25 October 2016 | Star Wars: Armada

Draw Their Fire

A Look at the Squadrons in The Corellian Conflict

"Accelerate to attack speed! Draw their fire away from the cruisers."
     –Lando Calrissian

With The Corellian Conflict, your campaign for the Corellian sector will span numerous planets, and it will lead you into numerous pitched battles. To emerge victorious, you will need to devise a cunning and adaptable strategy. You will establish and secure bases, use the resources you gain to maintain and improve your fleet, and strike at your opponents' supply lines and bases.

Star Wars™: Armada has long been the cunning admiral's game, full of strategic, objective-based confrontations between massive Star Wars fleets. These epic, strategic elements are magnified even further with the campaign play permitted by The Corellian Conflict.

Throughout the course of your campaign, you'll need to think not only of the battles you're fighting, but also of how much you stand to gain if you win them—and of how much you can afford to risk in order to do so. Your unique ships and upgrades can be damaged and even destroyed. Lose a ship, and it's gone for good. Lose the Demolisher?  No more Demolisher. This is even true for different iterations of the same unique character; if you lose Darth Vader's TIE Advanced squadron,  you lose the opportunity to play Darth Vader as your commander.

It's true that you can remove damage from your ships and squadrons, and we saw how in our last preview you can do so by spending your refit points or resources. However, there are ways for you to adjust your fleet beyond repairing or removing ships and squadrons. You can use your resources to expand your fleet, buying new squadrons, upgrades, or even ships. While you cannot expand your fleet beyond 500 points, there are still other ways you can improve upon it. One of these is by ensuring your ships and unique squadrons become veterans.

Veterans of the War

Whenever your ships and unique squadrons prove their worth in battle, they can earn veteran status. Ships do this by surviving a battle and destroying at least one enemy ship in that battle. Unique squadrons gain veteran status by surviving a battle and destroying at least one enemy ship or squadron. In either case, the ship or squadron is said to have "destroyed" the enemy ship or squadron if it performs an attack and the defender is destroyed after resolving the damage.

At the end of the battle, any ship or squadron that earns veteran status is awarded a veteran token, and its veteran status is recorded on your fleet roster.

In subsequent battles, you can spend your veteran tokens for beneficial effects:

  • Ships: When a ship reveals a command, it may spend its veteran token to gain one command token of its choice.
  • Squadrons: When it attacks, a squadron can spend its veteran token to reroll any number of dice in its attack pool.

Like defense tokens, a veteran token is placed on the associated ship or squadron card and starts the battle with its readied side up. When you use it, it is flipped to its exhausted side. When an exhausted veteran token is spent, it is discarded for the rest of that game, but still remains associated with your ship or squadron for the duration of the campaign.

A veteran token cannot be spent more than once during a ship or squadron’s activation, and these tokens do not ready during the Status Phase.

Stay on the Leader

Because only your unique squadrons can receive veteran status, The Corellian Conflict and its campaign place a slightly higher emphasis on your unique squadrons. It then goes on to reward your decision to run unique squadrons in your fleet by presenting you with sixteen new squadron cards from which you can choose.

Designed for use with the plastic miniatures from your Core Set, Rebel Fighter Squadrons Expansion Pack, and Imperial Fighter Squadrons Expansion Pack, these squadron cards offer you potential replacements for any of your unique squadrons that fall in battle. They allow you to explore new tactics and tinker with your fleet. And they include the first unique squadrons that are priced only a hair above the equivalent non-unique squadrons.

Like Rogue Squadron and Black Squadron,  these unique squadrons that are not named after the aces who lead them are priced just a point or two above the base squadron. They come without defense tokens but add variety to your fleet by featuring different abilities than the base squadrons. For example, at just fourteen fleet points, Rogue Squadron is the cheapest Rebel squadron with the versatile Rogue keyword.

Additionally, some of these non-ace unique squadrons, such as Saber Squadron,  play completely unlike anything else in the game. With its Snipe 4 and Swarm abilities, Saber Squadron is just as good outside of an engagement as it is inside of one. This means you can fly an ace like Ciena Ree into the fray, using her ability and defense tokens to shrug off most of the damage she would absorb, and you can have Saber Squadron launch its own attacks with impunity from Distance "2."

Finally, some of the new squadrons from The Corellian Conflict simply offer new ways for you to further refine a specialized fleet's use of its squadrons. For example, we have seen plenty of "Rhymer ball" fleets that relied upon the use of Major Rhymer and a full complement of TIE bombers or Firespray-31 squadrons to swarm ships and explode them with a massive barrage of bomber fire. These now gain new tools in the form of Captain Jonus and Gamma Squadron,  both of which come with Grit, forcing your opponent to bring an actual fighter screen, rather than just a couple of squadrons, or risk letting you launch a good measure of bomber shots, even if he or she tries to engage your bombers.

Likewise, Biggs Darklighter's unique squadron ability may change the way you view all your X-wing Squadrons,  even if his Bomber and Escort abilities are standard X-wing fare. In just one example of how Biggs Darklighter can lend tremendous resilience to your fighter wing, you can imagine him in flying alongside Wedge Antilles and Luke Skywalker.  When any of these X-wing aces are targeted, they can brace against the damage, reducing it by half, before Biggs allows them to pass off potentially lethal damage to one of their Escort wingmates.

In this way, including Biggs in your fleet might help Luke survive a series of assaults from the likes of "Howlrunner," Black Squadron, and Valen Rudor.  Instead of taking four damage, then two damage, and then another three, Luke can brace against the first hit, shifting one of the points of damage to Biggs, then take the second straight on, and then survive the last volley by bracing again and shifting a point of damage to either Biggs or Wedge.

All Wings Report In

With the new emphasis that the campaign from The Corellian Conflict places upon unique squadrons, you will find plenty of reason to hunt for veterans among the sixteen unique squadrons included in the box. For many, though, the best thing about these squadrons may be that they are fully compatible with your standard games of Star Wars: Armada and completely legal for tournament play.

How will you make use of these new squadrons? Which ability excites you the most? Would you rather anchor your fighter wing with Shara Bey or Ten Numb?  Share your thoughts with the other members of our community forums. Then be sure to head to your favorite local retailer today to pre-order your copy!

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