10 Sagg fleet, Mythbusted?

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10 Sagg fleet, Mythbusted?

Postby Reaverman » Tue Aug 22, 2006 11:02 pm

Well you are all gonna have to wait tomorrow, when Burger writes the report :twisted:
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Postby prelude_to_war » Wed Aug 23, 2006 1:37 am

Boo! What a tease!
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Postby Hash » Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:53 pm

[DISCLAIMER: Burger and Reaverman had to concentrate really hard at playing this game to bother with such trivial things like note taking and the like...which means they entrusted me to write up the ensuing carnage...poor misguided fools. Any mistakes or errors in noting the actual game play then are mine – Hash]

The EA Sagittarius Missile Cruiser is unbeatable?

Introduction

The dictionary defines “strategy” as the, “science of winning wars”, the word strategy however has become common place. It is difficult to avoid; our companies and employers have business strategies, financial strategies, even recruitment strategies. Our government departments and agencies seek to provide *strategic* solutions to our problems, and we may even subscribe to new and fashionable weight management strategies (i.e. dietary fads) as the mood hits us. We seem to have forgotten, with our eagerness in “winning wars” against flabby waistlines, financial competitors, and hiring new employees that, “war” is meant to be well…about blowing things up and stuff!

So, must we fight actual wars in distant (and not so) corners of the world merely to satisfy our voracious and never ending need for war? Of course not…well, not every weekend anyway. Luckily, for the generally less (slightly) bloodthirsty amongst us, Mongoose have created games like ACTA to satisfy our savage need to reduce opponents to broken and weeping wrecks before our unstoppable, if somewhat miniature, forces *. For it is human nature to seek conflict, we must win; the Darwinian imperative drives us to achieve again and again, outstripping our fellows and dancing the mocking victory jig ** when they fail to stop us and also to whine like spoiled brats when we lose…

So, what does this have to do with ACTA and why have I wasted time posting this??

Well, quite commonly on these boards there is the desperate cry from the newly initiated into the dark arts of wargaming, desperate for insights into the strategies and tactics required to win battles against so called "unbeatable" enemy fleets.

Reaverman and Burger however, believe that no fleet is unbeatable and they mean to prove it with perhaps the most notorious of “unbeatable” fleet selections, the dreaded EA tourney, 10 Sagittarius missile cruiser fleet!

So after that suitably abstract introduction, here are the sides for this epic conflict:

Side 1: Earth Alliance - Admiral: Burger

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Burger is a seasoned ACTA admiral having commanded in his time Minbari, ISA, and Drazi. He started his tournament career in good form, coming 2nd in the ACTA tourney at Q-Con though sadly his “my stealth will save me”, strategy has been somewhat lacking of late. Still, his domestic record remains impressive and people are generally are in awe of his ability to instantly recall obscure rulings from the ACTA forums. He is by no means a “rules lawyer” though as his reluctance to purchase the main rule set has lead to his occasional lapse where he forgets the “normal” game rules… mini-beams rolling against interceptors for example.

EA Selection:
10 x Sagittarius Missile Cruisers – Cost 5 FAP

The Sagittarius Missile Cruiser is a skirmish level ship (ref. Mongoose ACTA Tourney Pack) with a heft all round supply of Precise, Super AP, Slow-Loading, and 30” range missiles. In an official tournament with the standard 5 Fleet Allocation Points at Raid level – it is perfectly legal to select 10 of these bad boys (usually to the horror of you opponent) and Burger means to win at any cost!

Course err we didn’t actually have 10 Sagittarius models *** so you’ll just have to pretend that the EA found the Sagittarius to be so effective they retrofitted the Omegas, Orestes and Explorer with the innards! Don’t forget for the purposes of this game they are ALL Sagittarius class cruisers.

