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Snipafist

Adepticon Armada tournament report

33 posts in this topic

So as I mentioned in the other Adepticon thread(...well, there's a lot of them now I guess, many of them April Fool's joke threads), I won the Adepticon Armada tournament (26 tournament points, second and third were 24), much to my own surprise. My intention was to play some fun games, ideally end in the top 25%, but feel happy so long as I got top 50% and didn't play against any jerks. Primary objective: get alt art stuff and push my plastic spaceships around while making pew pew noises, haha.

 

Background: It was a 27-person tournament. The event was 33 slots, all of which were filled (to keep the event limited to 3 rounds you need 32 active players (+1 bye) or less, and it started at noon so a 4-round event would've been torture), but some people did not show. Hence, 27.

 

Anyways, here's what I brought:

Faction: Galactic Empire
Points: 383/400 points

Commander: Admiral Screed


Assault Objective: Precision Strike
Defense Objective: Hyperspace Assault
Navigation Objective: Superior Positions

[ flagship ] Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer (56 points)
-  Admiral Screed  ( 26  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)

Gladiator I-Class StarDestroyer (56 points)
-  Demolisher  ( 10  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)

Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer (56 points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)

Raider-I Class Corvette (44 points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)

Raider-I Class Corvette (44 points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)

4 TIE Fighter Squadrons ( 32 points)

 

Basic list theory:

I've been experimenting with all-small Imperial lists since wave two came out. I shelved them after about two months in, but then clontroper5 did well in the Vassal tournament, reignited my interest, and I utilized some of the theory behind his list to refine/strengthen mine until it reached the stage you see it in above. It's similar, but different in utilization in a few ways. It does very well locally (I think it's currently going on something like... 7-1, or so?) so I was pretty confident in running it. Basically if you want to black ships well you want first player and last activation. This isn't all about the Demolisher - the follow-up Gladiators get in some haymakers as well, but Demolisher is usually a solid ship in the early game and late game for wrapping things up. The list usually gets some questions, like:

 

Why a 17 point bid?

I was concerned about running into clontroper5 netlists and wanted to have a leg up on them. I considered putting Insidious on the flagship Gladiator (for a 14 point bid, 1 point better bid than clontroper5's list) but I rarely get much use from Insidious and really wanted to go first, so I kept it at 17.

 

Why Assault Proton Torpedoes

They helped me keep the bid high (as opposed to ACMs/Expanded Launchers) and they make Precision Strike an easy choice from enemy objectives. A lot of bomber-heavy players bring Precision Strike and I enjoy having the easy out, as their other objectives will usually be Superior Positions (a big ol' nope) and Fire Lanes/Contested Outpost (similarly nope).

 

Assault Proton Torpedoes also have a lot of synergy with the Engine Techs on Gladiators. Against Ackbar fleets and the like I'm regularly double-arcing + ramming Assault Frigates to death. I expected to see a lot of Ackbar (more on that later) at the tournament and in general I'm seeing less large ships lately than I did when wave 2 dropped.

 

I originally had Assault Proton Torpedoes on the Raiders as well but found the points less well-spent there, as Raiders double-arc much less frequently than Gladiators and I wanted those points to go towards a bigger bid.

 

Why 4 TIEs?

For a few reasons:

  1. I wanted an additional deployment to delay tipping my hand with the Gladiators during setup. A lot of fleets nowadays can't hit 7 deployments like I can and waiting to deploy the Gladiators pays off handsomely.
  2. 4 TIEs is far better than 2. They're not premier anti-squadron attackers but they're able to survive to get some Swarm attacks in and pin down squadrons for the Raiders to pound on, should that be necessary.
  3. I can activate all 4 with two Gladiators on turn 2, provided they both bank Navigate tokens the turn before so they can still pull off Engine Techs shenanigans on the (usually) crucial turn. It's rare I have to do this, but it's occasionally necessary.

Aren't Raiders just empty activations?

No. Emphatically no. Perhaps even rudely no. Raiders are awesome. They're the most difficult Imperial ship to learn how to use well but once you've figured them out they're great. I like to think of it this way: both Gladiators and Raiders are lowlifes with handguns and switchblades. Gladiators are the beefy thugs who break into your house to steal your stuff at gunpoint. Raiders are the sneaky thugs who wait in dark alleys for people foolish enough to be in the wrong part of town space at the wrong time.

 

Plus Raiders provide some serious flak in combination with the TIEs, which can make squadron-heavier fleets more manageable. The goal there isn't to destroy all the enemy squadrons, as that's unrealistic. The goal is to destroy enough of them to limit the damage they can do, while inconveniencing the surviving squadrons by flying away from them as fast as you realistically can while still threatening enemy ships.

 

How do you actually use black dice ships in general? I've never seen this kind of fleet used before.

In my opinion, learning how to use black dice ships and squadrons well are two of Armada's more difficult skills to master, but both give hearty payouts once you finally get there. Don't give up! I wrote a Boardgamegeek post in the Armada section about this very subject to give new players the tips they need.

