Thursday, August 25, 2016

Armada: Which squadrons to take?

I freaking love myself some A-Wings.

Trying out a hybrid Ackbar tournament build using the template I used for my Wave 4 tournament list here.  Basically, I'm running into a little bit of a thought bubble, and I'm not sure what to take when it comes to squadron composition.

Basically, you have this template here:

[ flagship ] MC80 Command Cruiser (106 points)
-  Admiral Ackbar  ( 38  points)
-  Home One  ( 7  points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  XI7 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
= 183 total ship cost

Assault Frigate Mark II B (72 points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  XI7 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
= 92 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 20 total ship cost

You have 295 points here out of 400 total, and I want to stay below <385 bid.="" p="">
This basically gives me 90 points to play with when it comes to having a good bid, and having some decent squadron coverage.  It has dawned pretty painfully on me in the last couple of days playing IRL and on Vassal that try as I may, I don't think the 3-4 YTs are good enough in a meta now filled with BCC and other threats out there.  We already knew that going in, but I needed to some hard games vs. some competitive gamers that share the same mindset to confirm it.  Either way, we now have 90 points to spend on squadrons and/or other upgrades.

Here are some things floating around in my head:

  • 8x A-Wings - T2 squadron queues from H1 and MKII, 24 blue alpha, 5-range threat and Counter 2.  8 black dice to use against ships.  32 hull total.  Even though these guys want commands, I'm not sure I want to use any just to keep these guys going.
  • Dash + 4x YTs - Same points as the above.  Throw a squadron token on the H1 and launch all 5 into the enemy on T2.  20 blue alpha, 4-range threat.  Dash has Bomber and some brace tokens, but otherwise 30 hull total.  4 blacks and Dash's Bomber black vs. ships.  Big bonus here is that all ships are Rogue, which frees up commands on all ships.
  • 4x A-Wings, Dash + YT - 4 points less than the above.  H1 can throw A-Wings on T2, transport can throw the other 2.  20 blue alpha, mixed 4-5 threat range.  Some have counter, some have more HP, some have Rogue.  A mixed bag over here, but still effective.

The first thing we should ask ourselves here is:
Which one of these will be most effective in the new meta?  Think Rieekan Aces, Imperial Aces, Rhymerballs, Fireballs, and just the oddball Y-Wing spam or TIE spam.  I'm not looking to beat a dedicated anti-fighter list, but I do want something that can fight the meta squadron-threat so my bigger ships can get to work.

Just some food for thought.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Armada: Analyzing Ackbar 2.0

Ackbar 2.0, let's do this!

Hot damn, I can't believe it's almost been a year since I started playing this game.  We've been through a lot together, tried a ton of different lists and experimented with a lot of different commanders and what not.  After doing a lot of soul-searching in the last couple of days for which commander I want to bring in the next tournament, I think I'm going have to go with the king of fishlords and go with Ackbar again.  Let me tell you guys why.

For one, I want to talk about the latest iteration of my list.  I'll tell you one thing's for damn sure, and that it's pretty much the same list that I've been playing the last couple of months.  There's a lot of iteration for sure, but I've managed to narrow it down to this:

ACKBAR 2.0
Author: HERO
Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 383/400
Commander: Admiral Ackbar

Assault Objective: Advanced Gunnery
Defense Objective: Contested Outpost
Navigation Objective: Intel Sweep

[ flagship ] MC80 Command Cruiser (106 points)
-  Admiral Ackbar  ( 38  points)
-  Home One  ( 7  points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  XI7 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
= 183 total ship cost

Assault Frigate Mark II B (72 points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  XI7 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
= 99 total ship cost

CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
-  Jaina's Light  ( 2  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
= 53 total ship cost

3 YT-2400s ( 48 points)

There a lot of reasons why I've taken to go with this iteration of the list to go into the competitive season, and here's my arguments for and against it.  First, I'd like to list out all the pluses and minuses that the list has going for in respects to the current Wave 4 metagame.

