Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Squadrons Encyclopedia Chapter 7: Actually Attacking Ships!

That's right, with Halloween two weeks away, it's time for this zombie to rise from his grave!
Nothing is scarier than David S. Pumpkins!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Updates 10/16

As of today, I've updated and edited and added links to Chapters 4 through 6 of the Squadrons Encyclopedia:

Squadron Encyclopedia Chapter 4: Large Fighter Coverage (Rebels and Imperials)
Squadron Encyclopedia Chapter 5: Using the Small Fighter Coverage group
Squadron Encyclopedia Chapter 6: Using the Large Fighter Coverage group

There have been some things removed from these chapters, yes.  It's almost as if I pulled them out for a reason.  A reason you'll all need to wait until tomorrow to see!
I don't know why I'm referencing songs about going back or returning to a future at all!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Overlapping, or "demolition derby in space"

Despite becoming a Chicagolander through osmosis occurring over more than a decade, I was born and raised in northwestern rural Illinois (where my high school mascot is a pretzel) and let me tell you city slickers that demolition derbies are awesome. Just a whole bunch of the most junked up barely functional cars all smashing into each other and driving around with pieces hanging off and smoke blowing around as they throw mud all over the place and get into loud crashes while the crowd screams until there's only one quasi-functional car left standing. If you've never been to a demolition derby, I highly recommend it. And with that said, on to the article...

Oh man, 137 is really getting taken to Pound Town.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Skilled First Officer: a love letter

It's time for a special feature article about one of my favorite upgrades that I can only hope FFG will be releasing as a tournament kit upgrade card so more people can get use from him, the Skilled First Officer! I love this guy and I've gushed about him in multiple ship articles, so I figure maybe I should have an article just about him instead of hijacking and then making John's generic officers article longer. It also means I can just link right here to save people from reading the same advice multiple times 😉.

"Yelling hat man hate command dial!"

Monday, October 9, 2017

Slowly Updating

So as of now, I've updated and added in links for:

Commander Sato (based off some helpful suggestions from Ginkapo and Undeadguy on the forums), I added in a bit more about not just trying to turn him into a crit machine and using HWKs with him.  Minor upgrades, but if you're interested in running Sato (he's not bad, I swear!), take a look again.

Prelude: Squadron Roles and Basic Thoughts
Chapter 1: Basics and Outline
Chapter 2: Small Fighter Coverage
Chapter 3: Medium Fighter Coverage

Note to self for the next day or two: add in Ten Numb to chapter 4.

I've got plans now to add in a chapter 7, actually attacking ships with your bombers (an article I vaguely promised to do in Chapter 1) and then how to deal with your opponent's heavy squadron blob, an article that I both promised in chapter 1 and will continue our Fighting Fleets series (Eric or I may talk about hunting flotillas before or after that, as well).  I'm going to work on the updates FIRST, as I'd prefer to have them all done.  It also gives me more time to play my bomber fleet a few more games and get back into the swing of using fighters and all in my meta to blow up ships, so there is THAT helpfulness, haha.

I'm NOT planning on updating the Rebel starter fleet article, as I feel it's currently a good mix of ships and squadrons and you can choose where to go to from there (as I state at the bottom of the article, haha).  I considered adding in a few more options to give people the chance to go harder squadron or ship, but as it's a starter fleet I'd rather let them play that a few times and see WHAT they like playing and develop up from that.

Also, given that I finished my 3rd marathon (hash brown humble brag), I have a bit more time (and don't need to run for 2 hours every other day), so I can hopefully get my articles updated sooner rather than later.  But, I make no promises.  I'll do what I can, though, haha.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Squadron-heavier option added to the Imperial starter fleet article

With the release of the Quasar, some new cost-effective options are now available for the Empire and I know some folks want to go squadron-heavier right out of the gate. With that said, I added an option #2 to the Imperial starter fleet article, which is copy-pasted below:

Monday, October 2, 2017

Fighting Fleets: Swatting Swarms

Some of the most common types of questions John and I see online about Armada come down to "my local meta seems to be dominated by (insert archetype) fleet and I'm struggling to beat it, what do I do?" With that said, John fired off the first article about how to handle well-defended large ships that require a lot of firepower to bring down. I'd like to discuss another major archetype which in many ways is the opposite of a fleet with one or more tough large ships, the swarm fleet. I've run swarm fleets competitively for a few years now, so it's something I know pretty well. It's not unbeatable by any means, but without an understanding of how it works it can feel that way sometimes.
Cue the Aquabats' Shark Fighter, please!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Gearing Up for Battle 2: Armada Fix Squadron Plates

Little bit lighthearted today, no major strategy to cover in this article.  Way back in April (halfway back in this blog's lifetime, haha!) Eric wrote a post about enhancing your Armada peripherals.  Carrying case, laser pen, Recreator Studios fancy distance X rulers, etc.  Well today is a continuation of that, with regards to squadron play, specifically, Armada Fix's Squadron Command Plates
Oh, 1995, when ska and Reel Big Fish were things. "The record company's gonna give me lots of money...."

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

John Updates 9-26

Rebel Commanders I've updated with links:
Jan Dodonna 
Garm Bel Iblis
Mon Mothma
Carlist Rieekan
Admiral Gial Ackbar
Airen Cracken
Crix Madine
Leia Organa (Commander) 
Minor grammatical changes to them all as well, but no major new content.  Sato is not on here because he deserves a rewrite, but that's likely weekend work.