 

ROUND ONE, FIGHT!... or don't, you know, whatever

Bye, womp. Hey, I guess I'll take a freebie 8-2 win, sure. I was just... you know, kind of hoping to play some Armada today. I used this time to cruise the convention hall, watch a few other games just to see what everyone was bringing (fleet builds fascinate me, and games themselves are always enjoyable to watch), and provide rules/red laser line support as necessary (quick side note: the Broken Egg Games laser pen is the most amazing laser line tool on the market and should be back in stock in about 1-2 weeks if the BEG guy I spoke to has his timing right).

 

I still have mixed feelings about winning with a bye. It's good to be the king winner, of course, but there are a lot of could've-would've-might've questions that go running through one's head when you win with a bye. Would I have still won the first round? If so, would the margin of victory resulted in a different point spread? Less? More (haha, one can always hope)? I can't say.

 

ROUND TWO vs. Dan

Dan brought a fleet somewhat similar to mine with a 7 point bid. As I recall, he had:

 

Gladiator-I

+Screed

+Expanded Launchers

+Ordnance Experts

 

Gladiator-I

+Demolisher

+Montferrat

+Expanded Launchers

+Ordnance Experts

 

Raider-I

+Expanded Launchers

+Ordnance Experts

 

Raider-I

+Expanded Launchers

+Ordnance Experts

 

4 Firesprays

 

He had... I believe it was Opening Salvo, Superior Positions, and Fleet Ambush. I chose Fleet Ambush because... I don't have a nice way of saying this, I'm sorry... if you include Fleet Ambush as an objective I am 99% sure you are doing it wrong. Fleets like mine will use it against you. Carrier fleets will use it to bomb you on the first turn. It's terrible. You have to be 110% sure nobody will be able to bring it to you worse than you can bring it to them with that objective and that kind of certainty is nearly impossible. The point of objectives is to give you a leg up as second player because going first is great so you need some element of going second to be great for you. An objective that can be an active detriment is you just making a disadvantageous position worse for yourself. /rant, sorry, I have strong opinions on Fleet Ambush

 

Anyways, the basics in some semblance of game order:

  • Obstacles were mostly set up in the middle of the table. He began with the station in the middle, I concentrated asteroids and one debris field towards his end. I wanted to make his early game maneuvering less easy.
  • Our fleets both deployed in the central 50% of the table. My "ambushed" (let's be honest, ambushing) ships were my two Raiders (which were deployed for 1 and 3) and my Demolisher, which was deployed at deployment 5. All of them were touching the 5-line and at speed 2. I deployed my Demolisher to be within reach of his.
  • All my ships were speed 2. All of this were set to maximum speed (so 3 on Gladiators, 4 on Raiders).
  • His fleet jetted forward on turn 1. I slowed down my Fleet Ambush Raiders to speed 1 to stay out of black dice range for one more turn on anything but his Demolisher. I moved forward a Raider as bait to be within Demolisher range. He activated his Demolisher and took the bait, doing a sizeable 8 damage to the Raider, which was braced down to 4. So 2 to the front hull and no shields left there. My Demolisher then activated and made its primary goal destroying its evil clone - I threw 1 red dice at him for neglible effect and then moved in to open up with a 3 black dice broadside and the Comm Noise crit. I chose to lower his speed to 2 to turn off Montferrat. At the end of turn 1, my TIEs moved to engage the Firesprays, which destroyed 2 of the TIEs.
  • Turn 2 I started off with my Demolisher destroying his Demolisher with some room to spare. Dan... went on tilt from this point on but the game was mostly sealed by that point as I was able to out-activate him strongly throughout the rest of the game until I tabled him turn 5. I always prioritize destroying enemy Demolishers with my fleet because my ships live by not getting attacked at serious range, and Demolisher can get around that.
  • Other events of note:
    • The Raider that took a hit from Demolisher was spectacularly destroyed in turn 2 by a Raider that jetted up to him later in turn 1.
    • My surviving Raider-I did a grand total of 12+ damage to Firesprays throughout the course of the game, killing 2 of them (with the help of the 2 temporarily-surviving TIE Fighters).
    • The 2 surviving Firesprays destroyed my generic Gladiator (neither Demolisher nor Screed's cadillac) after it took a broadside from his flagship.
  • Game takeaways:
    • Dan made a few mistakes that cost him. He was in a rough spot from the beginning due to relying on similar tricks to my fleet but with less activations and a lower bid. I out-activated him consistently, which frustrated him (sorry, Dan, if you're reading this, please know my intention is never to give my opponents a bad game).
    • Setting your fleet to maximum speed from the get-go makes your moves very easy to predict, which can cause problems when your opponent out-activates you.
    • Fleet Ambush is bad! (sorry, I came back to Fleet Ambush)
    • I'm not sure Expanded Launchers is an ideal upgrade at such high speeds. I was able to avoid front arcs for most of the game. I believe they came into play... twice, I believe. I was getting consistent use from APTs, though.
    • I continue to love TIEs + Raiders for pulling a lot more weight than you think they should for dealing with squadrons.

