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-Dance of Death- GenCon 2015 2nd Place Play Report Options
Posted: Monday, August 3, 2015 7:11:21 AM
Rank: Advanced Bloo Milk Member
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Joined: 5/26/2009
Posts: 7,377
FlyingArrow - 2nd Place

My squad:
--Dance of Death: UberTank (2nd place GenCon 2015)--
54 Darth Caedus, Sith Lord
49 Juggernaut
31 Barriss Offee, Rogue Jedi
30 Vergere
14 Exar Kun, Dark Force Spirit
11 Freedon Nadd, Dark Force Spirit
10 Squib Trader

(199pts. 7 activations)

My map was Rhen Var
Nadd haunts Exar, Dark Master to Caedus.
Exar haunts Caedus.
Crab Armor to Juggernaut.

I came into GenCon with the goal of winning 2 games in spectacular fashion with my Dance of Death squad. I practiced with a bunch of versions, which you can find in the squadbuilder. I think this is the strongest version. Credit for the final touch goes to Mando - dropping the Ugnaught/R7 for the Squib solved the door control/lockout concerns I ran into during the NZ vassal tournament.

This squad has a bunch of weaknesses. Vong/Ysalamiri/Death Shots are all near auto-losses. Force Absorb/Force Defense can stop a crucial Aing-Tii and SBM. A swarm of Force users could possibly pop a ghost. But against some squads it's devastating. Non-force users are particularly vulnerable - no rerolls and no chance to pop a ghost, so Exar can park right in the middle of the opposing squad. There's a big advantage against squads with lots of tech/low damage output. The opponent really needs to defeat Barriss before she's in the middle of their squad, and that requires defeating the Juggernaut first. I would try to hide them until moving Barriss into the middle of the squad, though, so you'd generally need to kill them in one round. (Overwhelming Power type abilities help a lot there.)

With all the bad match-ups and its recent losses in the NZ Vassal tournament, I had decided that the squad wasn't really strong enough for GenCon. But I had practiced with it all year, and it's fun to run. My options were (a) run a squad I like that I've practiced with a bunch (that has a few really bad match-ups), (b) run a strong squad I never played before like double-swap, or (c) run Daala/snowtroopers - the other squad I've run a ton, but I don't think it's any stronger than Dance of Death and I've already run it at GenCon. So (a) was a pretty easy choice.

Round 1
Versus Lou
Opposing squad: GOWK/Mace

I lost map roll all day except for the game against Deri. We played on his map. I'm fuzzy on the details here. I can't even remember the map, but if I do I might remember how the game went. I just remember we were the first match to finish.
(3 pts, 3 pts total)

Round 2
Versus spryguy
Opposing squad: Talon + Boba + Dash + a 3rd attacker... Mira maybe?

Played on Jabba's Palace. My true auto-loss for the tournament. In my other losses, I could see a small chance of winning. Against this squad, I don't even see a 5% chance. He moves up in the bubble. Fodder on the outside. I could kill a few scrubs, but he has so much firepower that once we engage he shoots up my squad and there's not much I can do about it. I ignored the scrubs and managed to base Dash, but couldn't kill him before being wiped out. I had no kills in this match.
(0 pts, 3 pts total)

Round 3
Versus Lily_Wan
Opposing squad: Talon + Boba + Zam

Played on Jabba's Palace. I started near Jabba's Throne while she started outside.

This is not quite as bad as facing spry's squad because there isn't as much damage potential, but it is still pretty bad for me. Fortunately, she didn't recognize Talon's importance immediately. Talon stayed in the back while Boba first sniped Vergere and then circled all the way around to shoot at me from my own starting zone. I burned a ton of Force points on an Aing Tii and then pulling Boba in from Jabba's Throne toward gambit. Boba tried to get away with Talon's CE, but I had won initiative and more Aing Tii brought Boba into a corner and near death. He was next to Barriss for his last turn and didn't have enough health to survive a Mines save, so he got one more turn in before a lightsaber took him out. That gave me a 20 point lead: we were even on gambit, and it was Boba versus Vergere on the list of kills.

With that exchange over, Lily_Wan quickly brought Talon out and kept her squad (mostly) in the bubble. At any rate, it was hard to get to Zam. I had a lead and the lead grew a bit as I stayed parked in gambit. I took out a couple of scrubs and reached 100pts to lock in 1 point. I was pretty sure I could tank there in gambit long enough to secure the win, but it wouldn't be 3 points. I made the decision to go after the 3 points and base Talon with Barriss and the Juggernaut. Unfortunately, the Juggernaut had taken enough damage from Boba that Zam was able to take him out that round. Barriss couldn't defeat Talon in one round on her own. Without that, the 3 point win couldn't happen, and killing the Juggernaut gave Lily_Wan the lead.

