Awww yeah, you saw the image! First place at a local tournament with some of the best players I know. It was a shorter tournament (only 3 rounds with 8 players) but the competition was pretty fierce.
Normally, I’d feel like I’m simply boasting, but in this instance, I feel like it’s important to discuss. Not only to me, but also to anyone else going through a similar funk.
I say funk because…well…let’s just say I don’t have the best record.
It’s taken me weeks to post this (stupid Wave 8 updates…) but I’ve somehow fallen in with a group of ruffians that go by Mynock Squadron (check out the official podcast!). They’re a bunch of top-tier players and all around great guys. I usually hang with them Thursday nights at Game Empire in Pasadena, though lately I’ve been making an effort to go out of my comfort zone and check out some new stores.
Recently, we decided to have a Mynock only tournament. Initially, it was only for bragging rights, but ended up being more of a gift exchange, as well all kicked in a ton of promos or neat loot. We had so many prizes (and good ones, too!) that we simply weren’t able to award them all.
Before I get into this tournament, however, I feel like I should bring up my previous two. I joined in on a Thursday night Game Empire one, as well as a Saturday Gameology one.
The Game Empire one was…fun. I ran a weird list. It was a few weeks ago, so I don’t remember it exactly, but it was roughly:
I think I placed second to last. I mean, given, I brought a Starviper to a tournament, but I didn’t think it was a LAST place list. Palob helped keep Guri’s Sensor Jammer active, but Kavil was usually gunned down pretty quickly, with Palob soon behind. I ran into a lot of PS8’s and Kavil got PS killed in almost every game.
The list was fun, but I didn’t think was worth honing. Later that weekend, I ran something different at the Gameology tournament:
After getting PS killed, I thought having PS 11 and 10 would help. Besides, it’s hard to go wrong with Vader’s double actions and Juno’s maneuverability.
Aaaaaaaaaand I got last place. It was 4 rounds and I didn’t kill anything until my third match. The final match wasn’t too bad for me, but I ended with 3 losses and 1 modified win. I know you can’t win them all, but man….for how much I obsess over this game, two last places in a row? I’m not gonna lie, it really hurt my pride and made me wonder about my X-Wing future.
But once I stopped feeling sorry for myself, I realized I wasn’t putting the time in. I was just showing up with some list I thought was fun and hoping for the best. I wasn’t playing more than once a week, and even then, I would go 4 or 5 weeks without playing at all. By playing so seldom and infrequently, I was losing my ability to measure range, understand maneuvers, and react to enemy movements.
So, when the Mynock tournament rolled around, I had a chip on my shoulder and I didn’t want to lose. I spent some time going back to basics; navigating asteroids, measuring ranges, and practicing maneuvers. These are basic skills any competitive player should have…while I may have had them at one point, X-Wing is a muscle; use it or lose it. I’ve been playing since Wave 1 (though not competitively until Wave 3 came out), so the idea that I couldn’t handle flying around asteroids seemed preposterous. But, I was losing games, so I had to just suck it up, let my pride take the hit, and re-learn the basics.
Not only that, but when building my list, I thought about what was killing me and how I could counter it. I came up with this:
I kept losing to TLT’s, Stress’ers, and low agility ships, so I decided to be ready for that. During the tournament, both the asteroid and maneuver training paid off and my list was able to mitigate a lot of the enemy lists’ advantages. Additionally, in the previous tournaments, I felt like I flew too aggressively and predictably. I gave myself permission to fight on my own terms and disengage when I wasn’t feeling the positions.
Han is always a solid choice, and while Predator might seem a bit redundant with him, it actually offers a lot of flexibility. C3P0 actually helped me dodge a few normally un-evadable TLT hits by guessing “1”, though he failed just as often as he succeeded. Dash also helped a few times…while he was insurance against my unsteady piloting, he was most useful shooting across asteroids. Yeah…read the card again. It’s ok, no one remembers that part of the ability. Outmaneuver and Crack Shot was a solid combo and helped the A-Wings with their normally weak damage output.
After three reeeeeally tough games (I had a tough time against a Regenerating Miranda) I came out with 2 full wins and 1 modified. I felt pretty good because I was, technically, 3 for 3 against players I respect and look up to (Dee, if you’re reading this, this is revenge for Juno during the last escalation tournament!). However, a modified win isn’t comparable to a full win and I thought it would cost me standing.
To my surprise, it put me firmly in first place!!!!!
Though the matches were really tough, the most difficult challenge I faced was selecting the prize. Shield tokens (original!), Endor mat, acrylic Stress?!?! I seriously took 2 or 3 minutes to choose the prize, hit a bad case of analysis paralysis. Ultimately, I caved for a custom painted Kath Scarlet Firespray.
Not only that, but since I got first place AND used Han Solo…..
Awwwwwww yeah!!!! It’s especially nice, since I wasn’t able to attend FFG’s World Championship.
So, I’ve been awarded the title of Alpha Mynock. I’m not going to lie, some of the match ups, as well as hot and cold dice, were in my favor so things could have gone very differently. I’m not going to take the title too seriously unless I manage to successfully defend it once or twice.
In the end, I feel like I re-learned some valuable lessons I should have never forgotten. Life, as well as stupid blogs, get in the way sometimes so you have to make sacrifices. It’s important to not be above retaking the n00b tutorial and strengthen your understanding of the basics, especially after a long break.
UPDATE: The Thursday following the Mynock Tournament, we ran a Winter Kit tournament at Game Empire. While I originally wanted to run a Scum Kath/Bossk list, I forgot my bases (stupid n00b) so had to use my list from before. I ended up in second place and score these bad boys!!!
So…I don’t know. Can you call that a comeback? Maybe not, but it sure felt like one. Store Championship season is almost upon us; while I don’t know if I will be running this same list, I am excited to see how far my rekindled passion takes me.
Here are some more pics of Kath’s Firespray.