|Jerjerrod is particularly unimpressed with you, Mutton Chops McGee!|
|...let me guess, the TIE pilots behind me aren't saluting, they're just bullshitting amongst themselves. *sigh*|
Admiral Chiraneau hasn't been seen much since Imperials got access to the Jumpmaster for Intel in wave two. The main problem is he's an extremely expensive officer at 10 points and his benefit is generally inferior to Intel, as Intel when used well allows for squadrons to move at their full speed and to also ignore Inteled enemy squadrons when they're trying to attack ships; all Chiraneau does is allows you to move at a slower speed while engaged and doesn't turn enemy squadrons Heavy to help you bomb ships. He also consumes your officer slot and is best used with high-Squadron value ships to apply his benefit to as many squadrons as possible - unfortunately for him, higher-Squadron value ships like ISDs and VSDs are usually used as mixed-role battleship/carriers and the officer slot is hotly contested; the ships themselves also won't usually be able to mash the squadron command button as consistently as Chiraneau might like without sacrificing some of their anti-ship potency.
On a Quasar, however, Chiraneau is more appealing: he's on a dedicated carrier where his benefit can be applied to a large number of squadrons more affordably. He is still competing with Intel, though, and so the inevitable question is "when should I use Chiraneau, then?" I don't recommend using Chiraneau and a source of Intel together as it's a lot of points dedicated to a similar ability. Chiraneau could definitely be a source of "fake Intel" backup for when/if the Jumpmaster is destroyed or your opponent is trying to overwhelm your ability to provide Intel, but it's a lot of points and I generally feel like your points could be better invested into protecting your source of Intel (with a TIE Advanced, for example) or bringing another Jumpmaster if you have the extra squadron points; if you're maxed out on squadron points and don't have a lot of Intel backup in your large fighter coverage group, then maybe Chiraneau. Maybe.
Overall, I feel like Chiraneau is a much better fit with medium fighter coverage groups or large fighter coverage groups that focus on mixed-role squadrons like TIE Defenders. In that case, he's used instead of Intel - those types of squadron configurations don't intend to get bomber damage into enemy ships in the early game (unless it's offered up early due to an opponent mistake) - they intend to win the squadron mini-game and then use surviving squadron assets to put bomber damage into enemy ships later on. With Chiraneau helping out there, you get a fighter benefit and a bomber benefit that better synergizes with that type of squadron play: your squadrons used as fighters appreciate being able to focus their attacks on the best targets and/or being able to attack and then pull out of trouble; your squadrons used as bombers appreciate being able to slip away from a situation other squadrons are handling in order to get some attacks into a ship whose fighter coverage is tied up elsewhere. With multi-role squadrons, you can circumstantially use your squadrons either way, but some specialists don't mind being added in to the mix to benefit from Chiraneau (of special note is Mauler Mithel who loves the easy "jumping around" that's not tied to a fragile Intel squadron).
In short, Intel is better with a more conventional large bomber wing that doesn't mind including a support apparatus for Intel (like Escort squadrons) and is trying to deliver bombers to enemy ships as soon as possible. Chiraneau on a dedicated carrier is superior when your squadron group doesn't have any desire to spend any points on a bomber support apparatus and intends to win the squadron mini-game directly by destroying enemy squadrons and then focusing on ships later.
|Montferrat trying out his best "you can't X if you don't Y" meme pose.|
- His effect only applies against ship attacks, not squadrons.
- It only applies when his ship is set to speed 3 or 4.
- Obstruction is binary - either you're obstructed or you're not. You can't be double- or triple-obstructed.
- Admiral Montferrat only gets discarded if the ship he is equipped to overlaps another ship during its movement. If another ship overlaps his ship, he's fine. He just gets really embarrassed when his crew can't steer very well.
