Saturday, December 23, 2017

Truth(iness) vs. Logic: Poe Dameron's Actions in the Last Jedi

Spoilers below for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  If you haven't seen the movie yet, well, why haven't you?

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Thursday, December 14, 2017

What Is Biggs Playing Now? Moffy J, Bossky Bossk and the Kittens

Here's a casual list I've been tolling around with.  Not quite an original idea, I stole the general feel of the idea for the build from the 1st round opponent I played in the Ohio Regional, then modified it heavily.  Here it is, an Imperial broadside list with bomber support:

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Battle Report - Sato, Hera, and Hammerheads

I did a crazy thing last night.  I actually got to play a game of Armada.  

Real life had been conspiring to keep me away from our regular Armada night at the FLGS and our current Corellian Conflict has kind of stalled.  But running the recent regional tournament had me really jonesing to get some ships on the table, roll dice, and make pew-pew noises again.

Fortunately, the stars aligned so that I was able to get in a regular 400 point match with a fleet I've been enjoying lately.

Read on for more:

Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Madine Trials: Part Two

I've put Madine through his paces and I'm set to go into Regionals with an absolutely bat-shit insane list. I might crash and burn, but it's damned fun to fly!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Intensify Firepower is Really, Really Good.

Intensify Firepower is really, really good guys.

This card not only gives you a way to increase the average damage for your fleet, but also increases the damage floor.  And it does it for each shot.  We're going to take a look at this card, and the benefit it gives, comparing it to other similar cards, and see just how good this guy is.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

AAR - Biggs (and Garm) at the Empire Games Center Regional Championship

On Saturday I got to play in the Regional Championship at the Empire Games Center in Streetsboro, Ohio.  I had been practicing with a Clonisher style "Go first and smash with Black dice" list, but I hadn't been liking how it performed, so the evening before I put back together something from the archives, that I updated for Wave 6.  I had won my local store championship with the original list, partly by getting lucky and having my buddy Chris beat Q in the final round to let me leapfrog into first.

Plus, Shmitty wanted Garm to win Regionals, and he had given me a Garm card signed by Zahn himself!

I did pretty well.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Wave 6 - Ranking the Commanders

Back near the end of Wave 4, we ranked the Commanders.  Today we're going to smash them together into Tiers again!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sloane: Savior of Ship Builds

Provocative enough of a title for you? I'm sure I'm going to catch a lot of flak for this one. It goes heavily against the accepted orthodoxy, especially in the good ol' US of A. Regardless, it's a trend I'm seeing in my games. Time will tell if I'm just crazy (which is the norm) or if I'm actually onto something.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Games Shmitty Plays - (Riding to the Defense of Rohan!)

How do you feel about "dead" games?  Every gamer seems to have their own take on how they approach them and games can die for different reasons.  Sometimes the designing company goes out of business or finds the game is no longer profitable.  Sometimes, the community surrounding the game just dies out instead.  The Lord of the Rings/Hobbit Strategy Battle Game from Games Workshop falls somewhere in the middle.  It gets really irregular support from GW and because of that, most of the communities around the game have died out.

However, sometimes dead gaming communities can be brought back.  Every time I have attended GenCon I have always been impressed by the massive events held for games that are years dead.  Thanks to the efforts of one local gamer, I had the opportunity to play in a LotR tournament last Saturday.  Read on to find out how I did...

Saturday, November 4, 2017

To Bid or Not to Bid

As the Madine Trials continue, I'm finding myself thinking a lot about bidding: what kind of lists want to bid, what level of bidding is acceptable, what you get out of that investment, etc. I more or less see about four distinct levels to bidding in Armada right now.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Legend of the Five Rings - Spyglass - Scouting the Crab

Time to look through our trusty Spyglass at the next target, the Crab Clan.  They're an option for Unicorn Splash, so keep an eye on their tricks and see what might work well for us as well.  Overall, they play defensively and MIL heavy, which makes them a strong counter against our aggressive MIL heavy feel.  The one game I've played against the Crab so far went to time, with the Crab having broken 2 of my provinces, me having broken none of his, and me sitting at low honor.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Legend of the Five Rings - Spyglass - Scouting the Scorpion

