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.

So, this whole experience is going to be broken down into several segments that I'll bold as topics change.  Feel free to read what you want, skip over what you don't, and mock what's left, all your call.

I: What I Done Brought
So, bit of a diversion here (John? No.....) but we in Chicago have been in basically tourney prep mode since Wave 7 showed up.  When it dropped, we had Adepticon within a month or so, and then I lucked into a Worlds ticket maybe 2-3 weeks after THAT, so I've been getting games in like crazy.  Adepticon was there (in the past) as my first experience with minis gaming and local, so I had wanted to do well there.  Hometown hunting ground and all that.  That writeup is HERE, should anyone forget it.

But then we had the FAQ.  And that meant a lot of things couldn't happen anymore.  2+3, the Leia 3+3, the 1+4, etc.  All dead, all gone.  I spiraled for a bit, throwing some (poorly designed) Leia fleets at the wall, but I kept running into the danger of Double Cymoon from my friend Nick (more on this double ISD subject in Eric's writeup, probably).  Spoiler alert: my friend Nick placed 3rd Day 1A with Vader's 2 ISDs (which I've started calling Run, DMC, even though Nick used an ISD-II.... but I digress, as usual).  So, I got so sick of running into Cymoons and exploding and everything that roughly a month before Worlds I threw this together and it worked.  It beat so much face....

Points: 400/400

Commander: Admiral Ackbar
Assault Objective: Advanced Gunnery
Defense Objective: Hyperspace Assault
Navigation Objective: Solar Corona

MC30c Torpedo Frigate
Admonition, Lando Calrissian, Ordnance Experts, External Racks
= 82 total ship cost

Assault Frigate Mark II B
Intel Officer, Caitken and Shollan, Electronic Countermeasures, Slaved Turrets
= 98 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports
Leia Organa, Comms Net
= 23 total ship cost

MC80 Assault Cruiser (114 points)
Admiral Ackbar, Home One, Bail Organa, Engine Techs, EWS, ECM, QBTs, Leading Shots
= 197 total ship cost

So what's it do? Reach out and touch face from range.  That Assault Frigate when concentrating fire rolls 7 red dice.  With an Intel Officer and an Accuracy in them, along with a reroll of any blanks.  TERRIFYING.  I've wiped ISD shields like they were bugs on a windshield, and small ships die like crazy.  Flotillas when they get shot will die like crazy.  It's super fun, and I was cracking double ISD builds in practice pretty consistently.  I have no bid, but I have Bail.  If I'm forced to go first, great, I don't care.  I bid nothing to do it.  If I get to go second, enjoy that death trio of objectives.

What about squadrons? My thought process was that anything with dedicated squadron presence would just kill Tycho/Shara almost immediately, which results in me just giving away points for no reason.  I CAN reach out and crack a carrier from red range, which, after the Relay nerf, is right about where those carriers end up fast.  When Quasars die, that's a lot of sad Imperial squadrons.  As for having only 4 deployments? Well, you learn FAST about having a plan for that every time.  I liken it to football plays/defensive schemes, in that you either run a Cover-2 or a Nickel defense or something like that each time you set up and then go from there.

Relatedly, the OTHER thing I brought with my World's list was a heaping dose of anxiety.  Nothing would say "you're barely qualified to write this blog, John" like going 1-3 or 0-4.  Minor anxiety is great, kids, happy to have it.
Bill Flipping Murray!
I knew what I was doing LOCALLY with my lists, but what happens if I face something terrifying that I haven't practiced against, like 13 Y-wings or Jerry 7 Arquitens or something crazy like that??

II: How My Games Went
So this is going to probably be the shortest section, in that I MOSTLY remember my games, but I took very few pictures (derp!) and can at BEST describe them to you.  Giant walls of texts are fun for no one, especially when I don't have pictures to best describe them (sorry I'm a doof).

Game 1, I played the previous GenCon winner, Jeff, who brought his own Ackbar Death HMC80, 2 flotillas, an Expanded Hangar Bay Hammerhead, 4 VCXs, Shara, and Jan.  Dubbing it Fish Farm Jr, I took his Advanced Gunnery when he made me go first.  I was unable to get into range at ALL on his Assault Frigate and lost Admo and the AF before the game was done.  I killed nothing of his.  I was a little aggravated/mad at myself for losing so badly/dumbly until my friend Nick (no, a different Nick, haha) informed me that he was the GenCon winner.  I no longer felt bad, haha!

