The Nunchuck Expansion is a free expansion for Star Wars Armada. It consists exclusively of titles for existing ships, which will showcase new strategies and new options for ships that only had limited roles. The Nunchuck Expansion is NOT an official product and is not tournament legal. I am designing the expansion and will be releasing them right here on crabbok.com.
Here are a few samples of just a few of the Imperial Titles that will be included.
X-Wing 2.0 is getting closer and the time has never been better to have a giveaway! You can win one of three X-Wing Second Edition Conversion Kits right here!
The conversion kits are absolutely essential to anyone playing the origina X-Wing Miniatures Game, who wants to dive in to Second Edition without having to buy all the new ships. If you don’t get one, you will be stuck waiting for new Second Edition ships to come out, and will also end up paying an arm and a leg. For about $50 MSRP, (cheaper if you shop around), you can get a conversion kit for either Rebels, Imperials, or Scum, which will upgrade multiples of each of your ships to second edition format.
First Order and Resistance conversion kits aren’t yet fully announced, so we don’t know how much they will cost or what exactly they’ll contain. We do know that they will be cheaper, so you can expect to pay less for those.
How do I Enter The Giveaway?
Simple – All you have to do is to become a subscriber on Crabbok’s Channel, and leave a comment on one of his videos and you’ll be automatically entered to win! Here is a link to the announcement video!
When will the Winners be Announced?
The winners will be announced during the last week of July. This means you will know if you’ve won, before they go on early pre-sale at GenCon, and long before they go on sale at local retail stores, later in September. Winners are typically announced at the end of a video, so stay subscribed and watch all the way to the end!
How will I Get my Winnings?
If your name is revealed as a winner, you’ll have 30 days to contact Crabbok, either on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, or the email address, found on Crabbok’s Channel. You’ll be e-mailed a digital gift card for the amount of $42.49, the cost of a conversion kit on coolstuffinc.com.
What if I don’t play X-Wing?
Honestly, at this point you can do whatever you like with the giftcard. You can put it towards some other game. It’s up to you!
Want to learn more about X-Wing 2.0? X-Wing Wave 14 just came out with some new ships that have 2.0 cards in them! Here are some unboxing videos!
If you are in the market to upgrade your tabletop gaming experience than you absolutely need to check out some of these amazing terrain pieces from Imperial Terrain. They were kind enough to send over a few for me to look at and I’ve got to admit that I’m pretty blown away. The detail on these pieces are extremely high, and all of them have some type of battlefield functionality that makes them superior to simple rocks and trees.
The Small Mechanics Shop
These little shops make perfect buildings for any setting. They feature a mostly flat roof, which accomodates fitting troops on top, and even the occasional speeder bike. The feature a built-in ladder on one side to facilitate easier climbing up and down. They are tall enough to easily fit troopers inside as well. The two doorways offer multiple paths in or out, and the removable roof allows you to separately move and measure units above and below.
Having buildings with an interior that is accessible during the game, really enhances the possibilities. Perhaps you place an obstacle inside, rather than on the roof? Perhaps you hide units leaders inside after grabbing an objective! These little shops are very versatile and beautifully detailed.
The Landing Pad is simply amazing. It’s hard to say more than that, simply because the size and detail here are unparalleled. In the above picture, there are actually two landing pads, joined by a leaf, which extends the top platform, however it is possible to connect 4 or more for even larger platforms. Each individual landing pad has an elevator door, a ladder, and enough space to land a standard starfighter on the top. They areabout 7 1/2 inches tall, which means they are considered height 2 as well.
Having terrain that is height 2 offers some very interesting game mechanics, in addition to simply being big and beautiful. Luke Skywalker, for example, cannot simply jump up there from the ground. Though if he were on a tall enough roof of a nearby structure, then possibly he could. The ladder however, does allow easier access to the top. The elevator, if you allow it to be used in your game, can offer alternate paths to the top as well.
Imperial Forward Oupost
The Imperial Forward Outpost has several modular pieces that allow you to build it however you wish. There is also a gate that can rise and fall as well. Perhaps there is a control panel, or perhaps you agree that it will be closed until the beginning of turn 3, or perhaps you decide that the get is a destructible piece. There are so many possibilities with this outpost, that you may want to get multiples.
