Boy, That Escalated Quickly

For those denizens of the House of Paincakes, this won’t come as a surprise.

I’m SW Armada these days.

What might come as a surprise is just how quickly this got out of hand:

  • July 1st, 2015 – Funds approved for expansion of hobby in light of local sale.
  • July 1st, 2015 – First game played (with Mrs. Oak)
  • July 5th, 2015 – Vassal discovered, installed, poked around in.
  • July 7th, 2015 – SWAFT discovered, several theoretical lists made.
  • July 10th, 2015 – Second game played (with cousins of Mrs. Oak).  IT WAS EPIC.
  • July 12th, 2015 – ALL THE THINGS BOUGHT.
    • MOAR Dice
    • Imperial Gladiator Class
    • Imperial Squadron Pack
    • Rebel Assault Frigate Mk. II
    • Rebel Squadron Pack

It took less than 12 days and two games to become fully involved in this.  No regrets either, because the game is absolutely fantastic.

I might have been playtesting a pair of my lists  (by myself) when I shot this picture.
I might have been playtesting a pair of my lists (by myself) when I shot this picture.

Without going into too much detail, I love how simple the rules are to understand.  I also enjoy how difficult the game is to master.  There’s a different way of thinking when you start to plan out your ship’s movement… “Wait, so I can’t pivot on the spot and BLAST SOMEONE?  Huh.”

The ships really do feel lumbering, and manoeuvring them around a table while: a) avoiding obstacles, b) avoiding other ships, some of them malicious, c) keeping maximum weapons baring on your target, d) making sure you don’t over-shoot everything and go flying off the table.

As if to drive this point across, you’re also forced to plan a few turns ahead with certain ships, making it more difficult to adapt to fast-changing circumstances.

For example, at one point the Rebel Assault Frigate suffered a Ruptured Engine while going at a zippy clip of 3.  A ruptured engine deals damage to the ship whenever you complete a maneuver and your speed is greater than 1.  This is a huge problem, because I wasn’t planning on slamming on the brakes 3 turns ago, and the only way to change speeds is via the Navigation Command on the dial, or getting a token somehow.

So some clever strategery needs to happen in order to cover yourself otherwise you might get completely hosed.

There were some rules issues that I’m still working my way through:

  1. The Squadron Command, and squadrons in general.
    1. The first game I played, I assumed squadrons could move and shoot in the same activation.  This turned out to be false.  During the Squadron Phase, squadrons can only move or shot, not both.
    2. There is an exception to the above, and this is through use of the Squadron Command, which allows a squadron to move and shoot in any order.  This is obviously a game changer, and makes “Aircraft Carrier” type builds extremely effective, particularly with large groups of interceptors or bombers.  I’m only now starting to put together possible synergies to take advantage of this command.
  2. Being Obstructed doesn’t mean that you have to pick a new target.
    1. This is a huge derp for me, because I read the rules such that you cannot shoot through another ship or obstacle.
    2. As it turns out you can shoot through another ship, but you need to sacrifice one of your attack die to do so.  Another game changer.
    3. The exception to the above is that you can’t attack a hull zone through another hull zone of the defending ship.  I think this is where I got kind of crossed up on this rule.
  3. The interaction between LoS and Firing Arcs is sometimes a little odd.
    1. The defending hull zone needs to be within the firing arc of the attacking ship, and you need to be able to trace a line between the two yellow pips of the hull zones.
    2. You’d think the above is straightforward, but in practice it can be weird.

Anyways guys, more reflections (and maybe a batrep) to be coming sometime soon.  Cheers!!!

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13 thoughts on “Boy, That Escalated Quickly”

  1. It’s great have another system to play and immerse yourself in gives you that new hobbyists enthusiasm again it’s been infinity for me.

    By the looks of your playtest pics space ships fight in a much lower orbit than you might expect 😉

    1. It’s true! I just hope this isn’t the start of a boom and bust mentality, where I move from system to system blowing wads of cash on unfinished projects along the way. Fortunately, everything’s prepainted so I don’t have anything to add to the queue 😀

      I like playing on the Matt better than on raw OSB plywood… So perhaps think of it as an immense green and brown nebula… *shifty eyes*

        1. I’m still trying to work out in my mind’s eye how to prime the damn things. I’ve never worked on anything so small before! Do you tape up the “menorahs” and prime it that way? Something a bit more elaborate?

          1. Honestly, I didn’t prime them, as an experiment. They take paint about like Reaper Bones figures do, which is to say, be a little patient and you’re fine. I’ll hit them with varnish at the end, though, just to be sure. If I felt like it, I’d probably hold them in place by just sticking them to a piece of tape and priming.

  2. Plastic crack is plastic crack and you’ve just found a new dealer for it is all 😉

    It does look like a cool game and I could definitely get behind it if A) I had the time B) I had the money.

    1. B) is basically what was holding me back from getting into X-wing, and the scale was a bit off-putting. I wanted something grander. This game scratches both itches. I don’t mind at all if you live vicariously through me 😀

  3. Hey Oakenhawk – Thanks for the trackback to my Armada Vassal article on 3++. By weird coincidence, I just got the same FAT Mat yesterday, and am planning to use it for a low orbit fight. BTW their snow map is also awesome, and perfect for hoth.

    Now the real reason I am posting here – let me know if you want a game on vassal some time. I’ve done 3 on there now, and it gets very easy to use very quickly.

    Thanks!

    Matt-Shadowlord

    1. Hoth! Hadn’t considered that! I’m hotly debating picking up one of their larger space mats but I’ve completely roasted by hobby budget for this…. *does some quick math* …….decade….. so I’ll have to hold off for now.

      I’m very much interested in getting in a Vassal game sometime!!!! — unfortunately last week there was a death in the family so I was seeing to those matters.

      What times are you typically available? What time zone are you in?

      I might be able to do something Sunday or Monday evening. Hit me back!

    1. Still waiting for Wave 2…? You can always hop on Vassal (per Mr. The Shadowlord above) and give it a try there… The rules are fully published online by FFG so there’s actually zero sunken cost if you’re willing to try it out digitally.

      And not a problem with the posts. These days I’m just writing about what I’m up to. Which isn’t much, because I’m starting to work 6 days a week at 10 hour days 😦

      1. Hey sometimes that’s all we want to see, what our buddies are up to! I’ll try out the vassal stuff, thanks!

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