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Jamie P

Welsh Regional - Rebels

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Hey all,


 


People seemed to enjoy my last report on the Midlands Regional, so I decided I'd write another one for the Cardiff Regional... with pictures!


 


So for this one, four of us travelled down from Manchester, myself & Bryce with rebels, and Kev & Steve with Imperials. I've been to Firestorm Games' South Wales Gaming Centre before, but for anyone that hasn't, it's easily one of the best gaming centres in existence. Well worth checking out if you get the chance, particularly for events. 45 Players turned up for the Regional so we were in for a full day of gaming!


 


I ran an updated version of my list from the Midlands Regional after some Wave 5 upgrades. I still love my MC80, and now it's even better!


 


Station Assault


Fighter Ambush


Superior Positions


 


MC80 Assault Cruiser


General Dodonna


Flight Commander


Fighter Coordination Team


Electronic Countermeasures


Reinforced Blast Doors


 


Nebulon-B Escort Frigate


Yavaris


Flight Commander


Fighter Coordination Team


 


GR-75 Transports


Leia Organa


Bomber Command


 


GR-75 Transports


Ahsoka Tand


Comms Net


 


Biggs Darklighter


2x X-Wings


Jan Ors


Dutch Vander


Norra Wexley


Gold Squadron


Scurrg H6 Bomber


 


396 Points


 


So the crux of the list is still the MC80, it's my tank that shields the rest of the list and thanks to Reinforced Blast Doors it's now even harder to take down. I had to switch up to the Assault Cruiser version to get the second defensive retrofit slot for the Blast Doors which means it only has squadron 3 now. On the other hand, it's shooting is better at long range and two blue anti squadron dice is great for supporting my squadrons at medium range. I dropped Raymus and boosted comms in favour of copying the flight Commander & fighter Coordination Team combo from Yavaris.


 


I need to mention Ahsoka Tand specifically. Holy hell did this card earn its place over the event. When you can count any command token on the table as any other token that you might want, for the purposes of planning, it allows for a staggering increase in tactical flexibility. Combined with a comms net, I had all the tokens I could need in almost every situation.


 


Finally Wedge disappeared from the list. I realised during the last Regional that I wasn't getting the most out of Wedge. My aim is mainly to abuse how good bombers currently are and my escorts only need to buy me time. Enter Biggs Darklighter. In combination with braces from Jan Ors, my 3 X-Wings can take far more punishment than they have any right to do so and they buy my bombers precious time to do their work. The extra time they buy also lets my two ships with double blue anti squadron dice spend consecutive turns raking through enemy squadrons.


 


Lastly, while a 4 point bid is hardly enough to guarantee first, the Midlands Regional showed me that most people are content to accept first or second and go for a full 400 or close to it. So a 4 point bid should be enough to at least give me the choice against anyone who hasn't built specifically to go first.


 


GAME ONE - Calum Ross - Fleet Ambush


 


So, I made a fairly massive error that turned out to work massively in my favour. We had equally pointed list and I won the roll off. I chose what I thought I read as 'fighter ambush' but it was actually fleet ambush. I was pretty worried until deployment finished.


 


Calum's list was commanded by Motti. He had 2 Arquitens with Slaved Turrets and Reinforced Blast Doors, 2 Raiders with Flachette Launchers and Assault Proton Torpedoes, and a Flotilla which carried Motti. He also had 2 VT Decimators, 4 Tie Interceptors and Dengar.


 


Deployment:


mywd3og.jpg


 


TURN ONE


So, I mentioned that I was worried until deployment ended. That's not entirely true. Just as I was placing my MC80 I realised that I could start it within red dice range of the left hand Raider... with a double arc. So I kicked off with that with a Squadron Command and dropped it down to 1 health and no front shields. Calum opted to move up his Flotilla. I went with Yavaris next to finish off the stricken Raider and Dutch. Everything else was out of range so the rest of the turn was mostly positioning and token gathering. Calum also engaged my Squadrons with his interceptors and Dengar. Essentially. I needed to make Fleet Ambush work to my advantage and destroy Calum's ships one at a time as they came into range. I've yet to see the scenario work to its highest advantage, in my limited experience it seems much more effective to engage with your entire fleet at once rather than go in piecemeal.


 


U0M5ygA.jpg


 


TURN TWO


The Raiders were the biggest threat in the list so I immediately switched focus to the other one. The main issue I had is that I was out of range of my bombers because the Interceptors were preventing my Fighter Coordination movements. The MC80 went first and put a broadside into it taking off a couple of shields and then doing a forward anti squadron shot which caught a few of the Interceptors. Dutch deactivated one of the Interceptors and I sent some X Wings after Dengar but I didn't kill him. Calum activated the Raider and put a big shot into the front of Yavaris which stripped its front shields and APTs put a crit onto it with an unimportant effect. 


 


Yavaris went next and it's squadrons killed Dengar and 1 Interceptor as well as putting a damage card onto the remaining Raider with its own fire. It occurred to me that I also needed to be mindful of the Decimators creeping up my right flank. Between them they have the firepower to kill a Flotilla from full health each turn. I started to drift over any spare squadrons that I could from the distraction of the Interceptors. The Decimators put some more damage into the right hand side of Yavaris.