So I've pretty much declared myself a Unicorn now, so pretty much everything I look at is going to be through that spyglass, such as it is.  With that in mind, let's scout out the Scorpion and see what tricks they can throw at us, and what we need to watch out for.  This may still be useful for non-Unicorns.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Madine Trials: Part One

The stress tests have begun. The iconoclast in me can't help but go against the grain of the meta, so I've tentatively chosen my Madine list for this Regionals season. So far I've gotten in three games, all of which have taught me some good lessons.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Games Shmitty Plays - (But does anyone even care?)

So, it's been awhile since I've written anything.  There are a variety of reasons for this.  My last article was back in June, before I embarked on a series of travels over the summer that ate into both my gaming and writing time.  I'd been a little fatigued on writing and decided that a scheduled break would be good for me.  It was.  I also got in a bit more gaming than expected, winning a couple of Store Championships and playing plenty of board games with friends.  Then as summer ended it was time for me to head back to work.  (For those that don't know I am a science teacher)  Well, the first part of the school year can be pretty exhausting for teachers and this year was no exception.  That also delayed my return to writing.

L5R - Keeper? I Hardly Knew 'Er! - Overview of the Roles

Let's take a look at simple 3 Core deckbuilding, and at the ten different Roles a player can select for his clan (or have selected for him, for organized play).  Bear in mind, we already have one role selected for Winter Court that cannot be selected again, and eventually (Winter Court 2018) we will get an additional role for a brief period of time.  Readers from the future, please note, this is October 2017 that this is being written.

Click Here for up to date Organized Play roles.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Legends of the Five Rings - Joining The Outsiders (Single Core Unicorn Review)

Way back when I was a high school kid, I remember seeing Legend of the Five Rings set up along with Magic the Gathering, Pokemon, and the various other collectible card games of the era.  I had a job that put gas in my car, and bought the occasional burger when I didn't want what was for dinner, so investing in another game that my friends (Magic players) didn't play already didn't make a lot of sense.  So I ignored it.

Later, I heard stories.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Phase 4 - Skirmish - Here They Come!

We're getting closer and closer to the meat of the game.

4)  Skirmish - This typically takes place at the end of Turn 2 through Turn 3.  Faster ships or squadrons will engage one another from extreme range.

Key Advantages for this Phase:  Red Dice, Fast Squadrons, Rogue Squadrons, Evade Defense Tokens, Activation Advantage

Monday, October 2, 2017

Truth(iness) vs. Logic: Factoring Commanders into List Building

Steel Squadron is proud to bring you another installment of Truth(iness) vs. Logic! Our topic today: Commanders. Biggs has taken up the stance that lists should be able to function independent of whatever Commander you choose. Of course, this is total rubbish. Everyone knows that you should always build lists to maximize that commander. I'll let Biggs take the first crack at this one. Once Bigg is done blathering on about whatever "logical" explanation he has, I'll set the record straight.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Committing to a Regionals List

I'm getting the itch for Regionals season. I'm trying to go in with a better prepared list this time, so I'm starting my fine tuning now. I've got two lists in contention. True to form, neither is exactly orthodox.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Belated Island Games AAR

It's been almost a month, but I'm finally getting around to breaking down my fairly pitiful performance at Island Games. Spoiler: I hate Hammerheads.   

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Nationals Top 8 Breakdown

Here are the top 8 lists from US Nationals. I'll edit in my thoughts later on.

**EDIT** I've edited in my hot takes. Biggs was actually on the ground, so I'll leave it up to him if he wants to add his own thoughts later.

