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.
My first game was against CaribbeanNinja, who has fought various versions of my Madine lists a lot. I think he might have a little Madine PTSD. He was kind enough to tool out a Defiance list explicitly designed to combat my list. He took a tooled out Ackbar Defiance, 3x CR90Bs, 2 flotillas, and Shara and Tycho for squadrons. It may not sound all that good as a general list, but trust me when I say this is about as bad as it can get for me. He matched my activations and maintained a similar level of flexibility. He had the bid and chose second. I took his Solar Corona. This was a close one that I squeaked out 165-118. I think I could have found a way to approach Defiance to take out that pinata, but I wanted to practice against it as thought it had Advanced Gunnery. The game confirmed my suspicions about how hard a well flown Ackbar Defiance is to approach, but it also showed me I can keep myself out of reach and peck away at the rest of a fleet if need be. A flotilla and/or squadron heavier list would require a different approach, but I'm good enough at dismantling flotillas that it could potentially be easier rather than harder. The fact that I was able to pull out a win, however close, against a well flown Defiance made me very confident that Madine was going to be my best way forward.
My next game was against Moodswing, who decided to go mirror match on me. He pulled out my old version of this list that he flew at Worlds. This was a certifiably insane matchup. And yes, there was lots of ramming. He took first and chose my Capture the VIP. The initial stages of this game were slower and more deliberate than you would expect. My ranged superiority was largely negated by his abundance of evade tokens. In the end, I think this game hinged on a single counter ram. With his last activation of a turn, mood moved in to ram one of my TRC90s. He was rocking RBDs, so his obvious intent was to discard the damage at the beginning of the turn. However, I had another TRC90 lined up for my last activation. That allowed me to double ram his CRambo and kill it before the RBDs could come into play. From there, the dominos started falling. I got greedy at the end of the game trying to finish off his Admonition. I came up one damage short and then got hit with the perfect rear arc dice roll (blue hit, black hit/crit to kill my ship. Still, this ended 280-111 and was a single die roll in either direction from being an even larger win for me.
My latest game was against my buddy Dan. He's not a competitive gamer, but has pretty good instincts for someone who plays once every few months at best. He went with a double VSD and Quasar Sloane list. I won the coin flip and took first player, selecting his Dangerous Territory. I cleaned up pretty well here, going 460-192. I really want to get a test against Green Knight's Nordic Champion list, but I'm pretty certain this game gave me the template for beating Sloane with Madine. The key was to do my best to wait out the squadron activations with the ship I expect to take the biggest beating. In this case, that was Jaina's Light, who angled to nab up some Dangerous Territory tokens early in the game. Once it can't take much more, I turn on the Afterburners and get the hell out of Dodge. With Engine Techs, even Sloane squadrons have a hard time keeping up. I can out pace their activation radius and effectively disengage. My other lesson is that VSDs with External Racks and Quad Battery Turrets fucking hurt. I parked a CR90 at close range of the rear of a VSD, thinking 'it's just 2 red,' forgetting that External Racks just need close range and not other black dice. One blue accuracy, two reds, and two blacks later, I watched a fully shielded CR90 disappear. I love what External Racks and QBTs have done for the VSD.
I've gotten some good decision points from these games. The main question continues to be squadron cover. I'm very unsure of going forward with just Shara and Tycho. They disappeared very quickly against Sloane. Then again, I can't imagine things being much different with additional fighters. JJ also gave me an alternative idea for the MC30 that would make it better against large ships, but not quite as potent against flotillas. The catch is it's 12 points more, so I'd have to downgrade my 5th combat ship in some way.