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

Friday, May 11, 2018

MC75: Your Big New Friend!

Well, it took a bit of time, but finally, it's MC75 time.  Bring the funk, bring the noise, bring the fight!
He came to fight, you know

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Transmissions from the Medical Center: John's Post-Worlds Wrap Up

So, Eric and I just got back from Worlds, and my immediate first action is to of course start blogging my experience.  Because I REMAIN a giant nerd.

What it felt like around the top table this year. Dibs on being Chewie.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Nebulon Article Updated!

Mainly hit the Yavaris bits and nerf, though I threw in a few pieces in the Salvation part too.  Redemption remains.... a title you can take.

Anyways, working on the MC75 article nowish, expect it.....hopefully before Worlds? April's been wonky for me, sorry for the time it's taken to get this out, and make my edits to.... a LOT of articles still (stupid helpful Raddus! Making all sorts of ships and builds viable again!)

Anyways, Neb link:

Monday, April 9, 2018

Nerf-Related Articles, v 1.1

John's working on some of the articles, and here's what I've finished up so far.
  • Support Teams! (specifically Fighter Coordination Teams related)
  • B-wings! (again, FCT related)
  • Generic Officer Friends! (Strategic Adviser, Flight Commander with respect to? That's right, FCT)
  • GR75 article (stole Eric's writeup of the rules changes and removed many of my jokes about not addressing controversy involved in their usages, haha)
  • Assault Frigate article (Gallant Haven bit)
  • VCX article! (minor changes to it, but I didn't really discuss Relay much there, so not much to talk about, actually.
I'm aware I still haven't updated the Large Ships of the Rebellion for potential Raddus drops.  I blame in no particular order: my job, general laziness, TV series that need to be watched (ROW ROW FIGHT THE POWER), and my attempts to build a list for Worlds, that thing we're going to.  At least my montage sequence is going alright?

Yavaris/the Neb article is going to need a substantial update and build section; so, you know, soon?  I would update the X-wing article with the Biggs FAQ bit, but I'm more likely going to put that in there and under Rieekan, and I have plans on rewriting that X-wing article anyways.  It's one of my first ones and my style wasn't refined then.  That's right, it needs more Muppet jokes.
We're working on them, we promise, haha.

Nerf-related articles updated, v1.0

Updated the articles in my wheelhouse, which comes down to:
  • The ISD article has been updated in a few ways:
    • The Avenger title is now corrected, with some of the explanation text changed as well to reflect that.
    • The Chimaera title discussion is now clarified by the FAQ - specifically, the fleet command upgrades are merely replaced and don't form a confusing discard pile.
    • Updated the ISD-I Avenger Boarding Troopers build to use XI7 Turbolasers to further focus the side arc attack even after Avenger has been used.
  • The Lambda-class Shuttle and Squadron Keywords articles have been updated to reflect the Relay nerf.
  • The Gozanti article has been updated to include the new flotilla restrictions from the flotilla nerf.
  • The tournament structure article has been updated to clarify that you get tabled when all your non-flotilla ships are destroyed.
  • The anti-Avenger Boarding Troopers article has been updated to reflect the Avenger nerf and a segment has been added about Avenger attack order keeping that in mind. 
  • The anti-flotilla article has been updated to reflect the flotilla nerf. A lot of text was removed, actually, because the big segments on what to do about Relay abuse were no longer necessary. Added a small reminder on tabling once only flotillas (or nothing) is left.
John will have his own adjustments to make and I guarantee I missed something somewhere. The process of amending articles once nerfs happen is never as easy as I think it will be: I was finding incorrect Rhymer references in articles for months after the last update, hidden in places I didn't expect to find him. If you spot something, please drop us a line at or comment on the article. Thanks!

Saturday, April 7, 2018

New FAQ/erratas are up!

Holy crap, a lot just happened. Let's cover it! I'll be covering it in order and then John will be making commentary in a color of his choosing below that. The text from the article will be quoted below where relevant:

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

We're heading to Worlds!

I wanted to post a quick update to make it official that John and I are both headed to Worlds this year (in case you missed it in John's recent montage-focused post). I got in on the initial ticket run and John was able to get his ticket on Saturday. That is pretty exciting, but it also means that we're going to be focusing on getting in as much practice as we can in April. That doesn't mean no articles at all, but it will likely mean less than usual as our free time goes towards our respective training montages. It's also going to mean a certain amount of secrecy about what exactly we're planning to bring, but we'll definitely be covering Worlds once/after we're there, so look forward to that in early May!

No pressure, it's just the most competitive Armada meta in the entire world, we'll be fine, right?