On the cusp of the release of wave 3 of FFG’s spectacular Starwars:Armada strategy game, the Imperials have been proving dominant, winning around 67% of US regionals Source .
65% of those Imperial winner’s lists included a gladiator star destroyer with the meta-defining ‘Demolisher’ title, the game’s most popular (and arguably most powerful) Capital Ship upgrade. 53% of the Imperial winner’s lists included Major Rhymer, the game’s most popular (and arguably most powerful) Squadron upgrade.
The challenge for any competitive Rebel has been to counter one without losing horribly against the other – to counter the strongest Capital Ship list and the strongest Squadron-heavy list simultaneously. The data I linked to above is new, but the challenge goes back several tournament-cycles. As some people will know, I’ve been experimenting with a build I call ‘Rogue Madness’ for the last few months.
This list is great fun to play, but also has done too well for me to keep to myself. I’ve won a 28 games in a row against local and international players (including some who read this blog). Some games were untidy, some were close, a couple simply lucky, but who cares — 28 wins 0 losses is an unusually consistent result so I thought it worth sharing the list and thought process.
This is for those 3++ readers who have recently become interested in Star Wars: Armada, the fleet level strategy game from FFG.
I am currently organising an international Tournament for 30 players, half Imperial and half of them Rebel, to decide the future of the Galaxy. Games will be played on Vassal (or live on tabletop, where available)
This is WAR
not a small skirmish or some luxury training exercise. Men and Materiel are stretched to the absolute limit as the factions scramble to prepare for massive sector-wide battles. Great heroes like Major Rhymer, Howlrunner, Wedge Antilles and even scoundrels like Han Solo can’t be everywhere at once, and admirals must make do with whatever ships and supplies they can beg from their HQs.
Massive ships like Home 1, the Avenger, Demolisher and Yavaris can only be in one sector under one admiral at a time, and planning around these restrictions may prove to be as much a key to victory as the efforts of the individual admirals and pilots. Read more
FFG’s brilliant large-scale Star Wars strategy game, ARMADA, gets its second wave of ships over the next few weeks. This includes the new Star Destroyer, which frankly dwarfs the Victory-class Star Destroyer that was released with the game, as well as Home One rebel capital ship and a host of new fighter and bomber squadrons.
The new ships won’t be available to purchase for a few more weeks (and possibly longer), but a few sets will be won by the winners of the soon coming Mustering at Sullust tournaments. Fortunately a Bothan by the name of Lyraeus was able to get some photos of an unboxed set in advance, so the rest of us can have a look at the goodies that are in the pipe line.
After the fold; photos of the new ships, comparisons with the old, and a lot of the new cards and upgrades (I’ve edited some of the images for easier reading, so while imperfect these are the best quality currently available).
Star Wars: Armada fans may be happy to hear that a new update for Vassal has just been released. Thanks to a huge amount of work put in by the talented Ransberger, the launch release v1.0 has now been repalced by v1.99 which comes with a host of new functionality and improvements (more details and a free download link the end of this post).
Even better, this is just in time for the first International Star Wars: Armada Tournament, which kicked off this morning, moments after the new vassal release. This is the very first vassal tournament for Armada, and has attracted players from around the world including some of most successful Xwing players. I have compiled a list of most of the Fleets being used, which I think Armada players will find really interesting.
The big questions at the moment as people try to ‘meta-game’ their squadrons against potential opponents revolve around the minimum points spent on initiative bids (the player with the least points in their fleet gets to pick to be player 1 or 2), objective selection (each player picks 1 of 4 objectives from 3 categories and offers them to their opponent to choose from if the opponent is 2nd player – it’s a whole mini game of interesting decisions before the real fight starts!) and especially the balance between Capital Ships and Fighter/Bomber Squadrons. Read more
Good for Gamers, Bad for Livers. 5 Stars.
I am planning to put up some brief articles and ‘Getting Started’ lists for the new game I’ve rapidly become a fan of; Star Wars:Armada. First though, I thought it might be useful to put up a ‘Why Should We Care’ for the 40K and other gaming crowds, in the form of a review of this game from the completely unbiased source of a main-stream media newspaper, The Guardian.
Have a read and see if this is the sort of system that might appeal to you.
Star Wars: Armada review – epic space battles on your dinner table
Board game publishers Fantasy Flight already make some of the most high-end tabletop games in the world, but Star Wars: Armada is something else entirely.
A two-player celebration of the fizzing lasers and swooping squadrons of Star Wars, this is a deep box packed with pre-painted miniatures, tiny dials, custom dice, even an intimidating snake-like thing called the “Maneuver Tool”. And these are just the toys that’ll catch your eye. As you pick them up to start fiddling, you’ll reveal still more stuff to play with –bound packs of cards, endless tokens, flatpacked asteroids.
Star Wars Armada – it should have been an easy sale to a strategy gaming fanatic like me, who’s already done two 40K armies in Star Wars themes (not to mention a third at epic scale!). Let’s just say I am a fan.
The truth is though that when I first tried a demo game I was skeptical, it seemed a bit too simple (and properly-engineered star destroyers just too durable) which is why I didn’t get any models until now. However, the whole of Wave 1 is now out and the game has improved, so I finally made the plunge and bought my very first Armada ship last night. By the time midnight had struck, I had bought another 4 capital ships and 14 fighter squadrons.
But at least they are easy to store. Here are 5 things you need to know. Read more
Plus! Bonus: Interactive turns on large base ships ( X-Wing Tutorial / Guide )
We have two videos for the fans of Fantasy Flight’s X-Wing game today, both made by the true fanatics at the Outer Rim Smugglers.
The first is a battle report of a game between GaryAsh (of ORS) and me, where we are battling for a spot in the Team Covenants Aces league. This is sort of an international top 12 featuring US and World Champion Paul Heaver, Australian and World Runner up Morgan Reid, Dallas ‘Texx’ Parker, Jeff ‘TheTheorist’ Jones and other notable tournament winners, and it’s designed to be extremely challenging. Read more
The Interwebs were lit up with the news that Fantasy Flight have released a new FAQ for their wildly popular X-Wing game. This contains a range of changes and clarifications to rules, upgrade cards, movement and ships, but the one that has really caught the attention of the players is the tweak they made to how the meta-defining Phantom works.
The Phantom’s decloak is now at the start of the activation phase, rather than immediately before the Phantom moves, giving new hope to squadrons of ships with lower pilot skill. The struggle for lowly pilots to chase down phantoms has been changed from ‘Almost impossible’ to ‘Very hard’.
And making fighting phantoms merely ‘Very Hard’ is possibly the best thing that has happened to the X-Wing metagame and the diversity of what competitive squads can look like for a while – and yes I am including Autothrusters.
The X-Wing Vassal Module 5.2.0 is available for download now. This free download has been created by the efforts of some extremely dedicated and enthusiastic X-Wing fans, and includes a host of new ships, dials and features.
Many of us have played 40K on vassal in the past, but the X-Wing module is light years ahead in simplicity, functionality and sheer elegance. Rather than being worth the effort but still a lot harder to play than the 40K version, X-Wing on vassal is actually more precise, more accurate and for those who’ve learned the ins-and-outs of the shortcut keys, faster to play. That has lead to Vassal being a popular place for leagues and tournaments, with the TCO International just finished yesterday and the UK tournament kicking off this week.