The interior is also full of intricate details, such as supply crates on the ground, and highly detailed floor grating. It allows troops on the top or the bottom, and can be set up as a small garrison, a wall across the battlefield, or with enough sets, a fully fledged castle!
I absolutely love these pieces and will be using them in many future battles. Look for them in battle reports! I can’t wait to see how they influence the game! If you’d like to get your own, head on over to Imperial Terrain and either get an STL file to print yourself, or if you prefer they can print them for you and ship it! I might be ordering some more in the future!
Here is a video review if you’d like to see more!
Here are some pictures of the pieces after a quick paint job.
It’s not a joke this time. In an attempt to fix this aging system, and future proof the game, X-Wing is getting a second edition.
It’ll follow in a similar design to previous Core Sets. A T-65 X-Wing and two TIE Fighters. This time around however, the T-65 will have folding S-Foils! It’ll use the same dice and many of the mechanics will be the same, but there will be several key differences. For starters, It’ll have a new damage deck, so picking up a new core set to play Second Edition will be required. It’ll also have some positive changes to the game.
New Force Powers
The Force is going to play a significant role in Second Edition. It’ll be a stat on certain pilot cards. Force tokens will be able to modify a single eyeball result to either a hit or evade, as well as triggering additional conditions when required. This allows a contrast between ace pilots, and force-sensitive pilots, in more meaningful ways that don’t always boil down to simply manipulating focus results. New upgrades can interact with force abilities, and new crew members can also lend force tokens to the ships they are on. It may now finally be possible to have a meaningful Obi Wan or Yoda on board the Millennium Falcon.
Turrets are getting a makeover. The Mobile Firing Arc from the Shadowcaster expansion was so popular that they have applied that similar aspect to Second Edition. Turrets will no longer be able to shoot in every direction at the same time, and will now be limited to certain 90 degree arcs, depending on their current position. This will be more thematic and more balanced, and will likely increase the reward for skilled flying.
Card will no longer have point cost printed on them. Instead an app will control those things, allowing errata to take place in real time and give FFG an easy ability to adjust point costs based on real world interactions of cards and the developing meta. This might be problematic for players who don’t have a smart phone, but since the majority of players do have access to the required technology, the negative impact of this should be minimal. The positive side here is that this will allow for a more dynamic meta game that will adjust and balance itself accordingly. It should also prevent the need for constant card errata. If a card seems to be too strong it’s point cost can simply be adjusted.
Ship Base Size
In addition to so many subtle changes come the welcome change of the medium base size. We’ve seen time and time again, that some ships were “in between” the small base and large base size, resulting in some bizarre situations like the K-Wing on a small base, and the IG-2000 and U-Wing on large bases. The Medium Base is a new base size that will bridge the gap between the two size in standard X-Wing and the Slave-1 will be the first ship in this new category.
First off, you’ll need to buy a $40 new core set, and that’s just to get started. If you want to use all of your old stuff, you’ll need to purchase a conversion kit, which will set you back about $50 for each faction. Considering that there are three faction conversion kits launching right away, you can spend almost $200 to BEGIN playing second edition, and that means using all the miniatures that you ALREADY HAVE! That’s alot of money to begin playing a game using your old stuff. Naturally, players on a budget will probably want to stick to a single faction when beginning 2.0, but many of us have amassed larger collections over the years and we won’t simply want to throw out all of our old ships.
One of the biggest problems in the original X-Wing was the fact that there was a separate Ship Card and Cardboard Chit for each pilot. This lead to a mountain of cardboard inserts that absolutely must be saved, sorted, and accessible for future builds. Other games have handled this better by having pilots as upgrade cards rather than being printed on the cardboard tokens – and this WOULD have been a perfect opportunity to fix this, however they left this flawed old system intact. This is a huge missed opportunity for storage efficiency.
Here’s my video reaction to 2.0!
There’s a whole lot more to Second Edition, and it’s sure to have some fans of the game angry, while others will rejoice for the fixes. It’s currently set to be available for an early purchase at Gencon 2018, and then a wider release in September! Will you be getting a copy?