ROUND THREE vs Lee

Lee and I found ourselves across from one another at table #1 (no pressure!) and he brought a HEAVY Imperial fleet which was...

 

Imperial-I Star Destroyer

+Grand Moff Tarkin

+Heavy Turbolaser Turrets

+Relentless

+Gunnery Team

 

Imperial-I Star Destroyer

+Gunnery Team

 

Imperial-I Star Destroyer

+Gunnery Team

 

No squadrons(!)

 

I went first and he had... Dangerous Territory, Most Wanted, and Contested Outpost (I might be wrong about Contested Outpost). I chose Most Wanted.

 

In some rough semblance of order, more bullet points about the game!

  • Terrain setup was very similar to my game vs. Dan. Lee put the station in the middle, I cluttered up the central back part of the board (so the area nearest the center of his deployment zone) with rocks and garbage. I didn't want the ISDs to be able to march down the middle of the table, I wanted them to commit to a side so I could use my deployment advantage to avoid taking them on head-on by deploying on the other size of the board and using my superior maneuverability to sweep around Garbageland and get to the ISD rears/sides late game.
  • Deployment basically went according to plan. I waited him out with a centrally-deployed Raider with 4 TIEs around it. Lee deployed an intimidating line of 3 ISDs on the left (his right), with Tarkin in the rightmost ISD. I deployed everything but the Demolisher on the right side of the central garbage pile, with the Demolisher on the far left, pointed to sweep out on the empty left flank to go after the furthest-left ISD.
  • Lee was delighted with the "saucy" Demolisher deployment. Lee, you're a good guy, you know that? I enjoyed our game.
  • Lee chose the Demolisher as the Most Wanted Ship (good choice) and the leftmost ISD (...probably not a good choice, as it turned out).
  • Turn 1, Lee's ISDs advanced in a solid line of "seriously don't go here in the front you will EXPLODE." I took note, as someone who is not fond of exploding. Demolisher cautiously advanced 2, just outside of long range. The remainder of the fleet began to navigate around Garbageland. The TIE Fighters began an awesome party on the space station.
  • Turn 2 was basically more of the same. The rightmost ISDs began to turn a little towards Garbageland, anticipating new friends in the future. The leftmost ISD cautiously advanced towards Demolisher. The remainder of the fleet continued to get around Garbageland, with most of them (barring the generic Gladiator) poking their noses out, ready to get into attack positions on turn 3 for attacks on turn 4.
  • Demolisher's turn 2 activation was to zoom in on the lefthand side of the board on the Most Wanted ISD's right arc. I lobbed in some dice, took out some shields, got a meaningless crit.
  • Turn 3 was the big turn. Demolisher activated first and Concentrated Fire. Due to Most Wanted this was a salvo of 2 red + 3 black dice first, which got a Comms Noise crit (I love you, Comms Noise) which allowed me to reduce the ISD to speed 0. The ISD had taken about 4 hull damage by this point. It was followed up by an EPIC attack of 6 black dice (4 broadside + 1 Most Wanted + 1 Concentrate Fire), which due to Screed and rerolls became 5 hit+crits for 10 total damage plus an APT crit with no defense token spending allowed. Guh. I don't think I've ever done that much damage before with anything. Suffice it to say the poor ISD exploded.
  • The remainder of the game saw a few other events:
    • Garbageland detachment made a run on the flagship ISD but couldn't quite seal the deal. Had a bad reroll on one Gladiator that resulted in only 2 damage from a broadside with no crits. Demolisher had a chance to go for a Hail Mary on the flagship on turn 5, but a possible plus lots of points didn't seem worth risking Demolisher getting popped for a possible minus lots of points (from the other ISD).
    • Raiders existed solely for activations this time around. It's rare that happens, but I did not want them in front arcs of ISDs at all and Gladiators are for making attack runs. There were no squadrons to attack either.
    • 4 TIEs should have booked it, but I tried to get some damage through on the flagship. Over the course of... I believe it was at least 6 total attacks, the TIEs got a single damage in. We joked that the space station had been full of pillows, and the TIE pilots were simply delivering them to the ISD. Tarkin did not find this funny and promptly blew up all 4 TIE squadrons, as Lee generally didn't have more than one decent anti-ship shot per turn, always at medium or long range.
    • My fleet booked it after the attack run, so the game ended 227 (Most Wanted ISD) to 32 (TIEs).
  • Game takeaways
    • I should've just run away with those TIE Fighters. Not a big deal, but they were trying.
    • I'm not sure what Lee could've done to save the Most Wanted ISD. Even had I not destroyed it with Demolisher due to some craziness (even without the Comms Noise, it was in a bad spot), Demolisher would've had it next turn anyways.
    • Lee probably should've slowed down and fanned out the ISDs to cover his approach better. If he wanted to make Demolisher sweat, he could've staggered an ISD behind the Most Wanted ISD to piece trade.
    • No squadrons is tough, even if it's only for deployment delaying purposes. I gained A LOT from delaying my deployment with those TIEs.