Strengths:
  • Damage: Big, long-range, accurate damage with Ackbar's extra dice, Home One's accuracy support, XI7s and TRCs.
  • Control: Strong control elements with free accuracies from Home One and Intel Officers to shut down defenses.
  • Durability:  Both the MC80 and MKII are not very easy to kill, especially with ECMs.
  • Initiative:  Having a 383 bid with all of the above benefits is a huge boon.

Weaknesses:
  • Limited air cover: 3x YT-2400s is good, but they're going to go down eventually.
  • Lack of activations:  With only three ships and most likely having initiative, there is a good chance I will be telegraphed quite easily on the battlefield.
  • Lack of deploys:  This also means that I will be out-deployed during setup, so my opponents can telegraph my movements even further.
  • Big target:  There's no hiding it really.  The MC80 has the biggest target painted over its head.

To expand on this a little further, let's look at some of the archetypes that I will be facing and how I think I will handle each one of them.

Favorable:
  • Big ship lists - Any other 3-ship capital ship list that isn't built exactly like this one.. especially when I hold the initiative.  After all, this list was built to fight against and destroy ISD-II lists when they were the new hotness.
  • Control lists - Most control lists featuring the Inderdictor either has one kingpin that does all the damage, or doesn't do much damage itself.  This list in particular can do a lot of damage to a single target, or maul the Interdictor itself because of the lack of defensive options.
  • Brawler lists without initiative - One of the changes I've made compared to my previous incarnation of this list was to drop a YT for a better bid.  This means that for a close-ranged brawler like the Demo or MC30c, if I can outspeed you with my MC80, I will most likely destroy before you can respond.

Unfavorable:
  • Swarm lists - Just way too many activations for me to handle for the most part.  While I'm not really concerned about non-damage activations, I'm worried about being boxed in.  This is the big advantage that swarm-lists have an that's the ability to telegraph my movement.  How a flotilla can ever block a MC80 really confuses me sometimes.
  • Bomber heavy lists - Either in the way of Rhymer/Fireballs or Rieekan/Dodonna Carriers, any list that can put out a huge amount of bomber support with BCC will give this list fits.  At that point, I'm not sure if I can out-damage them in-time because there is just too much damage that can happen as I try and close in for the kill.
  • Brawler lists with initiative - On the other hand, if you have a Demo or MC30c list that outspeeds this list, I'm in deep trouble.  A triple-tapping Demo can pretty much one-round any ship in the game, and the Home One with Ackbar is the juiciest target of them all.

I think, looking at the matchups, if I was to face something that is considered double favorable or unfavorable e.g. Big ship list that was built to control or a swarm list that outruns me, these would mean seriously good times or bad times.  This also means that if I have something unfavorable, but I also have a favorable advantage somewhere e.g. out-activated but I have initiative, then it could be anyone's game.  Of course, at the end of the day it's going to be more of the admiral that makes a difference vs. the list, but it's going to be every list has its strengths and weaknesses that can be exploited by another list.  This actually one of my favorite things about Armada thus far, and not one list has been running around dominant for too long.

As for what which lists do I expect being in the meta, or at least meta locally?  I have no idea.  One of the best things about going into a new wave is that the meta changes and changes a lot.  When I take a look at all the Wave 4 ships, one of the biggest things that stands out to me is that all the ships are weak accuracies and control.  The big ships don't have defensive countermeasures to deal with multiple forms of free control, and the smaller flotillas can get completely mauled if you shut down their Scatter.  This is one of the reasons why I think this list will be very effective in the new meta, however, there is always the growing threat that bombers have become a lot stronger.  While I think the current 383 bid will outspeed most brawler lists, the higher initiative does not entirely solve the problem that a full on bomber-heavy build with BCC might completely wreck my face.  The gameplan for those kind of lists will be to engage in a damage race with them as soon as possible.

Well, here you go guys.  This is a full breakdown of my current Ackbar list and hopefully I will be doing more of these in the future.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Armada: In response to repair strategies

Look, tiny little repairboats!

