X-Wing Wave 14 Announced!!!

Wave 14 is finally announced and it’s going to have the long awaited T-65 fix!!!   So much goodness here!

It’s an entire Rogue One theme!   TIE Reapers, Saw Guererra, Partisans!   Oh, and by the way NO SCUM!   WHAT?!?!  Maybe some scum will come soon.

A 2-Pack for the rebels includes yet another place to pick up X-Wings and they actually seem to have movable wings!   Numerous upgrades in here and several of them say “S-Foil” so we are almost certainly getting that long awaited X-Wing fix!   And also apparently some love for U-Wings as well.

And the TIE Reaper looks amazing!   Look at this thing OMG!   It is so big for a ship that’s riding on a small base!   And you can put Palpatine here as well!

 

Here’s my video breakdown of the wave!

More painting!

Armada Wave 7 has finally come out and I’ve made it a point to paint at least ONE of each of my rebel ships.    Since I recently did one of each Imperial ship I decided I’d follow up for the rebels with an Oceanic theme to represent the fine Mon Calamari people, but accent it with some flames to represent burning oceans, or their fighting spirit.

Picture of painted rebel ships
Some of the first rebels I did with the “Blazing Oceans” theme.
More Painted Rebel Ships
Another Batch, including Wave 7’s MC-75. I didn’t give the MC-75 the flames yet, not sure if I will.
Close up of MC-75
The MC-75’s Armor was fun to do, taping off everything else, and multiple layers of light grey and mixtures of darker black and hints of blue.
Picture of all Armada ships, painted.
Here’s all of my airbrushed ships.

Scanned Images

I’ve had a few requests for Scanned Images of the Wave 7 cards and tokens as well.  My scanner isn’t the best, but hopefully this will work!

Armada Wave 7 in hand!

Armada Wave 7
Look what Santa Brought!

It was just a normal night, in fact I was getting ready to play some Armada with a friend.   When suddenly, my doorbell rang.  It was late, and the kids were already in bed.   Curious as to who could have been at my door this late, I opened the door to see that nobody was there, but instead a package was laying at my door!  FFG had sent me these two ships to review!   I showed my friend and immediately we knew that the game we wanted to play was going to have to wait so we could dive right in to these expansions!

Armada wave 7
The Profundity and Chimaera are gorgeous!

First the Chimaera – I was really pleased at the fact that the paint job is on both the top AND on the bottom.   A really nice touch.  This expansion really does a lot to emphasize large ships and make them more competitive, which has been one of my top complaints in the game so far.   Additionally, the explanation of raid tokens that comes with the rules, clears up all of the speculation as to how we can get rid of them.   You can either spend a command token to get rid of a matching raid token, (Making commanders like Tarkin and Garm more useful) or you can spend an entire dial, to get rid of ALL raid tokens.   Additionally the Gauntlet Fighters are gorgeous, and Gar Saxon’s ability to finally harass squadrons with Intel or Relay, begin to address my other concern with this game, in the form of Relay.

Another thing that is great about this set is the fact that it comes with enough new Star Destroyer cards to outfit itself and 2 additional Star Destroyers, so you can take 3 brand new ships into battle using the cards that come with this expansion!   Considering that you get all that plus two new squadrons, this is one heck of a value for a single box!

Now the Profundity expansion was really something special.   First off, I think this ship may be the best looking ship the rebels have in game up to this point.   Honestly, it is just jaw-dropping.   Like the Chimaera, it comes with lots of good cards that will really help large ships, and some duplicate cards that means rebels players won’t have to buy the Chimaera just to get a copy of Strategic Adviser.

Additionally, cards like Bail Organa offer a asymmetrical counter to cards like Governor Pryce.   And considering new Hyperspace Jump mechanics, that show up with the Profundity title and Admiral Raddus himself, the rebels gain a unique tactical advantage in their ability to deploy ships almost anywhere on teh battlefield!  With an emphasis on large ships and tokens, this looks to be a truly amazing ship!

