Episode 040!!!! Somebody Call William Faulkner, Cuz We Got Some Real Streams of Consciousness Here

May 2, 2018

WORLDS IS HERE!

This episode is insane. We recorded late Tuesday night (the night before Worlds) and we were all a bit tired at the midnight hour. But we wanted to put our names to predictions for what we thought would be the meta as we brace for the best day of our lives.

I was also joined by the best twins in the World (and it's not Luke and Leia!!!) to wish everyone good luck.

Good luck tomorrow, everyone.

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Episode 039 - And On The Fourth Day (Before Worlds) …

April 28, 2018

WORLDS IS NIGH! WHAT. SHALL. WE. DO?!

In this episode, JK and I discuss Worlds. We played a few skirmishes this morning to warm up, and our discussion revolves around Han vs. Scum and Vader vs. Scum. We talk a lot about the IG vs. Vader match-up, so make sure and give it a listen.

Good luck at Worlds to everyone! God speed!

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Episode 038 - Fear and Trembling and Worlds

April 23, 2018

WORLDS PREP! (I am going to try and get ONE MORE episode out before next Tuesday (when I fly out to Minnesota))

I know you're going to be disappointed, but Kierkegaard makes zero appearances in this episode. I know, I know. Either I get the best, or I am left with the rest. It's enough to make me sick unto death. We are all, however, earnestly engaged as knights of faith in attempting to transcend the existential void that separates the wheat from the chaff in hopes of coming out conquerors in the upcoming Worlds! (I'm sorry. That got a little too involved.)

In this episode, Kenny is joined by Micah (masterchiefspiff) and Hasan (defkhan) to discuss their preparation for Worlds. Micah is going to be running IG Pirates, so he is super happy with Uscru (or at least, more happy), and Hasan plans to pilot an Unshakeable Vader to the top of the heap.

They discuss their matchups against the current strong archetypes, where they think they are weak, and where they know they are strong. It is awesome!

GOOD LUCK AT WORLDS!

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Episode 037 - And I looked, and Behold a Pale Horse: and His Name That Sat On Him was Uscru Entertainment District

April 21, 2018

MAP BREAKDOWN. 

Question: Have we reached peak pandemonium? Can we bear anymore insanity? Well how about this: did you know that the word "pandemonium" was straight-up invented by Milton in Paradise Lost? That word never existed before that epic poet fabricated it out of whole cloth! THE HORROR!

I told FFG to give us news from Lothal early. They didn't. I told FFG to not release a new map before Worlds. They did. I just cannot win with these guys.

But never fear! We have a breakdown for you! In this episode, Kenny rambles for the first fourteen minutes and then cuts away to brilliant commentary from Matthew Scott, Kenny's dear brother and a very amazing player.

Since the map has released, we have played about four to five times (each) in a competitive skirmish environment. We break the map down and Matt gives his thoughts as to how the map is going to play out and some things to focus on as you're practicing this list in the run-up to Worlds.

GOOD LUCK SUCKERS! CRY HAVOC!

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Episode 036 - Who Is Zion’s Finest?! WHO. COULD. IT. BE.

April 15, 2018

BATTLE REPORT! Zion's Finest had their inaugural tournament today, and it was a ton of fun. Our community in Utah commissioned a local artist to produce a Gideon Argus image that I turned into an alt-art card. Spoiler alert, it's freaking amazing. We also used the Q1 tournament kit as prize support.

Local players showed up to battle it out and see who is Zion's Finest. I WONDER WHICH BELOVED, BENEVOLENT, GENEROUS RUNNER OF REBELS COULD HAVE RISEN TO THE TOP AGAINST A SEA OF UNSHAKEABLE VADERS (okay, only one Unshakeable Vader).

In this episode, JK, Scott, and Kenny discuss their lists and how everyone fared. Each of us is going to Worlds so we are trying to get things figured out in anticipation of what we expect to face. We all love each other and have a ton of fun, so brace yourself for an awesome listening experience.

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Episode 035 - NEWS FROM LOTHAL!

April 15, 2018

NEWS! HOLY FREAKING SMOKES WE GOT NEWS! I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS. I AM IN SHOCK.

