"Until this battle station is fully operational, we are vulnerable. The Rebel Alliance is too well equipped! They're more dangerous than you realize."
- – General Tagge
Why Play the Empire
The empire is the big, unsubtle faction. Star Destroyers (in all their forms) are brutal slabs that can throw and take obscene amounts of damage in their respective weight classes. They have access to the most wunderwaffen, with superweapons like the Onager and the Interdictor that can muck with the enemy's plans at extreme range. Their ship titles include some of the most hilariously potent titles such as the Demolisher and Cataclysm. And they have the only huge-base ship in the game.
But all that firepower comes at a cost, and it's paid in the squadron game. Most Imperial squadrons are specialized for a single task, outperforming in that role and underperforming at everything else. In addition they tend to trade hull points for speed, meaning they really want to get the first attack in. While the empire does have access to multirole fighters like the Defender and Firespray, they pay more for them than the rebels would pay for equivalent choices. Most of the TIE generics are very points economical; for the cost of a rebel ace the Imperials can usually field at least two generics. But this also leaves the empire badly in need of squadron activation points to get the most out of their flimsier squads.
Ultimately playing the Empire is a balancing act of defensive squadron use and offensive ship use. Imperials will never get as much anti-ship bombing utility out of their squadrons as the rebels will, they don't have the dice and the ace abilities for it. But what they can do is economically shut down the squadron game. An ace-heavy rebel group can easily use up all its squadron points with 5-6 squads. For the same points the empire can easily swamp them in generics, or match their numbers with a specialist anti-squadron force at a points discount.
Because squadrons are a side show for the empire. The main event hinges on keeping their angry triangles pointed at the enemy, guns blazing. The Imperial Star Destroyer sets the standard for large base ships. Every other large but the Starhawk is deficient to it in one or several dimensions, whether it be shields, hull, dice, or maneuvering, and even the Starhawk envies its flexibility and points economy.
|Arquitens||Command||❷ ⬤⬤||❷ ⬤⬤⬤||❷ ⬤⬤||⬤||5||Contain, Evade, Redirect x2||2/2/3|
|Arquitens||Light||❷ ⬤⬤||❷ ⬤⬤⬤||❷ ⬤⬤||⬤||5||Contain, Evade, Redirect x2||2/1/3|
|Gladiator||I||❸ ⬤⬤⬤⬤||❷ ⬤⬤⬤⬤||❶ ⬤⬤||⬤||5||Brace, Evade, Redirect||2/2/3|
|Gladiator||II||❸ ⬤⬤⬤⬤||❷ ⬤⬤⬤⬤||❶ ⬤⬤||⬤⬤||5||Brace, Evade, Redirect||2/2/3|
|Raider||I||❷ ⬤⬤⬤⬤||❷ ⬤⬤||❷ ⬤||⬤⬤||4||Brace, Evade x2||1/1/2|
|Raider||II||❷ ⬤⬤⬤⬤||❷ ⬤⬤||❷ ⬤||⬤⬤||4||Brace, Evade x2||1/1/2|
Gladiator Star Destroyer
The Empire's knife (or axe) -fighter, the Gladiator combines a deadly black dice payload with a nice variety of defense tokens and the upgrade slots to amplify its attack. While it has a few red dice, it lacks the upgrade slots to do anything with them (eg a Turbolaser slot for H-9s), so you're best off not relying on them. Squadron 2 means it can help push TIEs in a pinch, but most of the time you're gonna be taking Demolisher with Ordnance Experts, APTs or ACMs, and possibly an Intel Officer to make up for your lack of Accuracy tech. While it tops out at Speed 3 and has a mediocre nav chart, it's two yaw at Speed 1 make it a great candidate for Engine Techs (especially helpful for lining up double arcs). The safest way to get off its attack is to bid for first, store up a nav token, and move up after the target has already activated.
- Gladiator I-Class Star Destroyer - The "default" variant, this is the one you should usually be fielding.
- Gladiator II-Class Star Destroyer - The upgunned version of the Gladiator, changing one die to red in each side and gaining a second blue AA die. The red dice are arguably a downgrade, given the ship's role; but the extra AA die can be very useful (especially with the Demolisher title, turning it into an AA monster that can erase whole squadron balls) - unfortunately, you're paying 6 points for the package.
- Insidious - Black dice can be used up to medium range when your ship fires at the rear hull zone of an enemy ship. This is a situational pick, since most cases where you can get into medium range behind your target, you could've also gotten into close and been largely safe from harm.
- Demolisher - (As of Armada 1.5) Lose one of your attacks in the normal attack step, but gain it back AFTER you move. It cannot be understated how much of a difference this makes. For ten points, this can massively change the way you plan your tactics and position with this ship. Bear in mind this attack is still subject to the normal rules, so you cannot fire from one arc, move, then fire from that arc again. But either way your threat radius for the vessel expands remarkably. Most of the time that you're fielding Gladiators, one of them should have this title.
- 7th Fleet Star Destroyer - When receiving an attack on your front arc, you can exhaust a copy of this card on a nearby 7th Fleet Star Destroyer to decrease the incoming damage by 1. Good for grouped up fleet playstyles like the Rebel's Hammerhead Task Forces or Mon Cal Exodus Fleet, but you're sacrificing good titles like Demolisher, Harrow, and Avenger to use it.
FFG's own original contribution to Star Wars canon, the Raider can be built as either a close range brawler, with Ordnance Experts and External Racks; or as an anti-squadron escort, with Ruthless Strategists, Flechette Torpedoes, and Agent Kallus. Similarly priced to the CR90, and sharing its max speed and double evades; but where the CR90 is a long range skirmisher with good maneuverability at high speeds, the Raider has amazing turning at low speeds, but is mediocre when flying fast. With a Brace instead of the CR90's Redirect, the Raider can take a surprising amount of pain, but can't afford to get attacked repeatedly in the same arc. A difficult but rewarding ship when flown well; but it demands subtlety in a faction that treats subtlety as a character flaw.
- Raider I-Class Corvette - This variant is a bit like a cheaper Gladiator, slightly more fragile and a similar front arc, with weaker sides in exchange for an Offensive Retrofit and better flak.
- Raider II-Class Corvette - Changing one black from the front and AA for blue, and swapping with an ion cannon upgrade slot. In practice, black dice is what the Raider does best, and this has less of them. If you're going to bring it, have a plan to leverage its Ion slots, and consider using the Offensive Retrofit for Disposable Capacitors.
- Impetuous - A free shot at a single squadron in range after you do your normal shots. If you're taking the full Kallus/Ruthless/Flechettes/Ordnance loadout, this doubles your ability to nuke an enemy ace.
- Instigator - Enemy squadrons at distance are engaged as if there were two squadrons nearby. Keeps enemies from leaving - as it bypasses Intel or Grit - but doesn't prevent bombers from hitting you unless you have squadrons engaged with them as well.
- Corvus - From EA's Battlefront 2 and packaged with Rebellion in the Rim comes an interesting upgrade to the Raider. For 2 points, you can call a mulligan at the end of fleet deployment (before squadron deployment) and redeploy Corvus within your deployment zone. While you can take it at face value and use it as a reaction to your opponent's fleet deployment; with some lateral thinking, this can be deceptively powerful. First, this overrides the deployment rules for the Fleet Ambush and Surprise Attack objectives. If you wanted to keep a commander like Motti or Screed out of harm's way while your brawlers start in the action, this is the way to do it. Second, because this counts as deploying Corvus again, upgrade cards that deal with "on deployment" effects trigger TWICE. Gunnery Chief Varnillian can have TWO red dice to swap in and out. You can have a Raider with TWO Salvo tokens with Local Fire Control. A little bit of creative thinking can go a long way in bending the rules to Corvus's favor.
