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JJ48

JJ48's Battle Reports

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I figured as a new player, it may be useful to post about my games to force myself to reflect on lessons learned, and possibly get advice from those more knowledgeable about what I could do to improve.  For background, I played two games of Armada a couple years ago, and that's it.  I know the basic rules, but not most of the cards, nor do I have any real experience.  I've played quite a bit of X-Wing, which I'll probably have to unlearn.

For my first real game, I used the following:

MC80 Assault Cruiser (114)155

-General Dodonna (20)

-Redundant Shields (8)

-Cluster Bombs (5)

-Fighter Coordination Team (3)

-XX-9 Turbolasers (5)

MC75 Ordnance Cruiser (100)112

-Boarding Engineers (2)

-Wide-Area Barrage (2)

-Rapid Reload (8)

Wedge Antilles (19)19

Ten Numb (19)19

Norra Wexley (17)17

Tycho Celchu (16)16

E-wing Squadron (15)15

X-wing Squadron (13)2 x 13

A-wing Squadron (11)11

Y-wing Squadron (10)10

Opponent:  I was facing an ISD, Gladiator, and a couple support ships, along with a couple fighters (I think 1 TIE Defender and 3 Interceptors).

Plan:  My intent was to move the MC75 and squadrons in close, hoping to trade massive damage for massive damage, while the MC80 provided long-range support.

Outcome:  Things went horrendously.  My first turn, the corner of the MC75 hit debris, and it lost two shields.  The next turn, it could only fire 3 reds at the ISD (and had to spend a defense token to do so), which did 1 damage.  I then tried to get out of the way, but ended up actually closer, within medium range, and his ISD got to roll 8 dice against me.  Then, his Gladiator moved and dumped 6 black dice into my unshielded back, and made it so I had to discard a token if I wanted to use it.  Then the small ships and TIE Defender finished off the MC75.  At that point, I saw my squadrons at least two turns from getting anywhere they could be of use, as well as my MC80 out of range next turn, but needing to move closer to an entire nearly-undamaged fleet, and I conceded.

Lessons Learned:  There were three major things that I think I need to work on.

1.  I didn't know my opponent's cards.  If I had, I may have been better able to avoid the Gladiator or plan my attack of the ISD better, so as not to waste a token doing nothing (I blocked one of his tokens, expecting it would push some damage through, only to then learn that he had an upgrade that allowed him to use blocked tokens anyway).  At the beginning of the game, I offered to let my opponent review my fleet, but he declined because it was a casual game and he didn't want to plan out a hard counter.  So, I decided to just let him know if I had upgrades that vastly changed how things worked, so as not to come off as a trick or a surprise, and assumed he would do the same.  Apparently, he overestimated my knowledge and assumed that anyone seeing a Gladiator would simply know that it had the title.   In the future, I will make sure to look over my opponent's list so that the burden of information lies with me, not him.

2.  I misjudged movements.  Being used to X-Wing, movements didn't transport my ships as quickly as it looked like they would.  In X-Wing, the templates are front-to-back, meaning you add the length of the base.  In Armada, the front-to-front movement means that your new position may overlap your old, and moving left may even kick out a corner to the right of where you were previously.  This led to me overlapping the debris,getting too close to the ISD, and leaving my MC80 uselessly far away; and is something I just need to train myself to see.

3.  I ignored my Squadrons.  I was so concerned with keeping them spread out enough to be safe that I completely neglected to ensure that they kept up to where they could do some good.  I'll need to figure out how to use them better.

Overall, not a great game, but I think I learned enough to hopefully do better next week.

Edited by JJ48
Edited topic title

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3 hours ago, JJ48 said:

Which ones, in particular?

Redundant shields and cluster bombs aren't that good, better to use ECM and reinforced blast doors for example. Leading shots is really good. The ordnance upgrades on the MC75 could be better. I might run something like this

 

 

Points: 392/400  

[ flagship ] MC80 Assault Cruiser (114 points)
-  General Dodonna  ( 20  points) 
 Defiance  ( 5  points) 
-  Major Derlin  ( 7  points) 
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points) 
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points) 
-  XX-9 Turbolasers  ( 5  points) 
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points) 
= 167 total ship cost

 

MC75 Ordnance Cruiser (100 points)
-  Walex Blissex  ( 5  points) 
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points) 
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points) 
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points) 
-  Expanded Launchers  ( 13  points) 
= 134 total ship cost

 

1 Rogue Squadron ( 14 points) 
3 Lancer-class Pursuit Crafts ( 45 points) 
2 YT-2400s ( 32 points) 
= 91 total squadron cost

 

8 points for bid or something else. I'm not sure what squadrons or upgrades you have access to so that may change things. And I'm sure someone else could come up with something better. 

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For this week, I'd like to try my Imperials, and came up with the following list:

132 | 400 Points

Interdictor Suppression Refit (90)141

-Admiral Motti (24)

-Wing Commander (6)

-Boosted Comms (4)

-G-8 Experimental Projector (8)

-Targeting Scrambler (5)

-Medical Team (1)

-Interdictor (3)

Kuat Refit (112)127

-Skilled First Officer (1)

-Redundant Shields (8)

-Ordnance Pods (3)

-Relentless (3)

Maarek Stele (21)

Colonel Jendon (20)

Whisper (20)

Soontir Fel (18)

Major Rhymer (16)

Tie Advanced Squadron (12)

Tie Bomber Squadron (9)

Tie Fighter Squadron (8) x 2

 

My goal is to try sending my ISD into close combat behind a fighter screen, while the Interdictor follows and tries to protect the flanks.  This time, I'll try to be a bit more aggressive with my squadrons, and keep them with the ISD (unless I see Bombers making a run on the Interdictor).  Thoughts on the list or strategy?

