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flatpackhamster

I'm weary of losing to Ackbar and I'd like some suggestions

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Posted (edited)

Hello,

 

I'm fairly new to the game and not very good at it.  My opponent loves Ackbar and I've tried several times to beat one of his Ackbar fleets but I never seem to have any luck.  He turns up with a couple of assault frigates or Home One and an assault frigate and throws 14 red dice at me while proceeding slowly across the board to keep his giant side arcs pointing at me. 

 


Here's what I turned up with in the last battle (we're playing 500 points instead of 400 this time):

Name: Fleet 15
Faction: Imperial
Commander: Admiral Screed

Assault:
Defense:
Navigation:

Imperial II (120)
• Admiral Screed (26)
• Strategic Adviser (4)
• Gunnery Team (7)
• Hardend Bulkheads (5)
• Electronic Countermeasures (7)
• Heavy Ion Emplacements (9)
• XI7 Turbolasers (6)
• Relentless (3)
= 187 Points

Gladiator I (56)
• Emperor Palpatine (3)
• Engine Techs (8)
• Assault Proton Torpedoes (5)
• Demolisher (10)
= 82 Points

Gladiator I (56)
• Minister Tua (2)
• Engine Techs (8)
• Assault Proton Torpedoes (5)
• Insidious (3)
• Electronic Countermeasures (7)
= 81 Points

Raider II (48)
• Admiral Titus (2)
• Disposable Capacitors (3)
• Heavy Ion Emplacements (9)
= 62 Points

Squadrons:
• Dengar (20)
• 3 x TIE Interceptor Squadron (33)
• Mauler Mithel (15)
• TIE Advanced Squadron (12)
= 80 Points

Total Points: 492

 

He turned up with - Ackbar, 2 Assault Frigates with Enhanced Armament, Pelta, Transports, and 10 squadrons including 3 B Wings, 3 X-Wings (including Luke) and 4 A-Wings (including Shara Bey).

 

We played Intel Sweep. 

 

On my first turn I used Admiral Titus to cut the speed of 1 of his Assault Frigates by 1, which did separate them by a decent distance for the battle.  However I lost Demolisher to a pair of B-Wings and then Insidious to a 7-die red attack where he got 2 Accuracies and 4 double damages.

 

I did manage to win the squadron battle by turn 6 but by then his second Assault Frigate had rejoined the battle and my ISD ended up being hit by 14 red dice and the surviving B wing.  I barely scratched his ships.  I got a single black dice shot off from Insidious on turn 4 and nothing from Demolisher.  I never even got in to blue dice range with my ISD.  My Raider got a single shot off before being vapourised at long range (3 Accuracies, 2 double hits, 2 crits).

 

I know I did a lot of stuff wrong.  I handled my squadrons well but I didn't move my ISD fast enough in to battle, because it was commanding squadrons so I didn't use a maneuver dial on it. 

 

For the last 5 games my opponent has turned up with Ackbar and at least two red dice throwers and no matter what I try (Sloane carrier fleet, Jerjerrod VSD fleet) I just get mashed.

But if anyone can offer me any suggestions on how to deal with Admiral Effing Ackbar and the red dice gangbang I would be grateful.

 

 

Edited by flatpackhamster

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Basically you have to force him to want to not make ackbar shots.  Maneuvering into the forward or rear arcs.  Honestly the best way to deal with ackbar is to practice your maneuvers so you can more easily predict where your ships will end up.  Honestly still having trouble with it.

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Also take advantage of anti token effects overload pulse and boarding troopers or xi7 and accuracy generating effects.  Assualt Frigates are super squishy without being able to use defense tokens

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When dealing with red dice based opponents you really only have a few options (against decent deployment and a six round limit):

1) Avoid engagement, either just to deny points or using fighters.  If they want the points, make them change their game plan.
2) Do exactly what they want, and hope the red dice fail them.

With your particular fleet:

A) You are out activated.  Either put in flotillas to go for more even parity, or ditch the idea and use Pryce to try to even the count.

