24 June 2016

Beat the Heat: A casual X-Wing Tournament at Galactic Comics and Games

Greetings and salutations fellow nerds and nerdettes!

Nic here -

Summer is in full swing down in Southern Georgia with the weather giving us a lovely heat index of approximately 105 degrees. Being from California originally, I tend to hibernate indoors each summer as my pale skin burns immediately upon venturing to the great outdoors.

Anyways - coming up TMB is hosting a casual X-Wing tournament at Galactic Comics and Games in Statesboro, Georgia on July 9th (For event details click here). The format for the event is as follows:

Each player must bring 2x100 point or less lists.

Lists must be unique and as such cannot share or contain unique pilots or upgrades cards within both lists (E.g. List A has Soontir + Push the Limit and Omicron Pilot + Palpatine, List B may not have Soontir or Palpatine but may have a Omicron Pilot and PTL).

Each list must contain at the minimum a single unique pilot or upgrade card.

Your opponent will have access to review the lists prior to the match.

Each opponent will choose the list that they wish to fly against.

The initial choosing player will be determined with a pre-game dice roll between opponents (initiative bids will not play a role in this process but will effect normal deployment).

As of now, it is a $10 buy in for the tournament and the prizes should be the following:

Pending the amount of players, the tournament will run by standard FFG rules (4 rounds follow by a cut to the top). Imperial Veterans is 100% legal and encouraged for this tournament.

Sounds fun right? This tournament format is intended to push players to expand their horizons and become creative with list building as the tournament requires each list to contain a single unique pilot or upgrade card.

As most of you read from our previous post, I am currently bored with Palp Aces. In the last four tournaments I have participated in, I observed that at least 60% of lists entered contained a variant of Palp Aces. Now this is not a bad thing, because in order to fly Palp Aces correctly requires a great deal of skill as a pilot, it does become a vapid. As such, this format allows for those who do not want to play against Palp Aces an opportunity to choose your opponents alternative list as you cannot have Palp in each list. In addition, it is the hope that this format will encourage some new players to come on out and they will not have to own a Raider in order to be competitive.

Now I would laugh if someone brings two or three u-boats and Palp Aces (both top meta lists currently) but hey at least you get to choose which one to face right?  (Nic, why are you in a my head?  I had thought about that ;-) --Jeb )

Come on out and beat the heat folks!

Hope you can come on by!

20 June 2016

FEAR -> ANGER -> HATE -> SUFFERING: REPOST from notabadpilot.com

Sometimes we at the metalbikini find pure wonderful content from other blogs. This is definitely one of those days. This post from notsuchabadpilot.com takes the information found on list juggler regarding NOVA (it's the second definition. wink wink)  regional championship and gives us a good window into what the current X-Wing meta looks like right now (mind you, I have a feeling that it is going to change drastically when the new expansions, including the Imperial Special Forces, come out)

Image Stolen from the notsuchabadpilot.com  (Also click for bigger image)
In short, it would seem that the majority of lists from arguably some of the top pilots in the game at the moment, is either Palp Aces or a 2-Scout+Zuckuss combination. Unfortunately, my (Jeb) favorite list whisper/Rear Admiral Chiraneau doesn't seem to be winning championships.

I think that the meta heavily favors the Palp aces (which I am a bit sick of to be honest). The other day a new player asked me what he should buy in order to be competitive in the tournament scene and much to chagrin I had to respond "The Raider". He shied away from me with a look of horror - ok well not exactly - but he was a bit shocked. I was not exactly happy to tell him this news, but it is not exactly any different from when Fat Han reigned supreme due to C-3PO. I am personally excited for a meta shift away from the Palp Aces lists. It is getting boring with you have mirror match after mirror match at recent tournaments.

Overall make sure your list can beat any version of Palp aces and 2 scouts with Zuckus. They are listed below (please note that these are not exhaustive nor comprehensive combinations of Palp aces):

2 Scouts with Zuckus
Zuckuss + Veteran Instincts + Gunner
Contracted Scout + Deadeye + Extra Munitions + Plasma Torpedoes + R4 Agromech + Guidance Chips
Contracted Scout + Deadeye + Extra Munitions + Plasma Torpedoes + R4 Agromech + Guidance Chips

 Palp Aces

Version 1 -
Omicron Group Pilot + Sensor Jammer + Emperor Palpatine
The Inquisitor + Push the Limit + Tie/v1 + Autothrusters
Soontir Fel + Push the Limit + Royal Guard TIE + Autothrusters + Stealth Device

Version 2 -
Soontir Fel + Push the Limit + Autothrusters + Stealth Device + Royal Guard TIE
Carnor Jax + Push the Limit + Autothrusters + Stealth Device + Royal Guard TIE
Omicron Group Pilot + Emperor Palpatine

Version 3 - 
Omega Leader + Juke + Comm Relay
Captain Yorr + Emperor Palpatine
Whisper + Veteran Instincts + Advanced Cloaking Device + Fire-Control System + Agent Kallus

In the end, I (Nic) miss my Fat Han list and wish for it to return to counter Palp aces. Perhaps a Fat Rey is in my future (I wont spoil my tentative list at this time - that is a tale for another time)??

