Ah, the UK Games Expo. Never will you find a more wretched hive of fun and festivity. This weekend, I have made the most brilliant of decisions. I am going to get up at 5am and drive to Birmingham, making a brief detour to pick up Pocknell, and then play as many games as possible with:

The List

"Howlrunner" (18)
Crack Shot (1)

Black Squadron Pilot (14)
Crack Shot (1)

Black Squadron Pilot (14)
Crack Shot (1)

Black Squadron Pilot (14)
Crack Shot (1)

Academy Pilot (12)

Academy Pilot (12)

Academy Pilot (12)

Total: 100

This can only end well.


Game 1: Mr Bye



Mr Bye was a wonderful, courteous opponent. He even helped me unpack the car and get all my luggage into the hotel room! What a guy. Here’s to you Mr Bye! One day you will win a game, one day.

Result: 150 - 0


Game 2: Tim Marsden

Soontir Fel (27)
Push the Limit (3)
Autothrusters (2)
Stealth Device (3)
Royal Guard TIE (0)

The Inquisitor (25)
Push the Limit (3)
Autothrusters (2)
TIE/v1 (1)

Omicron Group Pilot (21)
Sensor Jammer (4)
Emperor Palpatine (8)

Total: 99

First game of the day: Imperial Aces. Oh dear. Not exactly the kind of matchup I look forward to with a swarm.

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I set up with two mini-swarms; Academy Pilots (APs) in one group and the Black Squadron Pilots (BSPs) with Howlrunner in another. This way, the Academies can set up in positions to block Aces and the BSPs can take advantage of Howl’s re-roll to help them Crack Shot.

Tim opens the game by splitting up the Inquisitor and Soontir – bad news for me – but brings both in quite rapidly. I rush in with the TIEs, hoping to catch Fel, but he turns into the asteroid field to escape the swarm.

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Soontir is probably out of here now, so I can either engage the shuttle or the Inquisitor. I turn in toward the asteroid field with the goal of taking down the faux Emperor. The following turn, we end up trading an AP for the shuttle. 

From here on, we begin an elegant dance of me trying to stop a ship for long enough to take it down.

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The mighty Dropsy boldly tanks an asteroid to get into the perfect spot to block Soontir.

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He succeeds. 
Time is called and all we have left is to roll dice. 
I bring Soontir down to one hitpoint and have a single AP waiting to shoot. I roll three hits, with a focus, and Soontir is mine…

Except when he does what Soontir Fel does best and rolls three natural evades. Damn it, Soontir!

Result: 33 – 12


Game 3: Rob Cornell

Commander Kenkirk (44)
Predator (3)
Agent Kallus (2)
Gunner (5)
Rebel Captive (3)
Ion Bombs (2)
Engine Upgrade (4)

Soontir Fel (27)
Push the Limit (3)
Autothrusters (2)
Stealth Device (3)
Royal Guard TIE (0)

Total: 98

Another round, another Soontir Fel. Not the greatest of starts to a Regional! My goal here is to take down Fel before he becomes a problem, fewer ships means less chance of dealing with him, and then deal with Kenkirk. Rob begins the game by splitting Fel and Kenkirk, which is bad news for me: it forces me to commit to one ship at a time. I stick with the plan to chase Fel.

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Rob pulls off a ballsy 4 forward, narrowly dodging the blocks from the swarm and boosts around to relative safety.

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Two Crack Shots later, he’s dead and Howl is on one health. It’s time to deal with the Rear Admiral. 
To Rob’s credit, from this point on he manages his postioning perfectly, boosting to safety and taking minimal damage. 
However, I finally reduce the decimator to one hull. We set dials and time is called. With three shots, all I need to do is deal 1 damage to receive full points for Chiraneau.

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It’s becoming clear to me that today is not a good day, I fail to do any damage with any of my ships. The Admiral lives to sail off jauntily into the sunset. I **have failed the Emperor. A win is still a win though.



