Matt made the trek over for our usual Armada night at Gamez and More in Byron. He’d been missing for awhile cause well, life, so was a great treat to match up fleets and get a game in.
I decided to pull out a somewhat old list idea and mix in some wave 5 goodness to see what I could do with it. I had this triple Gladiator list that I mixed with lots of rogue squadrons in the past that was mighty fun to play but a slight challenge since Gladiators can be focused fired down pretty easily if you can pin them down.
So in this list, I kept Ozzel as my admiral, stayed with two decked out Gladiators, Demolisher and Incidious each with APTs, Engine Techs, Ord experts, then added in a Raider with Sensor teams so it could go after transports and the Kallus for AA, next a Gozanti with Bomber command which I later realized was crazy stupid. For Squadrons, Major Rhymer and 5 VTs.
Matt showed up with Motti on an ISD and two VSDs, with 4 TIE interceptors for squadrons. They were reasonably kitted out, Ord experts on the VSDs, XI7s in some cases, not quite Christmas trees but plenty. Matt had the point bid and decided to go with Player 1 and thus picked my Contested Outpost.
Starting out, quite the pickle, my 392 pt bid not being enough AND outgunned.
I decided to put Demolisher on the left flank to swing around, with my squadrons and paltry Raider and Gozanti in the middle to grab victory tokens for perhaps a few turns. Pretty obvious the Imperial March wasn’t playing for me in this game.
At the end of turn 2 I threw Rhymer forward into range of the left most (picture left) VSD and then dropped the VTs next to him to fire on the ship. The 3 blue die, not being bomber rated did amazingly well and nearly burned all of the VSDs shields away. This is where i realized my Bomber Command error, after all, it can’t help VTs.
Through turn 3, Matt threw his fighters in to break up my VT party. Matt’s fighters when right after Rhymer and he was destroyed quickly. I moved Demo and Incidious in at short range of Matt’s VSD. It’s missing from this picture. Yeah, that’s how it went. Even tho Matt as player 1 was able to activate first, and shoot at Demo at short range with 3 reds, 4 blacks with a concentrate fire landing damage, it wasn’t enough. On my activation, between Demo and one lone VT that wasn’t engaged, the necessary 10 hits fell and that was it for one VSD.
The squadron battle was brief. With 3 black die per VT, they pretty much dealt with the TIE interceptors and their 3 hull over the course of 2 turns to then get back to going after ships.
Next up, the ISD would get all my attention.
The bait… I mean Raider and Gozanti were needing to get out of there, but they were just going speed 1 and I was using them to throw squadron orders so that the VTs would shoot earlier in the round.
The VTs once again were doing great at stripping shields in order to setup the shots for the Gladiators. Matt was having to face the decision of burning engineering tokens against 2-3 hits per attack or brace or redirect or save to just take the damage. With 5 VTs buzzing around, that’s some pressure as those tokens go fast. I did my best to put the VTs in the same arcs as likely fire at ships so that would minimize them taking AA.
Matt would blow the Gozanti out of the water with the ISD. Basically a choice of shoot the Raider, the Gozani, or the VTs. He didn’t have Gunnery teams on his ISD.
The VTs would finish off the ISD on turn 5, scoring the last 7 hits needed. My two Gladiators were slightly out of position to get some good shots. Demo had the better approach and was able to get off a long range shot on the remaining VSD and then a turn 6, long range and then short range broad side. Mixed with the 4 remaining VTs, the last VSD was down to just 2 hull left at the end of the game.
We each had 3 victory tokens, so it ended up about 360 – 140 as a final score.
When the game started I really didn’t think I had much of a chance. The Gladiators historically haven’t done well against large ships, especially with Motti on board to amp up their hull ratings.
The VTs over performed for how I expected them to go. The anti squadron of 3 black die was delivering generally ~2 hits a turn and against the TIE intercepts that was enough to dispatch them quickly. The 3 blue against ships without a bomber rating I just did not thing would deliver at all and yet it did. Coupled with rogue, they seemed better than Firesprays which I wouldn’t have believed to be the case while just chucking two blue, are bomber rated. None the less, against this kind of fleet with a modest fighter escort, it did well and the VTs were the work horse.
How might this kind of list work against a Rebel fighter aces build is a good question, perhaps to be answered on another day.