At last we finally reach the Yavin Open, hopes are high and sleep levels are sub-optimal. This report is going to take a slightly different tone; one of melancholy and regret, a tale of a fantastic start to a terrible finish.

Spoiler Alert: I don't win.

The List

I'm using the same list as in my Birmingham Regionals report.

"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


Round 1: The Unknown Opponent

Miranda Doni (29)
Twin Laser Turret (6)

Bandit Squadron Pilot (12)
Proton Rockets (3)
Guidance Chips (0)

Tala Squadron Pilot (13)
Proton Rockets (3)
Guidance Chips (0)

Tala Squadron Pilot (13)
Concussion Missiles (4)
Guidance Chips (0)

Tala Squadron Pilot (13)
Concussion Missiles (4)
Guidance Chips (0)

Total: 100

I'm sad to say that my pictures failed to capture the name of this enigmatic individual. All that remains of him is his list. (Please, contact me if this is you, I'll add your name in).

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I don't have the best of pictures of this match, but it was essentially just a joust.

I have to be wary, as I've lost initiative, so his Tala Squadron Pilots (TSPs) can block my Black Squadron Pilots (BSPs). As much as I'd like to take down Miranda first, those missiles need to go before they can be fired.

I try to use the Academy Pilots (APs) to block his ships, I do dearly want to not tank a large number of missiles. Missiles hurt.

As a result, I end up taking down the Bandit Squadron Pilot in exchange for an AP. I only have to tank a set of Proton Rockets this turn.

I cripple most of his ships in the following turns and, in the final turn, I destroy the three remaining ships.

A good start to the day!

Result: 100 - 12


Round 2: Misha Mikheev

Dash Rendar (36)
Push the Limit (3)
Heavy Laser Cannon (7)
Kanan Jarrus (3)
Engine Upgrade (4)
Outrider (5)

"Chopper" (37)
Enhanced Scopes (1)
Autoblaster Turret (2)
Hera Syndulla (1)
"Zeb" Orrelios (1)

Total: 100

Dash and Chopper. I guess I deserve this after the first round going so well for me. Chopper is PS0, which means I am now going to be the one who is blocked, while Dash Rendar is an eternal thorn in my side.

With this in mind, I know that I need to trap Dash and kill him, then deal with Chopper. If I try to face Chopper now, I'm only going to lose actions and ships.

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I slow roll for the opening turns, hoping to force Dash to commit to somewhere he doesn't want to be.

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...and he does.

From this position, I can lock him in place for a few turns, that should be enough to kill him. Chopper has turned into the asteroid field, he's no longer a problem for me until later.

My flanking ship can pile small amounts of damage onto him each turn.

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After this turn, Dash has been reduced to one hitpoint and begins to make his escape. Chopper, on the other hand, has suffered significant damage.

I begin my war on two fronts, trying to bring down both of the large ships on two health. I split into two groups: 3 ships try to cut off Dash while the remaining ship tries to flank Chopper.

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Chopper succumbs to the Flanker while Dash neatly evades the TIE Fighters by sacrificing his actions by boosting and rolling.

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From here, Dash begins to zoom off into the sunset and Misha denies me 29 points.

Result: 71 - 46


Round 3: Abhishek Shukla

Zuckuss (28)
Veteran Instincts (1)
Intelligence Agent (1)
Fire-Control System (2)
Tractor Beam (1)
Mist Hunter (0)

Palob Godalhi (20)
Crack Shot (1)
Twin Laser Turret (6)
4-LOM (1)

Manaroo (27)
Deadeye (1)
Extra Munitions (2)
Proton Torpedoes (4)
Boba Fett (1)
R4 Agromech (2)
Anti-Pursuit Lasers (2)

Total: 100

This list caught me off guard when I saw it. I haven't really faced anything like this. I mean, I've faced bits of it, but never all of it the same list. This was looking to be an interesting game.

That, or I was delirious from missing the lunch break because queueing is the worst.

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My approach is good, I can't block this turn but the following turn I can really get stuck in. I decide to go for a ballsy 3 bank, it gives me more options for the following turn and ensures all my ships can shoot this turn.

