Saturday, September 5, 2015

Vassal Tournament - After Action Report (Round 1)

To see my thoughts on my overall list, click here.

To see the FFG Forum thread, click here.

Round 1

Biggs IRL vs godofcheese  <- Click for Log File of the game to replay it in Vassal.

godofcheese's List:
  - Gunnery Team
(Total: 118)  [Total w/ Most Wanted: 203]

  - Intel Officer
  - Gunnery Team
(Total: 99)

  - Demolisher
  - Engine Techs
  - Assault Concussion Missles
(Total: 81)

Looking over my opponents list, I knew my easiest path for victory was to destroy 1 of his ships, and only trade 1 of my CR90s in exchange.  With each of his ships pushing 80+ points each, but neither being naturally over 125, I knew dropping one of them would give me the win if I didn't overextend.  As I figured earlier, Big Boy needed to live, but everyone else was expendable if they netted me a bigger fish when they dropped.  He elected to go as 2nd player, leaving me to chose his objectives, and with the above thoughts in mind, I decided to go with Most Wanted, hoping I could use it to drop one of his ships slightly faster, and counting on the Big Boy's ability to outshoot whatever it couldn't outrun, or Jaina's Light's ability to outrun everything.

R1 Setup - My ships deployed to fly through the obstacles, while his ships set up to come around the top.

I set up all my obstacles in a cluster in the lower-right of the board, and godofcheese was happy to oblige, placing his there too.  I deployed Jaina's Light first, on the very edge of the setup zone and facing down towards the obstacles.  If he deployed there, I would be able to hide behind obstacles (and hopefully on the station at some point) obstructed and firing my full dice.  If not, I could run full speed through the rocks to engage his fleet.  His first deployment was his flagship, angled to turn around the obstacles and completely avoid my CR90, probably hoping that I would then deploy the rest of my ships to go after him there.  Instead, I put down the Tantive IV, pointing it on a path through to the other side of the obstacles on the near side.

His next deployment was his other Victory, going with the same "sweep around the obstacles" idea.  My response was to deploy my first fighters in range of the Tantive.  He then placed his demolisher to go around the obstacles the other way and catch me in between.  My response was to place the remainder of my squadrons to the left of the Tantive, with the thought of harassing the slower VSDs, and Big Boy on a course around the obstacles toward the Demolisher's trajectory, to give Jaina's Light more cover as they crossed through.

At this point what I suspected was confirmed - Big Boy was the Most Wanted objective chosen by godofcheese, and his flagship - the one furthest from the battle - was the other objective.  My plans remained unchanged - Big Boy needed to survive for me to win.

The first turn had our ships making their initial maneuvers, moving along and into position.  

End of Turn 1 - My Assault Frigate and escorts move down through the obstacles, while his forces turn in to catch them.  My squadrons head out unsupported to harass the Victorys.
I had the Tantive moving at speed 3 in the hopes that it could turn inside the VSDs, or force them to turn in through the rocks to take a shot on it.  Big Boy slowed down slightly, to put some distance between himself and the Gladiator.

End of Turn 2 - The VSDs had made hard turns to engage the rebel fleet.  The Gladiator had changed his direction, angling to avoid the trap I had been setting for it with the corvettes.
At the start of R2, I again activated my ships in order, from farthest away from the engagement to the closest.  Jaina's Light started by rocketing to speed 4, and ending up hiding behind the space station.  The Imperial Flagship did a 2 speed turn, using a maneuver dial for extra yaw to come about.  Big Boy responded by continuing to move slowly, around the rocks, but angled to bring his side to bear against where the VSDs would be headed.  The other Victory slowed to speed 1 and increased his yaw to come around faster, now looking to move through the obstacles.  The Tantive ducked behind a rock in preparation from the Demolisher, which finished it's speedy maneuvers just barely unable to take a long range potshot.  Finishing up the turn, my unsupported squadrons parked themselves in from of the non-objective Victory, and prepared for a bombing run.

End of  Turn 3 - The Demolisher had managed to engage the Big Boy, and anti-squadron fire from the Victory had minimal effect, while the various rebel squadrons pounded the VSD.
Turn 3 began as slowly as the other turns did.  Tantive IV began double slowing to 2 with dial and token, and jumping outside of a likely Demolisher arc.  The Flagship responded, again turning into the fight.  Jaina's Light went next, coming around to line up a shot on where the Demolisher was likely to be.  The other Victory trundled forward, smashing into the squadrons.  It's anti-squadron fire did little on its own, and the response from the rebel fighters was to drop several shields, while Luke chipped a bit of paint off the hull.  Big Boy continued his slow roll, and the Demolisher got the first ship-to-ship combat of the day, dropping into short range.  The payoff was weak, no natural crits on 5 black dice.  Big Boy was able to evade the Screed Crit into a regular hit, which was then braced and shifted completely across to the other side with Advanced Projectors.

