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(Lengthy) Impressions from the Dutch 2016 Armada Nationals.

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(Lengthy) Impressions from the Dutch 2016 Armada Nationals.
 

Some details are a bit hazy – primarily the specifics of my opponents’ lists – due to having been fairly sleep-deprived on the day. I’ll try to edit in the lists as my opponents chime in or if the TO makes them public at some point.
 
Preparation and Fleet.
Next to none. Playing all three Star Wars miniature games – Imperial Assault being my primary – I don’t get to play Armada that often; and I realise that I had only played it once in the previous six months. It also meant that I had no experience playing with or against stuff from the four latest expansions, had yet to buy them, and only knew what I had read in the preview articles. In short, my expectations for the Nationals were non-existent: I was, however, very much looking forward to an entertaining and geeky day out – my first outing of any sort since becoming a dad six weeks prior to the tournament. In hindsight, the total lack of expectations of doing well might in fact have been the best recipe for doing exactly that.

 

I got in touch with the store hosting the event to be sure that they had the new ships and to reserve a couple of them for pickup on the morning of the event and then – late into the night before the tournament – I went about trying to make a meaningful list. I was obviously drawn to all the spectacular things that the Interdictor and the Gozanti could do (no, Rebels were never an option for me), but quickly came to the conclusion that, despite their lure, I had better stick to something I was at least a little bit familiar with, considering my recent hiatus.
 

That list was an ISDII + Demolisher + VSDI (Carrier) + 4 anti-squadron squadrons and dropping the VSDI allowed me to free up some points to play around with the new toys. Well some at least, because I found it surprisingly hard to settle on anything. Is it just me or is it harder to fit in anything from the most recent expansions, in that with all the previous waves we also simultaneously got more points to spend (**** you Fantasy Flight and your vile temptations!)?
 

Anyway, so I ended up adding a single Gozanti flotilla, to keep me at 3 activations and to play around with the Comms Net as a way to boost me up on tokens. I also added Admiral Titus, as a bit of an afterthought really, mainly because I felt silly just having ordered the Interdictor and not using a single thing from that expansion. Now I did so with Titus; a swooping 2 fleet points no less! An upgrade which seems to achieve little more than force the opportunity cost of a single token on the opponent in that first round (having to use a Navigate order to readjust their speed). I also relocated a Bosted Comms from my now scuttled Victory carrier to my ISD as well as adding an Intel Agent to it. A decision I considered fairly daft, as I frankly find it far too dangerous to bloat too many points into one ship and here I was with a 175 point fat basket of eggs. Finally, I added two squadrons, Rhymer and a TIE Advanced, to my list. It didn’t make for much of a Rhymerball, with him being the only bomber in it, but I do know that a couple of the local players refrain from using squadrons at all (one even admits, in jest, to outright loathe them) and it strangely seemed the right answer to add even more squadrons to my otherwise anti-squadron-focused squadrons to make them better able to pull their weight if I were to face a squadron-less enemy fleet.

That left me with a whooping 11 point initiative bid, more than I’ve ever bother with before, and a strange mishmash of a list made with a single compromise in mind: something I knew while fitting in something from each of the two new Imperial expansion packs.

Sorting and packing all the stuff needed took longer than expected and it got rather late, what with a baby also needing a bottle and diaper change and finding it harder to settle down than usual (the baby that is, not me), so suddenly I was off to my first Armada Nationals after only 2 hrs of sleep.
 
Points: 389/400

 [ flagship ] Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer (120 points)
-  Admiral Motti  ( 24  points)
-  Relentless  ( 3  points)
-  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
-  Boosted Comms  ( 4  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  X17 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
= 175 total ship cost

 

Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer (56 points)
-  Demolisher  ( 10  points)
-  Admiral Montferrat  ( 5  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Assault Concussion Missiles  ( 7  points)
= 90 total ship cost

 

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 points)
-  Admiral Titus  ( 2  points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)

 

= 27 total ship cost
1 Soontir Fel ( 18 points)
1 Dengar ( 20 points)
1 "Howlrunner" ( 16 points)
1 "Mauler" Mithel ( 15 points)
1 Major Rhymer ( 16 points)
1 TIE Advanced Squadron ( 12 points)

 

Location
The Nationals were held in the heart of the medieval town of Utrecht in the cellars of a six hundred years old monastery right on the river. Besides being scenic it was also fairly practical for a large event on a very warm day – mind you, it did get far too hot, but not as much as if it hadn’t been in a place like this, build for fairly constant temperature.