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On 9/1/2019 at 4:18 PM, JJ48 said:

For this week, I'd like to try my Imperials, and came up with the following list:

132 | 400 Points

Interdictor Suppression Refit (90)141

-Admiral Motti (24)

-Wing Commander (6)

-Boosted Comms (4)

-G-8 Experimental Projector (8)

-Targeting Scrambler (5)

-Medical Team (1)

-Interdictor (3)

Kuat Refit (112)127

-Skilled First Officer (1)

-Redundant Shields (8)

-Ordnance Pods (3)

-Relentless (3)

Maarek Stele (21)

Colonel Jendon (20)

Whisper (20)

Soontir Fel (18)

Major Rhymer (16)

Tie Advanced Squadron (12)

Tie Bomber Squadron (9)

Tie Fighter Squadron (8) x 2

 

My goal is to try sending my ISD into close combat behind a fighter screen, while the Interdictor follows and tries to protect the flanks.  This time, I'll try to be a bit more aggressive with my squadrons, and keep them with the ISD (unless I see Bombers making a run on the Interdictor).  Thoughts on the list or strategy?

One of the fun things you can do with an Interdictor is use Projection Experts to pass shields to your ISD every time you have an engineering command.  If you pair that with Wulff Yularen (who generates a token every time you spend a token) you can, from turns 2 through to 6, send 2 shields to your ISD, making it much more robust.  Because it slurps shields off your ship you will need tilo frequently run engineering commands on your Interdictor too.

 

What are you doing to command your squadrons?  Have you thought about running a Gozanti alongside to give you squadron commands?

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On September 1, 2019 at 11:18 AM, JJ48 said:

For this week, I'd like to try my Imperials, and came up with the following list:

132 | 400 Points

Interdictor Suppression Refit (90)141

-Admiral Motti (24)

-Wing Commander (6)

-Boosted Comms (4)

-G-8 Experimental Projector (8)

-Targeting Scrambler (5)

-Medical Team (1)

-Interdictor (3)

Kuat Refit (112)127

-Skilled First Officer (1)

-Redundant Shields (8)

-Ordnance Pods (3)

-Relentless (3)

Maarek Stele (21)

Colonel Jendon (20)

Whisper (20)

Soontir Fel (18)

Major Rhymer (16)

Tie Advanced Squadron (12)

Tie Bomber Squadron (9)

Tie Fighter Squadron (8) x 2

 

My goal is to try sending my ISD into close combat behind a fighter screen, while the Interdictor follows and tries to protect the flanks.  This time, I'll try to be a bit more aggressive with my squadrons, and keep them with the ISD (unless I see Bombers making a run on the Interdictor).  Thoughts on the list or strategy?

Ordnance pods and redundant shields are not good. I'd take electronic countermeasures and either assault proton torpedoes, assault concussion missiles, or external racks on the Kuat.

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1 hour ago, Darth Lupine said:

Ordnance pods and redundant shields are not good. I'd take electronic countermeasures and either assault proton torpedoes, assault concussion missiles, or external racks on the Kuat.

I could have sworn I removed them from the list.  I'll try the Electronic Countermeasures and Assault Proton Torpedoes instead.

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I had a chance to play last night, but my opponent, who was also rather new, didn't have as many expansions to draw from, and requested 300-point fleets.  Not wanting to spend too much time rebuilding my list, I threw out some squadrons and the Interdictor, and loaded the ISD up with upgrades.  My final fleet list was:

Imperial Star Destroyer Kuat Refit (112 points)
-  Admiral Motti  ( 24  points)
 Relentless  ( 3  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Quad Laser Turrets  ( 5  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  NK-7 Ion Cannons  ( 10  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
= 173 total ship cost

Gozanti-class Assault Carriers (28 points)
= 28 total ship cost

1 Colonel Jendon ( 20 points)
1 Maarek Stele ( 21 points)
1 Major Rhymer ( 16 points)
1 Soontir Fel ( 18 points)
1 Whisper ( 20 points)
1 TIE Bomber Squadron ( 9 points)
= 104 total squadron cost

(Only while I was rebuilding the list to share did I realize that the list is actually 305 points, and the squadrons are slightly over 1/3 of the list.  This was not intentional, and I'll have to apologize to my opponent next time I see him.)

Opponent:  My opponent was flying an Assault Frigate Mk II, CR90 Corvette, Nebulon-B Frigate, and four X-Wings.  He gave me initiative.

Plan:  My goal was to have the ISD move in first, with the Gozantis following behind and helping activate squadrons.

