Thursday, January 21, 2016

After Action Report - World Cup POD Round - Doobleg vs Biggs

My original POD buddy from the 2nd tournament, it's time to play Doobleg again!  Here we go!

The Steel Squadron in it's non-digital finest.

Faction: Galactic Empire
Points: 391/400
Commander: Admiral Screed

Victory I-Class Star Destroyer (73 points)
- Admiral Screed ( 26 points)

Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer (56 points)
- Demolisher ( 10 points)
- Ordnance Experts ( 4 points)
- Engine Techs ( 8 points)
- Assault Proton Torpedoes ( 5 points)

Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer (120 points)
- Relentless ( 3 points)
- Gunnery Team ( 7 points)
- Electronic Countermeasures ( 7 points)

1 "Howlrunner" ( 16 points)
2 TIE Interceptor Squadrons ( 22 points)
1 Soontir Fel ( 18 points)
2 TIE Fighter Squadrons ( 16 points)

Another list that I have the advantage in initiative against, and that has a Demolisher.  Definitely not going to mess around with giving him first player.  Screed is on an otherwise naked VSD1 - not the most threatening ship, but enough hull and shields to make dropping it difficult.  The ISDII is fortunately set up for defense as well, but might not need to be offensively oriented, as it has a lot of dice to throw.

His squadron setup is definitely anti-squadron, as is mine.  It should be a bloody shootout - I will need to splash the named guys early - Howl and Soontir are the biggest threats and force multipliers.  Everything else should die quickly, but can do a lot of damage to my X-Wings in the meantime.  Fortunately I don't have to worry about them making bombing runs.  Only the ISD has actual anti-squadron dice as well, so if I can get my guys free, it's bombing run city!

I'm not sure what objectives they would take - Precision Strike is probably not being taken, Advanced Gunnery is a possibility, though it doesn't have an obvious location and has MC80s to worry about.  I may take that for Ithor if it is an option, and play keepaway from the ISD.  Opening Salvo is also one that is not good for this list - definite take if available.  Most Wanted would be laughable, and I would be definitely taking it.

Contested Outpost is definitely his best bet for yellow.  I don't really want to just let him park the Victory on the objective and camp there for 5 turns, though it does make the Victory's location predictable.  Anything else would be considered though, even Demolisher popping in on a Hyperspace Assault.

Minefields for Navigation most likely - this means chances are I will be taking the Red objective, whatever it is.

I feel like he's going to push against me with the ISD and GSD, and leave the VSD behind to catch anyone on the flank.  Should be survivable, since it is just a VSD1, but it is very points efficient.


Given the choice between Opening Salvo, Contested Outpost, and Dangerous Territory.  Again, I figured Opening Salvo would work out fairly well for me - I'd only have to tag his ISD to score points, and could focus on his VSD or Demolisher.  Dangerous Territory was surprising, but not my best matchup - only my AFII could really afford to take damage from obstacles.

First obstacle was the station, set in the middle of the map, just at Distance 5 from Doobleg's side, while I set down the big rock directly in front of it.  Odd rock went to the center-left, nearer to my side, and I set the long rock about distance 1 and change from big rock, to the right.  L-Debris was set far right, parallel to the rocks, and Big Debris was put slightly up between it and Long Rock.

Initial Setup of obstacles

Unlike the previous game with Miedo, I decided to set up my flagship first, and give it the option of running left or right - also keeping my squadrons close to it for better activations.  He responded with his VSD flagship directly in front as well, pointed at the station.

All 6 of our squadrons deployed next, within range of our flagships.  Ithor (Close quarters MC30c) took the flank to the left (my right) while Demolisher popped out to contest it.  Mon Cala then came in on the Right Flank (my Left) and the ISD popped up in the middle of his two ships on the left.