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Pre-Match Comments (paraphrased)
“I’m going to wipe the floor with Reaverman with a sort of snake shuffle …I expect a lot of ‘Come About’ special orders with possible a CAF or two when I can…I don’t give Reaverman a chance in hell…”

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Side 2: Vorlon Empire - Admiral: Reaverman


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Reaverman has an excellent, albeit recent, tourney track record having been victorious with both Vorlons and Narn although to be fair this can be mainly attributed to using “cheat codes”, bribery, threats, and most of all, luck! Reaverman is also renowned for possessing rare artefacts known as, THE DICE OF DOOM” which he picked up from Salute 2006. In his spare time, Reaverman enjoys spending time near Alpha Emitters and of course, reading up on evolution.

Vorlon Selection:
1 x Vorlon Heavy Cruiser – Cost 4 FAP
1 x Vorlon Destroyer – Cost 1 FAP

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The Vorlon heavy cruiser is a true behemoth, a War PL vessel, possessing a devastating Lightning Canon as its primary weapon possessing the Triple Damage, Super AP, Precise, and Beam qualities. Its secondary weapon, the Discharge Gun, is only slightly less terrifying possessing the Double Damage, AP, Precise and Beam qualities. The Vorlon vessel possesses adaptive armour and is also capable of regenerating damage making it exceptionally dangerous.

The Vorlon destroyer is a nasty piece of work also armed with a Discharge Gun however fortunately for their opponents it is also somewhat less resilient than its larger cousin.

As an ancient race using organic ships – Vorlons take damage differently from other races and as such do not take critical hits that may disable ship systems.

Pre-Match Comments:
“I picked Vorlons to bust up this fool so I don’t have to worry too much about those precise missiles, sure they’ll do more damage but they won’t take out my engines or weapons – No, I don’t hate Burger, but I pity the fool if he thinks this is going to be easy! Get that notepad outta my face fool!”

------------------------------------------------------------

The Match; EA vs. Vorlons
Scenario: A Call to Arms
Rules: Tournament Pack, 5pt RAID


Turn 0 - Deployment

After both players dice warming rituals ****** they rolled initiative to determine deployment order, since neither had any scout there would be no re-rolls. Burger was forced to deploy first and tactically arranged his ships in “at that end of the table” formation...Reaverman then placed his ships down...

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Turn 1 – Opening gambit

Initiative went to Reaverman again forcing Burger to move his first ship, and a brief moment ensued when Burger seemed to think you could give CAF orders while turning to face his enemy...Reaverman was not amused. Soon however Burger's true agenda became apparent, focusing a full half of his broadside missiles on the relatively frail hull of the Vorlon destroyer while the remaining arcs targeted the Vorlon Heavy Cruiser.

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...and it almost worked, the EA missile cruisers doing a combined 52 points of damage to the Vorlon destroyer...sadly not enough to destroy it. The rest of missiles acquitted themselves quite admirably against the Vorlon heavy cruiser doing a total of 45 damage although this would have been even higher if not for a controversial rules call that placed the heavy cruiser outside the port firing arc of the right most Sagittarius. Vorlon return fire crippled one Sagittarius and caused minimal damage to another...it certainly looked like an early bath for the encounter suit boys at this stage!

Turn 2 – Demolition derby

Incensed by Burger mocking grin and little jig, Reaverman then failed to win Initiative and moved his ships to break up the EA ship formations, hoping to force a little confusion into the enemy ranks. Burger, a cunning and devious admiral, prepared Come About orders for the fleet and making about 1 in 3. The missile banks not depleted from the previous firing round turned their attention to eliminating the threat posed by the Vorlon destroyer...

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but not before it turned it's ire on the puny Earthlings, scoring 10 hits with it's Discharge Gun on the already crippled Sagittarius...KABOOM! The explosion rocked the table (Reaverman leant to heavily on the boar) and the debris caused severe damage to two other EA ships, taking out the engines on one and 7 hits inc. a minor weapons critical to another...Reaverman smiled, the DICE OF DOOM had awoken!

The Heavy Cruiser too did significant damage to the EA vessels taking little return damage due to some spectacularly poor damage rolls from Burger. Things seemed a little less certain now – the Vorlon destroyer was dead but the regenerating Heavy Cruiser was still on 45 hits at the end of turn 2. Still, Burger remained confident...after all his opponent now had but one ship vs his armada, surely victory is within his grasp...

