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Seconds Before Disaster: Tabled for Two

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Hey! I've been doing weekly-ish battle reports on the Armada subreddit for a while and found these forums recently, so I figured I'd post the latest one here. I have only been playing since February so I'm not the greatest player, but I learn a lot every time I type one of these up and would love to talk more with other players about strategy and such. Anyway, here's the report from my last post:

Afternoon, Admirals! Becca is back with a ballad about bad decisions.

Here is the gallery with the photos and captions.

The Lists: Flip this Crit is the same ol B-Wing magic I fly often, and that was game 1. Game 2 was a pile of silly I’ve dubbed Madine. Mines. Monsters. That’s more like a sampler platter of Rebellion of the Rim new content.

Game 1: I played one of the best players in our local meta, and when he brought out Thrawn and squads I went for my B-Wings rather than the sampler. He had Thrawn, a Kuat, a Quasar and a flotilla along with several aces and some Tie defenders. We played Fighter Ambush! With me as second player.

The plan: The goal was to deploy squads conservatively, set the B-Wings up to ambush the Kuat and move the ships in a tight ball into that fight.

The problem: He outplayed me in the squad game, and I messed up with Independence and got it trapped into a nose arc to nose arc brawl with a Kuat it was never going to win.

The post-mortem: I deployed my squads off the station an beyond 5 of his squads hoping to keep the ball together and safe. I also started moving my ships up and trying to keep them close together so that Farr, Tallon and etc were all in range when the fighting started.

I could have jumped some stock X-Wings up to tie his squads up, but in prior games I’d gotten beat by splitting my squads apart and I wanted to make sure the Jan/Biggs bubble covered both stock X-Wings. This ended up being a bad move, as he was able to use a squad with snipe 4 and Jendon to kill Jan early on, then use other aces to ambush Ten Numb shortly after.

Losing Jan early on was devastating and I never got control of the squad game back. While neither of us ended up getting any FA! Points or much squad to ship damage, negating squads helped him more than me as he had the upper hand in the ship game.

I was trying not to run into my small ships with Indy and ended up not getting enough turns in to show the Kuat my broadside, and we ended up trapped by turn 3 as neither of us could complete a move and get out of rams. While the station gave me a ram advantage, he had me massively outgunned and he polished off Yav by turn 4 and Indy by Turn 5 for the table.

I got a few squads of his, but it was such a resounding loss I didn’t count points. Easily a 10/1 to him.

Game 2: This was the mines and monsters list and we did Marked For Destruction with me as second player. He had Piett, an ISD, Demo and a pair of Gozantis plus some squads.

The Plan: It would be generous to call it a plan. I learn better by doing so I hadn’t read up as much on the objective and new rules as needed and just wanted to play to learn, so I threw a bunch of mines and Purrgils down and figured I’d rely on Madine to take advantage.

The problem: I put Jaina’s Light way out of position and got Madine killed early. I didn’t get max use out of my mines or the purrgils because of how I placed, and overall I just deployed poorly.

The post mortem: I dropped both purrgils and my mines aiming to cover my bases, but in hindsight I wish I would have put both purrgils closer (they move at the end of each turn but only slightly and I didn’t quite realize how this would play out) and the mines farther from his edge so he couldn’t shoot them on turn 1.

I also learned you can put the mine on a purrgil and it moves when the purrgil does! Space druids unite!

I deployed a bit wide, figuring with Madine and fast ships I could adapt to what was on the table. The big issue was moving Jaina’s Light up too fast and by itself, letting him take a long range shot from the ISD nose arc very early on. Ouch.

Jaina’s Light had Ezra on board, and he moved a debris field into the ISDs path and this was both very fun and very effective. I moved the 90 out of the nose arc, but after taking the long shot it was doomed and died turn 3, meaning I lost Madine’s boost.

Turn 2/3 is also when I started to realize I’d put the Neb/Pelta too far away to get into the fight (especially after Madine went up in smoke), and that let him mismatch and kill the frigate without too much trouble.