It was co-hosted together with the X-Nationals – alas making it impossible to play in both – by the local store Subcultures (a cosy store which should be on your itinerary if you, as a gamer, ever happen to visit this neck of the woods). We were around 80 players in total between the two games, with Armada being decked out on a single long table in the middle of the room and with the X-Wingers along the crypt-like walls in a large circle around the Armada. Visually it gave the amazing effect of the admirals fighting in one long protracted line of battle down the centre, while the lesser officers and aces fought less significant engagements along the fringes of the galaxy. Exactly as it should be. ;)

Friendly teasing aside, this tournament would likely not have happened if not for the sixty-something x-wingers making it viable for the store to also host Armada. I’m grateful to Subcultures for hosting something like the Armada Nationals, because with a mere 13 participants it is impossible for the stores to host without taking a financial loss; the unfortunate consequence of small countries with small player-bases and tournament kits made for 64+ players. It’s why we’re seeing no Imperial Assault Nationals in the Netherlands this year and few Regionals for either of the two games.

Anyways, 13 players, 3 rounds of Swiss, and a nice programme that wasn’t too condensed as they needed to keep going well into to evening with the X-Wing Nationals as it were, allowing for amble breaks in the sun (without downtime becoming too much, either).

Edited by Cremate

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First Match

 

[ flagship ] MC80 Battle Cruiser (103 points)
-  General Madine  ( 30  points)

Endeavor  ( 4  points)

-  Tactical Expert ( 6 points)

-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Medical Team  ( 1  points)
-  Quad Turbolaser Cannons  ( 10  points)
-  Spinal Armament  ( 9  points)
= 170 total ship cost

 

MC80 Battle Cruiser (103 points)
Mon Karren  ( 8  points)

-  Tactical Expert ( 6 points )
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Medical Team  ( 1  points)
-  Quad Turbolaser Cannons  ( 10  points)
-  Spinal Armament  ( 9  points)
= 144 total ship cost

 

1 Han Solo ( 26 points)
1 Dash Rendar ( 24 points)
1 X-Wing Squadron ( 13 points)
2 A-Wing Squadrons ( 22 points)

 

I won the initiative bid and opted for first player. My opponent had Advanced Gunnery amongst his objective cards and having reread the latest FAQ late last night, I realised that it ought to be my first choice as he would not be able to benefit from the second player boost (Gunnery Team restrictions override the Advanced Gunnery perk). It would have created the peculiar situation that not only would I be first player, I would also be the only one getting any benefit what-so-ever from the objective. I didn’t know my opponent or how difficult this game was going to be, but I did know that it was his first time to play at a tournament and I decided that I didn’t want the game to be defined, regardless of the outcome, by an overlooked FAQ entry and a one-sided first player + objective advantage. So Superior Positions it was instead, for the first time being the target of an objective I’ve enjoyed many times as second player.

 

I set up behind a couple of rocks in my right corner, somewhat conservatively, so that I would be able to react to wherever he might deploy next. He deployed in the far left corner, the two fleets as far from each other as they possible could. This worried me a bit. I would like as many rounds as possible engaged in combat, so that my squadrons and my Decimator could get around to do sufficient damage to the cruisers, just as I was worried that my Decimator might not be able to outflank the double-barrel shot gun of death from the cruisers during its approach at this distance. I had, luckily, placed a rock dead centre on the map and with our approach from diagonally opposite corners it would get in our way. This was less of an issue to me, with the ISD being the only core of my formation, with the flotillas preferring to hang back and support and with the Demolisher wanting to flank. It forced my opponent to make a choice, though, between bulldozing through the rock (taking the pain on one of his cruisers), swinging left or right around the rock with both, or to split up his formation – and his firepower – and let his cruisers each circumvent the rock on either side.