 


6OXXvxB.jpg


 


TURN THREE


So, Yavaris is looking pretty bad, I need to engage the Decimators. But because they are reliant upon rogue I can just engage them during the ship phase. The Raider needs to go first. Yavaris goes first and makes Gold Squadron double tap the Raider to death along with Yavaris' own shooting. Yavaris also fires its front arc into the Flotilla which causes it to Scatter. Calum's Arquitens are starting to get into range now and begin to plink my MC80 with damage but nothing that it can't handle. The MC80 goes next and destroys the Flotilla with squadrons and its own shooting as well as killing another Interceptor. My Transports started plinking damage onto the Decimators. I had Jan and 1 X-Wing which hadn't activated when we got to the Squadron phase, so I moved Jan toward the Decimators and the X-Wing engaged them. Yavaris was on 1 Hull remaining so had I not done that Yavaris would have certainly been destroyed this turn. Instead I just lost the X-Wing.


 


zmzST7g.jpg


 


TURN FOUR


At this point there are no further dangers to Yavaris or the rest of my fleet. Due to having the Initiative I took apart the rest of Calum's fleet over the next few turns. 


 


lTd5AsJ.jpg


 


One Arquitens survived putting me just into a 10-1 win to start the day off. Calum was a great person to meet and play although next time I hope to be able to play him when he isn't in crippling agony. The poor guy was on very strong pain meds for a back problem so I certainly didn't catch him at his best.


 


GAME TWO - Kevin Horseman - Solar Corona


 


Crap! Kev is one of my regular practice opponents and of our group has easily played Armada the longest. What's more, even though I've come close a few times, I've never legitimately beaten him, great!


 


Kev was running with a Jerjerrod fleet boasting the typical Demolisher with all the toys (Engine Techs, Ordinance Experts & Assault Proton Torpedoes), an Arquitens with turbolaser reroute circuits and Captain Needa, a Victory Class Star Destroyer with Flight Controllers, Minster Tua, Electronic Countermeasures and Boosted Comms, and a Flotilla holding Jerjerrod. A weird mix of nasty Squadrons too: 2x Tie Defenders, Zertik Strom, Colonel Jendon, Captain Jonas, Mauler Mithel, and Dengar.


 


I've played an earlier version of this fleet with an earlier version of my own in practice. The Jerjerrod Demolisher is the most manoeuvrable instrument of destruction available to an Imperial player. Thanks to Engine Techs it can perform 3 double-click manoeuvres at speed 2 (effectively 3 thanks to the Engine Techs). The Victory goes from a lumbering beast to being able to turn on a 6-pence. Kev's fleet is designed to be able to chase down any adversary, no matter how fast or manoeuvrable they might be.


 


Kev's list is 400 bang on so I got to choose whether to have the initiative or not. My choice was quite literally 'I chose to go second last time and it didn't work, so let's try going first. We played Solar Corona because it didn't give Kev a direct points advantage and it shouldn't effect my fleet as badly as some with most of my damage coming from Bombers.


 


Deployment:


I forgot to take pictures for deployment or the first few turns, sorry! But to be fair, you don't miss much. I deployed in the far left corner as I normally do, shielding Yavaris and the Flotillas with my Assault Cruiser, all at speed 1. Kev deployed diagonally opposite at speed 2 & 3. The demolisher was point to fly straight down the long board edge with the rest coming more directly at me.


 


TURN ONE


I ponder forward and collect tokens. Kev races to intercept me and also collects tokens. Jonas is following the Demolisher who picked up a squadron token for positioning Jonas later on (when shooting out of the front, Jonas will allow Demolisher to function as if it had H-9s and guarantee an Accuracy to deny Scatter). 


 


TURN TWO


I activated my Comms Net Flotilla and put an engineering token onto the Assault Cruiser. Kev elected to increase Demolisher's speed to 3 and use its Engine Techs to rocket down the long board edge to try to get around my Assault Cruiser and into my Flotillas and Yavaris. I was hoping for the Demolisher to open the throttle. I increased the speed of the rest of my fleet to 2 which should result in engaging the Demolisher a turn earlier than would have otherwise happened. The rest of Kev's fleet also opened the throttle and tried to catch up to support the Demolisher.


 


TURN THREE


I need to take down Demolisher as fast as possible... but I also need to respect the fighter swarm that is approaching my right flank. I rarely break up my squadron bubble but on this occasion I felt that I need to. My X-Wings, Dutch and Jan break off to the right to prepare to meet Kev's incoming squadrons and I continue to drift toward Demolisher at speed 2. Kev is within range to engage with his squadrons so sends in the two Tie Defenders and Zertik Strom who put low damage onto my X-Wings thanks to Jan-Braces and Biggs. At this point Kev needs to choose whether to commit Demolisher or not. He knows it is vulnerable to bombers and holding back will just mean that it gets shot more before it comes in. So he places it directly in front of my Assault Cruiser, pointed to the bottom left of the table. He drops 4 black dice into the front of it but rolls poorly, even with rerolls from Ordinance Experts. I chose to not activate my bombers, instead waiting to see where Demolisher ended up. In the Squadron Phase I place Norra, Gold Squadron & the Scurrg within bombing range of the Demolisher. The Admiral's Yacht (Flotilla) is off in the far corner, all he will be doing is squadron commands courtesy of Relay on Colonel Jendon.


 


One of the cool parts of Asoka Tand came up in this turn for Yavaris. He already had a squadron token, but I wasn't going to use my squadron command. So when it activated the ship I tapped Asoka to change the existing squadron token to a Nav and then used the dial to generate another squadron token.