**EDIT #2** Fixed a couple errors (three Ackbar, not four) and added the final standings. Congrats to Matt!

**EDIT #3** I got a hold of Daryle Winter's list, the winner of Heat 2 that couldn't make the Finals. He would have replaced Sean Sundberg had he been able to stay. I also added some final thoughts.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Biggs At US Nationals - Sloane's Steel Squadron and the Thrawn Doctorine

"They'll be the architects of their own destruction." - Grand Admiral Thrawn

"We need to demonstrate martial ability. The Empire is a hammer striking down disorder, not a knife slipped between unsuspecting ribs." - Admiral Sloane

It's time for US Nationals.  By the time this is posted, I'll be playing in the Friday wave, trying to fill the seat vacated by 2 time Champion Quynh "Ice Qube" Nguyen, who will not be competing in favor of acting as Marshal for the event.  In a world filled with Boarding Team Avengers and... whatever the Rebels are trying to do these days, an Imperial commander needs to be smart in dealing with their opponents both without and within.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Biggs Hot(ish) Take - Wave 7 Reveal

Truthiness is writing up his own Wave 7 article, but I want to do my own.  Plus he is coming at it from a different angle than I am.

Let's look at the fun!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Corellian Conflict: Fleet Roles

I'm badly late on this article. Work has taken a lot out of me of late. Unfortunately that's not likely to change in the near future. But in any case, let's talk briefly about how to approach building fleets as a team in Corellian Conflict. There are three general roles I feel you need to cover to be successful.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Phase 3 - Maneuver: Getting There the Fastest with the Mostest

It's time to actually "play" the game you've spent so much time setting up.  Here is where we attempt to either recover from a bad deployment, or push our advantage to the maximum.  I have seen a lot of games won and lost in deployment, but this is the phase that really determines who will win the Skirmish and the actual Engagement.

3)  Maneuver - This phase begins at the start of Turn 1's ship phase, and continues until the first dice are rolled.  This is the part where you position your fleet to get the most advantage during the engagement, and make up for bad positioning from the Deployment Phase.

Key Advantages for this Phase:  Navigate Commands, High Speed / Yaw ships, Maneuver Upgrades.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Island Games Store Championship

I'm heading to my third Store Championship of the season this morning. Since I already rode Avenger to victory, I decided to try something a little off the wall. This build mixes two of my oddball ideas: a Norra-boosted X-Wing swarm and Hammerhead pocket carriers. Here's the list:

Monday, August 7, 2017

Playing By The Rules - Intentions and Reality

It pains me to write another article on the state of the game, but we have ourselves a teachable moment here.  So today we are going to talk about the recent drama over the very rules that govern how the game we love is played.  Before I go any further, the views expressed in this article are my (Biggs') views, and they aren't necessarily correct or even the views of the other members of this website.  With that in mind...

Monday, July 31, 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wave 6 Upgrades - Boarding Teams (Weapon Team + Offensive Retrofit)

These are the first two slot upgrade for Armada, and because of what every upgrade that has these two slots have been so far, we're going to call them Boarding Teams.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

300th Post - A Brief History of Armada

Thanks to all of you readers for giving me, Shmitty and Truthiness your attention, as Truthiness comes up with great list ideas, Shmitty crunches numbers and uses logic to prove things others can only guess at, and I... write the other articles.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Games and Stuff AAR

New addition to the collection!

So yeah, Vader worked out pretty well. As promised, I'll go into my thinking for the list and then get to the details of the tournament.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Konstant Kontact - Biggs goes to Mr Nice Guy's Store Championship

Not much time to write about this one.  I came up with it last night, just before going to bed:

It's Admiral Konstantine!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

2 Triangles and a Baby - Streetsboro Ohio Store Championship Invasion

Two Store Championships this weekend.  One where the Pittsburgh crew heads out to invade Ohio, about a 2 hour drive from us.  Another where we defend our local turf... well... kinda.  Not the place we typically play, but they were nice enough to acquire a Store Championship anyway.

Let's hope this doesn't happen.

