In a brief break from the Star Wars Armada content (more is on the way, I’ve got something bigger there), I wanted to showcase a set of figures I made for my sister, who has a real obsession with Beauty and the Beast. As an adult. I guess that’s okay, because at some point I really want to find a Robin Williams impersonator and have them record “Prince Danny” so I can have theme music whenever I go somewhere.
ANYWAY, on to the pictures:
First up, we have the infamous Beast. I was pretty happy with this one – yeah, we can see layer lines when we take a picture close up, but consider that the image is blown up from a 30mm high figure. It’s not so noticeable then, though I’ll have to revisit the settings on my resin slicer.
Next up is the other half of the title – Belle, posed like she did in the movie where for some reason the entire town bursts into song about her. Sure, she’s cute and all, but how weird would that be? I’d have to move.
Together at the Finale
Of course I couldn’t give just those two figures – I needed something to really top it off. For that, I designed a pose with the two of them together near the end of the movie, where they dance in the ballroom with the iconic yellow dress and definitely tailor-made suit.
Yes, I too can see the bumps in the paint from where stuff was in the air. Go ahead and try painting in a house with three cats – it just kind of happens.
I finally wrapped it up together in these neat little display jars that looked a whole lot like the one that held the rose, and if I remember correctly she cried, so mission success all around.
Coming up I may go through my backlog of completed items before releasing the big Armada bomb I’ve been working on – either way, stay tuned.
Tied very closely in lore to the Immobilizer 418 (even from its single appearance), the Vindicator-class Heavy Cruiser is essentially the warfare variant of its gravity-well projecting brother. For about the same points we can create a drastically different ship with a different role – I think this time we’ll go for something like a picket ship that could bring a bit more utility than the Arquitens without stepping on the Victory‘s toes.
Role in Lore
The Vindicator line was meant to replace the aging Dreadnaught-class heavy cruisers from the days of the Galactic Republic – specifically, it was supposed to be a standard multi-role cruiser, capable of escorting other ships or operating alone.
It seems that after the fall of the Empire, a few of these were operated by pirate outfits, so we know it has to be able to stand on its own… The trick is if we can make it do so while complimenting other ships.
We need a Swiss Army knife of a ship that can slot in wherever there are spare points (there are never spare points). We can do that relatively easily, but we need it to stand out as a true utility ship AND it needs to have the same basic chassis as the Immobilizer 418… Which means it’s time to buckle in, everybody – we’re going to have some variants.
Vindicator-class Heavy Cruiser
The default, off-the-line loadout of the ship. This is going to be geared towards the key to Imperial success – overwhelming firepower with very little regard to loss-of-life. We’re going to make a glass cannon, capable of laying down enough fire to keep Rebel heads down while the cavalry comes.
x = can’t do it, | = one click on the navigation tool, – = straight on the navigation tool
Upgrade Slots: Captain, Weapons Team, Turbolasers, Ion Cannon, Title Point Cost: 65 points
The concept behind this ship is a clear “shoot first, ask questions later” policy. With three red dice and blue dice on its three attack arcs and both a Turbolaser and Ion Cannon slot, you could outfit it for sniping (like a CR90 on steroids):
Vindicator-class Heavy Cruiser (65 pts)
Gunnery Teams (7 pts)
Linked Turbolaser Towers (7 pts)
Leading Shots (6 pts)
For 85 points (excluding a commander and title), by spending a Concentrate Fire token you can get two shots out of your front or a front and side arc, throwing 6 red dice and 3 to 4 blue dice, with a reroll on the entire pool or a single red dice reroll. If we look at the average dice performance including rerolls (removing a blue for the reroll), two shots out the front look like:
((.92 x 3) + .87) x 2
That’s 3.66 damage per attack, 7.32 damage output per round. Let’s compare that to a Victory II without upgrades for the same cost that somehow managed to double-arc.