Montferrat is a bit picky, though, so be sure to measure your desire to have his effect active (by being speed 3 or 4) versus your maneuvering needs versus your desire to avoid overlapping enemy ships to keep Montferrat from jumping out the airlock. It's a bit of a balancing act to be sure, but when used well, Montferrat can prolong his ship's life by a solid round or two, and that can make a big difference.
|I'm gonna clench my fist like daddy when he gets angry! Grr!|
Because Titus doesn't have a persistent effect, he's often best placed on ships that don't really care about their officer slot. Gozantis in particular are a great place to put Titus for this reason.
|If I see anyone here with a name tag, they're getting a broadside from the old sideburns, all right!|
- His ability triggers against any unique squadron, even the Corellian Conflict unique squadrons that don't have defense tokens (like Rogue Squadron or Gold Squadron or the like) .
- Because his ability is an add effect, it happens after you roll your initial attack roll. This allows you to see how your regular flak worked out and then add a die of any color afterwards. This comes into play particularly against scatter aces - if your original flak roll had an accuracy, it's probably best to add a black die for higher damage. If not, then it's probably best to add a blue to hope for an accuracy icon.
- On a side note, it bears mentioning that because Kallus is an add effect, you're going to run into trouble occasionally with him on a single-die flak ship as obstructed attacks will be canceled due to initially rolling zero dice.
|"I spy with my little eye, something..."|
"An obstacle of some kind?"
"You're no fun."
Captain Brunson is somewhat similar to Admiral Needa and Minister Tua in that she's an Imperial officer that improves the defenses of your ship, but unlike those two, she's a bit trickier to get working due to the ship needing a nearby obstacle to pawn objectionable dice off on. The upside is her effect can be extremely strong, especially when layered with other defensive tech. You can use her on high-importance small ships like Gladiators that like to lurk near obstacles before launching an attack, allowing you to evade normally and use Brunson to cancel two dice total, keeping Brunson's ship safe(r) so long as you can rely on stacking her effect with other defense tokens.
Where Brunson really shines is larger ships, as they have the base sizes to frequently be at distance 1-2 of obstacles and several of them can stack defensive tech - the easiest example would be ISD-IIs or Kuat ISDs that come with a defensive retrofit slot that can pair a defensive retrofit upgrade with Brunson to keep your ship healthy. The strongest but more complex example that comes to mind is the oft-maligned Interdictor Cruiser - Brunson can be combined with Targeting Scrambler to tear apart previously-potent dice pools after a reroll and one-die removal. The combo gets stronger if the Interdictor is also using Grav Shift Reroute to position obstacles fortuitously for the Interdictor (both for using Brunson as well as potentially providing obstruction) and with the Interdictor title, which can allow it to unexhaust either the Targeting Scrambler or Brunson to be used again later in the round against a different activation.
|"Vader said asteroids didn't concern him, but they very much concern me."|
In general, you'll find Captain Needa on ships where he can replace a contain token with an evade token (like an ISD, Arquitens, or Interdictor), given that while contain is an okay defense token to have, it is generally the worst defense token and evade is usually superior. This is especially true in metas where long ranged skirmishers like CR90As are keen on picking apart heavier more expensive ships from downtown; the evade can remove their best die, saving you some damage over time. With the Arquitens in particular, going from one to two evade tokens can also make Turbolaser Reroute Circuits a lot more appealing.
The only circumstance in which I've heard of Needa being used on a ship to not "upgrade" a contain to an evade is on VSDs, where Needa changes the defense token suite from brace + 2 redirects to brace + redirect + evade, making the VSD defensively more like an Assault Frigate. Given it's not uncommon for a VSD to spend most of its time at long range of ships who would really rather not get much closer, that's not a bad switch at all for only 2 points.
|Commandant Aresko knows how to make the intimidating clenched first pose. Take note, Titus.|
Nearly always, however, does not mean always always. Aresko can be superior to Wulff when he's used on an Interdictor cruiser with the Interdictor title; the title allows you to use Aresko twice in one turn when he's set up appropriately. It's expensive, but Aresko can also provide a Comms Net token on a helper Gozanti better than Wulff can, provided your nearby ships are willing to cooperate.
