Sunday, February 10, 2019

Quarter-finals Matchup - Brobafett vs Mhd

Final game preview for the quarter-finals.  Brobafett's Thrawn 2 ship vs Mhd's Sloane squadrons.

Brobafett - 2 ship Thrawn

Imperial II-class Star Destroyer (120 + 67)
 + Grand Admiral Thrawn (32)
 + Governor Pryce (7)
 + Gunnery Team (7)
 + Electronic Countermeasures (7)
 + Leading Shots (4)
 + Quad Battery Turrets (5)
 + Avenger (5)

Quasar Fire I-class Cruiser-Carrier (54 + 18)
 + Captain Brunson (5)
 + Flight Controllers (6)
 + Boosted Comms (4)
 + Squall (3)

Maarek Stele (21)
Dengar (20)
Colonel Jendon (20)
2 x TIE Defender Squadron (2 x 16)
Captain Jonus (16)
Mauler Mithel (15)
Black Squadron (9)
Total Squadrons = 133

Total Points = 392

By now, you may have heard of the Imperial 2 ship.  Thrawn pretty much is the commander responsible for making them work, but it is the officer pair of Governor Pryce and Captain Brunson that make them great.  Thrawn dials up Squadron commands while the ships themselves dial up whatever is most needed for the turn, usually navigation.

The first of the two ships is an ISDII with Governor Pryce aboard, letting the ISD jump in last in a specific turn, then hopefully go first the next.  Gunnery Team gives the ISD the ability to deal with multiple targets, while ECM gives it staying by guaranteeing the Brace.  Meanwhile Leading Shots, Quad Battery Turrets and Avenger give it more teeth.

The other ship is the Quasar Fire-I, which is set up for squadron pushing.  Squall lets it move the squadrons into the fight, and Flight Controllers let them get a bit of an extra oomph when they attack.  Boosted Comms lets it keep its distance from the rest of the battle, and Brunson helps keep it alive if it does find itself a bit too close to the fight.

The squadron compliment works out as follows:

Maarek / Jendon are your standard buddies, good for anti-squadron or anti-shipping.  Joining them are a pair of Defenders, for a lot of Range 5 reach.  Dengar gives everyone counter and works with Mauler Mithel for anti-squadron splash damage.  Black Squadron keeps Mithel / Dengar as a combo alive for that second critical splash.  Finally Captain Jonus helps with anti-shipping, and powers up the ISD with an accuracy.

A bid of 392 is a moderate attempt to secure first player.

Mhd - Sloane Redux 

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

Quasar Fire I-class Cruiser-Carrier (54 points)
-  Pursuant  ( 2  points) 
-  Governor Pryce  ( 7  points) 
-  Flight Controllers  ( 6  points) 
-  Boosted Comms  ( 4  points) 
-  Expanded Hangar Bay  ( 5  points) 
= 78 total ship cost 

Arquitens-class Light Cruiser (54 points)
-  Captain Needa  ( 2  points) 
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points) 
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points) 
= 68 total ship cost 

[ flagship ] Arquitens-class Light Cruiser (54 points)
-  Admiral Sloane  ( 24  points) 
-  Captain Brunson  ( 5  points) 
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points) 
-  Dual Turbolaser Turrets  ( 5  points) 
= 93 total ship cost 

1 ""Howlrunner"" ( 16 points) 
2 Firespray-31s ( 36 points) 
1 TIE Interceptor Squadron ( 11 points) 
1 Valen Rudor ( 13 points) 
1 Ciena Ree ( 17 points) 
1 ""Mauler"" Mithel ( 15 points) 
3 TIE Fighter Squadrons ( 24 points) 
= 132 total squadron cost 

Total Points: 398

Mhd's list contains 4 ships; a pair of Arquiten Light Cruisers, a Quasar Fire-I and a Gozanti.  The Quasar is set up to push squadrons, as most are, with Flight Controllers, Boosted Comms, and Expanded Hangers for a total of 5 boosted squadrons at long distance (or 6 after Comms Net Gozanti tosses a token over).  Pursuant is Slicer Tool insurance and allows it to take a key turn navigating.  Pryce gives it the chance to do an end-of-turn jump with it's squadrons at a target.

And what squadrons it has to work with!  Howlrunner boosts 3 generic TIE/LN's, as well as "Mauler" Mithel, Ciena Ree, Valen Rudor, and a TIE/I squadron.  All of these squadrons are boosted by Sloane to be viable at anti-shipping and even better at anti-squadron.  In addition, a pair of Firesprays add some additional anti-shipping and Rogue to a list without a lot of ships that want to push squadrons.

The Gozanti can also push squadrons, or just toss tokens with Comms Net.  It also has tournament mascot Hondo Ohnaka!

Meanwhile the two Arquitens are built slightly differently.  The first has Needa and Turbolaser Reroute Circuits for increased damage while not sacrificing long range defense.  Reinforced Blast Doors also let it trade long range fire for awhile with some staying power.  The other is Sloane's flagship.  Dual Turbolasers add some extra long range bang, but it is Captain Brunson and Reinforced Blast Doors that show the flagship is focused on defense.

A bid of 398 isn't intended for first player.

Biggs' Analysis

Mhd's Sloane build seems custom tailored to deal with 2 ship Imperials.  A 2 ship is based on a few key points, and the Sloane build hits all of them:

1) Squadron dominance - Sloane allows Mhd to take anti-squadron fighters instead of hedging his bets with anti-ship Bombers. 
2) First/Last Pryce shenanigans - Mhd has his own Pryce, so while Broba can take first, he won't be guaranteed last because Mhd can set the same turn for his Pryce.
3) Hitting Hard and Fast - Mhd managed to handle MandalorianMoose in the previous round with a very similar build.

But Brobafett isn't MandalorianMoose.  And I've seen him win games I didn't think he would in the past.  I had going on intangibles, and this is a game that isn't his to win, but I'm going with Broba on this one, if he can learn from how MandalorianMoose lost the previous game.

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