Sunday, August 28, 2016

Interdicting a Tournament

I got the chance to play in a Summer Kit tournament with the Interdictor fleet that I had been testing over the weekend.  I had a great time and was really pleased with the fleet overall.  I think Interdictors will definitely be effective in highly competitive tournaments.  PLus, they are a blast to play with!  Read on for some quick battle reports.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Interdictor Battle Reports

I've managed to get in a couple of games with the fleet I built to test out the Interdictor in the last post.  I've enjoyed playing it so much that I'm figuring on running it at an upcoming tournament.  Read on for a couple of battle reports and some thoughts on how the Interdictor worked.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Trying out the Interdictor

After playing a bunch of games with Rebels in the lead up to GenCon, I was actually looking forward to playing some games with the Interdictor.  After the last two posts theorizing how to get the most out of the Interdictor it was time to build a fleet.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Interdicting Objectives

The Interdictor provides some truly unique options with its Experimental Retrofit upgrades.  As I went over in my last post the Interdictor isn't the most points efficient combat platform, so getting the most out of the Experimental Retrofits will be really important.  I thought I would take a run through the various objectives that we have right now and see if the Interdictor's bag of tricks might be useful with any of them.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Playing the Interdictor without Experimental Retrofits?

After my first game with the Wave 3 & 4 ships on Monday I was left really pleased with the play of the new Liberty and GR-75 ships that I used.  I felt like they will be pretty easy to integrate into our fleets and start to learn their tricks.  

I was also paying pretty close attention to the performance of the new Imperial ships as well.  I could start to see the potential of the Interdictor's new Experimental Retrofits in the game.  My opponent though had really focused on those and didn't really get the Interdictor in the best position to just be a ship.  While I think the early question for most people will be how to use the Interdictor to manipulate the game with the Retrofits, I think maybe a better question is how to get the most out of them when they aren't up to their experimental tricks.

So, let's look at how the Interdictor plays without any of it's crazy tech.

Monday, August 8, 2016

First Game With Wave 3 & 4 Ships

I'm home from GenCon and have mostly gotten my loot unpacked.  I decided to head down to the FLGS for the Armada night to try out the Wave 3 & 4 ships.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The State of Armada

I had a really good time at GenCon this year.  The con itself is always a blast and it's just fun to see so many games going on all at once.  I started this blog just after GenCon last year as a place to kind of "think out loud" about Armada.  I've been kind of surprised and pleased that anyone has cared enough to follow along.

The blog gave me the chance to go back to GenCon this year with a Press Badge.  For whatever reason I found this really amusing.  So, I decided to take it seriously and see if I could do some press-like things and get some interviews or do some reporting.  That turned out to be a lot of fun and was in some ways the most memorable part of this year's con for me.

In my interviews I really tried to stay away from spoilery questions and focus on getting the big picture.  The spoilers will come eventually anyways, but there isn't always a lot of context on Armada in internet discussions.  So, the purpose of this post is to give an un-official "State of Armada" report based on what I learned at GenCon.

NA Championships - Final Day

I headed in to the final day of the NA Championships with a 2-1 record, 23 tournament points, and 4th place overall.  I was certainly surprised to be in that spot after my first round loss.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Corellian Conflict Info

It's an exciting time to be a Star Wars: Armada player.  The release of Waves 3 & 4 are sure to shake up your games and today's announcement of Wave 5 promises more options in the not-distant future.  Even with all of that I'm still the most excited for the Corellian Conflict campaign expansion that's coming soon.

To that end one of the first things I did after getting to GenCon was head to the FFG booth.  There I found Anton, who is one of FFG's main spokepersons.  He was really hesitant to say much of anything about it as unreleased product, but did mention that Alex Davy was the lead designer and had played in their in-house campaign.  He noted that the box they had was just a mockup.  The box itself was surprisingly small, but that likely helps the low pricepoint for the expansion.