Imperial Assault just got a new announcement! It seems Thrawn, and the remaining heroes from Star Wars Rebels are making their way to Imperial Assault with this next expansion! This is great news for fans of Imperial Assault, especially those who feared the game was “”dead”, but this is also potentially good news for Legion players looking to spice up their game a bit.
As with most other Imperial Assault expansions, this one comes with it’s own wave of blister boxes in addition to the Tyrants of Lothal small box. This wave is going to be loaded up with more principle character than almost any wave we’ve seen so far! We’ve already seen a glimpse into the possibility of them making a Rebels wave, since they released The Inquisitor, Ahsoka, Hera, and Chopper last year, but now we are going to fully complete the crew of the Ghost (or very close to it).
With the inclusion of virtually every main character from the show, it begs the question of whether of not FFG is simply trying to tie up loose ends, and wrap up this game permanently. The release of Legion, in a very similar scale has seemed to be a total replacement for Imperial Assault, allowing battles in a larger scale, with better miniatures, on better terrain. And the best part is that you don’t have to assemble a new map out of dozens of puzzle pieces every time!
Not everyone was included however. Some characters simply didn’t make the cut. Noteworthy absences include Ruhk, Governor Pryce, Kallus, Ryder Azadi, and the short time crew member, AP-5. If they do eventually keep Imperial Assault going, there are certainly more characters available that would fit naturally. Don’t forget about the increasing popularity of Dr. Aphra, and the fact that IA already has her two droid friends from the comics. There are still a few minor loose ends.
What does this mean for Legion?
Deathtroopers! For starters, if you’ve wanted Death Troopers in your game, but didn’t want to paint your stormtroopers black, well now you’ve got a proxy model that’s going to look the part and be ALMOST the same size. It’s long been speculated that Death Troopers will be coming to Legion at some point, and this might be the perfect mini to hold you over and practice your painting skills on, (because an all black trooper can be tricky sometimes!)
There’s also everyone else! If you’ve longed to use the entire Ghost crew on your tabletop, you now have your chance. Weather you want to paint them and proxy them all as a Rebel Trooper unit, or swap them out for unit leaders, you will soon have that option. You can use them as-is, or perhaps you’ll want to re-base them, but cutting them off at the feet and gluing them to Legion bases. Personally, I’d sign Zeb up to be my Z-6 Trooper, because I think he’d love that huge gun! The same goes for Thrawn – Using him in place of a Stormtrooper leader, or even swapping him out when using General Veers, it gives you some additional customization options for anyone who has been eager for Thrawn, Deathtroopers, and the crew of the Ghost!
Keep in mind however, making modifications like swapping minis in from other games, wouldn’t be legal in any Organized Play scenarios – so if you want to play in a tournament you’ll need to use the correct miniatures. But for other times, this could be a great way to spice up your game! Just be sure and make sure your opponent is OK with you proxying models.
With any major new FAQ and Errata there’s always bound to be a major shake up in the meta. Today I want to discuss the winners and loser of this change, and how the meta may change moving forward.
Some changes were good overall, like the change to Strategic Adviser and Biggs. But ultimately, some things really got hurt. Lets talk about the biggest losers.
Relay got hit hard, but in a way that makes perfect sense. Now it simply extends range rather than making squadron range infinite. Most would agree that this makes great logical sense, but this does hurt those fleets that were designed to exploit the old way of keeping ships far away from the fight, and removing all risk of their carriers taking fire. The Lambda is probably hurt more than the VCX, considering it has twice the Relay value, but the entire strategy of using Relay now has to change to include some risk, keeping your fleet together, and keeping your carriers in the fight.
This one wasn’t as widely abused, but when it was used it had the potential to be significantly overpowered. The power came from unique squadrons with the brace token. Even if a friendly squadron was hit for two damage, they could just brace and reduce it to one, then having Gallant Haven reduce that one to zero. And if you had Jan Ors nearby, you didn’t even need to have your own brace token, since you could “borrow” hers. This title now will still help for larger attacks, such as three or more, but it will no longer stop the small damage from going through.
