Total: 45

Lloyd is a brilliant player and I had to see Dash / Miranda on the other side of the table, so this was going to be a tough match! I decided to get rid of the HLC as quickly as possible, as in previous testing I can easily keep my boats away from Miranda and play to time. Dash sets up to slowly chug away from me and drag me through the rocks in the middle of the board. I happily oblige as I want to hopefully trap him on the opposite edge of the board. Dash’s barrel roll is a pain, as it covers an entire range band, so I wanted to deny him the ability to range control as effectively. As it was I got a good opening engagement, with 2 boats in range. Lloyd pops Coutermeasures and I fire off the other Harpoon. Then I get into range proper and start to put some hurt into Dash, while Dash and Miranda gave as good as they got! I finally pin down Dash in a corner and manage to block him up for long enough for QD and the boats to do their job. Miranda has been crippled with incidental shots and I’m down by only 1 gunboat. I am looking really good right now, as I disengage and leave Miranda looking the wrong way, wondering where all of my ships have gone. I reload and target lock her for the re-engage, but just can’t put that last point of damage through. I get a little greedy and fly a shieldless gunboat over a rock to try and get a good approach in the next round, but I manage to roll a crit and it’s a damaged engine! This scuppers my chances of getting her in arc again, so I have to play a cautious game. Added to that, while going in for the kill shot, I bump my QD into Miranda. Miranda drops a bomblet that I can’t dodge and I manage to roll the two hits needed to kill QD. With time fast approaching I desperately try to keep my wounded boat alive while getting into arc with my healthy boat. Time is called with Miranda SLAMing just out of range. It’s only now that I realise the Miranda is worth more than 2 of my Gunboats! In my prep games, Dash has always been worth slightly more and Miranda slightly less. My biggest mistake this game was not checking out the points. If I had I would have played a lot more cautiously with QD in the end game! Hat’s off to Lloyd, who played a blinder and managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Round 6 Vs. Matt (Defeat 60-100)

Darth Vader — TIE Advanced 29
Veteran Instincts 1
Cruise Missiles 3
Advanced Targeting Computer 1
Engine Upgrade 4
TIE/x1 0
Ship Total: 38
“Quickdraw” — TIE/sf Fighter 29
Veteran Instincts 1
Fire-Control System 2
Harpoon Missiles 4
Advanced Optics 2
Guidance Chips 0
Special Ops Training 0
Ship Total: 38
Nu Squadron Pilot — Alpha-class Star Wing 18
Harpoon Missiles 4
Long-Range Scanners 0
Ship Total: 22

Flashbacks to Bromley pass though my mind, as a very similar list knocked me out of the top cut! This was not the list I wanted to see in front of me with a space in the cut tomorrow on the line. I set up in one corner, while Matt set up with QD to joust me, the boat in the middle and Vader on the far side. Matt had obviously prepped against the list, as his range control with QD was perfect. He was just out of range, with his gunboat in and Vader speeding forwards for a 5 dice Cruise shot into QD. I had expected the missiles, and wanted them out of the way quickly. I had set up with all my ships tokened up and behind a rock, but the Harpoon still took 2 shields into the boat and the cruise still took 2 shields off of QD. What’s worse, there was nobody to get my revenge shot on! This opening really didn’t go my way, but next round I managed to drop QD while keeping all of my boats alive. While I played well with the boats, I stupidly let Vader pip the last shield off of QD for yet again no shot! My boats disengaged and QD turned around, then disaster struck. Matt managed to get the crit through and set off one harpooned condition, setting off a chain reaction which, with a little luck from the crits, dropped my 2 damaged gunboats. That swing cost me the game, and while I managed to drop his gunboat with QD before she went down in a ball of flames, 1 gunboat against Vader was never going to end well for me.
So with a record of 4-2 and not a great Mov, I packed up my stuff and waited around to grab my Zuckuss participation card. As I sit there waiting for my name to be called I notice something very strange; my name hadn’t been called yet. The top 20 – 30 get called out and still no mention. I start to think I’ve been missed out, or that I’ve managed to get 17th and just miss the cut; but was amazed that I had actually made it into the cut in 14th place! I was overjoyed; but then found out I had to play against Matt again in the top 16! I go home that night hoping that I don’t travel all the way back to Hockley just to be knocked out in the first round by Imperial Alpha again.

