Meet the Team, X-Wing Phill Blackmore

Ritchie McAlley

Hey everyone I am Phill, “Green Leader” Blackmore my Team number is 00, And I am in Captain/Manager/Organiser role doing all the boring stuff.

Phill Top Left!

Which game is your main focus for tournaments and events?

Star Wars for sure! I love having fun meeting new people who share my love for it.

What is it you like about competitive play?

I always enjoy my matches.

What is it that draws you to play this game in events?

Meeting new people and the variety that brings. No two lists are the same and the more people you play against, the more interesting combinations you see. This creates more of a challenge as well as giving me new ideas and combinations I can try myself.

What’s been your highlight of playing in your game's tournaments?

Meeting the wider community and building our reputation as both good players, and as people who play the game in a fun way.

We all play games to have fun, if its too competitive it stops being fun and you have to ask yourself then, what’s the point?

Phil and his Team winning a Most Sporting Opponents award at a recent event

For people who have never been to a tournament before and are considering taking part, what would you say to them?

Try it! You’ll meet new people and even if you don’t do as well as you might hope, you will see new things you will want to try, things you’d never even thought of.

Tell us a surprising fact about yourself people would not normally know?

I can count to 10 in 6 different languages!

You wake up tomorrow in the Star Wars universe, what faction do you see yourself aligned with and realistically were do you see yourself? Cleaning the trash compactors or hunting down Jedi Knights!

I’d be strapped into my Tie Fighter flying on Darth Vader’s wing, helping restore order to the galaxy!!

Thanks to Phil for taking the time to introduce himself and tell us about why he likes taking part in events for Team JustPlay.

We have lots more content coming up for and from the team, want to get involved and get featured on our website get in touch here or message us on Facebook

And most of all thanks to Phil and the rest of the team for spreading the word and wearing our colors up and down the country.

Ian & Ritchie

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Meet the Team, X-Wing Tom "Twiggy" Williams

Ritchie McAlley

Hello everyone, my name is Thomas Williams but everyone who knows me calls me Twigg. My shirt number is 07, and my main gaming focus is X-Wing! If i was to give myself a rank in the team i'd probably be captain, though i feel more like a Veteran player than anything.

The Man himself second from the left with his team mates

What is your main gaming focus for tournaments and events?

I've played several games over the past few years, i only re-discovered board games and table top games about 2 years ago. Before then i was a very competitive video gamer, i'm sure most of you still are as well but i found myself lost in a endless rut competing in the digital world. I am a big real time strategy player and cant stop with turn based action. What drives me towards these genres time and time again is the games focus on skill and well thought out plans. It's not fair for me to compare this with other games as I am fully aware 360 no scopes are not easily done, nor perhaps hitting 200 apm on star craft mining like a champion. Still. this love always brings me back to X-Wing 

X-wing has taken me by storm since day one. I've found a game where every loss in some small way feels like a victory to me, I personally don't have any bad experiences with the game or its players and the attraction to the game can find people on different levels. Roughly two years ago I was introduced to X-Wing by a work colleague, Mr Ethan Britton, who just saw the X-Wing player in me. The last experience i had in any table top game prior was about 10 years earlier playing the Lord of the Rings by Games Workshop and little bit of 40k, who doesn't want to play with orcs and elves?

What first started as a cup of coffee turned into a Star Wars dog fight, Ethan has had plenty of practice introducing players to new games. And what fantastic teacher he was. I remember buying the core set immediately after.

A week later i entered in my first xwing tournament withy just a few z95s and bossk in the yv666.

Oh boy, did I get smashed apart. This didn't put me off in the slightest despite losing every game. Every opponent offered support and kindly reminded me of my actions and gave me good constructive advice. I find that nearly every tournament I've been to the players are always like this. There's just something about the X-Wing community that's very friendly and casual.

Win or lose taking part is the most fun part!

What is it about competitive play that you enjoy?

Tournaments are just great, there is no better way to learn or understand a game than by playing several games in one day against different opponents.

When I build my X-Wing lists now, I like to test fly them at local tournaments, 4 - 5 games in one day is a great way to see how your list works. As long as you don't expect too much from yourself you'll find you always have fun, even if you end up coming last place.

What is it that makes you want to play this game at events?

X-Wing just like other games does have that element of luck to it, but more often than not a good player can win a game through skill.

X-Wing plays heavily on ship placements and this is the part of the game where luck is no factor. Yes you may loose a game by 1 shot or maybe you were unlucky to avoid any incoming damage. Any player will tell you though that if you managed to fly well you wouldn't be taking any shots at all. And X-Wing does so well to push higher level of skill in its game. Very rarely you get a player who lucked his way up to the top.

What has been your highlight of gaming and why?

In JustPlay Q4 last year, I think it was October or September, please someone clarify that one for me. I managed to fight my way right to the top cut into the finals. That was one tough tournament as well, we had quite a few players from all over the UK down in the store and the competition was only getting harder.