|She directs you to better understand poliosis before making fun of her hair streak, thank you.|
Director Isard has a neat effect but unfortunately her utility is limited without a good combination card to really utilize the information you gain. Presently, you could make an argument for using her in a fleet with a Slicer Tools Gozanti so the Gozanti has a better idea as to whether a particular ship is a high- or low-priority hacking target, but it's a bit of a stretch. The same is true of being able to identify the right Raid token to apply using a Mandalorian Gauntlet squadron. If and when the Imperials get access to some kind of effect that allows you to punish an enemy ship when you correctly guess its top command, Director Isard will finally have a home. Until then, I have a hard time recommending her.
|This is the pose you'll have too when you consider which round to choose.|
- Governor Pryce's initial effect (choosing a round token for her) is optional, so if you decide you'd rather not use her, you can choose to do that after both fleets are deployed.
- Honestly, even if you're in a game where you consider Pryce to be a liability (we'll cover that in a bit), choosing round 1 at the very least gives you the small benefit of seeing how your opponent moved his fleet before you commit to her ship's course and it's extremely safe, with some extremely limited Fleet-Ambush-style exceptions.
- Governor Pryce's in-game effect, however, is not optional. If you choose a round, you must activate her ship last on that round whether you like it or not.
- Because the first player's effects trigger first when both players have effects with the same trigger/timing window, games with both players using Pryce have some interesting ramifications:
- The first player will choose whether to use his Pryce and what round first, and then the second player will choose the same for his Pryce with full knowledge of the first player's decision.
- If both players' Pryces have chosen the same round, then the first player's Pryce ship will active first "last" and then the second player's Pryce ship will go second "last."
Speaking of ships that benefit from Pryce, the easiest way to use Pryce is on a longer-ranged ship, like an ISD-II, Cymoon ISD, or VSD-II with Disposable Capacitors, that would really prefer to have enemies get into range so it can go last and blast away without opposition instead of being forced to activate earlier and doing little to nothing, which generally translates into "your big expensive ship gets to make at least one more good attack during the game," which can easily be worth 7 points and an officer slot. In those sorts of applications, Pryce is usually best choosing round 2 or 3, depending on her ship's speed and the ships across the way from her artillery platform. You can be a bit sneakier by using Pryce on a carrier like a Quasar to launch a mob of squadrons as the final activation, which can be even more devastating in some circumstances than a heavier ship's regular attack.
A more nuanced way to use Pryce is using her to go last with her ship in one round and then first in the subsequent round because you made a large enough bid to grab first player. It's easy to understand how a back-to-back savaging from one of the ships mentioned in the above paragraph could get pretty ugly, but Pryce can also open up options for a nasty attack run from a short-ranged brawler like an Avenger Boarding Troopers ISD (-I or Kuat) that is able to activate last to line up a double arc and then explode its prey in short order at the top of the next round. The main issue with using Pryce in this fashion (especially with a close-ranged ship) is it can be very reliant on bidding hard enough for first player to exploit this tactic and it can run into some issues if Avenger's ideal target is using Pryce as well (as evil-clone Pryce will probably choose the same round as your Pryce so the ship can attack and then get away from your Pryce super ship) or Bail (as the Rebel player will choose the round after Pryce to guaranteed go first, attack you, and then hopefully run away).
