Friday, October 30, 2015

The Best Defense

Defense in Armada is a difficult thing.  I consider this good game design.  If defense was easy, the game would take too long and frequently end in ties.  So, I'm glad that generally speaking offense outweighs defense.  Still though, playing some defense can give you an advantage in the game.  Dead ships don't get to shoot, so keeping your ships alive just one more turn can give you the firepower to win.

Friday, October 23, 2015

All Wings Report In!

It's time to get back to looking at squadrons and how to get the most out of them.  I started by looking at why squadron-free fleets have an advantage and then what you can do to make up that gap.  In this post, I want to take a look at the advantages squadrons can give your fleet.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Taking Vader and an ISD out for a stroll.

Life has been busy since the Massing at Sullust tournaments, but Monday afternoon I finally had the chance to take my ISD out for a spin.  My buddy Chad stopped by for a game and we opted to go for a 400 point match to try out the new Wave 2 models.  I typically play rebels and he usually runs with Imperials, but in this case we swapped sides to try out the new ships.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Importance of the "Trailer"

One of the key constraints in games of Armada is the 6 turn limit.  You are not left with a lot of time to maneuver before or after key engagements.  This can lead to a situation where an opposing ship survives its initial engagement with your fleet, but none of your forces are in a position to finish it off.  This has lead me to start detaching a ship in my fleet to act as a "trailer" with the specific job of finishing off any ships that survive the initial pass with my fleet.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Fleet building at 400 points.

Having brought home 3 new ships from Massing at Sullust events I've been excited about playing some 400 point battles soon and incorporating all of the new goodies, etc.  But I've found that building at 400 points is surprisingly harder than 300!  Maybe it's just the lack of practice, but in some ways it feels a bit more restrictive.  So, I decided to look at how I was spending my points at the 300 point level and see how that might translate up to 400 points.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I Hate Blanks....

While Star Wars Armada is a great game, it is also a dice game.  Which means there are just times when the dice will hate you.  Or at least it feels like they hate you.  In reality, I am rational enough to know that over the course of a game or several games your rolling will average out.  Still, in the small sample size of those crucial rolls, gamers always have the perception that the dice come up worse than they should.  

In the case of Armada this shows up in the form of the dreaded blank.  Both red and black dice have 2 blank sides, leaving you with a 25% chance of rolling one on a given die.  Compared to many games it is pretty forgiving to only have 25% of your rolls be potential failures.  For me though, it seems like they come in clumps.  And really, even when I beat the average and roll one blank in 5 dice it can be frustrating.  So how do we deal with the dreaded blanks?  Fortunately there are several ways.  Having some tricks to compensate for blank results in Armada can go along ways towards improving your firepower.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Massing at The Portland Game Store

Day 3 of Massing at Sullust weekend found me at The Portland Game Store.   This is a relatively new store in town with a small following.  There ended up being only 4 of us that showed up to play.  We opted for a 2 round tournament with the final after that.  I had considered trying Imperials this time around, but decided to just roll with the list I had been playing to see if I could go undefeated for the weekend.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Massing at Dice Age - Final Round

My opponent for the final round was Chris, making this our 3rd game in the past 2 days.  I grabbed the Rebels and he the Imperials.  We both opted for 3 ship builds.  I took:

Home One
Admiral Ackbar
Leading Shots

Turbolaser Redirect Curcuits

Enhanced Armaments 
Gunnery Team

Han Solo
2x A-Wings

Massing at Dice Age

After winning an ISD last night I was ready for another day of Armada.  I opted to play the same list as last night.  I've learned from enough tournaments that showing up with an unpracticed list often leads to frustration.  Also, I was really happy with the maneuver I had  figured out with the Salvation.  I wanted to see if I could make it work well enough to be worthy of a name.  

Friday, October 2, 2015

Massing at Red Castle Games

The first Massing at Sullust event that I was able to attend was at Red Castle Games in Portland, OR.  I headed over for the event after a tiring week at work feeling pretty worn out.     

I'm prone to making errors when I play games while lacking sleep, so I adjusted my expectations accordingly.  As with everyone else, my goal was to finish in the top 4 and win a wave 2 prize.  But, given my mental state and the fact I haven't played much the past couple of weeks, I was feeling okay if this event was just a warmup for the other 2 Massing events I would play in this weekend.