While Yavaris wasn’t changed too much, a very common crew combination certainly was. Using Flight Commander and Fighter Coordination Team together, would allow you to delay your squadron command until after moving, and also after you gave your squadrons a free speed-one move. It allowed you to partly ignore the restriction that came with this amazing ship. But that isn’t the only nerf to Yavaris. The relay nerf also hurts Yavaris more so than any other carrier, in that most Rebel Fleets that use Yavaris, often find that it’s the first target for the enemy fleet. No more, can Yavaris dish out squadron double-taps from the rear ranks and relative safety.
While not the worst nerf, the Avenger’s new requirement to exhaust will actually affect it in multiple new shooting scenarios. The first case is the common use of boarding teams, where you have a double arc on the defender. An enemy flagship, at full strength, would seldom be able to survive. Another case is when using Gunnery Team, where you’d be shooting on multiple targets that may have spent some tokens already. But a third scenario is when using the Advanced Gunnery objective and you were actually able to attack from your front arc even against the same ship twice. At least in the case of this nerf you can still use it’s ability once, which still allows it to be used, and it will still probably be the most widely used Star Destroyer title. Probably.
The Third Flotilla in Your collection
This was the one that bothered me the most. Restricting flotillas to a hard cap of only 2 per fleet has a ton of implications. First off, everyone who bought 3 or more are now unable to use them unless it’s a strictly casual game. Second, those flotillas are now much less useful, in that they can no longer hang out around the edge of the board, supporting your squadrons, even while your ships are dead. But another implication is that future flotillas are now at a disadvantage. If FFG makes another flotilla in the future, you’ll have a hard time deciding on which 2 you want to use, considering the utility that GR-75s and Gozantis offer your fleet, it may force players into an uncomfortable decision.
When some things get worse, sometimes other things get better by proxy. Let’s take a look at the biggest winners that result from these changes.
With all of the VCXs and Lambdas getting nerfed, Hera remains the one that was untouched, keeping her original balance and power level. Her ability still is able to ignore distance from ships, and she now has more of a unique ability when you consider that her counterparts with the nerfed relay are restricted to staying close to the fleet. All rouges, actually, are winners here, but Hera is by far the biggest winner from the group, being able to still provide that autonomous activation to squadrons who lack rogue.
Boosted Comms started to see less and less play once relay came out. It almost became irrelevant. Now it is back and better than ever. Considering it stacks, in a meaningful way, with relay now, you can layer these two extensions together and still get some distance between you and your squadrons if you really want to. I expect to see more of this card in the future, especially on Quasars.
Another upgrade that may see more play as a result of the relay nerf. Centicore never saw alot of play, and one main reason for that was that relay was just so much better. Now it can potentially help fill some gaps left by the nerf, giving squadron based fleet greater flexibility in activations. And since fleets will likely be flying closer together now, you are more likely able to take advantage of this one.
Other Boarding Parties
Since Avenger’s slight nerf, Boarding Troopers might get taken a bit less, and therefore we stand a chance of seeing other boarding party cards showing up. Cham Syndulla and Darth Vader might see a small rise in play in the coming months.
The nerf to flotillas is good new to slow-moving fleets, especially Ackbar fleets. That classic broadside fleet that was never able to chase down distant flotillas will now have an easier time securing victory. Additionally, Ackbar fleets have some extra flexibility in that Home One isn’t quite as crucial, in that you no longer HAVE to destroy enemy flotillas, so that one accuracy, while still great to have, isn’t quite as crucial as it once was. Perhaps now we’ll see more Ackbar fleets with only Assault Frigates? Same goes for any red-dice heavy list honestly. Imperial Cymoons and Arquitens based lists will have similar flexibility, in that they won’t absolutely need that accuracy for flotillas as much.
Ultimately, only time will tell how these changes will fully impact the game moving forward. All in all, I feel they are largely Quality of Life changes, meant to reduce negative play experiences and some “cheese” factor. You can head over to the Armada Errata Page for a summary of changes, and links to all relevant documents.
The original cards from the core set for Legion. Which ones should you eliminate? What do they do? What choice is best for me? I’m going to talk about all of that.
Deployment cards are going to tell you where your deployment zone is. The blue zone for the blue player, and the red zone for the red player. The numbers on the edges of the card, indicates how many range tools each section is, in terms of length and width. A (3) indicates it is range 3, or 18 inches (since each range unit is exactly 6 inches). Many of these deployment cards are going to force you to take a look at the terrain on your board, and determine which one will work best for your army.