Outcome:  Things went much better than last time.  My Gozantis started out closer to the enemy than my ISD, so I spent the first turn trying to bring them around to get behind it instead.  Unfortunately, they moved a bit too laterally, and spent the rest of the game just trying to turn around to rejoin the fray  After allowing a couple squadrons to move and shoot on the second turn, they were effectively non-participants.  The Relentless charged into battle, and managed to catch each of the opponent's ships before they really managed to form up.  I never got any of them in the front arc at close range, but I got a few shots at medium range, and several close-range broadsides.  I kept overlapping my squadrons, so my opponent could place them far enough away that they had to use their movement to re-engage the X-Wings, but Soontir and Whisper did a marvelous job of keeping them from making attack runs on the Relentless.  Because of his Counter, Soontir was even able to chip away at the X-Wings in the process, and once I remembered that Jendon had a special ability, he helped the others become truly frightening.  The Corvette was first to fall, and then the Nebulon-B took heavy damage during its attack run, to finally be finished off by my Bombers intercepting it when it tried to run.  The Assault Frigate was a tougher nut to crack, with its long-range weaponry.  Due to a few Engineering commands, he was getting shields back almost as quick as I could take them down.  Meanwhile, my focus on Navigation meant a bit of damage was getting through (though I at least managed not to land on any obstacles apart from the station this time around).  Going into the final turn, the AF was only missing a couple shields, and I was shieldless with 9 damage cards (I had managed to prevent any from being crits, at least).  Seeing that we were already at long-range going into turn six, I figured there was no way I would actually destroy the AF, so I opted to put distance between us and allow my Star Destroyer to survive the battle.

Lessons Learned:  Several major lessons were learned here:

1.  Squadrons can be life-savers.  If I had not been able to engage the X-Wings each turn, I'm sure they would have gotten five more damage on me, or else at least put through a critical effect that would have made it easier for the ships to get me.  I could probably reduce the number of named pilots in order to bring more generics, though.  Soontir and his Scatter token were by far the MVPs, though (I think it wasn't until turn 5 that the opponent was finally able to force me to discard it).  In my first game, I was overly concerned with keeping my squadrons safe.  In this game, I discovered that they can tank a shot or two, and every shot the enemy ships fire at them is one less that they're firing at my ships.

2.  Form up.  My Gozanti being off on its own did me no good, and my opponent's ships hitting one at a time was what allowed me to pick them off piecemeal.  Everything doesn't need to be crammed close together, but the ships will clearly do better when they're moving together to a common purpose.

3.  Don't dismiss the side arcs.  With the Kuat ISD, the 8-dice front attack makes the 4-dice flanks seem pretty weak in comparison.  In actuality, those sides could still dish out pain.  I still had to be concerned with the opponent getting into the rear arc, but I could punish him badly for trying to slip by too closely.

4.  Relentless and Gunnery Team are great.  Especially with only one major brawler, being able to attack twice out of the same hull helps keep the enemy more cautious, and having to set one fewer command dials really helped react to the battle a bit more.  Speaking of which...

5.  Think about commands more.  I was mostly concerned with trying to keep the ISD in the fight, so I probably dialed in more Navigates than I probably needed to (I sped up to 3, then needed to slow down, and later slowed down again to 1 and made a surprisingly sharp turn).  Had I stuck with 2, I could have dialed in more Engineering and Squadron commands, allowing Soontir and Whisper to engage the X-Wings and take them out, or shoring up my shields so I wouldn't have to worry as much about hull damage and possible crits.

6.  Become more familiar with the rules and cards.  Once, I forgot to make a second attack with the ISD, when the second attack could have gotten all four X-Wing squadrons.  I almost completely forgot about Soontir's protection ability and Jendon's mini-Squadron Command until late in the game.  I'll work on paying more attention to what's going on, but I think much of it's just going to take time gaining experience.

All in all, it was a much more exciting match than my first one, and it really felt like the game could have gone either way depending on our decisions.  I think I may try a couple more games with just a couple ships (I'd like to try this with the Interdictor, and I'll probably update my Rebel fleet and give it another try), and then maybe try a swarm of small/medium ships.

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@JJ48

Great commentary on your first couple of games. I think all of your takeaways are important things to recognize about the game. Really good job. I think once you start applying those, you'll see which upgrades work well and which don't; that's part of the fun! So while it might be a good idea to listen to experienced folks tell you which upgrades are good/bad, I suggest you just try them out for yourself. :) As a guideline, though, try to keep track of how many times you use a given upgrade. A friend of mine who is pretty experienced still does that. Upgrades that don't get used in three games (either because the upgrade's conditions never got met or the upgrade was just forgotten) are re-evaluated or dropped.

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So, this week was a bit of a treat, as I got to fly against a Super Star Destroyer!  I was using the following list:

MC80 Assault Cruiser (114 points)
-  General Dodonna  ( 20  points)
 Home One  ( 7  points)
-  Strategic Adviser  ( 4  points)
-  Fighter Coordination Team  ( 3  points)
-  XX-9 Turbolasers  ( 5  points)
-  SW-7 Ion Batteries  ( 5  points)
= 158 total ship cost

MC75 Ordnance Cruiser (100 points)
-  Adar Tallon  ( 10  points)
-  Boarding Troopers  ( 3  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  External Racks  ( 3  points)
-  Rapid Reload  ( 8  points)
= 131 total ship cost

1 Corran Horn ( 22 points)
1 Norra Wexley ( 17 points)
1 Wedge Antilles ( 19 points)
1 Shara Bey ( 17 points)
2 X-Wing Squadrons ( 26 points)
1 Y-Wing Squadron ( 10 points)
= 111 total squadron cost

Opponent:  My opponent's list was (as near as I can remember):

Star Dreadnought Command Prototype (220 points)
-  Moff Jerjerrod  ( 23  points)
-  Emperor Palpatine  ( 3  points)
-  Director Krennic  ( 8  points)
-  Engineering Captain  ( 6  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Quad Laser Turrets  ( 5  points)
-  XI7 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
= 282 total ship cost

Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer (56 points)
 Demolisher  ( 10  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
= 70 total ship cost

Raider I-Class Corvette (44 points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
= 48 total ship cost

My opponent won the roll, and elected to take initiative.

