Saturday, March 19, 2016

FAQ and Tournament Update - Gunnery Teams and Typos

Wave 3 wasn't the only big news for Armada this week, as we also had a FAQ update, as well as a brand new Tournament Regulations (completely replacing the Tournament Rules of the past).  There were some typos and mistakes in the first round of Regulations, but they corrected some of the most egregious errors (copy / pasting X-Wing rules, in particular).

So, without further ado, here's what you need to know about the new updates:

Tournament FAQ


No changes in this update.


Only major change is the following was added:  
Q:  If a ship executes its maneuver so that it is exactly touching another ship or squadron at its final position, did the ship that moved overlap the ships or squadron that it is touching?  
A:  No.

This gives a little bit of wiggle room to those who were playing with the understanding that if a ship just barely slid into space, it was overlapped.  So it errs on the side of "no overlaps" now.  I don't see this actually changing much though.

Card Clarifications:

Thrust Control Malfunction:  
The last adjustable joint is a joint with a yaw value of "I" or "II"; a joint with a yaw value of "-" is unaffected.  This card affects the yaw value printed on the speed chart; that value can still be increased by the (navigate) command or other card effects.
This card only affects maneuvers executed at the ship's current speed (the number on its speed dial).

I'm thinking this is a "future" clarification, as no ships are currently out that have a lower yaw value than "I" on their last joint.  Maybe we will be seeing something with "I" -> "I" -> "-" or something along those lines.  Again, doesn't change much in our understanding of the game.

Advanced Gunnery:
If the second player's objective ship is equipped with Gunnery Team or Slaved Turrets, that ship cannot target the same ship or squadron more than once during its activation.

An inelegant way of saying what we already new with regards to Slaved Turrets, this ruling brings Gunnery Teams in line with that, ruling that "cannot" from the upgrade card wording supersedes the "may" in the wording of Advanced Gunnery.  We can infer from this that Advanced Gunnery's First Player variation has that restriction applied as well.

This is a big change, as previously Gunnery Team worked with Advanced Gunnery per an FFG developer email ruling.  Now, Advanced Gunnery / Gunnery Team is no longer an auto-include in every Imperial Start Destroyer list as the only Red Objective.  Maybe players will consider non-Gunnery Team upgrades for the Weapons Team slot, or perhaps we will see a shift where an ISD or VSD doesn't take Gunnery Team in order to be able to play with the objective?  It's too early to see how this interaction will change list building and the Imperial meta, but the big winner here is definitely the MC80 who didn't really want to take Slaved Turrets anyway (probably).

Admiral Ozzel:
A friendly ship equipped with Nav Team that resolves a (navigate) command using a (navigate) token to increase yaw value may resolve Admiral Ozzel's effect to change its speed by 1.

Oh, hey!  It's the answer to the email I sent a while back.  Ozzel works with Nav Teams, an important clarification to all the Nav Team loving / Engine Tech hating GSD fans out there.  Doesn't change much that we didn't already know, and doesn't change anything we'd actually see in a competitive game.

This ship cannot spend a defense token as part of the cost of resolving an upgrade card's effect unless that effect specifies that a defense token may be spent.

You can't spend tokens for no reason.  I know people have been thinking of creative ways of getting tokens discarded for Devastator.  This will take us to...

Intel Officer:
A ship with this card equipped can chose 1 of its own defense tokens when resolving this card.

Chose your own token, spend with Vader (or Turbolaser Reroute Circuits) and now you are adding a die with Devastator.  Seems like a waste of a token (and Intel Officer use for that matter) but what do I know?

Squadrons can attack this ship if they are not engaged by an actual enemy squadron without heavy in the play area.

Slight wording change to reflect the previous email ruling on the subject.  Surprisingly (to me at least) Heavy doesn't work as a part of a rule-out process (you are engaged with 3 squadrons, only 1 has heavy, so you must shoot squadrons) but instead works later in the decision tree:

You are engaged with 3 squadrons.  You can only legally shoot 1 (as the other two don't actually exist).  That squadron has heavy, so it doesn't prevent you from attacking ships.  Thus you may legally attack ships.

Tournament Regulations

Oh gods, this document.  Fortunately, FFG corrected the more egregious mistakes in v1.0 that they released on 3/16 in a v1.02 released just a day later.  It basically scraps the Tournament Rules document they had prior, and changes quite a few things.  Let's examine it.

Edit:  As of 3/21 FFG has released a v1.03 that fixed quite a few more problems.  I will be editing in changed in Red. 


"Tournaments are played using the rules provided in Star Wars: Armada Rules Reference and FAQ..."  "Additional rules for playing games in a tournament are detailed in this document."  For the sake of all of our sanity, I am going to say that the Rules Reference and FAQ supersede anything in this document that relate to actually playing the game, for our own sanity.

Tournament Participant Roles:

Here's our first significant change.  Where previously "participants" were divided into "Tournament Official" and "Player", now there are multiple "Leader" roles.

Organizer:  The organizer is responsible for the oversight of the entire event, including planning and execution.  The organizer is basically the person putting the event on, and is by default in charge of running the event (though they can delegate that to someone else).  They are also the only one that can remove players from the tournament for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Marshal:  An event may have any number of marshals, including none.  A marshal is an expert in the game's rules and regulations, and is the final authority on the questions about rules, regulations, and player disputes.  The Marshal is what we would have previously called the TO.  He's the "final authority" on what is going on within the tournament.  I'm not sure it's a good idea to have more than one, and "none" is okay only because the Organizer is by default the Marshal unless he assigns that role to someone else.

