SW Armada: The Best Rebel Admiral?

home_one_briefing1-1

Today we rank the Rebel Admiral’s from worst to best. Read on to see where you favorite falls.

Picking an admiral to lead your fleet is possible the most important decision you can make when building a fleet for Star Wars Armada. But how to chose? Which Admiral is best and which is worst? Well, have no fear gentle BoLS readers, for I, Stable Abe, am here to help you! Today I will go though the Seven current Rebel Admirals and rate them from best to worst. Before we begin however there are two things I would like to note.

  1. I’m basing these rankings on two sources, the results of this years regional events as compiled by shmitty on the FFG forums, and my own observations/knowledge of the game.
  2. Personal preference is huge. I can tell you what I feel are the best admirals, and what the meta says are the best. That does not mean they will be the best for you. While I hope you give this list some consideration I would never want it ot prevent you from trying something new and interesting. The game is always changing after all.

With that out of the way, lets take a look at our admirals.

7. Garm Bel Iblis

garm-bel-iblis

If you hippy uncle was an Admiral

Poor Garm. While his ability may seem good at fist, I’ve always found him pretty useless. Tokens are OK, but the fact that you can’t have more than one of the same type means that on the big ships, you can’t even always get the tokens you want. On smaller ships is ability is even more limited. I’ve never felt that his ability really synergized well with the overall Rebel focus, on small low commands ships, nor that Rebel ships need more help with commands then they already had. At regional he was one of the least played admirals and the least successful of all the Rebels, earning him last place on our list.

katana

Rating: 1/2 A Katana Fleet Dreadnought of 5

6. Mon Mothma

mon-mothma

Many Bothans died to bring you this list

How the mighty have fallen. Mon Mothma was probably the most popular Rebel Admiral in Wave One. However her ability is sadly limited. Extra defense is never bad, but the use of evade tokens means she doesn’t work well with Turbolaser Reroute Circuits, which is increasing popular on small Rebel ships. In addition since MC80s of all types lack evade tokens she does them no good. More recently Craken has a very similar overall effect, but at less cost. In regionals she preformed almost as poorly as  Garm. While she may still have her place in certain fleets, it’s sad to see how far the first lady of the Rebel has fallen.

mon-mothma-1_fa6989e8

Rating: 2 Terms in the Imperial Senate out of 5

5. General Dodonna

armada_-_general_dodonna

“At least I’ve still got this great beard.”

Are you seeing a patter with Wave One Admirals here? I think the right fleet can make some use of Dodonna, one based heavily around getting crits might have some success, and he does work well with choices like Dodonna’s Pride and Luke. The real problem is that those kind of fleets aren’t really good. The value of face up damage cards is limited, and getting crits to activate his ability isn’t all that easy anyway. Moreover his reliance on using crits to deal faceup cards means he works very poorly a lot of the specialist weapons that have other uses for critical effects. Overall Dodonna is too situational and not always that great even when he can be used. He does work with squadrons, so that is a light bonus in his favor. At regionals he preformed better than the two previous choices, but still didn’t manage to head a winning fleet.

TIEvsX-wing-SWSB

Rating: 2  small one-man fighters out of 5

4. General Cracken

swm19-general-cracken

“I may have only been a gunner on the Falcon at Endor, but I’m an Admiral before Lando is!”

In a lot of ways Cracken is just a better version of Mon Mothma. Sure his ability is limited to small or medium ships, but since no large rebel ships have evade tokens he and Mothma are used by the same ships. You can argue that discarding a roll dice of your choice is better than simply making the enemy roll one less dice, but I think the fact that using the ability doesn’t rely on using evade tokens makes it better. Yes you do have to move at speed 3 or higher, but most Rebels like doing that anyway. He’s cheaper than Mon Mothma, his ability works more often, and he goes alone well Turbolaser Reroute Circuits. We don’t have a lot of tourney data on him, but I’d put him at a good middle of the pack admiral.

tala-squadron-pilot

Rating :3 Tala Squadron Pilots out of 5.

3. General Madine

swm17_general_madine

This man cares about personal grooming, that’s for sure

General Madine is really who I would consider the first really good Rebel Admiral. Maneuvering is one of if not the most important aspect of Armada. Madine gives you some really amazing maneuver options and including him as your Admiral will greatly increase the flexibility of your ships, allowing them to pull some really crazy moves and hopefully throw your enemies off balance. Also important, every ship in your fleet can benefit from him. While he does require the use of a navigate command or token, Rebels already use them plenty and Madine syncs up well with general Rebel strategies of being fast and dodgy. Sadly he won’t give your squadrons any benefits. Madine’s two main drawbacks are that he doesn’t directly add any extra offensive or defensive power and that he can be hard to use. He’s harder to use than some admirals becusae he does rely on being good at moving your ships. Overall however Madine is great choice if you fave a quick and maneuverable fleet.

sw_darksaber_a

Rating: 4 Destroyed Darksabers out of 5

2. General Rieekan

swm12_general-rieekan

Prepare for ground assault.