Top 16 Vs. Matt (Victory 60-56)

As a repeat of my round 6 game, I was pretty worried going in to this matchup; especially when I fall into all of the same traps that I had the first time round! I had planned for this, as I was happy with taking QD off the board at the expense of some damage to a couple of my boats, but this time I would split the things up and not let them splash damage each other. Matt had other ideas and blitzed QD into range 1 of my boats. This game was going even worse than the last time! I only have myself to blame for the dismal opening. I had the chance to change my tactics, but didn’t. With QD escaping, I decided to throw everything I had into his gunboat. I managed to take it out and strip the shields from Matt’s QD in exchange for one of my boats and the shields off another and QD. I had brought everything up the board edge and then into the middle of the board, then gave chase of the wounded QD with everything I had, while Vader Benny-Hilled behind the lot of us. I have a chance to trap QD in the corner, but it means I’m going to probably lose my own QD in return. One of my boats is healthy, but the other is on 2 hull. I decide that I can’t afford to let QD escape with Vader plinking away behind me, so make the trade; throwing my damaged gunboat into the corner in a place where nothing can shoot it for a turn. This in turn means that Vader is coming up on my gunboat and it’s trapped in the corner! I have to make a decision. Matt has either K turned and guessed I’ve SLAMMed away, or he’s done the 2 forwards and hoped I’ve just tokened up. I take the token and am rewarded with Vader smashing into the front of my boat. I SLAM away into the sunset and, as time is called, have 1 more round to guess again. I guess right again and Matt speeds past my gunboat and out of the top 16.

Top 8 Vs. Richard (Victory 100-78)

“Chopper” — VCX-100 37
Fire-Control System 2
Twin Laser Turret 6
Sabine Wren 2
Ghost 0
Ship Total: 47
“Crimson Specialist” — B/SF-17 Bomber 27
Trajectory Simulator 1
Bomblet Generator 3
Deflective Plating 1
Ship Total: 32
“Zeb” Orrelios — Attack Shuttle 18
Dorsal Turret 3
Phantom 0
Ship Total: 21

The same list 3 times in 8 games! Fully half my games at this point have included a Ghost, so I was pretty confident that I was going to be able to pip this one as well. Richard sets up facing away from me in the middle of the board, but I don’t change my game plan and hard 2 into the middle of the map and scoot across my board edge until we’re going to engage in my opposite corner… or at least that what I had expected. Richard then turns the Ghost and goes back the other way! I manage to recover and catch up to him in the middle of his board edge, with the Ghost facing away from me. I keep my arc wide and manage to launch all 3 Harpoons in 2 rounds of combat. Richard tries to pull a risky K turn to get out of the kill box forming around him, but I had anticipated it and he was blocked up. Quickdraw banks and barrel rolls into range 1 and lets him have it. I trigger the last of my Harpooned conditions and strip a shield from QD, giving me another shot and removing the Ghost before it can even fire. Richard didn’t know about the QD and harpoon trick and it shook him a bit to take the Ghost off. I then put fire into Fenn and luckily dropped him as well, all with only 1 boat being taken off all game!

Top 4 Vs. Lloyd (Defeat 100-0)

That’s right, my other loss in Swiss! By this time I was over the moon with my performance, achieving my goal of the season of getting templates. You can see me get my most crushing defeat of the weekend on stream, right here.

The curse of the stream strikes again! I’m now 0-5 on that infernal box! I’m pretty happy with my approach with the gunboats, but my decision to try and trade shield with Miranda and QD was silly. Being unlucky (again!) by getting 2 damage onto Quickdraw from a bomblet before she could get 1 more round of shooting basically sealed the deal this game. Even if I had got some return fire, I would probably not have managed to win, Lloyd knew exactly how to take my list apart!

So that’s the end of my regional season. I am truly blown away that I managed to make the cut in both of them and walk away with a set of templates. Now it’s time to get back to the drawing board and think of something new to fly for the Open next month!

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