Balance of the Force, round 6: Lian Smith (Rebel Alliance) vs Nébal (Scum and Villainy) (battle report in English)
Balance of the Force, round 6! 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 were 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.
But, yeah, this was round 6: my opponent and myself were both at 4-1, which meant the winner would make the cut; and it was clear for me that, if I didn’t win, I wouldn’t make the cut, my MoV being too low (no wonder since I’ve won my first game of the tournament with only one point more than Brian…).
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 sixth and final round, I have been paired with Lian, a very nice player from England, who brought the following Rebel Alliance list:
A/SF-01 B-Wing – •Ten Numb – 56 (group 2)
•Ten Numb – Blue Five (48)
Stabilized S-Foils (2)
Ion Cannon (6)
T-65 X-Wing – •Garven Dreis – 54 (group 2)
•Garven Dreis – Red Leader (46)
Servomotor S-Foils (0)
Plasma Torpedoes (7)
BTL-A4 Y-Wing – •“Dutch” Vander – 50 (group 2)
•“Dutch” Vander – Gold Leader (40)
R3 Astromech (3)
Plasma Torpedoes (7)
RZ-1 A-Wing – •Jake Farrell – 39 (group 2)
•Jake Farrell – Sage Instructor (34)
Proton Rockets (5)
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, 162-110… Well played, Lian! And congratulations on making the cut! I wish you the best of luck for the remainder of the tournament.
Damn’ TERRORISTS! For some reason it seems the Rebel Alliance really hates me. During the six rounds of the tournament, I’ve faced the faction three times, “Dutch” Vander and Jake Farrell appeared in all three games, and Garven Dreis and Wullffwarro two times each… I guess it was karma in some way, because “Dutch” is probably the worst thing that could happen against my False Transponder Codes. As this last game really showed, the R3 Astromech made him even more irritating… At least there was no Big Hairy Wookiee this time, but would Ten Numb be less threatening? Probably not. No Concussion Bombes was a thing to be sure, but two Plasma Torpedoes plus Proton Rockets… Yeah, that would hurt. And, of course, they all share tokens! COMMUNISTS!!!
As for initiative, we rolled and I won. I chose to be first player, which is always debatable, I guess… Same reasons as ever: Greedo, I’d like to block and choose who I jam, and so on…
I deployed in my left corner, Asajj on the outside, Bossk in the middle, Torani a bit farther to the center. Lian deployed on the other side of the game mat, all four ships together.
I went cautiously at first, as I do most of the time. The only thing was that Torani did a barrel roll to the left. Not the best idea, she would overlap the debris cloud on her next move, but that wouldn’t have consequences, so, yeah. Lian went a bit faster with all his ships, but at this time and the following turn as well, I couldn’t really say if he would continue straight towards my side of the board or turn for an engagement in the middle. And I didn’t commit myself for a long time, because I wanted to keep options.
I finally chose to occupy the middle of the board, but I was still too far away to do target locks and jam through False Transponder Codes, plus Bossk bumped on Torani. And that gas cloud in the middle of the board would prove to be a recurring issue. But at the moment the real issue was that most of Lian’s ships were too far away from me… My list is supposed to be kinda alpha-striky, and that clearly wouldn’t work this time… My primary target, Ten Numb, was out of reach (actually, Torani could shoot at him, but the conditions were not ideal). The only ship I could get was actually my second priority choice, “Dutch”, but Asajj couldn’t shoot at anybody while Bossk and Torani had only range 3 obstructed attacks on the Y-Wing, and they did absolutely nothing. As an idiot, I had spent Torani’s focus token, but she would be attacked: Garven had a lock on her, and she was range 3, barely, but she was; so the X-Wing launched its Plasma Torpedoes, inflicting two hits, plus the automatic loss of a shield… Then Ten Numb scored two more hits, and that was already half points on my Kimogila…
And my ships were not ideally placed for the next round. I flew very poorly in those first rounds… Torani didn’t have many options and went straight, hoping to have a shot at Garven. Bossk turned right, but went through the gas cloud in the middle, and we can say he had a big red target painted on his hull. Asajj finally went straight, and locked Garven (here I I didn’t spend Asajj’s False Transponder Codes’ charge, but we realized it a bit later, sorry for that…). Yes, the X-Wing had two jam tokens… Jake went after Bossk, obviously, ready to launch his Proton Rockets, but he was in the full frontal arc at range 1. Then “Dutch” followed, and that was targets locks everywhere. Ten however chose to go after Torani, then Garven managed to slip between Torani and a rock, which meant my Kimogila wouldn’t shoot at anybody. Asajj managed to score only a crit on Garven, but then tractored him on a rock; he didn’t suffer any damage, but wouldn’t be able to shoot at Bossk and would pass again over the rock next turn. Then Bossk attacked “Dutch” range one and used Greedo, but that only inflicted two damages on the Y-Wing. And now the Rebels would fire… Ten scored only one hit on Torani, but Jake’s Proton Rockets inflicted four hits and a crit on everybody’s favorite Space Lizard, who was strained… “Dutch” did only one more damage, but that was already half points on the YV-666…