Each card is going to by symmetric between the blue player and red player. For this phase, there really isn’t any difference between the two colors, so if you end up being the red player, don’t worry.
Battle Lines is easily the most basic of all deployment cards. It allows you to deploy anywhere on your side, within range 1 of your edge. This is fairly universal and gives most armies a lot of flexibility. It’s worth noting that starting with this deployment can have the highest potential of having shots fired on the first round, so be careful how far forward you start marching those first few troops.
The Long March, is also fairly basic, but will have you playing at the short ends of the table, marching towards your opponents from potentially a longer distance. This one can be favorable to fast units, especially those with compulsory moves. This one can also benefit extreme long range attacks, like the mortars from the AT-ST, which have a minimum range of 4.
Major Offensive is giving each of you opposite corners, but it also extends moderately far into the center. This one is interesting in how it extends into different depths of the board, and can really depend on how your terrain is laid out, on weather or not this one works best for you. Generally, I tend to prefer this deployment only if I have blocking terrain near the center, but slightly closer to my side, allowing me flexibility of deployment, as well as covered approach paths, to objectives.
Disarray is the most difficult to set up for new players, and easily the most chaotic. Newer players are likely only have a single commander, and since it requires you to deploy units in BOTH corners, you are going to be forced to split up your forces in different areas, leaving some units beyond standard command range. This can work well however, with builds using cards to mitigate this distance, such as Long Range Comlink. Another way to utilize this deployment is to simply ignore the disadvantage, by focusing on corps units, and simply putting all of them on one side, and your commander plus whatever remains on the other corner. You’ll be able to issue orders to Heavy, or Support units for example from your commander, and then pull from the pile to get your corps units with ease. If you have 6 corps, and heavy, for example, this might work for you.
Condition cards are telling you something about the condition of the battlefield you are fighting. Maybe it’s a bright sunny day, maybe it’s foggy, or snowy. Whatever the condition, it’s going to have an impact on your tactics. You’ll want to avoid certain conditions that might cripple your army’s strengths.
Clear conditions is simple. It has no effect. This is equally good for everyone, and that means sometimes you’ll purposely want to eliminate this one if the one behind it might hurt your opponent worse than you.
Hostile Environment makes it more difficult for troopers to remove suppression. It also means that trooper units are less likely to end up in the open, while trying to move from one objective to another. If you are particularly trooper heavy, and your battlefield has lots of wide open spaces, you may want to avoid this one. If you are using a lot of vehicles, your penalties here could be minimized.
Rapid Reinforcements is unique in that it doesn’t reference the battlefield itself, but rather the availability of the troopers within it. This one could potentially hurt a build that is maxing out on heavily upgraded troopers, as it will be far more difficult for a player to set aside 2/3rds of his stronger configured trooper units for a few turns of the game. If you feel like you have plenty of troopers, and can afford to play without them for the first few turns, then perhaps you may enjoy this one. As a side note – any future trooper units can also be effected by this card, so as more troopers enter the game, the tactics for this card may evolve.
Limited Visibility is the best condition to have, if your opponent is equipped with long range attacks that they’d like to use on the first turn. If they are using Leia or Veers, then they’ll have command cards capable of striking you at distance 4 or beyond from the first turn. If they have long range weapons, like the AT-RT Laser Canon, or AT-ST Mortar Launcher, then they’ll also be at a disadvantage, unable to fire at you until after the fog has died down.
Objectives are how you win the game. Well, technically you can also completely destroy all of your opponent’s units – but more often than not it’s going to come down to objectives. The right objective can make or break the game for you, so make sure you pay close attention to these.
Intercept the Transmissions turns the game into area control. It’ll will most likely be a fight for the center, as typically one player will end up having an advantage on the left, and the other player will gravitate more to the right. If you have a build that can lock down 2 areas of the battlefield that you’ve built, then this might benefit you. Troopers are crucial for this objective however, in that only trooper unit leaders can give you control of one of the three objectives. A vehicle-heavy list is likely to struggle with this objective in that while vehicles may have some firepower, they have no ability to gain victory points.