Turn 3 – On my mark, unleash hell!

Vorlons win Initiative but with only one ship, the EA cruisers crawl over the best, turning to unleash countless (ok 6 or 2 depending on firing arc) missiles on their squid like foe.

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The Vorlons demonstrated their superior technology when it came to the shooting round however causing immense damage to a previously uninjured EA ship...not enough to prevent a hail of missiles taking damage to the Heavy Cruiser to a massive 109...over half way! Is that cappuccino I smell...

Turn 4 – When the going gets tough...

EA manoeuvring to get ships into arc caused Reaverman to start to lose hope of fighting toe to toe with Burger's remaining fleet and indicated his intention to open a jump point (actually his strategy was to destroy another ship or two and then leave possibly forcing a minor win on victory points), but then thought better of it as Burger reminded him his ship would not be able to fire that turn if it did. Instead Reaverman and Burger continued to exchange fire, the Vorlons getting an edge as they de-crew one ship and cause severe damage to another...

Turn 5 – Die you big stupid squid, DIE!

Vorlons win Initiative again but at this point Burger is getting peeved, surely squid boy should be dead by now! A cunning all-stop from the Vorlons leaves the EA scrambling around to bear their broadsides to the enemy which they manage to do...

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The resulting firing round is devastating to both sides, the Vorlon Heavy Cruiser de-crewing another ship and blasting a damaged one out of the sky! Still the price to the Heavy Cruiser is high, a total of 163 damage done so far...maybe another turn and it's all over, Reaverman is looking to where he can run...

Turn 6 – Who turned the lights out?

Vorlons win Initiative as the EA circles the wounded warship, Reaverman again considers running but instead opt for another all stop action.

at this point, just prior to firing I innocently walk past the light switch, nudging it slightly...which somehow DESTROYS the bizarre lighting systems in Burger's house and threatening to cut our game short due to bad light!

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Fortunately however, power is soon restored and the game continues...and another Sagittarius is gone! However the Heavy Cruiser has now taken 174 damage...luckily Reaverman's regeneration rolls seem to be fairly high, can he possible survive another turn though?

Turn 7 – The wheel turns…

It should be all over now, there are still too many Sagittarius cruisers on the table and the Vorlons are on their last legs...

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but by winning Initiative and taking out an undamaged EA cruiser, the Vorlon ship manages to stay alive...BARELY, taking a total of 195 damage! Burger is now 5 points away from total victory...

Turn 8 – On the ragged edge.

God this is boring, kill him already...KILL HIM! Err...sorry, got carried away there. EA positions their remaining Vessels for a shot...

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It doesn't help much though and due to some fantastic regeneration rolls by Reaverman the cruiser is now on 186 total damage, the momentum has now gone the other way!

Turn 9 – Smile you son of a Kosh…

And so it all comes down to this, not quite the final turn but it's now mano o mano – One partially damaged Sagittarius cruiser vs. the daddy of the Vorlon fleet (one of the EA ships in the pic is decrewed)

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Burger and Reaverman are now utterly committed to victory, prepared to comitt heinous acts to crush their opponent into dust, the question is now is not

What do you Want? Or Who are you?

But rather...Who gets to shoot FIRST?

EA win initiative! As Burger leaps to the air with joy, he picks up his special glitter dice and mutters a silent prayer, sending the dice scattering across the table...doing a paltry 5 damage.

Reaverman grins (and perhaps a little bit of relief) and takes aim with the Lightning Gun...11 hits, 7 crits and an obscene amount of damage later it's all over, the Vorlon Empire has annihilated the pathetic descendants of monkeys – 20pt Tournament Victory!

OUTCOME: VICTORY FOR THE VORLONS!

Myth: The 10 Sagittarius Missile Cruiser Fleet is unbeatable…result?

MYTH BUSTED!

Well its true – the Sagittarius fleet was beaten but it wasn’t easy and could have easily gone the other way – but what do you guys think, did Reaverman use cheat codes? Did Burger forget something? Could you have done this better?

My work here is complete, until next time I remain, Hash.

