Monday, August 12, 2019

Guest Article: Mike "comatose" Bohlmann's 2019 GenCon Experience!

Hey all.  John's just checking in real quick before we give the microphone over to Mike Bohlmann and his list.  We may have a few more Chicagoans or Chicagoan adjacents contributing over the next week or so, so enjoy!  Mike goes by comatose on the forums, and is part of the 21st Fleet Group down in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.  Hit him up below the map of a totally real city in our great state!
You can SMELL the corn
John and Eric asked me to do a write-up of my road to second place at the North American Championships at Gen Con. The list I played was the third iteration of a list I have been playing at a couple Store Championships, Regionals, North American Championships, and Worlds. Besides the Star Wars theme drawing me to Armada, I have always had an interest in World War 2 carrier combat. Because of this interest, squadrons have featured in much of my play, ever since I started playing just before the release of Wave 2.

Since I played less than a half dozen games before Gen Con, I decided it would be best to fly something I knew: double Pelta, Yavaris, and GR75 with three Fighter Coordination Teams and all four kinds of B-wings. The principle of this list is to make B-wings fast and bomb the heck out of my opponent's ships once I have neutralized any squadron support. That will be especially evident in my final game of Day 2. After handicapping myself this spring upon geek19's advice (I had him playing Leia at Worlds!), I decided to give Rieekan a shot. I have been playing a variation of this list at tournaments for the last couple years with Garm as my admiral in the first year and Leia this spring. It felt a little dirty to use Rieekan, but I at least had the excuse of only playing one game with this iteration prior to Gen Con. There is some pretty strong benefit to Rieekan for this list though. With four small ships, they are pretty susceptible to being killed before they get to activate in a turn. Without Rieekan, I sometimes have to activate a ship not because it is the one I want to go but because I want to get an activation from it before it dies. With Rieekan, I can use an activation order that is most ideal without worrying about whether a ship dies before it gets to go. Yavaris gets the greatest benefit from this approach because the FCTs from the Peltas let me position my squadrons for the best Yavaris double taps. (Errata? We don't care about any errata.)  The principle of this list is to make B-wings fast and bomb the heck out of my opponent's ships once I have neutralized any squadron support. That will be especially evident in my final game of Day 2.

Name: Rieekan's Bor-wings
Assault: Most Wanted
Defense: Fighter Ambush
Navigation: Superior Positions

Pelta Command Ship (60)
• General Rieekan (30)
• Toryn Farr (7)
• Fighter Coordination Team (3)
= 100 Points

Pelta Command Ship (60)
• Adar Tallon (10)
• Fighter Coordination Team (3)
• Boosted Comms (4)
• Phoenix Home (3)
• Flight Commander (3)
= 83 Points

Nebulon-B Escort Frigate (57)
• Flight Commander (3)
• Fighter Coordination Team (3)
• Yavaris (5)
= 68 Points

GR-75 Medium Transports (18)
• Leia Organa (3)
• Bomber Command Center (8)
= 29 Points

• Keyan Farlander (20)
• Ten Numb (19)
• YT-1300 (13)
• Dagger Squadron (15)
• B-wing Squadron (14)
• Jan Ors (19)
• Biggs Darklighter (19)
= 119 Points
Total Points: 399

John's notes: I first saw this list 2-3 years ago in Detroit.  It was deadly THEN, too
My first round was against a fairly casual player, only planning to play the first couple rounds in order to attend another event. His list was a 400-point Rieekan fleet with an Assault Frigate, Redemption, Salvation, A-wings, Y-wings, Z-95s, and Nym. For the first time among many through the tournament, I had bid with 399 points and took first player for the last-first option every turn. When I saw his objectives, I knew just how casual he was: Most Wanted, Fleet Ambush, and Superior Positions. Since he did not have Bail Organa to pull a first turn first activation with Fleet Ambush, I decided I did not want to brutalize him too awfully. Instead I opted for Most Wanted since he had no flotilla. Over the course of the first few turns, I kept reminding him of things like Swarm, Counter, and Rieekan's ability. I always remember a person who coached an inexperienced opponent into a victory at a regional tournament and decided I had to stop during the third turn. He jumped his A-wings forward and slowed down my squads for a turn, but they were able to kill off his squad cover just as the Assault Frigate arrived. The game went well with me tabling him and nothing dead on my side, MoV maxed at 400 for a 10-1.