 


gKf8KVR.jpg


 


TURN FOUR


I've set it up as best I can, I've got 3 double taps and all 3 will get Bomber Command rerolls, it's just time to roll it out. Yavaris does a squadron command and I roll quite well. I get 2 huge crits through. Dodonna comes into play and the first one grants me additional damage. The second lets me remove all 3 shields from the front of the ship. My squadrons actually killed it from full health but had they failed the lack of shields means that Yavaris would have finished it off with its own shooting provided that I didn't whiff the roll. Kev said straight away that he didn't see that happening and I knew I had a huge leg up in the game. 


 


After a re-think Kev uses the Victory to activate squadrons and Mauler Mithel comes into to splash damage on all of my nearby squadrons and he dumps some damage into Biggs followed by the two Defenders and Zertik. My X-Wings and Biggs go down this turn. I'm going to lose the overall squadron battle but that's the trade off I've made for throwing my bombers at the Demolisher. The Victory also puts some fire into my MC80 but it's only red dice at this range so it's absorbed easily. I use my Flotillas to gain tokens and do some return fire from Jan before retreating her near to my MC80. The MC80 activates with an Engineering Command to keep my shields up and I start to turn to the right to keep the Victory in my broadside. The Victory braces and redirects my shots easily.


 


syGPjlg.jpg


 


TURN FIVE


My squadrons going down will have brought Kev's score close to mine, the Demolisher isn't worth that much. I need to bring down the Victory as well to bring more daylight between us. Kev wisely left Jonas engaging my bombers. Even though Jonas is heavy, his presence prevents the use of fighter Coordination teams meaning that I can't bump them into double tap range of the Victory. I can't remember the exact order from here but I know that the Victory went before my MC80 because it shot and then bumped into my Cruiser. Jan Ors is killed by the remaining Tie Defender. Dengar and Jendon kill Dutch. My MC80 puts more damage into the Victory. The Arquitens has yet to fire a shot due to its maximum speed of 3 just keeping it short of the engagement. I actually bump Yavaris into my MC80 because I like the position that it is in for squadron activation and it could fly off the board in turn 6 because it's going at speed 3 and doesn't have a Nav token anymore. I bomb the front of the Victory and bring it down to 3-4 Hull and no shields. Mauler jumps into my Bombers.


 


(I forgot to take a picture because I'm an idiot)


 


TURN SIX


I have 3 damage cards on my Cruiser so I use my Blast Doors. Yavaris goes first, Gold Squadron finishes off Mauler and my bombers take out the Victory. The Arquitens finally gets a volley off at a Flotilla and the **** thing rolls 2 double hits and 2 accuracys... the exact roll required to kill one at long range from full health and shields... we finish on a 7-4 to me.


 


I did it though! I finally beat Kev! Regardless of the rest of the event I was going to be happy with managing that. Terrible opponent though, a proper cock (love you really, Kev). 


 


This game was won when I rolled well on the Demolisher. Kev was surprised at the kill but a double tapping Scurrg usually gets 2 damage per shot and you occasionally spike up to 3 with the hit + crit and I was lucky enough to hit that, and then draw a Structural Damage crit on the second shot. Meaning that Gold Squadron just needed to deal its 2 damage per shot before Norra throws her Black die twice and if that fails I have the 3 reds from Yavaris. The 3 front shields dropping from the crit effect just sealed it. Dodonna crits can be devastating and should never be underestimated.

Edited by Jamie P

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GAME THREE - Mark Mainwaring - Superior Positions

Mark had a 16 point bid... so he really wanted to go first. After seeing his list, with multiple elements that benefit from the initiative, I can see why.

Mark had a Gladiator with Demolisher and Assault Proton Torpedoes, a Raider with Impetuous and Flechette Torpedoes, an Arquitens with Captain Needa, Turbolaser Reroute Circuits and it was carrying Admiral Screed. Finally a Flotilla with Bomber Command. What really drew my eye however, was the full on 'fireball' of 4 Firesprays, Major Rhymer, Bossk & Dengar. That could really hurt if it gets going.

Deployment:

The scariest thing on the table was most certainly the fireball. I clocked what would probably happen with the Raider however, as it's a tactic I've spoken about with Steve & Kev. It was going to hug the squadrons and wait. Thanks to the beefy health of the bombers, Mark could wait for my alpha strike, activate the Raider to trap my squadrons for a few turns with Flechette Torpedoes while the fireball went to town on my ships. I was surprised at the choice of title for this job however, the other Raider title seems to complete the package for this task (as well as Agent Kallus if you want to be really nasty). The Demolisher isn't quite as scary without Engine Techs and it was pointing in the wrong direction to be my immediate concern. I think Mark expected me to deploy in the opposite corner, near to the space station.

Bt5pSX2.jpg

TURN ONE

All my ships were set to speed 1, I set mostly Navs to gain the tokens and my comms net flotilla passed a squadron token to Yavaris. Mark starts turning his ships to face me. The raider takes up quite an aggressive position half way up the table and the fireball moves to its right side. As I mentioned above, I expected mark to try to tempt me in early. I set my squadrons in a semi-circle just outside of black-dice range of the Raider.

