Tuesday, December 12, 2017

John's Regionals Wrap-Up 2! Games and Lessons Learned!

So, we had a list.  And we had driven 5 hours from Chicago to Livonia and we were ready for a game.... or 4.  Let's get this recap going!
When in doubt, add more B-wings

So, game 1 was against Mark.  He brought:
Sloane on an Avenger ISD-II (Gunnery Teams, ECM, XI7s, and Leading Shots)
VSD-I with Spinal Armaments, Boarding Troopers, APT
2 Gozantis (one with Comms Net, one without)
Lambda, Dengar, Howlrunner, Valen, and 2 Interceptors

He had me go first, and I picked his Most Wanted (I think? It's been 2 days), with him choosing my Assault Frigate and his non-Comms Net Gozanti.
Deployment vaguely like this.
I had everything going effectively at speed 1 or right near it.  I used Gallant Haven as a bunker, navigating more often than not throughout the early game.  The flotillas were also navigating at least turns 1 and 2, setting us up for a turn 3 opening that looked like this!
Places I don't want that ISD: right there

Yup, his ISD was right in the face of my Yavaris, ready to cause me some issues (luckily, just in long range).  The VSD was starting to limp, I think it had taken a few bits of shield damage to its front/side.  Adar Tallon went and activated Ten Numb.  I had used Corran to snipe Valen and an Interceptor previously, so Ten Numb rolls on Dengar.... and gets the crit.  Down goes Valen and that Interceptor.  And Adar untaps him, of course!  The VSD and ISD go (doing insignificant damage to Yavaris because of a bad roll), and eventually Yavaris ended the VSD this turn, and then has Luke double tap the ISD (the first time, comma, I'm sorry Mark).

Next turn, Yavaris goes and has Luke double tap the ISD (again.  Right now, we're at about 6 damage into the ISD from 2 activations of Luke) along with one of the B-wings.  The ISD, of course, ended Yavaris, deservedly so.  Gallant Haven, having slipped around the outside, fired three more squadrons into the butt of the ISD and down she went.  The rest of the game basically petered out from there, with him down to 2 Gozantis and a squadron or two left.

Game 2 I went against Dave.  He brought:
Madine on a LMC80 Star Cruiser (Chart Officer, Leading Shots, XI7s, Gunnery Team, Engine Techs)
GR Leia Comms Net
GR Ahsoka Slicer Tools Quantum Storm
2 Hammerheads with TFOrgana and External Racks
Jaina's Light with TRCs
Lieutenant Blount
7 Z95s (not a typo)
Most Wanted again!
Dave had me go first, and deployed as shown.  It may be hard to see, but everything in that blob of his was angled towards the right.  We spent 5 turns circling, and eventually traded shots bottom of 5.  Turn 6 I killed Jaina's Light and some Z95s, he killed my BCC flotilla.

Dave was a smart opponent, refusing to engage my squadrons and running away, forcing me to come towards him.  About turn 3 I realized that my going FORWARD was not how I could get things done, so I started turning around, bringing my squadrons near the Death Star in the picture, there.  There isn't a mess to say about this game, but Dave fought smart and didn't fight, really.

Game 3 I dropped against Tristan.
Jerry on an ISD-II (Avenger again!) with Grand Inquisitor, Gunnery Team, Reinforced Blast Doors, Leading Shots, and Quad Battery Turrets
3 Gozantis (one Comms Net)
Raider-I with ExRax and OE
Raider-II with DCaps and Overload Pulse (Oh I see what's happening here....)
4 TIEs

He went first and chose my Precision Strike
Deployment.  Also, he had a very nice paint job on his ships, I really liked the yellow striping.
Slowrolling with my ships as usual (speed 1s), he eventually tried to fire the Overload Pulse at one of the flotillas (the Bright Hope), but he was obstructed and didn't roll the accuracy.  He zoomed the Raider in, Yavaris went and then blew up the Raider with 2 B-wing activations.

And then we got to THIS point:
Auf wiedersehen, Assault Frigate
He turned his ISD HARD and got the Assault Frigate in his sights.  The Frigate was all ready to command squadrons, but then the Skilled First Officer jumped out the airlock so I could navigate my way out of trouble.  Well, I ended up still in its front arc, so this was gonna suck.

