Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Balanced SSD Command fleet


My first SSD games (using Vassal) were all with the Command variant, which is much cheaper to being with - and leaner with the upgrades. I treated it as an oversized ISD and tried to fit a fleet round it. It took some getting used to, but it's quite fun once you get he hang of it.

My initial runs had Piett commanding, and he's pretty good on the SSD actually. His ability to turn a nav token into a dial gives the SSD the ability to yaw on command, which is quite strong. Same with making a repair token into a repair dial. 

BUT, Jerry's 2-yaw at speed 0 ability is too good to pass over. Just repair every round after engagement, and use Jerry if and when he's needed. Nav tokens to adjust speed. He also offers slicer/raid protection of your maneuvers, as his ability can't be blocked.

Speaking for slicers: The SSD is quite vulnerable to them. This fleet only has activation count as defense and Jerry for navigation. Being sliced to CF/Rapair is just gravy, but squad will hurt badly. If you fear this happening because opponents are regularly running slicers, you really should consider bringing protection. Could be just a Skilled First Officer or even an Engineering Captain. But then you have to ditch another officer - and find the points unless you swap out the IO, which  do not recommend.

If you can find the points, sticking Vader officer on a Goz is never wrong.

For upgrades I've taken a classic Kallus/DCO/IO combo. Add to this the GT (100% mandatory), QLT (for Kallus), and LS/QBT. This is a well-rounded loadout. If unique squads are not a concern, Kallus/QLT can go, but its 8 points well spent most of the time.

I've chosen the Ravager title. Adding 2 die with CF is nice, making the weak arc shots potentially much stronger. Just 1 extra die with a token from a Goz is pretty nice too. That said, its kind of a trap too: The dial already adds a die, so the only benefit is spending justa cheap token for extra effect. It could be the Eclipse title is just as good.

This fleet has 5 activations (if you count the SSD pass token), and 5 drops with the TIEs. That's pretty weak in terms of deployments, but decent in terms of activations. As 2nd player in particular there is a good chance the SSD will go last, or at least close to last, which should give it shots on some enemy ships and make its movement much less predictable.

2 Gozanti are there for tokens and activation spam, and possible some flak. The only other combat ship is a Raider-I. Between it and the SSD and the 2 TIEs, you have some defense against squadrons. The Raider also has the speed and punch to let it loiter early on, then hit hard from a flanking position later on. It's also cheap, so it actually fits into 400 points...

Objectives try to either put the SSD into a position where it can control the opening engagement (BR/SC) or force the opponent to engage (CO). Most Wanted and PIC may be other good options. I also hope/believe the new Rim objectives will have some good ones for the SSD. We'll see.

Hope you enjoy this build - I certainly have!

Name: Balanced Command SSD (4/5)
Faction: Imperial
Commander: Moff Jerjerrod

Assault: Blockade Run
Defense: Contested Outpost
Navigation: Solar Corona

SSD Command Prototype (220)
• Moff Jerjerrod (23)
• Agent Kallus (3)
• Damage Control Officer (5)
• Intel Officer (7)
• Gunnery Team (7)
• Quad Laser Turrets (5)
• Leading Shots (4)
• Quad Battery Turrets (5)
• Ravager (4)
= 283 Points

Raider I (44)
• Ordnance Experts (4)
• External Racks (3)
= 51 Points

Gozanti Cruisers (23)
• Comms Net (2)
= 25 Points

Gozanti Cruisers (23)
• Comms Net (2)
= 25 Points

Squadrons:
• 2 x TIE Fighter Squadron (16)
= 16 Points

Total Points: 400

Friday, May 10, 2019

I hate them! (or how to kill squads with ships)

Ani wasn't too keen on Tusken Raiders - some players feel the same way against massed squads (and I don't blame them)

I like squads, especially fast, Squall-boosted Imp squads (not a Mona guy), but I've dabbled in Rieekan aces as well.

For example, I've abused this (Green squad) combo many times with Sloane (first with ISD+4, then other configurations):

Squadrons:
• Maarek Stele (21)
• Colonel Jendon (20)
• Dengar (20)
• Ciena Ree (17)
• Howlrunner (16)
• Mauler Mithel (15)
• Valen Rudor (13)
• Saber Squadron (12)
= 134 Points

And my version of Thrawn 2-ship has generally been this (with ISD-II and Squall oc):

Squadrons:
• Colonel Jendon (20)
• Maarek Stele (21)
• TIE Defender Squadron (16)
• Dengar (20)
• Mauler Mithel (15)
• Valen Rudor (13)
• Captain Jonus (16)
• Tempest Squadron (13)
= 134 Points

But for some reason, not everyone enjoys playing these builds. And at the same time they are very tired of running worthless little screens and/or squadless, and getting clubbed by the superior power and flexibility of max imp MJJ-cheese or max rebel zombie aceholes cheese.

But do not despair! Salvation is nigh!

I present to you, the ultimate anti-squad platform: The SSD Assault with the Annihilator title!

SSD Assault Prototype (250)
• Moff Jerjerrod (23)
• Agent Kallus (3)
• Damage Control Officer (5)
• Intel Officer (7)
• Gunnery Team (7)
• Quad Laser Turrets (5)
• Point-Defense Reroute (5)
• Heavy Ion Emplacements (9)
• Leading Shots (4)
• H9 Turbolasers (8)
• Quad Battery Turrets (5)
• Annihilator (8)
= 339 Points

The ASSAULT SSD is costly, but it has Red-Blue anti-squad, which lets it reach out across the board and punish squadrons before they get close (don't get over exited at this point - there are ways to counter it, as anyone who has tried to use a Quasar-II knows). With ANNIHILATOR title you get to reroll 1 die on every fucking anti-squad attack. A die of any color, even the red one at long range. The red is fickle, yes, but the reroll increases average damage from just 0.5 to 0.815.

Just make sure you take obstacles into account. Obstruction will kill that 1 red die, so you want to avoid cluttering up your fields of fire. I was alluding to this above, but I can't stress it enough. 1 red die minus 1 is 0 die and a cancelled attack. The opponent can also shield his squads with his own ships, works just as well, but this isn't without risk when facing an Assault SSD...

Relatedly, try to avoid objectives where the opponent can heal their squads on the station. At the very least make sure it's down in an irrelevant corner. DO NOT LET THE OPPONENT REPEATEDLY HEAL HIS SQUADS ON THE STATION - OR I WILL COME HAUNT YOU!!!

Fast Squall squadrons can oc jump in from beyond red range, but slower rebel squads in particular are susceptible. However, even fast imperial squads will find it hard to evade the flak bubble once they've decided to engage the SSD: It's so tough they have to keep hammering it over several turns to have any hope of breaking it.