Back in Black

We interrupt CC month to bring you coverage of the ongoing Store Championship season. I'm heading to Games and Stuff again today and I think Biggs is heading out to Ohio. Expect to see something from him a little later (I hope you lose you back stabber :P ). I've been playing my Madine list to death lately so despite it not having a Store Champ title, I'm mixing things up away. I'm going to back to the high risk/high reward lifestyle of Vader. Work has been so busy that I didn't have time to do up a list explanation article, so I'll circle around and do that later on. For now, here's the list (minus objectives). I'll try to update throughout the day.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Phase 2 - Deployment: Ships Just Got Real

We have now talked about Preparation, and now it's time to move on to the next stage in the game.  Phase 2 - Deployment - is where the theoretical goes out the window and you know what you are using, and what the opponent has brought to the game.  This is an absolutely crucial phase, as any play in initiative choice, objective selection, obstacle placement, and deployment can have ripple effects for the rest of the game.

2)  Deployment - The other half of Turn 0.  This is where you begin to set playing pieces on the board.  If you have the higher bid, you will determine if you will take first or second player at this point.  If you are first player, you will pick from your opponents objectives as well.  You should enter this section with a game plan of how you want the eventual engagement to take place.  It begins with setting up obstacles - we have some older articles on using these to your advantage - and continues with the deployment of your fleets.  You should use the obstacles and your fleet deployment to dictate where and how the engagement will happen, and expect your opponent to do the same.  Once all ships are deployed and Turn 1's Command Phase is over, we move on to the next phase.

Key Advantages for this Phase:  Initiative Bids and Objective Selection, Second Player Obstacle Placement, Deployment Advantage

Monday, July 10, 2017

Wave 6 Upgrades - Officers

Two new unique offers were released with Wave 6, which give you quite a few interesting options going forward.  Let's take a look at them now:

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Corellian Conflict: Hyperlane Raid

As promised, my Corellian Conflict focus for July continues with the Rebel Special Assault: Hyperlane Raid. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Wave 6 Upgrades - Admiral Sloane - Commander

Today is the release date for Wave 6, so let's discuss the commander that everyone is actually talking about!  It's time for General Organa again!

Just kidding, it's really Admiral Sloane.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Corellian Conflict: Show of Force

This one is for Yub Nub, who pointed out that we are woefully deficient on our Corellian Conflict guides. It's been a while since we talked Corellian Conflict around here, though not for lack of enthusiasm. I'm of the opinion that this is the absolute best way to play the game, and I don't think Biggs or Shmitty would disagree with that. I think we all got so deep into campaigns that we forgot to talk about them. I'm currently on my third (which I really should do a write up for...). I've played as Empire once and my current campaign is my second as Rebels. I'm going to do my best to go deeper into CC over the next month. I'll start with Yub Nub's requested topic: Show of Force.

The Forbidden Love of Lothal

Agent Kallus looked out over Capital City as the sun set.  Hunting down the source of the Rebels on the planet had been harder than he thought, and ever since coming to the Lothal system this had been his first real failure as an Imperial Agent.  He sighed, stroking his clean shaven chin, as his other hand swirled the imported Alderaan Blood Wine that Minister Tua had poured him.  He had taken a lot of effort in maintaining his mutton chops, keeping them just within the limits Imperial Agents were allowed.  He considered them to be his finest feature, his one concession to independence in an organization that demanded his total obedience.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Commander's Guide - Hammerhead Class Corvette

Onward to the other half of Wave 6, the Hammerhead Corvette.  Unlike the Quasar, the Hammerhead has seen some very important screen time in recent years, not only as the backbone for the reconstituted Rebels fleet, but also as the ship that blew up two Imperial Star Destroyers with one well placed ram (and some Y-Wing Ion Bomb help).  Without further ado...

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Phase 1: Preparation - The First Step to Winning

Today we will begin a more in depth look at the phases of an Armada game with what could only be seen as "Turn -1".  Everything up to the point where you turn your list into the Tournament Organizer, finalize it for a round of Corellian Conflict, or just reveal it to your opponent for a casual game.  Honestly, a large quantity of our discussions and articles revolve around this aspect of the game, because frankly this is where the "unknowns" are greatest and where the metagame, the game within the game, really is at it's fullest effect.