Is this going to be an amazing wave or what?

Here are some higher rez pictures of the unspoiled cards:

Star Wars Legion – Excited to Start Painting

As Legion gets closer and closer to reality, I find myself at a loss because I still haven’t decided on a color scheme for my armies!  It’s got me thinking more and more about how I’m going to approach painting and customizing the game once it arrives.

When to Paint

I’ve made the mistake in the past, of getting a game and refusing to play it until I’ve finished painting it.   There are several problems with this approach.  The most obvious of which is that it means I’ll have a brand new game but not actually be playing it for awhile.  The second problem is that I’ll be anxious to play, and perhaps be tempted to do rush jobs on my miniatures just so that I can get them finished and start playing.  Additionally, this doesn’t allow for an intermediate time of reflection.   For example, if I painted one squad of miniatures, then went to go play a game or two, I might see some other paint jobs that could inspire some variation on future models.   This helps establish some depth of variation and design.

So this time around, I’m going to assemble everything right away, and possibly even prime them immediately, but I don’t think I’ll have that much of a rush to fully paint everything before playing.   If you are torn on this, I could suggest a black prime and maybe a light dry-brushing, just to bring out the detail on your models to hold you over until you decide to sit down and hammer out a squad or two of troopers.

Pink Stormtroopers?

Do I want everyone to be standard?  I generally do, or at least I think I do.  When I got into playing X-Wing, I remember going nuts and painting a ton of my ships in all sorts of wild colors, like red X-Wings, purple TIE Fighters…  and now as I look back on these I think I was overanxious to do something different.   For now, I think I’d rather have the majority of my troops looking standard.  But there’s something to be said for doing a squad or two with some special paint scheme.

The key is (in my opinion) not doing a paint scheme that will overwrite something that’s likely to show up in the future.  I wouldn’t paint my stormtroopers black for example, because that might make them look too similar to Death Troopers if those show up.   Same goes for Chrome, as if they ever do sequel trilogy units, I wouldn’t want confusion with Captain Phasma.  So while I may not go so far as to do Pink Stormtroopers, I think some variation may certainly be a think.  Dirty stormtroopers, Sandy Stormtroopers, and maybe even some regular stormtroopers with a touch of snow on their uniforms for my Hoth terrain.  (To hold me over until snow

Bases

It looks like the figures don’t actually come attached to their bases.  This will help people who want to customize their bases have more freedom to do so.   The only risk with doing that however, is that it might look strange if you end up playing on new terrain at some point.   In my case, my terrain is all going to have a snowy theme, so weather I’m on Hoth, Starkiller Base, or the snow-crested mountains of Alderaan, my snowy terrain will be appropriate.   However, if I made all of my bases snowy, it might look strange when I eventually bring an army to a tournament and play on an urban setting, or an Endor map.  I may just paint all of my Imperial bases in grey, and all my rebel bases in tan, like I did for Imperial Assault.

Additionally, I won’t want any base decorations to cover up the sides of the bases.   This is specifically for the outer rings, which I plan to color differently for each unit.   One stormtrooper unit, for example, will have a red ring around it’s base.  Another might be blue, then purple, then green, etc.   This will prove helpful when units get close together and will help players differentiate between them.  This might be less of an issue for rebel units, which are more likely to have uniform variation between them.

Magnetization

In a recent videos by Sorastro, you can see the bases from below, and it appears that they have a recessed section that would allow for easy placement of a magnet.   This would be great for metal trays, and transporting armies.

This is something that could provide a ton of ease when transporting armies in a manner that will keep them mostly locked in place, and also look pretty cool to your friends.   The downside here, is that gluing a magnet into every miniature is likely going to be expensive, and time consuming.  It will also require a metal tray system for storage, which is great if you already have one from previous wargames, but if you are just getting started here with Legion and don’t have a system like this, you may want to wait a bit before magnetizing your miniatures.

