I can’t think of a better way to publish Space Bone-Arm’s first post other than to be calling out our very own Steven LaBarge for his victorious performance at the October 2022 Dragon Fall Tournament. It was long X-Wing filled day for everyone, even Ernie who, yet again, managed to be one of the only people to have a bye. Seriously, how does he keep having it happen?!? We can all agree that a win is a win, but we came to play X-Wing! Regardless, Steve took the 21 other participants to ask with the First Order going 5-0 and not looking back. Apart from the slick trophy he was awarded, Steve also came away with an extremely well painted Gauntlet Fighter. Bask in its glory below as it zooms by Mr. Bones, let’s assume that 2-hard to the right clears no problem!
With that, time to get down to brass tacks. Four of the Bone-Arm squad were able to attend the Dragon Fall Tournament in person. Ernie, Jon, Steve and Ted all attended for the first post 2022 Last Minute Miracle event. As sad as we were to not be joined by Kev, who made the Space Bone-Arm 2022 Invitation the true last minute miracle, we were emboldened by his commentary and participation in the Exegol GSP event. The tales of slammin’ Chewie kept up the spirits of the Bone-Squad who wasn’t slaying left and right!
Up next we have some break down of lists we brought as well as a walk-through of a few games. Take a journey with us as Steve showcases his depth of strategy for the first couple of turns!
I wanted to provide an in depth look at one of my streamed matches at Dragonfall this past month. In this space I can recall the overall strategy and some of the decision-making process that went into the match and hopefully readers can gain some insight they can apply to their matches in the future. I don’t plan on covering the whole match, but provide some analysis around the crucial steps of Turn 0 and the early game.
This article will cover my fourth match at Dragonfall, at this stage my opponent and I are both 3-0. Scenario is Chance Engagement. The match was streamed on 312 Squadron and is available here DRAGON FALL 2022! In-Person X-Wing Tournament | !Dragonfall !Redeems – Twitch (Match starts at the 4:05:00 mark)
MY LIST OVERVIEW
What I enjoy most about this list is its consistent and simple. It has easy dice mods to remember and ships that are relatively durable. Hask can double mod any other ship in the list with coordinate and Terex, Phasma and Quickdraw provide solid offense and the FOs are solid filler pieces. The result is an all-arounder list that allows me to focus less on setting up my own combos, and more on evaluating my opponents list and on taking away what my opponent wants to do. Is it the best list ever? No chance, and I’ll probably tweak it moving forward, but it allowed me to approach the game on a more tactical level and it really felt like I was earning my wins.
OPPONENTS LIST OVERVIEW
The first streamed match was chance engagement against a Bossk/Gamut/Manaroo/Cad list. I’ve had plenty of experience in my play group against Bossk and am honestly terrified of him, he hits extremely hard and can have a huge token stack. I am going to have to do my best with rock placement to try and force Bossk into awkward positions. Manaroo is also quite tanky and has Notorious, so not an ideal target.
Going into the match, I have my eyes on Cad and Gamut as the main targets to take down, and I hope to isolate Bossk and limit the damage from Manaroo. If I choose to straight joust, his token stacking will likely tear me to pieces, so I need to engage in a way that splits his forces and limits his advantages. Chance engagement feels like my weakest scenario, and I know I’ve got my work cut out for me going into this one.
With Rock Placement, I wanted to make sure the rocks were relatively close to the center objective and spaced out enough to create a few lanes that the large base ships would have to predictably come down. My opponent mostly responded in kind, and the final placement was a ring around the center objective, with a rock 2 and 2 on my side.
I feel good about this placement. With my obstacles, I have broken up my opponents approach into 4 possible lanes, with none of them large enough to fit both his large base ships through. The goal is break up his firepower and engage the weaker ships while isolating and avoiding heavy hitters like Bossk, and the rock setup supports that.
For the rocks on my side, I have only have three main approach lanes, which could be bad, but it has left me with much more room to work on the flanks (yellow circles). This space allows the top and bottom lanes to be more flexible, as they could either quickly dive for the objective, or dance outside and harass his ships flying to the center.
Although I “win” the ROAD roll (and all subsequent ROAD rolls this match), with two i3s my opponent places first. He sets down Manaroo and Gamut center right. Based on the Gamut placement, its most likely that Bossk will go into the top lane, and I want to keep my expensive ships away from Bossk. If I can distract Bossk with my cheaper TIE FO’s, I can concentrate my SFs on his weaker ships. With that in mind, I place my FOs at the top of the board, and Phasma at the bottom. I place Gideon in the center, with the plan to offering support to whichever side needs it more. I don’t want to Gideon fly straight to the center objective and into a potential killbox, so I make sure both flanks have a ship that can make it to the center objective in two turns.
After my ships are down, Bossk is placed in the top lane, as expected, and Cad placed middle left. I place Quickdraw beside Phasma and set my sights on Cad as the early target to focus.
