Monday, March 11, 2019

The (Jedi) Knight's (Re)-Watch: A New Hope

We continue our travels through the OG.  Well, the new O.G.  I'm watching the Special Edition of A New Hope from 1997.  Why the Special Editions? We'll get there in the last of these, but I have my reasons.
I really love space giraffes, that's why

Hit the jump and let's see how we can take our first step into a larger world!

"That's funny, the damage doesn't look as bad from out here...."
I may be missing my shields and down to 1 token, but-oh I got looked at funny and exploded.  Yupppp, dead.  Take stock of your life and health, and understand what you're flying into and what you're going to be flying out of.  If your ISD has 2 health left and running with it would leave it alive while another 2 ships die, you need to determine if that's more important to you or not.  Know how far your ships are from death at any point and they may stick around long enough for you!
Not Bill and Ted's Station? BOGUS!
Plans change.  Especially in battle, especially when your opponent reacts to YOU.  You're not going to get the sad baby seal who's playing his first game every round, which means you'll actually need to adapt on the fly.  Friend of the blog slash World Champion NATHAN CODA said it best in his recent article, "But you have to come into a game with some sort of plan." And let me tell YOU, make sure you can ADAPT your plans.  If you can't adapt, someone will throw a kitchen sink you weren't expecting at you and bam, dead.  Be able to adjust and change and you've got a better chance of coming out ahead.

Yeah, I'm gonna NOT include this.  Doy.
Get whatever friends you can, cobble that list together and find a way to take on all comers.  If you have to go dig out the squads you haven't used in a year, if you have to buy a whole extra ship you weren't sure you'd ever need elsewhere, if you have to go follow Obi-Wan off on some damned fool crusade... you do what you need to get the "W."  This is WORLDS, man.  If your list and plan depends on having Green Squadron in there, you track it down and you get it in there.

Insert EA or Facebook joke here.
Watch out for the Adepticon bathrooms.  Seriously, especially at the end of the day.  This is half joke and half actual advice. And wear deoderant for everyone's sake!
You probably still listen to American Top 40, too!

Familiarize yourself.  Not JUST with the popular lists, but the weird things.  What Han can do.  What Ketsu can do.  Quick, tell me what G8s do on Interdictors? And what does Phylon Q7 do? Armada is a game about leveraging your upgrades and getting the most out of what you brought and how you apply damage.  Everyone and their moms is running Raddus, but it's the man with the plan and Han who can find a way around it that REALLY is the dangerous one.  If you don't know WHAT the squadron or upgrade does, you can get wrecked very quickly, and then you're in trouble for sure.

Han. Shoots. First.
Look, I'm watching the special editions.  I'm not INSANE (other arguments for this point notwithstanding....).  Han shoots Greedo, there isn't a second shot.  It's brutal, it's hard, it's... Han.  But the important thing about the Special Edition is that Greedo was apparently using Commander Rieekan, as he still got to fire a shot off.  Plus, he got Han to realize that he NEEDED to pay Jabba back or there would be consequences.  Return of the Jedi occurring consequences!  So, Greedo won the objective.  Going first is important in games.  Watching out for Rieekan and the objective is ALSO important.  Make sure you don't overextend yourself or make a decision you're going to be kicking yourself for years about (or all of your fans who see and completely disagree with you do.  Again, Han Shoots First, cut it, print it, harder, better, faster, stronger.)
They REALLY hate that ship
Never doubt a list.  Never doubt your opponent.  Assume competence until proven otherwise.  If you think you're better than someone else's list, and you ignore their skills/abilities, you can EASILY lose BADLY and then screw over your own further chances.  If you walk in assuming your opponent knows EXACTLY what he's doing, you shouldn't overextend yourself or end up in a bad situation that they'll exploit.  This isn't me saying "Don't take risks," this is me saying "Don't assume your opponent is an idiot."  The minute you take your eye off the ball is when the laser zaps you in the side.
Sounds like someone got the GOOD dice pack
Don't blame the dice.  That's an excuse.  If you know your list and know what you're doing, you shouldn't be (Sato excepted) depending on the crit to win the game for you.  This isn't me saying "Remove APTs from your list" so much as "You should pilot your ships and squads well enough such that even if you never roll a Hit/Crit on your black dice or an Accuracy on your Blues that you can still win."  Don't take H9s automatically on your Admonition... unless you're dependant on getting that accuracy.  OE is a staple not to JUST go crit-fishing, but to ensure that any blank black dice get rerolled into something workable.  If your list's plan is dependant on a certain dice roll, crit effect, or ship NOT dying, then you take every effort to ensure that PLAN happens.  Everything else is extra.
An idiot says what?

So, netlisting.  Let's take a quick sidestep here and mention some of the more famous.  Fish Farm. Bob Barker.  Rieekan Aces.  Coward Raddus Ford.  All sorts of strong builds, all sorts of builds I expect to see at Worlds.  Coming from my last piece of "run what you know," this may seem like an easy, cheat way to already GET something known that it works, without having to take the time in to finetune it.  You can take something someone else ran, read up about it, and bam, short work done.  Time to work on the victory speech, right? WRONG.  You can take a build that's popular, but if you don't practice it and then make it your own based on YOUR needs and what YOU need the list to do for your playstyle, that's a waste of your time right there.  I can give you the current list I'm practicing with, but if you're not ME, how do you win with it? How do I run it? You'd have to play it and see, wouldn't you? Or more helpfully, play against me and preferably lose, if you don't mind.  Crazy ideas may or may not work.  But if you just assume you know how the idea works, THAT'S where you hit trouble.
See, the Legion card comes from somewhere
Try not to go on tilt.  I could say more, but I'm already wordy, and hey, look Eric said it all better!

The most majestic facial hair until Lando Calrissian
This is dual meaning here.  If you're winning, press the attack and get dem points.  8-3 is better than a 7-4, and it's not as good as a 9-2.  That being said, let's also remember who said this and when.  Don't overextend yourself in an effort to wipe out "the Rebel Scum" lest you get your ISD shot up and killed.  Or, you know, the Rebel reverse.  Discretion and 8 points is the better part of valor, over 7 points and accidentally losing your flagship as you try to get one more.  Tarkin really should have used that last attack from the Death Star on flakking, IMO.  Or picked a different Pryce turn, yuk yuk yuk.

We're going in, we're going in full throttle, that oughta keep those fighters off our back!
Hang with your friends.  Check in with them inbetween rounds.  Make new ones, keep up with the old, reminisce.  And jump right in on this all.  If you're a first time attendee, we're all a friendly bunch.  Friends are why we do this all, and friends are the glue that keeps the nerds together.  In the last year, I have made more Armada friends than I could ever have believed.  And I cannot WAIT to see them all again.

Yeah, yeah, Snape and such, but here's the TRUE Always to ME
Most importantly, remember why we're all here.  This is Worlds and competition and crushing your enemies, lamentation of their women, etc etc.  But you're playing with friends.  Live it up, hang out with them, tell the stories, take the pictures, remember the good times.  In about 20-30 years, I won't remember a damned thing of the games I played, but I'll remember the people I played them with.  And as INCREDIBLY DUMB AND YOU CAN HATE ME BUT YOU KNOW IT'S DAMNED TRUE, the true Armada was the friends we met along the way.

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