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Are you part of the Xwing UK/IRL Facebook group? They recently linked the top 16 lists from the Indonesian Championships, and something like 9 of them were running a Decimator and Phantom combo. Cue lots of moaning about how OP the Phantom is and how boring turreted ships are to play.

It's a strong combo. I happen to prefer Echo over Whisper, I like the arc changes and flexibility you can plan into the move, and often take Recon Specialist so I don't miss out on the Defensive Focus when I need it.

Regarding the Firespray with HLC, I guess it depends on what you're playing against. I've only used mine in one game, but it spent roughly 50% of it's time using it's rear arc to target enemy ships. I'm not sure I'd be happy spending 7pts on something that is only used for 50% of your attacks - I'd be a bit happier with an Ion because it sets you up for a 4-dice (with Crits) attack next turn when you zoom into range 1, having hopefully dropped the enemy shields.
 

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People complain about the Phantom because there isn't a single small based ship that can take it 1v1, regardless of upgrades or anything else. Even higher PS ships like Wedge can't deal with the superior maneuverability.

Yes, if you make mistakes, it can die quickly. I've had mine drop on turn 2 twice now because I've badly estimated firing arcs. However on the rest of the games where it survived, Echo basically won me the game by herself.
 

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Rear Admiral Chirenau- Rebel Captive + Gunner + Ysanne Isard
Whisper - Veteran Instincts + Fire Control System + Advanced Cloaking Device

Now this leaves me with a bit of a decision. Currently the list is at 97 points....I want to have initiative but do I risk bumping it up to 99-100 to take an EPT on the Decimator? I would only want to go to 99 points maximum so the options are:

Veteran Instincts - increase RAC's PS to 10
Intimidation - any ship in contact with the Decimator reduces its agility by one.

Two PS's of 10 and 9 would be pretty funky mind.
VI would be useful in the mirrormatch vs other Imperials, as you don't want Whisper having to shoot at a Rebel Captive if you can possibly avoid it.

You also have Determination available, which outright discards Pilot crits. Given how vulnerable the Deci is to crits, that can certainly be worth it.
 

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Play both, see what you think! I overlooked Determination for a long time thinking that it just flipped the Pilot crit face down. It doesn't - it fully discards the card. This means that nearly a third of possible crits will just bounce off you to no effect. For 1pt, that's actually pretty damn good on something with 12 hull, specially when someone else is flying Vader or other crit-inducing tech.
 

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If you have 9 pilot crits then something has gone wrong with your deck!

You should have two copies of every result except for "Direct Hit", which have 7 copies.

Yeah, it never really entered my sphere of consciousness, because for any other ship (i.e. something with 3 hull or so) then it isn't worth wasting the EPT slot on something that will only occur IF you get a Crit, and IF it's a Pilot one. On a 12 hull though... You're ignoring 8 out of 30-something results.
 

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Were you really going for the initiative bid, or another reason you didn't put any crew on Whisper? :)
 

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I played in my first Store Championship (and first X-Wing event of any kind) with:

Lambda Shuttle - Omicron, Vader
TIE Defender - Vessery, Veteran Instincts
TIE Phantom - Echo, Veteran Instincts, Fire Control System, Recon Specialist, Advanced Cloaking Device

Pulled second place! Was really happy with my performance with the exception of game 2, and the list pulled together really nicely. General game plan was to use the shuttle to get in the way/joust with the main body of enemy ships, use the two PS8 fighters to strip shields/cause damage and then Vader to finish something off, with the Shuttle and Echo feeding Vessery Target Locks. This combo gave me at least 1 kill in every game on the initial joust, sometimes at PS8 before it had even gotten to fire, with the shuttle normally surviving and Echo/Vessery taking no damage in the initial pass - I was very careful to keep Vessery at R3/out of arc/behind rocks as much as possible, making him almost as hard to hit as Echo, and forcing bad target choices on my opponent.

Game 1 vs 4 HWK-290s including Roark and Kyle, 1x Ion, 3x Blaster turrets.

Flanked with Echo, went up the middle with Vessery and the Shuttle. On the turn when shooting started, he pulled hard turns on every ship to try to get shots on Echo, but he was able to dance out of range, due to turrets being only R1-2, although he still took an Ion hit. In return I killed the Ion Hwk and stripped the shield off another. Next turn I tanked the turret shots with Echo cloaked on an Evade, and killed Roark with Vessery and the Shuttle. That was effectively game.

