SW ARMADA: The Unbeatable Lists

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GladiatorClassStarDestroyer
Today we look at the top two lists that threw down at GENCON 2016 and see what makes them tick.

 lists taken directly from the forums and the play by play brought to you by mythics.
Norm Weir
Isd: gunner team, wulff yularen boosted coms ecm relentless
gladiator: apt ordance experts engine techs monferrat ozziel demo
boba fet dengar firespray mauler rhymer vader soonter fel
Dong Lee
isd: motii ecm boosted coms needatrc avenger
gladiator: monferrat apt engine techs ordance experts demo
mauler dengar rhymer 2xtie advanced 2xtie bomber 2xfirespray
Both lists are running Rhymerballs with the long-forgotten art of 2-ships, with Demolisher in both of them.
imperial-ii-class-star-destroyer
gladiator-i
First, let’s breakdown the lists in points form right now.

Norm Weir’s List

Faction: Galactic Empire
Points: 390/400
Commander: Admiral OzzelAssault Objective: Precision Strike
Defense Objective: Unknown
Navigation Objective: Unknown

[ flagship ] Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer (120 points)
–  Admiral Ozzel  ( 20  points)
–  Relentless  ( 3  points)
–  Wulff Yularen  ( 7  points)
–  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
–  Boosted Comms  ( 4  points)
–  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
= 168 total ship cost

Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer (56 points)
–  Demolisher  ( 10  points)
–  Admiral Montferrat  ( 5  points)
–  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
–  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
–  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
= 88 total ship cost

1 Boba Fett ( 26 points)
1 Darth Vader ( 21 points)
1 Dengar ( 20 points)
1 Soontir Fel ( 18 points)
1 Firespray-31 ( 18 points)
1 Major Rhymer ( 16 points)
1 “Mauler” Mithel ( 15 points)

Dong Lee ‘s List

Faction: Galactic Empire
Points: 386/400
Commander: Admiral MottiAssault Objective: Unknown
Defense Objective: Unknown
Navigation Objective: Unknown

[ flagship ] Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer (120 points)
–  Admiral Motti  ( 24  points)
–  Avenger  ( 5  points)
–  Captain Needa  ( 2  points)
–  Boosted Comms  ( 4  points)
–  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
–  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
= 169 total ship cost

Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer (56 points)
–  Demolisher  ( 10  points)
–  Admiral Montferrat  ( 5  points)
–  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
–  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
–  Assault Proton Torpedoes  ( 5  points)
= 88 total ship cost

1 Dengar ( 20 points)
2 Firespray-31s ( 36 points)
1 Major Rhymer ( 16 points)
1 “Mauler” Mithel ( 15 points)
2 TIE Advanced Squadrons ( 24 points)
2 TIE Bomber Squadrons ( 18 points)

The TLDR: Both high-bid ISD carrier/Demolisher lists with Imperial Aces.

List Review

Ordance-Proton Torpedoes

Since both lists are running identical cookie-cutter Demolisher builds, I want to talk about commander choices and Imperial Ace layouts more in-depth.  However, before I begin on that jazz, a quick word to why these players chose Assault Proton Torpedoes (APT) instead of something like Expanded Launchers.  Also, why Admiral Montferrat instead of Intel Officer is simply because of survivability:  Which works better when running a 2-ship list such as this one.  When it comes to applying damage, one of the surest ways to apply damage is by effects.  That’s what APT aims to do and that’s to apply sure direct crit damage to hull, past shields and other countermeasures to stop it.  Firepower through traditional means is always subject to the will of the defender unless you’re forcing them to discard through Intel Officer.  Since both players are not running Intel Officer because they’re looking for a gap-closing flanker, APT is the stronger choice in my opinion.  I’ve always liked APT in combination with Ordnance Experts, and I definitely like guaranteed damage over IO/EL especially when your bid and damage is spread-out elsewhere in the list.  This isn’t a triple-tap list, this is a squadron-heavy list with the ISD fulfilling that role.

