Tuesday, July 16, 2019

FFG Spoiling Rebellion in the Rim

New Cards spoiled for Armada, and it's an official spoil, per FFG's live twitch stream!

What could it mean?!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Q3 News Roundup

Welcome to July.  Steel Command has been on hiatus for the last couple months, but that doesn't mean things aren't happening.  Let's look at all the Armada news that has come out since April...

 ... wait that can't be right.

Monday, May 13, 2019

800 Point Sector Fleet Tournament Report

Last Saturday I played in an 800 point Sector Fleet tournament at Dice Age Games in Vancouver.  We had 10 players turn out for the event all eager to see how an 800 point event would shake out.  Read on for reports on my game as well as thoughts on Sector Fleet events overall.

Getting setup for the 1st round.  8000 points worth of fleets across 5 tables!

Friday, May 10, 2019

Planning for an 800 Point Sector Fleet Tournament

Tomorrow I get to do something fun, I am running an 800 Point Sector Fleet event at Dice Age Games.  It looks like we are going to have a really strong turnout with some players driving down from Seattle for the day.

Well, life has been busy lately, so the first round of the event will actually be my first real 800 point game of Armada.  I need to figure out a fleet, so I thought I would share how I put it together here.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Road Goes Ever On - Let's Play Journeys In Middle-Earth (Part 2)

Our Fellowship is assembled.  Gimli and Legolas are fan favorites, to be sure, but Aragorn and Bilbo tied for third.  So, in turn, Truthiness was asked to cast the tiebreaker vote, and we're bringing Mr. Baggens along.  Let's look at them each in a bit more detail, then we'll worry about what to equip them with:

Of course, Gimli and Legolas joining up with Bilbo puts this firmly into the realm of NOT CANNON, so uh, we'll deal with that how we can.

Part 1 - Click Here

Part II:  Down the Road Where It Began

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

I'm a Leaf on the Wind: Truthi's Worlds AAR

Now that I tried that whole video thing, back to the blog proper! You've heard from Snipa, Geek, and Biggs. Now it's my turn, I guess. Biggs is totally not making me write this. I'm totally not chained to a desk. Nope. Completely safe here.

So yeah, I was fortunate to have two friends crazy enough to share the twelve hour drive to Chicagoland to take part in the fourth ever Armada World Championship. I have to first remark on just how much fun the atmosphere was. It was awesome to meet people from all over the world and put some names to faces. Team Canada was so into it they had damned jerseys. I finally got meet the table-standing legend Ian Cross. And naturally, it was entertaining to watch people cringe a bit whenever Ginkapo reluctantly divulged his identity never got old. Oh right, there were games too! And I played them! So that's it, right? I can go now? OWW, STOP STABBING ME BIGGS!

After generally just messing around through Regionals season, I went back, as I always intended, to Drunkle Raddish. If you read the blog during my NOVA Open run, the list is more or less the same, making me one of the few players at Worlds that ran completely without squadrons. If there's interest, I can do another breakdown of the list and how I fly it, but I've written about that a fair amount already. The short version is it flies best with reckless aggression. Here's the version I took:

I'm a Leaf on the Wind 1.1 (0/389/400)
MC80 Star Cruiser (96 + 35: 131)
+ Intel Officer (7)
+ Caitken and Shollan (6)
+ Heavy Ion Emplacements (9)
+ Engine Techs (8)
+ Quad Battery Turrets (5)
CR90 Corvette A (44 + 43: 87)
+ Admiral Raddus (26)
+ Engine Techs (8)
+ Turbolaser Reroute Circuits (7)
+ Jaina's Light (2)
CR90 Corvette A (44 + 15: 59)
+ Engine Techs (8)
+ Turbolaser Reroute Circuits (7)
CR90 Corvette A (44 + 15: 59)
+ Engine Techs (8)
+ Turbolaser Reroute Circuits (7)
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 + 9: 27)
+ Hondo Ohnaka (2)
+ Slicer Tools (7)
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 + 8: 26)
+ Slicer Tools (7)
+ Quantum Storm (1)
Hyperspace assault
Most Wanted
Intel Sweep

Old Picture, Same Ships

Game 1
I started my tournament out with the flavor of the month: Thrawn Two Ship. This build seemed to be bloody everywhere at Worlds, so much so that I'm surprised I didn't run into it more frequently than I did. This was also my first actual match against it with my Raddus fleet. I knew theoretically how to approach it, but theory and implementation are two very different beasts. It didn't help that the guy flying it, Derek McKinnon, knew what he was doing. He had a Pryce Quasar, a Brunson ISD, MMJ+friends, and a massive bid. He took first and selected my Intel Sweep.

I did my sideways deployment, but made the first of my two major mistakes of the game. Instead of keeping it in formation with the other CR90s, I was extra cautious with the flagship. It deployed facing forward and away from the main group. It kept it pretty safe on the critical Pryce turn, but the end result is it was out of the fight for five of the six turns. My second mistake was target choice. I had also yet to experience MMJ put together, so it never occurred to me that the Quasar was largely irrelevant in this game. The ISD was really all he needed to use to push MMJ, so killing the Quasar first did little to stop him from moving squads around like wanted. My Lib drop should have gone after the ISD to knock out Thrawn and a bunch of points as fast as possible. That might have been a tough slog with Brunson sitting on the ISD, but I think perfectly doable, especially if I had deployed my flagship properly and gotten it into the fight.

I lost the Lib, a flotilla, and a CR90 that just barely died on the last roll of the game (damn you perfect Morna roll!). I took out his Quasar and took the 75 points from the sweep. The end result was a 4-7, sending me into submarine territory.

