Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Spring Kit Highlander Games 1 and 2
What: Highlander Format League (Spring Kit)
When: May 1 to 31, 2015
Where: Neutral Grounds - Glorietta 2
How: Best of Five Games
For the Spring Kit prize support, Neutral Grounds is holding a month-long league gaming using a home brew Highlander format. No exact same list is to be used more than once in any of the player's five games. Similarly, no unique pilots or unique upgrades can be used more than once. Interesting! The trick is to be extra conservative with using useful unique cards and keeping it "sprinkled" through all the five unique squadrons of each of my games.
I'll keep a battle report of my games as I go through the league. Here are my first two games.
vs. Keith's Empire Squadron
* 4x Sigma Squadron Pilots (Tie Phantom)
* Blue Squadron Pilot (B-wing with Ion Cannon)
* 2x Blue Squadron Pilots (B-wings with B-wing/E2 modification, and Tactician)
* Gold Squadron Pilot (Y-wing with R3-A2, Ion Cannon Turret, and BTL-A4 title)
I want to try out several lists that I will have no chance testing on casual games (because I don't do much casuals). This one is a control list using Rebel tanks. The more popular variant is having three Tactician Bees but I opted for a single Ion Cannon carrier as a utility for big ships. With two ships that can hand out an ion token, I have the option to ionize a big ship in one turn. At least, that's the idea.
Now, into the game. Glass cannons versus tanks. His squadron shoots first and can maneuver around my slow ships with ease. My only hope is if I can get to shoot back (preferably at Range 2) and disrupt him with stress/ion before he can chew into my shields. I also have this conscious effort to predict his moves so I can block him and deny him that precious cloaking action. Ultimately, what challenged us really is to unlearn the old cloaking rules. LOL.
I deployed on the middle-right with the intention to turtle towards a joust. He deployed spread out on his table edge. A pair of Phantoms look menacing on the upper right corner with the possibility of a flank attack that I may not be able to answer with two other Phantoms harrying my front.
|right after Turn 1|
I slowly moved forward, doing straight-1's a couple of times to suck him within my preferred range. I was able to sucker one of the Phantoms into it and it paid the price by catching all focused shots from my squadron. One of the other Phantom successfully flanked me from the left without my squadron being able to shoot back at it. Volleys from both Imperial ships stripped the shields out of a B-wing. The other two surprisingly took the long route to flank me to right
|got me a Phantom|
With the possibility of my ships flying past the Phantoms on my left and right flanks, I instead K-turned with everything but a single B-wing that got too cocky and elected to face two Phantoms closing in from the right by doing a stressful hardturn-1. The left-flanking Phantom overshoot and landed right in front of my squadron. With nothing to shoot at, it just cloaked to try evading three of my ships. It took quite a focused firing from all those ships to destroy it at 4 defense dice.
The right-flanking Phantoms took their chance on destroying the shield-less B-wing at Range 3 (upper leftmost B-wing in photo). They are able to chip out more hull points but not enough to disable the ship. The return volley from the lone B-wing failed to take out one of the Sigma pilots but it's just within Range 2 so it got stressed from the Tactician.
|all my ships are stressed|
My squadron moved around the asteroid to go back to formation hoping to block the Phantoms' flight path. I was successful in blocking one (stopping him right in front of the rest of my ships) while the other overshot my formation. The blocked Phantom tried shooting at the damaged B-wing but with the help of a blocking asteroid (and a lucky roll), it managed to survive yet again with his last point of hull! The same Phantom survived a return fire from a B-wing with a loss of a shield.
My formation is now on disarray, struggling with sucky dials to turn back and give chase to the more agile Phantoms. One of the returning Phantoms unleashed a volley of laser fire to the damaged B-wing, finally destroying it while the other cloaked and dodged return fire from my B-wings.
|scrambling back to formation|
My remaining pair of B-wings maneuvered back to a more favorable position, gaining a wider arc of LOS to hopefully trap the Phantoms. The Y-wing is still struggling to get an opportunity to K-turn and return to action. One of the Phantoms is caught within the net of the B-wings' firing arc and got destroyed while the other fleeing Phantom is able to move out of combat, cloaked and safe.
At this point, it's just a matter of giving chase to the wayward Phantom and hoping to penetrate its cloaked defense. It happened once I got it trapped on the upper right corner of the table. Victory to the Rebel cause!