The SSD has THREE attacks, and with GUNNERY TEAMS you can always shoot at squads from at least 1 arc, maybe more if you really need to, and still attack enemy ship(s). That's way better than even an ISD-II with Gunnery Teams, which has to give up 50% of anti-ship firepower to shoot at squads. For SSD it's just 33% and it rarely has 3 good ship-shots anyway.

At medium and shorter range, the Red-Blue really shines with the Annihilator title. Even obstruction lets you roll 1 die. If you want to go high-risk red or keep the blue I leave up to you, but with 1 reroll and 1 die, the red has a very slight advantage in average damage (0.75 for the blue, 0.8125 for the red, due to how the hit icons are distributed).

For attacks with both dice, you have LEADING SHOTS as a backup. Roll Red-Blue. Reroll with Annihilator. If dmg still zero, spend the blue to reroll the red again. It is a VERY rare occasion when Annihilator Assault SSD doesn't get at least 1 damage, and it will often get 2, at medium range, and close to 1 on average at long range (if obstruction is avoided).

Which brings us over to QUAD LASER TURRETS. Counter 1 isn't amazing, and is usually run with AGENT KALLUS for extra dice vs squadrons. Let's leave That Guy out of the equation for a moment. Annihilator works on this attack too, making every QLT shot the equivalent of a Toryn-boosted QLT shot. Average damage is up to 0.75 for each counter.

Enter the card I maybe hate the most: POINT-DEFENSE REROUTE. This is hot garbage. Except, possibly, in this build. It works ONLY on CLOSE range, but all squad attacks are now at close range (Rhymer nerf), so not a huge problem. It pushes average counter damage up even more, by letting you reroll the blue crit. If it's an acc, use Annihilator on it first. If it's a crit, use PD Reroute first. It's not quite 0.875 on average, but pretty close if you do it in this order. That's incredibly good for 1 blue die.

PD Reroute also works on your own attacks, so shooting Red-Blue at close, with this and Annihilator... average damage getting dangerously close to 2, without having to spend a die to use Leading shots (only use as insurance in the event you still have 0 damage). 

Add expected counter damage to this, and you can expect to have destroyed most generic squadrons after 2-3 attacks mixed with 2-3 counters, depending on their hull (2 attacks + 2 counters is max 8, more commonly 5-6, sometimes just 4, VERY rarely less). Stuff like Y-wings and Decimators can hang in there a bit, but B-wings and X-wings just melt, for example. 

This has always been possible, kind of, with other ships. They do not, however, have the toughness required to tank squadrons long enough to wipe them out, nor had access to the quite frankly insanely scary SSD title. And apart from the ISD-I (sucky sucky) do not have 2 Offensive Retrofits. Without Annihilator + PD Reroute, not possible to get consistent damage, and without Red+Blue not good enough "reach". It's too easy to hide from Blue+Black.

Oh, and Yavaris. We hates her forever. She's still a real danger for a SSD, but at least now those B-wings are gone in like a round and half. Gone, without any chance of retreat. Ah, sweet, sweet revenge!

Enter aces: Aces can just go fuck themselves!!!

(there is a REAL chance this SSD could be meta-changing)

With Kallus, if you didn't screw up obstacle placement, you can start ripping them a new one at long range. What color you want to add will vary with your initial roll, but often a blue. It enables Leading Shots - and guarantees that H9 TURBOLASERS can trigger (no scatter for those scatter aces, lol). All the while Annihilator is generating rerolls, so even with just 1 red and a blue, you have good chances of fucking with scatters AND pushing damage through. Every. Single. Round.

Expect squadrons to be hiding behind obstacles/friendly ships until they are ready to attack you... but if that delays their attack even 1 round, you're still ahead. And if a ship is screening squads, chances are its in gunnery range of SSD. Also acceptable.

Once aces get to medium range, it just breaks. With Kallus you do 1 red, 1 blue - and lets say a black. Or maybe another blue. Depends on target and initial roll. With the mix of Annihilator and Leading shots, H9s and INTEL OFFICER, you are equipped to punish any ace, even Ciena Ree.

As they get to attack range, PD Reroute kicks in oc, as does Quad Lasers. Aces that try to attack you, and especially scatter aces, will die in maybe just 1 round of counter/your attacks, or at most 2 attacks and 1 counter, or vice versa. It's just disgusting.

I've put some other upgrades on the SSD as well. They are not anti-squad, but they turn the SSD into an effective anti-ship platform as well. And that's the trick: You're not giving up any ship-killing power. Only Annihilator, Kallus, QLT and PD (21 points). Reroute are anti-squad. The rest works just as well vs ships. Builds that take away combat power for anti-squad have always been a dodgy prospect. The Assault SSD can do both things.

DCO could also stop Norra, I suppose, and Nym, so there is that. IO works just as well on squads as ships. But HIE and Quad Battery is there as anti-ship tech. Jerry can oc be replaced with another commander if you please, but for 23 he's a bargain on the SSD. 

For all this power, I think anti-squad is too weak to work 100% on its own. Therefor I would add two squads, for example these two:

Squadrons:
• Ciena Ree (17)
• Mauler Mithel (15)
= 32 Points

Keep them in reserve until needed, then lock down a few squads with Ciena, and have Mauler clean up a blob of damaged squads. If there are no squads, fine, you've used 53 points to ensure your SSD is "safe" from squadrons, and that's acceptable, as you haven't weakened it's anti-ship power.

This even leaves room for this and a 2 point bid (or you can put Vader officer on the Gozanti, works too).

Gozanti Cruisers (23)
• Hondo Ohnaka (2)
• Comms Net (2)
= 27 Points

Of course, now that you are "immune" to squadrons, there is another problem: How does this list WIN GAMES, CONSISTENTLY AND WITH GOOD MOV!?

That's for you to find out. I only know that Ani hates them, and wants to kill em all. And now you can too!


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

X-wing: Trondheim HST, Top 8 Cut

Proton torpedoes 4EVER!

On to Sunday and the top 8 cut.

My first opponent of the day was Eirik Munthe, another Norwegian (but not a local). He was running a list I've not seen before. Guri with AS + AB & Outmaneuver... could be real problem for me. The Firespray is tough and hits hard, even when it's not Boba. Koshka can get rerolls too, if enemy is stressed. Fortunately I was running Cassian + Leia, so that should not be my biggest concern. Qi-ra I've used before, and she's quite a good little card. Trick shot + Cargo Chute... could be a problem, but I was counting on my Cassian to coordinate my X-wings out of trouble. Seevor is such an annoying little git. In this iteration with Juke. I wasn't sold initially, but after the match Eirik explained his reasoning, and with the Juke+Evade and the synergy with PS-3 Firespray he might actually have a good little combo there.