7T6TXop.jpg

TURN TWO

So, I haven't faced a fireball before, only normal Tie Bomber builds. So it didn't really sink in that Mark didn't need to use squadron commands to make his Rogue-equipped bombers to work. He activated his gladiator first which continued to turn to face me but had to slow to speed 2 to avoid some asteroids. It should take a few turns for it to reach me which gives me some time to handle the Raider and the fireball. I jumped straight onto it with Yavaris and fighter coordinated the Scurrg and Gold Squadron into range. Gold squadron deleted the shields from the front of the Raider and my first roll on the Scurrg was hit plus hit-crit. Dodonna gives me a Structural damage card and there goes the Raider. I pause for a second because I expected to have to send in another Bomber to finish the job. Dutch goes into the fireball and deactivates Rhymer to limit the range on the fireball. Had I thought it through, I perhaps would have gone for Bossk, but it still hadn't sunk in yet that I would get to activate all my squadrons before Mark due to his reliance on Rogue.

Mark activates his Arquitens which dumps 4 damage into the front of my MC80. I Brace it and redirect the 2 to its right side. The MC80 then goes and I send in my X-Wings after Dengar but I only manage to get a single damage onto him due to range, I also brought one of the firesprays down to half health. In the squadron Phase, my deactivation of Rhymer causes Mark to switch to attacking my own Squadrons, which I wanted. I wanted it until I realised how much damage Firesprays can both take and dish out, which is a lot by the way. My X-Wings take the brunt of it but I'm losing health at a faster rate than I would like. Bossk in particular takes a chunk out of my escorts.

puegj3Y.jpg

TURN THREE

So, these Firesprays are tearing up my squadrons. So I need to bring up my ships to start raking through them with anti squadron fire. Mark uses his Flotilla first, I go again with Yavaris and speed up to speed 2 with my Nav token. With its squadron command I use Dutch to shut down Bossk and one of the Firesprays still on max health. I unload 2 X-Wings into Dengar and leave him alive on 1 health but with his Scatter token gone. Mark puts some more damage into my MC80 and begins to circle far to my left. The MC80 then goes and also increases to speed 2, parking itself right next to the squadron battle and isolating Mark's remaining ships from the fireball. Plinked some shields off the Arquitens for good measure, but at this distance it's evades weather the shot. My squadron command pours more damage into the fray, Dengar bites the dust and one of the Firesprays is reduced to 1 health. During the squadron phase I start circling my 3 main bombers, Norra, Gold and the Scurrg around to the left of my Cruiser to meet the Demolisher. The Firesprays have killed an X-Wing and reduced Biggs and the other X-Wing to 1 health. I really need my ships to start raining fire into the fray or the Firesprays will be free at the end of next turn.

B714D8b.jpg

TURN FOUR

The Demolisher has spend 3 turns just trying to reach the engagement and Mark takes a chance with it, a speed 3 manoeuvre brings it to just outside black dice range and at this moment I'm happy that it doesn't have Engine Techs. It's red dice do superficial damage to my Assault Cruiser. I activate Yavaris first again in order to keep Bossk down with Dutch as well as the next highest health Firespray. Biggs and my last X-Wing have one last hurrah before their inevitable deaths, bringing down the first of the Firesprays.

The Arquitens goes next and also plinks some damage onto the MC80's shields. The MC80 goes next and the anti squadron fire from it and the Yavaris helps me break the back of the squadron battle leaving only 2 Firesprays and Rhymer to take out. I also unloaded a massive broadside into the side of the Demolisher which strips most of its facing shields. I also dialled in a squadron command for a Flotilla to send my bombers after the Demolisher which took more shields off and gave it a damage card. I also took my first victory token by shooting it in the rear with my Scurrg.

04TYIAk.jpg

TURN FIVE

The Demolisher goes first and turns its attention to my Flotillas. Mark parks it on the flank of my comms net Flotilla but fails to roll the accuracy he needs to kill it. I use that Flotilla next and bring my bombers into to add more damage cards to the Demolisher. The Arquitens fires on the same Flotilla as the Demolisher and rolls an accuracy (Mark uses it on my Evade) I elect to take the damage rather than burn my Scatter. Yavaris continues its work and with its fire and a squadron command I finish off the last of Mark's squadrons. The Mark's Flotilla starts to work its way around my Cruiser but a medium range broad side from the MC80 takes it out in one.

(I forgot to take a picture because I'm an idiot)

TURN SIX

Demolisher has another go at my Flotilla and manages to get the accuracy to take it out this time. Yavaris returns the favour and sends in my remaining squadrons to finish off the wounded Demolisher. The Arquitens escapes into the corner and we finish with a 9-2 win to me.

Taking advantage of Mark's assumption that I would deploy diagonally opposite gave me an early leg up in this match and allowed me to engage Mark's fleet one piece at a time. The fireball was tough as hell but it's weakness was that I was always able to use all of my squadrons before any of them retaliated meaning that Dutch could always switch two of them off etc.

Mark is a local to Firestorm Games and this match was a real pleasure. Mark ran a solid fleet which, given the chance, could have unleashed destruction on mine.

GAME FOUR - Chris Green - Contested Outpost

I saw parts of Chris' games at the Midlands Regional (where he was a finalist) and during my last game, he was sat on table 1 next door to me dismantling a Rebel Craken MSU fleet. I was not enthused as the prospect of this match but I was going to give it a go. At the end of the day I came to learn from players better than me and I had a strong suspicion I was about to get a lesson.

