Tuesday, April 12, 2022

The Adepticon Write-Up Part 1

Now that we're in the wake of new stuff new stuff yeah yeah yeah, it's time for what you all wanted to read about: the old meta.  Hit the jump for some Adepticon talk!
John’s Games

What did i bring to adepticon? Agate potato and friends.  I had some dumb name for it at the time, but it looks very similar to a lot of other iterations and what Truth has been flying lately.

Points: 400/400

Assault Objective: Most Wanted
Defense Objective: Asteroid Tactics
Navigation Objective: Superior Positions

[ flagship ] Assault Frigate Mark II B (72 points)
-  Kyrsta Agate (com)  ( 20  points)
-  Toryn Farr  ( 7  points)
-  Flight Controllers  ( 6  points)
-  Expanded Hangar Bay  ( 5  points)
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points)
-  Linked Turbolaser Towers  ( 7  points)
122 total ship cost

Nebulon-B Escort Frigate (57 points)
-  Yavaris  ( 5  points)
-  Skilled First Officer  ( 1  points)
-  Auxiliary Shields Team  ( 3  points)
66 total ship cost

CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
-  Jainas Light  ( 2  points)
-  Hondo Ohnaka  ( 2  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
55 total ship cost

GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Ahsoka Tano (off)  ( 2  points)
-  Parts Resupply  ( 3  points)
23 total ship cost

Biggs Darklighter ( 19 points)
Gold Squadron ( 12 points)
Jan Ors ( 19 points)
Lando Calrissian ( 23 points)
X-Wing Squadron ( 39 points)
Ketsu Onyo ( 22 points)
134 total squadron cost

All the cool kids are still using Yavaris! All of us!

Truth and I had been kicking around a variation of this for a while; Agate handles/counters Onagers, squads do awesome squad things, and I like Yav/Jaina’s/the potato (I even like the model). We have subtle differences but it’s a coin flip of differences for us. I had feared going in that I was going to hit a Onager/Dual Interdictor list, so Hondo/Ahsoka is there to counter being forced to start at speed 0 and being raided on top of it.

But how did I do? Time for "John blathers for a bit on his list and how he did."  This isn't going to be crazy long as while I have a FEW pictures they're mostly from the starts of games.  Game 1 was against a triple MC30 with EST and AP on everything, i lost 5-6. Squads just whiffed on my dice rolls, sadly, and Admo got away.  Nothing of his was gonna die, and I hadn't actively tried to kill a few of the things I did before his Agate MC30 came around and blew up my Yavaris.  I got his squads, but not enough for the win.

Game 2 was against Mitthraw running The Dread Double Dictor-Donkey! The thing I was afraid was going to be there! I had teched for and took Surprise Party, and deployed running sideways with the squads ready to pounce.  I got the Onager, but I got cute and tried a squad dial on the AF instead of a repair and it blew up.  I did get one of the 2 interdictors though, so I won 8-3. Game 3 against Jacob from Utah.  He had a Sloanager, Quasar, and Corvus lifeboat.  I sent Jaina's and Ketsu after the Corvus lifeboat, and I ended up eating everything BUT the Onager for another 8-3 (7-4? Whatever). Game 4 I fought Mattlanta, because we can't let him have a trip to Chicago without space fighting. He ate my non flotilla smalls, I ate his Most Wanted ISD and we called it.  I ended up in 10th based on MoV with 28 points, got a fancy alt art that I've included below.

Yay hammerheads! The THIRD alt art (seriously AMG give me a different ship these are becoming the Fetch of Armada).

I had brought the list I did because with a kid arriving soon, I wanted to run stuff I enjoyed that was good and was fun for me before Armada hits a back burner. I wanted to do Rebel squads and Yavaris, so I did and it felt great. My list was teched to be able to handle Onagers entirely and I did better from game 2 on just pulling a Truth and flying confidently. I’ve been using MSU for so long and so many small based ships that it’s NICE to be able to just tank a few strong shots. I’d missed that. I basically teched against Onagers and that turn 1 shot that I've come to expect out of them. Speaking of:

Look! The Imperial has fallen in love with their turn one shot!

