Friday, April 28, 2017

Store championship swag!

Here's what those store championship kits look like, for those who are curious. Great work by FFG!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Imperial commander review: Admiral Konstantine

Let's finish off wave 4 by discussing the commander that comes bundled with the Interdictor, Admiral Konstantine.

Or "Pouty-lips Frown-stache" as he may be known (he's not).

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Turbolaser Upgrades: Or "Knowing is Half the Battle!"

So I started writing the LMC80 article (it's in progress, and then I realized that we could ACTUALLY use a Turbolasers article, just so I can refer back to it a few more times.  It'll also give me some time to collect my thoughts on the LMC80, even though I've been running it for a few weeks now).  In any case, let's get learning!
Notice the lack of Green lasers here.  Clearly Imperial ships shouldn't be shooting at all! It's in the graphic!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Gear up for battle: Armada peripherals for the player looking to upgrade their game and storage

Okay so you are getting familiar with Armada but you're still carrying your stuff around in the core set box and and you figure it's time to upgrade your game components and storage. Well I'm here for you! Welcome to my armory...

I'm pretty sure at least one of these launches Nerf balls.

Monday, April 24, 2017

General Airen Cracken: Know Your Enemy/Commander's Corner

We continue Wave 3 with General Cracken, head of Rebel Intelligence.  Hit the jump and unleash the Cracken!

I was actually in the movie and this is the joke you open with? Ugh, I'm disappointed.

Imperial ship review: Interdictor cruiser

We've made it to wave 4! I mean to be fair, waves 3 and 4 are basically the exact same wave because they came out together, but... technically it's wave 4!

Oh hello there, I didn't notice you getting choke-slammed out of hyperspace!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Black dice: blowing up enemy ships for fun and profit!

Using black dice ships is one of the more difficult skill sets for newer Armada players to come to grips with (along with "how to squadron", but John's got you covered and then some on that topic). John and I have covered some of the elements on "how to black dice" in ship-review articles such as the Raider, Gladiator, and MC30 articles. We figured it would be useful to combine some of the all-purpose black-dice help into one article and given my love affair with black dice (its kind of my thing, just like squadrons are kind of John's thing) I volunteered as tribute.

In the grim darkness of the alternative future there is only children killing each other for entertainment and a socio-economic system that doesn't really make much sense when you sit down and think about it!

Using the LFC: Bombers and YOU!

Having finished the flotilla article that I'm linking to right now, it's time to get back to one of my other passions:
"My passions, concentrated on a single point, resemble the rays of a sun assembled by a magnifying glass: they immediately set fire to whatever object they find in their way."
No, not.....that.  Not that AT ALL.  We're talking about how to use your LFC group!

Monday, April 17, 2017

GR75s: We All Float Down Here

Let's start off our wave 3 "coverage" with the Rebel GR-75! Today's topic is covering what they do, and how to use them, and all that other stuff.  Fighting against them may turn into a future article, but for now: the first transport is away!

Hooray, John finally got to Wave 3!

Monday, April 10, 2017

H1MC80: Space Hoagie of DOOOOOOM!

I had said before that I got into this game to play with squadrons.  And that is a mostly true statement.  However, there was one other ship that I always loved watching in the Original Trilogy.  It had power, it had Command, it represented for me the powerhouse of the Alliance.  Admiral Ackbar led from its bridge; it's the MC80.

It looks like a sandwich.  An ANGRY sandwich!

MC30: The Curse of the Flying Hellfish!

The Mon Calamari people brought a lot when they joined the Rebellion.  Specifically, the 3 best ways to murder other ships.  Let's jump into today's ship review with the MC30, the angriest fish ship in the smallest package.

Artist's Representation

The basics of fleet building

First and foremost, I (Eric) am going to be moving into a new house this week so my availability is sketchy at best. I'm hoping to be able to get one more article in this week when I have some downtime but I make no promises. I'll do my best, though. On to the article!

John and I have been dancing around the topic of fleet building for a little while and I figured now that I'm caught up to wave 3 of the Imperial releases it's time to at least get the basic parameters established for fleet building. I'll do my best to explore the considerations that go into it at higher levels but this is not an exhaustive guide. Everyone makes fleets differently and so if you're successful and your process doesn't follow my recommendations exactly, then good for you. Anyways, let's get to it, shall we?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Imperial commander review: General Tagge

All right let's finish off the Imperial side of teeny-tiny wave three with a commander review of General Tagge!

You may remember him as "the only person on the original Death Star that took the Rebels seriously."

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The attack sequence and you!