Freakin’ Rieekan. No Admiral does more to change up a game of Armada than Rieekan does. Rieekan fundamentally changes the basic rules of the game and give his player a very cool advantage. In addition he totally forces the enemy player to rethink their strategy and prevents them from relying on a number of tactics. He can certainly be beaten if you enemy can adapt, but he will never have no effect on the game. In addition he effects all of your ships and can effect some of your fighters, making him one of the most widely applicable Admirals in the game. At Regionals he was the most successful Rebel Admiral, and the second most effective overall. Rieekan does have two big draw backs. Firstly the more you play agasint him the better able you are to deal with the changes he forces on the game. Secondly he, more than any other Admiral, really needs a fleet designed around him. To be effective with him you really need to build everything around his ability.

planet_defender

Rating: 4.5 Ion Cannons out of 5

1. Admiral Ackbar

Admiral-ackbar

“Concentrate all firepower on that comment section!”

In my mind no Rebel Admiral can match the amazingness of our fishy friend Admiral Ackbar. Ackbar is one of the few Rebel Admirals who increases the offensive power of your fleet, and boy does he. The ablity for any ship to add two red dice to it’s attack is huge. While it does have an bit of an opportunity cost, not being able to fire from your front or rear, it fits in well with the Rebel preference for broadside attacks. Moreover the ability can be used by any ships in your fleet, and since it is optional, it is also hugely flexible. While Rieekan preformed better than Ackbar at regionals, he was the only rebel Admiral that did so. In large part I would put that down to people still having to adjust to Rieekan. There is no adjusting to Ackbar, in essence he just takes what the Rebels do well, and makes it better. He’s simple to use, and any fleet or ship can benefit from him in someway. Powerful and easy to use this is one Admiral who isn’t a trap.

HomeOne-SWArmada-1-472x309

Rating: 5 MC80s out of 5

mc09

Well, that’s all for this time folks! Let us know what you think of the list, and who your favorite Admiral is, down int he comments!

Follow me on twitter!

  • Jeremy Larson

    While I understand the list is based upon tournament results of most played, I definitely disagree with the order. I personally find Ackbar hugely overrated. As you mentioned, maneuver is the most important part of the game, and folks who are good at maneuvering and/or have highly mobile fleets are able to make Ackbar largely worthless. Ackbar more than any other admiral needs to have a fleet build around doing ONLY broadside damage. Rieekan, even if you’re used to playing against him, will ALWAYS product a big effect. Mon Mothma also requires some fleet building to get the most out of her, but can make ships like Foresight almost unkillable. Even Dodonna, when attached to one or two Liberties handing out 3 crit effects (two of which are hand-picked), is more of a concern. As a primarily Imperial player, I find Ackbar the least threatening admiral to see across the table.

    • Truthiness

      Actually, based on Regionals events and above, Shmitty’s data showed Ackbar was indeed vastly overrated. Mon Mothma had just as many high level wins as Ackbar, including winning Nationals. It really comes down to how you build lists. Rebels don’t have one way to build lists. Ackbar broadsides are decent, and easy to learn, but ultimately pretty inflexible. A well flown Mon Mothma utilizing both Foresight and Admonition, while harder to fly, is frustratingly hard to kill and brutal once they close. A TRC90 fleet definitely doesn’t want Ackbar (as the author notes, it wants Cracken). Madine is intriguing, but if you’re already flying well, he doesn’t do much for you. It also precludes a squadron heavy approach since you need to be spamming nav commands to get the most out of him. It’s fun to see how these ranking have changed with the meta, though. There was a time Rieekan would have been at the bottom. Then we all figured out how to fly him.

      • Jeremy Larson

        I’ve seen the most mileage out of Madine when paired with the new Liberies; extra mobility combined with high speed/engine techs keeps that powerful nose arc pointed at enemies while simultaneously letting them get around flanks.

        • Truthiness

          Which is to be expected since he comes in the Liberty expansion. I think just about everyone saw the Liberty maneuver chart and went ‘yup, could use Madine here.’ I think he also goes well with the Nebulon-B. They’re very cost effective ships if you can keep that front toward the enemy. That extra tick with Madine can make all the difference.

          • Jeremy Larson

            Yeah. Either I’ve been seeing double MC80s with transports for squads and activation control, or an MC80 supported by Nebs. Most folks forget the Neb can hit speed 3.