The interesting part about playing Armada against yourself is it is easy to react and constantly second guess yourself. To get around this element as much as possible, I attempted to do in my mind the course of action that would provide the most amount of damage in the following position to the enemy force. With that in mind please leave logic and reasoning at the cantina.
The Rebel Herd was the first player and took Contested Outpost as the objective. This was chosen in order to not impact their fire power from Solar Corona, and the second reason being none of the Imperial Fleet needed extra dice from Opening Salvo.
From the Rebel point of view the fleet was basically trying to achieve the same thing with a twist. It would have to eventually turn to bring all of its gun to bear on the Imperial fleet. I placed the CR90's on either flanks hoping to zoom them around to get in behind or the most annoying position possible to see if they could achieve some moderate unchecked damage.
Keep in mind these photos are taken after each turn. I will look at an alternative way to present these reports clearer in the future.
Next up the VSD pushes forward staying at speed 1 but banking the navigation command dial. Although jumping up to speed 2 would get me into firing range next turn, it would also put me against 2-3 other ships firing arcs and it was the ultimate way to being disassembled. By staying slow it would allow the ISD to continue to peel around the flank and catch up.
The MC30c Frigate designated '19' kept its speed at 1, ready to when the time was right, banking its navigate token. In response, on of the Raiders pushed forward maintaining its distance from the Star Destoyers. Both the Assault Carrier and remaining Scout Frigate pushed ahead slowly closing towards the Outpost.
I delayed moving the ISD as long as possible in order to try and catch the CR90 opposite with some shots however being that the Rebel fleet has more activations, it was never going to work in favour of the Empire. Eventually the ISD moves staying at speed 2 turning to face the Outpost ignoring the CR90. The CR90 springs its own trap, blasting off 2 shields as the ISD spends a Redirect token.
The pair of Firespray get into range 1 of the MC30c and through combined fire manage to remove a single shield.
The Rebels gain a victory point token for having the most amount of command value within range 1 of the Contested Outpost.
It took me the longest time to decide which ship to move first as there was a lot of options and of course solid counters to most of those options, all of which are difficult to describe and remember via photos and text!
The MC30c speeds off first ensuring it doesn't get caught out in the front arc of the ISD, it blasts away chipping a few shields off the ISD as it spends a redirect token and another volley does provides a similar outcome to the VSD.
Both of the CR90's push off with one gaining some damage through onto the ISD. They are matched by the activations of the Raiders as they push forward in order to get some damage through onto the Assault Carrier the following turn.
All of this space dancing forces the Assault Carrier to move first slugging it out with the ISD. Redirect tokens are spent and the MC80 cruises forward keeping its broadsides ready to go the following turn. In reply, the ISD fires back inflicting heavy shielding damage. The MC80 is forced to spend a brace token which is targeted by the Avenger's Intel Officer burning it altogether as the XI7 Turbolasers ensure the damage cannot be spread around.
The bounty hunter contingent plug off a shield or two of the Rebel flagship as the Imperial Navy claims an objective token.
The VSD copped the Frigates full broadside with the critical effect being structural damage. Being at range 1 of Home One allowed a much needed accuracy result to come up putting a stop to the VSD's brace token. The Frigate then moved off away from return fire.
Before the VSD turns into space dust it was time to activate it and get the most out of it. It unloads into the MC30c yet to activate. Between Ordnance Experts, Assault Proton Torpedoes, and Admiral Screed, the Frigate barely escapes alive limping on a single hull point. It doesn't have the chance to escape however as the VSD increases to speed 2, breaking the ship in half. It does however leave the VSD on a single hull point as well and in sights of the Assault Carrier.
Home Once activates prepared to sell its life dearly. It targets the VSD with its front arc, and even though its shot aren't many, its enough to get through and score the last hit required to detonate the ship. Its broadsides are bought to bear onto the ISD however the roll is just spectacularly crap. From memory it was 2-3 blank dice which is very difficult to recover from. It eats away most of the shields remaining off the ISD but with no brace token, it wasn't looking optimistic for the MC80.
The Avenger activates unloading its front arc of fire into the Assault Carrier and it's more than enough to destroy the Rebel fleets flagship. It then throws some shots out the flank catching the CR90 in a horrific barrage before increasing speed and taking chase to the remaining MC30c.
The Raiders and CR90's both activate doing there thing, cruising around the battlefield whilst the Firespray's move towards the CR90's.
With most of the ships in range, the objective token goes to the Imperial forces.
The CR90 peeled off into a corner of the table whilst its sister ship was trapped going forward into a pair of hungry Firespray's who eventually dispatched it with ease.
Having no ships within range 1 of the Outpost meant no objective token was awarded this round.
The game itself was interesting. The turn 3 setup which turned into the turn 4 firefight was the climax of the battle with the Imperial fleet losing a VSD in exchange for the Assault Cruiser and a Frigate. As a Rebel player, I look back on the game and wonder how to alter the outcome. Rather than think about what upgrades could have changed the game (such as Electronic Countermeasures on the Assault Carrier to save some tokens), I'd rather look out how deployment and superior manoeuvring could have won the day. I'd like to think that the MC30c's were in supportive positions however, clearly the results speak for themselves. One element of the game I do struggle with, is shooting first then moving and really need to make a conscious shift in regards to moving ships to set them up for firing the next turn. Perhaps the CR90's needed to be used more aggressively in order to get more shots off in the early game?
From an Imperial point of view even though they won the day, there are a lot of improvements to be made. The upgrades that were selected worked well but I have a long way to go before mastering the art of the Raider-I. Touching on the above about pro-actively looking for the setup the next turn but also perhaps creating a second 'wave' of ships that can either catch the enemy out on 'mop up' duty or send the Raiders in first to soften up the targets whilst the larger ISD and VSD destroy. Ironically enough though this then totally changes the whole reasoning and approach for the fleet in the first place which is natural seeing as my play style will ultimately change as more and more games happen.
If you've managed to read this far then thank you so much for the massive wall of text! I hope to get another report up like this and hone my Armada battle reporting skills.