A new FAQ has come out for Star Wars Armada, and it is aimed to shake up the meta.
FFG has a good history of putting out solid FAQs for their games. Not only do these FAQs tend to answer and clear up all the big questions but they also contain a decent errata portion. The errata are not just aimed at balancing “OP” ships but at shaking things up and preventing the game from getting stale. If a particular build is so popular that its limits the variety of fleets getting taken you can bet FFG will try to change it, and that is just what this FAQ/Errata has done. Let’s look at a few of the big changes.
More Flotilla Nerfs
It’s pretty rare that you see such a small addition to a game, two cheap ships with almost no guns, have such a huge impact on a game’s meta. Flotillas arguably have had a greater effect on the game than any other ships. Due to their cheap cost and nimbleness, they’ve been a great away at adding activations to fleets and keeping portions of your fleet alive and out of the fight. FFG already took aim at a flotilla in their last major FAQ by removing their ability to carry you fleet commander, thus killing the all flotilla fleet.
In this new update, they’ve added two new rules about flotillas to their tournament regulations. The first is placing a hard limit on flotillas; fleets cannot take more than 2 of them. Also if all your non-flotilla ships are destroyed, you lose. So no longer can you hide a flotilla in a corner to keep you in the fight. Both of these changes are going to shake up things and change how people use flotillas, meaning they are more likely to fall back into the close support ship role they should have, rather than the random hide the corner and manipulate turn order role they have now. While these changes are not part of the regular rules, but tournament regulations, the nature of the Armada community means they will be used in most friendly games as well.
Jamming the Relay
Most likely the most significant errata to actual card rules is the change to the Relay keyword. Currently, relay, found on support squadrons like the Lambda and VCX-100 allows friendly ships to in effect measure the distance for giving squadron commands from the relay squadron rather than the ship giving the command. This meant that a flotilla hiding in a corner could give squadron commands through a Lambda to TIE fighters on the other side of the table. FFG has now changed Relay to say the Relay ship has to be within squadron command range of the ordering ship to use relay. This in effect extends squadron commands out to about a max of range 5, with good positioning, rather than unlimited range.
This is a great change for shaking up the game as the Relay ability was allowing fleets to in effect never come in to contact and throw squadrons at each other across the table. This is going to bring the game back to one of the big ships duking it out. While it affects all ships, it also acts as another nerf on Flotillas by removing their ability to hide out of the way and relay commands to squadrons.
The Rebel Aces or Rieekans Aces has been a staple fleet of Armada for a long time. This fleet uses a pretty specific combination of ships to back up a powerful fighter force. In this update, FFG has made some tweaks to a few of the core ships in this build.
Firstly the ever popular Gallant Haven‘s ability to reduce damage has been changed so it cannot reduce damage below a minimum of 1. Whereas before Gallant Haven could completely negate damage, making most ship-based anti-squadron attacks useless, you can now wear down enemy squadrons even around their base.
Secondly, the Yavaris title has been changed so that squadrons firing twice cannot move at all. Previously they could still benefit from some tricks using things like flight commander, to allow them to get some free movement and fire twice. Now they really have to choose here.
A last minor change is that Biggs can no longer push damage off onto a “dead” squadron kept alive my Rieekan’s ability. All these changes should help to nerf the Rebel Aces build a bit and break up the large rebel ball of doom formation, leading to more dynamic games.
Other Tweaks and Changes
While the above are the biggest changes as far as the meta goes, the FAQ does have a few other minor changes and clarification. Avenger got errated to be exhausted on use. They cleared up how some of Thrawn’s and Raddus’ abilities work and also put in some stuff about what happens if no one can activate a ship (due to the addition of several cards that restrict activating ships at certain times). Overall I think it’s a great FAQ that does a lot of good for the game. You can check it out in full here, and the Tournament update here. Now that you’ve read the updates its time to adjust your fleet and get out there and play.
Let us know what you think of these changes, down in the comments!