Saturday, July 21, 2018

John Article Updates 7/21

I updated the Madine article.  Spoiler alert: you need a reason to not be taking Raddus, guys.  If you can find it, I think he still may have some uses.  If you can find it.

Friday, July 13, 2018

What's in a name? Name titles and fleet building

Time to finally finish off wave 7 altogether with this article covering the new "name" titles, which will get expanded when/if we get more in the future. John already covered the Mon Calamari Exodus Fleet a bit in his MC75 article, but I'd like to give these upgrades their own more permanent home, as they necessitate an article that's mostly upgrade card review but also something of a fleet builder article as well. Anyways, let's finally do this!

Pictured: the authors attempting to quickly finish off wave 7 content

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Some article updates 7/10

I updated the fleet support upgrades article to better reflect the improved potency of Slicer Tools nowadays. I also updated the Arquitens article in several places, but particularly I focused more on when you might want to use a Command Arquitens.

Squadron Encyclopedia 9: Running Squadless

So it's come to this.  We're living in Bizarro World.  Up is down, black is white, John is telling you how to run fleets without any squadrons in them.  What's happened to us all!
That squadless is so hot right now.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Imperial commander review: Grand Admiral Thrawn

Let's finish up the big upgrades of wave 7 (I still need to do a Seventh Fleet article, but that shouldn't be too big) by covering the Blue Man Group Grand Admiral Thrawn.

Thrawn performing "It's Gonna Be Me" back in his boy band days

Friday, June 29, 2018

Rebel Squad Pack II: A Re-Primer

So this is somewhat of a thinkpiece.....ish.  I'm not sure that I'm going to add it to the thinkpiece section, as this is about 4 specific squadrons more than anything else.  As everyone knows, I'm working on updating all my articles on the blog, as I have a fair amount that need some work in them (glances at Squadrons Encyclopedia, looks away askance).  But as I finished updating the basic squadrons article, I had a thought that may be worth exploring in some of my games (and potentially some of yours! Hence why I share!)
We're talking about these! Yes, you know of these!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

John Updates 6/25

It's been a bit, and I've been busy as those video games aren't going to play themselves....

I have now updated all the Rebel squadron articles (I added stuff in the Lancers article and less stuff in the E-wings article), and did some minor work on some of the others (included the Biggs FAQ in Rieekan, for instance, and added a bit about Adar Tallon helping pre-command Rogues).

Lancer Pursuit Craft
Z95 Headhunters

I'm currently hard at work (insert image of me slacking off and playing XCOM or dreaming up crazy new Leia lists and plans) on the "Running Squadronless" bit of the Squadrons Encyclopedia.  I need to update THOSE, too, but I'll likely hit some ships first. Followed by Commanders, then the squadron articles.  I'm aware the squadron articles need updates, especially in a Sloane world, but those take a fair amount of work to write.  I need to COMPLETELY redo the "Fighting 134 vs 134" one, just based on the fact that the Major Rhymer nerf effectively killed TIE Bombers.  Thrawn might be bringing them back, of course....  I promise I'm working on things, though, haha.

Apologies that I haven't really had any articles recently, just been.... lazy.  I don't have a good answer, sorry about that.  But it's not super easy to motivate yourself to update things when I'd rather write a new article instead.  Anyways, like I said, I AM working on running squadronless, so expect that one soon.  Writing the Squadron Pack II articles has made me reconsider things a bit there, so potentially expect a quick bit on that by the end of the week (Friday night if I'm very lucky, haha!)

Monday, June 18, 2018

Imperial squadron review: Mandalorian Gauntlet Fighter

As I come back around to start wrapping up the new Imperial things introduced in wave 7, let's talk about the Mandalorian Gauntlet Fighter.

It looks cool, anyways.

Friday, June 15, 2018

But Oh, Those Summer Nights!

Yeah, I titled this after a Grease lyric.  Deal, haha.  The alternative title to this post is "John Needs to Learn to Shut His Stupid Mouth!" as I plan on updating you on the best time of year: Rex Manning Day Store Championship Season
I watched this movie recently.  It does NOT hold up and I strongly endorse you to avoid it like the PLAGUE

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Eric's post-Worlds wave 7-ish thoughts

So similar to John's more recent article, I wanted to get my thoughts down in one place about some things that have been kind of bouncing around in my brain since Worlds.You'll probably note that John and I have been thinking/talking about some of the same things. I also suspect I'll say something others won't agree with 100%, so be aware this is going to be more contentious than my usual articles are.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

John Article Updates

Updated as of 6/3

X-wing (clarity, mainly, but I also separated the aces into their own paragraphs)
Y-wing (clarity as well)
A-wing (clarity)
B-wing (clarity)
HWK-290s (clarity)
Scurrgs (clarity)

I added a "How to Use Them" section to everything but the X-wing (as it already had it!), just to try making them a little more helpful.  I've been busy, but I'm working on these all.  I'm finishing up the other squadrons, but felt I could stand to get this all out now.  Minor wording changes, etc.

The YT1300 needs an overhaul, the YT2400 needs me to have time to look at it, and and then I've got the OTHER squadrons, too.  And the ships, commanders, etc.....

I'm working on them all I swear!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Fleet building 201: Heavy Squadron

Time for the second installment of the fleet archetype building series: Heavy Squadron. Just like the previous installment on Big Heavy, I feel the need to mention that for purposes of this article there will be a lot of generalizations that will not hold up in 100% of situations, especially with fleets made or used by experienced players who know when and how to bend or break some of the guidelines.

Just the first deployed ace squadron of many, courtesy of Admiral Sloane.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Guest article: Nathan Coda's Worlds report!

