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GhostofNobodyInParticular

First Vassal Game

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     First off, I'd like to give a special thanks to @BrobaFett for playing with me, and to his wife for patiently putting up with it.

     This game was organized in order to familiarize myself with Vassal for the upcoming Vassal Freshman Tournament, as I had never used it before. BrobaFett was kind enough to offer vassal games as lessons to players participating in the tournament, and I signed up for one. It was fortunate that I did, since the game took 6 hours to play, mostly because I was struggling to hit the right buttons, and partly because my computer decided to take the day off and be uncooperative.
    Broba suggested that I write this to enlighten the world on any lessons I have learned and perhaps to pass on something worthwhile.

So first off, the lists:

BrobaFett:
Faction: Rebel Alliance
Bid: 1 point
Admiral: Rieekan
Objectives: Unknown, I was second. Probably something nasty

GR-75 Medium Transport
Rieekan

GR-75 MT
Bright Hope
BCC

GR-75 CR
BCC

Modified Pelta-class Command Ship
Phoenix Home
Raymus Antilles
Adar Talon
Engine Techs
All Fighters Follow Me

Neb-B Escort
Yavaris
Flight Controllers
Flight Commander
TRC

Luke
Wedge
Biggs
Jan Orrs
Nora Wexley
Y-Wing
VCX-100
VCX-100
 

My List:
Faction: Rebel Alliance
Bid: 4
Admiral: Dodonna
Objectives: Targeting Beacons, Planetary Ion Cannon, Superior Positions (I know, terrible choices, right?)

MC30c Torpedo Frigate
OE
APT

MC30c TF
OE
APT

Neb-B Support Refit
Salvation
Dodonna

Neb-B Escort Frigate
Yavaris

GR-75 MT
BCC

Jan Orrs
X-Wing
X-Wing
X-Wing
B-Wing
B-Wing

 

     My initial plan with my list was to have the Dolphins* circle round from one side and the Nebs put pressure on the other side of the enemy fleet, either splitting the enemy forces or causing one or the other of my groups to hit them in the rear. I relied mainly on my dolphins, as they were the ships that had the best damage output. I had run an iteration of this list before, once, against an opponent who had never heard of Yavaris before. In that battle one MC30 died the first turn (my admiral’s of all ships), and the second died the 2nd turn. I eventually won the game due to Yavaris. I decided to give the fleet another go, modifying the bomber wing and supporting it with a BCC and escort. I also shifted my Admiral, having at least learned that lesson.

When I first saw Brobra’s fleet I knew I was doomed, but figured I could scrape something out of it. . . read on if you want to see how poorly I did in that regard.

Warning: Because I did not record the battle (I’ll try in the future) the following events are based on my notoriously sketchy memory. I would urge BrobaFett to make corrections were required, and any discrepancies in the narration to be pointed out by anybody who spotted them.

SET-UP: I went first and put the station off towards the right and bottom of the set-up area, closer to my ships. As I intended to put my Neb’s on that flank, and they were to be going primarily at speed one, I thought it might be useful to have it there. Broba then put a debris field just out from the station closer to his side. I am not quite sure why he didn’t put it on my side, but it ended up to be useful, so maybe that is why. In a desire to rid myself of the threat of obstacles, I placed one asteroid away in the upper left corner of the 3x4 space, almost touching his deployment area. For those of you who are reading this and don’t know, I learned that I could have put it outside the set-up area, which was only limited to ships (this is correct, right?). Upon further reflection I should have put it towards the middle of the upper border of the area, since with Dodonna I could have used it as more of a deterrent then I normally find asteroids to be. A second debris field was placed horizontally to the right of the previous one, slightly above it. Thinking that I might as well contribute to the general clutter, and trying to lessen the odds of my opponent getting to the station, I placed the long this asteroids obstacle at distance 1 of both debris fields opposite the station, somewhat blocking the path through them. Broba placed the last obstacle nearer the center of the table on my border, though this ended up hurting him more than me.
     BrobaFett went first and set his Pelta first in the center of his deployment area. I responded by putting Yavaris, I believe, somewhat opposite him and to the right, facing front and roughly between the station and asteroid should it go straight (spoilers: it did). Fighters and transports were deployed next, with my fighters forming a rough semi-circle in front of Yavaris and the BCC Flottila, which was to the right of Yavaris. BrobaFett’s fighters formed two columns to either side of his Pelta, and Bright Hope flanked it on the left. Salvation was placed far the right of the set-up area, with the intention of having it swing around, but stupidity on my part (keeping it at speed 1 for a bit) kept it out of the fight for 3 turns. Rieekan’s lifeboat was placed in the upper left corner of its set-up area, heading slowly towards the station. His Yavaris was on the right side of the Pelta, with the Combat Refit flanking it on the right as, he said, a ‘blocker’ (it almost worked too). My dolphins were placed opposite his Yavaris, Rieekan and the Combat Refit, hoping to either cut behind them or separate them from the Pelta and risk destruction to achieve double arcs or the use of both side arcs.

