Balance of the Force, round 4: Nébal (Scum and Villainy) vs Stuart Confrey (Republic) (battle report in English)
Balance of the Force, round 4! And a new battle report in English. Of course, I’m French, so I’m genetically designed to speak and write an awful English… Please be kind!
Balance of the Force is a tournament organised by the Tin Squadron, based in England. There will be six rounds of swiss, one per week. Lists were unlocked for a single day between round 2 and 3. After the swiss, there will be a top 16, and so on.
What makes this tournament peculiar and so interesting is that it is extended format, but with specific rules regarding the creation of lists. The main idea is that all pilots are split between three groups, based on their initiative values: the first group encompasses all pilots with initiative 2 or less, the second group is for pilots at initiative 3 or 4, and the third and final group is dedicated to all pilots with initiative 5 or more. Then the rule is that, for each pilot of the first group you play, your list must have a corresponding third group pilot, and vice versa. Group 2 pilots don’t need to have specific counterparts, so you can have as many as you like, and if the list has an odd number of pilots, then obviously the remaining odd pilot must be from the second group. Finally, there must be no more than three pilots of the same chassis.
For this fourth round, I have been paired with Stuart, a very nice player from England, who brought the following Republic list:
Delta-7 Aethersprite – •Ahsoka Tano – 57 (group 2)
•Ahsoka Tano – “Snips” (43)
•Astromech R4-P (2)
Naboo Royal N-1 Starfighter – •Anakin Skywalker – 50 (group 2)
•Anakin Skywalker – Hero of Naboo (41)
Passive Sensors (2)
Plasma Torpedoes (7)
Delta-7 Aethersprite – Jedi Knight – 49 (group 2)
Jedi Knight (37)
Eta-2 Actis – •Shaak Ti – 44 (group 2)
•Shaak Ti – Compassionate Mentor (44)
As for myself, I brought the Scum and Villainy list that you may already have seen in round 3, large ships with those pesky False Transponder Codes:
Lancer-class Pursuit Craft – •Asajj Ventress – 75 (group 2)
•Asajj Ventress – Force of Her Own (68)
•Shadow Caster (1)
•Zam Wesell (4)
False Transponder Codes (2)
YV-666 Light Freighter – •Bossk – 69 (group 2)
•Bossk – Fearsome Hunter (60)
•Jabba the Hutt (6)
False Transponder Codes (2)
M12-L Kimogila Fighter – •Torani Kulda – 55 (group 2)
•Torani Kulda – Rodian Freelancer (48)
False Transponder Codes (2)
Proton Rockets (5)
Now to the game.
BEWARE: RIGHT AFTER THIS OMINOUS DARTH VADER PICTURE, I WILL REVEAL HOW THE GAME TURNED OUT. IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS, WATCH THE VIDEO BEFORE READING FURTHER!
Defeat for the Scum and Villainy, 162-71… Well, me being 3-0 until now was obviously some kind of error, so back to normalcy, I guess! Well played, Stuart!
I didn’t feel confident from the beginning, just seeing Stuart’s list. One thing was that all his pilots were Force users, which is always powerful; the thing is, I can have all the False Transponder Codes in the world (and I kind of do with Jabba the Hutt), I can’t jam those. Plus all those pilots have great to excellent maneuverability (of course they do), and a great action economy, partly through the use of Force, but also due to special abilities, the most key ones being probably Ahsoka Tano’s and Shaak Ti’s; the latter allows for focus and evade tokens to remain, therefore allowing other actions, especially repositioning; and in his weird way, Baby Anakin Skywalker combines all those qualities with Full Throttle and its “free barrel roll and maybe one more” ability. Delta-7B Aethersprites can obviously hit like bricks, but the Naboo could as well through Plasma Torpedoes, who would always get through my low agility ships (for the exception, maybe, of Asajj Ventress). And I feared what would happen when they would go behind my ships; not necessary such an issue for the Lancer, but Torani Kulda and especially Bossk would be in great danger… Now I had my strong points, I guess: prohibiting a lock here and there through False Transponder Codes could certainly be useful, Shadow Caster could be as destructive as ever, landing enemy ships on obstacles and/or placing them in Torani’s bullseye or precisely where Bossk would want them to be before attacking with Greedo and his full frontal arc… Maybe Zam Wesell would allow me one or two bonus attacks, also.
Initiative was a bit tricky. I chose to go first, because, well, my ships are not exactly arc-dodgers, and I hoped to have the ability to block and perform actions, but that wasn’t all that clear, for there were anyway two I3 ships in front of me. But there was also Greedo’s charge to have in mind…
I chose to deploy in the opposite corner of Stuart’s Aethersprites. They would not joust, and I thought I had more room to maneuver and react to Stuart’s moves the other way.
Anyway, first engagement was pretty harsh for me, although that was to be expected: Bossk took about everything, and I lost half of him, which is a lot, on the first attacks, whereas I did about nothing, Asajj Ventress and Torani Kulda being a bit too far.
However, the second engagement went way better than I expected (and Stuart as well). Shadow Caster!!! It was worth spending those Force tokens (yeah, I had some too!), but I was obviously very lucky there. First, the Jedi Knight took heavy damage and a tractor token; as I thought he was in Torani’s bullseye, I hesitated before moving him, but landing him on the rock was the best option: if I couldn’t destroy him, at least that would be one less attack on Stuart’s side. But Torani blew up the Aethersprite easily; that allowed Bossk to shoot at another target, who was Shaak Ti; Greedo and Bossk doing their things combined, the Actis took two damage, clinging at one hull only, and that was half of the ship! Seeing all that, I started to believe I had a chance after all…
But I was not in the best position. I kept bumping, which prohibited me to do any actions, including target locks able to jam through restored False Transponder Codes, a barrel roll for Torani Kulda, or a focus action so that the same would be able to use her Proton Rockets (although I didn’t really believe that would happen, Stuart’s ships being aware of the threat and having many options to barrel roll, especially). And I had almost no room to maneuver with Bossk, so he would die very soon. Torani could have escaped the trap and score some points, but the 4K I tried was a bad move, Ahsoka being there to make her bump and get a stress. Only Asajj could escape. I though about doing a 5K with her early in the game, but I feared she would leave the map: 5K with a large ship covers a frightening distance… and I thought it wasn’t worth the risk. Maybe I was wrong, and if that maneuver had succeeded, I would have been in a better position, the Lancer being able to shoot with its front arc and use Shadow Caster once again…
Anyway, Bossk died, and Torani soon followed. It was Asajj against three Jedi, and, well, that was game. With too many attacks relying only on the Lancer’s turret arc, I couldn’t hope to do any damage to all those Jedi, loaded with Force, focus and evade tokens. Maybe I should have tried the lucky shot on Shaak Ti, she had only one hull left after all, but… Two red dices against, most of the time, three at best, more often than not four or maybe five green dices, with all those defensive tokens and Force? I couldn’t really hope to do anything. That was close, sometime, but I didn’t score any hit after that lucky first engagement. Anakin lost a shield while moving into a rock (thanks, rock!), and that was it. Stuart however managed to take half of Asajj before the bell rang.
And so, defeat… Good game, Stuart! Still undefeated! I wish you the best of luck for the remainder of the tournament!
So, that’s 3-1 for me. That’s already way better than I expected…
We’ll see next week what happens in round 5… See you soon!