 

He opted for keeping them together, swinging around the rock on the far (my) side of the table. It meant that my ISD flagship (the ship formerly known as the big basket of eggs) had to stare down the barrel of the shotgun, but it also meant that my Decimator got the room it needed to approach and circumvent the enemy cruisers down the right flank (and having to dive right through the dogfight with all the squadrons engaged in the same area).

Having spent two entire rounds doing nothing but speeding toward each other, the battle exploded in the third round (and it would be done by the fifth). My squadrons are specialised in bringing down enemy squadrons and fairly quickly dispatched the Rebel starfighters and could soon turn to support the concentrated fire on the cruisers. Soontir did go down in a blaze of glory in an engagement with Han Solo that would have been an X-Wing tournament classic, primarily because the TIE Advanced was late to the fight (a consequence of the Superior Positions disadvantage and having had to fly through my own fighter screen in the first round to adapt to my opponent’s choice of deployment).

 

The start of the third round also saw the two cruisers and my ISD in range for the first time, in each others’ frontal arc at long range. Lots and lots of coloured dice itching to get rolled. With the advantage of being first player, having three activations, and my flagship being able to weather a significant amount of damage, I knew it had to activate last. Going with my Demolisher and my gozantis first, the battle cruisers were forced to (fire) and close the distance, before my ISD opened op in close quarters. The nearest cruiser, right in front of my ISD, had positioned itself so that I could only target its forward hull. It does have more shields than the sides, but with my X17+Intel Officer, I can do a fair amount of damage on whatever hull zone I am – willingly or not – forced to fire on. I knew I could not take out the battle cruiser in one go, despite my Demolisher already having hurt it from the flank. The ultimate goal, however, was to be able to take it down with my first activations in the following round. I was somewhat helped by the fact that we were now faced off and a collision was unavoidable (something that would become a theme in all my three matches, my ISD basket of eggs colliding head on with every single enemy flagship), adding one more damage card to the cruiser and my ISD receiving its first (as the cruisers had only scratched my shields when shooting from long range).

Round four saw my ISD going first, finishing off the battle cruiser immediately in front of it and allowing it to move into and through the space the cruiser had occupied and cruising past the second cruiser, escaping its deadly front arc. It was now nestled next to the remaining and happily took a broadside in exchange of having to survive its front-facing laser cannons for one more round. This evasive manoeuvre did force my ISD to block the approach of my Demolisher, though, causing a collision – making me wave goodbye to Montferrat on the Demolisher and giving it its only damage card throughout all three games of the day.

 

In the fifth round my squadrons, being done mopping up the enemies, turned to help on the remaining battle cruiser, and together with my Demolisher and some pre-existing damage on the cruiser from my ISD, managed to finish it off. Elsewhere my gozantis survived only with the skin on its steel hull teeth, as a Scatter saved it from an early space grave.

I had picked up a couple of objective tokens and with Soontir being my only casualty I was off to a very good start. Meanwhile having just had my first child 6 weeks earlier and my opponent expecting his first in a month, talk of the experience of becoming a dad was as enjoyable as that of Star Wars and rolling dice. Especially, as a Scandinavian expat in the Netherlands I continue to be somewhat flabbergasted at the difference between the two otherwise so remarkably similar countries, when it comes to paternity leave. It seems I have to ask about it each time to try to overcome my sense of disbelief. Nevertheless, I’m sure we will both greatly enjoy introducing our little stormies to Star Wars – and perhaps Armada – when that day comes and that my opponent’s kid may wreak vengeance on mine in a future tournament for the losses on this glorious day.

 

10-1

Edited by Cremate

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Second Match

 

Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer (56 points)
-  Demolisher  ( 10  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
= 79 total ship cost

 

Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer (56 points)
-  Insidious  ( 3  points)
-  Assault Concussion Missiles  ( 7  points)
= 66 total ship cost

 

Raider-I Class Corvette (44 points)
= 44 total ship cost

 

[ flagship ] Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer (120 points)
-  Admiral Screed  ( 26  points)
-  Avenger  ( 5  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)

-  XX-9 Turbolasers ( 5 points)
= 163 total ship cost

 

1 Darth Vader ( 21 points)
1 Bossk ( 23 points)

 

I had the pick and was first player yet again. I picked Dangerous Territory, partly because it seemed to be the one disadvantaging me the least and partly because I’m not sure if I have ever played it before.