Anyway, we were both at 199. So we rolled the dice and... I got the choice, so I made Guri first player. We maneuvered a little bit, Guri got mauled, Seevor got hurt a little bit, then popped. We fenced a little more, then Guri went down, and the rest of the game was me chasing down the Firespray which went down right on time. I took damage in return on all my ships, but I was always able to keep moving and R2ing, with Cass shedding stress and coordinating my X-wings out of trouble.

Would probably have been much harder if I was 1st, but Wedge is still I6, and Luke's Instinctive Aim would maybe have mattered. But yeah, should have just kept my 197 list and not added IA. This wasn't the first time in this tourney that just a 3 point bid would have helped me.

Eirik's NM List (199)
Koshka Frost — Firespray-class Patrol Craft 71
Trick Shot 2
Qi’ra 2
Rigged Cargo Chute 4
Ship Total: 79
Half Points: 40 Threshold: 5
 
Guri — StarViper-class Attack Platform 63
Outmaneuver 6
Advanced Sensors 10
Afterburners 6
Ship Total: 85
Half Points: 43 Threshold: 3
 
Captain Seevor — Mining Guild TIE Fighter 30
Juke 5
Ship Total: 35
Half Points: 18 Threshold: 2

Next game was against Rolf, who beat me in the Swiss. A quick analysis of that game told me that, even had Luke NOT landed on that rock, it might have won - or not. My first impression was that if Luke had gotten that r1 shot on Maul, everything would be fine. But that was just wishful thinking.

I was really lucky with Cassian blocking Maul several times, and Maul only really got 2 shots in the game - that tractor shot + 1 on Cassian in the same round. The rest of the time he was bumping or out of arc. If Maul had gotten more shots off... I would have been wiped out. In theory, I could have claimed a win in the last round out our Swiss game... but there was a MUCH greater chance of Rolf turning it into a BIG WIN. I was actually kind of lucky.

So what to do? Popping droids takes time. It's easy with my list, but it takes time. And during that time I'm probably eating return fire from everyone. And after the initial engagement I'm left with maybe less points that my opponent - half point Luke is worth almost 2 droids...

So I decided to go for Maul this time. Two double-mod torpedoes. 8 double mod reds vs ONE GREEN DIE. So even with Grievous, I expected to put at least 1 crit into him. Then I'd flip around and finish him off. It went down quite nicely. Luke got a bit lucky - he got tractored again, this time in open space mind you, but lived through the hail of enemy fire. Fortunately Rolf had moved 1 calc from his unique droid to Maul, meaning it could not fire energy-shells. That probably saved young Skywalker.

Next round Wedge popped a droid, Luke took a flip and put a torpedo into Maul's ass as a thank you for the tractoring. Grievous was active again and saved Maul - until Cassian shot him in the face. Wedge left the table to the remaining droids, but I had a clear advantage: only 2 Vultures + the Bubble remained. I took out 1 droid, then the other. The Bubble was no match for the Cassian + Luke combo.

Rolf's NM list (199)
Feethan Ottraw Autopilot — Belbullab-22 Starfighter 37
Kraken 10
Ship Total: 47
Half Points: 24 Threshold: 3
 
DFS-311 — Vulture-class Droid Fighter 24
Energy-Shell Charges 4
Ship Total: 28
Half Points: 14 Threshold: 2
 
Trade Federation Drone — Vulture-class Droid Fighter 20
Energy-Shell Charges 4
Ship Total: 24
Half Points: 12 Threshold: 2
 
Trade Federation Drone — Vulture-class Droid Fighter 20
Energy-Shell Charges 4
Grappling Struts 3
Ship Total: 27
Half Points: 14 Threshold: 2
 
Darth Maul — Sith Infiltrator 65
Hate 3
Tractor Beam 2
General Grievous 3
Ship Total: 73
Half Points: 37 Threshold: 5
 
In the final match I met Arild, one of our local players, and the reigning champ. He's a really good player. I had met this exact list the week before in a small local tourney, and he had walked all over me. I wasn't running exactly the same list, as my other list had Thane, not Luke, and some other upgrades, but it was 90% the same matchup.

Now, I was hoping NOT to meet Arild AT ALL. Because I knew I was in massive trouble. This time around he even had the bid (I was at 195 last we met). But honestly, I was slightly surprised to see he hadn't taken out Hate from Vader, or maybe even FCS. I mean, both are really good, but a slightly higher bid would have made sense. So I didn't think my 197 or 199 would matter. But turns out it did.

After the game (and before) we had some discussions about bid and first player. We don't really agree, but I think that if I had the bid (I would oc give init to Arild) the game would have played out quite differently. And I'm not at all sure it would be to my advantage.

I feel that Arild was overly aggressive and careless with his Fel, just because I was first player. That gave me an opportunity to try to focus him down, before the rest of the Empire squad could even join the fight. And Arild played right into that plan. He just managed to do a lot more damage to Luke and Wedge before he died than I had counted on. Partly because he played well and I made some not so good calls, and partly dice. But if Fel was 1st player, he would have been much more careful, and played an important role in the end game.

But Ok, my plan kind of worked. I got Fel out before the other Imps even mattered, but I had taken too much damage, and could not come back into the fight. I got Gideon, who I think was overly reckless. He just ran over a rock and got PS-killed by Luke for no reason at all really. But then Vader got Luke (my greens were still all blank), and thanks to initiative (here it really mattered) Vader avoided a torpedo shot from Wedge, who had come around after regenerating.

I tried very had and put damage on both Vader and Gideon, but both Cassain and Wedge were too hurt by now. Arild kept rolling evades, and both Vader and that damn Countdown are hard enough to kill on approach, let alone in the endgame. They just never die.

But apart from one slightly bad move and wildly unfair green dice, I can only be pleased with the result. I had a plan, it worked. It was always a high risk plan, and unfortunately I paid way more than could be expected to pop Fel. But pop him I did. And the middle-to-end game was pretty sharp, I feel, I just couldn't quite make it uphill.

And of course losing to Arild, who is such a strong player... there is nothing to feel down about. I think the better player won, and that even with more average dice between us he'd have come out on top. But he would have had to try a bit harder, and be more diligent in the end game. Also, this result, 2 dead ships and 2 with damage on, was WAY better than last time, when all I did was kill Gideon for 30 points...

Arild's NM list (198)
Darth Vader — TIE Advanced x1 65
Hate 3
Fire-Control System 2
Ship Total: 70
Half Points: 35 Threshold: 3
 
Soontir Fel — TIE Interceptor 52
Predator 2
Ship Total: 54
Half Points: 27 Threshold: 2
 
“Countdown” — TIE/sk Striker 44
Ship Total: 44
Half Points: 22 Threshold: 2
 
Gideon Hask — TIE/ln Fighter 30
Ship Total: 30
Half Points: 15 Threshold: 2

The final was streamed, and will be out on YouTube eventually. So you can watch me get beaten. The same goes for my loss in the Swiss. None of my WINS were recorded? Coincidence or foul conspiracy?