Chris was running a 'wave 5' updated version of his Midlands list too. Moff Jerjerrod led this fleet so it was going to be manoeuvrable as hell. Once again, a gladiator with Demolisher, Ordinance Experts, Assault Proton Torps and Engine Techs. A Victory Class with Flight Controllers and Boosted Comms. 3 Flotillas, one carrying the Moff, one with a comms net and one with Bomber Command. I may have missed something else on the Flotillas too. A large squadron complement of 10, Major Rhymer, Howlrunner, Colonel Jendon, Saber Squadron, Gamma Squadron, Tempest Squadron, 1 Tie Interceptor, 1 Tie Bomber, 1 Tie Advanced and 1 Jumpmaster. I'll be honest, I spent a significant amount of time just keeping track of who and where they all were. Chris' list came out at 399 points giving me the choice for Initiative.

I had heard a little about how this list works and there are a few similarities with Kev's Jerjerrod fleet from game 2. Flight Controllers and Howlrunner means that those Interceptors will be throwing up to 6 blue dice with a reroll at me when they fire and Jendon can make them double tap... Chris' plan is to blow my squadrons away quickly rather than fight a drawn out squadron battle. Biggs may have bitten off more than he can chew here.

DEPLOYMENT

I pondered and chose to go first, giving the Demolisher first in a list with more activations than mine is just asking for trouble. I can't remember his other missions but Contested Outpost seemed the least problematic. I would know where the Victory was going to spend the game and I was confident that I could send in my MC80 and at least contest (pun intended) the scenario and hopefully the squadron battle would happen nearby letting me bring my anti squadron fire to bear.

Chris was very clever with his terrain placement so I had to deviate a little from my standard deployment and I set all my ships except Yavaris to speed 2, Yavaris was set to speed 1 due to an asteroid field being directly in front of it. Chris placed Demolisher as far to my right as possible, like Kev, he was looking to get around my MC80 and get into my support ships and backfield. The Flotillas set up to flank wife to the left or to just leave the me engagement. Chris made no secret of the fact he was going to use relay on Colonel Jendon to its fullest.

aDKymzR.jpg

TURN ONE

I was very wary of the range on Rhymer. The speed I set my MC80 to on this first turn will be hugely important. If I go too slow I will lose an extra turn of anti squadron fire, and if I go too fast then he could end up taking more damage than he can handle and I might lose my Assault Cruiser to the firepower of the squadrons and the Victory. Not to mention the Demolisher which could, at a moments notice, turn inward to finish it off. Chris can wait me out too with his 5 ship activations to my 4 - plus I'm going first. I activate both my Flotillas at speed 2 and the comms net ship sends a squadron token to Yavaris. Chris activates his 3 Flotillas and collects some tokens himself. I pondered the Assault Cruiser's deployment speed for a few minutes and I spent another few minutes thinking over again here. I elect to use the manoeuvre dial to slow down to speed 1 and Yavaris collects a Nav token. Chris is similarly cautious with his last 2 ships and collects tokens also. The squadrons jockey for position but otherwise we both keep our formations just ahead of our ships and both of us are hugging obstructions where possible. Chris takes a victory token from the station.

PLJB3bH.jpg

TURN TWO

I need to start this squadron battle because if I don't, Chris will be able to set where we engage and he will probably put the engagement to the left of my MC80 which will pull the squadron fight away from Yavaris - I could be fighting out of squadron control range of Yavaris and I would lose its anti squadron shots. I also want the battle to be right in the centre because it means that the Demolisher will have to land in the middle of it to get to my MC80, AND if I turn my Bomber attention to the Demolisher, they will not have as great a distance between them and the main squadron battle. The downside is that I need to sacrifice something to kick this off and set the point of engagement. This is why the last move of turn one (pictured above) was to put Norra Wexley out in the open ahead of the Demolisher.

The bait it set. Having the initiative isn't going to help me that much this turn and I have a plan. I activate the comms net Flotilla and throw a squadron token onto the MC80. Chris goes with a Flotilla and jumps one of the Tie Advanced onto Norra followed by Saber Squadron. I think they leave her on 2 health. I go with my other Flotilla as well and advance it up. Chris hasn't committed enough yet. Chris does another Flotilla and this time Howlrunner comes in and kills Norra. Howlrunner is a target worth going after with the amount of blue dice she can add to this squadron battle. I activate the MC80, tap Ahsoka to turn the squadron token into a Nav, and I increase its speed to 2. Now that I've decided to commit, we need to go all in. I send in Dutch, Biggs and a normal X-Wing to try to take down Howlrunner but I leave her one 1 health. Dutch goes in and shuts down the Tie Interceptor waiting at the back, much to Chris' disappointment.

Chris take a few minutes to ponder and decides to respond in kind with the Victory using a Squadron Command. I can't remember exactly who shot what but at the end of this turn I've lost a standard X-Wing, Norra, 4 health from Dutch and 1 health each from Biggs and my other X-Wing. That hurt. Yavaris takes a mild crit from the asteroids in front of it and sends in the rest of my Squadrons and I leave one of Chris' escorts on 2 health. Demolisher decides to make his move and he flanks around to my right and unloads a shot into my Bomber Command but fails to roll the required accuracy so I just Scatter the shot. I intentionally held back Gold Squadron and the Scurrg to see where Demolisher ended up. I jump them into bombing range during the Squadron Phase. Chris takes another victory token from the station.

K5Bt3dw.jpg

TURN THREE

I can't leave that Demolisher there to do what I likes. If I don't take the double tap chance now then he's going to move it away. Yavaris goes first and taps Ahsoka to turn its Nav into a squadron token. The Scurrg goes first and takes the Gladiator's front shields off, Chris burns his brace reducing damage from both shots. Gold Squadron goes next and Chris burns his redirect to make sure he doesn't take damage cards... but now the Gladiator only has an Evade to protect it. I also use One of the squadrons in the main melee to finish off Howlrunner.