 

A majority of the obstacles – and thus their associated objective tokens – were scattered relatively close together on the left side of the board, with two of them placed a bit further and a lot further to the right from the cluster, respectively; the furthest most being somewhat of a honey trap for my opponent.  I set up in a close formation on the left of my deployment zone, using my numerical advantage of squadrons (being my 2nd-4th placements) to make it less clear that I was intending to lump my ships close together in that corner. In the meantime my opponent had spread his ships out in a thinner line across the board (from my left to right: Raider, ISD, Demolisher, Insidious), poised to take as many objective tokens as possible, the furthest most resulting in one of his Gladiators, the Insidious, never really making it to the battle (which in my book was well worth the trade-off for the 15 VPs he scored off the objective it claimed).

 

I had made a bit of a mess for myself with my compact starting setup, as I had to think long and hard about the order of activation of my gozanti and my flagship, dictating the order to avoid an unwanted collision: a disadvantage I should have avoided.

 

The first round was, as it usually is, mainly a round of posturing and positioning. I had to plough through my own squadrons with my flagship, because of the setup, and since there were no engagements yet they had to spend the squadron phase to reform and setting up for the first strike in round two.

 

In round two my Demolisher struck first and all but demolished the enemy Raider, leaving it struggling at one hull and with most of its shields gone. Unfortunately it would be allowed to limp on for far too long (as I’ll return to). Having activated my Demolisher first then allowed my opponent to trigger one of his squadrons first, moving in Vader to lock down some of my squadrons. When I retaliated, though, Vader went down and I started on Bossk. I know that I should ideally have waited with taking on Bossk until I knew I could also finish him off in the same activation (because of his boost once he has taken damage), but I reckoned that I had enough squadrons that losing one to his counter-attack was insignificant and that it was more important to lock him down and take a loss, then allow for the risk of him getting to Rhymer, knowing that he would be crucial to make the rest of my squadrons worthwhile once there were no enemy squadrons left and they had to focus on enemy ships instead.

 

All considered, the most significant event this round, was me rolling my ISD onto a debris field. This was with full intent and I had even set up my ship and my trajectory so that I would overlap the debris field at an angle so that I could get off it quickly enough. The 15 VPs I scored from the objective token in the debris would become incredibly costly and much more so than the 2 shields I had calculated on; four if I were unlucky, a price I was willing to pay, feeling secure in the superiority of my flagship’s firepower compared to that of my opponent’s.
 
In round three my opponent’s Demolisher swooped in and took a pot-shot at my ISD (or it could have been at the end of round 2 – my memories are bit hazy). The damage itself was insignificant for my behemoth of a fully decked out Imperial Star Destroyer, but in slipped a critical with the Assault Proton Torpedoes: Damaged Controls: “When you overlap a ship or obstacle, deal a face down damage card to your ship (in addition to all other obstacle effects)”. This was probably the worst critical I could have had under the circumstances and if I am not mistaken the probability of me drawing that exact critical is less than 4 percent (there are two of them in a deck of 54 damage cards)! Remember my aforementioned behemoth? Said big basket of eggs now had a distinctively sour odour to it with an egg having gone decidedly rotten. And the worst was yet to come.

 

I was purposefully holding my ISD back, wanting to get a few other things done first, allowing my opponent to activate his first. In a round were we were certain to exchange heavy fire, and I had anticipated a Concentrate Fire or Repair, I was blindsided by him having a Navigate order on his dial. Increased speed and he was aptly able to block my path off my lovely debris field. My opponent may have been very lucky with this critical, but he was ingenious in immediately making the best of it. The eggs were spoiling by the minute. Here’s why: every single round that his ISD was alive and blocking my path, my ship would be taking no less than five(!) unavoidable damage during its movement. One damage card from overlapping his ISD, then another card from Damaged Controls, then two damage from the debris (which would hit my shields as long as I had any), and finally another damage card from Damaged Controls (this time from overlapping the obstacle). All the while he would only take one damage card from me overlapping him, while – effectively – taking none whenever he was moving into me as he was also overlapping the space station. My otherwise superior ISD was suddenly the inferior in this engagement and caught in an improvised trap born out of a random critical. I was in serious trouble.