 

Are you as excited about painting and playing Legion as I am?   It’s looking like February is going to be the month that we finally see it!   I’m hoping it’s not delayed!   There’s a lot of painting to do!

 

 

Type O Negative Fleet

Growing up, my favorite band was Type O Negative.  This was a major influence on me and why my favorite colors are black and green.  (Also helps that Luke in ROTJ was basically those same colors as well).  So when I got an Airbrush for Christmas, my first major project was going to be to repaint some of my Armada ship that I’d previously screwed up on and wanted to repaint them.

Here’s the video of the Livestream if you are interested:

The end result wasn’t half bad.  Here’s how they came out.

So the next day I went back and added some details.  I did some panels in grey, and then added tiny white dots where I thought lights should be.  I think it came out pretty good!

Here are some more closeups:

This is part of the reason I’m now trying to manufacture reasons to use these 3 ships in a list!  Might have to repaint some squadrons soon!

Taking a look at Raddus

At the time of writing this article, we still haven’t seen a good preview of the Profundity expansion so I’m doing this all based on what little we know about Raddus. 

So Raddus hasn’t seen a whole lot of attention yet in the big hype train surrounding Wave 7 for Armada.  I’d say primarily because of 2 mains reasons.  First, Thrawn’s expansion, the Chimaera, has gotten most of the attention thus far with several articles, and Secondly, Raddus at a glance, appears to give us something we already have access to – a Ship warping in.

Now we’ve already seen a similar mechanic when it comes to the Yellow Objective, Hyperspace Assault.   I think that I wasn’t initially too impressed with this commander because of that.   It didn’t feel “fresh”.   It didn’t feel “new”.  But once I looked closer I realized this guy is far superior to that objective and has an awful lot of versatility.  In fact, I think Raddus actually takes the place of “Top Strategic Master”, whereas most people may have expected that title to go to Thrawn.

Raddus Bomb

We know now (thanks to the latest FAQ) that you will lose the game if you deploy 0 ships, so you’ll need to start with at least something perhaps a cheap small ship.  But the Raddus Bomb is a strategy that involves having multiple ships deploy at the same time.   If you are using Hypserpscae Assault you can effectively have Profundity dock a CR-90, and have an Assault Frigate off the map with Hyperspace Assault, (Have that Assault Frigate equipped with Rapid Launch Bays – docking 3 B-Wings, plus your 3 from hyperspace assault), and effectively surprise an enemy with your Assault Frigate warping in with 3 Squadrons, (then it can do a Squadron command and deploy it’s own docked squadrons for a total of 6), then Warp in Profundity, and then deploy a docked CR-90.  This can be a really fun way to go, but you run the risk of having your lone ship destroyed BEFORE you deploy everything else – and if that were to happen you’d instantly lose.

I’ve looked deeper at Raddus and think that more subtle usage of his ability might be a more effective approach to bringing him into games.

No Size Restriction

Raddus is better than the Hyperspace Assault objective’s benefit for a multitude of reasons.   First, you aren’t restricted to only small and medium ships, which means you can take that loaded up LMC-80 and surprise your opponent with it.   LMC-80s make for excellent flanking ships, with the ability to move at speed 3, take gunnery teams, and hit you just as hard as an Imperial Star Destroyer, being able to surprise an enemy with one of these is going to feel great!

No Deployment Disadvantage

Similar to how Governor Pryce allows an Imperial Star Destroyer to gain an advantage by activating last, Raddus can act alternatively for the Rebels, and allow you to DEPLOY last.   By using his ability during the FIRST turn of the game, you’ll effectively have the final deployment.  This is perfect for flanking ships, but also it allows you to adapt to any objective that might want you to put a ship somewhere without broadcasting your plan to your opponent during setup.  Also, if you deploy that big flanking Spinal Armament, Gunnery Teamed MC-80 Liberty at the start of Turn 1, you can gain 2 smaller advantages as well, in that you A) can push it past the normal deployment zone a bit, and B) won’t suffer from the penalty of not being able to activate it first.