Result: 65 – 46


Game 4: James Finlayson

Contracted Scout (25)
Deadeye (1)
Plasma Torpedoes (3)
Extra Munitions (2)
R4 Agromech (2)
Guidance Chips (0)

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

Contracted Scout (25)
Deadeye (1)
Plasma Torpedoes (3)
Extra Munitions (2)
Overclocked R4 (1)
Guidance Chips (0)

Total: 100

For those of you who read my previous report, James and I played in the Warboar Regional. I won that game mostly due to him bumping his Scouts and letting me get in close. That’s unlikely to happen again, so this list is still a pretty scary one.

James tries to draw my swarm through the rocks while I am for the channel where I estimate his ships to be by the time I reach that point. I use one BSP to try and seal off the second channel so his jumps can’t outflank me.

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Unfortunately, this is where the game goes a bit awry for me. I place my Fighters as close as possible to where I expect him to move and we begin the combat phase. With all my ships firing, I dealt a grand total of four damage to the lead Jumpmaster and lose Howlrunner and a BSP in return.

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From here, the game turns into a furball and I eventually manage to bring down a Jumpmaster and another to half health with only two TIEs left on the board.
It’s not enough to claim a win though.

Damn you James! He’s pretty pleased though, apparently I was one of the few people he didn’t want to play today. So thanks James, small victory there I guess.

Result: 50 – 70


Game 5: Ricard Sanchez

Poe Dameron (31)
Veteran Instincts (1)
R5-P9 (3)
Autothrusters (2)

Jake Farrell (24)
Push the Limit (3)
Proton Rockets (3)
Veteran Instincts (1)
Autothrusters (2)
A-Wing Test Pilot (0)

Kyle Katarn (21)
Adaptability (0)
Autoblaster Turret (2)
Chewbacca (4)
Moldy Crow (3)

Total: 100

Ricard had flown in from Barcelona to play in our events this weekend and hopefully my terrifying flamboyance hasn’t put him off from coming back to play.

His list is simple but effective. Kyle hands Poe a focus, making him immune to bumps and also giving him a token to spend offensively/defensively if the needs arises. Chewbacca also makes Kyle surprisingly resilient with an effective extra hull and shield point.

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Initially, Ricard tries to draw me through the rocks before splitting up Jake and Poe. I enter the asteroid field and proceed to try and gun down Kyle with the Academies aiming to outflank Poe. Kyle goes down and Poe is cornered. Dropsy zooms past an asteroid and rolls to block Poe’s only safe route out of the swarm.

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Poe doesn’t live for much longer.



At this point, I had resigned myself to the prospect of never killing Jake and having to accept him as lost points. Instead, Jake comes in with an aggressive four forward, and is caught at range one of the swarm. He fires his rockets at Howl, who miraculously survives, and is then taken down by the swarm.

Things are starting to look up.

Result: 100 - 0


Game 6: Cormac Higgins

Manaroo (27)
Adaptability (0)
K4 Security Droid (3)
Unhinged Astromech (1)
Feedback Array (2)

Contracted Scout (25)
Deadeye (1)
Extra Munitions (2)
Plasma Torpedoes (3)
4-LOM (1)
Overclocked R4 (1)
Guidance Chips (0)

Contracted Scout (25)
Deadeye (1)
Extra Munitions (2)
Proton Torpedoes (4)
Boba Fett (1)
Overclocked R4 (1)
Guidance Chips (0)

Total: 100

Cormac and I have some history. I’ve done some pretty mean things to him in the past with a Crackswarm (I will maintain the illusion that I’m not sorry). Today is a different kettle of fish though. Cormac has switched to Jumpmasters and I don’t like playing against those.

I rush along my board edge in an attempt to force Cormac to joust me. If I time this right, it can swing the game in my favour.

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Success. I cripple one Jumpmaster in exchange for Howlrunner then move in for the blocks. I have to hope Cormac hasn’t noticed the 4 forward will hop over my ships. 
We spend the rest of the round chuckling about this, because he hasn’t: much to my relief.

I finish off the crippled jump and start to make progress on a second one. 
At this point, I’m beginning to feel pretty knackered. I stopped taking photographs and the game becomes a bit of a haze. Cormac assures me that I killed one more Jumpmaster

Result: 68 – 31


At this point, I was pretty sure I hadn’t made the cut. My Margin of Victory (MoV) throughout the day had been pretty abysmal and there was absolutely no way anybody could have done worse. That’s pessimism for you.