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Unless you park a ship on a rock, that is. Whoops. Free damage there. I lose that AP this turn for four damage on Manaroo.

I wish I could say that was the last time I parked a ship on a rock this game.
I proceed to tank the rock twice more (this time intentionally to get some better shots and positions) and, naturally, I roll damage for both occassions. I lose Howlrunner and a BSP this turn, crippling Zuckuss in return.

Things don't look great at this point. I try to hunt down Zuckuss and Manaroo before time is called, but that just doesn't happen. If I recall correctly, the game ends with me receiving half points for Manaroo and I lose all my ships.

Bad Tom, BAD!

Result: 19 - 100


Round 4: David Briggs

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

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

Captain Yorr (24)
Emperor Palpatine (8)

Total: 99

After the previous game, I am in no mood for Aces. Except when the person across the table sounds like a farmer. Yeah, you heard me, you sound like a farmer David!

Glad I could get that off my chest. (Ok, I admit, it may have already come up in the game. Several times. With impersonations. I'm not sorry).

Thanks for being such a good sport David!

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David sets up in the corner behind my swarm, locking himself in that corner. This is good, half the map just became my field for play. I turn in and begin to dream of dead Aces.

Whisper De-Cloaks forwards and places herself neatly at range one of the swarm. After a neat barrel roll, I'm left with only three shots. We trade two shields on Whisper for 2 hull on a BSP.

We realise, that David has forgotten to declare Kallus. So I let him assign it, check the rolls we made didn't make a difference (they didn't) and play continues. Silly David.

Now, from this point on I want you to keep a close eye on that numberless AP, he's a bit of a celebrity and I'm sure if you've read my previous reports you'll know who I mean. This match is one of his good matches.

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The Swarm switches target because I recognise an opportunity with Omega Leader (OL). If I catch him this turn, he's very unlikely to survive. The damaged BSP swings about to block Whisper if she turns (she does). He's safe for now.

OL falls and the Shuttle suffers a barrage of fire. Things are looking good at this point. They are not, however, won yet. I've had Whisper, single-handedly, clean up a 6 TIE Swarm before (back before the decloak rules changed).

Dropsy and I swore, from that day til the end of days, that it would never happen again.

The Shuttle falls swiftly, Whisper takes another damage and four TIE Fighters remain on the table, the board looks like this:

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A single, actionless hero stands proud. Whisper has recently killed a brother-in-arms and is about to "cloakus-focus". Little does he know, Dropsy has an inherent ability to kill phantoms.

I pick up my dice, look past David (because there's no way in hell you'll catch me making eye contact, I'm shifty like that) and declare: "I'm going to kill Whisper. Right now. Just you watch."

Two natural hits. We both laugh as David picks up his dice.

He proceeds to roll four blanks and an evade. Whisper explodes in a manner that is less impressive than the explosion of the Death Star but equally satisfying.

Stunning. We have a good laugh about this then part ways. We had a lot of fun that game.

Result: 100 - 46


Round 5: Scott Reed

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

Contracted Scout (25)
Adaptability (0)
Proton Torpedoes (4)
Intelligence Agent (1)
Feedback Array (2)
Guidance Chips (0)

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

Total: 100

The time has finally come for what Scott has (im)patiently waited for. Our ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny. Only one can survive, I wonder who it will be?

Some of the pictures are a bit blurry from where I accidentally changed the camera settings. So, my bad there.

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From here, I rush along the board edge, hoping to engage Scott outside of the asteroid field. He remains in his spot long enough for me to achieve this.

I turn in and we're set up to joust each other. How this game goes depends on the next move and who snowballs hardest from there.

My mind screams for the 3 bank, but I'm almost certain Scott will expect this and plan around it - if he does a 1 forward I've not gained anything. In the end I settle for 4 straights and, to my horror, realise that I've forgotten about the four forward from Scott.

With one move, I have sealed my fate.

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Yeah, that 3-bank was a way better idea.

I've now missed my block, been blocked and failed to get as many shots as I need this turn.