Kanan dropped a raid token on the ISD, which was fun. Cloak is dead useful for sneaking out of engagement at the top of squad round an then moving in for a raid token drop. It wasn’t that helpful as he had the token, but used more tactically he could be so useful!

He double teamed my frigate with Demo and the ISD, and my terrible maneuver decisions put Vanguard and the Pelta in major harms way.

I used Sabine to drop a mine in mid game, and that was fun but not nearly enough to overcome all of my other mistakes. I also got a couple damage cards on Demo via the purrgil, which was fun, but again it was too little too late.

He tabled me by turn 5 so another 10/1 to him.

Lessons learned:

1 – A lesson learned prior can still have exceptions in other situations. I’ve gotten used to keeping my squad ball together after getting punished for splitting them up, but in Game 1 that hurt me big time. If I could have kept Jan or Ten on the table another round or two that would have been massive. In general squads that complement each other should stay together, but sacrificing one stock X-Wing could have been well worth the cost here.

2- Pay attention to synergy! One of the reasons I got jumped by squads was I did not account for the Squall title, which let him bump squads then activate them to get them into positions I hadn’t counted on. This is also true of his Snipe/Jendon combo.

3 – Proximity mines are fun and can drop steady damage while ignoring shields, but you have to be deliberate with them. I can see them being used to complicate deployment and shape the battlefield, but in my effort to do that I placed them too close to his edge and he was able to shoot some of them on turn 1. I think the better idea is place them with turn 3 in mind, and in places where they will have to pick between the mine or your ships. Attaching them to purrgils seems like a pile of fun and helped me deliver a mine—just note you measure from mine to ship and not ship to purrgill. Mines have to go prior to deployment, so don’t forget them! The exception is Sabine (and the ace, Mattin?) who can drop mines at the start of the ship phase or in lieu of an activation respectively. These worked well on the Pelta/Frigate because for 4 points on each ship I got two mines for a total of 4. I can see it being a nice little addition to how I normally run Mk. 2s.

4- Purrgils are weird and cool. In Marked for Destruction player 2 drops both, but when you move them each player takes turns moving one. Ships take damage based on their speed when they overlap the purrgil. I got one in the way of Demo and he hit it twice, which was powerful at speed 1 and probably gets nasty fast at higher speeds. Keep in mind that it is when the ship ends the move that the damage happens and place accordingly. We did not use the token version of purrgil attacks this game, so I am eager to see how that goes.

5- Some thoughts about Vanguard: I went all in on trying this out, so Vanguard, gunnery team, LTT, auxiliary shields team and expert shield tech. It was def a lot more survivable than a standard Nebulon, but at 77 points it feels too expensive for two 3-red die attacks and still fairly squishy side arcs. It feels like these cards want to make Nebs into damage dealers instead of support ships, but even with an ordnance slot it just doesn’t feel all that effective for the price. I kind of want to try Aux shield team on a Yav though. Maybe the all-in buy for it was too much and splitting up some of the pieces will be more useful? I'd love to hear what other folks are doing with Nebs and RitR.

6 – Kanan has the power to be super annoying but is squishy, and Lando is a tank and great at squad to squad. I can see Kanan sliding nicely into a few squad builds, as the raid token ability and cloak combo makes him outsize annoying. Lando throws a lot of anti-squad dice and in later turns it’s nice to shed tokens for damage. He is expensive, though, so I don’t know how much play he’ll see for me.

7- Ezra. Bridger. He feels like such a steal for just three points, especially on the Jaina’s Light TRC build I often run. Throwing a debris field or asteroid into a big ship’s path is incredibly satisfying and can do a bunch of damage or control the play area, and I can see him being even more effective in obstacle-based objectives. Sabine feels less great at 4 points for just one mine, but the flexibility to drop that mine on any round helps. I also had Captain Rex in there but didn’t get much use out of him—but that’s more about me and how I played than the card so don’t read into it


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