First thing on my mind is do not let Bossk get to the middle uncontested. If he gets to the middle, he will lock down the middle objective and will be directly in the way of my planned path for the SFs. Fortunately, with my initial rock placement, Bossk does not have a great path to the center. He needs to go fast round one and bank/turn on round two. My FOs are in a great position to harass that. I dial in two straights for them and will barrel roll them to the top of the board edge and backwards to leave the most space possible between them and Bossk. Bossk does the expected 4 straight and, critically, elects to use Gamut Key’s ability and keep the re-enforce on Bossk, thus setting up a very interesting next turn.
I one straight with the shuttle to remain non-committal but also give the impression that the shuttle could go straight into the middle. If I can bait his ships to stay facing forward at the shuttle, it could open a window for the SFs to flank and hit hard. His center ships move forward slowly.
The SFs move faster and I barrel roll Phasma to get closer to the objective and space out my SFs from Cad’s likely Electro-chaff.
Going into this turn, managing Bossk is again priority number one, second priority is getting shots on Cad Bane.
When Gamut was used to save Bossk’s reinforce, I was pretty sure my opponent is looking to engage the FOs this turn. I have plenty of experience with Bossk one shotting low health ships, so I am looking to avoid this scenario. I think Static can block just about all of Bossk’s moves except for the 1 straight, and I hope my opponent is thinking the same thing and dialing that in. Going on those assumptions, I decide to avoid the engage entirely this turn and stay as far away as possible from a fully tokened up death Bossk. I dial in one hards for both FOs, keeping distance and having mods for defense.
For Gideon, I bank right, aiming to stay out of the fray and pointed away from Bossk. Unfortunately, I’ve misjudged the distances a bit and Gideon ends up staring down a gas cloud.
The SFs bank in, trying to cast a large net for Cad, who can cover a lot of ground with his decloak and boosts.
My opponent does the expected one straight with Bossk, and he still gets a lot closer than I would like, but at least it’s not range 1.
Mannaro and Gamut move to the center, and man did I misjudge how fast Cad can go. The decloak forward, 3 bank boost covers soo much ground and was very well done by my opponent. Cad is basically gone at this point and I need to switch my targeting priorities.
During engagement, Quickdraw barely has arc on Manaroo and I begin to focus on bringing down the Jumpmaster. Continually proccing notorious isn’t great, but I’m able to utilize quickdraws ability to get two shots in. Cad knocks out Gideons shields and the FOs escape a shot from Bossk unscathed.
Overall, I am mostly pleased with my positioning going into this turn. Bossk is relatively isolated from the fight and hasn’t done serious damage, and the teeth of my list has a clear approach into Manaroo and Gamut. Cad Bane has outplayed me, but if I can get Gideon Hask away from Cad I can protect half points and leave Cad outside of the main engagement in the center.
Top priority again is Bossk, and what he may do. With my FOs and Gideon pointed away, and Manaroo firmly in the center, I am expecting Bossk to go in pursuit of the FOs. Bossk needs to get in the fight, and the 0 stop is likely too risky to choose, as I could just 5 straight and Bossk would be completely out of position. Knowing that, a hard turn+roll from an FO would put me in front of Bossk and in a blocking position where the bump would keep him facing forward, away from the action in the center.
Static goes fast to engage Cad if he chases Gideon
Gideon goes fast to get away from Cad and be shielded by the Chaff from the center. It will take me over a cloud, but I am hoping this is unpredictable enough that Gideon will escape shots.
The SFs bank in to engage Manaroo and Gamut. I misplay with Quickdraw and dial in a 3 bank instead of a blue 2 bank, so I unnecessarily keep a stain token.
Bossk tries to 2 bank and is successfully blocked, severely limiting his impact for another turn. Cad does a k-turn and Manaroo turns hard to square up with an incoming Quickdraw and keep Phasma on the chaff cloud.
Engagement is a lot of red dice. Manaroo gets a fully modded range 1 on quickdraw and takes half points, but Quickdraw returns the favor with two full red dice strings, bringing Manaroo down to 1 hp. Static unfortunately gets halved between the Cad Bane and Bossk shots.
After this turn, I am in pretty good position to close out the game. Bossk is on the outside of combat on with a gas cloud obstructing his shots. A short bank plus arc rotate from the SFs puts Manaroo on one side and Gamut on the other, both at range 1. The SFs are able to make quick work of both, scoring major points. Cad comes in and does some damage to Phasma, but with her ability she’s able to move some damage to Quickdraw, keeping them both alive.
The game ends after that turn, and on watching back on stream it looks like the game timer rolled one of the shortest possible options. Admittedly my list was running out of gas, but if we played one more turn I’m pretty confident I could focus down half points on Cad while only losing one ship between Phasma, QD, or Static, which would keep me ahead overall.
The key objective going into this game was to limit Bossk, and I was very happy with my ability to wrangle him and keep him out of the fight. Had Bossk been able to turn into the center, he would have ended up directly in front of my SFs, likely destroying at least one of them and turning the game. Fortunately, I was able to minimize his impact with rock placement and positioning of my cheaper ships. This allowed my heavy hitters a points advantage when focusing down the rest of his list. Still a very close, fun game that could have gone either way with dice rolls.