Monday, April 24, 2017

Ship Profile: The Flechette Raider


Of the many complaints that seem to be cropping up, the rise and dominance of squadrons has been a persistent one. Yet somehow, this far into wave 5, I haven't seen a lot of what I consider one of the best counters: The Flechette Raider.

Before going any further, let me define the loadout:
The baseline Flechette Raider
The Raider I, with double black anti-squadron dice, an Ordnance slot, and a Weapons Team slot, is pretty much the only ship in the game that can made effective use of Flechette Torpedoes. The ability to re-roll with Ordnance Experts is critical to getting everything to work. In theory, one good battery shot can effective shut down a squadron ball. For 51 points, the ability to reliably shut down squadrons is pretty great.

There are a couple of extra flavors you can add to make it even better. Agent Kallus gives you another black die against named squadrons to give you that much more of a chance to trigger Flechettes. Instigator helps lock squadrons in place so they don't squirt away during the squadron phase prior to your shot. If you're not as worried about squadrons moving away, you can grab Impetuous to give yourself a second chance at shutting down that one critical squadron. Taking a title and Kallus starts to get a little pricey (58 points), but if you're neck deep in Rieekan Aces, it is well worth the extra investment.

The "Fully Loaded" Flechette Raider
Then, of course, there's Screed, who can guarantee Flechettes will trigger. This, however, comes at the cost of doing actual damage. This variant could even go without the Ordnance Experts if you needed to save the 4 points.

We all saw the potential for this when wave 5 dropped, but enthusiasm for the loadout seemed to fade pretty quickly. Instead, Rieekan Aces builds, now with Biggs included to make them that much more horrific, remain a dominant part of the meta. That's because, as always, the Raider is a rather unforgiving ship. The lack of redirect hurts, especially against squadrons. Still, when flown right, it can completely negate a squadron wing. There are a three things I've found you need to keep in mind to get the Flechette Raider right.

First of all, having first player helps a lot. Yes, this is obvious. After all, there aren't that many situations where having first player isn't a big benefit. In this case, though, the Flechette Raider wants first player almost as bad as Demolisher. As second player, you risk enemy squadrons activating to either get away from the Raider, or just killing it. Alternatively, a ship might just blow the Raider out of the water, freeing up the squadrons to go after a juicer target. Considering how fast the Raider can pop, both of these eventualities are a big risk.

Second, you need at least a token squadron wing, around 50-60 points worth. Like I said, the Raider is at risk of getting popped by the very squadrons it's hunting. I tried running one with the Instigator title, but no squadron support. It just didn't work. You need a little bit of support to help lock down squadrons and force shots at something other than the Raider. A minimal force pairs well with Instigator, preventing Intel squadrons from re-positioning. My personal favorite has become Zetrik, an Advanced, a Jumpmaster, and Mauler. The Raider's anti-squadron battery and Mauler's splash damage work well together to decimate squadron balls. At 54 points, it's not a big investment if my opponent also goes squadron light.

Splash damage for everyone!
Third and finally, don't forget that even though you invested into Flechettes, you can still attack ships. After all, that's only 3 points dedicated to going after squadrons. Two blacks with Ordnance Experts and two blues are nothing to sneeze at. Those blues make it a decent flotilla hunter. If you've neutralized the enemy squadron ball, or if there was never one to begin with, don't look at the Raider as dead points. Despite all the hate for this little ship, it is still a good flanker that can hit well above its weight.

I think the Flechette Raider is due for a breakout in the meta. JJ already quietly used it to good effect during the World Cup. Keep your eyes peeled at Worlds. I think a Flechette Raider could sneak into the top 4 cut and make a very large impact.

Friday, April 21, 2017

FAQ Update 4/21/17 - "Mostly Corellian Conflict"

Well, yes, about 4/5ths of the red text in the new FAQ are Corellian Conflict related.  But Worlds is coming up, so let's talk about what actually changed for that.  Please note, there was NO CHANGES to the core rules, so the Anti-Flotilla crew are going to have to wait a bit longer for their sweet, sweet revenge.

https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/7a/0d/7a0da571-9299-4fd1-8ca9-c1b006a9d080/armada_faq_v311.pdf


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Flotillas, Activations, and other Heretical thoughts...

