Game 3: 1 – 1
If you haven't read my summary of Game 2, do so here!
C’s list was a Jedi Luke/ Elite Ranger list, featuring Obi-Wan Kenobi. The map was ISB Headquarters and our mission was To Your Stations. He deployed on the top of the map in the blue deployment zone, and I on the bottom in the red deployment zone. I had initiative.
Before I talk about the game, I have to disclose that C and I have a bit of history (not in a bad way). You see, C and I played against each other just a week earlier in a Worlds preparation tournament. As expected, he was playing his list and I mine, and to be blunt, it was a disaster for me. In that game, C more or less tabled me. Captain Terro took 12 damage in the first round of combat from Alliance Rangers and died to Obi-Wan in round two. I made a run at the map objectives, but it didn’t matter as the only unit of his I removed during the entire match was an Alliance Smuggler. So, I was nervous to have to play him again - I felt like he had my number.
However, this also served as motivation. Given how bad the previous matchup had gone versus C’s Rangers, I decided that I had to respect their power and exploit their weaknesses. Particularly, I promised myself that I would never give the Rangers a shot on one of my figures without forcing those Rangers to leave cover (or for some other good reason, TBD). Rangers depend on their opponent moving into their line of sight at a distance, keeping them relatively safe from counter attack. I wasn't going to give them that luxury this time. I decided that if I could orient the fight to a place where the Rangers couldn't contribute, I could essentially remove 12 points of offense from my opponent’s list, 17 points if C-3PO and Gideon passed focus tokens to the Rangers.
Thus began my gambit – I decided that I would plunge Terro and all four Jet Troopers into the hallway containing two objectives on the right side of the map. My only goal being to force C to move his units into the hallway with me if he wished to contest. My Heavy Stormtroopers would remain in the hallway near my deployment zone to threaten any advance.
In round one, it was clear that in order to pull off this maneuver, I would have to make a sacrifice. With movement provided by an Officer, a Heavy can open the door closest to my deployment zone, but only has one movement point remaining after opening the door. Therefore, that Heavy would be in the line of sight of C’s Rangers if he decided to open his door. After opening the door and moving my remaining Heavies into position to cover the hallway , I opted to double move my Jets and Terro into the hallway on the right side of the map. As predicted, my opponent killed my exposed Heavy Stormtrooper and took the objective on the left with Obi-Wan. At the end of round 1, I had 6 VPs and C had 7 VPs.
Now, the big wild card in this game would be Jedi Luke Skywalker. In avoiding the Rangers, I was naturally hoping that Jedi Luke would seek to face Terro and the Jet Troopers in battle in the hallway. This didn't happen. At the end of the first round, Jedi Luke sat at the outskirts of the hallway, poised to strike in the next.
At this point, I felt very good about my chances in this game. Although it wasn't entirely apparent at that time, by the end of the match it would be clear that C made a mistake by using Obi-Wan to hold the objective on the left side of the map - primarily because it limited his ability to contest the hallway with two objectives. You see, C is a great player, so he knows that he can't throw Jedi Luke into the hallway alone. Between the four Jet Troopers, Captain Terro, and the Heavy Stormtroopers guarding the approach, Luke would undergo a significant amount of fire. Likely, too much to survive. He needed Obi-Wan not just to soak up some damage if possible, but to remove potential threats. However, based on Obi Wan's positioning in round one, this would be possible in round three at the earliest.
Thus, round two began with Jedi Luke not moving into the objective hallway, but opting to attack the Heavy Stormtroopers covering the hallway. While 8 health on a Heavy is not easy to deal with, Jedi Luke easily killed one for 4 VPs. However, I now felt confident that I could use my Jet Troopers and Terro offensively. C had cautiously moved his Elite Rangers forward, but one was caught by the Jet Troopers superior movement. Jedi Luke also took some damage, but not enough to risk doing anything rash. Obi-Wan double moved towards the hallway with the two objectives and the round ended with me at 14 VPs and C at 14 VPs.
At this point, it was do or die for my opponent. At this point, the game was close. However, the bulk of my powerful units were still at full health (four Jet Troopers), and I still firmly controlled the hallway. I activated Captain Terro and using his mounted ability, was able to Flamethrower and attack Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan is a strong figure, but once weakened, Obi-Wan lost his free evade and Captain Terro pierced away his blocks for a killing blow on the revered Jedi. 7 VPs went my way and also the momentum of the game. C was able to use Luke to get revenge for his old master by attacking Captain Terro, removing him from the board, as well as put some damage on a Jet Trooper. Luke took a bit more damage and was close to defeat. At this point we were tied in points. However, I still held the two objectives in the hallway.
Now, C had one hope left at this point. He needed to remove a Jet Trooper from an objective, so he focused his Elite Alliance Smuggler. You'll recall that C and I had already played, and in that game that Smuggler was a thorn in my side. Not only did Captain Terro miss an attack on the Smuggler from three spaces away (thanks to Slippery), that Smuggler also rolled a dodge in response to one of my Jet Trooper's attacks. It was frustrating to say the least.
So, you have to imagine my hesitation when trying to decide if I should remove the Smuggler. I wasn't extremely worried about the Smuggler's ability to remove my Jet Trooper, but I preferred not to leave it to chance. I was down to a single activation of Heavy Stormtroopers, and I decided to attack the Smuggler. I began about four spaces away, so I moved the Heavy into the hallway to get minimum range (Heavies have +2 inherent accuracy and roll a blue die which provides a minimum of 2 more accuracy - therefore I needed to be two spaces away to compensate for Slippery which gives -2 accuracy).
I roll 4 damage and a surge - with 6 potential damage there's a chance I can remove the Smuggler this activation. C rolls his white die and, you probably guessed it, that Smuggler dodged the attack. However, this time I got the last laugh. I was holding Lock On. I played it, removed the dodge result, and that was the end of the game with a final score of 33 VPs to 24 VPs.
I want to commend C, as he some of the best traits of a player in this game. When playing with C, I know he wants to win. He plays very thoughtfully and is focused during the entire match. That said, he also has fun and treated me with respect. It's difficult to be a graceful winner and loser, but C is able to pull it off.
I was now 2 -1 and it was time for lunch.