Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The (Jedi) Knight's (Re)-Watch: Return of the Jedi

One last movie, one last source of inspiration.

Lando is all of us.  Or me, one of the two.

Before we begin, fun fact: ya boi John has seen like two episodes of Game of Thrones.  It's on my to-do list, and the girlfriend and I will get to it (SHE'S a big fan) after, in order; Friday Night Lights, Star Wars, and then Gilmore Girls (I traded a Star Wars watch for Gilmore Girls.  I stand by this trade, but I also enjoy Amy Sherman-Palladino, so.....).  But as Eric pointed out to me, it's the Night's Watch, not the Knight's.  So, uhhh, whoops?  In any case, I took a slight renaming joke in there in that this is now the JEDI Knight's re-watch, wokka wokka.
Jabba Brasi sleeps with the fishes

When writing this whole series, I've had to craft some bits and make up some others.  And while I'll admit to sliiiiightly phoning it in on that Empire one, the Rogue One one and the New Hope ones were pretty enjoyable and I felt impactful.  I really don't have much left to say on this one, really, so this one isn't FOR everyone.  Largely, it's for me.  And I may pick some quotes I DO want to relate them to something Armada-based, I may pick some for their impact on me and my lists, and some I pick because I just enjoy them.  But one thing I've enjoyed about Armada IS the fact that I'm willing to run in with some crazy list that may or may not work.  I've crafted some.... insane things over the couple of years that I've been playing, but inventing the lists for me is a good chunk of the fun, just picturing the task force or whatever of Admiral Ackbar and 2 ships and squadrons or General Dodonna and 6 different small ships and a Liberty or just WHATEVER.  Crafting those lists has been really enjoyable.  Seeing how it all comes together is Armada to me.

I wish I had your confidence.
But coming into Worlds is always that same "Holy crap!" feeling as I play a list.  I've been playing what I've been bringing for a while, and I've had some good games, some bad, and some mediocre.  A lot of our locals have started adapting to my playstyle and they know what to do against me.  Last year's list was crafted so late in the process and it all flowed so quickly together.  Wave 7 was so new then! And now we've had it for a year! The meta has changed so much, with nothing new released! What the heck am I doing, how do I handle Coward Raddus or Bob Barker or any of the dominant archetypes?  Good ol' anxiety/imposter syndrome, always ready to show up whenever I don't want it.
Going to give it you, X is.

The thing I've had to....let's say realize about myself is that in order to WIN Worlds, I'ma need about 45 million things to go my way.  I honestly ain't sure if my list (or is it me?) is going to take it all the way.  I've played against some of the GREAT Armada players and talked to several of the others.  It's weird being able to name-drop Truthiness and Nathan on here, who won freaking US Nationals and Worlds last year, respectively.  JJ and I recognized each other at GenCon last year, which was really more a confidence builder on my end than I assume his, haha.  And I'm over here making Muppets jokes, which, uhhh, yeah, sure, seat at the table.  I HONESTLY don't know if I'm making it to that top table, but I'm going to fight like hell to get there.  And that's really all we can say about ourselves, right?

One thing remains... you must confront Vader.  Only then a Jedi will you be.
I do believe at some point we're all going to hit that BAD matchup.  And I've hit mine once or twice and had to try to crawl out of it from there.  I don't want to face my problems, but if I don't, I'm going to be anxious about it the whole damn time.  The minute I run into that one it's gonna be BAD, but I'll do all I can to try to pull myself out of it.  I don't really have another option, do I? And we've all got that bad matchup.  It's just going to be a matter of luck to not hit it multiple rounds in a row, of course.  Gulp.
Luke's cousin, Braydienne
I have nothing to say here.  But we all know why I'm posting this quote, right? Great, moving on.

I honestly don't know if I'm making it back to Worlds next year.  It requires winning a Regionals, which, doable, but I may have to give up Leia (Gasp! Shock! Horror! Etc!)  I'm not sure if I'm putting this quote here to describe me potentially leaving Worlds behind or leaving Leia behind.  That's.... an interesting state to be in, that's for sure.  I have some fun goofy lists to play and hang out with over the next month or so in recovery, of course, but then I've got GenCon coming up soon enough, too....  Hoo boy.  Well, let's call those "Later Worries" and just rock what I can for now.  If this be my final Worlds, gotta make the most of it.  Which means hanging out with everyone I can, of course.