B) You are out deployed, by a ton.  Combined with A, this is a loss in most cases, unless you have a Pryce. Flotillas, and more fighters are called for.

C) Keep track of what upgrades/ships/squds you are not getting much use out of, for future iterations.  For instance, in your case, you didn't get much of any use out of Screed, you might consider another commander.

D) Accept that not every ship is going to do something in every matchup.  If your Star Destroyer has to putz around being useless because you needed to deploy Demolisher last, so be it.  You only have six rounds, the goal is to net as many points. Not throw all the ships into a blender and see what happens.  That being said, it's much easier to say something like that in retrospective.

 

P.S. Playing at higher or lower point levels has weird effects of the balance of the game.

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I would switch it around like this:

Victory I (73)
• Admiral Screed (26)
• Taskmaster Grint (5)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams (6)
• Assault Proton Torpedoes (5)
= 119 Points

Victory I (73)
• Wulff Yularen (7)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams (6)
• Assault Proton Torpedoes (5)
= 95 Points

Gladiator I (56)
• Admiral Ozzel (2)
• Engine Techs (8)
• Assault Proton Torpedoes (5)
• Demolisher (10)
= 81 Points

Gladiator I (56)
• The Grand Inquisitor (4)
• Engine Techs (8)
• Assault Proton Torpedoes (5)
• Insidious (3)
= 76 Points

Raider I (44)
• Agent Kallus (3)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• Instigator (4)
= 55 Points

Squadrons:
• Dengar (20)
• Mauler Mithel (15)
• Soontir Fel (18)
• Darth Vader (21)
= 74 Points

Total Points: 500

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Disclaimer: I'm very good at giving bad advice😁

Your opponent, by his choice of fleet, seems to be a careful planer, everything in his fleet is slow and ponderous (except Awings, but that is a quite defensive fast squadron)

so break his concentration! go for High risks-high rewards fleets, Vader triple cymoon, 5-raiders-fleets with APT/disposable capacitors and/or Ext racks...

begin at speed 1 go speed 0 turn1 then with token+commander+dial jump to speed3 turn 2....

remember that at Armada, the winner is not the one who utterly destroy the enemy fleet, it's the one that scores 1 point more. so go full AA boats, avoid contact and destroy his squadrons; avoiding 4 speed 2 ships that can not go directly in your direction (because Ackbar) should not be too  hard

use your objectives to his despair, minefields, planet ion canon, any thing that harvest token and get some Lambda shuttles/interdictors, remember, he is slow, make him crawl!

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Hello and thank you to everyone who replied.  I have included a picture of the setup which might help me understand where I went wrong and I will try to reply to everyone.

 

The picture is done in vassal and then bodged in Paint to show you where everyone's ships started and ended up.  All of his squads bar Luke Skywalker and 2 B-Wings moved to the centre of the board and engaged my TIE wings and I was able to contain them successfully and destroyed 9 of his 10 wings for the loss of 3 of mine by turn 6. 

Since I was 1st player I deployed first and as has been pointed out I have 4 activations.  I did have Strategic Advisor which was useful.  Should I have deployed to use the obstacles more?

 

4 hours ago, geek19 said:

Fly where's he going to be and don't fly into his sides hoping to live, kinda.

Thanks for your reply and I have been reading your advice site, it's really helpful.

I did try to get past his side arcs and that worked just fine with Demolisher, but sadly his fighters spoiled the party.  Not sure what to do about that.  Maybe keep a pair of TIE/IN close to the Gladiator and do a surprise squadron command with it?

 

4 hours ago, AdmiralYor said:

When dealing with red dice based opponents you really only have a few options (against decent deployment and a six round limit):

1) Avoid engagement, either just to deny points or using fighters.  If they want the points, make them change their game plan.
2) Do exactly what they want, and hope the red dice fail them.

With your particular fleet:

A) You are out activated.  Either put in flotillas to go for more even parity, or ditch the idea and use Pryce to try to even the count.

B) You are out deployed, by a ton.  Combined with A, this is a loss in most cases, unless you have a Pryce. Flotillas, and more fighters are called for.