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Comments welcome…also suggestions for other ACTA play tests are very likely to be considered! ******


* Obviously some fleets (those that use FA scale for example) are more “miniature” than others; however, we would just like to state that, despite evidence generated by the statistical anomaly that has been designated “Tank’s Dice”, having a little fleet has no effect on the game at all.
** This is particularly funny when your opponent fails a stealth roll – just make sure you’re closer to the exit than he is before you try it.
*** We blame Reaverman for not getting the additional Sagittarius models – he has 3 (which everyone knows is almost 10 so he may as well buy 7 more) but he refused to buy any more, when I asked him why, he just shook his head and commented that I had “missed the point BIG time!”…sometimes I just think he does it just to spite me.
**** I’m not bitter!
***** I could tell you but then would have to kill you...
****** Or ignored depending on how bored we are at the time.
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Postby Davesaint » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:11 pm

What in the world were the Earthers thinking staying in front of the Vorlon CA's front arc? Once the Vorlon All Stopped, I would have taken every Sag I could and tried to get outside of the front arc of the Vorlon, even if it meant that I would have less shots. Once you get behind the Vorlon CA, he's done like dinner.

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myth

Postby timeslip » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:12 pm

Don't get your panties in a bunch "busters". The cracked Shadow fleet also can win this senario. BUT!! It is up to the die rolls. Statistically the 10 Sagitarius fleet is unbeatable. It is up to the luck of the dice gods that change this out come. Try again next time, "Boneheads"!

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Postby prelude_to_war » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:17 pm

Yeah I don't think the Sags were played to the best of their ability. Staying in the front arc of the Heavy Cruiser is asking for it. In fact, no where do we see a Sag behind the Vorlon Cruiser at all... :?
Last edited by prelude_to_war on Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Nightmares about Minbari » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:18 pm

Number crunching is fine, but it's how you execute it on the tabletop that matters. Just because a fleet is unbeatable on paper doesn't mean you can actually bring that firepower to bear to do the job.

For the myth to hold, the fleet would have to remain unbeaten, and it got beat. Yes, battle was close, but tournament battles should be close. I have to say, the myth is definitely busted and the 10 sag fleet is now just a nasty, not unbeatable, fleet
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Postby Davesaint » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:28 pm

Nightmares about Minbari wrote:Number crunching is fine, but it's how you execute it on the tabletop that matters. Just because a fleet is unbeatable on paper doesn't mean you can actually bring that firepower to bear to do the job.

For the myth to hold, the fleet would have to remain unbeaten, and it got beat. Yes, battle was close, but tournament battles should be close. I have to say, the myth is definitely busted and the 10 sag fleet is now just a nasty, not unbeatable, fleet
Well, if the fleet isn't run to the best of it's abilities, then you really can't say it's a valid test. Besides, you should look at a playtest level of dozens of games before judgements could be made about the quality of a given race. This allows for people to become familiar enough with the ships to provide a true test of the race.

I can see several mistakes starting with set up that the EA made.

First, why have the Sags start facing directly forward? They should have started with every ship having a broadside facing the opposite side of the map.

Second, the EA Player did not get out of the front arc of the CA when he had the chance. Once the "furball" ensued, get out of that Front Arc!

Third, Why didn't the EA fire all of his missles at the Vorlon DD on the first turn? Make sure the DD dies to remove another initiave sink from the Vorlons. With only 1 initiative this would have likely allowed the Vorlon to only kill 1 EA ship per turn as the EA should have with All Power to Engines and Come About rolls been able to keep most of their ships outside the front arc of the Vorlon


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Postby Reaverman » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:33 pm

Hash,

thats got to be the best mission write up I have ever read. Well done mate :)

As for the battle, well I did pick up two things that would be useful in the future. First, Burger suggested that I only deploy the heavy cruiser, and not the destroyer. Well I think it drew some fire, and also managed to cripple a ship, so it did have it s uses. Secondly, I should have kep the Destroyer next to the Heavy cruiser, that way its actually drawing fire, thus reducing hits on the cruiser.