If you at all follow the Armada forums on FFG's website you will have noticed the bevy of recent threads debating the role of flotillas in Armada.  I am on record as saying flotillas have been one of the best things to happen to Armada.  However, amid all of the various threads on the subject I think I have also come to understand the other side of the debate.  I thought I would break down the arguments here, if only as an exercise in getting them straight in my own head.
I have an unbridled love of all things XKCD

Monday, April 17, 2017

Going to Worlds? Eat Breakfast! (And Other Armada Advice)

Why don't we talk about how to play your best game of Armada, when you are playing the best of the best.  You've planned your list, figured out the meta, and you're ready to go.  Now you are going to fly off to Minnesota, stay in an unfamiliar hotel, and wake up early to register and get ready for your game.  What can you do to make things better for yourself?

Go to breakfast.



Friday, April 14, 2017

Stele Open AAR

Congrats again to Dan!
Stele Open is probably the most fun I've had at an Armada tournament to date. Our community continues to amaze me with just how enjoyable an experience they make these large tournaments. The level of play is continuing to rise. Considering I went 2-2 on the day, fifth place was far better than I expected. It helps that my losses were fairly close at 4-7 and 5-6, and my wins were pretty solid at 8-3 and 10-1. However, I think it mainly shows just how close many of the games were. Pete Hodgkins should have the final standing up soon, but the points were pretty tight. Now that I've had some time to reflect, let's go over what went wrong and what went right.

**Edit** For those that didn't catch my list in the Stele Open live updates, here's my list from the day:

Team Ramrod 

Author: Truthiness
Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 390/400   

Commander: General Madine

CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
51 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
18 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
18 total ship cost
CR90 Corvette B (39 points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points)
52 total ship cost
CR90 Corvette B (39 points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points)
52 total ship cost
[ flagship ] MC80 Star Cruiser (96 points)
-  General Madine  ( 30  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  X17 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
144 total ship cost
Tycho Celchu ( 16 points) 
Shara Bey ( 17 points)
A-Wing Squadrons ( 22 points) 
What Went Wrong
Damn you Demolisher!!!
Liberty was my biggest failure of the day. I could not seem to get it in the right position to save my life. The first game I got it mostly right. I just mistimed my squadrons, so it got hung out to dry in the middle of Yavaris squadrons. I was lucky as hell that it hung on as long as it did, because otherwise I wouldn't have gotten the tabling. Game two was much the same story, except I didn't even get it into the fight when I needed it. I was trying to use the CR90s to block the Arquitens' path and follow in with the Liberty, but I would have been better off doing the opposite. Finally, in the third game, I intentionally set it out there to keep Demolisher occupied, knowing it could deal with a couple salvos, but then I turned it back into the fight. This ended up giving Demolisher another shot at it, all the while it didn't really contribute to the fight in any meaningful way. It would have been better off disengaging and using Madine's maneuverability to stay behind Demolisher the rest of the way.

My squadron use was also questionable for the first two games. In the first game, I jumped out too early, allowing Treb's squadrons to clean mine out just in time for the main ship engagement. Somehow, despite recognizing the mistake going into the second game, I did it again against Mike. I jumped out even earlier, engaging some of his squadrons during the first turn. That gave his eclectic mix of Aces plenty of time to bomb the crap out of Liberty. Side note: Morna Kee fucking hurts.


What Went Right
I still can't get over this roll
I finally learned the right lesson with my squadrons in the third game. I made sure to keep the A-Wings tight to the GR-75s. The combination of anti-squadron batteries and A-Wing counter mauled the hell out of his squadrons, punching well above their level. I managed it again in the fourth game. If I get the timing right, it is a very effective grouping of squadrons. I'm considering swapping out one A-Wing for a VCX to get strategic in play, but I'm not sure I'm willing to disrupt the ball I have now.