I stopped taking pictures, because the following scenes are not fit for any readers to witness.

Scott tore me asunder with a righteous fury of biblical proportions.
I destroyed one Jumpmaster and got half points for another. I suppose that's some kind of consolation.

Result: 100 - 51


Round 6: Mark Southwold

Captain Oicunn (42)
Darth Vader (3)
Fleet Officer (3)

Storm Squadron Pilot (23)
Proton Rockets (3)
Accuracy Corrector (0)
Guidance Chips (0)
TIE/x1 (0)

Storm Squadron Pilot (23)
Proton Rockets (3)
Accuracy Corrector (0)
Guidance Chips (0)
TIE/x1 (0)

Total: 100

Bitter, dejected and all Jumped out; I subject poor Mark to my dark side. I'm very cross with myself after that last game.

This one looks to be a bit more interesting though, two TIE Advanced and a Decimator. I win the initiative roll, which is crucial. My BSPs and all his ships clash on Pilot Skill.

To open the game, I slow roll with some hard one turns, I need to figure out where the Decimator is committing to. Darth Vader ruins the lives of TIE Fighters, so it needs to go first. I'm confident I can stop those Proton Rockets being fired.

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Mark commits to the board edge and I begin my approach.

The stressed (from Fleet Officer) Decimator turns into the asteroid field as I tentatively creep forward. From here he only has two options; turn into the Swarm or turn away from the Swarm while I must choose to commit to the Decimator or to the Advanced. In hindsight, I wish I had done the 5 forward and engaged the Advanced, but I really needed to stop that turret from reaching the late game.

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I hard three into the asteroid field as Mark turns away. Range 3 and actionless, this should go quite nicely for me.

The Decimator gets off quite lightly, only suffering 4 damage (I refused to Crack Shot this early with no guaranteed kills), and then disaster strikes. Mark rolls three natural hits with the Decimator. Howlrunner rolls her four dice and is then popped by Vader. Not the best of starts.

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The Swarm rushes forward to chase down the injured Decimator while one of my BSPs turns to block the flanking Advanced. One Barrel Roll later and there are two actionless Advanced. Perfect.

The Decimator remains stressed. My Fighters continue to chips away at the Decimator, but it's not long before the unthinkable happens. One Advanced rolls three natural hits and the other rolls a hit and a critical. 6 green dice later, I'm looking at two more dead TIE Fighters. This really isn't going my way. At least I managed to bring one of the Advanced down to one hull?

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I try to keep the Advanced out of the fight long enough for me to bring down the Decimator. That ends up being a success. I get an AP at range one of the damaged Advanced and ready to do damage.

With only three ships left on the board, things look grim. The sawdust icing on the stale cake was when my AP took a Blinded Pilot critical hit from an Advanced that got three hits again.

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From bad, to worse to making me very sad

Nothing interesting happens over the next two turns, other than the Decimator receiving a few more points of damage before promptly dying the turn after.
Now I have three ships, all battered and bruised, versus a full health Advanced and one with one hull.

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From here, I block the Koiogran Turn of one Advanced and use my BSP with Crack Shot to block the other - in hindsight I wish I hadn't.

Time is called an I only have one ship shooting at the oh-so-very-nearly-but-no-quite dead Advanced. He lives. If I hadn't been so focused on staying alive, I would've got a shot with that BSP and tried to use my Crack Shot to finish him.

Ah well.

Result: 48 - 58


Summary

On 3/3 I haven't made the second day, which is quite disappointing. For me, the day now becomes a learning experience. The crucial part is looking back, recognising and acknowledging my mistakes; where I can improve and what I'd do differently, and not losing to an Engine-less Decimator ever again.

Any old person can say "Oh man, my dice were awful and that's why I lost" - but if you keep making that excuse (although it can be true, sometimes, but you should always act like it wasn't), even if you did play perfectly, how will you ever surpass your past self?

Analyse every game after the emotion from the moment has passed, strive to look objectively at your and your opponent's decision-making. Try to identify critical moments of the game.

And never lose to an Engine-less Decimator with a TIE Swarm.