I killed a couple more of her scrubs. I don't remember if Barris was defeated or not, but she was at least nearly defeated, and it didn't make a difference in the score. If we played this again, Lily_Wan would certainly have Talon out front immediately and my chances are 10-20% at best.
(1 pt loss, 4 pts total)

Round 4
Versus greentime
Opposing squad: Yobuck + Rex + Ferus

Playing on Commander's Office (Ravaged Base). This was the closest I had to an auto-win. I have 3 characters with riposte. Add in the attacks of opportunity and Yobuck has no desire to use Galloping Attack. It effectively turns into a Lightsaber Assault. I used both Mines and regular attacks to take out Ferus and Yobuck, but I think my squad could have done it with just the lightsabers. Once Rex was Graham's last attacker, he came in to go after the 100 points but didn't get there before it ended.
(3 pts, 7 pts total)

Round 5
Versus Weeks
Opposing squad: Elite Republic Commandos + Rex + Niner

Weeks and I have the same record and points going in, so we realize the winner is probably going to the top 8, especially if it's a 3 point win. His map is Cloud City, which has a worse pit problem than even Rhen Var. So even though I lose map for the 5th time in a row, he chooses my map.

He takes the right side and I approach on the bottom, hiding my squad by the bottom pit to the right of the door. I blow the outer door, but he does door tricks with the door to gambit. The Juggernaut is vulnerable for a round and takes a bunch of shots from the commandos after I am out-activated. I make a placement error that could have been costly. I want to blow the inner door open during Aing-Tii, but I leave Caedus 7 squares away from the door. I forget who finally opened the door - whether he opened it to shoot or I blew it open (just not on the Aing-Tii turn). In any case, by the time the door is open I have something like 20 force between Caedus and the ghosts. By this time he has a ton of gambit and has killed the Squib, Juggernaut, and Vergere. I run Barriss into the middle of his squad and use Sith Battle Maniuplation 3 times. Over half the squad dies to Mines (save 15). While moving them around Barriss, I also move them toward the upper pit. The remaining commandos manage to kill Barriss leaving me with just Caedus and the ghosts. Aing-Tii plus more SBM tosses the rest of the commandos into the pit at the top of the next round. From no kills to a 3pt win after two turns with Caedus.

(3pts, 10 pts total)

So I get into the playoffs. No one is undefeated, and 3 of us have 10 points. All 3 make it, but I was called as the 6th seed. I think these were the seedings, but hopefully someone can correct me if I'm wrong:

1. Matt (spryguy)
2. Deri (fingersandteeth)
3. Trevor (thereisnotry)
4. Etienne (atmsalad)
5. Jim (Darth_Jim)
6. TJ (FlyingArrow)
7. Tim (Timmerb)
8. Jason (urbanjedi)

Round of 8:
Jim over Etienne
TJ over Trevor
Deri over Tim
Jason over Matt

Round of 4:
TJ over Deri
Jim over Jason

Jim over TJ

I'll write up the playoffs later.
Posted: Monday, August 3, 2015 7:12:01 AM
Rank: Advanced Bloo Milk Member
Groups: Member

Joined: 5/26/2009
Posts: 7,377
Round of 8
Versus thereisnotry
Opposing squad: GOWK + Mace Legacy + Boba AfH

Played on Asteroid Base (lost map again).

I spent 2 rounds charging force and handing out Satchel Charge while thereisnotry (tint) took a gambit lead. In round 3, I moved Vergere into gambit. She was attacked, but one bad roll left her alive. Top of round 4, I won init. I used Aing-Tii to move GOWK and Vergere adjacent to each other. Sever Force. Vergere quickly died. Mace and Boba hid behind a door and left GOWK to die on his own. Barriss came in but GOWK's mines saves were pretty good (despite needing 15s with no rerolls) and doesn't quite die. After I'm out-activated, Mace rushes in with 2 Force points and starts attacking.

Round 5 - Caedus starts by killing GOWK and then attacks Mace. Over rounds 5-7, there's a melee between Mace and Caedus/Juggernaut/Barriss. Mace gets just a couple of crits and Juggernaut and Barriss go down. (Juggernaut had pretty incredible armor saves all game.) Boba had been shooting at my squad the whole time, but Juggernaut is 24 in cover, drawing fire, and non-unique. GOWK is dead. So Boba needed 12s to hit the Juggernaut (who he usually had to shoot at), then there's Soresu, and then 2 armor saves if that fails. No damage boost for Boba, so even some of the Soresu misses ended up being no damage. Boba didn't actually help much during those rounds. Mace eventually died to Caedus, leaving just Boba, Caedus, and scrubs.

Caedus cleared gambit - I forget what other smaller piece tint had there to pick up gambit but Caedus killed him. My squib and his ugnaughts were hanging out far from the action. Boba took some shots but has trouble getting damage through Master Illusion and the increasing defense from Embrace of Pain. Eventually, Boba based Caedus to take away cover. That made the Master Illusion saves near-impossible, though, since he now needed a 20 within range of Exar's Dark Aura. But with 3 attacks, one was guaranteed to go through. Eventually it was the last round... with gambit I would be over 200pts even without killing Boba. Caedus was at 50 hit points with 2 Force points and Boba had 3 shots coming. He moved out of Dark Aura range and hit the first two. That pushed Caedus' defense up to 28 (32 in cover, but I don't remember if I had cover). Boba needed either a 16 or 20... in any case he missed. Even if he had hit, he would have needed another 16 to overcome Master Illusion. But a kill there would have won the game. Instead, Caedus grabbed gambit for the win. The final score was something like 205-181. Caedus and the ghosts were all that was left, but tint had 6 or 7 rounds of gambit.