Key positions heavily favors the blue player. There are only 3 tokens to be placed and the blue player gets to pick two of them, which means they can select the two terrain pieces that are easiest to defend. Any type of unit leader can compete for control of the terrain pieces however, so vehicles are fine for this one. I like to think that AT-RTs with long range weapons like the AT-RT Laser Canon can be great here, since they can climb on top of an obstacle and hold it, while firing at a distance to cover another one. If you are the red player I’d seriously consider eliminating this objective.
Recover the Supplies is another objective that heavily favors trooper-heavy lists. You are going to have to claim an objective, and keep it safe until the end of the game. If your build can put out a lot of suppression then you may be able to force enemies to panic, and drop their supplies, so that is worth considering. Also if terrain allows for strong hiding spots that block line of sight, you may want to consider claiming supplies and staying safe. Vehicle heavy lists may struggle with this one if they cannot get at least 3 tokens claimed and kept safe.
Breakthrough is a pretty fun objective and perhaps has the most interesting dynamic of all objectives that come with the Core Set. It makes your game almost feel like a sporting event that I might compare to a Star Wars version of Football. It favors the most units, and also favors fast units. Slow units will have difficulty making it to the enemy’s deployment zone, so if you have slower forces like Darth Vader, this one might not be the best for you. Personally, I’ve had success with this mission when using units that have high speed and compulsory moves. Even though rebel snowspeeders cost alot of points, they have the speed and survivability to spend a few turns shooting, and can make a break for the enemy zone right before the end of the game to make the difference. Generally however, if your opponent has several more units than you do, I’d steer clear of this objective.
If you prefer a video instead of reading all of this, here is a video as well!
Hopefully you found this information helpful! Out of all the three card types, objectives are easily the most important, but they are also influenced heavily by the other two. The one constant that I’ve found, is that most winning builds tend to favor quantity, over quality – so the more units you have, and thus, the more unit leaders you have, the better your chances of gaining victory tokens and winning the game!
Squadrons are an crucial part of virtually every game of Armada. Weather you are going heavy on squadrons, light on them, or focusing more on dealing with enemy squadrons, they are something that every build needs to consider. In this article I’m going to talk about some of the cornerstones of a squadron build.
The first thing you need to do is figure out an overall plan of what you are trying to accomplish by adding squadrons to your fleet. This will help guide how many you need to add, what keywords you’ll want to include, and what overall point cost you should be shooting for.
One common strategy is to bring some bombers. Bombers are most effective at hurting your opponent’s ships, but they tend to be weaker when compared to enemy fighters, so you’ll want some supporting squadrons as well. You may want to consider some Escorts, for example, which will increase the number of squadrons you’ll have to bring overall. Bomber-Heavy builds tend to usually run alot of squadrons and push very close to that 134 point limit.
Perhaps you only want to bring a few squadrons, merely to help slow down your opponent’s squadrons from hurting your ships. A handful of TIE Fighters or Z-95s will usually do the trick, but you’ll generally want an even number, since you’ll get more of a deployment advantage by having multiples of 2. In these cases it can be a good idea to bring at least 2, but perhaps even 4 or 6 if you want a more versatile fleet.
Synergy with Rest of Fleet
Once you have a plan you’ll want to make sure your selections match up to the rest of your fleet’s capabilities. Make sure that your ships can actually activate your squadrons. You wouldn’t want to have only Arquitens, or CR-90s and also have 12 Squadrons to support. Ideally you’ll want to have your carriers, (generally ships with higher squadron values) be able to activate nearly all of your squadrons if they all performed a squadron command. If you aren’t running carriers, you could also consider running a pair of squadrons with the Rogue keyword, which wouldn’t require squadron commands.
You may also want to add some upgrades to your fleet that enhance your squadrons. A Bomber Command Center staying near your bombers can have a tremendous impact on your offensive capability. Similarly, adding Instructor Goran to an Imperial Fleet that also includes Dengar, can have a very high boost on your fighters’ ability to counter attack.
Adding a variety of squadrons to your build will greatly enhance your flexibility and allow you a greater chance of overcoming most fleets that you face. Any fleet that has for example, only bombers, might suffer due to their lack of offense to other squadrons. Any fleet without even a small squadron force, won’t have much to defend against a swarm of enemy squadrons and will quickly face what is often known as “Death by a thousand cuts”.