ROUND 1: This round was over fairly quickly in terms of actual activity (Set-up alone took an hour, then we spent 2 more hours getting to 2/3 of the way through round 2, so I’ll ignore real time when describing rounds), as my dolphins sped up and ended up almost head-to-head with Yavaris. My two Nebs slowly crept forward, with Yavaris and the BCC pushing the squadrons ahead of themselves. Broba’s Pelta and 1 BCC went to head them off with Biggs, 1 VCX, a Y-Wing and Jan while Norra, Wedge and Luke were sent to pick apart my dolphins**. The remaining VCX remained in the middle of the play area so as to be in range of as many squads as possible. By the end of Luke’s bombing run 1 dolphin was down to 2 hull, and the next turn it ended up in front of Yavaris’s front arc, and thus died pointlessly.

ROUND 2: The Pelta activated to activate Luke and get him in range of where my wounded dolphin would be, and his squads attacked mine. My wounded MC30 was only able to flak this round, so it hit Wedge and Luke and fled, ending up in Yavaris’ front arc, which dealt it a bit of damage aided by the TRCs, and then double-tapped Luke who murdered it. In response to other squadron activity (namely Biggs, who was ripping through my own squads) I activated Yavaris and double tapped an X-Wing and a B-Wing, but they failed to kill him. My last MC30 activated and by a rather good maneuver, if I do say so myself, parked nicely in double-arcing close range of Yavaris after having rammed his blocker. The rest of the ships then activated and moved closer to the battlefield, though my MT managed to activate the X-Wing that Zombified Biggs and Jan allowed the rest of my squads to go and engage the VCX (reducing it to 4 hull) and Jan that were creeping up on Yavaris’s right.

ROUND 3: The Pelta activated Luke again and sent him after my dolphin. I do not remember if he injured it, though he probably did. I activated it next, nearly killing Yavaris (After the attack it couldn’t refresh defense tokens, both of its braces were spent, was at 1 hull without shields to the front or right side, and had its engineering value cut in half rounded down). Unfortunately I couldn’t ram it and ended up, after another neat move, in-between the Pelta and Yavaris, in double-arcing close range of both, with sights on the rear of the Pelta. I was pretty happy, as you can imagine, with my prospects for the next turn when wadda-ya-know, Yavaris activates and Luke slaughters mercilessly and in a rather good impression of Darth Vader every crew member on board the Rebel Dolphin, leaving the ship dead. I had been confident that I wouldn’t die since I was out of Luke’s range, which meant he had to move, but then Yavaris FCTed him (did I mention how much I hate that combo?). The VCX was killed this turn, but then so was my Jan, which was bad as my squads now couldn’t bomb the Pelta, which they had happily been doing until now this turn, and had left it with no shields on its left and rear. My Yavaris was then left with 3 hull after several attacks. It was also this turn that BrobaFett for some reason decided to bring Rieekan into danger and ram my transport, putting him in range of Salvation, which had landed on the righter-most debris field.