Over the last couple of days, I've seen a series of threads and army lists pop up theorizing on how to best capitalize the new Repair Crews flotillas with Project Experts on the Interdictor.  While this is all good and dandy, I think there's a couple of things to consider before one sets himself on a journey to build this kind of list.

Here's my take on how players should view repair-related strategies:  It roughly breaks down into two key arguments for me whenever I decide to explore a build that focuses on preservation and attrition.  The first one argument is the environment, the landscape of the games you play in, or roughly the metagame of whatever tournament that you're playing in.  For the sake of this argument, I'm only going to use competitive environments even though the principles discussed here can apply to even the most casual of games.  Whenever you examine the landscape that you play in, you have the factor in what kind lists that people are playing.  In my environment, I see a multitude of different competitive builds ranging from MC30s, Demos, Rebel Carriers, Swarms and Rhymer/Fireballs.  So what do I mean when I say break it down and what it has to do with whether or not repair mechanisms will be effective?  I like to think of it as an analysis on damage per activation:  Roughly how much damage do you expect a certain source to do against one of your ships within one activation.  When you start profiling attack sources like this, you start to have a much clearer picture of which ones do obscene amounts of damage in very-high spikes vs. those that do consistent damage over time.  The best example of this would be a ISD-II vs. something like a TRC90.  While the TRC90 can put out pretty impressive and consistent damage, it doesn't nearly have the same and game-changing damage swing that the ISD-II can deliver.  When you start factoring in upgrades like the XI7s and Intel Officers, you can clearly start to see what kind of damage X source can do compared to Y.  Where some damage trickles in like squadron-related damage, others swing hard enough that your ship can explode e.g. Demolisher.

This is key when determining whether or not a repair-heavy build will be effective.  While you can read some battle reports online, you rarely get the feel of exactly how much damage is being done over a course of a game.  Repair, whether by command or by activation via Repair Crews on a transport, are done in activation order.  Naturally, it will be more effective against damage that slowly trickles over time vs. the damage spikes that can destroy a ship in a round or two.  Of course, dice can always be finicky, but the average damage should be able to tell a pretty clear story.  After all, you can't repair a dead ship, and the fact that activation order plays a key role in whether or not you want damage lifted, or whether or not the repair party might be too late to make a difference.  The best picture that I can paint right now is imagine that you're trying to heal a MC80 from the wrath of a ISD-II when that player has the initiative.  While your little repair boats and shield maidens might be able to heal the damage that trickles in, it will not prevent your ship from being near two-shotted on average dice as long as certain upgrades are in place.  Not if you don't go in there with a gameplan ahead of time (more on this in a sec).  Just something to think about when trying to design any list that wants to win through attrition.

The second component here is command efficiency.  When I look at the repair boats and the Interdictor/Projection Experts combo, I don't see just heals.  The heals are an afterthought for me because what I'm thinking is that I no longer need to queue certain commands on my other ships.  In the situation that I have a couple healbots on my side of the table, the first thing I will be looking for is being able to focus on other commands such as moving into more opportune locations, or blowing them away with Concentrate Fire.  I think overall, players need to stop looking at the text that Repair Crews can heal 1 card worth of damage, but rather that is 3 engineering points worth of command efficiency that your ISD no longer needs to execute.  Of course, when you work in conjunction with the ISD healing as well, you get double the benefit.  Once again, this only comes into play if you know what kind of environment you're fighting in, whether or not you know how to plan for that damage, and how well you can execute it when the time comes.  The example here would be queuing up Engineering on an ISD that wants to see combat on T3 expecting big damage, then on T3, hopefully your healers kick in at the same time as your Engineering command the damage your opponent thought he was going to do disappears in an instant.  This, is how you really win the attrition war:  That's to bait your opponent into an overconfident/superior position and then flip the tables on him.  Tasty.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Armada: Making the Liberty work

Gotta make this beauty work!