(.75 x 3) + (.75 x 3) = 4.5 (Front Attack) (.75 x 2) + (.75 x 1) = 2.25 (Side Attack)
For a grand total of 6.75 average damage per round. While we’ve got a ship with minimal defenses, the fact it can outpunch a (naked) VSDII says a lot. For the finishing touch, it’s faster and more nimble, which might help it stay in the fight a little longer.
Vindicator-class Light Carrier
Now that we’ve switched it to a carrier, it’s not so heavy anymore. In the lore these could pack up to 72 starfighters, so let’s turn this variant into a squadron pusher.
x = can’t do it, | = one click on the navigation tool, – = straight on the navigation tool
Upgrade Slots: Captain, Gunnery Team, Offensive Retrofit 1, Offensive Retrofit 2, Fleet Command, Title Point Cost: 70 points
What we’ve got is essentially a bigger, slightly different Quasar. Comparing the two, for 16 points more we’ve added a shield point and swapped two blue die for reds in the front – now the mothership can get a helpful shot off, too. It’s a little less maneuverable at Speed 1, but does have the extra Contain token. In place of one hull point we’ve increased Squadron to 4 and brought Engineering to 3 (to compensate for less armor). Finally its gained a Fleet Command, which is a natural slot for All Fighters, Follow Me!.
All in all, some tradeoffs which make it less resilient and a bit more expensive, but a great addition to a Sloane Swarm fleet. If you play it right, this ship can push five squadrons and even speed them up a little, getting your TIEs in range earlier. It’s also a cheaper way to bring a Fleet Command, since the next step up is a 112 point Cymoon.
I’m finally getting around to adding bases you can print and put under the ship – download links are at the bottom of the page.
Download & Play
Here are the image packs that include the front and back of each build, as well as the design for the medium ship base. Print and play it well – I want to hear how it fares.
Today we’ve got a bit of a doozy – we’ll start talking about the other winner of the Onil Creations first painting contest and their ship. The ship that they chose was the Vindicator-class Heavy Cruiser. This one is going to need a bit of explanation.
First and foremost, if they submitted the Vindicator, why are we covering the Immobilizer 418 Cruiser? For that, we have to get into the nerd lore again.
Within Star Wars (Legends) lore, the Vindicator-class and the Immobilizer 418 cruisers shared the same basic frame. This is similar to how the Imperial-class Star Destroyer shared the same frame with the Interdictor-class Star Destroyer. This second fact isn’t reflected in Star Wars: Armada, as the Interdictor in the game is a medium-based ship vs. the large-based ship ISD. It’s also severely under-gunned for what it is, but we can forgive that for game design – after all, the Interdictors are kind of odd in Armada, and don’t function the way they would in-universe.
So, if we want to accurately scale to the Vindicator, we should first take the Armada-official Interdictor and scale it down to its 418 sibling. This is the step in-between the start and the end goal, but it’s where I start throwing a bunch of fun numbers around. Let’s dive in.
Comparing the Interdictor-class Star Destroyer and the Immobilizer 418
The first thing we can do is a good old fashioned table.
Quad Laser Cannons
20 (10 fore, 5 each side)
Gravity Well Projectors
As I mentioned before, the Interdictor-class Star Destroyer was built from an Imperial I-class Star Destroyer. Thus, acceleration and shielding has been taken from that where available, using information from the very comprehensive Star Wars D6 ship listings, the Saga Edition d20 listings, and other sources such as game data.
Now, we need to translate those changes into an Armada ship. We’ll go with the only useful Interdictor – the Interdictor Suppression Refit. (Go ahead, argue with me. The only reason to bring an Interdictor is the Experimental Retrofit slot, so otherwise you’re paying for a crappy ISD.
Alright, if you went through the conversion document then you have a fantastic attention span, and I commend you. If you’re still with me, then let’s talk about the Interdictor Suppresion Refit, an official card.
If it has an X, the ship can’t do it. Each I is one click of the navigation tool at that speed.
