|Atlanta 2013 Regional Report
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|Author:||greentime [ Sun May 12, 2013 2:45 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Atlanta 2013 Regional Report|
On May 5th we had the fourth Atlanta Star Wars miniatures regional, and for the third time in a row I walked away the winner. You know what that means - time to write another tournament report!
First, some background. My job has taken me from Atlanta to the vast metropolis of Meridian, Mississippi. Meridian and Atlanta have a lot in common. They're both cities, they're both in the South, Sherman burned both of them down during the Civil War, and, uh, well, that's about it. Unfortunately, as you may have guessed, Meridian does not have a strong minis community, or, for that matter, a comic store (although there is a very nice one just 90 miles to the east, in Tuscaloosa!). Between moving five hours away from our group and working crazy hours out here, I hadn't played minis since January. In fact, I only learned about the newest set when David Weeks sent me a text message asking where to mail the cards to. Thank goodness they were on Bloo Milk! I posted like eight squads trying to feel ideas out, but I really had no clue what would be good. Hey, Hinkbert and Gerry played Darth Caedus squads at their regional, they're good at minis, how could this fail?
Fortunately, I made it to Nathan's party the night before, and in between catching up and hanging out with everyone, got in two quick games with Daniel and his Luke Galactic Hero and oldass janky Kyle Katarn squad. Darth Caedus was pretty cool. With SBM I pulled Jan Ors out of hiding and killed her with Atton. Caedus, hell yeah! Then Luke GH basically slaughtered the whole squad single-handedly. Man, Caedus kind of sucks once he runs out of Force Points. Oooo-kay, then. I switched to a Mace and GM Yoda squad and pulled out a close win, but even victory was thought-provoking. Janky old Kyle had an awful lot of firepower. Luke GH seemed pretty badass. Plus I knew that at least one person was playing a Naboo deathshot squad (which punks Mace), and suspected that Mandalorians would be pretty popular, too (not a great Mace matchup). While Daniel pulverized me at Star Wars LCG and Jonathan lost to everyone with his awful Vong squad, the gears in my head cranked around. What could beat deathshots, Caedus squads, Mando the Vindicated squads, Daniel's squad, and Nathan's pilots? Oh, while also being easy enough to play that I don't just botch everything and get blown out while I barely remember how to play. Hmmmm.
I decided this would fit the bill (link):
--Pellaeon for the win?--
54 Cad Bane
32 Thrawn (Mitth'raw'nuruodo)
16 Admiral Gilad Pellaeon
11 Grand Moff Tarkin
8 Mas Amedda
15 Rodian Brute x5
3 Ugnaught Demolitionist x1
3 Mouse Droid x1
(Lobot) 8 Gran Raider x2
(Lobot) 12 Rodian Brute x4
On to the action!
First round opponent - Ricky Heck:
First round I drew Ricky, who often builds squads that none of us understand and does well with them. He was playing a New Republic squad based around Luke GH and... Marn Heiroglyph?!
He won the map roll (Jabba's... something) and I let him pick side as well (he picked the one that mostly consists of a series of rooms, with east and west doors leading to the atrium(?). He brought in a Felucian jabroney to power up Anakin and opted not to steal my dudes, which were Rodian brutes. We had the same number of activations, which made things really tough for me, so I pushed Cad far forward to shoot at some scrubs. I killed an ugnaught, but missed a shot against his R7 droid. That made the next turn more dramatic than I had hoped. After winning initiative, should I go first and (hopefully) kill more scrubs, or get out of Dodge? I opted for MOAR AGGRESSION, finishing off the R7 and another ugnaught, then moving back as far as I could.
It was far enough to get away from Luke, which I very carefully counted, but not from Jarael. No big deal, I thought, for Jarael only does 10 damage. Except that Marn Heiroglyph had stolen opportunist and gave her greater mobile. Oops! Ricky whiffed one attack (and had already used a FP to base Cad), but that was still enough to put Cad at 40 health and officially in the danger zone. I shot at Jarael with my commanders, ran a whole bunch of brutes in to whack at her, and finally swapped in Arica. Jarael died and I lucked out when Ricky missed a 30 damage opp attack when I ran away from the Felucian and forgot that he had opportunist, too.
Fortunately, I wasn't the only one making mistakes. Ricky threw Luke GH out and threw sabers at Thrawn for... some reason. Afterwards he wondered what the heck he had been thinking. He screened Luke extensively with scrubs, but I had enough flexibility and maneuverability to blaster barrage them with Arica, then take no-cover shots at Luke while Cad was within range of the ysalamiri bubble. With Luke and Jarael dead and Anakin neutered by Pellaeon, I was in a very strong position, and finished Ricky off over the next turns. It was a tense, close game until suddenly it wasn't, and if Ricky hadn't been as rusty as I was I think it could have been a really great game. As it was, I was happy to walk away with a win.
Second round opponent - Phil Ricciardi
Phil was playing Mandos, with Mandalore the Vindicated, the new run fast guy, Fenn Shysa, and a couple of shooters with a captain. He won the map roll but picked my map (Rancor Pit) and I set up inside the room. The first round was eventful for two reasons. First, I realized that his squad had crazy speed and maneuverability, especially for Mandos. Second, he underestimated just how long the main LOS on the map was and as a result I shot his captain dead on the first round, which was a huge break for me. Phil took some shots at Cad and damaged him (rolling a crit means no evade - nasty!), but as he kept on pushing forward I was able to keep on swapping Cad in and out to pick his squad off on piece at a time. At the end Mandalore the Vindicator got stuck behind wall after wall of brutes while everyone else shot him apart. As you can probably guess from the picture, Phil was a pleasure to play against and we had a lot of laughs. His squad definitely left an impression on me, too.
