Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Bonjour mon amis! I'm here (again) with Elred's article, as the first time it didn't seem to take and I was having trouble wit the pictures. So, let's let Nicolas take it away for trial number 2!

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Xantos part 2!

And in the interest of getting off my butt and finally posting both of these (to which I again thank Xantos and Elred for their patience), let's get Xantos's Worlds experience out as well.

Full credit, this was Damon's joke, I'm just stealing it for the header

Truthi vs the World

Hey all! Your friendly neighborhood Truthiness here again. With all of our guest takes on Worlds experiences, it only seems right that I also add my own perspective as part of the BIG crew. We can’t let Biggs be the only one of us writing something, after all. I think it’s pretty common knowledge at this point that I went into Worlds pretty dejected with the state of the game. With no confirmation that a Worlds 2024 would even happen and no news from AMG on the horizon, I was bracing for this to be the last hurrah. But then I actually got there, surrounded by people who love this game. That kind of energy is infectious for me, and as the weekend progressed, my optimistic nature reemerged. If you take the combined LCQ and Worlds numbers, there were over 130 individual people that showed up to Adepticon to play competitive Armada. That is the most people we have ever had. And man, the play that was on display was, in my opinion, the best I’ve seen. And the meta? Holy hell was there a lot of fleet diversity. Each of the top 8 was a completely unique fleet, heavily tailored to the person running that fleet. Adam had his signature Ackbar, Sebastian was rocking that crazy Onager+Firesprays fleet that originated in Europe, and Nick had his now infamous Irish Cream GAR. Jason’s Donager was a fearsome force. The two fleets that could be said to be closest in structure were Daniel’s Rieekan and Justin’s Cracken, and well, those fleets play noticeably differently because of who the players are and what their commanders do. Oh and neither fleet on the top table of the final round had maximum squads. That’s the first time that’s ever happened in our game. All of that put together says to me we have an exceptionally healthy game. Anyway, time for my journey!

It wouldn’t be a Truthiness fleet if I didn’t make a last minute swerve, and this tournament was no exception. I had been rocking a Venator/Acclamator/Consular GAR fleet leading into Worlds, but I had become increasingly concerned that the Acclamator, even with Nevoota Bee, wasn’t pulling its weight. I had an alternate idea, but I hadn’t run it at all. I got two pick up games on Thursday to warm up and give my fleet the final shakedown. Thanks to Adam Newton playing with a 2V2P Lumi fleet for that game, all my worries were put on full display. I decided to implement my back up plan, and geek was kind enough to give that fleet a pick up game. It performed much better, so I made the last second call to change. I ended up with something very close to Nicholas Larson’s (UnskilledFirstOfficer) VWC winning Y-Wing spam. Here’s the full fleet:

Does my naming convention make sense? Nope.

Name: Seven Seas of Y

Faction: Republic

Commander: Bail Organa

Assault: Precision Strike

Defense: Fighter Ambush

Navigation: Superior Positions

Venator II (100)

• Bail Organa (28)

• Flight Commander (3)

• Ruthless Strategists (4)

• Flag Bridge (0)

• Electronic Countermeasures (7)

• Ordnance Pods (3)

• Linked Turbolaser Towers (7)

• Tranquility (3)

• Mercy Mission (0)

= 155 Points

Pelta Medical Frigate (49)

• Clone Navigation Officer (4)

• Projection Experts (6)

• Bomber Command Center (8)

• Expanded Hangar Bay (5)

• TB-73 (5)

= 77 Points

Consular Armed Cruiser (37)

• Radiant VII (1)

• Comms Net (2)

= 40 Points


• Anakin Skywalker (Delta-7) (24)

• Axe (17)

• Kickback (16)

• 7 x BTL-B Y-wing Squadron (70)