Plan:  My goal was to have the MC75 try to close in along the side, with my MC80 providing long-range support.  My squadrons would move in and bomb as needed.

Outcome:  This was an exciting match.  My opponent placed his SSD in one corner, pointing diagonally toward the opposite corner, with the Demolisher poised to move straight toward me on one side, and the Raider protecting the other side.  My ships were set up to run at the side of the SSD. 

Most of Round 1 was uneventful, but when he activated the SSD, though, he used Jerjerrod and a Navigate command to swing that thing around!  I moved my Squadrons as close as I could to it, and prepared for a brutal Round 2. 

For Round 2, the SSD fired on the MC75 at Medium range, for heavy damage, draining my side shields and putting two damage on the hull.  It also attacked my squadrons, but only managed one damage on most of them (thanks to the named ones having Brace tokens).  The MC80 was out of range.  He then rammed my MC75, not moving, so I attacked back, and then moved in close.  My MC80 moved just a little closer, and his Demolisher moved close enough to attack long-range.  My squadrons then started hitting the SSD.  With Norra, they drained his front shields pretty well, but the turn ended with only a couple face-down damage on it.

Round 3 started with what I was certain would be the killing blow against my MC75, yet thanks to some very lucky dice, he didn't have enough accuracies to prevent me from using my tokens, and I was able to hold on with two health, which became one after he rammed again.  I was then able to launch my Boarding Troopers (I had taken a Squadron Token first round) to exhaust his Braces, use my revealed Squadron Command to allow a couple squadrons to attack (then toggle one back with Adar Tallon), and then deliver a full broadside, discarding External Racks for a total of three red and five black dice.  This hit hard, and between the Squadrons and the MC75, a crit got through, which Dodonna ensured was Faulty Countermeasures.  After a long-range shot at the Demolisher, the MC75 limped away.  The Demolisher rammed my MC80, attacked it, and got another damage through when my ship couldn't move without overlapping it again.  The Raider also finally made it to the front lines, right among my Squadrons, which kept hammering away at the shieldless front of the SSD.

In Round 4, the SSD healed up a bit (discarding Faulty Countermeasures), finished off the MC75, and tried to ram the MC80, but it was too far away and ended up on a rock, instead!  General Dodonna turned that into Comm Noise, reducing its speed to 0!  The MC80 activated next, pouring more damage into the SSD's front arc, and managed to get a crit on the Demolisher, which Dodonna turned into Structural Damage, finishing it off.  Unfortunately, my MC80 was a bit too near the edge, and when I tried to turn with it, one of its rear legs was off, and it was lost.  So the game ended with an Imperial victory, but had the navigation error not occurred, I think it could have still been anyone's game!  (The SSD had something like 14 damage on it at the end, and the crits were starting to pile up).

Lessons Learned:  

1.  Bring defense against squadrons.  The anti-squadron dice of the SSD was not enough--even with the Quad Laser Turrets--to keep my squadrons from hammering it, and the Raider was too far away to help for most of the game (much as my Gozantis had been, last game).

2.  Dodonna is amazing.  Once I started landing crits, he was able to make sure that I was getting what I wanted, when I wanted (anti-defense-tokens on the SSD, heavy damage on the Gladiator).  Considering he's also the cheapest Rebel commander, the primary difficulty may be in convincing myself to give the others a fair chance to prove themselves, too!

3.  Jerjerrod is no slouch, either.  I didn't really appreciate just how much a ship that size could move when its crew doubles their efforts, but Jerjerrod gets the job done!

4.  SSD's aren't invincible.  It was a big, scary opponent, and it certainly dished out and took a lot of damage, but had I not flown off the board, I believe the last couple rounds really would have come down to the dice.  It can take a lot of damage, but once it's forced to get rid of one or two of its defense tokens, it suddenly starts looking a lot more vulnerable.  Speaking of which,

5.  Defense-token denial can be huge.  Six defense tokens on one ship is a lot, but Boarding Troopers exhausting tokens, Faulty Countermeasures making him consider more when to spend his tokens, and Comm Noise reducing his speed to 0 all played major parts in helping more damage get through.  Home One allowing my MC75 to get a couple more accuracies and lock down more defense tokens was useful, too.

6.  Fighter Coordination Team isn't pulling its weight.  I noticed that my MC80 wants to be Medium-Long range from the opponent, while my fighters want to get in close.  It may help on the first turn or two, but after that, the squadrons are simply too far away for it to work.  I might see about moving stuff around to replace them with Projection Experts (since Home One wants to stay Range 1-5 of my brawling ship, anyway).

When I first saw the SSD and two other ships, I thought the game would be incredibly one-sided.  However, it was actually close and fun, and I look forward to facing one again (or even flying one, someday).  Next time I fly Rebels, I'll probably mix up the fleet a bit to try more small/medium ships, but I'll definitely save this list to come back to later.  It was a real blast to fly!

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51 minutes ago, Darth Lupine said:

Here's something. If a ship can take ions, leading shots go there, unless your admiral is Vader, and possibly even then. 

I'll definitely consider it, though in general, I've played enough dice games to be leery of re-rolls, as I tend to somehow have even worse luck with re-rolls than I do with the first rolls.

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10 hours ago, JJ48 said:

I'll definitely consider it, though in general, I've played enough dice games to be leery of re-rolls, as I tend to somehow have even worse luck with re-rolls than I do with the first rolls.

I can understand that. However in Armada the ability to selectively reroll dice drastically increase the efficiency of dice. Luck is certainly a factor, but dice control is always better than a crit effect with ions, especially seeing the cost f cards. This is why in general, if you see a ship that can take ions, it has leading shots. 

