Author Topic: Star Wars: Armada AAR  (Read 5384 times)

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Offline Silent Disapproval Robot

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Star Wars: Armada AAR
« on: November 14, 2015, 02:40:34 AM »
I went to a miniatures based gaming group here in Vancouver tonight and played some Armada (the WWII minis based game of the air battle of the Mariannas was a very tempting lure though.  Absolutely gorgeous miniatures.)

Anyway, this was a standard 6-turn match between a Rebel and an Imperial fleet.  I played as the Imperials.  My fleet consisted of two Victory-I class Star Destroyers with 4 squadrons of TIE bombers (one led by an elite pilot, Major Ryhmer), one squadron of TIE Advanced fighters, and one squadron of TIE interceptors led by elite pilot Soontir Fel. 



One of my VSDs, The Corrupter, was geared towards effective bomber squadron command (expanded hangar bays, flight controllers, Adm Chiraneau)
 


 while the flagship VSD, The Dominator, was dedicated to close range fighting.


The rebel player fielded a fleet consisting of 3 unmodified CR90 Corellian Corvette A's, 1 unmodified Nebulon-B escort frigate commanded by Mon Mothma, and 6 squadrons of X-Wings.


The rebel player had initiative and selected the objective card for the game.  He chose opening salvo.  I was pleased with this as I was the second player and those 2 extra dice of firepower on the opening shot plays into the strengths of Star Destroyers.

 


We placed the obstacles (3 asteroid fields, two debris fields, and one space station.  Another gamer was kind enough to lend us his 3d models for these objects) and then proceeded to set up our fleets.  I placed my two Star Destroyers relatively close to one another with the fighters and bombers clustered in a tight formation near the Corrupter.

(Sorry image quality isn't the best.)



The Rebels went with a rather unorthodox set up and placed all their ships in a very tight formation facing off to one side of the map.



I moved my two VSDs on a course to try and cut off the Rebel's probable course and send the fighters and bombers out slightly forward and left to act as a screen.



The Rebels moved at high speed in what looked like an effort to stay in tight formation and blow past my left flank and get around behind the VSDs and hit them in their relatively weak rear shields.



I continued turning and trying to close the range in the hopes of hammering the Corvettes before they got past me.  Unfortunately, this meant that my carrier VSD, the Corrupter, got out in front of the close range slugger, the Dominator.  The Rebels made an odd decision and decided to use their X-Wings as bombers in stead of going after my bombers and fighters.  They angled towards the bow of the Dominator.




On turn three, we finally started to exchange fire.  My TIE bombers attacked the Rebel command frigate and managed to knock down its shields on the front arc.  The Rebel ships opened up on my fighters and bombers as they whipped past and managed to land a lot of hits. 

I was surprised at the Rebel's tactics.  I was sure they were going to continue to swing around my left and get behind me but instead, they charged straight in at my front arcs. They managed to land a few hits on my front shields but didn't do enough damage to punch through, even with the assistance of the opening salvo's additional dice.  Then they ended up right in front of my VSDs at short range and with no front shields.  Bad decision. 


Each VSD used their opening salvos.  The Dominator attacked the Rebel flagship and very nearly blew it apart in a single volley. It was left with one hull point. The Corruptor then fired at the closest corvette.  It took volleys from two firing arcs to kill it.  Then the Corrupter flew straight into the heavily damaged Nebulon-B and the damage caused by the ramming destroyed it.

The X-Wings got off some good shots and managed to take down the shields on the right side of the Dominator and do some hull damage.  The two remaining corvettes concentrated their fire on the TIE bombers and landed qutie a few more hits.



After the pasting the Rebels took on turn 4, they had a change of heart and now did get around the left flank of the Corrupter while the X-Wings swarmed the Dominator.  I had to ram the rear of the Corrupter with the Dominator in order to avoid hitting an asteroid field.  Each ship took 1 point of hull damage.




I had some terrible rolls on my gunnery this turn and didn't do as much damage as I had hoped.  I knocked down the shields on the lead corvette but barely managed to damage the hull.  The X-Wings managed to do some more hull damage to the Dominator and got it down to 50% strength.  It cost them one squadron from AA fire. The corvettes continued to hammer away at my squadrons and managed to take down the TIE advanced and 3 of the 4 bomber squadrons, including the one led by Maj. Rhymer. 

On turn 6, the Rebels decided to preserve their remaining corvettes and they ran for it.  The X-Wings continued hammering away at the Dominator and came within a hair of destroying it  (it had 1 hull point left and no shields on any arc at the end of turn 6).