Chris responds with the Victory and its Flight Controller boosted attacks tear into my squadrons. Biggs and the X-Wing go down to 1-2 health each and Dutch is taken out. The Victory also puts some damage into the left side of Yavaris. My MC80 goes next and fires anti squadron shots into the main melee and a broadside into the Victory that is braced and redirected to its far side shields. Demolisher goes next and this time gets the accuracy on my Bomber Command and takes it out. Chris then looks at his escape options and opts to head straight down towards my deployment zone. My squadrons continue to take punishment and they probably won't last another turn. Chris takes his third victory token from the station.

(No picture because I'm an idiot)

TURN FOUR

I have one chance to finish the gladiator before it escapes into the corner. My last Flotilla activates the two bombers and sends them in. I need to deal 5 damage in 2 shots... the Scurrg rolls 2 standard damage. Gold Squadron rolls 2 crits. Time for Dodonna roulette! ........... (Drum roll) I get lucky, a Structural Damage comes up, and the Gladiator goes boom. That's a big score that gets me back in the game. But, it seems like every time I achieve something in this match Chris finds a solid response. The Victory uses a squadron command to obliterate my remaining fighters and between their bombs and the Victory's own shooting, Yavaris bites the dust. I feel like I'm scoring points to limit how big my loss is going to be at this point. However, there are few things more dangerous than a man with nothing to lose.

My MC80 is my last activation of the turn and an anti squadron shot out of the front clears out some of the low health fighters. I've actually managed to take down 5 of Chris' 10 squadron now. But, Rhymer is still on the board. I throw a broadside into the Victory and get an incredible roll that we both wince at. 3 double hits and 3 accuracies... and this Victory doesn't have Electronic Countermeasures so he just takes the 6 damage on the nose and suddenly... there is a chance. The MC80 is still going at speed 2 and my left shield dial caused a collision last turn... after a quick think I tap Ahsoka Tand to change the squadron token on the MC80 into a Nav and slow down to speed 1 meaning that we bump again. This puts the Victory down to 2 Hull and no front shields! Critically this means that I stay exactly where I am, the Victory is trapped and I can get another broadside off into its nose next turn.... maybe... just maybe... I could get it close to death and hope. Chris scores his 4th Victory token.

nJ5DOfr.jpg

TURN FIVE

Killing the Gladiator gave Chris the landslide win in the centre squadron battle. Now all I can do is hope. I need 4 damage onto the Victory to kill it. It's got a brace and a redirect (2 shields to its left side). I throw my broadside and roll the required 4 damage and an accuracy to stop the brace and there goes the Victory. To cap it off my anti squadron fire out of the front kills the second Interceptor. This also means I'm going to get the Victory points for the station for the last 2 turns. This is an undeniably massive swing. Chris focusses on his remaining opportunities. He starts relaying squadron commands to bomb my last Flotilla and he leaves it shieldless and having taken 2 Hull damage. He brings his bomber command Flotilla in to try to guarantee the death of my transport. I move it away as best I can but I know it's almost certainly going to go here.

TURN SIX

I turn the Flotilla away again but Chris sends his bombers in and it bites the dust. However, I have one last godlike roll to make. The bomber command Flotilla is in medium range of my MC80 broadside and I roll the accuracy and 3 damage, and crucially I have rolled the all important crit... (MASSIVE DRUMROLL) ... Structural Damage is in my hand again and the bomber command gozanti explodes.

Somehow, I managed to turn a slow grinding defeat into a whirlwind of a comeback to a 6-5 win, by 13 points! Dodonna crits, Ahsoka Tand and the awesomeness that is my Assault Cruiser pulled my ass out of the fire here. Chris was an outstanding opponent this was a game I won't forget. I apologised profusely for my good fortune in dice and crit effect draws because I think I was outplayed here and therefore survived on a couple of tricks and a that every chance I took I was massively rewarded for.

Onto the top table for the final game!

Edited by Jamie P

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GAME FIVE - Ben Edgar - Superior Positions

Firstly let me just say, that I was super psyched to be doing this well considering the short time I've been playing. I walled into this game happy with my performance even knowing that I was likely to walk away from this one with a crushing defeat. But hey, we're here now, so F-it, lets have a go!!

Ben was running a unique build of Motti ISD1 with Wullf Yularen, Boosted Comms, Flight Controllers and Expanded Hanger Bays. That thing can shift 6 squadrons a turn with extra blue dice... Ben also had 2 Gozantis, both with Bomber Command and 2 more Gozantis, both with comms nets. To cap it off... a casual 13 squadrons... THIRTEEN. Major Rhymer, Mauler Mithel, 2 Jump Masters, 5 Tie Bombers and 4 standard Tie Fighters. If I was going to have any chance of denting that squadron blob I needed to bring them into range of my anti squadron shots from my MC80 and Yavaris. I would just have to deal with them before turning my attention to anything else. I suspect this is part of why Ben used this list though, by the time you kill the squadrons (if you even manage that) you probably don't also have the time remaining to chew through a Motti ISD, even if it doesn't have Electronic Countermeasures. Ben's list came out at 400 points so I got the choice.