This is especially powerful if you end up being first player, as you’ll have an MC-80 that may end up deploying at it’s furthest forward spot, past another forward ship, and at speed 3.  This will put it in prime position to shoot first on turn 2.   You might even find yourself in a position to destroy two enemy ships at the start of the second turn this way.

Speeding Up the Slower Ships

Another option is to take a Home-One style MC-80, and drop it at the start of turn 2, directly in the path of your enemies.   Set one of your smaller ships to speed 3 or 4, and get them close enough to the enemy fleet that a large ship deploying at that point will really screw up their plans.  It’s a tough enough ship that it can take a beating and survive for a turn or 2, and it’s large enough that it’ll likely cause some bumping.   Bonus points if you can force enemy flotillas to bump!  Then when you do activate it, you’ll have those tremendous powerful side arcs in close range of your opponent’s ships!   The best part is that you’ll be able to choose where you place the MC-80 so you might even end up with both side arcs having a great shot!  You can also probably leave off certain upgrades like Engine Techs, since getting into position will be done for you already at that point.

Rise of the Interdictor

One side effect of Raddus is that the Interdictor will likely see new life.   I don’t think the Interdictor is bad, or has been bad, but it’s certainly not a power player in the top lists, and it’s more of a niche ship that seems to do best in objective-focused lists.   Now it’s going to have a new purpose with the GX-7 Grav Well Projector

The latest FAQ has stated that these projector tokens remain in place for the entire game.  That means that enemy ships that “deploy” after the start of the game, are also vulnerable to the effects of the grav well projector.   Having your 150+ point MC-80 deploy, and get set to speed zero is a real problem, especially when you can’t activate it first.  That means your opponent will get at least one chance to shoot you, and you will NOT be allowed to spend any defense tokens.  This could allow even the strongest ship to potentially be killed in a single attack.   It may be a good idea to bring along Lando Calrissian just in case this happens.  The good part, is that these tokens have to be placed before deploying fleets, so that still gives Raddus a fighting chance against Interdictors.

But will we see fleets with multiple Interdictors in the future?   I doubt it, but with the release of Wave 6’s Disposable Capacitors, Interdictors are stronger and can actually deal out some damage even at long range now, so it might just be a thing, depending on how prevalent Raddus becomes.  Counters are a good thing – they keep one list from running wild – and even though I doubt we’ll see double Interdictor Lists become widespread, it’s nice to know that there are some effective measures to stop this master Mon Calamari from running amuck!

 

Wave 7 was just sent to the printer finally – so it’s looking like we might actually have them in our hands at some point in the forseeable future!   My hopes for Q1 are small, especially since FFG deliberately said “Early” 2018, as opposed to Q1.   I would bet on a July release at this point.

 

Governor Pryce, First Impressions

We got another article today about Armada’s Wave 7 from the new article today, from FFG.  In it we got a very interesting glimpse of a new officer, designed by 2015 World Champion Jonathan Reinig, Governor Pryce.

Restrictions – She cannot be used on small ships, and at first glance, seems to be very powerful on an ISD.   No longer will 2 or 3 ship lists feel quite so pushed to add flotillas in place of squadrons or upgrades.   Well, that seems to be the idea at least.  I feel like the hope here, was that a two ISD list would be able to delay one of it’s activations until the end, forcing an opponent with say, 4+ ships, to move them all into engagement range, and giving Pryce’s ISD the lion’s share of targets.   That might work for casual games but I think there are some problems here, beyond the fact that it can only be used once.

Broadcasting Your Plan

The good people over at CannotGetYourShipOut tend to often emphasize the risks when you basically tell your opponent what you are planning to do.  Here is a perfect case where you are doing just that.  If you select the ROUND 3 token, for example…. your opponent knows that you are planning for round 3 to be your power turn, and can typically adjust their tactics accordingly.  If this were the case, an opponent could simply wait for you to move Pryce’s ship turn 2, then speed up to put all ships in range, ready to shoot at the start of turn 3.   (Also there may be some shots fired turn 2 as well).

