To refresh our memory, here is what I was up against:
DOOBLEG'S EMPIRE FLEET (385 points)
Victory I-class Star Destroyer - Weapons Liaison - Assault Concussion Missiles (83)
Victory I-class Star Destroyer - Admiral Chiraneau - Expanded Hangar Bay - Corrupter (93)
TIE Bomber Squadron (9) x4
TIE Advanced Squadron (12) x2
Unfortunately I do not have the list of objectives that we got to chose from - doobleg had easily won the point bid and chose to go 2nd. From his list I chose Precision Strike - one of my objectives, and I get to go first? I'll gladly take that any day of the week. On that note, I was playing an awful lot of Precision Strike objective games against enemy VSDs, specifically Motti VSDs.
|Initial setup - both sides faced one another head on - no advantage was had by placing squadrons.|
I set up my ships directly across from the space station, which had been placed in the very center of the map, as did doobleg - obviously we were both going in for a brawl. The setup favored him slightly - I'd have to turn to bring my broadsides to bear, and that would give him the space station on possibly a key turn or two for repairs.
At this point I figured one of two options for my ships - form a 3 ship conga line, and cut across to the left flank - try to keep his right-most ship out of the fight by making the move fast, or split and go 2 left, 1 right, and hope that he mirrors my movements and I don't wind up with a 1:1 trade. I figured that as I am not likely to outright win the squadron battle, or come out ahead in an even trade of ships, most of my points would have to come by winning the objective - something I would have a difficult time with without having winning the Squadron fight or dropping two VSDs - something I struggled with against a Motti list last time.
|End of turn 1|
I decided to go with a 3 ship conga line after watching his right VSD1 turn in. My thoughts were that I could focus shots on the Corrupter, tank damage with the newly commissioned Memories of Alderaan, and use my X-Wings to screen against the Bomber wave.
|End of Turn 2. Both sides close and the bloodbath begins.|
I wound up activating my ships in order of the conga line, and doobleg followed suit, left to right. Each ship got at least one attack off, mostly striping shields and not causing any significant damage, other than the Darklighter losing an Evade token after taking one too many bomber attacks / long range front arc shot from the Corrupter. Fighters were engaged, but not concentrated anywhere.
Plan remained unchanged going forward. Cut around the enemy line and rake the VSDs. Get as many victory tokens as I could grab.
At the start of Round 3, it was the Darklighter that went first. Having taken the most damage, I decided to err on the side of caution, and save my flagship by changing the squadron command to an engineering command, and repair multiple shields. The Darklighter than did considerable damage to the Corrupter, putting the first hull damage onto the ship, and stripping most of its shields. It also plinked away at the enemy flagship, doing little in the way of damage. It then just barely squeaked out of Black dice range of the Corrupter.
The leftmost ship in the enemy line then activated, and in a fit of mad brilliance, elected to concentrate fire on the Darklighter and proceeded to roll 3 double hits, forcing me to exhaust the brace and redirect tokens to stay relatively intact, and then firing side arc at it as well. Overall, not the most auspicious start for the round.
The Porkins went next, firing once into each of the left-most VSDs, and pealing off to flank the formation. Corrupter followed up with a squadron activation, leaving the Darklighter with 3 hull damage after the squadron activations, shots, and ram.
Memories went next, throwing a punishing attack on the Corrupter, and flipping the first card of the game, and picking up a bonus crit besides. 2 Victory tokens in my favor! And it halved his engineering and prevented him from readying defensive tokens, of which all were exhausted. Not a bad salvo. The second shot went against the left-most VSD, and did... not a whole lot. Stripping the remaining shields, but putting no damage on the hull. In retrospect, I maybe should have gone with a double arc on the Corrupter.
Then the enemy flagship activated, shooting at the now heavily damaged Darklighter... and missed.
|That's a very accurate shot.|
All 2 shots (obstructed), CF token, and CF dial - all rolled accuracy.
Squadron time - Dinner Squadron who had been dislodged from their previous location by the enemy flagship, took a potshot at the Corrupter, further damaging it.
|End of Turn 3 - My flagship was not doing very well. Heavy damage on the Corrupter, and moderate damage on all other enemy ships.|
The Darklighter poured fire into the Corrupter, but needed 1 more to effectively finish it off, but picked up a Victory Token for its troubles. Then it turn and ran as fast as it could away from the enemy fleet.
A combination of two attacks from the left-most enemy and the enemy flagship finished off the Darklighter, though it was a near thing, earning a combined 3 Victory Tokens for the enemy, and the biggest prize on the board. This was... not good for me. Porkins did a mediocre amount of damage in the interim. Another horrible shot from Memories does manage to put some damage on the leftmost VSD, finally putting a damage card on it's hull. Then, not wanting to crash and give a free chance for a Victory Point to the enemy, the Memories pulled off to the left, effectively out of the fight. I don't think this was the right call by me here. With the Memories still in the fight, I might have been able to change the final outcome of this game, even giving up a few VP, but it definitely set the tone for the rest of the match.
Corrupter, now barely intact with 1 hull, managed to take out one of two enemy fighters that could have a shot at it, and dropped into what it hoped was a safe spot where it could limp away.
Enter BEAST Squadron.
It started the game without a name. It was ignored by all enemies. It was bounced around by my own ships, and enemy ships, since the fighting started. It also got a crit, finishing off the wounded VSD, and earned me a Victory Token. 108 point swing. Thank you BEAST Squadron.
The squadron matchup continued to go against me though, with BEAST squadron being one of 3 left alive, and the other two being a 1 HP squadron tied up with Mauler, and a 4 HP squadron facing down a TIE Advanced and Darth Vader.
|End of Turn 4. Things looking grim.|
Porkins activated first, and proceeded to do... not a lot against the leftmost VSD, pushing a single crit through and getting another Victory Token. Memories gets a good roll, but neglects to spend a double hit for a flip, instead hoping to drop the final VSD for the overall win.
BEAST Squadron continues to do its duty, jumping into the middle of a Bomber swarm to save the Porkins from taking extra hits, and saving the Porkins 2 shots, but at a dear cost.
|End of turn 5 - Final chance to win it.|
Turn 6 started with the Porkins having one shot to win it all - by getting 6 damage and an accuracy to finish off the weakened VSD.
Sadly, this was not to be. Two Victory Tokens earned though - and that was game. Porkins slid into the station, blocking shots from almost all the Bombers, and little more could be done.
And so it ended, with a bit of a whimper. 246 points for doobleg, to 237 for me. Most of my points came off of Victory Tokens (120), but I needed that last VSD for the overall win. In retrospect, having the Memories over there to shoot it, even giving up a flip or two, might have netted me the win. Or running the Darklighter to the Right side after all, and it might have still been alive.
Having interviewed doobleg in the past, I'd be interested in hearing what he thought of this game. Lots of crazy dice rolls, and crazier maneuvers. I think he flew very well, and capitalized on every advantage I gave him. He went on to win the pod, taking down DabDarklighter in a 10-0 victory - a great player, and I'd love a chance to play you again - maybe when Wave 2 makes it to Vassal?