Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Blogger Battle! After Action Report - Biggs vs Shmitty

I hope by now everyone knows about Concentrate Fire! the blog by Shmitty and one of the best Armada blogs out there.  In case you didn't, well go click on that link to go and see some of the stuff he's written up.

Well, because the two of us have been reading one another's blogs, and figuring out Wave 1 together, we figured the only appropriate thing to do was to play against one another on Vassal and bring you the aftermath.  You can see his thought process for creating his fleet here.


Biggs - Rebel 297 pts

Flagship - AFII-B - Darklighter
- Garm Bel Iblis
Total:  97

AFII-B - Porkins
- Gallant Haven
- Gunnery Team
Total: 87

Neb-B Support - Alderaan
- Salvation
Total:  58

Wedge Antilles - 19 pts
Dutch Vander - 16 pts
Y-Wing x2 - 20 pts
Squadron Total: 55 pts


Shmitty - 300 pts

Flagship - VSDI 
- Admiral Motti
- Flight Controllers
- Expanded Hangers
Total: 108 pts

Gunnery Team
Total:  92 pts

TIE Fighter x8 = 64 pts
TIE Bomber x4 = 36 pts
Squadron Total: 100 pts


Our forces set up across from one another.

I'll admit that I had forgotten how many points my list was - I incorrectly put it at an even 300, and Shmitty won the coin flip for initiative.  He chose second player, giving me a choice of Superior Positions, Contested Outpost, or Most Wanted.  Looking over the options, Most Wanted was definitely the least bad option for me, giving me a better target for my shots and a better shot of dropping one of his Victorys.

We set up the obstacles mostly to my side of the field, with a lot of them clustered in the middle around the station.  I had the Alderaan (Salvation) in the middle of the field, within the obstacles, figuring it was my best way to not get it outflanked.  His first VSD (the VSDII) set up directly across from it.  Knowing he could delay deployment with his squadrons, I set up the Porkins (Gallant Haven) on the Right flank, and began placing my squadrons near it.  His squadrons were set up in a cloud around his ships, with his bombers undeployed.

I was then forced to drop my flagship, which I decided to use to try and split his forces, or at least force them both to turn for the Porkins and Alderaan to get in behind his fleet.  At this time he completed his deployment with the VSD1 flagship offset behind his VSDII, and placed his bombers on my left flank.

For objective ships, he chose his flagship, probably counting on it staying out of fire for several turns, and chose the Porkins as the other one, confident that he would be able to take it out after dealing with the Alderaan.  I now had an idea of what he would do, which was to move his two ships towards my right flank, which would leave my flagship to flank them without much issue.

Round 1:

Round 1 began with tokens for all of my ships from Garm.  Engineering and Navigation for the Alderaan (I assumed it would be taking fire, and would need to accelerate at a key moment.)  Porkins got Squadron (to give me 4 total activations for my alpha strike), Engineering, and Navigation.  Darklighter, far from the squadrons, would get Concentrate Fire, Engineering, and Navigation.

Alderaan shuffled to the right, going speed 2, to start the game off, and as expected, the VSDII turned to the Right at speed 2, coming about to get shots on my Neb and Objective Ship.  The Darklighter then accelerated to speed 3, setting himself up for a flanking of the enemy forces.

Shmitty's flagship then tucked in behind the VSDII, forming a line, and going speed 1.  The Porkins also sped up to 3, electing to play keep-away by angling to the right.

Squadron phase, Shmitty proceeded to use his numerical advantage to set up his squadrons as land mines, scattering them in front of him with the bombers angled off and to the right.  My own squadrons stuck close to the Porkins, protected by the Gallant Haven title.

End of Turn 1, Darklighter had begun his flanking maneuver, with the Alderaan as the anvil to his hammer.
Shmitty decided to use his TIEs as a mobile minefield, spreading them out in a cloud.

Round 2:

The Porkins moved first, avoiding spending his squadron command.  I figured the longer I take to get my squadrons into the fight, the longer they would last.  It flashed up at speed 3, denying the enemy VSDs an engagement.

The VSDII was forced to activate next.  Still going speed 2, it was forced to scatter its TIE Fighter minefield, though it did get a shot off on the Alderaan's front shield.  The Alderaan went next, spending the Engineering token to repair a shield, and after shooting the VSDII, it slowed to 1.  Fortunately keeping its facing - front shields being the only viable shot, it still wound up in short range of the VSD's front arc.

At this point the VSDI activated, and decided that chasing after the Porkins would be an exercise in futility, turning in towards the Darklighter.  The Darklighter reacted, shooting and shuffling to the left to get around both VSDs.  It did, however, put the Darklighter right into the middle of the Shmitty's Bomber mines.

Squadron command had me continuing my squadrons, acting as a screen for the Porkins.  Shmitty's squadrons though, had some nice shots on the Darklighter, taking 2 damage and spending a brace to avoid 3.

End of Round 2 - both forces were now screening between their squadrons, while 6 total squadrons including all the bombers were closing on the Darklighter.