One of the closest and best games I've played. Of course I liked it better since I won, but it really was epic regardless of outcome. Actually... I guess a more epic ending would have been if Boba had pulled off the final hit and Master Illusion save. But I'm glad it didn't end that way. I really wish this were the game that was filmed instead of the finals.

Final 4
Versus fingersandteeth
Opposing squad: Grievous Wheelbike + 2 Sniper + Spotter + buckets of mice

Played on Rhen Var (only map roll win all day).

Deri's squad out-techs the swap squads, but he doesn't have any of the many silver bullets that bother my squad. No force points, no rerolls, no Ysalamiri, no death shots, no mines, no way to disappear at the end of the round. He has an MTB, but Aing-Tii goes first anyway. If he shoots at me and doesn't kill me, he'll be in line of sight at the top of the next round. The Juggernaut all but ensures that he won't kill Barriss in one round.

Grievous charges in and gets some attacks on the Juggernaut and I think Caedus, too. He planned to run out at the top of the round, but Deri forgot about Aing-Tii. It took 3 tries, but after 3 SBM uses during the Aing-Tii turn (including one where I tossed Vergere into the pit), Grievous fell into the pit. Deri conceded at that point.

I don't know what Deri could have done against my squad on my map. I was hiding and charging up force. He needed to attack before I built up too much, but I wasn't giving him any line of sight that wasn't near a pit. He could wait in gambit, but once I had enough force I could run Barriss up and use the Mines instead of the pit. Even on his map, I don't think he had enough firepower to take out Barriss in time. I think I had a 90% advantage on my map. 70% on his map.

Versus Darth_Jim
Opposing squad: Thrawn+Pellaeon+Boba+Mice

Jim uses Pellaeon to drop Ozzel and pick up Jagged Fel.

This was as bad for me as the previous round was for Deri. And according to Jim and Deri, Jim had no chance against Deri... so a real rock-paper-scissors effect going on there. I probably had a 5-10% chance here but then played badly and took it very quickly to less than 1%.

What I did: Jim hung Pellaeon out as bait and I fell for it. Caedus used Aing-Tii to run 12 and then on my first turn (Jim told me to go first), he based Pellaeon and hit him for 30. But I ran away from my bodyguard. Caedus fell before the end of the round. At the time, my mindset was, "Kill Pellaeon or lose." And I thought that would be my only chance to base him before being surrounded by mice. I knew it would probably not work, but I didn't see anything else that would have a better chance of working. This play, however, was probably the worst thing possible. There was no mathematical chance of killing Peallaeon and he would swap away by the end of the round, so no chance of a kill.

What I should have done: I should have kept my whole squad bunched together so that every piece of damage would filter through the Juggernaut's 2 armor saves. With incredible rolls and Vergere's healing, I might have taken only a net of 10 damage per round. Or even 0 if Boba didn't base the Juggernaut... but I assume he would come in to negate Soresu. That's the best case, of course. On average, the Juggernaut probably could have lasted 3-4 rounds. That's 3-4 rounds of gambit and 3-4 rounds of killing Jim's scrubs and gambit-getters. That would have put me ahead on points at least briefly, but in a bad position overall. But far better than throwing it away all at once like I did. If I could kill enough scrubs fast enough perhaps I could have reached Pellaeon. Probably not, but the chances of a win on this route are probably 20% or so - compared to near 0% with what I actually did.

In any case, Jim had the better squad for the matchup and played it great. I should have played in a way where I had a chance to get lucky with some crazy rolls, but I didn't. In the end it probably wouldn't have mattered anyway.

I had a great time playing this squad (and all its variants all year). It's a great illustration of how much match-ups matter. I didn't give this squad a chance coming into the tournament. Too many bad match-ups, I thought. In the NZ Vassal tournament, I had trouble even when I wasn't facing Ysalamiri/Vong. But most of those problems were related to door control. The addition of the squib instead of the R7/Ugnaught solved that problem. It did face 3 Ysalamiri squads and lost to all 3, but it won all the other match-ups. And that was enough to get to the finals.
Posted: Tuesday, August 4, 2015 9:56:01 AM
Rank: Advanced Bloo Milk Member
Groups: Member

Joined: 5/26/2009
Posts: 7,377
Updated with playoffs.
Posted: Tuesday, August 4, 2015 1:21:31 PM
Rank: Advanced Bloo Milk Member
Groups: Member

Joined: 4/23/2008
Posts: 768
Location: Central Pa
Tj, it is a good squad. There are certain mistakes I can make that will cost me, mistakes I learned about the hard way last year when you played me in the team tournament. I was determined to keep everyone in Pellaeon's bubble so if you do try and pick something off I can pounce on it. Getting to gambit 3 rounds before you did assured me that I could stay in formation and force you to come into the bubble. You are sharp enough to make me pay for any error so, while it was a bad matchup for you, you could still win. That's a sign of a good player and a good squad.
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