(Me: 100 points - Keith: 25 points)
vs. Keith's Empire Squadron
* 4x Royal Guard Pilots (Tie Interceptor with Push the Limit)
* Chewbacca (YT-1300 with Predator, C-3P0, and Millennium Falcon title)
* 3x Bandit Squadron Pilot (Z-95 Headhunters with Cluster Missiles and Munitions Failsafe)
This time I want to try out missiles! In about a year and a half of X-Wing gaming, I am only able to try out this one-shot goodies just now. Not really a fan but there's no harm trying to experience myself how it really works. Except for the missile zees, the list is not too original. It's just a fat Chewie and a mini-swarm, so the idea is to immediately have the swarm cause disruption to enemy formation while Chewie just tries to survive while shooting back with an active Predator effect.
His squadron is again shooting first and with Push the Limit, can be really maneuverable and hard to hit. I can imagine that my first list will not work as great against this as the royal squints have a number of green maneuvers to shrug of stress. My initial plan now is to have the zees zoom to Range 1 and block as many ships as I can to deny the Push the Limit effect while posturing to deliver my payload.
I setup Chewie on the lower left corner with the zees right beside it. He deployed exactly across my squadron with just a few asteroids along the way. The first few turns is pure posturing with my zees slowly creeping up, Chewie flying behind it, and his squints just moving sidewards in their deployment zone to further wait my squadron's intent.
|first two turns|
When the headhunters got closer to the enemy formation, he sent two royal squints to engage while Chewie flying behind the formation, swing to the right and landed on an asteroid... like a noob! Both interceptors punished the poor flying, stripping off the Falcon with its shields.
|noob in the asteroid|
Next turn, I banked all the zees to the right to approach the enemy squadron. They started putting up target locks everywhere. I sent Chewie straight up to hope on blocking the engaging interceptors. I cringe at the potential Range 1 shots from the royal squints but I have faith that the Falcon will hold and that should be enough to sway me to commit.
The royal guards' volley of fire dented the Falcon's hull down to four. Big thanks to Threepio! A Z-95 loosen its missiles and together with primary weapons fire from the other zees, was only able to scrape off some hull points on a squint. Chewie finished it off with a Range 1 shot.
After that pass, the squints scattered past my formation (but not before I was able to establish more target locks with the headhunters) save one who I was able to block with a Z-95. Chewie is the only available ship to shoot that turn and failed to destroy the overlapping interceptor with its superior agility. The royal guards was able to quickly get back for another joust while my zees struggled to turn around. Chewie is the lone bright spot on my squadron with its 360 turret laser. Not enough to go past the interceptors' defense though.
One interceptor flanked Chewie from the left while my mini-swarm went back to formation. In addition to a building series of unlucky rolls from Keith, the Range 1 shot from the flanking interceptor did not go through the Falcon title + Threepio evade tokens. The return fire proved fatal to a straggling interceptor that happened to land right in front of the reformed zees. It's unworthy to note though that another cluster missile failed to create much damage. The measly two primary attack dice from the other headhunters proved luckier.
|red squints everywhere|
Now in formation, my mini-swarm zipped back to action and closed the distance to the Falcon who is being harried by both of the remaining Interceptors. The flanking royal guard followed the YT-1300 and ended up on its rear at Range 1. Chewie barely missed an asteroid with a hairline's width. Some flying. The squint on the right was able to strip the shields on the lead Z-95 while the other dropped further damage to Chewie's hull but still not enough to finish it. My return fire destroyed the trailing Interceptor much to more of my opponent's unlucky rolling (zero evades on four defense dice!).
After that pass, the remaining Interceptor destroyed the damaged Z-95 but that means getting inside the firing arc of another headhunter. I was not able to destroy it but left it with two critical hits. The next turn is just a mop up, with both remaining zees catching the remaining Imperial ship within sight. The interceptor failed yet again to finish off Chewie at Range 1. Return fire from my squadron is overkill. Victory to Rebel fighters!
|Chewy is alive!|
(Me: 100 points - Keith: 17 points)
- A single warthog can't do crap. I'd rather have not used the BTL-A4 upgrade to capitalize with the ion turret's 360 shot instead. That ship's maneuver dial is just bad to rely on it to catch agile ships within its primary arc.
- I still don't like missiles. The cost of spending a target lock is too much for a single-shot opportunity. Lowering the pointage cost should balance it.
- One of my original plan is to use a YT-1300 Chewie paired with a YT-2400 Leebo. I realized it's trying too much egg in a single list. I'm glad I didn't. Now, I can enjoy practicing with a YT-2400 Leebo on another game instead.
- It's still confusing to play with the new cloaking rules. I kept on thinking of the old way how the Tie Phantom decloaks.
- Fortune favors the bold. Although there's an asteroid crash from time to time.
Inscribed by Interrogator-Chaplain Randel on 3:30 PM