So anyways, that's it so far as my games are concerned. I have a few thoughts on what I saw at the tournament, but I'll save those for post #2.

 

Edit: included a link to the BGG article I mentioned.

Edited by Snipafist

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Okay, so on to stuff I saw at the tournament. Keep in mind this is all just kind of train of thought, so it won't be as well organized as the first post...

 

Rebel commanders

Of the 13 Rebel players, 7 were running Ackbar. I saw one full-on Ackbar conga-line snoozefest (4 Assault Frigates, no squadrons), one Assault Frigate + CR90s w/TRCs fleet, and a few others of varying composition. Probably the coolest Ackbar feat I witnessed was a player with an Assault MC80 + Defiance + XI7s + Leading Shots Concentrating Fire to throw a mighty 6 red + 2 blue + 2 black with a Leading Shots reroll at some poor guy (who inevitably got his brace locked down), just obliterating an ISD.

 

Otherwise, I'm not entirely sure what other commanders got brought. My buddy John brought a Rieekan fleet and I heard of another Rieekan player as well. The judge told us there were 0 Garm fleets at all, so the remaining commanders were spread fairly thin.

 

Imperial commanders

I saw a lot of Motti (ISDs, VSDs) and Screed (fleets with more Gladiators). A little Tarkin. I don't recall seeing any Ozzel or Vader.

 

Rebel ships

  • Assault Frigates: I saw lots and lots of these, usually set up Ackbar snoozefest style with XI7s, ECMs, Gunnery Teams, sometimes Intel Officers. Usually combined with MC80s and/or CR90s.
  • CR90s: A fair smattering, usually with Ackbar. Always with TRCs because yes. Edit: I have since been corrected that there was at least one CR90B sighting. Usually combined with MC80s and/or Assault Frigates.
  • Nebulon-Bs. Only two(Edit: Three!), both run by my buddy John (Salvation and Yavaris). I feel like Nebulon-Bs are severely underrated, but I appear to be in the minority amongst my fellow tournament attendees ;) In this case, always combined with an MC80 (thanks, John, you're a sample size!). Edit: I have since been corrected that there was one more player running a Nebulon-B Escort Frigate (Yavaris). My bad!
  • MC30s. There were a total of 4 brought to the entire tournament, so not many. I didn't get a close look at setup, though.
  • MC80s. Fairly common. I'd say about a third of Rebel fleets had one. Maybe a bit more. Only one, though, never more in any given fleet. Usually combined with Assault Frigates and/or CR90s. I believe all three titles got play.

Imperial ships

  • Gladiators: Pretty common. Usually combined with Raiders and/or ISDs. I don't think I saw any fleets with Gladiators and Victories. There was at least one fleet with 1+ Gladiators but no Demolisher, which surprised me. Wasn't able to see if anyone was running Gladiator-IIs, but they're infrequently seen in my regular meta.
  • Imperial-class Star Destroyers: Very common. I'd be willing to state at least 2/3 of Imperial fleets included at least one. Several fleets had 2, and one (Lee) had 3. Combined with literally every other Imperial ship. Usually ISD-IIs, but some ISD-Is.
  • Raiders: Uncommon. I saw them here and there, but only in about a third of the fleets that showed up. They were marginally more popular than Victory-class Star Destroyers, though. I believe all the Raiders were Raider-Is but I can't make any promises there.
  • Victories: Somewhat rare. I saw them in about 1/4 of Imperial fleets. Usually alongside Imperials and/or Raiders.

Squadrons

All over the place. I'd say about 20% of the fleets included literally no squadrons at all. Some included lots of squadrons (easily 100+ points of them). Apparently the average number brought was 5, but there was a huge amount of variance.

 

Bids

Surprisingly low. My 17 point bid was far and away overkill compared to most of the fleet builds I saw. 7 point bids were otherwise fairly strong against most other fleets.

 

...that's about all that's coming to mind just thinking about it. If anyone had any specific questions, though, I can answer those to the best of my ability and memory.

Edited by Snipafist

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Congratulations on the win!  Was looking forward to seeing this write-up since you mentioned it in the other thread.

 

Some... sub-optimal objective choices from your opponents there.  Definitely a bit of help to you in taking the win.

 

Round 3 game, Doing the math in your head might have reminded you that no dead TIEs = 227 MOV, but since you were going for a 2nd ISD, 32 points had to be the least of your concern.  344 give you the option of sacrificing a Raider (or GSD) and staying at 9-1.  Not sure what the point spread was below top table, so I have no clue what you needed to guarantee 1st place without help from the lower tables.

