Friday, September 30, 2016

More X-Wing testing for League...

Got in another practice round today with the ARCDash build…  Not bad, Nora in her ARC-170 was pretty insane.  Twice I wound up with 4 Hit/Crit rolls at Range 1…  Had the TL/Focus for the Rear Arc shot and rolled 2 Focus, 1 Hit.  TL got spent to add another Focus result which switched to a Critical and then spending the Focus to get 4 results…  Pretty brutal for an old ship…  Oh, and -1 Agility so it pushed good Damage through to an Aggressor…  So Nora was far and away the best ship I had.  Dash is OK, but I bet it is something I simply no longer have the amount of time playing it that is required to play well at this level. 

Probably going with the 2 ARC list:

ARCx2Biggs (100)
Norra Wexley — ARC-170
29
Push the Limit
3
Tail Gunner
2
R2-D2
4
Engine Upgrade
4
Alliance Overhaul
0
Ship Total: 42

Thane Kyrell — ARC-170
26
Tactician
2
R3-A2
2
Vectored Thrusters
2
Alliance Overhaul
0
Ship Total: 32

Biggs Darklighter — X-Wing
25
R4-D6
1
Integrated Astromech
0
Ship Total: 26


Only thing I am up in the air about is the Tail Gunner or another Tactician for Nora.  I found that the Rear Arc was pretty deadly and thus somewhat easily avoided.  With Biggs, Thane should get to Range 2 easily enough and have a few extra Actions to boot…  Nora is just the Tank.  Nein Numb might be a decent fir on her to get more Greens on the Dial for her to use as Regeneration and clearing the Stress from PTL…  But nothing really to spend one point on at that point, so…  A possibility I guess.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

X-Wing League Month 3 coming Sunday, narrowing down the lists...

So, League coming up Sunday…  Still need to decide what I am flying.  Got in some practice and picked up some of my ships (Thursday for the last few) …  Narrowed it down to:
Arc10Y (100)
Thane Kyrell — ARC-170
26
Seismic Torpedo
2
Tactician
2
R3-A2
2
Vectored Thrusters
2
Alliance Overhaul
0
Ship Total: 34

Ten Numb — B-Wing
31
Veteran Instincts
1
Collision Detector
0
"Mangler" Cannon
4
Hera Syndulla
1
B-Wing/E2
1
Ship Total: 38

Gold Squadron Pilot — Y-Wing
18
Autoblaster Turret
2
Bomb Loadout
0
Seismic Torpedo
2
Seismic Charges
2
Engine Upgrade
4
Ship Total: 28


Or:
ARCDash (100)
Norra Wexley — ARC-170
29
Push the Limit
3
Tail Gunner
2
R2-D2
4
Engine Upgrade
4
Alliance Overhaul
0
Ship Total: 42

Dash Rendar — YT-2400
36
Push the Limit
3
Heavy Laser Cannon
7
Kanan Jarrus
3
Engine Upgrade
4
Outrider
5
Ship Total: 58


With the first it is a fairly simple Rebel 3 ship list meant to slow walk across the board and remove terrain where needed while daring them to stay at Range 3 and just get Criticals every turn…  Mind, some Squadrons are fine with that, and those I’ll just have to close with and hope for the best…  Stress, Crit factory and then a solid close support ship in the Y-Wing.  No real tricks though.

Second one is a variant on the Super Dash build.  Corran Horn gets replaced by Nora Wexley in her ARC-170.  Now, with 6 Greens on the dial, I suspect R2-D2 will be WELL worth it to Regenerate every turn…  She also has PTL and a wicked Rear Arc that should be able to crack even TIE Defenses.  -1 Agility, +1 Focus which converts to a Critical?  Should be a solid option and FAR more my speed since the E-Wing is just way too fragile in modern play…  TOO many ways to push through Damage cards direct to the Hull these days and getting worse with the next wave…  I like the EU card on the ARC just to allow me to push the distance a bit and with both of my Ships at PS 7 we should be able to avoid each other more often than not…  So, this one “encourages” folks to try to chase her down and Dash does his work in the big Asteroid Field in the center of the field…  And hopes no one brings lots of the Seismic Torpedoes :-)…  Like my first build does…

