After falling head over heels into the world of the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game (known simply as X-Wing) at the start of the year, the first Covid lockdown hit and I was disappointed to sit at home unable to duel it out with my friends, who for 75 minutes would become my mortal enemies.
As the lockdown lifted, I was delighted to hear that my FLGS (Friendly Local Games Store) was putting on an X-Wing tournament. I decided to fly my beloved and so far successful “Wolfpack” list, who had four wins in five games. My list was led by the blonde cyborg, Guri, in her spider-like StarViper-class Attack Platform, with the Fire-Control System and Outmaneuver upgrades. The heavy-hitter of my list was the lizard-like Trandoshan, Bossk (as seen briefly in the Empire Strikes Back film), in his YV-666 Light Freighter with the Marksmanship upgrade and the astromech BT-1 as a specialist gunner. Making up the list were two Crymorah Goons, flying Y-Wings, who I referred to as Goon 1 and Goon 2!
There were 14 entrants in the tournament and we each played 4 games. The first game would be a random draw, then subsequent games would be worked out by a computer in a “Swiss” tournament format.
Game 1: A Familiar Foe
Of 14 participants, I was drawn against my friend, Andy. In the first game, I faced his strong Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles and E-Wing list.
I made the mistake of flying my Y-Wing Goons into engagement range too early, and with Guri and Bossk out of range on the flanks the Goons were hammered with Proton Torpedoes without any support - one dying early-on and the other critically damaged and would Goon meet his own demise.
Bossk wasn’t his usual effective self and suffered half damage after a particularly nasty torpedo experience. Guri fared even worse, suffering critical damage that gave her a double-stress, which meant she was stuck facing away from the action without an available shot. And most sadly of all, she got destroyed with the very last shot of the game! (Neither her nor Bossk had been destroyed in any of the Wolfpack’s previous five battles).
On the plus side, I managed to half-damage Luke and Wedge (with both a point away from destruction). Andy won with a resounding score of 65-164, but I felt like I didn’t quite get the luck here.
Game 2: Bossk Hates Droids
After round 1, the organisers crunched the numbers and bizarrely paired me with my other friend, Ed, and his Separatist Droid fleet.
I got this one wrong too - I focused on the two higher-point ships, DBS-404 (in the Hyena Bomber) and Captain Sear (in the Belbullab), eventually killing them both, but Bossk got entangled with the swarm’s buzz droids and was destroyed for the first time ever. Quite a poignant moment for me - but I kept my emotions bottled up as much as I could and continued the battle!
Soon also perished and the other was half-pointed, while Guri’s return to form meant she escaped completely unscathed. Late in the game, I almost half-pointed a droid that would have won me the game, but Ed got the defence roll he needed to keep his three remaining droids intact and narrowly scrape the win 113-123.
Game 3: Fighting a Ghost
In my next game, I came up against an unfamiliar opponent whose force looked quite formidable! He had Hera Syndulla in the Ghost - a ship that makes Bossk’s YV-666 look like a Ford Fiesta! His Ghost came with a whopping 16 hit points and was loaded with upgrades and crew. He also flew Wedge in an X-Wing (don’t all Rebels?!) and Jan Ors in the HWK-290.
The game itself turned out to be an entertaining game for both of us. I decided to target the 97-point Ghost and quickly realised it was fairly manoeuvrable for a large ship - Guri buzzed around the Ghost like an angry wasp while the Goons pummelled it with shot after shot. Bossk was caught out of position but I chose to fly him purposely over a gas cloud to get him back into the game, and it paid off, as he helped to bring the Ghost down.
I then made a silly mistake, setting my dial to the wrong direction for Bossk, which put him in an awkward position near the edge of the play area and meant Guri bumped him! But in the end, I made the best of it and it worked out well as they ended up going in different directions and splitting my attack to perplex my opponent.
Goon 2 perished while Goon 1 and Guri suffered half damage. The game ended with Goon 1 chasing Jan Ors into the distance and Wedge almost getting half-pointed.
A worthy 97-81 victory in the end, and a return to form for the Wolfpack. I was just pleased to have won at least one game!
Game 4: Wedge… Again?!
After winning Game 3 I went into Game 4 feeling like the pressure was off and I came up against a list with Wedge (surprise, surprise!) in his X-Wing, two A-Wings (Arvel and Jake) and Ten Numb in a B-Wing.
I hate flying against A-Wings so I decided to ignore them as much as I could and concentrate on the more point-heavy B-Wing. I went in hard with Guri, ably supported by the other Pack members and quickly blew it up!
My opponent was of a more emotional disposition than my previous foes and would greet damage to his ships with a torrent of expletives! (Which made me smile inside!) He made the error of flying his A-Wings too close to Bossk and the Goons, and it meant the end for Arvel, while Jake got half-pointed.
I managed to defy the odds as Bossk inexplicably outmanoeuvred Wedge and half-pointed him! Guri hid at the far end of the play area to keep herself from getting blown away by Wedge at the very end.
As time was running out it was obvious I was going to win barring a disaster. Near the end, Goon 2 perished and all of my other ships got half-pointed, but the destruction of two of my opponent’s ships was too much to come back from.
It was a very satisfying 146-113 win and a great way to sign-off from the tournament, with two losses followed by two wins. This put me in 8th place of 14 in the final league table with a points difference of minus-60 overall.
The spoils of Victory and Defeat
Finishing with two wins meant I ended the day on a high and gained some respectability incoming top of the bottom half of the final league table! I beat two strangers but lost to my two friends, which unfortunately gives them bragging rights! Although I have to admit I was proud of Andy, who ended up coming 2nd overall, while Ed finished just above me in 7th place.
For my troubles I got to pick two limited Edition cards in the post-tournament prize giving ceremony - I went for Afterburners and SnapShot.
It was a great day, although I was pretty sick of “Cinnamon” Wedge Antilles, who I faced three times in the tournament!
I thought playing in this tournament might give me X-Wing burnout - conversely, I almost immediately invested in a fleet of First Order ships! I have decided to rest the Wolfpack for a while, at least in their current structure - but Guri is my favourite pilot in the whole game, plus I have a deep affection for Bossk - enough to name one of my pet chickens after him!! That’s the ultimate testament to how deeply this game has touched me!