The Arquitens is unique among Imperial ships in that it goes against nearly every trait that Imperial ships share (probably because it's a holdover from the Republic). It's a small-base support ship that wouldn't be out of place among the Rebellion with broadside arcs firing 3 red dice, it's rear arc of all things is the widest in the entire game, a defensive token suite that's geared towards long range survivability, and it's the first Imperial ship to come with Defensive Retrofits as a standard option with both variants. The titles that it comes with are geared towards fleet support rather than combat and it is bundled with not only a great Commander (Moff Jerjerrod) but perhaps the most useful and cost-effective Defensive Retrofit in the entire game (Reinforced Blast Doors). While it's not as fast as the CR90 and the movement profile is... painfully predictable, it does provide the Empire with a much needed boost in long range harassment at a competitive point cost.
- Arquitens-Class Light Cruiser - The basic version and the one most often seen, the Light Cruiser's black die in the front and rear should be considered a last resort in nearly every situation.
- Arquitens-Class Command Cruiser - The black flak and front/rear dice are swapped with more respectable blue dice, but this upgraded variant also gains a Support Team slot and an additional Squadron command point. However, these tend to be a bit redundant with the inclusion of either of these titles.
- Hand of Justice - Upon activation but before revealing a command, this card may be exhausted to allow another friendly ship at range 1-5 to ready one defense token. Do note that this means that Hand of Justice may not ready it's own tokens, nor may it bring back a discarded token.
- Centicore - Essentially, Centicore turns an Arquitens into a Relay 2 ship; the GOOD pre-1.5 kind of relay that works from anywhere. This lets a vulnerable Gozanti stay safely away from combat while still providing fighter support with a Squadron dial.
|Interdictor||Combat||❸ ⬤⬤⬤⬤||❷ ⬤⬤⬤⬤||❷ ⬤⬤⬤||⬤⬤||9||Brace, Contain x2, Redirect||2/2/5|
|Interdictor||Suppression||❸ ⬤⬤⬤⬤||❷ ⬤⬤⬤⬤||❷ ⬤⬤⬤||⬤||9||Brace, Contain x2, Redirect||2/2/5|
|Quasar Fire||I||❷ ⬤⬤⬤||❷ ⬤⬤||❶ ⬤||⬤||6||Brace, Redirect||2/4/2|
|Quasar Fire||II||❷ ⬤⬤⬤||❷ ⬤⬤||❶ ⬤||⬤||6||Brace, Redirect||2/4/2|
|Victory||I||❸ ⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤||❸ ⬤⬤⬤||❶ ⬤⬤||⬤||8||Brace, Redirect x2||3/3/4|
|Victory||II||❸ ⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤||❸ ⬤⬤⬤||❶ ⬤⬤||⬤||8||Brace, Redirect x2||3/3/4|
Victory Star Destroyer
The original big angry triangle, the Victory was not a good ship for the early days of Armada. Most of the problems stemmed from the fact that if you're committed to running a big angry triangle, the Imperial class options are just flat out better angry triangles in every way for a reasonable increase in points, being both faster AND more maneuverable on top of being tougher with more dakka and better title cards. Armada's designers must have come to the same conclusion, and starting with Wave 5 successive upgrades have been coming out that have retroactively brought the old Victory up to speed. Jerjerrod helps with the poor maneuvering, Quad Battery Turrets making slower speeds more viable, External Racks for Vic-Is and Disposable Capacitors for Vic-IIs, and FINALLY a way to give a Victory the much-needed Engine Techs. While the VSD is not perfect, it's far from obsolete in the current game. If you're wondering where it comes from, the Victory is loosely based on the ORIGINAL first version of the Star Destroyer and was named in the Han Solo books that gave us the Z-95.
- Victory-I Class Star Destroyer - What you get right out of the core box. Has hull, command, squadron and engineering points out of the wazoo so it makes a good centerpiece for your forces, as well as having 3 Shields on the front and side arcs. The problems with it are obvious though, it steers like a cow and plods along like it just doesn't care, so if it gets out-maneuvered it could be in trouble as it's shielding on the rear is only one point strong. However, upgrades have since come out to help mitigate this point somewhat (Moff Jerjerrod among others). It also suffers from a range imbalance with its weapons, having blacks mixed with reds, meaning it is fantastic at short range, but poorer at medium>long ranges, comparable to the Rebels Nebulon B frigates at those distances. It's also not that fantastic at dealing with enemy squadrons, having only a single blue dice, but that's why you've got TIEs. Where the Victory-I excels at is being a being a big, beefy offensive guard for some of your other ships. Keep the upgrades light, just External Racks and swap out a Redirect for Salvo with Local Fire Control if you're daring. Then, point towards the enemy and dare them to close the distance.
- Victory-II Class Star Destroyer - The upgraded version improves the firepower considerably, replacing those black dice with blues, giving the Victory-I an impressive presence out to the medium range. With the release the Quad Battery Turrets and Disposable Capacitors upgrades, the Vic-II can now double as impressive long-range artillery before closing in for further engagements. Don't expect to always use the front arc very often, but a minimum of six dice at medium (or long) range is scary enough when you can just swivel it to deny entire regions of the board.
- Dominator - You can reduce up to two of your shields from any of your hull zones to add that many blue dice to an attack. This becomes a risky venture, particular if it's early in the game since you have to explicitly order your ship to get those shields back. Though you can find use for it late game if you know you can demolish an enemy ship in a single barrage of firepower, and you won't have to worry about reprisals. Debuted in the Core Set.
- Corrupter - Rebels look at this with envy. When you issue an order to Bombers, they increase their speed by one. If you've got TIE bombers, then you'll want this as it increases your reach and allows you to better exploit openings in your enemy's fighter screens. Combine with Rhymer and your bombers now have an obscene alpha strike radius. Originially available only in the Victory-class Star Destroyer Expansion Pack.
- Warlord - Can be helpful, when you attack, you can replace a single "accuracy" result with a "hit" result instead. So if you have a bad roll and end up with more accuracy than you require it allows you to do more damage. This also applies to anti-squadron shooting, where those accuracy results do sweet FA. So in essence the Warlord is more reliable. For those red dice, it CAN turn accuracy into double hit. Consider Sensor Team for reliable two damage on one of your anti-ship shots. Originally available only in the Victory-class Star Destroyer Expansion Pack.
- Harrow - The buff that Victory Star Destroyers needed since day 1, finally premiered with the Rebellion in the Rim expansion. First, the title provides a much-needed support officer (aka: Engine Techs) slot. Second, if the ship is making a speed 1 maneuver, your movement yaw is now two clicks worth without having to spend a maneuver dial. Most importantly, the title only costs 3 points making it the cheapest VSD title out there. The one downside is that you can't equip multiple ships with the title, but even providing a single Vic with Engine Techs more than makes up for that.
- 7th Fleet Star Destroyer - When receiving an attack on your front arc, you can exhaust a copy of this card on a nearby 7th Fleet Star Destroyer to decrease the incoming damage by 1. Good for grouped up fleet playstyles like the Rebel's Hammerhead Task Forces or Mon Cal Exodus Fleet, but you're sacrificing good titles like Demolisher, Harrow, and Avenger to use it.