Went North for the weekend for a wedding…  My wife’s family, and this is one of the few parts of it I actually like, so…Wedding itself was really quite nice, she’s a VERY bright and motivated kid, she’ll likely go far and be fine…  Did have some drama and silliness with some of the other family members…  Kind of scared my oldest daughter when violence seemed imminent how easily her husband and I slipped back to “GI” mode and ready go…  Full disclosure, we did tend to fight a LOT.  When there was no real enemy, we’d fight among ourselves.  The bonds of loyalty to your Squad -> Company -> BN -> Division were pretty hard coded in us.  We are also not likely to walk away from a fight or leave anyone behind, so…  Just the way things were/are…  She had not seen that before I think, but I was raised in a slightly “more violent” environment and he and I were trained by some of the same people in the Army…  Well, he was in the 101st and I was in the 82nd, but more or less the same :-), 18th Airborne Corps at least…  Never did escalate to actual violence, but it was VERY close.  But bridges burned and fewer weasels to deal with is a good thing as far as I am concerned… Just my opinion per usual, who knows what will happen in the longer run… 


Work is crazy per usual…  Got word that I am NOT getting promoted, getting my “title corrected” to what it should have been years ago, which is a few steps back from what my current work duties would be.  Guessing that this is the last time I volunteer to take on additional responsibilities for this organization as this is NOT the first time I’ve been told “if you do this, that will happen” …  To be fair the person in questions DID say something to the effect of “we’ll see what we can do” which I have now come to understand as “No” …  So, have a few applications out, we’ll see what happens.  I KNOW I could do the job I am applying for and I have had years of experience with the specific EPM products and the teams being assembled to manage them, but this is Illinois and there are always “other considerations” …  Amusing watching a number of the other folks in my current organization ALSO interview elsewhere in the University.  I suspect that the leadership is burning many bridges here and there will be consequences when things start to crash.  But, not my problem in the broader sense…  I have only one big Department and am scrambling keeping things running with the 5 FTE I HAD now at 3 and going to 2 in a few Months…  For a bit at least, I have things in motion to get more FTE back on line, but that takes time…  And of course doing this without the support or knowledge of my (on paper) organization?  Probably unwise, but I need to protect my own Department and not be concerned with them…  We’ll see, have to admit my attitude is hitting pretty hard these days and since I no longer have much respect for the leadership in my own organization nor do I particularly care about another reprimand for doing what I feel I need to in order to get my job done…  Whatever :-)…  Doubt anyone will notice honestly.  As long as nothing blows up, no one complains then there would be no reason for them TO notice, so I guess we hope for that…

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Work silliness, but X-Wing coming up :-)

Well, yet another application submitted and resume sent off…  We’ll see what happens.  It’s a job with the Campus central IT organization, and is in a Management line…  I have my MS now and have insisted that my current title be changed to reflect the current duties.  Initially it looked good, but that was almost a month ago.  Got the veiled “no” and “what if we do this instead” ….  But essentially, the standard ignore it and hope it goes away.  So, I am not seeing any choice but to accept any offer that comes along and let the light of the bridges I am burning behind me light my way forward.

Been playing Pokemon, but it is not nearly as interesting to me as Ingress.  I see a LOT of the most common ones: Rats, Pigeons, Sparrows being the most common ones.  Maybe I am simply not playing it enough, but there just isn’t all that much there as a game for me.  Well, that and I am REALLY busy in my real job, so…

Played Armada over the weekend and got smashed…  Figured out a LOT honestly, and I think I’ll be ready for the League that Mike is setting up…  Rebels of course, and it is a fun enough game…  Just a lot more draining than X-Wing.

