Star Wars Armada: Raider SMASH!!!

I’ve been playing Armada for a couple of months (not getting as many games as I would like) and I’ve been bouncing between different list archetypes in order to best determine what fits my style.   From other miniatures games, I would best describe my style as “mobile, aggressive, and asymmetric”.  Tough order to fill in a relatively new game like Armada.

I’ve tried Ackbar gunlines, Rebel corvette swarms, and squadron heavy builds.  Then I heard rumblings of a potent Imperial build based on Demolisher and some Raiders and on first glance, it looked like a list that fit my style.   So I cobbled together the necessary components and created my own version listed below (thanks to Yik for the Raiders and Jordan for the Expanded Launchers).

The SMASH List

Gladiator I
– Demolisher
– Expanded Launchers
– Ordnance Experts
– Intel Officer
– Engine Techs

Raider I
– Admiral Screed
– Admiral Montferrat
– Ordnance Experts

Raider I
– Instigator
– Quad Laser Turrets
– Expanded Launchers
– Ordnance Experts

Raider I
– Expanded Launchers
– Ordnance Experts

Raider I
– Expanded Launchers
– Ordnance Experts

2 x Tie Fighters

There was an upcoming tournament at Phoenix Games in Kitchener and I figured that this would be a great time to test out this list.  Unfortunately I didn’t have any time at all to practice before the tourney.  But I did have some miscellaneous thoughts on how it should work.

I was either going to win big, or lose even bigger.

star_wars_armada_raider_class_corvette_by_anthonydevine-d98y7a1Game 1 – Jordan
Will Jordan regret lending me Expanded Launchers? Stay tuned…

Jordan’s List
ISD (Gunnery Team)
Rhymer ball

Objective: Hyperspace Assault

_Objective Defence - hyperspace-assault

I knew that a Rhymer ball had the potential to take out a Raider in one turn or severely hurt Demolisher. So I needed to be very careful around his squadrons.

Jordan split his forces up, ISD to the right, Raider + half of the Rhymer ball on the left flank, VSD + bombers in reserve.  This left an opening for me, I knew that the remaining Rhymer ball could only damage the Demolisher, not destroy it.  If I jumped in with Demolisher, I would get his Raider and expose the flank of his ISD.  I did just that, trading his Raider for 3 shields on the Demolisher.

His VSD + bombers came in (via Hyperspace Assault) the next turn. I managed to do some damage to the VSD with Demolisher, but not enough. The VSD and bombers took out one of my Raiders, but I was able to finish off the VSD using one of the remaining Raiders. Jordan’s ISD then moves into range of the other remaining Raiders.  With Gunnery Teams, he can potentially take down two Raiders in one turn – Jordan vapourizes one, but rolls poorly for the second one (strong case for taking SW-7s). This leaves the ISD facing two Raiders (both still to activate) and Demolisher (activated). The ISD did not survive to activate again.

All in all, Jordan flew his list well, and in retrospect, he kept cool and calm in the midst of battle.  Kudos – especially since I borrowed his card.

Result: 9-1, 237 MOV
Losses: 2 Raiders
Raider Kills: 1 ISD, 1 VSD
Demolisher Kills: 1 Raider
Note: a “kill” is defined as doing 50% or more damage

Lessons Learned:
– squadrons are the bane of this list
– gunnery team ISDs will destroy 2 Raiders per turn
– Demolisher can out-run non-Rogue squadrons
– don’t take Hyperspace Assault again, it leaves too many options in the hands of the opponent

Game 2 – Ian
My next opponent had won the X-Planet store championship a week or two ago and he had just tabled poor Shereef (who was playing his first real game of Armada).  I felt that I had to avenge my buddy Shereef – the man who dared bring Deathrain to an X-Wing Nationals.

Ian’s List:
2 x ISD (heavily upgraded, but no Gunnery Teams)
2 x Raider

Objective: Most Wanted

_Objective Assault - most-wanted

Ian deployed in one corner, angled to face the centre.  Both ISDs were in the centre of the formation, one raider on each flank.  This formation was tight, too tight.  I felt it did not leave the ISDs enough room to maneuver.  So I deployed my Raiders off-centre to match up against the right ISD and Raider.  Demolisher had the task of dealing with the left Raider and hopefully avoid the front arc of the left ISD.

It was slow going at first, but on turn 3, the Demolisher jumped in and took out the left Raider and also damaged the left ISD.  One of my Raiders took out his Raider, leaving the right ISD facing 3 of my Raiders, with his left ISD still out of range with my Demolisher in his rear.  One Raider took long-range fire from the right ISD, but it didn’t do enough damage to take it out (4 red dice only).  In return, the two Raiders opened up on his ISD – taking it out.  Ian conceded afterwards.

Ian got clearly frustrated once Demolisher was able to collapse his flank and be in the rear of the ISDs.  Admittedly, this is a very tough situation to be in.  After the game, I realized that we did not at all pay attention to the objective.  We didn’t add extra dice for attacking the objective ship and didn’t add any points for killing the objective ship.

Result: 10-0, 400 MOV (more if we counted Most Wanted)
Losses: None
Raider Kills: 2 ISD, 1 Raider
Demolisher Kills: 1 Raider

Lessons Learned:
– don’t deploy asteroids in front of your ships (I had to drop to speed 0 to avoid a rock)

Game 3 – Joe
Joe was part of the Buffalo, NY crew that made the trip up North. I’m glad that they were able to come up as it made for a very diverse tournament.

Joe’s List:
ISD (no Gunnery Team)
4 Tie Adv

Objective: Contested Outpost

_Objective Defence - contested-outpost

I deployed asteroids better this time.  Joe had his ISD in the centre, with Demolisher on the left flank, vanilla Gladiator on the right, squadrons up front.  I deployed my Demolisher to counter his.

Around turn 3, he was able to bring in his fighters into my Raiders. The Tie Advs attacked one Raider, taking out the shields and dealing one hull damage.  However, my Demolisher took out his Demolisher and was now in the rear of this ISD.  Next turn, his Tie Advs finished off my damaged Raider, but the remaining Raiders obliterated his ISD.  Demolisher then finished off the remaining Gladiator.

My game plan was to ignore the objectives and just go straight for Joe’s ships.  In the end, he got 4 objective tokens (I got none), but I was able to table him.

Result: 9-1, 266 MOV
Losses: 1 Raider
Raider Kills: 1 ISD
Demolisher Kills: 2 Gladiators

Lessons Learned:
– squadrons tear up Raiders, even non-bombers

The Raider SMASH list is absolutely devastating if played correctly. However, it does have an Achilles heel – squadrons.  I’m going to tweak the list to make it more versatile, potentially removing one Expanded Launchers and putting in both Raider titles to help deal with squadrons.

Thanks to Phoenix Games for running an excellent tournament and to all the players who made it a smashing success!

The Theory of the SMASH list:
Coming soon…


3 thoughts on “Star Wars Armada: Raider SMASH!!!”

  1. The Darkness is spreading! Nice job man. I liked your article as it was easy to read and I learned a few things. Congrats too!

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