Sunday, 24 January 2016

Zone Out Winter Kit

So, this is going to be my first blog post about a championship in my one of my FLGS, namely Zone Out in Doncaster.

My list was;

x2 Onyx Squadron Pilots (32) with Heavy Laser Cannon (7) 39 x 2 = 78 points
Captain Jonus = 22 points

Game 1 - James B running Rear Admiral Chiraneau and Whisper.
"So, first game of my first tournament! And it's against Imperials! This should be easy right?"
So, right off the bat, lets go for the Decimator (wrong move!) Within three rounds, Chiraneau is spinning towards the (metaphorical) bottom of deep space, taking Emperor Palpatine with him! 58 easy points in the bag for me! Now for Jonus and my remaining Defender to chase down Whisper! Easy, right? Wrong again. After losing Jonus and crippling Whisper, the Defender and Whisper continued to dance around the asteroids until, pop! Side arc, range 1 from Whisper! 5 attack vs. 3 defence... Goodbye Defender!

Game 2 - Ritchie running Cutlass squadron pilot, Omicron group pilot, 2 Academy pilots and Howlrunner.
"So, after a near-win in the first round, I can claw this back..."
Okay, so no Decimator and no Phantom. This game should be a change. After popping off Howlrunner and an Academy pilot or two, it should be simple enough to take out the shuttle and the Punisher. It turns out that the Defenders aren't agile enough to follow even the Lambda and outmanoeuvre the Punisher.

Game 3 - Matt running Vader, Stele and Whisper.
"Yay, more Imperials! And another Phantom!" 
This was by far the weakest of all the games of the day. Playing chicken with two TIE Advanced and a Phantom didn't go as well as I thought it might. Two pilots at PS3 and one at PS6 it turns out is no match for three pilots with PS11, PS9 and PS9 respectively. So yes, the TIE/x1 duo managed to cripple the Defenders after Whisper was (finally, albeit in a different game) spread across space in a shower of sparks and guts. MVP of this game goes to the phenomenally stupid Captain Jonus, who, thanks to awful ship placement and manoeuvring on my part, decided to fly off the edge of the board.

Game 4 - Danny running Howlrunner, 4 Academy pilots and Vader.
"Even more Imperials. Still, it's better than being beaten by Rebels."
So, last round and I'm clearly last in this tournament. Lets see what I can take down this time! Howl runner succumbed to the Defenders, as did several of the Academy pilots. It was, however, not to be a victory for me, as Vader once again proved why he is the strongest of the Imperial pilots by destroying Jonus and a Defender.
MVP here goes to Academy pilot #9 for finishing off the last Defender. 

So, overall thoughts of the tournament...
The turnout was sparse but everyone seemed really cool. Out of eight players; five were Imperial, two Rebel, one Scum. Imperial lists seemed to be fairly widespread - including a good mix of large and small ships, swarms and elites, and a spread of ships. Palpatine proved popular, popping up in 40% of the Imperial lists, as did Vader and Whisper. Imperials also proved to be the weaker of the factions, as 5 of the 6 players from #8 to #3 were Imperials, the last one being Scum. The two Rebel lists were almost identical; 4 B-Wings on both sides. One list included a Z-95 Headhunter, the other included a Dagger squadron pilot and various upgrades to round out the list. Both of the Rebel players made the top 2, cementing the reputation of the B-Wing as an excellent ship. It's hardly surprising either;

5 Shields, 3 Hull, 3/4 Attack dice, 1/2 Agility dice, as well as Systems, Cannons, two Torpedoes and Titles and Modifications. Can Imperials have one of these?

Zone Out, for anyone local to Doncaster/South Yorkshire, is a great little venue. Situated in Doncaster town centre, it's got a lot of great stock, it's fairly cozy and while it can get a little cold, once the heaters kick in and the food starts cooking, it does warm up. Ash, the owner, is pretty cool too, giving each of us two alternate art Gunner cards, featuring the Imperial gunner, as well as the standard array of prizes for the actual prize places. 
Even though I lost all 4 games of the day, it wasn't a complete waste. Having paid the entry for the winner, he was gracious enough to give me his alternate art Darth Vader pilot card!

So, Store Championships are in about 2 weeks, so, let's hope that with a new list and some luck, I might come higher than last place!

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