Upgrade Slots: Captain, Support Team, Offensive Retrofit, Experimental Retrofit 1, Experimental Retrofit 2, Ion Cannons, Title Point Cost: 90
Examining the Stats
So, with all of that in mind you get… Kind of a weird ship. If you consider each component individually then on paper you absolutely get your money’s worth out of it. With a consistent (if not too exciting) attack pool, it doesn’t matter as much which arc you’re shooting from, you’ve got standard maneuverability, and your Engineering (the least used of the three stats) is the best in the game. You have a thick hull but weak shields, and a defense token pool to reflect that.
What makes this ship shine is, of course, its upgrade slots. As the only ship able to use the Experimental Retrofit cards (there’s only four, and you don’t see two of them played much) it has the edge there, and the Support Team/Offensive Retrofit/Ion Cannons allow for some nice combos.
However, this will never be a ship killer. The average damage for its three main arcs is a total of 3, before the defender uses any redirect tokens. It can do a number on shields if it has an Ion Cannon upgrade, but you need to be within blue range of your target for that, which is less than ideal. This will lose vs. a Rebel Providence-class Carrier (at 95 points) or even an Assault Frigate Mark II B (at 72 points), because it will be taking fire before it can even get within range, and its shields are easy to crack. Fighters can get through it, and despite its appearance, its lack of good defense tokens means it can be an easy target.
How is it used? In interesting and really clever ways. I’ve seen Interdictors loaded to be a damage sponge, using the engineering value to constantly move around and regenerate shields. I’ve seen it as a force multiplier for Imperial Star Destroyers, and I’ve even seen it used as a fighter pusher (I know, I was impressed). It’s clear it has more utility than meets the eye, and that mentality is what I want to bring down to the 418 and the Vindicator.
Converting the Interdictor
Size, Speed, & Maneuverability
By the official numbers, the Interdictor-class Star Destroyer should be a large base ship, so ignoring that oversight we will need to make the Immobilizer 418 a medium base. This feels right, as small ships are consistently 400 meters or less, but looks odd since it’s going to be the same size as its big brother.
It’s got a standard navigation chart, only really hurt by topping out at Speed 2. You can put an Engine Tech on there to make it essentially speed 3, but it’s not too sustainable to keep it full throttle because you’ll need your tokens elsewhere. Since this is a much smaller ship, I think we can say its engines will do some work for us – I would add a Speed 3, with the first notch straight but the second and third allowing a click.
Command, Squadron, and Engineering
The Immobilizer 418 is just a smaller version of its big brother, so not much would change. A medium ship should have a Command value of 2, so we’ll keep that. It actually has more starfighters than the Interdictor Star Destroyer, so I guess we’ll keep Squadrons at 2 as well. It simply can’t have the same lineup, though, so Engineering we will bring back to the more reasonable-for-its-size value of 3.
It’s honestly hard to bring the shields down further – however, since this ship isn’t supposed to be fighting on its own, I think a reasonable case can be made for 3 front, 2 sides, and 1 rear. I was considering a 2 all-around, but with a lower Engineering value it’s not going to be manipulated quite as much.
As for tokens, I think all we need to do here is drop one of the existing Contains so we’re still left with a Brace, Redirect, and Contain. That feels good for a medium ship, so moving on.
The hull is going to take a significant downgrade – I would bring it to a 5. That’s not much, but any more feels wrong for what boils down to a support ship. Honestly, I would have wanted to bring it to a 4, but with a CR90 having the same hull we would have an issue.
For its main battery, we have an interesting choice. Per the lore, the 418 doesn’t have any Ion Cannons or missiles, just some quad laser cannons. We could cut its dice in half to make it just a really bad shooter, or we could convert those to fewer red dice since they’re weaker turbolasers. I think I would land somewhere along this:
We’ve reduced its utility since it can’t reach out and fire with a red dice, and we’ve lowered the dice count significantly. However, we’ve given it blue dice, which are the most consistent. 24 quad laser cannons are going to hit, so it felt right there.