I'm taking a break from writing up the General Tagge article to talk about the attack sequence and how it works. I've mentioned it in a few posts (primarily the ordnance upgrades article) and John recently covered it somewhat in his Ackbar article and it should probably all be in one place for easy reference. In short, the attack sequence in Armada can be very important and it's frequently misunderstood. Once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy, though, and I'd like to catch you up to speed and provide some examples!

This is how Imperials feel when Ackbar uses his add effect on an HMC80 broadside in step 3.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Know Your Enemy/Commander's Corner: Admiral Gial Ackbar

That's right, he has a first name.  It's not just "Admiral."  And he's today's Know Your Commander!

A little bit of me hopes that's Toryn Farr on the right there, working for the Resistance.

Know Your Enemy/Commander's Corner: Mon Mothma

So I'm working on catching up with Eric and the fact that he's through wave 2 and midway through wave 3.  The downside of having a real job, you know? I'm working on it though, doing what I can.  This week's goal is finishing the Commanders through Wave 2 (So, Mothma and Ackbar) and I'm going to try to hit another ship (the MC30 sock fulla quarters) this week too.  Next week is the MC80, the flotillas, and hopefully Cracken.  Anyways, if we're starting out with Mothma, let's get to it.

Many Bothans died to bring us this picture with Walex Blissex in it (over Madine's shoulder).  This will be our last Dead Bothans joke.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bidding for initiative #2: fleet examples

I had a request for some example fleets for the different "bid levels" so it seemed prudent to put together a demonstration. We'll be focusing on 3 different fleets that match the three different bid levels I discussed in the previous article.

The biggest problem with a large bid isn't the fleet sacrifices, it's keeping an eye out for the creepy hands that come from the shadows.
Without any further discussion, let's get right into it!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bidding for initiative/Mailbox #3

We got a question from smashthedean in the comments of the Sunday Adepticon wrapup post. He asked:
"Speaking of point bids, this might be a better question for a future mailbag post, but... how much is too much??"

That's a fine question and a subject on which even experienced players can differ. I'll do my best to give my take on bids and what I would recommend:

All in on black! I've got Ordnance Experts if it comes up blank! What do you mean "you're not making any sense"?

Know Your Enemy/Commander's Corner: Garm bel Iblis

So if I'm going to write a post about how to build a Rebel fleet for cheap, the smart thing to do would be to get that Commander write-up written.  Garm is not an admiral seen all that often anymore, and that's a crying shame.

It's like they gave my Dad a wig and a weird space bandolier.  Go get 'em, space dad!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Fleet Support upgrades

It's time for another upgrade review post, just in time for the Gozanti review article (it's effectively a two-fer)!

Fleet support upgrades are cards released in wave 3 that are available only to flotillas and are used for support and denial purposes. I figured it would be easier to keep them all in one place for easy reference when John and I discuss flotillas, and I can mention a few things about the individual upgrades here as well.

Imperial ship review: Gozanti Cruisers

Waves 3 and 4 effectively came out at the same time, making them less of two separate waves, but we're obligated by FFG release terminology to treat them sequentially. Thus let's continue past wave 2 and into wave 3 with the Imperial Gozanti Cruisers!

The U-Haul of the Empire, now with mom's attic for extra overhead storage space!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Assault Frigate: Generalist Space Potato

It's time to finish off the Wave I Rebel ships (looks over at Eric and his completed Wave II Imperial ships, for like 3 weeks now).  How about that.  Anyways, the Assault Frigate!

If you didn't want potato jokes, I'm sorry, but the "eyes" had it.  The puns only get worse, guys.

Building a Fleet for Cheap 2: Rebel Boogaloo!

So this was a subject that Eric and I have been talking about for a little bit.  Eric got his out Saturday Night, so I figured I'd throw mine out as soon as possible.  (Looks over at half-finished Assault Frigate article, sadly).  Yeah, I'm working on it, I promise!  But maybe you looked at all those Rebel articles I've been writing, and you said to yourself, "I want to free the galaxy from the tyranny of the Galactic Empire!  I'm sick of all those guys in my meta playing Imperial on Imperial and not learning how to dodge CR90 shots!  I want to be the very best, like no one ever was!"

Well welcome to the Rebellion, let's learn along with Finn.

The fun will never end, it's Rebellion Time!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Adepticon Sunday!

Shorter update on this one as I'm beat:

John and I and 4 other Fair Game participants arrived this morning around 9:30 to get our Armada on at Adepticon. Of the 20 participants, we made up 30% - pretty good! I still feel a bit weird about two-round events, but we had a good time.

