Why would you even want to practice an opening? For me, it is to a large degree about a mental buffer. I do it to free up capacities that allows me to focus on other things and to give myself a small confidence boost. They place an obstacle there? No worries, I have my spot already in mind. They set up in this corner or that corner? No problem, I know what to do.
I want to emphasize that you have to temper that predetermined opening with flexibility. My answer is not to abandon openings – it is to have more available.
You can see the list below. It’s a ridiculously strong jouster list. The 2 B-Wings and Dutch have double modified 3dice attacks. Arvel should have that too, hopefully at range 0 where he reduces agility by 1, and ideally gets a lock from Dutch. On top of all that, Ten can add a 5th attack to the list. That can be between 2 and 4 dice, and sometimes gets a modification with a focus or his ability. Check here for a more detailed list spotlight.
Braylen Stramm (Total: 55), Hull Upgrade
Ten Numb (Total: 55), Fire-Control System, Autoblasters, Stabilized S-Foils
“Dutch” Vander (Total: 53), Proton Torpedoes
Arvel Crynyd (Total: 37), Intimidation
My goal for this particular opening is to move diagonally through the middle of the map. I want to keep options open, but also allow myself to simply joust by turn 2-3.
Above are the setup and the end position. But I didn’t start at either of them. Instead, I started at the image on the left, below:
I want both B-Wings next to each other and Dutch with his Protontorpedoes behind them. No strangely distorted formation, just a nice small triangle. So I built the end formation and set them into the corner. Then I flipped the ships and moved back into the deployment zone. First, I tested a 1 straight and a 1 bank. But that was not quite enough. A 2bank nearly is.
You can see how they are almost in the starting zone, and Braylen is even at a spot that can be found very easily – 1 range band from the side. Dutch is all the way in the back, and his edge is along one of the bullseye lines. Ten is just a bit offset from Braylen. That’s it. I have my starting position for the three jousters of the list. They start with a 2bank, and then do forwards of speeds 1-3, however I need it. Ideally, I will stay just outside of range 3 in one turn and jump in on the next.
On to place Arvel. He is much faster, and he wants to be in front of the others for the first engagement. I place him facing the side, at range 4 from the side where the rest will set up. That way, the first round will see him turn into the middle and keeps him back far enough. The second turn he simply does a 2 straight – or something adapted, however I anticipate the block. The engagement round is full speed ahead, and the boost allows me to hopefully land the block.
But what if those lanes are occupied by an obstacle? Don’t worry, we can prevent that. One of the two sides will be free, and that’s why I placed that debris at W2-S3. Range 2 from the left side (“west”), range 3 from my edge (“south”). It has to be a relatively small obstacle so it won’t hinder Braylen. The second debris might not be necessary, but at E4-S3 it serves the same purpose as it keeps the lane of Arvel and the forward position of the jousters free. The rest really depends on where there are obstacles. And even if the lanes are not entirely free – I should have enough turns to adapt my path with barrel rolls or small maneuver changes. The straights could be banks, for example.
Now I have to test it. Maybe the idea to move through the middle like this is not feasible at all. Maybe it is, but my perticular version has disadvantages. I expect that a test will give me a better idea on where to place obstacles. And maybe it will turn out that the whole idea is flawed. Maybe it does work, but only against very jousty lists. I have my suspicions, but only testing will tell.
While I was at it, I quickly did a second opening where they move along the edge for a total of 8 lengths and then turn in with a 2 hard. I used the same procedure: pick a position and formation, then move backwards into the deployment zone. Adjust to make it fit, and move forward again to check whether it all still fits.
This straight opening allows me to use the same W2-S3 obstacle, this time as pivot rock. The huge difference is that this second opening is much slower. The leading ship, Braylen, is roughly 5 ship lengths further to the edge compared to the diagonal opening.
That’s it for today. I hope this can help you to find a good opening on your own. Until next time!