Game 2
My second game started with a maniacal laugh from yours truly as I drew geek from CGYSO as my next opponent. I like to tease John about his Leia obsession, but the fact he's able to use such a sub-par commander as successfully as he has is a testament to his abilities. But this was not a good matchup for him, and we both knew it going in. We had talked extensively about how he might handle Raddus drops, and all of our efforts boiled down to him needing to avoid tabling and let his squads work as long as he could.

I had the bid, so I took first player and selected his Most Wanted. My flagship got tagged (obviously) in exchange for one of his flotillas. I knew his three Hammerheads would be easy enough for me to catch, so I made my priority getting to Leia's CR90 flagship. I dropped my Lib to get an easy kill against a Hammerhead and then moved it up to pressure Leia. I kept my own flagship back a but with the intent of hunting Leia if she snuck by. She did, but not without getting a HIE proc from the Lib's side arc, which allowed my flagship to finish the job. I left my other two CR90s to duel with his two Hammerheads, which they handedly won.

John came within a few hull points of finishing off the Lib, but I got the tabling in before the bombers could finish it off. In total I only lost my flotillas in exchange for John's entire fleet for a 10-1

Game 3
My next opponent was Comatose. Geek had recently converted him over to the Leia cause, but he was running a more defensive Yavaris B-Wing blender. He had two FCT Peltas to put his squads in place write effectively even without commands.

Once again, I was first player and took Most Wanted. Rather than tagging my flagship, he chose a CR90 on the far left flank that looked to be the most vulnerable of the three. My Slicers were a prime importance here, preventing Yavaris from getting off a squad command on the turn two Raddus drop. The Lib was brutally effective, taking out Yavaris and one of the Peltas while two of my CR90s tag teamed the other. The Lib did go down along with a flotillas, but I still secured a solid 8-3, jumping me into 12th place.

Game 4
2016 World Champ JJ Juggernaut awaited me this round. He was running his now-familar Profundity nesting dolls Raddus build. This game featured zero squadrons, and is in fact the only game I played where my opponent hadn't maxxed out their squadrons. I had the bid and decided to take first. I debated deferring so I could get the better job, but I've played JJ enough to know how dangerous he is with that list combined with first player. He had Station Assault in his stack, which I happily grabbed.

This is a game I was kicking myself for starting as early as turn three. I played this absolutely perfectly at the start. I decided to drop on turn one to put pressure on JJ's flagship and neutralize the advantage he got with being second player in a Raddus mirror match. JJ put down his own drop, and plopped his kamikaze Hammerhead in front of my Lib. He was able to unload his ExRacks for a solid amount of damage, but I was able to maneuver the Lib to stay out of the MC75's brutal close range. His flagship managed to slip away, but by the end of turn two, I had killed his Hammerhead and was easily going to be able to kill both stations. I had a 7-4 in the bag.

And then I got greedy. Rather than recognizing JJ's activation advantage was still there and avoiding any further engagement, I steered into fight some more. First I finished two CR90 moves too close together with allowed Admonition to get within close range of both, thus guaranteeing one would die. Instead of the Lib being threatening JJ was able to put sustained fire on it while also dodging outside of its main arc. Then I finished the game with a boneheaded flagship move that got it killed by the MC75. I ended up losing 3-8 in a game that I had in the bag on turn two. Luckily I only dropped down to 25th, keeping in the running for day two.

I went to sleep quite angry at myself for that last game. Anger, though, has a wonderful way of making me focused, especially directed internal and given time to process. I was laser focused on day two.

Day Two, Focus Achieved

Game 5
My first opponent of the day was John Thomson, who was running a 2.5 ship Sloane list featuring a Kuat ISD, a Quasar, and a Gozanti. For the life of me, I can't remember if he had Pryce or not or which ship it might have been on. I do remember, however, I had the bid and took his Advanced Gunnery. I was confident in my ability to dodge around the Kuat and take the big 112 objective prize home. I was right. He deftly avoided my Lib on the turn two drop, but I was able to turn in and get him with a double arc on turn three. The Lib then sailed on to the Quasar, killing it on the way out of the engagement zone. My CR90s took it from there, relentlessly pouring fire into the Kuat. Meanwhile, my Slicers kept the Sloane squads largely under control. I only lost my flotillas on my way to a 10-1 tabling by turn four.

Game 6
My next game was almost the exact same thing. Danielle De Gemini was also running Sloane, this time with just a Quasar and an ISD. I once again had first player and picked Advanced Gunnery. I remember he definitely had Pryce along for the ride, necessitating my sideways deployment technique. The ISD came charging into the fray, but I dropped the Liberty defensively, forcing the ISD into a last/first situation. While I lost the Liberty from all the squads, the ISD didn't last long and the Quasar was hunted down without remorse. I managed another turn four tabling, this time for a 9-2.

Game 7
Sam Simon, one of the pioneers of the 2-ship archetype awaited me in the final round. He was running his 2.5 variant with an Interdictor, Quasar, and Gozanti and the typical MMJ-led ball and maximum squad movement shenanigans. I won a roll off for first player and took Sam's Station Assault (mistake number one) I once against did my sideways deployment and got a lucky break on turn one as Sam's dice totally failed him, leaving one of my slicers alive when it definitely should not have. In retrospect, I think it resulted in me making a mistake on my Liberty drop.

