SW Armada:Everything We Know About Wave V

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At Gencon FFG unveiled the new awesomeness of Star Wars Armada Wave V. Here’s what we’ve seen so far!

Hey BoLS fans, been a crazy week hasn’t it? Wave III and Wave IV are both hitting stores this week with a slew of amazing ships and we’ve already gotten the news about Wave V. Now for anyone who missed it, during GenCon Fantasy Flight Games dropped a little bit of news. Not only did they announce wave V but they also confirmed that it should be coming out, along with the Corellian Conflict by the end of the year. Lucky us!

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Not so lucky? Our wallets.

Wave V is going to the see the game expanded by four new sets, two capital ships and two fighter packs. These ships are drawing heavily from Star Wars: Rebels,  the TV show, as well as from the Old EU, and are bringing some X-Wing favorites to Armada.  We haven’t gotten a whole ton of info on the expansion yet, but lets take a look at what we do know and how it will affect the game.

The Rebels

The Rebel Alliance is seeing some major small ship growth with the introduction of the Phoenix Home Expansion Pack which adds the Pelta-Class Command Ship to the fleet.
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Yep, there goes all my money

Pelta-Class ships were originally used during the Clone Wars to ferry injured Republic troops to hospital bases. Later during the Rebellion some were repurposed for combat. The new expansion gives us two versions, the Command Ship and what seems to be the Assault Ship. Stats wise this ship is a bit tougher than the CR90, with and extra point of hull and an extra front shield. It carries a bit heavier armament as well with four dice coming out the front, it’s clearly not a broadside ship. Most intriguing weapon’s wise is its ability, for the Assault ship only I’d guess, to take missiles. With a squadron value of three it can act as a decent carrier. The ship will also be the first to use the new Fleet Command upgrades which will give some bonus to your entire fleet. The ship also comes with the new admiral Commander Sato.

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I dunno about this guy, Sato is far too normal a name for Star Wars. 

Sato, who commands the Rebel Fleet in season two of the TV show, is really amazing. His ability if you can read it above lets your ships, when they are attacking an enemy ship with one of your fighters in range one, switch out two attack dice for any other two dice. This means that with Sato your ships can be triggering black crit effects, like concussion missiles, at long range. In addition the card that seems to be titles Rapid Launch probably give fighters the ability to deploy after the game is in progress from a friendly ship. Cool!

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It Corran Horn time!

But that’s not all the rebels will get out of this new wave! In addition to the Pelta they are also getting a new fighter pack, coming with two versions each of the Z-95 Headhunter, the E-wing, the Ghost and the Shadowcaster. From what we can tell the Z-95 is going to act as a cheap swarm fighter, while the E-wing is a super elite fighter and the two others act in a more mixed role. Two new abilities that are coming with them are Snipe, which allows a squadron to attack another squadron at long range, and Strategic which seems to allow you to move some friendly fighter around. The Shadowcaster seems like it might be the Rebel version of the Firespray since it has both rouge and bomber keywords. It’s Hera Syndulla and the Ghost that really stand out however:

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I feel like this Hera would only have improved the old Hercules TV Show

Her amazing ability to give two friendly squadrons Rogue allows her to act in command of a mini independant force and will be a huge boon for Rebel players.

The Imperials

Like the Rebels, the Imperials also get two packs, a light ship and a fighter pack. For the Imperial light ship we are presented with the Imperial light cruiser.

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I guess a diamond shape is different from triangles 

The Arquitens-class light cruiser, much like the Pelta, was originally produced during the Clone Wars but was later updated into the class known as an Imperial Light Cruiser. Another  mainstay of the TV show the Arquitens seems to fit in somewhere between the Raider and the Gladiator in terms of power and toughness. Of particular interest however is the fact that it is laid out as a broadside attack ship, getting three red dice from each side, unique among imperials so far. In some ways this, more than the Raider seems to be the Imperial version of the CR90, complete with the ability to take turbolaser upgrades. The new upgrade Dual Turbolaser Turrets is a little oddly worded but seems to allow you to switch out one of your attacking dice for a red dice. Since you can do this after rolling it does seem to allow you to in effect switch out a blank dice, which could be red, for a new red dice, allowing for a sort of re-roll.

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Informally known as Jerry

The new Imperial commander Moff Jerjerrod, most famous for being in command of the Second Death Star, is the new Imperial commander in this wave. Now personally I’ve never been a huge fan of any ability that forces you to hurt your own ships. That being said Jerjerrod could add some flexibility to some Imperial fleets. Rumor states that he was specifically designed as a fix for the Victory class Star Destroyer and that does seem to be a good fit for him.

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The Decimator is really breaking the trend of three winged Imperial ships in this expansion     

Of course the Imperials are also getting a niceset of new squadrons in this wave. In their case its the TIE Defender, the TIE Phantom, the Lambda Class Shuttle and the VT-49 Decimator. These really represent the elite offerings of the Imperial squadron command. The Lambda seems to have an ability to relay commands to fighters far away from capital ships, which should be cool. The Phantom meanwhile is most likely a space superiority fighter, targeted at killing other fighters and will have the ability to Cloak. The Defender seems to be a fast and tough multi role fighter, while its attack dice are unknown its does have bomber. I’d expected its dice to look something like the x-wings. Lastly the Decimator is almost a “pocket” capital ship on its own. With Rogue and a mighty three anti ship dice it is a real beast. Four or five Decimators acting on their own can easily chew through enemy ships. The Firespray may have just been supplanted.

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Lens flare courtesy of JJ Abrams

Final thoughts

By the end of this year Armada is going to be in a really amazing place. With a full five waves and a campaign expansion out we are going to have a ton of options on how to play and what to play with. Wave five in particular is going to help take the fighter game to where it needed to be with a ton of great options and ways for squadrons to work together with capital ships, or independently. The Arquitens is going to give the Imperials their first broadside ships. Combined with the Interdictor this will allow for a more list building variety in Imperial fleets.    

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Form up on Phoenix Home and prepare to attack! 

The Pelta seems to fit in really well with Rebel ships like the Liberty and the Nebulon-B, allowing for unique fleet designs. In addition the new Fleet Command upgrades will give the Rebels an exclusive upgrade to counter the Imperial exclusive Experimental upgrades. Rebel fighter performance is also going to get a huge boots as then get a lot more power and viable rogue potions. Now we’ll be talking a lot more about wave 5 and its potential in the future, but for now I couldn’t be happier or more excited about what we have seen so far.

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That’s it for today folks! Let us know what you think about Wave 5 and the rest of Armada down in the comments! 

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  • JD Robertson

    Understanding some of the new Wave V upgrades seems to require a detailed reading of the rules for the attack phase. The dice pool refers to the dice being rolled both before and after the role. Pretty much anything you can do to the pool is done in the Modify Dice step, after they are rolled. So, the Dual Turret does indeed allow you to roll, perform an Add modification to roll another dice along with a modification to remove a dice from the pool. Sato’s wording is a bit more unclear (Replacing dice is not defined by the rules), but a lot of people are proposing that his effect takes place in the Modify Dice step as well, so he allows you to roll dice, pick two you don’t like and roll two new dice in their place. Seems a touch overpowered if true, IMO, but the need to keep a squadron nearby in order to use it may help to balance things out.

    • Stable Abe

      Good catch on Sato! I was so excited by the ability to make long range torpedo attacks that I had totally overlooked that he might also give you a re-roll ability. That makes him even better since you could use him on any attack.