Note that I actually upped its Anti-Starfighter dice. The same principle applies – since these are quad laser cannons and not turbolaser cannons, they’re smaller and faster guns, so they will hit more consistently.
This one is easier. We need to reduce the main reason you would bring an Interdictor at all – cut one of the Experimental Retrofits. The ship also seems small enough to not need a Support team and there are no ion cannons, so what we’re left with is: Captain, Offensive Retrofit, Experimental Retrofit, Title. It’s sparse, but you’re bringing this for the Experimental Retrofit. Anything else is trying to use a screwdriver to pull nails – there are better tools for the job.
x = can’t do it, each | is one click on the navigation tool, each – is a straight on the navigation tool.
Upgrade Slots: Captain, Offensive Retrofit, Experimental Retrofit, Title Point Cost: 65 points
Overall, I think this is a decent utility ship. You aren’t going to get much firepower out of it, but you could certainly take advantage of the Experimental Retrofit slot and the Offensive Retrofit together – pushing three squadrons is a solid benefit while you’re acting as a force multiplier for an Imperial-class escort.
This is a ship where I could use some suggestions – first as feedback on the utility of the chassis from other player’s perspectives and second as to a fair price for it. We know it would need to be under 90 so it doesn’t cost more than its better version, and the sorta-close-in-a-different-way Quasar Fire I is 54 points, so we have that range to play with.
Eventually it would be nice to come up with some sort of formula to roughly calculate what cost should be, but with the existing prices (particularly with starfighters) I don’t think such a thing exists.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, so share them below, and buckle in for the Vindicator.
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. Roughly:
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. Roughly:
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)
Odds to Hit
Average Damage (with a re-roll)
Metric (vs. a squadron)
Odds to Hit
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.
As the first post for the Star Wars: Armada – Reborn effort, we’ll keep it relatively short. I don’t want to scare everyone off with tables and statistics just yet. 🙂
One of the winners of the first Onil Creations painting contest chose to paint a Liberator-class Cruiser. For the ones who spent their time remembering math and practical things, here’s a brief summary of the ship using the old, pre-Disney lore where it comes from.
Making its Star Wars debut in the 1998 PC game Star Wars: Rebellion (which was a weird one), the Liberator was produced during the Galactic Civil War as seen in the Original Trilogy, with the Empire against the Rebellion. It was built by SoroSuub Corporation to defend Sullust, the home planet of the Sullustians.
Since the Sullustians pitched in with the Rebellion against the Empire, a number of the Liberator-class Cruisers ended up in Rebel hands.
In the lore (and expanded on through a few game manuals and RPG supplements), the Liberator had a massive set of cannons compared to its size. While I couldn’t find a measurement (it’s out there), if memory serves it was around the same as an Imperial Star Destroyer, so relatively big. Let’s compare what the two would bring to battle:
Imperial I-class Star Destroyer
60 Heavy Turbolaser Batteries 60 Ion Cannons 6 Dual Heavy Turbolaser Turrets 2 Dual Heavy Ion Cannon Turrets 2 Quad Heavy Turbolasers 3 Triple Medium Turbolasers 2 Medium Turbolasers 40 Point-Defense Laser Cannons 10 Tractor Beam Projectors
240 Heavy Turbolasers 200 Ion Cannons
(Varies, standard below) 48 TIE Fighters 12 TIE Bombers 12 TIE Boarding Craft 9000 Stormtroopers Whatever walkers they wanted
No, I didn’t know these offhand. I Googled it just like everybody else.
So, let’s summarize – it has more guns than the angry death triangles that everyone was afraid of. It also had more starfighters. It had less of a variety of weapons, which I guess would be a problem if they couldn’t shoot you with a total of 440 guns anyway.
I should note that there’s some discrepancies about how much the Liberator had in terms of guns. The D6 Star Wars RPG (which was the coolest version for ships) listed it at a more reasonable but still ridiculous:
160 Heavy Turbolaser Batteries
50 Ion Cannons
6 Tractor Beam Projectors
5 Concussion Missile Tubes
The same number of troops and fighters
All said and done, it can easily go up against an Imperial Star Destroyer… As long as the Empire didn’t bring any friends, which they had the money to do.
So, how do we represent this much firepower? Like this:
Taking other things into account, we can compare it against the Imperial I from the official game. The card differences better represent their capabilities than simple numbers could, with the Imperial Star Destroyer throwing out a huge variety of ordinance, having a bunch of upgrade room, and more. However, while the ISD wants to come in head on, the Liberator wants to show its broadside. It might not be able to throw out as much damage as the front of a Star Destroyer, but when it’s strafing, it’s got the meaner ship outgunned and at a longer range.
Playing the Liberator
While I haven’t gone in and created upgrades, and I haven’t had time to put it on a table and play around with it, let’s see what kind of nastiness we can make with a first pass.
First off, it needs to be said that this ship screams Admiral Ackbar. It’s almost an auto-include if you’re running our favorite fishy commander – so much so that for the rest of this post I’m just going to assume you brought him. I’m certain someone can make a case for other commanders (and I’d love to hear it if so), but it seems like open/shut case.
If you brought Cracken… Well, then you’ve already made a mistake.
You’re never going to fly your single ship in between two of the opponent’s bigger ships in the same way you don’t go kick a bear – you’re going to get torn to shreds. Instead, with this you’re going to cruise along at top speed (which admittedly is only 2), pick the side with the biggest target, and throw out five red dice and three blue dice. That’s a whole lot of damage, and that’s before we put any upgrades on it.
Let’s go through each upgrade and pick some good cards.
There are so many options, I’m not going to go into this one. Just pick your favorite, they’ll do fine.
This slot is always a bit empty, and you’ll almost always see Engine Techs or Fighter Coordination Team in it. They’re both good in the slot, so it depends on if you’re using this ship for its guns or if you’re using it to push a sizeable fighter escort.
For me, there are better ships to push fighters around, so Engine Techs is going to win this round. Although it’s expensive at 8 points, you essentially get a free speed boost (after using a Navigation token or command, which you should have banked anyway). This can either get your ship into range and line up for a nice shot or get it out of trouble if that ISD turns your way. It’s extra insurance that you’ll get at least one good arc firing on the enemy.
There are a few cards that come up here, but in most cases it’s between the three below (I’ve omitted Reactive Gunnery because I don’t think a two-dice Salvo is worth the trouble):
I’ve always had a soft spot for Early Warning System, but Electronic Countermeasures is usually the more useful option (even with the nerf from the 1.5 errata). Reinforced Blast Doors is an interesting option that I’ve always liked – you get to basically heal three damage, no questions asked. It’s a toss up between ECM and Blast Doors, and generally it’s better to take no damage than to take it and heal it, but I think in this situation I would go with the Reinforced Blast Doors. Unless I have a flotilla feeding this ship Engineering tokens, I’m not going to take away a few critical shots with Concentrate Fire. With some strong shields, a brace, and a redirect, unless if I get caught in a big crossfire I think I’ll be able to survive a couple of hits.
There isn’t an option for this in my opinion. In almost every case that you have a blue dice with other colors in there, I’m going to take Leading Shots.
SW-7 Ion Batteries do stand out, but the opportunity to reroll missed shots is too good to pass up.
The slot with some of the most options (and some of the most opinions). This depends on how you want to play the ship. The ones that come to mind are Linked Turbolaser Towers, Quad Battery Turrets, Slaved Turrets, XI7 Turbolasers, and XX-9 Turbolasers. A lot of options, right?
By process of elimination, I’d reluctantly put Quad Battery Turrets back. While an extra blue die to your attack on faster ships is nice, speed 2 is pretty common and it won’t do us much against large ships.
Slaved Turrets are the next to go. Although it would help lean into the Ackbar build of a broadside, it would force you to broadside. If you had an opportunity to double-arc or even shoot a fleeing ship with your opposite side, it’s lost there, so back to the box.
