Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Quarterfinal Matchup - JJs Juggernaut vs Clontroper5

Here we go!  2 time Vassal World Cup Champion JJs Juggernaut vs the first ever Vassal World Cup Champion Clontroper5.

JJs Juggernaut - 2nd Gen

MC75 Ordnance Cruiser (100)
• Strategic Adviser (4)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• Electronic Countermeasures (7)
• External Racks (3)
• Assault Proton Torpedoes (5)
• Profundity (7)
= 130 Points 

MC30c Torpedo Frigate (63)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• Assault Proton Torpedoes (5)
• H9 Turbolasers (8)
• Admonition (8)
= 88 Points 

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• External Racks (3)
= 43 Points 

CR90 Corvette A (44)
• Admiral Raddus (26)
• Hondo Ohnaka (2)
• Turbolaser Reroute Circuits (7)
= 79 Points 

GR-75 Medium Transports (18)
• Comms Net (2)
= 20 Points 

GR-75 Medium Transports (18)
• Slicer Tools (7)
• Quantum Storm (1)
= 26 Points 

Total Points: 386

JJs has been playing with Raddus nesting dolls for awhile now.  This "2nd Gen" version runs Profundity with an Ordnance Cruiser, APTs, and Ordnance experts to maximize Black dice damage, and spawns a Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette for External Racks (and probably a ram).  Dangerous in and of itself, but his list also has a followup hitter with the MC30c Torpedo Frigate Admonition, which also is running APT as its damage dealer of choice.

Spotting for the fleet is the Quantum Storm equipped with Slicer Tools, and a generic Comms Net flotilla.  Raddus is able to fight on a CR90A equipped with TRCs, as well as Hondo Ohnaka - Vassal World Cup '19 mascot.

A solid 386 bid positions him to go first, and with Strategic Advisor on his Ordnance Cruiser, he can delay the Hammerhead drop and still have his Ordnance Cruiser be the first ship activation of his turn.  This also helps him get a last / first off with Admonition.  This list, with black dice maximized and little long range combat potential, doesn't look like it would enjoy Second Player as much, though it does have a very good chance of having activation advantage.

Clontroper5 - Kuat/demo 

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 points)
-  Suppressor  ( 4  points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
= 29 total ship cost

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

[ flagship ] Imperial Star Destroyer Kuat Refit (112 points)
-  Moff Jerjerrod  ( 23  points)
-  Avenger  ( 5  points)
-  Strategic Adviser  ( 4  points)
-  Boarding Troopers  ( 3  points)
-  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
= 163 total ship cost

Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer (56 points)
-  Demolisher  ( 10  points)
-  Captain Brunson  ( 5  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
= 88 total ship cost

1 Colonel Jendon ( 20 points)
1 Maarek Steele ( 21 points)
1 Morna Kee ( 27 points)
1 Ciena Ree ( 17 points)
= 85 total squadron cost

Total Points = 392

Speaking of close range, both the Kuat and Demolisher want to close with the enemy before unloading.  The Kuat is a Boarding Trooper / Avenger combo most comfortable with last / first abuse.  ECMs help keep it alive, and Strategic Adviser helps push it off into last activation territory.  Leading Shots let it reroll to maximize damage, while APTs add the extra damage out of the ordnance slot.

Demolisher is... Demolisher.  An APT build, Clontroper5 has decided to go with Brunson for survivability.  A pair of Comms Net Gozantis act as support ships for the heavy hitters.  Suppressor as a title helps Avenger stay relevant in the turns before and after Boarding Troopers fire, and mascot Hondo tosses tokens on the other flotilla.  Truly his a friend to all!

Unusual is an 85 point squadron cover, containing the Imperial standard Maarek / Morna / Jendon (MMJ) and Ciena Ree for intercept support.  While not a full squadron wing, MMJ is most of the anti-ship damage Imperial fighter wings typically bring, and Ciena can frequently tie down multiple bombers all by herself.

A 392 bid is a middle of the road for most tournaments - it suggests either that he doesn't care about first or second player, or that he has quality second player objectives that he wants to make a play for and remove the temptation to pick from someone with a 397 or so bid.