At this point we broke for lunch, where most of us enjoyed Chipotle
while Philip elected for the lunch of champions
Third round opponent - Daniel Stephens
Daniel was playing the same squad from last night, with Luke GH, old ass Kyle, Jan Ors, Threepio, Jagged Fel, Dodonna, and scrubs, and set up in the rooms on Rancor Pit. In our practice game he had lit me up because I didn't mind the LOS closely enough, so this time I focused on very carefully advancing to deny him easy shots. Of course, with Ganner he had an enormous reach, and still picked off a few brutes before running to safety (damn you, stealth!). This time, however, it was Daniel who didn't mind his LOS, and Cad gunned Lobot down from across the map. With my squad neatly fortressed around Pellaeon in gambit and hard cover, and seriously behind on points, Daniel had to play more aggressively. At the end of next turn, then the first activation of the following turn, Cad killed Kyle, reducing Artoopio to 10 health in the process. Daniel moved Luke and Artoopio out to pressure me, but I built a brute wall, put Pellaeon behind it, then shot Artoopio from behind him with Arica.
Because of the Force bubble, Daniel couldn't lightsaber throw the wall, couldn't use Ganner to throw Luke past the wall, and basically just ran out of options while Cad systematically killed everyone else in his squad. Those practice games the night before really came in handy!
Fourth round opponent - Matt Spry (shown here expressing how happy he was to get to face Naboo deathshots)
Matt was also playing Mandalore the Vindicated with Fenn Shysa, Kelborn, and shooters, although he used a Mandalorian scientist instead of the captain to free up points. He was playing on the new version of the Mos Eisley map, which looked really cool, and choose to set up on the more crowded side. I brought in gran raiders, he brought in Figrin Da'an (eugh!) and we went to it.
Matt followed basically the same strategy as Phil, but on our map he could very aggressively advance without worrying as much about me shooting him. Along the way he took pains to kill every scrub that I let him see. That approach let me kill one of his scouts, and a gran raider got to Lobot, but my sole attempt to shoot Mandalore resulted in doing 20 damage to Fenn Shysa and 30 to Figrin - far from ideal. I realized that I had been much too aggressive with the fodder, and decided to try and resolve the match before just herded me into a corner with disruptive and crazy movement. Matt split up Mandalore and Fenn Shysa, and half his squad has cloaked, so I found a LOS to go after the big man. Unfortunately Matt made all of his beskar'gam saves and I tossed out a 1, so M the V totally didn't die. OK, I'll just win initiative, base his ass, and kill him then!
But then I rolled two more 1s, Mandalore STILL didn't die, and instead he got to butcher Cad. Just like Omar said...
I took my best shot with Arica, but she couldn't do nearly enough damage and also died. It was a great game all around, and Matt came after me relentlessly in a way that I never would have expected from Mandos. Matt was also very happy to beat me at a major tournament - we have played many times at regionals and once at Gencon, and almost every one of those games was close-fought, tense, and exciting, but this was the first time that he came on top.
So after the fourth game Daniel crunched the numbers, then waved his arms around a lot:
and determined that the final four consisted of Matt Spry at #1, Steven Sloop at #2, yours truly in third, and Nick Ferguson in fourth.
Steven was playing 100 point Luke, new Jacen, Vergere, Princess Leia Skywalker, Dodonna, and a few scrubs.
A short aside (just kidding, nothing I write is ever short) - before we began, I thought that the meta would be lots of Sith, some Mace, a few NR squads, and probably some OR. I pretty much whiffed on the specifics (no one played Sith, Daniel played Mace but didn't do well, and only Young Ricciardi played OR), but my main takeaway - play Pellaeon! - turned out to be dead on.
Steven and I played on Rancor Pit, and the game went like this:
Turn 1 I killed Vergere
Turn 2 I killed Jacen
Turn 3 I killed some scrubs
Turn 4 I killed Luke and Leia
With swap I found lines of sight to his characters who couldn't defend themselves from shooting, and when he put Luke in the front I moved Cad next to Pellaeon and teed off. It was just a terrible matchup for Steven, and he really couldn't do much about it.
Meanwhile Nick played really well and beat Matt... which mean that the finale would basically be a repeat of the game I had just finished. Instead of Dodonna he played a few more scrubs, but otherwise his squad was identical to Steven's. He was much more cautious than Steven had been, but I set my brute wall up with Pellaeon and Cad behind, and he couldn't hide forever. Once again Cad just put out too much damage, and with no movement breaking he couldn't get through my scrub wall more quickly than I could replenish it. So go figure, the playoff games turned out to be easier than any of the Swiss matchups. Those Luke MOTO squads were well constructed and obviously Nick and Steven handed them very well; I just happened to bring the almost perfect answer for it. So:
Then we followed tradition and went to IHOP!
Special props to Daniel for running things and co-judging, David for reminding me that new minis were coming out even though I didn't play any of them, Matt for beating deathshots in the first round so I didn't have to face them, and everyone who made the drive down from SC to play. It was a great time and I especially enjoyed seeing everyone and getting to hang out after a couple months stuck away.
|Author:||Weeks [ Sun May 12, 2013 4:00 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Re: Atlanta 2013 Regional Report|
As usual always bringing the best writeups, Graham. Anytime you can work The Wire into a Star Wars Minis story you get a thumbs up from me.
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