Wednesday, May 30, 2018

10 Points AND Exahust?!? Is it even worth it?

Are Exhaust Weapons worthwhile?

That has been a pretty common question since Legion was first released.  Maintaining a healthy action economy in the game can help you get the most from your troopers and exhaust weapons hurt your troopers action efficiency.  So, are they actually worth it?  I am going to crunch some numbers and see what I can find.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Operation: Assault on Tralus - Mission 2

At this point you should have played the Assault on Tralus - Mission 1.  The battle has begun, but how it will end is up to you.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Ground Commander's Guide - Leia Organa: Fearless and Inventive

Haven't had the chance to write until now - been a bit under the weather and instead of writing I've just been crushing seasons 1-3 of Brooklyn 99 and went and saw Solo, because I'd have to be literally hospitalized before missing an opening day of Star Wars (looking at you, Rogue One).  So instead of writing about Snowtroopers, I'm going to write about what I am actually excited about, Leia!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Interview with 2018 World Champion Nathan Coda

Congratulations to Nathan Coda, our 2018 World Champion, and only the second World Champion to have "nathan" in their name!  The following is an interview we did with him, conducted by email.

If you want to find out more about his World Champion run, you can look at his writeup here.

Nathan Coda (left) vs Rikki in the semi-finals.

First tell us all a bit about yourself.  What do you do when you aren't pushing plastic spaceships across a table?

A little bit of everything. I work in downtown Chicago as a software engineer/architect, so that ends up being a big chunk of my life. In my free time I’ll catch a movie with my Wife (Deadpool 2 last weekend, Solo this weekend), take the dogs to the beach and watch them go nuts, or curl up with my cats and a good book (sci-fi or fantasy). And, of course, I like to get in some gaming whenever the opportunity arises.

By now, many players have seen or heard about your list:   What made you decide to go with a Rieekan squadron build with an MC80?

I started running Rieekan Aces shortly before Worlds 2016. I thought I had “discovered” the list and was excited to show it off. Imagine how disappointed I was when I showed up and saw a field full of Rieekans. My version of the list at that point was running Admonition, which I’ve always preferred to Gallant Haven. I feel like a mixed force that provides both a solid squadron and ship threat is more challenging for opponents to deal with. With that in mind, it felt like upgrading Admonition to an MC80 was a natural progression of the list.

As for why I ran Rieekan Aces - the consistency Rieekan can provide to a fleet is extremely powerful and is often clutch in competitive play, where you need to perform well all day. I’ve also played a lot of Rieekan, so I’m very comfortable with him as an admiral. I really enjoy the squadron game and they work well with Rieekan, so it made sense to run a squadron build. Then toss in the MC80 for a solid ship threat, and you’ve got my list.

Tell us a bit about how you refined your list.  What revisions did you make while you got it to the state it is in now?  How did the recent FAQ effect your game plan?

Prior to the FAQ, I’ve mostly just modified my squadron and Admonition loadouts between revisions. Should I put H9s on Admonition to hunt flotillas or put those points into squads instead? APT or ER? For squads, there’s the question of how many or what kind of escorts, what kind of heavy bombers (bombers that throw two dice), and what kind of space superiority squadrons. I want my list to be “all-comers,” so did a lot of tweaking to figure out how to balance the fighter complement.

Then the FAQ came out, and mixed everything up (for the record, I’m pro-FAQ, just don’t love the timing). Dropping a flotilla put me down to 4 activations, which hurt. My flotillas all had a job, so I had to decide which one to drop (for those curious, I dropped my Adar Tallon/Boosted Comms/Bomber Command flotilla). Then I had a surplus of points to deal with. Upgrading Admonition to an MC80 spent those points, gave me my five activations, and gave me a ship with a little more presence than Admonition to boot.

Having watched your semi-final game against Rikki, I saw you set up your squadrons perfectly with Fighter Ambush, and then do it pretty much exactly the same against Yik.  Tell us a bit about your game plan with that objective.

I tend to vary my squadron setup in FIghter Ambush depending on what squadrons my opponent is running. Since Rikki and Yik had similar squadron builds, my setup just ended up roughly the same. I don’t want to get too verbose about what exactly all my thoughts were on my squadron setup, but I will say that the squadron that forced my specific placements was the terrifying triple-tapping Ten Numbs. A chance at 3 auto damage to all my squadrons is a potential game over, so keeping him engaged with isolated escorts until I can find a good opportunity to finish him off is a big deal.

Speaking of Objectives, you came in with an excellent plan for Fighter Ambush, but what were your other objectives, and how much would having selected them change your strategies?

