The Imperial Academy, Session One - Factions

User avatar
Kinne
Master of the Administratum
Posts: 4493
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:21 am
Location: Western Mass

The Imperial Academy, Session One - Factions

Postby Kinne » Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:07 am

So I had toyed with this idea a while ago, and with my clearing schedule I'm finally getting around to it now. With the Armada starter league, I thought this would be the best time to talk about the game, its core concepts and perhaps, eventually, some of its more advanced aspects.

And what better core concept to start with than the two factions?

Star Wars Armada - Factions
Obviously, we have two factions to talk about, the glorious Imperials and the traitorous Rebels. The Imperial fleet represents strength, overwhelming force, and ships capable of standing on their own. The Rebels are nothing more than base cowards who rely on evading their opponents, teamwork and strength in numbers.

Play Style
I will be speaking in broad generalizations here. There are exceptions on both sides, so please bear that in mind.

For the most part, Imperial ships operate independently of one another. The only teamwork between the ships is accumulating damage by firing on the same target. This is reflected in the Officer and Title upgrades. All of them enhance the ship itself, or squadrons that ship is activating. Rebels are the opposite. Rebel ships can't go toe-to-toe with their Imperial counterparts (Assault Frigate vs. Victory SD, MC80 vs. Imperial SD) without a lot of upgrades. But the fleet is designed to work together. Again, Officers and Titles reflect this. Home One enhances the firing of every friendly ship in range. Princess Leia allows a Command 3 ship to get that critical order thanks to a nearby Command 1 ship.

Going along with this, Imperial ships are more powerful and more durable. Imperial medium-base ships have equal hull and dice to Rebel large-base ships, and nothing in the Rebel fleet comes close to the ISD as far as dice and hull. However, Rebel ships are faster and more maneuverable. No Imperial ship can perform a Yaw 2 (two "clicks on the maneuver tool) turn past Speed 1 or 2, whereas the CR90 can perform a Yaw 2 turn as its last turn at any speed. Rebel ships are also faster, with two that can go Speed 4, as opposed to a single Imperial ship. Imperial vessels tend to have powerful front arcs (angry triangles of death) with weaker sides and rear. Rebels are more balanced in their dice distribution, with the tradeoff that they lack a single arc which can match the ISD, at least before upgrades.

This is all reversed when it comes to squadrons. Imperial unique squadrons have fantastic synergy between each other, whether directly enhancing other squadrons' abilities (Major Rhymer and Howlrunner) or having blanket effects that are more effective with other squadrons nearby (Mauler Mithel and Soontir Fel). On the Rebel side, we primarily have squadron abilities that enhance the squadron itself (Luke, Wedge, Han Solo, Nym), and some that even make the squadron more effective when operating on its own (Tycho Celchu and Dash Rendar). Imperial squadrons also tend to be much faster. Almost all are Speed 4, with Interceptors at Speed 5 and only Rogues and Villains squadrons that are slower. The only Rebel squadrons above Speed 3 are A-Wings and Rogues and Villains.

So for a shorter breakdown:

Imperials
- Ships are powerful and durable, but slower and less maneuverable
- Very strong front arcs, weaker side and rear arcs
- Little synergy between ships
- Fast squadrons with excellent synergy
- Often rely on one or two powerful ships or squadrons to cause damage

Why Should I Play Imperials?
- You enjoy having the most powerful ship in the game
- Your preferred strategy centers around units that can operate independently
- You like the ability to field lots of squadrons. . .up to sixteen squadrons in a standard game
- You're not a traitorous coward
- You like humming the "Imperial March" while pushing around plastic space boats

Rebels
- Ships are fast and maneuverable, but do poorly in one-on-one matchups
- Evenly distributed arcs
- Excellent synergy between ships
- Slower squadrons, powerful unique squadrons
- Tend to have more ships, or a few heavily upgraded ships

Why Should I Play Rebels?
- You enjoy fielding multiple ships in great variety
- Your preferred strategy centers around units working together and stacking abilities
- You like having elite, powerful squadrons
- You have no honor
- Your favorite song is the one they play when the Rebel scum win via cowardly tactics

Overall, this is why I love Armada. The two factions are unique and different, but well-matched. And it really matches the Star Wars universe. Imperial ships were bloated with crew and troops, and accustomed to operating independently for long periods of time. When they were called together for a large fleet action, they would just follow orders of the officer above them. The Rebels didn't have enough manpower to load up a single ship, and tended to operate in smaller cells that worked together for long periods of time. So it would make sense that they have abilities to enhance those around them, because they needed to work together to survive and to take out those bigger Imperial ships. The reversal with squadrons makes sense, too. Imperial pilots went through the Academy, where they had teamwork and obedience drilled into them. If you were going to excel there, it was likely in a leadership role. Whereas Rebel squadrons tended to have less formal training, and each squadron tended to have a reputation (Rogue Squadron, Wraith Squadron, etc.) that they wanted to protect. So while they were very powerful, ego would often get in the way when it came to working with others.