C) Keep track of what upgrades/ships/squds you are not getting much use out of, for future iterations.  For instance, in your case, you didn't get much of any use out of Screed, you might consider another commander.

D) Accept that not every ship is going to do something in every matchup.  If your Star Destroyer has to putz around being useless because you needed to deploy Demolisher last, so be it.  You only have six rounds, the goal is to net as many points. Not throw all the ships into a blender and see what happens.  That being said, it's much easier to say something like that in retrospective.

 

P.S. Playing at higher or lower point levels has weird effects of the balance of the game.

Thanks for your reply.  Does Strategic Advisor work as well as Pryce?  I found the Strategic Advisor really useful in an earlier game, and thought I would try it again but it didn't pay off for me this time.

3 hours ago, Ling27 said:

I would switch it around like this:

Victory I (73)
• Admiral Screed (26)
• Taskmaster Grint (5)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams (6)
• Assault Proton Torpedoes (5)
= 119 Points

Victory I (73)
• Wulff Yularen (7)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• Phylon Q7 Tractor Beams (6)
• Assault Proton Torpedoes (5)
= 95 Points

Gladiator I (56)
• Admiral Ozzel (2)
• Engine Techs (8)
• Assault Proton Torpedoes (5)
• Demolisher (10)
= 81 Points

Gladiator I (56)
• The Grand Inquisitor (4)
• Engine Techs (8)
• Assault Proton Torpedoes (5)
• Insidious (3)
= 76 Points

Raider I (44)
• Agent Kallus (3)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• Instigator (4)
= 55 Points

Squadrons:
• Dengar (20)
• Mauler Mithel (15)
• Soontir Fel (18)
• Darth Vader (21)
= 74 Points

Total Points: 500

 

Thanks for your reply.  Can you talk me through the benefit of 2 x VSD1 over a single ISD 2?  I sort of get some use out of VSD2, but I find them both incredibly slow and very unmaneuverable.  How can I get them in close without them melting from red dice? 

4 hours ago, Anaxander said:

I'm sorry, it sounded like you were suggesting that the Rebels are establishing space superiority. Deploy ISDs with proper support and blast them out of the stars. We are professionals, are we not?

I'm not a professional.  I'd go so far to say that I'm probably more of a danger to my own side than the rebels.

 

2 hours ago, gounour said:

Disclaimer: I'm very good at giving bad advice😁

Your opponent, by his choice of fleet, seems to be a careful planer, everything in his fleet is slow and ponderous (except Awings, but that is a quite defensive fast squadron)

so break his concentration! go for High risks-high rewards fleets, Vader triple cymoon, 5-raiders-fleets with APT/disposable capacitors and/or Ext racks...

begin at speed 1 go speed 0 turn1 then with token+commander+dial jump to speed3 turn 2....

remember that at Armada, the winner is not the one who utterly destroy the enemy fleet, it's the one that scores 1 point more. so go full AA boats, avoid contact and destroy his squadrons; avoiding 4 speed 2 ships that can not go directly in your direction (because Ackbar) should not be too  hard

use your objectives to his despair, minefields, planet ion canon, any thing that harvest token and get some Lambda shuttles/interdictors, remember, he is slow, make him crawl!

 

He is a slow ponderous player.  I would say he's temperamentally far better suited to playing as Imperials!  I don't think I've seen a CC in his lineup more than once in a dozen games. 

I wish I could get a heap of raiders.  Nothing seems to be in stock.  At the moment I have 1xISD, 2xVSD, 2xGSD, 1xGozanti, 1xRaider, 1xQuasar and 1xArquitens.  A couple of Imperial Squadron I and that's it.  I keep my eyes peeled on EBay but no luck.  There was an ISD that sold for about £80 a couple of weeks ago!

