Another Armada game night at the FLGS meant another chance to use my double-Projection Experts fleet. I intended to be a little more aggressive this week and see if I couldn't put those extra shields to good use.
My opponent was the same as last week, who also had something a little experimental that he wanted to try. He had 3x upgraded Gladiators, 2x Raiders with Expanded Launchers, and Admiral Ozzel. Each of the Glads had engine techs, which combined with Ozzel gave him some incredible control over his movement possibilities. I was actually really eager to see how well his list would work. He had me out activated 3 to 5, but again had no squadrons.
He chose to go first, allowing for some nasty shenanigans with all those black dice he could roll. We played with Superior Positions as our objective.
I deployed where I thought I could use some obstacles to funnel his approach and set up an area where he would have to fly through my squadrons. The Neb was set off to the side to act as a trailer. I had a feeling it would quickly die in a more exposed position.
He approached slowly at first, while beginning to maneuver his Insidious away from me to work its way behind my line. I started the Neb moving too quickly and it approached my line before I really wanted it to.
I was able to use a squadron command to strip some shields off of his flagship at the start of turn 3. He was largely delaying, hoping to hit me hard in turn 4. I ended up moving the Neb up to speed 3 and shooting it through my line, while the MC-80 had to slow down to not bump. One of his Raiders moved in front of my line, with a double arc shot to start the top of the 4th. Insidious kept working around the flank of the MC-80.
The 4th turn saw the Raider hit the Assault Frigate pretty hard, although I was able to brace and redirect most of the damage. I activated the Redemption which was able to transfer a couple of shields to the battered Gallant Haven before using Ackbar to double broadside his Raider and flagship! After he activated his flagship I was then able to activate the Gallant Haven and between the squadron command, Ackbar, and Home One bonuses it took out both the Raider and his flagship! I was suddenly no longer outnumbered. His second Raider attacked the Neb and damaged some fighters. Home One was able to transfer a couple of more shields to the Gallant Haven before the Demolisher moved up and smacked it. It and the squadrons were able to take the 2nd Raider down to a single hull point.
I the 5th he activated the nearly dead Raider first and killed the Redemption and a B-Wing. The Gallant Haven was able to respond by killing the Raider and smacking the Redemption pretty hard while mostly getting out of its way. The Demolisher and Insidious were able to hit Home One pretty hard this round, but it was able to engineer itself back up.
The final round saw the Demolisher attack and double ram Home One before being killed itself by the Gallant Haven. Despite being shot several times by lots of black dice and never taking an Engineering command, the Gallant Haven had taken no hull damage and had enough shields left that Demolisher could kill it the final turn so he had to go after Home One. Insidious actually nearly finished the job with a shot and double ram, bringing Home One down to just 1 hull remaining. Home One had a squadron command queued up for the final turn, but they were just out of range to be able to really threaten Insidious.
Still, it was a big win for me. I had picked up several objective tokens and killed ist of his fleet. I had been worried about the activation advantage, but the firepower from Ackbar/Home One made it possible to even the odds pretty quickly. Some more thoughts:
- I really liked Projector Experts. It lets you specialize with your orders without anything going to waste. Gallant Haven got to concentrate on squadrons, while still getting repaired as needed. Home One made a great base for the Experts I thought. With the title, everyone else wants to be near it anyways so it is in the idle of the fleet. I'm not sure you need two ships with the upgrade in a fleet. Next time I'll just take one.
- Ozzel was really cool. It made it nearly impossible to predict where my opponent would go as he had so many options. Especially stacked with Engine Techs. I think with more practice that it would be a brutal fleet. It could probably drop some upgrades in favor of squadrons though.
- As cool as Ozzel was, my opponent rolled a lot of blanks. Had he brought Vader, the game would have ended very differently.
- Raiders + Expanded Launchers hit REALLY hard. I was impressed by the little buggers.
- Home One + Ackbar is just amazing. It's already been said many times, but it is such a potent combo. I am curious if I can build a 4 ship list featuring Home One, Ackbar, and Projection Experts that still has a moderate squadron force. Probably not, but I will have to try.