Sunday, March 13, 2016

After Action Report - Morgantown Store Championship

Chris and myself managed to get a group of Pittsburgh players to go down and crash our nearest and closest neighbor's Store Championship down in Morgantown, WV at Four Horseman Cards and Comics.  All in all, 12 players showed up for a day of Armada.  It was an excellent time, and a great job hosting by the Four Horseman crew.

Here's what I brought, and how it did.

Rieekan's Raiders:
394 / 400

MC80 Assault:  (172 pts)
 - Rieekan
 - Defiance
 - Adv. Proj.
 - ECM
 - XI7 Turbolasers
 - Leading Shots
CR90B (44 pts)
 - SW-7
CR90B (44 pts)
 - SW-7
CR90A (53 pts)
 - Jaina's Light
 - TRC
Squadrons:  (81 pts)
 - A-Wing x3
 - Tycho
 - YT-2400 x2
 - Advanced Gunnery
 - Fire Lanes
 - Intel Sweep


I won't lie and say that Clontroper's list didn't factor into the creating of this monstrosity that I brought along to the store championship.  I have a local friend (the same Chris that helped get the whole trip together) that has been playing some variant of the GRRRR since he heard about it (and got his 4th Raider in).  The idea was originally to play around with Rieekan and the various CR90 builds, and the original setup had a CR90B and Engine Techs as a blocker / cruise missile, but it wound up being a poor choice and scrapped.

The idea is to always be Second Player, with really bad objectives for anyone to select.  Of them all, Intel Sweep is probably the least bad of the group, but with Rieekan I've got a pretty good chance to grab at least 2 of the tokens, and if I can have Jaina's Light survive to the start of turn 4, that's 75 points guaranteed.  Advanced Gunnery is a trap for someone to fall into with a heavy hitting MC80, and Fire Lanes is an even bigger trap that tends to turn into "give Biggs 135 points the first three turns, then see if you can play on one or two tokens".  To that effect, I brought a 394 point bid figuring anyone that bid lower would want to go first anyway.

4 A-wings are activated off of the MC80 (well, 3 per activation at least) and 2 YT-2400s to activate on Squadron phase to chase ships or alpha strike and slip out of range.  Unless someone brought a lot of anti-fighter squadrons, it should be enough to handle anything thrown at it at least to tie the opponents up and trade pieces in the squadron game, and if they didn't, I can use the Black dice as extra anti-ship bombing runs.  Plus they add 3 deployments to stall my MC80 popping out.

For ships, SW-7 CR90Bs lead the way into the fight, not only delaying activations to let Rieekan's MC80 use Defiance, but also able to hop in front of Rebel (or Imperial) ships with a double arc, holding them in place giving me excellent board control.  After all, even if the ship is blown up, Rieekan lets them hang around long enough to at least block the enemy ship moving forward, and best case they survive for another round of 6 damage in 2 attacks, which adds up in a hurry against any enemy ship.   

The CR90A is primarily there as a way of keeping long range fire on big, non-evading players, to flank slow movers, and to run Intel Sweep objective.  It can also run through the rock cover that I set up to guard Fire Lanes (if someone picks them) and add dice to the tokens.

The MC80 Assault is oddly enough not the heavy hitter of the list, with the CR90Bs arguably putting more reliable 6 damage onto specific locations.  But with ECM and Advanced Projectors it has more survivability than any one ship should really have.  It also has a fun combination with Defiance and Leading Shot giving a possibility to grab long-range rerolls by adding a blue if one or more Red blanks are rolled, or adding a Black if all the rolls come out good, or if Medium / Close range adds the Blue battery as well.  Originally this had Enhanced Armaments for even more Red dice fun, but I changed it the night before to the XI7 for 4 extra points of bid (394 instead of 398) as I knew of a few players that were in the 396 range that were also trying for Second Player.

The Games:

Round 1:

First round was almost a mirror match, with an enemy MC80 and three CR90A's with TRC as well as 3 X-Wings and Jan Ors, Ackbar in command, played by FFG Forums poster Rowansl.   My opponent chose First Player (385 bid), and Fire Lanes.

I set up a screen with the obstacles to keep his MC80 from getting an easy path to the objectives, and then set them up right next to one another, and Rowansl spread them around, left, forward, and right.  I was able to slow my deployment with squadrons getting Rowansl to put his MC80 down before I put down mine.

