Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Armada Batrep: Minefields

The clash of clashes came around. In the blue corner: Ben as the 'good guys' and in the red corner: me as the Rebellion. Both of us were nominally the Rebel players around here but even we really had our hearts with the Empire. So he loaned me his Assault Frigate "Migaloo the Whale" to go with my "Brain" and I loaned him my Vickie. He ran his guys with a Mk I and Mk II, Tarkin as the Admiral and maybe some upgrades. I don't recall anything that impacted the battle. He at least had Assault Missiles on the Mk I. And he took squadrons: Rhymer (me typing this is redundant, why would you not take him?), another TIE bomber, and some backup TIEs. He came to 297 or 298 pts and I was 300 even. Just to mess with my plans he gave me the initiative. So that meant I was left playing the Imperial objective I'd always expect to see at the moment: Minefields. Me, despite having just received some cool new Rebel Fighters, couldn't resist doing the ship heavy thing. My list over the "jump"

My list (via Fab's fleet builder)

1 • Assault Frigate Mark II B - Assault Frigate Mark II (72)     - General Dodonna (20)    - Sensor Team (5)    - XX-9 Turbolasers (5)
    • Total : 102    • Code : r8c2w3t3
2 • Assault Frigate Mark II B - Assault Frigate Mark II (72)     - Intel Officer (7)    - XX-9 Turbolasers (5)
    • Total : 84    • Code : r8o5t3
3 • Nebulon-B Support Refit - Nebulon-B Frigate (51)     - Intel Officer (7)    - Salvation (7)
    • Total : 65    • Code : r4o5f8
4 • CR90a Corellian Corvette - CR90 Corellian Corvette (44)     - Leia Organa (3)    - Jaina's Light (2)
    • Total : 49    • Code : r1o3f6

 This photo zooms in and you can' see the second AF mk ii behind the lead one. I put Dodonna on the lead one. Because 'reasons'. Ben had deployed minefields so that they were two angled lines funnelling me into the centre of the board. I had my Corvette way out on the right flank. Ben thought it would never make the battle...

 Crunch. Dodonna gets right on the comms and berates the dopey commander of the following AF mk ii "Migaloo" as it immediately collides with the front ship. Out of shot, my corvette is racing forward at max speed. Likewise, Rhymer and his boys are all over Dodonna's flagship. He rolls a hit+crit. I force the reroll. So he rolls that again. I begin to wonder if a lack of fighter CAP was a sound choice.

 Break! The Rebel formation splits left and right. Dodonna plows through the TIEs and prepares to present broadsides to Tarkin's Victory II after staging a drive-by attack on the Victory I.

 Meanwhile, the Salvation faces down the Victory I. Klaxons blare as the two ships take evasive action and suffer the resulting hull damage. While Ben's bombers are doing very well (and my anti-squadron fire, very poorly), no complaints about my frontal batteries on those cap ships. I don't even need the Salvation title to pummel that Victory I.
 Tarkin's Flagship is the Dominator and the amount of hits it produced was absolutely devastating. Dodonna's AF mk II was riven prow to stern with devastating explosions and there would have been no survivors.
 However, Imperial Jubilation was short lived as the Victory I was likewise the victim of focus fire from the other two Rebel ships. I've never seen a Victory class go down so quickly. Wait, the other two rebel ships. Wasn't there a third?

 Here it is. Though Ben may have scoffed that it was out of play, the Dominator found itself beleaguered on all sides by the rebel wolf pack. It was going to be touch and go though. I had lost about 20-30 more points than him at this stage and frankly had little hope of making that up in enemy squadrons killed. So. Just have to kill TWO Victories then.

 I had at least got my fleet right where they should be (for once). The Corvette's long range batteries added to the broadsides from the AF mk II and the Salvation to begin to wear down the extensive shielding on our quarry. I had the wrong commands on my AF mk II but 'tag', Leia swung by on that Corvette and let me change it from Navigate to Intensify Fire.

 Then we realised that the minefields were still there. And Tarkin was headed for the right most field.

 My other AF mk II was getting quite determinately roughed up by those bombers, who punched through shields on a number of occasions. Fortunately, they had to do this without benefit of Squadron commands so they seldom got to really concentrate fire. their presence did make me keep my Corvette racing for    the far side of the table, lest it be more easy victory points.

Ben then ploughed into a mine. He let me roll it and of course I got two hits. Then the Broadsides from my AF mk II finished the job. We got him! A historic day for the Rebellion, my Rebellion anyway, as I'd managed to knock out two Victories. It was a close run thing, with only one hit to spare at the end and it would have gone narrowly Ben's way, but I'll definitely take it.

Great, close, and hard fought battle Ben. I really liked having two medium ships and now have to keep willing myself to be strong and not get another until Wave II drops and my choices expand. Maybe I should play/expand the Imperials for a while? Probably should try Rebel Squadrons actually.

We also had a lot of good discussion after the battle. Clearly my deployment was wanting but to an extent Ben's missions foisted that on me. Was it worth losing initiative for though? Two Victories basically get to fire their entire fleet first (with one insignificant Rebel Ship in between)  and that is a huge advantage to give up. the Imperial Squadrons definitely lived up to their reputation though, and to think Ben got them for free by mistake. Perks of giving into the Dark side?

Thanks for reading.


  1. Nice report Jamie - it was indeed a cracking game and an incredibly close run thing really. I think I need to play the VSDs more to get a feel for them - will definitely go for initiative next time if it is an option to see if it helps. I think it would with the VSD I who really struggles to get those black dice into play otherwise.

    I think it came down to a couple of key maneuvures in the center really - I was trying to turn onto your tail but you hanging yourself up on my side slowed you down and put me completely out of position (not to mention free repairs from the station!) I should have seen that coming and turned into you - VSDs ramming things head on are probably going to come out ahead...

    I'm also trying to figure out how my squadrons could have been more decisive - they helped but due to your speed they were never able to concentrate their firepower as effectively as I had hoped.

    Looking forward to a rematch at some point!

    1. All I keep thinking is that I should never have wimped out and turned the lead AF right. Should have backed myself to down that Vsd Mk I and chanced the run through the middle.

      A rematch is so going to happen.