Top 8

Top 8 was 6 Rebel 2 CIS. No Onagers, specifically because of the Rebel players I knew, they could HANDLE an Onager. Justin running a Cracken and squads, Dedrik running Ackbar MSU, there was a Hawk 134 there. The CIS one i know for sure just put out CRAZY firepower. (The other was a Trench squad list; both contained Patriot Fist). Anything that placed (or wants to place going forwards) NEEDS to handle an onager and a turn 1 shot, and all 8 of these did (or dodged them, i suppose). Mack won with a Yav/GH combo, which only proves to Truth that Yav isn't dead. Nope, still dead. Good player using bad ships doesn’t change that =D Thus ALL my opinions are right and valid. There was a Raddus list as well but it again seems like something that can handle an Onager.

Dial up a "not shooting my large ship on turn one", I have an idea!

What this means for a competitive meta?

Onagers are bad ;)

Handle Onagers? If your list can handle a turn 1 shot from Cataclysm (and it’s ALWAYS Cataclysm, unless you’re Paul…) then you’ve got something viable to take on your opponents with. Otherwise it’s likely time to go back to the drawing board.  I know Eric and I aren't ecstatic about Imperials as the "unfun turn 1 faction" but hey, look at that, the new Venator will..... not stop that.  And the Providence and Vic are..... slow.  At least the Gozanti helps pad the "wander into Cataclysm shot" plan?

No Imperials were in the top 8, Eric and I feel, because of the GenCon crab bucket effect.  You either teched to fight them and won or they hit each other and got a bunch of bloody 5-6s.  Which I suppose I should in general feel bad about.  I'll get right on that.  Your competitive list should right now, and I say this in highlighted text, handle Onagers.

Then you'll be as happy as this guy

Squads also haven't gone anywhere, but they aren't as omnipresent as they used to be.  You need an answer, which in general means at least a token fighter screen, but I think you can do alright without going full 134.  I DID go 134 because that's what I wanted to play.  However, I'd need to see a breakdown of the next few tournaments before I make the case that "All squads all the time" is the way to win; Michelle got 9th running squadless, so it IS doable, and one of the CIS lists was squadless; the Raddus list was (IIRC) low squads as well, as was Jason's Ackbar MSU.

What does this mean for each faction, specifically?

So my thoughts. Rebels, you can still pull a mess of things, BUT. But you need to be able to handle a turn 1 Onager shot or have a response for how to fight Onagers. I hit a Sloan list and the LVO winning list, Justin I know hit a double Onager. They’re out there and you need to be able to handle them. The benefit of Agate is that extra token as needed, and as Justin referred to it during dinner: “you know who fixes every issue Rebel ships have? For 20 points?” She keeps going on Assault Frigates because they’re the cheapest AND their token suite plus an extra one of your choice can let you fix almost any situation. I’ve taken an extra Evade to fight MSU and haven't even had the hull scratched; I've taken an extra Brace and the ship becomes SO tanky and such a nightmare to kill. It was the best ship to put her on BECAUSE her token only improves it, not fixes an issue (Liberty lack of redirect, MC75 lack of meaning) and it’s quick enough and small enough to hit a meaningfully good speed 3 (HMC80, Starhawk). A speed 3 medium can fit a lot of places you don’t expect, and with red dice in every arc it’s able to contribute everywhere. Even in the rear when running. It's the perfect Agate ship, which is why it’s everywhere with her.

Now that we have a Providence with a similar token suite and a wombo-combo of plans, it's largely a choice between a speed 3 lower cost Assault Frigate (after upgrades) that CAN discard an evade to affect 2 dice vs a higher hull more shields speed 2 FCT/Engine Tech combo that pushes your B-wings, YT1300s, and VCXs along.  Your squad ball is likely going to determine what ship you use, or the ship will define the squad ball for you.  I wouldn't fill the AF list with a slew of speed 2 squads, you know?

As for other commanders, I still like Leia (and plan on stealing a list I saw from Justin at LVO to play for a bit; the benefit of talking to friends haha!). Cracken and Ackbar both made top 8, but I'm not sure how much of that is those commanders being great, the lists being great, or the 2 guys who were running both of those commanders are both perennial Top Players With Extra Emphasis. It’s the same Rebel swath of commanders as before, I feel, with the added exception that Rebel larges are in trouble. Again, Onagers. MSU remains Cracken or a convincing reason to not Cracken somehow, and I remain in attempts to dig that out.
She ain't going nowhere, so better come up with a way of fighting her, guys!