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Forgot to post last week's, so I'll try to remember as best I can.

Interdictor-class Suppression Refit (90 points)
-  Admiral Motti  ( 24  points)
 Interdictor  ( 3  points)
-  Wing Commander  ( 6  points)
-  Medical Team  ( 1  points)
-  Boosted Comms  ( 4  points)
-  G-8 Experimental Projector  ( 8  points)
-  Targeting Scrambler  ( 5  points)
= 141 total ship cost

Imperial Star Destroyer Kuat Refit (112 points)
 Relentless  ( 3  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
= 127 total ship cost

1 Maarek Stele ( 21 points)
1 Colonel Jendon ( 20 points)
1 Whisper ( 20 points)
1 Soontir Fel ( 18 points)
1 Major Rhymer ( 16 points)
1 TIE Advanced Squadron ( 12 points)
1 TIE Bomber Squadron ( 9 points)
2 TIE Fighter Squadrons ( 16 points)
= 132 total squadron cost

I don't remember my opponent's exact list, but he had 4x Hammerhead Torpedo Corvettes with Task Force Organa and External Racks, an MC30, a Corellian Corvette, Wedge, Shara Bey, and a Rogue Squadron X-Wing.

Plan:  The plan was simple:  Move the ISD in to pound at close range while the Interdictor supported it and sniped where it could.

Outcome:  Both of our fleets wanted to close fast, so we quickly ended up with a traffic jam of my ISD and his Hammerheads.  Fortunately for me, his Corellian Corvette and squadrons were placed further away, so they took a while to get to the battle, and two of his Hammerheads ended up ramming their comrades instead of me each turn.  My squadrons quickly closed and were getting quite a few shots off at his ships, but unfortunately, my black dice just didn't want to work for me that night.  Maarek rolled one hit against a Hammerhead, and that's the only contribution my squadrons made to damaging any of his ships.  Soontir and Whisper had better luck against his squadrons when they finally made it to the party, but it was very frustrating to see the bombers rolling nothing but blanks.  Combined with the fact that his commander was General Rieekan, his Hammerheads weren't falling nearly as quickly as I wanted them to.

With the help of the Targeting Scrambler, my ISD was able to survive long enough to take out his Hammerheads, but then it fell, and the MC30 made short work of my Interdictor before I could reach the Station.  Overall, I'd say it was a close game.  If my bombers had managed to roll better, I may have taken out a Hammerhead or two a turn earlier, and the game may well have ended differently.

Lessons Learned: 

1.  More offense upgrades.  Targeting Scrambler helped quite a bit, but the lack of any offensive upgrades apart from Assault Proton Torpedoes really limited my ships' damage output.  I didn't realize until after we were in the game that G-8 Experimental Projector only affected enemy ships (I was hoping I could use it to help slow down the ISD if needed), so that's probably the most obvious place to start shifting points around, unless I decide to try a different strategy to make use of it.  (Medical Team also didn't come up, but since it was only 1 point, it was mainly "just-in-case" filler, anyway.)

2.  Don't rely too heavily on squadrons.  They're very useful, but since most of them only have one anti-ship die, and no way to mod it (with a few exceptions), they're very susceptible to the randomness of the dice.

3.  Whisper and Soontir are pretty good at anti-squadron work.

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This week was my first game using Objectives!  I was using the following list (the objectives chosen were primarily just because I was looking for ones that had significant effects on the gameplay, and not because I thought them particularly optimized for the fleet I was flying):

Assault Objective: Close-Range Intel Scan
Defense Objective: Planetary Ion Cannon
Navigation Objective: Navigational Hazards

 MC80 Battle Cruiser (103 points)
-  Mon Mothma  ( 30  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  XX-9 Turbolasers  ( 5  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
= 149 total ship cost

CR90 Corvette B (39 points)
 Dodonnas Pride  ( 6  points)
-  Chart Officer  ( 2  points)
-  SW-7 Ion Batteries  ( 5  points)
= 52 total ship cost

CR90 Corvette B (39 points)
-  Chart Officer  ( 2  points)
-  SW-7 Ion Batteries  ( 5  points)
= 46 total ship cost

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36 points)
 Task Force Organa  ( 1  points)
-  External Racks  ( 3  points)
= 40 total ship cost

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36 points)
 Task Force Organa  ( 1  points)
-  External Racks  ( 3  points)
= 40 total ship cost

1 Corran Horn ( 22 points)
1 Wedge Antilles ( 19 points)
1 Shara Bey ( 17 points)
1 E-Wing Squadron ( 15 points)
= 73 total squadron cost

Meanwhile, my opponent was flying:

Imperial I-Class Star Destroyer (110 points)
-  Admiral Sloane  ( 24  points)
-  Expanded Hangar Bay  ( 5  points)
-  Boosted Comms  ( 4  points)
= 143 total ship cost

Arquitens-class Light Cruiser (54 points)
 Centicore  ( 3  points)
= 57 total ship cost

Quasar Fire I-class Cruiser-Carrier (54 points)
 Squall  ( 3  points)
-  Expanded Hangar Bay  ( 5  points)
-  Boosted Comms  ( 4  points)
= 66 total ship cost

1 Colonel Jendon ( 20 points)
1 TIE Advanced Squadron ( 12 points)
1 Tempest Squadron ( 13 points)
1 Major Rhymer ( 16 points)
1 Captain Jonus ( 16 points)
3 TIE Bomber Squadrons ( 27 points)
1 Gamma Squadron ( 10 points)
1 Dengar ( 20 points)
= 134 total squadron cost

He chose first player and opted to use my Navigational Hazards objective.  We ended up with the obstacles more or less in a line across the center of the field, and our fleets opposite each other at one end.

