Friday, October 30, 2015

Wave 1 Memorial Tournament - Round 4 vs MattShadowlord Initial Thoughts

Is there a sign on my back that says "Match me up against Australians?"

My round 4 opponent would be MattShadowlord, a guy I typically see on vassal, and have played once or twice casually due to both of us being available about the same time - during the week days (for me) early in the morning.  Hurray for a schedule that has me working for 16 hours every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  In this tournament he was playing Imperials, and matched evenly with me - both at 20 points.  After pod play both of us were tied, with Maturin, for 5th place, giving the winner a pretty secure top 4 slot, but only if one of us actually won outright this time.  First place was pretty much out though, baring JJs Juggernaut / Green Knight and Doobleg / Gowtah both going to 5-5 draws.

Matt's fleet looked like this:

[ MattShadowlord FLEET - 396/400]
- DESPOT Victory I-class Star Destroyer - Admiral Screed (99)
- JUSTICE Gladiator I-class Star Destroyer - Assault Concussion Missiles (63)
- ORDER Gladiator I-class Star Destroyer - Assault Concussion Missiles (63)
- PACIFICATION Gladiator I-class Star Destroyer - Assault Concussion Missiles - Insidious (66)
- AUTHORITY Gladiator I-class Star Destroyer - Engine Techs - Assault Concussion Missiles - Demolisher (81)
- TIE Fighter Squadron (8) x3 = (24)

Matt had the bid on me by a single point, and 5 activations to my 3.  On paper, not the best match-up for me.  It looked like Matt was going for a modified version of the Gen-Con special for 400 pts, with a light fighter screen.  While him going first would be bad, his objectives would likely not be favorable to me either.  If he was going Gen-Con Special with his objectives, he'd be going Advanced Gunnery, Fire Lanes, and Dangerous Territory.  Of the three, Advanced Gunnery was probably "least bad" because it would let me "upgrade" one of my ships to be able to really hammer his ships if I caught one of them double arcing me.  Fire Lanes would be dangerous - he definitely had more dice than me on the board, even if most of them were black - and would basically be me ceding him 45 points in Victory Tokens a turn.  Dangerous Territory was also definitely out - I'd be giving up my biggest advantage - deployment and keeping long range.

If he went first, I'm not sure he'd want to take Precision Strike - his best use of crits was ACMs to drop my ships - it would be more or less handing me points.  Superior Positions was also effectively handing me points - though he did have Insidious.  With 6 squadrons to his 3, I'd almost be assured of multiple rear arc shots each turn.  Plus I could set up on the far flank of his fleet, and abuse my speed to do a quick driveby.  Hyperspace Assault would possibly be the least dangerous - he should be able to outrun whatever I jumped in to brawl with him after tanking one round of shooting, plus it split my forces.  I could mitigate this by not really doing an outmaneuver for the Hyperspace - and jumping my ship in on R2 in a flanking position instead of directly behind, and not taking squadrons with me into hyperspace.

My strategy would need to be to keep my distance with my line, possibly splitting my line up, or doing a two deep line with a sacrificial screen ship and my squadrons in the front, to shred his ships as they approach.  My biggest advantage was Red dice - I outgunned his fleet by an extreme amount at long and medium range, and had a significant advantage in my Squadron screen - to the point where I could probably devote partial squadrons to dealing with his CAP, and the others to screen my capital ships from his GSDs getting close.  But for obvious reasons, his ships could do a significant amount of damage if they got close.

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