Battle Report: Vaapad, Vassal, 25.5.19

Since the last battle report, I had played an extended tournament and two vassal games with different lists, but today I finally got a game in with this variation of the Anakin/Mace/Arc list:

Anakin Skywalker (60), R2 Astromech (4), Delta-7B (18)
Mace Windu (46), Sense (6), R4 Astromech (2), Delta-7B (16)
104th Battalion Pilot (42), Seasoned Navigator (5)
Total: 199
View in Yet Another Squad Builder 2.0

The idea is simple: I had troubles with my small bid, and Mace can’t really arcdodge at i4. Both problems can be solved with Sense!

What many, including myself, overlook is the ability to use it without spending a force. In my games, Mace usually ends up close. Sense allows him then to decide on a repositioning to block or outmaneuver a higher initiative opponent. It also allows me to prepare moves for Anakin, and it makes the decision to regenerate a bit easier.

The downside is that it costs 6 points, and that removes the 7th fleet gunner. The change hurts my offense, but it allows me to play longer games where I take less damage. I played it just once and used it almost every turn. Once I spent a force – and that was worth it! – and the other times I had an opponent at range 1. So far, I’m convinced.

The remaining points were spent on R4 and the Seasoned Navigator. R4 is simple: Sense rewards me staying close, and those additional blue moves make it easier to combine red maneuvers with staying close. I think the choice is ok, but it could be better to simply take another R2. Seasoned Navigator was for nothing. I did not use it once. That is on me and due to the way I use my ARC: run him in, through, and away! But that also removes the usefulness of the Navigator.

On to the game!

Sense-Vaapad
vs
FennGuriZealousrecruit

Opponent’s determining action and my target priority: Fenn is 70(+7), Guri 79(+7) and the Recruit 44(+7) points for the last remaining ship. That means my win conditions are to remove Guri as fast as possible because she’s always more expensive than my Anakin, and then end up with Fenn vs Anakin. The combination of Guri and Fenn has been the bane of my X-wing life for quite some time, I rarely win against this combination. The three agility require me to focus on a ship to plink damage through. His Recruit is annoying and I will gladly remove it if there is no better shot, but Guri is the real threat. I have to stay away from Fenn and his range 1 infinite-procket 5dice attack.

Deployment: He brought the largest rocks, I brought the clouds and – obviously – was given first player. I placed the rocks in the NW and SW field, plus the cloud in the NE field. His first rock was the one in the middle, then the cucumber in the corner and finally the small cloud in the south field. He showed me where he was going to set up with the Recruit, and I picked the diagonal corner. I’ve shown this opening now a few times. Here though, it was really good: Pay attention to the straight jousting lane along the three diagonal middle rocks from his three ships to my Arc and Mace. The correct bank in the beginning allows me to move straight for several turns, and that is a huge benefit for a ship with a rear arc!

The gameplan for the first turns: Bring the ARC onto that jousting lane. If he moves into the middle then I can still pass the middle rock on the east. Mace will follow and – depending on his committed lane – flank on the west or east. Anakin is a deception, he will run around.

How it went:

Turn 1: He already committed to the west gutter. The 3bank from the Arc was the correct choice and Mace went 1hard and then rolled and boosted. Anakin went 5 straight and also rolled and boosted to get a good maneuver next turn: I could continue with a 5straight and circle around everyone, or I could turn in with a 1hard and joust them. My opponent almost had to go straight from his position, which was great.

Turn 2: Another turn without shots. My ARC went slow, Mace placed himself in front of the cloud and rolled left. Anakin went 5 straight also in front of the cloud, boosted left and rolled left. From here, a 3 bank should in principle fit! I was estimating that using the new trick of turning the ship in my head by 45°, then moving it straight forward and to the side. His Recruit was slow, Guri faster and Fenn even faster. At this point, the first round of combat was inevitably going to happen in the western field.

Turn 3: Guri thought I was stuck in her range 1. But actually, she was stuck in MY range 1!

Turn 3: My Arc went slow for a third time. Mace pressed close and rolled around the rock. The danger was to end up in range 1 of Fenn, which has to be avoided at most cost. So I boosted him forward to block the 2 straight and hopefully the 3 straight, too. Anakin’s 3bank did fit and he could boost left, arcdodging the recruit and giving me a nice range 2 shot. His Guri did a 1hard and then boosted right. That got him out of Anakin’s arc and unfortunately into range 1 of my ARC, so that was well played. The following shots were quite lucky for me. Not Anakin or Mace, but the 104th Trooper managed to trade his 2 shields for a shield and, more importantly, a disabled power regulator on Guri! That meant that I could 100% take out Guri unless he was going to run. Which I was going to confirm with Sense.

Turn 4: He did the correct thing with Guri and ran her away. The bendy roll meant that Guri would not even get onto the cloud in the next turn, and a bit more distance in the current turn. Fenn took the obvious move with a 1hard. But the recruit took me by surprise! I did not see the 4k coming at all! My ARC went 2 straight, hoping to bump his recruit while still leaving enough space to Anakin. Mace did his obvious 1hard, like Fenn. My Anakin was more luck than skill, but his 1bank just perfectly fit in front of the ARC. A roll and a boost later, he was out of range 1 for the recruit and got arc on Fenn. But all the clever maneuvers did not matter: I lost 1s3h on my ARC and did nothing.

