Monday, March 27, 2017

500 Point Tournament AAR

This past Saturday I had the chance to play in my first Armada tournament since last fall.  After having fun with the 500 point format in The Corellian Conflict we decided to try a 500 point format tournament using the new prize kit from FFG.  We were all pretty curious to see what impact it might have on the event to play with 100 more points.

I had brought a variation of the 500 point fleet from my first Corellian Conflict that I detailed in this POST.  My hope was to go second and force some poor objective choices on my opponent.  We had 8 players show up for the event which felt like a solid turnout.  We were using the standard 2:15 for time and emphasized speed of play at the start.

That ISD on the left took a double arc from Home One, the MC-30, and Salvation without dieing and it didn't start at full health.  The dice were not with me.
My first game was against Chris, who is a frequent opponent of mine.  We had actually played a test game against each other the Monday before.  We both had fleets and objectives that were trying to take advantage of having 2 Strategic Squadrons.  He however had a 15 point bid...  So, I was the first player.  I decided to choose Sensor Net.  We had played this objective Monday with me as second player and I wanted to see how I could do as the first player.  It is a tricky, fun objective.  If you haven't yet, give it a try.

We both were playing to maximize our tokens with the Strategic Squads.  I was able to lead a couple of his squadrons away from the main fight, while keeping my VCXs in position to help in the squadron fight.  This helped me to wipe out his squads with no losses of my own by the end of the game.

A key moment came in the 3rd turn.  I had set my MC-30 to double arc one of his ISDs, with several other ships there to clean up.  Well, the dice were not with me.  It took essentially my full fleets firepower to drop that ISD.  I chose to pass up a likely kill shot on his Raider to shoot at the ISD with Home One.  I figured that Raider was going to hit my squadrons, which I felt okay about.  Well, instead it double arc'ed Home One, which hurt pretty bad with help from Vader.  A ram added to the damage.  This ended with the loss of Home One.

In the end I lost Home One and Yavaris, while he lost one ISD, the Raider, and a ton of squads.  Tokens were 8 for me to 9 for him.  I ended up with a very close win and the fleeing I should have popped that Raider earlier.

The squadron scrum featured hot Biggs-on-Biggs action.  (Not pictured - 2 CR-90b's off camera left)
 My next opponent was Will who had a heavy squadron (162 points!) fleet led by Dodonna and supported by a tricked out Mon Karren.  I won the coin flip and chose second player.  He opted for Advanced Gunnery and made Mon Karren his objective ship.

He jumped my squadrons with an order from his Pelta.  One of my X-Wings ended up out of range of Biggs, but I opted to keep it alive by burning through Jan's tokens on only the second turn.  That ended up being a solid choice as that X-Wing was able to double-tap twice with help from Yavaris before it died.  That extra bit of anti-squadron offense gave me the upper hand in the squadron fight and I was able to burn through his squadrons.

Mon Karren was able to line up shot on both the side and rear of the MC-30 and used Advanced Gunnery to take it out.  Home One responded by double tapping Mon Karren in the side and taking it out.  In fact Home One went pretty much nuts in this game and used Advanced Gunnery to kill 4 out 5 of his ships.  Only Dodonna's lifeboat escaped alive in this game.

Those Arquitens end up mostly missing the fight by circling out too wide.
Round 3 saw me lined up against Scott and his Imperial swarm led by Ozzel.  I really liked this fleet as I think the Arquitens just opens up some great new tactics for the Imperials.  I was second again and this time he chose Sensor Net.  Scott only had 3 aces for his squadrons, which allowed my VCXs to stay busy with tokens while Jan, Biggs, and friends engaged the aces.  I ended up gathering 10 tokens in this game and maybe could have had one or two more.  Sensor Net is great!

He tried to engage me with GSDs and Raider while the Arquitens moved to flank.  Demolisher jumped in and nailed Yavaris which hurt, but put Demo in a position to get killed by Home One.  I was fine with that trade.  The Raider also went down to Home One and the MC-30 eventually got Insidious.  The Arquitens just ended up out of position for most of the game as he mis-timed their approach I think.

The Fleet

After trying out a fleet in a tournament I always like to spend a bit of time thinking about what went right.  I ended up really happy with how this fleet played.  Strategic is a really fun ability and with the right support makes some of the objectives just awesome.  I am looking forward to playing with it more.  I felt like the fleet had plenty of strengths and could match-up pretty well against a variety of opponents.  

Home One was great, both the title handing out accuracy and the ship itself dishing out damage.  Salvation was nice, always in the right spot, but I rolled really poorly with it and it did little actual damage.  It needed DTTs or something.  Yavaris was great and this was my first time using it with Ackbar.  It was a nice boost to my squadrons and even got off some heavy broadside attacks with Ackbar's ability.

As for the 500 point format?  Meh.  I'm fine with it, but I'm not sure that it adds a ton.  I still had trouble squeezing everything into the fleet that I wanted.  I enjoyed it as part of the Corellian Conflict and felt like it really worked there.  I am less sure that it needs to be a new tournament standard. 

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