Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Command Token Battle Royale

Another Monday evening at the FLGS meant a chance to get in another game of Armada.  I brought a modified version of the fleet I played in the last battle report and went up against a Tarkin-led, squadron-heavy Imperial fleet.  It would be a battle of Armada's respective "King's of the Command Token".  Read on to see which token-loving admiral would come out on top!

I was really happy with the Garm led fleet that I had brought in my last battle report.  I did decide to make a couple of changes however.  As my squadrons were really only there for defense, I dropped the Bomber Command Center in favor of the Gallant Haven title.  I also dropped the Engine Techs from Home One in favor of adding some Spinal Armaments to Salvation.

My opponent, Chris, usually favors black die heavy fleets led by Screed.  He was trying something new and had an ISD, 2 Gozantis, and 14 squadrons!!  This was all led by Tarkin.  This would be a good chance to see if my 6 squadrons could really hold back 134 points of opposing squadrons.

Chris chose to go second, allowing me to select between Advanced Gunnery, Superior Positions, and Fire Lanes.  Superior Positions was right out.  I was tempted by Advanced Gunnery, but giving that to an Avenger titled ISD-I was asking for trouble.  I normally totally avoid Fire Lanes, but felt I could probably out gun him in the long run.  He was excited as he through that objective in as one that never gets selected and had never actually played it.

Setup.  Note the strange warping in space.  Fortunately it didn't impact either fleet.
He placed all 3 of the Fire Lanes tokens together and I opted to spread them out as much as possible.  His fleet deployed behind the Fire Lanes objectives with the squadrons spread in front, while I deployed to strafe across the tokens and move through the obstacles.  I spread Salvation out to my left to come in across my line.

In turn 1 I decided to bump both Salvation and Gallant Haven up to Speed 3 to challenge the Fire Lanes tokens earlier in the game so he couldn't build as large of a lead.  He pushed his squadrons and Gozantis forward while the ISD held back to spend more time near the objective tokens.  He slightly misjudged though and left the ISD at long range of the central token.  This let me actually claim it on turn 1 with the red dice from 2 of my ships!
End of Turn 1.
 I delayed by activating my GR-75 first in turn 2.  He then pushed some squads forward with a Gozanti that attacked my Y-Wings.  With help from Jan and Gallant Haven, they took minimal damage.  I then fired some anti-squadron dice from Gallant Haven before moving it forward.  Being at speed 3 meant it flew away from my squadrons, but I felt the objective was more important than the protection at that point.

His other Gozanti activated and pushed forward his bombers to attack Gallant Haven.  Through the use of BCC he stripped away the forward shields, but I didn't take any hull damage.  The Gozanti ended on a debris field, which hurt and then salvation was happy to blow the flotilla into many small pieces with some help from a Home One generated accuracy.

After the ISD moved forward I was able to use the Skilled First Officer on Home One to bump up a squadron command and maneuver Jan and the X-Wings back into Gallant Haven's aura of protection.  They attacked and killed his TIE Advanced along the way.  The objectives ended up the same, 2-1 in the Imperial's favor.

End of Turn 2.  I've made myself quite a traffic jam.
 I'd made a pretty big mess of clustered ships for myself.  If I activated a certain way, I could avoid collisions, but that wasn't optimal for the turn itself.  So, I activated the flotillas first and just let them bump Salvation after using a squadron command to make sure my X-Wings were tying up his bombers.  I had Toryn Farr well positioned to give me lots of re-rolls, but my blue dice really wanted to roll crits in this game.  Actually, both of our anti-squadron dice were rolling cold.

He activated his remaining Gozanti and attacked with some sqaudrons, but it then drifted into range of Home One which happily activated and obliterated the flotilla in return.  His ISD activated some squadrons, attacked Home One, and then moved forward.  This gave Salvation a long-range shot at the ISD and I rolled this:

Actually I rolled a 4th crit, but used Home One to get an accuracy.
 That's about a good a result as you can hope for and made me feel good about paying the points for Spinal Turbolasers.  Combined with an attack from the Assault frigate and the ISD was left with almost no shields.  My squadrons were hanging around, but nothing much was getting killed on either side thanks to poor rolls.  Home One brought its guns to bear and helped me win the objectives this round 2-1.

End of Turn 3.  The ISD is in a bad spot.
In turn 4 I opted to play safe and had the Assault frigate activate first and move behind the ISD, attacking both the Star Destroyer and some squadrons on the way.  The ISD was forced to activate and move closer, but did use it's squadron command to kill Jan and a Y-Wing before moving up.

At that point Salvation and Home One combined to remove the ISD and end the game.  We opted to not play out the squadron phase.
The last know position of that ISD.
All told it was a pretty resounding victory for Garm and friends.  Salvation isn't really acting like a Trailer with this fleet.  The slower moving MC-80 in the rear makes moving through the middle of my line the go-to move in this case.  So, more of a Slasher than a Trailer I guess.  Still, it is letting me concentrate some impressive firepower in to the middle of the table.

I was really happy with the switch to Gallant Haven and Spinal Armaments.  I didn't miss the objectives I had dropped at all.  Even though Gallant Haven only spared me a handful of damage it made an impact before the objective caused me to fly it out of the squadron combat.

I really like this fleet.  I would probably try it at a Regional given the chance.  At the least it will see action in our next local tourney.  If people keep playing squadron heavy I may try to upgrade the Assault Frigate to a MkIIa.  The extra blue dice would be really helpful.

As always thanks for reading and let me know what you think in the comments!

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