Game 5: 3 - 1
If you haven't read my summary of Game 4, do so here!
I've never been one that enjoys an entire day of gaming. In fact, I wouldn't say I really enjoy an entire day of anything. I enjoy variety. I like to wake up, have some breakfast, play some games, do some chores, go on a bike ride, play some more game, and so on. Maybe it's a result of too much or too little coffee, but I tend to drift from one activity to another. While I consider this a healthy and enjoyable way to take on life, it's a big liability when attending a tournament.
This "fatigue" definitely hung over me during Game 5, only countered by the fact that my adrenaline was pumping at the prospect of going 4 - 1 on the first day of my first big tournament. While the pressure kept me energized and focused, some of the other detail-oriented aspects of my play began to slip. First and foremost, I neglected to take any notes during this game. Look at this sad page:
That's basically the story of the game, so I guess we have to Tarantino this and go back in time. My opponent, E, ran the third Jedi Luke/ Rangers list I ran into that day, again featuring a slight variation from the others (I'm forgetting a card or two). However, this time the battle took place on Jabba's Palace playing the New Ownership mission. I began in the blue deployment zone on the right and my opponent in the red deployment zone on the left.
Now, traditionally this map and mission combination is very favorable to my list. I would typically move a Heavy Stormtrooper to every objective, and then force my opponent respond. This would usually end well because it would give me an early lead on points and force my opponent attack my Heavies, leaving my Jets and Captain Terro to be aggressive on their terms.
However, E's list wasn't going to accommodate that plan. I had too much experience with both Jedi Luke and Elite Rangers to try my typical gambit. For one, the objective immediately outside of my deployment zone was off limits given the potency of Elite Rangers. Moreover, the middle objective was also difficult to contest, as Jedi Luke could easily remove a Heavy with his Heroic ability. I still took the objective in the Rancor pit, but the rest of the plan had to be adjusted.
And adjusted it was, as in round one, my opponent played Devotion and retrieved Son of Skywalker from his deck. I knew this was bad, but I did feel some sense of relief. Son of Skywalker creates an extremely dangerous situation for me, but at least I could play around it. Undoubtedly, the optimal situation would be for my opponent to not have Son of Skywalker at all, but if he's going to get it, I prefer to have full knowledge that he does.
So, I pursued a more conservative start to the game. I began by moving my Heavies up toward the terminal, keeping my door shut for most of the first round. I aggressively moved one Heavy to the center objective, and then set up my Jet Troopers to back that unit up in the next round. I was also able to sneak a Jet Trooper next to the objective in the main room at the end of round one, despite the threat of E's Alliance Rangers.
In reaction, my opponent moved Jedi Luke towards the center of the map as well. Using Son of Skywalker, he not only removed my Heavy from the center objective, but also did some damage to another Heavy near the bulk of my forces close to my deployment zone. Considering I've lost a lot more to Son of Skywalker in the past, I was relatively happy with the results in this situation. Round one ended with me gaining 4 VPs from the objective toward the bottom of the map, putting my opponent and I on equal footing.
From there, the game and my memory get a bit messy. For the remainder of the match, my opponent and I mostly trade blows in the center and bottom parts of the map, with a couple of damaged Jet Troopers holding the objective in the Rancor pit. I completely ignored Jedi Luke for the entire game. In fact, I never declared an attack against him. Over the next few rounds, I would lose Terro, two Jet Troopers, and two Heavy Stormtroopers. In response, my opponent lost all of his Alliance Rangers, both elite and regular (including one that was removed from an objective by a range 7 shot from a Heavy featuring Lock On). I limped my way into the end of the game with two Elite Heavies at 1 health and 2 Elite Jets at 2 or less health. In contrast, E's Luke Skywalker was untouched.
However, time was called and I had a single activation left - my Imperial Officer. Earlier in the round, my opponent's C-3P0 dodged an attack from a Heavy Stormtrooper, allowing C-3P0 to move and control the center objective. This put me in a difficult spot - although I don't recall the exact point count, I knew that if C-3P0 lived through the end of this round, my opponent would win the game via points. However, if I killed C-3P0, I would win.
Now, I've already revealed that I killed C-3P0, but I just want to reflect on how sometimes games can turn on chance in a big way. In this case, there was about a 5% chance I kill C-3P0 in a single attack from the Officer. In this case, C-3P0 rolled a single evade and my Officer rolled 2 damage on the blue die and a damage and 2 surges on the yellow die, just barely doing enough damage to remove C-3P0 and win me the game.
If I was tired when the game started, I was exhausted by the end. It was time for some rest and relaxation. That was the end of day one. I ended with a 4-1 record, eager to see what the next day would bring.