X-Wing wise I got in a few more games…  I need to relearn the B-Wing I think.  Got the Y-Wing down, although I have to remember that the S&V version flies slightly different than the Rebel one with the Hard 3’s going Green with the Unhinged Astromech.  I still think that is one of the best Astromechs in the game…  I am REALLY looking forward to Wave 9 as I think the scene is somewhat stale and static now…  The best I would argue is still the Imperial Aces, but I have an answer for them so they are not unbeatable by any means.  Looking like I’ll be flying at least one B-Wing if I fly Rebels…  Ten Numb is likely the basis for the Squadron.  I flew that one in the beginning, and it is just solid enough I think to get in hits against the Agile Aces…  And he does have the power to actually finish off some of the larger ships in the end game.  Kind of a gimmick but a pretty solid one.
Arc10Y (100)
Thane Kyrell — ARC-170
26
Seismic Torpedo
2
Tactician
2
R3-A2
2
Vectored Thrusters
2
Alliance Overhaul
0
Ship Total: 34

Ten Numb — B-Wing
31
Veteran Instincts
1
Collision Detector
0
"Mangler" Cannon
4
Hera Syndulla
1
B-Wing/E2
1
Ship Total: 38

Gold Squadron Pilot — Y-Wing
18
Autoblaster Turret
2
Bomb Loadout
0
Seismic Torpedo
2
Seismic Charges
2
Engine Upgrade
4
Ship Total: 28



Of course Wave 9 is still not released…  I THINK it will be out before 2 October when the Titan League ends…  Yeah, I should post that on Facebook…

Thursday, September 15, 2016

X-Wing testing for the next League event...

Looking over some new things to use in next Month’s League event… 

Unnamed Squadron (100)
Thane Kyrell — ARC-170
26
Seismic Torpedo
2
Tactician
2
R3-A2
2
Vectored Thrusters
2
Alliance Overhaul
0
Ship Total: 34

Ten Numb — B-Wing
31
Veteran Instincts
1
Collision Detector
0
"Mangler" Cannon
4
Hera Syndulla
1
B-Wing/E2
1
Ship Total: 38

Gold Squadron Pilot — Y-Wing
18
Autoblaster Turret
2
Bomb Loadout
0
Seismic Torpedo
2
Seismic Charges
2
Engine Upgrade
4
Ship Total: 28


Not sure if I change the Gold Squadron to Grey and lose either the Torpedo or the Bomb…  Likely the Torpedo I think, that trick has some potential, but honestly I think it will catch a few people once…  Still, this way instead of 6 pieces of terrain, there will likely be at most 4 by the end of the game.  I like that it is an action, since I can do it during the Activation phase and as I read it Thane can perform that action when someone shoots at a friendly R 1-3 in his arc…  So, potentially a reactive Torpedo to push in another point of damage…  I like them on the low PS ships because as I see it, they move first and then potentially clear the terrain that the higher PS ships (Imp Aces especially) were counting on being there for their maneuvers and cover.  A bit of Swarm defense as well as I can force them to come through the field to get to me and I should catch a few with the exploding terrain…

Ten Numb is there to just push that critical one Damage through “whatever”…  He gets a Critical, it hits, no Defense possible.  So, one Damage…  But at PS 10, I should be shooting BEFORE a lot of the heavy hitters these days, and Criticals can be brutal…  Soonter Fel and Whisper especially hate to see this one hit the table…  He hasn’t for a long time as things changed, but I suspect this might be a good thing to bring out now.

Thane is an upgraded Stressbot build.  With a few tricks like a Barrel Roll that can happen during the Combat phase.  Hoping to catch some folks that maneuver around a big rock only to have me blow it up during Combat then shooting them for a Stress or two…  Might be aWe’ll see how it musing, but then I suspect people will figure out that it IS in fact a real threat.