Turn 5: But on the positive side, I was in a good position! His Fenn was (correctly) afraid of range 2 shots, so he ran. Guri was ionized. And the recruit had no good move. He bumped into Anakin, and then my ARC 3banked +rolled past his arc. Mace ran after Guri, unfortunately couldn’t get a lock, and the shot was even obstructed by a cloud. Bad maneuver choice on my part. But Anakin did a good one, I think. The sloop allowed him to get out of the way and remove the stress with his ability. The lock and another force allowed me to push a crit through onto the recruit – and it was another ion!

Turn 6: Guri got me good!

Turn 6: I do clever sloops? Guri does clever sloops! But first things first. His Fenn talon rolled, my Anakin ignored the recruit and went after Fenn. Force and lock meant that I again managed to push a damage through. The ARC banked to remove the stress and to get another shot on the recruit. Two hits with focus, but he evaded. And Mace wanted to also do a clever sloop, but unfortunately Guri was more clever! Advanced Sensor lock, and range 1 focus meant a double modified shot with 4 against 2 dice. That hurt, minus 3 shields!

Turn 7: The ARC was lost, his task was simply to distract the recruit while I take out Guri. Do you see the solution for Anakin? He can go left (north) and circle around the rock. But, if you use the “gate is down”-method of gauging the turn, you’ll notice that his turns will get past the rock. And the 1hard right was even going to fit without overlapping the template. Another important thing, Mace used Sense in a sensible manner this turn: knowing about the 1bank, I could blue 1hard (thanks R4!), lock Guri, and roll backwards to hopefully block her. With Anakin’s 1hard, that would allow me to get a nice shot into Guri. It didn’t quite work out. The block barely didn’t fit, and Guri had to boost to get out of Mace’s arc. The positive side effect was that Anakin was now also out of her arc! It didn’t really matter because she simply evaded everything again. Fenn took his first range 1 shot, and I got lucky with the results, only losing a single shield. And in the far west, the ARC lost another hull. I liked my position very much.

Turn 8: The ARC was arcdodging the recruit for once – giving me another turn where the two were occupied. Mace took the obvious 1hard, but rolled to the side because I needed some space for Anakin. The hotshot was going to 5k! I somewhat knew from Sense where Guri was going. She rolled left forward bend, and then 1hard right, trying to get arc on Mace. But due to my roll, she didn’t get arc. Even worse, she ended up in Anakin’s bullseye, so he could roll out of her arc. That meant he was again denied two shots this turn. Anakin tried and failed to put more damage into Fenn, but Mace delivered: 1 hit and 1 crit (hull breach) brought her down to 1hull!

Turn 9: Fenn showed me the incoming 2 straight. That was good news, because I had a 1hard dialed into Anakin. I might have repositioned, but now I knew that I shouldn’t, and so I blocked him. Mace took another red maneuver, a 4k to put some hurt into Fenn. Guri also went with a 4k after a AdvancedSensored bendy roll. Luckily for me, Anakin initiative killed her at range 3 with double mods and brought that last damage through. Fenn also took 2 more damage as I was nicely at range 2. The unfair part was in the duel between the recruit and the ARC. Yes, that was still going on somehow. He made a great move, 2 straight and roll sideways. I did not see that coming at all and hoped that I would bump his bank or turn. So what was happening in a 4v1 shot? Well, 87% of the time he would die. But what do we say to death? Not today!

Turn 10: Here I had my first and only brainfart this game. I was thinking that he could absolutely not risk going towards my ARC. A range 1-2 shot by the ARC would murder him, right? So I expected Fenn to go east (turn left) instead, and Mace did an according left bank. But after paying a force and using Sense at range 2 for the first time (thanks for that flexibility!), I realized my error and boosted right. That wasn’t enough for this turn, but would allow me to turn in on the next turn, correcting my mistake. Anakin did yet another red maneuver. I managed to bump my ARC into the recruit. And that’s when I truly realized my mistake: Fenn can easily, oh so easily, initiative kill my trusty Trooper on his last health point. Range 2 gives him a 93% chance, and range 1 increases that to 99.3%. Luckily for me, he landed on the cloud. And, rather unfairly, he only had a single crit that I even evaded. Worst of all, the ARC shot back with a single hit. Obviously Fenn rolled 3 focus results and died in a blaze of glory. That’s when we called game. 200-59.

Red maneuvers for Anakin on turns 5, 8, 10; Mace on turns 6 and 9.
Sense on turns 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Conclusion/Outlook:

First, this opponent was such a cool guy. No clue who it is, but it was really enjoyable to play with you!

Second, my list. Sense is great. How often do you use an upgrade or ability per game? Well, I used Sense 6 (!) times in 8 turns of potential use, and it was important in 3 moments. That is easily worth the 6 points. Similarly, the R4 was great. The one use was crucial. Another R2 would have saved me points though, so I don’t know which one I should stick to. However, the Seasoned Navigator was completely useless! I don’t know where the last 45-48 points of my list should go, but that was not it. One idea I’ve seen is to put another R2 on the ARC. I could also try it without the R4, adding two V19s. But 200 points is dangerous!

I think I played that game quite well. The best indicator is that he barely got any shots. I had 17 shots in 8 turns (ignoring the first 2), he had just 10. More specifically:

  • Arcdodge like a boss, even at lower initative!;
  • Take double mods as often as possible;
  • Keep options open for the next turn;
  • Eyeball better with my new tricks. Thanks to Dee Yun from the Mynock Squadron Podcast and his “the gate is down” explanation!;
  • Opening and Setup was quite good. Identifying that jousting lane, hitting it exactly and then staying in there was crucial!

I will try Sense again, but I still don’t know how to build the ARC.

Until next time!

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