Here's some pictures!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Building an Imperial fleet on the cheap: the $250 challenge

One concern about Armada is the cost of entry. I cannot deny that miniature wargaming overall can be an expensive hobby (especially compared to more "compact" entertainment, such as video games or board games). One thing in Armada's favor is that so far as miniature wargaming is concerned, it's much cheaper than a lot of the "large scale" competition such as Warhammer 40K, Warmachine/Hordes, or Flames of War (not to say it's bad to enjoy any of those games as well).

This short article's goal is to get newer players to a reasonable 400 point Imperial fleet at a cost of $250 MSRP or less. Why Imperials? Because that's the faction I'm most familiar with. I'm sure John can present a good plan for the Rebel scum when he gets the time, but for now you're stuck with me 😉. This can be the start of an Imperial-only fleet or it can be the first Imperial fleet you build into (maybe you are going for both factions and you'd like to start Imperial or you went Rebel already and want to bulk out your Imperials?).

Why $250? Its a fairly round number. It's less than the cost of a gaming console but is still a good-sized investment. It should be enough to get you by for some time. I will note that you can find individual components cheaper online or perhaps at your local game store, but whenever possible I encourage you to buy your gear at the store where you play - that's how they keep their lights on and their doors open so you and your buddies can play there!

So let's get down to it!

Definitely not this many triangles though.

Friday Adepticon

So as I mentioned yesterday, John and I participated in the two-round Adepticon tournament on Friday. We started at 3:30PM and got done at 9:15PM and back home (John's crashing at my place for the weekend as I live a 30 minute drive closer to the event than he does) by around 10 and then collapsed. So sorry for a short delay. First things first, I won the event! I talked about how two-round events are a bit weird and I still feel that way, but it always feels good to do well. Still a kind of weird format, but I get why it is that way - Armada tournaments of 3 rounds (and sometimes 4) take up a lot of time and many Adepticon attendees want to play other games too. Therefore a shorter format makes sense.

I swear these things are simultaneously the coolest and goofiest things I own. Servo skull medal the size of your fist? SURE!

Friday, March 24, 2017

To Adepticon!

Today is the first day of Armada events at Adepticon (the second day is Sunday). This year, FFG is doing two "mini-tournaments" of two rounds each. With only two rounds I'm thinking of it more as a "casual play plus" event, where FFG hands out fun prizes at the end, but it's short enough for luck to have a very big role in who wins so I'm not taking it too seriously. Sure I'm planning on doing my best, but I hope to not sweat it too much. Even in a 3-round event, good luck can help a lot, but let's not get too much into that shall we?

For example, just look at this amazing yet goofy thing the author won for taking first in the 3-round event last year. And no, I'm not wearing it to Adepticon. I'm not that guy, haha.

Adepticon is a huge (and I mean HUGE) miniature gaming convention held once a year in Chicagoland. Minis games big, small, inbetween, and not-even-actually-released-yet-but-won't-you-please-demo-our-game-and-back-it-on-Kickstarter are present. There's tons to see and do and the vendor hall is always fun just as the crystal brush entries are always extremely impressive. Highly recommended for anyone who can make it and you don't even need to buy a badge if all you want to do is wander about, buy something, and look at neat stuff.

Anyways, John and I will be heading to Adepticon in a couple of hours and I'd expect several posts about our experiences to pop up over the next few days. If you'll also be at Adepticon, maybe we'll see one another there!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Squadrons Encyclopedia 5: Using the SFC

It's been a week or so, and it's time to get back into it.  Two side notes before we begin: First, this is long.  I don't recommend reading it on your phone, as there are many fancy pictures with examples from Vassal, and they're better seen when bigger.  The other side note is that I also learned something while writing this, so we all benefited here!  Today, we're discussing how to properly use the Small Fighter Coverage.  And we'll start.... by talking Leverage.

This topic is going to relate, I promise.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Armada objectives: yellow objectives, wave one

We've arrived at the final article of the wave one objective reviews, which will focus on the yellow objectives! Yay!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Armada wave 6 spoilers!

Hoo boy, this is exciting! Our first Armada wave spoiler as a blog! We interrupt your objective coverage and squadron articles to bring you this spoiler article!

Get hype!

