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My attempts at victory! (Martinsburg Regional)

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As I posted up last night, I went to the Martinsburg regionals yesterday (using a vacation day from work to do it! ?)  I had been working on my regional list for a while, to avoid the "Throw something together the night before and see if it works" mentality that I normally go with.  I had been running it at our store monthly tournament for a few months in various configurations, and I finally settled on the specifics this past Thursday.  

Since I haven't actually posted it before, it was:

ISD1, Screed, Avenger, Boarding Troopers, Wing Commander, Leading Shots

Gladiator 1, Demolisher, Assault Proton Torpedoes, Ordnance Experts, Engine Techs

Raider 1, Instigator, Flechette Torpedoes, Ordnance Experts

2x Gozanti cruisers

2 Decimators, Valen Rudor

Superior Positions, Advanced Gunnery, Hyperspace Assault

The concept behind the build is to have two heavy-hitters (Avenger and Demolisher) doing the bulk of the work, and the Raider, Gozantis, and squadrons try to handle the squadrons, tying up any enemy fighter balls long enough that I don't die.  Wing Commander is there on the ISD to ensure I can get the squadron command for Boarding Troopers, even if there's a slicer tools flotilla running around, and the ISD can also activate the fighters if necessary.  @CyborgNinja has shown me the importance of disrupting enemy squadron balls with his expert level squadron play (all luck he will claim, he's very modest ?)!  I had tried with just 4 activations, no engine tech, and 3 Defenders plus Stele and had a good 13 point bid, but I felt not having a fifth activation was just hurting my gameplay too much with Avenger and Demo.

I think I can safely say many people were surprised at how many participants showed up, with 36 starting the tournament!  We had people from as far away as the Philadelphia area showing up!  Four rounds was going to lead to a long day of playing.

Round 1 was against one of those Philly area guys, Marcus.  He was running an Imperial list with an ISD2, Sloane, Weapons Liaison, Flight Controllers, Spinal Armament, Electronic Countermeasures, Expanded Hangar Bay, Avenger

Gozanti w/ Comms Net, 2 Gozanti w/ Repair Crews.  Squadrons were Vader, Howlrunner, Dengar, Ciena, 2 Advanced, 3 Interceptors.  He chose first player and selected my Superior Positions objective.

Deployment (except my squadrons, I took the picture too early).  As you can see, I'm going for a pincer move with my anti-squadron components going for his squadrons.


End of turn 1.  He's split his squadrons up but I'm not too concerned about it.  My biggest concern is mis-timing my Raider run with my squadrons so it doesn't die before my squadrons can protect it from his.


End of turn 2.  Some of his squadrons jumped out and attacked mine, which was fine.  It allowed me to use Instigator with its Flechette Torpedoes earlier than I had planned for.


End of turn 3.  Here we go!  It's clobberin' time!  He's obviously favoring my ISD over Demo.  My Decimators are destroyed, but Valen is still up, and my Gozanti pair are doing some damage with their anti squadron shots.


End of turn 4.  Demo is set up for a classic dual arc shot, and my Avenger is ready to pound the remnants into space dust!  My Raider died unfortunately- it's defense tokens really are horrible.


End of turn 5.  So apparently Gozantis can also shoot ships...  Both of our ISDs were destroyed, mine dying to a single Gozanti shot removing my last hull point.  Maybe I should do more than just spam navigation commands the whole game.


End of the game.  Valen lived, Demo and my 2 Gozanti lived, and 1 of his Gozanti survived. It ended up being a 30 point MoV for me due to his objective tokens compared to mine (328-298, a 6-5 win).  I ended up 21st of 36 (there were quite a few people that took their bye rounds).

Overall I was happy with the performance of the list, and this match pointed out the importance of something other than navigation commands.

Edited by emsgoof

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Round 2 was against Jon K.  I've played him a couple times, and he's always got a list that has great synergy.  Looking at his list, and seeing a bunch of fighters, I should have heeded my own warning about fighter heavy list (my biggest weakness) and selected second player, just turtled up and let him come to me.  I didn't. ?

