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Why I suck at X-wing! September 4, 2019

So, had the biggest X-Wing in australia last weekend. Been decompressing for the last few days, and finally Im going to write about it.

Im not going to bother writing about my wins, I will say I went 5-1 on the first day, I had arguably the worst MOV out of the top cut, and possibly even the top 100. All my games went to time, with me ahead by a MOV of between 10 and 50.

(I also dont remember much of what I played against except for the first game which was a bit of rebel beef – Norra [Arc], Dutch, Blount and something else. The loss vs a kiwi playing 2x Sigma Phantoms w/ Juke, and rex with Juke [and I think tractor too], and Rick playing his usual Resistance Beef [Pava, Wexley, bastian and Finn].)

The game Im going to look at is my loss in the top 16 vs Morgan Reid.

Now playing Morgan for my first time was slightly intimidating, but it left me a bit if a taste in my mouth I didnt like. (It was the only time the whole weekend I got angry – and thats a story for another time).

I lost the game probably from the start, and there was 2 mistakes:

1) My deployment sucked, I stuck with the corner, where I should have deployed in the middle.
2) I swapped locks from one of his inquisitors to soontir.

This is where you go: “god you’re an idiot heath”, and yes you’d be correct. The win condition here was Jendon w/ Krennic. Krennic’s condition card with soontir is plain dirty, and can mean even if soontir wiffs, he will still likely do a shield or flip a face down card.

Understanding the impact of a condition card like Krennic’s can make or break a game.

As Duke once said: “Knowing is half the battle”.

If I had played this game again, I think given my better understanding of it, I would easily go after jendon first. Dropping his jendon would give me an advantage. Secondly, I would shelter the ship he locked first allowing me some extra time to drop Jendon and break that all important lock.

The moral of the story is this folks, make sure you have a thorough understanding of what gear your opponent is running. Make informed decisions around it, as it can make or break you in the game.

As I said before, I arguably lost this game at the start, but, even with my shitty deployment I still could have pulled it out if I was more careful in regards to what Krennic was going to do.

Morgan played well, so full credit to him for sure and deserved the win due to my silliness.

Anyways. I got a huge haul of swag from the Aussie System Open, and Im looking forward to Aussie Nats later in the year. Over all I’m pretty impressed by how far I got. My girls (the inquisitors) were amazing!


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Categories: tournament xwing

The Rise of Finn (and Padme, Teroch, Palob, and Vader [crew]) August 23, 2019

Ahh Finn, “he’s a big deal”. My kinda fella. Also probably going to be seen on x-wing table tops world over (well, till his ability gets neutered by FFG.).

Lets look at him:

His ability states:

“While you defend or perform an attack, you may add 1 blank result, or you may gain 1 strain token to add 1 focus result instead.”

His cost is 29 points, his upgrade slots: Talent, Tech, Mod, and Crew.

Currently there is several builds floating around for him, but most of it centres around this:

Finn + Heroic + Perceptive co-pilot.

Perceptive co-pilot is so good with finn’s ability when it comes to defence it isnt funny. He can become one of the tankiest ships in X-wing, probably only second to Vennie (when fully decked out).

But Finn’s ability isnt just good for defence, its good for offence too. Being able to pretty much reliably push 3 damage out a turn makes him a true threat.

Heroic is probably the best talent to take. If you do go blanks on 2 defence or attack dice, you can add a blank at no cost to yourself and re roll them all (I know its saved my bacon a few times).

When it comes to going further their is 2 trains of thought: Advanced Optics or Pattern Analyzer.

Advanced optics allows you to add a blank to your attack and turn a focus to a hit, but the likely hood of having to spend 2 focus’s during an attack is greater. While Pattern allows you to perform red manoeuvres (even over Asteroids and Gas clouds!!) and still perform an action. This is hugely important as being able to get those focuses means you stay alive longer.

