Monday, May 22, 2017

Wave 5 - Ranking the Commanders

Back near the end of Wave 4, we ranked the Commanders.  Today we're going to smash them together into Tiers again!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Wave 5 Upgrades - Fleet Command Upgrades

On to "the reason you took a Pelta".  It is the Fleet Command Upgrades; support upgrades that you put on a slightly over-costed ship that make the rest of your fleet better.  The upgrades that make Imperials irrationally angry over Wave 5.

Please note that with the most recent FAQ, if the ship that this upgrade on is destroyed, all ships still gain the benefit of the upgrade until the end of the round.

Without further ado...



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

Wave 5 Upgrades - Rapid Launch Bay

Oh god, this thing is a beast of an upgrade card.  It does strange things and required a FAQ from pretty much the moment it was announced, and even after the FAQ it isn't 100% clear exactly how it should work, though I will describe the basic consensus.  Anyways, here it is!



Friday, May 12, 2017

Wave 5 Commanders - Moff Jerjerrod & Commander Sato

It has come to my attention that I have been very much slacking on writing upgrade articles.  This has to change!  How can I write about Wave 6 when I haven't even finished up Wave 5?  And I haven't even touched on the Commanders for the wave.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Truth(iness) vs. Logic: 500 point tournaments

One of the beauties of having multiple writers on a blog is being able to present different points of view on the same topic. With that in mind, Steel Squadron brings you our first joint blog post in what we hope will be an ongoing segment: Truth(iness) vs. Logic. Our topic today: 500 point tournaments! Some people (you know, people who like to have fun) would like to see the tournament standard increase to 500 points. Other people (booooooo!) think it's somehow not the greatest idea since the invention of the X-Wing. First up, is the righteous guardian of all things that feels right: your friendly neighborhood Truthiness.




Feels Like Star Wars
In just about tabletop game I've ever played, I always love going big. It's why I play Armada instead of X-Wing. Fleet command is always way cooler than some lame little skirmish. If you don't immediately think of the Battle of Endor when someone says "Star Wars fleet battle," you need to get the hell off this blog right now. The more spaceships on the table, the better. Right now, even if you're not running the "2+3" style builds, you only tend to see 2-3 medium or large ships on the table. That's not an armada. That's barely deserving of the term "fleet". We need MOAR SHIPS!

Activation and Flotilla Scaling

More points means more activations. Real activations that can cause real pain, not pansy flotillas. While the cost of activation padding is likely to scale linearly, it will be harder to maintain. There will be more tools on the table to kill the flotillas. The reward for activation padding also won't be as high because...

Alpha Strikes Won't Matter As Much

Demolisher removing a ship with a brutal triple tap wouldn't be quite as devastating when there are more ships on the table. The same goes for the coming Avenger/Boarding Troopers combo. That also means they'll have more returning fire to worry about if they put themselves in a bad position to get said kill shot. This is the true problem with activation padding. The numbers don't matter so much as the quality activation they're trying to delay. If fleets are able to recover better from losses, you'll have less games that hinge on activations.

Commander Scaling

Vader, Tarkin, Konstantine, Garm, and soon to be Leia (consider this a prediction) are considered either too pricey or hard to maximize at 400 points to be commonly used in tournaments. Many of these commanders are finding new life in Corellian Conflict games. They all get significantly better when their abilities are applied to another 100 points of ships. This would increase list diversity, which can only be considered a positive.

No, Squadrons Won't Be an Issue

One of the most common refrains against raising the tournament standard is that squadrons, which already slow down the game, will be completely unmanageable. First, if squadrons are the reason you're having slow games, it's because of analysis paralysis. Biggs and I played the Martinsburg Regional last year with near max squadrons. We were done with 45 minutes to spare. Second, we're talking about 33 more points of squadrons. That's not exactly a lot. That's two of most squadrons. At most it's four Z-95s or TIE Fighters. That's not going to break the game or slow it down in any significant way.

Taking the opposing viewpoint is our very own data-driven kill buzz: Shmitty!




