Jumping to Hyperspace in Wellington – TIE Tournament Report

AKA I actually went to another tournament!

Oh, hey. NZ actually has a Hyperspace Trial. Dope. Been too long since some competitive X-Wing.

Only 6 months, but close enough (missed a whole points rotation)

Squad Selection

I started looking at the TIE swarm back around the June/July points change and while my team for the Oceanic Team Champs (OTC) were starting to figure out which factions we were all going to fly. Despite getting top Rebel player at last year’s ANZTC, I’m not even close to a faction loyalist (I’m an X-Wing player, not an [insert faction here] player), and with no real experience/attachment to any particular squad, I was happy to take a one of the factions in less demand, which with our group of players ended up being Empire. I’m not really an ace player, prefer more bodies on the board, and lots of guns, so I mostly only looked at TIE swarm (and a little bit at bombers). And who wants to play the silly I6 bidding game

This Hyperspace Trial seemed like a good opportunity to get a bunch of practice games, in particular physical games, as moving 6 ships in formation all day is a bit different to practicing a bunch of games on vassal.

I didn’t want to run the ‘standard’ version, wanted to try squeeze a little more out the squad and put my own special snowflake twist on the squad: Crack Shots!

Nathan’s Crack Swarm

Academy Pilot TIE/ln Fighter (23)
Total: 23
Del Meeko TIE/ln Fighter (30)
Crack Shot (1) – Total: 31
Gideon Hask TIE/ln Fighter (30)
Crack Shot (1) – Total: 31
Iden Versio TIE/ln Fighter (40)
Crack Shot (1) – Total: 41
“Howlrunner” TIE/ln Fighter (40)
Crack Shot (1) – Total: 41
“Scourge” Skutu TIE/ln Fighter (32)
Crack Shot (1) – Total: 33
Total: 200

The differences to the ‘standard’ Inferno swarm build is I’ve taken Scourge over Wampa, and taken out the Swarm Tactics for 5 copies of Crack Shot. I like it. Scourge is an underrated beast.

But this squad has a criminally low amount of health, a mere 18 hull. (Where’s the other 20 odd health???) Iden’s ability gives you a few more, but still feels scary when I’m used to playing with 30-40 hit points.

Tournament

Even though its the first tournament in ages, doesn’t mean its exactly local. I took the 9 hour bus down to Wellington the day before, having done enough overnight buses to not be super keen to subject myself to that. Shout out to Tim and Christchurch’s Death Star Design Committee (DSDC) for organizing an airbnb and inviting me to join.

CUTE CAT PHOTO

I also got to debut the new squadron shirt, which had been about 2 years coming. (At least someone likes it,…. mascot?) I mocked up the silly ‘Nathan Squadron‘ logo for a shirt, as I didn’t have any locals that traveled to events and rather than just being an honorary member of every other group in the country, I made my own. Didn’t actually get the intended shirt made, but months later after some help beautifying the logo, I put on a bunch of other stuff: custom cards, dice tray, damage deck holder, template tray. And now finally a swanky new shirt. No tie to match, well 6 TIEs this weekend, but not matching the shirt.

Enough rambling, onto the games.

Round 1: Against Geoff, travelled down from Auckland

List
Kylo Ren TIE/vn Silencer (76)
Advanced Optics (4) – Total: 80
“Quickdraw” TIE/SF Fighter (45)
Special Forces Gunner (10) – Total: 55
Lieutenant Tavson Upsilon-Class Command Shuttle (64)
Biohexacrypt Codes (1) – Total: 65
Total: 200

Top player who consistently does well (making cuts at bigger events), generally with Imperial aces. First Order aces here, so not too different. We’d played a couple times in the weeks before this event, I’d won the last couple if I recall correctly, so was probably due for a loss. Was a tough start to the day for both of us, so thanks TTT.

This game didn’t go well for me. I didn’t get the opening engagement right, with Geoff catching my swarm doing k-turns when I probably should have just turned in instead. I saw the matrix when moving my AP but then it was too late. I was out of position and not getting the strong alpha strike off.

Tried my best to claw it back, got QD down to 1 hit point but couldn’t get a final shot in, got Tavson down to 1 shield, and even declined using a Crack Shot to get the half points. Felt vindicated in that decision when Scourge lined up the same Crack Shot on Kylo a couple rounds later, as a damage on Kylo, rather than Tavson would be more impactful in terms of trying to win the game. I needed the dice to give me something, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Made a mistake. Got punished. No good fortune to let me back in. REKT.

Loss 28-200 (0-1)

Round 2: Against Darcy, from the Tauranga area

List
Omega Squadron Expert TIE/SF Fighter (34)
Fanatical (2), Advanced Optics (4) – Total: 40
Omega Squadron Expert TIE/SF Fighter (34)
Fanatical (2), Advanced Optics (4) – Total: 40
Omega Squadron Expert TIE/SF Fighter (34)
Fanatical (2), Advanced Optics (4) – Total: 40
Omega Squadron Expert TIE/SF Fighter (34)
Fanatical (2), Advanced Optics (4) – Total: 40
Omega Squadron Expert TIE/SF Fighter (34)
Fanatical (2), Advanced Optics (4) – Total: 40
Total: 200

Another semi local I’d been playing with a bit more recently.