 

My Demolisher turned in and started harrying the enemy ISD from the rear, while my squadrons finished up Bossk and turned to focus fire on the ISD as well. Even my gozanti flotilla pitched in.

 

Meanwhile the enemy Raider had frog leaped from one asteroid to the next (where my gozanti had originally been headed for the objective token), close on my left hand flank. I had plenty of opportunities to try to finish it off earlier and would have preferred to, but we were uncertain about the rules on how you measure if a shot is obstructed. We ruled in my opponent’s favour and it caused me to pick other targets, though I now know that we came to the wrong conclusion. It is something that is not entirely clear in the RRG or FAQ (more so as it works differently for squadrons), but it has since been clarified with a rules response from FFG (found elsewhere on this forum), that obstacles that are not visible (because they are underneath the ship) do not block line-of-sight. Either way, my ISD finally took the Raider out of its misery, hiding as it were amongst the asteroids, but with a shot I could otherwise have used to target the Demolisher on my flank (if I had been able to use some of my other firepower on the Raider in the previous round).

 

Crucially, though, my flagship had managed to survive to the end of the round with no shields and a single hull left (thanks to my electronic countermeasures). Its significance cannot be understated.

 

Round four obviously had to open with my flagship tearing into his for a final salvo. I was one damage short of killing him with my initial roll; no more, no less. I could have spent one of my blue dice for a reroll by the use of my Leading Shots and I might have been able to get one more damage, but I would also have risked rolling less and I preferred what I had over what I might or might not get on a reroll. Besides, my ISD would be dead regardless – if nothing else, then from his Demolisher now on my port side – so I took what I got and set speed for collision. A last hurrah as I took yet another five damage and he took one, assuring mutual destruction as both capital ships went down in flames.

 

Next his Gladiators – and my gozanti in between – went, resulting in my gozantis finally sinking, before my Demolisher struck into the dead space between the two enemy Gladiators, putting the hurt on his Demolisher aided by some additional fire on it from some of my squadrons (the rest of them getting in position for the following round).

 

In round five my Demolisher finished its double tap finishing off the enemy Demolisher and then shifted out of range of the remaining Insidious after also giving it a broadside. This caused the Insidious, being unable to take down my Demolisher and being faced with a number of squadrons under Rhymer’s guiding hand, to turn tail and flee the battle; I think the Insidious ever only got to attack once in the entire game and then only with its red dice at a distance.
Round six was so uneventful that we didn’t even play it out. Our respective Gladiators were facing in exact opposite directions and outside the range of each other’s dice and none of the squadrons could keep up with the Insidious (and even if they could they would not have been able to do more than scratch off a few more shields, with a full hull still underneath).

 

It was a hairy match that despite everything – and a majority of objective tokens on my opponent’s hands – ended up in a small victory for me. My squadrons and fully kitted Demolisher were more expensive than his single remaining Insidious. An Insidious, which I was delighted to see stay out of most of the combat; it really ought to be renamed as the Intimidated after this battle. :)

6-5

Edited by Cremate

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Third Match
This was the first match against a familiar player, as we had played once or twice before. The tournament standings at this time had him in the lead with 18 pts, me at 16, and another two players in hot pursuit at 15 points. They were playing at the table next to us, not that I was ever able to wrest myself from our own nail bitter to have a look at theirs. Going into this match I knew that I needed more than a simple victory; I needed to win with a margin of at least three points against my opponent to get in the lead and that I might need an even larger margin to also keep a distance to either of the two players next to us.
 

I may have built my core squadrons as an efficient squadron-killing unit, but my opponent in this third and final match had me worried, as he had gone all in on an incredibly buffed Rebel starfighter outfit and I feared that this might be a bigger bite than I could chew through with my fighters. Let me see if I can somehow recall what he was fielding.
 