As the unofficial voice-of-reason for the Armada community and apparently the only sane blogger on this site (at least until Biggs' chemo addled brain gets back to normal) I am happy to storm in and rain logic all over this parade of frivolity.

Unlike Truthiness, I have the benefit of having played in a 500 point tournament.  Local players really enjoyed the 500 point format in the Corellian Conflict and we felt like trying it in a tournament would be more fun than a jar-Jar themed whack-a-mole game.  It was fun, but not it any way that was different from a 400 point tournament.  It was fun for being a day of Armada and the extra points allowed players to sneak a few more fun upgrades into their fleets.  The trouble was:


It's not that different...

Really, a 500 point game just didn't feel all that different from a 400 point game.  Like Truthiness, I tend towards big games.  It's fun to play with all the toys.  I had expected with the Corellian Conflict to have all this extra freedom in fleet building at 500 points....I was mistaken.  Points are just as tight at 500 as they are 400.  I felt like I should be able to do so much more, but that wasn't really the case.  So, while I do want big fleets of multiple Star Destroyers and MC-80s recreating the Battle of Endor, that isn't any more likely at 500 points than it was a 400 points. So, the benefits of moving to 500 points weren't nearly what I expected, but there are significant risks that go along with it.

Max Time Already Happens

We just saw the World Championship final go to time at 400 points.  Do we really need the risk of going to 500.  I play quick and almost never have a game go to time, but it is frustrating for all involved when it does happen.  And I do mean all, not just the players of that game, but the TO and the rest of the participants. 


More Points = MOAR SKEW!

This is the big risk though in increasing to 500 points.  If there was some sort of system that forced people into balanced fleets it might be fine (like an activation cap), but there isn't and any kind of skew fleet that exists at 400 points will be that much more amplified at 500.  Do we really need a fleet with 9 ramming CR-90b's?  The potential for abusive, un-fun lists only grows with the point totals.

The Logical Conclusion

Given that there are minimum benefits in fleet building, I am not sure it worth that risk of raising tournaments to 500.  400 points is a great total for Armada tournaments. However, tournaments are not the end goal of Armada.  Go and play the Corellian Conflict and have some amazing 500 point games.  Especially the 1500 point monstrosity at the end. Then you should realize that 500 isn't enough for a the truly huge game that you desire.  Play some 800 or 1000 point games and re-live your favorite on screen battles. It's not all about tournaments, but those should stay at 400 points.  Keep the big games for less competitive or time-constrained events.   

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Summer Vassal Pre-Action Report - "Boring Conversation Fleet"

I HAVE THE BEST IDEAS!
Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 397/400
Commander: Garm Bel Iblis

Like all the best ideas, it started in a committee.  "Biggs is a really good squadron" it was said.  "He keeps fighters alive a long time by spreading the damage around between them."

"Can we do the same thing for ships?"


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Imperial players should be gratfeul for the existence of Rebels (The show, not the enemy)



If you at all followed my writing on my old blog you know that I am a fan of Rebels, the Star Wars series shown on Disney XD.  If you haven't watched it yet, you really should.  While some have complained about the heroes impregnable plot armor or the incompetence of the Stormtroopers on the show I find that the show is a lot of fun and tonally fits in really well with the space opera themes of the rest of the Star Wars Universe.  Most importantly though, Rebels has been a tremendous source of new content for Armada.  

So, I thought I'd take a look at what the show has given to Armada and what it might add in the future.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Summer Vassal Tournament Pre-Action Report: Team Ramrod


Unlike Biggs, I opted to stay close to what I've been running for the last month. That's right everyone, Team Ramrod is reborn and ready to get up close and personal in the worst way possible. I'll dive into the key changes since my outing at the Stele Open, but first let's start with the list itself.

