Sunday, October 4, 2015

After Action Report - Massing at Sullust

Hello everyone!  I had the chance to officiate for, and run in the Massing at Sullust event today at my local game store, Drawbridge Games.  First off, a big shout out to the store owner, Enrico, for letting a group of Armada enthusiasts basically take over his store for essentially the entire day.  We had 6 total attendees, which is actually a fairly large turnout for the area - we are still growing by word of mouth.  Drawbridge did manage to grab the only Massing at Sullust event for the area - Morgantown had one the previous day that I don't believe anyone that came to this one made it to, and Dublin, OH had the next closest one.  We had room for 10 players, and 5 had pre-registered, so an all-around good number.

Also a big shout-out to my Co-Officiant Chris - he had been a huge help getting the whole thing off the group, brainstorming with me and Enrico on logistics for the event (how to turn 3 tables, only two of which were big enough for Armada) into room enough for 10 players.

Because we had less than 8 participants, we decided to follow FFG's suggested round change that they had in the rule insert for the kit - 2 rounds and a cut to the top 2.

My list (297 pts)

Assault Frigate Mark II A (81)  
  - Mon Mothma (30)  
  - Raymus Antilles (7)  
  - Electronic Countermeasures (7)  
  - Paragon (5)
  Total : 130

Assault Frigate Mark II A (81)  
  - Advanced Projectors (6)
  Total : 87

Nebulon-B Support Refit (51)  
  - Salvation (7)
  Total : 58

A-wing (11) x 2 = (22)

Advanced Gunnery
Fire Lanes
Superior Positions

And that is what I brought - I had been spending my time practicing with AFIIBs, with gunnery team, working on setting up broadsides, but I realized that I was better able to kill enemy ships by going with the AFIIAs, and double arcing them, thus getting multiple shots on the same ship.  It would let me more effectively gun down enemy VSDs and opposing AFIIs, which I figured were my likely opposition for this game.  Salvation came along for the ride, with the thought that it would be my flanker, or at least follow behind the AFII line mopping up whatever they left behind with respectable long range fire.  Mon Mothma keeps all my folks alive at all ranges!

For objectives, Advanced Gunnery was picked because with Paragon, I figured that no one would dare take the chance against it, and if they did I would make them pay for their mistake.  Fire Lanes would let me take advantage of my long range dice and good broadsides, and Superior Positions is just my favorite objective and has to come along for the ride as my navigation objective of choice.

Round 1:

I was up against a heavy rebel list, with no squadrons.  Dean was the player, and he was running a squadron free list of a kitted out Paragon, a NebB-S w/ engine techs, and two CR90s - an A w/ his commander (Dodonna) and engine techs, and a B w/ ion pulse and engine techs - total 400 pts.  I elected to go first against his ships to keep him from double arcing.

His objectives were fairly bad for me - Advanced Gunnery was a non-starter with him having a Paragon, and I didn't particularly like the choice of Contested Outpost vs Superior Positions, but I figured with my squadrons I might be able to get a few bonus points off the latter of the two.

We set up our obstacles with the space station in the center, with various rocks surrounding it.  I deployed my two AFIIs to be coming through the obstacles, with my NebB all the way out on the Right flank.  My squadrons sat in the center of my two AFIIs, ready to go anywhere.  His deployment was to set up his AFII at an angle, across from my AFIIs, pointed for my NebB, with his flagship CR90 next to it at the same angle, both at speed 2.  Then he had his NebB and CR90B directly across from the Salvation, going full throttle.

The first turn was fairly uneventful.  His ships bore down on my NebB while my AFIIs moved to flank him (and my flagship blundered into a rock trying to do a sharp turn in, which Dodonna turned into a crit that got rid of my evade token).  The second turn saw the firing begin, and what a bout of shooting it was.  My NebB got the short end of the stick, being pummeled by the CR90B (and Ioned all his tokens away), the NebB (without much effect) and the enemy Paragon (and rammed for good measure).  He responded by damaging the enemy NebB, doing moderate damage.  The next turn had my NebB go first, as he was surely doomed.  He almost finished off the opposing NebB, and rammed the AFII for good measure.  He was then promptly blown into tiny pieces as the enemy NebB and CR90B flew off in a wide circle around the rest of the engagement.

But I had maneuvered my AFIIs in back of the enemy AFII, and was busy plinking it for objective tokens.  His flag ship, which had been following on the outside of the enemy AFII, put on the afterburners and ran for the hills.  And my two A-Wings got a pair of plinks in as well on the AFII.  Overall, I wound up with 6 victory tokens at the end of the game by shooting the thing.

Now, the enemy AFII was going a bit too fast, and hadn't planned on slowing down.  My opponent wound up flying it off the board without a navigation command to save it from a speed 3 doom.  He almost did the same thing with his flag ship, but managed to bring it around.  Now he had a conga line of small base ships skirting my side of the map, all either out of or at extreme range for my AFIIs.

His NebB (with 1 hull damage remaining) wound up being the ship not quite out of range, and after a evaded attempt the previous turn (only rolling 1 hit) I was able to drop it.  That wound up being the last meaningful exchange of shots that game, and I secured the victory, 245 - 73 (9-1)

Round 2:

My second round opponent was Charlie, a guy who I had just recently met at the last monthly tournament.  He was also flying rebels, and had gone with a kitted out Paragon with Mon Mothma, as well as 2 CR90s, Tycho, Dutch, and a wingman for each.  He had lost his previous game, but as both other games ended in a huge MOV, I was the odd man out of the 3 winners.  We both wound up at 297 pt builds, and he won the rolloff, electing to go first.  He chose Advanced Gunnery.

Well, that wound up not being a good decision for him.  Obstacles were set up with the outpost alone in the middle of the right side, with the other objectives heavily spread out in the corners.  He set up his forces to slash in from the side, his Paragon coming in from the middle towards my right, and the CR90s (one of which was his objective ship) taking the long way in from the Left flank.  I set up with the NebB nearest to the middle, my Paragon (objective ship) to the right of that, and the final AFII on the far right flank.  My plan was to turn each of the AFIIs in and set up a line, with the non-named AFII at the head, and the NebB mopping up the rear.

I melted his Paragon at the start of turn 3.  Between double arcing him with the Salvation, double arcing him with my no-name AFII, and Advanced Gunnery Paragon, he disappeared.  His objective ship CR90 destroyed the Salvation, but by then it was too little too late.

I wound up with the table, and a 339 - 58 (10-0) win.

Round 3:  Final Table

I had said on the FFG forums that if I made it to the top table after the cut, I would get the 3rd and 4th place players to play with me, in an effort to give them something to do with their shiny new toys as well - have a 2v2 at the top table instead of a 1v1 brawl while everyone else stood around and waited for a chance to play with their toys.

Well, my opponent after the cut was David - a player that I hadn't played with too often, but who had his eye on the ISD, while I had mine on the MC80.  Quickly deciding we knew what we wanted, we agreed to the 2v2 plan, and after handing out the remaining prizes, I was paired up with Lewis (3rd place, and owner of the MC30) against Chris (owner of the raider) with my first round opponent Dean running squadrons for both sides (Han and Fett, plus accompaniments).

I kitted my MC80 Assault Cruiser out for bear - I couldn't afford to take anything else at that point, and David did the same with his ISD.  Ackbar vs Vader would be the commanders for the final.  Lewis had his MC30 set up as a scout variant, with ordinance experts and rapid reload, as well as a mostly naked AFII.  Opposite him, Chris sported his Raider, as well as a Demolisher with Ordinance Experts.  They won the flip, and selected to be Player 2, and we selected Contested Outpost as the objective.

Again, the objective was set up to the far right flank, with the ISD bearing down on it at speed 1, confident nothing could touch it, accompanied by the enemy fighter force (Fett, Fel, 2 Advanced).  The raider and Demolisher skirted the Left flank.  Our side had the MC80 in position across from the objective, the MC30 next to the MC80, pointed 90 degrees to the right, and the AFII on the right of the MC80, pointed up toward the ISD.

We raced in.  The ISD caught the AFII in it's tractor beam, and front arc.  One roll later, and the AFII was without any shields in its left hull, and a critical that kept it from recovering any.  The MC80 and AFII poured fire into the ISD at range, and it retaliated, stripping shields from the MC80 and almost finishing off the AFII.  Meanwhile, the Demolisher had slipped into position for a heavy attack, but so had the Scout Frigate, who scored a long range, Ackbar buffed, broadside on the ISD and moved into point blank range, with two arcs, on the ISD.

The Scout Frigate activated first, pummeling the ISD from both front and side arc.  When the dust cleared, and the dice were checked, there was no ISD left on the board.  The GSD responded in kind, almost finishing off the MC80, who limped away with no shields, no brace, and 1 hull left before it too was destroyed.  At this point, we sadly had to call the game as it was the store's closing hours.

All in all, great fun was had, and it was good to meet a lot of new faces that I hadn't seen before, or see some folks who I had only met once or twice in the past.  Hopefully we'll keep getting decent turnouts like these.

Final Thoughts:

Wow, do a LOT of dice fly now that Wave 2 is revealed.  Ackbar is insane.  ISDs are insane.  MC30s are more punishing than a GSD.  We didn't play around too much with squadrons, but they seem like they could make a huge difference as well - as we did see Fett use Grit and Rogue to try and finish off the shield-less and nearly dead AFII.

Support Officer was a wonderful upgrade for me in keeping my MC80 alive on turn 4.  I took projection experts but used them not one bit that game.  Slaved Turrets were not as amazing as I was hoping, especially when I accidentally slashed the enemy formation, and could only take the one shot.  Maybe worth it on a CR90A?

Well, that is it for now.  Until next time, fly casual!  And if you want to read more After Action Reports, just click the link!


  1. Wave 2 is definitely more lethal, Ackbar and the MC-80 were throwing buckets of dice in my local tournament's final game (sadly, I didn't participate). Ackbar just makes the Rebels so much more lethal.

    How did Vader get on? I imagine the reroll is pretty powerful also, even if you do have to trade defence as a result.

    1. Vader seemed very lethal with reds and blacks - after all, why not spend your evade token if you are in range to be vomiting blacks at an opponent? Why not spend your brace if you are only shooting long range at a single target? (Because Ackbar will vomit dice at you, that's why!)