The Empire has let the Big-Guns out in Wave II for Star Wars Armada – and we’ve got the low down!
Hey BoLS Readers and Star Wars Admirals! Just a head’s up – I’m going to go over the Imperial Class Star Destroyer and the Imperial Raider in this article. The new Rogues and Villains Expansion Pack is getting it’s own review/overview later. We clear on that? Good! Now then lets continue. The Empire got some serious love in this wave so let’s get down to business. First up the Imperial Class Star Destroyer:
I just want to start off by saying this is the model that I’ve wanted since I found out about Star Wars Armada. I mean – it’s THE Imperial ship. When I think Star Wars and the Imperial March starts playing in my head I see the fly under/over/whatever of this ship from Star Wars: A New Hope. So I might be a little biased but this ship is GREAT!
Saying this ship is imposing on the table is like saying The Force lets you move things. While, yes, that’s technically true it just doesn’t have the same impact as when you see it in action.
For a frame of reference here are the two ‘ship’ cards you can choose from. The Class-I and Class-II clock in at 110 and 120 points, respectively. They put out an incredible amount of firepower per ship (with the option to do more…I’ll get to that), If you can get the Fore arc and a side arc locked on one target (not easy with a base this large) then you’re going to cause the target to reconsider it’s life choices.
It also has a new defense token called Contain:
This can be pretty game changing if you can cancel out the right crits – and with the whopping 11 hull – you’re going to end up need to survive some crits! You could also take Captain Needa out for a spin if you wanted to run an Evade ship. But really these guys are slow-moving displays of Imperial Dominance. You’re going to want to play this thing aggressively and muscle your way across the board unloading into that Rebel Scum the entire time!
These are the 3 named ship cards that come with the expansion. All of them have their place but I’m drawn to the Devastator. In that late game turn when you’ve had to discard a defense token you’re actually rewarded with extra attack power! Rolling 12 attack dice at a target in the Fore arc is enough potential damage to make Rebel Commanders a bit hesitant to get in this things line of fire! And if that’s not bad enough check out who’s coming along for a ride:
The Dark Lord of the Sith himself, the guy who paid and arm and a leg for that sweet helm/mask combo, Darth “Who’s your daddy” Vader! His ability is worth all 36 points as well. As long as he’s on the table any friend ship (as in capital ship, not squadrons) can spend a defense token to reroll any number of dice. Did you get a bunch of accuracy? Spend a token and re-roll it! Did you wiff with a random Victory Class on the other end of the board? Spend a token and re-roll it. He’s really, really solid in any list.
I go through all of the cards in the Expansion in the video but here’s the rub: If you are an Imperial Armada player buy this ship when it shows up. It’s got some other great upgrades as well. I would keep going but I still need to talk about the Imperial Raider!
Ah the Raider! I am digging this ship. It’s lean and mean. Heck, it’s also really quick and nimble! It’s a ship of the line and I really think this little ship could (and will) be all over the place.
This ship is the Anti-Fighter ship the Imperials needed. It’s rolling two dice vs squadrons and has the speed to engage them as well. The Raider also has some special tricks to tie-up squadrons. It’s also able to crank out some decent fire power in it’s forward facing against big ships. This Corvette can pretty much do it all (except take big punch).
This ship really shines in wolf-packs of 3-4. They can quickly eliminate enemy squadrons and drop a hay-maker on a target. You could even pull some sneaky tricks with a few well timed Overload Pulses to shut down a defenders tokens:
It could be a really mean One-Two Punch if you timed it right with the fire power an Imperial Star Destroy can dump out. “Take 12 dice worth of damage – oh and you can’t brace or redirect any of it…”
Just looking at the cards you can see this is the fast, nimble ship that the Imperials were really needing. For the points cost 3 of theses ships are around the same price as an Imperial class Star Destroyer but now you’ve spread your eggs out of just one basket. If you want to get really nasty you can also load these guys up with Assault Concussion Missiles and try and overload multiple facings at once.
The Black Die in Armada is a little weird; it’s not rare to get a crit with it. A wolf pack of 4 Imperial Raiders throwing out at least 8 black dice (if you’re in the fore and using the Raider I-class) are going to rip off some extra shields and that’s not counting the regular damage you’re spitting out.
Overall I think this is a great release for the Imperials. The big Star Destroyer is going to get a lot of the attention, as it should – it’s AWESOME. But The Imperial Raider is the true workhorse of this wave. The British proved to the Spanish Armada that small, quick ships can be utterly devastating in naval combat. It’s a death by a thousand cuts – but this time it’s space lasers and you’re still dead…
Up next time – We look at the Rebels for Wave II!
How are your Star Wars Armada games going? Are you pumped for Wave II like we are? Let us know in the comments below!