Team Ramrod 
Author: Truthiness
Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 382/400
Commander: General Madine
[ flagship ] CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
-  General Madine  ( 30  points)
-  Jainas Light  ( 2  points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
83 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
18 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
-  Bright Hope  ( 2  points)
-  Toryn Farr  ( 7  points)
27 total ship cost
CR90 Corvette B (39 points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points)
52 total ship cost
CR90 Corvette B (39 points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points)
52 total ship cost
MC30c Torpedo Frigate (63 points)
-  Admonition  ( 8  points)
-  Major Derlin  ( 7  points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  H9 Turbolasers  ( 8  points)
-  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
95 total ship cost
Tycho Celchu ( 16 points) 
Shara Bey ( 17 points) 
A-Wing Squadrons ( 22 points) 

First and foremost is the replacement of the Liberty-class with Admonition. Throughout Stele, it felt like a giant weight around my neck. It had a good moment in the last game, but otherwise kept getting itself into trouble. That large base is hard to protect, even with Madine helping it out. It only survived one game, so it was hard to justify such a large points sink into something going down that often. The tooled up Admonition offers a similar amount of firepower, albeit at closer range. Normally I'm an advocate of using Mon Mothma with MC30s, but after a couple games, it became clear that where as Admo normally has to do one drive by and be done, Madine helped adapt the nav chart to make additional passes.

Even tooled out with H9s, APTs, and Ordnance Experts, Admonition still came in well under the points of the Liberty-class. That left me room to pack in a few extra. With H9s in tow, I didn't feel the need for an Intel Officer. Instead I've opted for Derlin to make the frustratingly hard to kill Admonition even harder to kill. I was also able to upgrade the list's blue dice, of which there are plenty, by grabbing Toryn Farr. I placed her on a flotilla and grabbed Bright Hope as well. It should make the A-Wings all the more frustrating in the squadron fight as well as help out the CR90Bs.

Finally, I had to find a new home for Madine. I wasn't comfortable putting him on Admonition as it is often in dangerous positions. No, I'm not putting him on a flotilla. Stop ruining the game with your anti-thematic power gaming. More importantly, however, I use my flotillas as direct support to the squadron fight. They are intended to get stuck in and use their black anti-squad batteries to support the A-Wings. The last thing I want to do is put a lifeboat in that position. The rammers are obviously a poor choice. That left me with the TRC90. Luckily it seems to be pretty low on target priority in the games I've played. It did not get killed during any of my games at Stele. So I added the Jaina's Light title to give it a little more flexibility in positioning and put Madine on that. It's able to contribute at distance, keeping Madine away from the bulk of the fighting while still throwing damage into the fight.

This list is explicitly designed to go after the flotilla spam that's pervasive in the meta. With Admo and the Rambos, I can reliably remove at least 2 flotillas very quickly, giving myself a large activation advantage. The A-Wings have consistently punched above their weight class, so I'm not really scared of squadron swarms. I also don't give up points easily. I have the speed, maneuverability, and activation count to disengage and choose my fights with near impunity. As Brendon as Stele put it, it's very good at bleeding points out of an opponent. With Liberty gone, that gets even easier. Oddly enough, I think I'm weakest against a list like the one Biggs is bringing. I can bring down a single large ship by consistently whittling it down over the course of the game and finishing it with Admo, but I have no idea if I can manage two large ships with repairing spam. I guess we'll see.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Will FFG get out its Nerf bat?

One of the reasons that I started tracking the Regionals data back in Wave 2 was to see if the Demolisher title would get nerfed.  FFG had recently used the nerf bat for the first time in Imperial Assault.  A particular build and its obvious counter had completely flooded the tables at the world championships and FFG felt it was necessary to make a change for the health of the game.  I wanted to know if Demo was anywhere near that threshold.  Turns out that it wasn't, so FFG instead addressed it through some counters.

Well, the reports coming back from Worlds appear to indicate that a certain build may have crossed that threshold, which has me wondering if something in Armada is about to get nerfed.


Armada is Near Perfection. Why Are We Unhappy?

Hello everyone.  Worlds is over, we just watched Norm Weir and his highly tuned Rieekan Aces list take top place and give us a brand new World Champion.  And for some reason, I can't sleep, so why not do something productive and write a nice hot take on what I think, having not been at or playing in Worlds.