The best approch is to deply on one flank, and 'All power to engines', on the wat in. Meanwhile, pick off as many targets as you can on the way in. I decided to use the main weapon on one ship, while the secondary weapon went for another target. Yes, this does mean you are going to be leaving ships on the table, but given that each hit has a 1 on 3 chance of critical. You tend to find that the heavy cruiser horrificaly mauls, or destroys one ship per turn and cripples another.

Now basically if played right the Sag fleet needs destroy the cruiser within 4-5 turns, other wise its on a downward spiral to doom. Since the damage output on the Heavy Cruiser alone, is constant (I was averaging at 21 points of damage per primary weapon hit, and about 12 hits for the secondary weapon). Where as the Sags were averaging 10 hits, after adaptive armour. As the Saggs start dwindling, and their slow loading kicks in, it soon becomes apprarent that they were getting closer to not meeting their victory.

Alternately the Vorlon player, can just deploy with Heavy cruiser only, destroy 4 Sags, and then AJP the hell out of dodge. Giving him a modest victory, and still winning the game. In fact this options, actually will work most of the time. Unless your's truly, is managing the sags :P

So its Mythbusted!

As a side note, whilst it was a laugh.Two things became evident. 1) Saggs are a well beardy fleet selection (obviously). 2) It was bloody boring between firing phases for the Vorlon player. Major yawning time, and it Hash had not buggered up Burgers lighting. I thnk I might have been well asleep, by turn 5 :twisted:
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Postby Nightmares about Minbari » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:35 pm

My point was that no fleet is run to the best of it's abilities in a wargame. For the myth to hold true, the 10 sag fleet would have to be able to beat any other fleet, even if played badly against a well played fleet.

What your saying is that the fleets were equal and that the Vorlons were played better, which pretty much confirms that the myth is busted.
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Postby emperorpenguin » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:36 pm

Davesaint wrote: Besides, you should look at a playtest level of dozens of games before judgements could be made about the quality of a given race. Dave
Indeed, with the members of Mythbusters as their avatars the terrible trio should know that Adam and Jamie would never announce "myth busted" after just one try!

Do it again boys!

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Postby Hash » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:38 pm

Davesaint wrote:Well, if the fleet isn't run to the best of it's abilities, then you really can't say it's a valid test. Besides, you should look at a playtest level of dozens of games before judgements could be made about the quality of a given race. This allows for people to become familiar enough with the ships to provide a true test of the race.
To be fair Dave, this was meant to be the first of several tests (we are all going to to take turn with different races trying to break the EA fleet) we just run out of time...mainly because I caused the lights to go out half way through the evening!
Davesaint wrote:
I can see several mistakes starting with set up that the EA made.

First, why have the Sags start facing directly forward? They should have started with every ship having a broadside facing the opposite side of the map.

Second, the EA Player did not get out of the front arc of the CA when he had the chance. Once the "furball" ensued, get out of that Front Arc!

Third, Why didn't the EA fire all of his missles at the Vorlon DD on the first turn? Make sure the DD dies to remove another initiave sink from the Vorlons. With only 1 initiative this would have likely allowed the Vorlon to only kill 1 EA ship per turn as the EA should have with All Power to Engines and Come About rolls been able to keep most of their ships outside the front arc of the Vorlon


Dave
I think they are fairly valid comments on EA tactics - but I can assure you he was trying to win.

I don't think the "errors" were as simple as you make out however but I'll let Burger and Reaverman comment here.

However, you may have noticed that the damage score on the Vorlon Cruiser was close to 200 at one point, the EA player made the call to stay in arc and get broadsides off rather than break off...if it wasn't for some pretty poor rolling on his part it could well have worked!
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Postby emperorpenguin » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:41 pm

excellent battle report by the way Hash
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Postby Reaverman » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:44 pm

