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!

I initially just kind of floated the idea of this event on a whim.  I really wasn't sure how many folks would want to spend a long day playing extra-large Armada games.  We ended up with 10 players, several of drove in from 3 hours away.  I believe we had 6 Imperials to 4 Rebels with lots of ISDs everywhere.

We knew it would be a long day, so I got things going as quickly as I could and decided on a 3 hour round limit.

As I said in this post, I hadn't actually tried an 800 point game.  So these would be learning experiences for me.  I would say about half of the players there had played some 800 point games to try it out before the event.

Round 1
This was actually my very first game using Fleet Ambush.
My first opponent had brought Vader, 2 Kuats w/ FCT/ACM, an Interdoctor, 3x Raiders, and a pile of TIE Defenders.  He let me go first and I chose his Fleet Ambush.  I've never played this objective, but he had a fun plan using the Interdictor to setup a large area forcing me to Speed 0 in the Ambush Zone.

You can see our deployments in the above picture. 

End of Turn 1.  Chaos!
 With 1st player on 9 activations on my side I figured to setup a last/first Ackbar Slash using the MC-30.  I also tried to move my MC-75 where it could double arc his Interdictor on the next turn as well.
End of Turn 2.
That plan worked out just fine.  The MC-30 got its shots off, before getting nuked by the Kuats later in the round.  The combined fire of the MC-30 and MC-75 were more than enough to take out the Interdictor.  The 75 took a serious beating though in the process.  I also lost my lead AF although the other was easily nuking the Raiders.  AFs w/ Ackbar and Enhanced Armament throw a ton of dice.  With both IF! and Home One to fix those dice it was pretty impressive.

End of Turn 3
 My YT-2400 swarm was doing well in the squad game.  He still had enough squads free to finish off my 1 health remaining MC-75.  Thanks to Home One though the 75 was able to activate first and nuke the Gozanti before flying away to relative safety.  Leaving the rest of fleet to pound away on his last Kuat.

End of the Game.
I was able to drop that last Kuat and earn the 10-1 victory.  I lost the 2 ships early and only 1 squad, but it was definitely lucky for me to have that 75 escape with just one health remaining.

We both had a blast with the game and it was just impressive the amount of shots flying around.

Round 2

Setup for Round 2.
This game featured all of the red dice in the Pacific Northwest as far as I can tell.  My Ackbar fleet was up against Cory's 6x Cymoon Vader insanity.  We were both having fun just rolling red dice by the bucket. 

Cory deployed his ISDs in two groups of 3.  This made a ton of sense as otherwise, they would really just get in each others way too much.  Of course, this made my choices pretty easy as I could focus on fighting one group at a time.  Cory took first player and chose to play my Dangerous Territory.

End of Round 1
Lots of general jockeying for position here.  I found that I had mis-deployed both Home One and my squads and worked to correct that.  I moved the 30 and 75 up late to setup a second round slash.

He worked to speed up his ISDs on my left and slow down those on my right.  He made a mistake with his dials on his IF! ship though and it got out in front of the rest of his fleet on my right.

End of Round 2
We exchanged a few early long range shots and I unfortunately put the 75 up where it took some unnecessary early fire.  I did get the 30 into a nice spot for the top of turn 3.  The squadrons were still horribly out of place though.

End of Round 3
 He started round 3 by hitting the 75 hard with a double arc..  This left me with a choice.  Use the 30 now and get it to relative safety or use the 75.  It would take 7 damage to kill hte 75 with the Cymoon he had at long range and I had both my Brace and Redirect available.  I decided the odds were good it would survive the shot and activated the 30 which got in a couple of good hits with the slash.

He then took hi shot and rolled 6 red dice thanks to Con Fire.  2 Accuracies, 2 doubles, and 2 single hits.  Followed up with a ram meant a dead 75 that didn't even get to shoot....

Oops.  Still probably the right call on my part, but that was a bummer as the 75 had the potential to throw some crazy damage had it lived.

The rest of the turn I worked to make up the damage lost and dropped 1 ISD while beating up some others. 

I apparently neglected to get pictures during turns 4 and 5, but essentially it involved my squadrons whiffing repeatedly, while the rest of my fleet pounded away with Turbolasers.  Home One meant that for the majority of the game he never got to use his Brace tokens.

End of the Game
One of the AFs got dropped and the 30 ended up killed as well, but in the end I destroyed 4 of the ISDs.  It was a really fun game with the too fleets really pounding each other.  It would have gone further my way if that 75 hadn't died per-maturely, but I still ended with a 7-4 win.

Round 3

My last game was against Gus.  Between rounds 2 and 3 I may have had some hard cider, which may have impaired my judgement a bit in the early stages of this game.

He chose to be second player and I decided to play his Most Wanted.  Gus had a Sloane fleet with the full 200 points of squads including Phantoms!

End of Round 1
 I decided to go for the Ackbar Slash again with the 30 and 75 cause it seemed fun at the time.  This did not go well for the 75 as it took the brunt of the full Sloane ball.  It once again died without doing anything to speak of.

End of Round 2
 The AF on my right easily killed his Quasar, but the rest of my fleet was just scattered and out of position.  Almost like the admiral was intoxicated...

My YTs were doing a good job churning away at his squads, but by my being dumb, they still got a good run at my MC-80 and I lost it as well.

Just about the end
I ended up actually flying 2 of my ships off the table this round.  I haven't done that with even one ship in forever.  Not my best showing.  I took at Sloane's ISD, but by then the damage was done and it really only served salvaging points.

He won 7-4.  Gus played a really solid game and made me pay for all of my mistakes, while making few of his own.  I stupidly spread out my firepower way too much and wasn't able to do the damage to those ISDs that I should have.

Gus ended up the winner with 21 points and I was right behind at 20.

There were lots of 6-5 results on the day, some because of games going to time and others just because so much was dying.

Final Thoughts

Overall though I really enjoyed the 800 point format.  It's just great having that many ships on the table.
  • I finished all of my games in the 3 hour window, but generally 3 of the 5 games each round had to be called early.  I am not sure what you can do about that.  Longer rounds but only 2 would be an option, but I'm not sure people would make the drive for just 2 games.  I think with practice the games could go faster.
  • The fact that I hadn't played this fleet before definitely hurt.  I made many "Turn 0" mistakes.  Ackbar let me brute force my way out of most of them.  I would highly recommend figuring out a strong deployment plan for your Sector Fleet games.
  • Holy cow was Home One + Intensify Firepower! an effective combo.  So much dice fixing!
  • I also hadn't really played YT-2400s in forever.  They were a great choice as they were so flexible.  I'd forgotten how strong they can be.
  • I did end up being really happy with my fleet overall.  I'll tweak it some but probably play it again the next time we have an 800 point event.
  • Everyone seemed to be having a good time too.  I imagine we will have another 800 point event when the SSD drops.