My other objectives were Advanced Gunnery and Superior Positions. Advanced gunnery basically doubles the threat of my MC80, which is generally a non-starter for people. Superior Positions allows for a clearer deployment advantage than Fighter Ambush, as well as being easy points for my rogue bombers in some situations. I was second player for all my games, and I’d like to think my objectives were unpleasant for most of my opponents.

Describe what you were expecting to see at Worlds - did it meet your expectation, or did you have to change your strategy on the fly?  Were there any matchups that you were hoping to not run into?

With the FAQ drop, I had a lot of uncertainty about what I would end up seeing at Worlds. I figured there would be a bunch of Raddus and Sloane Aces, as well as fewer squadron lists and more MSU. So I think you could say I was mostly wrong about what I was anticipating. I felt like my list was a pretty good generalist list, though, so I felt pretty comfortable flying against whatever landed on the other side of the table.

I think the worst matchups for my list are Sloane Aces and MSU. They’re certainly not unbeatable, but they pose certain challenges to my list. My squadrons are not as bomber heavy as the could be (no bomber command or Norra), for instance, so I can’t melt ships terribly fast, giving MSU lists too much time to gun down my flagship. Sloane Aces have stronger space superiority than my list, so there’s a chance that they pick apart my squadrons before I can do anything decisive against them or their carriers. Honestly, I didn’t feel like my list automatically beat any other list I played against, but at the same time none of those lists automatically beat me either. That’s a space I like to be in.

Tell us a bit about your preparation.  What lists did you fly against?  Where to you usually play:  Vassal alone, or do you have a local scene?

I like to think that I have two local scenes - an old one where I learned to fly in the Twin Cities, and a new one where I prepped for Worlds in Chicagoland. I flew against most of the major list archetypes, either against Chicagoland locals or playing solo on my kitchen table.

 I have tried vassal in the past, but I’m not terribly fond of it. I find that part of the enjoyment I get from Armada has to do with pushing actual plastic models around on a tabletop. It just feels so thematic. As long as I can get occasional games in with the local community, I’ll probably stick with that.

The only Wave 7 upgrade you took was Strategic Adviser.  How did that factor into your list?

Without Strategic Adviser, I’m not sure I would have seriously considered bringing an MC80. I feel like 5 activations is kind of a sweet spot right now after the flotilla nerf, so was aiming for that with my list. I think having enough activations is especially important for a fleet that wants to go second, as it limits opportunities for opponents to last/first. Without Strategic Adviser, I likely would have either run Admonition and a Hammerhead or else run something else entirely.

Anything you are hoping for in Wave 8 or beyond?

That’s a tough one. I’m still really focused on experimenting with all the goodies from Wave 7 in a world with the FAQ changes, so I guess I haven’t spent too much time considering what gaps or roles in the game I would like to see filled.

Just offhand - with the new limit to flotillas, it might be interesting to see some new flotilla options. They’re awfully common to have in lists, and some variety there could be interesting. Would love to see a new squadron pilots pack, similar to what we saw in Corellian Conflict. Maybe a new medium based Rebel and large based imperial ship? Whatever it ends up being, I’m excited to see where Armada heads next!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Building a Legion Army for Tournament Play - Part 3 (Putting it all together)

Well, after lots of theorizing on the kind of army I want to take to the GenCon tournament in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series I think I have a pretty good idea of the type of army I want to field at GenCon.  Read on to see what I came up with...

Monday, May 21, 2018

Operation: Assault on Tralus - Armada / Legion - Mission 1

What follows is a joint Armada / Legion Operation, for 4 players.  Over 3 games, you will play out a narrative as Imperial forces try to wipe out a Rebel base on Tralus, and the Rebels desperately try to save their personnel and escape with information vital to the Rebellion.

This will be an escalation mission where the forces will grow in size over multiple rounds.  It is going to be designed to prevent snowballing, and be interesting and dramatic from the start to the finish.  That being said, each game is going to be important to the narrative of the game.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Tournament Regulations 1.0 - "The War is Just Beginning"

We had the Tournament Regulations drop on us on Wednesday, so let's look at what it tells us about competitive play:

I found some cool painted minis being showcased at Worlds.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Ground Commander's Guide - AT-ST

It's finally here, time to talk about the last of the initial release.  Again, I appologize for taking so long to do a review of these, but I'm not an Imperial player (at the moment... I did win a Veers from the Discord giveaway, and bought a Snowtrooper expansion...)