Because the option was there when I did not expect it to be, I decided to go after his Quasar. I got a last/first with the Liberty and intended to jet out of the engagement zone to force Sam to move his squads out of position if he wanted the points. However, I just barely wasn't able to get the turn I would have needed, so I turned in to fight the Interdictor and predictably died to squadrons. I...um...may have done a lot of ramming to bypass the nasty Targeting Scramblers/Brunson combo of doom. It left my CR90s badly weakened, though. Even after securing the tabling on turn four, two CR90s went down to the remaining squadrons. My dice failed me on the last turn, so I didn't even get a station for my troubles. I squeak out a 6-5 and for the first time ever kicked myself for taking Station Assault.


I Surrender. This is who I am now.

This Raddus list is by far my favorite list I've ever made for competitive play. I don't really have much more to say that I haven't already. It's just a lot of freaking fun to play. While most of the rest of Worlds was cautiously maneuvering squadrons, I was blasting around at Ricky Bobby speeds. I have never, nor do I think I will ever, miss having squadrons in this particular list. Yes, it puts me on the clock. I generally need a tabling against a max squadron build or I'm pretty well screwed. But you know what? I can do that reliably, even against someone with a lifeboat in the corner. Even when I can't rely on slicers, I've proven that I can still effectively pressure a squadron heavy build. The key is tempo. I have to put the pedal to the metal from the very start of the game and never let up. It is not a list for the faint of heart, nor cautious of tendency. Much like Ardaedhel and his shrimps, I think this has become my signature. I love flying it, but it seems to take my level of crazy to make it work.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

The Road Goes Ever On - Let's Play Journeys In Middle-Earth (Part 1)

Part 1:  Setting up for the Journey

Hello folks.  Biggs here, and I'm going to be taking a bit of a detour through Tolkien's mind a bit in FFG's The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Twilight of Wave 7 / Post-2019 Worlds Commander Rankings

It's time, now that world's has ended, to do another Commander rankings.  Too bad we're still in Wave 7!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Revised Commander's Guide - X-Wing Squadrons

Well, if I'm going to write about all the other stuff that has changed since Wave 1, I might as well talk about squadrons too.  Today we'll go over the ubiquitous and probably most well-known Rebel starfighter, the X-Wing.

You probably have a LOT of X-Wings.
How many X-Wing squadrons do you have?  You probably have 4 from the core set, plus 2 for each Rebel Fighter 1 pack.  Or you could be me with 2 core sets, 3 Fighter 1 packs and plans to buy a 4th so I can get some replacement Y-Wings since "Green" and "Yellow" squadrons broke off engines and maybe I want to run 8 A-Wings some day.  Point is, you've got quite a few.  (14, with plans for 16 in my case)

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Thrawn Two Ship

Revised Commander's Guide - Gladiator Class Star Destroyer

It's been a little bit since I've gone back to look at the old ships - I've done a few but clearly there's a lot that I still need to get to.  Today let's look at the Gladiator Class Star Destroyer, and how it's seeing use in late Wave 7.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Day 2 - The Dumpster Fire Continues

When we last left off, we were talking about the Rolling Dumpster Fire, a Garm based list that I created with Shmitty and brought to worlds because it somehow seemed to work.

2019 World Champion (Right) and a bunch of scrubs who didn't win.

But first, breakfast.  Did you know the 2019 World Champion had breakfast with us?  Spoiler:  It was not me.  Eat breakfast, folks!

Monday, April 1, 2019

The Forbidden Love of Lothal 2 - The Pryce of Love (Chapter 4.1)

Chapter 4 - Part 1

"Interesting.  One would think our success would be linked, and yet..."  Grand Admiral Thrawn's blue skin flashed a hint of red.  He looked into his lover's eyes, but no trace of her once lustful gaze stared back at him.  "How peculiar, to find myself at a loss.  It is, as though you were..."

"A Phantom.  Yes."  Governor Pryce met his gaze.  "I have learned from you, Grand Admiral.  Our time together was good, and enjoyable, yes.  But I'm afraid you aren't the one that... to use the vernacular, 'rocks my World'."  She smoothed her clean cut Imperial uniform.  "I've found someone else, better suited for me than you."

"And yet, we are perfect for one another.  We came together, to this place, at the same time.  With our powers put together, we have a true archetype that cannot be replaced!"  Thrawn's demeanor was nearly cracking, how could the Governor not see the truth!  "Between the two of us, we had a synergy that no other could make!"

"You mean your incessant commands?  The ones that are always perfect, and no one could mess up?"  Pyrce laughed.  "Any skilled first officer can give what I crave, right when I need it.  I only have to ask.  And Admiral Sloane, she does things for me that you never could..."

"...In the end you're no better than a Dumpster Fire."

[Will Thrawn regain his lost love?  Will Pryce and Sloane be the new power couple!?  Stay tuned for Part 2 of Chapter 4 in the Forbidden Love of Lothal 2 - The Pryce of Love!]

(Yes, I know the World's winning list didn't use Pryce.)

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Smoldering or Burning - World Championship AAR for Garm and the Rolling Dumpster Fire

We've talked about how this beautiful list came to be, and also how to fly it.  Shmitty even did an AAR already for a casual game.

Now it's time to put our child to the test.  At the most prestigious event they'll still let anyone (but not everyone) in to:  The 2019 World Championship.

Thank you Geek19 at Cannot Get Your Ship Out for the alternative Pelta.  Everybody to the Limit!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Rolling the Dumpster Fire - A Garm Analysis

This is the Rolling Dumpster Fire.  The brainchild of not enough sleep and bad ideas.  The basics of the Dumpster Fire involves the sum of it's respective parts being worth more than than each one individually.  This is not a plug and play list, nor is this a list where ships can be effective on their own.  This is a list where otherwise "bad" ships work together to make a harmonious whole.