I forget a lot of what happened, but I was able to park Jaina's Light directly in front of the MC80, and have it crash not only into Jaina's Light but also into an asteroid.  By the time Jaina's Light was gone, the MC80 was on its last legs.  We traded the MC80 and a CR90 for my Jaina's Light, but that was it for my casualties, and I got a ton of victory tokens.  Wound up being a 299 MOV in my favor.  9-1 going into Round 2.

Round 2:

Round 2 was against Chris, my regular Wednesday opponent who usually is good at holding me to close 5-5 or 6-4 games.  Even worse, Chris was in the driver's seat with a 10-0, 520 MOV winner in Round 1.  However, he wasn't bringing his usual GRRRR list, and instead had an ISD2 w/ Motti on board, a VSD2, both with Gunnery Teams, Leading Shots, and XI7s, and a Demolisher kitted out with APT, Engine Techs, Intel Officer, and Ordinance Experts.  He was also tying me in bid at 394 and knew that I wanted to go second.

So he took Second Player, and I had to chose from Advanced Gunnery (no!), Contested Outpost (give him 60+ points), and Minefields.  I chose Minefields, as the least of all possible evils.  He set up the mines as a funnel to the center of the field.

I set up with my three CR90s in mid field, across from his list.  He had the ISD in the middle, the VSD on my Right, and the GSD angled to the left.  I had Jaina's Light in the middle of the field across the ISD, CR90Bs on the right across from the VSD, and the MC80 coming around the flank through one of the mines.

My thoughts going into this game were to pick up his 4 TIE Fighter squadrons, and his Victory, and maybe his Demolisher if he misplayed it.  I could at least get some kind of win by trading 2 of my CR90s for his 104 point Victory, and maybe come out with a good win if I could get the Demolisher over-pursuing.

Things started well enough, with me crashing through the mines on the right side to gain position on his slow turning Victory, which was blocking his ISD from coming about fully to take advantage of its front arc.  I wound up taking one hit on a CR90B and 3 hits (structural damage crit, and one hit) on my MC80, but the position I had let me pour the fire on the VSD and take it out.  Meanwhile, the GSD crashed through the mines on the left and one-shot Jaina's Light.  Not good.

But with the Victory down, and both my CR90Bs still up, and not only they but the MC80 going very fast around the loop, I was able to focus fire on the ISD.  It wasn't going to be able to take out the MC80, so it dropped one more CR90B.  We were looking at a 5-5 draw at best at this point - but I managed to get 12 damage across onto hull between the CR90Bs, the MC80, and squadrons.  Three squadrons left on the board, and I only needed 2 to hits out of 3 to get the win.

Rolled the first two as hits, with Tycho getting the killing blow.  A-Wings and YT-2400s are still good for anti-ships.

A really good game played by Chris, and it could easily have been 5-5 if my rolls hadn't been quite so hot.  Unfortunately for him taking out the flagship was enough to bring me 190-some points and a 8-2 win.  I was going into the final round with 17 points, with my opponent having 15 and the players on the next highest table at 13 and 12.  A 7-3 win would get me an outright Tournament victory no matter what the other table did.

3rd Round:

My final matchup was going to be against a pair of ISD2s kitted out as carriers.  Motti in command of one, with Flight Controllers, and on both were Boosted Comms, Flight Controllers, and Electronic Countermeasures.  A small 4 squadron Rhymer Ball, 2 Interceptors, and both named TIE Fighters.

He had 400 points exactly, so I decided on Second Player.  My opponent eventually selected Intel Sweep, which was probably his best decision of the available options.  I figured that I could just run the Intel Sweep ship to pick up the 75 points, collect a 7-3 win, and get the win, but with his anti-squadron fighters and the chance of him picking off one of my CR90s, I figured I'd have to drop one ISD to pull it off. 

I set up an obstacle wall to the right side of the map, where I intend to run Jaina's Light and the Intel Sweep tokens, while my opponents tokens come in from the left towards the first one I placed at mid-field.  He sets out his objective ship first, the non-Motti ISD, running it in from the far left towards the middle objective token, and his Flagship across from the middle.  I set up my objective ship to grab the middle token first, and sweep right quickly, picking up 3 tokens, and my other CR90s off-set to turn hard and run rather than engage.  But when the final ISD came out, I formed a new plan.  If his flagship chases Jaina's Light, I could pounce the objective ISD and bag it for its points with my MC80, so I set it up to angle left and broadside it while CR90Bs hold it in place.