The All-Stars were hands down the CRambo90s. They worked exactly as envisioned all day. I understandably got some odd looks and some questions on the forums. After all, I don't have Rieekan, so how effective can they be without being able to abuse the Zombie Lord? The answer is extremely effective if you know what to target. I'm not charging headlong into large ships. I mainly use them has flotilla and small ship hunters. Of the eight flotillas I faced on the day, only one survived. They are effectively speed 5, making them perfect for hunting down the ubiquitous lifeboat flotilla.

What is often overlooked is their armament is actually pretty darn good. A double arc is very easy to line up using Madine, and 5 blues is nothing to sneeze at. Once I was done ramming flotillas into paste, I could use my high activation count and high maneuverability to get them into side or rear arcs of larger targets. From there, I could use the blue dice to add punishment and rely on the Reinforced Blast Doors to ram if needed. The RBDs also make them more durable for working in at that medium range. Since I've started playing this list, I've been using RBDs to discard regular damage just about as often as I'm using them to discard ram damage.

Speaking of Madine, he's the part of the puzzle that makes these CRambo90s so good working as just a pair. They are capable of utterly ludicrous turns, which you really have to see to understand. He's pricey, but I think I've finally found a list where he works well.


Going Forward
Fear the CRambo
After playing this list and many variations of the list I took to Regionals, I think I'm just burned out on the Liberty. It feels much more fragile than the double braces would indicate and the firepower was often not all that impressive. Madine did a lot to make it better, but it still felt like there wasn't much it could do that other ships could do better. The large base keeps it difficult to squeeze into certain spots and an easy target for bombers.

Still, this list was an awful lot of fun to fly. The CRambos and Madine are an excellent match. I'm even finding him useful for bobbing and weaving with the TRC90 and helping the GR-75s adjust their approach with tokens. The squadrons, once I got the right timing, were also an excellent little ball. The key was getting them working in tandem with the GR-75 anti-squadron batteries. Once I did that, the cumulative damage from the black anti-squadron and counter really started to stack up.

As annoyingly ubiquitous as Admonition is both locally and on Vassal, I think it's the obvious replacement for the Liberty. With the right tools, it can hit just as hard if not harder than the Liberty. Its nav chart usually limits it to a single pass or lower speeds. With Madine, I'm hoping to change that tune a bit. The MC30's speed 4 chart suddenly isn't that limited once you add Madine clicks.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Zahn talking Thrawn

Last night I had the opportunity to attend a book signing by Timothy Zahn for his new book Thrawn, about the titular Grand Admiral.

I have been a fan of both Zahn and Thrawn since Heir to the Empire was released in 1991, so attending was a no-brainer.  So, why am I posting about this on an Armada themed blog?
Cause Biggs said I could...

Also, Zahn gave some cool insights into the Thrawn character, how the Lucasfilm story group works, and the state of Star Wars in general that I think the readers here might care about.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Quantity vs Quality in Activations

One thing that we can all agree about in Armada is that Activations are important, to the point where activation advantage is now as hotly contested as First Activation.  Being able to delay an important activation can give you a sizable advantage in the game.  But what good players understand, but don't specifically talk about, is that the quality of that activation you are saving or using is really what is important.  After all, it doesn't matter when you take your turn if that turn doesn't do anything to affect the board state.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Stele Open

I'll rocking the Stele Open today! Like MD Regionals, I'll be posting updates as I go. Here's my list:

Team Ramrod 

Author: Truthiness
Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 390/400   

Commander: General Madine


CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
51 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
18 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
18 total ship cost
CR90 Corvette B (39 points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points)
52 total ship cost
CR90 Corvette B (39 points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points)
52 total ship cost
[ flagship ] MC80 Star Cruiser (96 points)
-  General Madine  ( 30  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  X17 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
144 total ship cost
1 Tycho Celchu ( 16 points) 
1 Shara Bey ( 17 points)
2 A-Wing Squadrons ( 22 points) 
I decided to have a go at Madine after seeing him in action with the Liberty at the MD Regionals. I've said it before, but I cannot reiterate how well Madine and the Liberty go together. The most glaring weakness of the speedy Liberty is that poor Nav chart. Madine does a lot to help minimize that weakness and maximize the Liberty's speed and firepower. Using Madine happened to coincide with my experiments with the CRambo90, which resulted in a happy accident of list building. The two of them together make a rather absurdly good combination.