He was bringing:

ISD2, Sloane, Avenger, Grand Inquisitor, Gunnery Team, Electronic Countermeasures, Quad Battery Turrets

Gozanti, Vector, Expanded Hangar Bay

Quasar (forgot to record the upgrades)

Ciena, Mauler, Howlrunner, Black Squadron, Saber Squadron, 3 TIE Fighters, 1 TIE Interceptor, 2 Lambda.

I chose his Fighter Ambush, foolishly.

Deployment.  I forgot a picture before moving Demo, but you get the idea.  The concept is to rush him, destroy the ISD, and then mop up his smaller ships.


End of turn 1.  This is already looking to be bad, he's decided to move his squadrons towards Demo rather than the ISD, and mine are out of position.  Oh, did I mention I hate relay?


End of turn 2.  Remember that thing about him going after Demo?  Nope, whole lotta nope.  He's going for the easy victory points, and running over my speed bump of fighters.  And now I'm also starting to find out how annoying Sloane is, especially combined with Relay.


End of turn 3.  During the turn, I had to change the speed on my Raider, and he used the Grand Inquisitor to up his speed and jump out of my turn 4 ISD front arc shot.  At this point my only hope is a change in strategy.  Send my ISD after 2 smaller ships (3 turns to destroy them, I'm at speed 3, it's plausible), and send Demo after his ISD (I'm faster and 3 turns of double tap better be able to destroy an ISD!)


End of turn 4.  His Gozanti has dropped to speed 0 to avoid my ISD at close range.  I can't turn Demo hard enough to stay with his ISD (he destroyed my flotilla I was hoping to use as a roadblock).  Please don't let the pain be terrible...


During turn 5, I was reminded why I view dice probability posts on the forums with general disdain.  A close range ISD side arc shot against a speed 0 flotilla.


I needed 4 damage on 4 dice all capable of showing double hits.  Using Screed was pointless because it would have only given me 2 damage.

At the end of the turn, it looked like this.  Okay, I can destroy a Quasar...


Remember that whole "Nope" comment from above?  Yeah, I can't even destroy a Quasar with 2 ships attacking it.  Further, because of relay I lost Demo.  End of the game looked like this.


Please don't misunderstand me.  John is a great player, and is very friendly.  I absolutely hated this game.  Combining Relay with a fighter heavy list and Sloane, who I wasn't as well read up on as I should have been, all led to me being disgusted with my performance.  And how was that performance?  A 346-17 loss, bagging me 1 tournament point as a participation trophy, and dropping to 31st of 36.

Edited by emsgoof

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After a break for lunch, I was paired up with Steve for round 3.  He was running a triple Assault Frigate Ackbar list set up to be very tanky.

Assault Frigate 2B, Ackbar, Electronic Countermeasures, XI7, Gunnery Teams

2 Assault Frigate 2B, Intel Officer, Electronic Countermeasures, XI7, Gunnery Teams

2 GR75

Shara, Tycho

I decided to take first player, and chose his hyperspace assault.  I knew it was risky with the possibility of an Ackbar AF2 showing up behind me, but hey maybe it would work for me.

Deployment, except Valen who I put next to the Decimators.  Ackbar is on my right.


After turn 1, we can see I'm rushing forward.  My plan is to jump out far enough from the tokens that maybe I can be ahead of the Assault Frigate waiting to come in.


End of turn 2.  Steve has a big problem.  Ackbar landed on an asteroid, and pulled a comm noise critical.  I looked at his dials, and noticed Ackbar was at speed 1.  I dropped him to speed 0 while in close range of Avenger.


At the start of turn 3, he brought his AF in behind my Avenger.  I activated Avenger first, and had to decide if I thought his other Assault Frigate was in close range (I could have just measured...). I decided to hold on to my Boarding Troopers.  Ackbar took a side shot from Avenger and was destroyed, and the other Assault Frigate took some damage from the front arc shot.  My squadrons are doing what they're supposed to, and picking on Tycho and Shara.  Here's how it looked at the end.  I'm not terribly worried about the AF behind Avenger, since I still have the activation advantage.


