Battle Report: TheBigDeal vs his predecessor

The Big XXX Deal
vs
TemminJessBastianTallie

Opponent’s determining action and my target priority (including “Plan Red”): This is nearly a mirror match (and for that reason I will always add Red in front of his names!). I have worse maneuverability but more damage output. Hence he can’t joust me but should instead try to circle and try to leverage the movement. I will focus down RedBastian or RedTemmin first. A good shot on Tallie will be taken, but otherwise I can and should ignore her, especially as she has no optics.

Deployment: As first player I get to block. I made the line of obstacles on the northern edge, he placed the others in the middle and southern field. My block set up in the SW corner, he started in the NE corner with Tallie right in front of my block as obvious bait.

The game plan for the first turns (“Plan Blue”): Ignore Tallie. Move ahead with straights until I can turn in comfortably.

How it went:

Turn 1-3: I did 1straight, 3straight, 3straight. The idea was that a 2turn would allow me to get past the middle rock on the northern side if I had to. He turn away with Tallie. The other three started with 3 straight, then 1straight and a boost, then 2straight with another boost for RedBastian in the front. At this point I was convinced that he messed up the initial engagement as I didn’t see how he could move all his ships around that rock on the southern side and anything on the north would be dead.

Turn 1
Turn 2: slight acceleration so a 3straight next turn would be enough to get around the middle rock if necessary
Turn 3: the faster maneuver is also more threatening to Tallie.
Fire at will!

Turn 4: This was the engagement turn. To my disdain, Jess just so fit in a 3 bank past that debris. And to my surprise Tallie came in hot with a 5 straight. She had to roll right to dodge two arcs and that left her within Jess’ range 1. It is likely that Tallie takes 3 damage here, and possible to roll a focus blank blank. I know I would have paid for that maneuver. In the end he lost half points and that put me clearly ahead. The rest of the shots had luck in my favor. I didn’t lose a single shield, his RedBastian lost one. And that was it.

Turn 5: Where to go now? Obviously ignore Tallie. I should be able to block some of his ships and get good shots, maybe even cause mass bumps. But I was uninspired and didn’t know how to get there. My idea was to 1bank the outside ships, Bastian and Jess. And 2bank the inside ships Finn and Snap. That way I would get the best of all worlds. I learned two things: one, that fits, you can 2bank the inner ships and 1bank the outer ships without bumping, independent of order. Two, Finn should not be in front because his 3k blocks Bastian’s 4k. He boosted with RedBastian after a 2bank, and that blocked my Snap. Additionally, Finn didn’t get a shot and my Bastian only had RedJess in arc. Not a good second turn of combat. The result was that my Snap got erased, RedBastian got down to 1hull, and RedJess lost 3 shield. That was a good outcome of a misplay. To make my mistake worse I forgot to take a free lock on RedBastian with my Bastian.. Overall he lost 11 HP and I lost 8, putting me clearly ahead.

Turn 6: Time to turn around. 3k for Finn, 3Tallon for Bastian as a 4k would bump, and 4k for Jess. However… this is why I shouldn’t play on weekdays after being up for 16h. I mistook RedJess for RedBastian, and that meant a 4k for my Jess clearly didn’t fit. What were my alternatives? Tallon rolls to the left or right. Left was not ideal but – in hindsight – would have been great because of his Bastian. Right was extremely tight and I honestly don’t think it would fit. Other options are to BB-roll right, bump RedTemmin and at least block the 4k for RedJess. Anyway not great options, but better than being stressed and facing the wrong direction. I had a tough decision to make here: Should Finn shoot RedBastian and remove a ship off the table? Or could I capitalize on a token-less RedJess and put more damage through with my Bastian? As it turns out I had a 53% chance to remove Jess entirely – and that is what happened. Much better than removing a 1hull Bastian, anyway. And you know how much damage I took in return? Zero! That put our overall damage at still 8 for him, and 15 for me. An almost un-losable game at this point, even if I was out of position.

Turn 7: Another uninspired turn on my part. Fatigue kicked in even harder and I simply went straight. The 1bank for Finn seems really obvious now. But even better: Why not close sfoils for Bastian, move 2 straight, and roll left? If RedTemmin goes straight he’ll either bump Bastian or be in range 1 or miss a shot. In any case my Finn gets a shot. But if RedTemmin does a bank right – the only realistic alternative to arc dodge – then I will again either block or shoot him. Instead we didn’t trade shots at all. Jess got ready to take out RedBastian, and Tallie cruised around, probably ready to turn in again.

Turn 8: Let me explain! I know what it looks like, but I had a reason! What if Tallie had turned in?! I admit that the reason was quite dumb, but it was there… Anyway, RedBastian tried to block Jess but I got through with a 3hard and a boost. At least Bastian had a shot on RedBastian, but despite a 46% chance I did not take him out. That was unfortunate but the more likely result – which I didn’t realize to be honest. Red dice are better than green dice, and I just assumed that any damage was the more likely case. RedTemmin took a shot on Jess who was too greedy with her boost and thus she lost 2 shields. 10-15 damage.

Turn 9: This is the turn I’m a bit disappointed about. I messed up and it is entirely my mistake, but I did not realize it at the time. But one by one. Finn covered the east flank against Tallie. Bastian went in to block RedTemmin, and Jess closed sfoils, turned in, and rolled left to snuggly fit between her wingmates. That sounds wrong but felt great. Now here’s the situation: Jess has a range 1 shot with her bullseye on a blocked, token-less RedTemmin. My Bastian has a range 1 shot on a token-less RedBastian. RedBastian will clearly die. Do you initiative-kill him with Jess, or do you use Jess to put damage into RedTemmin? I will give you a couple of seconds to think about…. If you found the solution: congratulations, you are an excellent decider of target priorities. And for everyone else who simply wants to enjoy the show: you shoot RedTemmin with Jess. Here are the numbers:
Jess had basically guaranteed 2 – 4 damage into RedTemmin, with 95% and 29%, respectively. In return, she had 57% chance to give up points, and a 22% chance to take 3 or more damage.
My Bastian had a 94% chance to kill RedBastian. And more importantly, only 5% chance to give up points by taking 3 damage. After all his S-foils were closed!
I decided wrong, and to add insult to injury he pushed 3 damage into Jess.
Overall damage: 13-16. To remind you, turn 6 had 8-15. I did a single damage in 3 turns. That is outrageously bad!

Turn 10

Turn 10: Time to disengage with Jess, who had the nasty damaged sensor array crit. Finn and Bastian can surely take down RedTemmin? 3hard from Bastian, 1bank from Finn. Tallie dodged them without getting a shot, and his Snap locked Finn, who subsequently only took a single damage.

Turn 11: I got RedTemmin into a nice kill box – but his list has the points for BlackOne! He punched the emergency button and noped out of two range 1 shots. Tallie put natties on the table, but so did I. Important to note that he didn’t take the ion token. I think that was the correct choice because it was trivial to outright murder him after a 1 straight. In other news, Jess repaired her crit.

Turn 12: Time started to run out and I needed some more points to feel safe. My dream maneuver was to 1bank Finn and then intentionally bump Bastian to block RedTemmin. Such an attack would push 2-3 damage through. That wasn’t enough yet, but a start. But I am quite sure that the 1bank already bumped Bastian, who instead took a 4k. RedTemmin bumped as predicted and the following 3v2 shot without modifications didn’t do any damage. That’s ok at 41% chance for 0 damage, but anyway hurt a bit. Jess did things and Tallie pursued.

Turn 13: Now this was the turn that I’m very salty about. I got RedTemmin almost perfectly. Range 1 for Bastian, and just barely missed range 1 for Finn’s shot. This attack should deal 4 damage at a chance of 68%. More importantly, all the moments where I didn’t do the single damage or more that I should have? Turns 7-8 where I chose the wrong maneuver, turn 9 where I took the wrong decision, and turn 12 where I was a bit unlucky? Removing 1 shield before the attack gives Bastian a target lock, and that puts the chance of outright destroying RedTemmin into the realm of possible at 31%! But I did only 2 damage and that broke me. At this point I was 18h up and after a long day of work and almost 2h game, on top realizing that I had just lost it had me lose heart. And once more to add insult to injury Jess took a damage against Tallie.

Turn 14: It is over… all hope is lost!

Turn 14: This might be seen as key turn when I see it as inevitable instead. His score jumped from 82 to 133 in this turn, destroying Jess and scoring half on Bastian. I have no clue what I was thinking with any ship. I don’t think it mattered anyway, but I was ahead on points and could have saved that over the finish line of two more turns.

Turn 15 had him running away even though he didn’t have to. The game ended 123-133.

Lessons/Conclusion:

  • The initial engagement has to be a success. Don’t time it so that it happens on the turning-in turn!;
  • TIL: 1bank outside, 2bank inside fits for a block;
  • TIL: 3v3 shots without modifications are more likely to deal zero damage (54%!) than any damage;

I misplayed the opening a bit – going slower and expecting the engagement west of the debris would have given me the better engagement. I can’t have the engagement on the turn when I turn in, instead it should be the one after. He surprised me a bit by going so fast, and I didn’t think he would fit bast the debris when he did. The targeting priority apart from turn 9 was good. Ignoring Tallie was good. Catching an ace with two arcs remains difficult but I at least blocked RedTemmin twice and RedJess once, that’s already an improvement…

I have three more games to write up. Unfortunately, two ended on turn 15 and that makes them a bit more work. One was a AniObiTorrent list where I colossally outplayed myself twice (Jess shot once all game…), was still ahead, and then lost to regen. The second was against a TIE swarm where I learned that I can’t joust it. The third was against a VCX list and I think I should/would win the matchup if I hadn’t messed it up that much.

Overall I need to get out of the aces mindset and more into the jouster mindset. Trading HP is fine, keeping distance is good, and keeping it simple is great.

Until next time, possibly after Euros as I’m a bit busy in the next two weeks!

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