Monday, May 1, 2017

Steel Squadron's Unofficial Armada Achievements

Everyone likes achievements, right?  Give yourself some new goals to shoot for, or just a reward for doing the barest minimum within the game.  Did you ever wish Armada had some?

Well good news, we here at Steel Squadron HQ have come up with an unofficial list of achievements that YOU can accomplish!  Or at least try to accomplish.  Win the World Championship is in there after all.  Link to a PDF download after the break.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Ship Profile: The Flechette Raider


Of the many complaints that seem to be cropping up, the rise and dominance of squadrons has been a persistent one. Yet somehow, this far into wave 5, I haven't seen a lot of what I consider one of the best counters: The Flechette Raider.

Before going any further, let me define the loadout:
The baseline Flechette Raider
The Raider I, with double black anti-squadron dice, an Ordnance slot, and a Weapons Team slot, is pretty much the only ship in the game that can made effective use of Flechette Torpedoes. The ability to re-roll with Ordnance Experts is critical to getting everything to work. In theory, one good battery shot can effective shut down a squadron ball. For 51 points, the ability to reliably shut down squadrons is pretty great.

There are a couple of extra flavors you can add to make it even better. Agent Kallus gives you another black die against named squadrons to give you that much more of a chance to trigger Flechettes. Instigator helps lock squadrons in place so they don't squirt away during the squadron phase prior to your shot. If you're not as worried about squadrons moving away, you can grab Impetuous to give yourself a second chance at shutting down that one critical squadron. Taking a title and Kallus starts to get a little pricey (58 points), but if you're neck deep in Rieekan Aces, it is well worth the extra investment.

The "Fully Loaded" Flechette Raider
Then, of course, there's Screed, who can guarantee Flechettes will trigger. This, however, comes at the cost of doing actual damage. This variant could even go without the Ordnance Experts if you needed to save the 4 points.

We all saw the potential for this when wave 5 dropped, but enthusiasm for the loadout seemed to fade pretty quickly. Instead, Rieekan Aces builds, now with Biggs included to make them that much more horrific, remain a dominant part of the meta. That's because, as always, the Raider is a rather unforgiving ship. The lack of redirect hurts, especially against squadrons. Still, when flown right, it can completely negate a squadron wing. There are a three things I've found you need to keep in mind to get the Flechette Raider right.

First of all, having first player helps a lot. Yes, this is obvious. After all, there aren't that many situations where having first player isn't a big benefit. In this case, though, the Flechette Raider wants first player almost as bad as Demolisher. As second player, you risk enemy squadrons activating to either get away from the Raider, or just killing it. Alternatively, a ship might just blow the Raider out of the water, freeing up the squadrons to go after a juicer target. Considering how fast the Raider can pop, both of these eventualities are a big risk.

Second, you need at least a token squadron wing, around 50-60 points worth. Like I said, the Raider is at risk of getting popped by the very squadrons it's hunting. I tried running one with the Instigator title, but no squadron support. It just didn't work. You need a little bit of support to help lock down squadrons and force shots at something other than the Raider. A minimal force pairs well with Instigator, preventing Intel squadrons from re-positioning. My personal favorite has become Zetrik, an Advanced, a Jumpmaster, and Mauler. The Raider's anti-squadron battery and Mauler's splash damage work well together to decimate squadron balls. At 54 points, it's not a big investment if my opponent also goes squadron light.

Splash damage for everyone!
Third and finally, don't forget that even though you invested into Flechettes, you can still attack ships. After all, that's only 3 points dedicated to going after squadrons. Two blacks with Ordnance Experts and two blues are nothing to sneeze at. Those blues make it a decent flotilla hunter. If you've neutralized the enemy squadron ball, or if there was never one to begin with, don't look at the Raider as dead points. Despite all the hate for this little ship, it is still a good flanker that can hit well above its weight.

I think the Flechette Raider is due for a breakout in the meta. JJ already quietly used it to good effect during the World Cup. Keep your eyes peeled at Worlds. I think a Flechette Raider could sneak into the top 4 cut and make a very large impact.