[ flagship ] MC80 Command Cruiser (106 points)
-  General Dodonna  ( 20  points)
-  Flight Commander  ( 3  points)
-  Fighter Coordination Team  ( 3  points)
-  Expanded Hangar Bay  ( 7  points)

-  Electronic Countermeasures ( 5 points)
= 144 total ship cost

 

Nebulon-B Escort Frigate (57 points)
-  Yavaris  ( 5  points)
-  Flight Commander  ( 3  points)
-  Fighter Coordination Team  ( 3  points)
= 68 total ship cost

 

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Bright Hope  ( 2  points)
-  Toryn Farr  ( 7  points)
-  Bomber Command Center  ( 8  points)
= 35 total ship cost

 

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Leia Organa  ( 3  points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 23 total ship cost

 

1 Luke Skywalker ( 20 points)
1 Wedge Antilles ( 19 points)
1 Jan Ors ( 19 points)
5 B-Wing Squadrons ( 70 points)

 
First Player again, this time in a Contested Outpost; Another objective I’m actually not sure I’ve played before. All of the obstacles got dropped fairly close in the left-hand part of the map, with my opponent aptly placing the station to make it less accessible to me.

 

I deployed on the leftmost side of my deployment zone, with my ISD furthest to the left, my gozanti next and my Demolisher to the right. All of them fairly close, though not as close as in my setup in the previous match, and with all of them facing toward the contested outpost from different angles. At the same time my opponent had deployed directly across from me. He was a little bit further away from the leftmost edge, but all his ships were facing down the side of the map, with their port side towards me and their starboards toward his own edge. They were also in a fairly close formation, so he had limited mobility. It didn’t matter too much that he was telegraphing his first moves so strongly, as it would be no surprise that he – like me – would want to get on top of that outpost. It did mean, though, that placing my ISD I had cranked the speed up to an unusual 3 to get in there and in front of his formation as fast as possible – as well as that I knew I would have plenty of room to navigate in my flanking Demolisher. With the caveat that while I could easily account for his firing arcs as he had limited mobility with his ship formation, I was quite concerned about his fleet of bombers posing a real danger to my Demolisher.

 

I’ve mentioned earlier that I only included Admiral Titus so that I had at least included something from the Interdictor expansion I had just bought on the morning of the tournament, but that I otherwise didn’t think much of his effect except maybe to rob my opponent of a single command. I wonder, though, if it actually did do more than that in this game, as I cranked the speed of his Nebulon up to three, which would cause some problems later on.

 

In the first round my ISD and Demolisher breezed forward at full speed, while my gozanti edged forward one at a time – just enough to stay in range of the others to pass on a token. Meanwhile my opponent got in a bit of a fix as he couldn’t avoid his Nebulon crashing into the aft of his cruiser. It was likely a problem caused by his formation being a bit offset and the fact that he was at speed three making it impossible to break all the way down to speed one; something that would have prevented the collision. One damage on the cruiser and nebulon each and no complaints from me. Bright Hope turned in on the inside of the cruiser, while the other GR-75 continued down the rear side of his map, happy to support its fellows from the rear.

 

My priority for round two was to initiate the unavoidable squadron bloodbath early and decisively. My ISD acted first, pooling a Squadron command + a token for five activations. I left my Rhymer out of the battle for now, awaiting further orders from the safety of a debris field on my side of the map, while the other five sprung into action. My priority was to take out Wedge, because I was activating first thus giving his strong counter-offensive a nasty boost, and Jan Ors, because she was the linchpin in my opponent’s list allowing his bombers to reign free if she got to make my engaged starfighters heavy. Both of them went down in my initial onslaught and Mauler Mithel got to spread a fair amount of splash damage as well. I could not have hoped for a better opening of what I expected to become a deciding squadron battle. Mind you, he still had 5 B-Wings and a Luke armed to the teeth with extra attacks and rerolls from his fleet bonuses, as well as some serious anti-fighter armament on his ships. This fight had only begun and I was far from sure that I would be able to prevail. Once the squadron assault was done my ISD jump into the action and blasted forward, still at speed 3, to get right in the way of the enemy’s command cruiser. Collisions, yet again, became a thing, but this time the tables had turned and by blocking the path of the cruiser, I had caused a ripple effect through the opponent’s fleet as his Nebulon could not avoid also colliding into the rear of the cruiser a second time, damaging them both. Is this Armada or a demolition derby? A bit of both it would seem.