First, I want to say that I really like the fact that the MC-80 Liberty-class ships offers a really unique playstyle to the Rebels.  I think in order to get this article right, let's first talk about what I like about the ship, followed by its weaknesses.

The first thing I like about the ship is that it is fast.  Having speed-3 automatically makes this one of the faster ships that Rebels have, especially when you consider that it's on a large base and has the firepower roughly equal to an ISD-II, or an Ackbar Home One.  Not only is it a naturally fast ship, but it also has the option to take Engine Techs; thus making it currently the fastest ship in the game of this size.  With a few maneuvers queued up, you can get this ship from one side of the map to another; making it a capital ship flanker that is unlike anything in the game right now.  With Madine as your commander, you are more than capable of doing some outrageous amounts of maneuvers if you have Engine Techs on the ship.

The second thing I like about the ship is that its armament is quite unique.  Not the fact that it comes with 4 reds and 3 blues, any idiot can tell you number stats, but it's about its unique layout of two Turbolaser upgrade slots.  From a design standpoint, it is crystal clear that the ship is meant to be a pure damage-dealer with a minimalist view of protection.  What does this mean exactly?  I think it means that you should look into combinations to do as much possible damage as possible with interesting upgrade options.  For me, the setup of having Mon Karren and XI7s is more than enough to carry the day.  However, some people will prefer upgrades out there that might offer a little bit to their game depending on what they want to accomplish.  For example, Dodonna might be able to take advantage of the same configuration above but add XX-9s to additional critical shenanigans.

I don't really see a third point going for the ship here, but I want to elaborate a little more on the cute little things this ship can do when it comes to damage.  I've already mentioned the Mon Karren title, but I want to revisit this for a second so everyone knows that I'm talking about one of the best damage-pushing titles in the game.  What this title does is that it allows you to virtually shut down every single defense token outside the first one with no other conditions.  It's like a non-specific Avenger, or a less restrictive HTT.  When I first looked at this title, I was completely blown away.  Let me provide a few damage examples here:

Example #1 - Shooting at ISDs or MC80s with Mon Karren and XI7s.
Round #1 - Let's say you roll 8 damage.  Regardless of ECM or accuracy, you IO the Brace.  He has no choice but to Brace and take 4 damage directly to shields.  If you did 9 damage and there was a crit, not only would he be unable to Redirect, but he would also take the crit because he can't Contain.
Round #2 - Second round of combat without the Brace available.  Let's say you make the same roll.  He can only choose to Redirect or Contain, but since Redirect will only negate one damage because of XI7s, he wisely chooses to Contain, but eats 8 damage directly to hull.  Since you IO'd the Contain, it is gone for the rest of the game.

Example #2 - Shooting at a MC30c with Mon Karren and XI7s.
The example here is less technical and more about application.  When you shoot at this ship, which has tons of shields all around, you are basically forcing it to give up its most powerful defensive traits.  XI7s already completely with Redirects, but now you're pushing in 1 extra damage every time because he can only choose to Evade.  This is a free one damage.  Against CR90s, the effect is even more extreme because it doesn't have as many shields as the MC30c.  The effect on the Raider is more devastating because now, if the target chooses to Brace, he might have to eat that double-hit red dice without the Evade.

Example #3 - Shooting at Demolisher, or Assault Frigate MKII.
This example is the most painful, because typically, the GSD or MKII need all of their tokens to evade big damage.  If you roll big on any of these guys, expect them to take some absolutely horrendous damage.  While Redir is the weakest here, not being able to shake off hits with an Evade on top of Brace will be extremely deadly to these kind of ships.  This means that the Brace itself, will be weakened even if it's already used.

So why XI7s still on this ship after Mon Karren?  Because it gives you power over Redirects.  In the first example I gave with the ISD-II, if you didn't have XI7s, instead of pushing 8 damage in round #2 of shooting, you would have only pushed 5 because 3 of them would have been Redirected on the side.  The effects are even worse on the Home One because they have even more shields than the ISD.  Not just that, but in Round #3, instead of killing your target, they will repeat the same process even after IO so you willy be ale to push damage depending on how many shields they have left on the side.  The results vs. the MC30c would be equally as infuriating because of their ability to just throw the majority of your damage away.