This is how you fly it.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

2018-2019 Regionals Season Data Analysis

The Regionals season is over, and we as a community collected an awful lot of good data from all over the globe. I love seeing all of it come together, which makes it worth all the work. This year saw an unparalleled effort to feed this beast. Though there are still some blank spots, I'm confident we collected more lists than any season past. Thank you to everyone that collected, posted, emailed, and/or messaged lists to me. Many thanks also go to Ardaedhel and CyborgNinja, both of whom took a good chunk of the data input burden off my shoulders this year. I would have burned out half way through the season without you.

That's a lot of lists
First, a note on data interpretation. I have kept the "winner" column in place for posterity. Some people like to see it, and I haven't had the heart to delete my formulas. However, since I figured out how to do tiered percentiles this year, I've found the "top 10%" category to be much more useful. The disposition of winners is interesting to know, but often times the difference between the winner and the runner up is simply match ups, especially in the three round tournaments that make up the bulk of Regionals. The winner and runner-up likely never played each other. As such, I prefer to look at the top 10% when I'm making assessments on the health of the overall meta. When I say "top bracket" below, I mean the top 10%. I only really address the winners when it's an interesting anecdote. As always, feel free to dive into the data directly here.

Imperial Dominance

Last year saw a slightly higher number of Imperial players at the top than the overall population. This year, it's even more glaring. The general population still splits at 45% Rebel and 55% Imperial. That's been a near constant year to year. At the top bracket, the spread is 37% Rebel to 63% Imperial. It's not quite to the point of saying "we have a faction balance problem," but it's certainly worth keeping an eye on. If you take the time to deep dive into the individual lists, it's pretty clear that it's not the overall faction, but rather a specific style of Imperial build that's dominating.

The first element of Imperial dominance looks to be Grand Admiral Thrawn. He's the most popular Imperial admiral at 24% of all Imperial lists, but he still outperforms that inclusion. Of the Imperial lists in the top bracket, Thrawn accounts for 37% of them. To punctuate just how much this blue bad ass has taken this season by storm, there have been more winning Thrawn lists than all Rebels put together. Like I said, I don't put much stock in the winner column, but it's hard not to take note that Rebels make up only 30% of winners, while Thrawn alone accounts for 35% of all winners. Sloane and Jerjerrod similarly outperform at the top, but nothing as dramatic as Thrawn. Besides the duds of Konstantine and Tagge, most other Imperial commanders do pretty well. When looking just within the Imperial faction, the numbers make it look like many of them drop off at the top, but the drop off it much less dramatic when compared at the total population.

The second and third elements are officers upgrades: Captain Brunson and Governor Pryce. Brunson is quickly becoming about as much of a no-brainer upgrade as one exists in Armada. 40% of all Imperial lists are bringing her. Her exact placement varies. Sometimes its on an Interdictor to make that ship absurdly durable. Other times it's on Demolisher, giving the old boogeyman some extra durability. Whatever she it, Brunson clearly makes a big impact, because her inclusion rises to a ridiculous 61% in the top bracket. Governor Pryce is less popular, with only 17% of Imperials taking her. That's likely due to the fact that, unlike Brunson, Pryce can blowback on the player. However, her spike at the top is hard not to notice. She jumps all the way up to 35% of top bracket Imperial lists. Her ability to upend the activation meta is obviously quite good in the right hands. 

Rebel Parity

Rebs are bit of an odd story. They took a hit in the overall meta this year, doing worse than Imperials overall. Internally, however, they appear to be doing pretty good. Unlike Imperials, no one commander stands out particularly high. Rieekan still overall places the best, but it's less pronounced than in previous years. Raddus, Dodonna, and Ackbar are all right there with him. Unfortunately, also unlike Imperials, those four commanders account for an overwhelming majority of Rebel lists. The rhyme that's going around is unfortunately true: red fish, blue fish, crit first, death wish are your most viable Rebel commanders by far. Sato had a surprisingly strong showing. The rest are just kind of there, used by die-hards that really really want that commander to work, and a few very skilled die-hards breaking into the top bracket out of sheer force of will. So in totality, Rebels appear to be more limited on viable commanders, but those four that remain are pretty evenly matched.

When you break into fleet composition, Rebels get even more scattershot. Want to fly nothing but small ship MSU? 21% of Rebel lists are still doing that, and despite popular perception, they're still able to do well with it. 25% of Rebel lists in the top bracket being composed of just small ships. Strategic Adviser? It's taken in about a quarter of Rebel lists, but it appears to give no extra advantage in getting to the top bracket. Toyrn Far? Same story. Yavaris, the dreaded MVP of multiple Worlds winners, is still around at 14% usage in Rebel fleets. Guess what? It also remains flat across all brackets. Even squadrons don't seem to matter much. Squadron heavy remains even across brackets, as does squadronless. Heck, it looks like Rebels can even bring the mythical medium squadron ball and expect to do just as well as anything else. Bail Organa appears to be the only factor that seems to boosts Rebel chances at victory in a meaningful way. He's included in only 7% of Rebel lists, but jumps to 16% in the top bracket.