The second medium sized starship available to the Imperials. We'll get to its Experimental Retrofit later, but on its own it is comparable to the Victory Star Destroyer: It is still slow, but is more maneuverable; it has one more die on its broadsides, but one less shield on its sides; It has one more hull point, Engineering point and it has access to the Contain defense, but has one less Squadron point. It's not really there to act as a centerpiece for your fleet and will generally lose a straight up fire-fight with Rebel ships of similar size. But is a potential game-changer for how it can screw with your opponents due to its ability to take "Expermental Retrofit" upgrades which generally influence the way ships get deployed at the start of the battle, or can decrease enemy speed or force re-rolls on enemy attack dice. If you don't take an Experimental, you're literally flying this ship wrong and should use a Victory instead because the price of those slots is already prorated into what you're paying for the hull.
- Interdictor Suppression Refit - The primary version comes with two Experimental Retrofit slots so you can get maximum use out of your gravity messing abilities. With the right upgrades it can be a surprisingly tanky craft, and will frustrate the hell out of opponents not used to seeing Interdictors on the battlefield. Consider using it as a flagship, a shield pushing medic with Projection Experts, or combining it with Disposable Capacitors and a blue-crit upgrade like Heavy Ion Emplacements to help it punch above it's weight class.
- Interdictor Combat Refit: - The more expensive of the ship types swaps a blue dice in the front/side arcs for a red dice. Giving it more bite at longer range, which is good because you don't want this thing attempting to duke it out with capital ships. It also gains an extra black dice for anti-squadron fire. However, it loses one Expermental Retrofit upgrade slot so despite the "improvements" to the design, you might be better suited going for the Suppression refit unless there is only one upgrade card you really want, or you're playing a really small game and this is going to be your flagship.
- Interdictor - This cleverly named (naval tradition generally names ship classes after the first one of the line launched), three point, title allows you to exhaust the title card itself when you activate the ship in order to ready any upgrade card. That means you can generally use your Experimental G-8 Projector or your Targeting Scramblers twice in a given turn, but it also applies to any limited-use upgrades that you may take like Captain Brunson or the Grand Inquisitor. You can also use it to ready cards that your opponent has forcibly exhausted through use of things like Ion Cannons, so this is definitely a tricky little number that can get your opponent scratching his head.
Quasar Fire Cruiser-Carrier
The Quasar Fire is a purpose built carrier, incredible at pushing squadrons and not much else. For the price of two floatillas the Quasar Fire can activate up to 6 squadrons at once and allows other Imperial ships like ISDs and VSDs to focus on pure damage dealing. However, this comes at the cost of being a true combat vessel itself for the Quasar Fire has not many attack dice out of awkward firing arcs and just a Brace and a Redirect to defend with. Leveraged properly though, this ship easily makes up for that with swarm after swarm of TIEs nearly every single turn.
- Quasar Fire I-Class Cruiser-Carrier - Some ships are simply built for certain upgrades, and the Quasar Fire I is built for Flight Controllers and Boosted Comms. This leaves the second Offensive Retrofit free for either Expanded Hangar Bays for that natural 5 squadron push, Reserve Hangar Decks to replace a lost TIE or Jumpmaster, or Disposable Capacitors so it can actually do something with those all blue dice arcs.
- Quasar Fire II-Class Cruiser-Carrier - The Quasar Fire II is where things get interesting. It has actual red dice so it can throw a few attacks in here and there without being too exposed, but it also upgrades the original blue flak die with the first red flak in the entire game. This paired with Agent Kallus and Ruthless Strategists means that a Quasar II can devastate fighter ace fleets with shocking effectiveness while still boosting its own squadrons with Flight Controllers.
- Stronghold - An analogue for Gallant Haven. Stronghold obstructs any friendly Swarm squadrons at close range when they are defending. A good title, but remember that Quasar Fires do not want to be too close to the action most of the time.
- Squall - A godsend for speed 2 YV-666s, Squall acts like a souped-up Fighter Coordination Teams that activates on ship activation rather than movement. Fighters that are moved using Squall cannot end their movement engaged, but having up to 3 heavy hitting bombers move that much closer to their target before properly activating them can change entire battles around in your favor.
- Pursuant - Pursuant should be considered a default title. At just two points, the ability to activate 4 (or 5 with Expanded Hangar Bays) squadrons at any time is huge. The text does say "Treat this command as if you spent a Squadron dial" so it cannot be combined with another squadron dial nor can squadron tokens be used. Despite this, Pursuant gives Quasar Fires much needed strategic flexibility and can make the difference if they need that desperate repair or navigate dial.
|Imperial||I||❹ ⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤||❸ ⬤⬤⬤⬤||❸ ⬤⬤⬤||⬤⬤||11||Brace, Contain, Redirect x2||3/4/4|
|Imperial||II||❹ ⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤||❸ ⬤⬤⬤⬤||❸ ⬤⬤⬤||⬤⬤||11||Brace, Contain, Redirect x2||3/4/4|
|Imperial||Cymoon||❹ ⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤||❸ ⬤⬤⬤⬤||❸ ⬤⬤⬤||⬤⬤||11||Brace, Contain, Redirect x2||3/3/4|
|Imperial||Kuat||❹ ⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤||❸ ⬤⬤⬤⬤||❸ ⬤⬤⬤||⬤⬤||11||Brace, Contain, Redirect x2||3/2/4|
|❷ ⬤⬤⬤⬤||❶ ⬤⬤⬤||⬤⬤||10||Brace, Redirect, Salvo||3/2/3|
|❷ ⬤⬤⬤||❶ ⬤⬤||⬤||10||Brace, Redirect, Salvo||3/1/3|
Imperial Star Destroyer
The Empire's iconic Star Destroyer. The ISD has it all - speed 3, a devastating and heavily shielded front arc and strong side arcs, strong defenses, a full 11 hull, and the ability to adapt to any role the Empire needs filled - from a long range Turbolaser platform, to a close-range black dice brawler, to a dedicated squadron pusher - while still being able to contribute in every other area when need be. With the release of the Chimaera Expansion, the Empire's namesake vessel will have no fewer than four different variants, offering the most versatility of any ship in the game. But as an expensive ship, be careful not to overspend on upgrades - leaving the rest of your fleet ineffectual or leaving the enemy just a single target to focus down - and take care in setting your commands or supporting the ship with tokens, lest you dial in too many Squadron commands and fly into a poor position, or find yourself Concentrating Fire when you instead needed to be Engineering.
- Imperial I-Class Star Destroyer - With two Offensive Retrofits and Squadron 4, this is the Empire's alternative super-squadron-pusher to the Quasar. While that ship comes in at a much lower price, the ISD-I brings the stats of an ISD to the table, allowing it to support its squadrons by smashing the enemy's carriers directly (or forcing them to keep their distance from its front arc and play defensively). At just two points apart, whether the I-Class or the Kuat Refit makes the superior black dice brawler will depend on the specific upgrades slots you want to fill.
- Imperial II-Class Star Destroyer - Half Turbolasers, half Ion Cannons, the II-Class embodies the well-rounded nature of the Imperial Star Destroyer. With Squadron 4, an Offensive Retrofit, and 2 blue flak, it can be a powerful carrier in its own right; with Weapon Team, Ion Cannon, and Turbolaser upgrades, it can rip apart enemy ships at medium range; and with the same Offensive Retrofit/Weapon Team pairing as on every ISD, it can sport a boarding team to cripple vital enemy ships. Depending on your needs and spare points, it can do some degree of all of those things at once.
- Imperial Star Destroyer Kuat Refit -Comparable to the ISD-I, but losing two points of Squadron, the Turbolaser upgrade, and one of the Offensive Retrofit, while gaining an Ordnance upgrade and Defensive Retrofit. In addition, the dice composition in the side and rear arcs changes slightly, notably changing one die in the sides to blue, allowing them to leverage Ion Cannon upgrades like Leading Shots.
