Reporting the final game for the 2019 Vassal World Cup.
First things first, Biggs, many thanks for calling this latest installment of your much appreciated tournament into life and for guiding it through those many weeks! One is not doing that just casually along the other things life throws at you. Special thanks also for Hondo. Armada, with this committment, both local and global, is in a much better place for it.
Also thx for the analyses from the guest commentators, really funny and creative. Especially Ginkapo from a European and pod perspective. A 100% predicition success rate? (btw, thx to both stream commentators, yesterday).
Personally, many thx to RapidReload and his immense analytical abilities, and local club players for watching on Vassal (FROTFC).
(lol, at this point this looks eeringly like an Oscar speech, but gotta thank people where thanks are due).
Finally, Aresius, we know each other personally and for such a long time, you showed why you are on top of this game from the start, being such a threat to any player who plays you, anywhere. Your consistency is phenomenal, and yesterday was the third ultra close game we had in a couple weeks. Excellent game, ober 4 hours of intensive space chess....black anti—ship dice just didnt love you...
I was first player and took Aresius‘ advanced gunnery, going to his Lib and my CN flotilla. You just cant do, otherwise, and giving Aresius first player is very very doubtful, even if he claims that his fleet is so much better as 2nd.
As in the pod game (but not in the Regional), Aresius used his deplyoment advantage to target Raddus (what did he ever do to you???) right from the start, with Bail set to turn 4, this time. I was suspecting that and set everyones favorite maritime life form (sentient!) to move into a corner that I protected with a couple obstacles, hoping the Lib would have to cross them and then be stuck in the bottom left corner, not being able to bring the front to bear.
As always, though, my local CR90 was in range of the Lib from rd 2 on (Aresius lounges forward, I go just 2, from way back, but still in range...its a bit of a problem, you dont want the CR to have such a low speed, compromise for speed 2 and pay the fast price, while the CN flotilla nonchalantly sails through space on the other side of the board (I will get back to her and her so–called captain).
So, Raddus safe, for now, CR in red AG range (3 reds, 2 times each), to drop or not to drop for round 2? I dont really gain from it, I reckon that I have time and can fly the CR into the side arc (only 2 reds) because the Lib not necessarily wants to move so early.
So, why not slice the Leia CN GR and her surely plotted squad command with QS as first ship? I fail closely, rueing that I didnt use QS in rd 1 for fear of being too far out. Aresius tells me that it wouldnt have made a difference for that round, anyway, since he knew of my bad intentions and took precautions. I cant help suspecting that he is right....
So the CR flies to the Libs side arc, dodges the shots, the Lib moves in position to target Raddus who will not be able to get out of the front arc, next round. 4 reds x 2 and the blues as well, he‘ll be dead, Jim (however, he is a doctor, not a fortune teller, after all, as we will see). So I need to drop my Lib, called Lola. Time to dance. She goes right behind Aresius Lib, ready to follow her, bearing in mind rd 4 Bail, and having a double arc on Rieekan flag HH, trailing Aresius Lib on the left side of the board, but coming down quicker than I thought. My CR in the middle of the squads isnt looking terribly well, but I can keep hold of my redirect courtesy of some squad misses.
Raddus manages to manouver out of the Libs blue zone of certain death back into potentially survivable red-only territory as 1st activation and then receives the AG shots. A very bad first one, that gets C&S‘d into an ok one, and then another bad one that lets the Raddus live. Aresius could not have rammed him to death as 3 hp remained, but flies next to him, down to the corner, and has to spend a valuable shot next turn if he wants to finish frying the fish. Now do I shoot a double arc from long range on Rieekan, or a front to start killing the Lib?? I never went for the Lib, before, maybe that wasnt terribly clever, and the double brace is discouraging, but on the other hand I dont shoot the front, and wouldnt have to, later. Survival of Raddus is impossible, the CRs fate is doubtful, I need the points from AG. A good shot to the Lib creates damage (cant ready defense tokens crit), the other goes to the Ahsoka GR and indeed damages that one...but ultimately, I couldnt ram that one to death, and neither Leias GR, a testament to Aresius‘ navigational skills and his not making mistakes in activation order.
The game takes long already, sorry for all who got bored, and I really started to feel it. So did Aresius. What to activate, what to do with each vessel, there were always so many possibilities, and then Aresius had to consider his squads as well (coordinationg commands, Leia, Ahsoka and relay...an immense flexibility that everyone should consider when rebelling).
Rd 4 was the Bail turn, Lib had to shoot first and shot the fish. It was 2 reds, one blue. Double red, double red, dead in water, belly finally up. Next shot to Lola, 2 reds and a blue, double red double red, 5 damage. At this point the Lib was only speed 1, I knew she couldnt go away as fast as she usually does after doing her deliberately unethical thing to me. She manages the turn, though, speed 2 and ET, coming close to my base line. Fearing that the Rieekan Hh would block me from going behind her, Lola immediately followed, another damaging shot, leaving the Lib to 4 health and one red brace token for rd 5. Invitation to the HH, though, to get a good hard look at my rear.
Meanwhile, I sacrificed Tycho, being convinced that I needed to bind three squads that Ahsoka would otherwise activate vs my damaged CR. Aresius told me later that it was explicitly Tycho’s loss that would have made the difference for me losing the game, had the other things gone his way. Armada, you have to love it....
So rd 5, I made such a stupid and potentially crucial mistake that I totally attribute to mental attrition, plotting a totally useless squad command with my objective GR while being in front of a surely slug–infested space rock. Cool analysis would have shown that I cant do anything with the command (what, a normal A wing vs a GR??) and that I wont be able to clear the rock. Sure enough I draw structural, presenting my one hp AG flotilla to the approaching, blood smelling HH. I am absolutely sure he would never have gotten those 38 points had I not made this mistake. Well, Aresius doesnt make those. Sure enough the HH later rammed the GR to death.
The enemy Lib, though, goes down in rd 5 but gets zombified, 2 more painful shots to endure. One enemy HH is also on her way to help killing Lola (but thankfully just is out of ram range...1 red hit from long in rd 6 I can absorb), and Rieekan is hounding me as well (Rieekan, though, must have been rather upset with my slicer, who never let him navigate, cf or repair, eventually being killed by Lola and flying off the board). Then the unlucky part, Aresius does the math, knows he has to kill my CR, sends everything he has, using all his list is giving him, but just fails to hit as many black anti–ship a wing dice as he needs. I had the redirect, but it would overheat...the dice were good to me, as simple as that. At that point Aresius conceded and we tried if the zombified Rieekan HH would at least be able to revenge kill Lola, but that failed as well, even if those dice werent too bad. She would have hang on with one final hull point, but even a kill wouldnt win Aresius the game. The CR also had one HP left...thats Armada for you, I like to think that our last three games were all virtual ties, every time luck had a part to play, but also that the eventual winners had to do a majority of things righ, otherwise not coming close for final luck to decide.
7 thrilling and close games, each and every opponent was a pleasure to game with. You need skill AND luck to win, I definitly had luck and good support.
Finally, thx Biggs again, I hope your tournament has a long future.