SW Armada: New Imperial Aces & Tactics

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New Imperial squadrons of the Corellian Conflict arrive to bring the Emperor’s wrath to the Rebels.

With Fantasy Flight showing off some of the amazing new squadrons for the Corellian Conflict I’ve been thinking about just how they are going to change up the game. These are some really amazing new squadrons that are without a doubt going to effect how games are played. Last week I talked about the Rebel Squadrons. Today I want to take a deeper look at the Imperials.

Now in the past I’ve not been the biggest fan of squadrons. Most of my favorite fleets haven’t run any, and while I’ve thought they could be used well, I’ve never felt that having squadrons was a necessity. That’s not to say I didn’t want them to be good. Star Wars has always been a setting that focused a lot on fighter and squadron combat and I have always wanted Armada to reflect that. With the new squadrons in the Corellian Conflict and those coming in Wave 5 I finally think the game is getting there. The power of some of the newer squadrons, combined with flotillas, is really ushering in a new age of squadrons and fleet builds dedicated to them. That being said, lets talk about some ways we might see the new squadrons used in Armada fleets

 

Ciena Ree

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You were transferred to the Executor from the Devastator at the request of Lord Vader himself. A high honor indeed.

Ciena Ree has proven to be one of the more popular figures of the new Star Wars canon. In Armada she makes for a powerful anti-squadron unit. Stats wise she is just a normal TIE Interceptor, but her unique ability makes her very survivable, especially when coupled with scatter. Survivablityis of course amazing for any unit with counter, letter her make more counter attacks than normal and killing more squadrons with them. In addition it should be noted that her ability works against ship anti-squarond attacks as well, making her immune to may ships. While not as flashy as some, she’s a soild entry for any fighter formation.

Saber Squadron

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These are our heroes. Long may they serve.

Saber Squadron was Soontir Fel’s personal command and a part of the larger and more well known 181st Imperial Fighter Wing. In Armada they are a harbinger of things to come. The first squadron to get the snipe ability, rumored to be used more in Wave 5, Saber Squadron is a powerful force. Though it loses counter Saber act’s a a powerful support unit, able to pick off enemy fighter from out of their range, and avoid enemy counter attacks. In particular I really like them in Imperial vs Imperial match ups, since they are amazing at blowing up other TIE Interceptors. Their longer range also makes them need less squadron commands and a good fit for Rhymerballs.

Black Squadron

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“Stay in attack formation.” 

Black Squadron was Vader’s personal TIE squadron, they are the ones you see fighting at the First Death Star. Black Squadron is a weird unit, having a mix of TIE Advanced Interceptor abilities with normal TIE stats. Still the unit is cheap and Escort and Counter is a great pairing. At three points less than a TIE Advanced this is a great alternate option, especially if you want to protect an Ace (Though they actually work very poorly with Vader) or have a little more beef to your Rhymerball. I’d consider paring them with Dengar and Soontir Fel for an extra counter dice and some free Soontir Damange.

Valen Rudor

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LS-607 requesting reinforcements!

Valen Rudor is a pretty minor character in the first season of Star Wars: Rebels and seems an odd choice for this expansion, but hey it takes all types I guess. His unique ability is a bit meh in my opinion, working like a reverse of escort. He falls into the back stabber unit mold, based around being survivable, either by using defense tokens, or better yet not getting shot at all. His real bonus is changing his blue anti-squadron dice for blacks, and uping his chances of doing damage.Even so his max damage isn’t any better than a normal TIEs and he cost 5 points more, so I’m a bit on the fence for him.

Gamma Squadron

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Watch out for those TIE bombers.

Gamma Squadron is famous for having more maneuverable TIE bombers. Honestly I feel Gamma is the worst squadron from the Corellian Conflict, that we’ve seen, and a pretty poor option over all. Sure changing heavy for grit and costing a point more is a bit like Rogue Squadron for the rebels, but Rogue gets rogue, the best ability in the game and Gamma gets grit. To me grit is one of the worst keywords around, yes its an advantage, but frankly it comes up pretty rarely. I guess for a point its not bad to have a bomber with grit, but it’s nothing I can get excited about. Gamma’s not any worse than a basic TIE Bomber, but it’s not a whole lot better either.

Captain Jonus

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When the TIE bombers first started shelling Yavin 4, I thought the planet would crack right open.”

Any disappointment I might have with Gamma Squadron is made up for Major Rhymer’s old wing-man Captain Jonus. Jonus gets grit as well, but keeps heavy, and also gains a pair of braces to make him last longer. His ability however is one of the best in the expansion. What I really like about it is that it’s one of the very few Squadron abilities that really synergies with or helps your capital ships out at all. Jonus actually allows you to try and build some cool ship/squadron combos. He’s also one of the few ways the Imperials have of getting accuracies. I’ve been thinking about taking him and a fleet lead by Screed and giving some ships the new Quad Turbolaser Cannons. This means you can use Jonus to turn a miss into an accuracy, then add a second free accuracy, then either keep both or burn one to use Screed, a pretty tidy combo I think to make your hits a lot more powerful.

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The Dream Team Assembled 

Final Thoughts

We still haven’t seen what the two new TIE Advanced Squadrons are going to be yet, so stay tuned for more new tactics on that front. So far however I feel that though there may be one or two dudes, the new squadrons add a lot of power and flexibility to the Imperial fighter game. Overall I’m very pleased with the new units and can’t wait to see what combos people come up with.

 TheHandOfGod-ESBHDThat’s all for this time BoLS fans! Let us know what you think about the new units and how you place to use them down in the comments!

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  • William Bellamy

    So are these new models or just cards?

    • Damistar

      Just cards. This is for Armada not X-wing so the fighters are represented by generic minis.