Finally, Pryce can occasionally be a liability (I told you we'd get here!) if you're not careful. Being forced to activate last if mis-timed can be rough. If Pryce goes off a round before her ideal timing, it's not too bad - you mostly lost out on the potential to line up a strong attack and wasted 7 points and a very competitive officer slot. However if Pryce goes off a round too late, you're going to be in for a world of pain as your opponent lines up attackers against your Pryce ship guilt-free in the preceding round, safe in the knowledge that Pryce's ship can't do anything about it until the end of the next round. There are some fleet types that are better able to exploit this issue with Pryce and they generally feature a lot of speed control - perennial underdog commanders that are loved by Cannot Get Your Ship Out authors like Admiral Ozzel or Commander Leia can prove troublesome for this reason, but in general the more maneuverable/small ships and/or speed control you're facing, the more likely Pryce may be a liability. Conversely, fleets with less speed control and less forgiving maneuverability (the most extreme example being an opposing fleet also using big ships) are less likely to give you trouble. Just keep that in mind when choosing Pryce's super-round and when in doubt, shoot for earlier rather than later as it's less likely to explosively backfire on you.
|Where is Spain? Why does everyone ask if I'm from there? It's so unexpected!|
- The line "when an enemy ship... changes its speed" is a little more nebulous than I'd like, but has since been clarified in an FAQ to mean "This card’s effect resolves when the value on an enemy ship’s speed dial is changed," which means the Grand Inquisitor will trigger when an enemy ship's speed changes against its will from effects like Tractor Beams and the like.
- Remember that you can't premeasure with the maneuver tool until your ship gets to its determine course phase, so when the Grand Inquisitor triggers you don't get the benefit of seeing how you like a different speed and the options it gives you like you would with a navigate dial and/or token.
Okay, so when would you want to use the Grand Inquisitor over a more reliable officer that can help you change your speed? A few situations come to mind:
- On ISDs or (to a lesser extent) VSDs using Quad Battery Turrets, the Grand Inquisitor can be quite helpful as he allows you to slow down during your opponent's turn, prior to your attack with the Quad Battery Turrets. Given that heavier enemy ships are often slowing down to avoid the extra blue die when the dice start flying and lighter enemy ships are often speeding up to get out of your front arc, the Grand Inquisitor often has ample opportunities to trigger and can assist you with getting your speed into the "just right" category where you'll be able to use your QBTs and also navigate as you prefer.
- In conjunction with a navigate token for larger speed changes. This is another feature where I feel like the Grand Inquisitor is likely best on an ISD, but any ship that enjoys going between speed 1 and 3 and back appreciates a 1-point bump from the Inquisitor followed by a navigate token spend, especially if it's generally busy performing other commands. The trick is that the ship in question needs to prompt speed changes from enemy ships to be able to quasi-reliably pull this off, and that's why the ISD is a good candidate whereas an Arquitens or Raider, for example, is not.
|Stop watching Youtube and go instruct someone, you slacker!|
- Goran doesn't work on Heavy squadrons, which means if an enemy Intel squadron comes around to hand out Heavy to your squadrons, they no longer benefit from Goran.
- Goran otherwise works a lot like Dengar (and he stacks with Dengar, too) by either adding Counter 1 or improving it by 1 if the squadron already had Counter (like TIE Interceptors or Aggressors).
If you insist on using Goran regardless, two uses come to mind: you can use him on a Stronghold Quasar with TIE Interceptors to get obstructed Counter 3 Interceptors at distance 1-2 of his ship. Add in Howlrunner and Dengar to get your Counter value up to 5 (with Swarm!), mostly for bragging rights (anyone willing to send their fighters into this obvious death trap has it coming even worse than people rushing a Gallant Haven bunker). Second, you could use him on a Jamming Field Gozanti near Counter squadrons to effectively cancel out the Jamming Field (which also extends to at distance 1-2) when it comes to your Counter attacks (feel free to add Dengar or Howlrunner too, just be careful of overinvesting). It's not as much of a deathtrap as the Stronghold example, but it's also far cheaper and the benefit to you isn't as extreme, which can encourage some opponents to take the bait.
Before I move on, it should be noted that Darth Vader in a TIE Advanced loves being Counter 2 (Dengar+Goran), as his crits count as damage on all his attacks, but it's another one of those "do it for the bragging rights" situations and the cost of the apparatus to get it set up is overall not very appealing.
|Cha cha real smooth!|
Minister Tua is pretty amazing, allowing you in most cases to add a defensive retrofit to a ship that normally doesn't have one for a 2 point fee in addition to consuming the officer slot. She's got obvious uses on VSDs, Interdictors, and ISDs without defensive retrofits, but she can also be extremely annoying on a Gozanti with Electronic Countermeasures to ignore your scatter getting locked down by an accuracy icon once per turn.
That's not to say Tua is an auto-include, though. Spending points on her in order to spend more points on her defensive retrofit can be unpalatable on cheaper ships where those extra points add up fast; conversely, having her sitting in the officer chair can be tough on more expensive ships that want a more conventional officer. If you can fit her in, however, the increased durability available to her ship can be pretty impressive compared to its usual capabilities.
|The Empire created an evil clone of Dick Tracy and then promoted him to Taskmaster.|
- Remember to set his favorite command after deploying fleets. It can be easy to forget.
- This can also influence your choice of command, depending on what ends up in Grint's neighborhood.
- Grint only triggers when you reveal a command matching his favorite token, so effects where you gain command dials (like Thrawn) or count as resolving a command (like the Pursuant title) don't work with him.
- If you have any other uncertainties about the command structure of Armada relating to Grint and revealing commands, please see my article about it.
- On a ship that intends to keep using the same command the majority of the game, such as a Quasar that intends to command squadrons nearly all the time.
- This is especially appealing if you have a way to get your other incidental commands (usually navigate, sometimes repair) met with tokens provided by a Comms Net Gozanti or Tarkin or you've got spare command dials coming in from Thrawn, etc.
- On a Comms Net Gozanti that intends to keep feeding tokens to a fleet command upgrade on a nearby ISD and that Gozanti can make full use of the command dial for itself.
- The easiest example of this would be an Assault Carrier (red die) Gozanti using concentrate fire dials while feeding concentrate fire tokens to an Intensify Firepower! ISD - the Intensify Firepower!(exclamation point!) effect will even out the Gozanti's own dice and with two red dice at long range, the Gozanti can still contribute to combat reasonably for its cost.
- This is another benefit over Wulff in that Wulff can't save tokens that are discarded or removed, only those that are spent. Grint doesn't care.
- Grint can be a discount Wulff on ships that mostly want to recycle command tokens to trigger upgrades linked to specific commands, like a Gladiator using Engine Techs.
- To continue that example, Grint would allow navigate dials to either function as a 2-speed change (fake Ozzel) kind of effect or you could spend the dial one round and the token the next to keep using Engine Techs back-to-back rounds while freeing up your command dial stack for some other commands.
- The Gladiator example is also relevant in that faster Imperial black dice ships can often outrun the token-passing range of supporting Comms Net Gozantis, the easiest "default" Imperial method of getting tokens to ships that need them.
|It's tough being an intelligence officer stuck very unintelligently on the first Death Star.|
Wulff is a good, if expensive, officer and he has a lot of potential uses. I primarily find him helpful as an officer for two basic setups:
- On a ship that has a command-triggered upgrade. Specifically what comes to mind is a Gladiator (or any ship, really) with Engine Techs, which can be triggered every turn by having Wulff constantly respawning your navigate token. This is also the case on an Interdictor with Projection Experts, where Wulff can keep boosting your repair commands every turn with an infinite repair token, or with an Engineering Team where Wulff can keep producing 4 engineering point repair commands every turn without any extra help.
- On a larger ship with an abundance of command tokens. Higher-Command value ships will want to get as much done in a single activation as possible and they can hold a large number of command tokens. With Wulff on board, you can selectively reuse your most important tokens turn to turn depending on the circumstance. I have found primarily navigate and secondarily repair tokens to be most important when used this way. Simply get the tokens you want to use all game onto your ship ASAP and Wulff can let you reuse the most important one every turn.