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.
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.