Intel is one of those keywords that really gives you tremendous flexibility, in that it can prevent a single enemy from locking up your entire squadron force. It helps bombers attack ships and avoid interruption, and keeps your fighters mobile. Relay is another keyword that gives you the ability to stretch your squadrons further away from the safety net of your ships. Adding multiple keywords to your fleet allows them to stay flexible and effective.
Most of the time it is best to include even numbers of squadrons, due to the fact that you deploy them in groups of two. If you have enough squadrons, you can out-deploy your opponent and delay your important ships until the end. This is known as Deployment Advantage. Deploying 2 squadrons, in place of a ship, is one of the biggest advantages in the early game, and it’s a mistake that many new players tend to make, by forgetting their squadrons until the end. It is almost always best to save your biggest ships until the end when you deploy, and taking larger amounts of squadrons allows you to delay your ships, gives you intelligence on where your opponent is deploying, and allows you to protect your valuable ships.
If you are interested in more information on how squadrons can influence deployment and give you deployment advantage, check out this video demonstration!
The AT-RT is one of those units that can go from very cheap to very expensive with just a single upgrade. The price of hard-points tend to be significant, and units that have the ability to take them, often very much want to do exactly that. But at what point should you leave that slot empty?
At only 55 points the AT-RT is the second cheapest unit available for the rebels at launch. But it’s price dramatically increases as you add hardpoints. In fact, you can bring it up to 100 points with enough upgrades – which is almost double the starting price. This may be a bridge too far for many lists, in which you’ll want extra activations more than simply extra upgrades. It may be easier to pass on Let’s take a look at each hardpoint available.
The Extra Guns
The AT-RT Rotary Blaster comes in at 30 points, and is the most general purposed hardpoint available. Like all of the weapons that you can add, it has Fixed: Front, restricting it’s fire to the frontal 90 degrees only. It does however, offer five black dice, which paired with the AT-RT’s offensive surge to crit, can do some great damage to enemy targets. It doesn’t have any additional keywords however.
The AT-RT Laser Cannon is the most expensive and has the longest range of the AT-RT’s weapons. It only has 3 dice, but one of them is red and combined with the surge ability, this means the AT-RT is virtually guaranteed to get some damage in. And with it’s Impact 3 keyword, it can be a great tool when used against enemy targets with the Armor keyword. The downsides are that this weapon can’t be used at Range 1, and that it is the most expensive, at 35 points, nearly the cost of an entire rebel trooper unit. Is it worth sacrificing nearly an entire unit’s worth of troops and firepower just for an alternate weapon that you can’t use up close?
The Flamethrower has the opposite problem that the Laser Cannon has. It ONLY works up close. It makes up for this weakness by costing only 25 points, which might be easier for some to pay for. Against larger formations of troopers, this weapon can potentially roll the most dice and deal the most damage out of all available options, if you can make it work. But if you end up not making it work, are those points wasted?
Leaving the Slot Empty
One thing to keep in mind, is that the AT-RT doesn’t have the ARSENAL keyword, like the Snowspeeder and AT-ST. This means that the AT-RT isn’t sacrificing a free weapon being fired, by leaving the slot empty. Those other vehicles are virtually required to take at least one hardpoint due to the opportunity cost of missing out on what is effectively a free attack. The AT-RT doesn’t miss out on this attack. It still can shoot at Range 3. It still has an offensive Surge, which means it still has a reasonable chance of being able to suppress enemies that are fairly far away. And it still can do serious damage to enemy units if it can close into melee range of them.
Freeing up points also allows you more room in your squad for extra units – which could go towards another AT-RT. Having an extra unit can often be more advantageous than simply having an upgraded unit that has several options on which weapon to use. This is especially true when you consider the survivability and support that AT-RTs can provide your other units.
Troopers behind an AT-RT will receive light cover. Having a front line of AT-RTs can help keep your troopers safe while you are advancing toward the enemy, or when storming an objective. And keeping them up front also allows them to have early opportunities to engage enemies with the three red dice from those terrible Grappling Claws!
Front Line List
I like the idea of being able to run Naked AT-RTs so much I made a video list about it. Check it out if you’d like to learn more!