I originally had a tooled up Liberty and only Tycho and Shara for squadrons. Putting the list through the ringer of my usual Vassal opponents, however, showed that it needed a little more help in the squadron department. At JJ's suggestion I went minimalist with the Liberty itself. That allowed me to add another GR-75, taking the activation count up to 6, and adding a pair of A-Wings. I jumped back and forth between Mon Karren and XI7s. The former is useful against more things, but XI7s won out because they let me lock down braces with accuracy while still limiting redirect usage. At the end of the day, I expect the Liberty to go hunting for the things XI7s are great against. Plus, it saved me 2 points.

Check-in!


Round 1
First match was against Treb Courie. I was first player and took his Precision Strike. I over committed Liberty, which only survived Yavaris B-Wings by sheer dumb luck. It limped on until the last turn, allowing me to table Treb for a 415-229 win for me.

Treb's list:

Top of Turn 1:

Top of turn 2:

Top of turn 3:

Top of turn 4:

Top of turn 5:

Top of turn 6:

Final board state (we only resolved Lib and his flotilla and called it):

Round 2
Next game was against Mike Taglioni! He's running 3x Slaved Turret Kittens, 2x Gonzos and a mix of Acres. I took first player with VIP as the objective. Luck went against me this time, with a couple of my ships going down with lucky accuracies. I once again mistimed the A-Wings, costing me the Liberty. I also probably swung the Liberty out wide too far, with it only really getting off one good shot. Final score was 267-370, with his lone surviving Kitten running off the with VIP.

Top of turn 1:

Top(ish) of turn 2:

Top of turn 3:

Top of turn 4:

Top of turn 5:

Top of turn 6:

Final board state:

Round 3
This round was against Brendon MacLeod. He was running full Clonisher, a Raider, and 3x Gonzo supported by a nasty anti-squadron ball. He took first player and took my Navigational Hazards. I had him up until the last turn. The A-Wings and the GR-75s bled his squadrons and I managed to kill 2x Gonzos and the Raider. However, Demo swung into get two kills on the final turn, swinging it to 214-250.

Top of turn 1

Top of turn 2:

Top fo turn 3:

Top of turn 4:

Top(ish) of turn 5:

Top of turn 6:

Final table state:

Round 4
Final game was against Sean Masson. He was running a fulled kitted ISD II Avenger, 2 Kittens, and a small anti-squadron ball. I took first player and decided to go balls to the wall by taking his Advanced Gunnery. It work out very well. I bullseyed a kitten on turn 2 and just ran the table from there. The Advanced Gunnery ISD didn't get a frontal shot all game as Madine ran circles. Final score was 520-39 with a table at the first activation of turn 5.

Top of turn 1:

Top of turn 2:

(Forgot a turn 3 picture)

Top of turn 4:

This was the Liberty's RAW ROLL at the ISD:

Final board state (the CR90 fired and that was all that went for turn 5):

Conclusion:
I managed to claw back to #5, which all things considered  was pretty damned good. All the top 4 declined to play the final cut games. The prizes for #3 and #4  were the same and #1 and #2 played in round 4, so Jeff was nice enough to concede the top prize to Dan Nowak. Congrats to him! Pete Hodgkins will be posting the final standings on the NOVA Facebook group, which I'll be sure to add later on. It was a great day of games with some impeccable play. Thanks to everyone who played!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Looking at the Regionals Data

It's been a little over a month since the Wave 5 Regionals Season ended.  Let's take a look back through the data and see if we can find any interesting patterns.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Playing the Squadron Game: Squadron Task Forces

There's a bit of something I want to talk about that I think gets passed over in the squadron game, and that is the use of squadrons in groups larger than a single piece.  Specifically, I want to talk about the mentality of building a good fighter force as more than just "I need X number of points in anti-squadron" and think about "what can I effectively use" and "how will these squadrons work together to accomplish this mission?"  I know, easier said than done.



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Theorizing a Rebel Pocket Carrier


I don't know about you, but I've been long frustrated by the lack of Flight Controller options for the Rebels. There's the AFII...and that's about it. The only other ship remotely capable of it is the Liberty with title onboard. I've tried it, but it is not the optimal use of the Liberty, which would much rather be using Navigate​ commands. In my never ending quest to use anything but the AFII, I've started looking toward the coming Hammerhead Corvette. Yes, you read that right. Don't you make that face at me.