DEPLOYMENT

Again with 5 activations I can't really give him last and first activations so I opt to go first. I think Ben had Most Wanted, Contested Outpost and Superior Positions. Most wanted is just asking for trouble here and it doesn't give me any chance to score big on the scenario - he will just choose a gozanti as his objective ship. If I choose contest outpost I will never get that ISD off the space station. I chose Superior Positions because it doesn't give any immediate advantage to Ben that I care about and this scenario is mostly just about who plays it better.

Most of the terrain is centrally spaced or to the right hand side. I deploy on the left edge of my deployment zone with my MC80 taking its usual protective position on the right of the formation where it can shelter the more fragile elements of my fleet. Ben deploys fairly centrally. Everyone's ships are set to speed 1, neither of us wants to rush into a brawl.

Zb533gM.jpg

TURN ONE

I elect to take Navs on all my ships except the comms net Flotilla who does a squadron and shows the token at Yavaris. Ben similarly does token collection. Both of us keep our squadrons picketed just ahead of our ships.

nvQ9ftV.jpg

TURN TWO

I consider the angles at which we are going to engage and decide that I need my Bomber Command to move up faster so I increase its speed to 2. Yavaris and the MC80 turn slightly toward Ben's fleet. I throw an engineering token onto the MC80 and it generates itself a squadron token. Squadrons remain ahead of me in a picket line. I want Ben to jump at me with his bombers so that I can jump onto them in return with my X-Wings. The MC80 can take a round or two of Tie Bomber fire and once we engage it's going to get messy, again it's about WHERE the engagement is set and I'm happy for Ben to swing the first punch so that it's set closer to my fleet.

At the end of the turn, Ben uses the ISD to send his 6 bombers in and they remove the front shields from my MC80 and some of the left side shields (redirected damage). In the Squadron Phase I engage the bombers with my X-Wings and Dutch, but at the maximum possible range. I want to deny as much anti squadron fire from Ben as possible.

1Rh6kiv.jpg

TURN THREE

I've got the bombers engaged but it isn't going to last long with those jump masters waiting in the wings. I activate Yavaris and Dutch completely misses his first shot and shuts down Rhymer with his second. One X-Wing deletes a Bomber from full health and another X-Wing puts a Bomber down to low health.

Ben comes straight back with the ISD and does something I didn't expects. I thought he may commit his Ties and just try to destroy my squadrons with Flight Controllers, but instead he sends in a Jump Master and evacuates his Bombers after shooting them back at my X-Wings. Thankfully, I think my deactivation of Rhymer spared the MC80 another bombing run. The ISD speeds up and turns toward the combat zone.

The MC80 goes next and sends more squadrons in which kills the Jump Master and puts more damage on Rhymer. I use my engineering token to move 2 shields from the rear of the ship up to the front. The rear should be safe for the time being with the ranges that we are engaging at.

Ben spends the rest of the turn using his Flotillas to pour Tie Fighters into the fray and my X-Wings take a fair amount of damage which is compounded by the arrival of Mauler Mithel toward the end of the turn. I am keeping my Scurrg and Gold Squadron just outside the melee incase any bombing opportunities come up.

4AbsrSp.jpg

TURN FOUR

Now that most of Ben's Ties are committed I can really start to eat away at them with my ships as well as my own squadrons. I activate Yavaris first again so that I can make the most of Dutch's ability to switch enemy squadrons off. Ties start dropping left and right. Ben retaliates with a squadron activation from the ISD and finishes off the X-Wings but leaving Biggs on 1 health. Interestingly, Ben has set up the Gozanti so that the ISD will intentionally ram it and remain where it is. He wants to try to get repeated shots off at the MC80. Speak of which another salvo hits its front shields which I Brace. I've allowed 2 damage cards to go through so far and shields are getting low but Ben's bombers are largely under control while I still have 6 squadrons on the table.

The MC80 goes next and tears down more Ties with 2 arcs of anti squadron shooting. Rhymer also bites the dust and Ben is left with 3 bombers and a Jumpmaster by the end of this turn. I've won the squadron battle over these last two turns. The MC80 recovers 3 shields by turning its Nav token into an Engineering token (thanks Ahsoka) and using an Engineering Command. Ben drives forward with the gozanti that was blocking the ISD's movement and fires off some blue dice into the MC80 to plink some shields but the MC80 is still fairly safe. I continue to move up with my Flotillas and the rest of Ben's also move up and recuperate spent tokens.

With the squadron battle won the game is turning in my favour but I need a big score to seal it.

iyjyyTH.jpg

TURN FIVE

I remove the 2 damage cards from the Assault Cruiser with Reinforced Blast Doors. It's a safe bet to keep using Yavaris early while my squadrons have targets to fire at so Biggs takes what should be his last shots. I find myself with some odd choices. It's turn 5 and the ISD doesn't have any damage cards on it and it still has a lot of its shields. I'm not going to bring it down now so I elect to ignore it in favour of the gozantis which I can kill. My Scurrg hasn't bombed anything yet which is odd. He is in double tap range of one of the bomber command gozantis so he goes for it and rolls an accuracy and a hit + crit on his first attempt. Me and Ben laugh at the fortuitous roll and I joke that if he does it again he could kill it... he gets the exact same roll again... I apologise. Ben reminds me that it isn't dead yet because he has Motti as an admiral. But thats cool because Dodonna seems to give me nothing but Structural Damage crit cards when I need them and that gets rid of the gozanti.

