Today Fantasy Flight dropped a big bomb on us, our first look at Armada Wave IV (before wave III has even hit!). The biggest reveal of the announcement was the introduction of the Interdictor Class Cruiser and its Experimental Retrofits upgrades that are really gunna change up the game. Read on for my thoughts.
Long time fans of Star Wars will recognize the Interdictor Class Cruiser, also known as the Immobilizer 418 cruiser, from way back in the day when it was introduced in Timothy Zhan’s Heir To The Empire. Though Zhan’s classics are no longer Star Wars canon, the Interdictor was brought back from the show Rebels. The Interdictor plays the role of a support ship in the Imperial Fleet and is equipped with a set of large gravity well projectors that are normally used to pull ships out of hyperspace, as well as to keep them from escaping from a battle by jumping to light-speed. Since ships in Aramada don’t have any special rules of their own FFG has chosen to the represent these sorts of abilities using the newly introduced Experimental Retrofits upgrade cards. So far they have shown us two of them, both coming with the Interdictor expansion and clearly meant to represent gravity well projectors.
Rebel’s will realize the true gravity of their situation when you start using these!
Both of these new upgrades have the common element of effecting the speed of an enemy ship, though they do it in very different ways. The cards add some real flexibility to your fleet by allowing you greatly hamper the maneuverability of the enemy. While we haven’t yet seen all the news cards coming in wave IV, they new ones alone have given me a couple good tactical ideas and are sure to change up how we play the game. So, without further ado, here are five ways I predict people will be using these cards.
1. Stopping Demolisher.
Not to be confused with the Transformer.
Demolisher has become somewhat of the boogeyman of Armada, with its deadly ability to triple tap a target by moving last in a round, shooting and then moving first in the next round to fire twice more and then fly off unhurt. Now wave III is already bringing us Slicer Tools too help deal with this threat and wave IV is doubling down on that. In particular the G-8 Experimental Projectors are a great tool to mess with Demolisher’s movement, stopping out of range of its deadly black dice, or preventing it from feeling from an engagement. While Demolisher is the biggest threat in this department the G-8’s will be a big help in dealing with any of the close range, move last and then first ships out there, such as MC30s and Raiders.
2. Combining with Tractor Beams.
Also known as the “I have you now” card.
This one is a bit iffy since we don’t know if the Interdictor is going to have an Offensive Retrofit slot to take the Phylon Q7’s (I would bet on yes). If it can however one ship being able to reduce an enemies speed by 2 points in a single turn, but activating the tractor beam on your turn and then the G-8’s on their turn, is a pretty big advantage. Since the G-8’s can reduce the enemy to move 0, for their turn, you can effectively stop MC80s and VSDs from moving at all and slow even the fastest ship to a crawl. Even if the Interdictor can’t take the Phylon Q7’s, having other ships in your fleet use them in concert with your G-8’s can be devastating.
3. Stopping a Hyperspace Assault.
They came… from behind.
Hyperspace Assault is a a favored mission of Admiral’s using fast hard hitting ships. It is often used to slip a ship behind the enemies lines for a quick hit and run. These attacks can be defended against by the careful use of the grav well token produced by the G7-X Grav Well Projector. Since that token stays in play thorough out the whole game and since the ship arriving via Hyperspace Assault is deployed, the token would force it to either deploy far away or deploy at speed zero, meaning no defense token and leaving it a bit of a sitting duck. Now this won’t be the easiest trick to pull off, since the grav well token is going to be placed before the second player puts down his hyperspace tokens. Thus it’s unlikely you’ll catch them in your projector, but you can certainly prevent them from appearing in a important location.
4. Slowing Down the Enemy Advance on an Objective.
A number of the missions in Armada use objectives that both players are trying to get too. Now it doesn’t take a Grand Admiral too see that smart use of the grav well tokens from the G7-X will be very useful at limiting the enemies deployment options and hindering their attempts to get to certain objectives. In particular I think Fire Lanes and Contested Outpost are going to be used in conjunction with grav well tokens. Since both of these missions have objectives that are worth a lot of points and will start closer to one player than the other placing the grav well token across from the objective will force the enemy into a longer (and also some what predictable) approach, giving you more time to rack up objective points.
5. Forcing a Ram
What kind of insurance do you think the Empire uses? State Farm? I bet it’s State Farm.
Ramming is, in my opinion, a very under utilized tactic in Armada. Not only can it be an amazing way of dealing guaranteed damage to your opponents ships but its also a great way to block their moves. Now with the G-8 you’ve got an amazing tool to force the enemy into ramming ships. Sometimes it will be as simple as slowing an enemy ship so it can’t fly over one of your ships, causing a favorable ram. Other times you could use it slow down a middle ship in a battle line causing the ships behind it to ram their own ships and also breaking up the enemy formation. This tactic is super useful against formation swarms and Akbar gunlines.
So there you have it. Those are just a few ways I plan on using the Interdictor’s new abilities when they come out. These new cards are going to be super hot and make some major changes to the meta. It doesn’t seem like the Rebel’s Liberty Class ships will be able to take the new upgrades, though they look to be getting new turbolasers. For now it seems like these toys, and tactics, will be solely for the Imperials, though I’d bet good money the Rebel’s are going to get access to these abilities some time down the line.
That’s all for today folks! Let us know what you think about these tactics or how you plan on using the Interdictor and its grav wells below!
Armada Wave IV is supposed to hit shelves late third quarter this year.