My opponent was feinting though, and had no intention on taking the objectives.  Instead he turned both his ISDs left to go after my MC80, leaving Jaina's Light to pick up tokens without a care in the world.  Because his objective ship was only going to grab one, Jaina's Light eventually turned back into the fight after picking up the second token.

Squadron fighting was brutal and fast.  Mithil did damage to my entire squadron compliment, as I forgot he was there, and A-Wings dropped each turn.  I took out Mithil eventually, and both Interceptors, but the Bombers were free to engage - though I did scare them off for a single turn by threatening to intercept them.

By turn 3, the battle lines had been drawn.  The objective ship ISD and MC80 had pinned one another in place, the MC80 taking a double arc in the ISD's front arc, with Motti racing up the side to try and pour on the fire.  But the CR90s, planning to engage the objective ship, wound up running into Motti's ISD first, and each raked it with double arc fire over 2 turns, loading it up with damage.  By the end of turn 4 it was gone, and my MC80 and the objective ISD were in a race for who would drop first.

At the end of Turn 4, Tycho with no tokens and 1 HP moved to engage the entire Rhymer ball.  They were already activated.

Start of Turn 5, and with ECMs, 4 hull remaining, and 3 shields in my rear, 6 damage from the front arc shot was needed to drop my MC80.  Unfortunately, while 6 damage was rolled, nowhere near enough accuracies were, and I was able to keep it alive at 3 hull and no shields.  That was the deciding fact, as after double arc shots, activating and shooting with a now-dead Tycho (who was not only tying up the Bombers, but also in range), the ISD was dropped to 10 damage cards, and with Motti dead needed just one more.  One of my CR90Bs, sitting away from the fight after dealing with Motti, activated with a Nav Command and token and raced from speed 2 to 4, just barely ramming the ISD for its last damage.

It was a route, 475 - 49, and a convincing 10-0 victory to give me my Store Championship win!  Unfortunately for my opponent, the failure to have just one more damage on my MC80 (after all the rammings) meant that he dropped all the way to 8th place from the loss, and would have been in 4th with just a single extra tournament point.  While he was tired, he played an excellent game - I assumed that my MC80 was lost from the moment he turned in on me, and was playing defensively with my CR90s at that point, convinced them surviving would save my win, or maybe finish off the other ISD on turn 6.  It by all rights should have been a lot closer.


Final Thoughts:

Rieekan, Defiance, and Tycho's A-Wing Team were my MVPs for the night.  They were able to add so much extra damage to ships over the course of the match.

Rieekan let me abuse Second Player in ways that I previously only dreamed of doing so.  Parking ships in front of other ships, delaying "critical" activations for better damage potential, and using Tycho to save his flagship contributed at least 500 points of MOV swung in my favor over 3 games.  Even when I was first player, he had to be a consideration for my opponent (though Jaina's Light didn't really do much after it died).  He was pretty much the only reason that my CR90B's were able to double arc things and not worry about dying.

Defiance added quite a bit of damage from the title over the course of the game.  The one time I activated it first, I could really feel the missing extra dice in the shot.  It combos very, very well with Leading Shots.  My one regret was not finding room for both my bid and Enhanced Armaments - I never killed a single ship with shields left intact, and XI-7s really felt like wasted points.

Tycho... Tycho may have lost his A-Wing squadron, but his new fighter will have 2 ISDs and an MC80 painted on the side, plus a few Interceptors and Fighters.  He and his A-Wings contributed to multiple big ships going down as part of concentrated fire with the MC80 and CR90s.  He - with Rieekan's ability - held 4 Rhymer shots off of what wound up as a 1 Hull MC80 in my final game.  Really, key squadron use throughout the games helped immensely and I cannot go without mentioning how nice it was to have 2 Rogues to do whatever they needed to at the start of squadron phase.

Well, that's it.  I'll be participating in some way in a Store Championship Sunday of next week - since I won this last one and I'll be TO, either I will sit out, or join in with a Co-TO if we have an odd number of players otherwise if only to get rid of the bye.  Looks to be a good showing, if Morgantown was any indication.  If you're in the area, check out Looking for Group and Drawbridge Games for details.  Until then, fly casual!


  1. Congrats on your win! Looks like a fun tournament and a great time. Also, I really like your list: in the aftermath of Clon's killing spree at the WC, it's one of the most thought out I've seen.

  2. I was thinking drop the XI7 and run Heavy Turbolasers instead.

  3. Have you tried running Intell Officer on Defiance to lock the braces down? Might be simpler than any turbolaser upgrades.