Build lacks anything to do a big burst of damage, but there are a number of things to hit reliably…  We’ll see how it works out I guess in testing…

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Titan X-Wing Fall League Month 2 AAR

Titan Fall League Month 2 AAR

Well, the biggest takeaway I have from the event was that the Y-Wing with EU and the Autoblaster Turret (ABT) it a really solid choice.  I chose poorly and should have played the S&V list with N’Dru instead of the Hired Gun with EU/ABT.  The Y is nothing flashy, but it is solid.  With the combo I was flying I had the one essentially hunt down and very nearly take down ALL of the TIEs in a Palp Ace build.  The Inquisitor got in a shot as PS 8 with the “double damage” critical to kill me just before my 3 Dice with Predator and Focus would have very likely finished him off…  Eh, Cobrabane killed the Shuttle easily in 2 shots then got in the last hit on the Inquisitor.  This will change quite a bit when Fenn Rau comes out “soon”.  The Mandalorian fighter is just a LOT better than the Kihraxz in pretty much every measurable way…  Yes, I trade a Shield for an Agility, but…  In any case, the Y-wing was a solid choice.  In 2 of my games Cobrabane did well, but blanking out on a 4+ Dice Agility roll means he died in my other two…  Eh, dice game, but in order to make him ALMOST as good an Ace as the Imperials fielded, he was 37 points…  Not really worth it.  I DID build this one to take down the Palp Aces with the Shuttle, and it does that fairly well.  Surprisingly well in fact.  But by the time I was in my fourth game I was pretty brain dead and forgot simple things like the fact that Kavil (Y-Wing) was kitted out as a Bomber.  I could easily have gotten in a bit more damage with that, but no…  So, Whisper/Decimator was beyond what this build could handle…  Mind, Kanji’s and Marty’s Rebels DID in fact both take them down, so not unbeatable by any means.  Kanji’s build with the PS 10 Poe was more than a match for Whisper.  The Decimator is still just a big target…  Mind, it DOES have a lot of Hull, but no Defense to speak of…

So, in my games, the Z-95 was ALWAYS the weak link.  Solid for what it was I guess, I should have done the Cluster Missiles rather than the Concussion I guess, but I’ve seen that fail against anything on a TIE frame with 2 chances for the 3 Agility to burn me…  2 x 4 Dice attacks with Guidance Chips only turning one…  Ideally Lone Wolf and Glitterstem making all Focus Hits and getting at least one re-roll each attack is fairly solid, but…  I get at best one shot with them.  Most people see it and kill it quickly before I set up that combo so I swapped in the Concussion for the Range 3 and even more ability to get the one solid hit…  Not horrible, but going against an actual Ace?  PS 7 means that most of them shoot me first and I still only have 2 Shields and 2 Hull…  On a slow ship that does not maneuver well.  If I am going that route…  Well, the Y-Wing was always my favorite fighter from the old movies, followed closely by the B-wing…  So, for S&V, the Y-Wing with the Unhinged Astromech is actually surprisingly fast.

I strongly suspect this is the swan song for the TIE Phantom for a bit.  There are going to be a number of ways to mess with them and they REALLY cannot handle Stress well…  The other Imperial Aces I think are going to change a bit…  The mindless Fel with PTL will be hard pressed to deal with Slicer Tools and some of the things that the S&V ships will be able to bring in.  The Rebels will have a VERY interesting Stressbot MK II in the ARC-170 with Tactician and R3-D2 for the Range 2 silliness.  Imperials have the TIE Defenders that hit recently and despite not seeing ANY this weekend, I suspect they are going to be solid going forward.  The Emperor is still probably over powered with unlimited Range for his effect, but other stuff is catching up.