First, why have the Sags start facing directly forward? They should have started with every ship having a broadside facing the opposite side of the map.
Because what ever side of the bored he deploys on, I would have deployed on the far forward corder of the other side. So he's possibly get no more than Half.
Second, the EA Player did not get out of the front arc of the CA when he had the chance. Once the "furball" ensued, get out of that Front Arc!
Because he had fired a broad side, and was trying to turn and the Cruiser in other arcs (or 'Come About' Rolls). CAF denies you the ability to turn, and gives the cruiser the oportunity to get into weaker arcs.
Third, Why didn't the EA fire all of his missles at the Vorlon DD on the first turn? Make sure the DD dies to remove another initiave sink from the Vorlons. With only 1 initiative this would have likely allowed the Vorlon to only kill 1 EA ship per turn as the EA should have with All Power to Engines and Come About rolls been able to keep most of their ships outside the front arc of the Vorlon
He did, but only so many ships had all their broad sides in arc. Since my Vorlons won initiative, the Cruiser picked off some of the Saggs who had broadsides on that Destroyer.
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Postby Nightmares about Minbari » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:47 pm

Oh, indeed, excellent to see the 10 sag fleet in action, especially when it gets beat.

Also, sure there wouldn't be any point going to this much trouble to 'fake' a myth bust, which seams to be what someone was implying...
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Postby Reaverman » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:48 pm

emperorpenguin wrote:
Davesaint wrote: Besides, you should look at a playtest level of dozens of games before judgements could be made about the quality of a given race. Dave
Indeed, with the members of Mythbusters as their avatars the terrible trio should know that Adam and Jamie would never announce "myth busted" after just one try!

Do it again boys!

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Yes, time was an issue. Also I actually have a life, outside of work, ACTA, and the internet :P
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Postby Nightmares about Minbari » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:51 pm

That's just a vicious rumour, and you know it!
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Postby Reaverman » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:53 pm

Nightmares about Minbari wrote:Oh, indeed, excellent to see the 10 sag fleet in action, especially when it gets beat.

Also, sure there wouldn't be any point going to this much trouble to 'fake' a myth bust, which seams to be what someone was implying...
No fakes, my breasts are natural :twisted:
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Postby prelude_to_war » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:55 pm

Nightmares about Minbari wrote:Also, sure there wouldn't be any point going to this much trouble to 'fake' a myth bust, which seams to be what someone was implying...
I don't think it was faked, rather the Sag fleet doesn't seem like it was played to the best of its ability. If done so, I think it will regularly come out against any opponent.

Next time the Sag emphasis should be placed on outmaneuvering the lone vorlon ship (after the destroyer is taken out) so it cannot fire back - or at least is very limited in its choice of available targets. Seeing all the Sags in the forward arc of the Cruiser just looks too good to be true from the Vorlon player's perspective. Trust me :wink:
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Postby Locutus9956 » Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:56 pm

Ive never considered 10 sags to be unbeatable. But that doesnt meant theyre even remotely fair....

I would have to say that Ive been having second thoughts about whether the Vorlon hvy + filler tourney fleet might not be a tad on the nasty side too anyway.

But I guess my overall point is: I dont personally think ANY fleet in the game is ubeatable. No matter how beardy or broken but I still think 10 sags is about 5 miles beyond the boundry of beardy uber cheese. It CAN (as demonstrated) lose but I must say that (no offense Burger) they could from the looks have it have been used much more effectively, and they were facing another VERY nasty tourney fleet (in terms of outright survivability its about as tough as they come) and despite this the Saggs STILL almost won.

Suggestions for other tests. Try killing the 10 sags with ANY fleet that can take crits....

Secondly Vorlon hvy jumps in kills a few and disengages for a win is precicely why Im starting to think said fleet might be a tiny bit too good to be a balanced tourney list.

Thridly, if I was playing the saggs I would deploy them in two groups a fair distance appart. Theyve got 30" range so will all be able to fire on the Vorlons still but more importanly the vorlons will only be able to close range with SOME of them at once. If move properly you leave the Vorlon with a situation whereby whicher group he closes in on the other is in a possition to move in behind him.

So: Yes Myth busted that theyre unbeatable but tbh I never thought that to begin with. Myth NOT busted: 10 Saggs is ubelieveably broken still imho. Just becaus its POSSIBLE to lose with a fleet doesnt make it balanced....
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