Plan:  Rather than get bogged down taking on the ISD, my plan was to avoid it as best I could and go for his support ships.  Hopefully, my corvettes and squadrons could thin out his bombers along the way.

Outcome:  The first part of my plan went rather well, in that I managed to keep my small ships away from the ISD.  Because of having more ships to activate, when my MC80 was close to his ISD, I was able to tank a long-range shot from him, return fire at medium range, and then move out of his front arc.  However, the second part was a bit trickier.  TIE Bombers apparently hate me, seeing as how last week, they failed to do any damage whatsoever, and this week, I could count on one hand how many times they rolled blank.  They took out Wedge and the generic E-Wing before they even had a chance to do anything (my opponent was always choosing Squadron commands for all his ships, so they were doing quite a bit before my squadrons went).  They also nearly single-handedly took out the MC80, though by that time I had taken out Jendon and Dengar, so they were starting to slow down a little, and the ISD was far enough out of the battle that its Squadron commands were useless.  While moving obstacles every round, I was able to pen in the ISD to keep it from returning (though it didn't overlap the rock, sadly), and the one time a Corellian Corvette touched a rock, the Chart Officer ensured that it took no damage.  Shara eventually fell to the Bombers, but put heavy damage on them first, and Corran and the Corvettes finished them off.  My Corvettes also took out the Arquitens and Quasar (Dodonna's Pride managed to make the killing shot with a Blue Crit), and by the end of turn 6, it was his undamaged ISD to my mostly undamaged Corvettes (and Corran, if I recall correctly), and no victory tokens.  Rebels won by points.

Lessons Learned: 

1.  Black dice hate me.

2.  Blue dice actually seem to like me.  My ships were rather blue-heavy, and the blues really came through.  Dodonna's Pride worked rather well, and I don't think I ever needed to use Leading Shots.  Medium range also allowed Mon Mothma's ability to shine (there were a few close-range shots, but usually the opponent's dice were such that I didn't want him to reroll any of them, for fear that a hit may become a crit or double hit).

3.  Objectives change the game.  Neither of us got any points from the objective, but the shifting battlefield definitely affected our strategies, both to prevent taking damage and to prevent giving the opponent points.  Had we not been able to move obstacles, the ISD may have been able to return in time for the final round, and if landing on an obstacle didn't give the opponent points, he definitely would have preferred taking the damage and returning sooner.

4.  Squadrons can be scary.  Last week, they didn't work out so well for me, but they really did the heavy lifting for my opponent this week!  I'll need to either increase my squadrons or come up with some other way to defend against a TIE swarm.  Incidentally, this game also highlighted the differences between Rebel and Imperial squadrons.  Rebels appear to be more well-rounded, so that they have their roles, but can easily slip into another should you require it (e.g. Corran can snipe enemy squadrons, but also has Bomber should he need it), while Imps are more specialized (the Bombers did manage to take out Wedge, but only by sheer numbers; not because they're particularly good against squadrons).

5.  I'm not sure about the winged MC80.  It's essentially a Rebel Star Destroyer with one fewer die in each arc and a slightly reduced hull (comparing to an ISD).  However, it also lacks Contain (or indeed, any fourth defense token), as well as an Offensive Retrofit or Defensive Retrofit slot, preventing it from taking something like Quad Laser Turrets or Cluster Bombs to help protect against squadrons.  Further, it's worse than an ISD at maneuvering at speed 2.  I really enjoy flying the ISD on the Imperial side, so I figured the winged MC80 would similarly be a good fit, but I think I actually prefer the wingless MC80 and the MC75.

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A couple of thoughts  if I may.

Black dice can be inconsistent.  If you're relying on bombers to deliver a large proportion of your damage then a flotilla with bomber command centre is a must.  If you are relying on black dice to deliver heavy damage at close range then the Ordnance Experts card is pretty well mandatory to give you the reroll you need.

You aren't bringing (as far as I can see) any reliable way to command squadrons.  Your opponent brought a Quasar whose only job is squadron commands, but the game prior to that one you had a large Imperial wing but no great way to command those squadrons (Interdictor is not much good and your ISD really wants to be doing other stuff) and no bomber command centre.

If you're bringing a large fighter wing you should certainly bring a way to command those fighters for at least 4 of the 6 turns.  Instead of the Interdictor, a Quasar with a Gozanti running bomber command centre, with boosted comms and Taskmaster Grint which will give you the ability to command at least 7 squadrons per turn.

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3 hours ago, flatpackhamster said:

A couple of thoughts  if I may.

Black dice can be inconsistent.  If you're relying on bombers to deliver a large proportion of your damage then a flotilla with bomber command centre is a must.  If you are relying on black dice to deliver heavy damage at close range then the Ordnance Experts card is pretty well mandatory to give you the reroll you need.

You aren't bringing (as far as I can see) any reliable way to command squadrons.  Your opponent brought a Quasar whose only job is squadron commands, but the game prior to that one you had a large Imperial wing but no great way to command those squadrons (Interdictor is not much good and your ISD really wants to be doing other stuff) and no bomber command centre.

If you're bringing a large fighter wing you should certainly bring a way to command those fighters for at least 4 of the 6 turns.  Instead of the Interdictor, a Quasar with a Gozanti running bomber command centre, with boosted comms and Taskmaster Grint which will give you the ability to command at least 7 squadrons per turn.