- Imperial Star Destroyer Cymoon 1 Refit - Focusing on red dice, the Cymoon Refit loses one total die in the front arc to bring 5 native red dice to bear, as well as sporting dual Turbolaser upgrades to maximize their effectiveness. While it lacks the Ion Cannon upgrade usually used by the similarly-equipped MC80 Liberty for Leading Shots, it gains the Fleet Command previously unique to the Pelta. Speed 3 YV-666s, regenerating Arquitens, or Raiders jumping speeds 2 at a time, all on the Empire's sturdiest platform.
- Devastator - For ten points, each defense token you've discarded adds 1 blue die to your front arc. A way to up your raw damage or secure Leading Shots at long range, the hardest part is actually losing your defense tokens in the first place - you can spend them all on every attack, but you have to take those attacks first. Discarding your Contain the first time you take two attacks is an easy way to score the bonus, but take care not to regret giving away your Brace or Redirects if you do so. (Fun fact- this was the Star Destroyer that was pursuing the Tantive IV in A New Hope & Rogue One. It was Vader's command ship until he upgraded)
- Avenger - When this ship attacks, your target cannot use exhausted defense tokens. This can force your opponent into difficult choices, where they sit on defense tokens they'd rather spend, because there's a deadlier shot coming at them from Avenger later in the turn. There's three ways to activate Avenger: hit the opponent with another threat first (such as Demolisher, or even Avenger's side arc); use an effect that allows another ship or squadron to exhaust the opponents tokens, like a Sloane TIE Fighter or a Raider with Overload Pulse; or equip Avenger with Boarding Troopers and spend them yourself. The latter is the easiest to pull off, as it has the fewest moving parts to coordinate, but as it deprives you of a Gunnery Team and telegraphs your intentions, you need the right fleet to support it.
- Relentless - Reduces the number of command dials you must assign to your ship by 1. This makes your ship much more responsive, and comes in fairly cheap; giving you the reactivity of a Gladiator or Arquitens while preserving your ability to store 3 command tokens. Paired with the 1 point Skilled First Officer, you can change your plans on a dime - setting a command, discarding the top command and using the dial you just set, and then choosing both new dials next turn.
- Chimaera -
- Sovereign - Exhaust this title at the beginning of the round, and 3 other friendly ships at up to range 5 can toss out a command token to replace it with another type. Unfortunately, this doesn't count as spending the original token, so that token's effect is lost. Good for keeping ships fed with the tokens that they need, if you can supply them with tokens reliably through Tarkin or other means.
Onager Star Destroyer
"Charge the wave motion gun!"
- – Space Battleship Yamato
The Imperial answer to the Rebel Starhawk (and a wholly original design for Armada, outside of an obscure mention in The Rebel Files). The Onager does one thing, and one thing only. Shoot at beyond the range ruler distances with its disgustingly huge gun. USING that gun requires a bit of explanation. At the end of the Onager's activation (or the beginning of the Ship Phase with a certain title), the player can place an Ignition token fully within the special arc nestled inside the front firing arc and partially within one of it's Ignition ranges. All Onagers have close range, and the new Superweapon upgrade card can grant it another range. When attacking from the Ignition arc, the range and damage dice are determined from the distance from the token to the attacking ship, and not from the Onager's cardboard base. If this distance is beyond the original range of attack, it is considered "Extreme Range" and ships with an evade token can remove two dice from your attack, so be aware. Also, if the ignition token is out then your first attack MUST be an Ignition attack.
- Onager-Class Testbed - For 96 points, you get a superlaser. That's it. The Onager testbed variant has only 1 Squadron and 3 Engineering, along with a single Brace, Redirect, and the new Salvo defense token. It also has equal shielding to a Liberty MC80 in the front and sides, but only a single shield point to the rear. Simply put, the Onager is NOT a close range brawler and never should be considered as one. Keep it away from the combat area, make shot after shot from your mega gun as possible (with two weapons officer slots on it, you'd best be taking Gunnery Team), and pray nothing
triesmanages to close the distance.
- Onager-Class Star Destroyer - 14 points beefs up this ship significantly. While it won't improve your engineering or give you new defense tokens, the Onager can now actually dish out some extra, non-superlaser related damage. An extra red dice to every regular firing arc is nice, and the turbolaser slot with an extra blue flak die are great too. More importantly, the Ignition arc trades in one red and one black for two blue dice, which makes the superlaser attacks far more versatile than before. Again, the Onager should NEVER be in the thick of the fighting if you can help it. But if you CAN'T help it, then at least it can now give a bit of a fight.
- Cataclysm - Feed it a Concentrate Fire token at the beginning of the round, get an ignition token for your troubles. Combined with other fleet upgrades or a commander like Tarkin, you can potentially get off a superlaser shot at turn 1 with Cataclysm. However, the more important utility is the ability to redo a token placement after the Onager's activation from the previous turn. It makes your superlaser slightly more reactive, which is never something your opponent wants to consider.
- Rakehell - Ever wanted to burn rubber doing donuts in space? Rakehell lets you do just that. With a Maneuver command, Rakehell can made a single click of movement at range 0. Simply place the maneuver tool into the ship base, remove the ship, then make a single click in either direction and place the ship back. This is perfect for keeping the Onager out of harm's way while still getting lobbing balls of concentrated hatred at your opponent's fleet. Be warned, however. Ships at speed 0 do NOT get use of ANY defense tokens.
- Sunder - For anyone who thought "Boy, I like the idea of using the Darth Vader boarding team do remove an upgrade, but I HATE getting into close range with an MC30!" Any blue or black critical from Sunder (not just from the Ignition arc!) will destroy one Offensive or Defensive Retrofit, Ordinance, Ion, or Turbolaser upgrade from the ship you hit. It's expensive and you must discard the Sunder title to do, but wiping out Home One's ECMs is nothing short of EXTREMELY satisfying.
- 7th Fleet Star Destroyer - When receiving an attack on your front arc, you can exhaust a copy of this card on a nearby 7th Fleet Star Destroyer to decrease the incoming damage by 1. Please note that only the Onager-class Star Destroyer card can equip this title. Usually the 7th Fleet title is overshadowed by other upgrades, but in the case of the Onager it can be useful to pass some damage off to an escorting Gladiator. But even then it's not really cost effective in a 400 point game.
|Executor||I||❻ ❺❹||❺ ❸❸⬤||❺ ❷❸⬤||❸ ❷⬤⬤||⬤⬤⬤||33||Brace x2, Contain x2, Redirect x2||4/6/5|
|Executor||II||❻ ❺❺||❺ ❹❸⬤||❺ ❸❸⬤||❸ ❷⬤⬤||⬤⬤⬤||33||Brace x2, Contain x2, Redirect x2||4/6/5|
|Dreadnought||Assault||❻ ❺❹||❸ ❸❷⬤||❸ ❷❷⬤||❷ ⬤⬤⬤||⬤⬤||22||Brace x2, Contain x2, Redirect x2||4/5/4|
|Dreadnought||Command||❻ ❹❹||❸ ❸⬤⬤||❸ ❷⬤⬤||❷ ⬤⬤⬤||⬤⬤||22||Brace x2, Contain x2, Redirect x2||4/5/4|
Super Star Destroyer
The giant Star Destroyer made famous in its appearance in The Empire Strikes Back, and also the first Huge ship in Armada (and with an astonishing 2 foot long "miniature" it certainly deserves the classification). Even slower than the ISD, but armed to the teeth and extremely durable even before factoring in the extra abilities it gets by being Huge. As an added bonus, every time you resolve the command dial you'll get the corresponding token for whatever you selected on the dial. Which is only fair because if you take one of these you're gonna be BADLY out-activated.
