Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Xantos part 2!

And in the interest of getting off my butt and finally posting both of these (to which I again thank Xantos and Elred for their patience), let's get Xantos's Worlds experience out as well.

Full credit, this was Damon's joke, I'm just stealing it for the header

I have returned! Back by popular(ish) demand, I have returned to do a write-up of my games in the actual World Championships, or as everyone else called it, day 1. I don’t remember as much about my games beyond the LCQ, so this recap is gonna cover all of my games (keep reading to find out how many!) and be a bit shorter than the previous one. You’re welcome!

Anyways, preamble blah blah, it’s the World Championships! After getting second place in the LCQ on Thursday, I was graciously allowed to participate in the actual tournament, filled with 79 of the greatest players in the world. Talk about competition! And for some reason, I was still flying Dooku, who was in a 5-way tie for the second-best Separatist Admiral. See my previous post to hear about the list and all its fun shenanigans, or don’t and just keep reading! I can’t tell you what to do. Onto the games!

My first match was against Mariano Banchero, flying a Screed list with an interdictor, Onager, and some Gozantis. I chose second, and he picked my ion storm. He had grav shift reroute on the Dictor, so I dropped all the rocks in a line as close to my side as possible, and spread out so he could only move two of them. He deployed across from a couple rocks in the middle of the board, and pulled two of them closer to his side to try and lose his objective tokens. I don’t really remember how I deployed, but I remember thinking I just had to kill the Onager and trap the interdictor with my muni, and I could easily table the list.

Whose legs are in the background? The world may never know…

While I didn’t end up trapping the interdictor (he also avoided my tanky flagship), I was able to trade the recusant for his Onager and a bunch of extra goodness to end up with a strong win, 311-138 (8-3).

Game two was against Thomas Hougaard flying a Sloaneager. I again picked second, and he surprisingly picked my Abandoned Mining Facility. I figured I could farm a bunch of tokens on rounds 1 and 2 while denying his points, and then kill some of his ships/squads in the remaining rounds. While I did end up getting 120 points from the objective, he used his deployment advantage to run the quasar far away from my ships, and let the Onager hammer my Hardcells.

Hmm, this doesn’t look good…

While the Quasar ran and sent Maarek-and-friends to do Maarek-and-friends things, the Onager and my fleet met in the middle of the board. I lost slicer Hardcell early to slow down his squads, and then some other armada stuff happened (sorry, don’t really remember this game), and it came down to my PF taking a couple of solid shots at the Onager to try and kill it. Unfortunately for me, his Onager had Tua and ECM, and was just able to survive and slip past my ships. His squads cleaned up more of my ships, and he walked away without losing anything, 280-120 (8-3). This put me at 11 TP, averaging 5.5 points a round, and plopping me right into the middle of the standings. You know what that means…

I’m not trapped in here with you, you’re trapped in here with me!

My round three matchup was another Sloane list, this time flown by Samuel Wang, and featuring an ISD instead of an Onager. Since my last match went so well, I decided to change things up a bit and picked first. I was hoping to trap his ISD and prevent it from escaping like the previous Onager had, and maybe get an extra activation from my recusant before Maarek bombed it to death. I picked his asteroid tactics, and dropped my ships spread out in the middle of the board, with the slicer Hardcell on one side, and Patriot Fist on the other. He chose to sent the quasar towards the recusant, and the ISD through my ships, banking on his squads to help clear a path. Because of my first player activations, I was able to steer the recusant clear of his ISD while still pummeling it with shots, and the ISD ended up turning to face the rest of my ships.

Quasar: Oh boy, I can’t wait to meet Patriot Fist. I’ve heard such great things!

Samuel ended up splitting his squads, meaning the recusant was still healthy enough to do Patriot Fist things (read: absolutely ravage) his quasar before scooting away. That left his ISD softened up vs. three very angry ships. He swung for the fences, trying to kill both my flagship and the battle Hardcell in the middle, but ended up falling short of both. All of my ships were pretty heavily damaged, but all were able to just squeak out, earning me a 400-32 (10-1) win, only losing my vultures.

After that big win, I jumped up to the 7th table against Dennis Rachke for my final match. He was also flying Sloane, this time with Corvus and Centicore.