Any Admiral that I can strongly suggest using Hammerheads with (Mothma and Madine, for example) got a slight blurb in their "common ships" sections.  I don't have full experience trying all of these out, but I will update these when/if I get experience and try them.

Hammerheads: Costco Brand Raiders!

Yeesh, what a title.  Anyways, today's topic is Hammerheads.
You mean me?
No, not the 90s cartoon Street Sharks (which I suspect in hindsight was NOT totally "Jawesome" but was actually a mediocre Ninja Turtles rip-off, which was in actuality a good Daredevil rip-off) but the Hammerhead Corvette, the newest ship from the Rebellion.  I pray this is the last Street Sharks joke I make, but we all know me, so I make no promises (further side note: one of the Street Sharks always had on rollerblades, because 1995 or whatever.  He later played drums professionally.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Imperial commander review: Admiral Sloane

Time to finally finish off the Imperial wave 6 articles with a review of Admiral Sloane! Once John gets his Hammerhead article up, we'll be completely done with wave 6.
Thanks for the sweet later-in-the-EU art, wookieepedia!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fighting Fleets: Whale Hunting

Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee!
Alright, so Eric and I are going to start talking about fighting specific builds.  I volunteered to take on taking on an ISD, but let's talk whaling in general.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Grand Inquisitor added to Imperial officers article

The Imperial officers article has been updated, with some cleanup involving the Quasar now officially being released and the addition of the Grand Inquisitor. The ISD article has again been updated to mention when I'd recommend Leading Shots on an ISD-I and to mention the Grand Inquisitor as an option on ships with Quad Battery Turrets due to his synergy with them on an ISD. That should, to my knowledge, completely update all of my articles to wave 6.

That Grand Inquisitor section added to the Imperial officers article is below:

Where is Spain? Why does everyone ask if I'm from there? It's so unexpected!
The Grand Inquisitor requires a little clarification before we go any further:
  • The line "when an enemy ship... changes its speed" is a little more nebulous than I'd like. It can be construed to mean "its speed is changed from any effect," which would allow you to trigger the Grand Inquisitor when using a Tractor Beam or some such, but consensus seems to be that it refers to the ship itself ("changes its speed," being "the ship('s owner) choosing to change its speed") making the decision and not from effects being forced on it. I'd appreciate an FAQ on this sooner or later, though.
    • That said, you can use speed-down effects to encourage the owner of the ship to speed it back up to trigger the Grand Inquisitor, though!
  • Remember that you can't premeasure with the maneuver tool until your ship gets to its determine course step, so when the Grand Inquisitor triggers you don't get the benefit of seeing how you like a different speed and the options it gives you like you would with a navigate dial and/or token.
The Grand Inquisitor fills a bit of an odd niche by allowing you to quasi-navigate during an opponent's turn but only if a nearby enemy ship changes its speed as well. Because of his restrictions, if you're looking to use the Grand Inquisitor as an on-demand navigate token, I'd recommend looking to Wulff Yularen for an extra 3 points or use a Veteran Captain or Skilled First Officer if you only anticipate a one-time emergency need. You really don't want to be relying on the Grand Inquisitor only to find your opponent has denied you the triggering event you need for him to work.

Okay, so when would you want to use the Grand Inquisitor over a more reliable officer that can help you change your speed? A few situations come to mind:
  • On ISDs or (to a lesser extent) VSDs using Quad Battery Turrets, the Grand Inquisitor can be quite helpful as he allows you to slow down during your opponent's turn, prior to your attack with the Quad Battery Turrets. Given that heavier enemy ships are often slowing down to avoid the extra blue die when the dice start flying and lighter enemy ships are often speeding up to get out of your front arc, the Grand Inquisitor often has ample opportunities to trigger and can assist you with getting your speed into the "just right" category where you'll be able to use your QBTs and also navigate as you prefer.
  • In conjunction with a navigate token for larger speed changes. This is another feature where I feel like the Grand Inquisitor is likely best on an ISD, but any ship that enjoys going between speed 1 and 3 and back appreciates a 1-point bump from the Inquisitor followed by a navigate token spend, especially if it's generally busy performing other commands. The trick is that the ship in question needs to prompt speed changes from enemy ships to be able to quasi-reliably pull this off, and that's why the ISD is a good candidate whereas an Arquitens or Raider, for example, is not.
With that said, the Grand Inquisitor isn't bad but I overall don't recommend him much outside an ISD, and that's an officer seat with a lot of competition. I have had more success with him on a Quad Battery Turrets ISD-II than I expected, however, so I'd definitely recommend giving it a shot at some point.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Checking it Twice! Individual Activations

So we've hit the start of each turn in our last article in this series.  Now, we break this down to individual ships and how to know when to activate them.
I suggest activating the Star Destroyer first.

Boarding team upgrades (weapon team + offensive retrofit)

Given the unique nature of multiple-upgrade-slot upgrades, it felt appropriate to give them their own articles rather than trying to include them here and there in the other upgrade articles. Hence, this will be where all the boarding teams will be discussed, which are the upgrades that consume both a weapon team and offensive retrofit slot. With wave 6, 3 of these upgrades were added and we've got at least one more coming in wave 7 (boarding team Vader!). Let's get to it!

Pictured: Vader in the middle of discarding the Raymus Antilles upgrade card.