Once again, my ships were not ideally placed, I had to reposition. Asajj did her 5K, and Torani her 4K. Then Bossk stayed where he was: all my ships had performed red maneuvers… “Dutch” slipped behind Bossk, but Jake would stay in his arc, although he would be able to shoot at Asajj and gave a focus token to Garven, who then bumped on “Dutch”, which meant he would be able to shoot at Bossk range one (he suffered one hit by going through the rock this time). Asajj inflicted two damages on Ten Numb, and tractored him in front of the rock, hoping that he would have no arc on anybody (he didn’t) and would be in Torani’s bullseye as well (he was); the Kimogila scored only one hit on the B-Wing, but then there was another thanks to her ability: that was half points on Ten, I had finally won some points… But Bossk did nothing on Jake (my red dices were quite bad all along). Garven then inflicted three more damages on Bossk, and “Dutch” launched his Plasma Torpedoes on Torani, and scored two hits, after what Jake finished her… One less ship for the Scum and Villainy! And Bossk wasn’t in the best of shapes neither…
So Bossk turned left and kept his stress, while Asajj bumped on Ten Numb in order to lose her own. Garven was in Asajj’s arc, but boosted to keep some distance. Ten went through the rock and suffered one damage (thank you rock!), but had a nice arc on Bossk. Jake went cautiously after Asajj, while “Dutch” bumped on her. Asajj finally got half points on Garven, and inflicted Damaged Engines on him, after what she tractored him so that he boosted; as he couldn’t turn because of his crit (he was stressed), I hoped he would have to leave the board, and this is what happened ultimately; as a matter of fact, Lian could have actually escaped this fate by getting a second stress token to rotate: I always forget this… and he did as well. Bossk however kept doing nothing at Jake… Ten however scored only a crit on the YV-666 (thanks to Greedo): Loose Stabilizer… which was not ideal as he was facing the right side of the board. Jake finally missed Asajj, who could then restore one charge on Zam Wesell and lock him.
Bossk turned left, even if that meant he would suffer one damage because of his crit and would keep his stress token once again: he had to shoot at something! Asajj went over “Dutch” to escape arcs and have a shot at Garven just in case he didn’t leave the board (I had forgotten Damaged Engines, yes…), but he did. Jake went behind Asajj though (while “Dutch” escaped), and Ten Numb went kamikaze against Bossk: they would mutually kill each other! Bossk inflicted a useful crit on the B-Wing, which couldn’t modify its dices through its target lock or stress token, and the lizard survived its first attack, but was ultimately destroyed by the Ion Cannon, thanks to Stabilized S-Foils. Jake finally took Asajj’s two shields, which triggered Zam Wesell: now my witch could perform bonus attacks.
But she was alone against two Rebel ships (two having been destroyed just the previous turn, as well as Bossk)… Not he heaviest hitters, yes, but “Dutch” still had one charge on Plasma Torpedoes. Asajj turned right, barely evading a debris field, and turned her turret to the right. Jake went just behind her, while “Dutch” kept his distances, and Asajj did nothing on him because of the gas cloud. He launched his last Plasma Torpedoes, but they missed. Asajj shot back with Zam Wesell, and missed as well… Jake however scored one hit and a Direct Hit!, gaining half points on my last ship!
Asajj had to fight back, and fight hard, so with her frontal arc; she executed a 5K. “Dutch” once again kept distances, but Jake was more of a daredevil, boosting just in front of Asajj. But her range one attack, with two Force charges spent, did absolutely nothing. “Dutch” missed, triggering Zam Wesell, and for once Jake did nothing neither, triggering Zam once again: bonus attacks were available again.
But these were the last turns: I really couldn’t hope to win the game since quite a while, and a slightly less bad MoV wouldn’t change anything, but I played the game, obviously. Asajj turned left and rotated her turret to the left, hoping to get at least one Rebel ship at range one… but both bumped on Asajj.
One more turn therefore. Asajj did a last 5K, Jake went away, and so did “Dutch”. Asajj’s last attack failed to win half points on “Dutch” by one hit… and the bell rang.
And so, defeat, 162-110… Good game, Lian, and congratulations! I wish you the best of luck for the cut!
So, that’s 4-2 for me… and the end of the tournament. The final ladder is still unknown but, as I said right in the beginning, since I lost, my MoV was too low for me to hope making the cut anyway.
It went this way:
- Round 1: victory against Brian Collis (Rebel Alliance, USA), 173-172.
- Round 2: victory against Loch (Scum and Villainy, Italy), 153-63.
- Round 3: victory against Matija Mandurov (Resistance, Croatia), 200-107.
- Round 4: defeat against Stuart Confrey (Republic, UK), 162-71.
- Round 5: victory against Enzeru (Rebel Alliance, Poland), 180-128.
- Round 6: defeat against Lian Smith (Rebel Alliance, UK), 162-110.
4-2 is actually way better than I hoped I would do, so I’m glad anyway.
Furthermore, I really loved that tournament! I loved the special rules, the weird non-meta lists which were built on those (although these notorious Rebel TERRORISTS “Dutch” Vander, Jake Farrell, Garven Dreis and Wullffwarro really hated me it seems!), the general ambiance, so many nice players, so many great games… This is my type of tournament. I utterly enjoyed it, and count me in if there is another!
In the meantime, I still play in two other tournaments right now: Kyber Elimination League, season 6, and the cut for the Ligue Millennium Condor. So more battle reports should follow soon enough. We’ll see what I’ll do…