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About thecactusman17

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  • Birthday 06/04/1984

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  1. Gotta try getting my feet back in the water here. I think as far as upgrades go, you're asking questions in the wrong order. Unlike in X-Wing, where the standard play format is "blast each other to smithereens and tally up who blew up the bigger list total by the game end" Armada is a game about defined objectives. Playing Armada without objectives can be fun, but it will rarely lead to a satisfying outcome because so many of the ships are meant to win objectives instead of a straight up knock-out fight. So the first question is: "What sort of objectives do I want to run? If my opponent picks or provides objectives where I'm at a disadvantage, what do I want my ships and squadrons to do?" This is the most crucial question, because it's going to define what your ships need to DO. Once you know what they need to do, you can start to determine which ships, squadrons and upgrades help you achieve that goal. For example, a good rule for carriers like the Quasar is: "Focus on things that make squadron activations better." This will typically limit you to a small set of cost-effective upgrades that do only that. You will also save points because you aren't investing in unnecessary upgrades. On the other hand, sometimes you want a really decked out super ship. I used to run an Imperial Star Destroyer-2 to kill enemy large ships. It had every slot except the Offensive Retrofit filled in and when I played it right, it would delete multiple expensive enemy ships off the board by itself while the other player was trying to chase down objective points. Don't forget to also consider squadrons a form of ship upgrade, because they usually rely on ships to get their most efficient usage. You won't get much use from a squadron that can't be commanded by your larger ships.
  2. From what I can tell, nearly all the ships and squadrons from the original West End Games RPG and by extension Heir to the Empire have been recanonized, as have many ships, squadrons and characters that appeared in the X-Wing series. The material least likely to reappear is the Yuuzong Vong era stuff. And while I realize some players really appreciate the Vong era, I think that just about everything past where the Skywalker kids are old enough to have personalities is just too far beyond the GCW to recanonize from Legends. The E-wing seems to be the only major exception.
  3. Alot o the GCW diehards and myself grew up with the EU books and comics where a number of ships and squadrons were introduced. In this context there are possibly dozens of ships that could be added to the GCW era outside the films and TV shows. Some of them, like the Quasar and Director Isaard, were. A lot of people's favorite ships, squadrons and characters haven't been touched on yet. The problem with many of is that they never had official designs. That's right, Hondo's flying saucer fleet is more canonical than some classic EU ships. As a die hard original trilogy and EU supporter, I personally would rather get official designs. But those books really inspired myself and other star wars nerds. I don't blame guys like Norsehound for wondering where the other cool GCW ships went.
  4. This is why I want Clone Wars in the game. For all the great storytelling of the expanded universe, the PT and Clone Wars TV show ships and fleets engaging in direct, prolonged combat in a way the original trilogy never managed. And yes, we have a few recent updates tot he GCW from the Rebels and Resistance TV shows, but the actual factual truth is that The Clone Wars and the PT showed us more fleet scale combat in several individual episodes than was shows in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi COMBINED. There is just so much more to do with the Clone Wars ships. New ship designs, experimental weapons, clouds of squadrons, iconic characters. The Prequel Trilogy films aren't well made, but you can tell that immense effort was put into making the vehicles look as iconic as any Imperial Star Destroyer or Mon Cal Cruiser or X-Wing or TIE Fighter. I love the Dr Aphra comic book, but I simply don't care about seeing her or 0-0-0 on the table as much as I'd love to see Mace Windu, Asajj Ventriss, Rex Fives, or Cody.