Might fly something like this next Month:
Unnamed Squadron (97)
Fenn Rau — Protectorate Starfighter
28
Push the Limit
3
Autothrusters
2
Concord Dawn Protector
1
Ship Total: 34

Kavil — Y-Wing
24
Predator
3
Autoblaster Turret
2
Unhinged Astromech
1
Engine Upgrade
4
Ship Total: 34

Hired Gun — Y-Wing
20
Autoblaster Turret
2
Seismic Torpedo
2
Unhinged Astromech
1
Engine Upgrade
4
Ship Total: 29



Simple and brutal…  The Y’s have a fair bit of Hull to chew through and are rolling right at someone.  Fenn Rau is the Ace/Jouster.  5 Dice Attack at Range one so it should hit pretty hard…  PTL, Predator or Fearlessness…  Fearless at Range one has the potential (albeit low) for a 6 Hit Attack…  Just adding a Hit result is powerful, but with all of the restrictions?  PTL on a ship that has Boost and Barrel Roll makes for a FAR superior one I think since I can more easily get to Range one and Arc Dodge where needed...

Friday, September 9, 2016

More Job vs Career silliness...


It’s been 2 weeks and the silence from above I suppose is my answer.  So, waiting on more movement elsewhere in the University before things REALLY shake loose.  I know a lot of the folks I work with are applying for the slow trickle of jobs that are opening up.  One Management position up in Engineering that is drawing a LOT of quality applicants.  I am NOT applying for the position as it would be at best a lateral move for me at least based on the salary for the position…  Mind, the TITLE is actually correct for them, so…  But, no.  As I said, looking like nothing is happening in my current position so hoping that the central IT organization gets more of their stuff posted soon.  One hit, but it is not something I feel I am particularly qualified for…  Passed word along to some folks, but we’ll see who even applies/gets it?  But I know there are 4-5 more jobs at that level that are in the final stages, one of them I think the one I have been waiting for.  We’ll see.  Since I know someone on the hiring committee for that job, it might work poorly for me as they are in my current chain of command and my leaving might well not be a good thing for my current organization.  But this was what I was hoping to avoid by going to him in the first place with my conditions for staying.  Since it seems clear they will not be addressed, much less met I really have no real choice but get serious about applying elsewhere.

But t comes back to that whole Job vs Career.  I have a job…  My title is not even vaguely current or correct, and that was what I was trying to get rectified to no avail.  So, the ideal solution for my current organization is complete stasis.  NO one moves, no one gets promoted, they just stay where they are and keep doing the jobs they have…  Oh, and pick up other stuff as it comes up or other people leave.  Back when I was in theory a Regional Manager I was very concerned about that as it and expressed that opinion…  I was the minority and as the hiring freeze hit, nothing REALLY bad happened as only a few people left rather than the larger number I was concerned about.  Turnover is just the way things work in the real world, and ESPECIALLY here where the only way in the past to get a promotion/raise was to change jobs.  Now, there ARE some larger IT organizations that have (and USE) promotion ladders on campus, so I suspect that my career path will lead in that direction.   I feel that my career is back to having painted myself into another corner here.  IFF the title gets changed, then I’m good here as it is an actual Career move for me.  The job itself I am frankly getting sick of.  It is a waste of my time and the University’s resources to have level one IT work being done by someone with MANY industry certifications and an advanced degree in the field…  I actually want to do what I trained for and put in an awful lot of hard work to get that degree, but lacking the other people to do that stuff it’s me again…  Sadly things are turning out pretty much how I thought they would in a lot of areas and that would be why I pulled back to just my one Department.  With the complete lack of funding, increased demands and fewer people to do the work I suspect that the long term answer is to fully embrace the TS Power Plant initiatives…  Not a popular opinion in some areas, but we’re crumbling and it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better I suspect.


