18 April 2016

So long and bye bye Intentional Draws!

Dear X-Wingers,

The long awaited (two agonizing days) announcement from Fantasy Flight Games has arrived!

Here are the exact words of our friendly neighborhood regarding the nefarious Intentional Draw!

"A recent update to the tournament regulations for each game supported by Organized Play highlighted intentional draws as a valid outcome to a match that competitors could choose to employ. This inclusion was made in the interest of a fair competitive play environment after seeing the implications of draws as a possible outcome without also including intentional draws as a legal option. The existence of intentional draws levels the playing field for all if draws of any kind are allowed in a game’s tournament play.

However, we have been listening to our communities of players and organizers following a noteworthy instance of intentional draws at a Regional Championship. One sentiment that resonated with many was that tournaments exist to bring people together to play games. We agree wholeheartedly with that goal, and we are charting a path toward achieving it more effectively.

After discussion with game developers and organizers, we have identified viable methods for the removal of draws from the tournament experience for our games which feature single-game Swiss rounds. In our games which feature two-game Swiss rounds (Android: Netrunner™ and Star Wars™: The Card Game), we are not planning any change to the intentional split policy due to the frequency of matches which result in equal tournament points awarded to both players.

This decision was not made lightly. We will be allowing the time necessary for these methods to be examined and fully tested before determining which will be used for resolving matches currently handled as draws. Each game's next Tournament Regulations update in July will include its new method, and it will become effective for tournaments starting August 1st, 2016. Until then, the current Tournament Regulations will remain in effect."

Wait...did I read that correctly? Let's read that again shall we.

After discussion with game developers and organizers, we have identified viable methods for the removal of draws from the tournament experience for our games which feature single-game Swiss rounds.

Come August 1st, it looks like Intentional Draws will be removed from X-Wing as it has a single round of Swiss. Can I get an 'Amen' folks?

No quickly cancel your tournaments, and only fly casual until August 1st for those of you who are unhappy with IDs in higher level play like regionals.

For the entire article from FFG please click here.

Goodbye for now fellow nerds and nerdettes.



15 April 2016

Say what??? Intentional Draw announcement?



Well folks...FFG has answered (kinda)!

However, we will all have to wait until Monday to get the full understanding.

Any guesses? I am looking into crystal ball and I see the following words:

"We understand that many players are upset with the newly instated intentional draw (ID) rule, however, it is a great rule and we love it! We play tested the heck out of it with some of our top players and it is working within the scope of the design. Yet we felt it was missing something, so we have updated the scoring structure of the game to accommodate a more balance approach to IDs in higher level play. Please find the following updated point structure:

Match Win = 6 points
Match Loss = -6 points
Modified Win = 1 point
Modified Loss = -1 point
Intentional Draw = 5 points

We hope that this new scoring structure will encourage the use at all levels of play. Best of luck and keep flying! - with love from Frank"


Peace out
Nic and Jeb

13 April 2016

Twitch Tuesday with Aaron Utley


Hi Folks!

Due to our recent post regarding Intentional Draws (ID), Jeb and I thought this was a timely and appropriate twitch stream (and now a recorded YouTube video) that allows us to hear from those that partook in an ID themselves.

Check out the 4th episode of Twitch Tuesday with Aaron Utely, if you want to learn more about this controversial topic and why those folks did what they did over at the 2016 Roanoke Regional tournament.

TMB DISCLAIMER: We are not responsible nor liable for you breaking your computer screen, iPad, smart phone, or whatever by your reactions to these fine gents explanations about ID.

If your interested in 2016 Roanoke Regional action, check out his YouTube page, Stele Enterprises.

So long, farewell, avidazen, goodnight! 

12 April 2016

To Draw or not to Draw...that is the question!


Dear X-Wingers,

Today I write with a heavy heart, that our precious X-Wing community has been trampled into dust.

We lowly local mortals of the X-Wing world are now simply, shadows and dust.

In case you are unsure of what I am referring to, I point you to the new ruling within the tournament regulations called "Intentional Draws". To briefly summarize, if players would like to intentionally draw, they agree to a tie game rather than playing it out. No shoosting, no fancy flying, just chilling and agreeing to not play the game.

At first this does not seem like much, but in higher level play you can end up with some sticky scenarios where those holding the top places can intentionally tie and typically make the top 4 or 8 cut depending on the size of the tournament. Talk about some slim shady (man that was one of the best songs ever, am I right?) business going down.

As the regional tournament scene heats up and the stakes become even higher, we run into some folks using the intentional draw.

Then this dropped on my bookface page:




MIC DROP!

I am not entirely sure who this Doug  Kinny fellow is, but I hear he perfected the TIE swarm and won some stuff. He had some nice words for this other fellow who apparently has won some stuff as well.