ROUND 4: The Pelta naturally activated first this turn and flaked my squads after putting a front shot into Yavaris that merely reduced its shields. This turn BrobaFett was extremely lucky, as through a major feat of poor planning my Yavaris didn’t have a squadron command, and so I activated my BCC transport instead, thus meaning that instead of double tapping a B-Wing and X-Wing in the Pelta’s unshielded left arc I could but single-tap them, which left the Pelta close to death, but alive. His ships continued to pound my squads and ships, but no major damage was incurred to the latter, whereas the former were completely extinguished. My Yavaris attacked the Pelta from its front arc, leaving it shieldless and on 1 hull, so it rammed the Pelta to kill it, as I didn’t want to trust the now-in-range Salvation’s front arc to do the job, given how (wh)iffy red dice are. This proved the perfect opportunity for Luke and Norra to double-tap and get the damage required to kill me. Salvation, which annoyingly revealed a squadron command, rammed into Bright Hope and shot at Rieekan, but nothing happened. His Yavaris continued to turn away from the battle and relay squadron commands to his fighters which began to pick away at Salvation, while it performed long range shots against my transport, and removed a front shield. Rieekan then fled the scene and survived, but Bright Hope hit an asteroid and by a fortunate coincidence got a structural and died.

ROUND 5: My transport shot flak at Wedge, who was one 2 health, Jan, who was on 1, and another squadron (the Y-Wing I think) but - oh the tragedy! - it whiffed EVERY SHOT. Salvation went and fired at Rieekan, scoring my first and only victory token and doing 1 damage (I got, with a re-roll from a concentrate fire dial, 1 critical hit and 2 accuracies, with the 1 accuracy being the re-roll of a blank. I was so close!). It then flaked out the side but imitated my Transport and whiffed before moving into red range of Yavaris’s rear, nicely set-up for next turn. . . only it was killed by squadron bombing and never got to next turn. By an odd coincidence the Combat Refit GR-75 flew into the same asteroid this turn (remember it was on 2 health from the dolphin ram) and pulled, with no help from Dodonna, a structural damage, which killed it.

ROUND 6: At his point I only had the GR-75 left to fight off Luke, Wedge, Norra, Jan, a VCX, a Y-Wing, Rieekan, and Yavaris. It tried to redeem itself from last time and shot flak at Luke, Wedge, Norra and the Y-Wing (Jan was out of range) and got 1 hit EVERY TIME! I even concentrated fire against Wedge but (alas!) one die whiffed.

     Throughout the game BrobaFett had been earning Victory Tokens (4 from Luke’s double taps against the dolphins, a few more from shooting Yavaris, and even more for killing Salvation, so he had accumulated 10 of them, to my 1. He also tabled me, killing 396 points of fleet, though I understand that tabling counts for an automatic win and only 400 points (please correct me if I’m wrong). In return I managed to kill 1 VCX and Biggs, and was granted two suicidal transports to soften the loss, as well as a Victory Token, for a total of 546-197 informally or 400-0 formally (?). Whatever the final official score, it was a miserably un-close defeat, with the only surprising thing being the time (in game, not the 6 hours of real life) taken to accomplish it.
     Over all it was a really fun game, even with a rebellious keyboard, motherboard, and a decimated fleet. BrobaFett was my second ever opponent, and as he was not someone to whom I had taught the game, and for whom I was not the only access to Armada tactics and news, he was a welcome addition of diversity and thus I would have enjoyed the game whatever happened and however long it took. As for useful conclusions I can draw, I can say that I abhor the Yavaris, FC/FCT, Adar Tallon Luke combo, but will most certainly use it against my other opponent. :)
     I have seriously got to work on deployment and planning. Salvation should have been moved up quicker or positioned closer, and I should most certainly have tried to ram Yavaris, but I had forgotten about the FCTs and wanted to be out of Luke’s range. This probably is what cost me the game since without Yavaris his squadrons would only have been half as effective and I doubt Yavaris’s absence would have changed any of the circumstances that allowed me to kill the Pelta. It may have even left some of my squads alive for at least a turn more, and without Yavaris’s double tap abilities Luke and Norra wouldn’t have killed my Yavaris that turn and at least 4 Victory Tokens would not have been won.
     Obstacle deployment could also have been better put to my advantage, and even though the asteroids did come in handy, the rock that killed the transports was the one Brobafett placed. Mine did nothing. I could perhaps have centered them towards the center of the table, forcing his ships further apart, and thus limiting squadron coordination, or forcing them into 1 half the table, in which I may have been able to box them. This is however more hypothetical then what would have happened should I have killed Yavaris, so I’ll stop here before I get into really vague territory.