So what does that all mean? I think it means Rebels are pretty well internally balanced. A lot of different play styles seem to work. Small ship MSU seems in a decent place. Squadron usage is fairly evenly balanced. The only outlier is commanders, which I think can be explained by overlapping strengths. Leia, Mothma and Cracken all want to be MSU commanders, but Rieekan does it better. Madine wants to maneuver around, especially with the Lib, but Raddus does it better. Ackbar is totally unique in enabling broadsides, so nobody really edges in on his turf. Garm is cheap, but Dodonna is cheaper and works with more types of fleets. So when it comes to types of ships and styles of fleets, Rebels seem to have a wide variety available...so long as you fly red fish, blue fish, crit fish, or death wish.


I've mentioned this a couple times now, so it's time to dive into squadron use. Squadron break out was one of the main reasons I decided to cave and break out data by faction as well as by overall. The numbers for Yavaris had significantly lowered, but as you can see, the dominance of squadron heavy builds, while diminished, was still pretty prevalent. Those two things didn't jive, so I was curious if there had been a corresponding spike in Imperial squadron use. Low and behold, that's exactly what it was.

As I said before, Rebel squadron usage is all over the board, which is exactly what we want to see in a balanced game. Much to my surprise, even a medium squadron wing appears to be competitive for Rebels. The Imperial side of the house is a much gloomier proposition. It appears to be an all or nothing proposition, with a huge emphasis on all. That seems to be given heavily by the use of Mareek, Jendon, and Morna is a squadron axis of evil. Mareek and Jendon seem to be the bare minimum of competitive Imperial squadron build. Given the top bracket has 56% inclusion rate for just Mareek and Jendon, you could argue that they're the starting point for a competitive Imperial build, period.

The Reign of Large Ships and Their Officers

The overall theme continues to be the absolute dominance of large ships. Technically they don't give you any more of a chance of winning, but when 72% of all lists are using at least one large ship, that doesn't matter all that much. Large ships own this meta. To add to this, the large ship only officers add do a significant advantage at the top brackets. Pryce and Bail both out perform their overall inclusion. Strategic Adviser for some reason doesn't seem to help Rebels (likely related to not synergizing with Raddus), but it absolutely seems to help Imperials.

Remember when I said Rebel could do pretty much anything? I forgot to include the caveat of "so long as they bring two flotillas." Yes, unfortunately Rebs still appears to be stuck with the little buggers if they want to be competitive. Otherwise Rebel ships are spread out. There were a couple surprises, such as the MC80 Command Cruiser being the least popular ship variant in the game. Otherwise, just about every ship in the Rebel line up seems to have at least one variant that is used with some consistency. The only real thing of note is the rather sharp drop off in the top bracket for Assault Frigates.

As with everything else so far, Imperials are far less diverse. Not only are Imperial Star Destroyers dominant, but the ISD-2 in particular is utterly dominant. The next closest are the Gladiator and the Quasar. An interesting development is the Interdictor is suddenly quite competitive, its rate of inclusion in top bracket lists double that of its presence in the overall population. That's likely owing to Brunson and the Interdictor title synergizing so well. The poor Arquitens and Victory continue to be left out in the cold. The Raider seems to makes a fair amount of lists, and doesn't seem to be a hindrance. The good news is Imperials are becoming less dependent on flotillas. Double flotilla lists are about half that of Rebels, and about a third of Imperial lists go without flotillas at all. This is likely the influence of Pryce reducing Imperial reliance on pure activation padding. That theory is further confirmed by activation counts. Rebels continue to shoot for 5-6 activations, accounting for the overwhelming majority of successful Rebel fleets. Imperials, on the other hand, are most successful with only two activations, but find success at pretty much any range all the way up to 6.

Put all that together and I think the data tells the story many of use were expecting: the Imperial two ship archetype seems to have taken the Regionals season by storm. There are a few variants, such as ISD-Demo, ISD-Quasar, or Interdictor-Quasar. They're anchored by Pryce, Brunson, and a squadron heavy approach which includes Maarek and Jendon at a minimum, and frequently includes Morna as well. Now whether or not this constitutes a new "overpowered" combo akin to the Rieekan Aces of old is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I'm always loath to make some pronouncements. For now, I'm willing to chalk it up an innovated and efficient new archetype taking the rest of the meta by storm. Given time to dissect, I think the list has weaknesses that can be exploited.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

I have a Pelta Problem

I REALLY like Fleet Commands.

I also generally prefer flying Rebels.

This means I have been compelled to make more and more use of the Pelta in my Rebel fleets.

The Pelta is not a good ship.  

Phoenix Home from Rebels, it didn't last very long in the show...maybe that was a clue for Armada players.
It is in fact possibly the worst ship that the Rebels have.  But I keep using them because I always find that the Fleet Command that they bring to the table is worth the perceived dead weight of the Pelta.

So I have been playing a lot of games with the Pelta.  And with all that experience I have found that they are in fact, pretty awful.  But they do have a few places that they can contribute and the Fleet Command is consistently worthwhile.  So, if you are like me and a fan of Fleet Commands, let's look at what it takes to get the most out of an unfortunately inefficient ship.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

World Cup Finals - Aresius vs NebulonB

Yeah, I'm reusing this picture, so what?

Did you ever watch the "Mighty Ducks 2" where the Ducks were drafted to represent the US in a junior hockey world tournament?  And they played Iceland and got wrecked, then they played them again in the final?  Well, buckle up kids, because we've got BOTH POD 4 PLAYERS IN THE FINAL.

That's right!  For the first time in World Cup History, two players that played themselves in the POD rounds will meet at the top of the bracket to determine who will be the World Cup Champion!  And the US isn't invited!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Battle Report - Garm's Dumpster Fire vs Mon Mothma

Recently Biggs and I had a bit of a long back and forth about designing a Garm fleet that used the admiral's flexibility to have a fleet with some strong gunnery backed up by some bombers.  You can read the thought process HERE.

