First a note on my list.
Anakin and Mace are almost the usual (both with R2 here), but they get spare canisters. That gives me the added benefit of an additional regeneration, or to break a lock. If needed and on the second R2 use, I would run away, regen, take the weapons disabled, and as action recover an R2 charge.
That uses too many points for an ARC, so I went with a torrent instead. The basic structure was recommended to me by Elr3d on Reddit. I must say, I was intrigued. I took Tucker instead of a Gold and an 11pt bid. Tucker has the benefit of a free focus action when a friendly ship at range 1-2 attacks someone in Tucker’s firing arc. As Anakin shoots at i6, that leaves Tucker with focus+evade or focus+lock, and that’s pretty good. Important to note that I can’t roll, evade and take this focus because the linked evade is red. I think this guy is the second most useful V19 after the Gold, and I have the points.
Opponent’s determining action and my target priority (including “Plan Red”): A swarm means first of all one thing: He will win a joust. What I have to do is to force him into one direction, let him chase, and attack from two different ones with the rest of my ships. Howlrunner is always the first target, Wampa is a good second one. I’d normally be afraid of Seyn, but he had Del and Gideon instead. That makes Gideon the third, Del the 4th, Iden the 5th and the Academy Pilot as last. Iden loses his worth as soon as that charge is spent.
I think he should go after Anakin first and then Mace. He shares 4x initiative (at least shots) with Mace, and has two shots at i5. That makes Mace the easier target once the swarm is damaged.
Deployment: Both brought clouds and I wish I had something else in this matchup. First, we built the diagonal NW-SE line of obstacles and the NE cucumber. He then placed the SW cucumber, and I wanted to obstruct another jousting lane with the western crab cloud. That left us one clear jousting lane, from his middle to the eastern field. But nothing that he would like to use. I placed Tucker in the middle and the two Jedi on the flank. He parked his swarm in front of an obstacle, making it clear that he wouldn’t simply move 5 straight.
The gameplan for the first turns (“Plan Blue”): Go slow with all three, see where he moves. Important to note that Wampa and the AP are towards the middle, which makes it less likely that he’ll turn into Anakin.
How it went:
Turn 1: As mentioned, I went slow, but Mace boosted in already. The swarm did something strange, he went 3 straight and rolled to the side. I’d have expected a 1hard right, followed by a 1hard left and a 2 straight if that’s where he wanted to go. Would give him more time and spend more turns, which is usually a good thing in the opening. You want your opponent to commit before you do. But he took the roll after a 3 straight, and that gave me more space to get around him.
Turn 2: Tucker went 1 straight again, he banked his swarm towards Mace, who did a 1bank to the side and rolled+boosted away. The idea was simple, for both Jedi: I don’t know where he goes. Sure, he should go after Anakin because he’s the better target. But he also should go after Mace because of the way he set up his swarm. So I banked to the side with Anakin to get around a possible turn/bank from the swarm towards him, and the same with Mace. I dodged all but one arcs, and he didn’t deal any damage. Tucker took a lock and missed his shot. I missed the arc/range measurement from Iden who I’m now sure was in, but my opponent declared him to have no shot.
Turn 3: Where will he go now? He could in principle go after Mace, a 2hard fits with the i1 pilots, but I think I could have dodged most shots. He won’t turn into Anakin. So maybe Tucker now? Tucker went fast, 4 straight and possibly roll to block more. Fortunately, the i1 pilots told me that the whole swarm would 2 bank left, and that meant I didn’t have to roll. Mace went 3 bank+boost right+roll right, and Anakin did a 1hard + roll + boost. Here I made an execution error because I should in both cases have flipped the order. Mace should roll, then boost. Anakin should boost, then roll. Especially the latter missed his shot because the boost now didn’t fit.
I took my shot, Tucker got a lucky crit – hit – hit after mods, and Howl decided to take the console fire. I would have used Iden here, because Howl was not able to clear the crit next turn (due to the cloud) and ended up rolling for it three times, with an extra damage in the end. I was too greedy with Mace and spent a force on a 3v5+cloud shot, also a mistake.
Turn 4: Everybody K-turn! Tucker wasn’t able to use his ability here because of the stress. The swarm shot Mace again and took 2 shields in 4 shots. I was thinking about a 2 straight to stay behind the cloud but decided I could take the risk. In turn, my shots used up the Iden charge and dealt one more damage to Howlrunner. A good trade: so far I shot 6 times and he 7 times, but I have half as many ships, and I did more damage overall.
Turn 5: I think the moves are obvious on my part: Tucker goes back to his previous position, blocking or punishing an attempt to go after Anakin. Mace does his 5k which can’t really be blocked unless he intentionally self-bumps for that purpose. And Anakin does a bank right. 1 or 2 are both fine, I went with 2. The swarm did all kinds of maneuvers and fully broke up by now. You can see the dials in the picture. He wanted to bump Howl into Tucker but went too far. Clouds, a bump and a stress lost him 4 out of 6 actions. In this turn, he lost Wampa and Gideon I think? There was definitely some luck involved on my part, but the important turns were over. A swarm that is as split up like this, with the Iden charge spent and virtually no damage on my side is pretty much a lost game. You can see turn 6 below, where he lost Del I think? I don’t remember, but Howl finally took a damage from the console fire, and he conceded.
I used my own mnemonic this game, and I think it helped me. I made a basic execution error with repositioning, and another one with dice modifications. But other than that, I was always aware of my win condition, of available resources, of the activation order, and chose ok to good maneuvers. I say the resulting “WRAM” in my head with the Doppler effect, because my Jedi are that fast! I’m not yet fully set on it, so I won’t put out the post until I’ve tested it some more. But it worked in this first game.
Until next time!