Ben's ISD hits the MC80 in the flank but I have enough shields left to absorb the shot with a Brace. Biggs finally goes down to Ben's remaining squadrons.

SuBl4D5.jpg

TURN SIX

At this point neither my Assault Cruiser or the ISD is going to be destroyed so it's about picking up what points we can elsewhere. I manage to pick up 3 Victory Tokens by shooting the ISD and some of the remaining gozantis in the rear. Ben tries to bring down some of my squadrons and one of my Flotillas that drifted too close to the ISD but he is unable to inflict enough damage with flank shots. I manage to win this one 7-4!

I'm over the moon with this result. Ben and Chris both placed highly at the last UK Armada Nationals so to come out on top in games against both of these players is a feat and a half on less than 6 months of Armada experience.

I think if I hadn't held my nerve against Ben and allowed him to get the first strike then he would have wiped out my Squadrons and bombed me into annihilation. As it was I was able to bring the squadron battle into range of most of my ships and against anti squadron fire the large number of Ties counts for nothing. The low health of Tie Fighters makes them particularly vulnerable to this tactic in fact.

Ben was a great player and a pleasure to face. This game was much more relaxed than I thought it might be and I would attribute a lot of that to the calm and sporting demeanour of my opponent.

CONCLUSIONS

Well, before the weekend I was considering the benefits of dropping the MC80 for more smaller ships like an MC30. But after that performance he is back as the MVP of the fleet. As great as Yavaris is I only get such consistent use out of him because he is sheltered behind the armoured mass of the Assault Cruiser. The improved anti squadron dice over the Command Cruise proved invaluable over the weekend and while the Reinforced Blast Doors didn't directly save it from a death, I think that the removed damage dissuaded some of my opponents from even trying to kill it. When someone does this half way through a game that means that every point of damage that it has absorbed up to that point has been completely wasted. And this happened in more than one game.

My new view on squadron battles seems to have worked also. You don't need your Squadrons to do all the work if you can entice your opponent to engage you where you want them to - which in my case is within in range of, or close to, my ships so that they can add their weight to the melee.

I was going back and forth on B-Wings for a while. I ended up going with all speed 3 squadrons for the simple fast that having 2 Fighter Coordination Teams with speed 2 bombers makes them ok at moving... but having 2 Fighter Coordination Teams with speed 3 bombers and escorts gives you an extraordinary level of placement and range flexibility. Simply put, there were some situations that would have been drastically different had I chosen to use slower Bombers.

Finally, I mentioned Ahsoka Tand in my fleet explanation but hopefully you can now see why I rate her so highly. Not only can you treat a token as any other token but you can plan this in a way that completely masks your strategy from your opponent. The best example of is was in my game against Chris Green where I changed a squadron token to a Nav in order to slow down and ram his Victory Class Star Destroyer - which led to it not being able to escape and therefore directly led to its almost certain destruction through ram damage and repeated broadsides from the Assault Cruiser. I also used to end games with a lot of unused tokens on my ships and with Ahsoka I don't - this is because I am making those tokens work for me during the game rather than sit there incase I happen to need them. Force multiplication.

Biggs Darklighter, Jan Ors and a couple of X-Wings is another example of force multiplication in my list. This 64 points of squadrons takes far more effort to destroy than it is often worth. And while without Wedge I often cannot match the opponent for damage output, what I can do is either distract the opponent long enough for my bombers to do their work or draw the bulk of the enemy squadrons into so that the combined firepower of my escorts and my ships can whittle down a superior force.

So that concludes my battle report and the extent of my very limited knowledge about this fantastic game. I'm going to be experimenting with something completely different to see where it takes me and hopefully I will be back to write another report someday.

Please let me know what parts you liked and didn't like and I will see what parts of my report I can improve for next time. PS - I need to remember to take more consistent photographs... I just get so caught up in the moment sometimes...

Thanks for reading!

Edited by Jamie P

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I was confused by your question so I checked the fleet Ambush card just now. Seems we got it quite wrong! I've never played that scenario before and I assumed my opponent understood it, since it was his mission. I chose to go first and we apparently made the mistake of setting up Calum's ships in the ambush zone instead of mine. I'll put that down to my still relative newbishness having not played that mission before, that and completely misreading which mission I THOUGHT it was in the first place.

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The MC80 was the reason I bought into Armada, I just think it looks so badass. All I did was make any fleet that would allow me to run that ship :) I don't think there is any ship in Armada that you just 'cant' use. Maybe it just needs the right fleet to sit in!

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Thank you! :) realised I never explained what happened afterward! There is normally a cut to the top 2 players for a final round. But it was me and Kev (round 2 opponent). We didn't want to play again plus we had a 4 hour drive home ahead of us and it was already approaching 10pm. So we literally coin flipped it in front of everyone. Kev won the toss, I bowed down in awe of his magnificence, and we went home.

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Great write-up again, thanks Jamie.  A really strong result in such a big group - and against some top Armada players.

 

Personally, five rounds is a lot for one day.  My brain is fried after 3 or 4 games!  Taking the coin toss was probably the right call at the end.  :-)

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Thanks for all the nice comments chaps :) If / when I go to anymore biggish events I'll do another report. Unfortunately I can't attend the European Champs at the UK Games Expo but I would have loved to have a crack at that one.

 

I don't have an image the whole table but I do have one of the top half:

 

FDsvUfD.jpg

 

Also noticed I got a nice mention at the end of the Comms Noise podcast recently. This community is full of ace people!

Edited by Jamie P

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