Judge:  An event may have any number of judges, including none.  A judge is well versed in the game's rules and regulations.  A judge's responsibilities include assisting the players to resolve disputes and answer questions regarding the game's rules.  So if the Marshal was previously the TO, the Judges would be the "Co-TO"s.  They act as deputies of the Marshal in resolving rules questions and line of sight / range disputes, though the Marshal is the ultimate authority if any complaint is brought up the chain.  The key word here is "assisting" - players are not bound to accepting the Judge's ruling, and can appeal to the Marshal.

Player:  They're players.  They are expected to bring all components.

Spectator:  This is anyone not playing or doing something else.  They are actually classified here to say that they are not allowed to disturb or provide input / assistance to players.

Leader Participation:  Organizers, marshals, and judges are classified as "Leaders", and now can only participate on the lowest tier of tournaments (Relaxed), and only if a second Leader is present.  Regardless of actual position, each Leader is the final authority for rulings in games the other Leader is playing in, unless they are playing one another, in which case it defaults to whoever the Marshal is.

The big change to Leader Participation is that the previous tier system allowed a TO and Co-TO to play in Competitive tier events, the second tier, which was for Store Championships and one-off FFG Events.  There is no word on what tier Store Championships will fall in.

Tournament Materials:

Nothing much to talk about here - seems pretty much the same or at least adds nothing new.

Some missing information and typos were fixed here.

Tournament Play:

Where most of the typos / errors were in the previous version.  Again, nothing in here should be things that aren't already covered in better or more accurate detail in the Rules Reference guide or the FAQ.

Previous rules for Measuring and Tracking Game Rounds were added.

Tournament Concepts:

Here's the good stuff.  Lots of changes into this section:

First, Mutual Destruction rules have changed.  Previously, if both sides had their ships destroyed at the end of a game round, the player with the most points earned the win.  The new ruling scraps point values entirely for mutual destruction and gives Second Player the win, but a MOV of 0.  So, if a player is losing by a significant amount due to objective based points, they can salvage at least a 5-5 score by sweeping their opponent from the board, even if they themselves are wiped out.  This is also important for the new Elimination Rounds - Mutual Destruction means that Second Player wins regardless of score, the only time that "winning" actually matters as opposed to tournament score.

Oh, speaking of which:  Progression Cuts and Single Elimination Rounds are officially added to the rules.  More on them in "Tournament Structures" below.

Intentional Draws:  Players can intentionally draw a game so long as a leader is present for any discussion between players prior to the agreement.  The leader's presence is required to prevent any breach of the tournament's integrity.  The leader will not intervene as long as players follow the "Unsporting Conduct" [section].  Basically "Collusion among players to manipulate scoring is expressly forbidden".  This... is weird.  Collusion is typically defined (though not in the Tournament Document anywhere) as secret cooperation for an illegal or dishonest purpose - so by definition, agreeing to a 5-5 draw with a game leader present would prevent collusion.  This could be a thing we see in tournaments where "top x" prizes are given out, and both players know that they can get into that "top x" with just a 5-5 draw.  If it is over the table, it isn't illegal or dishonest, or secretive.

I don't like it.  Play your damn game - that's why you paid your tournament entry fee, right?  To actually play Armada?

Tournament Structure:

Big changes here - the basic structure more or less remains unchanged, but "Advanced Structure" is added, with top player cuts.  Namely, at 29 or higher players, there is a cut to Top 2, and at 91 or more players (which is a lot of players - and probably limited to major national events, or Worlds) there is a cut to Top 4.  Plus some small variations in where the 4 and 5 round cutoffs are.

4 Rounds and a Top 2 cut for a 29 player tournament is a LOT of game time - 9 hours not counting downtime for the Swiss round alone.  Of course, that puts it about on average with your typical X-Wing regional.  Probably this is about what to expect with our own Regionals when they get started in April.

Tournament Tiers:

Here's another change.  Casual / Competitive / Premier is replaced with Relaxed / Formal / Premier, and roughly the same expectations and rulings. 

Relaxed -> Casual - Changes little.  Focus is on learning the game, improvement in play.

Competitive -> Formal - Still a "expected to know how to play" level, but the big differences being that while this level was previously the level for Store Championships and "Sullust" type events, and allowed TO's to play, now Judges are expected to not participate as players, and this is the level for Regional Championships.  No word on whether Store Championships will fall into Formal or Casual at this time.

Premier - No significant change.  Still top end of the gaming world - and players are expected to know the rules.


  1. Doesn't the mc30 have a "-" on the speed 4?

    1. Good job! I was seeing if anyone would catch it, and you succeeded!

      It certainly wasn't a case of me not playing with a MC30 for some time.

  2. I think the intentional draw rules are more for X-wing, but I guess I can see out where players are just tired after a long set of games - especially if there is a cut. Or if players will make top 8 or something to get prize support.

    I don't know that I'd take the option (I doubt get to play as much as I'd like anyway), but then, if I could save a few hours, get my prize and also earn bonus points with my wife...... It might be wiworth it.