Friday, March 31, 2023

Armada World Championship Recap: Biggs - Or "How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Crab Bucket"

 Long time no see, huh?

Fun fact, I wasn't supposed to go to Worlds.  I had Shmitty's "extra ticket" from winning 2019 GenCon, and figured it wouldn't even be honored, and that I'd just be showing up to hang out and watch some Armada games.  But, the ticket was honored and I was off to play Star Wars Armada on the big stage.  Garm Bel Iblis and the Dumpster Fire that Shmitty and I came up with earned me the ticket, so in the spirit of "dance with the one who brought you" I resolved to bring a Dumpster Fire to Worlds and see how well I could do.

I remember joking just prior to the tournament starting: "I shouldn't be here, and I'm going to make it someone else's problem."  Oh, how right I was.

My List

Garm Fire: The Final Dumpster - 397/400

Assault Objective: Marked For Destruction
Defense Objective: Asteroid Tactics
Navigation Objective: Infested Fields

Modified Pelta-Class Command Ship (60)
- Intensify Firepower! (6)
- Disposable Capacitors (3)
- Ahsoka Tano (2)
= 71 points

[flagship] Assault Frigate Mark II A (81)
- Garm Bel Iblis (25)
- Boarding Troopers (3)
- Electronic Countermeasures (7)
- Ezra Bridger (3)
- Linked Turbolaser Towers (7)
= 126 points

Nebulon-B Escort Frigate (57)
- Yavaris (5)
- Skilled First Officer (1)
= 63 points

Hammerhead Scout Corvette (41)
- Slaved Turrets (6)
= 47 points

1 Lando Calrissian (23)
1 Shara Bey (17)
1 Tycho Celchu (16)
2 A-Wing Squadron (11)
1 Gold Squadron (12)
= 90 points

A classic Biggs style Dumpster Fire build, with an AFIIA as the flagship, with LTT for extra flak powers, Boarding Troopers to punish anyone who gets close, and ECM to keep it alive.  I had included Ezra Bridger as extra insurance against Interdictor related shenanigans.

I just like a D-Caps Command Pelta vs an Assault Pelta, though I feel like the Pelta was often in a better position for flak than it was for commanding squadrons.

Yavaris was a new entry into my Dumpster Fire.  It did give my squadrons a little more punch, but it was often the primary target of any opponent.

The Slaved Turret Hammerhead punches way harder than you expect a Hammerhead to punch.  10/10 no comments.

My squadron ball is my favorite squadron ball.  "Medium-Well" point cost, punchy for it's price with A-Wings, the A-Wing aces, and Lando, plus Gold Squadron could punish anyone who went with no squads, and should be able to trade up against anyone that brought 134 of squads.  At least that was the plan going into the games.

For objectives:  Marked for Destruction is an objective no one ever seems to take, gives me dust clouds to hide behind, and involves Purrgil which opponents don't quite understand.  Even at a high level, it gives me a good advantage against someone not expecting it.  I expect to play this objective the most because other than the novelty factor, it doesn't explicitly benefit my list much.  Asteroid Tactics and Infested Fields let me win squadron fights, which let me win games, simple as that.

Round 1: Daniel Wolf - Germany - Table 2

MC30c Torpedo Frigate
- Lando Calrissian
- Ordnance Experts
- Assault Proton Torpedoes
- H9 Turbolasers
- Foresight

- General Dodonna
- Turbolaser Reroute Circuits
- Jaina's Light

- Dodonna's Pride

GR75 Transport
- Adar Tallon
- Boosted Comms

GR75 Transport
- Toryn Farr
- Quantum Storm

Hera Syndulla (Ghost)
Dash Rendar
Corran Horn
Norra Wexley
Rogue Squadron
Gold Squadron

Daniel came in at 400 points, and that meant I got to hand him my objectives.  He quickly decided on Asteroid Tactics

I had set up to have my smaller ships catch his MC30 with my squadrons, and set up a kill box if it tried to cross over.  He gunned up to speed 4 in an attempt to double arc my Yavaris, but just missed the double arc, and instead got Foresight eaten for his troubles.  Unfortunately for me, other than Corran Horn and Foresight, his other ships were much to fast and his squadrons too punchy for me to put much more of a dent in his fleet.  I lost a few squadrons squadrons, Yavaris, and the Hammerhead in the exchange.  Unfortunately the game was called on turn 5, and swung on him getting just enough to kill one of my A-Wings.  He got a small MOV win, 148-141, giving me a 5-6 loss but a respectable number of tournament points.

Round 2:  Przemyslaw Niedzielski - Poland (I hope I spelled that correctly) - Table 21

Recusant Support Destroyer
- General Grievous
- Rune Haako
- Boosted Comms
- Reserve Hangar Deck
- Linked Turbolaser Towers

Recusant Support Destroyer
- Tikkes
- Flight Controllers
- Boosted Comms
- Reserve Hangar Deck
- Linked Turbolaser Towers
- Patriot Fist

Gozanti Cruisers

- DBS-404
- Phlac-Arphroc Prototypes
- DIS-T81
- Droid Tri-Fighter Squadron x5
- Vulture Droid Fighter Squadron x2

I had the bid once again, and chose 2nd player, and he chose Marked for Destruction.  We both deployed cagy, with me in a similar deployment to my last game, my ships angling to the right.  We began to punch one another, trading ships and squadrons.  I got one of his Recusants, and a decent number of squadrons, while he got everything but the AFII, and most of my squadrons.  Ultimately, the score was 248-194, in another 5-6 loss for me.

