Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Taking Gallant Haven to Game Night

I took my Gallant Haven based list in to Game Night at the FLGS and got in a couple of games.  Take a look at the list here.  Then, read below for the battle reports.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Gallant Haven in Wave 2

Gallant Haven is an interesting title.  It has huge potential to tilt the squadron game in your favor.  It does limit the maneuver options for your ships and squadrons, but I think the benefits it can provide could be worth the effort.  I haven't had much chance to use it in Wave 2, but wanted to build a fleet that would really feature it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

More fun with MC-30s

I haven't had as much time for updating the blog as I would like, but I was able to get in a couple of more games of Armada this week at the FLGS.  This gave me another chance to keep practicing with Mon Mothma and some MC-30s.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Fun With MC-30s

It was Armada night again at the FLGS, which meant that I had a couple of chances to try out a list featuring Mon Mothma and a pair of MC-30s.  

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Planning a Campaign

As a player of all 3 of FFG's Star Wars Miniature games I'm really interested in the idea of a campaign that brings all 3 systems together.  I've run a tournament using all 3 that was actually a lot of fun.  This will be the first post in a series where I look at integrating all 3 games in to a campaign.  

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fleet Build - Mothma's MC-30s

Wave 2 was finally released to day!  That meant I was able to round my Wave 2 collection from what I had been fortunate to win during Massing at Sullust Events.  Having multiples of some of the Wave 2 ships has me eager to try out some lists that I have been sitting on for awhile.  First up?  Building a list to see what I can get out of the MC-30.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Another Game With Projection Experts

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.  

Golden Age of Star Wars Gaming

Let me just tell you how much I love Fantasy Flight Games.  Since they have gotten a hold of the Star Wars license they have been doing an amazing job of producing games.  Their games don't feel like the Star Wars theme just pasted onto a basic game system in order to make money off of the license.  Rather, most of the games would stand well on their own mechanically without the Star Wars theme.  The FFG Star Wars games feel balanced, are amazingly fun, and do a great job of capturing the essence of Star Wars in their game mechanics.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Trying out Projection Experts pt 2

In my last post I put together a fleet that featured Projection Experts.  I had the chance to try the fleet out at the FLGS.  Although my phone was dying I managed to snap a few pictures of the game.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Trying out Projection Experts

So far, the general impression of Wave 2 is that offense has gotten a significant boost and ships are being destroyed much more easily.  Cards like Ackbar, Vader, and the new turbolaser upgrades are really increasing the overall damage output.  Still, there were a couple of new defensive upgrades in Wave 2 that have some merit.  One of those is Projection Experts.  I thought I would try to build a fleet around them and see how well they work.

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.  

Armada Blog Showdown!!!

A couple of weeks ago Matt (BiggsIRL) from the Armada blog at http://xwingtactics.blogspot.com/ asked if I'd be interested in playing a game on Vassal that we could both write about on our blogs.  I thought this was a great idea.  He's much more active on his blog than I am and writes some really great stuff, so I certainly don't mind riding in his coattails a bit.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How I Build Fleets

I tend to follow the same rough process when I put together fleets in Armada.  With a game coming up I set about designing a new fleet for it.  I thought I would walk you through my process.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Right Tool (Squadron) for the Job

Getting the most out of your squadrons requires some forethought.  Probably the first thing to consider is what you want your squadrons to do.  Once you know that, it is pretty easy to find the best tool for the job.

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.  

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Other Path

Earlier I looked at some of the advantages gained by playing a squadron-free fleet.  <link>  Since then we have gotten spoilers on the squadrons in the Rogues and Villains pack as well as the remaining upgrades from Wave 2.  So, where does that leave squadrons in Armada?  Well, let's take a look at how you can account for those advantages in squadron-heavy fleets.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

More Wave 2 Spolers

A user at a French Armada forum has posted some pictures spoiling the Rogues and Villains pack as well as one more upgrade from the MC-30.  If you can't wait til Wednesday for the FFG preview take a look at the following link or check out the picture below.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Quicker, easier, more seductive....

After the first large tournament reports came out for Star Wars: Armada a big deal was made that many of the top finishing lists were playing with few to no squadrons.  Of course, the Armada community jumped to conclusions as quickly as most internet discussions do.  It became assumed that fleets made only with ships were much more powerful and the only way to be competitive in a tournament setting.  Some anecdotal evidence was presented supporting and countering these claims, but the question remains.  Are squadron free ships more powerful in Armada?  