Fleets are assembled

Round 1:

Mon Cala began by taking a repair token, and popping between the asteroids, setting up for a broadside.  The Victory turned in towards the Mon Cala at speed 1, banking a navigate.  Darklighter continued with the Mon Cala to the right side of the map, daring the Imperials to chase into the rocks, with the ISD Relentless banking a navigate and going speed 2 and turning slightly to the right.  

Ithor moved forward to flank the left side, but Demolisher was there, spending his objective token with his title, to fire 2 Red / 2 Black.  No crits were forthcoming, but Screed flipped up a hit/crit combination.  Because it was still medium range, Ithor was able to evade it, and took 3 damage to the right side shield.

Squadrons swarmed around in a cloud near the main battle lines of each side.

Start of Round 2

Round 2:

Ithor activated first, pouring 6 Red dice worth of fire into the Relentless and rolling a hit or crit for each one.  It then slowed down and landed right in the front arc of the Demolisher, avoiding a double arc.  A wonderful maneuver against literally anything not named Demolisher that is already going speed 3.

Not the smartest block ever.
Demolisher shot from the front, then popped around the Ithor for a side arc shot, doing a lot of damage, stripping all shields but 2 in the front, and 1 in the side, and getting one APT shot through for Blinded Gunners.

Darklighter responded by shooting at the Demolisher, rolling 6 hits / crits on 7 Red dice, and then jumped away, out of range of all Imperial ships, though now pointed in towards the fight and just in front of "Long Rock".

It was the ISD next, who got a medium range shot against the Ithor got to roll 2 Red / 2 Blue / 2 Black with a CF dial adding a third Black.  An accuracy blocked the redirect, and a few amazing black dice rolls later had 8 damage assigned to the Ithor - 1 too many to stop even with perfect evade rerolls.

Mon Cala was able to tag him after he moved, but rolled too poorly even with Ackbar / Objective token to score any decent hits on the ISD.  The VSD responded to being just out of Mon Cala's range, by slowing to speed 0.

For Squadron combat, both squadrons moved to screen their capital ships as they closed, but Steel Leader got a bit too close to the fight, trying to tie up a few of the already activated fighters, and was blasted with 4 damage from a TIE Fighter squadron.

End of Round 2 - no one left to flank.

Round 3:

Things are not looking to be going my way here.  Darklighter decided to go first, activating squadrons to try and remove Soontir Fel from the board.  While unsucessful, it did strip his scatter and reduce him to one hull, so... progress?  Another anemic broadside put some damage onto the ISD, but all shields, and anti-squadron fire did nothing at all.  An attempt was made to clear the rock in front of the Darklighter, by yawing heavily to the left, but it just clipped giving a Targeter Disruption.

Demolisher tried to leap forward and tag the rear of the Darklighter, but found himself instead forced to shoot squadrons.  Mon Cala then found itself without a target besides the Demolisher, which it took, but at long range was unable to do any damage to hull, and flew around to complete it's right side flank of the enemy list.

The VSD found it's well timed navigation command, and fired its token shot on the Mon Cala.  3 damage after the Screed Black was evaded, and it moved forward to get better shots on the Darklighter.  The ISD finished the ships, activating to do no damage to the Darklighter, but savage the squadrons engaged in front of it.

It jumped forward into an absolutely horrible position on the Darklighter, but managed to drag Beast Leader along for the ride.

Squadrons phase had literally every squadron besides Dutch and Beast Leader on my side melt, though Jan was able to tag Soontir.  This was turning into a bit of a rout.

Football Joke:  It seems appropriate this screenshot is named Dooblegpic6.png

Round 4:

Whelp, time to get as many points as I could manage, and save as many points as I could potentially save.

Mon Cala activated first, and managed to get 2 damage across onto the ISD, stripping rear shields.  It also moved to ram the VSD, hoping that the VSD might not have a repair stashed away somewhere.

The ISD went next, raking the Darklighter who managed to take the shot with the help of ECM and Lando, forcing a reroll of each hit placed on him.  He then slowed to speed 2 and dropped right into the path of the Darklighter, hoping to catch him and set up another blast the next turn.

Darklighter fired at both the ISD and VSD, doing damage to the ISD and crashing into it, bringing its total damage onto hull to 2.  (one more, and it's worth points, guaranteed!)

The VSD managed to get a single hit off against the rear shields of the Darklighter, but it was just enough as the Demolisher popped in, rolled 5 damage, and managed to get a Structural Damage critical - and that was all she wrote for the Darklighter.

Squadrons saw an end to Dutch, and a few fighters pealed off to intercept Beast Leader and attack the Mon Cala.

End of Round 4

Round 5:

Mon Cala activated first, shooting the ISD and putting just enough damage on that it would be unable to repair.  It then tried to get some damage onto the VSD, but failed, and flew off into the sunset.

The Demolisher and VSD (who repairs the hull damage from the ram) nearly run into one another, but careful maneuvering prevents it from happening.

No on is able to deal with the Mon Cala though, who makes it on to...

Round 6:

Mon Cala flies off into the sunset, repairing the only damage on it's hull, and the game ends without another shot being fired.

Results from the game were 78 points for me (Damage to the ISD for 1/2 points, and Soontir Fel) while he picked up everything but the 83 point Mon Cala (and 10 point bid) for 307.  Unfortunately for me, this was just over the 220 point threshold to reach 9-1 

Lessons Learned:

This game was an excellent lesson in remembering what your opponent is capable of - the Ithor for example should have been nowhere near a 7 dice broadside from an ISD, nor putting itself in a spot where it could be double arc'd on two movements from the Gladiator.

Lando continues to outperform his investment in points - against big dice attacks, especially Red and Blue dice, he is amazing.  A shame that he is a unique officer - I whole hardheartedly recommend him on whatever your biggest prize ship is if you don't need some other officer for a gimmick.

Don't get suckered into a Squadron fight!  My squadrons were wasted because I wanted to engage the enemy squadrons which were screening their Whale.  I should have tried to refuse that fight, and delayed engaging them until I could bring them to bare against the ISD or VSD - or screened myself against the GSD.


  1. Nice write-up, Biggs. :)

    I think you're being a bit hard on yourself regarding the positioning of Ithor in the Demolisher's front arc. It was only with a lot of finagling that I got around him for that second shot, and had the ISD broadside not been so spectacular (pretty sure EVERY black rolled hit/crit) you would have been looking at sweet side arc shots on both of my ships next round (7 dice on the rear of Demolisher: yikes!). Counting my blessings for sure. :)

    Spot-on predictions for my pre-game strategy regarding how I would use/deploy my ships. The Screedmobile proves a very versatile back-stop for this fleet, the much-maligned-in-Wave-2 VSD allowing my admiral to cruise around in comfort and style. :P

    I actually got the impression that your initial squadron attack was going to be at my ISD. When you flew in, it was then that we discussed how Soontir's ability works even when you're firing at ships.

    I definitely got lucky in taking down your flagship. One more round of fire from him and you'd have seriously wrecked the ISD, and likely scored points off the Gladiator as well. Still, check out the replay of my game against Chilligan - there's some serious midichlorian bullcrap going on right there. :P

    Another awesome game, Biggs, but then I didn't expect anything less. :D

  2. Great write up! You are such an awesome analyzer and your articles have helped me immensely. Could you write an article on situations when you have initiative and it would be better to go second instead of first? I have a 5 ship list with objectives that are aweosme for it and I'm having trouble deciding if it's worth risking it to pick second player.

    1. This is a really good question, and has got me thinking. Expect an article on this soon!

    2. Actually, if I were you I'd take the time to look on this very site about... noon GMT tomorrow. Just sayin'.

  3. This one is very interesting. It definately shows why you have to think things over an extra time and focusing fire as the Alliance. And I make sure you remember your tips on squadron fights