Edited by BiggsIRL
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Congratulations on the win!  Was looking forward to seeing this write-up since you mentioned it in the other thread.

Thanks!

 

Some... sub-optimal objective choices from your opponents there.  Definitely a bit of help to you in taking the win.

Agreed. The fleet excels at going first and it needs a seriously bad objective suite to push back against it. My buddy John has a Rieekan fleet that gives me trouble and the objectives there are all solid "eff yous" to my fleet (Superior Positions, Fire Lanes, Advanced Gunnery on an MC80 or Salvation, depending).

 

Round 3 game, Doing the math in your head might have reminded you that no dead TIEs = 227 MOV, but since you were going for a 2nd ISD, 32 points had to be the least of your concern.  344 give you the option of sacrificing a Raider (or GSD) and staying at 9-1.  Not sure what the point spread was below top table, so I have no clue what you needed to guarantee 1st place without help from the lower tables.

Yeah I was aware that if I was at table 1 and pulling in enough points already I wanted to play it conservatively, but I wanted to take that 2nd ISD if possible (particularly the flagship, which was worth around 170 points). I kind of agonized a bit over whether to send the Demolisher on a high-risk high-reward adventure and decided to keep calm and content myself with what I had. I think it was the right decision in the end, given I won with 2 more points than the second and third place winners, but I had no way to know that for certain at the time.

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Good write up.  I like that you point out that Demo wasn't the be all and end all...only shooting at one ship the last game but people are scared of it. 

 

Yah the bye system is wonky.  Especially first round bye since that usually jumps you to the top of the pack whereas if you take it later rounds it mostly just gets you back in the game. 

 

I run a very similar list usually with no ties and more upgrades on the GSDs.  But more bid.  (381).  I'm probably adding two ties to my next version.  Just to hold up some of the clouds of squadrons.  Feed them in 1 at a time (unless intel is a factor). 

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Most Wanted is a pretty odd choice for a three ISD fleet IMO. Better off leaving a gunnery team off of one and taking adv gunnery as the red. Great report snipa, congraulations on the win.

I agree that it seemed somewhat non-ideal to me, too. I would've also gone for Advanced Gunnery there. I'm not a big believer in Gunnery Teams on ISD-Is in the first place, so it would've been an easy inclusion had things been reversed (I am, however, a believer in Advanced Gunnery on ISD-Is as a double-tap, especially from the front arc, gets to be extremely punishing).

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Only 4 MC30s and a 17 point bid was plenty? Yeah, that is surprising. The MC30 is my favorite Rebel ship, and it seems that bids are wanting to be closer to 20 these days if you really want to go first. 

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Very nice and detailed write up, only pictures would have made it better ;). I really think 4-5 activations is really really powerful in the current meta. In my area people are still only using 2 maybe 3 activations. I haven't had to get too crazy with my opening bid yet luckily.

 

What were the prizes? 

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Wow, that second post surprised me. A lot. Only 4 mc30's in the tournament? Wtf.

Yeah, the sameness of a lot of the Rebel basic fleet builds was surprising to me (obviously specifics will vary, but the basics were pretty consistent). Only 4 MC30s across 13 players (and I have to assume that means likely 2 people bringing 2, but I can't say), 0 Garm Bel Iblis commanders, only 2 Nebulon-Bs (both used by the same guy).

 

For the record, I think both MC30s and Nebulon-Bs can get serious work done (and I've seen it on numerous occasions) but they're trickier to use compared to the other Rebel ships.

 

Only 4 MC30s and a 17 point bid was plenty? Yeah, that is surprising. The MC30 is my favorite Rebel ship, and it seems that bids are wanting to be closer to 20 these days if you really want to go first. 

Around here, a 17 point bid is considered so big it's kind of funny. 6-10 is a lot more common. Clontroper5 was able to pick first throughout the entire Vassal tournament due to having a 13 point bid. It's entirely possible your local meta may be a bit exaggerated when it comes to bidding compared to most metas.

 

Very nice and detailed write up, only pictures would have made it better ;). I really think 4-5 activations is really really powerful in the current meta. In my area people are still only using 2 maybe 3 activations. I haven't had to get too crazy with my opening bid yet luckily.

 

What were the prizes? 

Thanks!

 

Re: 4-5 activation fleets

I think the current 4-5 activation builds are internet-popular because Imperials need an answer to all the Ackbar that's out there. Simply flying into the kill zone with a beefy but unwieldy ship like an ISD or VSD will usually end poorly for the Imperial player, so he needs to simply not ever meaningfully be in the kill zone. Hence small ships, hence bids for first, as those small ships have black dice. I personally find it very enjoyable to play, regardless of the meta, so good for me I suppose. I didn't see any other Imperial players than Dan (the guy I played round 2) trying something like it, though. It requires a lot of practice, understanding of enemy ships, activation order, and expected movement trajectories to use well and is very unforgiving of mistakes; it's not something more casual players would do well with (sorry, that sounds elitist and that's not the intent).

