Monday, August 1, 2016

Armada: How has your list changed?

Can never seem to find enough air support these days!

In the last couple of weeks, I have been tweaking, re-tweaking and bashing my head against the wall for what kind of list I'm going to play in the new meta.  If you guys saw my last post on Wave 4 archetypes, you can see that there is a lot of variation in the meta now.  The key to understanding how your list will fare in such a meta is to look locally, and bring the safest option.

Now, the biggest question I have to ask myself immediately is this:  How many squadrons is enough these days?  Even back in Wave 2, there were tons of lists out there that scared the crap out of my 4x YT-2400s.  While the YTs were very good in my kind of list, they were literally the first and last line of defense I had against the more squadron-heavy lists out there.  Once the YTs died, my ships would literally crash and burn and there was nothing I could do about it.  A lot of this was completely dependent on a few things:  Whether or not Rhymer was dead, or I've done enough damage to their bomber core that cut their damage significantly enough that they can no longer win the damage race.  You see, when some goes big in squadrons, they really have to go super big.  When you're fighting with 4x YTs vs. a full 134-point fleet of squadrons, your job is to buy enough time for the rest of your fleet to annihilate the other fleet.  The entire reason I brought YTs last time is their Rogue ability, their 6 HP each and their 4 blue dice that can't really be ignored.  This forced squadrons to engage and annihilate them first, which gave me the breathing room necessary to seek out and destroy the opposing enemy fleet.

Make no mistake, this is one of those meta defining cards.

With the introduction of flotillas in the metagame, this has become a little more difficult.  When you have more cheap ship activators, you can telegraph enemy movement a lot better.  Cheap transports can also act as a life raft for your admiral, so putting your commander on a flotilla, CR90 or Raider is not completely out of the question.  Big ship lists have always run into difficult matchups when fighting something like Rebel Carriers or Rhymerballs.  Unfortunately, with the introduction of Bomber Command Center, I no longer believe that it is possible to out-pace carrier fleets in terms of damage with just minimal aircover.  While 4 YTs is not really what I would consider minimal, the question I've been asking myself in the last couple of days is just how enough is enough before the entire meta turns into one big bomber-filled holiday.  With BCC in the meta, I think big ship lists as we know it has to adapt drastically, or die in a fire.

So, when we take the time to examine our tournament winning list here and expand upon it, we need to analyze a couple of things:
  • Game ships like to go first unless you're swinging crap ton of bombers.  Since we're not, we have to rely on the alpha from our big ships, and our smaller interceptors to stagger our opponent.  Therefore, we need to be able to outbid a lot of lists out there.
  • How many squadrons is enough?  What kind of squadrons should they be?  They need to be able to alpha the opponent while providing enough durability to stay in the fight.  You are going to be fighting maxed out squadrons after all.
  • Your list should still be able to put out massive amounts of damage.  If you're not, that means you're not fulfilling the big ship archetype that you want to play in the first place.
  • Home One looks less desirable because you don't have the ships to take full advantage of it.

With that said, if I dropped the TRC90 completely, I can fit in Toryn Farr and another YT-2400 bringing up the total number to 5.  Do you think 5 YTs and a 384 bid be enough to fight the incoming hordes of bombers we're sure to see?  What if we brought in A-Wings instead, something like 7 of them?  All good questions that will be answered in time I'm sure.  For now, what do you think?  Trust me, nothing is off the table.  I'm just not ready to play Rieekan Carriers for the rest of Wave 4.

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