It's always hard speculating on ships that haven't been fully spoiled. However, with the Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette we have quite a few known quantities. First, we know it has, at a minimum, a Weapons Team slot, an Offensive Retrofit slot, an Ordnance slot, and the usual Officer and Title slots. I'll ignore the Title slot for now because the only known title isn't of us for commanding squadrons. The first choice is, obviously, Flight Controllers in the Weapons Team slot. With a likely squadron value of 1, however, we need ways to command more squadrons. That makes the next choice easy: Expanded Hangars in the Offensive Retrofit slot. Squadron 2 still isn't the best use of points. You really want to be commanding at least 3 squadrons to make the Flight Controllers worthwhile. What you need for the final piece of the puzzle is tokens.

There are a few ways you could go. First up is the new Leia commander card. This is a simple solution that ensures that the Hammerhead will always be able to command 3 squadrons so long as the Aldeeranian princess has something to say about it. If her steep 38 point cost is too much for you, or you want a different commander, don't fret. There are a couple other options. A Comms Net flotilla will work just fine. It doesn't​ really save you points compared to Leia, but it does net you an extra activation. Finally, my preferred route is to take a Veteran Captain. The downside here is you only gain one extra use and then you're stuck at squadron 2. Still, two turns of adding a blue to 3 squadrons is significant. That's typically how quickly the squadron fight is decided.

Based on what we know about the Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette, I can't see it costing more than 37 points. Assuming that holds true and you go my preferred route (FC, EH, and Vet Cap), this will all likely cost you around 51 points or so. That's a pretty good price. An AFIIB with just Flight Controllers is 78 points and is only commanding one more squadron. A Liberty attempting to do 4 squadrons would cost well into the 100s. That means a carrier Hammerhead could potentially be very efficient. I would add External Racks to mine, making them a nice dual threat willing to work in at close range.


I can hear the arguments now: "Imperials could already do this with the Raider and they haven't." True, but Imperials already have two other effective platforms for Flight Controllers in the VSD and the ISD. Frankly, I'll never understand the hate for the VSD. It is the best Flight Controller platform in the game at the moment. Yes, that means it's often relegated to a carrier role, but at it's damned good at it. Baring a surprising point value, the Quasar will soon usurp that title with ease. The point is, Imperials don't need to even consider the Raider as a Flight Controller platform because they already have plenty of options. They aren't desperate like I am.

A lot is going to depend on the Nav chart. Like all carriers, the Hammerhead carrier would likely be too busy spamming the squadron command to Navigate. As a light ship with minimal shields and only 5 hull, the Hammerhead is perhaps more susceptible to this problem. I'll eventually go into the full list at a later date, but for now it is suffice to say I intend to pair it with my Lifeboat 2.0 concept Biggs talked about. I have to give full props to Shmitty for being the first to point it out, but Entrapment Formation's ability to adjust carrier speed cannot be undervalued

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Thought Experiments - Building a Pelta

In honor of Comamnder Sato, it seems only right to look at the Rebel equivalent to our recent Imperial question - how do we kit out what looks like an overpriced support ship?  Today we'll be discussing the Pelta, the newest Wave 5 ship the Rebellion gets to bring to the field.  We'll be most concerned with how to kit it out so that it can support your fleet in the most efficient way - it seems almost obvious that this is not a ship that wants to turn into a points hog as a 5 hull small base ship.


Monday, March 27, 2017

500 Point Tournament AAR

This past Saturday I had the chance to play in my first Armada tournament since last fall.  After having fun with the 500 point format in The Corellian Conflict we decided to try a 500 point format tournament using the new prize kit from FFG.  We were all pretty curious to see what impact it might have on the event to play with 100 more points.


The Art of the Turn

There aren't many players that would dispute that maneuver is the most critical part of Armada. After all, if you can't get that big ISD front arc into range, it's not worth all those points you sunk into it. You're not going to win by flying a CR90 straight at an ISD. However, it's all well and good to just say that. It's another thing to actually do it. What does good maneuver look like? What tools are have available to enhance maneuverability?