There's always a downside to winning your first game 10-1, and that is playing someone else who also scored 10-1. For me, that happened to be Schmitty. The two of us faced off with all three of the tournament's Peltas. You can watch this full game on Karneck's YouTube channel, Star Wars Armada Explained ( After looking at his objectives after I once again took first player with my 1-point bid, I decided I would rather give him 75 points with Intel Sweep than give him control over station placement. Contested Outpost would also probably give him more points. We deployed roughly across from each other but with his MC80 Star Cruiser a bit to the outside to take advantage of Nav Team. I played against truthiness's similarly equipped Star Cruiser at Adepticon in March, and I decided I would only try to keep the MC80 honest rather than try to kill it because of its low point value. On turn two, I made a huge mistake thinking that I had set up for a last-first when it turned out that I had set up his Yavaris to double tap my Jan. I lost Jan before the end of the turn, but he was down to essentially Biggs, a low-HP X-wing, and Gold Squadron. I kept Keyan and my generic B-wing to my flank to keep the MC80 honest: if it moved to within medium range of Yavaris, it was going to get double tapped by both of them. Overlapping them on accident or a bad crit could have easily meant a dead MC80 very quickly. The game was a slug fest of over 200 points destroyed on each side. While I ended up winning the destroyed points, the 75 points for Intel Sweep pushed it to an MoV in his advantage of less than 40. I was happy to take away a 6-5 loss against a very well-played list.

My third opponent was Alex Bowling from the Atlanta area. He had a fleet that I have wanted to try many times but have never made the time to play: generic TIE Interceptors assisted by Sloane. Specifically he had 10 generic TIE Interceptors and Saber Squadron. I knew those Counters were going to hurt, but I also knew killing them would be relatively easy points. Once again, I had bid with 1-point, so I took first player. I thought I might be able to draw him into overextending, so I chose his Superior Positions. He ran his Gozantis along his back edge after deploying almost in the opposite corner of my deployment. The B-wings do not really suffer in this scenario, although the Peltas do since their top speed is two. He engaged a turn too early with his Interceptors which allowed me to focus most of them down and then shift B-wings to kill the ISD on the next turn with a pseudo-last-first after the ISD activated on the turn prior. I picked up a couple Superior Positions as a B-wing and Jan chased down his Raider, and it gave me just enough points to get a 9-2 with no ships lost on my side.
For my final round of day one, I ended up back at table one to face off against Sam Simon and his fancy looking Interdictor. He had about a 4 or 5 point lead on me, and I had a one point lead on a batch of people tied at 23. He really did not want to fight my fleet, and I really did not want to fight his either since a big loss could possibly push me out of the Top 8. Flight Controller-boosted Imperial squads always give my squads a challenge with this list. He was my first opponent to have bid against me, and he decided to go with first player since I had him out-activated in order to avoid last-first situations. After he deployed a ship in the middle of the board in Fighter Ambush, I decided to go for a 6-5 victory and deploy near a corner. We both had opportunity to go after each other, but neither one of us wanted to experience the other's counterattack. Since he had taken first player, I had last-last activations.  Because of that, I was able to throw almost all of my  squadrons into the side of his Interdictor on the final turn after all his ships had activated: one non-bomber black, one red, two blues, and 8 bomber blacks with rerolls on almost all of those dice.  It was enough to get four victory tokens and push the MoV to exactly 60 points for a 7-4 victory. Since this was at Table 1, you can watch this whole match on SWAE, but I would recommend just watching the last two turns to see what happened:
Pew ALL the pews!
With the day complete, I ended with 31 tournament points, enough for second place. My MoV total of 719 was also enough to be the second highest, too. That MoV total seems somewhat low for a four round tournament where I scored 31 points. That was irrelevant though because day two's cut to the Top 8 included a reset of all the scores so far. Onto the cut!

My first game of the second day was against John Larison who was running a variation of Tokra's World Championship list: Quasar, Centicore, two Gozantis, and a pretty typical load of Imperial aces. (This game was also at Table 1 and was streamed: I chose his Superior Positions once again because I knew that if he was in a position to score points that it meant his squads were close to my ships where they could better support my own squads. I deployed a little too far to the corner though because he ended up deploying almost the opposite. As a testament to the speed shenanigans of three Fighter Coordination Teams, my B-wings were at the edge of his deployment zone, running a slowly curving screen for my ships. He splashed some squads and dealt some damage with Mauler, but it took too many attacks to kill Mauler on my counterattack. I put Ten Numb onto the station as bait to try to draw out his alpha strike, and it worked. The problem was that he played it perfectly, denying me a good counter. Eventually he killed all but Jan while I killed about half of his squads. I misplayed my ship activations on the final turn which allowed his squads to score a few Superior Positions points and push the MoV to a 7-4. I should have had Phoenix Home go first, activate Jan to kill Valen, and then moved Jan to the rear of Yavaris and unactivated via Adar Tallon. But I had Yavaris go first which gave Jan fewer activations and less ability to cover the rear of Yavaris. 