It's a trap!  Don't do it!

Therefore, the first Turbolaser upgrade you should have on your ship is the XI7s, no question.  When it comes to the second TL upgrade, I will argue that you don't really need it, but if you really want to push damage, I would take the XX-9s.  In the first example that I gave about shooting the ISD-II, you can clearly see that even though you pushed 8 damage through the second round of shooting, he can still Contain.  Now, let's say you get to ignore the Contain because you have XX-9s, what does this mean?  It means the possibility of spilling in more damage within your limited lifespan.  I say this with all due respect to the ship because I see it first and foremost as a Battlecruiser more than a true Battleship.  It moves fast, shoots hard, but is fragile as all hell without a Defensive Retrofit and piss-poor protection from the side.  In World of Warship terms, this might as well be a Hindenburg when looking at it from the side.  While some people are really hard about the Quad Turbolaser Turrets because they're the new hotness, don't be fooled:  They're a 10-point redundant upgrade that can be ECM'd and have a specific condition in where you have to roll a red accuracy.  GTFO, I would rather take XX-9s to push through Contains any day of the week; especially when the Interdictor has two of them.

Lastly, this brings me to the last point that I want to make about the ship:  It's really frail.  When you have no ECM, you are at the mercy of accuracy dice and that can mean a ton of damage coming your way.  When you look at the double Brace, some may find this to be really good.  In a way, it is, because you have redundant systems to use against bigger targets that shoot at you, but let me tell you right now that that is not your biggest concern.  The biggest threat to the Liberty will be fast movers with reliable damage like TRC90s, and squadrons.  Bombers will seriously mess your shit up because you don't have the Redirs or shields on the sides of your ship to mitigate that kind of damage.  If you see bombers on the table, your best course of action is to fly in there face first and blow everything out of the water because your days are truly numbered.  Fast-moving TRC90s will also cause a serious problem to this ship because they will be putting damage into the hull super quick.  I really think the 2 shields on the side and the sole Redirect will be the death of the ship in the Wave 4 meta, but I'm determined to give it quite a few games on the table before I call it quits.

So how should you use this ship?  Well, I intend on using like as a capital ship flanker.  Use Madine as your commander and try this ship out with Engine Techs and/or the max damage package with Mon Karren title, XI7s and XX-9s.  Engine Techs will make sure the ship points face-first at the opponent while being fast enough to one-shot and chase down even the most annoying TRC-wielding ships on the table.  Madine will allow the ship to turn on a dime when you want it to, and if you position well enough, you might be able to seriously mess some shit up while pointing your 5-shield face at them.  The key to survive in this case would be to make sure that the only sources doing damage to you will be from the front.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Armada: Dealing damage vs. shutting down defenses

Pew pew or boom boom?

Taken from my reply to this thread here.

ceejlekabeejle writes:
The question posed isn't "are upgrades that target defence tokens good?", because, as you so perceptively pointed out, that's a bit of a no brainer.

The debate is whether focusing on negating defence tokens is a more successful means to achieve victory than simply maximising damage output.

Do you have something to contribute on that?

My response:
There's two trains of thought here that I want to entertain and in some form, exercise:

The first form is simply: Death by a thousand cuts.  You do a lot of small, minimal damage that adds up over time because your opponent doesn't have any defense tokens worth spending.  When he does spend, he spends for minimal investment.  No one likes to spend a Brace token on say, two damage from a bomber, and the same can be said with just about everything.  Defense tokens, and especially Brace, are the most coveted defense mechanisms that ships have in order for them to sustain themselves on the battlefield.  Shields, hull, the only thing those numbers represent is how much damage a ship can soak before it's gone, and therefore useless to the battle.  This game, like X-Wing, has a slippery slope mechanic when it comes to dealing and applying damage.  Once you start bleeding ships, your damage also decreases and thus, it becomes an expotentially more difficult time to finish the battle in your favor.  Going back to the death by a thousand cuts, these are lists like swarm lists, all bomber lists and lists that predominately pick at you until you commit your defenses.

