I’ve been putting off this post. I thought a lot about how I would frame my regionals results to make them an exciting story with a heroic arc. But they’re really quite boring.
I flew triple Push-the-Limit StarVipers at Michigan and went 4–2. Then I panicked.
Going into the Massachusetts regional hosted by Battleground Games & Hobbies (who were excellent organizers!), I couldn’t pick a list, torn between my natural hipster instincts and my desire to make the cut. So I split the difference: I would fly Scum & Villainy—in an attempt to bring glory to my embattled home faction—but I would fly the most overpowered scum list possible: Dengar/Asajj.
So I took a list I had never flown before to a 140-ish person tournament, faced about 87 Reys, and finished…4–2, again.
After crowing on this blog about all the lessons I learned about aces while flying the StarVipers, I took a jousting list and got out-jousted. To quote the great Luke Skywalker, “I was weak. Unwise.”
New York City, however, was well-represented by better pilots than me, so I want to give them a shout-out before giving some thoughts on the metagame. Unfortunately the Top 16 bracket aligned so that two of our three regulars who made the cut—Matthew and Cal—had to play each other right off the break.
One of the best parts of these big event tournaments are the stories that each local group brings with them. Without getting too saccharine about a freaking board game, it’s easier to appreciate someone’s success when you know their story.
Matthew had been stuck at 4–2 at big tournies for a while. At the PAX Unplugged System Open in Philadelphia, he came within a single dice roll of 5–1, so it was a relief to see him get over the hump.
Cal, meanwhile, has been plugging away with pilots he likes for a while, never seduced by the evils of the meta. He’s always got five or six interesting build ideas on his phone—and then one insane one involving three Quadjumpers with Tactician. Him making the cut at this regional was a perfect monument to his iconoclasm. Against a swiss top 8 that was all Rebels (more on that later), he did it with two TIE/sf’s.
In a tense Miranda-against-the-world situation, Cal played perfectly to beat Matthew and advance to the top 8…where he faced our other pal, John.
To use a Boston-regional-appropriate metaphor, John is the Tom Brady of our group: incredibly successful and always packing his own lunch due to weird health concerns. John took a while to find a list he liked in this post-FAQ world before settling on Ghost/Fenn. It turned out to be a pairing as potent as Brady and Randy Moss.
For the second time, John ran the table at the Massachusetts regional in the swiss rounds. And this time, he finished the job, going 10–0 and winning the thing. There’s no video of it, but in the Ghost-v.-Ghost final, he won by deploying the attack shuttle early to trigger the other VCX’s Stunned Pilot crit. Legends made legendary moves.
Speaking of Ghost-v.-Ghost final table though… This meta really sucks!
I used to be a smarmy “just fly better” guy when it came to game-state complaints, but this Rebel nonsense is uniquely frustrating. Miranda-Lowhhrick-Sheathipede and Ghost-Fenn combine too much offense with too much survivability. At this point, I honestly think you could put R2D2 Luke Skywalker with Lowhhrick and Fenn Rau and make the cut at a regional.
And worse than being strong they’re BORING. I’d rather go back to watching Parattanni mirror matches. (Just kidding, FFG—don’t get any ideas.)
At least against Dengaroo, you could try to chase Manaroo. At least against Fenn/Teroch/Manaroo, you could block the fangs at range 2. At least against Palp aces, you can use bombs and Autoblaster Turret.
The good news is we’re so close to the game we all want to play.
A lot of the Wave 13 content is great and still worth exploring—I’ll be posting soon about my newfound Major Vynder obsession. And Wave 14 promises to fix some iconic ships we all want to see on the table more. Just ban TLT and we might have something…