Saturday, June 10, 2017

Store Championships Fleet! John's Ackbar Attack

So if you're seeing this, it's Saturday.  I'm writing this earlier in the week to get it ready to go on Saturday morning when the Fair Game Store Championships take place.  I'm going to paste my fleet below, and an explanation of how it's supposed to work beneath it.  When things calm down over the next few days, I'll be doing writeups of how all our games went and what it was like.

Why did I wait until Saturday to post this? Because I don't know how many people are coming from all over Chicagoland to play, but I don't want to give anyone more knowledge of this list than I need to, along with how to figure it all out.  It'll go up Saturday when everything has started, as I'm picking a different list for any Store Champs I get to in July (Hammerheads will be out.  How do I make a 7 activation fleet? We're gonna find out!)
If you don't make the pew laser noises, your dice don't roll as well.  That's science.

Anyways, the fleet!

Points: 400/400   
Assault Objective: Advanced Gunnery
Defense Objective: Fire Lanes
Navigation Objective: Intel Sweep
[ flagship ] MC80 Command Cruiser (106 points)
-  Admiral Ackbar  ( 38  points)
-  Defiance  ( 5  points)
-  Damage Control Officer  ( 5  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points)
-  X17 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
177 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
18 total ship cost
CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
-  Jainas Light  ( 2  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
53 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Leia Organa  ( 3  points)
-  Comms Net  ( 2  points)
23 total ship cost
MC30c Torpedo Frigate (63 points)
-  Skilled First Officer  ( 1  points)
-  Enhanced Armament  ( 10  points)
74 total ship cost
1 HWK-290 ( 12 points) 
2 VCX-100 Freighters ( 30 points)
1 X-Wing Squadron ( 13 points) 
Card view link
So some discussions about how i built it and what i was going for.  I have been trying since Wave 2 came out to get Ackbar to work for me.  I couldn't figure it out, but I finally got something together I like.  It's a Super-Pickle build on the Command Cruiser chassis (I needed points somewhere).  Ackbar as a Commander wants at least 3 ships to be able to take advantage of what he has, so I put in the Jaina's Light and a very stripped down MC30.  I couldn't even fit a TITLE for it in there, so careful flying to keep it alive is quite necessary.
Starting with Eric's idea in that linked post last paragraph, my core idea was that I wanted to run Ackbar on an H1MC80.  The fleshed out idea was "i need 2 other ships to make use of Ackbar or he's not a great use of the points."  Through playtesting and time I was able to make some changes and add some things in.
Specifically, Princess Leia on that flotilla
The Leia flotilla lets me make changes as needed on the fly for the Defiance, in the (sadly too common) cases where I'm engineering a turn early or late.  The other one is there to help activations a bit and act as a blocker if needed to keep a ship in place.  It's also the common recipient of Intel Sweep.
Speaking of, let's talk objective choice.  Knowing I had no bid (I couldn't afford one!), I knew I was going to need some pain in the butt objectives.  Advanced Gunnery is an obvious choice, because giving better Gunnery Teams to my MC80 is satanic.  Especially with the XI7s.  And Leading Shots with Defiance, so if I get a bad roll with my initial dice, Defiance adds in a blue dice for the Leading Shots reroll.  So that was easy.  Fire Lanes is one I've been playing since Wave 1 and it is evil if you just keep mining those points.  In order to make sure I COULD keep mining points, I had to bring some Strategic squadrons along.  Dragging Fire Lanes along the side of an MC80 is just mean, as it forces your opponent to come in close and then take an MC80's side arc if they want to score any points off Fire Lanes.  Also really fun with Strategic squadrons is throwing those tokens under your opponent's ships, giving you immediate free points.  Lastly, Intel Sweep lets me manipulate the objective tokens quickly (I'm usually pulling the third token top of 3 to ensure I get the 75 points) and then i can focus on killing your stuff/staying alive.
Hamilton jokes! Get your Hamilton jokes here!
Because I had the 2 Strategics in there, the usually seen choice with Ackbar is 2 A-wings.  However, one of our local players usually runs Rieekan with the 2 A-wing aces.  They don't die when they need to die, and I have lost Intel Sweep tokens because I couldn't move my stupid VCXs when I wanted to (lousy dead Shara engaging me).  Hence, I added in the HWK and the X-wing to keep it alive.  They can fire somewhat at the opposing squadrons, and in our generally squadron light meta, it seems to work out pretty well.
Jumping back to Eric's points in the article (linked again!), let's go through them 1 by 1 and address how I answered them all.
1) What is the state of my meta?
We really don't have a large squadron presence in Chicago (now watch me play 3 Rieekan Ace builds....), but we DO have a fair amount of Demolishers and MC30s.  The Damage Control Officer was a recent inclusion, but just knowing I can shut down APT crits (where ANYTHING can happen, all of it bad) is super helpful.  It doesn't return a token like Walex, but it does prevent a good amount of damage from hurting me, which is what I need.  I see a lot of APTs up here, so Damage Control!  Walex Blissex is a fine choice too, but I fear Demolisher last+firsting me, and I need that to.... NOT happen?