Having warmed up on a fairly easy match, we hit game 2 which was much trickier. 2x Blue Squadrons and Chewbacca in the Falcon with Jan and some other stuff. The way initial deployment went was that I was able to keep the Falcon at R3/out of range for the initial two turns of shooting, which let me drop a B-Wing, but it cost me almost all of the shuttle's HP. Next turn I drop the last B's shields but lose the Shuttle. Vessery baits the Falcon and the B into following him, but I pull a hard 3 instead of K-turning, which was me being too smart for my own good - I was trying to be unpredictable and there really wasn't a need for it. He loses his shields, but I drop the last B, leaving a shieldless Vessery and Echo vs an untouched Falcon. Next turn, Vessery dies when I pass at R1 with the Falcon, and I drop 4 shields from the Falcon with their combined fire. I'm behind on points now so need to try to kill Chewie with Echo alone. I rock up into R1, dish out some damage... and then roll 4 blanks against the return fire. Sadface. Serves me right for cocking up the movement for a couple of turns with the Defender, but it wasn't ever going to be easy to drop a double-evading, focused crit immune Falcon anyway.

Game 3 was against a 3-ship list with Jan riding Shotgun for Farlander with a HLC, Wes and Biggs. Essentially the shuttle blocks Biggs and Wes, splitting the group and allowing me to take down Biggs, then Wes, and finally Farlander with focused fire, with the Shuttle and Defender on 2hp and Echo untouched.

2 wins losing no ships at all, and 1 loss with 44pts gained set me up well enough to take second place after a Chiraneau/Whisper snorefest list, which I think I could potentially have beaten, but never got to play against it.

Great event (even if the tables were only 30 inches across and I had to lobby hard to get the organisers to put them together so we could have a 36" play area) and a nice entry to X-Wing events! Got a friendly tournament next Wednesday and then another Store Championship next weekend, hopefully will do well on both of them, but we'll see! Might keep the list, I really liked playing it.
 

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Played in another tourney last night, 10 players. Used same list as before.

Game 1 against the person I carpooled with (always the way, huh?). He was running Rebel Aces - Wes, Wedge and Corran all with VI. I was pretty damn sure I was screwed! But thankfully I was able to pull off some pretty good blocking with the Lambda, which denied actions enough so that I could pick off Wedge and Wes while dodging 3 unmodified red dice well enough to survive with all my ships. In fairness his rolls were pretty sub-par and I had a couple of good rounds, getting 5 hits with no target lock from Echo, and then 3 hits with Vessery to drop Wedge. Vader didn't do a huge amount, but it was the movement prediction that gave me this one. Unfortunately Corran with R2-D2 survived, leaving with with only 60pts of victory, which would be important later on...

Match 2 was against an Imperial list - Echo with ACD, Jax with Swarm Tactics and Vader. It was interesting to see the ST route taken instead of the usual VI on Echo, and it worked fairy well in the first few turns, but then he had real problems keeping Jax within R1 of Echo. I decided that Vader was going to be the most annoying (he had initiative, so was moving before me with everything else) so I sideslipped Echo across the table at the start of the game to gang up on Vader with Vessery and the Shuttle. Again, the Shuttle ate up firepower from his Echo, and crucially, Jax landed on a rock in the initial joust, so skipped a turn of shooting. I was able to drop Vader in one turn, then went after the now-PS6 Echo with a vengeance, as the shuttle was hovering on 1-2HP. My opponent made some unpredictable moves with Jax, which kept him out of arc and at R1 of my guys, so I spent a couple of turns unable to focus, but I had Target Locks, so in the end it didn't make too much difference.

Game 3 was against Brath with a miniswarm (including Dark Curse, Gundark and Howlrunner) flying in formation, which was somewhat worrying. I decided to take a pretty big risk on turn 2, and 3-banked with the shuttle right into the path of the formation. That made a huge mess, since he had also chosen to bank in with Brath at the same time. Vessery and Echo blazed in on the flank and surgically removed Howlrunner before she got to shoot or pass on rerolls to anything. The shuttle got hit by a couple of R1 TIEs, but wasn't too bothered. Because of the bank angle, however, it wasn't able to return fire or Vader anything. This game should have been over a lot faster, but I made at least 4 movement and action mistakes over the next two/three turns that I noticed - I was getting tired, and it cost me the shuttle, Vessery lost all his shields and was left on 2hp, and Echo lost shields as well due to me not barrel rolling out of R1 arc of a TIE when he easily could have done so. Ultimately though, it was just Dark Curse left alive by the time the round ended. 1 more turn and he would have been smoked too.

I was one of two people to win all three of their games, but I'd given up 56pts in Corran and Dark Curse, which was more than the other guy, who'd only given up 30-something. So I grabbed Second place again, and got myself a Y-Wing! Again, had great fun, really enjoying the events so far. Players seem a lot more relaxed than 40k tournament-goers, which is lovely to be part of.
 

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Well the next stop is Preston Store Champs, which apparently has something on the order of 30+ players attending, so we'll see if I manage to pull second place with that level of competition!
 

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Jesus, that was tiring. I'll write up a quick event report, but suffice to say I went into the Top 8 in second place (but with more points than the guy in first!) but lost the first top 8 game and crashed out pretty badly.

I will, however, claim moral victory for being the only person IN the Top 8 to NOT be running a turreted large ship.
 

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7 other people ran the Decimator/falcon/outrider?
Yeah. There were also at least 3 double decimator lists, and 3 Falcon/Outrider or Outrider/2400 lists.

Game 1. Rebel Aces. So I'm taking the list I brought to both previous events, as I was still having fun flying it. I drive two hours to reach Preston, and one other guy from my local club turns up - we didn't car pool because of the top 8 cut. Guess who I play Round 1? You got it. Even more ironically, it was the the guy who'd I'd given a lift to for the previous event! He'd changed his list up a bit, swapping Wes for Luke and adding a FCS to Corran. I flew in well, reading his actions and moving to stay at R3 and gain target locks. I elected to focus fire on Wedge first, as he's much easier to kill than Corran or Luke, and his damage output is pretty good against ships that rely on green dice like TIEs! In the initial exchange I was lucky enough to dodge pretty much everything he threw at me, and in return dropped the shields off Corran and Wedge. That was the dice being in my favour, pretty much. He then made a critical error and K-turned Wedge onto a rock. Owch. Corran regens a shield with R2-D2 but Wedge dies and Luke takes a single hit, I've lost shields on the shuttle, and am positioned to chase Corran. I move up close to point blank range with Vessery and Echo, expecting him to pull a green bank to regen some shield again, but instead he K-turns. Unloads 4 red dice at Vessery... and I evade everything. Corran then whiffs his green dice and evaporates to 9 Focused/Target Locked red dice. The shuttle drops Lukes last shield and Vaders him, and he concedes.

Game 2 was against Keith Wilson (the guy who finished Top 4 at Worlds with a TIE swarm)... playing the same TIE swarm. Oh dear. This is what happens when you win your first game 100-0! Normally I spread the rocks out a fair bit to give me more freedom for decloaking/shuttle movement, but in this case I strung them in a fairly tight line across the diagonal of the board, because I knew he had 2x PS1 Academy Pilots. This meant wherever he put those two, he would put the rest of the swarm, and I could safely deploy on the other side of the asteroid chain and hopefully use it to break up his formation a little bit. I was extremely cagey with the initial approach, apart from Echo, who sprinted in on a flank to start throwing dice as soon as possible, because with 5 green dice and Focus I wasn't too worried about the pairs of red dice that might come back at me from those in arc. I managed to get a couple of effective shots off with Vessery and Echo, spreading a bit of damage around on the Draw Their Fire Black Squadron and Howlrunner, but the shuttle was taking some hits. I pulled away with the Shuttle as much as I could next turn, in an attempt to get him to chase it, which worked to an extent. The downside is that Vessery got blocked (by a couple of millimetres!) and landed on a rock, which exposed him to some fire and meant he wasn't shooting. Dammit. Echo was happily playing merry hell behind the TIE formation at this point, and dropped Howlrunner. The shuttle hangs in on a couple of hit points. Over the next few turns the shuttle goes down (unsurprisingly) but I scrag a couple of TIEs as well, which puts me well ahead on points, although Vessery is left on 2hp and Echo is untouched.

Here's where I make my fundamental mistake of the game: I keep fighting with Vessery. I shouldn't have done. I should have run away with him for the last 5 minutes of the game. I was winning, and didn't need to get any more kills. I just needed to keep my 36 and 40pt ships alive. However something in my head (stupid voices!) told me that that was "Bad sportsmanship" or something along those lines, so I K-turned back into the fight, and promptly got vaped by a hit and a crit from Dark Curse that I entirely failed to dodge. Ah. Well I could still pull it back, with a single kill from Echo! But his best decloak option is blocked by a TIE that shoots forward straight 5, so he has to go after Dark Curse, who is on full HP and can't be focused on... It's a tall order but with 5 red dice I stand something of a chance! I decloak, move... and clip an asteroid. No shooting. Dammit. Loss by 3 points.

On the plus side, I lost by a meagre 3 points to one of the top players in the world, flying one of the best lists in the game. With a shuttle, defender, and Echo. That makes me pretty happy.

Game 3 is versus Dash with 4x Z-95s. His deployment is a little weird. He puts down 4x Zs in formation with a gap large enough to fit the Outrider between them and the table edge. I deploy in the opposite corner. He then puts the Outrider near to me, instead of in his own corner. I stare blankly at it for a second before realising he's serious. It's like he's deliberately given *me* a refused flank. So I charge forward as fast as possible with all of my ships towards the Outrider. It doesn't matter if I lose Vessery and the Shuttle, because Echo will eat 4x Zs for breakfast. We both moved so fast that I get shots with Echo and Vessery, and take some shields off. He returns fire at Vessery and I dodge. Next turn he's in range and arc of all of my guns and gets blown to pieces, the shuttle doesn't even get to fire, so pops off a shot at the incoming Zs. The rest of the (very short) game is him raging at his dice as he fails to kill anything, while a full strength Vessery and Echo kill two Zs before he concedes.

Game 4 is versus Mauler, Dark Curse and Backstabber with 2x Bombers with Assault Missiles and Seismic charges. No idea why he wasn't running Howlrunner, but as you'd expect, this was a pretty easy one for me - just a matter of staying out of range 1 of Mauler and in-arc of Backstabber, ignoring everything else til they're dead. He doesn't focus his fire, and spends a lot of time shooting at Echo when he should really have been trying to drop the shuttle. I dodge all of it (as you do with 5 green dice and focus) and just take the TIEs apart.

Game 5 is a good one, facing a Chirineau Decimator with Rebel Captive and Vader and 3x Bombers. I go all out at the Decimator and manage to drop it in 3 turns with concentrated fire. Vessery is a pro at dodging, despite being focused on by the Deci and the Bombers, and lives on 3hp. Unfortunately my opponent kept forgetting about his Rebel Captive, and since I very rarely use it myself, and hadn't ever played against it before, I didn't remember it either. Which made me feel bad, but by the time we both remembered, I was flipping dials. With the Deci down, I manage to keep my ships alive and slowly whittle down the bombers.

I make the top 8 cut in second place, having more combined points than the guy in first place, because my total losses at this point were Vessery once and the Shuttle twice (I can't remember in which game I lost the shuttle - 4 or 5 I think).

I go into the first game of Match 6 very tired, and find I'm playing the same guy as last time. 3x Bombers and Cheery. To his absolute credit, he learns from the last game and adapts, and I make at least 4 critical play errors that he takes advantage of, and the dice aren't on my side enough to mitigate them. This time he puts Cheery on the opposite corner to me and leads with the bombers. I figure there's no harm in jousting with them and maybe dropping one or two, but my initial shooting is unimpressive and I lose a shield off Echo. Next turn I'm careless with Echo and decloak into R3 of Cheery, who I forget has Vader aboard. He missed, but Vaders to strip the last shield. Vessery takes fire from 2 bombers at R1 and fails to dodge any of it, dropping his shields. I manage to drop a bomber. Next turn Echo AGAIN decloaks into R3 of Cheery, and takes another Vader crit (not an important one), Vessery hits 1hp. I put some more damage on the bombers but it doesn't matter, as I can't escape R3 of Cheery with my decloak options this turn. Echo and Vessery die, and I concede.

I was pretty disappointed by my maneuvers in the last game. I was trying to play in a way that the list didn't support, and was making too many mistakes. The dice certainly weren't on my side, but I won't blame them for that, since they'd carried me well enough all day. By this point it was 6pm, we started at 9am, and I was running on 5 hours sleep. We got 10-15 minute breaks between the rounds, but that was it. No lunch time. My eyes were burning from not blinking enough, and I was making really obvious movement choices that were just wrong. My opponent in that last one simply played better than I did, which is fair enough!

I was happy to make the top 8 (I never thought I'd manage second place in a 33-player event!) and had a great day of X-Wing. I look forward to going to more days like it, this time with 8 hours sleep under my belt and some form of caffeine! :laugh:
 
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