  5. I'll be the first to acknowledge that I can definitely stand to improve when it comes to playing my own squadrons. But I think that the idea that squadron mechanics don't lead to slower play is simply ignoring realities of the mechanics and competent play. You can certainly play through them faster with skill just as with ships, but you're still obligated to a number of specific mechanical interactions that make squadrons very finicky and unusually complex on a per-unit basis. I think the biggest problem with squadrons is that squadrons in Armada are, when you get down to it, just miniature capital ships. They have a slightly altered hull zone configuration and a less restrictive movement tool, but a player has to go through all the same steps of activating a ship for each one. You have to choose when in the sequence they are going to activate, possibly several turns ahead. You have harsh action restrictions based on command dials, tokens, and upgrades for both the squadron and the other units around it. Despite a relatively forgiving engagement window, ships and squadrons are forced into a play environment that requires extreme precision in most cases to optimally attack or defend. And just like last-first activation advantage on ships, squadrons are at their most valuable when they can overwhelm an attacking force without options to be seriously threatened in return but quickly lose value in any other scenario. And this certainly does lead to many players micromanaging their squadrons especially when in the vicinity of hostile squadrons. It makes squadron defensive play a slogging mess as anything other than perfect precision results in the immediate loss of the squadron or the other units they're defending. There are currently a few particular areas that I think are well intended but cause headaches from a time investment perspective: 1: Distance 1 engagement. This makes every single squadron in the game have at least one aura effect, and aura effects are typically the most complexifying elements in a miniatures game. When multiple units try to create an offensive or defensive scenario using aura effects, precision spacing becomes mandatory to be effective. And this means that even a minor change in the scenario, such as one ship missing the target location, can cause the entire formation to immediately fail in its purpose. This is in addition to other aura buffs and debuffs such as Swarm, Escort, Intel, and special rules like Jan's defense tokens or Dengar's Counter boost or Jendon's remote fire. Every additional aura adds an extra layer of mandated precision to the order of activation and spacing of affected squadrons on both sides of the engagement. And this requires more time be spent on each subsequent squadron maneuver by both players to ensure they are all achieving maximum benefit. 2: The strange squadron LOS rules create far too many corner cases where LOS between squadrons and other unit types such as ships and obstacles isn't immediately clear, even though it should be patently obvious. This creates scenarios where players need to place squadrons with extreme precision to hit the broad side of a Star Destroyer on it's most vulnerable hull where another ship could eyeball the same necessary position with relative ease. 3: With squadrons getting to attack before OR after movement by default, this requires that squadrons maintain a perfect defensive posture at all times both while attacking and defending. requiring yet more precision measurement for squadrons before, during and after any squadron engagements. Ships only have to worry about this issue from the Demolisher Gladiator, squadrons pose this threat to each other at all times. So those are just three scenarios where precision measurement and positioning is required far more consistently than with ships, and this combines to make most squadrons take as much or more care for positioning, activation order, target engagement, and defense during activation as ships.
  6. It cannot be overstated how much faster and more engaging playing with voice chat enabled in Discord or Skype makes the game.
  7. Wow, this takes me back (and that GSD paintjob is killer @Drasnighta) I wonder what people would agree is the best ship today? I'd probably guess at some variant of the Imperial Star Destroyer for Imperials, and the MC75 for Rebels.
  8. For builds that worked where I thought they wouldn't, the Devastator upgrade for the ISD2. For individual ships, I was shocked at how capable the Raider 2 became after the release of Heavy Ion Emplacements.
  9. Loving the sound of pirate furball in particular, but sadly I probably won't be making this one.
  10. So he needs to have yellow dot to yellow dot without crossing an enemy hull zone line to have an attack. However, the enemy hull zone ALSO has to be in the arc of fire of the attacking ship. This can be any part of the target hull zone, from the full thing to the barest sliver. If the dot-to-dot line crosses over an obstacle or another ship it is obstructed.
  11. The game goes for long periods without significant change or improvement for the problem areas it does have. Its hard to stay significantly invested when you don't know if your favorite non-optimal ships or squadrons will be left behind until the game dies. I know plenty of VSD lovers who feel essentially abandoned because few things have been done to fix their significant problems, for example. Also, generic squadrons are entirely useless in the current meta unless they're fuel for an effect like Ruthless Strategists.
  12. @MandalorianMoose wins with 29 points and a Quasar + Interdictor + Rhymer build.
  13. I have to imagine Indianapolis wil have relatively low attendance as a result of the storm. Southern California is on lunch ahead of the 3rd and final round. @MandalorianMoose looking strong with two 10-1 murders including an impressive reversing of what probably should have been a table by myself. Last week it was VSD + Dominator, this week it might be Interdictor + Rhymer. Somebody stop the ride, I'm getting dizzy.
  14. I think my only concern is that Commander cards would be most positively impacted by a X-Wing style app cost system. The ability to change commander costs on the fly would fix SO MANY problems with the game. One of the core problems is that most commanders were released very early in the game to rapidly expand potential playstyles. Many of them were finalized without the hard data that only 4 years of competition gaming can provide. And that's why commanders like Tarkin, Mon Mothma, Screed, Leia, Madine and Tagge are rarely seen while Thrawn, Rieekan, Raddus, Sloane etc are staples.
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