Today we look at the top table and the surprise winning list of the Armada US Nationals.
Armada Nationals went down last week in the US at Columbus, OH. This was a somewhat strange event, there was very little fanfare and information about it was hard to come by. I’ve also heard that the same is true of national events in other countries. The event took place on Wednesday the 15 and Thursday the 16th at Origins Game Fair in Columbus. Even if it was during a major con it’s very odd to see a mid week event. Despite the seemingly low attention we did get some very good information from the event, including a great play by play of the final from Armada forum user BiggsIRL. You can read the whole thing here. That final table came down to a classic Rebel vs. Imperial battle, featuring two distinct fleets and a very surprising result.
Squaring off at the top table for the last round we had a classic match up of Rebels vs Imperials. The Imperial player, Troy, took a hard hitting but reliable all stars list. His list in full was:
Imperials Star Destroyer I w/ Motti, Leading Shots and XI7 Turbolasers
Gladiator Star Destroyer 1 w/ Demolisher, Assault Proton Torpedoes Ordnance Experts and Engine Techs
Total: 400 pts.
When talking about meta trends last week I pointed out that Motti, Demolisher and Major Rhymer were huge in the Imperial meta. At least one showed up in almost every winning Imperial Fleet. Here in Troy’s fleet we see all three. I don’t think any fleet could more perfectly sum up Imperial meta right now.
While the Imperials player stayed to what you would expect given the meta, Rebel player Quynh took a very different approach. Quynh ended up taking, to me at least, a very unique fleet that flew directly in the face of meta as we have seen it. His fleet was:
CR90A w/ Turbolaser Reroute Circuits
CR90A w/ Turbolaser Reroute Circuits
CR90A w/ Mon Mothma, Turbolaser Reroute Circuits and Jaina’s Light
MC30c Torpedo Frigate w/Admonition, Lando Calrissian, Assault Proton Torpedoes and Ordnance Experts
Total: 397 pts
The biggest thing in Quynh’s fleet is by far the inclusion of eight YT-2400s. This gave the fleet a powerful and independent fighter force. The YT-2400s are great anti-squadrons choices, as well as being tough and speedy. The black anti-ship dice gives them respectable firepower against the big guys. All-in-all they are pretty similar to lasts year’s favorite the A-Wing, just with the addition of rogue. I do think one of the reasons this choice was surprising to me and why we don’t see it often is simply cost. Getting a force of 8 YT-2400s is a bit costly, even if you go though trading/secondary retailers.
The other interesting combo in Quynh’s list is Lando and Admonition on the MC30c, with Mon Mothma as the fleet admiral. Mon Mothma has not been a popular admiral during regionals. Very few Rebel players used her and none of the winning lists included her. To see her pop up here for a win at the nationals is very encouraging. It’s easy to see how power the combo power she brings is though. The light standoffish nature of the Turbolaser Reroute Circuits CR90s is perfect for her. The MC30 is the big punch of the fleet, but these ships are fragile and often die before their time.
Between Admonition and Mon Mothma however you have the ability to out right discard two of the enemies dice at medium/long range (Admonition also ignores accuracy dice). Lando provides that extra back-up to force a reroll on the ship killing shot. It’s worth pointing out that this is not a long term survivability plan. It’s simply to allow the ship to get in close, survive the one heavy turn of shooting it might face, and get off its attacks. For that limited purpose it is very effective.
In the actual game itself Quynh won the bid and decided to go second, picking Intel Sweep for the mission. Jaina’s Light was Quynh’s objective ship and the Raider was Troy’s. Both players went at each other at just about full speed and the fight got bloody quick. Troy’s ISD died towards the end of Round Two. But Admonition used all its abilities to survive the frontal attack of the ISD and the beating from Demolisher.
That proved to be the deciding turn for the game. Though both Jaina’s Light and Admonition where eventually shot down, Tony ended up conceding when his Raider was destroyed mid turn 4. With that we have Quynh’s Rebel list as the US national champion.
This was an exciting and fitting end game for nationals. We got a really amazing match up between an Imperial list that was meta to the extreme and a Rebel list that bucked a lot of the conventional wisdom on the game. This was a great example of how meta changes and evolves and also of how player skill is a huge deciding factor. A good player can take a really flexible and maneuverable list and do amazing things with it. Just about any list can win in with the right player.
On the other hand I think it’s dangerous to draw too much from this one game, or even this one event. Nationals are an open event, so anyone can show up. Given that FFG made the odd decision to hold them on a Wednesday and Thursday, even if it was during Origins, attendance was somewhat limited. This should not really be taken as all the best players in the US competing at this one event. Moreover since this was only one event I’d say the wider ramifications are still uncertain. Regardless, the US has a champion and there is a new list to be beat.
That’s all for today BoLS fans! Did you go nationals? And what do you think of the lists and the winner? Let us know in the comments below!
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*Art by Jakob Staermose.