The second form is simply:  The killing blow.  You throw such a huge amount of dice that your opponent either Braces or dies (to that extent).  This is your ISD-IIs, AckbarBBs and other big dice throws where their version of damage negation normally comes in the way of XI7s to push hull damage, and Intel Officer to make sure that Brace isn't there to save you next round.  In this sense, there is a much greater reliance that your opponent doesn't have the means to defend against your attack, vs. having to feed that damage over time.  That's exactly what you should compare it to; a nuke vs. a DoT (Damage over Time), or a frog that gets slowly boiled to death vs. getting thrown in lava.  In 40K terms, this is pretty much the Tau's battle strategies of Kauyon vs. Mont'ka.

What do I prefer?  I prefer both, in the same list.  Let me entertain why:  When you have a list that combines both of these elements, big ship/little ships, you start feeding your opponent more choices to overload the amount of strategic decisions he has coming into the battle.  In a list where you pick at your opponent to death with swarms, your opponent has a mental idea of how much damage he should expect per die throw.  The choices are more simple that way.  Same can be said about purely big ship lists where you throw buckets of die, so they know when to be conservative and when to spend defense tokens.  When you mix big ships and little ships, you start messing with how they spend their tokens:  Players tend to let in more damage from the smaller vessels because they're expecting to save themselves from the bigger ship that's going to fire.  Maybe first, maybe second, they never know as long as you control initiative.  Thus turns into a battle of mind games where they have to decide whether or not to bleed to death, or having to deal with a baseball bat to the face.  For example, activating a big ship first vs. smaller one will more than likely draw out Brace.  If it's gone, good, if it's not, your opponent is much less likely to burn the token when your smaller ships fire; thus allowing you to squeeze in more damage.  Dice, also plays a huge factor in this, as the larger pools of dice you throw the spikier the damage can be.  This means that your opponents also can't predict the outcome of the throw as easily as say.. throwing blues with SW-7s.  Inconsistent damage be a good thing, because this means that damage can be average, or swing in a way that's unanticipated.  Sometimes this works in your favor because more attacks will be let through because they're saving for a more dramatic effect that never comes.

In conclusion, I like mixing both combat ideologies when constructing a list.  This is why I like the fleet I'm currently using with Ackbar, one of the reasons why I like MC30/TRC90 lists (can chip, can rock face), and why I like ISD-II 3-ship lists with the Interdictor.  If you look at some other lists like ISD + GSD + Fireball  for example, they run similar concepts, but with a minor twist:  You sneak in damage where you can get it with squadrons, and then choose whether or not to punk someone in the face.  Do your opponents spend their tokens or let in free damage?  Or save them for something that can punch you really hard in the face.

When it comes to these kind of games:  The more you force your opponent to think, the more you mistakes he can possibly make.  The more mistakes he makes, the more you can capitalize on punishing them.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Armada: Liberty Swarm

Taking the minnows to school!

Here's a new list idea that I've been thinking about:  It starts with Madine and ends with Mon Karren and 3x TRC90s.  I don't have that much room for squadrons because of all this speed, maneuverability and sure damage, but the I still have Dash + 2x YTs to give me a little more automation so I can focus on the things that matter:  That is punching other ships in the face while my big fat Whale shark moves across the field at breakneck pace.

I'm not entirely sold on Engine Techs on the MC80 Liberty yet, but the idea of a 3-sheep large ship with Engine Techs is unreal.  The amount of map coverage is just insane.  Not to mention with Madine you can do more than a 90 degree turn and shoot your opponents from the back.  Having Engine Techs on the MC80 Liberty basically means you can have a capital ship flanker, something that is unheard of at this point.  You can move across a very large area of ground, and then turn sharply into the action while blasting away as you see fit.  This kind of command compression allows the Mon Karren to do some serious work, especially when you fit it out with something like XX-9s to really capitalize on its damage.

