It's been a while since we've been around (that's a bit of an understatement) but with a new year and FINALLY some free time, we'll hopefully be back on track with regular content soon!
Crazy, TommyH and I have working hard to make this Saturday's X-Wing Store Championships as big as we can, (while also somehow fitting in some Conquest, 40k, LotR, our actual day jobs, and me getting married) and with 30 players confirmed as paid things are shaping up to be pretty amazing.
However while all Crazy and TommyH mentally prepare for the weekend, I find my own attention wandering to something more... Epic...
Late last year our wonderful new favorite games developer, Fantasy Flight Games, announced the release of what will possibly be my favorite tabletop game of all time: Star Wars(TM): Armada.
For those of you who don't know, Armada is a game of capital ship battles, giving players the opportunity to field fleets of Star Destroyers and Corvettes, blasting away at each other with banks of turbolasers whilst swarms of snubfighters duel in the crossfire.
You might think I'm talking it up, but if you have half an imagination check it out and tell me it won't be the most amazing thing you've ever played:
With all the spoilers FFG has been releasing it's now possible to start making reasonable attempts a building fleets, so over the next week or two I'll be writing up a few quick articles on possible combos that might see some play once the war for the galaxy begins!
Let's kick things off with that most iconic of Star Wars ships (and the class of capital ship I have a personal obsession over) the Star Destroyer!
FFG has announced that there will be two available variations of the Star Destroyer craft from launch: the Victory Class and the Gladiator Class.
The Victory is a formidable ship, giving Imperial players access to the most heavily armed and armoured of all the available Wave 1 ships. With 6 attack dice in its front arc, and 3 on the sides the Victory has the potential to lay down utterly devastating firepower under the right circumstances - enough to take out one of the lighter Rebel craft in a single round of shooting! The Victory also functions well as a squadron support craft, with a Squadron value of 3 the Victory can ensure it is constantly screened from those pesky Rebel fighter craft. It must be kept in mind however that this sort of power comes with a cost, and the Victory II-Class is the most expensive ship announced. Additionally it's not quick - with careful planning it's not inconceivable that a Rebel Corvette could quickly slip by the blazing guns and start pouring fire into the vulnerable rear section.
This is where the Gladiator Class comes into its own. For a more nimble (relatively speaking) craft, the Gladiator is still quite heavily armed. With 4 attack dice of various combinations on 3/4 hull sections the Gladiator has the potential to be a real nuisance if it can close the distance and unleash its close-range armament. The Gladiator also affords Imperial admirals the opportunity to react more quickly to battlefield conditions - command and squadron values of 2 make the Gladiator an ideal utility craft able to support its own fast-moving fighter screen and capable of changing tactics on the fly (again, relatively compared to the Victory).
So with all of the above, and recognising that some points value must be kept for fighter craft here's a pair of ship builds taking advantage of what I think are some of the most powerful elements of each ship. Please do keep in mind these are suggestions, as there's a good third of the upgrade cards yet to be revealed.
The Victory and Gladiator here can work in concert. The Victory is comfortable moving slowly across the field, maximising its opportunity to pour as much fire onto enemy ships as possible. If it does manage to pin an enemy ship at medium range the Victory can bring as many as 8 attack dice to bear in a single attack from the front section, or 6 attack dice from the sides using both the Dominator ability and Enhanced Armament. Overload pulse gives a great opportunity to weaken an enemies defensive capabilities for a second attack from either a different ship section or a broadside from the Gladiator.
While the Victory makes its way insidiously forwards, the Gladiator can behave very differently. It can use its 3 speed maneuvers to close the distance with the enemy and use the Demolisher title to open fire before the enemy ship moves away. Engine Techs work very interestingly with this combination. The Gladiator can fire, perform its maneuver, perform the Engine Tech maneuver and fire again. The concussion missiles allow the Gladiator to add two extra damage results to each hull section adjacent to the target, which could prove deadly against a ship with collapsed shields.
When used in combination with any of the currently announced Warlords and you can add greater offensive or defensive utility as you require.
With high command values Grand Moff Tarkin can furnish you with a suite of tokens to use when you most need them.
Admiral Screed guarantees that you'll trigger the each of the critical abilities of the Victory and the Gladiator once per activation.
Admiral Moti can give you the durability to outlast your opponent and weather a barrage of fire to close with the enemy and return the favor.
As I mentioned previously there are still upgrade cards to come, and with those cards will come new builds and new combinations. If you have your own combination please share it below!
I'll be back with another post in another couple of days with a couple of my initial impressions of the Rebel craft for Wave 1.
Until then, make good choices.