Friday, 13 January 2017

Star Wars Armada Imperial fighter squadrons II unboxng and review

Star Wars Armada is a great game, but tis not all about large ships of the line clashing, there are still small snub fighters and other ships darting in-between the ships during battle, and these are handled with squadrons.  When you get the armada core box you get the iconic Xwing and TIE, but we all know there plenty more fighters than that, and this adds a load more, and with me being primarily an Imperial player I'm looking forward to seeing what new ships I get to crush the rebel scum with.

The Empire’s most advanced attack craft bring monstrous power into battle in the Imperial Fighter Squadrons II Expansion Pack for Star Wars™: Armada. Elusive TIE Phantoms ambush Rebel squadrons, while elite TIE Defenders outmatch the enemy with fearsome capabilities, and hulking VT-49 Decimators leave only wreckage in their wake. Supported by the coordination ability of Lambda-class shuttles, these eight miniature squadrons and eight squadron cards work hard to crush the Rebel opposition.

Right... lets crack the pack open, and see what we get inside!


You are greeted by plenty of tokens, all the ones you need to create the generic version and the named squadrons for the game, plus stands, cards, ships etc.  All the stuff you will need.
We start with Whisper (one of my favourite pilots in Xwing) and the TIE Phantom squadron.  A speed of 4, and hull of 4 gives some survivability, but they are not brawlers.  You get 4 blue firepower and 2 red anti ship and some defence tokens.  If you spent one though you can move up to distance 1, even if you are engaged... handy to reposition yourself.  It also has the rule Cloak.... which allows you to move up to distance 1 at the end of the combat phase even if engaged, so with Whisper you can move right out of combat easily.

The Generic one has the same stats, and the rule cloak as well, but of course misses out on the defence tokens.

Colonel Jendon arrives in the Lambda class shuttle. Wirth a speed of 3 she is not setting the world alight, but a hull of 6 is nice and solid.  2 black anti squadron and 1 blue anti ship finish off the stat line, with of course some defence tokens.  It has the rule heavy, meaning it can potentially easily be tied up so you will need some escorts to help. and with his rule, you want them.... instead of you attacking with your palty 2 dice, you can get another squadron at distance 1-2 to attack, even if it already has... great for those big hitting squadrons.  It also has Relay 2 which is helpful when a ship activates a squadron token, as it lets the fighters being activated be in range 1-3 of you, so you can really throw out some surprises and extend your command range.

The generic version has the same stat line, and heavy and Relay 2 as well as strategic.  Strategic allows you to move an objective to range 1 of you when you end your move in range 1 of an objective, so you can switch its position, or almost pass it behind you, pretty handy for some sneakiness.
Morna Kee leads a VT49 Decimator into battle.  with 3 speed she's not super fast, but its a big ship and has 8 hull so nice and survivable.  she has 3 black anti squadron, and 3 blue anti ship dice and a defence token too.  When attacking you can discard a defence token to reroll any number of dice, and at the start of activation you gain your defence token back, very handy but it may leave you open to some counter attacks.  You also get rogue, and counter 1, which lets you return fire for free if you are attacked once.

The generic Decimator has the same stats, counter 1 still, rogue, and heavy so you cant tie ships up by engaging them.  A real solid choice though.

Now onto another of my favourite imperial ships, Maarek Stele.  with speed 5, and hull 6, these are fast,a nd tough ships, with 2 black AND 2 blue anti squadron firepower, so they can cause huge amounts of damage, and 2 blue anti ship dice with the bomber ability too.  steel also has grit, so you can still move if engaged by only 1 squadron, and his special ability lets you change one die to a critical, great if you get a blank, and a guaranteed damage against a ship as its a bomber! not to forget his defence tokens to keep him in the fight.

The generic loses one blue dice of anti ship, but still keeps the rest of its fearsome profile and bomber rule.   These will be a real threat not to be ignored by rebel players.
You get enough ships and stands to create 2 squadrons of each type and of course you can flip over the bases from generic to normal if you wish.
Though not painted sadly, the models are good for their size, I mean these are tiny 1cm or less often, so I'm impressed FFG managed to keep the shapes so well, so its easy to see which ship is which.
You could always paint the ships if you wish, though not something I think I will attempt, I may just try a wash on them though to see how it comes out.  Some of the larger ships have a surprising amount of detail for such tiny models.
All in all its a great pack, it provides some solid new options for the Empire, with the sneaky Phantom, the shuttle to increase fighter effectiveness, and the stunningly brutal Defender.  This pack can really help you theme a list and get what you want out of it, sick of you swarm of ties being smashed, take some Defenders...., want mobility? take some Phantoms, want to extend squadron command take the Shuttle, or want something to get stuck ion take damage and chew up enemy ships? the Decimator is the one for you.  I'm really looking forward to seeing the differences these new ships bring to the table.


With an RRP of £18.99 you get a lot of smaller fighter squadrons, each with their own roll to help you try new tactics and builds in game, and some much needed heavy imperial hitters, so head on over to your local game store and grab yourself a pack.

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