The list looks something like this:

Updated - 8/12/16 - Now trying the XX-9s since I think speed-3 might be enough to drop Engine Techs.

LIBERTY SWARM
Author: HERO
Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 382/400
Commander: General Madine

Assault Objective: Most Wanted
Defense Objective: Contested Outpost
Navigation Objective: Superior Positions

[ flagship ] MC80 Battle Cruiser (103 points)
-  General Madine  ( 30  points)
-  Mon Karren  ( 8  points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Medical Team  ( 1  points)
-  XI7 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  XX-9 Turbolasers  ( 5  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
= 171 total ship cost

CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
-  Jaina's Light  ( 2  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
= 53 total ship cost

CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
= 51 total ship cost

CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
= 51 total ship cost

1 Dash Rendar ( 24 points)
2 YT-2400s ( 32 points)

I currently have Madine set up on the Mon Karren, but if you're feeling like you want to run, you can easily put Madine on the Jaina's Light.  That ship makes a great get-away little bugger while you can feel a little better letting the Mon Karren die in battle where she belongs.  The 3x TRC90s puts down an enormous amount of damage since the extra yaws will allow all the ships to take better advantage of double-arcs from more comfortable firing positions.

Overall, you have 4 ship activations, 5 drops and a good amount of balance between speed, firepower and precision-based play.  This is definitely one of the first lists I'm going to try once I get the Liberty in my hands.  I've already demo'd it on Vassal once and I feel like this is going to be a really strong list in the right hands.  Especially that Mon Karren title.. freaking unreal man.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Armada: The gauntlet has been thrown!

Time to pew pew!


Check this out!

The funniest thing about all this is that no matter who wins the grudge match, this is great for the community overall.  There's a lot of coverage, a lot of input, a lot of people being hyped about the game. and it's going to be great fun.  Other fellow bloggers want to get involved and cover the event, and this is one of the coolest things I've ever seen in an online community.  Shit, I think I might even run the game on my Twitch channel just so I can record it in real time and talk about the game and my thought process as I'm playing it.

Here is his list:
Dodonna the Oppressor wave 4   
Author: Lyraeus

Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 386/400
Commander: General Dodonna

Assault Objective: ???
Defense Objective: ???
Navigation Objective: ???

MC30c Scout Frigate (69 points)
-  Admonition  ( 8  points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
= 100 total ship cost

MC30c Scout Frigate (69 points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
= 92 total ship cost

[ flagship ] CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
-  General Dodonna  ( 20  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
= 71 total ship cost

CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
= 58 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Bright Hope  ( 2  points)
-  Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams  ( 6  points)
-  Slicer Tools  ( 7  points)
= 33 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Quantum Storm  ( 1  points)
-  Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams  ( 6  points)
-  Slicer Tools  ( 7  points)
= 32 total ship cost


Here is my list:
ACKBAR THE DEPRESSOR
Author: HERO

Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 382/400
Commander: Admiral Ackbar

Assault Objective: ???
Defense Objective: ???
Navigation Objective: ???

[ flagship ] MC80 Command Cruiser (106 points)
-  Admiral Ackbar  ( 38  points)
-  Home One  ( 7  points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  X17 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
= 183 total ship cost

Assault Frigate Mark II B (72 points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  X17 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
= 92 total ship cost

CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
-  Jaina's Light  ( 2  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
= 53 total ship cost

2 YT-2400s ( 32 points)
2 A-Wing Squadrons ( 22 points)


Alright folks, take your bets.  Here is what the pre-match forumites have to say!  Thanks Madaghmire for the write-up.  Personally, I'm really looking forward to playing this and repping MC80 players everywhere.  I even prepared a soundboard to use on gameday.