John and I asked our fellow Worlds attendees from the greater Chicagoland area if they were interested in sharing their own take on their Worlds experience and Nathan Coda (you know, that Nathan Coda, haha) volunteered. It's not too late for you, Nick G., Nick L., or Jack! Without further ado, here's what Nathan has to say:

Hello fellow Admirals! I’m Nathan Coda, originally of the Twin Cities, most recently of Chicagoland. I’ve been practicing for worlds this year with Eric and John, and they were kind enough to invite me to contribute to their blog with an overview of my 2018 worlds experience. Which, in general, went pretty okay for me.

That's me!
This year was my third worlds tournament, and I am consistently impressed with the caliber and quality of people that I meet there. Everyone I met was positive and a pleasure to talk with, no matter how their games were going. It’s extremely awesome to be able to hang out with people who are all so passionate about the game and geek out about it with them.

Does anyone else remember when Rieekan came out with the MC30, and everyone thought he was the worst? He sure showed us, huh? Rieekan’s ability is not super sexy, but it does provide something I find critical for competitive play - consistency. Knowing your ship/squadron will be able to activate this turn, no matter what, makes the whims of the dice less impactful. You may kill my MC30 parked in front of your ISD with a lucky close-range double accuracy 7 damage shot. But I still get to activate to rip your shields off, so my bombers can start hammering your hull. That’s why I’ve run Rieekan the last 3 years for worlds - he makes sure those clutch plays go through.

While I always bring a significant ship threat to a game, I find that I really enjoy the intricacies of the squadron game. When I run without squadrons, I feel like I’m playing half a game. So I’m generally running 90-134 points of squadrons with my builds, with different squadron selection for almost every tournament. For worlds this year, I was having trouble making Yavaris click without a built-in FCT move. Adar Tallon can help with that, but I didn’t like how he fit with my flotilla builds. Just messing around, I decided to add Hera to the list. And man, she just made the squadron loadout gel. She can help ensure good Yavaris placement for the next round while getting some good early rogue damage in. Plus, she can be super obnoxious against non-squadron lists, harassing early and often with rogue bomber friends. I’m looking forward to messing around with her in some other lists.

Hera and friends

I’m not going to go into detail about my games here - if you want an (admittedly dry) summary, you can find it here. Instead, I’m just going to provide commentary around some of my game highlights in this article. Note that, although there’s not a highlight from each of my games, every one of my opponents were great. They all played a good game and were excellent people. I look forward to when we next have the chance to push plastic spaceships at each other.

We do a lot to try to mitigate luck in Armada. At the end of the day, though, it’s a dice game, and luck happens. My third game of swiss was up against Dennis (Tokra) and his Sloane Aces list. He had done an excellent set of activations over two turns, trading Howlrunner for my 3 YT-1300s, Jan, and a Scuurg. I had done some chip damage to his remaining squadrons, and they were hanging around the station to repair. Ten Numb with Toryn has a 58% chance to crit on one shot, which makes it a 33% chance to trigger him on both shots of a double tap. Not impossible, but not super likely. For this game, though, he was feeling especially heroic, and turned the game dramatically in my favor - at the end of that round of shooting, only Jendon remained. I can take credit for some of the squadron placement, but I was seriously sweating Tokra’s rough treatment of my squadrons and was not at all confident I could salvage anything. But sometimes you just have to roll the dice and see what happens.

Not the hero we deserve, but the hero we need
My fourth game of Swiss with Eric also ended with a good serving of luck - you can read more about that in his excellent blog post here. However, for me, this game was far more about the mistakes I made. It’s hard to look at a decision and understand completely how it impacted a game, but it’s often easy to realize after the fact when you made a bad move. In this game, Eric had to kill my two real ships to win, and I had to keep them alive. There was no way my MC80 could get away - it just had to take down as many ships as it could with it. No, what I really needed to do was get Yavaris away. I started out great with my MC80 cutting right and Yavaris cutting left, flying past each other. But then I slowed Yavaris down, rammed a transport, then ran over both a debris field and an asteroid, before finally running into a hammerhead to explode - all while only providing minor contributions to the actual fight. Again, it’s hard to say what would have happened if I had flown differently - Eric would have changed his plan to compensate for sure. But mistakes were certainly made.

My final game against Yik was a brutal squadron slugfest. I really enjoy the squadron game, and it was an absolute pleasure to play such a technical and competitive game. We both caught some luck and made some mistakes, but the challenge and skillful play was fun throughout. And that’s really what matters at the end of the day. I’ve been knocked out of elimination the last two years, but even losing, it’s always been good games with good people, so I’ve kept coming back. This year was my year, but I’m looking forward to building new lists and playing more games with this great community.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Where Do We Go, and Why Do We Fight?

So instead of fixing any of those articles like I mentioned, I'm instead first going to do something slightly different.  These are just a few things I wanted to discuss, and since, you know, our blog, I get to do THIS first before moving back into updates and all.  They're all rather short, so they don't need individual articles.  Since they all somewhat relate, you get this amalgam of thinkpieces.
The 90s were a weird time, kids.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Eric's Worlds 2018 report

Sorry for a bit of a delay, I've had a lot of things to catch up on after Worlds. Let's talk Worlds!

First and foremost, I highly recommend going to anyone who can snag a ticket. I had a great time playing games as well as meeting people I otherwise only knew online. It was overall a really fun time. Even if you show up, get stomped every game, and then do the team game at the end (and lose that), you'll still get something like an alt-art Leia and earn enough tickets for something sweet like a frosted gloss Gladiator-I!

Decades later and Chewbacca still doesn't get a medal!
Stay frosty, my friends