Also, overall I think adding Heightened Perception wasn't really worth it. But that's mostly benefit of hindsight. I did not expect to see so many 5s and 6s with such low bids. 198? 199? I'm sure if I had sat on 197, everyone else would be like 196 or 199 :P

X-wing: Trondheim HST, Swiss (5 rounds)

No regrets. Except that thing with Luke and the tractor beam... and the dumb 3-ahead with Wedge in the final round of the same game.

First match of the Swiss was against Tobias Hjalmarsson. He was running a Rebel 4-ship list, not unlike one I had considered, but eventually rejected bc A) I find Arvel to be too matchup dependent and B) haven't flown B-wings enough. It's nevertheless a strong list. Four ships, lots to eat through.

I got to be 2nd player, but I don't think it helped that much. Got a good opening, and put two torpedoes into Braylen, taking him to 1 hull. Wedge got hit hard in return, but survived. Next round Wedge ran and regenerated, while Luke PS-killed Braylen. Arvel tried to block Wedge, but he got outsmarted. I lost my U-wing and so did he. Leaving me with Wedge+Luke and him with Luke+Arvel. When game was called he was down to just Arvel and me just Luke, so win me, but not a great MoV. 1-0

Tobias' NM list (200)
Luke Skywalker — T-65 X-Wing 62
R2 Astromech 4
Servomotor S-Foils 0
Ship Total: 66
Half Points: 33 Threshold: 3
 
Braylen Stramm — A/SF-01 B-Wing 47
Ship Total: 47
Half Points: 24 Threshold: 4
 
Arvel Crynyd — RZ-1 A-Wing 34
Crack Shot 1
Intimidation 3
Ship Total: 38
Half Points: 19 Threshold: 2
 
Cassian Andor — UT-60D U-Wing 47
Leia Organa 2
Pivot Wing 0
Ship Total: 49
Half Points: 25 Threshold: 4

Second game was vs Doc, a local player. Fenn Rau AND AS Guri is a potentially fatal combo. Dalan I don't see much, but he's pretty good. I got Wedge into a nice flanking position, with Luke hanging as bait, with Cassian supporting him. Fenn tried to get into r1... and just failed. That's BAD NEWS for Fenn. Then my dice sucked bad, and somehow Fenn didn't just not die, but took ZERO damage. Bummer.

But from there my movement and blocking was ok, and so were my green dice. Dalan got mauled and so did Guri. Luke was hurt bad, but lived. Fenn had a couple of r1 shots, but due to bumping never got any mods, so wasn't too bad. I popped Dalan. Then Guri and Luke popped each other. 

Wedge and Cassian regrouped and Fenn was forced to come to them... and boom. Game, with a good MoV for me. 2-0.

Doc's NM list (195)
Fenn Rau — Fang Fighter 68
Ship Total: 68
Half Points: 34 Threshold: 2
 
Guri — StarViper-class Attack Platform 63
Advanced Sensors 10
Ship Total: 73
Half Points: 37 Threshold: 3
 
Dalan Oberos — StarViper-class Attack Platform 54
Ship Total: 54
Half Points: 27 Threshold: 3

3rd game was vs Elias Holmgren. He had a mirror list to mine, 2x double modded torps included, but with a slightly better bid. Hmmm... I really did not want to joust with this guy. So I set up noncommittally, looking for an opening. And there, right at the start an opportunity presented itself - his U-wing sped up along the back edge, while the X-wings took their sweet time. 

I pressed the pedal to the metal so to speak and made a mad rush towards his U-wing, which popped to twin double mod trops without too much return fire. Then right after my Cassian made a surprise hard turn and got in a key block on his Wedge, while mine flipped around with Leia (his Leia was already gone, and important advantage at this point). After that it was mostly cleanup. It was not an easy game, but my plan worked quite well and it was a decent win for me. 3-1.

Elias' NM list (193)
Luke Skywalker — T-65 X-Wing 62
Proton Torpedoes 12
R2 Astromech 4
Servomotor S-Foils 0
Ship Total: 78
Half Points: 39 Threshold: 3
 
Partisan Renegade — UT-60D U-Wing 43
Leia Organa 2
Lando Calrissian 2
Pivot Wing 0
Ship Total: 47
Half Points: 24 Threshold: 4
 
Wedge Antilles — T-65 X-Wing 52
Proton Torpedoes 12
R2 Astromech 4
Servomotor S-Foils 0
Ship Total: 68
Half Points: 34 Threshold: 3

4th game was vs my old buddy Rolf from Østersund, Sweden. We have played Armada many times, but never X-wing (since I just started). I had played Maul + droids several times on Vassal, so I had a fair idea what the list could do. I discounted the tractor on Maul as a waste of points - the forgot all about it (I came to regret it).

My plan was to use Wedge to remove 2 droids, then focus on cleaning up the rest and bringing Maul to half, using Cassian to cause movement trouble for Maul. This might have worked out, had not tractor happened. I put Luke at r1 of Maul... between two stones that would make Mauls next round movement super-predictable. I was sooo pleased. Then I got pushed onto a rock. So... fucking... dumb :-D

At the end he had 1 droid left + maul, I had Cassain (half) and Wedge left. Win to Rolf, 9 MoV. I might have pulled out a win if Wedge had done a better maneuver on the last round, giving my a decent change of putting 2 damage on the remaining droids. Loss. 3-1.

Rolf's NM list (199)
Feethan Ottraw Autopilot — Belbullab-22 Starfighter 37
Kraken 10
Ship Total: 47
Half Points: 24 Threshold: 3
 
DFS-311 — Vulture-class Droid Fighter 24
Energy-Shell Charges 4
Ship Total: 28
Half Points: 14 Threshold: 2
 
Trade Federation Drone — Vulture-class Droid Fighter 20
Energy-Shell Charges 4
Ship Total: 24
Half Points: 12 Threshold: 2
 
Trade Federation Drone — Vulture-class Droid Fighter 20
Energy-Shell Charges 4
Grappling Struts 3
Ship Total: 27
Half Points: 14 Threshold: 2
 
Darth Maul — Sith Infiltrator 65
Hate 3
Tractor Beam 2
General Grievous 3
Ship Total: 73
Half Points: 37 Threshold: 5

Vs Johan Hofverberg, another Swede. From Gøteborg IIRC. Tough one. Really tough. Resistance aces. Well, Bastian is at I2, and he's used as a sweeper, so not possible to pop early. I've played almost this list quite a bit: Poe and the 2 As, but I never could find their 4th buddy. And it turned out that might well be Bastian.