I’m sensing a trend…

I knew I probably needed to win this match to make the top 26 cut, but I also knew I could easily get destroyed by his squads while his ships ran me around in circles. In fact, I had lost my final Vassal World Cup match to almost the exact same list. I decided to go second to avoid any farming objectives on his side, and force him to try and engage with me if he wanted a big win. He chose my Ion Storm, and I once again dropped PF and the slicer Hardcell opposite the Munificent in the middle. I was relatively sure he couldn’t kill my muni, so my plan was to float it up the middle while being very cautious with the Hardcells, and use flak to protect my ships and squads. He used his deployment advantage to drop the quasar flying away from my recusant, and put his Arquitens on a deep flank. However, he had one final advantage to reveal before the match started…

Light up squadrons! Those things are so cool!

My hardcells hid near my munificent while the recusant went Gozanti hunting. Dennis was very cautious with his squads, always keeping outside the ranges of my flak and vultures. With the quasar and Arquitens circling, he got a couple of shots off against my Hardcells, but couldn’t finish either off without committing harder than he was willing to. I picked off a couple squads while protecting mine, and nabbed his Gozanti with PF before circling back around and trying to catch his Arq against my back edge. He was just able to avoid the recusant, ending the match 51-16 to me, a slim 6-5. I was pretty thankful to escape with the small win, knowing it could have easily swung in his favor with some luckier bombing runs on the Hardcells. After the dust settled, I was sitting at a very respectable 27 tournament points, and ended day 1 of Worlds in 12th place, making the cut for day 2. Huzzah! More post!

I feel like I should write something celebrating my day 1 performance, or talking about how much tougher day 2 was going to be, but ehhhhh, you’ve heard it before. Plus, I said I’d write less. More matches, here I come!

Huzzah, a Dooku joke about making day 2!

Game 1 was very similar to my first matchup from yesterday: an Onager and Interdictor with a couple aces, this time with Romodi and a bid. My opponent, James McCartney, also had a grav well on his Dictor, making his objectives even better. He was the only person I played who outbid me the whole tournament. James chose second, but had Abandoned Mining Facility, which Dooku is infamous for flipping on opponents, so of course I picked it. He dropped the grav well on top of my dust field, and used grav shift to drag it away from me, but Wat Tambor and the muni still managed to farm some points round 2, and since Dooku blocked a lot of the Interdictor’s farming, the game was effectively even.

It’s gonna come down to a good old-fashioned shootout.

My recusant had a long journey in, but with first player, I figured I could soften his Interdictor and take out the Onager, and leave my muni to out-tank his Dictor. Patriot Fist went flying in, and ended up just outside of close range against the Onager. The Recusant swiftly perished after one more shot at the Onager, leaving the rest of my fleet to grind it down.

I have too many pictures where the recusant is missing. Won’t someone think of the droids?

By the time the Onager finally fell, my flagship was dangerously low, leaving me no choice but to flee his interdictor, which had repaired the damage done earlier in the game. Unfortunately for me, Maarek had survived multiple vulture and flak shots, and came at my Muni with a vengeance, eventually felling it with the help of Jendon and the Interdictor. I was unable to kill either of his Gozantis either due to the dust field blocking any early-game potshots, so I ended the game 229-316, a 7-4 loss. It was a close match, but since James went on to win the whole tournament, I don’t feel too bad about losing to him. All I could do was try my best in the next game.

Game 2 was against John Thompson flying a Donager list. I took second, and he picked my infested fields. I had the final deployment, and set the recusant on a nasty flank, with my Muni flying up the middle hoping to tank through his Onager shots. John also had some serious squad power that I was hoping the exogorths would save me from. I nabbed most of the infested tokens, and was very happy with how the game was looking top of round 2.

A recusant’s dream

I was hoping to kill both Onagers and get a big win, but in my greed, ended up barely getting my recusant stuck in an Onager’s ignition arc. He quickly took advantage, using his rogues and first player to kill my recusant before it got to kill his Onager. My remaining ships were enough to kill one Onager, but not both, leaving me with a slim 240-194 pt win, a 6-5. Not the big win I was hoping for. Still, a win is a win, and I had two more matches to try and claw my way back with.