= 127 Points

Total Points: 399

The key difference between mine and UFO’s fleet is the squad ball and the Venator. They’re minor differences, but it created a significant difference in how we each played. UFO has the same aces, but had a generic Delta-7 instead of a seventh Y-Wing. While I love that squad ball, I wanted some of the ship upgrades a bit more. I felt I could slim down a bit to get all the ship toys I wanted. I fell in love with Flight Commander, Ordnance Pods, and Ruthless Strategists while I was messing around with a Plo version of this fleet because of the order of operations. By having Flight Commander allow flakking to happened first and then commanding squads, I found that between flak and the aces, I could break Y-Wings free for bombing faster and easier, but since it came at the expense of the squad ball, I was more reliant on RS to clear other squads. I should note that Mercy Mission is a quiet star of any version of this fleet. Mercy Mission is damned near required for GAR in my mind, as it flips the dynamic of games. That free 40 points (assuming you don’t go and die), makes getting a 7-4 win a very easy prospect, and also flips the scoring dynamic if someone opts to just run away. In a tournament as competitive as this one was likely to be, I was looking for every advantage I could get.

My first opponent of the tournament was the reigning Polish National Champion, Piotr, running the very fleet that had carried him to Polish victory. This was a field full of familiar names, but he was one I especially didn’t want to play right off the bat with so few reps with my own fleet. And oh man did I botch this match up. I took first and selected his fighter ambush. Piotr outplayed me in the squad game big time, wiping my squad wing with minimal losses in return. My biggest mistake, though, was failing to use my Bail repair not once, but twice in a row. That’s four shields I could have regen’d on my Venator. Guess how many hull it died by? One. I had essentially sacrificed my squad wing to take down the ISD, so a win was contingent on getting the Venator out alive. Remembering either of my two missed Bail repairs would have flipped this to a win to me, though a narrow one. Alas, instead I took a 4-7 loss to start the day. I could console myself with the fact Mercy Mission changed the MoV enough to save me a tournament point. This became a theme on day one.

My second opponent was my evil nemesis, the DreadLordLoki. Loki and I have squared off a few times before, and he was rocking a fleet similar to the one I had barely beaten at NOVA Open. Instead of an Onager, however, he had an Interdictor supporting his Gunnery Team Cymoon. Loki gave me first player, and I decided to risk Most Wanted, banking on my ability to Bail repair and Projection Experts through the damage. This game came down to two critical moments. First, my Pelta managed to slip directly between his Cymoon and Interdictor, ensuring it was able to keep contributing throughout the game. The second was my Venator activation on turn three. I had activated my Pelta first to avoid taking a gunnery team shot from the Cymoon. Loki then opted to activate the Interdictor, which had a double arc shot on my Venator. Between Romodi obstruction and Most Wanted, man did it hit haaaaaaaaaard. It did six damage with an accuracy (I opted not to ECM at this point) and then seven damage (which I braced without having to ECM) to my Venator. My Venator then went, just barely killing the Cymoon with its own double arc and its commanded bombers. If I failed to get that kill, I don’t think I was going to be able to avoid the Cymoon front arc, and would have had to burn my brace to stay alive. I think Loki made absolutely the right call in doing the Interdictor first, but the dice were with me on this one. With the Cymoon cleared out, I had a comfortable path to victory from there on. I almost got the Interdictor for the table, but couldn’t quite get through its repair spam. Mercy Mission again pushed me up a tournament point, taking an 8-3 to a 9-2.

My third game was against Ryan Becker, who was running a BT SSD with a BT ISD 1. To say going right at this fleet would have been dangerous is an understatement. I thought hard about going for the SSD kill, but opted for the more cautious route of getting the ISD 1 and hoping I could pull even enough on Contested Outpost points that I would still get the solid win. In hindsight, it was definitely the right choice. I nailed the ISD with my flood of bombers on turn three. I started trying to work on the SSD on turn four, but with the Jerjerrod SSD repairing and fishtailing every turn, depriving me of both ship and bomber range, I couldn’t even get it to half health. Still, Contested Outpost ended up being an even split, giving me a solid 8-3 This was my only game of the day where Mercy Mission made no difference to the tournament points.