Only fair that we clear this out of the way before we get to the Snowtroopers.  Not to even mention Leia and the Fleet Troopers which are due out on Thursday.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Post World Wave 7 Power Rankings - Commanders


Feels like I haven't written anything for Armada in a bit.  Anyways, thanks to the Tagge Thread, I am reminded that it has been 6 months since I did a Power Ranking of the Commanders.  I need to remedy this:

So, without further ado, it's time to rank the various Commanders, thanks to the results of both the Regionals and World Championships!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Building a Legion Army for Tournament Play - Part 2 (Getting all the tools you'll need vs forcing your opponent to react)

I tend to look at army building for just about any miniature game as putting tools in to a toolbox.  I want to have tactical flexibility in my armies so I can adequately respond to whatever I run in to.

But only bringing options that allow you to react can mean surrendering the initiative and flow of the game to your opponent.  So, while I try to have a tool to respond to most any situation, I also try to have something that my opponent will need to react to as well.

This post is a continuation of this one where I started my look at building a tournament army for Legion.  Let's answer a few more of those questions that I came up with.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Ground Commander's Guide - 74-Z Speeder Bikes

Let's get caught up on the Wave 0 units.  We'll get to the AT-ST next, but today we'll discuss the 74-Z Speeder Bikes, known from now on as "Speeder Bikes" or "Bikes".  Then we can actually start talking about the Wave 1 releases not named Veers!

Chris Jantzi's very well painted Speeder Bike Commander

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Ruined AT-AT Terrain for Legion (from a popcorn bucket)

If you know someone going to Disneyland have them get you one of these.
Aside from painting the models, one of the fun hobby aspects of Legion is creating cool, Star Wars themed terrain.  There are some excellent start-ups on the internet creating 3-D printed terrain pieces that I am hoping to grab eventually.  But, in looking around the internet for Legion terrain options I came across people talking about an AT-AT Popcorn Bucket that they sell at Disneyland that looked like it would make an interesting option.  Conveniently enough my in-laws were making a trip there this spring and I was able to have them bring me back one.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Boba Fett? Boba Fett?! Where?!?!

I think a few of us figured that Boba Fett might be the counterpoint to Han Solo, though how he would fit in to the game mechanics, not really being a "Commander" seemed to suggest it would be someone else.

Well, now we have our answer.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Building a Legion Army for Tournament Play - Part 1 (Where to even begin?)

Where do I even start?

As you may have read in my previous post I am headed back to GenCon this year.  I have played in both X-wing and Armada events at GenCon before and this year aside from another go at the North American Armada Championships I figured I would enter one of the 3 Maximum Firepower tournaments for Legion.

Which leads to a problem.  I have no real idea what a tournament Legion list should look like.

So, this is the first in what I am hoping will be a series of posts as I try to figure out what goes into a Legion tournament army.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Ground Commander's Guide - General Veers

A reminder that this article is brought to you mostly by accident, thanks to the folks at the Legion Discord Server.  They had a Veers up for grabs, and I won him out of the 198 people that entered.  So, rather than do Speeder Bikes or the AT-ST next, we're going to skip around a bit and hit a Wave 1 release!

I've been at Star Wars: Armada's Worlds - in case you missed my non-Legion articles - so I haven't had time to paint him yet.  You'll have to check out my buddy Kasey's Veers instead.

Oh, yeah, and this is our 401st article unless Truthiness sniped me and I was going to write something about community and thanks and such but noooooooo Shmitty had to go and post about Gen Con.  So screw it, I'm gonna write about Veers.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Heading to GenCon (Biggs Edit: Surprise! It's our 400th post!)

While Biggs (and the rest of the cool kids) were at FFG HQ for Worlds, I was at home signing up for events for this year at GenCon.  Aside from playing in a couple of tournaments and checking out some new board games I am hoping to use my press credentials from this blog to get a few interviews.

Here's what I'll be up to:

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Worlds After Action Report - Drunkle Raddus and Day Drinking

In case you haven't read my article on what I was bringing to worlds, and what I planned to do with it, read that first.

This becomes important later on.

It's time for Worlds, the best time of the year!  I was running a Raddus build, modeled off both my crazy ideas and Truthiness's crazy ideas.  With that much list building skill, we'll do just fine!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Biggs at Worlds - Pre-Gaming with Drunkle Raddus

I've finally settled on what I'm going to run at worlds, and the answer is that I HAVE AN IDEA!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Saturday at Scarif - Grand Army Battle at Drawbridge Games

It happened.  We had the casual play event "Saturday at Scarif" at Drawbridge games, which included a "Grand Army" size battle.  Played on Jake's custom Scarif board, it would be me and Sean as a two headed monster for Rebels, with Luke as our only commander (being the only one we could legally take) while Jake and Kasey ran the Imperials with Vader and Veers.

Special thanks to Rebel Light Works who sent the custom objective tokens to Jake to play on the board.  I hope you can see them well in the pictures provided.

Exact upgrades are unavailable at this time, but the following units were on the board:

Luke supports the Rebel landing from the center, with 7 Trooper squads.