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Star Wars: Armada» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Tactical Guide - Imperial Corellian Campaign Aces rss

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Michael Ptak
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Tactical Guide – Imperial Corellian Conflict Fighters


I jumped the gun on the Wave 5 fighters because I was excited for them, but I should probably do the cc fighters as well because they were a simultaneous release.

Overview:


Often in X-Wing ships that were lacking and needed help were boosted by subsequent releases in different products to “patch” them (like the aces packs). For Armada this will seem to take the form of the “campaign” packs, which patch classes of fighters by giving us new aces. For all the Wave 0-1 fighters we now have new personalities to join the existing aces of those classes.

Additionally we have a new kind of unique joining the game: Veteran squadrons. These are unique units with special abilities, no defense tokens, and cost a small number of points more than the generic squadrons. Some of them provide interesting abilities… others do not.

As a whole when comparing both aces units, I find the Empire didn't do so well here. Empire's Wave 5 fighters are superior, but the aces in this pack are not as impressive as the ones the Rebels just got. I'll go over why when it comes to each ace. This isn't to say the pack is a dud, far from it, but the abilities can feel a bit lacking on a couple of entries.

Valen Rudor

Let's start with someone interesting, Valen Rudor is the ultimate anklebiter. Though he is subject to indirect splash damage from his buddy Mithel or that villain Ten Numb, he cannot be chosen as a direct attack target if there are other squads (like other TIE fighters) surrounding him. He's kind of an anti-X-Wing-Biggs in that regard. And at 13 points he beats out blount for being the cheapest ace with defense tokens by 1 point.

You could include him in an Ace ball as the constant irritant spilling 3 damage on black dice, or you can surround him with TIE Fighters to have the last word as he is constantly piling on damage while others die for him. If nothing else, the un-targetable ace is certainly interesting.

Black Squadron

The Veteran squad for TIE Fighters takes the form of a cardboard standee that you place beside your aces to take a hit for them, and then it's gone. Black Squadron gains escort and Counter 1 while losing Swarm… for one point improvement. Far from Vader's feared elite attack unit with decent piloting skill, Black Squadron is mobile cover designed to take a hit in place of your aces. While he cannot protect fighter-Vader in the same way he is another form of Escort for your imperial forces… something they are currently lacking in variety.

Cienna Ree

I'm forming the opinion that Interceptors are the best air superiority fighters in the game, and Cienna helps this impression. Attacks against her are treated as obstructed, so fighting under a jamming screen or through rocks isn't anything special. The standout thing about her is that in the open, she ignores all one-die AA shots. While it's rare that you'll have to worry about this, it means desperate shots from capital ships won't be a problem. So, if you're hanging out by the likes of an MC30 and attacking it to push damage or blow defense tokens, Cienna can ignore any stray shots. When attacking her, the opponent will have to commit serious effort into killing her.

She also blocks things like Counter attacks, reduing their effectiveness down to one die. If there's anything I've learned about pushing attack ships and rolling a bunch of blue dice recently, it's that single blue dice are a disappointment. Expect

So while she may not be as interesting and deadly to ignore as Soontir Fel is, I feel she's a good addiiton to the anti-squadron lineup, even if it is a little lacking in comparison to Soontir's I-can't-ignore-you ability. In every other respect she's an ace with defense tokens.

Saber Squadron

In my opinion this is the more interesting of the two interceptors we are given. Saber Squadon also gives us another keyword new to this wave: Snipe. Unfortunately, this is the only unit with Snipe on the Imperial side. However, Sabers have some advantages the generic E-Wings for the rebels do not. For instance because they have Swarm, they are still eligible for Howlrunner's bonuses, and they can still re-roll one die if the target is engaged with one of your squadrons. Since Snipe is an attack, it can also benefit from Flight controllers. Both Howlrunner and Flight Controllers powering Snipe enables Sabers to roll 6 dice at range 2 with one re-roll. This is not an insignificant combination that only the Empire is capable of.

