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elanmorintedronai

Jeebus's Worlds Report

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Hiya, everybody! Elan Morin Tedro reporting in with my Worlds report. Some of you folks may know me as Jeebus on the Discord or Kyle in real life. I’m a grad student based in the Land of Cheese (Wisconsin) who started playing Armada in March 2018 and made the trip down to Adepticon for my first proper tournament at Worlds. Madison has a small, but strong miniatures gaming community- my most frequent opponent made top 16 at Worlds last year and we have the Runewars (RIP) World Champion- so I wanted to test my mettle against the wider world of Armada players.

Locally, I’m known for a few things: my love of Admiral Ackbar and large-based ships, my pathological hatred of the Assault Potato MkII, and my tendency to run either max squads or zero squads, with rarely anything in between. Most of us hadn’t been playing much Armada for a few months before Worlds due to the lack of news, so I knew I would need to run a list I knew how to fly and wouldn’t need much practice for.

As a result, I took a modified version of the list that won me our (small) store championship. Overall, I did better than I expected- making it to day 2 and placing 36th overall despite dropping before my final game. There had been a last-minute drop, I wasn’t going to get top 16, and wanted a chance to check out the vendor hall, so I dropped to even out the player count, get my challenge coin, and ogle the SSD.

Enter: The Fish-Man and His Wife

Theory of the list: It’s a straightforward Ackbar build. Jaina can still Ackbar obstructed targets, the H1MC80A is downright nasty with Ackbar, and the MC-75 Armored Cruiser makes for a great lead ship in a conga line. I have QBTs to get blues for leading shots and controlling my opponent’s speed. Home One gets me two guaranteed accuracies every round if my ships stay within distance 5 of my flagship. If Jaina stays at distance 5 of the flagship, she hits way harder than she has any right to and is good at killing flotillas or flanking. Bail is there because of Pryce and Imperial 2-Ship’s popularity. I think 4 activations is a good place to use strategic advisor- it’ll get you closer to activation parity against moderately MSU fleets, and against pure 2-ship lists it means I can delay activating my combat ships until after the other player has done all of theirs. 2-ship was my biggest fear, since my local community has been slow lately and nobody had experience with. I knew this archetype and rebel bombers (particularly Rieekan aceholes) would be my biggest threats. AG is there for obvious reasons, Contested Outpost is amenable to toilet bowls, and Corona mitigates my deployment disadvantage.

Game 1:

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My first opponent was a Canadian in an Infowars shirt running a squad-heavy Ackbar fleet without BCC. He took second player, so I gave him advanced gunnery and chose to go for the table since he only had an H1MC80C and TRC90 for combat ships. I screwed up in deployment by having my CR90 too far off to the side- it wouldn’t join the battle until the very end after the game was effectively over. That didn’t matter much, though- at the end of turn 2, his TRC was at medium range of my MC-75. His bombers focused the 75, but rolled a few blanks (this is why BCC is stapled to Rebel max-squadron lists, kids!). It survived the AG double tap, moved some shields with an engineering dial, and scooted away. I tabled him on turn 4-5, but his dice stopped acting up during the final squadron phase, letting his bombers blow up my flagship, preventing my 10-1.


Fluoridated Water: 8, Alex Jones: 3

 

Game 2:
Game 2 was against a guy from Omaha, Nebraska running Rieekan Aceholes MSU. This was a rough game. He gave me player 1 and I chose planetary ion cannon. Riding high off game 1, I was stupid and overly aggressive, moving my MC80 too far forward, stupidly thinking I’d be able to finish off Adar Talon on a hammerhead. He moved in, his bombers did their job while his VCX made sure he got full use of the objective. When it was all said and done, I had traded both my big ships for a hammerhead and barely avoided a tabling.

Children of the Corn: 9, Ackbar and Friends: 2

Game 3:

Game 3 was against Matt, whom I would later play against in the team game on Sunday. He was running a variation on Imperial 2-ship: Thrawn interdictor, Quasar, Tua/ECM gozanti with aces. He took player 1 and selected contested outpost for the objective, using the Interdictor to move the station closer to the middle of the board. I ultimately wasted too much effort trying to kill his interdictor, which had engineering dials for days and used Thrawn to push squads. I should’ve killed the Quasar and ran, but ended up trading one of my big ships for it while his Interdictor got away scott free.

Blue Man Group: 8, Fish Fry: 3

Game 4:
At this point, I was exhausted and annoyed with myself for making dumb mistakes in my games. I only had 13 tournament points, so I knew I needed a big win to even have a shot at making Day 2 (frankly, I wouldn’t have made it if not for the drops, but I was unaware of them at the time). Fortunately, I got exactly what I needed. My last opponent was from the Chicago suburbs running a very strange imperial 2-ship list with a few firesprays thrown in. He gave me second player and chose Contested Outpost. As we were setting up, we were both talking about how we needed big wins, so I was confused and (frankly) a bit perturbed that he deployed very passively: his ISD-II was at speed 1, his Quasar was at the back of his deployment area perpendicular to his ISD, and he set Pryce on the ISD for turn 4. Early on, he Thrawned and launched his bombers, focusing fire and destroying my flotilla. My TRC90 was in range of Home One, taking potshots at his ISD while moving try to catch the Quasar before the game ended.  


