After a successful first day I exchanged the list with my opponent and spent some time thinking about how to best deal with it.
Quaterfinals: Markus Mathissek (Rebels)
He played Luke & Sabine. „Only“ two units of Tauntauns, „only“ two sniper teams, R2, 3 Rebel Troopers, one of them with a Medic bot. On paper this is definitely beatable.
We played Key Positions on Major Offensive with Limited Visibility. We both had a huge LOS blocker on our side so round 1 was bound to be very defensive. We both took position on our respective far off objective and moved up behind the terrain, trying to sneak up for next round.
One of my Tauntaun units was a bit too eager in round one and took some hits from snipers and Tauntauns in round 2. The remaining snow lizard did not recover any of its two suppression and only managed to move a bit out of the way.
But before that, it lured an opposing unit of Tauntauns close so Luke was able to move up, push them closer (the second Tauntaun was placed too close so Luke got into range 1 through the terrain) and charge them, finding a save spot for the rest of the round.
Next round my opponent started with You Serve Your Master Well and let the Tauntauns beat my Luke, causing two wounds. He tried to lure out my Luke with the force but couldn’t find an angle where he could still charge him. So he took R2 who later died that round after also Sabine charged in.
I countered with my Rebel Troopers who finally killed the snipers they failed to hit last round. My single Tauntaun died but with the combined effort of Snipers, Troopers and Tauntauns I also took out a unit of Tauntauns and Luke beat the other unit down to one hit point. This hit point was enough to aggressively retreat and shoot down my snipers at the key position. The Tauntaun died shortly after.
In the meantime on the other parts of the map: The enemy R2 moved steadily and tried to reach my deployment zone. I charged it in round 6, dealt 4 hits but the bastard lived! At this point I feared that this might have been it because I needed the unit of Tauntauns to get back to the center piece next round.
One of my troopers needed to reoccupy the right key position after my snipers died and the other unit of snipers moved up to being able to reach the center piece in round 6. My healing unit moved closer to Luke who tried to deal with the enemy Luke and Sabine with a little help of friendly Tauntauns. I used Luke’s force push to move imposter Luke out of running distance to both key positions and rested so I could use push and mind trick again in round 6.
Then I charged Sabine, mainly to prevent her from doing any nasty tricks of her own. I dealt 4 hits and she rolled 4 blanks. Wow. I still had some tricks up my sleeve for the last round but this might just have won the game for me!
In Round 6 my Luke ran to the objective and mind tricked rebel troopers who then needed to recover both suppression in order to reach the center. We both managed to move up with one unit of snipers, the opposing Luke killed off my second unit of Tauntauns. The other unit was preventing R2 of reaching his mission and got stuck from scoring itself.
It all boiled down to the last roll if the enemy Troopers were able to recover. They did not even remove one suppression and started to flee because Luke was out of range. That was my ticket to the top 4. Another great and really exciting game!
Semifinals: Johannes J-I (Rebels)
I got another chance against Johannes after my poor performance the day before. We played Intercept the Transmission on Advanced Positions with Limited Visibility. Johannes picked the slightly better side and used his activation advantage again very well.
Round 1 was mainly focused on slowly moving up and preventing the opponent with lots of standby orders.
Round 2 would be a scoring round. For reasons unclear to me, my opponent climbed up with Troopers on the terrain piece near the center. This allowed me to shoot them with all my Tauntauns as well as my heavy Trooper unit. They saved really good but at the end of the round the enemy troopers were still dead and Chewie had three guardian wounds.
I even managed to sneak around enemy lines with one unit of Tauntauns to put pressure on the right sensor. Even with Brains and Brawn the unit only took three wounds. 4 was the maximum anyhow since the second Tauntaun was out of LoS.
I tried to challenge the center objective but did not succeed due to activation disadvantage. At least I forced a unit of enemy Tauntauns to move to the center instead of also attempting a flank move that might seriously threaten my position on the right objective. So I was one victory point behind after the first scoring round.
It was pretty clear we wouldn’t go full 6 rounds so round 3 was the one I went in. Luke took two dodge tokens, one from the command, one from 3PO and advanced. He wasn’t able to charge Tauntauns, but he was able to draw a unit into base contact, limiting their mobility. Luke even went through Chewies standby.