Where the journey begins.
Preparation - This is effectively Turn 0, before the game has even begun.  It begins when your last game ends.  It first is applied when you decide what fleet you are going to bring to the game, based on your play style and what you expect your opponents to field.  It continues as you learn your list, what you can reasonably expect from it, what you can gamble with it, and how to play it to maximize the utility.  It ends with your actual matchup and knowledge of what you are facing.

Key Advantages for this Phase:  Ability to Learn from Prior Mistakes, Knowledge of the Meta, Practice with Your Fleet.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Idiot's Guide to Being Counter Meta

So you've finally come to your senses and realized this "meta" thing is a load of crap? Ready to try some crazy shit like Truthiness? Good. We crazy people have more fun. And isn't that what playing games is all about? So without further ado, I present my five step guide to being counter-meta.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Wave 6 Upgrades - General Leia Organa: Commander

Two new commanders join in Wave 6, one for each side.  Let's take a look at one of them today and see what they each add to the mix.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bold Predictions for the Wave 6 Meta

Wave 6 is upon us! I'll let Biggs dig down into the nitty gritty of all the new upgrades (he's really good at it). Instead, I'm pulling out my crystal ball to see where this wave will take the meta. It's time for some bold predictions!

Rieekan Isn't Going Anywhere
The Rieekan nerf is harsh. The fact that you only get one ship or squadron in a turn likely means ships will be prioritized for zombificaiton, taking a lot of Rieekan's punch out of the squadron game. But you know what? It's deserved. Since the inclusion of Biggs, the combined resiliency is just too much. Even with the nerf, he's still a very good commander that isn't going anywhere. Good Rieekan players will only require a slight adjustment to keep flying the Ace Holes. Ships are not usually at risk of death in turn 2, meaning that you can make a Rieekan zombie out of a squadron without worrying about needing it for a ship in the same turn. I think ramspam is likely to take a big hit and see less use (thank God), but the Ace Holes aren't going anywhere. It's a good thing, then, that wave 6 brings us the best Ace Hole counter yet.

Sloane will Flood Store Championships
Sloane's swarms are set to rip apart Ace Hole lists. Defense tokens will start getting thrown out very quickly and Rieekan can't keep all those zombie escorts around anymore. As with all things, though, people will figure out how to fight against Sloane. Her best squadrons, Phantoms and TIEs, are all quite fragile. Anti-squadron batteries will take a large toll, as will squadrons with counter. Shara in particular has "FUCK YO TIES" tattooed on her forehead. That's why I think that while Sloane will flood this latter part of Store Championships, she'll start to fade as we get toward Regionals season. That's not to say she won't be viable. We'll just see her use scaled back to sane levels, as opposed to the utterly insane levels I expect during Store Championships.

Flotilla Activations?
I'm torn on whether or not this wave will see any shift in the ubiquity of flotillas. We'll all heard the complaints about the game devolving into 2 regular ships and 3 flotillas (or worse, 1 big ship and tons of flotillas). The lifeboat nerf will help to a degree since it will force players to either get their commander into the fray or pay significantly more points to tuck them away in a corner. Sloane's ability will also be very good at pecking away at flotillas. 48 points of TIE Fighter attacks are enough to all but guarantee a flotilla kill. Other counters already in the game might also swing back into favor, such as Jonus or Home One. For the life of me, I don't understand how I'm not seeing more of Jonus. Still, the root causes of flotilla spam are still there: cheap activations. Until we have something that allows bigger ships to compete with 18-23 points for an activation, I'm not sure we'll see the meta break out of the flotilla funk we're in.

Leia will be a Force Ghost
Leia has the same problem as Tarkin: her ability is great, but she's far too pricey. If the tournament standard were 500 points, she'd be worth every penny in a well conceived and built list. As it stands, though, she's going to be very limited in her use. You might see the occasional fringe build made just for the express purpose of getting her on the table. The best build JJ and I were able to conceive is a Hammerhead Scout spam with DTTs. In theory you do a lot of concentrate fire spam. The question at that point, though, is why bother? You could take Cracken and TRC90s, pay around the same points, put out almost identical (and more consistent) firepower, and be more durable on top of it. It's sad to say that this version of Leia will be making the table just as much as the Grand Moff.