Last but not least, when it comes to choices of mods, you realistically have 3 choices: nothing, Stealth Device, Shield upgrade.

If you want cheap, don’t take any mod. If you want to become tankier, Stealth Device, it can really be useful particularly at the early engagements, where as shield upgrade gives you a little more beef for you’re opponent to chew through, combined with Finn’s ability and 2 evade dice still makes him plenty tanky.

Now for the elephant in the room. His ability. I’ve gone through it a fair bit now, but there is a bit of growing concern about it. Let me explain.

This relates only to defence. When Finn defends, he can gain a strain to add an focus result. However as per the rules reference, once you have defended you lose a strain token. So in actual effect the strain doesnt actually impact you negatively at all. At the moment this is currently how it is being ruled. However, in saying this I fully believe they will update the rules reference after the Australian SoS (system open), to read “after you have defended you may remove a strain token that has not been added during this attack”. Its a clean way of handling it, and I’m some what surprised it hasnt already been implemented.

Ok let’s look into the people who can easily deal with finn, Im not going to go into too much detail as most of them have been around a while now.

Ol’ Teroch. The original token stripper, as long as he is in r1 and his front arc, no tokens for you!

Palob, steal’s tokens while in r0-2 of his arc(s). Only 1 tho!

Vader Crew, its not really a steal but it can force you to spend a focus or take a damage. Not ideal, but definitely annoying.

Lastly Padme. Ahh the lovely Padme. In game terms she’s actually a right royal pain in the backside (hehehehe sorry bad pun!). Her ability limits you to modifying 1 focus result, attacking or defending. So if you come up all eyeballs, you’re outta luck (lock’s cant do it either!!). Padme is actually a big counter to a lot of lists in many ways, however, she is flying an airframe that while pretty good, if cought out can fall over quicker than you can poke a stick at it. Padme deserves her own article and I’ll get one up soon about her. But I predict, Finn and Padme will be in a lot of lists in coming months (and probably a points bump for both too).


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Categories: tournament xwing

Predictions for the X-wing 2.0 June points update June 24, 2019

We’re nearing the bi-annual points update for X-wing 2.0.

Im gonna talk about some points updates I think you might see along with some other changes that might occur (mostly balance updates and slot changes).

Lets talk slot changes first, as this will be minor, but there may be a couple of notable entrants.

The first is Phantoms, particularly the Sigma Squadron ace, money is on they will lose the talent slot. Currently Quad phantoms with juke is a very strong combination still, even after the points adjustment in jan. This should limit the effectiveness of the quad phatoms, 3 with juke build. Likely hood: 70%

Rebel A-wings, Possibly a tech slot. A-wings for rebels are seeing little play, the addition of a tech slot, to make up for the lack of an astromech should go a long way, and make them worth their points cost.

Points changes. Some of these may seem controversial, but take them with a grain of salt.

Generic T65 X-wings -1 point. This will be combo’d with S-foils going up to 1 point. This has an added impact of giving the named pilots a slight point increase if you want to take the ability to boost in an x-wing. (maybe a few of the named pilots that dont have the Name Wedge or Luke) will probably go down a point too).

Every large ship that isnt Han or rey (or the imperial shuttle) down 1-2 points across the board.

pretty much all scum ships aside from the firespray, quadrajet and fang fighter down 1-2 points.

I feel inertial upgrades will go up a point to 2, may be 3 (or be variable based on ship size (1/2/3 – small/medium/large).

Swarm tactics will be initiative scaled (ala squad leader), probably most expensive PS6 at 6-8 points.

Leia up to 4-5 points (6 is max).

R2D2 crew up to 9.

Redline Down 1-2 points

E-wings 2-3 points across the board.

CLT for Delta-7s down by half.

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The good, bad and ugly of the Republic Jedi April 8, 2019

Ok, so the Republic has been around now for a couple weeks pretty much, the Jedi are starting to become regular occurrences on the battlefield.

Heres my guide to the good, bad and ugly of the jedi.