He was at 198 and I'm at 199, so I got to be 1st again. This game it would have been MUCH BETTER for me to be 2nd player, and I regretted that Instinctive Aim. But nothing to be done about it. There was LOT of maneuvering before the first shots got fired. When they did, I managed to get some damage onto Talli, but she lived. I got some in return, but not so bad.

Then we maneuvered some more, I popped Talli, he focused down Cassian HARD!!! He tried to chase down Wedge, Lulo died... Poe and Bastian tried really hard to kill Wedge, but he kept moving and used R2 to max effect. Then time was called and Luke popped Bastian, who blanked out... and can't have Heroic... leaving only Poe. It would have been a win anyway, but not as big. Have to say that this was probably the most hard fought match of the Swiss. Losing to Johan would not have troubled my sleep. But win. 4-1

Johan's NM list (198)
Poe Dameron — T-70 X-Wing 68
Heroic 1
R4 Astromech 2
Integrated S-Foils 0
Black One 2
Tractor Beam 2
Ship Total: 75
Half Points: 38 Threshold: 4
 
Lieutenant Bastian — T-70 X-Wing 48
Integrated S-Foils 0
Ship Total: 48
Half Points: 24 Threshold: 4
 
L’ulo L’ampar — RZ-2 A-Wing 38
Heroic 1
Ship Total: 39
Half Points: 20 Threshold: 2
 
Tallissan Lintra — RZ-2 A-Wing 35
Heroic 1
Ship Total: 36
Half Points: 18 Threshold: 2

That was it for day 1. My mind was tired, but it was a LOT of fun. Felt good to have made the cut. I did so too at Nordics, but then I dropped to play Armada... not so this time!

I also got to know my next matchup and his list.

Just going to leave it here, then finish the rest in my next post:

Eirik's NM List (199)
Koshka Frost — Firespray-class Patrol Craft 71
Trick Shot 2
Qi’ra 2
Rigged Cargo Chute 4
Ship Total: 79
Half Points: 40 Threshold: 5

Guri — StarViper-class Attack Platform 63
Outmaneuver 6
Advanced Sensors 10
Afterburners 6
Ship Total: 85
Half Points: 43 Threshold: 3

Captain Seevor — Mining Guild TIE Fighter 30
Juke 5
Ship Total: 35
Half Points: 18 Threshold: 2


Monday, May 6, 2019

X-wing: Trondheim Hyperspace Trials 2019

Me on the right, Arild (winner) on left.

This weekend I went to my third big X-wing 2.0 tournament (the first was a Regionals just days after 2.0 hit, the second was Nordics 2018 in October). For once there was no travel involved, as it took place in Trondheim.

For the record I was 4th in Swiss and 2nd in tournament.

There was 30-something players. Some local, some from other parts of Norway (Oslo and Bergen), but also from Sweden, including some really good players who had traveled a long way.

Technically it was a Hyperspace Trial. Unofficially also the Norwegian Championship (under the old structure the Nordic countries share a nationals - not sure what nationals are called now).

Trondheim Hyperspace Trials (199)
Wedge Antilles — T-65 X-Wing 52
Proton Torpedoes 12
R2 Astromech 4
Servomotor S-Foils 0
Ship Total: 68
Half Points: 34 Threshold: 3
 
Luke Skywalker — T-65 X-Wing 62
Instinctive Aim 2
Proton Torpedoes 12
R2 Astromech 4
Servomotor S-Foils 0
Ship Total: 80
Half Points: 40 Threshold: 3
 
Cassian Andor — UT-60D U-Wing 47
Leia Organa 2
Tactical Officer 2
Pivot Wing 0
Ship Total: 51
Half Points: 26 Threshold: 4

I've been playing a bit of different things on Vassal since the new year started, including a good deal of Resistance and more recently Separatists. But I don't have any IRL Resistance ships, and my droids had not yet arrived, so I went with Rebels again. I really like Rebels, esp X-wings, and I think they are in a good place ATM.

So after som testing I went back to my staple Wedge + Luke. I saw a LOT of Wedges (but met only 1), but not a lot of Lukes this time around. Wedge is super-good, but he tends to draw a LOT of fire and die quick. But if you also have Luke, Luke can more effectively "tank" than Wedge, especially at long range. So I feel they pair very well. 

Both with torpedoes. Yes, protons are 12 points, which is expensive. Actually, I think they are overcosted a good bit now. 9 was about right. Except not on Luke and Wedge. A double mod Wedge (Cassian coordinate) with protons at r3 is just murder. And Luke can double-mod himself. I know he's "only" I5 and my bid is low, but not every lists is hi-bid 5+6 aces. Quite the contrary. Lots of stuff for Luke to torp.

Torps are also nice bc you can fly with wings closed more, and not worry about the -1 red. This can be really important sometimes, especially in the opening engagement, where you might want to coordinate-boost/barrel with Cassian to effectively make Luke or Wedge have supernatural reflexes for 2 points. Several of my opponents overlooked this option and paid for it.

Finally torps means you have 4 reds at all ranges. R1 you just shoot normal guns. R2-3 its torpedoes. And you get to deny the range 3 bonus a LOT.

Basically: Tops are now overpriced, don't take them on anyone except Wedge or Luke (well, Redline too, but he's not Rebel). Also, just 1 torps feels... a little weak. Two can kill most things.

I put R2 on both. I've come to love this 4-point card. It give you so many options. No shot? Get a shield back, live longer. Endgame? Deny half points by regen. But also because it makes opponent less sure what you will do. If he sees R2, he cannot know if a wounded ship will try to get a money shot - or evade arcs and regen. Add Cassian/Coordinate + Leia for even more mind games.

Luke got Instinctive Aim. I'm probably the only one who ever uses this card. But the reasoning is my bid is so low anyway, so going from 197 to 199 doesn't matter. Well, not much anyway. Actually I was going to put crack on Wedge, but this got left out for some reason.

The point is that shooting a torp for 1 Force without lock rerolls isn't super good. But you do this when Luke has focus. Or maybe he took a Focus-boost to get into r3 of something. His foils are closed, but he still gets 4 reds and denies the r3 bonus, and he has the focus - and 1 force remaining too. That's not half bad against an unprepared opponent.

I got some use out of it. Not a lot, but it did some work, and I think it was an OK addition. I also managed to forget it on a few occasions where it might have been useful. When it came to the final, I would have had the bid on Arild 197 to 198 if I hadn't taken Instinctive Aim. 

Arild claims that helped him, like a LOT... that it let his Soontir survive a good while and do good damage but I'm not entirely convinced. That Soontir has HYPERAGGRO and flew right into my 3 ships ALONE, because I was 1st player. Which eventually let me trap and kill him. If HE had been 1st player, his Fel would have run, then come late to the party, and never been shot at while finishing my wounded ships. 

