Battle Report: Vaapad, VassalLeague, 28.4.19

My final vassal league game and the opportunity to make sure that I’ll advance for next season. No pressure though…

One cool thing about the league is that it allows for a bit of preparation. In this case, I saw that my opponent apparently liked Fang fighters, and that he routinely had a very deep bid, between 13 and 4 points. Too deep for me to match, anyway.
Convinced that I would move first against i6 and i5 ships: was there anything to adjust for this matchup? Maybe. Anakin will move before Fenn (if I guessed correctly), but after the others. So he can at least make sure to dodge the remaining arcs, right? Afterburners would allow me to do just that, keeping more force for defense or even an evade token. At the same time, the R4 on Mace would give me blue 1-hards to set up blocks after red maneuvers. The small modification was now:

Anakin Skywalker (60), Delta-7B (18), Afterburners (6)
Mace Windu (46), R4 Astromech (2), Delta-7B (16)
104th Battalion Pilot (42), Seventh Fleet Gunner (9)
Total: 199

The spawned list showed that I had been right: Fenn, Teroch and Guri, all with predator and at 193 points. Ok, that should work. No matter that it’s my nemesis list, the one I never beat with 5 A-wings. Surely this new list will fare better.

Opponent’s determining action and my target priority: Very simple: Fenn swoops to range 1 where he is virtually immune to damage, so I have to cover my ships in a way that his range 1 shot will receive 2 range 2 shots in return (hint: I did not do that). Teroch swoops to range 1 where he removes my green tokens. I do not care about this, at all, because I have force and locks. Both Fangs are very frustrating at range 1, so no point in shooting them at that range. Guri will get her calculate + focus every time, plus maybe the reroll. However, the lack of the concord dawn ability makes her the first easy target. Once she’s gone, I should have at least two, better three, ships remaining to remove likely Teroch. After that I might have to go to time.

Deployment: I was thinking that I don’t care about clouds, and I prefer to Accordingly, I first set the large asteroid in the NE field, and he placed the next largest rock in the eastern field. My next was the middlefinger asteroid in the NW field. We put down the clouds. I did an opening I had seen from another player which I liked, as it gives me huge flexibility while also allowing me to have all arcs together by turn 2. For this, I set the ARC and Mace in the SE corner, and Anakin in the SW corner. This should threaten the i6 flank. He basically mirrored my setup, putting his ace on my strong side, and his two i5 on the side with Anakin.

Setup

The gameplan for the first turns: converge arcs fast and surprise him with it to get superior firepower and – hopefully – deal some early damage that affects his next decisions.

How it went:

Turn 1: For this opening, the ARC moves in a 3bank and rolls to the side. That keeps his arc close to the edge and gives Mace the necesarry space to turn in. He does that, but he rolls backwards and towards the edge. That move gives the necessary space to adjust direction with a boost without passing the ARC later on. Anakin does a 5 straight and banks in. He 2-banked with Guri and rolled around the cloud, Teroch did a 1 hard + left boost. Fenn did in principle a 4 straight. I think I should have boosted north with Mace, to get not only the distance from the roll but also the option to turn more into Fenn. I was willing to abandon plans and throw everything at the lone Fenn, even opening up my flank with Anakin. But that move with Mace was unpractical. Anyway, my choice then would have been 2hard with the ARC, 2hard with Mace, and 5straight with Anakin. But I messed that up. Hopefully, I’ll keep it in mind.

Turn 2: What did happen was that my ARC banked right to clear the stress, Mace followed behind with a 2hard and boost, and Anakin also banked in. He bumped Guri into Teroch and went again slow with Fenn. Shots were exchanged and nothing happened. Now I had put myself into a bad spot in some way. But then again, I wanted to be able to throw everything at one of the i5s, right? And for that I was not so badly positioned, even with Fenn in the hurting flank. He had to turn around that middle asteroid, either east or west. If he went east then I’d get him, if he went west then he would be out of the fight for quite some time – something I didn’t believe he would do.

Turn 3: he took me by surprise with these 2-hards to the west!

Turn 3: With that in mind, my ARC did a hopefully more unexpected move and 4-kturned, while Mace followed with a 5 straight. The idea was that he would a) bump the ARC and give Mace a range 1 shot, or move past the ARC and receive a range 1 shot. With some distance and more thought, I should have 1banked and rolled to the side. That would give the same result, but land me in a much better position with his ships somewhere in the gunner-arc. His i5s did 2hards to the west, forgoing their shots. By the way, if you wonder: yes, the boost to the west for Mace would have fit. That is another choice I could – should – have made. Hopefully it would cause mass bumps for him and increase my action efficiency compared to him. Anakin went completely wrong with a 2bank east. I think I wanted to guard against Fenn? I also remember that I thought I could barrel roll north to come around the rock that way? I was really taken off guard by these 2hards to the west. Fenn went now fast, with a 5straight and boost. I got 3 shots, he got none. Guri lost a shield and took a crit that would add an ion token on the turn after (read: really bad!).