He'll turn this shuttle around!
Just keep repeating the mantra over to yourself over and over again.  It's a LOT easier than stressing about every turn and every click and dice roll and scaring yourself half to death just based on what COULD have happened and all.  Panic leads to fear leads to anger leads to ragequitting.  It's JUST a game of Armada between you and your bros, how bad could it be, haha? I already went through the gauntlet that was GenCon last year, I don't think anything could be worse (draws into 4 Canadians in a row).
Crazy plan that might work if things go right?  Potentially insane idea that somehow works out? I know what I AM as a player, and I know how to apply that to my listbuilding and gameplay.  I would never run something untested/something that doesn't interest me, so why would YOU do it? Is winning Worlds the brutal way worth it to you? "Two ship wins, so I play it" isn't a sentiment I can get behind.  If that's you, more power to you, but I'm going to be doing my best to knock you down and ensure I can get them points.  Almost as important to me as knowing your list is knowing YOURSELF, as forgetting THAT isn't worth a win in my mind.
Your faith in your friends is yours!
I've got to have faith in my list and in myself.  I don't know what the future holds, and apparently not even the Emperor did, for that matter (he fell down an elevator shaft.  Onto some space bullets).  But I have to TRY (as Luke said on the moon about bringing Vader back to the light).  We all have to believe in ourselves and in what we're doing, even if it eventually was an incorrect choice.  I believe in my list, in my friends, and in myself.  I'm not overconfident, but I have faith in my ships, squads, and my own abilities.  The only way to fight anxiety is to accept it and roll with it.  And I'm prepared to roll.

Move as close as you can and engage those Star Destroyers at point blank range!
I don't plan on running.  I didn't come to Worlds to run for 6 rounds, and I didn't come here to not engage.  On the off-chance that I DO get into finals, I plan on engaging.  It'll depend on what they choose and if I'm first or second, of course, but if I play 7 games, I'm not running.  I just need to kill more of you than I lose of me, and it's worth every shot to do it.  That's the OTHER part that makes Armada for me.  I didn't come to Worlds to lose with grace, I came here to win with STYLE.  You bring 2-ship, I'm going for the throat.
AKA: And the space horse you rode in on!

So quick detour before we get there.  When I've been writing these articles, I've generally had the laptop open, writing the quotes down as the movie goes on and coming back later to write up a thought or two on them all.  But for Jedi, right about midway through, I put the laptop down and just grabbed them if I loved the quote.  Jedi was always my favorite movie.  Why did I watch the Special Editions? Because it's MY Star Wars.  I remember going to the movies 4 times as a kid.  First, Hook, because that was the literal first movie I remember seeing as a kid.  The theater had like candy dispensors... anyways, nostalgia.  I remember watching Jurassic Park because my sister and I were screaming most of the movie (those things looked REAL, man).  And I remember New Hope and Jedi.  Jedi came out on my birthday in 1997, I remember, and we were there that weekend.  I don't hate the edits and blah blah blah because they WERE the Star Wars I knew and all growing up.  I got the Special Edition VHSes, and that's what I remember.  I saw the Originals eventually, and I've made my mind up about liking some things, keeping others, etc.  Star Wars was my life growing up.  Why would I pick something different than what made me the nerd I am today?

And it was that love of the movie and Star Wars and everything about it all that brought me back.  The enjoyment of Star Wars (all 10 movies, so cram it, haters), Armada, my friends, my stupid list and my stupid hipster streak that's going to get me screwed over at some point, but I'm still fighting against it.  Leia's a bad Admiral? MSU is dead? I aim to disprove you of that notion.  And I'll be aiming for your flagship as I do.  I'm a Leia player.  Obligatory there's dozens of us joke, but we'll mess you UP.

But what does it all MEAN?  The other reason I went Special Edition is that I like the new ending song more than the Yub-Yub one.  Blasphemy to you, but here we are.  See again about growing up with the Special Edition.  And the thing that always stuck with me was the Endor celebration.  The new song is wistful but fun.
I need to use Wedge more.

And just watching Lando describe to Chewie the maneuver he pulled in the Falcon, Luke greeting Wedge after the time apart, and Han and Lando hugging as old friends who just LIVED THROUGH IT, MAN.

That's Star Wars, that's Armada, and that's Worlds to me.  Old friends getting together and celebrating each other and their achievements and just.... FUN.  That's everything, man.  I can't wait to start this all up again, and in the spirit of Minnesota and Kirby Puckett.... we'll see you tomorrow night!


  1. 1997? That's your star Wars?
    I'm feeling old (1977, queuing round the block to get in to the Odeon in ?Newcastle).

  2. Knowing yourself is vital in this game. It took a while (starting in 40k) for me to realize there's a cap on the number of ship/squad abilities I can keep track of in a game, especially with the added tension of a tournament. I had to accept the reality that the best combos were the ones I could effectively use in a game, and for me that's about 1-2 cards per ship, max.