I very nearly rammed my lead VSD but just managed to squeak in behind.



The game ended with an Imperial victory on points.  I lost 82 points to the Rebel's 188.  That gave me a win:loss score of 8:2.

 

I also "won" a door prize consisting of a pen and 4 DVDs including such timeless classics as World Trade Center with Nick Cage and The Batman Movie with Adam West.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 03:11:20 AM by Silent Disapproval Robot »

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Star Wars: Armada AAR
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2015, 07:05:57 AM »
Cool, SDR, thanks for sharing!

I want to do something similar to this (AAR reporting) with X-Wing Minis at my local game store...I just gotta find the time to go.

Offline LongBlade

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Re: Star Wars: Armada AAR
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2015, 04:47:55 PM »
Great read.

I just bought some Armada minis but have yet to play them - used a buddy's in the only game I've played. Reading this gets me psyched for getting out there.

Offline RedArgo

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Re: Star Wars: Armada AAR
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2015, 05:08:35 PM »
I bought this as a Christmas gift for one of my boys, looks like a fun game, hope he likes it and lets me play!

Offline Silent Disapproval Robot

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Re: Star Wars: Armada AAR
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2015, 09:14:28 PM »
It's a very fun game but it's EVIL!  They tempt you with more and more shiny new toys and you buy one here or there and the next thing you know, you've dumped $500 into it.

I've only played twice since the Wave 2 stuff was officially released and I am having a tough time figuring out a way to deal with the Rebel's newfound firepower.

The MC80 cruiser is deadly at long range and that stupid little MC30 frigate can dish out a guaranteed 8 hits/turn if you equip it properly.

I have a game lined up for tomorrow night and I think I've designed an Imperial fleet that might be able to cope with the Rebel scum.

Offline LongBlade

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Re: Star Wars: Armada AAR
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2015, 09:19:19 AM »
It's a very fun game but it's EVIL!  They tempt you with more and more shiny new toys and you buy one here or there and the next thing you know, you've dumped $500 into it.

I've only played twice since the Wave 2 stuff was officially released and I am having a tough time figuring out a way to deal with the Rebel's newfound firepower.

The MC80 cruiser is deadly at long range and that stupid little MC30 frigate can dish out a guaranteed 8 hits/turn if you equip it properly.

I have a game lined up for tomorrow night and I think I've designed an Imperial fleet that might be able to cope with the Rebel scum.

Keep us posted.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Star Wars: Armada AAR
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2015, 10:35:51 AM »
I've held off from buying more X-Wing Minis for the very reason that you state, SDR - too much money. I need to use the shite I have, first. The Armada core set doesn't have enough content to make me want to pay nearly seventy dollars for it anyway.

Offline LongBlade

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Re: Star Wars: Armada AAR
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2015, 10:51:09 AM »
I've held off from buying more X-Wing Minis for the very reason that you state, SDR - too much money. I need to use the shite I have, first. The Armada core set doesn't have enough content to make me want to pay nearly seventy dollars for it anyway.

The ships look incredible.

I enjoy the game. The pre-plotted nature of movement is a fun mechanic that makes you think ahead. Of course, the entire system seems like it's a 2D blue water navy game, but once you get past that it's fun.

OTOH the overpowered nature of the new Rebel ships paints a clear picture. The next couple of ship releases is going to be a game of leap frog where each release is going to get progressively more lopsided ships for one side and then the other. Clearly the intent is to lure guys like me who went all-in for the Imperials to shell out more cash for the Rebel ships so I have a chance at winning.

That's of course disappointing. Why not just make a great game that's balanced?

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Star Wars: Armada AAR
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2015, 11:07:35 AM »
I can only assume that SWA is similar to XWM in that each side gets a certain number of points to spend on their build, and their only limit is to that point total. That's technically balance.

In practice though, an Imperial Decimator against an equal point total of Rebel fighters is going to give those Rebels a bad time. Then again, it's also all about employment of forces, formations, pilot skills, and so on. I think there's a LOT going on in a game of XWM and I haven't fired a shot in anger yet. So maybe balance is a fickle bitch in these games.