So, I tracked down Alex later on in the day between rounds of the tournament.  We had a fairly long talk about the Corellian Conflict, my Regionals data, and Armada in general.  Here are my notes on our conversation about the campaign pack Again, I kept the questions really general and avoided asking for specific spoilers.  That way they tell me what they can rather than me having to guess what topics they can talk about.
  • My first question was "Stickers?"  Yes, they are intended to be stuck to the campaign board.  He felt that they should be really easy to use in an alternative fashion that doesn't stick to the board permanently.  Think counters or something.  But we both agreed that the stickers should make for a fun effect to look at when the campaign is over.  The low price point of the expansion should allow a group to buy one together to use the stickers on.  He also anticipated many players ion a group will likely own it.
  • He also talked about why the expansion was created.  He felt that the Armada player community was the right one for this expansion.  They never felt something like this would work for X-Wing, but liked the idea more for Armada.
  • Their in-house campaign was reportedly a lot of fun.  He said it lasted 8-9 rounds, but felt that might have been on the longer side.
  • Death of a unique in the game can mean they are out of the campaign, but not necessarily.  He said that if you put your "resources" into building up your uniques they are better able to survive.
  • The campaign has a loose structure and allows freedom for the players to make it work for them.  Each game definitely impacts the next and builds to the whole campaign, but you aren't forced into specific games.
  • Map position impacts the objectives that get played.  You also aren't limited to attacking only neighboring map positions.  Hyperspace will get you anywhere.
  • Fleets "build" with time.  He didn't elaborate what that meant, but said it a few times.  He also said that even a fleet that loses several games will still build enough to stay competitive.
  • The addition of the unique squadrons was for a few reasons.  Partially it was due to the fact that uniques are limited per side and they wanted lots of options available.
  • He said that most of the games will be relatively standard, with just some minor rules modifications.
  • He like the expansion as a way to revitalize the original Wave 1 squadrons and give them new options.  He mentioned the similarity to the X-Wing Aces packs.  (I may have written something about that)
  • He doesn't know if another campaign would get made, but if so it would be a way to get new titles/upgrades to older ships.  It is something they have discussed.
  • If there isn't another campaign, he sounded interested in having some avenue of releasing content for older waves.
  • The lack of plastic will allow it to have a hopefully short production cycle.  (my guess is players will be able to by it at Worlds)
  So, there is your very non-spoilery Corellian Conflict preview.  I am even more excited after learning what I did.  I would expect us to see more spoilery previews maybe in September.  I asked about an early copy to review on the blog and was told that probably wouldn't happen for licensing reasons...oh well.  Had to ask.

More on my conversations with Alex later. 

Quick Wave 5 notes

I asked a couple of FFG employees what they were most excited about for Wave 5.  I've found they are more willing to answer those kinds of open-ended questions.

Anyways, one noted that he was excited for the new squadron options.  The new abilities open up some great new strategies that when combined with Waves 3 and 4 will make Squadron play much more dynamic.

The designer I spoke with was most excited for the Arquitens.  It just fills a niche that the Imperials don't have and will allow for some diversity of fleet builds.

Other notes I gathered:
  • The Arquitens will pair well with Vader.  It has an excess of defense tokens including Redirect and Contain that it won't necessarily need all the time and the red dice will want those re-rolls.
  • They are intentionally releasing pairs of similar-ish admirals on both sides.  Jerjerrod is meant to be the Imperial counterpart to Madine.  He is also designed as a specific fix for VSDs.
  • The Pelta is meant as a counterpart to the Interdictor.  If you like synergy builds, it will be your ship of choice.

That's all I know for now.  I will pass along more as I find things out.

Wave 5 Pics!

Not much to say as I missed the announcement, but here's some pics from the FFG display case of the Wave 5 ships.  

The new ships are similar in size to the CR-90 and Raider.  

The paint job on the Pelta is REALLY nice.  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

NA Championships Day 1

Here's a quick recap of my first day at the GenCon North American Armada Championships.

After getting into the exhibit hall I had been able to pick up the new Wave 3 & 4 ships, which is great.  I'd also gotten some shopping done at a few other booths as well.  While in the FFG booth I had a quick conversation with Anton, one of the FFG employees that I recognized from past GenCon videos.  I asked him about the Corellian Conflict and he said they only had a mockup and that the designers were really excited about it.  He gave a couple of other hints that I'll share in another post.

Anyways, once the tournament got under way I was paired with Ed in my first match.  He was running a Rieekan Aces list that I didn't feel very good about the matchup.

