Blair and Paul

So I said I wasn’t going to do a whole write up but I felt like I should at least do something for my game against Paul.  Going into round 5 Paul and I were each 4-0.  This game was pretty pivotal cause the winner only has to win 2 out of the next 3 to have a guaranteed spot while the loser is fighting for their tournament life.  I had played Paul before on vassal once in season two of the Team Covenant Aces League but beating Paul in any game outside of Worlds really isn’t worth much because all he’s doing the rest of the year is play testing in preparation for Worlds.  If you’re reading this that means you’re a fan of X-wing so you know what he flew,  here’s my list.

Two pretty evenly matched squads.  He won the initiative roll and took it, set up all his 2’s even across in the top left corner.  My proto had already been set in the middle on my side and due to his awesome re-positional abilities I knew I could either set up opposite corner or go for the joust.  When I face an ace with some filler and I feel like I have jousting superiority typically I’ll just go for their filler instead of going for their ace outright.  This is because Aces are typically good defensive ships and most experienced players won’t do something risky with them early on.  My slow ass ships really don’t have any hope to chase down Poe and kill him so I figure I’ll joust, make Poe fly into our jumble of ships slugging it out since he kinda has to in hopes of getting shots, and wait for a spot to present itself to go for him.

So first big turn of shooting my Tala dies and his Bandit is left at two which freaking sucks but I’m still not in a terrible way.  Next turn our stress hogs each die and I get 1 more hull into the Bandit.  Here’s what the board looked like at the end of combat at that point.

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Now, go ahead and take a moment if you wish to try and decide for yourself what you think you’d do in this situation, remember Poe has R2D2 instead of R5-P9.

Done? Good, now let me tell you how it went down.  My Proto’s not in a good spot here obviously.  He can’t 3k, and any kind of hard left turn bumps.  All of you who have faced regenerating ships know how incredibly difficult they are to kill end game so I figure now is as good a time as any to go for Poe since he’s hurt. I 1 hard right my Proto and 1 forward by blues.  Even if Poe does a green move forward to regenerate 1 shield he’s either going to bump or miss a shot.  If he bumps he’ll be at 5 health.  My b-wing on the right here can take a TL.  I’ll fire with the left 1 first, get 1 or 2 shields.  Then my other B-Wing can take his tl’d shot and do another 1 or 2 damage, hopefully a crit since he’s getting re-rolls.  The odds of getting Poe down to 1 and/or dealing a good crit here are pretty high since I’m landing 5 hits against his 1.5 evades on average.  Almost any crit is good, the only one that would essentially do nothing would be a thrust control fire since I know he’s going green next turn anyway.  Pretty much anything else hurts him bad though and will give me a good chance to finish him over the next 1/2 turns.  I also have about a 20% chance to kill him outright, which would basically give me the win at that point, due to the direct hits/major explosions in the deck so I figure screw it worth the risk.

Well sure enough he goes 3 forward and bumps my Proto.  I get my shots but only get 1 shield through.  He runs Poe then k-turns him the next turn and 1 shots my 3 health Proto on 4 naked reds against 3 naked greens.  From that all he had to do was mop up my Blues.

So now the question I was left to ponder that night, as well as for the rest of eternity, was was it worth taking that chance?  Like I said the Proto’s in a bad spot here he’s not getting an action if he chases the Gold.  And if I send my Blues to finish the Bandit and/or chase the Gold that Gold can dictate which range to shoot them at for as long as it’s alive and Poe will be behind them the entire time as well.  I think best case scenario there I kill the Gold with my 3 health Proto and a full health Blue left which they have no chance of killing Poe on their own.  Like I said I think about 75% of the time I’m either getting Poe down to 1 health or landing a good crit.  Don’t know the exact odds but of course the first two times I rerun the simulation in vassal I kill Poe :D.

Anyway, thanks for reading.  Playing Paul in person at Worlds was an experience unlike anything else.  He was a total class act and brought a lot of positive energy to the table and wasn’t doing it to put on a show as we were way in the back corner with no one around, except for Morgan who showed up with about 20 minutes left.  Would’ve been a great story to tell to my grand kids about how I took down the master but there’s always next year.

3 thoughts on “Blair and Paul”

  1. For what little it’s worth, I’d have taken the same chance and would have done what you did.
    Sometimes the dice make you look foolish, sometimes a genius, but you have to seize the chances you get vs the regenerating ships.

    1. That actually is worth quite a bit coming from you Matt a lot of people have told me it was a stupid move so I appreciate hearing that, especially from a player of your caliber.

      1. I’m also of the opinion that you made the right choice of turning to Poe. Paul’s Z was completely disoriented and your Blues were so healthy; there was no real threats on the board except for Poe during that turn.

        I think the big thing to take away from this game is that the prototype was out of position. Had he been further back he would have had better options, and might have been able to set up a block on Poe during the crucial turn. If your Blues had been slightly further back you would have been free to K-turn and Poe would have been in serious trouble, without any real support.

        It’s one of those things that you can’t really be criticized for. I also didn’t see the entire game so maybe being a little further back wasn’t even possible. Oh well!

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