The Quasar will be Underappreciated
We've already seen the grumblings on the forums. Some are already calling the Quasar dead on arrival. The logic is you can command just as many squadrons with two Gozantis for less points and get an extra activation in the process. This ignores the fact that the Quasar can grab Flight Controllers and Expanded Hangars, adding a blue anti-squadron die to five squadrons (six with a token) at once. The value of that kind of alpha strike with squadrons cannot be understated. Imagine if those were six TIE Defenders. Yikes. This goes back to the quantity vs. quality of activation argument. The meta is obsessed with quantity right now, even though the quality of a Quasar squadron activation is absolutely worth the points and activation trade off. Excuse me while I go polish off some four activation lists with no flotillas...

The Hammerhead will Struggle to Find a Role
Don't get me wrong, I like the Hammerhead. At 39 points, the Torpedo Corvette with External Racks can dump a lot of firepower for very cheap. But at the end of the day, the Hammerhead is going to be rather niche. You might see a wolfpack of Task Force Organa Torpedo variants with External Racks prowling around for 40 points a pop, but I think that's about it. The Scout Corvette is little better than a downgrade from the CR90A that isn't cheap enough to warrant inclusion in all but the most carefully crafted builds.

Raider Renaissance
I think the Raider might be the quiet winner of this wave in the long term. External Racks are tailored made for the Raider I. They don't often get more than one good shot on a target, so External Racks give them a Clonisher-level front arc for a dirt cheap 51 points (including Ordnance Experts). The Raider II likewise gets another lease on life with Disposable Capacitors. While most of the attention has, rightfully, been focused on what this does for the VSD II, the Raider II's 3 blue dice pushed out to long range should not be underestimated. And once again, this Raider loadout only costs 51 points with Disposable Capacitors. If that's not enough for you, Ion Batteries could be an intriguing prospect that ups the damage a little bit more. We'll have to keep an eye out for future Ion upgrades that increase blue die damage. The Raider II could get really nasty.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Setting Things Up: Phases of a Fleet Engagement

Today we're going to stop looking at fleet builds and new cards and start a serious look at the different parts of a game of Armada.  Specifically, over several posts we will be looking at the different phases, what we see in each, and how each phase leads into the next.  Our goal today is to identify the phases and briefly describe each one, so that we have a background to go into greater detail in later articles.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Commander's Guide - Quasar Fire Class Carrier

Since Wave 1 we have had expensive battleships that could double as a carrier, and Wave 3 gave us the flotilla, a support ship that had the primary role of a pocket carrier, but never have we had an actual dedicated carrier ship.  Wave 6 fixes this for the Empire, but adding the Quasar Fire Class Cruiser-Carrier.

Monday, June 12, 2017

When The Pew-Pew Just Isn't Enough - The Fleet That Makes Biggs Shudder In Revulsion

<A Note from the Editor - Please imagine it read by Patrick Warburton

Dear Reader of the Steel Squadron Blog,

It is my sincere displeasure to request that you not under any circumstances read the following blog post.  The contents of this post are so vile as to turn the most optimistic Armada player into a sniveling wreck of a troll.  Troll in this case is a word referring to an individual who sows discord throughout internet communities.  Frankly, the servers which contain this work will likely need to be erased, pulverized, and scattered in to a deep ocean trench for the safety of the Armada community.

If you believe in the existence of the mortal soul I encourage you to turn back before yours is forever corrupted.  If my imploring is not enough to dissuade you, please consider this song as your final warning.

Look away, look away...>

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Bonus Store Championship - Garm 3: Corellian drift

I am fortunate to live in a area with a great Armada community.  Which means lots of chances to play in Store Championships.  I am actually TO'ing the tournament next weekend in town, but some bad weather canceled my camping plans for this weekend so I am going to head down to Salem, OR for the Borderlands Games tournament.

