Last Friday night I went to Dueling Grounds to join Yik and Vic for some Armada fun. These two are some of the best local players, each winning a Sullust event. They both brought some wave 2 winnings to play with, how exciting!
Everyone wanted to try something new. Vic was interested in taking the X-Wing meta of two “pancakes” and seeing if they would dominate in Armada. The idea behind his list was to send Dash and Han to their deaths but have their sacrifice delay a bomber attack. If there were no enemy fighters, they could chip away for some added damage every turn. Vic was also keen on trying out Ackbar with his favorite rebel ship, the Assault Frigate.
Yik wanted to see if fighters were any good now that Boosted Comms made them easier to use.
His idea was to sit back and slow crawl in while his fighters softened up a target or two. Rhymer has a very extended range of attack with Boosted Comms. He gave Vic initiative to force the rebels to come to him (cue Vader saying “Heee will come to meee?!”) while the Imperials collected objective points.
Imperial Build (398 pts)
Rebel Build (398 pts)
The Imperials gave the Rebels first player, and the Rebels selected Dangerous Territory for the Objective.
The Imperials send their fighters screaming towards the Rebels while the Star Destroyer and Gladiators slowly rumble forward, daring their foes to approach.
This round saw the Rebels bank towards the Imperials and both Dash and Han flew in front of Home One.
Now the action started! Han began the round by flying off to engage some TIEs on the Imperial’s right flank while Dash was jumped by Vader and some TIEs near Home One.
On the Rebels right flank the Guppy moved over a debris field and shot at the Demolisher which closed in for some close range shooting, setting up a potentially death dealing pair of salvos on Round 4.
Han Solo started the round by killing a TIE and then flying like a madman into the Rhymer Ball with very little health left. The Falcon would blow up (or hyperspace away if you want to imagine it that way) leaving the fight later that round.
The first Rebel activation was the Assault Frigate near the Gladiator. Massive damage was inflicted on the Imperial ship, filling it with explosions.
All the Rebel ships kept turning in, circling the Star Destroyer. The Gladiator on the Imperial’s right flank was still out of the fight and was trying to close the distance. Darth Vader and his Escorts obliterated Dash.
This round saw the loss of the Rebel Guppy and the Demolisher hanging on by only a few hull thanks to the cult of personality Motti projects. The Imperial Bombers started their attack runs on Home One.
Home One activated first and devastated the already burning Star Destroyer and obliterated the Demolisher.
The Imperials managed to pull out a win! What an entertaining bloodbath of a game. It’s funny thinking back to the first days of playing with the Core Set, how much the game has changed and our understanding of it.
We are all looking forward to Wave 2 which will be the glory days of Original Trilogy theme for Armada, much like Wave 3 was in X-Wing.
Later that night we all talked about Armada, drawing lessons from our evening of gaming. It seems a Victory Star Destroyer is probably the better choice for a dedicated carrier ship. Taking Electronic Countermeasures might be an auto include on an Imperial Star Destroyer. It will definitely help in stopping Ackbar.
Two Raiders in the place of a Gladiator and some fighters would definitely have helped with activations. The Imperials will gain a lot of flexibility from that little trouble maker of a ship when it arrives. In the game played, putting Motti on the Gladiator would have been a better move to draw fire away from the ISD or having it hurt less when losing it.
The Rebel dual pancake experiment didn’t do so well. A better idea might have been to use Jan Ors to protect some X-Wings – their escort coming in handy. They would have made better speed bumps than Han and Dash, but would not be as effective if the opponent brought zero squadrons.
Home One is a great title, but really should work on itself as it’s very counter intuitive! The good news for all the worrywarts out there is the MC-80 does not suck! On paper it looks too slow and expensive but on the table it has great arcs and puts out significant damage from long range.
Guppies and the MC-80 greatly benefit from Advanced Projectors. With their weaker hulls, using every shield is a big boost to their survivability. Lastly, Ackbar is an amazing Admiral especially when combined with Home One. The best part of rolling lots of red dice is it’s very fun and therapeutic!