Sunday, March 26, 2017

New Writer: Truthiness!

Hey everybody! With Shmitty jumping on board, I couldn't resist joining up as well. These two bring a truly phenomenal amount to the community. I'm truly blessed they're willing to have me along for the ride. Unlike Shmitty, though, I'll be maintaining my normal blog. My Armada articles will be double posted on both blogs, while I'll use my blog to contain my occasion non-Armada rants.


Biggs follow-up:  Can't have just one!  Truthiness brings another veteran blogger name to the site, and more importantly beat me during the Martinsburg regional back in 2016.  Just a shame we couldn't get a rematch in this year.  Both myself and Shmitty are happy to have him onboard!  Look for his first article to go up with us on Monday!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

500 Point Tournament Fleet

At our local game shop, we really enjoyed the 500-point fleet building in the Corellian Conflict.  So, when it was time to run an event with the new 2017 Spring Tournament Kit we decided to run it at 500 points.

I've seen some in the Armada community advocating bumping the standard tournament size up to 500 points.  I've not been convinced we need to do that overall, but it seems fun for a one-off event.  Read more to take a look at the fleet I will be taking.


New Writer! - Shmitty

The Steel Squadron is pleased to welcome our first writer that isn't Biggs.  The Neil Degrasse Tyson to my Bill Nye.  The Peanut Butter to my Miracle Whip.  You know him, you love him, and he writes things using facts and logic!  It's Shmitty!

-------------------------------------------
 
Yep, like Voltron everything is better the more you hook up....   wait, that's awkward. 
 
Let's try this.  Biggs has been an amazing contributor to the Armada community since the beginning.  I'm excited to add my voice to his blog.  My attention has been divided lately and I haven't been giving my blog the time it deserves.  So, you can still expect me to track Regionals Data, post battle reports, and make the occasional tactics video.  You'll just now find it in a new place.  The Concentrate Fire blog will stick around so the old content will be there, but the new stuff will be on Bigg's amazing blog. 

Excited to be here.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Thought Experiments - Building an Interdictor


No ship was perhaps quite as exciting and wound up being quite as poor in implementation as the Interdictor.  You might rightly ask what is the Interdictor even good for these days?  Well, strap in because we are about to brainstorm ways to use the Interdictor to counter the current Meta!


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Boring Conversation Anyway Youtubecast - Episode 2 - Wave 6 Preview


It's what the title says.  You get to see me and other people have bad and good opinions respectively.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Wave 5 Officer Upgrades

It's far past time that we took a look at the Wave 5 upgrade cards, and we're going to look at officers.  Let's jump right in with the only non-faction specific officer.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Matchup of the Week - JJ's Juggernaut vs Green Knight

We're finally here!  After 2 months of tournament gaming, we're at the last two tournament players.  On one hand, Green Knight, most famous for being the point man on Vassal updates for Armada, and a Norwegian juggernaut.  And he is up against the Juggernaut himself, JJs Juggernaut from the US of A and current World Champion.  Can JJs add the World Cup to his list of accolades?  Will Green Knight take it from North America and bring it home to Europe?  Will we ever see Clontroper again?

2 of these questions will be answered March 9th at 1830 hrs GMT.


Green Knight - Return of the Vader,  WC 2017


Points: 395/400

[ flagship ] Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer (120 points)
-  Darth Vader  ( 36  points)
-  Avenger  ( 5  points)
-  Agent Kallus  ( 3  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Quad Laser Turrets  ( 5  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  X17 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
= 189 total ship cost

Gladiator II-Class Star Destroyer (62 points)
-  Demolisher  ( 10  points)
-  Skilled First Officer  ( 1  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
= 90 total ship cost

Raider-I Class Corvette (44 points)
-  Instigator  ( 4  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
= 57 total ship cost

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 points)
-  Suppressor  ( 4  points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 29 total ship cost

