SW: Armada: Today’s Meta

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The 2016-2017 Regionals have started and Armada Waves III and IV are making their presence felt.

Several months ago I wrote about the current state of the Star Wars Armada Meta based on results for the 2015-2016 Regional Season.  We are now a few weeks into the 2016-2017 season and we can see that the meta has heavily shifted, due in no small part to the release of Waves III and IV. As he has before Fantasy Flight Games forum user shmitty has complied results for the tournaments for us to dissect.  So far we have data for only 8 events, and 119 fleets, but it’s already enough to give us a good look at the current meta.

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Ariel is an expert on ships

The Fleets

Fleets saw a bit of a swing since last season. While last season about 55% of players took Imperial fleets, and 45% Rebels, this time Rebels made up 58% of the fleets and Imperials 42%. While this is a significant swing towards the Rebellion the sides still remain relatively equal, which is a good sign for the game overall. Fleets got bigger on average as well, increasing from an average of 3.6 ships and 5 squadrons to 4.06 ships and 6.37 squadrons. Overall we are seeing a lot more squadrons than before.

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It’s like she’s playing a game, in the game, thats also meta!

Rieekan was the most played Rebel commander and Motti the most played Imperial, each accounting for about 19% of fleets. while Reeikan has gained in popularity, Motti still dominates. Dodonna was taken in 15% of fleets, and Screed in 10% (a big drop), but no other Admirals saw much play. This is similar to last season, when a handful of Admirals dominated play. In particular, Motti remains most likely the favorite Admiral. None of the Wave III or IV admirals saw much use, but they are still a little new.

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The face of the victors.

Flotillas are a big favorite so far this year. 79% of all fleets contained a flotilla, with a slightly higher percentage of Rebel fleets taking GR-75s than Imperials taking Gonzoti’s. In contrast the Wave IV ships, the Liberty and Interdicor have seen little play. Big ships in general are on a decline, only  55% of fleets contained a large ship, though a slightly higher percentage of Imperial fleets took ISDs than they did last year.  From last year use of TRC’s is down and XI7s has gone up. One of the biggest changes is that last year 20% of fleets took no squadrons, this year only 3% did.

 

Winners and Losers

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Time for some traditional Rebel victory celebrations 

Last year when it came to winning Imperials where pretty dominate. This year the opposite is true, with Rebels winning 75% of the events. Now so far there have only been 8, so it’s a small sample size, but if the trend continues it will be a major upset. For winning admirals, Motti, Screed, Akbar and Mon Mothma have all won one event, and Dodonna and Rieekan have both won two.  Dodonna is the biggest surprise here since last year he didn’t lead a single sleet to victory. The winning fleets have also been larger on average the other fleets, reinforcing the trend of larger fleets winning.

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The day of the ISD may be over

So far every winning fleet has contained flotillas, while only a 13%, contained large ships. Not surprisingly this was an Akbar fleet with Home One. Last year about 50% of winning fleets had a large ship, so this is also a major shift. For the Rebel a big surprise has been that both Nebulon-Bs and MC-30s have proven very effective in winning fleets, while the old staple of the CR90 seems to not be preforming as well. Bomber Command Center and APT have been super popular with all players. Rhymer and Demolisher remain wildly popular among Imperials, with almost every player taking at least one of them, though clearly they are are not winning as much as before.

What Does it All Mean?

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I’m so confused!

The biggest take away I would say is that its clear the meta is changing, and that is really good for the health of the game. Fleets have changed. To win you really seem to need to use a combination of squadrons and flotillas. Motti/Rhymer and Screed/Demolisher remain viable fleets, but they are slipping. Unkillable MC30s with Rieekan or APTs with Dodonna seem to have the upper hand as of now. Squadrons are making a big come back, bolstered by flotillas, as was intended by FFG I am sure. This rise is larger fleets and more squadrons definitely can play in Rebel hands, hence their winning more events.

 

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Squadrons dominate both the tabletop and your heart 

I am a bit disappointed in the poor performance from the Liberty and Interdictor, they seem to have had little impact on the meta, but maybe they need more time. It does also worry me that there is a clear imbalance in Admirals, with a relatively small number being used in most fleets. Though it’s changed a bit, Rieekan, Motti and Screed where 3 of the 4 most played, and winning, Admirals last year, and are shaping up to repeat the process this year.

Final Thoughts

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True words little green man

Armada is changing and evolving, and this is very good. The season is still relatively new, and we’ve got two more sets of releases, at least, coming out before it’s over, so expect changes.  It’s still too early to tell what the “best” fleet is, but I can say, you’d better bring some squadrons or a serious and unique counter to them if you want to win. That being said, Armada is still a new and open game, and there is plenty of room of a great idea for a fleet to make it’s mark, so keep on planing, and keep building new fleets!

 

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~Well folks, that’s all for this time. Let us know what you think of the current meta, and where it is going, down in the comments!

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