Squadron Foundations – From Planning to Deployment

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.

Plan

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.

Variety

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.

Deployment 

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!

 

 

Building Your First Legion Squad

So you just picked up Legion and you are trying to figure out what to do next?  This guide should help you get started putting your first squad together to wage war against the rebel scum or the evil galactic empire!

 

A standard game is 800 points, so you are going to need more than just a core set.    For most people interested in full 800 point games, that’s going to mean buying multiple core sets, and possibly a few expansions as well.   For now, I’m going to assume that you’ve either bought 2 core sets or split two with a friend, and have at least one other expansion to round out your army.

 

Commander and Command Cards

Selecting a commander is going to be an important part of your overall strategy.   For now however, since each faction only has one readily available, you are going to be stuck with either Darth Vader, or Luke Skywalker.  However, General Veers and Leia Organa are on the horizon, and will soon offer new, cheaper options.    You can have up to 2 commanders, so we may see dual commander lists fairly soon.

Command cards go hand in hand with choosing a commander.  You must have 7, and must include a Standing Orders card.  You must also have two of each “pip” cards, so two 1-pips, two 2-pips, and two 3-pips.   Additionally you cannot duplicate any command cards, so you can’t include two Ambush cards for example.  This means at launch, you won’t even have any choices here, since Luke and Vader offer you exactly enough to get you up to that minimum requirement.  Once the next wave of commanders comes out however, you’ll have some choices to make.  It is worth noting however, that you won’t be able to use Leia’s command cards, if she isn’t in your army.  The same holds true for any character specific command card.

The Corps

You need a minimum of 3 Corps units, and a maximum of 6.  So at least 3 rebel troopers, or 3 stormtroopers.  If have more than 6 you won’t be able to use them all in a standard game.  Once we have fleet troopers and snowtroopers, players will have more diversity in their corps options.  For now, there are multiple ways to outfit your existing corps troopers and make them cheap, diverse, strong, or tough.

The corps troopers are crucial to winning the game.  If your commander is the head of your army, the corps is the backbone.  This game is not just about killing the enemy.  It is about accomplishing the mission and completing objectives.   Most of the mission cards favor builds that have the most unit leaders – and the troopers you’ll get at launch are the cheapest way to get unit leaders.  You may want to maximize their numbers by running very few upgrades.  You may also want to help ensure their survival by adding extra miniatures to their ranks.  Try to outfit your initial corps units in various different ways for the first few games to get a feel for what works best for you.  You may want to swarm troopers with no upgrades.   You may want to give them all extra weapons to split up their fire.  You may want to run every one of them completely different!  It is important to get a good feeling for the corps units because they more than likely will be the difference makers in the games that you win.

The Rest of Your Squad

We haven’t seen any Special Forces units announced yet, so for now, that just leaves Support and Heavy.  These are the larger units that are going to give your army a battlefield presence to really help it stand out!   These are the units that may tend to be more focused on one particular play-style, and may even require you to build your list around them.  Vehicles in this game are going to be extremely fun, because they represent one thing that wasn’t really well done in FFG’s last ground game, Imperial Assault.  Vehicles here are absolutely gorgeous and having a few of them on your battlefield can really help make your game come alive.

Vehicles tend to be more expensive than troopers, so it’s generally a good idea to have fewer of them, in order to facilitate a more balanced list.  Running two fully loaded AT-STs might look cool, but would leave you with very few points for the rest of your list.  Generally, newer players may want to limit their first builds to only one heavy, and at most two supports.  You’ll want enough points to allow you some hardpoints and other upgrades, especially on those vehicles with the ARSENAL keyword, which allows your attacks to use additional weapons.

Videos

If you want some additional help, here are some videos to walk you through the process.

Rebels:

Empire:

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.

 

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!

 

Painting Contest Update – Door Prize added!

I’ve had so many entries that I’ve decided to include a door prize!  This one is open to all of my youtube subscribers and as a bonus, everyone who enters the painting contest also gets a bonus chance to win the door prize!  It’s a $20 gift card to Miniature Market that you can use for an expansion of your choice!

I announce it in the video below.

The video itself is about all games in general.   If units had no printed point cost, do you think that would help the need to errata cards all the time?

Holiday Giveaway! Win a Legion Core Set!

Win a Legion Core Set!

Since the holidays are nearly upon us, I have decided it is time for a contest!   The winner of which will receive a gift card to miniature market for a Legion Core Set!  What contest you ask?

Painting Contest!

In preparation for what will likely be a WHOLE lot of painting, I’ve decided that I want to see some of the best paint jobs that everyone has to offer!   I’m going to let this contest run until after Thanksgiving,  and the winner will be announced during the weekend of Nov 24-26th, 2017.  Your paint job can be any FFG miniature!   I will be picking the winner myself, but you entries will get bonus points if it’s a Star Wars product – so while I am open to entries of Runewars, and other games, I’m really looking for Star Wars paint jobs.  X-Wing, Armada, and Imperial Assault will be my main focus.

I’m looking for the best paint job, but will totally give bonus points for a great photo, so the more work you put in to your presentation, there better!   Backgrounds, setup, and great lighting will help!  You’ll need to register on my forums, and if you have any trouble doing that, contact me on my youtube channel.

The Rules:

  • Submission must be your own work.
  • You must register on the forums to post.
  • Submission must be posted to the forums for all to see.
  • Submission must be of an FFG Miniature, such as X-Wing, Armada, Imperial Assault, etc.
  • Submission should be posted in the appropriate section of the forums.  (X-Wing photos should be posted under the X-Wing section, etc).
  • Entries should be posted under the title : Paint Contest – followed by a title for your submission.
  • Entering gives me your permission to use your name and pictures in promotional postings and videos – (Announcing the top 10, announcing the winner, etc).
  • The final day to enter is 11/23/2017
  • Contest MAY be cancelled or rescheduled if there are not enough entries.   If I feel there are so few entries I reserve the right to adjust the terms or time of this giveaway.  The idea is to have many paint jobs show up for the viewing pleasure of everyone.

The winner will be announced the weekend following Thanksgiving, just in time for the December Holiday Season!  The winner will receive a gift card in the amount of $72.00, (Miniature Market currently has the Legion Core Set listed as ($71.99).  I reserve the right to make adjustments to this contest as necessary(Perhaps the price changes, etc).

 

Episode 8 Trailer coming soon!

Rumor is that the Episode 8 trailer is going to be coming to us this coming Monday, Oct 9th!   Multiple leaks now seem to confirm this, and I discuss it more in this video.

Are you guys as excited as I am?   I’m going to try to stream a live reaction.  Granted I’m not always the crying type so I don’t think it’ll be like what you’ve seen before, but who knows, maybe it’ll be a bland trailer with information we already know from the merchandise, or maybe it’ll have some surprises!

 

What are you most looking forward to?

Spending Time in Kansas City

So I’ve been here in Kansas City for a little over a week now.   Played a few games of Armada with some of the local gamers – probably gonna play some more this weekend if I’m still here!  Some cool stores here!   Here are some of the videos!

Very home sick though!   Miss the family!

Giveaway Time!

So as I get closer to 8,000 subscribers I wanted to do another giveaway!  This time it’s a Star Wars Celebration Exclusive Rey with Speeder Funko Pop!

Details in the video!