Galaxies: Mustafar

Galaxy event number six! Set in Dallas, Texas, Mustafar, it is the first and last Galaxy event using the Hyperspace format. That means two things for us: We have no clue what to expect in particular, and we kind of have a good idea what to expect in general.

Hyperspace was the more balanced and due to that the better competitive format. The ship count per list is usually higher, we see more generics, fewer pre-movement and post-movement reposition, fewer passive modifications. Or that is what we could expect in the first half of 2020. Let’s see if that still holds true in this one event.

Swiss

The total number of players that showed up for the first game was 163. If you take a look at the lists, you’ll see 178 though. Two never entered a list, and 13 did not show up for the first game. I exclude those because we have no idea how well they might have done. The cut will be to top32, which gives us a 19.6% base conversion rate: around one in five of each faction should advance in a perfectly balanced, random game.

Fig. 1: participants
Fig. 2: percentages per faction

Two factions stand out: Imperials at five lists, and First Order at massive 44! That’s double FO to what we would expect. We also see more Republic and Scum, compensated with low Resistance. This does not mean that imperials are bad. It means that the community believes they’ll have better chances and/or more fun playing something other than Empire and Resistance. I wonder why though. The option of 6 Strikers or 6 Squints is at least half-decent. Vader lacks afterburners, but arguably needs them less in this format, too. And 5th Brother+7th Sister are solid pieces that just made a deep run into Ryloth. Vermeil and Ved Foslo are also available. Then we have of course Duchess. I understand feeling less enthusiastic about the options – but I do not understand that only 5 people ended up choosing the faction. Similarly, Resistance. I’ll be the first to say that 5A has massive problems in hyperspace due to massed 3 agility ships, but the list is not bad. And there are other options like Poe + 3 Rookies. Be that as it may, the player base did not agree and only very few brought Empire or Resistance.
On the other side, First Order has a massive number of lists. 10 players brough some variation of a Xi and 6 other lists. I also count it as variation if 3 Epsilons are replaced by Kylo though. Speaking of, there were a lot of Kylos, almost half of all lists brought him. Curious to me that Holo+3SJE was “only” brought six times. Curious because it was able to punch with the heavy weights in Extended.
Separatists are also interesting. I personally expected a lot of Spamtex. The crackshot is amazing, but how necessary is it really in this environment? Of 23 players brought 5 Droid Swarms, 7 Spamtex, and 6 something between 3 to 5 HMP gunships: 3x the pure 4HMP, one replaced one with Maul, another one with a bomber, and one player brought 5 gunships.
But the reigning king of Hyperspace has been Boba, and clearly the community does not see that changing anytime soon. A massive 20 out of 28 Scum players brought Boba.

Top 32 cut

So much for the swiss. If we take the cut into consideration we’ll see a pretty balanced game overall.

Fig. 3: swiss vs cut

One in 5? That seems pretty accurate at a glance! Easier to compare visually though as shown below:

Fig. 4: expected vs observed

The Republic – once more – struggles a bit. I do not know why that is the case. They have some amazing tools. We see individual players perform very consistently with the faction (shout out to Tommy Adams for running an almost identical list in Ryloth and Mustafar, making cut in both!) and good squads are available. My opinion is that list building is not easy with that faction in particular, and there are many non-optimal choices. With more events we might see clearer recommendations, but right now it takes someone who really understands the faction to build a good list and can put the tools to work on the table.

Top 32 lists

A single event does not tell us whether a list is too good. We can gain hints from one, but we’d need more people try and succeed to say anything meaningful. We saw Spamtex dominate with numerous, consistent 6-0 finishes over several events. Nothing like that happened at Mustafar.

Fig. 5: the lists, and the cost of their individual ships. Grey is the total list cost.

I’ll talk through some lists a bit, from left to right. The Holo Salad has Tina and 3 SFs (2 with SF gunner). There are probably a lot of these lists that – unlike in Republic – just work well. The Malware is Malarus+Terex with 6 Epsilons. A clear case, we expected it to do well and it did: both players who brought it made cut! Maybe relevant to note here that the second inherited a spot due to a dropping player – but did well enough to get into that position anyway. Several others had the idea of substituting 2-3 Epsilons with something else, like a Silencer or even Kylo, and someone tried Gideon instead. Apparently, pure Malware with Malarus+Terex and 6 FOs is the way to go.
FO aces with Kylo, Vonreg and Rush makes sense to me. As does Holo+3SJE, which I’ve talked about already. 6 brought it, 2 made cut. Kylo and 3 BAs is the inferior version (even if it did win on stream, I saw that too). Kylo with 3 SFs seems to be more decent. Triple Silencers with Kylo+Blackout+1SJE, or Quad Silencers with only SJEs also makes good use of the incredible statline.