Lets start with the ugly…

Bariss Offee, has an aggressive based ability, with the ability to turn a focus to a hit or a hit to a crit, but only has 1 force point. Making his ability not really worth it at all. 4 more points than a generic jedi, is hardly worth it.

To be honest Bariss is the only jedi that really stands out as being ugly to be fair, the others may be bad, but not so bad as they become ugly.

Lets look at the list of “bad” jedi (this will be in order from bad to ok):

Luminara Unduli, her ability will trigger more than her opposite in Bariss, however, it is still relatively situational and only 2 force charges makes it fairly impotent. It can work in some lists, but even then if you are lucky.

Plo Koon, his ability in taking one of your friendly ships orange tokens or giving a friendly ship a green token that he has, is alright, but not that great. Like Bariss and Luminara, the ability is situational at best. Also his price point given his ability is probably a tad too high also works against him. His only saving grace is the fact he is PS5.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, this is a bitter pill to swallow. Obi-wan’s ability is as far as im concerned one of the best in the game hands down. He effectively has infinite focus’s for himself, or allow a high ps ace to spend a focus and regain it for defensive purposes would make a big difference. However, it just doesnt seem as efficient as some of the others who arguably have slightly better abilities for aggressive play. A support jedi while hectically good, just isnt in the play style thats workable at the moment.

Saesee Tiin, this one has a very divided opinion. Saesee depending on your play style can be very good or utterly garbage. I can see it from both sides, but I still dont rate him that well. And the reasoning is simple, If you want to make use of Saesee with higher PS ships, it leads you to be relatively predictable for your placement of Saesee, as he will need to be within 0-2 of the other ship. And a relatively predictable ship is a dead ship, especially vs any good ace player. When Saesee is using the ability for himself it makes him a lot more maneuverable, but to make best use of him, you really need R4.

On to the good.

Generi(c) Jedi Knights, this one is some what borderline good/bad, it really depends on your play style, with 7B, they are solid hitters, that can dart around, naked they arent too bad either, but with CLT, they are a bit sketchy as it is pretty hard to get the right angle on your opponents (particularly higher PS) shi[s with the bullseye to make use of CLT.

Mace Windu, another pilot in the borderline pile. His ability is ok, but his real strength is the fact he is a 3 force point ship, which means he can lock, and not need a focus generally. Or if he evades, he has force points to convert eye ball results reliably in defence. 7B is a good option, as CLT on a PS4 ship would be hard to get off. Plus he is reasonably cheap.

Anakin, well, what to say about anakin, he will drive a new bidding war for sure, but is he really the bees knees of the Jedi, probably not. His ability while good, is actually, not as good as say Nien’s, and its simply because of how it triggers. When you combine anakin with 7B, Afterburners and R4-P17, he becomes a out of this world maneuvering monster (even more so if you whack on supernatural reflexes), but again, he is limited somewhat by his ability.

If you have the bid, CLT is a good option for him, but given that he is PS6, you can get around and avoid being hit more often than not.

Finally Ahsoka, she has proven to be one of the gold standard ships of the republic. up to 3 actions per turn, or giving a friendly ship a bonus action even if stressed. She’s AP5 with some conditions basically. She can lock/focus every turn pretty much, or double reposition and focus/lock as required.

Ahsoka, is arguably the best of the best in all the Jedi, Anakin, could swap places with her depending on who is playing him, but Ahsoka has a far lower entry point to play then any of the other Jedi, maybe aside from Mace.

Anyways, thats enough from me. Hopefully you agree, if you dont, let me know why!


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Categories: tournament xwing

Network Musings March 13, 2019

I’ve been building a robust small network to do my CCNA ICND1 & 2 studies, using my ESXI server to run 4 IOS XRV’s connected to my servers PFsense firewall and virtual tacacs server.

I’ve come up against a bunch of things which have made this not necessarily as straight forward as it should be.

Getting the IOS XRV’s to run took a bit of manhandling, but we got there in the end (hint you need a console connection to them which you need to either have the full Licence for ESXI or configure them somewhere else and import them into ESXI (which I did).

Using IOS XRV for CCNA studies means you need to do things a little differently, as the default doesnt really exist, you need to either use IPV4 or IPV6 when using the appropriate commands.
Good example: assigning an IP address to an interface, in normal IOS you’d use the following:
conf t
int gi0/0
ip add
no shut

In IOS XRv you’d do the following:

conf t
int gi0/0/0/0
ipv4 add
no shut

Also with IOS XRv is follows the trail of JUNOS in that you need to commit your config changes, to prevent issues occurring cause of a bad config change (which we all know is super easy in normal IOS).

In my current network, I have 4 IOS XRvs, each with an interface going to another IOS XRv, a loop back on 1, 2 , and 3, in the netwroks, RIP provides connectivity, this is mostly because ICND1 only really looks at RIP v2. When I progress to ICND2 I’ll activate OSPF.

I installed Open NMS, and a Tacacs server to allow single point of authorisation and authentication, meaning I dont need to set up multiple users on each network element.

I also found because the internal networks live in a different space (network) than the net, we had some issues with TACACs workig correctly. in the end this was found to be the TACACs server not being able to send information back to the routers that sent the request initially even though you could ping and trace route the tacacs server. I added a static route to the nets to the tacacs server and low and behold all the IOS XRv’s can now be authenticated via TACACs.

I’ll have more info coming soon!

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Categories: networking

Back on the CCNA bandwagon…with esxi March 6, 2019

Ok so its been a while since i talked about networking (the computer kind not the people kind), and im a little bit excited to say the least.

Im current going through the icnd1 book and have almost completed it, but rather than use gns3 via a virtualised linux guest on my esxi server i managed to get Cisco’s ios xrv 1000 working properly.

Basically my current topology is pretty limited (just 2 ios xrvs and 2 junos vmxs) but it works.

Theres a couple things i eventually found out particularly with the ios xrv.

First to make it work in esxi you need serial dupport which is only available in the top tier esxi licence.

Secondly ensure you have sufficient memory and resources.

I would suggest once the virtual boxes are configured id set up ssh and tunnel your way into the virtual boxes via that instead. Less headaches that way.

Also another thing to remember the network cards listed in the virtual machine stats wont reflect whats actually there.

For ios xrv the first network card is the management port (but we dont use that one) so the ports start from nic2 on in esxi.

Vmx needs to use the first two interfaces the rest are counted 0 to what ever.

Ill write up another blog detailing the configuration and some tips about both the ciscos and the juniper boxes.

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The Y-wing is coming for you March 4, 2019

The unassuming Y-wing, hardly the pinnacle of firepower or manoeuvrability, has started to become pretty prevalent.

There’s a few reasons why, and we shall discuss them in turn.

The first is due to the recent points drop, makes them a better value proposition compared to other ships. This means you can fit more of them in, thus having more redundancy and firepower.

The next is the fact for a min of 31 points you can have an 8 health ship. Points to health wise, its probably one of the best, points to resiliency probably a ship or two behind the dreaded Defender.

Also the ship can take a variety of upgrades to make it very efficient for the points cost. The most common is taking Ion Cannon Turret (4 points) and Veteran Turret Gunner (6 points), making for a double shotting base y-wing (gray squadron bomber or cryomorah goons) 41 points. Thats a pretty offensive punch for a small point cost (comparatively).

Another feature is also the fact they can take bombs (sorry devices), combined with the prior reason, you have a strong combination to do some damage and then roll the enemy ship into a proton bomb.

With the push towards more resilience based lists over ace type, means that ships like the y-wing are much more in demand.

The Y-wing is a very jousty ship. It wants to joust you. It can take damage, it can put it out. Combined with the Veteran Turret Gunner and Ion Cannon Turret, makes it a very formidable opponent indeed.