Round 3:

Round 3 was dependent on the Darklighter clearing that VSDI's front arc (and to a lesser extent, the VSDII's side arc.  As such, it activated first, and poured a nice double arc shot into the enemy flagship, adding dice for Most Wanted, and for its Concentrate Fire command.  This stripped shields, but too many blanks were rolled to get hull damage.  It then slowed to speed 2, winding up completely in the side arc of the VSDI, and displacing all of the enemy bombers.

The VSDII activated next, repairing the minor damage the Alderaan had inflicted the previous turn.  It then opened up with its front arc, but the Alderaan managed to brace the damage to 2.  VSDII trundled forward, running into debris and just barely missing a bump with the Alderaan.

It was now the Porkins turn, and he burnt his squadron token and dial to begin the squadron engagement.  Between the four squadrons, only one TIE was destroyed, though Dutch managed to heavily damage and activate a second.  Also, due to positioning, only one TIE was really in range to engage anyone.

The VSDI activated next, also with a squadron command.  Sending the only out-of range Bomber into the fight, damaging the Darklighter, and 2 Fighters after the Alderaan, stripping the last of its front shields.  It also sent one Fighter after my squadrons, doing 3 damage to a Y-Wing.  It then took its shots, doing hull damage to the Alderaan, and nothing to the Darklighter.

This left the Alderaan to activate, and it was in range to pounce on the VSDI objective ship.  Rolling 5 dice between Most Wanted and Concentrate Fire, it still didn't get to roll any accuracies to take away the brace.  It sped up to 2, putting its now depleted front arc in close range of the VSDI.

Squadrons took several shots, doing shield damage to the Darklighter, and leaving the damaged Y-Wing alive at 1 hull.

End of Round 3 - Darklighter was now in behind the enemy flagship, and Porkins was coming about.  Aldearaan was not long for the world.

Round 4:

The Alderaan activated first, and did considerable damage with a front and side shot, stripping off the enemy's brace for good.  But lacking any navigations, it was unable to escape the enemy's front arc, bumping with the enemy flagship.

The VSDI went next, activating squadrons to pound the Darklighter, and damaging its hull.  It followed up with a side arc shot on the Darklighter, doing moderate damage to the hull.  The Alderaan was then knocked off the board from the front arc barrage, leaving the VSDI free to trundle forward without a collision, but it did hit the debris field instead, losing what was left of its shields.

The Darklighter took the next shot, but it wasn't a particularly good one.  He slowed to speed 1 to keep firing next turn.

Porkins and the VSDII continued their maneuvers, out of any serious engagements.

For squadrons Dutch managed to activate an enemy squadron, and the heavily damaged Y-Wing knocked the damaged TIE off the board, only to be dropped himself immediately after.  Wedge flew off to protect the Porkins, and nothing else major happened.

Just off screen to the top:  Porkins hiding behind Wedge.

Round 5:

Garm tokens for everyone!  Well, except the Alderaan, he's dead.  Concentrate Fire, Navigation, and Squadron to the Darklighter.  Squadron and Navigation to the Porkins, who was still holding onto his Engineering.

Darklighter repairs 2 shields, and finishes off the weakened Motti.  The VSDII is out of the battle at this point, leaving it up to the squadrons to take down the Darklighter.  Porkins flips in just in front of the Darklighter.

For squadrons, Wedge and Dutch each take out another TIE, and the Y-Wing flies back to the safety of the Porkins.

Round 6:

The Porkins activates first, and decides it would rather not take fire from every remaining enemy squadron.  Thumping into the Darklighter and not moving.

And with that, there isn't much left happening in the game - the Darklighter zooms off and no squadrons are particularly keen to engage one another.

End of Round 5.  Darklighter zooms off to end the game.
The game ends with 181 for me, and 68 for Shmitty.  All in all, the game went very well for me, though it could have swung quite a bit closer if my flagship had been destroyed.  The keys to the match were that Shmitty couldn't turn fast enough with his VSDs to chase down my objective ship, and that he changed his strategy to hunt the Darklighter just a bit too late.

I also think that he missed an opportunity to pick up more points in the Squadron game by not throwing his TIE Fighters at my squadrons once they were engaged - admittedly he had to use his squadron commands from the VSDI for his Bombers, but he had some chances to use his VSDII for squadron commands, and I'm not sure he ever did.

Still, Shmitty was a great opponent, and I enjoyed playing with him almost as much as I enjoy reading his articles.  Again, if you haven't checked out his site, definitely give it a look.

Shmitty's own writeup of the battle is up!  You can check it out here.

Until next time guys!


  1. Definitely a good game and one that helped me learn a great deal. I like trying out different lists as it gives me a chance to see new opportunities in the game. Using 12 squadrons was fun. I certainly didn't use them optimally, but I think I can see now how to use them better.

  2. Those 12 squadrons were very panic inducing. Should be fun to see how you can use them at 400 pts.