BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

SW Armada: Victory, thy Name is Thrawn

5 Minute Read
Sep 1 2017

Grand Admiral Thrawn is coming to Star Wars Armada. What a grand time to be alive.

Well no one can say FFG doesn’t respond to the demands of their fans. About ten minutes after I posted last week asking what could come out next, FFG announced Wave VII and everyone’s favorite Grand Admiral. Who could hope for better customer service than that?  So with Thrawn finally, (finally!)  added to the game, lets take a look at what the master tactition can do.


Thrawn has not only one of the most powerful, but also flavorful, abilities in the game. In effect he can, for three turns of the game, give each of your ships an extra command dial. Now there was a little confusion about how this worked, but in this case we got lucky. Thrawn was actually a card designed by the winner of the 2016 Armada World Championship. Being an active forum member he was quite willing to clear up how the card works. In essence Thrawn gives each ship two command dials that they can resolve on the same turn! Thus Thrawn’s dial does not replace your native one or get added to the top of your stack but works alongside it. Now since you only resolve each command once this wont allow you to use the same command twice in one turn, double squadron activations for instance, though you can still turn one dial into a token and use them together.

This ability is insanely good.  Compared to someone like Tarkin who only gives out tokens, and you can see the sheer power of Thrawn. Now yes, he only works on three turns, rather then every turn, but most games are decided in roughly three turns, with a couple turns for positioning and clean up surrounding them. For three key turns, most likely either 2-4 or 3-5, you will have double the command options. This is just such a good ability I can’t stop thinking about it! Most likely you are going to want to stack the commands you’d want to give all your ships on him, Navigate or Engineering, then give each ship more specific commands. Man, even just getting three bonus Engineering tokens is amazing, on an ISD thats three removed damage cards or 6 new shields! About as good as Motti and much more flexible.

But it was so artistically done

On top of its sheer power Thrawn’s ability is just super flavorful.  Thrawn is the master strategist who is always 5 steps ahead and has a plan for everything. Having to chose your dials at the start is the perfect way to represent his foresight and planning that shows up mid battle to turn the tide for him. what an amazing way to represent him.



Of course Thrawn doesn’t come alone. The Admiral would not be complete without his iconic flagship the Chimaera. This souped up and repainted ISD comes with a full expansion pack of upgrades and a new Imperial squadron. So far all we’ve gotten a look at are two new versions of ISDs, and they are amazings as well. Lets take a quick peek at them.


The Kuat Refit

The Kuat Refit is a modified version of the ISDI. The ships two ships share almost identical stat lines, with just some minor dice swaps in their side and rear armaments. Their costs are also almost the same, 2 points difference, but there the similarities end. Unlike the ISDI the Kuat Refit is not a carrier, having only half the squadron value of its base ship. Instead this ship is a close range brawler. For upgrade slots it loses turbolaser slot and one of offensive retrofits slots of the ISD and gains an ordnance slots and a defensive retrofit slot. This is big. The defensive slot makes the ship much more survivable, while the ordnance slot up’s its close range damage. With Expanded Launchers or External Racks the Kaut refit can get a ten dice forward attack, coupled with gunnery teams and leading shots, all on a speed three ship. Thats brutal. This ship is absolute killer and is not something to be messed with.

The Cymoon 1 Refit


Unlike the Kaut Refit the Cymoon 1 Refit isn’t clearly a new version of something else. It is most similar to the ISD2, but the two ships are actually very different, and serve very different roles. Like the ISD2 the Cymoon 1 Refit is a blue/red dice monster but its load out is pretty different with  overall less dice, though more forward facing red. Its also got a different anti-squadron armament and a mid range squadron value. The Cymoon 1 is actually a great long range command ship. Like the Rebel Liberty Class it has two Turbolaser upgrade slots, allowing it to get 6 forward red dice, and combo some dice upgrades. Unlike the ISD2 however it doesn’t have a defensive upgrade slot, or an ion cannon slot. Meaning that it both more fragile and random than the ISD2. This ship would really like to hang back at red range and throw dice down range. Whats most interesting about the ship is that is has the Fleet Command Upgrade slot. Previously only the Rebels  had access to this slot, but now the Imperial fleets can also issue fleet wide orders, sounds perfect for a flagship!

Final Thoughts

Man just these three cards have me super excited for the new wave. These are some real power houses and we haven’t even seen the rest of the cards the Imperial were getting. And wasn’t there something else coming out this wave? Some Rebel ship? Oh, well, totally slipped my mind, maybe next week! Until then, fly casual my friends.


Author: Abe Apfel
  • Warmachine: Best of the Best - Legion Warlocks