The ISD took its side shot and did some damage.  It fired its front shot and... wait, I survived? Holy heck! Wait, what do you mean there's a Raider who has me double arced? Get him, unalterable squadron command!

Yup, didn't work.  I lost the Assault Frigate.  I spent the rest of the game hunting down flotillas with squadrons, even using the Adar one to ram/kill one of the others.  I ended up actually winning thanks to both Precision Strike points and blowing up the rest of his flotillas with several different bomber activations over and over.

And so, game 4.
Seriously, 4 games is a heck of a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnng day
In my testing, I had often said "Man, I need to face a super heavy squad Sloane list in order to figure out how I'm gonna handle it."  But, I never really had time nor did anyone have the inclination to test it.  Well guess what I was facing!

Brian had:
4 gozantis (one comms net)
Sloane on an ISD-II Relentless with Intel Officer, Gunnery Team, ECM, XI7s, and Leading Shots
Jendon, Valen, Black Squadron, Maarek, and 4 TIE defenders
Gotta break up the pictures with more pictures....
Anyways, deployment!
Go away, Defenders! Go away!
He chose my Superior Positions, so we deployed as such.  I slow rolled as much as I could, but eventually (Turn 3?) he jumped 5 squads in and killed Jan.  I fired everything I had out of every possible squadron, and Ten Numb crit-ate 2 defenders while shooting and nearly killing a third.  By this point, the ISD had gotten into the face of Yavaris, but even after activating first AND ramming it, it was only able to do 4 hull damage (the crit affected my ability to shoot squadrons, aggravatingly).

I threw what remaining squadrons I had out, and Gallant Haven commanded my lone Y-wing to hit Jendon, who was sitting at 2 health.  Even with Flight Controllers, I needed a full 3 damage... and I got it. Those 3 gozantis were out of the game, making my life immeasurably easier.

Through pushing everything I could with the flotillas, I had finished mopping up the squadrons and had started to focus on the ISD.  Through bombing it with everything I had, it finally went down.  And thanks to the Gallant Haven title, I had only lost Jan and Luke and my BCC flotilla.
Swag pic! Mainly to cut apart the wall of text

So, a 4th place finish at the end of it.  Dice, Scatters, range rulers, all the works.  What did I learn from this whole experience?

Well, first, the Assault Frigate still can (and often will!) roll like garbage.  3 red dice can be very fickle and would definitely appreciate a way to fix their output (hello, Intensify Firepower...).  However, even 1-2 dice that hit can contribute, especially to things like Superior Positions or when firing on ISDs.  But its role as a squadron bunker CANNOT be overstated.  My squadrons would not have survived an alpha strike without it.  I'm not sure I can confidently say that I've mastered it (I could probably have Concentrated Fire a few times with it just to contribute some more) but I like what it can do for you.  I could definitely go for adding in a turbolaser upgrade (DTTs most likely) if I can spare the points.

Relatedly, ISDs are everywhere now.  Sloane, Jerry, Motti, they're all there.  We're about to see more of them next wave, and your list better have a way of taking them out.  If it can't, go scrap your list and rebuild it.

Secondly, Sloane is a THING.  I played 2 games against her, and I know several of our other Fair Gamers that came also played against her.  I know I haven't seen much of her here, but she can get some work done.  If I hadn't had Gallant Haven that last game, I would have been in for some trouble with my own squadrons and that Defender alpha.  Orf, so much dice!  I don't have any advice on building a viable Sloane list (I don't Imp), but I can definitely see her potential, especially with the recently spoiled Governor Pryce card in Wave 7.
Cards I can predict I'm gonna hate seeing across the table from me....

Bombers and squadrons remain something I enjoy.  I'm not going to ever give them up, but right now I have another insane list to try out and fine tune that I'd like to bring to the Indianapolis Regionals in January, and potentially Adepticon in March after THAT.  Its design, of course, came from me over-reacting to a forum post/statement about the efficacy of certain ships and commanders (Cracken All-Assault Frigates! Garm CR90s! Mothma LMC80!).  We'll see how this goes, but it's my new flavor of the month that I'm interested in.  No (actual) spoilers on THAT for now!

It was great driving to Michigan, and actually meeting several people who read me/us (the number of you that recognized me was something I didn't expect, haha!).  I had a lot of fun playing everyone, and I saw a lot of good lists and players and great sportsmanship everywhere.  Great community up there, guys!

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