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!

I started my last trip of games with pick up game against Weston Schreiber, who squeaked by me at the Cardboard Games Store Championship. His 6-5 win against an earlier version of my Madine list remains the only loss I've had with it since converting over from CRambos to TRC90s with Engine Techs. This time around he was rocking a Sloane Aces lists. He had an ISD II Avenger, Demolisher, and two Gozantis with a swarm of Aces. Initiative was a coin toss, which Weston won. He took first player and selected my Capture the VIP. Needless to say, it was a very one sided squadron fight. Shara got burned down quickly and Tycho really just spent the game jumping around to block. I made the mistake of using my flagship to go after the VIP, which painted an even bigger bullseye on Madine. In addition, I was using an MC30 Scout with TRCs and an Intel Officer, which was underwhelming.

Still, I was able to stay in the fight. It took 3 squadrons to burn down Shara, and Tycho forced Weston to waste a squadron activation on Dengar each turn just to free up the rest of his squadrons. I had a Hammerhead with External Racks running shotgun with Madine. Weston had to expose his Demolisher to get the crippling blow on Madine and the Hammerhead made him pay for it. His squadrons had to move further and further from their carrier to get shots on my evasive CR90s. That let me string out the fight and whittle down his ISD. As with our previous game, this came down to the very last action of the game. Instead of a single squadron shot, though, it was a double ram from a CR90 to finish off the ISD to give me the 6-5. Despite the close score, the fact that I won even with the dead weight of the MC30 Scout hanging around my neck has me feeling pretty good for fighting against Sloane. Had I had my usual MC30 Torpedo with H9s, I would have killed both of his flotillas on turn 3 and cut his squadron command value in half. Some might see this as a waste of the MC30, but I find the tactical value to be well worth the investment.

My game against Weston was my last real experiment. I went back to the MC30 Torpedo with H9s, but kept the Hammerhead because it performed well as a blocker and counterpuncher. The extra points allowed me to gain both a moderate 5 point bid as well as Slicer Tools, which I had been coveting for some time to help against squadron lists. My two games following were straight validations without any new attempted elements. Both games, one against Jerjerrod and yet another against Sloane, were resounding successes (10-1, 9-2). As such, I feel comfortable moving past the experimentation phase. The list is done and ready for Regionals (naturally I'll change it 500 more times as I freak out):

I'm a Leaf on the Wind (395/400)
CR90 Corvette A (44 + 47)
+ General Madine (30)
+ Engine Techs (8)
+ Turbolaser Reroute Circuits (7)
+ Jaina's Light (2)

MC30c Torpedo Frigate (63 + 26)
+ Skilled First Officer (1)
+ Ordnance Experts (4)
+ Assault Proton Torpedoes (5)
+ H9 Turbolasers (8)
+ Admonition (8)

CR90 Corvette A (44 + 15)
+ Engine Techs (8)
+ Turbolaser Reroute Circuits (7)

CR90 Corvette A (44 + 15)
+ Engine Techs (8)
+ Turbolaser Reroute Circuits (7)

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36 + 3)
+ External Racks (3)

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 + 7)
+ Slicer Tools (7)

Shara Bey (17)
Tycho Celchu (16)

Objectives redacted for the sake of those playing today.

I've said it before, but it's worth repeating. This list excels at small ball. There's no one element that gives away a lot of points, nor is there a large drop off in capability if something goes down. All the ships are also incredibly frustrating to finish off. At the same time, it excels at picking up those small chunks of points from an enemy lists. I like to say no flotilla leaves alive (my own included) because part of what it does so well if attack those empty activations to gain a late game advantage. Also, believe it or not, I handle Sloane pretty well.

I have difficulty approaching MC80 Death Pickles (great choice for my meta, right?). It can definitely be done, but I have to take extra care because of how wide those side arcs are and how nasty QBT+Defiance can be for my CR90s. Even a front arc at long range isn't great. I also have a hard time finishing off the big guys for that reason. Because of the nature of the list, I have to hit and fade, so delivering that killing blow to a big shop for the big win can be difficult. Going for that kill can result in dead CR90s without anything to show for it.