Swm15-admiral-ozzelAdmiral-motti
Alright, so commander choices:  Ozzel is used as a push-to-talk key in this instance in the first list.  You want to get the Nav/Squadron command early and then keep it there with Wulff Yularen.  He basically means that you’ll only really need to cast it once to keep the speed change game on the rest of the game on the ISD, while the Relentless title allows him to better gauge and react to battlefield conditions.  This means that in the event that there are no more threatening squadrons, he can then concentrate on doing damage or repairing key components.  No additional damage from his ISD in the form of turbolaser upgrades, but Gunnery Teams is there to spray dice into forward targets because the ISD is a carrier first, damage-dealer second.  It’s important to know that in both of these lists, the damage is spread out pretty respectably in three key components:  The Demolisher flanker or short-carrier in the early phases of the game, the ISD-II’s reds and blues and the squadron activation, and the crap-ton of Imperial Aces that can deal heavy damage from medium range.  Motti, from the second list is more straight forward:  More hull is always good, but more importantly, a safer choice.
swm14-dengarMauler-mithel

Now, let’s look at squadron composition.  Both lists are Imperial Aces but with different components.  The same components to note between the first and second list are as follows:  Dengar, Rhymer, Firesprays and Mauler Mithel.  The first three should be pretty self-explanatory for every Imperial player now, but just in case you don’t, read this article first.  I want to talk about why Mithel is in both of these lists that ended up on the Final tables and why he’s always been this sleeper element in most Imperial lists.  First, you have Dengar and his outrageous durability on a Intel body.  He moves well, dislodges units whenever you want, and allows Mithel to jump around for millimeters worth of range but still do massive AoE damage before even having to roll.  Simply put:  If you have a lot of squadrons, and he has a lot of squadrons, but he has Mithel, you will lose.  Thanks to Intel, Mithel is just outrageous for his points because he can inflict massive damage for dirt cheap.  As you’ve probably also noticed, Vader and TIE Advanced are there for the Escort to make sure key pieces like Dengar and Mithel stay alive.  While the Firesprays and even TIE Bombers are a thing of personal taste, it’s clear that the first list is catered more towards anti-squadron auto-damage in the form of Boba, Fel, and Mithel.  If you want to deal damage to the squadrons, you have to get past several layers of auto-damage before you’re successful.  It goes without saying that the second list, is definitely focused more on the bomber aspect.

Hint:
This also means that in Wave 4, everyone fielding Imperials should be looking at a Raider-I with Ordnance Experts and Agent Kallus to flak the crap out of these aces.

Read More at HERO’s Gaming Blog

~Fly Casual
  • Jeremy Larson

    Personally, I’d bet the Rebe6-neb/TRC lists or the MC-30/CR90 swarm list would shred either of these lists. Single-intel source squadron lists are NOT hard to pin down.

  • Truthiness

    Lists like this have already been beaten by a number of lists. Calling them “unbeatable” belies the fact that a TRC90 swarm with a single MC30 and lots of YT-2400s beat lists like this to take Nationals at Indy. There simply are no unbeatable lists in Armada. Imperial lists unfortunately seem to be either Demolisher or Rhymer centric, but Rebel lists are diverse and successful. I expect the Interdictor’s targeting Scramblers to mess with the Imperial dynamic a bit, while Rebels continue to bring very diverse lists.

    • dinodoc

      Unbeatable is just how BOLS describes lists that win major tournaments

      • Albino_42

        I’m just impressed they didn’t capitalize it to UNBEATABLE. That’s some restraint right there.

        • dinodoc

          They forgot to run it through the Buzzfeed auto correct program

    • Jeremy Larson

      Part of the reason Imp-lists seem so same-y is the lack of really effective units they have. Rebels have (at the time) 6 ships that can all be played effectively, with a larger selection for escorts, bombers, and tougher squadrons. In wave 2, the only really effective ships Imps had were the ISD and Gladiator. The Victory and Raider were relegated to gimmick lists or (in the case of the Raider) purely for activation control. Fortunately Waves 3 and 4 have changed it up a lot.

      • Truthiness

        I was just commenting on the “unbeatable-ness” and less about the Imperial specific meta. I’m well aware of the problem. I couldn’t seem to make a wave two list I liked without one or both myself. The Victory and the Raider can be useful and even downright good, but that often means incorporating them with either Demolisher and/or Rhymer. The Raider works well in large numbers when paired with the Demolisher (see DeMSU aka the Clonisher) and the Victory functions best as a carrier (and why would you not want Rhymer in a bomber list?). Hence nearly every Imperial list has one or the other. I think it will take the TIE Defender to de-throne Rhymer, but Demolisher brawler lists will likely become less popular with the Interdictor and Targeting Scramblers in the mix. Those Demolisher triple taps become much less powerful when Ordnance Experts and Screed are effectively neutralized. I’m really hoping the Victory makes a come back alongside the Interdictor and Admiral Konstantine.