Stay classy

19 June 2016

Ship StorRAGE

So, now you have awesome collection of Imperial Ships (or in Nic's case a bunch of weak traitor ships - especially that Ghost thingie in bowling ball form), how do your store your preciouses? That has been something that I have been trying to figure out for a while. I started with a simple accountant box with one battlefoam to hold my collection. As well as my plano case to hold all the tokens, and the other bits and bobs.

 My collection has grown and I need a better solution without costing an arm and a leg.

Let's review the solutions that our group and I  have discovered. Hopefully some of this will help you avoid some storage issues and mistakes.

Please note that even though this site has sponsors, our review is bias free (ok, almost bias free, after all I'm just a wookie)

Solution 1 - Padded Camera/Gun Case and pluck foam ($50 - $100)

This is one of Nic's solutions. Most office supply stores have a version of it.  Prices can very between $50 - $200 depending on what you find out there. Nic's exact case can be found here. The "pluck foam" used to store the ships in the case are from one of our sponsors and can be found here.  We find the price very good (about $8), however, you have to make the compartments yourself by removing the foam, unlike a foam tray from Battlefoam which is already to go.  However you pay for them being ready to go.  The battlefoam trays are more expensive ($14+). Nic has all of his tokens, dials, and such within a harbor freight compartment storage container. His cards are in sleeves within two simple three ring binders. All of these fit within the case (two storage containers, custom template holder, three one inch pluck foam stacked on top of each other, one 4 inc pluck foam positioned horizontally, and two 3-ring binders vertically)

4 Inch pluck foam to fit a few larger 

Both are 1 inch foam that hold most of my Rebel and Imperial fleets

Solution 2 - Husky Box (around $30 - $40)

This solution came from a member of the Florida/Georgia X-Wing Group ( yes, Nic and I live very close to the border).  He uses a husky box that was found at Home Depot (Dear Home Depot, send us some money) and he purchased it for about $25.  Here are the details from his explanation:

"So the big Husky I have two of; one for ships and one for everything else (upgrade cards, pilot cards, tokens, dials, bases, pegs, etc). In the top of the first box you I have the upgrade cards aligned to the left in alphabetical order. The other containers hold various other things like dice, rock/scrap, etc. The long space in the front holds maneuver templates. In the bottom of this container I have my large and small bases, pegs, large pilot cardboard, pilot cards and tokens. The pilot cards are in a Dragon Shield long storage deck box (sound $8 at your LGS). The tokens are in the stackable screw containers. You can get them at Hobby Lobby or Michaels but I got a set of 6 at Joann's for $9.99. The clear box you see inside this container hold my dials, bomb tokens, and small pilot cardboard). You can get those at your local Walmart."

Look how nicely those ships fit within the little boxes? I like it! However, I do prefer a bit more padding to protect those tiny breakable S-foils.

Solution 3 - Feldherr Maxi Case ($69)

This is actually the solution I ended up with.  The price ($69) was right and included the foam ( they say it holds "Decimator, Lambda Shuttle, 50 Ships" ) as well as a bag to carry most of my stuff with.  The pilot cards, upgrades, and the dials / tokens.  I am still using my 3 ring binder with baseball card holders for the pilots and business card holders for the upgrade cards.  My plano case has the bits and bobs.

Solution 4 - Battlefoam Case ($50+ - Usually does not include the foam)

This is probably the most of expensive solution of the list, but it is the most easiest solution to get and you also get to support your local game store (you know the place that usually let you play for free and has the tournaments with the fancy lootz).  This was out of my price range so I didn't explore this option to much, however, it seems to be around $20-$30 per foam insert! Yikes!

So there you go, the solutions I looked at and the final solution (that sounds really really bad) that I purchased.  Anybody else have a solutions that I missed?  or something else I should get as a tourney box or something?  or am I full of crap?  Drop us a line...

02 June 2016

Wave 9 Release Information

As I am salivating to fly the tie fight special forces tie fighter (please don't suck), FFG has released the wave 9 details.  Check it out --> https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2016/6/2/stay-in-attack-formation/

Sexy Time

23 May 2016

The art of defending the Cannon Ball - A hilarious counter to one of the jankiest lists in the galaxy

Friends, countrymen, comrades - lend me your ear!