- Star Dreadnought Command Prototype- The cheapest Super Star Destroyer variant at "only" 220 points un-upgraded, but still comes with eight attack dice (four red and four blue) from its forward firing arc, six ship tokens, a hull value of twenty-two, and ten upgrade slots (3 officers, 1 weapons team, 1 offensive, one ion cannon, one turbolaser, and 2 Fleet Command), making it more than enough to be the centerpiece of a fleet with just enough points left over for support elements if you lot it out.
- Star Dreadnought Assault Prototype- For 30 more points than the Command prototype, you lose the Fleet Command slots for one more slot in offensive, ion cannon and turbolaser. It also swaps one of its anti-squadron dice from blue to red and gains another red die on its front arc as well as an extra blue die on its side and auxiliary side arcs.
- Executor-I Class Star Dreadnought- Priced exactly ONE point above regulation play when combined with the cheapest commander available, the Executors are clearly not meant for proper 400 point Armada games. With that being said, playing an Executor-I is a shameless expression of vulgarity on the play mat. 9 dice from the front (5 red, 4 blue), 7 from the sides (3 red, 3 blue, and a black), 6 from the auxiliaries, and 4 from the back. A staggering total of 13 upgrade slots, including four officer and fleet command slots each. An OBSCENE hull total at 33, with 2 extra shields for each side and aux-side and 1 more shield in back. The Executor-I is force to be reckoned with.
- Executor-II Class Star Dreadnought- Hoo boy. 411 points gets you 10 dice for the front arc (5 red, 5 blue), 8 dice for each of the side arcs, and 7 dice on the auxiliary side arcs. Like the Executor-I it has 13 upgrade slots and a hull value of 33, but it gives up 3 Fleet Command slots in favor of one extra slot for offensive, ion cannons, and turbolasers. But with the sheer firepower it brings, does it really need a fleet to back it up?
- Annihilator: the most expensive of the titles, at 8 pts, it allows you to reroll one die each time the ship attacks a squadron. Not the optimal use of the SSD, but if you're being swarmed by hordes of B-wings and Y-wings, it can help out.
- Eclipse: deal face up damage when you overlap an enemy ship. Let's not get into that the Eclipse was its own even bigger ship class, not an SSD... Actually this ‘Eclipse’ was an Executor class SSD, known for being the sister ship of the ‘Executor’ and the Emperor’s flagship
- Executor: removes the cap on how many command tokens you can have. Have as many as you want, of whatever kind you want. Go nuts! Bear in mind however that it doesn't lift the hard cap allowing you to only resolve a command once per turn (and spending a single token and/or dial to do so).
- Ravager: gain the ability to use Concentrate Fire tokens to gain an extra attack die rather than a reroll (reroll is still an option if wanted). That extra die must be of a color already in the attack pool. A nice little bump in firepower if you've already got rerolls from somewhere else (like from Leading Shots or the admiral version of Vader).
Flotillas follow all the same rules as other ships of their size class, with three exceptions: they cannot function as your Flagship, when a Flotilla and a non-Flotilla overlap only the Flotilla receives a damage card, and Flotillas do not count towards having remaining ships on the board when determining a winner and ending the game.
Additionally, a fleet can not contain more than two Flotillas.
- Gozanti Class Cruisers: Your first flotilla of smaller-than-capital-ships. Not quite as manoeuvrable as the rebel GR-75, but you at least get some guns to defend yourself with, with a blue on the front and sides. As a flotilla, you get the 2 Squadron score and the fleet support upgrade, so this is the cheap way to deliver TIEs to "tie up" enemy squadrons trying to Outflank your own ships, but don't think you can pretend to play like Rebels, as a small handful of fighters will not influence the game as much as your capital ships.
- Gozanti Class Assault Cruisers: swap the front blue for a red, and the anti-squadron black for a blue, giving you more range on your weapons. Only worthy of the upgrade if you have the points to spare as your flotillas are squadron delivery vehicles and not meant to slug it out with enemy capital ships. If your flotilla doesn't have squadrons nearby it will be a dead flotilla, the added range does little to help you when a single attack dice is unlikely to get past any capital defenses tokens.
- Vector - When you activate a squadron without the Heavy rule (pretty much anything not a TIE bomber) you add +1 to its speed value(Max 5) . Makes your TIE fighters that much more responsive and increases their threat range. Though many of your special TIEs are already fast enough to gain nothing.
- Suppressor - Enemy ships that move to distance 3 exhaust a defense token. Slicer Tools and some fancy flying can really screw with your opponent's plans.
Imperial Squadrons 1
The basic Imperial squadrons are all single role specialists, and the typical force will want two (possibly three) boxes of these for interceptors and bombers. You get plenty of fighters in the starter, and the advanced is a niche unit that is generally used for its aces rather than as a generic escort.
|Black Squadron||4||3||⬤⬤⬤||⬤||Escort, Counter 1|
|Mauler Mithel||4||3||⬤⬤⬤||⬤||Brace, Scatter||Swarm|
|Valen Rudor||4||3||⬤⬤⬤||⬤||Brace, Scatter||Swarm|
|TIE Interceptor||5||3||⬤⬤⬤⬤||⬤||Swarm, Counter 2|
|Saber Squadron||5||3||⬤⬤⬤⬤||⬤||Swarm, Snipe 4|
|Ciena Ree||5||3||⬤⬤⬤⬤||⬤||Brace, Scatter||Swarm, Counter 2|
|Soontir Fel||5||3||⬤⬤⬤⬤||⬤||Brace, Scatter||Swarm, Counter 2|
|TIE Bomber||4||5||⬤||⬤||Bomber, Heavy|
|Gamma Squadron||4||5||⬤||⬤||Bomber, Grit|
|Captain Jonus||4||5||⬤||⬤||Brace x2||Bomber, Heavy, Grit|
|Major Rhymer||4||5||⬤⬤||⬤||Brace x2||Bomber, Heavy|
|Tempest Squadron||4||5||⬤⬤⬤||⬤||Escort, Bomber|
|Darth Vader||4||5||⬤⬤⬤⬤||⬤||Brace x2||Escort|
|Zertik Strom||4||5||⬤⬤⬤||⬤||Brace x2||Escort|
- TIE Fighter Squadron - Speed 4, Swarm, 3 hull, 3 blue dice, 8 points. Unlike the Rebellion's multi-role X-Wing, the TIE Fighter has just one job: move in fast, hit hard, and try not to explode. Leverage your speed and price to alpha-strike targets and bring them down before they get to shoot back. TIE Fighter aces gain the valuable Scatter/Brace token combo, dramatically enhancing their survivability.
- Howlrunner - For the price of two TIE Fighters, Howlrunner grants an extra die to attacks made by other nearby squadrons with Swarm. Pretty straightforward - throw her into a bawl of TIEs, try to keep her in the back, and consider tossing in an Escort, because she will be a prime target. Activate the TIE ball with Flight Controllers, and they're throwing two extra dice. Her ability also affects Counter attacks, meaning Howlrunner plus Dengar boost Interceptors to a ridiculous Counter 4. Available only in the Core Set.
- "Mauler" Mithel - After Mauler moves, every engaged squadron takes 1 automatic damage. Great against aces relying on tokens to stay alive, combos well with a source of Intel to keep him moving around. You're flying 3 hull TIEs, so you should know first-hand how badly 1 damage against every squadron at range 1 could hurt.