MUST can be a Bust

This card says you MUST activate at the end of the chosen turn.   Which means if you’ve only got a 2 ship list and have activated your first ship, you have to just sit there while your opponent activates ship after ship, slugging Pryce’s ship with volley after volley…. and THEN moving out of the way.  If her ship even survives, it may not have any good shots left against an experienced opponent.  If this didn’t say “Must”, then at least you could REACT to an opponent’s ever-changing strategy – but in this case your hands are tied.

Squadrons

Heavy carriers might be a smarter move when assigning Governor Pryce, as you’ll be able to stay a bit farther away and still get some versatility out of the squadrons that you activate.  However, great carriers like the Quasar tend to want officers that will give some nice synergy with  their squadron abilities, like Wulf Yularen, or even Admiral Chiraneu.  Also, a quasar is cheap enough that it probably is never going to run in a 2 ship list, or really fear for activation disadvantage quite like an ISD will.

So which turn SHOULD you select?

First thing’s first – before you select a turn with Pryce, you are going to have to read the battlefield.   You are going to look at where your opponent placed ships, how far away they are, and what speed they are at.   You are going to have to look at their ability to modify speeds beyond simple navigation commands, (Ozzel, Flotillas with Comms Net, etc).  And you are going to have to think about what offensive capabilities they have.  Do they need to be in close range?   Are they most effective at long range?  All of these things are going to factor in to your decision.   But the simple answer I think, in many cases, will be to select turn 2.

Why turn 2?

Turn 2 may turn out to be the optimal turn primarily because it won’t give your opponent as much setup time to exploit your inability to activate.   You don’t want a fleet of MC-30s to be able to boost up to speed 4 and all jump into close range of Pryce’s Star Destroyer and attack with impunity.  You don’t want a 7 activation list to be able to take 7 separate shots on your front hull zone before you can react, and you certainly don’t want those shots to kill you before you get to use a ship that you likely have 130+ points invested into.  In some cases where the opponent’s fleet is slow, and they deploy at speed 1, you will probably feel safe to select turn 3…. but in most cases Turn 2 will probably be the safest bet.

 

In closing I think this is a step in the right direction for large ships.   It’s not good enough on it’s own, and I think it would be 10x better if it allowed you to ignore the card’s text and activate as normal if you needed to, however it is interesting and different, and addresses an important weakness of large ships.   I’ll certainly try it out at some point.

 

 

Galactic Supremacy!

Which game is the best?   Have you ever wondered who would win if you could pit your X-Wing collection against an Armada fleet?   I’ve decided to take it to the next level and pit all of the FFG Games I cover against each other in an event I’m calling Galactic Supremacy!

Galactic Supremacy will be a free for all battle where each game will battle by it’s own rules.  X-Wing, Armada, Imperial Assault, and even Star Wars Destiny will face off against one another!

 

In the coming weeks I’ll be updating my channel with videos for each game, detailing what I’ll be bringing to the game to represent that game.   It’s going to be a last-hero-standing rumble, so emphasis will be on survivability and eliminating the competition.

Training Grounds, will be the game mat.  Imperial Assault will be restricted to movement squares, and Destiny won’t be able to move at all, while X-Wing and Armada will be able to fly anywhere, but will lose if they fly off the mat.

 

The best part is that this battle will happen during a LIVE BROADCAST and everyone viewing will be able to help make the decisions!

X-Wing Waves 12 and 13 Arrive!

It’s turning out to be a great month to be a Star Wars fan!   Also an expensive month!   We finally get the long awaited Gunboat!   New mechanics with the Kimogila’s bullseye firing arc, and the Phantom 2’s amazing new crew, whom I can’t wait to run with a B-Wing, Maul.  Also some new Last Jedi ships for Wave 13 are sure to shake things up with their huge impact and huge table presence…. seriously these ships are huge!

Videos

 

Hope you enjoy! Discuss these over on the forums on Discord!