I'm sorry I ever made fun of you and called you useless.
2) Do I have enough activations/how do I handle fleets with more activations than me? and 3) Do I have enough deployments?
I have 7 drops so while it's not amazing, it's not light.  As people generally prefer going first, I don't mind deploying in such a fashion that they're reacting to me.  All my objectives let me go sidewaysish across the board, so I have no reason to run towards my opponent unless I need to.  I can usually wait out for ships to get close to me, trying to do damage to my stuff.  The 2 flotillas help on the deployment waiting out on my opponent.  Also luckily, all of my ships have jobs they want to do every turn.  Some of them may be as simple as "get into position" but pushing squadrons, helping the MC80 get the right command/token, or supporting its murderousness all work together.

And just as the Emperor predicted, he will come to me.  Wait, this makes me Vader.  Uh, ignore this.
4) How do I handle defense tokens/destroy enemy ships?
So the MC80 is loaded for bear, that's obvious.  All the upgrades work together to turn it either deadly or survivable, nothing is wasted.
See, it's loaded for bear, and it's an ewok! I'm hilarious.
Leading Shots combines with the Defiance Title to give me a blue dice at long range if needed.  XI7s means I'm making redirects hard to depend on, and Engine Techs means I can get the MC80 where I want it and not where you expected it.  On the flip side, Reinforced Blast Doors and the DCO work together to keep me from taking too much damage.  I usually can hang on in a fight for a while as needed, and the Leia GR75 ensures that if I hit the Engineering Panic Button too late or too early, I can change it to be what I need.

As for the other ships, Jaina's Light on a TRCR90 ensures that I can fire from wherever and not care about asteroids or obstruction (like from my own MC80!) or anything to take out the ship I need.  And the MC30 has Enhanced Armament on it to ensure that I can both shoot at long range (Just adding in that 1 red dice means I can reach out and touch you from much further!) yet still depend on the blue dice to roll potential accuracies or crits or whatever.  It's a very luck dependant roll, I realize, but with that Enhanced Armaments on there, my MC30 has the same side arc as the front arc of an ISD.  I can't always guarantee it, but it can roll a LOT of damage.  I've just jinxed myself by saying this, of course.  It's been rolling so well for so long, too!
And that MC30 was only 3 days from retirement, too! He was going to sail around the world with his wife!
5) Can I handle common skew fleets?
MSU - We see a lot of this up here.  DCO got put on here to try to ensure that I can handle multiple attacks on my ship that I don't really want hitting me.  My last match against Eric's fleet with mine didn't go.... well.  We'll see what happens today!

Squadrons - Part of this is knowing the meta, and that we don't see that many of them currently (glares at Quasar), but that's why I'm running this here.  I'm not sure I'll be able to keep running this when the Quasar drops and I get 6 TIE bombers streaking across the field and shooting me like big jerks.  For now, the plan is if we're playing my objectives, repeated flakking and engineering commands to stay alive.  If that doesn't work, well, I can honestly say I didn't expect it based on the Chicago meta coming in.  If someone shows up with it, I'm going to be hoping they haven't much practice with it.... but we'll see?

Big Heavy - With good timing and activations, I can focus fire on one ISD/VSD and take it out through combined arms.
Concentrate all fire on that super star destroyer!
6) Can I destroy flotillas?
Somewhat.  All those red dice (and the blue dice if they ever get close enough) usually can roll me 1, and the rest of the dice can generate enough damage to put a hurting on.  Failing that, I have 3 ships that can easily ram and 2 flotillas that I'll ram with if I need something dead.  Engine tech rams on the H1MC80 are great!

7) Does my bid strategy compliment my fleet?
Hahahahahaha you think I had enough points left over to have a bid strategy.  I could have eliminated the Skilled First Officer on the MC30 to give me a 1 point bid, but in my mind it wasn't really worth it.  I think.  Watch me come back with 2 losses to 399 point fleets now!

8) Am I using good objectives?
Covered this above, and it's a point of pride in my fleet that my opponents commonly express how much they hate my objectives.  You'll know you've chosen well when your opponent groans upon seeing them.

Let's see how this goes today!  It's a 2 round event, so we'll have a quick blurb up around dinner time.... and we may try for a second one later that night, because Eric and I are insane, apparently.

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