CR90 Corvette: Everyone's First Ship

We all heard that opening score, we all saw that crawl, and then we saw it: the first ship on the screen, our representation for this galaxy.  The opening that would be the Make it or Break it for this film, and George Lucas delivered.  We all saw it, the greatest ship in the galaxy:

Yup, this is why we're all in this game: A CR90 fleeing some unknown ship of some type or another
That's right, the CR90 Corvette.  The best ship the Rebellion had to offer in 1977 (the Nebulon didn't even show up until 1980! And we had to walk 26 miles uphill to the theater, too, kids!), this was going to be our baby.  Hit the jump for the Cool Reason We All Love Star Wars That's Totally Not a Star Destroyer!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Armada objectives: red objectives, wave one

Let's start our 3-part wave one objective reviews with the red (assault) objectives. These are a good starting point, as they're often more straightforward than their blue and yellow cousins.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Armada objectives introduction

For my next few updates, I'm going to be examining the objectives available in wave one and explaining why you would or wouldn't take them in a given fleet. Before I get much further into that, though (red objectives first!), it seems proper to have a short discussion about the role of objective selection when designing your fleet.
And we're nothing if not proper!

Know Your Enemy/Commander's Corner: Jan Dodonna

We'll get back to the squadrons blogging soon enough, but for now I wanted to touch on the other Commander commonly seen with squadrons (I have heard requests for more ships blogging, and I WILL get on that very soon, but it was a very busy weekend, so I figured I'd knock this out first.  It's been half done for a while now, so as of this post it's ALL done).  Anyway, as we all know, Rieekan helps your named squadrons stay alive longer, keeping you in the fight for longer while still getting to attack one more time before they die.

The OTHER end of the squadron spectrum for manipulating damage is Jan Dodonna (Old Man River, Dr Beardface (it's pronounced Beard-Fah-Say!), You Brought HOW Many Squadrons?).  Let's talk about him.

This was one of the few pictures I could find that DIDN'T show him looking mad at me for starting this piece instead of writing about how to fight squadrons with squadrons.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Imperial Commander Review: Admiral Ozzel

Admiral Ozzel? Isn't he that guy who was as clumsy as he was stupid? Didn't Vader choke him out over Skype?

Pictured: Piett is tired of Admiral Ozzel's workplace yodeling.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Squadrons Encyclopedia 4: Large Fighter Coverage

Alright, this is what we've been leading up to, this is where it's all been headed: the Large Fighter Coverage (LFC) group.  I'm here to show you how to put together a solid 120-130 points of squadrons that are going to let you kill ships.  You want to paint ISDs on the sides of your X-wing? Well let's hit the jump below....

You can paint Raiders on the sides of your squadrons, too, but they're not as fun as Star Destroyers.  Or Demolisher....

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Imperial ship review: Raider Corvette

What? Where's the star destroyer designation? Cor...vette? Is this a real Imperial ship review? It is, in fact! Not everything must destroy stars. Or... be a destroyer ship of the "star" classification, I suppose. Whatever it is exactly that "star destroyer" means in Star Wars anyways - it seems to get used on wildly different ships when you really think about it and that can't be any kind of reasonable categorization system for a military dictatorship that spans a healthy chunk of a galaxy, right?

There's no good way out of this tangent, so enjoy some sweet missiles!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Squadrons Encyclopedia 3: Medium Fighter Coverage!

We continue our coverage with Medium Fighter Coverage (MFC), something that the Rebellion excels at.  As I said before, this is somewhere from 75 to 100 points (increased from 90 to 100 after some thought), and building it is a little nebulous.

No, I said nebulous, as in hard to define.  Hit me after the jump and I'll do the best I can at guiding you to this!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Squadrons Encyclopedia 2 Imperial addendum

First off, the pace of my articles is going to slow down just a bit for the immediate to intermediate future due to life events. I'll still be looking to produce 1-2 articles per week minimum, but the frenzied pace from earlier (4+ articles a week) won't be possible for at least a few weeks.

This is a small Imperial-focused addendum to John's earlier article focusing on small fighter coverage groups (70ish points or less). Given that John's specialty is Rebels, it seemed best to offer a quick Imperial aside. Our intention for future additions to John's squadron encyclopedia series is to combine our efforts - John will be doing the heavy lifting on those but I'll add my own Imperial-perspective comments to them before they're published, likely using some kind of different-colored text header to make it clear Eric is assuming direct control for a little while before passing you back to John).

So far as it goes for Imperials, I agree with John's basic conclusions as to the purposes of a small squadron investment: you should be focusing on fighters only and you should consider bringing along a small fighter coverage group for the first 3 of the 4 reasons John mentioned:

1) Deployment help
2) Keeping the other guy honest
3) Fighting off enemy squadrons and bomber blobs for as long as possible
4) As a Rebel, supportive damage into ships.