Offline Silent Disapproval Robot

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Re: Star Wars: Armada AAR
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2015, 11:12:49 AM »
I am not yet sure that it's lopsided.  I think it's possible that people just got used to playing a certain way with Wave 1 and it's taking time to come up with new tactics to deal with the Rebels.  I'm looking at cards that I completely discounted before.  I think that the ECM card might come in very handy now whereas it was pretty pointless with wave 1.  I also think that it might be time for the Imperials to start employing more quick raiding ships like the Gladiator and the raiders as well as bombers.  If the Rebels use Ackbar, they can't fire from their front or rear arcs so if you can get some little guys in their blind spots, you should be able to charge in to close range and blast away with relative safety for a turn or two.  That might be enough to take a few of their big boys down.

Offline LongBlade

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Re: Star Wars: Armada AAR
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2015, 11:21:24 AM »
Good to know SDR. I haven't played with any of the new wave stuff. Might try to drop in on a game this week. I have chatted with one of the hard core regulars and he was focused on the new cards which allow you to disengage from dogfights, amongst other things.

Offline Silent Disapproval Robot

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Re: Star Wars: Armada AAR
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2015, 11:37:23 PM »
Well, I lost but it was a very close match.  I think the tactical theory is sound as the rebels really didn't have an effective defence against attacks from the bow or stern.  They tried to stagger their fleet to provide overlapping coverage from the side arcs but that meant some of their ships were obstructing others or were too far away to engage.

I made a couple of mistakes in positioning (I am terrible at judging distances so I often end up ramming things) and a few of the cards I selected didn't synergize as well as I'd hoped they would but it was a very close game.  I lost 400 points to their 330 and it came down to my Imperial Star Destroyer vs his MC80 Mon Calamari cruiser.  I got him down to two hull points left when he landed the killing blow.  I went in with:

- Imperial-II class Star Destroyer with Darth Vader in command.  I equipped it with tractor beams, ECMs, overload pulse, X17 turbo lasers, and the Avenger title. 

-Raider I corvette with expanded launchers, ordnance experts, and Wulff Yularen.

-Gladiator I class Star Destroyer with Adm. Montferrat, assault concussion missiles, and the Demolisher title.

-4 TIE bomber squadrons led by Maj Rhymer with1 TIE advanced and 1 TIE interceptor squadron as escorts.

I didn't get much use out of the tractor beams as the Rebels were moving pretty slowly.  I'd probably remove those and Adm. Montferrat and possibly add another TIE advanced squadron.

The rebels made a battle line with two MC80 cruisers in the lead and an MC30 frigate pulling up the rear.  I hit the lead MC80 with medium range shots from the ISD and used overload pulse to knock out its defence tokens.  Then I parked the Raider and bombers in front of the lead Mon Cal cruiser and just hammered it with 8 black dice worth of damage and crippled it on the second turn.  I tried to bring in the Gladiator to finish it off on turn 3, but as usual, I came in too fast and ended up parked in the side arcs of two ships and the Gladiator was toast.

The lead Mon Cal crashed through my bomber screen as I intended (when a capital ship ploughs through fighters, the opposing player gets to re-position the affected fighters against any hull facing of his choosing) so I was able to park the bombers on the Mon Cal's front arc again and they were able to take it down.

I think I got a little overconfident with the Raider after I saw how much damage it inflicted on its first volley and I stupidly split my forces and send the ISD against the remaining MC80 cruiser while the Raider went after the MC30 frigate.  The frigate was able to get a side shot off against the raider and killed it in one volley while the frigate lost its front shields and two hull in return. 

the bombers were able to finish off the frigate but the ISD just wasn't agile enough to stay out of the cruiser's side arcs and close the distance and the rebels ended up hitting me harder than I could hit back.

I definitely think it's possible to beat the rebels but you can't use the old Wave I tactics and try to go straight at them and slug it out.  You've got to get some bombers and corvettes out there as a harassing screen to knock them around a bit before you commit the heavy stuff.

Looking forward to the next match up.  I think I have their number now.   






Offline LongBlade

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Re: Star Wars: Armada AAR
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2015, 08:21:05 AM »
Awesome read.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: Star Wars: Armada AAR
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2015, 08:39:05 AM »
SDR: how does a typical game of Armada set up? Do you screen your forces from each other and then reveal, or place ships one at a time, trading off each time?

Offline LongBlade

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Re: Star Wars: Armada AAR
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2015, 09:42:01 AM »
SDR: how does a typical game of Armada set up? Do you screen your forces from each other and then reveal, or place ships one at a time, trading off each time?

Place one at a time.

It is a point build system, but there is actually a reverse bidding process - say you have a 300 point fleet. The guy who comes in with the lowest number (say 292 vs 297) he gets to select whether he, or his opponent moves first on the opening round.