I wanted to play another Garm based fleet, but didn't want to use the same fleet that I had the last time.  So, I asked Biggs and he suggested the fleet he is planning on taking to his first Store Championships.  I liked it, but didn't have the right squadrons to pull it off.  Still a couple of quick changes were enough to make it my own.  So, let's take a look at Garm 3: Corellian Drift!

Drawbridge Games Store Championship - Garm 2: 2 Garm, 2 Iblis

Biggs checking in for Store Championship Season!  Here's what I'm going to be taking my local gaming store's Store Championship.  In attendance will be Chris Jantzi (Top 32 Worlds, 2017), Angelo Butera (Top 8 Worlds, 2016), Daniel "DabDarklighter", and Q (2 time US Nationals Champion, coming from out of town).  Gonna have to bring my A game to win big here.

Video - Activation Advantage

One of the reasons I switched to blogging on Biggs' site rather than my own was so I would have more time to work on tactics videos.  Well, that didn't work out as planned since I haven't made one since switching over.  That changes today!  My first tactics video since January looking at the uses of and counters to Activation Advantage.  Check it out here: 

That is a truly ridiculous look on my face...

Cardboard Games Store Championship

After a dozen or so games with Ramrod, I'm ready to take the next step in the evolution of the list. The main weakness of the list has been large ships. The CRambo, as good as it is at hunting flotillas and small ships, just can't​ put out the firepower I often find myself needing to take down more than one large ship. Furthermore, with the addition of Admonition to the list, I haven't needed the CRambos to concentrate as heavily on going after flotillas. I have, however, fallen completely in love with CR90s with Madine and Engine Techs.

So I went back to the basics. The goal was to get TRC90s back in the mix, but slap on Engine Techs. RBDs went out the door, the logic being I wouldn't need to inflict ram damage on normal ships as often if I was pumping TRCs into them. If the opportunity presents itself, such as an exposed MC30, I can still double ram in a pinch. I also skimped on other luxury upgrades, such as Derlin and Toryn. The result is a list that is still absurdly fast and maneuverable, can still ram flotillas into paste, but can pump out significantly more long range firepower at consistent rates.

The final change was the name. Ramrod doesn't really work since I'm no longer looking to ram so heavily. Instead, I have speed and red dice. I only know of one thing that likes red and speed together. Itz tyeem ta get da WAAAGH! goin'!!!

Da Red Unz Go Fasta!
Author: Truthiness
Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 389/400  
Commander: General Madine
MC30c Torpedo Frigate (63 points) "Lotz O' Dakka"
-  Admonition  ( 8  points) 
-  Skilled First Officer  ( 1  points) 
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points) 
-  H9 Turbolasers  ( 8  points) 
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points) 
89 total ship cost
CR90 Corvette A (44 points) "Dis Wun Iz Fasta!"
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
59 total ship cost
CR90 Corvette A (44 points) "No, Dis Wun Iz Fasta!"
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
59 total ship cost
[ flagship ] CR90 Corvette A (44 points) "Da Boss Is 'Ere"
-  General Madine  ( 30  points)
-  Jainas Light  ( 2  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
91 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points) "Grot Stink"
18 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points) "Snotling Wagon"
18 total ship cost
Shara Bey ( 17 points) 
A-Wing Squadrons ( 22 points) 
Tycho Celchu ( 16 points) 

The only major downside is that I haven't gotten to test this version of the list. I usually don't like to go to a tournament without at least one casual game to shake out the kinks. Still, it's close enough to Ramrod that I'm comfortable enough to go ahead with the changes and let the chips fall where they may. There are a lot of good players set to come, so this is going to be a fun day!

Friday, June 9, 2017


Today, we're going to talk about a subject that you may already have put into play in your own games, but haven't put a name to.  That is the concept of Zugzwang.  In other, non-German words, the concept of being forced to move when you are better off not moving.  This article is concerned mostly with teaching you to identify this situation, rather than setting it up or defusing it.

The Assault Frigate would rather not move.  If it had a pair of transports, it could go last instead!