The sole imperial list is brought to you by Gold Squadron Co-Host Will Haigwood. He brought Vader, Maarek Steele (both with FCS), IntimidationVermeil and Mauler with Deadeye Shot. Apparently it worked for a very good 5-1 finish, coming in at 10th/163.

The four Republic lists have: the previously linked salad by MegaSilver, the very solid Warthog+3ARCs, a cool version with Obi+Warthog and 3 V19s, and finally the very solid Broadside+4Jediknights. It is tricky to group the remaining 25 lists in any way, so I won’t even try. But these four here make sense to me.

Rebels rediscovered Norra, it seems. She starrs in two of the three lists. Another rediscovery are large bases – a majority (15/24) brought at least one large base ship, usually a Falcon, to try their luck. Similar to the Republic, Rebels cannot decide on what to bring. The 24 lists had 18 different combinations of ships, not pilots! Han Jake Luke was a favorite (3x), but didn’t make cut. And similarly to Republic, I’d expect the community to settle on fewer lists after more events. But right now nobody knows what does and doesn’t work here, or so it seems to me.

The Resistance! The faction I play the most. And the two lists that made cut are the list I play the most. Or played, because I am convinced that 5A has a really hard time in the current meta. Looking at the individual games confirms my suspicion.

Fig. 6: matchups for 5A

The wins are largely against 1-2 agility ships. The outliers are the self-tractoring Spamtex and one game against Kylo Vonreg Gideon. That is a lucky tournament day regarding matchups. I am not saying that this makes it easy, far from it. Every 5A game is a balancing act on knife’s edge.
Going back to Resistance in general, I’ve mentioned some alternatives at the beginning. I wonder what more hyperspace events would bring, but 5A is not yet the only option. In a week though… we’ll see! The only two 5A lists made cut though.

Scum is a bit disheartening. I’ve tried my best on the forums and different channels to point out the really cool Scum lists that do well. You know, the scummy ones with dirty tricks. But hyperspace might remove too many tools for that faction, and so the player base reverted back to the known qualities: Boba, and massed 3 agi swarms with 3 dice guns. One BobaFenn, four DoubleFiresprays, and two Sick Scyk Six lists (brought to us by the mad genius from the StayOnTheLeader blog, made infamous by Akhter Khan) of which one dropped. So 5/20 Bobas made cut. That’s not horrible, is it? A bit higher than the expected 4, but that might as well be daily variance. From that perspective there is nothing to complain about.

And finally Separatists, four lists in the cut. Here is one thing I do not get: what happened to Droid Swarms? They got a one-point increase on the common drones and suddenly should be unplayable? After they dominated hyperspace before? If you think that is true, then there is no point value for basic vultures where they are fine. So either we should be sad, or people saying this should rethink their position.
But it is anyways baloney: five people brought the swarms, and Dom (who is very good as I could find out myself!) made cut with it, bringing 3 bombers and 4 vultures. The HMPs made quite the splash after Ryloth, and one out of the 6-ish lists made it. Spamtex had a better rate, because two out of the seven lists advanced.

Let’s go back to the assumptions that make fort hyperspace so easily defensible:

  • More balanced? Check
  • Higher shipcount? Unclear, I’ll need the listfortress entry to say
  • More generics? Seems like it, but I am not yet sure
  • Fewer pre-maneuver reposition? Definitely, at most you’d get a coordinate here
  • Fewer passive mods? Ehh… maybe? The prevalence of Boba and Kylo shows that passive mods are also widespread

The big problem looming on the horizon are the massed 3agility ships. Hopefully that won’t become overly important. But for now, hyperspace seems like the more balanced format.

Does that make it more fun?

No one can answer this question but you.

I enjoy my different lists from different factions for the different formats. I wouldn’t play 6 strikers in extended, and I can’t play Rey in hyperspace. As long as I have the choice between them I see no reason to complain; I’d much rather pew pew!

Asfor Mustafar, let’s see who will have the highground. Until next time!

2 thoughts on “Galaxies: Mustafar

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