This was originally going to go into the Immobilizer 418 article, but considering it’s long and number heavy, I decided it needed to stand on its own.
Below, we will see my criteria for converting a ship from Star Wars lore into one that can play with Star Wars: Armada. Keep in mind that some of these ships might suck and some of them might beat out official ships on efficiency – that’s just the way it works, and balancing a ship with the dozens that are out now is a whole lot for one person. The good news is we can change point values and stats if you’re helping with the “Armada Reborn” effort, right?
Since the numbers aren’t very easily converted (at all), there’s going to have to be a lot of ballpark guesses and approximations. Ships can go through different rounds and have values changed, so anyone who gets the chance to do some testing on this would be greatly appreciated.
Speed and Maneuverability
The two main contributing factors to this will be Length and Acceleration. Acceleration would be the bigger contributor, but length will have a heavier impact on turning radius (hi, Super Star Destroyer!).
Command, Squadron, and Engineering
Command will be impacted by the required crew as well as the ship base size. Numbers are truly all over the place with required crew, but in general, a Large base would max out at 4, a Medium max out at 3, and a small max out at 2. There can be exceptions, but we need a rough baseline.
Squadrons are a little easier – we can look at that ship’s possible starfighter complement. The numbers vary here too, but in the Star Wars lore a fighter squadron was about twelve fighters. While I would like to say we take
in-lore fighters/12 = Squadron, that doesn’t work once we get to larger ships. It does work for a lot of other ships, though, with examples below:
- CR-90 – Had no fighters. 1 is the minimum we can put here, so 1 Squadron value it is.
- Nebulon-B – Small ship that held two squadrons. 2 Squadron value.
- Quasar Fire – Had 48 starfighters, plus some transports. 4 Squadron value.
Things get weird when we start to hit large ships. A Victory I only carried 24 fighters plus a ground force, but they have 3 Squadron. An Imperial I carried 72 fighters, which would be a value of 6 Squadron. So, unless we have a large, dedicated carrier like a Venator, we will max out at 4 Squadron points.
What about flotillas, you say? What about ships with no starfighter complement? Those get a maximum of 2 on the card. In rare occasions we see a 1 printed on the card (such as the Onager-class Testbed, Arquitens-class Light Cruiser, CR90’s and Hammerheads, etc.), but unless it’s an exceptionally small ship, a ship geared towards a single purpose (like a superlaser), or would have no ships in lore, we can leave it at two.
The Long Story Short: We need to mostly guess based off of lore here. These values are the values printed on the card, not the maximum with upgrades.
- 1 Squadron = Ships that wouldn’t have a fighter escort or wouldn’t be designed to coordinate with fighters. This is the baseline for most small ships.
- 2 Squadron = Ships that could or would have a light escort force. While the fighters could pose a threat, they would be more of a deterrent than the main offensive attack. This is the baseline for medium ships.
- 3 Squadron = Ships that would certainly have a fighter complement. The fighters would be enough to be a notable threat, providing around 40-50% of the damage output from the fighters and ship itself. This is the baseline for large ships.
- 4 Squadron = Ships that use their fighters as standard procedure. The fighters are deadly on their own, and work well with the laser fire from the carrier. This is the baseline for Huge ships.
- 5 Squadron = Ships that really do one thing well – deploy swarms of fighters to take down large opponents.
- 6 Squadron = Well now you’re just getting ridiculous. You know one thing and one thing only – droppin’ fighters. That or you have a 19 kilometer monster ship and can carry whatever you want.
Generally, most ships have a 2 or 3 Engineering. We need to think about the ship’s role when working this in – if the ship is highly technical in nature (like the Interdictor), then it makes sense they would have more engineers. If it has a lot of systems like a large-base MC80, they would also have more.
- 2 Engineering = Small Base
- 3 Engineering = Medium Base/Large Base
- 4 Engineering = Large Base
- 5+ Engineering = A really good reason why you have so many engineers.
The rulebreaker here is the Interdictor, which is a medium ship with 5 Engineering points. Really, it should have been a large base.
This will be primarily pulled from other sources and compared to ships around its same point cost or use. I truly hate how some ships have a great front shield then garbage sides (MC80 Liberty-classes, I’m looking at you), so I usually won’t make a three point shield difference unless there is a lore reason, like terrible
game design engineering.
- A small base ship will very rarely have a shield value above 4 – they will stay comfortably in the 2s with the occasional 3 to help out. Some ships will see 1s, depending on their use and original role.
- A medium base ship will see 3s more often, and occasionally a 4. In weak arcs (like the back of any big Imperial ship) it can drop down to 1.
- A large base ship should almost always have a 4 front shield and 3 side shields as a minimum. There will be exceptions, as usual, but an arc shouldn’t really go below 2 unless it’s an Onager, because I don’t think the Imperial Design Department ever planned on showing the Rebellion the tail end of one of those monsters.