I had reserved a write up space higher but so much has come down so I'll leave it here;

Matchup of the Moment: Dodonna the Oppressor Vs. Big Fish
The Portland Pulverizer takes on the So-Cal Strangler in alliterative anarchy! Help, Help I’m being Oppressed takes on a film I did not see in theatres! Come see the violence inherent in the system!

I don’t want to talk much about the lists themselves, because the designers of both have already gone on to great lengths about what each list is designed to do. Or at least Hero has on his blog. I’m not sure if Lyr has ever even mentioned his list. Instead, I’m going to focus on the matchup.

What’s working for Lyraeus and his top secret list;

- Activations! At a commanding 6 activations, Lyr has the potential to really set the tempo of the match.
- Deployments: Lyr has only a slight edge at 6 deployments to 5, but it means he can hold his big hitters in reserve until he sees how Hero wants to set up. This becomes especially true if Hero decides to play first, as then Lyr would have 2 deployments where he has a complete picture of Hero’s deployment.
- If Hero’s list were a cake, it would be Fudgey the Whale, and DtO is extremely well suited to go whaling. Lots of guaranteed damage and Intel Officer means Hero will have to manage his use of defense tokens extremely well. Additionally, Dodonna helps makes sure that any APT crits that come up come up nasty, and the wrong one could be disastrous.
- Slicer Tools: Hero has no command dial manipulation, but he does take Engine Techs on his MC80 to give it that extra bit of speed and maneuverability. He’ll have at least one, possibly two turns of nav to use as a buffer, but assuming he has a token banked he will only be able to count on that one token’s worth of Engine Tech use. Alternatively, if Lyr manages to put say, a Depowered Armament on Ole Fudgey, he could slice away any hope of repair. (Slice away? Get it? Cuz Fudgey is a cake! My daughter hates me.)
- Sending waves and waves of his own men until the kill bots meet their quota- It’s silly but it’s true, a little bitty transport can block a big ole Star Cruiser. Positioning is key.

Hero’s Never Die! And here’s why;

- Initiative! I think we all agree that initiative is good to have. Sun Tzu said so, and who am I to argue with Sunny T? It’s particularly good in this case, because DtO really, really wants to go first. And Hero can completely take that away. Alternatively, if he just feels super great about his objectives then he can force Lyr to pick from them. The important thing is that it’s his call.
- Squadrons: Hero has a couple! I guess. He doesn’t have any bombers, but he has 4 very fast black dice that don’t much of anything to fear on the other side of the board. The Yt’s, in particular, will be able to start buzzing around quickly. I predict he gets 4-5 attacks with the YT’s and 2-3 from the A’s. Which can be a nice bump in damage if he’s able to apply it in the right spot.
- XI7’s- Oh man, this card is basically a giant foam middle finger to MC30’s. Also not fun for CR90’s.
- Home One- While not terribly effective against the redundant defense tokens of the MC30’s, it does a great job of mitigating blank rolls from the AFMK2, and allows both the AFMK2 and CR90 to slap down those pesky slicer tool laden transports without fear of scatter.
- Phylon Slacker Beams- Normally a lovely add, the points Lyr invested on tractor transports are practically dead weight in this one, as only the TRC90 is a viable target. They could still work out great and lock Jaina’s Light down in the dark might or force Hero to spam a nav or two he would rather have been Conc Fire, but I think that they are going to wind up seeing little action in this one.
- One Shot Popping- Ackbar and Xi7’s mean that Lyr could lose any ship in a single blow from Fudgey the Unsatiable. The AFMK2 is also a threat to one shot a corvette, although the dice would have to be hot.


So who wins? We all do, because anytime you get a little hype behind a match between two good players like this, it’s fun for everyone. But I guess I should keep It to the competitors;

Lyr wins if- He can leverage his activation advantage and damage modifiers to take Home One or the AFMK out early without significant losses.

Hero wins if- He can avoid taking massive MC30 broadsides in his front arc.

Good luck to both players, hope everyone enjoyed the write up!