Friday, April 21, 2017

FAQ Update 4/21/17 - "Mostly Corellian Conflict"

Well, yes, about 4/5ths of the red text in the new FAQ are Corellian Conflict related.  But Worlds is coming up, so let's talk about what actually changed for that.  Please note, there was NO CHANGES to the core rules, so the Anti-Flotilla crew are going to have to wait a bit longer for their sweet, sweet revenge.

https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/7a/0d/7a0da571-9299-4fd1-8ca9-c1b006a9d080/armada_faq_v311.pdf


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Flotillas, Activations, and other Heretical thoughts...

If you at all follow the Armada forums on FFG's website you will have noticed the bevy of recent threads debating the role of flotillas in Armada.  I am on record as saying flotillas have been one of the best things to happen to Armada.  However, amid all of the various threads on the subject I think I have also come to understand the other side of the debate.  I thought I would break down the arguments here, if only as an exercise in getting them straight in my own head.
I have an unbridled love of all things XKCD

Monday, April 17, 2017

Going to Worlds? Eat Breakfast! (And Other Armada Advice)

Why don't we talk about how to play your best game of Armada, when you are playing the best of the best.  You've planned your list, figured out the meta, and you're ready to go.  Now you are going to fly off to Minnesota, stay in an unfamiliar hotel, and wake up early to register and get ready for your game.  What can you do to make things better for yourself?

Go to breakfast.



Friday, April 14, 2017

Stele Open AAR

Congrats again to Dan!
Stele Open is probably the most fun I've had at an Armada tournament to date. Our community continues to amaze me with just how enjoyable an experience they make these large tournaments. The level of play is continuing to rise. Considering I went 2-2 on the day, fifth place was far better than I expected. It helps that my losses were fairly close at 4-7 and 5-6, and my wins were pretty solid at 8-3 and 10-1. However, I think it mainly shows just how close many of the games were. Pete Hodgkins should have the final standing up soon, but the points were pretty tight. Now that I've had some time to reflect, let's go over what went wrong and what went right.

**Edit** For those that didn't catch my list in the Stele Open live updates, here's my list from the day:

Team Ramrod 

Author: Truthiness
Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 390/400   

Commander: General Madine

CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
51 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
18 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
18 total ship cost
CR90 Corvette B (39 points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points)
52 total ship cost
CR90 Corvette B (39 points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points)
52 total ship cost
[ flagship ] MC80 Star Cruiser (96 points)
-  General Madine  ( 30  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  X17 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
144 total ship cost
Tycho Celchu ( 16 points) 
Shara Bey ( 17 points)
A-Wing Squadrons ( 22 points) 
What Went Wrong
Damn you Demolisher!!!
Liberty was my biggest failure of the day. I could not seem to get it in the right position to save my life. The first game I got it mostly right. I just mistimed my squadrons, so it got hung out to dry in the middle of Yavaris squadrons. I was lucky as hell that it hung on as long as it did, because otherwise I wouldn't have gotten the tabling. Game two was much the same story, except I didn't even get it into the fight when I needed it. I was trying to use the CR90s to block the Arquitens' path and follow in with the Liberty, but I would have been better off doing the opposite. Finally, in the third game, I intentionally set it out there to keep Demolisher occupied, knowing it could deal with a couple salvos, but then I turned it back into the fight. This ended up giving Demolisher another shot at it, all the while it didn't really contribute to the fight in any meaningful way. It would have been better off disengaging and using Madine's maneuverability to stay behind Demolisher the rest of the way.

My squadron use was also questionable for the first two games. In the first game, I jumped out too early, allowing Treb's squadrons to clean mine out just in time for the main ship engagement. Somehow, despite recognizing the mistake going into the second game, I did it again against Mike. I jumped out even earlier, engaging some of his squadrons during the first turn. That gave his eclectic mix of Aces plenty of time to bomb the crap out of Liberty. Side note: Morna Kee fucking hurts.