My final game of the first day was against Louis Andre, running a Jerjerrod ISD and supporting squads. I took his Asteroid Tactics, confident I could keep moving well enough to avoid the worst of the Exogorths. In hindsight, I majorly messed up my Mercy Mission ship movements, going wide left out of habit rather than cutting across the center of the board, far away from the ISD. Louis turned that into a beautiful and continuing fork, repeatedly forcing me to activate the consular first to keep it alive. There was a moment on turn three where I knew I could either win the squad war, or save my Mercy Mission ship. I think I again made the wrong choice here. I wasn’t confident I could fully clean up his squad wing without significant losses, so I opted to save the safe points and hope Anakin would hold out just a little bit longer. That didn’t happen, and my squadrons just collapsed from there. In retrospect, I think the Anakin activation I passed up would have saved me the game, albeit very tightly. Despite that choice, I still came awfully close to losing Mercy Mission. It came down to the last Firespray activation, which left the Consular on a single hull. In the end, I lost most of my squads while only getting a Gozanti kill in return. Thankfully, the Mercy Mission’s points kept it to a 5-6 loss, which kept me in contention for day two.

Day two started out baaaaaaaaaaaad. For one, I forgot to take all but one picture all day. But more importantly, I knew Donager was going to be a problem, and sure enough, Jason’s Donager was brutal. I was hoping to get one of the Onager in exchange for the inevitable death of my Venator, but just couldn’t pull it out, unable to pile on enough damage to an Onager before my ships went down. I did really well in the squad fight, though, breaking my Y-Wings off to bomb and cleaning up his squad wing without losses. This was almost a 4-7 loss, but my Mercy Mission Consular took a side shot at medium range that included a double hit red and critical hit blue. I tossed my evade…only to have the exact same results come up. That clinched a full tabling for Jason. Had I taken just a single less damage, the Consular was likely to live to get the Mercy Mission touchdown. It was going to be a brutal game regardless, but starting day two at the very bottom of the field was not something I wanted.

The next game was against Jason Dedrick and his Ackbar MSU. We have played more times than I care to count, so I knew what to expect from his fleet. He had a seven activation advantage to my three, so was able to last-first with key ships no matter how much passing I did. We played my Precision Strike, which ended up fairly even, with a token or two advantage to Jason by the end. I tried to nail a CR90 early with my squads, but it slipped away on one hull. Bail and Projection Experts kept the Venator largely out of trouble, so Jason focused down the Pelta. Unfortunately for him, one of his CR90s got in the way of his MC30’s escape route, and ended up costing him his flagship. That gave me the 7-4 win I needed to start climbing back into the field. The dice were unkind to both of us in this game, so at times it felt like a bit of a slap fight. Still, the win was a win to get me climbing of the hole.

My third game of the day was easily the most frustrating for my opponent. The dice HATED poor Aiden and his TF-1726 LMSU swarm. I had played Aiden in the VWC, and I knew he could quickly overwhelm my Venator if given the chance. He took my Fighter Ambush, which I leveraged immediately. Bypassing my usual turn one repair to use for ECM later on, I instead passed a squad token to the Venator and used my Flight Commander to launch a turn one squad attack at a Gozanti. My goal was to try and get the early kill and knock Aiden off balance from the start. Despite the BCC being out of range, all of my bombers hit with every single roll of my seven squadron attacks. Even the ones that were evaded. The game largely cascaded from there. I was able to pick off all of his Hardcells, and nailed his other Gozanti with a perfect roll from my Pelta. The one bright spot for Aiden was his Patriot’s Fist absolutely demolishing my Venator. Remember how I forwent that repair token on turn one? Yeah…I wasn’t able to ready my ECMs because of needing to clear raid tokens, so PFist got a brutal shot at my fleeing Venator to finish it off. Fighter Ambush tokens were the main decider of this game. I had no chance at killing PFist with the Venator down, but I kept pushing Y-Wings at it anyway to farm tokens where I could. This was almost a 10-1, but my last three Y-Wing whiffed their shots without the BCC in range, depriving me of Fighter Ambush tokens and keeping me 10 MoV short. Still, I couldn’t complain about a 9-2, which put me firmly back in contention for a top eight finish to the day.

