SW Armada: The Empire’s Elite

 

lambdafly1

Wave V brings a host of new elite Imperial Squadrons to Star Wars: Armada. Read on to see how they will change things.

It’s been two whole waves since we’ve gotten any new squadrons in Armada, but this December that all changes.  I’ve talked before about the host of new squadrons coming out in the Corellian Conflict. These squadrons where only updates to old ships though. This week Fantasy Flight has been kind enough to spoil the brand new squadrons coming in Wave V. Last week we took a  look at the new Rebels. Today lets lets dig into their Imperial counterparts.

 The Lambda-Class Shuttle

swm24-lambda-class-shuttle

No, I don’t think the Empire had Wookiees in mind when they designed her, Chewie.

The Imperial Lambda-class Shuttle is one of the most revolutionary squadrons of the new wave. Now off the bat it may not seem great, it does after all have one of the worst stat lines in the game. Strategic is a nice little bonus, that will on occasion come into play, but doesn’t really make it worth the 15 points it will cost you. Relay 2 is however amazing. This essentially means that with one or two Lamda’s on the table your carriers have unlimited range. This makes the old dream of independent squadron groups a reality and has the possibility to change up the whole game of Armada.

Colonel Jendon

swm24-colonel-jendon

Let’s see what this piece of junk can do.

Colonel Jendon, Lord Vader’s shuttle pilot, is a relatively cheap upgrade for the Lambda-Class Shuttle. While his ability may not be revolutionary, letting another better armed ship take his shot is a good ability, that makes him more useful than your normal Lambda. For my money however it’s the two braces that really make Jendon a good deal, keeping his important Relay around longer is going to be worth it.

The TIE Defender

swm24-tie-defender-squadron

A logical advance for Imperial fighter design.

The TIE Defender has long been a fan favorite Star Wars fighter. In Armada it is a solid if unexciting fighter. The Defender has one of the best stat lines in the game, it’s tough, fast, and killy, though it’s anti-ship fire power is on the low end. It doesn’t really have any tricks up it’s sleeve, but can brute force it’s way through a lot of problems. It’s on the higher end points wise for Imperials so we will see how popular it becomes.

Marrek Stele

swm24-maarek-stele

I will serve the Emperor, as I always have.

Marrek Stele takes the TIE Defender and turns it up toe eleven.  Again, Stele does nothing fancy and has no real tricks. Instead of tricks Marrek makes his ship thorougher and deadlier. In particular being able to always get at least one crit when shooting at a ship makes him a great big ship attacker that is also deadly to fighters. Put him, Rhymer and Jendon together for a pair of guaranteed crits a turn. For only an additional 5 points, I’d always at least consider upgrading a Defender to Stele.

The TIE Phantom

swm24-tie-phantom-squadron

As you can see, Lord Vader, the units perform admirably.”

The TIE Phantom may be the best new Imperial Squadron of the wave. Cloak, the Phantom’s new ability, is amazing. The ability to not only get free extra movement, but to also disengage from enemy squadrons at will, cannot be overlooked. Cloak is however not the only thing the Phantoms have going for them. Four blue dice gives them a great anti-squadron attack, but it’s the two red anti-ship dice that really set them apart. What really stands out is that Phantom’s have the highest potential anti-ship damage of any Imperial ship, and only the Rebel Keyan Farlander can match them. Because of this A fleet of Phantom’s can tear apart Rebel ships and squadron’s with ease. This ship demands a strong fighter screen to stop it.

Whisper

swm24-whisper

Scanners are picking up something strange; I can’t get a firm fix on anything.

Whisper is another great Imperial Ace. Combining Cloak with the ability to move after using a defensive token means the Whipser will be next to impossible to pin down and destroy. Deadly and slippery, Whisper is everything you want in a fighter squadron.

The VT-49 Decimator

swm24-vt-49-decimator

“To be granted command of a VT-49 Decimator was seen as a significant promotion for a middling officer of the Imperial Navy.”

The Decimator is an interesting new squadron. In many ways the Decimator acts like a light big ship, with a heavy three dice anti-ship attack, and ton of hull points. Rogue and Counter mean that it can operate on it’s own and that killing it will be costly. Overall this seems like a very reliable squadron.  In addition it has enough dice that any attack should do something, and maybe a lot of something. While it is expensive a force of six Decimators could prove to be an incredible powerful, and independent, part of your fleet.

Morna Kee

swm24-morna-kee

I trust you not to kill us.”

Like most of the Wave V Imperial Aces Morna Kee is solid if not fancy. Another Five point upgrade, Kee allows your ship to get re-rolls, and to use it’s brace every turn, making the Decimator, tougher and more reliable. Now I do think Morna is good, if I was taking one Decimator I’d consider taking her, I do think that I would rather have six Decimators, than her and four others, so I don’t know if she is a must take. Overall a solid upgrade.

tie_defender_sotg

You’ll find the Sienar Fleet Systems TIE Defender is the fastest, best-equipped starfighter in the galaxy.

Final Thoughts

The Imperials of Wave V are an exciting bunch for ships. While they are not much for fancy tricks, they do promise to change up the way you play. From allowing your carriers to have unlimited range to forming new powerful groups of Rogues the new squadrons let you take the battle to the enemy. Add to that a couple of units with really nice stat lines and a group of Aces that improve their bases units and which are universally solid and you have a really amazing expansion. Overall I’d say this might be the best new addition to the Imperial fleet since Wave II.

TheHandOfGod-ESBHD

That’s all I’ve got today BoLS fans. Let us know what you think about the new wave down in the comments!

  • mafiacheese

    I can’t wait to get mine ordered! But they’re now competing with Imperial Assault purchases since I received it for Christmas…

  • JD Robertson

    My shuttle enthusiasm cooled somewhat after I started to really think about the cost. Two cost more than a Gozanti with expanded hanger, which can basically solve the same problem and has other uses. I can still see where the shuttle might be the better option, but it’s not an obvious win.