Biggs' Analysis

Get hyped for this game!  We have actual video of the two of them playing in the 2016 Vassal World Cup in the semi-finals.  Clontroper's hyper aggressive "Clonisher" list was able to deal with JJ's very defensive list to seal a trip to the finals, and eventually the World Cup Championship itself.  The two haven't met in the World Cup since, as Clontroper has been away on a 2 year Missionary Trip. During this time the World Cup has belonged to JJs.

It goes without saying that the winner of this game will be the favorite to win it all.

Looking at the matchup here, Clon hasn't had to face a Raddus build yet with his list and JJ's matchups have been very Rebel heavy as well, so it's difficult to make predictions based recent history.  In POD play, JJ posted an impressive 27 points on 8/9/10 point wins, while Clontroper either won big (10/10) or lost big (1) in his POD, finishing with the 3rd highest POD MOV, behind only 3 game winners MandalorianMoose and CommanderDave, neither one of which who are still in the tournament after the first round of eliminations.

JJ winning the bid is huge for him here.  I think he has to go for first player against Demo / Avenger as Clontroper will have final activation until the Raddus drop comes in regardless, which means a real chance of the spotter ship for the Raddus drop getting snipped off the board.  An odd alternative is to pick 2nd player, and leave the Hammerhead off of Profundity, giving him final activation but lessening the raw power of his drop.

This is probably the best possible situation for Clon's fighter coverage, with zero opposing fighters.  MMJ is the core of most bomber lists, so without and filler or opposition, they can do quality work.  3 attacks of 2-3 damage each isn't guaranteed to drop a spotting flotilla with scatter, but add a long range attack from the Kuat or Demolisher poking its head in, and you can make that more of a certainty.

Overall, I don't think I can bet against JJs for this one.  The World Cup is his house right now.  I'm expecting a hard fought battle, and I'm hoping that this is a game I'll be able to watch.

Truthi's Analysis

JJ has an awful lot of advantages in this match. He's got activation count by a comfortable margin once Profundity is out. He likes to drop Profundity in front of his intended target and force them to come into range. He can do that here, even without SA. He has first player, which is his preference. That means the nesting doll Hammerhead will get it's usual close range shot off without any impediment. Finally, he also has a ton of familiarity with this list, having won last year's World Cup with a proto-version and this year's GENCON with another version. I've long said list familiarity is probably the number one factor in Armada competitive play. He's got that droves.

Clon has a solid triple threat. The Kuat isn't going down without a fight. Jerjerrod will let clon react as best he can to where ever JJ drops in. Demo is as dangerous as ever. Expect Clon to try to set up a secondary threat with Demo to either force an early drop or make the first activation a harder choice for JJ. Finally, Clon brought the core of the squadron wing currently terrorizing Regionals season: MMJ. I like the addition of Cienna because she's a nice throw away tarpit to give MMJ space to move, but it doesn't matter here given Clon already has freedom of movement. This trio are his best bet for countering and limiting JJ's drop options and reacting quickly to Profundity's arrival.

Unfortunately, I can't see Clon pulling this out. This is the sequence I expect: 1). JJ drops Profundity just outside of close range of Clon's Kuat, lined up for a double arc that Clon wouldn't be able to escape without going speed zero. 2) The nesting doll Hammerhead throws out it's solid throw away damage. With 1 red, 1 blue, and 4 blacks from the inevitable close range double arc, the damage will start to pile up fast. 3) Profundity uses its activation advantage to force the Kuat forward. 4) Profundity takes last/first with a double arc on both shots. That's 6 reds, 4 blues, and 12 blacks with 4 chances to proc APTs. Call me crazy, but I don't see Clon's Kuat surviving that. From there it's clean up. Profundity might be limping a bit, as Demolisher and MMJ may make it pay for killing the Kuat, but JJ will be gunning hard for Demo. Expect Admo to make Demolisher its priority. JJ will want the tabling to ensure MMJ don't vulture points and keep the game close.