- Valen Rudor - Upgrading his blue AA to black, Valen turns anyone around into his own personal Escort - he cannot be attacked if the enemy is engaged with another squadron. This affects Counter, too, so shoot those A-Wings with immunity. Available in the Corellian Conflict campaign box.
- Black Squadron - A unique squadron without defense tokens, for one point more than the regular TIE, Black Squadron loses swarm and picks up Escort and Counter 1. The cheapest Escort squadron currently in the game, upgrading a TIE to Black Squadron can keep Howlrunner or Mauler Mithel alive for that one vital extra attack, at the lowest price other than free. Combine with Dengar and/or Howlrunner, and Black Squadron will also make the enemy hurt on its way down. Available in the Corellian Conflict campaign box.
- TIE Interceptor Squadron - A TIE Fighter with an extra point of speed, an extra blue die, and Counter 2 - for just 3 points more. Not only more deadly, but also extracts a price from every squadron attack that comes their way. The increased lethality is generally regarded as a fair trade for the price, relegating the TIE Fighter to its aces. Interceptors backed by flight controllers and Howlrunner will decisively end the squadron game quickly as long as they get the first shots in.
- Soontir Fel - If a squadron he's engaged with makes a non-counter attack targeting any squadron but him, it takes one damage. Surround him with Escorts to have your enemies kill themselves, or use him as an escort to dissuade your opponent from shooting more important squadrons for fear of his effect.
- Cienna Ree - You are always obstructed while defending. Goes a long way to alleviate Interceptor's low hull - most ships can't attack you, most Counter rolls 1 die against you, and squadrons are that much less likely to roll the accuracy to bypass your scatter. Available in the Corellian Conflict campaign box.
- Saber Squadron - The Interceptor's tokenless unique gains Snipe 4 for just one extra point. You can sit in the back, safe from harm, and throw dice into the squadron brawl from afar - or take down important targets protected by Escorts (especially if Jendon happens to be floating around). Snipe bypasses Counter, and a double-tapping Saber Squadron can take out that annoying generic Intel squadron as often as not. Available in the Corellian Conflict campaign box.
- TIE Bomber Squadron - Just as fast as regular TIES, but with the hull strength (and defense tokens) of an X-Wing. Unfortunately the have no other purpose than to be capital ship hunters. They have Heavy much like Y-Wings, so your opponent can just ignore them or trap them in engagement if he was so inclined, and they only roll one dice against squadrons, so they don't have a great damage potential in a dogfight. Keep a source of Intel nearby, and let them shoot at ships like they were built to.
- Major Rhymer - Rhymer and everyone around him get to shoot ships at close range, rather than range 1. Suddenly a TIE bomber blob looks like a threat similar to a Gladiator Star Destroyer all by themselves. (Note: nerfed by errata from the original card.) The enhanced threat range can keep you safe from enemy squadrons, sitting under your own flak and denying a huge area of the table.
- Captain Jonus - Grants a source accuracy results to friendly ships attacking enemy ships he's near. Can make it that much easier for your ships to crack the enemy's carriers, while you sit within bombing range of them anyways. Available in the Corellian Conflict campaign box.
- Gamma Squadron - The tokenless TIE Bomber unique loses Heavy, and gains Grit. Not altogether too useful, since the rest of your bombers need Intel even if Gamma Squadron doesn't, but only costs a point more. Available in the Corellian Conflict campaign box.
- TIE Advanced Squadron - Combining the speed and firepower of the TIE Fighter, trading Swarm for the hull and Escort of an X-Wing. The black anti-ship die means Advanced are surprisingly decent at hitting ships, but their main role is to escort bombers. The generic TIE Advanced is not encountered all that often as it's expensive for its so-so stats, but the uniques see competitive play.
- Darth Vader (TIE Advanced) - Vader adds a black die to the Advanced's AA, and his ability causes crits to add a damage to the attack, making him basically as good as a TIE Bomber against ships and making his AA shots much more lethal. Unfortunately, the target this puts on his head combined with his high price tend to give him a short life expectancy.
- Zertik Strom - Zertik switches all his AA dice to red and gains the ability to re-roll his attacks by causing 1 damage to a nearby friendly squadron (this should be a Bomber or an Advanced, not one your fragile Interceptor aces). A strange squadron, Zertik has the effective firepower of a TIE Fighter using Swarm at the cost of hurting your own squadrons for the re-roll. Fairly cheap, at just 3 points over the base model, Zertik does bring his brace tokens to bear and retains his Escort duties. Available in the Corellian Conflict campaign box. Pairs well with Bossk, who welcomes a little bit of friendly fire.
- Tempest Squadron - The tokenless Advanced costs an extra point, and gains Bomber. At just one extra point, is justified virtually any time you were bringing an Advanced to protect a Bomber wing. Available in the Corellian Conflict campaign box.
Rogues and Villains
Rogues & Villains gave the Imperial some excellent ace abilities and every force would benefit from one, maybe even two packs. However, the consensus has formed that while you CAN spam the two multi-roles (Aggressor and Firespray) neither is quite as good at that strategy as the YT-2400 is.
- Firespray-31 - The Firespray carries 2 blue Bomber dice, plus the speed 3, 6 hull, and 3 blue AA necessary to fight its own way to the enemy if need be. But the big pickup is Rogue - for the price of 2 TIE Bombers but less average damage, you get a good Bomber that doesn't need squadron commands.
- Boba Fett - Boba gets a deadlier arsenal, double Brace tokens, and the ability to put 1 damage onto a nearby ship or squadron when he activates. (Note: for ships, this goes onto a hull zone of the target's choice - not directly onto the hull automatically.) At the price of almost 3 TIE Bombers, he's a hard purchase to justify.
- Hondo Ohnaka - Two points cheaper than Boba Fett, but with a much different utility. Instead of attacking, Hondo can use his ability to activate any squadron at distance 1, or if they're already activated, move that squadron to anywhere else within distance 1 of him. This works for friendlies and enemies, and while you'll never need to waste your own fighter's activation, moving a damaged friendly away from an engagement and onto a station can keep them alive for a critical turn. Note also that Imperial fleets can't have the officer version of Hondo or have Boba Fett as a squadron if they're taking this form of Slave 1.
- Jumpmaster 5000 - The Empire's source of Intel, the Jumpmaster keeps your bombers bombing, or your fighters repositioning. Other than that, it's not going to be killing a whole lot, and its hull is low enough to put it at risk of being one-shot without Escorts. Intel got nerfed HARD in Armada's recent 1.5 update, providing Grit to a friendly squadron ball instead of making nearby enemy squads Heavy. Be aware of this when making an Intel squad list.
- Dengar - While he comes in at almost double the cost, Dengar ups the ship's offense to respectable levels, bears the fantastic Scatter/Brace defenses, and grants all your nearby squadrons +1 to their Counter (bringing it to Counter 1 if they lacked Counter previously). And yes, this stacks with Howlrunner, to give all your Escorts Counter 2. Even if you're not going for the Counter stacking, the addition of a Scatter alone to keep your source of Intel alive can be worthwhile.
- Tel Trevura - Easy to target, weirdly hard to kill. Tel drops Intel for Grit, Rogue, and a conditional version of Escort. As long as he has a green defense token, he has Escort. However, if for any reason he discards a defense token during an attack, he gains three hit points back from the brink. Two very important things to bring up. First, Tel's effect kicks in even if the attack is a deathblow, so he'll pop right back up from 0 HP like nothing happened. Second, you can voluntarily spend a defense token even if you're not damaged (for example, if you get flakked but the attack missed). Defense token economy will be paramount when using him, but when used right he's essentially a 10 HP Jumpmaster.