1 Ciena Ree ( 17 points)
1 Valen Rudor ( 13 points)



JJs Juggernaut - Random Last Minute Stuff: 394/400

Imperial I-class Star Destroyer (110)  
- Minister Tua (2)  
- Electronic Countermeasures (7)  
- Leading Shots (4)  
- XI7 Turbolasers (6)
Total:  129

Gladiator II-class Star Destroyer (62)  
- Ordnance Experts (4)  
- Assault Proton Torpedoes (5)  
- Demolisher (10)
Total:  81

Raider I-class corvette (44)  
- Agent Kallus (3)  
- Ordnance Experts (4)  
- Flechette Torpedoes (3)  
- Impetuous (4)
Total:  58

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23)  
- Moff Jerjerrod (23)
Total:  46

Lambda-class Shuttle (15)
"Mauler'' Mithel (15)
Black Squadron (9)
Captain Jonus (16)
JumpMaster 5000 (12)
Tempest Squadron (13)

Want to see a writeup of the lists themselves?  Take a look at Green Knight's writeup on the forums.


Keys to Victory:


1:  Captain Jonus:  Really, this is the only dangerous squadron on the board, if you don't count the possibility of Lambda shuttles messing with objective tokens.  Can he be taken out of the equation, or will he feed accuracy results at the right time to drop the Raider / Demolisher / Gozanti trio?  All 3 are very reliant on a single good defense token for their survival.

2:  Avenger:  Of any other ship on the board, the Avenger is worth more points by far.  Yes it is loaded for bear, but if it is cracked that is a hard loss to come back from for Green Knight, representing not only his Admiral but nearly 1/2 of his total points.  On counterpoint, JJ's ISD1 can afford to sacrifice itself to bring down the monster, for a net 60 point gain.

3:  Deployment Advantage:  With 5 deployments vs 7 deployments, Green Knight needs objectives in its advantage to mitigate putting down his Avenger before JJ's heavy hitters come down.  He has likely enjoyed going Second Player so often due to good objective selection that forces the game to come to him, and prevents enemy from setting up easy flanks.  One one hand, Second Player would give JJ 2 whole deployments to 210 points of heavy destruction on the board (ISD / Demo) and deny Green Knight use of his objectives, but on the other hand even a single lost ship as Second Player swings activation into first/last territory for First Player.


One Last Thing


Did anyone else notice that there are TWO Gladiator II-Class Star Destroyers in the final?


Biggs' Pre-Match Bet 


It sucks when you're friends with both players and you have to be objective.

I have a feeling this comes down to a capital ship slugfest with a minor fighter skirmish.  Green Knight has the advantages here, even with Jonus running around unchecked, his Admiral is on the biggest, nastiest thing on the board and isn't in a flotilla life-boat for a Jonus raider team to hunt down and kill.  He has reach, both with is ISD2 over the ISD1 and with his Demo having Engine Techs.  He has better damage potential from his ships with Avenger (ISD), Vader (All) and APT (Raider).

I can't count JJ's out though.  He has choice of first or second.  He has better trades that he can make if it turns into a brutal slugfest.  He has deployments to spare.

Still, given the advantages and how I see the fight developing, my bet would be on Green Knight bringing the World Cup to Norway.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Taking a Break

Sorry everyone, I've had to take a short break from posting new articles due to generally feeling like crap during / after my last chemo admission.   I'll be back before you know it!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Squadron Keywords and You - How to Use Your Squadrons As Intended

A requested article from a new player and new reader, Brent Molnar!  Thanks for pointing out something that could be useful to the community and new players.  Today we will be talking about Keywords on our squadrons - the Black Text that tells you what they can do.  It gives a good bit of information on their role in the fleet, and what they should be doing.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Matchup-Of-The-Week: JRockNZ vs Roquax

It's East Coast of the Western Hemisphere vs So Far East A Lot of  Us Think It's West.  Roquax of the North American Continent vs JRockNZ of New Zealand.

Strike Force Screed



Saturday, February 4, 2017

Final Advancing POD # 2 - Ginkapo / Aresius

Let's talk about gimmicks.  Last year one was good enough to win the whole thing with a pretty respectable gimmick:  One fat angry ship and two smaller ships that hit almost as hard - but you need first player or it all goes wrong.  This year, the gimmick to watch is Ginkapo: