19 May 2017 | Star Wars: Armada

Rapid Deployment

Preview the Imperial Light Carrier Expansion Pack for Star Wars™: Armada

"Fighters coming in."
     –Lando Calrissian

Imperial fighters will soon flood the vastness of space, carried into battle by the Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier…

The Imperial heart of the sixth wave of expansions for Star Wars™: Armada, the Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier promises to add new punch to the Empire's squadrons when it arrives with the Imperial Light Carrier Expansion Pack. TIE fighters, TIE bombers, TIE interceptors, TIE Advanced—they're all about to get a major boost, and you'll find more Imperials across the galaxy looking at the Rogue bounty hunter squadrons and quietly shaking their heads, muttering, "We don't need that scum."

Why might this be the case? It's because the Imperial Light Carrier excels at providing your Imperial fighters the kind of support they need. Not only does it tout a commanding squadron value of "4," but it is also accompanied by a wealth of upgrades, including three new Titles that add speed, resilience, or versatility to your fighters—whichever best suits your fleet.

Your Mobile Stronghold

Frequently used to garrison occupied worlds, the Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier was a massive ship well-suited to serving as a transport and mobile base for dozens of smaller fighters. These fighters were divided between the Light Carrier's four hangar bays and could launch swiftly into action at short notice.

But it's not just the Light Carrier's ability to send its squadrons into battle that makes it a great command vessel; the Light Carrier's three different Titles afford it three different approaches to its squadron support.

  • The Pursuant Title ensures that you'll never be without your squadron command when you need it most. At just two fleet points, this is the least expensive of the Light Carrier's Titles, and its single-use effect compares nicely with that of the Veteran Captain , even while it leaves your officer upgrade slot open for other options.
  • The Squall , on the other hand, offers a persistent boost to your squadrons' mobility, but one that requires a bit of clever thinking to maximize. Whenever you activate the Squall, you can choose up to three unengaged friendly squadrons at close-medium range to move up to distance "2," but they cannot end their movement engaged.

It's the Squall's final restriction that requires some consideration. You can't quite use the Squall to cheat "free" squadron commands. Instead, you have to position yourself to intercept enemy ships or squadrons, or just to end in better position for the next round. However, because you don't activate these squadrons, it's still possible to follow up the Squall's effect with a standard squadron command and fling your TIE bombers a whopping total distance of "7" to harass your opponent's flagship from the game's first activation!

  • Finally, the Stronghold is the most expensive of the three Titles at a five-point fleet cost, but it's also a game-changer for Imperial admirals looking to combat Rebel X-wing Squadrons with their fragile TIE fighter and TIE interceptor Squadrons . Whenever one of these squadrons—or any other squadron with Swarm—is defending against an attack while at distance "1–2" from the Stronghold, that attack is treated as though it were obstructed.

While the Stronghold doesn't do anything for Rogue bounty hunters like Bossk and Boba Fett , it does wonders for your TIE swarms, as well as the ace squadrons led by "Howlrunner," "Mauler" Mithel , and Soontir Fel . It can also make the Stronghold and its swarming cloud of fighters a serious threat to enemy ships who, now, will have a much harder time dealing with your fighters and their anti-squadron armament.

The Stronghold makes your friendly TIE Fighter Squadrons immune to ships with anti-squadron armaments of only a single die.

Finally, even though it's still slower to plink away at ships with your TIE fighters than a wing of TIE bombers , the new options permitted by Admiral Sloane and your Imperial Carrier's Boarding Troopers allow you to completely strip your enemies of their defenses.

No Enemy Out of Reach

By serving as a transport for all the fighters and bombers in its docking bays, the Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier ensures that no place in the galaxy is more than a quick lightspeed jump away from Imperial rule. But it's not just the Light Carrier's fighters that make the ship a potent weapon. It's more than capable of defending itself in battle.

Both the Quasar Fire I-class Cruiser-Carrier and the Quasar Fire II-class Cruiser-Carrier boast a respectable total of six hull behind two points of shielding on all sides, except for the rear's one point of shielding. But there's little reason to let your enemy flank you since the Light Carrier has a top speed of "3" and a reasonable measure of maneuverability, especially when flying at speed "1."

To these more defensive considerations, the Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier adds a battery armament of three dice to its forward hull zone, plus two dice from each of its sides and one from its rear. These won't yield the dominating and terrifying sorts of volleys you'd expect from a Star Destroyer, but they are substantial nonetheless. And they can prove deceptively effective if, for instance, you discard your Disposable Capacitors and strike with five blue dice at long range.

Between these Disposable Capacitors and your Boarding Party, then, the Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier might even prove more effective at close- and long-range combat than at medium-range combat, despite the fact that most of its dice are blue. At least, you have options—engagements at the different ranges lead to different sorts of threats. Accordingly, the new officer upgrade in the Imperial Light Carrier Expansion Pack helps you establish your engagement on your terms.

For just four fleet points, The Grand Inquisitor lends a remarkable measure of responsiveness and resolve to your Light Carrier's flight. And it can be used both defensively and offensively. If your opponent's ship accelerates in order to flank your Light Carrier, you can slow down to prevent the flank or accelerate to put more distance between you. Alternatively, if your quarry accelerates to break away, you can accelerate as well, and you don't even have to spend a navigation command.

Furthermore, The Grand Inquisitor's ability will, again, play well with your Light Carrier's ability to command its fighter squadrons. If you're sending your fighters to buzz about a Mon Calamari cruiser as you pass it by in the other direction, you need them to stay engaged with that ship—even as it changes speeds—and that could potentially mean that they'd race along with the cruiser's forward section and outpace your ability to issue commands.

But with The Grand Inquisitor, you can more effectively respond to your enemy's adjustments to its speed and, by doing so, you can stay within command range of your squadrons.

Unable to slip away from the MC80's punishing left hull zone, the Light Carrier responds to the MC80's speed adjustment by slowing down so that it can remain in range to activate the nearby bomber squadrons before the MC80 can fire.

A New Imperial Resolve

With the Quasar Fire-class cruiser-carrier, its ability to coordinate your fighter squadrons, and its ability to engage your enemies effectively—and differently—at every range, the Imperial Light Carrier Expansion Pack may just prove to be the versatile new ship that gives your Imperial fleet the tools it needs to quickly put down every hint of rebellion.

If you hope to preserve the Empire's order, look no further than the Imperial Light Carrier!

Discuss your favorite uses of the Imperial Light Carrier with the other members of our community forums. Then be sure to head to your local retailer to pre-order your copy of the Imperial Light Carrier Expansion Pack (SWM26) today!

Back to all news