Game 2, I then ended up playing my friend Jack.  Nothing says I want to play one of my local friends like flying an hour and a half away (or in his case driving 6 hours)!  He brought 2 ISDs, and he chose my Hyperspace Assault.  I dropped in Admo in the front of Vader's Cymoon and cracked that and a flotilla.  He killed my flotilla and Assault Frigate, so I think I got a 7-4.  Jack was one of the double ISDs I had been testing against, and he changed tactics IMMEDIATELY from all our practice games.  He KNEW he had to cut me off from my Ackbar swirling, and he did a great job that almost got me.  Terrifying, haha.

Game 3, I played Kevin, who brought Jerry on a Kuat, a Squall Quasar, and a smackton of squadrons.  I went first again, and played HIS Solar Corona.  I ground it out and lost Home One, but I tabled him.  Constant repairs, flinging everything I had at the Quasar, and a lot of luck, haha.

Game 4, I played Chris and his Raddus list.  2 MC75s, 2 flotillas, and 3 VCXs.  He decided AGAINST wandering into my setup Ackbar death trap (what? Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?) but I was able to tag the Bright Hope/Toryn Farr flotilla for a 6-5 in my favor.

So, I ended up in 13th overall and went 3-1.  I got some fancy dice and the knowledge that I still know what I'm talking about with regards to writing this blog (well, you know, vaaaaaaguely, haha).  I make no claims that I'm Top Table material, but I DID get a picture of me about to play a game ON said Top Table!
Literal seconds before I was rightfully booted from the table.  Thanks, "random FFG employee" who took this picture!
Eric and I also played a 600 point team tournament game, which was both awesome and weird being on the same side of the table, since he's usually running Imps and I only own Rebels, haha.  Next year I promised him that I'd learn how to Imperial for the event....

I ALSO got in a game against Ian Cross, FFG Judge, which was super nice of him to play me and I appreciate a lot.  Leia took down a win against Sloane, but it was a game for fun, which leads into my next topic....

III: What I Got Out of This
So, there's a slogan that GenCon has trademarked themselves as "the best 4 days in gaming."  I heartily disagree.  THIS was the best 4 days in gaming.  There's a joke from How I Met Your Mother about how Ted brings Robin to the Architect's Ball because "Lenny Kravitz" is going to be there, and it turns out Ted meant Leonard Kravitz, the architect who is going to give a 90 minute lecture on cross-beams.  For me, this weekend was a LOT like that moment, from Ted's perspective.  Holy crap it's Biggs! It's Norm Weir and the rest of Team Canada! These guys are FAMOUS!
#BlessedGR.  You had to be there, haha

I'm walking around this Radisson in the middle of Bumble, Minnesota seeing all these vaguely famous Armada Bros or people I know from just their online avatars on the forums and trying not to fanboy out.  It was kind of amazing in a way.

I also got a chance to talk to SO MANY people about Armada this weekend.  Judges/TOs/Head Designers, players themselves, champions of all sorts of countries/Regionals winners, this tournament was STRONG.  There was no starter game of warm-ups and time to ramp up the intensity.  EVERY game of Armada I played was one of the toughest in my life.  And it was AMAZING.  I got to meet so many forum friends in real life, putting faces to names and just being giant nerds about our giant nerdy game.  We talked for HOURS about all sorts of stuff, who brought what, what happened when, etc etc.  How the matches were going to go in the semi-finals and finals, what list someone brought or was bringing.  This was an entire usual weeknight of Armada stretched over 3-4 days, and it was wonderful.

To quote Jimmy, one of the FFG Friends, "you guys are the chillest, most anal-retentive rules people I know."
"Medical Center"
IV: Humble Notes, Thanks, Greetings, and Well-Wishes (in that I don't wish any specific harm)
First, congratulations to Nathan, who won the whole thing and is now a Chicagoan by proxy/adoption/him moving here, haha.  He practiced against us the weekend before and if I hadn't played him, I wouldn't have had a deployment plan or a win in Game 3, so massive thanks for THAT.  I can't wait for whatever card he designs to show up.

Second, thanks to everyone at FFG for putting this whole shebang on and running it.  But also massive thanks to Jimmy, Brooks, and Ian for the conversations and just getting to bug you guys with questions and answers and thoughts and everything.  Again, excitable fanboy over here and it was just cool hearing about so many things.  Thank you AGAIN, Ian, for the game, even though I'm sure you were massively tired after having just TO'ed all day.

As for all of the assembled hordes who came, it was amazing getting to meet all of you.  I'd name drop forum avatar names, but I'd feel lame if I forgot anyone.  So, I'll just say that it was great meeting EVERYONE and talking at the BARS (plural) and getting Team Day-Drink on.  Knowing everyone was JUST as excited about Armada and the game and game state and all was the BEST, and you're all cool in your own nerdy ways, haha.
And THIS card was DEFINITELY worth it, I'm excited to get her back on the table!

I cannot wait to go back next year!

No comments:

Post a Comment