Untitled.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Your ISD cost 187 points, which is a large chunk of your 500pts for one activation (or, 2, whatever). But regardless if its 1 or 2 activations, its still only 2 shots. He uses 2 AFmk2 with EA meaning 3 + 1 + 2 (+1 if CF) red dice per shot. 6-7 red out of one shot. Where you are running an ISD2 with no additional dice at his prefered range of Long Range, so 4 per shot.

2 VSD1s have 6 red dice out of their prefered forward arc; and while are slow, if they get within tractor beam range, you can mess with HIS speed, by increasing or decreasing his speed by one. So you focus down one ship at a time. Think of the VSD1s as a phalanx, slowly moving in formation toward the enemy. Also, now you have two activations that cost the same as the one ISD2.

Edit: Also, I put Yularen and Grint on the VSDs, this turns them into CF token keepers, allowing you to up your 3 red dice to 4 per shot at long range. If you wanted you could remove the raider, throw on spinals onto the VSDs and get up to 5 per shot at long range, and 8 shots at close, per ship out of the prefered arc, or EA your self and then your sides become pretty dangerous.

The changes I made to your gladiators help them get around the side, and you want them both on one side as they work best as a pack in this idea. The Demo-Glad should be the gladiator closest to your Victories. He will either have to fly into the Gladiators or into the Victories. The Insidious Glad should be the one furthest from your center and on the other side of Demo. It should be used to try to swing around the rear. Both your Glads should be attempting to get behind them.

Lastly, I adjusted your Raider to be an AA boat, there to suport your CAP and destroy enemy squadrons. Once it has preformed that objective, it should simply avoid combat or get to his small ships.

Your ability to mess with his speed will cripple him, as if you slow down the lead AFmk2 thenhe will have to swerve closer to avoid ramming, with brings him closer in range to your black dice.

Edited by Ling27

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11 minutes ago, Ling27 said:

Your ISD cost 187 points, which is a large chunk of your 500pts for one activation (or, 2, whatever). But regardless if its 1 or 2 activations, its still only 2 shots. He uses 2 AFmk2 with EA meaning 3 + 1 + 2 (+1 if CF) red dice per shot. 6-7 red out of one shot. Where you are running an ISD2 with no additional dice at his prefered range of Long Range, so 4 per shot.

2 VSD1s have 6 red dice out of their prefered forward arc; and while are slow, if they get within tractor beam range, you can mess with HIS speed, by increasing or decreasing his speed by one. So you focus down one ship at a time. Think of the VSD1s as a phalanx, slowly moving in formation toward the enemy. Also, now you have two activations that cost the same as the one ISD2.

The changes I made to your gladiators help them get around the side, and you want them both on one side as they work best as a pack in this idea. The Demo-Glad should be the gladiator closest to your Victories. He will either have to fly into the Gladiators or into the Victories. The Insidious Glad should be the one furthest from your center and on the other side of Demo. It should be used to try to swing around the rear. Both your Glads should be attempting to get behind them.

Lastly, I adjusted your Raider to be an AA boat, there to suport your CAP and destroy enemy squadrons. Once it has preformed that objective, it should simply avoid combat or get to his small ships.

Your ability to mess with his speed will cripple him, as if you slow down the lead AFmk2 thenhe will have to swerve closer to avoid ramming, with brings him closer in range to your black dice.

That's really interesting.  I hadn't looked at The Grand Inquisitor at all but I can really see the value in that.  I also hadn't really considered tractor beams but I am sure they would become very annoying to him very quickly.  I worked out that in our last game he had 24 'dials' (6 turns, 4 ships) and only one of them was maneuver.  About 8 were squadron and 8 engineering and the rest were concentrate fire.  Because his assault frigates are command 3, that makes them a nightmare to change direction or speed quickly so messing with his speed there will cause him far more trouble than on a Command 1 ship.

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13 hours ago, flatpackhamster said:

Untitled.jpg

This picture clearly shows where the problem is. You are in his side. Exactly where he wants you to be. Combined with his stronger squadrons, he can just shot you down.