And the news is awesome. Tyrants of Lothal is the next expansion for IA, and it promises to be beautiful and awesome. NOW WHAT WILL THIS MEAN FOR THE COMPETITIVE SKIRMISHING?!

In this episode, Brett Kelly, JK, and I take some time to break down the revealed components for Tyrants of Lothal. Most of the skirmish cards have not yet been revealed, but we have no fear and wade into discussing what we're in store for.

Overall, it appears that Death Troopers are going to be bonkers, that Tress will be super fun, and that the value of everything else is not quite clear. Kenny speaks up in favor of Ezra and Kanan, but it doesn't seem clear how effective the incoming Rebel figures will be in the current meta. BUT WHO KNOW?! LISTEN AND ENJOY!

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Episode 034 - Pondering the Unshakeable and Immutable Things of the Universe

April 13, 2018

WORLDS PREP! In this episode, JK and Kenny gather round the board to discuss their Worlds prep and thoughts on various match-ups. Kenny is running his Han Drokkatta list; JK was running peak efficiency (IG, x2 eQuays, RCPlus). They discuss their matchups with each other, as well as Kenny's match vs. Scott's Unshakeable Vader and JK's match vs. Jacob's Han Rangers.

Is Unshakeable Vader the way of the future? How can JK improve his IG play? Why can't Kenny play normal lists? Join us on the Slack Channel to discuss these problems! Send an email to zionsfinestia@gmail.com!

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Episode 033 - Paul. Heaver. Returns.

April 10, 2018

WORLDS PREP. I don't know how I did it, but I convinced Paul Heaver to come back on the podcast and give us his rundown for Worlds (assuming that FFG doesn't decide to drop a massive FAQ on us in the month leading up to Worlds which seem ... likely). As if mastering X-Wing was not sufficient, Paul has also managed to make the FINAL TABLE in the IA tournament twice in the past three years, so ignore him at your peril!

The East Coast remains dominated by the Dark Lord of the Sith, and Paul discusses how his playtesting is and will be shaped by what he expects to see at Worlds (Vader, Vader, and Han (WHO IS NOT OVERRATED)). He especially focuses on the point-counting aspect of skirmish--asking yourself how you're going to get to forty points in sixty-five minutes and keeping yourself tuned in to that goal through your matches--and gives some awesome advice.

Paul shoots across my bow and declares that Han isn't worth the points and we have a minor skuffle, but a resolution for that question will have to wait until after Han Rangers wins Worlds so I can point out my brilliance.

If you have thoughts, comments, or feedback, please join us on the Slack Channel and let us know what you think! Send an email to zionsfinestia@gmail.com.

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Episode 032 - Searching For Bobby Skywalker

April 7, 2018

It's another brain-buster. In this episode, Kenny has Ben Varnum from Omaha on the podcast. Ben Varnum gives a general introduction, a report on how he's done at some recent regionals, and then launches into his true love, which is apparently combining his two esoteric hobbies (IA and chess) into one MASSIVELY esoteric thought-paradigm.

Ben discusses how he thinks certain chess concepts map onto IA and what players can understand about the best game in the universe from one of the better games in the universe. The episode runs a bit long, but it will be well worth your time.

If you have thoughts, comments, or feedback, please join us on the Slack Channel and let us know what you think! Send an email to zionsfinestia@gmail.com.

Here's the Scientific American article that Ben references (gated, sorry): https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-expert-mind/

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Episode 031 - I Certainly Ain’t No Ernie Pyle

April 6, 2018

SKIRMISH BREAKDOWN! In this episode, Kenny does his absolute best to immitate the great war-correspondents of the past as he relays a report from a Worlds Prep skirmish night. Predictably, Kenny fails.

He does, however, convince JK and Steven to stick around after a night of skirmishing to give their thoughts on the meta and their lists. Really, though, we just end up talking about Han Rangers. Turns out, that list is pretty super good AS KENNY HAS BEEN SAYING FOR MANY MANY MONTHS.

The format is a bit different, because I recorded on-site (there's a bit of background noise, but it's not bad at all), but I think you're going to enjoy our breakdown.

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THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!

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