How to handle it?

Try to avoid the initial joust!. Sometimes this can be easier said than done, but careful planning of the asteroids, and placing of your ships will help you avoid the initial joust, and get around the sides of the Y-wings. You want to avoid the double tap, and sometimes it may not be possible, but with careful movement planning its possible to mitigate the joust.

Be thankful they dont have FCS.

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Categories: xwing

Why is Vennie so damn good in Hyperspace February 26, 2019

Vennie. After the post from PhilGC see here, Vennie has become pretty hot. And its easy to see why.

His ability grants him the ability to add a focus to any defence dice he throws IF the attacking ship is in any friendly ship turret arc (this includes his own.

So, in saying that, you have a ship that can generate some crazy defence if you take c3p0 or perceptive co-pilot.

Heres a pretty crazy combo I’ve played with in place of the usual (‘3p0, rey & vet turret gunner):

Vennie (62)
Pattern Analyzer (5)
Perceptive Copilot (8)
Finn (10)
Rey (14)

Ship total: 99

We already know how good rey/finn interaction is, well here it is on an even doper set up. In theory, Vennie can survive a possible 4 damage in one attack (range 3 primary attack [or HLC] in front arc) assuming you roll double evades admittedly.

But still that should put pause to you. Infact this vennie synergises with M9G8 beautifully, if he is attacking out the front arc you get an additional die to play with.

Now is this worth the loss of the double tap. Potentially. You could always keep vet turret gunner in place of finn, your defence wont be as good (in theory), but you do get more shots off (3 + 2 base).

Something to think about for sure.

Tomorrow I’m going to run over the Toronto System open winning list (and the runner up – the final had a bit of controversy so both lists need to be looked at).


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Categories: xwing

Post Points update Xwing 2.0 February 13, 2019

So the points update has happened, and while a lot of it wasnt too surprising there was a couple of big surprises that threw a lot of people. The points changes can be viewed here:

Comparison Spreadsheet

Looking at the big call outs, big ships generally got a point reduction (except for upsilons), Moldy Crow title is 50% more (18 v 12), Tie Phantom lost its crew slot and gained a gunner slot (I had predicted this was a possibility), and proton torps got bumped to 12 points. Also Primed Thrusters and Supernatural reflexes are initiative based points (32 on vader!!). Leia and Han Gunner are two examples where they took too much of a change, I’ll explain further on.

The spready gives us some useful information to play with, especially when looking at the current meta, and how it will evolve.

Whisper (or any phantom for that matter) was a problem with Vader crew, and I’m glad its been fixed, a few people aren’t but eh, cant please everyone. If you coudln’t understand why vader crew is so broken on whisper, then you clearly don’t understand how manoeuvrable Phantoms are, and how they have a good chance of having you in their front arc more often than not.

Aside from that, now that we have some good points reductions, we are slowly starting to see ships that dont get much play, actual play time.

A good example of this is probably the E-wing, it was pretty much not played at all, but now with the points reductions, its actually seeing play. (I use it in a couple builds which I’ll discuss after)

Other ships are now seeing a bit more play, as you can fit things with them and make them worth while.

As for probably 2 of the other biggest surprises, is Leia for Rebels, gone from 8 to 2, means she is practically in every rebel list now. Every three turns, you can spend the 3 points to perform red manoeuvres as white, makes it incredibly powerful. Combine with something like Lando, or a b-wing heavy list and its quite scary. I believe they went too hard on her, and I’ll bet next points update, Leia will go to between 4-5 points. 8 is too high, 2 is too low, I think 4 would work.

Han gunner for scumm is the exact opposite, he was being used in a lot of scumm lists (including the ubiquitous Boba Fett w/ Marauder + Han Gunner), FFG bumped his points up by 200%, making him now 12 points. Once again, FFG have done the exact opposite of Leia and banged the points up to an almost unplayable level. I think once again, like Leia, there will be another points adjustment come the next points change, and Han will probably go down to about 6-8 points.