Now, we’ve got the big three.
Better players than I have said Linked Turbolaser Towers are usually the way to go, but it just seems so underwhelming here. While you do get to reroll a red dice, I’ve already got Leading Shots to handle re-rolls. That means I can either punch through shields or deal some nasty critical damage. If I had Dodonna or a fighter-heavy fleet, then I’d go with the XX-9. As it stands making a lone gunship, I’ll pick the XI7 Turbolasers.
I haven’t made any yet, so we’ll have to come back to this some day.
The End Result
All said and done, here’s the final tally:
Liberator-class Cruiser (96 points) Lando Calrissian (4 points) Engine Techs (8 points) Reinforced Blast Doors (5 points) Leading Shots (6 points) XI7 Turbolasers (6 points) Grand Total: 125 Points
For just under a third of my fleet cost, I’ve got a sturdy, heavy hitter. The main weakness of this ship are its defense tokens – a second Redirect would have been preferred over Contain, but nothing can be perfect. Pairing two of these with Ackbar and bidding for the right objectives can make for a really mean side swipe – it all depends on how carefully you position, which is almost always the case.
Stay tuned – coming up next is a double-header for the other paint contest winner.
October 21, 2022: Whoops – it looks like I forgot to actually attach the ship card. Thanks to Julian in the comments section!
If I remember, I struggled a bit choosing between a large and medium ship base (since there wasn’t a length readily available), but ultimately decided on a medium for a couple of reasons.
Putting it in the same size as an ISD or one of the big Mon Calamarian ships just felt a little wrong.
A medium-sized ship with this array of options is really neat I think, and having it punch above its weight class fits the lore since this was supposed to be “one of the galaxy’s most advanced warships”. Plus, if Imperials can put an Interdictor on a medium base, so can we.
A slow medium ship is new.
Naturally, I gave it nice big broadside arcs – part of this is to offset the very poor speed.
The ship base can be found below and in the downloads section.
I still need to finish the ship base (coming soon), but attached are the files if you want to print your own card. Let me know how it goes and how it plays!
This is probably going to be the first “long-ish form” post I’ve put here, and the first post on any blog for a while. Before we dig in, some background:
There’s a wonderful game called Star Wars: Armada, formerly by Fantasy Flight Games and then handed off to Atomic Mass Games. It’s part of a three-game Star Wars Miniatures set:
Armada is the fleet-wide battle system where you command capital ships and fighters
X-Wing is the squadron/fighter based system where you control a few pilots in a dogfight
Legion is the ground-based fighting where you command troops, walkers, and vehicles
I’ve gone a little bit into X-Wing (which came out before the other two), but haven’t spent time with Legion (the newest of the three). I’ve got the Middle Earth mini game to sink my money on, thank you.
The AMG Fiasco (some background)
Shortly after Atomic Mass Games took over the Star Wars franchise games, they announced that they had nothing in the works for Star Wars Armada for at least the next year and a half, and they’ll revisit it then. It… didn’t go over well with players, and has gone a long way towards damaging the game.
This is where my hobby for 3D printing comes in. I started printing minis for an ongoing D&D campaign, which then escalated into Lord of the Rings miniatures, and now has invaded Armada. Printing my own ships and squadrons? Limited only by the resin I can buy on Amazon? We’re in troubleheaven.
Finding good models was the difficult part. Eventually, I came across a designer who publishes his from-scratch 3D models under Onil Creations (Thingiverse Link). I then found his Patreon, which is where I hit the gold mine. From there I found Slightly Used Space Ship Yards (SUSSY) and his Patreon. I highly recommend supporting them both if you want to print some neat Star Wars ships.
ANYWAY. I’m on a personal printing hiatus while I get through all of the paint backlog. However, in his Discord I got to see some really beautiful paint jobs as part of a painting contest. Being a volunteer moderator, as the prize I offered to create ship cards in the style of Star Wars Armada cards. These cards could be printed at home (or through a professional printer) and played in friendly games. A few examples are below.
