Friday, May 1, 2015

Lack of green

Another game with my phantom list:
  • Sigma Squadron Pilot (34) x 2 - TIE Phantom (25), Recon Specialist (3), Sensor Jammer (4), Stygium Particle Accelerator (2)
  • Soontir Fel (32) - TIE Interceptor (27), Royal Guard TIE (0), Push the Limit (3), Autothrusters (2)

This time against another friend who was flying:
  • Wedge Antilles (44) - X-Wing (29), R2-D2 (4), Advanced Proton Torpedoes (6), Veteran Instincts (1), Engine Upgrade (4)
  • Han Solo (56) - YT-1300 (46), Stay on Target (2), C-3PO (3), Chewbacca (4), Millennium Falcon (1)
He has been flying imperial recently, specially Col. Vessery after another game between us where I was flying him together with a Lambda and two bombers. There are previous posts here with the list and the games of the tournament I used it.
The point is, he decided to fly Rebels because he knows that I favoured Imperials and he tried to emulate Col. Vessery based lists by using Wedge with engine upgrade as high mobile ship with a nice attack special ability.
The idea was/is great, however, it was not his day with the green dices. He never rolled evades, any evade, in the whole game. Seriously. It was the more karma deficient game I was in or watched.
I won the game, obviously, but the merit of my victory was his rolling of nothing on the green dices not any extraordinary flying from my side.

Set up
We rolled for initiative as both list were 100 points and I won the roll. Here I decided to get initiative to be able to shoot first with Soontir versus Han, and that was, I think, an error. Thanks to the Simultaneous Fire rule, even if Han manage to "destroy" Soontir, he (Soontir) can return fire before dying, alas with any critical effect from the attack from Han applied to him. Therefore, It should not make so much of a difference in the attack phase who of the two has initiative over the other.
However, in the activation phase, it can be important who moves first. My choice makes that Soontir moves before Han, therefore he can collide with him and lose his actions. This happened in this game :(
On the other hand, I could use Soontir, a PS 9 ship, as blocker! Which I did once in this game :)
Obstacles: we both took the biggest rocks :) and put them more or less symmetrical on the battlefield.
Deployment: having Initiative, I deployed all my ships before him on my right corner, phantoms on the front, Soontir in the centre back.
He angled Wedge towards Han, and both were facing to open lane between the asteroid on the right side.
Set Up
This time I was writing down our movement and actions and we also timed the game to one hour after Set Up.

First round:
All my ship did a 2 bank left, and the phantoms cloaked, Soontir focused just in case. Han moved 4 straight and Wedge 3 straight. This was a minor surprise for me as my opponent used to move always slow on the first round, which is why I moved also slow.
1st round after movement
Second round:
The phantoms did a decloak forwards and a 3 bank right going for a blocking position against Han. One of the phantoms recloaked, the one I was expecting to collide with Han; my idea here was that as he was not going to be able to fire on Han, it was maybe better to have him not firing at all but well protected against a possible attack from Wedge. The other one got double focus and readied himself to take fire.
Soontir did also a 3 bank right, followed by a boost and a barrel roll to get in a nice firing position close to the rock (set up picture: the one on the right back from my point of view; the picture for the 2nd round is turned 90°, the rocks you see on the right are actually the ones making the back line).
Han did a 2 bank right to avoid being blocked using Stay on Target and Wedge moved 4 forwards to get into a nice range 1 firing range with focus.
2nd round after movement
Wedge first, he managed to get 1 shield off the uncloaked phantom. Soontir attacked Wedge and removed 2 shields (beginning of the green dices disaster). Han did no damage and the phantom managed to land 1 hit and 1 critical hit on Wedge; the critical hit turned out to be the double damage and Wedge was dead.
Both of us were without words. His whole list concept was Wedge as Rebel counterpart to Col. Vessery. He has put the Fat Han there just to fill up the list and Wedge was gone in the first round of combat!
It was a freaking moment, seriously. We paused for a bit to talk about what just has happen and decided to finish the game anyway. After all, Han should be able to take care of himself, even if he was only "filler" on the list.
Note: Yes, I know that this sounds crazy, a Fat Han as filler, but if you stop a second to think about this, it makes sense. You are going to fly a two ship list, fine. One of those two ships is one that you have already used  in the past and which have a more or less fixed configuration, the Fat Han. Then, you can focus all you experiments in the other ship of your list. Therefore, Han is the filler, the guy with the permanent job; Wedge is the new guy on the team, the one you will like to play with and see what he can do. Well, that new guy was gone in the present case; so, maybe stop the game and reset it was not a bad idea, actually with the intention to try Wedge. However, we moved on :)

Third round:
Again the picture is turned 90°.
The cloaked phantom decloaked forward and performed a 3 left turn and cloaked again. The other one did a 3 left bank and no idea why it does not have any tokens on the picture, I am sure it took an action...
Soontir did a 2 left turn and barrel rolled right to get close to the initial position of the Falcon.
Han did a 1 right bank, moving around the rock and clearing the stress from the previous round.
3rd round after movement
Very brief this time, Han did nothing and Soontir removed 2 shields from him. Really, the green dices were cursed.