But OK, having the bid would probably not have HURT. I'm just thinking my opponent undervalues his own skills and fails to see how the game would have proceeded very differently if he was 1st player and not me. This was the case the last time I played vs that exact list. Then I had the bid, he was 1st, caused me to bump a lot, and made me generally feel like a fool, winning 200-30. I think Arild may have forgotten that :-)

If you look at my posts from Nordics, you can see my list looks a lot like it did back then. But that was extended, and Norra isn't allowed to bring her ARC in Hyperspace. I've tried Norra in the Y-wing, but it's just not my cup of tea. I want her in the ARC with Intimidation and Zeb. With that out of question I picked up the U-wing.

The ships isn't that impressive. Pretty standard 3/2, decent 5/3, but with a Medium base (fat target) and with a maneuver dial from hell. The red stop + Leia is the reason it's worth even considering. That and the 2 crew slots + red coordinate, which lets you take both Leia AND Tac officer.

With Leia at 2 points you almost HAVE to bring her. I do think it's easy to fall into a tactical trap where you plan to overly rely on her, like setting up all ships for a red maneuver on the same round, which can be good, but also very predictable. But just having her there, for 2 points, to make the U-wing stand still AND get an action? Or make only 1 X-wing flip around with a red and get an action? Just having a Leia with charges active... or becoming active THE NEXT ROUND... it requires extra planning for opponent. Mind games lol.

She's so useful for those 2 points. I actually did consider her back when I first started playing, but she was just too expensive. Now she feels really good. She'll probably go up a bit in price, and no one will use her anymore, which will be a great shame. She's just good, but not mandatory or overpowered.

The only other upgrade on the U-wing is Tac Officer. That's not an auto-include IMO. It's only included if you plan to fly the ship in support early on, where it will need to coordinate repeatedly. And my U-wing does, so tac officer it is.

I've opted to run Cassian instead of the cheaper Blue or Partisan Renegade. I do this because I like his 3 skill. That means he gets to shoot at generics and can I-kill them, or even get returns shots on the I3 ones. I3 is still pretty good for blocking, esp for a ship that can stop and spin. But most of all because Cassian's ability is AMAZING. Range 3 is HUGE (and bc of coordinate needs you will almost always be in range to begin with). 

During engegement he can shed a stress from a focus-boost, for example. Later on he can also get rid of a stress for an X-wing flipping around. Especially in an endgame with Luke this is just too good to pass over. Leia is only every 3 rounds, but Cass can quickly pass a lock to Luke, who can then effectively take a red maneuver every round, and still have double mods.

Since he triggers start of activation and is I3, he can remove a stress, then coordinate boost/barrel to resposition. I've mentioned this combo already, but it's worth mentioning again because of the excellent timing. You opponent has already set his dials, maybe accounting for Cassian, maybe not.

The list aims to pack the maximum firepower into two X-wings, and make sure they survive long enough to maim and kill the bulk of the enemy fleet during the opening engagement. It uses torpedoes to control the opening engagement. By the time the dust has settled, Wedge might be gone, but so is most of your fleet, and what remains can't handle Cassian + Luke (or Wedge if Luke bought the farm).

But it's not THAT simple. It's a list that can deploy on the back edge in almost any position, then quickly reposition to another part of the table. Where Cassain deploys means NOTHING to the U-wing. It can spin. Or stay in place for 2 rounds in a row (with Leia). I also mentioned the coordinate respositioning, esp with foils closed. SUPERNATURAL REFLEXES on either X-wing, for 2 points lol. And the threat of an active Leia is always there. And even when she's not Cassian can remove stress, making the X-wings much more agile.

In addition, it uses torpedoes to stop enemies hanging back in "middle" range. If I can shoot at long, that's SUPER GOOD for me. If you rush in closer, that's also great, because I still get max firepower either from torps or guns at r1, and next round I can flip white behind you and you can't easily block that.

For all this the list isn't perfect. It has only 3 ships for 1. And that means its vulnerable to dice. The final proved this. I made some aggro choices, a calculated risk if you will, and then dice happened. Both my X-wing were badly hurt by the time Fel went out, and despite some really good play on my part during the end of that final, it was simply not possible to come back.

Also, without Cassian/Leia, the list struggles in the endgame against certain opponents. The X-wing just ins't THAT GOOD a dogfighter. But then again, who doesn't struggle in the endgame vs Fel or Fenn or Guri when they are 1st player?

List is solid. But what about the player?

I went 4-1 in the Swiss, losing by 9 to a very exiting Separatist list. I had the honor of meeting it again in the semi-final, where Luke got his revenge over Maul... he tractored me onto a rock in the first game... it was very embarrassing since I was like "you ever get to use that tractor beam" before the match... and it proved to be match-winning... lol

My Armada-bro Rolf on the left, me on the right. He got me in Swiss, then I burned down his squad in the semi. We are both members of Handsome Devils squadron.


I still feel like I'm only dabbling in X-wing. I really do. But I guess I do understand something of both listbuilding and actual play. So Nordics may not have been entirely a fluke (but it helped a lot that 2.0 was brand new, I think). I keep comparing my X-wing skill to my Armada skills... and then I feel like a complete and utter noob still.

Anyway, matchups to come in a separate post. This has dragged on long enough.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Objectives - Doomed Station (Navigation)


Doomed Station (Navigation): This is the third and last spoiled Rebellion objective.

Since the image has been cut from the announcement article it's not 100% clear, so I'll start by pasting in the actual game text:

Setup: The second player places the gravity rift in the center of the setup area. Then, starting with the first player, the players alternate placing the remaining obstacles, excluding the station in the setup area beyond distance 1 of all obstacles and beyond distance 5 of both player's edges. Then the second player places the station in the setup area beyond distance 1 of all obstacles and beyond distance 5 of both player's edges.

End of Round: Starting with the second player and alternating, each player chooses 1 obstacle that does not have an objective token on it and moves it to within distance 1-2 of its current location toward the gravity rift (which cannot be chosen). Then that player places an objective token on that obstacle. When an obstacle touches the gravity rift, that obstacle is removed from the play area.

After all obstacles are moved, each player sums the command values of their ships at distance 1 of the station. The player with the highest total gains 1 victory token. Then remove all objectives tokens from the play area.

Victory Token Value: 20 pts.

So once more we don't know everything we need to know to properly evaluate this objective, but we can give it a shot. The "gravity rift" is a new type of obstacle, presumably with some fancy new rules attached to it. We have no image of it, so we don't know how big it is. Will it be a small narrow rift, a long narrow rift, or a big blob? We have no idea. My git feeling is that it will be fairly large, but I've no idea what shape it is.