The pairing for my final game pretty much sealed my fate. I expected to need an 8-3 or better to be able to make the top eight cut. However, the match up gods gave me a farmhawk instead. And not just any farmhawk. A boarding troopers farmhawk. My Venator had no real shot at surviving any kind of prolonged engagement with that thing. And with PDIC and a full complement of rogues, I had no real hope of killing the hawk with my squadrons. So instead, I took Advanced Gunnery, looked to leverage my Mercy Mission advantage, hoped I got an opening to kill enough squadrons to make it a 7-4, and prayed that was enough for the cut. The game played out pretty much as expected, with no meaningful engagement until turn six. I had an opening to try and nail two YT-2400s with my last activation. I played the engagement perfectly, getting one YT down to a single hull, had Anakin come in with the perfect roll to splash the wounded YT and get another down to a single hull. I just needed a Y-Wing to come in and finish the job. Instead…whiff. That single hull YT then went on to be the deciding factor in killing Kickback. Had the Y-Wing not whiffed, I would have had my 7-4 with a 64 MoV. As I expected, though, I would have needed an 8-3 to make the cut anyway, so it ended up not mattering.

At the end of day two, I had climbed back up to 11th place, missing the top eight cut by 2 tournament points. Not bad for a fleet I barely knew and changed the day before, eh? Just with previous years, I had an absolute blast meeting people and playing such challenging games. As a consolation prize for not making the top cut, I got to play in the 800 point sector fleet tournament, where I beat up DreadLordLoki again, and then got to create this moment with Gilarius:

Spoiler, I did NOT successfully run that blockade. Leia Nebs OP, please nerf. We had people coming and watching our game just for the cinema of it. It was just pure, unadulterated fun.

The cherry on top of it all? AMG announced both Rapid Reinforcements 2 and the OP system for the coming year, including confirmation that Worlds will once again be at Adepticon in 2024. I’m going to hold off on a RR2 reaction until we get some clarification on some of these cards. Until then, Imp players should feel free to drool uncontrollably over the new Governor Pryce. My enthusiasm for this game got a huge shot in the arm thanks to Worlds, so expect some more editorials from me in the coming months. I’m going be trying to focus on a single fleet this competitive season (no, seriously, stop laughing), so expect me to do a breakdown of that development process. And, of course, I’ll be here for all the juicy RR2 details…just as soon as we understand how most of them are supposed to work.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

James AKA Malador AKA Did John Get the Winner

Why YES I did get the man who won it all to write one of these up! I'm most grateful that he hasn't sent me a "dude, where's my article" e-mail having sent me this write-up a solid week ago.  To THE write-up!

Did I find the lamest Google image search possible? Listen he was in A STAR WAR!

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Gilarius and THE Sector Fleet Game!

I'm currently in process of getting more of these together; I've got a write-up from James, the winner, who I appreciate and have in a longer format that I promise I am getting to but currently have a bit of editing to do, along with a few more.  However, today I have Gilarius from the UK.  As a man after my own heart running Leia, how could I NOT give him the floor? Hit the jump for the details!

I have been advised to tell you lot that it is in fact, coming home. Also, Richmond FC wooo.

Monday, April 3, 2023

Black Admiral's Worlds Write-Up!

Today's Writeup: Black Admiral! Top 8 player write-up below!

Looks just like him, coat and everything!

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Armada Worlds 2023 LCQ Recap: Xantos1159

In what I'm hoping will be the first of many of these, I've reprinted Xantos's LCQ write below the jump. There will hopefully be more of these, but for now, hit the jump for one of the LCQ winners!

Amusingly, John was the one to grab this gif