This list looks very solid. Hadn’t practiced against it or run any numbers so wasn’t really sure how a joust would go, but there wasn’t a whole lot else I could do except try get a joust.

Turns out I was more afraid than I should have been. My TIEs cut through this squad like a hot knife through butter. Plinked a few free shields on an opening range 3 engage for no return damage, before initiative killing two of them with the following range 1-2 shots and only a couple damage in return.

My TIEs initiative killed 2 SFs here. Brutal.

I was so far ahead I even contemplated using Iden to save half points on a TIE, rather than wait for keeping a TIE on the table. Didn’t end up being that much of a slaughter, but was just cleanup after that opening salvo, ended up using Iden and losing half on a couple TIEs.

Win 200-33 (1-1)

Round 3: Against Todd from Christchurch’s DSDC

List
Kylo Ren TIE/vn Silencer (76)
Total: 76
“Quickdraw” TIE/SF Fighter (45)
Special Forces Gunner (10), Fanatical (2), Fire-Control System (2) – Total: 59
Lieutenant Tavson Upsilon-Class Command Shuttle (64)
Biohexacrypt Codes (1) – Total: 65
Total: 200

Repeat FO list from round 1. Even though I lost round 1, still didn’t feel like an awful matchup, just needed to play better and make less mistakes.

Here’s a couple of photos of the main first engagement (I think Kylo missed a range 3 shot the round before)

I got my whole swarm pointed at QD, range 2-3, partially obstructed. Tavson was sitting out at range 3 with no mods (coordinated to QD) and Kylo’s attempted flank at the side/back of the swarm didn’t quite work (failed boost hit Howlrunner before she activated). ARC DODGED! End result: I took all QDs shields with no damage in return.

From there I just kept the pressure on. Both QD and Tavson were in a rough spot to move from. I k-turned most of the swarm and got some damage on Kylo, again taking no damage on the swarm. I finished off QD and got Kylo down to 1 and fleeing before Tavson could get back around and be involved in the game. Todd was saying he was thinking he might be getting tabled, but I wasn’t so confident with the clock running down, my swarm getting a bit spread out and well out of formation, and having a full health Tavson to try take out.

The game did kinda peter out. There was maybe about 15 minutes left, but I was up by so much, there wasn’t a real chance of a comeback with 1 hull Kylo (in the time remaining), and I wasn’t killing much more quickly. A couple of my TIEs got picked off from little variance spikes and being out of Iden range to make the score look a bit closer than it was. I still had the Iden charge left at the end of the game, because I never had a chance to use it. LOL

Win 130-72 (2-1)

Round 4: Against Murray (almost a local to Wellington, drove down from Feilding, couple hours away)

List
Cassian Andor UT-60D U-Wing (51)
Leia Organa (6), Pivot Wing (0) – Total: 57
Red Squadron Veteran T-65 X-Wing (43)
Swarm Tactics (3), Servomotor S-Foils (0) – Total: 46
Wedge Antilles T-65 X-Wing (55)
Swarm Tactics (5), Servomotor S-Foils (0) – Total: 60
Arvel Crynyd RZ-1 A-Wing (34)
Intimidation (3) – Total: 37
Total: 200

Maybe I’ll get to play a Wellington player sometime. But at least it’s not First Order this time. I was pretty confident looking at the matchup, its mostly a jousty list, and even with the Swarm Tactics I still joust better. So the trick was simply making it happen.

He wasn’t keen for the head on joust, so weirdly enough, my swarm ended up dragging him through the rocks, and I got to pick him off piecemeal. Started with Wedge, and then keep rolling through, eventually losing a TIE and a half before eradicating the Rebels.

Win: 200-45 (3-1)

Round 5: Against Mike from Christchurch’s DSDC (Yet Another Non-Wellingtonian)

List
Kylo Ren TIE/vn Silencer (76)
Total: 76
Lieutenant Tavson Upsilon-Class Command Shuttle (64)
Total: 64
Starkiller Base Pilot Upsilon-Class Command Shuttle (58)
Total: 58
Total: 200

With Yet Another First Order list…

Sidebar – Faction breakdown:

And 1 unknown, not entered on the TTT page

So there were 8 First Order lists, and 4 of them with at least 1 Upsilon….

Back to the game. I got REKT. It was a bad matchup to start with, and then nothing seemed to go right. I was paired up, so Mike was 4-0 and already guaranteed to make cut, so he just aggressively jousted me with the 2 Upsilons and it worked out very well for him. Started with a range 3 exchange, I did 5 shields to a reinforced Starkiller, and he killed my Academy through a focus token and Iden. Kylo shot did a damage and stripped the focus, single modded Tavson rolled well/I rolled poorly and used Iden, then unmodded Starkiller rolled well/I rolled poorly and the Academy died. The dice variance there isn’t too ridiculous, Wow actually it kinda is, 6% chance of losing a ship there, sigh (if I’m remembering all the details correctly) Definitely annoying when I needed a bit of luck for the matchup. That did mean however, the AP didn’t get a shot to get half points on Starkiller, and I couldn’t block him on the following turn.