During turn 4, Demo was able to kill the Assault Frigate it was fighting.  Tycho has run away to the station after Shara was destroyed.  His other Assault Frigate took some damage from Avenger.


In turn 5, I was able to wait for his Assault Frigate to come into Avengers front arc.  The results were as suspected.  Tycho is having a hard time with Valen and the Decimator, and ends up destroyed.


Turn 6 not much happened.  His flotillas survived to jump to hyperspace, leaving me with a 361-45 win (10-1), moving me to 19th in the standings.

Steve was a great opponent, his match was really decided by pulling the critical damage card from the asteroid at the worst possible moment.

Edited by emsgoof

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There were a lot of drops between rounds 3 and 4.  The first three rounds had gone 20-30 minutes past time each due to turns having started just before time expired, so it was pretty late.

I got matched up against Ron running a dual ISD list.  

He had an ISD2 w/ Vader commander, Boarding Engineers, SW7, XI7, Reinforced Blast Doors

ISD2, XI7, SW7

IG88, Boba Fett, Dengar, Morna

I took first player, and chose his Jamming Barrier objective.

Deployment.  I had the deployment and activation advantage, and waited for his deployment before setting Avenger and Demo up.  I put Avenger and a Demo opposite Vader at speed 3 to rush him.


End of turn 1.  He is slow rolling while I try to reposition my fighters to engage his.


End of turn 2.  I'm sticking to my plan.  I've set up my ships to hit Vader hard.


End of turn 3.  Demo activated first and caused Vaders ISD to use most of his defense tokens, so I held onto the Boarding Troopers,  the Raider has started holding his squadrons.


End of turn 4.  My squadrons are tying his up, and Demo has attacked the remaining ISD, and is set up with a double arc shot on it.  


During turn 5, Demo activated first, and did some damage to the ISD.  He activated his ISD and shot Avenger, leaving it with 1 hull point.  I figured a ram was coming to destroy my ISD.  Fortunately for me, his ISD was at speed 1 and ended up about 1 cm short of the ram!  I was able to destroy his ISD in the return fire.  His squadrons weren't able to destroy mine, and that was the end of the game.


Honestly, this was probably the best matchup I could have gotten.  The deployment and activation advantage, and ability to control the squadron fight just clicked and it worked out for me.  I ended up with a 400-0 victory.  This boosted me up to 8th in the final standings!  I was shocked with this result after the absolute pounding I took in the second round.

Edited by emsgoof

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Thanks for taking the time to write these reports up. Well done on the placing.

How do you feel about the tournament scoring currently? To me it seems a bit odd and it seems to favour bold and aggressive play. As you've demonstrated, if you can got for a major win or two then it can really push you up the rankings as opposed to consistent play which doesn't seem right.

I like your fleet setup and you consistently got Demolisher into great positions. What was your bid out of interest?

On your squadron setup, would you change anything about it or were you happy with it?

Congrats again!

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It was a 395 point list, which gave me the choice of 1st/2nd in 3 of my games.  Extreme bidding isn’t really a thing here (much like Rieekan Aces).  My original list was floating between 387 and 389 points but I didn’t feel I had enough activations, leading me to rework my squads to free up the points for a second Gozanti.  The original list had 4 Defenders, or 3 Defenders and Stele, but I had to give them up.  The squadrons I went with seemed to be a decent compromise for anything other than a max squadron list (as we saw in round 2).

I think the scoring is right where it should be.  It allows for a few things, including a one off bad game, and also rewards you for actually engaging the enemy rather than ignoring each other and just taking 1 or 2 shots at the very end with no real engagement.  In my opinion, that’s not really playing a ship to ship combat game.  That’s also the big issue I have with relay right now- no real risk for the rewards it brings.

My last two games both came down to one or two specific moments that defined it- Ackbar being destroyed because he was speed zero due to a critical effect, and my ISD being just outside of ramming range with only 1 damage point remaining.  If either of those had been different, I wouldn’t have gotten the max points like I did.  

Edited by emsgoof

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