Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Let's try this again

After losing my first Vassal match I was eager to try out the fleet I had built again and see if I could get it to work.  I was determined that this time I would follow my plan.  I found a real-world opponent in Greg, at the local Armada night at Dice Age Games.  

Greg is a Rebel player who is fond of Yavaris enabled B-Wings that I have been on the receiving end of before.  In this game he had the following fleet:

Nebulon-b Support
  • Yavaris
  • Garm
  • Engine Techs
Assault Frigate MKIIb 
  • Enhanced Armament
  • Adar Tallon
  • Gunnery Team
  • Expanded Hangars
Han Solo
Jan Ors
Keyan Farlander

I was pretty interested to see how the new Scum squadrons would perform in a game.  I had used Han myself at a Sullust event, but hadn't seen the other two in action yet.  This is a list style that Greg is really comfortable with and he has a pretty good record with them, so I was expecting a good, tough game.

He had initiative and chose to go first.  I had altered my objectives after the last match by swapping Most Wanted out in favor of Precision Strike.  He chose Precision Strike as he had enough Bombers to take advantage of it as well.  He setup in the middle of the table, so I chose to deploy on my far left flank.  Hooray for remembering the plan!  The swarm of 12 squadrons looked even more impressive in real life than it had on Vassal!

Setup and I'm feeling pretty good about my position.
In the first turn we both moved forward cautiously.  I am trying to get myself angled past an obstacle, while he is swinging in to lead his squadrons forward and hit me with a broadside.  I moved one flight of 4 TIEs over to keep his squadrons screened away from my VSDs, while the others move to lie in wait for the Assault Frigate.

End of Turn 1.  I'm expecting him to turn away from me next turn and force me into his broadsides.
In Turn 2, we still aren't in range of each other, but I am able to execute my turn and begin flying across the table in an echelon formation.  Still sticking with the plan!  I move the Bombers up where I expect the Assault Frigate to head next, while one flight of TIEs acts as a screen.  The other flight of TIEs is hanging out near the VSD-I to be activated with Flight Controllers next turn.  He is playing pretty cautious with his squadrons, but has them set to be activated on the next turn as well.

End of Turn 2.  Still feeling good about my positioning.  The Bombers should be able to get some shots without a squadron command next turn.
Turn 3 and it's finally time to roll some dice.  He activates the Assault Frigate and reveals a squadron command.  Han flies in an annihilates a TIE squadron, while Jan heads over to engage the Bombers.  He uses Adar Tallon to then ready Han for more carnage later in the round.  I had been wondering why he didn't use Han's shoot first ability, but with Adar it made a ton of sense.  He fired a long range shot at my lead VSD for some light shield damage, but I didn't worry about it as I had an Engineering command coming up.

At this point he surprised me by turning into my VSD rather than away.  I think he was trying to avoid the obstacles and my bombers, but it put him in a really bad spot.  I activated the VSD-I and sent my Fighters forward to take out Jan and free up the Bombers.  Boosted by Swarm and Flight Controllers, it took 3 of them to get the job done.  The 4th went over and did some damage to the Falcon.  The VSD-II was able to blow the front shields off the Assault Frigate and land a damage card, which one of the Bombers later flipped for an objective token.  The VSD and Assault Frigate were also now more or less locked nose-to-nose and would be bumping until one or the other died.  The other Bombers whiffed as I really like rolling blanks.

In the Squadron phase, Han killed some more TIEs before moving over to engage another group and keep his Bombers free to attack.

End of Turn 3.  It looks pretty bad for that Assault Frigate although, it is just out of short range of the VSD-I.
Turn 4 saw the Assault Frigate get its last activation.  It had another squadron command, but he had been too conservative with the B-Wings and they were out of range to attack my ships.  Han was able to kill another TIE squadron (3 in 3 attacks!!) before being readied by Adar once again.

The VSDs and Bombers were able to kill off the Assault Frigate pretty easily and then go on to wound the Yavaris.  The squadron phase saw a 4th kill for Han, while my remaining TIEs moved to engage his Bombers.

End of Turn 4
The Yavaris activated first and was able to use its Engine Techs to run for safety.  It ended up just out of range of my Bombers.  The TIEs that hadn't been murdered by Han were able to start wearing down his bombers with help from the VSDs who didn't have many other targets.

End of Turn 5.  The Yavaris is running for it!
Turn 6 saw the Yavaris continue to run away while my TIEs were able to mop up all of his squadrons but Han.  Even the TIE Bombers were able to chip in as a boost from Flight Controllers makes them not entirely awful at anti-squad work.

I ended up with a pretty good win having killed a ship and 4 squadrons while grabbing 6 objective tokens.  I lost 6 TIE squadrons (5 to Han!) while giving up one objective token.  

Some thoughts:
  • Aside from the result, this is a bit more of how I envisioned this fleet working when I created it.  I was able to use the table edges and some obstacles to help protect the flanks of the VSDs.  
  • The 12 squadrons sure are fun to play with.  While I could drop one sqaudron for Ryhmer or Howlrunner, I think I will stick with the swarm of generics for now.
  • He made an error turning into me, but I am not sure it would have changed much for him to go the other way.  He would have done more damage to me, but I think I still would have killed his Assault Frigate.
  • Han + Adar Tallon is a good combo.  It would be a strong choice with Dash as well.  With Han you give up his shoot first ability, but the Rogue really let's him take full advantage of activating twice.
  • With Wave 2 approaching quickly I will want to modify this fleet up to 400 points.  Look for an article on that soon!


  1. Thanks for the batrep, glad to see the tactics worked this time! I was interested to see your formation with the VSDs, similar to the Vassal game vs Biggs. Sort of a column - what was your rationale for this formation?

    1. That's a good question! If you look at the end of turn 1 I have the 2 VSDs in a column. The idea is that in turn 2 I can turn either direction in to an echelon depending on what my opponent does.

      Looking at the end of turn 2, I am in my ideal setup. I have an echelon formation flying along the long direction of the table. If my opponent does the typical Assault Frigate move and turns towards my table edge he comes into the firepower of the second VSD and the squadrons.

      So, the column early on was there to setup this position in turns 2 and then 3. Later in the game I need to reverse direction based on his movement with the Nebulon. By being in that column I can do so without getting in my own way.

      The other piece is it simplifies my command choices. I know that the lead ship will take a pounding die to its position. So, I can just have it spam Engineering commands. The second ship is then safer to use Squadron commands.

      You might think I'd get in the way of my own shots, but most people won't fly directly at the front of a Star Destroyer, so it hasn't been an issue.

    2. Really like this idea. Whichever way your opponent goes, you give them a bad option!

  2. I think i'm going to try out your build this coming weekend. What speed were you running your VSD's at?

    1. Speed 2. The VSD 1 started at Speed 1, but changed to speed 2 on the second turn.