- Aggressor Assault Fighter - Almost the same ship as the YT-2400, but trading a point of speed and hull for Counter 1. For the same price you could have the much better TIE Defender instead, but possibly worth bringing if you've got a shortage of squadron commands.
- IG-88 - Revs his engines all the way up to speed 5, brings his Counter up to 2, gains a Scatter token - the highest hull Scatter in the game, although no second token - and he ignores Escort and Counter when attacking. At 21 points, he's a fast and independant ace-hunter that rolls half the dice two Interceptors would bring instead.
- IG-88B - Swaps two of IG-88's blue anti-starfighter die for two black, drops one counter die, but comes with a CRAZY ability. If you've seen The Last Starfighter, it's basically the Death Blossom. Activate at the beginning of the Squadron phase and give up your movement, but attack ALL enemy starfighters at range 1. Better yet, because he's technically flying the IG-2000B, you can fly with IG-88 proper in the same fleet.
- YV-666 - A slow, stupidly tough heavy
freighterfighter, both in the sense of rolling strong dice and having the keyword Heavy. Has Grit and Rogue, which allow it to at least keep moving with its speed 2. Once again, compares unfavorably to the similarly priced Defender, which has the same damage output (or better, against ships) and moves at a full speed 5 at the loss of Rogue.
- Bossk - Loses Heavy, gains a point of speed, rolls 4 black dice against squadrons, adds a black die to its anti-ship attack, and gets a single Brace token as if 7 hull wasn't already enough. And in addition to that ridiculous durability, as soon as he takes any damage, he adds a blue accuracy to every attack he rolls - allowing him to guarantee his AA attack bypasses that pesky Scatter.
- Moralo Eval - Keeps Bossk's speed and drops Heavy, but keeps the stock YV-666's starfighter dice. His ability is weird, but has potential. If he's within range 2 of an objective token that was not on an obstacle and it either moves or is removed from the field, Moralo may move distance 1 and attack as if he's been activated normally. Combine him with a pair of Lambda shuttles and you can have a weirdly jank, but oddly effective squadron setup.
Imperial Squadrons 2
The release of Imperials Squadrons 2 placated the demand from Imperial players for an expensive, tough, powerful rebel-style multirole fighter. A rebel force will often be happy with just a single Rebel Squadrons 2 pack as it just adds niche capabilities to an already adequate lineup of generalist fighters, but for the Imperial player how many to buy really depends on how many TIE Defenders you want.
- TIE Defender Squadron - The strongest all-around squadron the Imperials can field. Imperial players cheered "this is exactly what we wanted" and then realized that, price being equal, two specialist activations is potentially better than one big generalist activation if even the multi-role needs squadron command support. Nevertheless, the Defender is a solid if pricey anti-everything generic in the ace constrained 1.5 era.
- Maarek Stele - hero of the original TIE Fighter PC game from the early '90s. Adds another blue die to anti-ship fire; may change one die to a Crit when attacking. Also gains Grit and two Brace tokens. Find the 21 points to field him.
- TIE Phantom Squadron - a refugee from the old Rebel Assault games. Three points more than an Interceptor; trades one point of speed for one point of hull but keeps the good AA dice. The special ability here is Cloak, which gives the squadron an extra move 1 even if engaged. Cloak in Armada has a couple uses: getting somewhere really fast (and the Phantom can indeed move slightly further than a stock speed 5 squadron), and movement triggered gimmicks like station bouncing.
- Whisper - an even more annoying TIE Phantom. Gains Brace and Scatter tokens; if one of those tokens is used while defending against an attack, Whisper may move up to 1 just like with the Cloak ability. Yes, this stacks with the regular Cloak. Practically made for the asteroid tactics objective.
- Lambda-class Shuttle - A poor combatant but an excellent support ship. Relay is the big draw here, letting ships activate squadrons from
clear across the boarda little bit further away. Pairs well with other Lambdas, also with Centicore. Strategic lets a player move objective tokens around the board-- useful in a campaign or tournament.
- Colonel Jendon - makes good things better. When he activates, instead of making a (poor) attack he may designate another nearby squadron to attack, even if it has already activated. Double-tapping Bossk or Vader? Yes please. Loses out on Strategic to do this, but picks up two brace tokens. Ideal for lurking in the back of a murderball.
- VT-49 Decimator - less of a squadron and more of a picket ship, the Decimator can threaten flotillas and light warships all by itself. Three blue dice anti-ship add up very quickly, and with eight hull this thing will be in the fight for a while unless you go out of your way to put it down. Three black dice and Counter 1 keep opposing squadrons honest, too. Did I mention this thing also has Rogue? It has Rogue. The only downside is that the VT-49 is very, very expensive.
- Morna Kee - the named VT-49 costs as much as a Gozanti flotilla. It loses Heavy, gains a Brace token, and may spend that token to reroll its dice pool. That token also comes back every time she activates.
Chimaera Expansion Pack
In addition to a new paintjob, ship cards, and upgrades, the Chimaera expansion also introduces a new type of squadron.
- Mandalorian Guantlet - Coming in at 20 points per squad, only the VT-49 Decimator is more expensive among Imperial fighters. The Gauntlet is an impressive beast, with the hull of a YT-1300 but at speed 4, rogue, and throwing out 2 blue and 1 red at enemy squads. However, the standout feature of Gauntlet fighters is the new Assault keyword. When attacking a ship, you can spend 1 die with a hit icon to instead assign a Raid token of your choice (presumably because the crew is now trying to desperately contain a Mandalorian boarder running wild inside). So far, this is the only generic squadron that can Assault ships, but it is a pricey option to do so.
- Gar Saxon - Gains a brace token and replaces one blue anti-ship die with a black, making it easier to trigger Assault. Also comes with the unique effect of damaging any Intel or Relay squadrons at distance 1 when they activate. For only 3 points, keeping a Gauntlet alive longer with Brace is worth the investment, and the extra bonuses help out too.
- Grand Moff Tarkin - At the start of each ship phase, pick a Command and every ship in your fleet gets a matching command token. While powerful, and flexible from turn to turn, the limitation that every ship in your fleet take the same token and his high price left him outshined by cheaper alternatives. Took a much needed 10 point price cut in Armada 1.5, and more token-friendly upgrades like Fleet Commands and officers like Director Krennic give Tarkin reasons to come out of the card binder.
- Darth Vader (Commander) - While attacking, you can spend one defense token to reroll as many attack dice as you like. Expensive (now the most expensive Imperial commander after Tarkin's discount in 1.5), but universally useful. Bring him along to assist ships that thrive on easy reroll effects like Arquitens or Cymoon ISDs, or ships built around dealing maximum crit damage like Heavy Ion wielding Interdictors, Ordnance upgraded Gladiators and Raiders, or superlaser boosted Onagers.
- Grand Admiral Thrawn - After deployment, set 3 command dials on Thrawn's card. Before each ship phase, you can reveal and discard any one of those dials, and every ship in your fleet gains the effect of that dial during their activation, in addition to their own normal command dial. Your whole fleet can repair while navigating, or push squadrons while concentrating fire. Thrawn's extra dials don't stack with the same type (no, you can't have two Concentrate Fire dials), so take care not to set redundant commands and waste the ability. Thrawn's typical use is to add squadron activations to a star destroyer force that isn't built around carriers or flotillas.
