Today Admirals we take a look at one of the most important aspects of Star Wars Armada, picking a target.
Hey BoLS fans! I’ve talked a lot in the past about fleet building and ships but not as much about actually playing the game. In large part this is simply because every game is different and most likely the most important part of being a good player is the ability to adapt on the fly to any situation. That being said I do have a few general rules I tend to stick too when I’m playing the game.
Today I want to focus on my rules for target selection or what to shoot at when you activate a ship. After movement target priority is probably the most important aspect of the game, since it is where you actually kills things. Picking what to shoot at is very important and I’ve seen a number of players who sometimes struggle with picking the right target at the right time. So here are my five rules about target priority
And if you are not ready, well here’s an article to get you ready!
1. Can You Kill Something
The first question you should ask when picking what to shoot at is: “Can I kill an enemy ship with this ship this turn.” The most important thing you can do in Armada is to kill an enemy ship. By killing an enemy ship you do three things. First you get victory points helping you win. Second you stop that ship from shooting at you more, thus making it so you lose less ships. Third you change the activation count of both players.
Another one bites the space dust
This is why it can be very important to kill even weak enemy ships, sure they may not be worth a lot of points or be very dangerous, but sometimes simply denying the enemy that activation can tip a game in your favor This opportunity can be hard to see. For exzample you might have have a ship at close range to a healthy enemy ship and be able to get off a large 6 dice attack, but also be able to shoot a crippled enemy ship at long range but only with 2-3 dice. What do you do? And that’s when this rule comes into play. Kill the ship, even if you lowers your overall dice output that turn. Finish them off, assuming you can do so with a good chance of success.
That sounds a lot worse when you say it out loud…
2. Can You Kill Something That Hasn’t Activated Yet?
The second rule goes hand in hand with the first rule. Given multiple targets you could kill, say if you have an ISD with two CR90s at close range, kill ones that haven’t activated yet. Killing targets before they can activate, and therefor shoot, should be a major goal of your’s during a game. Even if it means giving up a higher point value target to kill a cheaper one, negating the enemy’s ability to fire that turn can have a huge impact on the overall game. While there are exceptions to this rule overall it’s highly beneficial to kill a ship that hasn’t gone yet.
So be like Han and shoot first
3. Focus Fire
Ok, the first two are maybe pretty obvious. Killing the enemy = good. However what do you do if you can’t kill something with this ship this turn? Especially in the first few turns of the game this will often be the case, and here is where a lot of people get in truble with target selection. The easiest and often best rule to follow in these situations is to focus fire on a single target. Look at the board as a whole and see which enemy ships you will be able to hit with more than one of yours, then shoot at that one. Spreading you shots across a number of enemy ships will do little good for you.
Hitting your targets is also important
Remember the goal is to kill the enemy, damaged ships will still shoot and get you no points at the end of the game. Again, sometimes this means giving up close range high dice attacks in order focus a number of smaller attacks all on one target. This is not a bad thing though. In that kind of situation you should use the smaller attacks first to strip shields and defence tokens, so your big attacks can kill a target. Remember the goal is to kill, everything you do should be towards that end. Even movement should be made with the goal of getting a number of your ships into a position where they can focus fire on one enemy.
It’s good advice but if the other player has a Super Star Destroyer the game was probably a trap all along
4. Look for High Reward Targets
Assuming you can focus on a number of ships, or move so that you can, the next question is what ship should you focus on. One of the big things you want to do in Armada is to try and get the best return for your shots. This means asking yourself, how can I use the fewest of my shots/dice to take out the most points/dice of the enemy? The key is too look at weaker enemy ships that have a high dice output and try to take them out first. This means ships like Gladiator Class Star Destroyers, Raiders, and CR90s, especially ones with SW-7s or Turbolaser Reroutes. This ships are pretty easy to kill if you focus on them but put out a lot of fire.
Now a lot of players will instead focus on the huge enemy ships, ISDs, MC80s and even VSDs. Ture, these are big scary ships, and killing them is important, but they give you a very low return for any one shot. A lot of times I’ve seen players focus on shooting these big ships, taking turns to kill them, and not realizing that the smaller enemy ships are tearing them them apart. So much like in a video game boss battle, you want to kill the little guys first, stop them shooting, then later pivot to finishing off the big fish. Always keep in mind the importance of reducing the amount of dice being shot at you.
Save the best for last
5. Only Use Anti-Squadron Dice If You Have No Other Targets
Unless your list or ship is based around making anti-squadron attacks, don’t. These attacks, even though they can sometimes seem like you’ll get a ton of dice, have a very very low return rate. It is almost always better to take a shot, even a bad one, at an enemy ship that it is to waste your dice shooting at squadrons. Shooting at squadrons has a very low chance of killing any important ones, and even if it does will get you very few points. Don’t let the squadrons distract you. Kill their ships and get the squadron points for free.
Red Leader knows whats up
Well there you have it folks. Those are my 5 simple rules for target selection. Not all of these will be applicable 100% of the time, but I find they form a solid bases for making my decisions from. Now I will say there are two big caveats to these rules. On turn 6 and if you are facing a fleet that has Rieekan as it’s Admirable things get a bit different. But those are topics for another day. Overall my advice is try and follow these rules, but remain flexible and you should do well in this area. Just always keep in mind that the main goal is to sink their ships and you’ll make a great admiral.
That’s all for today folks! I hope you found this helpful and we’d love to hear what rules you like to keep in mind during your games down in the comments!
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