Maybe.  Though at this point, I'm not even all that convinced that the Squadron command is all that useful most turns.  It has its time and place, sure, but on turns where you don't need to move your Squadrons, you pretty much just wasted your command.

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35 minutes ago, JJ48 said:

Maybe.  Though at this point, I'm not even all that convinced that the Squadron command is all that useful most turns.  It has its time and place, sure, but on turns where you don't need to move your Squadrons, you pretty much just wasted your command.

Not really.  Getting your attack in on your enemy's squadrons before they activate is important.  Even if your opponent's squadrons have Counter, you're still doing more damage to them by attacking them first.  A Quasar with flight controllers running four TIE Interceptors, with Boosted Comms and Expanded hangar bays, can launch its fighters half way across the map to toss out 20 blue dice with 4 rerolls for approximately 14 damage.  That's three dead A Wings or two dead X Wings or a dead ace, before those squadrons have the chance to hit you back.

Edited by flatpackhamster
Can't multiply.

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42 minutes ago, flatpackhamster said:

Not really.  Getting your attack in on your enemy's squadrons before they activate is important.  Even if your opponent's squadrons have Counter, you're still doing more damage to them by attacking them first.  A Quasar with flight controllers running four TIE Interceptors, with Boosted Comms and Expanded hangar bays, can launch its fighters half way across the map to toss out 20 blue dice with 4 rerolls for approximately 14 damage.  That's three dead A Wings or two dead X Wings or a dead ace, before those squadrons have the chance to hit you back.

Like I said, it has its proper place.  But from what I saw with my opponent's list last week, going all in and dialing Squadron commands every turn seems like a really bad idea.  It'll hit hard initially, but once stuff spreads out, some of those commands will end up out of range, and others won't be able to activate enough Squadrons to really make it worth it.  And if you're playing against someone who, for whatever reason, built an anti-Squadron list, you've essentially handed them the game.

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Squadrons have a lot of utility and they can be quite powerful. Conversely, they take a lot of subtlety to play, and they require a feeling for the "command rhythm" of games that comes with experience. You make a lot of good observations, @JJ48, so be open to your impressions changing as your experience-level grows. You've already made some observations that it took me LOTS of games to develop, so I think you are ahead of the curve in a lot of ways. Thanks for sharing your experiences and impressions!

Cheers!

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This week was an Imperial vs Imperial internal conflict!  My list was:

Assault Objective: Station Assault
Defense Objective: Fleet Ambush
Navigation Objective: Solar Corona

Victory II-Class Star Destroyer (85 points)
-  Admiral Sloane  ( 24  points)
 Warlord  ( 8  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
= 128 total ship cost

Arquitens-class Light Cruiser (54 points)
-  XX-9 Turbolasers  ( 5  points)
= 59 total ship cost

Arquitens-class Light Cruiser (54 points)
-  XX-9 Turbolasers  ( 5  points)
= 59 total ship cost

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 points)
 Suppressor  ( 4  points)
-  Boosted Comms  ( 4  points)
-  Bomber Command Center  ( 8  points)
= 39 total ship cost

1 Maarek Stele ( 21 points)
1 Colonel Jendon ( 20 points)
1 Dengar ( 20 points)
1 Soontir Fel ( 18 points)
1 Major Rhymer ( 16 points)
1 TIE Interceptor Squadron ( 11 points)
1 TIE Bomber Squadron ( 9 points)
= 115 total squadron cost

My opponent was flying three ISDs (don't remember the specific models), all with Gunnery Crews and led by Motti.

He won the die roll, chose first player, and opted to use my Fleet Ambush objective.

Plan:  Due to a miscommunication, as well as forgetting to review his list, I set up at long range of his two Ambushed ISDs, clumped into one firing arc each (he had jokingly said that he didn't have Gunnery Crews, and I didn't even think to check before deploying).  Fortunately, the ambush did at least force one of his ships to be far enough back as to not immediately support the others.  

Outcome:  Throughout the battle, my main focus was on trying to take out one ship at a time, and keep Warlord on the table as long as possible.  Perhaps the scariest moment was when I tried to fire and then jump past his ISD, only to discover that I had misjudged the distance, and ended up here:
T9TzCjC.jpg

I was completely out of shields, and this looked like the end of the Warlord.  My opponent rolled, and got:
CE86OXT.jpg

They're very accurate, those ISD crews, but apparently they forgot to switch off of training lasers!  My Victory-class survived the encounter, and managed to hold on a couple more rounds before fleeing off the board.  (I could have rammed the ISD this turn to avoid such a fate, but considering another ISD was coming up behind, I figured I'd be better to take my chances with the board edge.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the board, my other ships were going at it with the third ISD, which couldn't seem to shake them off.  One Arquitens fell, and one was reduced to one hull, which was pretty frightening considering Warlord was obviously doomed by that point, and that would leave me with no capital ships apart from the flotilla, but fortunately it held on and was able to get out of range from the ISD!  The fighters, supported by the Gozanti and Sloane, managed to strip away the ISDs defense tokens and tear it to shreds.  As the nearer ISD came closer in turn 5, I knew my only hope was in my fighters, and I used my flotilla to activate Maarek and another blue-die fighter in the hopes of stripping off some tokens before Sloane left the board.  After she left, it was the Squadron Phase, and through some excellent dice, my squadrons ripped the ISD apart.  Turn 6 found none of the ships able to shoot at each other or hurt themselves through poor flying, so we called it.  My Gozanti, an Arquitens, and pretty much all of my squadrons against a single ISD with Gunnery Team, Motti, and the Devastator title.  Narrow victory for me.