Game three was against Nick Litrenta, also flying an Onager, this time with an HIE Raider 2, although still with a big nasty rogueball. I chose second, and he took my infested fields, and with his deployment advantage, put the Onager and Raider far away from the recusant, and lined up against my flagship. He also jumped his rogues in to steal my infested tokens, but I was able to trap and kill them because of it, limiting his bombing power.

Patriot Fist is exhausted from chasing after all its targets.

The raider didn’t trigger HIE from range due to Sa Nalaor, but got enough crits to push it through the next round before slipping away along my back edge. The muni was dangerously low, and my other ships were still a bit out of range of the Onager. Wat furiously used his duct tape to hold the muni together, but it eventually fell to the Onager. My ships finally arrived and began to return fire, and the Onager cut and run. It still had two hull remaining in the final round, but due to his pathing, was facing my pile of obstacles that had been trapping the rogues earlier.

The Onager wasn’t wiggly enough to avoid the asteroids, and fell to a structural damage on the final round. While my flagship was worth more than the Onager and Nick had grabbed more tokens from infested fields, I had managed to kill enough of his rogues to sneak a 205-198 point win, 6-5. It was a nail biter, coming down to the final round, which gave me no time to rest before my final game. One more chance for a big win to make the cut.

My final match was against Mirko Lang, who broke my streak of 8 imp games in a row by flying a TF separatist list, interestingly without a Patriot Fist. He had two comms frigates, two naked Gozantis (scandalous!), and a Providence. I won the roll off for initiative, and chose second, forcing Mirko to play my infested fields. I knew this was a great matchup for me, especially without the defensive retrofits on the Munis. I could easily kill one of his ships, and probably a second if I was lucky, but I needed to be careful not to let his Providence run wild. I set my battle Hardcell up as bait, and deployed the rest of my fleet to rush his Munificents.

Finally, a deployment advantage. I was sick of all the squad lists getting the last drop. Now I can be the one to flank!

My squads grabbed their tokens and ran, although one of the rocks ended up being a bit too far forward. I moved my rocks in front of Mirko’s Munis and set the trap. Meanwhile, his Providence fell for my bait and tried to pick off my Hardcell, but ended up swinging too wide to impact the rest of the fight. My Hardcell scooted off to play with the Gozantis, eventually escaping. Mirko’s first muni had no chance of survival surrounded by my ships, and he quickly realized he had to cut his losses and run. I couldn’t get in front of his flagship muni in time, and it managed to slip through the gap in my killbox left by the escaping battle Hardcell.

Everybody scatter!

We took a few potshots in the ensuing round, but there was too much distance to put a finishing blow on anything. In the end, Mirko only got a few points from tokens, leaving me with a 118-45 point win, a 7-4. I’d now won three games in a row, but they were all small wins, and not enough to overcome my first-round loss to James. I finished the day on 23 tournament points and 13th place overall, 2 TPs below the top 8 cut for the final day of worlds. My run was finally over.

Phew! That was a lot of games! I was feeling seriously stressed by my third day, and was kinda glad I wasn’t moving on to the final day. Major props to everyone who made that cut and played three more games on Sunday, they’ve got some ridiculous skills and stamina. On the summary side, I ended my tournament run at 10-2, with a combined 82 TPs, averaging just under 7 points a game. I was also the top placing separatist player, which means a I got a cool medal!

Shiny! And a cool purple shirt, too!

Anyways, this is about the point of the post where I sum up and thank people, yeah? Worlds was a ton of fun, and I got to play so many great opponents and meet tons of cool people. I’m super looking forward to next year! Shoutout to the whole Judge crew as well for keeping the tournament running smoothly (and also side events! Sector fleet on Sunday was a blast), Ion Radio for streaming, CGYSO for getting me into armada and posting my recaps, The Armada Podcast for convincing me to give Dooku a shot, and the whole community for being so awesome. Can’t wait to see you all next year!

And at the MOMENT, that's everyone. Check out the Tournaments section for all the rest of the write-ups! And if anyone still wants to publish theirs, drop an email to geek19@gmail.com!

1 comment:

  1. Yay Xantos! Thank you for the write up! You were my favorite player and I loved watching you scrap your way up from LCQ on Ion radio throughout the weekend!

    As a Dooku hardliner you have renewed my faith in taking my list to the top tiers of competitive armada!