What Went Right
I still can't get over this roll
I finally learned the right lesson with my squadrons in the third game. I made sure to keep the A-Wings tight to the GR-75s. The combination of anti-squadron batteries and A-Wing counter mauled the hell out of his squadrons, punching well above their level. I managed it again in the fourth game. If I get the timing right, it is a very effective grouping of squadrons. I'm considering swapping out one A-Wing for a VCX to get strategic in play, but I'm not sure I'm willing to disrupt the ball I have now.

The All-Stars were hands down the CRambo90s. They worked exactly as envisioned all day. I understandably got some odd looks and some questions on the forums. After all, I don't have Rieekan, so how effective can they be without being able to abuse the Zombie Lord? The answer is extremely effective if you know what to target. I'm not charging headlong into large ships. I mainly use them has flotilla and small ship hunters. Of the eight flotillas I faced on the day, only one survived. They are effectively speed 5, making them perfect for hunting down the ubiquitous lifeboat flotilla.

What is often overlooked is their armament is actually pretty darn good. A double arc is very easy to line up using Madine, and 5 blues is nothing to sneeze at. Once I was done ramming flotillas into paste, I could use my high activation count and high maneuverability to get them into side or rear arcs of larger targets. From there, I could use the blue dice to add punishment and rely on the Reinforced Blast Doors to ram if needed. The RBDs also make them more durable for working in at that medium range. Since I've started playing this list, I've been using RBDs to discard regular damage just about as often as I'm using them to discard ram damage.

Speaking of Madine, he's the part of the puzzle that makes these CRambo90s so good working as just a pair. They are capable of utterly ludicrous turns, which you really have to see to understand. He's pricey, but I think I've finally found a list where he works well.


Going Forward
Fear the CRambo
After playing this list and many variations of the list I took to Regionals, I think I'm just burned out on the Liberty. It feels much more fragile than the double braces would indicate and the firepower was often not all that impressive. Madine did a lot to make it better, but it still felt like there wasn't much it could do that other ships could do better. The large base keeps it difficult to squeeze into certain spots and an easy target for bombers.

Still, this list was an awful lot of fun to fly. The CRambos and Madine are an excellent match. I'm even finding him useful for bobbing and weaving with the TRC90 and helping the GR-75s adjust their approach with tokens. The squadrons, once I got the right timing, were also an excellent little ball. The key was getting them working in tandem with the GR-75 anti-squadron batteries. Once I did that, the cumulative damage from the black anti-squadron and counter really started to stack up.

As annoyingly ubiquitous as Admonition is both locally and on Vassal, I think it's the obvious replacement for the Liberty. With the right tools, it can hit just as hard if not harder than the Liberty. Its nav chart usually limits it to a single pass or lower speeds. With Madine, I'm hoping to change that tune a bit. The MC30's speed 4 chart suddenly isn't that limited once you add Madine clicks.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Zahn talking Thrawn

Last night I had the opportunity to attend a book signing by Timothy Zahn for his new book Thrawn, about the titular Grand Admiral.

I have been a fan of both Zahn and Thrawn since Heir to the Empire was released in 1991, so attending was a no-brainer.  So, why am I posting about this on an Armada themed blog?
Cause Biggs said I could...

Also, Zahn gave some cool insights into the Thrawn character, how the Lucasfilm story group works, and the state of Star Wars in general that I think the readers here might care about.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Quantity vs Quality in Activations

One thing that we can all agree about in Armada is that Activations are important, to the point where activation advantage is now as hotly contested as First Activation.  Being able to delay an important activation can give you a sizable advantage in the game.  But what good players understand, but don't specifically talk about, is that the quality of that activation you are saving or using is really what is important.  After all, it doesn't matter when you take your turn if that turn doesn't do anything to affect the board state.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Stele Open

I'll rocking the Stele Open today! Like MD Regionals, I'll be posting updates as I go. Here's my list:

Team Ramrod 

Author: Truthiness
Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 390/400   

Commander: General Madine


CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
-  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
51 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
18 total ship cost
GR-75 Medium Transports (18 points)
18 total ship cost
CR90 Corvette B (39 points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points)
52 total ship cost
CR90 Corvette B (39 points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  Reinforced Blast Doors  ( 5  points)
52 total ship cost
[ flagship ] MC80 Star Cruiser (96 points)
-  General Madine  ( 30  points)
-  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
-  X17 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
-  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
144 total ship cost
1 Tycho Celchu ( 16 points) 
1 Shara Bey ( 17 points)
2 A-Wing Squadrons ( 22 points) 
I decided to have a go at Madine after seeing him in action with the Liberty at the MD Regionals. I've said it before, but I cannot reiterate how well Madine and the Liberty go together. The most glaring weakness of the speedy Liberty is that poor Nav chart. Madine does a lot to help minimize that weakness and maximize the Liberty's speed and firepower. Using Madine happened to coincide with my experiments with the CRambo90, which resulted in a happy accident of list building. The two of them together make a rather absurdly good combination.

I originally had a tooled up Liberty and only Tycho and Shara for squadrons. Putting the list through the ringer of my usual Vassal opponents, however, showed that it needed a little more help in the squadron department. At JJ's suggestion I went minimalist with the Liberty itself. That allowed me to add another GR-75, taking the activation count up to 6, and adding a pair of A-Wings. I jumped back and forth between Mon Karren and XI7s. The former is useful against more things, but XI7s won out because they let me lock down braces with accuracy while still limiting redirect usage. At the end of the day, I expect the Liberty to go hunting for the things XI7s are great against. Plus, it saved me 2 points.

Check-in!


Round 1
First match was against Treb Courie. I was first player and took his Precision Strike. I over committed Liberty, which only survived Yavaris B-Wings by sheer dumb luck. It limped on until the last turn, allowing me to table Treb for a 415-229 win for me.

Treb's list:

Top of Turn 1:

Top of turn 2:

Top of turn 3:

Top of turn 4:

Top of turn 5:

Top of turn 6:

Final board state (we only resolved Lib and his flotilla and called it):

Round 2
Next game was against Mike Taglioni! He's running 3x Slaved Turret Kittens, 2x Gonzos and a mix of Acres. I took first player with VIP as the objective. Luck went against me this time, with a couple of my ships going down with lucky accuracies. I once again mistimed the A-Wings, costing me the Liberty. I also probably swung the Liberty out wide too far, with it only really getting off one good shot. Final score was 267-370, with his lone surviving Kitten running off the with VIP.

Top of turn 1:

Top(ish) of turn 2:

Top of turn 3:

Top of turn 4:

Top of turn 5:

Top of turn 6:

Final board state:

Round 3
This round was against Brendon MacLeod. He was running full Clonisher, a Raider, and 3x Gonzo supported by a nasty anti-squadron ball. He took first player and took my Navigational Hazards. I had him up until the last turn. The A-Wings and the GR-75s bled his squadrons and I managed to kill 2x Gonzos and the Raider. However, Demo swung into get two kills on the final turn, swinging it to 214-250.

Top of turn 1

Top of turn 2:

Top fo turn 3:

Top of turn 4:

Top(ish) of turn 5:

Top of turn 6:

Final table state:

Round 4
Final game was against Sean Masson. He was running a fulled kitted ISD II Avenger, 2 Kittens, and a small anti-squadron ball. I took first player and decided to go balls to the wall by taking his Advanced Gunnery. It work out very well. I bullseyed a kitten on turn 2 and just ran the table from there. The Advanced Gunnery ISD didn't get a frontal shot all game as Madine ran circles. Final score was 520-39 with a table at the first activation of turn 5.

Top of turn 1:

Top of turn 2:

(Forgot a turn 3 picture)

Top of turn 4:

This was the Liberty's RAW ROLL at the ISD:

Final board state (the CR90 fired and that was all that went for turn 5):

Conclusion:
I managed to claw back to #5, which all things considered  was pretty damned good. All the top 4 declined to play the final cut games. The prizes for #3 and #4  were the same and #1 and #2 played in round 4, so Jeff was nice enough to concede the top prize to Dan Nowak. Congrats to him! Pete Hodgkins will be posting the final standings on the NOVA Facebook group, which I'll be sure to add later on. It was a great day of games with some impeccable play. Thanks to everyone who played!