Clone Wars in Armada!

At Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, FFG announced that they are finally bringing Clone Wars to Star Wars Armada! This will complete the cycle of Clone Wars coming to all of their games that still have physical product in development.

This is extremely good news for Armada players! There has certainly been a lack of news over the past few years, but now Armada is approaching what very well may be a golden age. The Super Star Destroyer, the Rebellion in the Rim campaign, two un-announced “sizeable” ships, and the Clone Wars itself, all in development at this point means we have more product in the pipeline for Armada than we’ve ever had before.

Hopefully this means new Armada players will have a cheaper entry point. Either through a cheaper starter or an essentials pack. Armada’s principle downfall has been it’s entry cost, and with a $99 starter, many players simply skip it and jump to X-Wing instead. Although the high cost of entry hasn’t been a problem with Legion, that may likely be due to the tremendous amount of units that come in the Legion core set, compared to the Armada Core Set.

So most of the new product should be in stores before the end of 2019, while the Clone Wars should be hitting Armada in 2020! And this almost certainly doesn’t mean the end of support for the Rebels and the Empire as well! Plus we have high hopes for card packs to come as well, which will allow new players to gain all the missing upgrade cards that were exclusive to only one faction previously! Armada’s future is very bright!

Something BIG is Coming!

A few months back I was asked to take down my videos that talked about the recent flyer in the December issue of Game Trader Magazine, you know… the one that had the massive Super Star Destroyer article in it?   Well I’ve got my own physical copy of that flyer in hand now so I figure it’s time to talk about ALL of that juicy goodness now, since FFG won’t do it!

Here are all of the images, I’ve taken newer photos of them, hopefully they are legible enough!  I’ll be doing videos on them over the course of the next few months to hold us over until this gorgeous model finally comes out!

First video went up this morning!

Armada Nunchuck Expansion v1.0 Is Ready!

The Nunchuck Expansion is finally ready!

 

This expansion is a title-only expansion that has multiple new titles for every ship in Star Wars Armada!   It is NOT official and NOT tournament legal.  This was a project of mine and it’s now available! This expansion is free to everyone!  Download the FULL PDF here!

This is version 1.0.

 

More Custom Content!

If you like this expansion and want to support me on Patreon – hey that’s always an option!

Armada – Nunchuck Expansion Preview!

What is the Nunchuck Expansion?

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.

Some of the details are still subject to change, and I’ll be letting my patrons on patreon vote on some of the names as well!   Let me know what you think!

Winners and Losers of the April Armada FAQ

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.

Losers:

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

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.

Gallant Haven

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.

Yavaris

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.

Avenger

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.

Winners

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.

Hera

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

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.

Centicore

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.

Ackbar

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.

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!

 

 

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:

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!