I attended a Store Championship Imperial Assault tournament last weekend. I last went to one of these a bit over a year ago, and got thoroughly trounced, coming ninth of nine with a Stormtrooper list. I do not play competitive IA at all, so based on that previous experience I modified my expectations and went along to have a good time and learn. I made a Rebel list, which I have called Rogue Two.
Match 1- Shielded (Nal Hutta swamps) vs Ben's Scum
I was busy re-learning how to play, so forgot to take a picture! Ben had a droid list, with IG-88, HKs, R2-D2, C-3P0, BT-1, and a jawa. I split my team up and got a few VPs from objectives, going down 42-32.
Match 2- Gaining Favor (Anchorhead Cantina) vs Paul's Rebels
This was the first time I have come across the Smuggler Box tactic, where a few key characters use passive abilities to turn themselves into a hard-to-kill defensive block. Luke Skywalker was not in the box, and I was able to whittle him down and kill him before losing 46-25.
|Smuggler Box on the right, Luke at the intersection.|
Match 3- Anchorhead Cantina vs Andrew's Rebels
A similar looking team to my last opponent (but no Smuggler Box), and we had an attritional fight. Luke was doing the best to replicate his daddy and murder my troopers in a corridor, whilst I was inspired by my killing of him in the last match. I almost took him down, but he played a card that saved his bacon and gave him the win 40-24. I don't know if I should have gone for the objectives, but murderous Luke was in my way regardless.
|Luke won't go down!|
Match 4- Spoils of Crime (Jabba's Palace) vs Josh's Scum
This was pretty cool- I got to play against a Scum list containing Jabba, in his own palace. My opponent ran around killing my guys, but left Jabba alone in his starting location. I saw the opportunity and stormed him, taking down the crime lord in a hail of fire- but it wasn't enough to give me a win and I lost 43-25.
|Rebels take down Jabba. I loved the jawa conversion.|
So, I had four losses, and came tenth out of ten. But I was already expecting a poor result, so it didn't pain me too much and I learnt a lot about the competitive side of IA. The games were fast, usually around 40 minutes, which is nice. My opponents were very obliging to explain afterwards just how they were able to do so well.
IA Skirmish, like X-Wing, is much more of a game than a tactical simulation. It has trends as different models come out- IG-88 and Jedi Luke are currently atop 'the meta'. I prefer the narrative campaign, but it is good to try the other mode of play as well.
Rogue Two were OK, but not spectacular. I did better than last time, actually getting scores in double figures! I know I missed opportunities to really get Rogue Two working together well and using all their abilities to the utmost, but I also feel they were a bit lacking in damage output. Something to think about for my next tournament!
Bonus game- Flick 'em up
In the skirmish arena, I also got to play Flick 'em up. This is a dexterity western game, where you physically flick 'bullets' at your opponents cowboys to knock them down. It's visceral fun- you groan when you just miss, and sigh with relief when your bandit teeters but does not fall. Much more relatable than rolling a die.
|Colourised period photo of lawman shooting at bandit.|
It has some clever features- you flip your cowboys' hats to show when they have activated, and the town hall clock shows the turn progression.