Semi finals and its triple defenders! And these things were bloody everywhere, x7 title just makes these things invincible.

Having been beaten by defenders so often i built a list just to deal with them

JumpMaster 5000: · Manaroo (27)
Fearlessness (1)
K4 Security Droid (3)
Feedback Array (2)
Unhinged Astromech (1)

Protectorate Starfighter: · Fenn Rau (28)
Push The Limit (3)
Autothrusters (2)
Concord Dawn Protector (1)

Y-Wing: · Kavil (24)
Veteran Instincts (1)
Twin Laser Turret (6)
-- TOTAL ------- 99p. --

This was my list or close enough. Kavil vi what on earth?

Yes that's Kavil with vi, now this means Kavil shoots first with a nice 4 dice attack x2 with making a target take 2 damge or tokens. This then leaves Manaroo to support Fenn letting him have a nice clean shot to push in the crits

Back to the semi finals:

I was playing against James Dunn who I've seen quite frequently at local tournaments that year and he was flying triple defenders.

The first half the game my Manaroo was gunned down in 2-3 turns and Kavil took some time shields off all 3 defenders with Manaroo before joining her to a quick death too.

Splitting your shots is never a good idea...

And that's exactly what I did. Fenn was left to take on the world with 3 defenders mostly Sheild less and fenn unscathed. My friends pat me on the back as they knew it was over. Ritchie looking over seeing the game not looking good just walked off thinking it was will be all over soon. Even James brother who was sat next too him could see it.

The night was still young for me and i certainly wasn't going down without a fight. Fenn moves in for Ryadd range one, boom! One-shots that defender with 5 hits against his 2 evades. The previous damage it had already taken meant it was out for the count. His other forces well out of position, sweep in for the kill. Fenn manages to arc dodge all before landing another deviating range one taking Vessery off the board. My friends rejoice as they soon returned to my side surprised the game was still on. One last dash and the remaining defender was toast.

Victory we have victory! Almost i thought...

They final would see me go against Edward Holmes and his triple defenders. Again?? Why??

I beat Ed and his defenders previously in Swiss so you could imagine how confident I was entering this match.

Ed was happy to call it there and share the loot with him. Me being me of course I laughed at such weakness and wanted it all.

It came down to 1v1 and Fenn full health vs Vessery. Fenn lands a crit, cannot preform straight maneuver.

Oh my, this is the moment I was waiting for no straights means no K turns right?

A noob mistake some would say that but Vessery did K turn, as K turns are not straight maneuvers this placed him in a nice spot to shoot Fenn

Pilot skill zero!!

Fenn nooo, why did this had to happen to you so close to the end. He moves in for another round of exchange of shots but fails to land where he wants at range 2! I managed to damage Vessery but at the cost of 2 damage to Fenn. With only one hp it was nearly over. Fenn flees to range 3 behind a rock to set up position for next turn. Vessery takes the shot and two hits are fire, Fenn totally has this right? 5 blanks and even auto thrusters couldn't save me this time and on that note, it was game over.

Hard teachings often comes from hard defeat and a lot was learned that day. A defeat yes, but not completely. That game taught me a lot about flying X-Wing and i was happy to congratulate Ed on his victory.

Little did i know that i would soon see him again a few months later, but that's a story for another time.

What advice would you give for first timers entering a tournament?

Have fun. This is the best advice to you. Remember that as competitive as X-Wing is, there is only one winner and most likely it won't be you or me. Does that matter?

For me personally? No.

I've had so many bad tournaments I can't remember. One thing I always have at the end of an event is a smile on my face. The trick is to set your own goals before going in.

What do i want to get from this experience?

I always thrive on a challenge and only by playing against better players will i improve my skills. A hard lesson is a lesson well learned.

Remember that you get to play 4-5 games in one day too! How awesome is that? spending all day playing your favorite game with some cool new people. I couldn't think of a better way too spend a day.

Remember were all here for the same reason and its too play X-Wing, your surround by people who share the same interests as you, there couldn't be a better place for you to be.

Tell us a surprising fact about yourself?

I DJ on weekends funnily enough, most people when I speak to them at my gigs always assume I'am living a rock and roll lifestyle! 

You wake up tomorrow and your in the Star Wars universe. Where do you see yourself?

Ooooh what a question indeed! I only fly scum in X-Wing. I am a big Bounty hunter fan so I'd love nothing more than to fly a Firespray with Boba and Bossk taking out bounties. Their highly customized ships just draw me in every time. Can only imagine what a Shadowcaster would be like to fly.

Will Twiggy ever join their Ranks?


Thanks to Twig for taking the time to introduce himself and tell us about why he likes taking part in events for Team JustPlay.

We have lots more content coming up for and from the team, want to get involved and get featured on our website get in touch here or message us on Facebook

And most of all thanks to Phil and the rest of the team for spreading the word and wearing our colors up and down the country.

Ian & Ritchie

Read more →