Judging by this objective, which sucks in an destroys other obstacles, the gravity rift is pretty harmful. It's a fair assumption to think it will also have a default effect that applies to ships, and maybe squadrons too. Perhaps they suffer damage at a certain distance from the rift? Or maybe they are dragged closer? We don't know yet.

Setup: The grav rift is placed in the center of the table, Salvage Run style. Then the 3 asteroids and 2 debris are placed as normal, but STARTING WITH THE 1ST PLAYER (WTF!?), i.e. 3 for the 1st player and 2 for the 2nd player. Then finally the 2nd player place the station, beyond 1 of other obstacles and 5 of the long edges.

End of Round: At the end of each round, the players take turns Nav Hazards style moving the obstacles. 2nd player starts, then alternating, move each obstacles to within distance 1-2 of it's current position (then mark it with a token so it can't be moved twice in the same round). 

BUT the obstacle has to move TOWARDS the grav rift. This is different from Nav Hazards. Towards will probably be defined in the rules insert, but common English will suffice: Move the obstacles in a straight line towards the rift.

Furthermore, when an obstacle touches the rift, it is removed from the play area. Pretty cool!

But there is more. Doomed Station is a scoring objective, using the same mechanic as Contested Outpost (but the station can obstruct and heal as normal). Sum up command values. Winner gets a token.

My analysis: Pretty cool objective! it has the grav rift, which presumably does something exiting in and of itself. It's got Nav Hazards style moving obstacles. It's got CO style scoring from the station. It's a lot going on. Should be fun.

But will it be good in the competitive sense? I think it has some potential. CO is a pretty popular objective already, and this is basically CO+Nav hazards in a blue package. There should be a number of fleets than an benefit from this. Dictors obviously, but anyone who would like to take CO as their Yellow could probably go for Doomed Station as their blue.

There is one wonky side effect of the wording. You can choose not to move an obstacle. Within distance 1-2 includes not moving. This sounds awfully lame to me. Is it an oversight? Bad game design? Something I don't fully understand, to give players tactical options when it comes to obstruction and scoring?

Grade: C? Maybe even B? Only time will tell.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Armada 2.0 musings


Given the slow release schedule of Armada (if you can even call it a schedule ;-) I've had plenty of time to ponder the what-ifs of Armada 2.0... the most important being: Will it ever happen? And if it does, what would it be like?

Never really did figure it out, but I had a lot of fun looking at the rules and the pieces that make up the game. I LOVE game design, and nothing better than tweaking systems to suit my tastes, so it's rewarding in and of itself.

Last fall X-wing 2.0 launched. I bought into it, seeing as how the Armada scene was pretty glacial locally. And it turns out its great fun! I mean, the dice are fickle as fuck: The green defense dice are even more fickle than the fickle red attack dice, and when combined.... you do the math. This combo can ruin the best of games. Defense tokens are a FAR SUPERIOR game mechanic!

Anyway. Not here to talk about X-wing, as much as how X-wing 2.0 made me think about a 2nd ed Armada again. Only this time I didn't really spend much time thinking about how it MIGHT be implemented, but how I would have done it.

And so my incredibly silly and pretentious Armada 1.5 project was born. It basically takes Armada 1.0, then tries to change it to be BETTER, but still the SAME. Much like X-wing tried to do when it went from one edition to the next.

It started out with a few small tweaks, but one small change here begs 10 changes elsewhere, and suddenly its just a hot mess. So I went back to start, rewrote/updated the Rules Reference, and THEN started making changes to ships, squadrons and other cards. That worked a LOT better, and suddenly I had a pretty good game on my hands. Better than the original. Or at least I think it is :-D

I won't bore you with all the details, but let's look at some examples:

I present: The much-maligned VSD!

First and foremost it gets an extra yaw at the 1st joint at speed 2. It's still slow, which is "in character" for the VSD, but not it doesn't scream out for Jerjerrod. Jerry is still good with the VSD, but he's not infinitely better than the other commanders.

It remains Medium sized, but is beefed up with 1 more hull and 1 more front shield. And a contain token. Still no defensive retro, but again, that's "in character" for the VSD. It will still be vulnerable to angry Bees and massed fire from multiple sources (easy, since it's big and slow), but with good play and the correct upgrades it can be made pretty tanky.

For firepower it gains a 2nd black die out the side. Many ships have gained some extra battery dice, but there has also been a rules change regarding double arcing, so it balances out. The VSD now has an extra black flak dice. And yeah, it's not alone: More ships than before have 2 anti-squad battery.

Looking at upgrades it's gained a 2nd offensive retro slot. So squad 4 + boosted comms is indeed possible if you're willing to pay for it. And maybe even more important: The 2nd officer slot, which all the big ships get. Now this opens up a TON of options.

All this and still 73 points? Well, other ships have gained things too, and the VSD-I was really bottom of the bucket to begin with. So 73 is about right. But at the end of the day: Take it with a pinch of salt. I haven't extensively playtested everything!


Over to the VSD-II. Same ship, only with blues instead of blacks. For 12 points more it's the most expensive "good" version from the original game. Sooo not worth the points, not even with DCaps and Heavy Ions. But THIS version is pretty good.

It has the same core updates as the VSD-II, except for the following: It gets a blue battery die, and another blue AS die! Twin officers, but a defensive retro instead of the 2nd offensive. So it's a slightly worse carrier, but A MUCH better gunship. And the organic def retro frees it from reliance on Miss Tua.

The 12 point diff is probably still too big, but I'm not diving into the minutiae of points balancing at this point.


Over to the VSDs more modern big brother: Everyone's favorite angry space triangle, the Imperial Star Destroyer. As an old SW RPG nerd, the black dice never sat well with me. In my head (and West End source books) it was just a faster, badder VSD-II. And so here it is, GK's ISD-I!

It's basically the ISD-II, with one more blue out the sides, one extra hull and front shield, and extra officer and offensive slots. It's a better carrier than the VSD-I and a better gunship than the VSD-II, but the cost is much higher too (maybe it should be even higher).


So that means the ISD-II is also lore-tweaked, giving it a Cymoon-like layout to the guns (with some differences, esp in the sides). It also sports a red-blue AS armament as befits a ship with almost exclusively heavy guns. Twin turbos combine with ions for a Liberty-like punch, at the cost of then 2nd offensive slot the ISD-I gets. Double officer of course!


Just to showcase the double officer thing: Pryce and Strat Adviser. They have no size restrictions, but eat BOTH officer slots. Still powerful, but do you want to give up 2 other premium officers for this?

When you look at Pryce, please note there is a rule in effect preventing a true last-first. If you go last on your Pryce turn, at least one other ship (yours or opponent's) must activate before you can go again.