Then came a lovely article well written article by a good friend of the bar the Table Top General.

Dang, this stuff is getting more intense and seems to have hit a nerve with some X-Wing players.

And, another article from Rule 37.

And this post on Reddit.

And another one.

This list goes on and one it would seem.

So players are pissed. As am I. As you should be as well. However, here is the caveat: the rules are the rules, and as such we must abide by them. We do not have to respect them, but we must adhere to the rules until they are altered.

This also includes TOURNAMENT ORGANIZERS.

I have heard of a few TOs who are refusing to acknowledge this ruling as they feel it falls into the unsporting conduct area of the game. However, I strongly disagree. The rules read as follows:

Unsporting Conduct
"Players are expected to behave in a mature and considerate manner, and to play within the rules and not abuse them. This prohibits intentionally stalling a game for time, placing components with excessive force, inappropriate behavior, treating an opponent with a lack of courtesy or respect, cheating, etc. Collusion among players to manipulate scoring is expressly forbidden. Players cannot reference outside material or information during a round. However, players may reference official rule documents at any time or ask a judge for clarification from official rule documents.
The organizer, at his or her sole discretion, may remove players from the tournament for unsportsmanlike conduct."

But but but Nic, isn't collusion wrong? Ins't an intentional draw collusion? NO! As the rules read currently, intentional draws are not unsporting behavior but fall within the realm of the tournament rules (as of March 16th, 2016). As such, this is not unsporting.

To ignore this rule or state that you will not adhere to it as a TO is flat out wrong. If you do not like it, then do not be a TO. Plain and simple.

Some might disagree with me (you are welcome to as this is an opinion article), however the rules are the rules. Feel free to rage, rant, yell, scream, and flip tables (actually don't miniatures are expensive and fragile).

Most of us can agree that we would never do this in competitive play, but I imagine it would be very tempting in order to secure a place within the cut. I know I would personally refuse to do so (as I enjoy playing the game and I do not get to play in tournaments as much as I like), however it is rather seductive. Careful, those thoughts are one that lead to a pathway some might consider...unnatural. If anyone at our local store, Galactic Comics and Games, intentionally draws (outside of a tournament) I will throw rotten fruit at them until they run away in shame.

Here is a simple way to avoid this ruling: WIN!

Rant over. Go shoot some Palp mobiles or whatever folks and enjoy using, abusing, or flat out ignoring the rules.




03 April 2016

Spring League Round 1 Results (EDITED)


Hello fellow nerd, nerdettes, compadres, compatriots, comrades!

Nic here....and today we will discuss the results of last weeks Spring League! In case you are unfamiliar with our league, here are a few clarifications:


Here are the week 1 match-ups with each associated list and outcomes:


(A) Matt J - Destroyed 50 Points

E-Wing : Coran Horn (35)
Fire Control (3), Push the Limit (4), R2D2 (4), Engine Upgrade (4)

YT-2400: Dash Rendar (36)
Outrider Title (5), Heavy Laser (7), Mercenary Copilot (2), Veterans Instinct (1)

Total: 100

A) Charles- Destroyed 51 Points

 JumpMaster 5000: Dengar (33)
"Gonk" (2), Unhinged Astromech (1), Glitterstim (2), Punishing One (12)

Firespray-31: Boba Fett (39)
Adaptability (0), Heavy Laser Cannon (7), Zuckuss (1), "Hot Shot" Blaster (3)

Total: 100

Wow! Talk about a close game! From what I can gather from the match (as it was not recorded) it literally came down to the last seconds of the game and Charles pulled out the last minute win with Dengar getting a last minute shot on Dash.

With the current meta (the one that involves a series of aces and a Palp Mobile), I am very scared of ever running two big ships. It is far too easy to get arc dodged by Ace squads. I understand that turret ships like the JumpMaster help with this, but if group of Aces focuses on him or is able to isolate Boba it could be over quickly. Moreover, multiple ships on the board at one time do require your opponent to plan his moves a bit more carefully.

Personally, these lists are not forgiving and any little mistake will hurt you. I have adopted the mentality that Nova Squadron discussed a while back about 4 ship lists and how it provides more flexibility and adaptability for counters. It also makes your opponent spread his fire out if flown correctly. Take it or leave it, that is my opinion.

