Thursday, September 3, 2015

Vassal Tournament - After Action Report (Initial Thoughts)

For my list in the Vassal Tournament, my though process was to give myself multiple options every turn, with the theory that the more options I had to work with, the less likely I was to be in a situation where I had no chance of success.  For this I went with a list that focused on one Battleship style ship, an AFII-B kitted out as a flagship with Mon Mothma (better evades), Advanced Projectors (to use All of the AFII's heavy shields), and Enhanced Armament / Gunnery Team, to maximize firepower from the side arcs.  Well, the closest thing we have to a battleship in Wave 1 at any rate.  I christened this monstrous point-filled abomination "Big Boy", and he clocked in at 125 points, or 5/12 of my total list.  Losing Big Boy would basically be an auto-loss.

Supporting the AFII, I brought 2 CR90s, one A and one B, both kitted out to exactly 49 points.  The CR90A was Jaina's Light, which I figured was reasonable for either hiding behind Big Boy, or going full throttle through obstacles to engage from a flank.  It also had Leia on it, which I planned to use to maximize the versatility of Big Boy - I would be able to dial in something basic every turn (usually Engineering) and use Leia to switch Big Boy to what I actually needed for the situation.

The CR90B was also kitted out as a Support ship, this time as the Tantive IV with Raymus Antilles onboard.  My thoughts there was to use the CR90B as a free command token to someone that needed it - usually the Big Boy, but possibly passing it to Jaina's Light or keeping it himself for shenanigans like double fighter activation from a CR90, Throttling Up/Down by 2, or repairing hull damage.

My first iteration of this list had yet another CR90B with Overload Pulse, and only a few A-Wings to escort.  But I decided to scrap that idea and go with a BOMBER heavy fighter screen to fill out the rest of my points, and change up my objectives accordingly.  With squadrons, I could delay my deployment until I knew where my opponents ships would be, and thus win the initial positioning advantage.  To help against running into a fighter heavy list as none of my ships really had any anti-fighter support, I took for my BOMBERs the overall balanced X-Wings - three total - with Luke Skywalker taking up the lead.  They would be escorting in a pair of Y-Wings, in the hopes that speed 3 would give them the best chance of maintaining formation.  A single A-Wing interceptor tagged along for the ride, bringing me to 6 squadrons total for 77 points, and 300 points overall.

For Objectives, I went with the objectives most likely to either give me a significant positional advantage, or a point advantage from completing the objectives themselves.  Because of this, my selections were Precision Strike, Fleet Ambush, and Superior Positions.  For Precision Strike, I have Luke Skywalker to get hits through onto hull, and then anyone can flip them up.  If he starts an attack, and gets a card that flips down after resolving, like Structural Damage, Comm Noise, or Injured Crew, I could then abuse Precision Strike to grab more tokens and weaken the ship further, maybe crippling a ship in just one strike.

For Fleet Ambush, I was counting on receiving a clear positional advantage, getting my ships to a spot where they could engage part of the enemy formation and decimate it before the rest of the formation could catch up.  In theory, I could be dropping fighters and shots on the Ambushed ships on T1, playing around with activation order to ensure Big Boy got a T1 broadside against at least one ambushed ship.

Finally, I had Superior Positions, which to me was Fleet Ambush but with bonus points for me!  The idea behind this one was that I would not only be able to control my deployment and approach, but I would be rewarded for fighter superiority by picking up points for sniping the rear of enemy ships, as well as being able to accomplish this with my CR90s as well!

For objectives I would be facing, I assumed Precision Strike would be a no-brainer if it came up.  In fact, each of the Red Objectives weren't particularly horrible for me - my AFII was a hell of a tank and could play keep-away for Most Wanted, Opening Salvo had synergy with Luke, and Big Boy was a tough nut to crack in terms of shields and engineering.  Advanced Gunnery would even be nice for Big Boy, giving him a chance to shoot enemy ships that double-arc'd him, though probably my least favorite of the bunch.

As far as Defensive Objectives went, Fire Lanes was right out - I didn't have the guns to contest a list that picked Firelanes in any reasonable way.  Likewise, Contested Outpost didn't seem like a good pick.  My list was not only supposed to be mobile, but it was purposely low on command value.  Fleet Ambush also didn't work well if I was facing against it, especially with my list.  Hyperspace Assault could be mitigated by my squadrons, by parking them for a early strike against whoever and wherever they pop in, making it the best of the yellow bunch - maybe worth taking over Advanced Gunnery.

For Navigation Objectives, Jaina's Light would work well with Dangerous Territory, as would the Big Boy and his heavy engineering focus - I could set them up for a T2 grab of all the obstacles, and have Jaina's Light approach through an obstacle rich location, which was the idea in the first place.  Likewise, Intel Sweep worked well with a full throttle Big Boy being able to snatch up a quick 75 points T3, and hopefully fly away with most of my hull intact.  It really would depend on the list that was offering it.  Superior Positions was right out - I had built for having advantage in deployment, and I was not about to give that up.  Finally Minefields was also out, it would remove my biggest advantage in having Jaina's Light.

Well, with all that in mind, it was time to get playing.  I was randomly matched up against godofcheese of Australia for my first match flying a mean Imperial standard build of VSDIIs with Gunnery Team (one with Intel Officer) and a Demolisher Gladiator, fully kitted out with ACMs and Engine Techs.  I'll talk about my R1 matchup in the next post.

You can read more after action reports here.

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