 

I don't really want to get started on a tangent about Ackbar, but I suspect if Ackbar became less competitive (due to a nerf/errata or wave 3 changes), you'd see less need for the bid war small Imperial ships lists. They're primarily a reaction to a meta situation, basically.

 

Re: bid wars

There comes a point where it's self-defeating, I think. I also think solid objective choice and a 400 (or close) fleet can do well against the bid wars fleets, who are busy bringing less and less points in a contest to outdo one another. It seems like a lot of players don't give their objectives enough consideration and a bid-for-first fleet will do its best to blast through your weakest objective in situations like that. They all need to be iron-clad. My buddy's Rieekan fleet can put up a good fight against me, as I mentioned earlier. Fire Lanes in particular is a Satanic objective and I see people falling into that trap sometimes.

 

Re: prize support

Lots of stuff, actually. As I recall, everybody got the alt-art Nebulon B Escort and ISD-II, top 50% got the alt-art Assault Frigate MkIIA, top 25% got the acrylic tokens, top 2 got Mon Mothmas, and top 1 got the ridiculous(ly awesome) Dio-cover-esque Adepticon medal with the servo-skull.

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Nice work, man!  That looks like a really fun fleet to fly.

 

For me I only take Most Wanted if I have a CR90 that doesn't have a commander riding shotgun.  That mission is just too easy to light the big, nasty ships up.  I don't think I ever lost as second player with that one.

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Nice work, man!  That looks like a really fun fleet to fly.

Thanks! It is a lot of fun to pilot. My local meta knows it as the "ballerinas with shotguns" list because I've laughingly described it that way: it's basically a leotard-clad dance group with sawed-off shotguns :lol:. It can get tense, though, and as I said earlier you will suffer for mistakes so be careful. I'll also warn you that when the list is on it is ON and it can be discouraging for opponents as you appear to just be effortlessly picking them to pieces and denying them meaningful chances to reciprocate. It's definitely something I'll be retiring from our casual play night now that it's tournament-ready as less-experienced players get particularly discouraged against it.

 

For me I only take Most Wanted if I have a CR90 that doesn't have a commander riding shotgun.  That mission is just too easy to light the big, nasty ships up.  I don't think I ever lost as second player with that one.

I agree. Most Wanted seems ideal with a fleet that has either a ship that is extremely durable (defensive retrofit, usually ECMs + perhaps some other means of staying alive) or a ship that is expendable (in terms of either "this is going to die but whatever it's not a lot of points" or "I can sail this around as safely as possible all game and not feel cheated"). It is best used against single beefy ships that don't have extra durability because all those little attacks add up. In round 3 I saw it as an option and immediately went for it because I double-arc with Gladiators all the time (thanks, Engine Techs!) and getting an extra black dice on two separate attacks with rerollable black dice and a black crit upgrade is obscene, especially against a target that's worth double points once it's destroyed.

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I have seen a switch in my area to Rieeken with rebels but both guys that ran it at my last tournament only had 2 activations (2 MC80's, other 1 MC80, and AF with 6 named squadrons). I think the next tournament I will start to see a Rieeken list with 3-5 activations and it will be a lot more of a challenge.

 

My play style is more ships and less squadrons so the high activation lists suit me well. I ran a 2 Glad 3 RDR list the tournament before with a 386 bid and went 10-0, 10-0, and 9-1. I've spend a lot of time practicing it like you said as if you do it wrong it falls apart. In the last tournament I mixed it up a little but still 4 activations with an ISD1, Demo, 2 RDR going 10-0, 6-4, 10-0 to win that one as well. I can attest to how effective the 4 ties are in buying time. Really saves  a round or 2 of bombers hitting your ships which is usually all you need. 

 

Nice prizes!

Edited by BMcDonald7
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I have seen a switch in my area to Rieeken with rebels but both guys that ran it at my last tournament only had 2 activations (2 MC80's, other 1 MC80, and AF with 6 named squadrons). I think the next tournament I will start to see a Rieeken list with 3-5 activations and it will be a lot more of a challenge.

Rieekan is a lot stronger than he at first appears and he's a strong counter to Screed fleets as they usually rely on destroying enemy ships before they can attack back and Rieekan shuts that assumption right down. I'm surprised I don't see more of him both locally and on a larger scale. I would say I think you need at least 3 activations with Rieekan, and even then it should be a 3 activations + squadrons fleet if you're going only 3. Less than that and you run into normal problems as well as the fact that Rieekan's ability comes in handy less and less often.

 

My friend's fleet did moderately well (he placed right around the middle) and he was running:

 

399 points

Objectives: Superior Positions, Fire Lanes, Advanced Gunnery

 

MC80 Command

+Rieekan

+Leading Shots

+Boosted Comms

+Adar Tallon

 

Nebulon-B Escort

+Yavaris

+Raymus Antilles

 

Nebulon-B Support

+Salvation

+Turbolaser Reroute Circuits

 

Luke Skywalker

Wedge Antilles

Jan Ors

Nym

2 Scurgg Bombers

 

It's a mean little piece of work. Between Grit and Intel, those Scurggs are extremely slippery and are usually bombing every turn. Wedge and Luke can go into zombie Escort mode to tie up enemy squadrons if necessary as well. One of its favorite tricks is the MC80-commanded Nym + Adar Tallon + Yavaris for a triple Nym attack every turn until you can shut it down. Rieekan also benefits all the ships as well, but seems to particularly help Yavaris (as it can get one last super-squadron activation in from the dangerzone) and the Salvation (as it will double-use the TRCs in a front+side arc attack on its way out). Because of how Nebulon-Bs are configured, they're often heading towards the enemy, so zombie Nebulons love to do all their shenanigans and then go out ramming enemy ships and causing big logjams/obscured shots.

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Wow, that second post surprised me. A lot. Only 4 mc30's in the tournament? Wtf.

 

Snipafist's numbers may be off as he was incorrect on at least two parts I can see. 

 

1) There was at least one Neb B he did not count as I was running one in my list ( A Reeikan 2 assault frigate, 1 neb escort (yavaris), Jan Ors, Luke, Wedge, and 3 Scurrgs)

 

2) There was at least one CR90 B as I played against one in the 3rd round

Edited by marinegrunt01
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It sounds like the meta in this tourney was actually a little behind where we've gone with Vassal, which surprises me. I would have expected to at least see some higher bids (although you were already ahead of the curve on that). I don't want to exaggerate the Vassal meta, but I feel like we're a step ahead. That's good news for Vassal regulars going to real life tournaments. It sounds like most of the tourney was simply not prepared for a Clonisher style build. That is especially true of the triple ISD list you faced. It feel like that's the type of list the Clonisher excels against.

It would have been interesting if you had played your buddy that brought Rieekan and squadrons. That's a much more problematic match up for you. Either way, congrats on the win!

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Wow, that second post surprised me. A lot. Only 4 mc30's in the tournament? Wtf.

 

Snipafist's numbers may be off as he was incorrect on at least two parts I can see. 

 

1) There was at least one Neb B he did not count as I was running one in my list ( A Reeikan 2 assault frigate, 1 neb escort (yavaris), Jan Ors, Luke, Wedge, and 3 Scurrgs)

 

2) There was at least one CR90 B as I played against one in the 3rd round

 

My bad about the Nebulon-B, I was going from memory and I didn't remember seeing any other Nebulons. Some of the other data is straight from the friendly judge, Ian (7 Ackbars, 0 Garms, 4 MC30s.). Good job bringing a Nebulon-B/Yavaris, and it sounds like you were the other Rieekan player! How did you do? I'm surprised to hear about the CR90B (I guess I'd say pleasantly) as all the ones I saw seemed to be Turbolaser Reroute-equipped, but my memory isn't flawless I'm afraid ;). Thanks for the corrections!

 

It sounds like the meta in this tourney was actually a little behind where we've gone with Vassal, which surprises me. I would have expected to at least see some higher bids (although you were already ahead of the curve on that). I don't want to exaggerate the Vassal meta, but I feel like we're a step ahead. That's good news for Vassal regulars going to real life tournaments.

Yeah, I was expecting to see fleets that were a bit more cutting edge, but a lot of the fleets I saw reminded me of early wave 2 games I'd played. The takeaway I had from that was it seemed like a lot of the participants were more casual players (getting in games every now and then but not consistently, more of an occasional hobby than a habit), which fits what I see on the forums and in real life as well. Nothing wrong with that, mind you. Everybody was excited to play Armada and there was an air of camaraderie, which I'll take any day over irritable veterans grumping at each other(...like some other minis games I've since stopped playing).

 

It sounds like most of the tourney was simply not prepared for a Clonisher style build.

I feel that while the basic elements of what makes Clontroper5's fleet work (going first, 5 activations) are retained, the specifics are different. I'd say Clontroper5's fleet would've fared better against the triple ISD fleet (due to the Expanded Launchers + Intel Officers making their lives sad). Mine seems to fare better against medium to light ships (lots of double-arcing Gladiators with APTs + Engine Techs ramming if necessary, no Intel Officers). It seems meta-dependent as to what would be preferable. My own preference is for more Gladiators to spread the double-arcing nonsense out a bit (at the expense of not running a super-decked-out Demolisher like Clontroper5 does) but nobody can deny that Clontroper5 knows what he's doing, so please don't take the statement as "mine's better," moreso "it's got a few more differences than you may at first think." I can happily report they both seem to make Ackbar fleets miserable, though ;) .

 

And yeah, I agree that it seemed like there wasn't a lot of consideration for a Clonisher-style build. From my limited perspective it seems like the kind of thing that's internet-popular (as in we discuss it a lot online) but not a lot of people run in real life, so most people didn't seem to be considering it.