Every other game went 6-5 except for one table that went 10-1. This meant I was playing Joseph Sungail from my home meta. Joe and I played each other at Chicago regional with essentially the same two lists when four blank reds and blacks turned what was likely an 8-3 game for me into a 10-1 for him. His fleet was an Akbar squadless list built around Home One with an Assault Frigate and two TRC90s. As someone who has played Peltas for the last couple years, I can tell you that there is nothing Peltas hate more than accuracies rolled against them. I took first player, and I chose his Solar Corona. Not wanting him to be able to run like John did in the previous game, I chose to deploy in the middle of the board. On turn two, his second TRC90 moved into range that an FCT'd batch of B-wings with Keyan among them could put attacks on it. Home One was coming in fast behind that CR90 so I decided to try to get the CR90 on turn two and start killing Home One on turn three. Knowing how my list suffers from accuracies, this was the best chance I had for the game. The first couple B-wings removed all but one shield as Keyan Farlander rolled in with his two black and a blank hull zone. On his first roll, he rolled hit-crit/blank and rerolled using his special into hit-crit/hit-crit. It was one damage short of dead, but I managed my best luck of the day with a Structural Damage on the face-up damage card. Home One died the next turn but not before Yavaris and Phoenix Home went down. The Assault Frigate went for the last-first on turn three, but it had to maintain speed three to avoid too many counter attacks. Unfortunately for Joe, that caused him to fly off the edge of the board by about an eighth of an inch. With just one CR90 left on Joe's side, I managed an 8-3 victory.

In my final match, I played against Dan Buis whom I have played many times at Indianapolis Armada events at Family Time Games. He is a good player despite not being able to play as much after he and his wife added a baby to the family. Dan was only the second player to outbid my single point bid, and he opted for first and my Fighter Ambush because I had more deployments than he did with his Raddus list. During deployment, the only things he put on the board were his Admonition, a flotilla, and his batch of X-wings, Dutch, and Jan. His MC75 Ordnance Cruiser and Garel's Honor were set aside. I deployed directly across from him, and I knew that I could fling B-wings all the way across the map before the end of the first turn due to Fighter Ambush and my ship placement. I kept Phoenix Home and Yavaris on hold while the GR75 moved and then Rieekan's Pelta FCT'd B-wings forward. That was not quite enough movement yet, so Yavaris pushed Keyan and another B-wing a little more. With that and Phoenix Home's Boosted Comms, I was able to clear a lot of shields as well as add a couple damage cards to Admonition. Even Jan hopped in to allow Keyan to shoot again after I used Adar Tallon to flip his activation back. Dan knew he could not wait any longer and deployed the MC75 ship at the start of turn two before Admonition could potentially die. By the end of turn two, Admonition and all of Dan's squads were dead. The squads sadly did little damage with even Dutch Vander failing to flip anyone's slider. After killing his squads, I was able to score a couple more Fighter Ambush tokens from his GR75 as well as Garel's Honor. It was enough to give me exactly 140 points, the minimum for an 8-3 victory.
Fear the Pelta; disrespect it at your own risk
Interesting notes:
  1. With a 399-point fleet, I had initiative in all but 2 of my 7 games. 
  2. I have played everyone in the Top 8 either the day before or in games at previous regionals
Thanks Mike!


  1. Congratz to the second place!
    That is an intressting list for sure.
    How do you feel about the peltas in your list? Do you feel you won because of them or despite them?

  2. Thanks! I definitely did that well because of them. There is no other ship at their cost with a Support Team slot and Squadron 3. They enable the fleet to do what it does: make B-wings fast. More Nebulon-Bs would just suffer more on the side arcs, and there’s a big difference between Squad 2 and Squad 3.

  3. New Player here - How were you able to kill the Tie intercepter's so quickly in the game you were playing against 10 of them? Aren't they horrbile to deal with because of counter? ty

    1. Between Jan and all the aces, the counters were not devastating. It's been a while, but I don't think he was able to shoot with them before some of them died. If memory serves, I think the station was also in the engagement area which let me do some healing with FCT and other movement.