Monday, June 12, 2017

When The Pew-Pew Just Isn't Enough - The Fleet That Makes Biggs Shudder In Revulsion

<A Note from the Editor - Please imagine it read by Patrick Warburton

Dear Reader of the Steel Squadron Blog,

It is my sincere displeasure to request that you not under any circumstances read the following blog post.  The contents of this post are so vile as to turn the most optimistic Armada player into a sniveling wreck of a troll.  Troll in this case is a word referring to an individual who sows discord throughout internet communities.  Frankly, the servers which contain this work will likely need to be erased, pulverized, and scattered in to a deep ocean trench for the safety of the Armada community.

If you believe in the existence of the mortal soul I encourage you to turn back before yours is forever corrupted.  If my imploring is not enough to dissuade you, please consider this song as your final warning.

Look away, look away...>

You win a game of Armada by scoring VPs.  The two routes to scoring those precious VPs are Objectives and blowing stuff up.  Most Armada players focus on the blowing stuff up part of the game as frankly this is a game about giant space ships and masses of squadrons going pew-pew-pew.

But you only get to pew-pew so much in a given game.  Ships are limited to 2 attacks per turn and squadrons limited to one.  Although there are a couple of upgrades that break that rule, you still only have so many opportunities to attack your opponent.

But what if that isn't enough?  What if you want to be able to attack your opponent in a non-traditional fashion?  What if it isn't enough to win and you really just need to remove all sense of hope from their hearts?

Well, then you have come to the right place.  As Armada has grown the options for impacting your opponent outside of the attack step have grown right along with it.  You can now toy with your opponent's ability to score objectives, maneuver, attack, defend, activate squadrons, and even command their ships.  None of these do damage themselves, but can so discombobulate your opponent as to leave them more vulnerable to conventional attack.  Sometimes you can win by foiling your opponent's plans so badly that both the plans and the opponent fall apart before your eyes.

Let's take a look at some of the options that are out there:

  • The Strategic keyword on squadrons opened up whole new methods to manipulating objective play.  Objectives like Fire Lanes and Sensor Net can be absolutely brutal to play against if your opponent has Strategic.  The ability to manipulate objective markers can be immensely powerful and lead to significant point scoring or in the case of Minefields or Planetary Ion Cannon significant damage.

  • There's another class of objectives that can be manipulated using the Grav Shift Reroutes of the Interdictor.  Station Assault, Contested Outpost, Salvage Run, and others all rely on interaction with obstacles.  Being able to shift those obstacles around can give the Interdictor's player a massive head start in their games before they even start.
  • Having the right command at the right time can mean the difference in a game of Armada.  So why not take that away from your opponent?  What good is a carrier with no Squadron Commands after all?

  • Slicer Tools are the go-to upgrade for messing with the command stack.  It can really cripple a ship that is specialized to a certain task.  Wave 6 has also added in Cham Syndulla for the Rebels who can reprogram an entire stack which could be brutal to a Command 3 ship.

  • You can also get at a ships stored Command Tokens.  Ion Cannon Batteries can shoot them right off a ship.  This can be great against ships that store a Nav token to trigger Engine Techs.  Tractor Beams are more specialized, but are also more reliable for removing Nav Tokens.

  • I've gone into lots of details before but there are lots of ways to slow down your opponent's attacks beyond just using defense tokens.  Some of the best are upgrades like Jamming Fields, Admiral Montferrat, or Cracken that give you constant obstruction and take dice away from your opponent or Lando and Targeting Scramblers that take away their good rolls.  There is nothing like the look on an opponent's face who just used re-rolls to trigger a crit when you make them re-roll it away.
  • Most ships really rely on their defense tokens to survive, so messing with those is a great way to shorten their life spans.  Overload Pulse, Boarding Troopers, Suppressor, and Admiral Sloane can all spend them and give your opponent tough decisions.  Sloane can even discard the tokens much like NK-7s and Nym.
  • There are a few ways to restrict your opponent's movement options.  Although both sides have access to Tractor Beams, the Imperials have several other options here.

  • The Interdictor itself can mount G7 and G8 projectors which can mess with movement at deployment and throughout the game.  Admiral Titus, who captained the first Interdictor on Rebels, can let you manipulate an opposing ships speed at the start of the game.  Most fun with him is speeding ships up and changing opposing approach plans.

  • And then there is the off maligned Admiral Konstantine.  he really isn't that good, but has huge potential to manipulate your opponent.  His ability can potentially effect every opposing ship, which puts it ahead of G7s or Tractor Beams.  I have found the ability to speed ships up frequently more powerful than slowing them down.  You can encourage ships to move past you where they don't have a shot or even right off the table.
  • There are lots of options in the Squadron phase, but the most important seems to be Flechette Torpedoes which just take away your opponent's ability to even use their squadrons. 

So, how many of these manipulative options can we fit into a single fleet?  Well, let me just present the most troll-tastic fleet ever assembled in Armada.  It made Biggs cringe so much that I am not sure we are even on speaking terms anymore.

Why Won't Anyone Play With Me Anymore??

Faction: Galactic Empire
Points: 400/400

Commander: Admiral Konstantine 
Assault Objective: Station Assault
Defense Objective: Contested Outpost
Navigation Objective: Salvage Run

[ flagship ] Interdictor-class Suppression Refit (90 points)
-  Admiral Konstantine  ( 23  points)
Interdictor  ( 3  points)
-  Captain Needa  ( 2  points)
-  Medical Team  ( 1  points)
-  Disposable Capacitors  ( 3  points)
-  Ion Cannon Batteries  ( 5  points)
-  Grav Shift Reroute  ( 2  points)
-  Targeting Scrambler  ( 5  points)
= 134 total ship cost

Gozanti-class Cruisers (23 points)
Suppressor  ( 4  points)
-  Slicer Tools  ( 7  points)
= 34 total ship cost

Victory I-Class Star Destroyer (73 points)
-  Admiral Titus  ( 2  points)
-  Boarding Troopers  ( 3  points)
-  External Racks  ( 3  points)
= 81 total ship cost

Raider-I Class Corvette (44 points)
-  Ordnance Experts  ( 4  points)
-  Flechette Torpedoes  ( 3  points)
= 51 total ship cost

1 Dengar ( 20 points)
1 "Mauler" Mithel ( 15 points)
1 Valen Rudor ( 13 points)
1 Ciena Ree ( 17 points)
1 Whisper ( 20 points)
1 Lambda-class Shuttle ( 15 points)

This fleet has the ability to manipulate every part of a game of Armada.  You don't win with it by destroying your opponent's ships so much as their will to live.  It has a brutal set of objectives and just enough firepower to make them work.  Is it a good fleet?  NoBut why bother winning when you induce your opponent into flipping the table and rage-quitting?

Of course, use this fleet too often and you may have trouble finding anyone willing to play with you.

<Editor's Note - We again apologize for this post and any trauma that it has undoubtedly caused.  We can merely say that you were warned and implore you to not share it with anyone who still carries hope within their hearts.>


  1. Shmitty, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    1. You know that deep inside you can't wait to run this fleet yourself.

    2. I'd run it in a heartbeat... But then I'm still focusing on a Two Dictor-Quasar Nose Puncher...

  2. I'd probably get rid of Needa and replace Konstantine with Motti/Screed if I was running this list. Very cool concept overall though

  3. Looking at it a second time, I do have one positive thing to say. Thank you for finding my main man Admiral Titus a home.