With intel, your Saber squadrons are free to move where they need to be to take advantage of these bonuses and stay out of range of other conventional squadrons. They will be most likely engaging in artillery battles with other snipe squadrons, but Saber squad is more of a scalpel than a battery anyway. Sabers are useful against sources of Intel and nasty counter users like Shara Bey. For increased obnoxiousness (or utility) out of this squadron, have Jendon nearby to allow them to attack a second time. Truely the more impressive of both squadrons in my opinion, their only drawback is a lack of defense tokens.

Zertik Strom

Red dice are fickle. I've learned as much from playing games against proxied Z-95s. Like Zs they have the potenital to one shot a TIE/D with six damage… or they can do nothing, even on a re-roll. So we're handed Zertik Strom, with a primary AA of three reds and a built in Ruthless strategists to allow his re-roll.

This is the first of what I think are dud squadrons. Compared to the sheer terror in Shara Bey or Ten Numb, Zertik is wasted potenital. Why not give this guy Counter in addition to his escort? Why not upgrade his firepower, or allow him to shrug off damage sources like Cieanna? In the very least FFG could have given the guy Bomber like Tempest squadron so he could make better use of the black die. I don't feel the red dice use is worth the gamble… FFG might be acknowledging this because he's only 15 points- 2 points higher than the generic.

What you really get out of Zetrik is a TIE advanced squadron with defensive tokens and an occasionally useful gimmick tacked to very swingy primary dice. Once again, had YV-666s been actually useful, it might have been worth pairing them with Zetrick and Bossk to make the best of his ability. Perhaps it could work with the new VT Decimators. But barring fantastic performance through putting this guy on the table, I don't think I'll ever look at Zetrick Strom as anything but wasted potential for a truly fantastic TIE Advanced.

Storm Squadron

At least things get a little better with this guy. This is the Standard TIE Advanced except now it tacks on Bomber in addition to its usual performance for one point more. This upgrades the TIE Advanced so that it can use the critical faces now, doing a little more damage on the assault. However with Escort it means Tempests may not live long enough to use their dice if they're forced to engage enemy fighters. And since there is no rule preventing your opponent from targeting the Tempests first, he or she will likely go after the Tempests first, if not Vader. This is why it is only one point more than the standard squadron.

But in the end this too could have used some fantastic ability upgrade like the Sabers could have, or Black Squadron by being an ultra-cheap escort. In the end this is a minor upgrade to a squadron that could have also been so much more, especially when you look at the Rebel counterparts: Gold Squadron (two blues, hello Toryn re-roll), Dagger Squadron (Swarm B-Wings? Yes!), Green Squadron (Speed 5 bomber), and Rogue Squadron (Move and attack bombers losing escort).

If you have one point to spare, take these. It's a minor investment, you still get escort, and now you can threaten capital ships a little better. In the very least, of your TIE Advanced and Black squadron escorts, there's incentive to drag an opponent's attention to this one squadron. You might find that valueble.

Captain Jonus

Bomber enhancements are tricky because of how wildly powerful Major Rhymer was on the Imperial Meta. Any squadron regardless if it has bomber or not now attacks at medium range… which now includes the new VT decimators firing a hailstorm of blue dice shots at targets. FFG had to tread carefully here because I don't think they'd want any new squadron to make that Rhymerball worse. Their answer was a new ace to enhance a different way of bomber play: getting up close to the target and enhancing a capital ship's shots into it.

The best way to play Jonus is with lots of fighters jamming their faces into the target to allow the motherships free accuracy on whatever they're shooting at. Its a mirror universe version of Home One. There is some thought of taking Jonus with plenty of Escorts (hey, a use for the dud advanced squadrons you just got!) to hang by a target and let your Star Destroyers pummel it to death by forever locking down Brace.

In spite of FFG's efforts I don't feel this will be as powerful as Rhymer is, in part because to make Jonus work you have to protect him. With Snipe out there I think this is going to be harder to pull off. Jonus' way of play is also contrary to the way Rhymer is supposed to play: since the strength of both is on different places on the range meter. You could combine Rhymer and Jonus to have advantages at all ranges, but that's more points to pay for, and not attractive if you want one ace and then load up on generics to complement it.