I tried to maneuver my fleet out in front of his Assault Frigates to try and engage them at long range.  It worked to a point, but he did a couple of things really well.  He used the station and Gallant Haven to keep his squadrons alive for much longer than I would have expected.

In the end, he was able to use Luke to good effect to pound my MC-30.  Luke managed to kill it with a Structural Damage through the shields.  The bummer of this was that I had forgotten that I had Lando on board.  Oops.  That might have made a difference.  I was able to put a beating on Gallant Haven, but I came up one damage short of killing it one turn.  That meant it got its full effect on the next turn as Rieekan kept it alive.  This kept his squadrons around long enough to finish off mine and ended up causing the doom of my Assault Frigate.

I lost 7-4.

This was my second GenCon tournament that I started with a loss.  I had been determined to get off to a better start this year.  Oh well.

So, nervous that I wouldn't make the cut I went on to my second match against Jeremy.  He had an Ackbar build with an MC-80, 3 CR-90s and some squadrons.

We played Superior Positions and I was able to gang up on the MC-80 with my fleet and beat it down.  He was angling to get his CR-90s into my rear for token shots, but I cranked up my speed and largely dodged them.  This time I remembered that I had Lando, which kept the MC-30 in the game.  I ended up tabling him to earn the 10-1 game.

So, now I'm 1-1 with 14 points.  My guess was that the cut would be around 21 points, with 20 being possible on a tie.  So, I know I need a win in the final round to make the cut and play on Saturday.

My final opponent was Alex, who was running Motti, 3x VSDs, and an impressive Rhymerball.  We played Most Wanted and I lined up in the middle with him directly across from me.  The obstacle placement made it seem obvious for me to go to my left.  So, I led off with Jaina's Light moving to my left.  He responded by turning his outside VSD that way.  I then shifted the rest of my fleet and went right.  This took that 1 VSD out of the game completely.  Even with Boosted Comms, it barely contributed.

So, the next step had my MC-30 having to last against the Rhymer ball for 3 rounds of fire.  It just kept hanging on.  This allowed my mis-deployed squadrons to get over and start chewing through his.  I had intentionally pulled his Rhymerball towards me so that I could hit it with combined ant-squadron firepower from my ships.  It worked as I was able to grind his squadrons down slowly. 

The combined firepower of the MC-30 and Assault Frigate killed Motti's VSD before the MC-30 eventually died.  He had been focusing on it as the Most Wanted ship.  When Mottii died I was able to switch fire to his middle VSD that was my Most Wanted target.  By this point Jaina's Light had snuck around behind it and with a couple of rounds of double arc shots killed with some help from the Assault Frigate.

I also managed to kill his squadrons while only losing 2 of mine.  In the end I earned a 9-1 win moving me to 23 points.

Final Standings.  There were more players than this, but lots of dropouts.

As I had guessed, the cutoff was 21 points.  So I was in good shape in 3rd place with 23.  I don't know how good 23 points will be overall until tomorrow's results are available.  BUt I was really happy to still e in the game.  They handed out the plastic VSD cards to all who made the cut and also the players with 20 points as they had a couple of extras.

I didn't get a chance to look around at other lists much, but there seemed to be some solid diversity.

Tomorrow I am taking a break from Armada to play in the Dropzone Commander tournament.

I'll try to post up the results of day 2 though.

GenCon - Thursday Morning

It's Thursday morning at GenCon and there are nerds everywhere.

I arrived and got in line to pick up my press badge.  Having my blogs name on the badge makes me feel all official and stuff.  

They were giving 90 people with press badges tickets for early access to the exhibit hall.  I was lucky to get one of the last of these.  This will give me an extra hour to grab my Wave 3 & 4 ships before trying to interview someone from FFG about armada.   

After grabbing my badge I headed to the event hall to check out the FFG area.   They OP guys were getting ready to stick the prize cases and I was able to snap some photos with the case open to reduce the glare.  

The full range ruler is double sided and the others look really useful.  The Luke card is new as well as the tokens.

That VSD 1 card is amazing!  It's made of plastic.  It's like a credit card material.  The image is also glossy in places and the effect is really fun.  My goal for the tourney is now to do well enough to win one of these.