I have to say… It was pretty fun. While the artwork at the top could use some improvement (my main computer with all of the graphics software is old and tired), the potential for new Armada ships is exciting. After designing some cards and getting really into the weeds on Star Wars lore and figuring out game stats, I decided I might as well publish something about the stupid amount of work that went into them.
Star Wars: Armada – Reborn
Like many games before it, the players will have to come together and save this game, too. The best example is NISEI, a non-profit fan-created set of expansions for Android: Netrunner, a great card game if you ever get into it. If Netrunner fans can create something, then Star Wars fans can almost certainly create it too – after all, if we’re still around after the last trilogy, we must be dedicated.
This post is more or less my letter of intent. Other posts will be published soon that showcase some of the work so far. I would love for any Armada players to comment on the threads with their input. If we get enough activity around the idea then we can make it more formal and all become great game developers one day.
Since I don’t have a post ready as of publication (but they are on the way), you can check out some 3D printed ships for my custom Star Wars: Armada task force – The Hapan Fleet. No stats yet, but we’ll get there. 🙂
Long posts suck – it’s like looking for a cooking recipe and having to get through the author’s whole life story before seeing the ingredients list. With that in mind I’ll keep this post short.
I own a few 3D printers, and love them oh so much. One benefit is I get to print little minis, and below I’ll share a quirky set that I printed, painted, and am looking for a chance to use them in something, maybe as my own little version of Ewoks in a D&D campaign.
I didn’t create the models, though 3D modeling is something I’d like to get into. All of these were printed with my heavily modified workhorse, an Ender 3. You can see layer lines from this printer which is mostly inevitable unless I wanted to sand all of the little nooks and crannies (I didn’t).
All of the paint is the cheap kind you can find at Target or Walmart, with the exception of three Games Workshop paints you can see for the gemstones. Those technical paints are just really fun to use, and certainly help things stand out.
Well, it’s been a super long time since I made the original Balrog post, but there was more past that – I didn’t die in the Green Stuff phase. I actually finished this guy around the end of April 2020, so not long after that initial post.
The pictures I have aren’t great – they were taken while I was packing the apartment to move, so the background leaves something to be desired. Still, at least people have the ability to see it now instead of just staying in a case, right?
There he is – Durin’s Bane. Shadow and flame. The guy who tried to kill Gandalf, and kind of did, but then it gets weird and Gandalf gets a promotion.
This one was a lot of “just kind of wing it”. The model was large enough that I got to play with some different techniques I hadn’t before like wet blending (to make the whip ends seem like they were glowing), and I played with some of the Games Workshop layer system I hadn’t tried before. Vibrant, warm colors aren’t something I paint often, and they were surprisingly harder than I thought – typically I go for a bit more realism and wear.
I tried to magnetize the whip hand so I could swap out the sword he used – however, regardless of what I tried the whip was simply too heavy to be held on at such a narrow point. Deciding between the two I opted for the whip, even though the blade looks pretty sweet. My reasoning is:
That whip still looks pretty nasty.
The extra width it provides gives the Balrog a notable size difference compared to other miniatures on the table, which is what I was going for.
In play, the Balrog has both the sword and the whip at all times anyway.
I can see myself using the whip much more often. It’s a great thing to have the Balrog whip up to four enemies 8″ away, and whoever didn’t die gets yanked towards it to be killed next turn or maybe catch fire.
SO from both an aesthetic and gameplay point of view, the whip does its job.
Now I just need to paint the Moria goblins he commands.
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do anything miniature related, be it playing or painting. I have a backlog of projects of course, but I decided to just go for it and get a mini I’d been eyeing for ten years now – The Balrog.
After assembly, there were lots of gaps, so I did my first attempt at using Green Stuff – essentially a putty that solidifies for molding, crack filling, or anything else. So far I’m happy with it, but we’ll need to see how well it hides seams when it’s dried.
I’ll post updates for the whole ten readers as it goes along.