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Warlord Zepnick

Core Gameplay Change Battle Reports

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Howdy folks,

Welcome to the Core Gameplay Change Battle Reports thread, where people are encouraged to try a different style of play and post their results.

In light of the pervasiveness of flotillas and high activation fleets, I finally decided to play a game with the passing rule known to Imperial Assault players.

There is legitimate concern about the flotilla power creep, and much ink has been spilled on the topic. However, what we don't see is the main proposed rule change in action.

The proposed passing rule change, meant to curb the activation padding of many fleets, is this:

First player: Can only pass an activation to his opponent while he has less activations.

Second player: Can pass an activation when he either has less activations than his opponents or activations equal to his opponent.

Battle Report

Recently, I decided to fly a list using only 3 activations, against a list with 6.

My opponent's list featured 4 gozantis, a demolisher, a raider, and a Jendon ball of defenders, which included Vader.  I was first player, and we played precision strike.

I set up in the corner near my opponent's demolisher, but did not turtle. I was able to pass 3 times in the first few rounds, which not only sped the game up, but also allowed me to evaluate where my opponent's ships were going. Additionally passing is very different with the ISDs; I have to move before you, so I can't force you to move, then arc dodge. It's more like X-Wing where I have to think about where you can go, then lock in a maneuver before I know what you are doing.

The passing rule rewarded me for maneuvering my ISD's towards his gozantis, allowing me to destroy two in one round. Typically, I would have been able to move into position, but only before the two gozantis I was targeting activated. Thus, I would not have been able to shoot them despite solid flying, because they would have been able to stay out of range. The gameplay change makes the larger ships a little less predictable.

Ultimately my opponent moved his squadrons in to engage mine because he saw that I was navigating with the ISDs to try and cut off the gladiator and kill his gozantis.

Later on in the game, I began activating first again. I was faced with the decision to either try and trap the gladiator, but risk my raider being mauled from behind, or shoot some AA flak with the raider. Sadly, I chose the former, and my raider was annihilated by my opponent's raider, through a structural damage hit to the rear.

While I lost the majority of my squadrons, the game was actually a lot closer than it would have been under the current gameplay rules.

Other takeaways:

The flotillas are still good for avoiding being tabled and distributing activations to give time to react, but they aren't overwhelming for stalling anymore.

My opponent had to play his squadrons very differently. If I had to activate first, my opponent would have known if the ISDs had squad commands or not, but instead I could stall so my opponent really had to consider when to shove his suqadrons in and risk getting hit by a 4-activation squadron command. This game play change makes the ISD a much better carrier, which is something you pay for when you spend 120 points on the II variant in the first place. It is much easier to force an ISD-II to bleed squadron activations in the current game state. My main thought is that this would actually put a value on concentrating activations for squadrons, and that while it's good to have more activations than the opponent, you really only need 1 more.

It's also less brutal if you have less activations, so I think this switches from wanting to spam to suddenly wanting to optimize. 4 could work. 5 could work. 3 could work. There's lots of options now.

Conclusion

Playing with the passing rules was a breath of fresh air. I encourage others to try it out at least once, and post their results.

 

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Interesting view. My and gaming buddy haven't played Armada for a number of weeks now, largely because of burnout re high activation lists.

I have a feeling we may adopt something similar in the near future.


 

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