Monday, November 23, 2015

Armada: The Wave 2 meta and squadrons

Changing it up big time.

Ever since I started playing Vassal, the word metagame has largely been dropped form my vocabulary.  When you're playing from players from all over the world that have their own local meta and everyone seems to take something different, you're bound to play against highly experimental lists that will kick your brain into overdrive.  Just the other day for example, I played against Ozzel who took me out for a spin.  Over the last couple of days, I've fought against stereotypical lists that everyone has seen or heard about, but against some of the newer stuff that might have dismissed or put on the backlog of things to try.

Things to try is another brief topic I want to talk about.  When you're playing in the real word, there's a little thing out there called personal finances.  If you're anything like me, I typically like to try before I buy.  This comes with a lot of research ahead of time and reading tons and tons of user reviews to see if the product suits my needs.  Fortunately for us, you guys have this blog and hopefully a few other resources around the net to read on the wacky things I've experienced ahead of time so you don't need to.  Over the last couple of days, I've reported that massing Firespray hordes are indeed a real thing, Ozzel might be a sleeper admiral, and the Whaling Fleet that I'm fielding has some obvious weaknesses.  All this can be found out on Vassal, the ultimate try before you buy program so you don't have to buy 6 packs of Rogues and Villains to try out spamming Firesprays.

A friend of mine brought up the fact that the metagame might be limited to personal finances.  It's one of those oddities in the table-top world where I used to hear about players not wanting to bring their Skaven armies to tournaments because they are a huge pain to carry (a ton of models).  Or, they didn't have time to paint them all up because there's just so models to tender to.  The same thing can be said about the recent Firespray hotness that I've been seeing.  Will competitive players really go out there and buy 6 packs of R&V?  You bet your ass they will.  I will tell you straight up that spending that type of cash is nothing when it comes down to winning games in a competitive setting.  Some dude on the X-Wing forums recently added up the cost of all the Top8 worlds lists and they claimed that playing competitively has become expensive.  Yeah, no shit fella.  Coming from competitive TCGs, I can tell you with confidence that 6 packs of R&V is like one of my less-played cards in MTG (and you need 4 for a playset).

Anyways, let's go down to the list that I've been bouncing around.  Thanks to the ever-changing, ever-shifting meta of Wave 2 exploration, I'm confident to report that I've seen a lot of the lists I predicted seeing earlier.  The one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is just how rampant squadrons are in a lot of these lists and man, are they brutal to fight against.

Getting ready to turn the tide.

Author: HERO

Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 395/400
Commander: Admiral Ackbar

Assault Objective: Advanced Gunnery
Defense Objective: Fire Lanes
Navigation Objective: Superior Positions

[ flagship ] MC80 Command Cruiser (106 points)
-  Admiral Ackbar  ( 38  points)
-  Defiance  ( 5  points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  XI7 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)

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

1 Dash Rendar ( 24 points)
1 Luke Skywalker ( 20 points)
1 Tycho Celchu ( 16 points)
5 A-Wing Squadrons ( 55 points)

Like you guys saw in the previous article that I had featuring the Independence and B-Wings, I'm running a two ship variant here.  The BIG difference is that I'm running predominately fighters that can somewhat multi-role and hit enemy ships as well.  This is about 120 points of squadrons while my ships are tooled for anti-ship combat.  The Engine Techs back on the MC80 Command allows me to spam out Navigates while the Defiance Title and Leading Shots makes up for the lack of CF commands.  Both ships here are geared for control and anti-ship combat, but the lack of the Home One title for the MC80 means that the Assault Frigate has to rely more on the Intel Officer.  I'm not too concerned because I can easily make the swap back to Home One if I think need it.

The big elephant in the room here is my fighter selection.  A-Wings are always a sure bet when you're flying squadrons for the Rebels, and Dash, Luke and Tycho should be pretty self-explanatory because I'm looking for something that is versatile, has durability and can switch to anti-ship roles when they need to.  The objective here is to pose a threat to enemy squadrons that you can potentially encounter in the wild.  I'm talking about squadrons like: B-Wing hordes, Firespray hordes, YT-2400 hordes, A-Wing hordes, TIE Fighter hordes, Rebel or Imperial Aces, Rhymerballs, or the Mithel/Fel/Advanced/Chirpy combo.

Going by what I'm expecting to see out there, I think this list might have a shot.  Keep in mind though, that despite the squadrons I'm naming off, the rest of the fleet composition is just as important as the squadron make-up itself.  For example, I can easily see a heavy Firespray build but with two Motti ISD-IIs, or a heavy A-Wing list with Ackbar and triple Assault Frigates.  I'm just happy that the age of exploration is upon us and we're taking on new point of views every day.  Just look at how many times my list has changed since I first built it to what it is now.  Hell, if I fight one more squadron-heavy list, I might just think about converting.

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