Well, our first Armada article! Even though we still don’t have our hands on this game, I thought it was as good a time as any to talk a little about some list theory.
So Fantasy Flight gave us a look at both Star Destroyer expansions the other day, and being the Imperial nut I am I digested every piece of info in the article and started churning out list ideas. Disclaimer: I have not gotten to play yet, so any of this could turn sour when we actually get our hands on the game to try it.
As a first observation, I’m starting to wonder if certain dice represent certain weapon types to some extent. Missiles seem to only show up on ships that have Black dice, and the Victory-II’s blue dice coincide with it gaining an Ion upgrade (and it loses the missile upgrade as it loses it’s black dice). We’ll have to wait and see if this holds through when everything comes out, but it’s something to note at least.
Along the lines of Missiles, let’s take another look at this card that got hidden away behind a sneaky little link:
Reminder: Armada’s tournament points total is 300 points. so in terms of how much of your list this is taking up, compare it to a 4-point card for X-Wing.
Now the article suggests using this card on a Gladiator:
This would give the Gladiator four black dice and two red in it’s forward arc. Respectable, and giving it comparable forward firepower to a Victory-I, with stronger (albeit shorter-range) batteries to it’s sides. Tempting, but I see a better option. Look at the Victory-I:
Throwing Expanded Lanuchers on this guy gives a massive forward firing arc, capitalizing on one of the Victory’s strengths. “But what if the target slips past your forward arc?” The Victory’s forward arc is wide enough it should be somewhat easy to catch most opponents, and if you even get one round of fire at close range (where you can use all 5 black attack dice), you’ve got a chance at chewing straight through your target, assuming their defense tokens don’t clear too much of your damage (try using another ship to exhaust them first). Black Attack dice have multiple sides with more than one hit or crit, so rolling 5 can give you 10 hits, plus whatever you land with your red dice (enough to one-shot another Victory). Ontop of that, throw on this title and watch your opponent’s jaw drop at the number of dice you’re rolling:
Combined with the Accuracy results you can pull from blue dice, this helps deal with enemy Defense tokens when you’re attacking (and by this point, these dice are honestly better off rolling Accuracy than Damage), and even if they don’t come up on Accuracy, blue dice have no blank sides, so they’re damn reliable to throw on extra firepower. So what’s the weakness of this build? Close Range is really tricky to stay in. Keep in mind, in Armada, you shoot before moving, and there’s no Pilot Skill to determine when ships move, so a keen enemy admiral will do whatever he or she can to avoid having one of their ships in close range when your giant gun is ready to fire. The best way to get around this is to activate this ship last and move it into close range of one or more enemy ships (that have already activated), so that during your next turn you’ll be guaranteed to have a target to blast.
So what else do we have? There’s plenty to digest, but the coolest things in my opinion are the two new admirals, Motti (Victory Expansion), and Screed (Gladiator Expansion):
I honestly have no idea which of these guys I like better. Motti turns your Victorys into massive tanks capable of taking incredible amounts of fire (a huge asset in a game where slugging it out seems to be the norm), but Screed works fantastically with a lot of upgrade cards, many of which trigger upon landing a Crit. The article suggests XX-9 Turbolasers, but there’s also the earlier noted Assault Concussion Missiles to keep in mind:
Both of these upgrades can cause mass amounts of damage, but throwing the latter (Assault Concussion Missiles) onto several Gladiators, led by Motti, has a lot of potential to shred a ship’s defenses fast, until you’re throwing 3 damage at a target for each crit after quickly stripping it’s shields with multiple attacks. The biggest issue continues to be the problem of hanging on to close range, but with multiple Gladiators on the field it’s entirely possible to simply overwhelm a target and then move to the next one, blocking it off so it can’t escape.
Until Armada releases, we won’t know how these ideas will work out, but until then I’ll keep crafting more theories to try once we get our hands on this awesome game. Until next time, play more games!