So what're your thoughts on the Armada factions?
"Every man is a spark in the darkness. By the time he is noticed, he is gone forever; a retinal after image that soon fades and is obscured by newer, brighter lights."

User avatar
pasewi
Whiteshield
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 8:36 pm

Re: The Imperial Academy, Week One - Factions

Postby pasewi » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:47 pm

I'd just like to add that Imperial Navy hats and rank insignia medals can be found on Amazon for very reasonable prices to all you loyal officers of the Galactic Empire.

To continue Kinne's discussion of the philosophy of plastic spaceships, I think the "reversal" of synergy roles between ships and squadrons in both factions is probably reflective of the culture in each force. The Imperial fighter pilots are trained to work as a well-oiled military machine, and they are fierce believers in the cause, willing to act like little cogs with the Swarm keyword. Unfortunately, once you get to the commanders of their great big warships, everyone is suddenly an egotistical captain or douchey rear admiral, and they're too arrogant to work together with the other capital ships in the fleet. They've got a lot of power at their fingertips, but it's all about showing off and hoping for a promotion from the Emperor, so you don't see a lot of upgrade cards that benefit other units. The dark truth of the Empire is that it's not even an empire at all, it's really just a predatory oligarchy designed to benefit a select inner circle of cronies.

Meanwhile, the Rebels are the opposite. The ship officers are true believers in the restoration of the Republic, and are always giving out tokens to each other in order to build a hippie space-commune of collective ownership. But the fighter pilots might just be a bunch of loudmouthed Correllian poonhounds and hotshot podracers. They'd like to see the Empire go down, but their day-to-day concerns are mostly occupied with painting hot twi'lek pinups on the fuselage of their X-Wing. All about the glory, but they get the job done.


Unless it's all just a coincidence and we're giving them too much credit.

Wave 4 will shake these pigeonholes up, of course. The Interdictor has pretty evenly rounded firepower out the front and sides, and the Liberty-type cruiser has focused fire out the front. I think the game can accept some other changes, like lone-wolf Rebel ships and Imperial vessels that play nice together.

User avatar
Inquisitor Wall
Command Squad
Posts: 5174
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:28 pm
Location: Chicopee, MA

Re: The Imperial Academy, Week One - Factions

Postby Inquisitor Wall » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:57 pm

Thanks for the write up. While I do see a hint of bias in the article, I can sort through the propaganda and glean a bit of wisdom from it.
The strong survive. The weak perish.
Wyrd Henchman
Memphis Marauders 2013, 2014 Valley Blood Bowl Cup Champions!!!

User avatar
Kinne
Master of the Administratum
Posts: 4493
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:21 am
Location: Western Mass

Re: The Imperial Academy, Week One - Factions

Postby Kinne » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:08 pm

Patrick - Your statements have been deemed critical of the glorious Empire. Your comments have been forwarded in full to the ISB. Stormtroopers have likely been dispatched to your location already. Sedition will not be tolerated.

Kevin - There is no propaganda, only the truth to counter Rebel lies. The Imperial Navy is the greatest institution since the dawn of sentient life in the galaxy.

And I don't think Wave 4 will change much. The Interdictor does have more rounded arcs, but it still has weak side/rear arcs. The only thing that differentiates it from other Imperial pizza slices is its weak front arc. And the Liberty is basically a large-based Nebulon-B. It has an impressive front arc (still not as good as the ISD, but it is Rebel trash, after all), but crap side arcs AND shields. Now, given the size of its front arc, those sides are going to be hard to hit. And double Brace into that massive front with five shields is going to take a beating. I just hope that it doesn't have MC80-like maneuvering, because then it will be in trouble.

And Kev, don't worry, the "propaganda" will tone down slightly when we get into game mechanics.
"Every man is a spark in the darkness. By the time he is noticed, he is gone forever; a retinal after image that soon fades and is obscured by newer, brighter lights."

User avatar
Kowal
Veteran
Posts: 866
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:08 pm
Location: Northampton, MA
Contact:

Re: The Imperial Academy, Week One - Factions

Postby Kowal » Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:49 pm

pasewi wrote:...loudmouthed Correllian poonhound...



I hope when I'm dead and buried this is how people refer to me.
This just goes to show: No matter how stupid and useless a weapon may look to you, some guy in Asia with too much time on his hands has figured out how to use it to kill five ninjas.

User avatar
Kinne
Master of the Administratum
Posts: 4493
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:21 am
Location: Western Mass

Re: The Imperial Academy, Week One - Factions

Postby Kinne » Mon Jun 06, 2016 6:50 pm

Kowal wrote:
pasewi wrote:...loudmouthed Correllian poonhound...



I hope when I'm dead and buried this is how people refer to me.


I'm sure you can find someone who will put that on your headstone, and in your obituary.
"Every man is a spark in the darkness. By the time he is noticed, he is gone forever; a retinal after image that soon fades and is obscured by newer, brighter lights."


Return to “Armada”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest