There was some hot Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game tournament action at Imagine Games & Hobbies last Sunday. I had 4 fun games against great opponents.
I ran a 7-ship TIE swarm, led by Soontir Fel:
Soontir Fel — TIE Interceptor = 27
6 x Academy Pilots — 6 TIE Fighters (6x12) = 72
Total = 99 points
From my practice games, my general plan was to set up 6 TIE Fighters in formation in whichever corner granted me the most maneuvering room, and to deploy Soontir Fel in the opposite corner, facing in diagonally.
My TIE swarm is seen below deployed across the table from Jer's elite Darth Vader flight.
After a lot of maneuvering and dancing around, the swarm got Darth Vader in their sights and shot him down, garnering me a modified match win.
I faced off against Ian's TIE swarm led by Darth Vader in a shuttle. As the game opened, I pushed Fel too far ahead of his squadron. Below, Ian's ships blast Soontir Fel out of the sky.
The rest of my TIE swarm was a turn too late to help, but were in a good position to attack Vader's ship next turn.
Below, furious action as Darth Vader's shuttle finally goes down. That guy force-choked my pilots from his bridge!
The destruction of Darth Vader and some opposing TIE fighters was enough to grant me a modified match win.
Matt's elite team of Soontir Fel and Darth Vader (armed with Assault Missiles!) forced me to spread out the TIE formation.
Matt's Soontir Fel (talk about Clone Wars!) was nailed by a lucky close range shot from one of my TIE Fighters.
Darth Vader never got off a shot. I shot down Matt's Fel; since my force lost only a TIE Fighter in return, I managed to eek out another modified match win
Ty's fielded a cool Rebel flight: Blue Sqdn. B-Wing w/ Ion Cannon, Blue Sqdn. B-Wing, Gold Y-Wing w/ Ion Turret, and Jan Ors in a Hwk-290 with yet ANOTHER Ion Turret.
I made a fundamental error and moved towards the centre. I should have stayed on the left flank of the asteroid field and forced the Rebels to come to me.
I made another error by moving a couple of TIEs too fast and running into an asteroid! Below, Soontir Fel goes down to a 5-dice (!) volley from a B-Wing. Jan Ors granted the B-Wing an extra attack dice; it's a very good backfield ship and pilot.
I managed to nail the heavy-armed B-Wing, but it was too little, too late. Ian ion-cannoned more of my TIE fighters into asteroids, granting him the match win!
Overall Result: 3-0-1 Win/Tie/Loss record (for 9 Tournament points)
Many thanks to Perry and Imagine Games and Hobbies for organizing and hosting the event. Congrats to Conscript Byron (fielding 2 B-Wings and 2 X-Wings) and to Chris (ETA: Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon w/ a Gunner, and 2 x Blue Sqdn. B-Wings ea. w/ Fire Control Systems) for winning 1st and 2nd place!
Note: Chris posted his own report for the tournament, located here.
TIE Swarms and Firepower
I found running 7 ships mentally exhausting. However, the firepower of all those ships can be very effective. One objective seemed to be to keep them together as best as I could. Making the other guy move through the asteroid field is also key; in my last game the asteroids did as much damage to my ships as Ty's guns!
TheMetalBikini.com posted some very informative articles about moving in formation. It's a three-part series: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
BoLS recently published a great article on ship placement, located here.
A few days after the tournament, FFG changed the tournament rules. Version 1.5.2 of these rules are posted here: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/x-wing/support/faq/X-Wing-Tournament-Rules.pdf
Interestingly, the differential required for a full match win has been reduced from 33 points to only 12 points, the cost of a single Academy Pilot TIE Fighter. This could be both good and bad for the TIE swarm as a concept. Conscript Kevin has stated that firepower is important; he has been recently play-testing a swarm consisting of 6 named TIE Fighter pilots (Howlrunner, Mauler Mithel, Dark Curse, Backstabber, Winged Gundark, and Night Beast). At the tournament, IIRC I fielded the largest force, with 7 ships. The majority of the Galactic Empire players seemed to be running elite 4-ships lists.
I am jonesing to try out one of the following lists, since I am a big fan of both the Millennium Falcon (my all-time favourite sci-fi ship) and Chewbacca:
Chewbacca — YT-1300 (Determination, Gunner, Millennium Falcon) 49 pts.
Rookie Pilot — X-Wing (R2 Astromech) 22 pts.
Blue Squadron Pilot — B-Wing (Heavy Laser Cannon) 29 pts.
Total = 100 pts.
Chewbacca — YT-1300 (Determination, Cluster Missiles, Nien Nunb) 48 pts
Blue Squadron Pilot — B-Wing - 22 pts.
Jan Ors — HWK-290 (Ion Cannon Turret) 30 pts.
Total = 100 pts.