2015 World Champion Jonathan Reinig on Designing Governor Pryce
"They fight so hard to gain so little."
–Governor Arihnda Pryce
The expansion marks the arrival of Grand Admiral Thrawn. It introduces a new Imperial Star Destroyer with an alternate paint scheme—designed to match Thrawn's signature Chimaera. It allows Imperial players to field a pair of Mandalorian Gauntlet squadrons. And as we revealed in our first preview of the expansion, it introduces a pair of Champion cards—designed by 2016 World Champion Josiah Burkhardsmeier and 2015 World Champion Jonathan Reinig.
One of the greatest parts of winning the Armada World Championship is earning the chance to work with the game's developers to design a card and make a lasting impact on the game you love. Now that we've already seen what Josiah Burkhardsmeier had to say about the privilege of introducing Grand Admiral Thrawn to the game, we turn our attention to Jonathan Reinig and the card that he hopes will shake up the metagame and bring back the big Imperial ships—the really big ships…
2015 World Champion Jonathan Reinig on Governor Pryce
When my swarm of A-wings led me to victory in the 2015 Star Wars: Armada World Championships, I was overjoyed. But if I am completely honest, it was not the way I wanted to win.
Prior to Worlds, I had dreamed of marching a giant Imperial Star Destroyer across the table and watching waves of enemy ships break against its shields as its turbolaser batteries ended their feeble attempts to stop me. Sadly, however, the more I put the Imperial Star Destroyer on the table, the more I found my attempts to fly it to victory more frustrating than impressive.
With opponents bringing more and more activations to the table, ships like the Imperial Star Destroyer that required large fleet-point investments simply became less and less practical. I would be forced to activate my Star Destroyer early in the round, having run out of other options, and then I would watch as the Rebellion's Corvettes snaked around and past me.
In more than one game, I was forced to watch my opponent's Demolisher activate last in a round, fly right in front of my Imperial Star Destroyer, fire, and then activate first in the next round, firing again and running away. My opponents were almost mocking my big ships in a way—playing chicken like that.
When I won Worlds, I knew I wanted my card effect to prevent the Imperials from suffering these kinds of insults in the future. The Star Destroyer was a massively imposing force in the movies, and I wanted it to invoke the same awe and fear on the table.
A Large Impact on the Value of Large Ships
Luckily enough, after I expressed this opinion, the design team did an amazing job of helping me create a card that really supports the types of ships I've always wanted to fly— Governor Pryce.
Governor Pryce may clock in at a monstrous seven fleet points, but she still feels fairly comfortable aboard a ship into which you are already sinking over one-hundred points. She takes up the officer slot, which is conveniently a slot currently available to all medium and large ships in the Imperial fleet, and the fact that she is restricted to medium and large ships means she won't add yet another tool to the Demolisher.
Far more interesting, though, is what Governor Pryce can do for the game's larger ships. In short, she makes all my dreams of big activations viable.
It's true that she forces you to showcase what round her ship will activate last, but this is a price I’m willing to pay for the ability to get all of the information possible before committing to a course. The payoff is that by activating last in a round, you will have forced your opponent to play out his entire hand, moving some of his ships into the danger zone before you activate. This gives you the chance to bring your Star Destroyer into the fight just the way you want them.
And if you have bid deep enough to become first player, you may even get to live the dream of activating your Star Destroyer last in one round, and then first in the next. Not many ships can withstand a Star Destroyer's full-strength one-two punch!
Governor Pryce in Action
Currently there are a ton of ships that could benefit from Governor Pryce. Activating last in a round with a heavy hitter is an extremely strategic tool.
The most obvious spot to stick Pryce would have been the Demolisher. Being able to guarantee it acts last in the round would have meant you no longer had to "out-activate" your opponent; however, Governor Pryce's restriction to medium and large ships ensures that this isn’t going to be a problem. Guaranteeing a player's ability to move the Demolisher last is not something I felt the game needed.
My favorite officer slot to fill with Governor Pryce is on the Imperial Star Destroyer. This fits with my original intent, and when I build a fleet, the officer slot is generally one of the last slots I worry about filling. The defensive retrofit, weapons, team, and turbolaser slots all generally rank far higher on my priority list. This means Governor Pryce's opportunity cost is rather negligible.
Properly positioned to activate last in a round, this punishing Star Destroyer can fire its forward battery armament at two separate targets trapped in its front arc. Then—if you are truly a master of positioning—you can activate it again in the next round to unload against the same two targets, presumably obliterating them.
Still, this isn't the only use for Governor Pryce. Another excellent place to put her would be aboard a Quasar Fire I-class Cruiser/Carrier with Expanded Hangar Bay, Flight Controllers, and the Squall Title. Starting far outside of your enemies' threat range, this ship could pounce at the end of the turn to direct a large number of elite Imperial squadrons against your opponent—after he has lost his ability to counter your assault with his fighter activations.
There are plenty of other ways to use Governor Pryce, too, and I look forward to seeing her in action. I'm delighted to have had the chance to work with the design team, and I hope she'll help make the Empire's largest ships as brutally effective in the game as they were always meant to be!
Wave VII Is Coming
Armada Wave VII is coming, and it's going to introduce a host of exciting new tactics and strategies for both the Galactic Empire and Rebel Alliance. Without a doubt, the Champion cards from the Chimaera Expansion Pack are bound to play a prominent role in your upcoming battles—as players everywhere look for ways to incorporate Grand Admiral Thrawn and Governor Pryce into their Imperial fleets.
What else will we find in the Chimaera Expansion Pack and Profundity Expansion Pack? We'll take a closer look in our next previews, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, head to your local retailer to pre-order your copy of the Chimaera Expansion Pack (SWM29) or place your pre-order online through our webstore.