This dude is still kind of cheap in points. But the opportunity cost is... significant. But hey, you can stick him on your VSD-I and get two activations, so maybe that's the best use for him?


I'll probably do more of these down the line. Maybe even post the Rules Reference. Just don't take it too seriously. It's just for fun :-)




Objectives - Infested Fields (Navigation)


Infested Fields (Navigation): This is the second of the new objectives from Rebellion in the Rim (RitM) that FFG spoiled for us in the announcement article:

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/3/28/rebellion-in-the-rim/

We don't have all the details we need to know exactly what this objective will do. With Marked For Destruction we lacked the rules for purrgil. With this one we lack exact rules for the exogoths.

If you don't know what an exogth IS, think again. Because it's the giant "space slug" from Empire that the Falcon landed inside. So basically this objective is all about asteroids and giant space slugs eating things...

From the main spread we can get an inkling as to the side of the obstacle. A little bigger than an objective card, both in height and width, which makes them fairly large.


So whe have the size. And from the objective text we know exogoths like to hang out near asteroids - and that they can ATTACK. It doesn't specify HOW they attack unfortunately. That's going to be detailed in the campaign box. Based on what they did in Empire, my guess is they take a bite out of something that get's too close. Maybe roll X dice of whatever color against a target at distance 1 or at close range. Maybe they can eat ships, but I'm 100% sure they will be able to attack squads. Because again Empire.

Setup: Setups is normal, except the station is again banned. Place 1 objective token on each obstacle (so 5 token). This is rather similar to Dangerous Territory. Each token is worth 15 pts, which ain't too bad.

Then the second player places 2 exogoth obstacles, each touching a different obstacle. And no, the exogoths don't get objective tokens.

So there are 7 obstacles in play, the 3 asteroid and the 2 debris, and two exogoths. 5 of 7 are placed by the 2nd player. So a bit of an advantage there to 2nd.

Special Rule: A ship or SQUADRON that overlaps an obstacle can collect the objective token. The ship part is the same as DT, but the squadron bit is new.

(kind of sad that squadrons take no damage from overlapping obstacles, never understood how they are safe havens in Armada, but that's water under the bridge)

Then, at the start of the squad phase AFTER EXOGOTH ATTACKS (which presumably take place at the start of the squad phase), the exogoths are REMOVED from the play area.

Then the 2nd player gets to move the obstacles they touched, up to distance 2. So a bit of Navigational Hazards too (I'm starting to like this objective, just for the fun factor).

End of Round: It gets even better. Now the 2nd player gets to place the exogoths again! So not only do the obstacles move a bit, but the exogoths are ready for new attacks next round!

My analysis: Until we know exactly how exogoth attacks work, it's hard to know exactly how good this objective is. If its a powerful attack, or an area attack, it's definitely better than if the attack is pretty weak.

With 5 tokens in play, chances are it's a 45-30 split between players, so the 2nd player isn't exactly swimming in points.

This leads me to believe the exogoth attack is pretty strong, or the objective is dead on arrival. On the other hand, I'm pretty skeptical towards FFG's ability to make good objective, so maybe it's just a fun combo of DT and Nav Hazards, with some cool space slugs to have a laugh over.

Grade: This one is impossible to grade ATM. It's either going to be a pretty good objective to run if the exogoths kick ass. Otherwise it will only come out for casual play. I'll update when we know more.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Worlds Fleet Analysis


Cannot Get Your Ship Out has a nice article, including a link to a massive datasheet.

Go check it out:

http://cannotgetyourshipout.blogspot.com/2019/04/worlds-2019-data-and-analysis.html

Objectives - Marked For Destruction [Assault]


Marked For Destruction (Assault): This is one of the new objectives from Rebellion in the Rim (RitM) that FFG spoiled for us in the announcement article:


While we have the entire game text, we don't yet know exactly what "purrgil" do, but we can make some educated guesses, based on what we do know.

This is a purrgil:


So basically a pod of space whales, as seen in the Rebels show. Don't know exactly how big, but I'm guessing fairly large. They are whales after all :-P

So the purrgil can be moved, but we don't know how they move. Probably using the distance bands, like a squadron. Using the maneuver tool won't work as they don't have bases. So the only guess is how far they are. Speed 1? Speed 2? Speed 3?

My initial reaction was at least speed 3, or they can't stay relevant much after deployment, but then I noticed they can take a bite at distance 1. So speed 3 + distance 1 is pretty far, the same reach as an X-wing. Maybe that's too much? Let's go with them either being speed 2 or 3.

Another unanswered question is what happens with overlaps? Can you move a purrgil on top of something, like another obstacle or token? What about ships or squads? If it can't overlap anything, it will be more limited, but overlapping could get really messy. I think tokens and other obstacles are definitely out. Not so sure about ships or squads. We'll have to wait and see.

Finally, what do purrgil DO when something overlaps them? Obstacles always do SOMETHING when overlapped. I'm going to guess that it does 1 damage to ships AND squads. Could be wrong, but we have no obstacles that do damage to squads, so maybe this will be it. 

On the other hand, why land on a purrgil with your squad? So unless they can move "under" squads, as to make them overlap, there is little reason for this ever to come into play. Plus overlapping in Armada only happens as part of movement, so... yeah, it sounds like a corner case really.

Setup: The station and the rocks are out, the dust is in. So that leaves only 2 dust and 2 debris, to be deloyed as normal. But then the 2nd player places 2 purrgil, so we're up to 6 obstacles again, 4 of them placed by the 2nd player. Purgill have to be beyond d1 of other obstacles and beyond d5 of the long edges. A slight advantage to 2nd there.

Special Rule: Every ship - on both sides - get a new crit effect they MAY CHOOSE to resolve. It only works at close-medium. If triggered, you basically remove any and all objective tokens from enemy ships, then assign a new objective token to the target of the crit.

Now the fun part. The purrgils move. Probably timed at start or end of round (the only difference is if they can move top of r1 or can trigger at the end of r6). By the wording it sounds like players alternate moving the purrgil. If so, then it's probably 2nd player first to give him an advantage.

If a moved purrgil ends up at d1 of an objective ship, the player moving the purrgil MAY take a bite out that ship (1 facedown damage). Remove the objective token token and gain 1 victory token.

Now, you could technically make a purrgil eat one of your OWN ships. It would suffer damage... and your opponent would get 1 victory token. Best not do this :D

My analysis: I'm not overly impressed. The obstacle mix is a bit different, the station is out of the equation, and it's immune to strategic, so it could maybe be useful for a squad-light fleet. But if players alternate moving the purrgil, the 2nd player advantage seems very small indeed, especially since scoring opportunities are equal.

Grade: I'll hold off the final verdict, but definitely not more than a C. This might be fun, but I struggle to see how it's really good, despite the removal of the station and immunity to strategic.