|"You're in a triangle, Feeny!"|
So I'm going to break down the game into 3 phases; 3 times I'm going to bring the checklist into play. There are actually several times and several spots where the game can change; each battle is a matter of inches in range/out of range, dice rolls that do or don't kill the ships you need dead, etc. Biggs is writing some good stuff over at Steel Squadron about all those different phases, and I'd be a fool not to recommend you read them all. For us, though, we're going to hit:
2) Start of Turn/Ship Phase
3) Individual Activations
Deployment is important because I can't tell you the number of times I've deployed something at the wrong speed or angled wrong, making it unable to affect the game until well later than it should (looking at YOU, Assault Frigate....) and usually resulting in a loss for me. There's a LOT to cover in deployment, and I know for sure that we NEED more articles on the subject. It's in progress, haha (I actually think Eric had mentioned that he was going to write some things soon on it).
But deployment isn't just ships and speeds and laying out obstacles; it's making sure that your ships aren't going to ram each other, that you're set to take advantage of whatever objective you actually chose, there's flying in formation if you're doing that, there's sweeping around if you're planning for that, there's a lot. How do you plan on deploying obstacles? How do you plan on making the most of whatever your opponent just put down? And with what he has left, what do you plan on doing to stay alive from THAT?
Deployment has a lot to cover in it, but the checklist for not forgetting stuff? That's an entirely different idea, which I'll get into.
|"Put that X-wing down. X-wings are for closers!"|
Having a plan for the turn will let you understand what outcome you're expecting and what likely will be the next thing you do, and will keep you (again, the point of this) from making a potentially dumb mistake that results in you losing a ship you didn't need to. Each turn you're going to be asking yourself how you plan on getting a win out of this game. Turn 1 you're setting up your attack to get what you need, but there's a lot of other ways of winning. We'll talk about this, but right now I want to leave this somewhat vague. I need another game or two (I just created this idea about a week ago, haha!) to ensure that I've got everything I'll need to flesh this idea out and make it work. I KNOW I need one for the start of the turn, but what exactly it entails is going to need a bit of time to make it work.
Relatedly, I know a lot of people in our meta trigger things (Pelta commands, let's say) at the start of the turn, during the Command Phase. Technically, this is not right. You want to do this during the (correct) Ship Phase. But looking at the start of the turn, you need to have a general plan for what you're going to activate and how, and assigning dials properly to take advantage of what's going to happen on the turn. If you have a list of 4 Gladiators, you can't have ALL of them with a Concentrate Fire command on top if they're all in black dice range: one of your opponent's ships is going to move away.
|I can tell you right now that I am not entertained by 4 Gladiators.|
So I've got a good working idea of how I want this all to go, but I want another game or two in before I hit these ALL. What I now plan on doing (uh-oh, John's changed his plans: it's gonna get longer....) is doing a breakdown on each one of these parts of the turn and what our checklist part for that "phase" is going to entail. It'd be an explanation of why I'm putting things in and why I'm not. First up is going to be deployment, as I don't necessarily need another game to talk that one out and what we'll end up needing there to have there. Lucky for you all, because I need these checklists short, the articles are going to be short. Well, SHORTER than my usual ones, like one where I wrote 5 million words on using a bomber group correctly.
|Fowl Language is great.|