- A huge base ship should never have less than a 2 printed, and only on the rear arc. We only have one ship to go off of, but for a ship that can fit in a standard 400 point game, 3 is the average with a 6 front. For a ship priced to 600+ games, 5 is your standard and 6 is your front, with a 3 rear minimum.
We know a pretty regular set of tokens from the ships we’ve seen.
- Small ships will almost always have an Evade and Redirect. The third token slot could be anything from a Brace for the slower ships to a second Evade for the nimble ones – this is flexible.
- Floatillas are a special kind of small ship, representing a group of small ships like transports. They are the only ship that should have Scatter, and should probably have an Evade as well.
- Medium ships are in the same boat (hah), but with a more standard set of an Evade, a Brade, and a Redirect. A few are different – it’s situational, and I think lore comes into play here.
- Large ships should always have a Brace and Redirect, and usually have a Contain. The newer ships have a Salvo token and those mean ISDs have two redirects, so again, it’s very much situational.
- Huge ships should have a bit of everything except Evade and Scatter. They can do what they want.
Giving value to each token is hard, because it depends on what ship it’s on. If I had to rank them, it would probably be something like:
- Brace – You cut the incoming damage in half, regardless of range. That’s hard to downplay.
- Evade – Made a little more useful in Armada 1.5, Evade can get you out of a bit of damage. It’s much less useful on a large ship, but still a nice-to-have.
- Redirect – You don’t get to reduce the damage, but you can spread it to other shield areas. Usually you only get a couple of redirects off per big ship, and if you’re taking fire from a lot of smaller ships you’ll be in trouble.
- Salvo – You get a free shot back if you have the right range. Your shot may not be too impressive, but it might make your opponent burn a defense token or even take a critical hit if you’re lucky. The only reason it’s lower is because it’s rare, and most return fire is a small dice pool you can’t do much with.
- Contain – You can ignore critical effects. It’s nice and all, but I don’t really feel these have ever “saved” me much at all, just helped a ship limp along a bit further.
- Scatter – It’s only on fighters and flotillas. If it could go on anything then this is going up to the very top of the list – flat out ignoring an attack is awesome. Unfortunately, most ships can’t disassemble to let a missile pass by then re-assemble without spacing the crew, and that’s a lot of paperwork for HR.
Before We Begin: Let’s talk about dice colors.
A ship can have red, blue, or black dice. I’ve heard often that they (approximately) represent turbolasers, ion cannons, and missiles (respectively), which usually tracks in terms of blue dice crits activating Ion Cannons and black dice crits activating Ordinance. This isn’t always a hard and fast rule, though, because if we hold a ship up next to its lore it rarely aligns. I’ll certainly keep this in mind, but won’t be held to it – I’ll be looking at the ship’s role in battle instead. We also want to keep in mind consistency and what the intended weapons were – for example, laser cannons are lighter versions of turbolasers, so wouldn’t necessarily go out to red range. Additionally, a black dice ship might have torpedoes, OR it might have a bunch of Rebels firing shotguns out of the window. We never know.
Thanks to the fine people at SteelStrategy.com and their math which I really don’t want to double check, we have averages to expect for each dice in our nice chart below. All averages are for a single roll unless otherwise stated. We won’t re-roll fighters, because don’t do that.
|Metric (vs. a ship)||Red Die||Blue Die||Black Die|
|Odds to Hit||62.5%||75%||75%|
|Average Damage (with a re-roll)||.92||.87||1.25|
|Metric (vs. a squadron)||Red Die||Blue Die||Black Die|
|Odds to Hit||37.5%||50%||75%|
We will keep those values in mind and try to find the average damage for each arc, keeping that as a guide for the number and type of dice.
For more regarding dice colors and strategy (and just some good Armada content), check out their blog:
The standard for this is 1 blue for anything smaller than a large, and then two dice with either a mix of blue or black for large. Occasionally you have a ship with red dice, which should definitely be occasional – imagine how fast a two-dice red flak monster could rip through TIE fighters, and at range.
To determine this, we need to look at what weapons and role the ship had in lore then go from there.
There’s a whole lot of guessing here, too. Luckily we do have some great source books from the Saga Edition tabletop RPG (D20) and the D6 predecessor, so if all else fails we can take a look at that. Additionally, we’ll need to think about how the ship was supposed to be fielded (Imperials liked superior firepower out of the front arc, but the Arquitens is a definite broadsider) and some common sense.
Since this is such a wildcard I can’t even really summarize it. This is going to be a bigger experiment, and we’ll probably need to pull in average damage.
I’m always open to suggestions, so any feedback is welcome and I’ll modify accordingly.