Especially against Ackbar it is easy, if you stay out of the sides (or stay our of range), and focus on the squadrons. But for this you need a nearly max. squadron fleet.
And if you have to go into the side arc, do it only with only one ship that can eat some of the damage (ISD with ECM). I assume he has Gunnery teams. This means he can take down your ships way to fast with way to many dice.
A good tip would be as well a Gozanti with Tua and ECM. This one can easy be placed in front of the Mark II, and with this, you are able to ruin his formation. it only has to last 1-2 turns. This is enough to mess up his formation, and allow you to bring some combat ships in the front of the Mark II.

But for all of this it is really important that you dominate the squadron fight. Your 80 points will not last long enough against his 130 points. And once he is win the fighter match, it will be easy for the B-Wings to take down the GSD or Raider. Even a VSD will not last long enough against 3 B-Wings.

Another idea would be being first player and having more ships. This way you have the last activation and the first in the next turn. This way you can bring in a Demolisher at the end of the turn and activate it first on the next turn. And jsut fly out of his side arc this way. But you need to control his squadrons, or the B-Wings will take care of what the Mark II cannot hit.

Sadly, if you dont have ships for activating the squadrons, you need Rogues. And the Imperial just has not so good ones (compared to the YT2400). You need squadrons that are faster than his X-Wings with all fighters follow me. And this means the best call would be Interceptors or Defender. Along with some Aces.
One idea could be Bossk, Morna, IG88, Cienna, Sontir, 2 TIE Defender. Maybe Mauler instead of Sontir. This way you have only 4 squadrons that you need to activate, and this can be done with the ISD.

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The Assault Frigate has several weaknesses, as mentioned by others. High shields but low defense token count, so swap out Heavy Ion Emplacements to NK-7 ions if you are still gonna use screed. The damage will stick better(can't ECM if it got no defenses). Low token count also means they are susceptible to bombers, and the common B variant has less AA flak to fight back. Try a bomber ball fleet, and Thrawn to allow commanding both ships and squadrons, or a maxed out squadron ball to eat up his squadrons quicker and get to bombing his ships. You could also Sloane so you can try to snipe off his tokens after killing his squadrons. High command stack makes it harder for the AF to adjust to changes. Punish them with a Slicer tools flotilla(Tua+ECM if you don't wanna die to red dice).

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You could try Screed with Assault Concussion Missles. If you T his Line (as youve been trying) with the Glads going for the rear. The ACMs will chew through shields and allow better shots for your Glads into the rear, then also opening up more for your VSDs/ISD.

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Thank you to everyone for your suggestions.

 

I have another game scheduled for this weekend, and I have second player (not ideal) but I chose Superior Positions.  That means he can set up and then I can position myself well out of his giant red arcs.

 

I am still running an ISD, but this time it's an ISD1 with Hardened Bulkheads and Tractor Beams.  I plan to slam in to the front of his conga and sit there to pin them while taking no damage from ramming.  It has NK-7 ions for defence token stripping.

I stuck with the two Gladiator I, but one of them now has The Grand Inquisitor to give me speed jiggery pokery options. 

I have increased squadrons, and am including Zertik Strom to give me 1 generic and 1 unique T/A.  That means any fighters will have to work extra hard before they can hit Mauler Mithel who will be jumping back and forth like a maniac doing 1 damage each per turn.

My raider is now a Raider I, to work with the squadrons, and now  has Ruthless Strategists and Flechette Torps. 

 

Fingers crossed.

 

 

 

 

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Also, let us know how it goes. I would bet you got some people rooting for you.  Now get back on the field of battle, force the rebel scum to their knees, hear the lamentations of their women......and we will have peace.

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On 7/17/2019 at 1:56 AM, flatpackhamster said:

Thank you to everyone for your suggestions.

 

I have another game scheduled for this weekend, and I have second player (not ideal) but I chose Superior Positions.  That means he can set up and then I can position myself well out of his giant red arcs.

 

do I understand correctly - that you both know who will be player 1 & 2 and what the objective is?

If that's correct you're giving up a lot of the player 2 advantage that's meant to compensate for not shooting & moving first.