I've gotta go with Yoda on this one.  They are quicker, easier, and more seductive.  Let's look at why that might be the case.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wave 2 Impressions

Today saw the release of the MC-30 preview on the FFG site.  We now have previews for each of the Wave 2 ships, although the squadrons and a few upgrades are still not spoiled.  Individually, each of these new ships has been really exciting for the new options that they are bringing to the game.  Now that all 4 ships have been previewed, I feel like it's possible to get an idea of how they fit in the big picture.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Prepping for Sullust

Like most Armada players I am eagerly awaiting the Massing at Sullust events.  The recent FFG previews of the MC-80 and Raider have definitely given Armada players plenty to anticipate.  It is very similar to the Kessel Run events that preceded X-Wing's Wave 2 release.  Part of the fun was the event, but the potential doubling of the ship and upgrade pool gives so many possibilities for future play.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Out on Maneuvers - The Battle Line Pt 3

In my first article in this series, I looked at the ships that make up the battle line, while the second looked at how you can arrange them.  In my third installment on using battle lines and other formations in Armada I am heading back to the Rebel Alliance Sourcebook from West End Games to take a look at some of the battle line maneuvers outlined there. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Master and Commander - Rebel Admirals

In Star Wars: Armada the selection of an Admiral for your fleet is no small task.  Some prefer to select the admiral first and then build the fleet around them, others choose the ships and decide who is best to lead them.  Either method can be effective, but the choice should not be taken lightly.  Let's take a look at the options the Rebels have to lead their fleets to victory.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

In For Refits - Offensive Refits

Although they don't directly enhance firepower the same way that weapons upgrades do, Offensive Refits can greatly increase the ability of your ship to impact a battle.  Pairing them up with correct ship and strategy can allow you to make the mos of these upgrades. 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Out On Maneuvers - The Battle Line Pt 2

My experience at Nationals left me with feeling that moving in formation and coordinating your ships would be an important thing in high level Star Wars: Armada play.  With the game limited to just 6 turns there isn't a lot of time to maneuver around.  Keeping your ships in a formation allows you to concentrate fire and helps prevent your fleet from being destroyed piecemeal.   This article will explore some of the options for fleet formations in Armada.  

Sunday, September 6, 2015

In For Refits - Ion Cannons

In the Star Wars Universe, Ion Cannons are useful for disabling a ships systems and shields without destroying it.  In Star Wars: Armada, they are a great way to set your opponent up for destruction .

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Imperial Star Destroyer Preview!!

After a long drought with minimal news from FFG, today we received the first preview of a Wave 2 ship!  This has been met with much rejoicing in the Star Wars: Armada community.  The ship not only provides new options in fleet building, but the upgrades that are included seem like they will be a real boon to some of the Wave 1 ships as well.

In For Refits - Generic Officers

I've decided to do separate posts for the Rebel, Imperial, and generic officers.  This post will take a look at the generic officers.  They provide some really nice utility to your fleet and most let you work with command dials and tokens.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Out On Maneuvers - The Battle Line Pt 1

I don't think there was a single thing more influential on the pre-Disney Star Wars EU than the old West End RPG books.  Characters, ships, and locations that showed up all over the EU comics, novels, and video games were often first found in the pages of those RPG source books.  When I first started playing Armada I remembered some of the information on capital ship combat in those books and applied it to my fleets.  And ya know what?  It worked!  So, I thought I'd pull out one of the old books and take a look out how we can apply what's in there to our games of Armada.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

In For Refits - Weapons Teams

Weapons Teams allow you to enhance the firepower of your ship.   More than weapon upgrades they really define the role of your ship on the table.  They are a good place to start for setting up carriers and gunnery platforms.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

GenCon 2015 Tournament Report

This is a repost of my tournament report from the 2015 GenCon Nationals tournament.  I thought i'd post it here to make it easy for me to find again.

In For Refits - Turbolaser Upgrades

Turbolaser Upgrades are an effective way of boosting your ships' attacks.  Some work by improving your die rolls, while others hamper your opponents defenses.  As with any upgrade though you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck.

Welcome to Concentrate Fire!

Hello, and welcome to Concentrate Fire! my new blog about all things related to the Star Wars: Armada miniature game by Fantasy Flight Games.

Here you will find posts about tactics, reviews, battle reports and news about Armada.  I've been playing the game since it launched and really enjoy it.  I had the opportunity to play at the Nationals tournament at GenCon 2015 and managed to take 2nd place.

I'm planning to get started with a series of posts called "In for Refits" looking at the various upgrades available in the game.

If you have thoughts on the type of content that you'd like to see on the blog, please let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading!