Sunday, 21 January 2018

Star Wars Armada Game Night - Episode 1 Double MC30 time

Star Wars Armada Game Night #1 - Double MC30s

This is the first in what we hope to be a series of articles detailing some casual battles where we try out different builds and have a quick breakdown of each list's strengths and weaknesses. The hope is that for players struggling with different aspects of the game they might just manage to pick up a few new ideas for list building and maybe a few tricks on how to use them. 

Home Fleet
Tonight will be all about the double mc30s, new wave stuff is a way off yet but one thing I’m hoping changes is that we will see a decline in full squadron builds that might allow for some other builds to come through. The list I’m using is available here:

Rebel Double MC30s

The obvious strength of the list is in it’s hitting power, there are two significant threat ships with the MC30s pretty kitted out and the corvette just hanging around to put some salt onto any wounds the MC30s cause. It’s got 6 activations and a solid bid for first so it should be able to pretty reliably get those torpedos into the right spots. I will be gambling that a blue accuracy will show up on cue when I’m hitting a transport but that’s one of the inherent risks. The wierdest choice for many of you is probably cluster bombs but in a meta where Maarek/Jendon is basically a guarantee clusters are surprisingly effective at putting the hurt into a squad who could otherwise do stupid amounts of damage to your MC30s. It’s hard to fit bid and activations and hitting power and full squad support so cluster bombs will hopefully be better than nothing!

The obvious weakness of the list is multiple big threats. Double MC30 feels great until Motti turns up with double ISDs and then you realise the best you could hope for is to kill one of them while avoiding the other as much as possible. You would also hope to capitalise on mission points in that scenario and as much as possible not give away your squadron ball worth of points in the process. That would be worst case scenario though and that’s always a possibility in a comp. A full squad ball would also be a problem for this list because it would be hard or trade efficiently in the squad phase and the flak is fairly limited. In that case it would be a race to smack down the enemy carriers and get away with the points you’ve taken whilst minimising casualties.

Of course, we have no idea yet what my opponent will turn up with so crossing fingers it isn’t either of those builds!

The opposing fleet:

A full copy of the list can be found here: Click Me but it looks like a big fat ISDII with a couple of other threats backing it up and a relatively defensive squadron ball (though probably still too much for me to deal with!) 

And that means that my basic plan will be.... well actually it's unknown which is not a good thing... It's been a while since I flew an MC30 and I can't decide yet if its worth the effort to try and take down a big target or just pick off the smaller easy stuff. Let’s see how that works on the table

Deployment Phase

For deployment, you can see a very defensive imperial line hunkering down behind their ion cannon shot and a rebel line determined to engage beyond that protection if possible. Rebels all deployed at speed 2 which to me is a great deployment speed because you can just bank a token turn 1 and decide how fast you’re really keen to go in turn 2. Admo sitting off on the right flank as he is is largely in case the Arquittens decides to contest that flank and also on the assumption that the imps will turn towards the rest of the rebel fleet which should give Admo lots of opportunities to get into their exhaust pipes. There is also a flotilla on the extreme left whose job will be to check the structural integrity of the board edge whilst sending squadron orders via the relay.

Turn 1
Rebels slowly advanced banking lots of nav tokens for use later and highly aware of the position of that ISD. Given that it’s commanded by Jerrejod though that could be anywhere really. The main plan at this point was to find a way to move those ion tokens away from my path or failing that to engage in this side of them. I was also torn between focussing two MC30s on the ISD or just focusing down the easier targets like raider and Arquittens.

Turn 2

Transports go first for the rebels while I stall a bit and wait to see how close the Imperials are going to come. The ISD surged forwards to speed 3 and the Arquittens tucked in behind it which answered to some extent the question of what Admo was going to do. In the end Admo crept forwards to allow Mothma to have prime position next turn if that’s what she wanted. Also, he didn’t want to get too close to Maarek who was hanging around but lacking in squadron activations. You could tell it was gonna get messy soon but the cagey phase was still going. Mothma chickened out as the final activation of the turn and took a conservative hook move to finish in the middle but on a trajectory towards the ISD. Time would tell if this was a good idea or not... she realised too late that there was an ion token hidden under that raider as well. Whoops.

Note excuse the weirdness with the arrows this turn. There was some crazy Jerrijod moves and rebels playing leapfrog.

Turn 3
Ion went off onto foresight and Mothma but thanks to a dodge token we took a total of one dice on the shield. The raider kicked off the imperial side putting 4 damage onto Mothma thanks to a concentrate fire at medium but she evaded 2 damage and redirected the others. The rebel float inspecting the far side of the board went next throwing a squadron order through the relay to send in two rebel squads against Valen and Sabre. The timing was important because the raider had just disappeared taking its deadly flak with him techno managed to hit and toggle Valenwhile Shara managed a paltry one hit on Sabre squadron.
Imperials paused to think for a minute. The real trick at this stage was to make sure that the order of activations beginning next turn would not be in the favour of one of us. I could already see amazing shots for foresight next turn but it’s no good if you also need to go first with Admo and the Corvette too. Sucks being a glass cannon sometimes.
The ISD decided to launch right in sending cienna in to whiff completely against tycho. It’s long range red dice were pretty solid though burning out an evade on foresight and managing two doubles and an accuracy against the corvette burning out its front shields.
Comms net floatilla in the middle launched off both transports at cienna next each of them getting a damage through, super impressed with the transports, sadly it then rammed Mothma and didn’t move, still sitting the vital cm beyond the medium range of the ISD.
Arquittens advanced towards the corvette but still didn’t shoot and bright hope dove into the middle of the squadron battle to help get those needed accuracies. Imperial flotilla was last sending Maarek in to drop more bombs onto the very shaky looking foresight.
Both MC30s went last for the rebels. Foresight ducking into a gap between two prime targets and Admo also moving in for a big hit. Shit was about to hit the proverbial.

Turn 4
Imperials decided not to unleash their second ion shot, given that admonition was the only target.
Mothmas mc30 went first managing to just blow up the raider on one side without APT going off but only managing 3 damage plus APT on the ISD thanks to ECM allowing the brace to cut the pool in half.
The ISD responded putting a couple of damage onto Admo by shutting down both its evade tokens, it would then do a hard Jerrijod turn to chase Mothma down, the chase had commenced!
Board edge flotilla sent two transports to engage and kill Cienna and then manage to ping another hit of Maarek steel.
The Arquittens launched Maarek Steele using a token who took another 2 damage off Mothma before blasting another 5 damage to the Corvette who only survived because of redirect. TRC Arquittens is a nasty piece of kit. So far though Mothma was doing a great job of keeping the fleet alive.
Middle transport ordered Dutch to shoot and activate valen before advancing up.
Imperial transport ordered Sabre and Jenden before moving up.
Rest of turn was uneventful with Shara killing Valen in the squadron phase and the rest just manoeuvres for later.

Gotta love the Jerrijod possibilities, Just go back and have a look at the path that ISD has taken so far this game

Turn 5
Imperials again show restraint with the ions again choosing to hold them back and Mothma takes the opportunity to speed 4 away from the ISD. Still not enough to evade Maarek who is ordered by the Gozanri to zoom up for more bombing putting another 3 damage onto foresight after tokens etc. This leaves Mothma's ship with 2 single shields and 2 hull.

The Corvette manoeuvred itself into position it possibly kill the gozanti next turn whilst avoiding ion shots. Losing a dice from damaged munitions would make this unrealistic but we will see.

The ISD once again gave chase to Mothma hurtling around the station to bring her under the guns again. Her odds of surviving an ion and Maarek and the ISD were pretty damn slim. My best chance would have been shara holding up jenden but she was just a little to far away.

Bright hope couldn’t think of anything good for the squadrons to do and got distracted thinking so rammed the butt of the corvette in front of it and the Arquittens decided to save the lasers after it couldn’t make the accuracy against a transport in the middle. Very little else happened because the ships were largely moving away from each other and the ranges for the squadrons was just getting too tricky.

The rest was just padding.

Turn 6

Mothma took 4 damage from the last ion cannon which she could only reduce to 2 with her evade token. So she was a sitting duck for Maarek shortly afterwards. The rest of the turn was just ships moving past each other and imperials cheering at the downfall of Foresight and Mon Mothma.

Total casualties were a raider and a few imperial squads vs Mothma and her MC30 so a win for imperials this time round.


I think overall this game summed up my thoughts on MC30s. You saw how easily it blew up a small ship but in the same breath how little damage it did to the ISD. Sure multiple hits over a number of turns will certainly start to add up but that’s a lot of moving parts to make work. Trying to line up a solid last/first attack which you can then survive whilst dodging all the squads and support ships and knowing you need to do this probably 3 times to kill that ISD just doesn’t feel as efficient as taking a single Mc30 and backing it with more long range support like vettes or even just a big bomber ball of some description. Whereas if our current meta was dominated by small and medium base ships I think that the MC30s value goes up substantially. That said they are unquestionably resilient with Farsight in the end taking two ion cannons, double arcs from the raider, long range shots from the ISD and bout 10 dice worth from Maarek to kill, it died with only a single shield remaining too. The problem though is that the damage from Maarek/Jendon is unrelenting and realistically impossible to stop. The best you can do is reroll to reduce it but it’s still going to be 3ish damage every turn on your weakest side. Without squads of your own there’s not much you can do. I’ve watched the same thing happen to demo and many many corvettes and he is just incredibly op against small base ships. The answer to me is to stick to bigger ships with more defensive measures or just run a pile of your own squadrons in order to be able to take him down.

I’ve been looking at interesting lists where you can fit an MC30 and an Mc75 easily enough so expect to see something like that soon.

Hope you enjoyed playing vicariously through us. Feel free to post feedback and tell me all the things I did wrong and how you would do better in the comments box!

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