Turns out that Scott Reed, has in fact “done worse” and made the cut. He clocked in at 16th place and I was in at 15th. To tell the truth, I’m pretty glad. I don’t fancy playing Scott today. Not after how long the day has been.


Game 7: Ryan Davies

"Whisper" (32)
Veteran Instincts (1)
Fire-Control System (2)
Gunner (5)
Advanced Cloaking Device (4)

"Omega Leader" (21)
Juke (2)
Comm Relay (3)

Omicron Group Pilot (21)
Emperor Palpatine (8)

Total: 99

For this game, I had the privilege of being on the live stream! You can go check that out on Simon’s Twitch or his youtube channel, once it’s uploaded.

I’ll be brief (yeah right) about this one, seeing as there’s a video available, and just talk about critical moments. Ryan is smart and uses the asteroids as cover for Whisper and Omega Leader, allowing Whisper to use Palp offensively for a critical hit. In the first round, Howlrunner receives and Injured Pilot– potentially foiling all of my plans. Without re-rolls, I’m subject to a lot more chance when attacking and I haven’t yet had a chance to snowball my game. The dice gods were with me though, as I proceeded to see only symbols for the majority of the game. Thank you dice gods.

Whisper turns out of the fight, for fear of facing the brunt of the Swarm’s wrath for the injury of their Queen, and Omega Leader faces their wrath instead.

The shuttle dies and Omega Leader suffers 3 damage. I then begin to set up the swarm to either catch Whisper or finish of Omega. At this point, I need Whisper off the table urgently: she always has a way of using that fancy Decloak to make a mess of things.

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After Whisper K-turned, I pulled off a block that placed Whisper in arc of 4 TIEs and managed to finish her off – at which point Ryan conceded to me. I think I probably owe him a pint after that display of hot dice.

N.B. - Ryan and I both wish to mention the funniest part of our game, which was where he picked up a TIE Fighter; only for it to fall off the peg then, as he picked up the peg, the peg also fell off: knocking the cardboard out of the base. The Dropsy is strong with this one.



Result: 100 – 19


Game 9: Andy Cameron

Contracted Scout (25)
Deadeye (1)
Plasma Torpedoes (3)
Extra Munitions (2)
Overclocked R4 (1)
Guidance Chips (0)

Contracted Scout (25)
Deadeye (1)
Plasma Torpedoes (3)
Extra Munitions (2)
Overclocked R4 (1)
Guidance Chips (0)

Contracted Scout (25)
Deadeye (1)
Plasma Torpedoes (3)
Extra Munitions (2)
Overclocked R4 (1)
Guidance Chips (0)

Total: 96

I opened this game feeling rather exhausted but optimistic at my chances.

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In hindsight, my exhaustion was probably beginning to show because all my pictures from this match are like this

So, sorry in advance if this feels a bit vague.

I used my traditional opening with a single ship flanking, this usually helps quite a lot against Jumpmasters as it limits an area of the board: provided the TIE doesn’t immediately die. 
I miss-time my engagement with the flank ship and he goes down to a set of torpedoes and only two of my ships can fire. I fail to damage the Jumpmaster. 
Now I’m trapped in a pincer between three Jumpmasters, my flanker no longer around to protect me from their coming storm. I set my dials and brace for what I believe is the deciding turn. 

It is.

I still don’t kill the Jumpmaster and lose two or three TIEs, the number is hazy and I don’t have any pictures of these turns. Andy still has two more torpedoes on the table. I play out one more turn; Andy has again outmanoeuvred me, so I concede and give him a well-deserved win.

It won’t be until tomorrow morning that I realise I’ve left behind a TIE Fighter, much to my embarrassment.

Result: 16 - 100


It’s been a good run though. It goes to show that; no matter how badly you think you’re doing, you’re always in with a chance. Don’t give up because you have a terrible MoV, everyone else is probably playing just as many tough games as you are. You’re only out if you don’t win enough games.

I’ve acquired some shiny dice, so that means I can probably afford to go to a few more events this year, and top 8 is no small feat. 

We’ll have to wait and see how I fare in the Yavin Open the day after.

Spoiler Alert: I don’t win.