End of Turn 4 - The non-Objective Victory was finally in range to attack, as the Rebel ships come around.  An X-Wing and A-Wing squadron retreat, having taken too much anti-squadron fire.
Turn 4 started with the Tantive IV activating and doing... nothing to the Demolisher as both arcs missed their attacks.  The Tantive was forced to spend its dial and bonus token to speed up once more to Speed 4 and turn into the fight.  The Demolisher activated next, putting the hurt on the Big Boy who was already in short range, stripping most of his shields and exhausting all defensive tokens.

The Demolisher came around hard, but did not get another arc shot on the Big Boy.
But couldn't quite make a hard enough turn to put his front arc on the Big Boy.  A quick snap shot at Jaina's Light was evaded.  Jaina's Light returned fire, not doing anything particularly nasty.  The Imperial Flagship trundled forward, shooting at the rebel squadrons, damaging several.  The Big Boy fired ineffectively on the Demolisher, but bounced off the Jaina's Light, damaging both ships, but with both ending up just out of arc of the non-objective Victory.  That ship then activated, continuing to shoot at the squadrons, but also taking a long range shot at the Tantive.

At this point several squadrons had taking significant damage, and peeled off from their attack runs.  The rest continued to hammer the non-objective Victory, and Luke, out of position, took the first shot on the objective ship.  The non-objective Victory's shields were almost gone, but it still had almost full hull (it's only damage being Luke's shot).

End of R5 - The Victory had been destroyed by fire from Jaina's Light and the Big Boy.  Squadrons shifted to engage the Objective Ship.

Round 5 started with an activation of Jaina's Light to fire on the weakened VSD - due to fortunate positioning, Jaina's Light had double arc on it, dealing significant damage and stripping the remaining shields.

Jaina's Light double arc on the VSD's Front Arc
godofcheese then decided to activate his GSD in the hopes of catching a shot on the Big Boy before he moved, confident that his VSD could survive 4 more hull worth of hits before his activation.  Unfortunately for him, and very fortunately for me, neither of these assumptions were correct.  The Demolisher had no shot on the Big Boy...

Finishing off the VSD.
And without shields, 4 damage and an accuracy token finished off the VSD, denying it a Brace token for defense.  The flagship continued onward, firing at Jaina's Light and squadrons, but not doing much to either.  The Tantive lined itself up for a good final shot on the Flagship, ready for Turn 6.

Final Round.  I started out by activating the Tantive IV, and lit up the VSD with a Token / Dial squadron activation to get the Y-Wings a shot, then followed up with a double arc shot.  Then I realized my mistake - my speed put my CR90 right in his front arc.

He chose to activate the Demolisher next, delaying the inevitable.  The demolisher was able to damage the Big Boy, but not enough to destroy him.  Jaina's Light did some damage to the Flagship, but not enough to prevent the counter attack that was coming.

A double arc shot on the Tantive IV
The first roll was a massive 8 damage, which the Tantive managed to reduce to 6 by having a double Red rerolled to a blank.  Redirecting the damage to the front, he faced a second shot from the side, with 2 hull remaining.  The next shot came in, with 2 crits and 1 hit.  An evade of the red crit wound up as a useless accuracy, and the remaining crit was spent to flip up a not-lethal Ruptured Engine, allowing the Tantive to escape with 1 hull.

The final long-range attack by the Big Boy on the Flag Ship was unable to crack its hull, leaving the ship with enough defense tokens and hull to survive the remaining X-Wing attacks, no matter what they rolled.

Overall, with one VSD destroyed, and not losing a single thing of my own, I won my first round 99-0, with the 99 MOV giving me 8 tournament points.  Overall, not a terrible start for the tournament.  godofcheese was an excellent opponent throughout the match and gave me a hell of a run for my money.  It was fun to play someone from so far away (+14 hour difference between us) who I'd otherwise never get a chance to match up against.

Going to be hard to do more than just those - the log file for the 2nd round did not include anyone's ships, and the log file for R3 didn't include my opponents ships, which makes describing deployment and strategy a little bit difficult.

You can read more after action reports from this tournament here.

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