Thursday, December 10, 2015

After Action Report - Wave 2 Tournament - Round 1 vs Zanos

With Wave 2 out on Vassal, the best way to do things was to hold a new tournament.  Somehow, not learning my lesson, I found myself organizing the thing.  First round of the new Wave 2 Tournament had me matching up against a strong 3 ship Imperial fleet.  I've never played Zanos before, nor do I remember seeing him play, so he should be a new experience to play.

For future reference, here is my list:


**Biggs' Steel Squadron**

Flagship:  CR90B - Rancor (69)
- Mon Mothma
Ship 1:  CR90A - Wampa (51)
- Turbolaser Reroute Circuits
Ship 2: Nebulon B Support - Corellia (65)
- Salvation
- Turbolaser Reroute Circuits
Ship 3: MC30c Scout Frigate - Ithor (78)
- Ordinance Experts
- Assault Proton Torpedoes
Ship 4: MC30c Torpedo Frigate - Mon Cala (80)
- Foresight
- Ordinance Experts
- Assault Proton Torpedoes
Total Ships:  343

Squadrons: (54)
YT2400s - x2 - High Roller / Idiot's Array
A-Wings - x2 - Thunder Leader / Thunder Grp
Total Steel Squadron:  397

And here is Zanos' list.

List: [ EMPIRE FLEET (395 points)
1 • Imperial II-class Star Destroyer - Admiral Ozzel - Intel Officer - Gunnery Team - Electronic Countermeasures - SW-7 Ion Batteries - XI7 Turbolasers - Relentless (175)
2 • Gladiator I-class Star Destroyer - Ordnance Experts - Assault Proton Torpedoes - Demolisher (75)
3 • Gladiator I-class Star Destroyer - Ordnance Experts - Assault Proton Torpedoes (65)
4 • Aggressor Assault Fighter (16)
5 • Aggressor Assault Fighter (16)
6 • Aggressor Assault Fighter (16)
7 • Aggressor Assault Fighter (16)
8 • Aggressor Assault Fighter (16)

Initial Thoughts:

Zanos had a initiative advantage on me, so it would be up to him to either give me initiative, and the ability to move my MC30s unmolested to attack his ships, or take the initiative and let me play my objectives.  If he went with his objectives, I'm fairly sure most of the Red objectives favored me:  Most Wanted did him no favors, Opening Salvo didn't really help either with my ship advantage, Advanced Gunnery was most in his favor, though probably ditched in fear of MC80s.  Precision Strike seemed possible, with multiple GSDs with APT, but really favored me more as I had APTs of my own, and Salvation.

Of my own objectives, I think I could count on him discounting Most Wanted fairly quickly.  Superior Positions was likewise probably not a good choice for him, as I could keep a whole ship of his out of the fight for an extended period.  Hyperspace Assault was probably his best bet, which meant putting Salvation into hyperspace alone as a chase vehicle.

In terms of pure matchup, his ISDII was a formidable beast able to put out a lot of hurt from the front arc at medium range, though I could outgun him if I could get my ships out of that arc.  Getting First Player would help immensely with that, as I could flip in with an MC30 and then out again at maximum speed without him being able to shoot it too effectively.  Overall I had long range advantage on him, as well as better maneuverability for all of my ships but the NebulonB.  As for squadrons, I could hold him to at least a standstill there with my combined hull, Rogue, and Counter 2.  Really, this matchup looks like it would come down to getting the advantage on him with deployment and pressing that advantage with my activation numbers.


Obstacles and setup plans begin

Counter to my previous theory about what he wanted to do, Zanos gave me first player and pick of his objectives.  Unfortunately he had gone with Advanced Gunnery, and I didn't have an MC80 to take full advantage of it.  Of the other two, I chose Fleet Ambush, in the hopes that between my ships being fast and favorable deployment, I could properly flank and bring my forces to bear on him.

I deployed my 3 obstacles (the three rocks) in an inverted V shape, to force him to deploy his ships to either side of the ambush zone - that way I could set up to better flank his forces.

My first ship was the Wampa, set up as far back and in the middle as I could get him, so that he could turn to whatever side he needed and slowly engage with long range fire.  He was also the most expendable ship in my fleet, so I figured, put him out as bait.  Probably should have used him as another flanker, through the rocks.

Both GSDs deployed angled in from one side.  In between their deployments, my flagship went down far from the combat, but in a spot to flank the first GSD.

My third ship was the Mon Cala, my MC30c Torpedo Frigate - angled to loop around the GSDs and hammer them on the flank.  The ISD came down right on the edge of the obstacle V, finishing the ship deployment for him.

My fourth and fifth ships were the Corellia (Salvation NebB) directly across from his formation and the Ithor, my Scout Frigate, set to loop around the V and catch his ISD from the rear.  All in all, I figured I had pretty awesome position for my setup - only a few ships that should be taking front arc fire, and squadrons were set up to engage turn 1.

Turn 1 ready to begin!

Turn 1:

Turn 1 got off to a poor start as I miss-judged my command dials and activated the Wampa first instead of my flagship.  No helping it though, and Wampa drifted forward without firing a shot.  I had given her a squadron command to try and get my A-Wings into battle on the first turn, and did a single point of damage to one of the Aggressors.

The non-Demolisher GSD Linda went next (the inside GSD), and the Rancor followed suit, neither doing much in the way of anything.  Demolisher went next, wasting both attacks on the Foresight titled Mon Cala, who activated after and began to flank to the field.

The ISD went next, doing a single point of damage to the engaged A-Wing and scoring the first hit of the game on the Wampa, who used its Redirect to keep shields facing the right way.  In retrospect, maybe not the best decision, though it wound up not to matter.  (Also, both of us forgot about XI7s here, but it didn't particularly matter.)  Corellia zipped ahead at speed 3 - a bit too fast perhaps, my thoughts were to get it into the battle that was rapidly developing in front of me.  Ithor went last, skirting around the rocks to flank on the left, and sending the last A-Wing into the fight.