Life intervened a bit, but I finally got a version of the fleet on the table and wanted to share with you all how the game went.  I ended up against a buddy's Mon Mothma fleet that had something of a similar strategy, with a bomber wing supporting TRC equipped CR-90s.

This gave us the chance to play out a classic EU Rebel Grudge Match.  Who should have the right to lead the Rebellion, the Senator from Chandrilla or Space Dad from Corellia?  Read on to find out!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Semi-finals Matchup - Mhd vs NebulonB

On the other side of the semi-finals, we have Mhd and his "Sloane Redux" - a 4 ship build with a mix of aces and generic squadrons, and NebulonB, the last Raddus.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Semi-Finals Matchup - Clontroper5 vs Aresius

On this side of the bracket, both Clontroper5 and Aresius have both been here before.  Clontroper5 won it all in the inaugural World Cup of 2016, while Aresius made it to the Semi-Finals in 2017, losing to the eventual winner JJs Juggernaut.  Neither appeared in 2018 - Clontroper5 still unable to compete, and Aresius being bounced in the Quarterfinals.

Will Clontroper5 move on for a chance to repeat his 2016 Championship?  Will Aresius step up and make the Final he missed out on the last two years?

Monday, February 11, 2019

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Sector Fleet Commander Ranking (Two Player)

That's right friends, it's time to talk about the Sector Fleet Rules and argue about which Commanders are the best!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Quarter-Finals Matchup - Partypotato vs NebulonB

On the other side of the bracket, we have Partypotato's entirely unique double Victory Moff Jerjerrod list, and NebulonB's... less unique Raddus list.

**This Game is Scheduled for Sunday 10th @ 1PM CST / 8PM CET**

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Friday, February 1, 2019

Super Star Destroyer - Winners and Losers

Something big is coming... Soon...  No, I don't know when.

Anyways, instead of just sitting around being bored talking about nothing, let's make wild predictions about how the game is going to change when the SSD shows up!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Elimination Matchup Preview - Zamalekite vs PartyPotato

**Watch this game LIVE at 6am CST / Noon GMT on Saturday 26th!**


[ flagship ] CR90 Corvette B (39 points)
-  General Dodonna  ( 20  points)
-  Tantive IV  ( 3  points)
-  Leia Organa  ( 3  points)
= 65 total ship cost

Nebulon-B Escort Frigate (57 points)
-  Yavaris  ( 5  points)
-  Flight Commander  ( 3  points)
= 65 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Ahsoka Tano  ( 2  points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 22 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Quantum Storm  ( 1  points)
-  Toryn Farr  ( 7  points)
-  Bomber Command Center  ( 8  points)
= 34 total ship cost

Modified Pelta-class Command Ship (60 points)
-  Adar Tallon  ( 10  points)
-  Fighter Coordination Team  ( 3  points)
-  Boosted Comms  ( 4  points)
-  All Fighters, Follow Me!  ( 5  points)
= 82 total ship cost

2 VCX-100 Freighters ( 30 points)
1 Tycho Celchu ( 16 points)
1 Luke Skywalker ( 20 points)
1 Gold Squadron ( 12 points)
1 Scurrg H-6 Bomber ( 16 points)
1 Dagger Squadron ( 15 points)
1 Corran Horn ( 22 points)
= 131 total squadron cost

Total Points = 399

Dodonna Aces with a 3+2, the natural successor of the 2+3.  Zamalekite and his annoying to type name bring 5 small base ships and 8 squadrons for 5 activations and 9 deployments.  Zamalekite's list has everything you'd expect from a Rebel Aces based list:

  • Toryn Farr and Bomber Command Center (on the same high value target!)
  • Yavaris (with a Flight Commander)
  • Adar Tallon (on a Pelta with Boosted Comms, Fighter Coordination Team, and AFFM!)
Let's talk about the Pelta for a second - it's built to push squadrons, and with Adar Tallon, Fighter Coordination Team, and All Fighters Follow Me! it can push them a lot farther and faster than you'd expect, potentially jumping Corran Horn more than 2 range rulers worth of movement for example.

Speaking of squadrons, you've got a decent spread of Rebel aces, backed up by VCX's to keep the main ships out of the fight.  Luke, Gold, and the generic Scurrg are all good anti-shipping fighters, while Corran gives you the ability to snipe a particularly troublesome enemy.  Dagger can do double duty, but needs the Pelta to help it push into position.

The CR90B seems like just an overcosted, under-squadroned transport here.  With Tantive IV, Ashoka Tano (on a different ship) and Leia, it is there for slicer insurance, and to toss a token to be corrected into the right one with Ashoka.

With a 399 point bid, it's not intending to win first player, and is probably very comfortable with its second player objective choices.


Victory I-Class Star Destroyer (73 points)
-  Captain Brunson  ( 5  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Expanded Hangar Bay  ( 5  points)
-  Quad Battery Turrets  ( 5  points)
-  External Racks  ( 3  points)
= 95 total ship cost

[ flagship ] Victory II-Class Star Destroyer (85 points)
-  Moff Jerjerrod  ( 23  points)
-  Warlord  ( 8  points)
-  Minister Tua  ( 2  points)
-  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
-  Disposable Capacitors  ( 3  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  H9 Turbolasers  ( 8  points)
-  SW-7 Ion Batteries  ( 5  points)
= 148 total ship cost

1 Valen Rudor ( 13 points)
1 ""Mauler"" Mithel ( 15 points)
4 TIE Fighter Squadrons ( 32 points)
1 ""Howlrunner"" ( 16 points)
1 JumpMaster 5000 ( 12 points)
1 Captain Jonus ( 16 points)
2 TIE Bomber Squadrons ( 18 points)
1 Saber Squadron ( 12 points)
= 134 total squadron cost

Total Points: 377

When you think "Imperial 2 ship" do you think "Double Victories?"  Party Potato does.  There's a lot to unpack here, because the list is NOT standard by any stretch of the imagination.