Nic here - We are about to conclude our most recent X-Wing league and a few of us have officially dubbed a certain special list as the most jankiest list in the galaxy or meta or whatever. This is typically seen in some form of the following:

Chopper - Accuracy Corrector, Autoblaster Turret, Zeb, Tactician, Tactical Jammer, Ghost Title
Ezra - Push the Limit, Autoblaster Turret, Hera, Phantom Title
Biggs - R3-A2, Integrated Astromech

Or (the more common of the two)

Kanan - Accuracy Corrector, Autoblaster Turret, Zeb, Recon Specialist, Tactical Jammer, Ghost Title
Ezra - Rage, Autoblaster Turret, Chopper, Phantom Title
Biggs - R2-D2, Integrated Astromech

So why is this the jankiest list in the galaxy? Range 1 = 4 damage. How does this work? Accuracy Corrector paired with Autoblaster and a docked attack shuttle.

Essentially, this is a great pairing and does a decent number of damage on enemy ships at range 1. Ok who am I kidding!!! It does a freaking ton of damage that CANNOT BE CANCELED (attack with autoblaster and use accuracy corrector = 2 hits that cannot canceled by defense dice; now do it again at the end of the combat phase). Pair that with Biggs and you have a bit of a nightmare on your hands as your enemy must attack Biggs if he is in range. This saves the Ghost some damage and can allow him to survive for a bit longer (as we all know can turn the tide in a game).

Now a good Palp Aces can rock this list if they stay at range 3, or a three contracted scouts, however, you can get owned so fast with a swarm or Bossk lists. Why you ask? Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a TIE (I mean time) I flew a crack swarm of six TIEs (Howlrunner w/crack shot, 2x Omega Squadron Pilots w/crack shot, 3x Black Squadron w/crack shot) against Chopper Ghost list. I lost a TIE per round. Now granted my opponent had fantastic dice at range 3 early on and killed a TIE, but then Ghost got close and was able to kill two TIEs in one round. Before I even stripped the shields off Biggs I had lost half my list.

So I then ran away and was able to run time out and half Ghost but I still lost.

At the end of that game I felt a feeling I have not felt in a while. Fear, anger, hatred, and suffering (oh Master Yoda I let you down!). So what did I do? Run my own variant the following week and owned my opponent 100-0. Then I just felt dirty (watch the video..trust me).

In response to this list, Jeb attempted to come up with a janky list to beat the jank that will also piss people off and maybe just maybe beat the Kanan Ball (hahahah I am so funny at times) list.

It goes a little something like this:

Epsilon Leader - Comm Relay, Stealth Device
Omicron Group Pilot - Advanced Sensors, Tactical Jammer
Omicron Group Pilot - Advanced Sensors, Tactical Jammer
Omicron Group Pilot - Advanced Sensors, Tactical Jammer

And how is this a good list?? Well it is not to be honest but it is funny as heck and allows you to turtle in a corner. Move the shuttles (0) and Epsilon Leader removes stress from each shuttle so they can continue to do this all game long while Epsilon Leader bumps and stays behind the blockade. Observe the visual below:
Figure 1: Ghost and Biggs set up across of three shuttles and Epsilon Leader. Note the asteroid placement. This could force your opponent to take fire in a wide arc and potentially give you an extra evade dice for an obstructed shot.

Figure 2: Notice the nice arc set up for the shuttles

Figure 3: After a k-turn and two hard rights for epsilon leader you have your blockade with a relatively nice firing arc.

At this point, you have to force your opponent to come to you and you give Epsilon Leader an additional 1-2 evade dice per round (Tactical Jammer and Asteroid). If done correctly you can give yourself modifiable shots with a decent amount of the board within arc. Now, the funny thing about this list is it legal in tournament play (although as a TO I might get pissed off to see a flying fortress like this) and I have observed variants of this at tournaments. Can you win against many lists? NO! But I found it hilarious and again we tried to counter the Ghost.

In the end, I was still able to fit in the blind spot and do work and destroy Jeb's jank. It seems like it could work in theory, but we have to play test it a bit more.

Figure 4: Ghost owning fools

Anywho...sounds fun right?? Cannon ball list is highly competitive and fun to play but still janky as jank can get. You might disagree with me and that is fine. I still felt dirty playing it...so now enjoy some kids falling into mud to break the awkward silence or your desire to rant and rave.

What would you recommend altering or changing this list to counter the Cannon Ball? How would you change the Shuttle fortress of jank? 

(Jeb Here) - There is another version of the list to try ;-)  As Nic trashed the first attempt, there has been a revision.  However, it is super secret right now and all I can say is it involves a tractor beam. 

Peace and have fun with your jank.