On turn 3, I received a gift from above. In what I can only describe as a massive blunder, for his first activation my opponent spent a token to jump his ISD to speed 3, parking it at close range and of my MC-75 and medium range of both the Home One and my TRC90, while his Quasar was out of squadron activation range despite boosted comms. My TRC90 got to Ackbar slash his quasar and ISD, my MC-75 unloaded a close range broadside into it before ending its activation at close range of the Quasar, then my Home One finished off the ISD. At this point, he concerned because I was going to table him: my MC-75 was at close range of the Quasar with Bail set to turn 5 and the Quasar wasn’t going to escape my TRC90’s side arc with two full rounds of shooting left and only his rogue squadrons able to do work. With multiple rounds of outpost, I ended with a 400 point MOV and a 10-1.

Ackbar: 10, Speedy Gonzales: 1

I ended with 23 tournament points, along with 9 other people. Fortunately, I had the second highest MOV at 605, ending the day in the #39 spot and advancing to Day 2.

Game 5:

My penultimate game was against a Texan running a squadless Jerjerrod fleet with an ISD, Demo, 2 flotillas, and a Raider. My dice were rolling hot at long range at the start of the game, almost killing his Raider and severely weakening his Gladiator. Eventually, Demo got to last+first my Home One and park in front of it with 3 hull and 2 shields to redirect to and Avenger right next door. If I could destroy it, my flagship would use its nav dial and engine techs to scoot around the ISD, out of its front arc, and escape burning but alive. Despite QBTs and rerolls, Demo survived my Home One with one hull point remaining, dying to the ram before Avenger finished it off. My 7-4 win had turned into a 7-4 loss.

Texas Black Dice Massacre: 7, Pray the Pain Away: 4

Game 6:
My last game was against a different Nebraskan named Nathan. He was running a squadless Motti with a Kuat, Tua/ECM/Slicer tools Gozanti, comms net Gozanti, raider, and Demo. We both knew we weren’t going to get top 16, so it was a pretty casual game. He bought me a beer at the start, and I returned the favor after. I was player 2 with contested outpost. He bumrushed me while I chipped away at him. Demo’s APTs pulled Disengaged Fire Control on my MC-75 while all its shots would have been obstructed, but I fixed it with the engineering dial I had lined up. His Kuat jumped to speed 3 and parked itself in front of my MC-75, while I finished off his raider and Demo. My Home One executed the mythical speed zero maneuver to avoid ramming the MC-75. He eventually destroyed the MC-75, but the Kuat was smoking. After the Home One’s activation, it was at 2 hull at medium range of my TRC90, which finished it off for a 9-2 win in a very fun game.

Bonus: Team Game

I heard there would be prizes for Sunday’s team game, so I found a partner named John and we worked out a strategy while waiting to get seated at Kooma’s Corner with a large group of Armada players. We settled on Rieekan/Ackar with big ships. He would take Rieekan with two MC-75 Ordnance Cruisers to jam down the opponent’s throats, while my Ackbar 75 Armored and 80 Assault Home One would orbit the battle. Our objectives were close-range intel scan (to farm tokens with Home One), fleet ambush (because we had lots of red dice, it would mitigate our deployment disadvantage against squads, and we could bumrush the other person if given a good opportunity), and solar corona. Matt’s fleet had a Thrawn Interdictor, 2 gozantis and squads, while his partner (evidently one of tORJ's hosts) had a Motti ISD, some flotillas and a bunch of squads. They took player 1 and picked fleet ambush. John’s Rieekan ships pushed into the middle while Ackbar went around. The squads, Interdictor, and ISD picked apart Rieekan before the Interdictor ran away.  In exchange, we crippled the ISD and blew up one of Matt’s Gozantis. With my partner tabled, I finished off the ISD, evening the tablings. Despite some shoddy navigating on my part after not sleeping at all the night before, the squads were unable to finish off my MC80 by the end of Round 6. Each team had someone get tabled, while of the remaining players, Matt had lost a Gozanti and I hadn’t lost anything.

Ahab & Ishmael: 6, The Real Alphas: 5

 

Gameplay conclusions: The Fish-Man and his Wife did pretty well, going 3-3 overall. Very few games were close, particularly against squadron-heavy builds. You can go squadless at tournaments and succeed, but only with certain fleet archetypes and they have very little margin of error. Activation-order modifying cards are extremely strong. My personal view is that Pryce is absolutely horrendous for the health of the metagame, while Strategic Officer is less bad but still not good. I don't like Bail's existence, but he's the most benign in my view. In a game where people already bid heavily for first player, Pryce makes it even stronger while only being a risky choice on turn 2 against very specific kinds of fleets. Strategic Adviser removes a lot of the activation disadvantage on large ships and makes it hard to justify other officers. Bail only mitigates the disadvantage of going second on one turn, can be disastrous if he's set for the wrong turn, and it's harder to predict which turn you want to use him. 

 

Overall, the weekend was a blast. I got some neat acrylics/alt arts (including an awesome turn counter!), met a bunch of Discord folks in person for the first time, and made new friends. I did better than I’d expected, and was quite pleased to finish in the top 40 despite only playing for a year and this being my first real tournament. I can’t wait until the 2019 Regionals season starts so I can try to meet up with people again.

Edited by elanmorintedronai

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