While recording the latest episode of the podcast we started talking about the UK Games Expo and the UK X-Wing Nationals. We stopped the show to pull up some information about the event and were really surprised to find almost no information online.
I knew from memory what squadrons has placed highly at the event and that meant that I must have read it online somewhere but no amount of Google-Fu would bring up any results.
So with all that in mind I have decided to write this blog post and try to collate all the available information from the UK X-Wing Nationals.
What are the Nationals?
A good place to start would be to explain what exactly the UK X-Wing Nationals are and how they fit into the Fantasy Flight Games organised play system. As a rough guide the official organised play series is broken up into 3 main areas and capped of off by a season end event at the the Fantasy Flight Games HQ, the World Championships.
Small events run by any local store that can put together 5-10 tables wants to apply for the right. These are very common. The store championships that were local to me held around a dozen players at each event and stores were holding them on the same day as each other despite being only an hour drive between them. These are open to any player to turn up and pay their entry fee. The winner gets some official FFG prizes, range rules, card boxes dice, Alternate Art card or similar. The top 2 also get a ticket to Regionals which includes a 1st round bye.
These events are less common than the Store Championships, a full list of venues can be found on the FFG Regional lists. Stores can apply to host a Regional Championship but they would need to be a larger store than can accommodate a much higher number of players than the Store Championships. As you can see on the venue listing the UK had 5 events in 2014. Any player can enter a regional event, not just store championship winners. Regional Championship winners again pick up some FFG swag but more importantly they get a ticket to the invite only National Championships event that is held at the UK Games Expo.
From the FFG site:
Another step up from our Regional Championships, our North American and European National Championships are highly competitive, top-level events that draw participants from locations far and wide. These championship events feature unique, high-level prize support and provide players their final chances to win first-round byes and free entry to our FFG World Championship Weekend in November
As you can see this is quite a prestigious event and for most players in the UK, with the X-Wing National Championships being the highlight of the years competitive play calendar. It is held as part of the UK Games Expo weekend and includes the final regional championship event on the Saturday of the weekend before the Nationals o the Sunday.
So What Happened at the UK X-Wing National Championships in 2014?
This appears to be a mystery! I find it very odd that such a big event has so little coverage on the various blogs, forums and websites related to the X-Wing tournament scene. However, with a but of digging I have managed to find a fair bit of information. Most of it is on the X-Wing Miniatures UK/IRE Facebook group, just not that easy to find.
One thing I will say is a big thanks to David Sleet for running the event. I wasn’t there in person but by all accounts he did a cracking job both on the day at the event and before hand by taking feedback from the community to make sure everything went smoothly.
The format of the event was 32 players, all of which had qualified via the Regional Championships. They were randomly drawn and then paired off using the swiss system for 4 rounds before cutting to the top 4.
The 2014 UK X-Wing Nationals Champion is Keith Wilson.
Keith took out the championship after a fantastic season which also saw him top the UK X-Wing rankings. He beat out Dave Licence in the final to secure his victory.
From the Keith via Facebook –
I played against Duncan Callander Round 1. He had Wedge with Swarm Tactics, Biggs, Gold Squadron Pilot with Ion Cannon Turret and Rookie. He finished 6th. Apologies to my opponent of Round 2, I forgot his name (Matthew I think). He had Biggs and Garven with Chewbacca with some upgrades (not sure on the exact builds). Round 3 was against Craig Reed who finished 5th on the day. He had Howlrunner with Stealth, Mauler Mithel, Dark Curse, Backstabber and 2 Blacks Squadron pilots with Veteran Instincts. Fourth Round and the Semi Final Game were against Matthew Lloyd as he said above and the final was against David with his four Shuttles.
Here are the squads for the 4 guys that made it through to the final 4.
1st Place – Keith Wilson. Imperials – TIE Swarm
- Stealth Device
- Black Squadron Pilot
- Draw Their Fire
- 3x Obsidian Squardon Pilots
- 2x Academy Pilots
2nd Place – Dave Licence – Imperials – Shuttle Swarm!!!
- 4x Omicron Group Pilots
- Fire Control System
- Anti-Pursuit Lasers
3rd Place – Grant Rennie – Imperials
- Krassis Trellis
- Heavy Laser Cannon
- Recon Specialist
- Turr Phenir
- Veteran Instnincts
- 2x Obsidian Squadron Pilots
4th Place – Matthew Lloyd – Imperials
- Soonitr Fel
- Push The Limit
- Targeting Computer
- 4x Academy Pilots
These photos show the final game turn by turn.
The only other game report that I could fin was this one by Grant Rennie – Imperials – 3rd Overall, 2nd place in Swiss. In the same report Grant talks about his qualification via the Open Regional event on the saturday at the Expo.
Here are some other highlights that don’t really fit into any of the above sections.
Craig Reed, last years champion flew a PS6+ TIE Swarm. He faced both his son’s in rounds 1 and 2 beating them both then going on to lose rounds 3 and 4.
Both 3rd and 4th places also faced their finals opponent in the swiss round. Both Matthew and Grant lost both games. Matthew did manage to destroy Dave’s Shuttle herd during the swiss rounds with losing a single ship!
Thanks and Feedback
A big thanks has to go to the players from the Nationals event and member of the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game UK/IRL Facebook group who have been helpful in sharing lists, photos and reports. If you have anything else to add to this report then you can get in touch via our contact page