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Monday, August 31, 2015

Star Wars Armada - Tournament Report

By Steven MacLauchlan

On August 23rd, I had the pleasure of attending a small Star Wars Armada tournament at Battlegrounds in Richmond, VA. The tournament wasn't hugely attended, but 5 players showed up to pew pew, and that's good enough for me!

I decided to go with a group of three Assault Frigate Mk II Bs. To be honest, I had no idea if the fleet would perform. I have never used Garm, but have seen him used to good effect. I also wasn't sure 3 Assault Frigates would be versatile enough, but I love the ship so I figured I'd give it a go.

For my objectives, I chose Opening SalvoIntel Sweep, and Fire Lanes.

My fleet (courtesy of Fab's Fleet Generator):

Game One vs Eric
In my first game, I played a fellow named Eric who was quite new to Armada. I don't remember his exact list, but I think he had a Vic II and a Vic I, each with tons of upgrades. His commander was Tarkin. He also had a smattering of vanilla TIEs (four if I remember correctly).

Eric chose to go first, and elected to use Opening Salvo. He deployed his Vics fairly far apart, allowing my 3 Assault Frigates to focus fire on one. I tore it up pretty good, and sunk it mid-game. By then he was just coming into range and we exchanged some fire that proved not to be terribly decisive. I had his remaining VSD hurt pretty good, and one of my own ships had a damage card or two. With the point costs of the destroyed VSD and the two damaged ships, I scored a 9-1 for the first game.

At the end of the my first game, I was in love with the Garm + Enhanced Armament+ Advanced Projectors combo. These ships are TOUGH to crack.
The end of our game
Game Two vs Sean
I've played Sean in both tournaments previously, so it was no surprise we'd face off here!

Setup. And yes the board was difficult to see what was going on! Beautiful nebula, bad game mat.
Sean was running Rebels with Garm as well! He had 2 Guppies which were mostly naked- one had Garm, and the other had a Defense (or maybe Weapons?) Liaison.  He also had a Nebulon B Escort with the Yavaris title. Rounding out the list, he had 3 Y Wing Squadrons and 3 A Wing Squadrons.

Since we both came in at 300, we flipped and I got to choose whether to go first or second. I assumed he had a lot of fighter-friendly objectives, so I chose second. Sean chose Opening Salvo.

I think I deployed a bit better than Sean, as I was able to hook left and "cross the T". His fighters were very tough, and I took quite a bit of damage from them. However, since Opening Salvo gives away points for damaged ships, I was using primarily engineering commands.

Furthermore, as Sean navigated into range of the fight, he wound up dealing himself a whopping 4 damage due to collissions and overlaps! Sean is a great player, so I think the Rebels must have gotten into the spice or something for that game.

In the end, I had one frigate on death's door, but it was able to disengage and stay alive. The other two had no damage, but on turn 6, I knocked out Sean's last ship earning me his full 300 points. Even with the damaged ship, I was able to nab a 10-0. A good game, and a few dice or maneuvers on Sean's part could've swung it around!

Game Three vs Jeff 
I wish I could remember what we were yammering about here.
Special thanks to Jeremy for taking a lot of pictures of this match!
Jeff was running two VSD IIs and a Rhymer ball. From memory, his flagship had Motti, Expanded Hangars, Gunnery Teams, and XI7s. His other VSD II had Gunnery Teams and XI7s. I'm sure I'm leaving off an upgrade. He also had Rhymer, 3 TIE Bombers, and 2 TIE Advanced.
Fleet Ambush!
Jeff elected to be second player, and I chose "Fleet Ambush" from his objectives. I didn't really mind getting the Assault Frigates in a bit closer, though it was going to make my job of kiting him a bit more difficult.

I knew I had to issue no commands other than Navigates and Engineering. I was going to take some damage, and because I was starting my circle in close, I'd need to make tight turns so I didn't fly any ships off the board!

Early on, I took a good bit of damage from the Rhymer ball. Chipping away at Motti VSDs with Assault Frigates is a scary proposition- they need to take a LOT of damage. But once the one closest to the camera started to look like it was hurting, I felt a bit more confident. Engineering commands allowed my Frigates to hang in there, and high speed meant Jeff had trouble focusing on one long enough to bring it down.

By the late game, his VSDs were suffering a bit, but one of my Guppies was on its last legs. Thankfully, I left enough space between the two leading Frigates so I could play with the activation order. By activating my near death Guppy (the "red" one in the picture), I was able to finish off the VSD, repair some shields, and extend his life a bit longer.

Jeff was not pleased. With 3 Assault Frigates focusing fire, I was able to put a hurt on the last VSD, and took it down on turn 6. One Guppy was limping along with 5 damage cards and no shields left if I remember correctly!

The Assault Frigates: The Autumn Traveler, Defiance III, and Dawnbreaker.

In conclusion, with 29 points I won the sweet medal, so I can wear it every day! Jeff ended up in 4th, and I can't remember if Sean or Jeremy got second.

I had a really good time at this thing, and really like the Richmond Armada community! I encounter a lot of different gaming communities through WWPD travels, and these guys are among the best. I can't wait to get in some more gaming soon!

Here's a few more pictures Jeremy took of his games. I got to watch the last few turns of he and Jeff's round two, and it was really intense. A "Comm Noise" dropped a VSD to speed II at exactly the right time, bringing it to speed 0 where it couldn't use defense tokens! Ouch!

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