Turn 4

Turn 4: Here I made a big mistake that had a huge impact. My ARC went 2bank to the SW, self bumping and keeping him back. So far so good. Mace did a 2 sloop to the right. Why right and not a 4- or 5-kturn? No idea… His Teroch went the long way around the obstacle, Guri cut inbetween asteroid and cucumber. Now the mistake: do you think the 5k of Anakin passes the bumped ARC? I was sure he would. And I was right about that bit. But I did not realize that Mace would be there, and the bump would bring Ani back quite a bit… The kturn for Mace would have been a-mace-ing, allowing me to likely take out Guri with three modified 4v3 shots. I can say so because of the ion token Guri was about to get. But with that bump… that hurt! Either way, Anakin faced the wrong way, Fenn turned in, and all that happened damage-wise was a shield lost on the ARC.

Turn 5: I had to 1bank with the ARC, right? Actually, no. A 2hard west would have been so much better! I didn’t see it at the time, but it blocks Guri and allowed Mace a shot at range 1. Fully modified into Guri is much better than receiving a modified shot by Guri into my ARC. It was tricky to see, but the 3hard was more obvious with the same result. His Teroch turned around, staring down my trooper, and his Fenn turned and rolled to directly stare down Anakin. This was a bad turn! It was still a 22% chance to score one or more hits, but the much more likely case happened and Fenn survived unscathed. The return shot was less nice, and Anakin lost 2 shields. Teroch went into my ARC, dealing 2s and a direct hit despite my rolled evade, bringing my Trooper down to 4 hull. Guri also had a shot, of course also rolling 4 hits and bringing him down to a single hull after I evaded yet another shot. These reds were hot, and my mistake of the wrong maneuver hurt more than ever. The 7 or more dealt damage had a chance of just 18%. And here I made yet another mistake that really bugged me: Mace took his shot. I play fast, announced 3v3 on Teroch, the only target, rolled, and realized: I had a gunner! That should have been 4v3, with a lock and focus! At least a single damage was on 93%, and he even whiffed out with just one evade! Granted, the 2 damage dealt are what is expected. But I missed an opportunity that I should not have missed! The ARC dealt at least another damage to Guri. But losing 9 while dealing just 3 is horrible for my list!

Turn 6-8: He removed the ARC – of course – and I removed Guri, while Fenn was limping on 2 hull. That was a good position to be in, as I was chasing him around.

Turn 6: RIP Trooper. Guri lost one more hull. Anakin forgot to regen… oh right, I didn’t have the droid…
Turn 7: Mace lost a shield after a cute sloop, Teroch was obviously unhurt, despite a 25% chance to die right there, and 84% chance to take another damage. And naturally Mace can’t deal damage to Fenn, but that is expected.
Turn 8: RIP Guri. Only 28% to remove her here, but now the odds were in my favor.

Critical Turn 9: At this point, it was full Mace and 4HP Anakin against half Teroch and full Fenn. That was very close to the mid/endgame I had wished. So I turned around, staring down his two Fangs at range 2. That’s how you’re supposed to do it, right? I got a bit greedy and boosted with Anakin, adding a focus with the action. Remember that shot with 25% chance to kill Teroch? Not only did it not deal damage, it cost me 2 force that I missed now, and dearly so. His Fenn did a 4k-turn. A stressed Fenn at range 3, and a hull breached Teroch at range 2 is the best way to joust two fangs. Anakin rolls hit hit focus. Spend it? I have to remove him, so yes. He rolls 2 evades. Console fire! Fenn shoots Anakin, deals one shield for half points! Going back to that 25% chance to remove Teroch? That had 84% to deal a damage. Going back to that shot by Mace on Teroch? Could have used the gunner for another damage… Console fire? 50% chance to remove Teroch. My face after none of these had happened? Priceless.
His shot back, on Anakin, 3v2. The one time I don’t have mods. But you know, he only has 16% to remove him. Of course the damage hurts, but I still have 2 charges on R2 because I forgot to… oh, he rolled 3 hits? Oh, I rolled 2 focus? Too bad. Anakin gone. Mace immediately avenged him, but that was a sudden turn that I had not expected. I was greedy, I accept to pay some HP for that. 1-3 would be fine. But 4 damage from an unmodified range 3 shot and a single modded range 2 shot was not something I had expected.

Turns 10-19 were Mace trying to take down a full health Fenn. I don’t know if it is possible, but I don’t think so. In the end I lost 123-200 after too many mistakes on my part. It was almost enough to still win, but I missed some luck in the wrong moments to make up for my mistakes.

Lessons/Conclusion:

  • Don’t forget to use the gunner;
  • Make sure that you don’t self-bump when using kturns or sloops;
  • Engage Fangs at range 2 (duh);
  • Try to see the better maneuvers… like the turn to block Guri;
  • Also, the gunner still works even if the ARC bumped something;
  • Keep the opening flexible.

The end game convinced me that I should at least try “Sense” on Mace. He likes to brawl, and he is the Jedi to take “Sense” with his improved force recovery. The afterburners on Anakin were not worth it, but only due to my bad mistake in turn 4, where I’d have gladly used them. Regen would have been clearly the better idea though.

The matchup is one that leaves me puzzled. I think I made several right calls, but I just never get through these ridiculously sturdy Fangs. These 3agility ships… uh, I might go back to A-wings at some point.

Despite the loss, I still managed to finish at the top of my group and will advance to the core worlds for the next season, and that was largely due to this list. The current swing is towards two V19s, and I have to try that myself. But I really like the threat of the ARC, and I believe that I’m not good enough to use two V19s to their potential. Then again, neither do I with the ARC, but hey, I’ll keep trying.

Until next time!

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