Lessons Learned: 

1.  Squadrons were key.  Not only did they do a lot of damage, but the points I had in them were what pushed me over.  If even a couple of them had been killed, I would have lost on points.

2.  Arquitens can't maneuver.  I more or less assumed they would be zippy, nimble ships like the Rebels' corvettes, but it turns out they're not.  They're fast, but not very good at turning at high speed.  I wasn't terribly impressed, but then, part of that may be because I was playing with a Victory-class, which is also not very nimble.  With another fleet, they may do a bit better.

3.  Victory-class can't maneuver.  And unlike the Arquitens, its higher command requires planning further ahead.  If I use it again, I'll have to remember to plan some late-game Navigation commands to keep it on the board.

4.  Sloane is scary.  Being able to spend opponents' defense tokens and reroll crits makes blue-die fighters far more useful against capital ships.  The first couple rounds, it didn't seem like they were doing much, but once a defense token or two actually left completely, the ISDs started to crumble.  I think she also affects how I'll build my squads in the future with her.  With her in command, I suddenly found my blue-die fighters outperforming my black-die bombers (of course, Maarek had the best of both worlds, while Dengar had the worst).  I actually think I may have been better served removing Dengar, Rhymer, and the generic Bomber, and replacing them with a TIE Defender and some more Fighters or Interceptors.  Of course, part of this may be because I wasn't facing any enemy squadrons.  Against them, Dengar would have been far more useful.

5.  Flotillas are fun.  The Gozanti with Squadron commands helped me get the jump on the ISDs, and Suppressor paired rather nicely with Sloane's ability.  Bomber Command Center was nice when I used it, but between Sloane making a single Accuracy useful and Maarek being able to auto-crit, this wasn't too often.  I think it'll probably be better in the future to build squadrons around Sloane or BCC, rather than trying to combine the two.

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Something I'll note with your objectives is that they feel...sort of safe choices, kinda?

The thing is, especially compared to X-Wing, Armada is a game about the objectives.  I've won a number of games by large margins with very few ships killed, by having a well-matched objective.

If you go squad-heavy (especially maxing it to the 134 pts focusing on multi-role bombers ...so X-Wings for rebels or TIE Defenders for the Empire ), Precision Strike/Fighter Ambush/Superior Positions remains a popular combination.  Try a game with a list focused around delivering those objectives, and when the fighting starts - don't go for the all-in brawl, but using those squadrons to deliver you victory points.  You may be surprised as how effective that is.

Then work out other combinations of objectives that work well together and see what kind of lists you can run that support those.

This is basically the idea of 'building for second player' - usually easy enough to get, as most enemies seem to like to take first player given the chance, but you can nearly guarantee it if you have enough activations in your list to risk last-firsting an enemy and/or have Demolisher in your list at all.  NOBODY gives those guys first player, so feel free to build to 400 knowing the enemy has to play an objective you've tailored your list to...

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22 hours ago, xanderf said:

If you go squad-heavy (especially maxing it to the 134 pts focusing on multi-role bombers ...so X-Wings for rebels or TIE Defenders for the Empire ), Precision Strike/Fighter Ambush/Superior Positions remains a popular combination.  Try a game with a list focused around delivering those objectives, and when the fighting starts - don't go for the all-in brawl, but using those squadrons to deliver you victory points.  You may be surprised as how effective that is.

Two expand on this:

Sloane specifically doesn't usually want Precision Strike, as it doesn't work with the squadrons she flies (generic Defenders are underwhelming, meaning Maarek is the only squad getting use from it.)  Most Wanted is almost always solid with a flotilla, and Surprise attack is currently looking like a fantastic way to scare Raddus and weaken enemy carrier lists.  Fighter Ambush is a reasonable choice, but if you don't want to be out-deployed Planetary Ion Cannon synergizes very well by encouraging or forcing token spending before a fighter strike.

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4 minutes ago, The Jabbawookie said:

...Most Wanted is almost always solid with a flotilla...

Well...Most Wanted is fine with a filler flotilla.  (IE., something just doing busy work - Comms Net, for instance.  A BCC flotilla is already a top target for the enemy if you have any significant bomber wing, so it doesn't really help a ton making it the objective ship - the enemy wants to shoot it anyway.  But if you've got a BCC flotilla *and* a comms net flotilla?  Oh, yeah, definitely go Most Wanted.  Give the enemy at least 3 'primary targets' and take your pick of what you want to kill of theirs while they sort out trying to do everything at once...)

But I've done good work with Precision Strike, even with Sloane (you don't have to re-roll the crit, after all, and TIE/D are bombers, so can crit with the best of them).  Still, yeah, you usually want to mix a healthy dose of TIE/B in there with BCC to support them - those crit points pile up fast, and once you start digging into the hull, your score can get CRAZY.  And Sloane is okay when she's on...but sometimes she takes a nap and feels like wasted points.  I go elsewhere, these days.

Anyway, what 'Surprise Attack' seems to want badly to my mind is an Interdictor with GX-7s.  And Titus somewhere.  But that's so crazy expensive...I can't get it to work.  FEELS like it should be insane OP, but...still working on it.

The take-away to @JJ48, though, from all this rambling is...MATCH YOUR FLEET TO YOUR OBJECTIVES.  Armada is soooooooo, OMG incredibly, totally, absolutely about objectives.  That's what makes it great!  Find those pairings, and have fun!

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