 

That is especially true of the triple ISD list you faced. It feel like that's the type of list the Clonisher excels against.

I agree that small activation count no squadron fleets tend to fare particularly poorly against 5-activation small-ship Imperial lists. The low-activation no-squadron fleets are very easy to out-activate and out-maneuver and there aren't any squadrons around to keep you honest. Knowing that my preferred attack run will send me into a bomber cloud definitely makes me reconsider my plans.

 

It would have been interesting if you had played your buddy that brought Rieekan and squadrons. That's a much more problematic match up for you.

John and I have been sparring pretty regularly as we practiced up for the Adepticon tournament. Earlier on I was still regularly beating him but the more experience he got against my fleet the better he's done, winning the last sparring match we had pretty decisively. I'm not quite sure how I would have expected a game between us to go. I'd give it roughly 50/50 odds. His fleet is a rough matchup (slippery two-dice bombers, Rieekan, multi-activated Nym, TRC Salvation is a nightmare at medium or short range) and his objective suite makes me cry, which is what you want against a bid war fleet.

 

Either way, congrats on the win!

Thanks!

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As to Clonisher builds not showing up in real life, I've seen several players [who do very successfully at local events] occasionally ask around about borrowing parts so that they might be able to give it a shot. It's not entirely unlikely that people just don't have 4 raiders and multiples of Intel Officer/Expanded Launcher/APTs lying around, and thus can't really run some of the more spooky portions of the list effectively. I've seen similar sentiments re: Ackbar builds [of which I have seen literally zero in my local meta], with the sentiment being "so I need to buy 3-4 nebulons and a handful of extra AFIIs to make this snorefest work? Nah, I'm good with my bomber swarm thanks".

 

I can definitely see why Vassal might be ahead, taking these sorts of physical limitations into account. There's plenty of list ideas that I think about before realizing "oh, I'll need to drop $100 just to see if I even like that in a competitive environment.. maybe not".

 

Also, grats on the win and thanks for the report! Looks like a lot of fun stuff, and I always love hearing about activation advantage with the flotilla patch soon to be rolled out.

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As to Clonisher builds not showing up in real life, I've seen several players [who do very successfully at local events] occasionally ask around about borrowing parts so that they might be able to give it a shot. It's not entirely unlikely that people just don't have 4 raiders and multiples of Intel Officer/Expanded Launcher/APTs lying around, and thus can't really run some of the more spooky portions of the list effectively. I've seen similar sentiments re: Ackbar builds [of which I have seen literally zero in my local meta], with the sentiment being "so I need to buy 3-4 nebulons and a handful of extra AFIIs to make this snorefest work? Nah, I'm good with my bomber swarm thanks".

 

I can definitely see why Vassal might be ahead, taking these sorts of physical limitations into account. There's plenty of list ideas that I think about before realizing "oh, I'll need to drop $100 just to see if I even like that in a competitive environment.. maybe not".

Yeah I can definitely see where you're coming from on that one. For a Clonisher fleet you'd need to buy:

4 Raiders

3 Gladiators (or pick up the Expanded Launchers on eBay)

3 VSDs/Nebulons (or pick up the Intel Officers on eBay)

+1 Ordnance Expert from somewhere (MC30 or another Raider or eBay)

 

Which gets a bit expensive. My build isn't much cheaper (no Intel Officers, but otherwise needs 3 Gladiators, 2 Raiders, and a source for +3 APTs and +3 Ordnance Experts). It also takes a lot of practice to get the hang of, so the barrier to entry is a bit high.

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It's definitely do-able with the amount of borrowing that happens in my local scene, but then you're going to an event hoping that so-and-so isn't using their Intel Officers today, or that they're even going to show up!

 

Funnily enough, almost every fleet that I see looks like thought and effort has been put in to preparing for Clonisher/Ackbar lists, but the boogeymen never actually appear. Makes for a weird meta.

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John and I have been sparring pretty regularly as we practiced up for the Adepticon tournament. Earlier on I was still regularly beating him but the more experience he got against my fleet the better he's done, winning the last sparring match we had pretty decisively. I'm not quite sure how I would have expected a game between us to go. I'd give it roughly 50/50 odds. His fleet is a rough matchup (slippery two-dice bombers, Rieekan, multi-activated Nym, TRC Salvation is a nightmare at medium or short range) and his objective suite makes me cry, which is what you want against a bid war fleet.

 

That's roughly been my path with Rieekan. I got crushed early on, but I've started to really settle in. He's a very different commander. Like Ackbar, he's a bit newbie friendly. He lets you make some mistakes without having to paying for them too badly, which Ackbar just makes lining up shots very easy. They both, however, don't seem to do as well with experienced Armada players on the whole. Unlike Ackbar, however, Rieekan seems to have a graduate level, but to get there you have to almost completely reprogram your brain.

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