Thursday, September 8, 2016

Armada Dice - Red

I was recently asked to do an article on dice for a relatively new player.  It is true that the different dice faces are something that needs to be covered for new players entering the game.  So we are going to take a look at the different dice faces, and see what they are each capable of.

Today we start off with the Red dice.

Red Dice:

2 Blank Results
1 Accuracy Result
2 Hit Results
2 Critical Results
1 Hit/Hit Result

Average Damage:  0.75
Average "Hit" %:  62.5%
Maximum Damage:  2.00
Average Damage w/ Reroll:  0.92
"Better than Average" Faces:  5 / 8

Average AA Damage:  0.50
Average AA "Hit" %:  37.5%
Maximum AA Damage:  2.00

Red dice are the long range dice of Armada, and correspond to the Turbolaser upgrade slot (see the MC30c Torpedo Frigate for the exception to the rule).  This is the most complicated of the dice, and has the greatest variance in results.  Also, aside from the long range, it is widely considered to be the "worst" die.  Indeed, when adding something to the pool (assuming you have a choice) the Red die comes out as less damage than the Black, and less chance of accuracy than the Blue, making it the worst choice no matter what you need to get result-wise.

Interestingly though, the Red die does have some advantages when taken in isolation to one or the other.  Over the Black die, it does have the opportunity for accuracy which is something a purely Black dice pool would not have access to.  Over the Blue die, it gains the potential to do extra damage with the double hit result, while the maximum damage for Blue dice is just 1.

The real standout is on anti-squadron attacks.  At the moment, the only way to get a Red anti-squadron die into your attack pool is to generate one by attacking a named pilot while Agent Kallus is on your ship, but it is also the only way to have a maximum damage of 2 on a single dice roll for anti-squadron shots.  So no long range anti-squadron shots, yet.

Red dice also have a really good damage boost when a reroll is available, in part because of how fickle they are.  That being said, 5/8 results (or 6/8 results if you need an accuracy) are "above average" (a single hit is better than 0.75 expected damage after all) so you just need to roll out the misses.  Currently there are only a few ways to get rerolls for Red dice:

Concentrate Fire token - A single die
Leading Shots (Ion Cannon) - Any number, but requires a Blue die be spent.
Veteran Gunners (Weapons Team) - All dice in your pool, exhausted when used.
Darth Vader (Commander) - Any number, but requires a defense token be spent.

There are also a limited amount of ways to change or improve Red dice results:

H-9 Turbolasers (Turbolaser) - One die with a "Hit" or "Critical" result showing can be spun to an "Accuracy" result (note - works with any color dice)
Turbolaser Reroute Circuit (Turbolaser) - One dice spun to a "Hit / Hit" result or "Critical" result if you spend an Evade token.
Warlord (Victory Title) - One die spun from an "Accuracy" result to a face with at least one "Hit" result.  Could be used for a "Hit / "Hit".  (Note, will work with Blue dice as well)
Home One (MC-80 Home One Class Title) - One Red die spun to an "Accuracy" result.  Only works on nearby ships, not your own.
Sensor Team (Weapon Team) - Spend one die to spin one die to an "Accuracy" result.  (Note:  Die spent can be any color, and also works with Blues for the spun die).

As you can see, not a lot of options if you want to re-roll or modify dice.  The best ships for Red dice are ironically both the small ships that can take Turbolaser Reroute Circuit and thus guarantee a double damage hit for the price of one evade token, or Large base ships with access to Ion Cannon slots or specific titles on ships.

One other upgrade of note for Red dice that should be mentioned is the Salvation.  This Nebulon B title upgrade gives your front arc 2 damage for every critical result rolled.  It should be noted that this works with any dice color, but the base battery is 3 Red dice.  This gives you an average damage from the front arc of 1 / Red die - on par with Black dice for damage - but at long range.

FFG puts a decent amount of value on the Red dice, which we can see from the upgrades that deal with them verses other related upgrades.  Expanded Launchers give a 2 Black dice boost from the front arc for 13 points (7.5 points / die) while Spinal Armaments gives a 1 Red die boost from the front (and back) arc for 9 points.

Both Rapid Reload and High Capacity Ion Battery both add 1 die to the side arcs (Black and Blue respectively) for 8 points while Enhanced Armaments does the same with Red for 10.  This suggests an increase in the value of a die by about 1.5 to 2 points from Blue or Black up to Red - probably for Range related reasons.

Anything you want to add to the discussion?  Did I not talk enough about how to add Red dice?  Let me know.  We will be talking about Blue and Black dice later, and get into color specific Critical Effects.


  1. Nice article, I do have a question: is it better for a ship (other than the Salvation) to add a die via Spinal Armaments or Enhanced Armaments, or to add an enhancement such at Turbolaser Reroute Circuits or XI7s?

    1. If you have the means to use TRCs (meaning you have an evade and red dice), it is pretty much THE go to upgrade. Adding another fickle red die is almost always less optimal than what the TRC will give you. I would also tend to argue for the XI7s in place of SA or EA, but that's more situational.

    2. TRCs will add more damage on average, bringing a single red die from 0.75 average straight up to 2.00. On the other hand, adding a Red die will just add 0.75 damage per die added. On the other hand, if you have rerolls, the TRC "only" adds 1.08 on a single die, while adding a die gives you 0.92 damage.

      Now if you are able to make more than one attack a turn from an arc (and only have a single evade token) then it gets more interesting. 1.50 damage added for a new dice (without rerolls) or 1.84 damage (with rerolls), and still just 1.25 added from TRC.

      The other thing is that when you increase the dice totals, the maximum possible damage increases. TRC doesn't do this. So while a Spinal ISD2 (5 dice) will have a maximum damage of 10. while a TRC (and Needa) ISD2 (4 dice) will still have a maximum of 8.

      Interestingly though, because you spin up the dice of your choice when all is said and done, the average damage given from TRCs approaches 2.00 as the number of dice you have increases, as there are better and better odds that you will have at least one blank on any given die.

  2. How does TRC compare to Ackbar? Would those 7 points of cost be worth it with the cost of Ackbar?

  3. I like to split my dice 50/50 in most cases

  4. I like to split my dice 50/50 in most cases