Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Nathan Coda Worlds 2019 AAR

Editor's note: we're happy to have Nate back to talk to us about his experiences at Worlds this year!

This year was the fourth Worlds tournament I have attended, and was yet again a memorable experience. I got to play eight games of Armada with a group of excellent players from around the world, discuss my favorite game with people who are just as passionate about it as I am, and managed to earn my fourth top-four Worlds placement. What’s not to enjoy?

Here’s my list:

Assault: Most Wanted
Defense: Capture the VIP
Navigation: Salvage Run

MC30c Torpedo Frigate (63)
• General Rieekan (30)
• Lando Calrissian (4)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• External Racks (3)
• Admonition (8)
= 112 Points

CR90 Corvette A (44)
• Turbolaser Reroute Circuits (7)
• Jaina's Light (2)
= 53 Points

CR90 Corvette B (39)
• Engine Techs (8)
• Heavy Ion Emplacements (9)
= 56 Points

GR-75 Medium Transports (18)
• Toryn Farr (7)
• Bright Hope (2)
= 27 Points

GR-75 Medium Transports (18)
• Slicer Tools (7)
• Quantum Storm (1)
= 26 Points

• Hera Syndulla (28)
• Dash Rendar (24)
• Ketsu Onyo (22)
• Wedge Antilles (19)
• Dutch Vander (16)
• Gold Squadron (12)
= 121 Points

Total Points: 395
Space baby not included.
This list has a strong ship and squadron threats, is flexible, and a lot of fun to fly. I’m banking that if an opponent can overwhelm my squadrons, I should be able to win the ship battle. And if an opponent overwhelms my ships, I can win the squadron battle… then have my rogue bombers even the odds of the ship battle.

For ships, I really enjoy flying MC30s and CR90s. They are maneuverable enough to let me control engagements, while still packing a punch. I haven’t flown a CR90B in a long time, and was surprised how much I enjoyed it. That little guy consistently punched above his weight class while managing to slip away afterwards.

For squadrons, I’ve found this group of pilots to be pretty fantastic generalists. I went with rogues because I wanted to limit my investment in squadron support. No carrier needed for this fleet. I enjoy all these squadrons, but I really like Dash for his consistency and Ketsu for her fantastic ability to harass. Two blue dice bomber with speed four, grit, and rogue is just a really good combination.

Why did I select Rieekan for Worlds again this year? Besides being an admiral I enjoy playing, there are a few things about Rieekan that make him my top choice for competitive play:
  • I don’t like to make giant bids to go first, and Rieekan lessens the downsides of being second.
  • In a meta of large ships swinging giant haymakers, Rieekan ensures that your ships actually get a chance to play the game.
  • When you get unlucky (which will happen at some point over the course of eight games), Rieekan gives you a chance to salvage your game.
  • When running ace squadrons, Rieekan is the best squadron commander that Rebels have.
The face of a man who has nothing to prove.
So while I know people are generally unhappy to see Rieekan in the finals again, I have a hard time flying the type of competitive lists I enjoy without Rieekan on the bridge. And honestly, that’s what’s most important - flying something you enjoy.

That’s enough of that - let’s talk about some games:

These are going to be pretty short and sweet - just a high level overview and a highlight or two from each game. My summaries are focused on games and not players, so let me just say here that all seven of my opponents played a tight game and were a pleasure to play against. I’m always impressed by the caliber of people in our community, and it makes a tournament like this a truly enjoyable event.

Game 1: 6-5

This game was against a Thrawn list flying a Kuat, Quasar, Gozanti, and the usual mess of squadrons. This ended up being a close grind, where our squadrons battled it out and we traded some support ships. My favorite part of this game was dropping Admonition to speed 0 for a few turns so the Kuat could not sneak around behind it and run away. I ended up only getting one close range shot off on the last turn, though, and the Kuat succeeded in sneaking away at half health.

Game 2: 10-1

This game was against a Madine list flying a Liberty, MC30, GR-75, and some squadrons. This is the only game of the tournament where I took first player, as it gave me the ability to last/first effectively. I did a last/first with my CR90B to ram his MC30 to death, then did a last/first with my MC30 to finish off his Liberty (with help from CR90A and squadron friends). My favorite part of this game was watching a Liberty kill my slicer flotilla with his side arc, using a double shot from advanced gunnery at medium range. Poor guy thought he was safe in that weak side arc, then got pummeled.

Game 3: 10-1

This game was against a Raddus list flying a Liberty, CR90B, 2 GR-75s, and 8 YT-2400s. I won the squadron battle then ganged up on the Liberty, which wasn’t able to line up an effective shot on my nimble ships. His CR90B was behind his Liberty, and ended up getting picked off by my two CR90s on the last turn. My favorite part of this game was my CR90A doing a front arc shot into Raddus at close range, adding a Most Wanted die to roll a massive 6 damage, which was just enough to finish him off.

Game 4: 8-3

This game was against a Thrawn list flying an ISD-II, Quasar, and the usual mess of squadrons. Our squadrons ground each other down, and I managed to kill the ISD with focused bomber and ship fire. My favorite part of this game was in the last turn, where I had Ketsu engage Maarek so he could not go fast enough to catch my crippled CR90B and finish it off. This is the first time I have ever used Ketsu ability to any meaningful effect, so it was a bit of a historic moment.

Game 5: 6-5

This game was against Dennis, who went on to win the whole tournament. This ended up being a squadron grind, with only a few ships being destroyed. I only won due to holding onto the VIP token. My favorite thing in this game was a move Dennis made where he squalled some squadrons up to my slicer flotilla, then activated them all to kill the flotilla and move away. End result was a dead flotilla and all his squadrons moved safely away. A very clever move.

Game 6: 8-3

This game was against Yik, who went on to get ninth in the tournament. He was flying Rieekan with an MC80C, Hammerhead, two GR75s, and a mess of squadrons. He threw his MC80C right in, where my CR90A, MC30, and bombers tried to take it out. They ended up barely succeeding, and Admonition got away with only 1 health left. He won the squadron fight due to my focus on the MC80C, but my CR90B caught up with his Hammerhead and finished it off to table him. My favorite part of this game was where my CR90B shot at his 1 health hammerhead and rolled 3 accuracies. Then, instead of fleeing to avoid reprisal, it had to hang around and ram him to kill him, guaranteeing the gruesome death of the CR90B in retalitary fire.

Game 7: 6-5

This game was against Norm, who went on to get third in the tournament. He was running Thrawn with an ISD-II, Gladiator, and a fun squadron list. This game was weird, where he didn’t want to engage my squadrons and I didn’t want to engage his ISD. We compromised and traded some ship kills, then finished with a quick squadron battle. I came out a little ahead due to killing off his Most Wanted Gladiator. My favorite part of this game was where Norm parked his ISD on a rock and kept it there by ramming his gladiator. This was an excellent tactical move, as it kept his ISD at a relevant range for several turns. However, it did result in his ISD acquiring around six damage cards. So he ended the game with an ISD missing half its hull, even though it was never shot once.

Game 8 : Loss

This was the final game which was against Dennis. After playing Dennis once already, I knew he had me in the squadron game and I knew I had him in the ship game. So it would come down to whether I could catch and kill his ships. Spoiler alert - I couldn’t. My favorite part of this game was when Dennis managed to use engine techs on Centicore to avoid a close range MC30 shot, slipping away to victory.
Congratulations to Dennis, the 2019 Armada World Champion! Hope you were able to get that giant trophy through airport security!
Thank you to the Armada community for making 2019 another fun year, and I look forward to pushing around more plastic spaceships with you all in the future!

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