SW Armada: Ackbar 2.0 Under the Microscope

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ADMIRAL-ACKBAR

With Wave 4 here, we reexamine a modernized Ackbar fleet to see if can still get the job done.

I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I started playing this game.  We’ve been through a lot together, tried a ton of different lists and experimented with a lot of different commanders and what not.  After doing a lot of soul-searching in the last couple of days for which commander I want to bring in the next tournament, I think I’m going have to go with the king of fishlords and go with Ackbar again.  Let me tell you guys why.

For one, I want to talk about the latest iteration of my list.  I’ll tell you one thing’s for damn sure, and that it’s pretty much the same list that I’ve been playing the last couple of months.  There’s a lot of iteration for sure, but I’ve managed to narrow it down to this:

Mchomeone2a
ACKBAR 2.0

Author: HERO
Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 383/400
Commander: Admiral Ackbar

Assault Objective: Advanced Gunnery
Defense Objective: Contested Outpost
Navigation Objective: Intel Sweep

[ flagship ] MC80 Command Cruiser (106 points)
–  Admiral Ackbar  ( 38  points)
–  Home One  ( 7  points)
–  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
–  Engine Techs  ( 8  points)
–  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
–  XI7 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
–  Leading Shots  ( 4  points)
= 183 total ship cost

Assault Frigate Mark II B (72 points)
–  Intel Officer  ( 7  points)
–  Gunnery Team  ( 7  points)
–  Electronic Countermeasures  ( 7  points)
–  XI7 Turbolasers  ( 6  points)
= 99 total ship cost

CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
–  Jaina’s Light  ( 2  points)
–  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
= 53 total ship cost

3 YT-2400s ( 48 points)

There a lot of reasons why I’ve taken to go with this iteration of the list to go into the competitive season, and here’s my arguments for and against it.  First, I’d like to list out all the pluses and minuses that the list has going for in respects to the current Wave 4 metagame.

 

Paragon_SWArmada

Strengths:

  • Damage: Big, long-range, accurate damage with Ackbar’s extra dice, Home One’s accuracy support, XI7s and TRCs.
  • Control: Strong control elements with free accuracies from Home One and Intel Officers to shut down defenses.
  • Durability:  Both the MC80 and MKII are not very easy to kill, especially with ECMs.
  • Initiative:  Having a 383 bid with all of the above benefits is a huge boon.

 

Outrider-SOTETC
Weaknesses:

  • Limited air cover: 3x YT-2400s is good, but they’re going to go down eventually.
  • Lack of activations:  With only three ships and most likely having initiative, there is a good chance I will be telegraphed quite easily on the battlefield.
  • Lack of deploys:  This also means that I will be out-deployed during setup, so my opponents can telegraph my movements even further.
  • Big target:  There’s no hiding it really.  The MC80 has the biggest target painted over its head.

To expand on this a little further, let’s look at some of the archetypes that I will be facing and how I think I will handle each one of them.

 

Favorable:

  • Big ship lists – Any other 3-ship capital ship list that isn’t built exactly like this one.. especially when I hold the initiative.  After all, this list was built to fight against and destroy ISD-II lists when they were the new hotness.
  • Control lists – Most control lists featuring the Inderdictor either has one kingpin that does all the damage, or doesn’t do much damage itself.  This list in particular can do a lot of damage to a single target, or maul the Interdictor itself because of the lack of defensive options.
  • Brawler lists without initiative – One of the changes I’ve made compared to my previous incarnation of this list was to drop a YT for a better bid.  This means that for a close-ranged brawler like the Demo or MC30c, if I can outspeed you with my MC80, I will most likely destroy before you can respond.
GladiatorClassStarDestroyer

Unfavorable:

  • Swarm lists – Just way too many activations for me to handle for the most part.  While I’m not really concerned about non-damage activations, I’m worried about being boxed in.  This is the big advantage that swarm-lists have an that’s the ability to telegraph my movement.  How a flotilla can ever block a MC80 really confuses me sometimes.
  • Bomber heavy lists – Either in the way of Rhymer/Fireballs or Rieekan/Dodonna Carriers, any list that can put out a huge amount of bomber support with BCC will give this list fits.  At that point, I’m not sure if I can out-damage them in-time because there is just too much damage that can happen as I try and close in for the kill.
  • Brawler lists with initiative – On the other hand, if you have a Demo or MC30c list that outspeeds this list, I’m in deep trouble.  A triple-tapping Demo can pretty much one-round any ship in the game, and the Home One with Ackbar is the juiciest target of them all.
armada-star-destryer
I think, looking at the matchups, if I was to face something that is considered double favorable or unfavorable e.g. Big ship list that was built to control or a swarm list that outruns me, these would mean seriously good times or bad times.  This also means that if I have something unfavorable, but I also have a favorable advantage somewhere e.g. out-activated but I have initiative, then it could be anyone’s game.  Of course, at the end of the day it’s going to be more of the admiral that makes a difference vs. the list, but it’s going to be every list has its strengths and weaknesses that can be exploited by another list.  This actually one of my favorite things about Armada thus far, and not one list has been running around dominant for too long.
As for what which lists do I expect being in the meta, or at least meta locally?  I have no idea.  One of the best things about going into a new wave is that the meta changes and changes a lot.  When I take a look at all the Wave 4 ships, one of the biggest things that stands out to me is that all the ships are weak accuracies and control.  The big ships don’t have defensive countermeasures to deal with multiple forms of free control, and the smaller flotillas can get completely mauled if you shut down their Scatter.  This is one of the reasons why I think this list will be very effective in the new meta, however, there is always the growing threat that bombers have become a lot stronger.  While I think the current 383 bid will outspeed most brawler lists, the higher initiative does not entirely solve the problem that a full on bomber-heavy build with BCC might completely wreck my face.  The gameplan for those kind of lists will be to engage in a damage race with them as soon as possible.
~Well, here you go guys.  This is a full breakdown of my current Ackbar list and hopefully I will be doing more of these in the future.

 

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  • Jeremy Larson

    I expect this list to get handled roughly as folks adjust to wave 4; my local meta has seen a massive shift toward fighter-heavy lists. The new pattern seems to be 3+ transports, near max squadrons, and then a kitted-out sledgehammer of a ship. An example of two lists I saw at my last tournament that virtually mirrored each other:

    MC80 Battle Cruiser: Dodonna, Mon Karren, Intel Officer, Fire Control Team, XX-9, XI-7
    Transport: Bright Hope, Toryn Farr, Repair Crews
    Transport: Bomber Command
    Transport: Bomber Command
    Transport: Comms Net
    Transport
    8 X-Wings
    Moldy Crow.

    Both lists wound up facing each other at the top table.