This felt bad. I could either roll in and keep jousting the upsilons, but I would likely have very few actions, shooting into reinforce, and no Iden, so that was all bad. The other option was try bail and get behind them and come back for another pass. I opted to try leave by 5 forwarding everyone. One poor TIE (Del?) didn’t make it past and got lit up by Kylo and the other Upsilon.

So I had 4 TIEs left, including Howlrunner, against basically still the whole list, but was maybe in a better position standing back-to-back with the Upsilons. I could k-turn and slowly grind down the Upsilons, while getting picked off by Kylo and just lose slowly, or go after Kylo and try actually win the game. I went after Kylo, but didn’t manage to get any meaningful blocks or shots, and then got picked off by Kylo and the Upsilons coming back around. I was behind, needing a few things to go my way and it didn’t happen. Got the last shield off Starkiller to avoid getting tabled, but I was well and truely destroyed.

Loss 28-200 (3-2, trash MOV)

My MOV was surprisingly actually quite high after round 4, (second highest 3-1 MOV maybe?) but getting REKT round 5 pushed it way down. Not quite out of the top 16 thankfully. Maybe I should play slower and not give my opponents a chance to kill all my ships when I’m losing Going 1 win short of making the cut is a pretty typical result for me on reflection, don’t think I’ve ever done worse than it.

Would be lying to say I wasn’t a tad salty afterwards when I thought about and looked at the matchup luck. Upsilons/Tavson/reinforce aren’t the most friendly for my swarm. And despite losing round 1, and playing in the X-1 bracket, I still ended up with the equal second highest strength of schedule on the day. But it is what it is, we move on, and go have a fun night.

Side event

Next day was a casual side event running alongside the top cut. Everyone brings a 100 point list and plays doubles with a different partner and opponents every round. I played 1 round, brought out Mace+Obi with CLT, and a bunch of fun things, meme clouds, dice app (recent purchase, and holy sh*t it has sound effects!!?!), and even the oversize stress tokens still get a chuckle from anyone who hasn’t seen them yet. Also more First Order, but this time on my team.

Millennium Falcon just out of frame on the right

Was a pretty one sided game, Mace+Obi paired with QD and another SF made short work of Dooku and Lando. Was a fun game, but not completely my cup of tea, so I dropped out. Was more than happy just to chill and hang out with everyone, play a little Destiny, grab some food and beer and watch the top cut games.

Congrats to Brad (again from the DSDC) for winning it all with Obi+Ric+2x104ths over Mike’s Kylo+2Ups in an entertaining final.

Shout outs: Tim and DSDC for organizing the airbnb and getting to and from the venue, made my life super easy. Blair ran an excellent event, good venue, good extra prizing, no long delays, no odd judge calls. My opponents were all excellent, even if I’d played or at least met them all before, very enjoyable games, would play again. Just everyone at event was awesome to hang out with.
And randos on vassal who might have felt the wrath of the swarm in testing.

OTC/System Open plug

As I mentioned earlier, this squad is the same squad I’m taking to the OTC is just under 3 weeks (7-8 September). The squads for all the teams have been finalized and published. If anyone wants to follow the action from home, there will be a stream, and the best place for news, updates and smack talking would be the Aus X-Wing Facebook group.

This means I’ll also be at the far less prestigious Australian System Open in Sydney the weekend before, the biggest X-Wing event in the southern hemisphere, if anyone wants to come and say hi (I’m continually blown away how many views my little blog gets, so maybe someone will want to say hello). I should be in a blue Nathan Squadron shirt and have fun alt arts to trade/give away.

-Nathan

Fun story time, before this event was announced, I was planning to go run a half marathon that weekend. After much deliberation, I chose the X-Wing over the running (couldn’t miss an event with them being few and far between), but didn’t want to chicken out of the running. So I went and did a half marathon on a random Tuesday, by myself, around ‘beautiful’ Hamilton, in slight drizzle.

Krayts on Top Lifestyle

Congrats, you made it all the rambling way to the end. I’m guessing you like what you’re reading (a little at least). So BOUNTY TIME!!! This was a Season 1 HST kit, and I don’t expect there will be any Season 2 HSTs anywhere near me, but muh boi Corran and I go way back (way back when you could choose not to waste points on boost, and earlier). I know these alt arts can get pretty common and worthless, so who wants to send me one? I can trade back some silly Nathan Squadron alt arts.

#AbusingContentCreatorOutreach

One thought on “Jumping to Hyperspace in Wellington – TIE Tournament Report

  1. Good read, man, and a tough day. I’m a pretty strictly a filthy casual (Scum and CIS), and I’ve yet to find an answer to either FO or Republic. Your run there would have had me drinking hard, haha. I’ve spent a a few weeks in NZ hiking, and even just reading the mention of the cities your opponents came from was enough to make me miss it. Keep flying, keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

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