Exciting news, ‘Armada’ fans – Wave 3 has just been announced!
Now, we’ve all been looking forward to this eagerly. It’s been about twelve months since the last product announcement, and I for one have been bubbling with anticipation for this next release.
I’ve specifically held off looking at it until I’ve had some actual free time on my hands to fully absorb its magnificence all in one go – I’ve avoided forums and other blog sites until I’ve had my chance to look at it myself.
Here goes nothing…
“Bigger Battles. Better Tactics.” Nice, I’m liking it, image doesn’t give much away, though. Let’s see after the link…
Here we go! First up, some new transports! Wasn’t expecting that, but it’s cool I suppose. They’ve cropped the banner image weirdly, though, those are the only two things you can see. Why wouldn’t they put any of the big stuff on there?
Okay, more of the transports, they’re great, they’re cute and all, neat little models – but they look unpainted. And a “Scatter” defense token? Hmm, food for thought. Now let’s have a look at the MAIN release:
Oh, okay, more transports. Still look unpainted. But that’s neat, so the Rebels and Imperials each get a matching set, neat. NOW then, let’s see these…
That’s it? After a fucking YEAR that’s it? What the FUCK? Where’s all the fucking ships? What the shit is a fucking “flotilla?” What the fuck are they? What is this? Where’s the fucking… where’s the actual fucking wave? Is this even – nope, this is Wave 3 alright. I waited A FUCKING YEAR FOR THIS??? WHAT, DID THEY RUN OUT OF PLASTIC OR SOMETHING? WHAT THE FUCK IS WAVE 4 GOING TO BE, GONORRHEA? JESUS WEPT, WHERE’S MY FUCKING STAR DESTROYERS?
They could’ve had this:
Or even this:
Even if it does look like a FUCKING DILDO.
What are we meant to do with a set of fucking Freighters? Throw them at our opponents? Insert them as miniature suppositories? Use them to painfully dab away our tears of disappointment and abandonment? The Rebel ones can’t even FUCKING FIRE.
I thought Wave 3 was going to be like Christmas at the Skywalker Ranch; instead it’s like Christmas at my childhood home, though admittedly without my parents glaring at each other in silence, my nan wetting herself, dogs humping one another in the corner and my uncle cleaning the microwave after my little brother put the cat inside on full power.
Alright, I’ll come clean, I’m not all that disappointed with Wave 3. Whilst I think everyone hoped for something a little… juicier, we certainly seem to have some interesting developments to the game. I can’t pretend that a couple of transport ships wasn’t anti-climactic, but there are a few things about which to get excited.
First off, others more clever than I have already pointed out that these two products have skipped two other product codes, meaning there may well be something brilliant that they’re just waiting to announce. Who knows?
And even if that’s not the case, these new transports offer some completely new ideas to the game. Things like super-cheap activations, for example, giving you the ability to really tailor your activation order to suit the moment. That “Scatter” defense token is really interesting, too – all you need is four damage to take one of these flotillas down, but that could be an extremely frustrating task as they repeatedly ignore your entire attack. Accuracies just became even more useful.
The fleet support upgrades are neat, too. Not quite enough to get my pants wet, mind, but at least enough to make me feel uncomfortable standing up in front of other people. The ability to repair other ships’ damage will be an amazing combo with Projection Experts on another ship – that MC80 is starting to look particularly tough now, when escorted by the right ships.
Beyond that, it’s worth bearing in mind that both of these flotillas have a Squadron value of 2 – that’s a lot of fighter and bomber activations. Indeed, you now get the chance to run some dedicated carriers to co-ordinate your fighters, whilst capital ships like the Victory– and Imperial-class stick to doing what they do best – laying the hammer down with their heavy guns.
I don’t want to dissect this announcement too much. There’s barely any information that’s been revealed. We can surmise that they will both be Speed 3, given the setting on the dials in their pictures, and they have double-clicks at Speed 1, which is nice. But without seeing points costs, I can’t offer too much in the way of analysis that wouldn’t be pure speculation.
Instead, here’s how I see it affecting my own fleet, The Bloodied Spear, up ’til now a ship-heavy force focused on activations and First Player advantage.
First of all, I would likely be more than happy to keep Demolisher but drop the other Gladiator, transferring my flag to the Relentless. In turn, I could afford to take possibly two flotillas of Assault Carriers. This gives me a net gain of one activation, as well as an incredible option for Objective ships – either to run around picking up tokens, being cheap options for objectives like “Advanced Gunnery” or “Most Wanted”, and still useful for blocking enemy movements. They may not inflict a damage card when they hit another ship, but they can still cancel its movement, pinning it in place.
With the points saved from the Gladiator, I then have the option to expand my fighter wing – probably to include some bombers for a solid early-game strike against target hull zones. With the Carriers to issue Squadron commands, my main fighting ships can focus on their valuable Navigate and Repair commands.
And, with Repair Crews, and possibly a Comms Net, my Imprial-class Star Destroyer Relentless is now even tougher than before. A possible six engineering points a turn, plus the equivalent of three more with a card removal? That baby will last until the heat-death of the universe.
Rebel Fleets have become a lot scarier, too. A flotilla of Medium Transports puttering around, giving ludicrous buffs to things like B-Wings and Y-Wings by using Bomber Command Centres is a nasty prospect – especially given there’s nothing on the card which prevents them from stacking with each other. B-Wings re-rolling both of their dice on the attack? Yeah, you can count me out.
Not to mention the addition of Toryn Farr, a new officer who, with a bit of squinting, can be seen to buff everything around her by allowing both friendly ships and squadrons at Range 1-3 to reroll one blue die. Again, a nasty buff on a Rebel fleet where blue dice are common, if in small numbers. By combining Toryn Farr and Home One, Rebel commanders suddenly have a lot of control over how many accuracies they get in an attack.
The Imperials get Agent Kallus, who allows his carrying vessel to add a die of any colour to attacks against Unique squadrons. Not hugely useful all of the time, but for three points he could be a brilliant addition to something like the Raider I, with three re-rollable black dice when combined with Ordnance Experts. Or, combine him with Ruthless Strategists and some cheap TIE Fighters for some nasty, reliable damage against the likes of Luke Skywalker and Hand Solo – who otherwise is relatively invulnerable to most ships.
So, already there’s quite a lot to get excited about. I will admit, I’ll be waiting with bated breath over the next few weeks, to see if those missing SKU codes reveal themselves. And, yes, it would’ve been lovely to see something a little bigger and more thrilling – certainly there are plenty of gaps in the game still to be filled.
However, there’s still plenty more to discover about these two new sets, and hopefully FFG, our lords and masters, won’t be too stingy with the details over the coming months.
Bring on the future.