Fourth round:
Both phantom decloaked forward, one did a 1 left turn and the other did a 3 left turn to close on the Falcon, both did also double focus.
Soontir did a forward 2 and barrel rolled right, again trying to close as much on the Falcon as possible before it moves away.
Han went 2 forwards and evade.
4th round after movement
Soontir took away another 2 shields from Han, whereas the return fire from Han did nothing. The first Falcon removed the last shiled and did one damage to Han; the second one did four damage to him.
It was terrible to see so many blanks on the green dices, really. We were both of us first stunned than laughing about it as we both were not able to believe. It was ridiculous.

Fifth round:
One phantom did a 3 right turn and took double focus, the other one did a 2 right turn and a barrel roll to the left trying to get back to the fight.
Soontir did a 2 left bank and collided with Han, losing his actions.
Han was not sure what to do and Stayed in Target to do a left 1 turn. This was the first intention of my opponent, he changed his mind to a right turn and in view of the position of my phantoms decided to go back to the idea of turning left but the stress he got from that change of plans was terribly difficult to get rid off as there was an asteroid just in front of him which he was not going to be able to by pass with any green movement.
5th round after movement
Soontir did nothing to Han (finally!) and Han placed one critical damage on Soontir, the one reducing his Agility in one.

Sixth round:
The phantom closest to the back of the Falcon did a 3 left turn and collided with him. The other Falcon did a 2 left turn and a left barrel roll still trying to go back to the fight.
Soontir did a 1 left turn to avoid collision with Han followed by a boost forward and a barrel roll to the left to get into a nice firing position.
Han did a white 3 right bank as the green 2 will have him on the asteroid or at less flying over it, so he is still stressed from the previous Stay on Target.
6th round after movement
This round was crazy. Nothing happen ! :)

Seventh and last round:
The phantom on the back of Han did a 3 left bank and double focus, the other one a 3 left turn and barrel roll to cover a possible 1 left turn from Han.
Soontir. Well, this was a moment of craziness for me. I was looking to Han and Soontir on the battlefield and wondering how to manage to get Soontir close to the Falcon without colliding again with it when suddenly I realized that I could use Soontir as a blocker !
This was for me an eye opener moment as I would have never considered a PS 9 guy a blocker, but when the other guys fly after you, does not matter which PS you have, if you fly first, you can block; new golden rule for me: first to move, first to block :) :)
So, the baron moved 2 left turn and barrel rolled right, short, and right in front of the Falcon.
Han tried to clear the stress with a 1 left bank and collided with Soontir. Stress was gone but also any possible action.
7th and final round after movement
Han fired on the phantom on his seven without success and the return fire destroyed him.

Game over

In retrospective:

My red dices were on fire, as I got several times a lot of impacts and the green dices of my opponent were, well, greener than never. This was a pity as diluted the experience, but after a while it was so incredible that stopped being annoying and started being crazy-funny. I do not take any merit on this victory.

Stay on Target reads "When you reveal a manoeuvre, you may rotate your dial to another manoeuvre with the same speed. Treat that manoeuvre as a red manoeuvre". This card is a very good one but has a few pitfalls. First, the manoeuvre is red, which means that you cannot use it if you have already a stress token as a ship with a stress token cannot perform red manoeuvres (cf. core rules) and of course once performed, gives you a stress token which can be not so easy to remove. I liked the card a lot, it gives you a lot of flexibility (you pay for it, of course, but the flexibility is there). In the past I played a Fettigator (Boba Fett and Navigator) just because the flexibility it offers. There was a theory about this combination being a good way to counter pre-FAQ phantoms (using also Veteran Instincts to push Boba into PS 10). Maybe it could be combined also with him or even in a named phantom for extra options...

Blocking with phantoms is still a thing I will like to consider more as I'm still not so sure about my idea of cloaking when I expect the blocking phantom to be collided with. In this game I lost a shoot on Wedge for this reason. Yes, in this particular game I did not needed it, but that is not the point. From a strategical point of view maybe is better not to recloak and be able to attack.

Cloaking-Decloaking: this is something I still need to work on. I still have times when my phantoms are cloaked and I need them to decloak to be able to fire but doing so will put them in not so optimal positions to attack. This can be annoying and a serious problem.

Soontir: as good as usual, but recently it was suggested to me to replace him with Carnor Jax (Enemy ships at Range 1 cannot perform focus or evade actions and cannot spend focus or evade tokens) with the same upgrades which will make the four/five attack dice of the phantoms even more dangerous. I think this is a great suggestion and I am looking forward to try it, although I have only used him once and I am not so sure how to fly with him. I think I will miss the stress-focus from Soontir...

What if:
I am very curious about a parallel universe where on the second round of this game, Wedge and Han managed to destroy one of my phantoms on that single round, before he was able to fire, letting me with a cloaked phantom and Soontir at the end of round two.
We need to play again with those same lists :) :)

1 comment:

Ricardo Oltra said...

You deserve the victory, inspite of the dice and everything, you played well. And we'll definitely play again with these lists, even if just to see Wedge doing something this time...
Your opponent