#4 is basically a lie so far as Imperials are concerned.
Insert overused meme and cut to the rest of the page!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Armada 101: working your way up from starter box games tips and reminders

Last Thursday we had two new players in for Armada (our local community continues to grow, which is always a good thing), and being the odd man out, I assisted them with rules and fleet building and such for their first non-starter box game. They had many questions and made numerous mistakes (which is normal and nothing to be ashamed of) and it prompted me to think of many pieces of advice and clarifications for players in similar situations where they're starting to come to grips with "regular sized" games. So without any further ado, let's get to some general-purpose reminders/tips/clarifications for new players!

Run, run, run, jump! I can be a backpack while you run!

Squadrons Encyclopedia 2: Small Fighter Coverage

Let's begin with one of the easier ones to define and use: Small Fighter Coverage.

It helps when you make the Pew Pew Pew noises, the dice roll better.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Imperial squadron review: Firespray-31

Wrapping up the Imperial wave two squadron reviews (the wave five squadron reviews are still a ways off, I don't like talking about something I haven't played a few games with first and I'm still working through those...), we have the Firespray-31, which includes both Boba Fett's Slave I and his innumerable generic cosplayers.

It's the recumbent bicycle of bounty-hunting ships: dorky, yet comfortable!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Squadrons Encyclopedia Chapter 1: Basics and Outline

So it took a while to get around to it, but having finished all the Wave 2 squadrons off, it's time to talk about USING these all.  I'm going to try to hit a lot in these articles, and they will be a little blander at times (less jokes, less calling squadrons by different animal names to lighten the discussion) but hopefully more helpful.  I make no claims that I'm perfect at everything, but what I do works for me.  There's that old adage that "the best way to learn how to do something is to teach people to do it," so hopefully this will help improve my OWN squadron game by describing these all.

We'll start out with some definitions which are going to help in future articles, and then we'll move on to building the three different groups I'm about to define.  Because of my play experience, this is ALL going to be Rebel based and Rebel oriented.  I have zero experience piloting TIE fighters or TIE bombers, so it's not worth my speculating when I can just let Eric give his opinions on those.  My advice will be relatively general, so it should apply to both sides, but specific builds would need Eric's input.  Given those three different groups, I'll move to the proper way to the squadron fight with each group, and I'm sure by the end I'll have some final thoughts about this whole thing to wrap it all up.  This paragraph may only exist in here to provide me an outline of where I'm going to go; just giving me an outline for where to go. "Teach the entire Armada community how to squadron when only occasional people asked for it and may be silently judging you from their computer screen if/when you screw up" only causes SOME anxiety, it's fine!

If you have a better example of anxiety, please let me know!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Imperial squadron review: YV-666, or "garbage trucks from outer space"

Time for a shorter review of another Imperial wave 2 Rogue squadron: the YV-666, or as it's known around these parts: "the garbage truck."

It'll take out the trash! When it gets there... some day. Maybe.

Nebulon Bs! Jousting for Fun and Profit

So Eric's encouraged me to start doing ship reviews.  This, combined with the fact that I've exhausted the Wave 2 squadrons and am in the middle of playtesting several Wave 5 ones, along with the fact that the Squadrons Post is going to take some doing (it's coming along, I swear! I have Vassal and everything for fancy-pants pictures!) means I'm going to take both a slow-down (I'm not able to do 4-5 articles a week this way, or else I'll burn out) and a refocus (again, i haven't forgotten the Squadrons Article.  It's just going to involve both several parts and a decent time to get everything through.  Expect the first one when the bell tolls one by Friday, hopefully).

So on that note: let's do a ship review of the Nebulon B.

Fun fact: when Eric and I got into this game, we referred to the Support Refit as the "Garbage Truck" variant.  Why would you cheap out on points when you can command more squadrons and have better AA? Ah, youth!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Imperial ship review: Imperial-class Star Destroyer

In the first of my two wave two Imperial ship reviews, let's cover the biggest angriest triangle in the game: the Imperial-class Star Destroyer.

TIE squadrons not included (but recommended!)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Imperial squadron review: Aggressor Assault Fighter or "attack of the space ticks"

I continue my wave 2 Imperial squadrons reviews with the Aggressor Assault Fighter or, as it's known around here, "the space tick:"

I'm not the only one that kind of sees it, right? I think? The point is it's super weird-looking.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Imperial squadron review: Jumpmaster 5000

It's time for a wave 2 Imperial squadron review! Given the importance of Intel, the Jumpmaster seemed to be the clear place to start. So wear your pants backwards, put on some fantastically dated hip-hop and get ready to jump jump!

I mean if a sticker says it's priceless it has to be, right?