Broke down and bought a Fitbit…  Seems to be helping, but it is really just organizing and keeping me focused on doing what I should have been doing in the first place, and what I did the last time I almost got back into shape.  But this IS nice, keeps track of my steps, the stairs climbed, I can track my food and water as well…  So, eating better, drinking mostly water, hitting the stairs more than the elevator.  Working out daily as well, so getting stronger which helps in a lot of ways.  Moved on from the prison type workout to some actual equipment, seems to be working well enough.  Was a LOT easier when I was younger, but I suspect that age (and lack of injuries at that point) and the enforced daily exercise was what made it MUCH easier.  Might just be my faulty memory, but I remember this all being easier...  Heck I remember still being drunk and showing up to morning PT and it being fairly easy...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Titan Fall League month 2

Mkay, League Month 2 is coming up at Titan this weekend…  Looking VERY much like Wave 9 is shipping, but will NOT be here in time so I have to go with what I have now.  I have 3 lists that I am throwing around at this point.  I know that my biggest threat will be Imperial Aces in some form or the other.

The Rebel list is 3 B-Wins:
3B ten (100)
Ten Numb — B-Wing
31
Veteran Instincts
1
"Mangler" Cannon
4
Hera Syndulla
1
B-Wing/E2
1
Ship Total: 38

Blue Squadron Pilot — B-Wing
22
Fire-Control System
2
Heavy Laser Cannon
7
Ship Total: 31

Blue Squadron Pilot — B-Wing
22
Fire-Control System
2
Heavy Laser Cannon
7
Ship Total: 31

Not bad…  Safe.  Problem is that there Is only Ten Numb who poses ANY threat to a tokened up Ace backed by the Emperor.  Yes, the Blues could probably take a Shuttle or push a lot of damage onto the Decimator…  But a good Imperial player would know the only threat to the Aces and burn it down quick.

The other 2 are S&V…  First is pretty much selling out to get in close to the Aces and ignore their Agility.
Unnamed Squadron (100)
Kavil — Y-Wing
24
Predator
3
Autoblaster Turret
2
Plasma Torpedoes
3
Extra Munitions
2
Unhinged Astromech
1
Engine Upgrade
4
Ship Total: 39

Hired Gun — Y-Wing
20
Autoblaster Turret
2
Unhinged Astromech
1
Engine Upgrade
4
Ship Total: 27

Talonbane Cobra — Kihraxz Fighter
28
Adaptability
0
Cloaking Device
2
Engine Upgrade
4
Ship Total: 34

Cobra in the Kihraxz is pretty much the closest I have to an Ace in this faction.  2 Y-Wings with Mechs to go fast with the EU to move 3 hard on a Green and then boost to get close enough for the AB Turrets.  Fun list, and I suspect it will do reasonably well locally at least.  It is all about removing variance by force.  I would hold Cobra back to follow up the Y’s…  I know very well that he can finish off almost anything, or at least have a chance to do so…  Plasma Torpedoes are just a backup really and hopefully something to get in a few hits on say, a Shuttle or Decimator…

Third and probably most likely is a simple straight Ace build for them:
Scum Aces 1 (100)
Talonbane Cobra — Kihraxz Fighter
28
Predator
3
Cloaking Device
2
Engine Upgrade
4
Ship Total: 37

Kavil — Y-Wing
24
Predator
3
Autoblaster Turret
2
Bomb Loadout
0
Extra Munitions
2
Unhinged Astromech
1
Seismic Charges
2
Engine Upgrade
4
Ship Total: 38

N'Dru Suhlak — Z-95 Headhunter
17
Lone Wolf
2
Concussion Missiles
4
Glitterstim
2
Guidance Chips
0
Ship Total: 25


The Y-Wing is kitted out as a Bomber here…  N’Dru has the one good Missile shot, then he becomes a flanker for as long as he lives…  He’s still just a Z-95 when it is all said and done, so not a lot left for him to do after the Missile goes in and hopefully gets some good damage or maybe even a kill for me…  Cobrabane again is to be held back and play Linebacker/Free Safety…  Kavil rushes them, dares them to hit him and commit to a course of action…  He IS a threat.so ignoring him is a mistake…  And with bombs I should be able to push damage to anyone that is pursuing me while I bull rush something and avoid variance with AB Turret backed by Predator…  It’ll be fun at least.