So he ended up the round with 2 wounds, minus one which I healed, in the center of the action. One of my Tauntaun units got some hits, the other one managed to move up and take out on of the three sniper units behind the barricades. The flanking unit of Tauntauns managed to seriously threaten the left objective, forcing my opponent to retreat troopers and to send a unit of Tauntauns to defend.
Round 4 would be the last. We both had 10 units left but it was just impossible to calculate which unit would be able to reach which objective. There were lots of close calls and remeasuring the objective position this round.
Firstly the center enemy Tauntauns moved forward. They killed a unit of snipers and positioned in a way that they would score themselves and block the way for my troops. So I had to activate Luke first. Fortunately he removed one of his three suppression. He then recovered to get back his force powers, put 2 suppression on a sniper unit outside of Leias Inspire range. Then Luke moved to the center and pushed the activated enemy Tauntauns out of objective range also freeing up the path to the objective for my units again.
Enemy Tauntauns activated next, charging my Medic-Troopers. They positioned in a way, that the troopers could not retreat into scoring position. But that was not necessary since they died anyway.
Now my center Tauntauns. They wanted to charge enemy troopers but that would put them just a millimeter out of scoring range. So I moved close up, killed another unit of possibly scoring snipers and positioned in a way I thought would block the path for both a unit of troopers and Chewie to reach the objective. Turns out I was wrong, both were able to move around the lizards and still barely get into position. That was the first mistake that might have lost me the game.
Next I moved up with troopers and took a long shot at the suppressed snipers for another suppression. I missed completely but luckily the snipers also didn’t recover any of their 2 suppression and couldn’t move to the objective. I also moved R2 to the objective and calculated the odds on Luke (actually I did this earlier in the round when I was still afraid Luke might get targeted down and die). This was the second and last mistake that might have lost me the game. In this way R2 occupied the only spot my final Tauntaun could get to with only one action.
I already double-moved the final Tauntaun into scoring position when I realized there were three suppression attached to it. I needed to remove two in order to being able to bring the Tauntaun to scoring position and unfortunately I did not. So we both scored our „home“ objective and tied the center piece. But my opponent still had his lead from round 2. Sadly that was the end for me in the tournament but it was an absolutely great game against a great opponent!
I stayed to watch the final game. Here is the wrap up:
Johannes played against his team buddy Kay and his Imperial List of Veers, Full-Shores/Mortars and tripple Speeder Bikes. They played Sabotage the Moisture Vaporators on Disarray and already the setup promised a blood bath. It was basically a Skirmish game with full 800 Points (minus one Sniper each on the far side).
Round 1 Kay played Coordinated Fire, put commands on all his Corps, triggered all HQ-Uplinks on the Bikes and layed heavy fire on the poor Rebels. Most of the damage was soaked by Chewie who gloriously died after saving the last hit of one shot and thus guarding three more hit from Tauntauns. After the Corps was done the Bikes with fully loaded aim tokens moved up and also fired onto the rebels. The rebels used the activation advantage and moved up with Tauntauns.
Round 2 started with No Time For Sorrows. One unit of Tauntauns moved immediately into safety of close combat. Another one moved up a bit and used the initiative to charge.
The next four rounds were basically grinding. The bikes went through the Rebel lines and took a beating on their own where the Tauntauns and Shoretroopers beat the crap out of each other. Especially noted the one Tauntaun with one hit point that refused to die, killed a reduced unit of Shoretroopers and blocked the way for Veers to get to the vaporator. And that is basically how the Rebels won, by using the activation and scoring advantage to get the objectives while denying them to the Imperials.
Conclusio: I am really happy with the results. Of course it hurts a bit to know that just slightly different play in my last game might have brought me to the finals. But it is a tense situation and also my opponent might have played even more effectively. And since he was such a nice and fair opponent I wholeheartedly congratulate him to his victory and the tournament win. I’m content with a very good result and now knowing that I am definitely capable of competing on international level. Top 4 in a European Championship ought to mean something I’d say. And also loot!