*They do look like Dolphins don’t they? The MC30s I mean. It’s not just me right?
**A semi-side note here: If you are facing a Yavaris, FC/FCT Luke Combo, especially if Adar Tallon is present, then either you should have brought a Kallus Raider and a Motti ISD-II to rip apart Luke and Yavaris from a safe distance, or you should run.

Anyways, that's the report. If you have any questions/comments/corrections please don't hesitate to post them.
A screenshot of the end game:

End_Game.png

 

Edited by NobodyInParticular

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44 minutes ago, NobodyInParticular said:

  He also tabled me, killing 396 points of fleet, though I understand that tabling counts for an automatic win and only 400 points (please correct me if I’m wrong). In return I managed to kill 1 VCX and Biggs, and was granted two suicidal transports to soften the loss, as well as a Victory Token, for a total of 546-197 informally or 400-0 formally (?). 

546-197.  

In tournament parlance, that is a 10-1 with an MOV of 349 for your opponent.

Tabling a fleet grants 400 points.  Before objectives.


This is because you might only be facing 380 points of fleet, some of which are ships and some of which are squadrons...  Killing the ships nets you a full 400, saving you from having to kill the Squadrons and Such.  It is also a win to that player.

Then you add objective points.

The Objective points certainly effect the outcome of the MOV (which is limited to a maximum of 400), but you can even have situations where, for example, one day, I lost all of my Fleet, but I had tallied 19 Superior Position Tokens to my opponents 6 (Bombing his Rieekan Zombies)...   Bringing the MOV up to what would have been 20 in my favour, but i still lost my fleet......  So I still lose, and he Wins, with an MOV of 0.

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5 minutes ago, Drasnighta said:

546-197.  

In tournament parlance, that is a 10-1 with an MOV of 349 for your opponent.

Tabling a fleet grants 400 points.  Before objectives.


This is because you might only be facing 380 points of fleet, some of which are ships and some of which are squadrons...  Killing the ships nets you a full 400, saving you from having to kill the Squadrons and Such.  It is also a win to that player.

Then you add objective points.

The Objective points certainly effect the outcome of the MOV (which is limited to a maximum of 400), but you can even have situations where, for example, one day, I lost all of my Fleet, but I had tallied 19 Superior Position Tokens to my opponents 6 (Bombing his Rieekan Zombies)...   Bringing the MOV up to what would have been 20 in my favour, but i still lost my fleet......  So I still lose, and he Wins, with an MOV of 0.

Right, I see. Thanks for the explanation, I figured I was off somewhere. 

Also, my condolences for your loss.

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Great write up Nobody :) I had a great time, and was happy to be your first vassal opponent.

I was fortunate for your swapped commands, there is no doubt there. Had the Pelta been removed from play earlier (Salvation did eventually kill him the following turn before sinking herself, so your results are not as dire as you remember them!) then who knows how things would have turned out. But that is the nature of the game, and for having a limited pool of opponents and new to the machinations of Vassal, you played very well and I cannot state that strongly enough.

But I was happy to get through the game, as long as it was, and not have to end it half way so you could learn the ropes. The total time was certainly high, but I felt like a solid 50% of that was hardware difficulties with your computer which if you get worked should have you running much faster. Hopefully I was helpful and patient in our game, at least in teaching all the handy shortcuts that with some practice can really speed things up. It is super important to play that first game, understand it can and will probably take forever, and know that after a couple of games (not even a ton, just 2-3) you will be clocking in at the same time as your table games at most, and with more practice you can finish games well under the time it would take on the table, especially when you factor set up and clean up.

So for anyone looking to get that first game out of the way and bumble through the mis-clicks with a patient opponent, don't hesitate to shoot me a PM! It's Nobody tested and Nobody approved! (Thanks for not having a real name NobodyInParticular, really makes that advertisement really lack punch).

p.s. As far as posting pictures, if it says it is too large you may have to use an image resize website (I use Postimage), and select a size the forums will accept.

Edited by BrobaFett

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1 hour ago, BrobaFett said:

Great write up Nobody :) I had a great time, and was happy to be your first vassal opponent.