 

There was a fair amount of starfighter action as the Rebels retaliated – and I retaliated to the retaliation with my Howlrunner/Dengar-buffed counters. Also, Bright Hope had at one point gone headlong into the squadron skirmish, which on one hand allowed some of my squadrons to seek shelter on the far side of the transport flotilla, reducing the amount of anti-fighter barrage from the cruiser and the nebulon, but on the other hand broke up some of my engagements, allowing for Luke and a couple of the B-Wings to take those nasty Yavaris-fueled double taps (with rerolls) on my flagship stripping its front of shields and getting a few damage cards through. Elsewhere my Demolisher was fishing for accuracy against the Bright Hope, to lock down that annoying scatter defence token and take its strong buffs off the table, but without managing to punch through.

 

My squadrons looked worse for wear going into round three, so I had to get them going early yet again (and had a third squadron command in place for doing just that), activating my ISD first. My squadrons didn’t get to do quite enough work, but I followed them up with a double blue anti-fighter barrage from my ISD’s starboard armament which caught all but one remaining enemy squadrons, drastically reducing their numbers (including Luke). I still didn’t manage to chew through the command cruiser in front of me, so we collided for a second time. The cruiser, however, had moved since I had first blocked it in the previous round, which meant that in this round it got to fire at me with its massive port cannons as well as those in the fore. Luckily, though, my ISD managed to scrape through this round, taking some additional hits from the Nebulon (though obstructed by the cruiser) and a stray unengaged B-Wing on my port side.

 

Elsewhere, my demolisher moved in for another attempt on Bright Hope, but I believe that I missed again – or maybe this was time that I actually took it out. At some point my gozanti had also bit the laser (bullet), though not without having helped thin the ranks of the enemy B-Wings.
 

My severely limping ISD also took the lead in round four, finishing off the command cruiser before surrendering to its own damages, presumably from a last shot from the Nebulon; A Nebulon that was then immediately finished off by my Demolisher. Beside some struggling squadrons, the only two ships remaining were my Demolisher in hot pursuit of Princess Leia’s transport fleet. They had kept to my opponent’s side of the map, approaching the far left corner, from where it had supported the other ships with tokens. In one fell swoop my Demolisher swept in to attack the GR-75 in round five and followed up by finishing it off by ramming it with my Engine Techs.

We had each held the majority on the contested outpost for two rounds, giving us each two objective tokens, yet having my Demolisher surviving together with a majority of my squadrons it made for a significant victory. Was it enough to also claim the trophy from either of the two players breathing down my neck one point behind me? I was, to the best of my knowledge, the only undefeated player on the day, but it is all about those numbers.
8-3
 
 

 

It was a very close call – a photo finish in the words of the TO – as two us were both at 24 tournament pts, neck to neck with the player I had faced off against in the second game; a game I had only barely won. We were separated by a mere 46 points of Margin of Victory, my 631 to his 585, making me a rather surprised Danish winner of the first Dutch Armada Nationals.
 

I may not have expected much when I headed there, but I am very proud to have been able to win against these talented players, each with their unique lists and take on the game. The scene may be small, both compared to other Nationals (particularly those across the pond) as well as to the much larger X-Wing player base, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable day in great company and it was equally lovely to see familiar faces as well as a lot of players I’ve never met before. A heartfelt thank you to all my fellow players as well as to the store and TO for hosting it.

Edited by Cremate

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Very nice write up. Looks like an awesome game store. Congrats on the win. More importantly,congrats on Fatherhood! I have found that when playtime with the little ones competes with Armada time, the consolation prize is playtime with Legos.

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Thank you for taking the time to write up a great report of your tourney, and congratulations! A very interesting mix of old and new that day.

Maybe I should try my next tournament on two hours of sleep? :D Luckily my kids are past that point...

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Nice write up and congrats but I'm a little confused why your opponent on the 3rd game messed up so much with his Yavaris crashing into his cruiser. Why set your ship to speed 2 to begin with if it would crash into the cruiser? I'm assuming you moved it up from 2 to 3 and he then did a navigate command to lower to speed 2 but still crashed? Seems like a huge mistake.

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