I was planning on keeping the final version under wraps for a bit longer, but some of my Vassal buddies may be rocking this list or close variations for their Regionals tournaments today. I can't have them taking all the credit if they win :) Just remember, if they win, it's all my doing. If they lose, then clearly they just didn't fly it right...


  1. The last sentence sounds like "remember that we owe our fortune to the gods and our misfortune to ourselves and ourselves alone" ;)
    I wonder how well / bad would this list perform against Rebel Aces on Yavaris / Gallant Heaven and 120+ pts of squadrons.

    1. I'm minimally tested against Ace Holes, but Yavaris double taps would be difficult to pull off because of the sheer speed of the list. Shara and Tycho are able to gum up FCTs, regardless of Intel. I honestly see Sloane as the bigger threat because of the speed of those squadrons. Gallant Haven is irrelevant because I don't even attempt to win the squadron fight. Of course, I could be, and often am, terribly wrong :)

  2. You fool. Don't you forsee the outcome of making such experiment and sharing it?
    Lot of people are going to play similar list and then it become the new meta. And what will append next is dramatic!!!
    The new couter meta will be Konstantine with interdictor and phylon Q7.
    You are gone put every armada player trough an existenssial crisis! Waking up in the middle off the night triing to understand how the f**** this guy that come in with a thematic non competitive list became the new world champion. And the biggs will have to redoo all the ranking! And the whole armada world will go trough a spiral off thread about Constantine being OP...

    Joke appart let us know how this turn out

    1. JJ won his Regionals today using a variant of this (3x CR90, MC30 Scout, 3x Flot) with a perfect 30 and a 1167 MoV. CaribbeanNinja won a local tourney with this exact list as well. The Madine revolution is coming...

    2. Speaking as the last round "speed" bump for JJ, Madine was helpful in so much as giving JJ more options to get on my flanks or position to be just out of red range in anticipation of setting up a last/first. JJ didn't have any squadron game as such my sloane squadrons were able to drill holes through shields on his CR90s and MC30. This then caused him to take those ships out of the fight. I only had like 1 acc result for all my squadron shots at his ships so I didn't end up taking out any engineering tokens. My prior round against another Madine fleet engineering tokens were melting away.
      We played station assault, JJ was player 1. Station assault was the red headed step child in my list because well, I figured I'd take in a little something different. I figured with my list, I'd pretty much split stations and that was what happened. Granted we played 5 turns and one more JJ would gotten the other station.
      I do think this list is beatable. JJ had one round where he had 9 damage of broadside dmg with his MC30, 3 blacks with hit/crit and a double red for a roll is about as good as it gets. The CR90s with TRCs work great at red range yet if they are shooting at anything with evades that threat is reduced.
      On the squadron side, this list doesn't really have a counter. Jans, Dengar, Hwks, or Jumpmasters allow squadrons to run rampant.
      Really the key to this Madine list is flying really really well, it has to be player one, and wounded ships have to get away immediately.

  3. It seems you want to spend most of your time flanking at long range, do you often end up ramming to finish off ships, or more frequently turning tail once you've sustained some heavy fire? I would think if ramming is common RBD may be worth it, maybe swapping out slicer tools so you can have em on two CR90s - but I assume that's more of a last-resort thing which often clears out the enemy so you're not worried about taking damage at that point much anymore, making them not needed.

    I like this list a lot, though it doesn't have enough MC30s for my taste ;D I'm going to try it out a bit as I'm wanting to get outside of my comfort zone and I rarely (if ever) run MSU lists!

    1. It's a last resort kind of thing except against flotillas. Then it's a primary method of attack since it doesn't cost me anything. Generally the CR90s are disengaging and heading for the station. They're fast enough that I can often hit the station, discard a card or two, and get them back into the fight for the last turn. I'm toying with putting a CRambo back in there, though. Had a couple more games where the Hammerhead let me down in a major way.