I was fortunate for your swapped commands, there is no doubt there. Had the Pelta been removed from play earlier (Salvation did eventually kill him the following turn before sinking herself, so your results are not as dire as you remember them!) then who knows how things would have turned out. But that is the nature of the game, and for having a limited pool of opponents and new to the machinations of Vassal, you played very well and I cannot state that strongly enough.

But I was happy to get through the game, as long as it was, and not have to end it half way so you could learn the ropes. The total time was certainly high, but I felt like a solid 50% of that was hardware difficulties with your computer which if you get worked should have you running much faster. Hopefully I was helpful and patient in our game, at least in teaching all the handy shortcuts that with some practice can really speed things up. It is super important to play that first game, understand it can and will probably take forever, and know that after a couple of games (not even a ton, just 2-3) you will be clocking in at the same time as your table games at most, and with more practice you can finish games well under the time it would take on the table, especially when you factor set up and clean up.

So for anyone looking to get that first game out of the way and bumble through the mis-clicks with a patient opponent, don't hesitate to shoot me a PM! It's Nobody tested and Nobody approved! (Thanks for not having a real name NobodyInParticular, really makes that advertisement really lack punch).

p.s. As far as posting pictures, if it says it is too large you may have to use an image resize website (I use Postimage), and select a size the forums will accept.

Thanks. I added a pic. Do you mean I killed Rieekan? If so, that's great! It also means that the only things left alive on the table as seen in the screenshot is Yavaris and the fighters.

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Rieekan lived to the end, but the flotillas both killed themselves thanks to landing on rocks and pulling a structural (Thanks Dodonna).

The Pelta was killed by Salvation, leaving only Rieekans flotilla, the squads, and Yavaris alive on my side of the table. So you can paint two flotillas and a Pelta on the side of Salvation before the next battle :)

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23 minutes ago, BrobaFett said:

Rieekan lived to the end, but the flotillas both killed themselves thanks to landing on rocks and pulling a structural (Thanks Dodonna).

The Pelta was killed by Salvation, leaving only Rieekans flotilla, the squads, and Yavaris alive on my side of the table. So you can paint two flotillas and a Pelta on the side of Salvation before the next battle :)

Ah I see yes well my Yavaris rammed your Pelta to death. I'm afraid Salvation didn't really do anything. It shot at Rieekan and gained my token. I think your confusion stems from the fact that you thought I was going to shoot your Pelta with Salvation (you made a comment to that effect) and I corrected you by pointing out that Yavaris was going to ram the ship. One of the transports (the combat I believe) got a structural after Dodonna died, which I thought rather fortunate. 

So alas nothing survived to be painted on, but given the last survivor was a transport, I think I'd prefer to paint the ships on that. :) Kind of ironic, I think, that something without guns should get the honor.

 

Edited by NobodyInParticular

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You are correct! It was the Yavaris Ram! Both of our hazy memories together can produce the truth haha.

I think your Yavaris placement was great. Salvation was just a little too wide, as were the "dolphins". I think if you brought the whole group in just a little, planning to strafe the dolphins in front of  my Yavaris instead of behind and maybe lined up Salvation parallel to your Yavaris about dis 1 to the right it would have made a big difference. You could have committed some squads to tie up my bombers on your MC's in that case, while also bringing Salvation guns into the fray a turn or more earlier than they did.

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1 minute ago, Ginkapo said:

Obstacles must be placed in the setup area. 

Broba first rule of teaching vassal is fly a simple list...

Oh the list wasn't a problem, though he almost ran a CC version of it (Thanks Fran!). After all, how you handle/deal with an opponent's list isn't what you learn in Vassal, but how to implement your decisions in an unfamiliar medium. I would have fared just as badly had we played in real life, it would just have taken less time. :) 

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I know my fleet was overly complex for a tutorial. I was specifically asked to play it like I would a tournament environment, not a learn to play style, for the benefit and experience of Nobody. I have no issue at all running a simple list with just bare bones upgrades, in fact I had such a fleet saved that I was planning on using but I messed up the logfile so had to manually load a fleet quickly on the fly.

Since Nobody wasn't necessarily a new player, just new to Vassal, I decided to run it.

 

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