Squadron Battle Plans
A New Star Wars™: Armada FAQ is Now Available
The latest version of the Star Wars™: Armada FAQ is now online! This update contains the usual streamlined rules, clarifications, new questions, and other minor changes that come with refining the rules. In addition, today’s update includes errata to a couple of cards that players should be sure to read about. Learn why these changes were made directly from the developers in the paragraphs below, and then download the new FAQ to see all the changes for yourself!
Click on the image above to see the new FAQ. This update goes into effect 6/26/2017.
Star Wars: Armada Developers
The Star Wars: Armada development team is excited to release FAQ Version 3.2.1, an update that contains five errata to existing cards, a rules errata for flotilla ships, and several updates to existing clarifications.
The card errata found in FAQ Version 3.2.1 are updates for balance. These changes are intended to help promote greater list parity and diversity for competitive-tier Star Wars: Armada fleets. To support this, the Bomber Command Center, Demolisher, General Rieekan, and Turbolaser Reroute Circuits upgrade cards and the Major Rhymer squadron card all have updates to the wordings of their abilities. Overall, these changes reflect an effort to introduce additional risk and decision-making for abilities that previously enabled extremely powerful combos or repetitive use with no downside.
Bomber Command Center
Bomber Command Center has provided reliability to bomber squadrons, especially squadrons with a single die in their battery armament. This has had the positive effect on squadron-focused fleets that we sought. However, the efficiency of overlapping Bomber Command Centers combined with the inherent benefits of flotillas has reinforced the dominance of fleets that deal damage primarily through squadrons.
For that reason, this card’s effect gains an additional restriction that reads “A squadron cannot resolve more than 1 ‘Bomber Command Center’ card per attack.” The effect remains a powerful base-level benefit, but having multiple Bomber Command Centers now provides redundancy rather than certainty.
Demolisher is a powerful card and has been part of the game’s competitive scene from the beginning. While this card is unique, when combined with the Engine Techs upgrade card it enables one of the game’s most powerful combos. This factors heavily into both factions’ list-building and initiative considerations, so much so that opponents must plan to sacrifice ships rather than outmaneuver Demolisher.
The update to this card is minor, but introduces some additional counter play and risk. The card now reads: “During your activation, you can perform 1 of your attacks after you execute your first maneuver.” This change means that Demolisher can no longer perform its attack after the maneuver granted by Engine Techs. Demolisher can still pounce from long range and attack, but it is much harder for it to avoid all attacks before doing so.
General Rieekan has become a popular choice of competitive players in Star Wars: Armada. His ability radically alters sacrifice play and—when paired with ace fighter squadrons—has created one of the game’s defining fleet archetypes. While this is very thematic, it has further combined with the activation benefits of flotillas to make General Rieekan lists extremely difficult to defeat in competitive play as well as crowding out other fleet-building choices for both factions.
The change in General Rieekan’s effect wording is minor but significantly increases the risk involved in using him: "Once per round, when a friendly ship or friendly unique squadron is destroyed, it remains in the play area and is treated as if it was not destroyed until the end of the Status Phase.” This change doesn't negate Rieekan's utility, but requires more careful management of casualties. It especially changes some of the tactics for confronting Rieekan fleets that use multiple small ships and aces, as destroying more than one unit during a round will overwhelm Rieekan’s effect.
Turbolaser Reroute Circuits
Turbolaser Reroute Circuits have dramatically increased the value of small ships’ attacks, especially the CR90 Corvette A and MC30c Scout Frigate. However, this has also compounded the power of fleets focused around multiple small ships, which already enjoy a significant activation advantage. Bringing two arcs to bear on an enemy is a major tactic in Star Wars: Armada, and nimble CR90’s and MC30’s are able to further exploit Turbolaser Reroute Circuits as a dramatic force multiplier. The cost of spending an additional evade token is minor compared to guaranteeing an additional four damage across two attacks.
The change to this card is minor but adds an additional restriction: “While attacking, you may exhaust this card and spend 1 evade defense token to change 1 red die to a face with a crit icon or 2 hit icons.” This effect’s guaranteed damage is still powerful, but this change provides more firepower parity between fleets composed of many small ships and those focused around fewer, larger ships.
Major Rhymer is the single most indispensable unit for squadron-centered Imperial fleets for good reason. His effect enables an extremely long threat range for squadron commands as well as setting up a dangerous passive-threat zone during the Squadron Phase. While this effect gives the Empire’s bomber squadrons their own signature anti-ship tactic, it also combines with the intel and escort keywords to dramatically reduce counter-play strategies. Major Rhymer’s ubiquity also prevents alternative fleet-building choices for the Empire.
This squadron’s effect now reads: “Friendly squadrons at distance 1 can attack enemy ships at close range using all dice in their battery armament.” This substantially reduces Major Rhymer’s range benefit and makes opponents’ interception strategies easier. However, Major Rhymer’s bombers can still outrange the engagement distance of enemy squadrons.
Flotilla Rules Errata
Of all the additions to Star Wars: Armada’s competitive scene, flotilla ships have had the greatest underlying impact since their introduction. Flotillas have provided inexpensive additional activations, an additional source of squadron commands, and significant effects through Fleet Support upgrade cards. While they have proven to be vital support ships, the effect of flotillas on activation economy has undermined the competitive value of many fleet combinations. This tendency has only been compounded by the ability of flotillas to serve as flagships and allow the game’s commanders to avoid the main battle with little cost.
For these reasons, the rules for flotillas now include an additional restriction for this ship type: “A flotilla cannot equip a commander upgrade card.” Although this is a minor change for flotillas, it restores much of the risk to commanders and raises the effective price of keeping a flagship out of danger.
Download the new Star Wars: Armada FAQ now to read the entire update before it goes into effect on June 26th. If you're planning on playing in a Store Championship, make sure to read the errata so you're prepared! Players attending a Store Championship before June 26th can still find the previous FAQ on the Star Wars: Armada page..
As always, game rules, tournament regulations, and other support materials for Star Wars: Armada can be found on our Star Wars: Armada page.