Gamma Squadron

Now we get to the bottom of the barrel. Remember the criticisms I leveled against Tempest squadron? It's worse with Gamma squadron. The only thing this squadron does differently from a standard TIE Bomber, by one point, is that it loses heavy and gains Grit. No increase in firepower or strength, no special text to take advantage of, and no new combinations to come out of subtle keywords that combine with other things like Howlrunner.

On the face of it, this is what Gamma squadron can do: Lock down enemy fighters and move away from them when they want to with Grit. Stop to ask yourself; when will this actually be useful?

If you take this in a fighter ball it works only if Gammas are on the fringe of the ball and can get away to attack targets of their choice. That means you have to be conscious to keep Gammas on the fringe of a ball, or at least away from more than one squadron. It can also work in a ball of aces where you have one point free from something like a Rhymerball.

Otherwise we can compare, again, to the generics of the Rebels and how their generics are better in many different ways. This is another dud, useful for very niche conditions and worth it only if you have spare points and nothing else to lose. At least Tempests upgrade their firepower slightly, but Grit on this squadron does nothing for the meta. When fighters clash, in my experience, it has been in great numbers. The only time Gamma squad will have an advantage is escaping a Rebel or Imperial player with a speed 5 squadron determined to lock as many fighters down as possible. Gammas will escape, for what? One bombing run on a ship that may have no fighter cover. You're just as likely to roll a blank as well on that chance.



In the end, the Empire has some hits or misses, but I don't think the cc aces are as fantastic as the Rebel offerings. Fortunately for Empire players, the Rebels don't have much to compare to VTs, TIE/Ds, Phantoms, and the aces for those craft. I can't help as an Imperial player lament on the wasted opportunity for ability in this pack, though. We could have gotten more interesting and different abilities to help balance out how good and multipurpose the rebel squadrons are. Sadly, that wasn't the case.
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Mark Drake
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Love your Armada Tactical Guides--1GG to you,sir!
 
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Can Rudor be a target of counter attacks while his ability is triggered? It would be strange if it was not the case, but for example 'escort' explicitly states that you can be counter attacked whilst there is no such thing on Rudor's card...at least not on the armada wiki page. Either way as a newbie I find your guides really useful and interesting to read, thank you very much for sharing them!
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Michael Ptak
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Yes, Rudor cannot be targeted by counter as long as there is another squadron present to force Shara Bay any counter ace to attack. This makes Valen a really good I-hate-you-counter piece, to move in and kill Shara Bay any fighter with counter, preferably one without defense tokens.
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Julien Durand
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Aaahh!! At least I found someone who has the same opinion about Zertik Strom.
FFG totally failed creating this imperial ace. I wouldn't pay attention on his stats and ability if they had chosen another kind of squadron. But they chose the TIE Advanced!!Damn... I hoped this fighter get a wonderful ace to make this squadron playable...
The TIE Advanced is usually never used by players. And it's so expensive for what he provides... it's so weak against both squadrons and ships. And it's not even a bomber.
And they made Zertik Strom... the most useless man in this galaxy. Yes, his advantage is for a cheap price you have a solid squadron with défense token... and that's it...
The mater is you always choose another usefull squadron, Zertik is never a priority.

I really hoped a usefull TIE Advanced, FFG failed providing it. What a waste yukcry

And, I'm so impolite : great article as usual Michael
 
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Julien Durand
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What a great idea about Rhymer and Decimators, I didn't even think about this combinaison. Maybe I'll try it.

Concerning Jonus, he's a flottillas hunter, the GR-75 Predator! The best way to play him is to get Dengar or a minimum of 2 Intel with him and an escort squadron. He would always have the ability to follow different targets for you Star Destroyers, or, if you like to make it insane-porn way, stick him with the Demolisher... yes I know... this is evil blushkiss
 
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