Gosh it has been a while since I got anything down here, but life, as they say, barrels onwards towards the existential horror of the Heat Death of the Universe, or something like that. We've been busy, and one of the things I wanted to get down on (virtual) paper was mine and Ewan's experience at our first competitive gaming tournament, an X-Wing Miniatures Game Regional held at IQ Gaming in Huddersfield last weekend. Neither of us have done anything like this before, so it was with some trepidation we found ourselves in a 3-storey building full of gaming tables and about 130 competitors. So here's how I got on.
The general atmosphere was a mix of really friendly and really intimidating. The former because everyone was nice, and open and welcoming, but the latter because so many people seemed to know each other, and because a lot of people came equipped with additional paraphernalia, even team shirts (!) that made me feel like a newcomer even if no-one meant to. I should add that the organisation was top-notch throughout, which really helped keep a very long day feel much shorter and action-packed.
Game 1: Naturally enough I started the day on a 100 point loss, wiped off the board by Darth Vader and the Emperor (in a Decimator). Slightly annoyingly I was one point of damage off getting the large ship (the Decimator) to half hits, which would have earned me some consolation points, but it was not to be. I was pretty efficiently dispatched, but I made a daft tactical blunder a few turns in that really cost me too. Welcome to the Tournament Scene!
Game 2: Flying against a two ships list (Miranda Doni in a K-Wing and Corran Horn in an E-Wing, if that means anything to you), I got off to a great start by junking the former in short order. The latter, however, was a different story, due to a mix of strong firepower and resilience I lost a couple of ships and then spent about 40 minutes chasing him around the board. He couldn't turn on me effectively, but I just couldn't get the final blow in. We ran out of time, and I lost on net points destroyed. Damn you, Corran Horn!
Game 3: So this is the low point for me. With the last game running to time, and the Organizers shortening lunch to keep to schedule, we scrambled for lunch, and got back just as the next round was starting. So I was trying eat, setup, get Ewan to a table, and apologise for it all, and started the game totally flustered. I setup badly, missed what my opponents list to could do, and just made a run of poor decisions in the first couple of turns. I even managed to roll the wrong number of dice at one point. Thankfully my opponent didn't either laugh, or yell at me, and I recovered enough to scrape some probably undeserved points from the game.
Game 4: OK, so everyone has a game where the Gods of Luck abandon them and this was mine. Honestly, I don't think I did anything wrong, but I lost two ships in the first 3 or 4 turns to an amazing string of defense rolls where it felt like all the dice were blanks. Just horrible. My survivor did go on a bit of a rampage, getting two kills against lumbering B-Wings, but my opponents Falcon was always a big ask and so, four games in, I was still winless.
Game 5: It finally happened in Game 5. Yes, I got a win. Not just a win, but a decisive one. Everything fell into place, after nearly 7 hours of playing, and my opponents list (two ARC-170s, plus the ever-sacrificial Biggs Darklighter) were dispatched without loss. Everything just worked, and even now I feel sorry for my opponent who had to put up with me probably failing to hide my relief and delight. Maybe I'm not totally rubbish at this after all?
Game 6: I rounded off the day with another win, this time against a player whose body language seemed to indicate he hadn't won a game all day. He was certainly half-defeated before we started. This time it was short and pretty brutal, his fragile swarm of M3A Heavy Scyks not able to withstand the close-range firepower I could put out. But gosh it was good to end on a win - more so because Ewan, on a table just behind me, finished on an equally decisive victory.
So thats it - 2 wins, 4 losses and an overall placement of 87th. Actually pretty happy with that as my aim for the day was to win a single game and not totally embarrass myself. Ewan loved it, although he came 108th, and has buzzed about the experience all week, what he wants to try next, and produced a large shopping list of new ships that we "need" to get. We're already booked in for the next regional in February, in Sheffield.
For completeness, my list was:
Fenn Rau (Protectorate Starfighter); Attanni Mindlink, Autothrusters, Concord Dawn Protector
Old Terroch (Protectorate Starfighter); Attanni Mindlink, Autothrusters, Concord Dawn Protector
Manaroo (Jumpmaster 5000); Attanni Mindlink, Unhinged Astromech, K4 Security Droid, Feedback Array, Stealth Device