Plastic Command


It’s a good thing I’m not responsible for any actual military operations, because I’d be a menace to my own side.  Of course, real battles wouldn’t be decided by how much a handful of dice hate me, which is pretty much what happened in the X-Wing Miniatures tournament I played in yesterday.  Yes, I’m laying the blame completely on the gods of chance and not on my ability as a player and you can’t tell me any different.

All right, let’s be honest:  I sucked.  How badly did I do?  When they posted the final point standings, I just had “Participation Award” next to my name.  Because that was a whole lot kinder than putting “Zero.”  As in I lost all three matches.  Two of them, I put up a fairly decent fight, but was constantly battling back from behind.  At least those went close to the ninety minute time limit.  The second was a massacre though.  As in I felt like I’d wasted the guy’s time.  He ended up finishing in the top three, so I almost feel like he owes me for the assist.

Part of it was indeed the dice being incredibly unkind to me — and incredibly kind to my opponents.  For instance, in my first match, he fired a missile at me and rolled four dice.  And all four were hits.  I could have survived if I’d rolled anything but one of the two blank sides on the three dice I got to roll.  But someone misunderstood and gave me three blanks.  TIE fighter instantly destroyed.  And this type of missile also does damage to any ships near its target, so my ship’s two wingmen got pinged too.  One shot, and I lost a quarter of my squadron and had two other ships reduced by a third.  Kinda downhill from there.

But the real reason is that I was flying a squad I’d never played with before.  In fact, I’d finalized about half an hour before leaving for the tournament.  It looked good on paper, but then, so has every land invasion of Russia.  And with a game like this, you’ve got to try out your strategy ahead of time.  The middle of a tournament is a poor time to realize the synergy you thought was going to work like gangbusters doesn’t really come into play all that often.  The result was a beefed-up ship that was indeed potent, but which had relatively weak supporting ships, and soon found itself alone against three or four other ships.  And it wasn’t potent enough to withstand that.

The kicker is that today, I went back and played some casual games, and the two squads I used just mopped up. The ships worked well together, they responded well to the unexpected, and the dice decided to cooperate.  And I had both those squads set and ready to go yesterday, but decided on the stroke of genius I took in to battle instead. Oh well.

Through it all, I still had fun.  Everybody was really cool and helpful (after they beat me, that is).  And I got free pizza out of the deal.  Even managed to eat it without one of my ships blowing up.

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