Since the points changes, I’ve been able to run a pretty interesting Rebel set up, I’ve got two builds, one Swarm Tactics based, the other a 4 ship list:

Swarm Wedge:
Braylen Stramm — A/SF-01 B-Wing 47
Crack Shot 1
Advanced Sensors 10
Jamming Beam 0
Ship Total: 58

Gavin Darklighter — E-Wing 61
Swarm Tactics 3
Fire-Control System 2
Proton Torpedoes 12
R4 Astromech 2
Ship Total: 80

Wedge Antilles — T-65 X-Wing 52
Swarm Tactics 3
R4 Astromech 2
Servomotor S-foils 0
Ship Total: 57

This list comes in at 195 points, and gives you some hard hitting shots, that pretty much guarantees a crit every attack thanks to Gavin.

I’ve been trialling a different version with 4 ships, and no Swarm Tactics:

Wedge and the Gang:
Braylen Stramm — A/SF-01 B-Wing 47
Jamming Beam 0
Ship Total: 47

Gavin Darklighter — E-Wing 61
R4 Astromech 2
Ship Total: 63

Wedge Antilles — T-65 X-Wing 52
R4 Astromech 2
Servomotor S-foils 0
Ship Total: 54

AP-5 — Sheathipede-class Shuttle 32
Leia Organa 2
Ship Total: 34

This list is more about getting shots into your opponent, while double modding either wedge and Stramm.

Both lists have been pretty decent, and I’ll need more practice with them to get the best out of them, but they’re possible now since the point update.

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Categories: xwing

Looking into the magic 8 ball – First Order December 27, 2018

Ok, so I’ve been playing a LOT of First Order of late. Its swung between two main builds:

1) Kylo, QD and Null
2) Dormitz, QD and Null.

I’ve found the first one, ran into issues if I didnt have a big enough bid,and kylo moved first, things became problematic to say the least. Kylo, more so than any other pilot aside from Soontir really wants to move last! His 2 shield 4 hull may seem solid, it goes down like a wet paper bag if you are not careful.

After facing several upsilon ships, I decided to ditch kylo and take Dormitz for his deployment ability. So far, I feel this version is leaps and bounds better than almost any other FO build, and infact, as I’ll touch on later 3 ship builds for resistance seem to be the most effective as well.

My current Dormitz, QD and Null build is this:

Lieutenant Dormitz — Upsilon-Class Shuttle 60
Pattern Analyzer 5
Hyperspace Tracking Data 2
Captain Phasma 5
Shield Upgrade 4
Ship Total: 76

"Quickdraw" — TIE/SF Fighter 45
Pattern Analyzer 5
Special Forces Gunner 10
Fire-Control System 3
Shield Upgrade 6
Ship Total: 69

"Null" — TIE/FO Fighter 31
Fanatical 2
Pattern Analyzer 5
Afterburners 8
Ship Total: 46

This list has some odd choices, but they work. Let me explain:

Dormitz with a shield upgrade?? WTF?? Yup. 1 extra shield may seem over kill, but the ability to weather 2 proton torp attacks before you go into its soft chewy centre can make a big difference particularly over the course of a game.

Also Shield upgrade on QD?? WTF?? This one shouldnt be so surprising, again, its about surviving the inevitable proton torp shot, if you can loose 2 shield, the opponent is going to hate popping shops at you after that. Once bitten twice shy and all that.

Null in general, people often attack him first, I usually had shield upgrade on him, which makes him quite survivable.

Im still toying with the idea of dropping afterburners back for the shield upgrade, but fanatical and pattern analyzer make good sense on him simply because of their efficiency. (Pattern analyzer, is actually a lot more filthy than the other options in the tech slot, try it with the quad jets!!).

Everything else should be pretty common sense.

In saying that – its bed time for me!


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Categories: xwing