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9 minutes ago, OgRib said:

do I understand correctly - that you both know who will be player 1 & 2 and what the objective is?

If that's correct you're giving up a lot of the player 2 advantage that's meant to compensate for not shooting & moving first.

Yes, I’m not understanding why this is known ahead of time.

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5 minutes ago, RogueCommander said:

Yes, I’m not understanding why this is known ahead of time.

Likely just a scheduling thing, schedule, submit lists, ect. Its how my family played 40k at home for years. If you submit what list your using, then you know whos first and second.

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I look after my 2 children all day every day while my wife works.  The youngest one is nearly 2. She gets up around 5am every day.  So from 5am to about 8pm my day is full with children.  Once they go to sleep and I have tidied up and got everything ready for the next day it's about 9pm.  Then I normally go to bed! 

Saturday nights my wife clears up so I can start Armada around 8 but I am so tired that I am falling asleep by 10, so the sooner I can get everything ready the sooner I can start, and finish, and go to bed.  Sounds idyllic, doesn't it?

 

Knowing what's coming I can get all the bits ready during the day and then it just takes 10 minutes in the evening and we are ready to play.

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We played our next game today. 

I turned up with my ISD I, GSDI, GSDI, Raider I and 8 squadrons - 4 T/I, 1 T/A, Zertik Strom, Mauler Mithel and Dengar.

He brought an Sato, an MC80 Battle Cruiser (Endeavour), an AF-B, a Pelta and some transports and 10 squadrons - Luke, Wedge, Ten Numb, 3 B-Wings and 4 X-Wings.

 

The obstacles were all grouped near each other on one half of the board.

 

He set up first since I had chosen Superior Positions.  What a difference that makes.  He had his MC 80 and AF next to each other with AF on his left flank, the transports on the other side of the MC80, the Pelta on his right flank. 

 

I set up directly opposite him and picked speed 2 for my ships.  I peeled Demolisher and the Raider out to his right flank and about half the fighters went after them.  The other half stayed on my ISD and Insidious.  I kept my fighters just out of flak and engagement range and dangled them menacingly.

 

On Turn 2 Insidious was engaged by the AF at long range and I took it up to speed 3 to get in close.  He turned his AF to try to get its side arcs to bear and it brought Insidious in to range of both the AF and MC80.    After they had both shot it was on 4 damage cards.  He committed his squadrons in two groups, half to attack the Demolisher and Raider and the other half to attack the ISD and Insidious.

 

On Turn 3 I got very lucky.  I had an engineering dial and token for Insidious and spent my points to repair and recover a shield.  Both his AF and MC80 attacked it but he rolled terribly (2 damage, 2 crit, 2 accuracies from 9 dice on the MC80).  Insidious survived, put 4 black dice in to the AF, 4 more from the OTHER side in to the MC80.  Now I engaged my fighters, splitting them in to two groups and tying up all his bombers and engaging everything.  Then I moved my ISD - increased speed to 3 and smashed it in to the front of the MC80.  

 

The AF was by now moving too far out of the battle to be useful, and on both flanks my fighters kept his busy so he couldn't engage my ships with them. 

On turn 5 he conceded after his MC80 had exploded.

 

 

I've decided I really like superior positions.

 

 

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Good Job dude! Just remember to be able to look at the situation. You still haven't beat that Ackbar fleet yet, so keep planning for different scenarios.

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4 hours ago, Ling27 said:

Good Job dude! Just remember to be able to look at the situation. You still haven't beat that Ackbar fleet yet, so keep planning for different scenarios.

You're right, I am definitely not there yet.  After that defeat I'm pretty sure he will revert to an Ackbar Conga.  I don't think he will revise his Sato Fleet.

 

I was considering pulling the two GSDs out of my fleet and replacing them with VSD2s  with Skilled First Officer, Disposable Capacitors and NK-7s.  Screed would let me create the crits needed for stripping defence tokens, I could start doing it at long range with Disposable Capacitors, and they're more durable than the GSDs.  But so far I haven't had any success with VSDs at all so I'm a bit cautious.

 

 

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