2 ships.  12 squadrons.  8 deployments and 2 activations.  Clearly looking for first player with what might be the biggest bid of the tournament at 377 points.

The Victories are built for defense and combat, as they'd have to be to stand up to a fight.  The flagship is a VSD-II with Moff Jerjerrod onboard giving both better movement than most would expect out of a VSD.  Minister Tua / Electronic Countermeasures gives access to the Brace that is so necessary to VSD survival.  For offense, you've got Disposable Capacitors, for long range.  SW-7 Ions to even out the Blue dice, H-9 / Warlord Combo for guaranteed flak and Red Double Damage spin-ups, and Gunnery Team to ensure that it can reach out and touch whatever it needs to.

The other VSD is a I-Class built with Captain Brunson for survivability.  Quad Battery Turrets give it a little more oomph at Medium / Long range, but External Racks and Ordnance Experts are what make it prickly if you get too close.  It also has Expanded Hangers, bringing the list to 7 native squadron activations.

Interestingly, that means the list has just a bit more than half the activations for the squadrons it has, and no Rogues to make up the difference.  Clearly, it is expecting casualties in it's fighter cover, as well it should as it packs in 4 generic TIE Fighters.  It has a lot of anti-squadron firepower in its fighter compliment - "Howlrunner", "Mauler" Mithel, Valen Rudor, a Jumpmaster, and Saber Squadron do most of the damage, while Jonus and two TIE Bombers add much needed anti-ship damage.

Biggs' Prediction

Potato's list is so out of left field that it's hard to say.... what to think about this.  He is a true wild card in the tournament, scoring 21 points in the POD round and missing out on winning the POD by just a single point (and losing a game to POD winner Roquax in a 39 point squeaker).

Zamalekite had by far the most evenly matched POD to take first place in.  Tokra being bounced from the tournament was one of the more surprising POD results.  Even so, Zamalekite didn't manage to win all his games either, losing a close game to the eventual runner-up Dark Raver.

This fight is going to come down to two things:  Objective Selection and Squadron Battle.  Zamalekite obviously has quality Yellow / Blue objectives with a low bid and VCX's, so expect whatever his Red objective is to get serious scrutiny.

The Squadron Battle is going to be... something.  Potato has squadrons to burn, but Zamalekite has tricks to extend his squadron's range, protecting his more important pieces from an Alpha strike.  I'd say if you've got the time to get up early (in the States) and watch this game it'd be the one I'd want to see.

I'm going to take Zamalekite as the winner of this game, but only just.  Expect a game of multiple pieces being traded a turn, with the winner in doubt until Turn 5 or 6.  We might even see the game decided on a Turn 6 die roll, and that is some of the most fun and intense Armada you can play.

Special Guest - Geek19

So a kite gets mad at a potato, and this is the result.  Potato is flying 2 crocodiles, and Kite is flying a Pelta, proving to everyone involved that these ships exist on top tables.  Going to our usual metrics, OFFENSE appears to go to Potato, just based on weight of fire.  If he can bring those Vics to bear…. Hoo boy, watch out for that chomp.  With a LOT of (potentially) disposable squadrons, he can keep throwing them at his problems, watching Kite’s squadrons melt as more and more piddly attacks keep hitting him.

But for DEFENSE, however, Kite has All Fighters Follow Me!, the greatest threat and range extender you can find.  They say the best defense is a good offense, but I say the BEST Defense was the 1985 Chicago Bears.  But Kite’s is pretty good, too, as he can KITE his way all around the battlefield with some massively high hull squadrons to chew through.  If those Vics get on target, chomp.  But that’s a heck of an IF, with all the hull on those squadrons he’s defending with.

So, as always, INTANGIBLES! And while I want to give it to Kite for running Leia on a Tantive IV which is both thematic and passes the most important Leia test, I have to believe that a man running TWO victories has some wily tricks up his sleeve. 

Zamalekite wins, but Party Potato gets the Golden Snitch.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Elimination Matchup Preview - Commander Dave vs NebulonB

**Watch this game on Vassal at around 1:30pm EST on Sunday 27th!**

Commander Dave 

Gladiator II-Class Star Destroyer (62 points)
-  Demolisher  ( 10  points)
-  Agent Kallus  ( 3  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Flechette Torpedoes  ( 3  points)
= 90 total ship cost

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 points)
-  Hondo Ohnaka  ( 2  points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 27 total ship cost

[ flagship ] Interdictor-class Suppression Refit (90 points)
-  Admiral Screed  ( 26  points)
-  Interdictor  ( 3  points)
-  Captain Brunson  ( 5  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Disposable Capacitors  ( 3  points)
-  Heavy Ion Emplacements  ( 9  points)
-  Targeting Scrambler  ( 5  points)
-  Grav Shift Reroute  ( 2  points)
= 151 total ship cost

1 Colonel Jendon ( 20 points)
1 Maarek Steele ( 21 points)
1 Ciena Ree ( 17 points)
1 Morna Kee ( 27 points)
1 Boba Fett ( 26 points)
1 Firespray-31 ( 18 points)
= 129 total squadron cost