(B) Thomas F- Destroyed 63 Points

VY-666: Bossk (35)
Veteran Instincts (1), Tractor Beam (1), Intelligence Agent (1), Zuckuss (1)

JumpMaster 5000: Contracted Scout (25)
Deadeye (1), Proton Torpedoes (4), Extra Munitions (2), Guidance Chips (0), Boba Fett (1), R4 Agromech (2)

Z-95 Headhunter: Black Sun Soldier (13)

Z-95 Headhunter: Black Sun Soldier (13)

Total: 100

(B) Nic - Destroyed 36 Points

VCX-100: Lothal Rebel (35)
Dash Rendar (2), Tactical Jammer (1) 

T-70 X-Wing: Poe Dameron (31)
Veteran Instincts (1), R5-P9 (3), Autothrusters (2)

Bandit Squadron Pilot (12): Z-95 Headhunter

Bandit Squadron Pilot (12): Z-95 Headhunter

Total: 99 

Now this match-up against Thomas - aka my nemesis for life - was rough. Plain and simple we both flew well, my dice (or maybe it was my lack of midichlorians count) were against me but they were with Thomas. For example, in Picture 1 you can see my Poe and Two Z's lined up for some shots on on Thomas Z-95 (the one behind Dengar). Poe rolls a nice two hits and a crit. Thomas looks at me and calls three evades and rolls three evades. It also does not help when Ghost was in range 1 and could not attack because of BlindPilot crit (aka - the one that says "F-You this round, good luck next time"dealt by Bossk. That was how most of the match went.

However, Thomas had a very nice list that allowed all of his ships to shoot prior to my Ghost (as I foolishly gave away initiative). In addition, the combo of Deadeye, Proton Torpedoes, Guidance Chips, and R4 Agromech on the Jumpmaster is a ideal. It works in this manner: At range 2-3 you shoot your PT. Deadeye allows you to spend your focus in lieu of Target Lock. R4-Agromech triggers and gives you a free Target Lock (prior to modifying your dice) because you spent your focus token. Finally, PT allow change a focus result to a crit hit and Guidance Chips changes a die result to a hit or crit (if primary weapon value is three or higher).

Now it is not guaranteed that you will end up with a crit, however, the odds are with you with a large base ship like Ghost. In this case, Boba Fett jumped into my ship and ripped Dash right out into space while giving Lothal Rebel the finger. Currently, Thomas Boba Fett has around 30 points destroyed to his name (mainly punishing one Titles and the like) and the tally keeps climbing.

Personally moving forward Ghost needs Hera as a crew to provide more flexibility on maneuvers or all the bells and whistles. To clarify, Ghost with Fire Control Systems, Dorsal Turret, Recon Specialist, and Ghost Title with Zeb in the Attack Shuttle docked can provide Ghost with available dice modifiers for two shots each round.

At the end of the day Ghost is a good ship bu it dies fast against multiple ship and higher Pilot Skill lists.

Picture 1: Ouch to the face and nasty crit buisness


(C) Matt E - Destroyed 100 Points

G-1A Starfighter: Zuckuss (28)
Opportunist (4), Sensor Jammer (4), "Gonk" (2), "Hot Shot" Blaster (3)

HWK-290: Palob Godalhi (20)
Dorsal Turret (3), Stealth Device (3), Cloaking Device (2)

Y-Wing: Kavil (24)
Opportunist (4), Dorsal Turret (3)

Total: 100

(C) Tommy - Destroyed 0 Points

TIE Punisher: Redline (27),
Extra Munitions (2), Cluster Missiles (4), Proximity Mines (3), Cluster Mines (4), Stealth Device (3)

Firespray-31: Krassis Trelix (36)
Proton Rockets (3), “Mangler” Cannon (4), Proton Bombs (5), Mercenary Copilot (2), Slave-1 (0), Stealth Device (3), Extra Munitions (2).

Total: 100

This scum build by Matt is incredibly creative. Six attack dice is incredibly strong against two and one evade dice lists.

How does this work you ask? Zuckuss flies into range one adds a single attack dice for range one and adds a single attack dice for his pilot ability. If Palob is nearby and within range 1-2, he can remove a focus or evade from an enemy and assign it to himself. Opportunist allows you to roll an additional dice when your opponent does not have a focus or evade assigned to the ship. In the end you have the potential for six attack dice with Zuckuss and possible four attack dice with Kavil. Sound fun?

As for Tommy (who is a very new player to the game but has some fantastic ideas!), I like Redline and Krassis somewhat but they seem a bit heavy for my taste. To clarify, I typically do not run ships (like Redline in this list) that are loaded down with a plethera of missiles and mines. It requires time to set up each missile and bomb appropriately. In addition, it paints a large target on your back. Secondly, Prot Rockets on Trelix is an interesting idea, but not my favorite as it requires range one to trigger. I would prefer Tommy to drop Redline and the Prot Rockets on Trelix and replace with some TIE/fo or TIEs with Crack Shot.

