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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Star Wars Armada - Battle Report: 300 point Wave I Tournament at Dragon's Den

Just a few days ago, I had the pleasure of doing something very odd! I attended an honest-to-god miniature wargaming tournament in Richmond VA! It's odd because in all my years of miniature wargaming tournaments, I've never had the luxury of being home by dinner! The tournament in question was a 300 point Star Wars: Armada event hosted by Dragon's Den. Up until the day of the tournament, the only Wave I game I had played wound up being a bit of a disaster... so I went into it a bit nervous! Plus, I had to represent the Intensify Forward Firepower dudes, and I didn't want to be force choked by Darth Dano.

Without further ado: My list! (image courtesy of Fab's Fleet Generator)

  • Victory I + Admiral Screed (99)
  • Gladiator I + Demolisher + Wulf Yularen + Assault Concussion Missiles + Engine Techs
  • Gladiator I + Assault Concussion Missiles
  • Howlrunner
  • 4x TIE Fighter Squadrons
The objectives I took were Fleet Ambush, Advanced Gunnery, and Dangerous Territory.

Plans: The plan for the list was to let Screed's VSD flagship be the anchor, while the two glads were the swinging door that slammed shut on enemy ships! The squadrons were entirely disposable, and only really to keep their fighters tangled up for as long as possible.

ROUND ONE was against Sean's Rebels. From memory, Sean had an Assault Frigate with Flight Controllers and Dodonna, a Corvette B with Dodonna's Pride,  and a Nebulon B Escort with Yavaris. He also had Luke, 2 X-Wing Squadrons, and 3 B-Wing Squadrons.

I had initiative, and chose to be first player. His objectives were Hyperspace Assault, Intel Sweep, and Precision Strike. I decided Hyperspace Assault was the least sucky - even though I knew it was going to hurt!

Sean wisely had Yavaris perform the hyperspace assault, along with Luke and 2 B-Wings. This was going to hurt! The game played quickly - Dodonna's Pride came screaming up my flank, but landed just in range of my Gladiators. Those Gladiators ate the little Corvette for breakfast, but Sean very nearly had his revenge! He sprung Yavaris and her fighter escorts behind my vanilla Gladiator. He wrecked it, but it was one damage away from death! Sean's dice were a bit against him there, and the lucky Gladiator was able to limp away and stay out of range for the rest of the game!

Sean's assault frigate and other fighters harassed my VSD, and while the VSD took a pounding, it was still mostly okay. The assault frigate stayed out of trouble, and never took any serious damage, even after Demolisher made a pass. Finally, on turn 6, I wasn't actually even sure who was ahead- sure I had knocked out his Corvette, but I was also losing fighters left and right. With my last activation of the game, Demolisher swooped in on the Nebulon B and turned it into space dust. When that dust settled, I had a pretty strong lead on points and won the game 9-0. Sean was an excellent opponent, and one of only two fellas running Rebels. He went on to place second, and I wish I could've seen his other games! I loved his list!

ROUND TWO saw my first ever "blue on blue" in Armada. I faced off against Chuck who was as big of a Gladiator fan as I was! He had 2 Gladiator Is, and both were totally tricked out. Each had Engine Techs, Expanded Launchers, and Sensor Teams. He also had Demolisher, and probably more I am forgetting. He also had a ton of fighter-superiority focused squadrons. Soontir Fel, some TIE Advanceds, some standard TIEs, mauler, and I think one or two more Interceptors - though I forget now.

Since he went first, he chose my Advanced Gunnery. He elected for his non-Demolisher Gladiator to be his objective ship, while mine was the VSD with Screed.

Chuck sent his Demolisher screaming into my lines, and hammered on one of my Gladiators. I burned up my Brace token, and then focused everything I had on Demolisher. With my VSD getting to fire its front red dice twice, and a followup from both Gladiators, his Demolisher went down hard early. 

His squadrons predictably slaughtered mine, though with some covering AA from my own ships, it wasn't quite as bad as I expected. Even one blue anti-squadron die against a horde of Imperial fighters isn't too shabby!

His remaining Gladiator swung behind me, but in the end, my Demolisher and VSD were able to put enough damage on it to bring it down nearing the end. With his ships wiped out, and double for his Demolisher, I nabbed a 10-0 that game. Chuck was a solid guy, who I run into all the time at cons - I certainly hope I get the chance to play with him again!

ROUND THREE I totally forgot to take pictures! This game was against Kevin - an employee of the shop and all around solid viking-beard dude! His list had me pretty spooked. He had one VSD I and one VSD II with Screed. I forget what upgrades, but I think he had Sensor Teams on both. Like Chuck, he also had squadrons focused on air Superiority. I forget the exact make-up, but it was similar to Chuck's!

In this game, I was the first player and chose his objective Fleet Ambush. While it was a bit scary to be head on with 2 VSDs, I knew I had the "ship activation advantage" and with enough speed out of Demolisher, I could get behind them rather quickly. I deployed my VSD and Demolisher in the ambush zone fairly aggressively while the other Gladiator was to raise up one flank. I decided to focus everything on his VSD II. Initially, the plan was to kill it and then run for it!

The plan went quite swimmingly, however, as I was able to pounce on his VSD II with my own VSD and 4 shots back-to-back from Demolisher (Bottom of 1: Fire red dice, move up/engine techs to shoot side battery. First activation of 2, open up with front and side batteries), which took that thing down hard! Man, those Assault Concussion Missiles y'all! By now the fighter furball was going strong, but it was in a position where all of my ships could throw AA into the mix, which actually turned it a bit sour for Kevin! I think in the end, just about all of the fighters were done for - but that worked out for me since I had less points invested.

In the end, I wound up circling around, and focusing two Gladiators on his VSD I, and managed to take it down before the end of the game as well. The true power of the Gladiator has been unleashed, and it was terrifying! This game wound up being 10-0 also.

In the end I wound up winning the day with 29 points, and most importantly, had a total blast! Special thanks to Dragon's Den and my opponents. I can't wait for the next opportunity to play out there!

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