Squadron fire was painful though, one A-Wing down and a YT-2400 down to a single hull vs 4 nearly untouched Aggressors.  

End of Round 1

Round 2

Wampa was screwed, and it was just a matter of time, so Wampa went first.  It did some respectable parting shots on the ISD, and sat down to die.  Linda the GSD went next, hopping forward at speed 2, and the Rancor snuck up the side of the map to continue flanking maneuvers.

The ISD then went, finishing off both the Wampa and the 1 hull YT-2400.  Not a good turn of events there.  Then Ozzel showed off what he could do.  Instead of trundling forward at speed 1 like I expected a good Imperial to do, he accelerated to speed 3, and plopped down directly in front of the Corellia.  This was not good at all.

I responded with the Mon Cala, coming around at speed 3 to drop into a double arc shot on both the ISD and Linda - Left Flank complete!  Demolisher popped in to say hello to the Corellia as well, launching a painful but not fatal attack on its side arc.

Corellia did a navigate, not the Concentrate Fire I had dialed up for the next turn - when I expected it to be in actual combat.  And I had a choice - shoot the Demolisher and see if I could secure a minor win based on points, or go for the gusto, and try to down the ISD, which I had double arc'd.

I went after the ISD - doing a good deal of damage and attempting to ram it - unfortunately, I overlapped the Demolisher instead at speed 1 while backing up along the ruler.  Mon Cala shot at the Demolisher, doing a decent amount of damage and turned to continue its flanking maneuver.

Squadron phase left me with a single YT-2400 at 1 hull, and still 4 Aggressors in the air (though one at a single hull).

End of Round 2

Round 3:

Again, nothing to do but to activate the ship that is about to die.  Corellia went and rolled an absolutely monster damage roll, doing ridiculous damage to the ISD, leaving it at just 3 hull.  Obviously it went next, swatting the Corellia (and the last YT) out of the sky and running for the hills.

Figuring Linda couldn't move before Demolisher, I put off Ithor and had Mon Cala fire on the Demolisher's rear arc.  But I was wrong, and Linda managed to slip just out of the close range at Speed 1.  Rancor stalled for time to get the Demolisher moving and it did, going right next to the ISD and letting the Ithor do my best move of the game - popping into close range of both, but just missing double arc on the ISD and ultimately sealing my doom.

Squadrons took potshots at the Mon Cala to little effect.

Good spot for the Mon Cala

Round 4:

The Mon Cala activates, and just needs to put 2 damage down on the ISD to clear it from the board (with a Ram bringing the 3rd).  The ISD still has a brace, but no shields to redirect.  Can I do it on a 1 Red / 2 Black roll?

Nope - Accuracy with Red, Blank / Hit with Blacks.  Rerolled the blank black (should have rerolled both to fish for a crit) and got 1 hit.  2 Damage braced to one, and a ram for 1 more, means the ISD gets to limp away.  At least I got the Demolisher.

My ships lined up to shoot at Linda, who had activated after that, while the ISD blew away the Mon Cala.  After lining up I realized I was pretty hosed.  Nothing was catching the ISD to finish it off, 4 Rogue squadrons were going to be hitting my unshielded sides each turn, and one of my two ships was going to eat a shot from Linda, who had managed to avoid any meaningful damage this game.

Bad Times at the end of Round 4

Turn 5 and End of the Game:

Ithor did one final shot onto Linda, punching a lot of damage through and dropping her to 2 hull, but not enough for Rancor to finish the job - with none able to finish her off, I had Rancor take a potshot at the 1 hull Aggressor, moved, and called it - he would be able to destroy both heavily damaged ships without effort using just his squadrons, and neither could catch the ISD or Linda to deal the final blow.

Final thoughts from Biggs:

I made a lot of mistakes that game, and to Zanos credit he capitalized on each and every one of them.  I had some good luck with my dice in a few places, that let me set up my final shot on the ISD, but frankly that luck was what let me take that shot in the first place, so I can't be disappointed when it doesn't favor me at the end.  After all, I had the chance to line up a double arc on the ISD and flubbed it.

Aggressors are really mean - probably a little more mean than the YT-2400s that I really like.  And Ozzel is the real winner here for upgrades - good maneuvering that he allowed to happen is what got Zanos the positioning and opportunities to win it.

Thoughts from Zanos:

"Well, this was my first time actually playing against a Neb B, the mc30, or corvettes that did anything other than run, so I really didn't know much of what to expect heading into this game. I picked second player because I figured whatever missions you had would probably make it way harder on me. Setting up, I knew I could at least section part of your fleet off but would need to watch for the inevitable ambush zone flank so I guarded my most valuable ship, the ISD, with all of my fighters. I figured in addition to guarding my ISD, the extra anti squadron would help them pull through the dogfighting healthy enough to ensure a powerful late game. I decided to slow roll the gladiators to try and draw your mc30s into overplaying themselves, and be rear guard for the ISD at the same time. The ISD kicking up to speed 3 and blasting through the corvette up to salvation was planned, but the actual placement of the ship was really lucky... The Ithor failing to destroy my ISD was a really big heads or tails moment, but I'm not really sure what the defining moment of the game was. Probably the first couple turns of dogfighting and the positioning of the ISD. It was set up pretty well after it took out the corvette."


  1. Cool battle report, thanks guys. Ozzel is amazing, look forward to trying him in my next game!

    1. Let me know how it goes. He's quickly becoming my most feared Imperial Admiral - at least until I can get a hand on what he's capable of.