Total Points: 397

Elimination Matchup Preview - MandalorianMoose vs Mhd

MandalorianMoose - Dictor/Quasar 

[flagship] Interdictor Suppression Refit (90)
 - Grand Admiral Thrawn (32)
 - Interdictor (3)
 - Grav Shift Reroute (2)
 - Targeting Scrambler (5)
 - Heavy Ion Emplacements (9)
 - Disposable Capacitors (3)
 - Captain Brunson (5)
 - Fighter Coordination Team (3)
= 152 total points

Quasar Fire I-class Cruiser-Carrier (54)
 - Squall (3)
 - Expanded Hangar Bay (5)
 - Boosted Comms (4)
 - Governor Pryce (7)
 - Flight Controllers (6)
= 79 total points

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23)
 - Comms Net (2)
= 25 total points

Squadrons (134):
1x Mauler Mithel Tie Fighter Squadron (15)
1x Valen Rudor TIE Fighter Squadron (13)
1x Morna Kee VT-49 Decimator (27)
1x Maarek Stele TIE Defender Squadron (21)
1x Colonel Jendon Lambda-class Shuttle (20)
1x Major Rhymer Tie Bomber Squadron (16)
1x Gamma Squadron TIE Bomber Squadron (10)
1x JumpMaster 5000 (12)

Total Points = 390

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Elimination Matchup Preview - CyborgNinja vs Clontroper5


Assault Frigate Mark II B [92pts]:
- Boosted Comms
- Flight Controllers,
- •Adar Tallon

CR90 Corvette A [73pts]:
- Turbolaser Reroute Circuits,
- •General Dodonna,
- •Jaina's Light

CR90 Corvette B [48pts]:
- Heavy Ion Emplacements

GR-75 Medium Transports [33pts]:
- Bomber Command Center,
- Boosted Comms,
- •Leia Organa

GR-75 Medium Transports [27pts]:
- Comms Net,
- •Toryn Farr

+ Squadrons +
HWK-290 [19pts]: •Jan Ors (Moldy Crow)
Scurrg H-6 Bomber [53pts]: 2x Scurrg H-6 Bomber, •Nym (Havoc)
X-Wing [39pts]: 3x X-Wing Squadron
Y-Wing [16pts]: •""Dutch"" Vander
Total Squadrons:  127 points

Total Points: [400pts]

Friday, January 18, 2019

How I'd make an Armada 2.0

There's been a lot of talk and anxiety lately about the future of Armada. Are we getting the axe like Runewars? Where the heck is the SSD? Is there any content in the pipeline? Obviously only FFG can answer those questions. Call me an optimist, but I don't think FFG is done with Armada by a long shot. Today, I want to examine the final trending topic: Armada 2.0. Now don't get me wrong, I freaking love this game. Probably to an unhealthy degree. However, I think we're getting to the point where we can clearly see some structural issues. FFG has tried to patch them up a bit, but there are somethings organic to the game that would require a restructuring to fully address.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Week 2 Wrap-up - World Cup Standings

POD 1 PointsMOVGames
JJs Juggernaut - X275983

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Week 1 Wrap Up - World Cup Standings

POD 1 PointsMOVGames
JJs Juggernaut - Z185982

POD #1 has the Juggernaut and his Raddus list off to an early lead, and a secured elimination round.  Dupy and Mhd are just unable to catch him at this point, leaving only a fresh CarribeanNinja to contest him.  Neither one is eliminated just yet, as a big win against CarribeanNinja, a loss by the other, and a big loss by CarribeanNinja against JJ will see them in the elimination instead.

POD 2 PointsMOVGames
Angry Ewok000
POD #2 hasn't really had much action, but CyborgNinja and his Scurrg Bomber Dodonna list found the perfect matchup against Outboundflight's Thrawn 2 ship, and a split fighter screen.  Still literally anyone's game, though Outboundflight is really fighting for 2nd place now.

POD 3PointsMOVGames
Roquax - X223753
Roquax and his Raddus & YT's list quickly earned him a spot in the eliminations, and a good split guarantee him that spot now.  GiledPallaeon and PartyPotato now play an elimination game - MOV doesn't matter, as their score is currently tied.  Whoever wins is in, no matter the point spread.  Both have a mean squadron based list, but Party has by far the higher bid.  This will be a game to watch.

POD 4 PointsMOVGames
Nebulon B000
Not much movement in POD#4, aside from Ginkapo scoring a quick win over Bantha.

POD 5 PointsMOVGames
CommanderDave - Z186032
Viktor Tanek152482
POD#5 is nearly done, with Commander Dave and his 3 Ship Imperial list emerging at the top of the pack.  He still needs to play Viktor Tanek and his Raddus Profundity / HEI90 for first place.  A bad loss by Viktor and a crushing win by jp82729 can still get jp82729 and his Double Kuats into the runner up slot.

POD 6PointsMOVGames
Dark Raver000
Bueller?  Bueller?  No games played in POD#6

POD 7 PointsMOVGames
Clontroper 5 jumped off to a quick start against Karneck, but so did everyone else.  No one is guaranteed a spot yet, as any player can score big wins to bust the brackets.  Of these, Clontroper5 has the best chance of getting first place, but Brobafett and his 2 ship Thrawn will also be in the running, with a solid win against Clontroper's Jerjerrod Kuat / Demo list.

POD 8 PointsMOVGames
Anyone home here?  No games played in POD#8.