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:


My Fleet

I wrote this fleet list up shortly after the arrival of Wave 6.  I REALLY like Task Force Antilles (TF:A) as a way to mitigate damage.  I am a huge fan of any defense that doesn't rely on defense tokens.  The ability to spread damage around with TF:A also pairs really well with Shields to Maximum! as you can assure just about all of your ships with be able to regen a shield each round.

I've also been looking to maximize Sato lately and this fleet gave me the chance to do that.  Long-range, black-dice, crit effects are just too fun to not at least try.  Sato also needs a squadron compliment, but the Hammerheads and Assault Peltas that like Sato's ability are lousy at commanding them.  Seems like a perfect excuse to bring in some Rogues.  But not just any Rogues.  These Rogues need to be in specific spots and can really benefit from Grit.  Looks like Han and Hera fit the bill here.  Han is really Sato's best friend as he can get into position at the start of the round.  Hera provides the Rogue/Grit combo on 8 hull and can pass Rogue around to fun squadrons like Tycho and Shara.

Most folks would say that 4 squadrons isn't enough for Sato, but I disagree.  These 4 do the job needed and can be surprisingly resilient.  A thing to remember is that a squadron can spot for Sato's ability even while in an obstacle.  Placing these squads inside of obstacles helps ensure they can move when needed and really reduces the incoming firepower.

Anyways, here's the fleet:

Points: 397/400

Commander: Commander Sato
Assault Objective: Opening Salvo
Defense Objective: Fire Lanes
Navigation Objective: Superior Positions


[ flagship ] Modified Pelta-class Assault Ship (56 points)
-  Commander Sato  ( 32  points)
-  Raymus Antilles  ( 7  points)
-  Projection Experts  ( 6  points)
-  External Racks  ( 3  points)
-  Shields to Maximum!  ( 6  points)
= 110 total ship cost


Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36 points)
Task Force Antilles  ( 3  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Assault Concussion Missiles  ( 7  points)
= 50 total ship cost


Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36 points)
Task Force Antilles  ( 3  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Assault Concussion Missiles  ( 7  points)
= 50 total ship cost


Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36 points)
Task Force Antilles  ( 3  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Assault Concussion Missiles  ( 7  points)
= 50 total ship cost


Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36 points)
Task Force Antilles  ( 3  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Assault Concussion Missiles  ( 7  points)
= 50 total ship cost


1 Tycho Celchu ( 16 points)
1 Han Solo ( 26 points)
1 Shara Bey ( 17 points)
1 Hera Syndulla ( 28 points)

My Opponent

Did I say 4 squads would be enough?  I may have been mistaken.  My opponent brought a Leia fleet with a Command Pelta with AFFM, 2 Boosted Comms GR-75s, and a pair of Hammerheads backed up by Jan, Biggs, Norra, 3 Y-Wings, 3 X-wings and a Z-95!  With the bonus from Leia he would have no trouble pushing those squadrons all around at high speeds.

He chose to play second and I decided to play his Precision Strike.  I had no bombers and was wishing I had APTs instead of ACMs, but still felt it was safer than my other choices and I was curious how I would hold up.  I also figured that 4 out of my 5 ships having contain wouldn't hurt.

Setup

During setup I tired to cluster a bunch of obstacles in the center of the table and then made my first deployment directly behind them.  I wanted the fight in the obstacles to give my squadrons ample cover.  He deployed slightly to my left and I shifted to match, but it would still work out the way I needed while having clear fire lanes for the Hammerheads.

I had forgotten one of my Hammerheads had broken off of its peg.  Poor Hammerhead #7.
Round 1

I essentially moved straight towards my opponent while banking Nav Tokens.  TF:A means I need to keep my ships relatively close to each other.  He pushed his squadrons ahead in the center of his formation, while his Hammerheads worked on flanking.

My best target is his Command Pelta and I am hoping my Hammerheads can wade through his squadrons to get there.

That is a LOT of squadrons heading my way.
Round 2

Some initial shots were traded this round and we found an interesting phenomenon.  he had Biggs, which meant my damage against his squadrons was being spread all over, while my use of TF:A meant that his early shots were spread amongst my ships.

He was able to use Norra and a couple of Y-Wings to get some early damage on my left most Hammerhead's shields.  The Pelta was able to activate last though and use Projection Experts to repair 2 of them.  No real serious damage was done.  Hera gave the A-wings Rogue and jumped them up to tie up his squadrons and setup Sato.

Nothing dead yet, but the fireworks are about to start.
Round 3

I started the round by kicking off Shields to Maximum!  Thanks to TF:A every ship I had was down a shield and would benefit from it this round.  Han also decided to go first and jumped up by his Command Pelta.  He held off activating his Command Pelta until late though and only one of my Hammerheads had a medium range shot at it, with the rest in long.  I opted to have 2 of the Hammerheads go full anti-squadron for the turn and it was well worth it.

He heavily damaged my left most Hammerhead, but I was able to keep it alive with STM!, TF:A, and Projection Experts.  In return, my Pelta and that Hammerhead were able to kill one of his.  The combined weight of my flak and the Rogues were starting to wear down his squadrons as well.  All of my Hammerheads were hurting at least a little, but I was able to keep repairing their shields.

The squadron phase saw the death of Jan, which took a lot of pressure off of my ships.  I was also able to have Tycho go heal at the station.


Round 4

My first 2 activations just obliterated the Command Pelta, while he finally go the kill on my left Hammerhead.  My Pelta shot at his last Hammerhead and used External Racks and Sato to roll 6 black dice.  For 2 damage...  Oh well, it died shortly after that to an attack from Hera.

Round 5+6

At this point he only had the 2 flotillas and a handful of squadrons left.  I worked on mopping them up and got everything but one of the flotillas.  In the end I only lost Tycho and the one Hammerhead.  He came out ahead 5 tokens to 4 on the objective, which wasn't too bad given my Bomber deficit.  TF:A really helped prevent a lot of crits from getting through.

Thoughts
  • I really like this fleet.  It's more fun than good, but I really like it.  
  • We counted up and figured out that I regenerated something like 23 shields over the course of the game.  All of my ships ended the game with full shields, even if they had some hull damage.  
  • Combined ACM shots are just brutal.
  • The squadron mix in this fleet gets the job done.  I think a dedicated anti-squad player would wreck them, but they hold fine otherwise.
  • This fleet is not great at killing flotillas.
  • the STM!, TF:A, Projection Experts combo is strong against squadron attacks.  It can survive the thousand cuts better than the one big smash for sure.
  • Hera is so expensive, but I've never played a game with her when she didn't feel worth the points.

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