(Spoiler: Tommy did very well in his week two build and won his match, but more on that next week)

(D) Floyd - Destroyed 100 Points

4 x Thug Y-Wings (18),
4 x TLT (6),
4 x Unhinged Astromech (1)

Total: 100


(D) Jeb - Destroyed 50 Points

Lambda-Class Shuttle: Omicron Group Pilot (21)
 Emperor Palpatine (8)

TIE Fighter: Black Squadron Pilot (14) x 2
Crack Shot (1) x 2

TIE/fo Fighter: Omega Leader (21)
Comm Relay (3), Crack Shot (1)

TIE Fighter: Backstabber (16)

Total: 100

Recently this list has been deemed by us in the league as "Push A to Win". This is a gamer term, but essentially fly in a circle and shoot. Not much fancy flying with four Y-wings with TLTs and your opponent must stay at range 1 and deal you a total of 32 hits. As such, a viable meta list that has people a bit discouraged with the X-Wing Miniatures due to the lack of technical flying skills required in this list.

Early in the game Jeb ran his shuttle in front of his TIEs and got in the face of the Y-Wings (See Picture 2). He ended up with setting a nice blockade with the shuttle. His idea was to corral the Y-Wings and try and get the TIEs at range 1. However, almost all of the TIES ended up at range two as a Large Ship base is approximately 80% (thanks for the correction Table Top General!) of the range band for range 1. As such, the TIEs fell rather quickly but were able to deal some damage to the Y's.

For Jeb's list, I would drop Palpatine, the shuttle, crack shot from Omega Leader, and Backstabber. I would then add:
1 x Black Squadron with Crack Shot
Juke and Stealth Device to Omega Leader
Omega Ace with Juke, Comm Relay, and Twin Ion Engine Mk. II

This can give you more damage output and more viability to stay at range 1 and Juke is similar to Sensor Jammer. If you are able to strip the actions from some of the Y-Wings and then change a hit dice to a focus, you have a mini Sensor Jammer on TIEs. Again, personal opinion so please provide some feedback if you disagree.



Picture 2: Shuttle in the face


(E) Neal - Destroyed 24 Points

TIE/fo: Omega Leader  (21)
 Comm Relay (3), Juke (2), Stealth Device (3)

TIE/fo: Omega Ace (20)
Comm Relay (3), Push the Limit (3), Twin Ion Engine Mk. II (1)

TIE/fo Fighter: Omega Squadron Pilot x 2 (17)
Comm Relay (3), Juke (1)

Total: 100


(E) Nate - Destroyed 56 Points

T-70 X Wing: Poe Dameron (31)
Adaptability (0), R5-P9 (3)

Y-Wing (24) x 2
Gold Squadron Pilot (18), TLT (6)

A-Wing: Green Squadron Pilot (19)
Chardaan Refit (-2)
Crack Shot (1)

Total: 100

This match-up comprised of two flexible grab bags with some well thought out lists brought to the table by both players. Nate's list has around 8 to 10 combinations within his bag and Neal has round 5 to 6. This provides the flexibility and makes the future match-ups difficult to predict for future opponents.

One quick note: this was some of the original intention of the grab bags. If players were able to provide enough cards and pilots to make a large combination of lists, you will have to out-think (as you know your opponents list a week ahead of time) as well as out-fly your opponents each week. This type of league is not for everyone as it requires commitment and brain power. Some players just want to show up and play a game with a random person. Others enjoy the strategy behind being able to out-wit your opponent.

As for Neal's list, I really enjoy the Juke and Comm Relay combination (see Floyd and Jeb's match up for some specifics). Omega Ace with Push the Limit is a creative idea as you need a target lock and focus to take advantage of his pilot skill. In this case, it worked out for Neal and he was able deal a decent amount of damage against Poe at range one early on. I am not sure what I would change in this list currently as it seems rather viable and flexible. My only issue is that TIE/fo are still just TIEs and can get destroyed in one shot by higher PS high damage output ships.

As for Nate's list, I like the idea of an A-Wing with crack but I am not sold on a single ship with a single crack shot. I am not sold on the idea but I understand why Nate had it in his list. He included it because A-Wing dials are fantastic, have a higher evade potential against a probable TIE formation, and it just fit within the 100 point scheme. His four ship list has the potential to spread out his opponents fire and give him more HP overall for his opponent to chew through. In the end, I think the Y's won it for Nate as Neal focused on them as they had the potential to deal the most damage to his ships. The one thing I would bring against Neal in this case is debris (Picture 3) rather than asteroids. That way if the TIEs fly over it they are stressed and that could alter the formations. However, this is again just a thought.

Picture 3: Debris Cloud rules

Picture 4: Omega Squadron and Green/Black/Gold/wha?? Squadron


As such, with the outcomes here are the current standings:
(1) Matt E
(2) Floyd
(3) Nate
(4) Thomas F
(5) Charles
(6) Matt J
(7) Nic
(8) Neal
(9) Jeb
(10) Tommy

Overall this league is fun! I have enjoyed the challenge.

See you on the flip side.