Speaking of Onagers, I mean Imperials, they sure are the Onager faction. It’s still undercosted, shooting your opponent turn one is mean, and it kicks like a stinking mule. The PROBLEM is that every other faction/players are starting to get more comfortable playing against them and not wandering into the shot if they can help it, or building to counter it. I know GP was running an Onager-less list, but he’s retiring it for a bit now post Adepticon. Truth has eventual plans, but we’ll see what happens when he gets to those. I LIKED Eric’s MSU, but a) I haven’t played him since I was living in Chicago about a year ago, and he’s on a Dropfleet hiatus. It’s a faction of Onagers and friends, and if you can knock over or neutralize/ignore the Onager, the “and friends” can get taken out by the rest of your list.

The Venator is somewhere between an ISD and a Vic, and you can push squads with it unlike a Kuat that I think you might see it slot into a few Imperial lists.  But competitively, it's Onagers still.  Nothing showed up that is going to dethrone that, but I will say Shriv/Cham can cause a lot of issues for that ship very quickly.  Truth also has some plans for Imperials with the new Vader, and I honestly wish him the best because I'd love for the faction to have multiple ways of playing it.  I'm sure he'll update us all when he gets a few games under his belt.

Guess what I expect to be factoring into every list going forwards now?

CIS had 2 players in the top 8, and both had Patriot Fist. The dice that ship can put out at red range is crazy good, and leveraging it is the key to what looks like successful CIS play. I didn’t hit any during my weekend, so i won’t comment too much on them. I feel they’re still being developed and people are starting to crack them, though it’s much faster than GAR.

The Gozanti is going to help their activation issues, and I expect 1 in at least most CIS lists. My issues with it, however, are the same as they were when we did the Hot Takes article.  Doesn't mean don't bring it, just know what to expect from it.

Gonna need to start shoving H9s in everywhere again....

And did anyone bring GAR? Yes, Michelle in 9th and 9 more players as well. I had a GAR list that I liked, but then I got bored and had the “what's my year looking like” realization. I’d still play it and I'd be willing to fly it against most of my opponents, but there’s more games I need to be AS comfortable with them as i am with Rebels and all. I still like them and have been musing on GAR plans, but soon, soon, soon. They SEEM unplayable or unhackable but I think I’m coming around on them and a few different builds for them. SPHATs factor into most of them, just from both assured damage (barring a crazy amount of accuracies in your roll) and un-Salvo’able fire. It’s a nice upgrade, that’s for sure!

So you're running a Vic then, John? Competitively not for me.  I like IF and I like SPHATs but I don't like 3 copies of SPHATs.  Too many iffy matchups for me in that case, and too many 102 point Victories. As a player since wave 1, a 102 point Victory in ANY faction gives me a concern, haha.

We got all SORTS of upgrades in this faction!

Who’s the Bossk? (separate post, its coming)

My Who’s the Bossk writeup IS coming, but I’m busy with several things (hence why this is part 1). Suffice to say it was very fun, and I have several changes to make for next year. Also I’m not sure if it will be an AMG sponsored event, so, uh, hey lookit that, a War in the Stars of piloting your Armada. It was possibly the craziest event I have ever seen, but I saw some delightfully evil combos. But, that’s another post.


  1. How would agate have faired if she was in yaris. Myself and Sam had soem good times with that pre the yavris nerf.

    1. It might have been OK? It would need a whole rebuild I think, as RBD on the potato was there specifically because Agate and all. I kept Yavaris alive 2/4 games just because it was more lurking in the back. If Agate was on it I would be even more cautious, but the benefit of the Assault Frigate and her is the speed and durability combined with the extra token as needed. I've played a few games against MSU with a 2nd Evade and the paint has barely even been scratched on it!

  2. Nicely written! True about Onagers: you need a plan. But if you have a plan against Onagers, the mostly feared ships often gets into real trouble, and you get it down faster one may think. Last match I avoided that beast until round 3 - got some damage in at the end of turn 4, before killing it turn 5. Main killing element was my Engine-Teched CR90B with HIE! In combination with my MC30 it was a lot of fun to play!

  3. Good write-up as always, I enjoy reading about your tournament experience! Agate sure is something!

    I don't think it's fair to call Imperials "the Onager faction" when Louis-Andre's Onager-less VWC list defeated Broba handily and came close to beating Sam (that final came down to RNG, really). But it does seem like Imperial lists with no Large ship are in a tough spot, unfortunately.

    1. In my opinion, it's not fair when you get into the details but I think it's entirely fair as a generality. You can play Imperial lists without Onagers of course but it's overperforming in general and a staple in most competitive Imperial fleets.

  4. I like your list. Seems like the perfect fit for the squad ball I've been toying with since Hera got into an X-wing