Round 3 - Silvio Gollnick - Germany (Table 21)

Starhawk Battleship Mark I
- Krysta Agate (commander)
- Walex Blissex
- Ezra Bridger
- Point Defense Ion Cannons
- Linked Turbolaser Towers
- Amity

Pelta Command Ship
- Adar Tallon
- Projection Experts

GR-75 Medium Transports
- Toryn Farr
- Comms Nets

- Lando Calrissian
- Corran Horn
- Shara Bey
- Dutch Vander
- VCX-100 Freighter x2

 Well, that's not what I wanted to see.  With a bid of 396, Silvio was able to choose 2nd player for himself, and with that I knew I was out of luck.  I was not build to take out an Agate Starhawk, especially not one with projection experts feeding it more shields.  I had a choice of Advanced Gunnery, Fire Lanes, and Doomed Station.  Both Doomed Station and Fire Lanes were just inviting him to have free points (120 and 270 respectively), so my only hope in winning, and salvaging any sort of points from the match were to take Advanced Gunnery, hope to win the squadron fight...

... and run.
Top of Turn 2, Running

I gave my AFII Advanced Gunnery, the plan being to have it dance into the squadron fight just long enough to snipe a few squadrons with LTTs, and then bail out.  The other ships would just run for the edge and avoid the Starhawk entirely.  From there, my squadrons could win the squadron battle netting me a 6-5, or a 7-4 if I was lucky.  It wasn't a good plan, but the only one I had that could reasonably give me a win, and it nearly worked.


The AFII did manage to get into range of the enemy squadrons, and flak some of them down.  But the Starhawk turned in and added it's own flak, and chased the AFII away from the fight.  Ultimately he had squadron commands for his squadrons, and I did not.  More annoyingly, his Lando escaped death on 1 hull, which let him eat my Lando instead.  The part of the plan that worked?  Not a single shot was taken against a capital ship the entire game.  Shara was left alive to escape to fight another day, but I had only managed to kill Corran and Dutch.  73-38, for another 5-6 loss.

Round 4: Nathanial Beaver - North America(?) - Table 24


Munificent Star Frigate
- Mar Tuuk
- Wat Tambor
- Projection Experts
- Electronic Countermeasures
- Point Defense Ion Cannons
- Linked Turbolaser Towers
- Sa Nalaor

Munificent Star Frigate
- Projection Experts
- Electronic Countermeasures
- Point Defense Ion Canons
- Linked Turbolaser Towers

Recusant Light Destroyer
- Tikkies
- Veteran Gunners
- Assault Proton Torpedoes
- Swivel-Mount Batteries
- Patriot Fist

Hardcell Transport
- Hondo Ohnaka
- Engineering Team
- Parts Resupply

Going in to this game, at 15 Tournament Points, I knew I needed a 10-1 or at least a 9-2 to claw my way into a Day 2 position.  With this in mind, I shifted to a new plan: Table the Opponent, fast.  Now, a Dumpster Fire is not build for this plan, but you've gotta try with what you've got.  With this in mind, my plan going in was to take 1st player, my opponent's red objective, and try to win the joust.  Seeing no squadrons, I thought I had a decent enough shot at it, as I could do bombing runs on his fleet without worry.  So I took his Rift Assault, and hoped for the best.

Again, it was a plan that nearly worked.

We both deployed aggressively, and he drove his flagship forward too quickly, trying to cut off my AFIIA which was cutting in fast and hard from the right flank.  The AFII then jumped in front of his entire deployment with my final activation, jumping in front of his flagship, and then Garm Tokened himself, and activated first the next turn, raiding Mar Tuuk's Brace and Redirect.  From there it was a matter of mopping up the crippled Muni.  Unfortunately, that was the last thing that really went well.  I would eventually bag the Hardcell with my squadrons, but the combined Patriot Fist / Munificent were too much for the rest of my fleet, and my AFIIA limped away with 3 hull as the only survivor that wasn't a squadron.  Token scoring was 4 vs 3, primarily because my AFII was way, way out of position as the rest of our fleets fought in the obstacles.  Final Score:  222-255, for yet another 5-6 loss.


Worlds has always been an amazing time to have some good games of Armada, and 2023 Worlds was no different.  I could not imagine having more fun losing 4 really close games against some amazing opponents.  Every single opponent I played deserved to be in Day 2, and I like to think that playing me knocked them out of it.  (In the case of Round 3 and Round 4, that is almost certainly true, Silvio missed the cut by 1 or 2 spots.)

Does this mean the Dumpster Fire is viable in 2023?  Maybe?  With a few tweaks and a player who's had more than a handful of games since COVID started?

But more than any of that, Worlds continues to be where the community comes together to make Armada something truly special.  Until next we meet, all of you!

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