- Admiral Screed - Once per activation, your ships can remove one die from their attack pool to change another to a die with a crit face. Situational, because if you've already rolled a crit in the pool there is no point adding another unless you also rolled two or more misses; but with black dice's hit/crit faces and black crit effects, can be a fleet-wide substitute to Ordnance Experts.
- General Tagge - Formerly one of the worst commanders in the game, but got a much needed rules rewrite as of Armada 1.5 and the release of the standalone upgrade card pack. At the beginning of the game pick two non-consecutive turns. When those turns come around, your whole fleet can recover a discarded defense token. Formerly locked at the inconvenient for his effect rounds 3 and 5, switching that timing to rounds 4 and 6 can be the difference maker in keeping your fleet alive in a grind it out mess of a battle.
- Admiral Sloane - Non-rogue squadrons may spend an accuracy icon while attacking, to spend one of the defender's defense tokens. The defender can't then spend that token again for its effect, so Sloane gives you super-accuracies, allowing you to burn enemy ace or capital ship defenses. And speaking of, Sloane also grants non-rogue squadrons the ability to reroll crits against ships - so you can take nothing but TIE Fighters and Interceptors, wipe out the enemy's aces, and mulch enemy capital ships all without relying on a single TIE Bomber or filthy mercenary. Because single blue dice don't do a whole of damage to ships even with rerolls and burnt defense (and TIEs die to flak pretty quickly), Sloane is best when you pair TIE swarms with heavy-hitting ships to follow up, but her effect is moot if you lose all your squads.
- Admiral Motti - Small ships gain 1 hull, medium ships gain 2 hull, large ships gain 3 hull (but cheekily doesn't add anything to the SSD's already crazy hull). There's nothing like a 14 hull ISD, and for just 24 points giving your small ships 20-25% more hull can make a bigger difference than you'd think. Naturally scales better the more points you spend on ships, and the fewer you spend on upgrades and squadrons, and tends to compete with Jerjerrod as the "go-to" Imperial commander.
- Admiral Konstantine - During the Status Phase (reminder - that's at the end of the round, before commands are set next round), for every enemy ship at distance 5 of two of your medium or larger ships, you may change its speed by 1 (to a minimum of 1 / maximum of its normal max speed). Getting an enemy within range 5 of two medium+ ships is tough (and costs a lot of points), changing their speed by 1 isn't usually game changing, and as often as not they were going to die anyways (did being speed 2 rather than 3 really affect that CR90 about to get shot by twin ISDs?), so making the most of Konstantine can be tough. "Speed control" as an archetype is generally weak, and while with the Chimaera and Quasar the Empire has more medium+ ships to throw around than ever, it's hard to justify the opportunity cost of the other commander you could have taken instead.
- Moff Jerjerrod - Your ship can suffer one damage to treat the first yaw of its current speed as 2 until the end of its activation. As it just says "damage", you can suffer it on any hullzone of your choosing - many players make the mistake of thinking it goes straight to hull, when it does not; which means Jerjerrod can have your ships turning on a dime at a relatively minor cost. One damage to shields sucks, but not being able to turn hard enough to get a shot off, or to avoid an obstacle or incoming shot, hurts worse. Just be careful not to overdo it - using Jerry every turn on every ship is a pretty easy way to have all your ships horribly explode.
- Admiral Ozzel - The cheapest Imperial commander, befitting a man whose career ended being telekinetically strangled on his own flag bridge. When you resolve a Navigate command, you can change speed by an additional 1. Yes, that means a Navigate dial+token can change your speed by 3 - pounce the enemy, slow roll them while you trade fire, then speed up and zoom off into safety. Combine with an Entrapment Formation ISD for maximum unpredictability.
- Admiral Piett - Ozzel's immediate successor (and originator of the "Intensify forward firepower!" Fleet Command), Piett acts as a token strength booster. When any of your ships uses a command token to resolve a command, you can exhaust him to beef that token up to the strength of a dial command. Piett is cheap enough that he can fit in with really any fleet, but he doesn't really have any noticeable strengths either. Fitting, really, of a commander known for being more of a yes man to Vader and the Emperor than for his battlefield prowess. Since he's an exhaust effect, he can go well with the Interdictor as his flagship, squeezing more power out of your tokens each turn.
- Emperor Palpatine- The Emperor has a staggering cost of 35 points, but his ability is worth every one of them. When the fleets deploy, he gains one defense token of each type, and before any ships activate in a round he can discard one of them. If he does so, all enemy ships and squadrons trying to use that defense token that round must discard that token type instead of exhausting it. Used correctly, this can force an opponent into a no-win situation where they can either let their ships be destroyed or buy them a chance at survival at the expense of being unable to do so a second time.
- General Romodi- The other, other, other guy at the Death Star meeting table. Romodi is surprisingly cheap for a potential boatload of damage. Instead of dropping a die from obstruction by a ship or obstacle (but not from Early Warning Systems or an officer/commander effect), Romodi cancels that debuff and ADDS a red die to your damage pool. He's situational, but the potential for extra 2 damage from every attack if positioned properly for the same cost as Ozzel is a great risk to take. Debuting in the Onager expansion, he's tailor made for indirect fire shots from across the map and triggering Particle Cannon crits.
- Admiral Chiraneau - Engaged squadrons you activate can move, but treat their speed as 2. At ten points, he has some serious competition with Jumpmasters. Chiraneau, however, was not affected by the Armada 1.5 Intel nerf, and he allows you to move squadrons on the edge of a ball that a Jumpmaster couldn't cover (because it would mean moving away from a squadron on another edge), or to allow a small sceen's power squadron (cough Mauler cough) to go hard without easily giving up a Jumpmaster's points to larger fighter wings.
- Commandant Aresko - When another friendly ship reveals a command, exhaust to gain a matching token. Like a reverse Comms Net, but not limited to flotillas, and doesn't use up the dial.
- Commander Beck - Force your crew to come in to work on Sunday, no relation to the musical artist of the same name. When activating, she can have TPS reports delivered to her desk and a command token of your choice can be resolved as if you spent it, but at the cost of gaining a matching Raid token. She can do this up to twice per activation before Milton finally snaps and burns her office down, so consult your jump-to-conclusions mat if this turn is worth the risk to use her.
- Comander Gherant - That guy standing next to Admiral Piett at Endor. You don't suffer any critical effects when his ship is defending, but attack any ship and you must discard him. Almost unusably situational. You might have luck putting him on a flak boat Raider or a Quasar II.
- Instructor Goran - Dengar for ships. Grants non-Heavy squads up to distance 2 Counter 1, or increases their natural Counter by 1.
- Commander Vanto - The Empire's version of Raymus Antilles, but takes Thrawn's command dials into account and grants a token of any type, at the expense of exhausting on use.
- Commander Woldar - When a friendly non-Swarm squadron is attacking an enemy squad at up to distance 3, it can re-roll a single attack die. Good if you're skimping on Swarm squadrons for something more substantial, or if you have TIE Bombers that have to act as a fighter screen in a pinch.
- Governor Pryce - Medium or large ship can choose a round in advance, and must activate last that turn. Like with Strategic Advisor, as of the most recent changes to Armada 1.5, this upgrade is now BANNED from the game. Sadly, while Bail Organa got a golden parachute as a commander for the GAR, Governor Pryce so far has no such luck.
- Wulff Yularen - Exhaust to regain a spent Command token. The Imperial Raymus, sacrificing the Rebel's flexibility for reliability - one Navigate taken as a token turn 1, can be used every turn for the rest of the game while you dial in other commands.
- Admiral Montferrat - Likes to go fast. So long as the ship he's on is traveling at speed 3 or higher, attacks against it are obstructed. Dies if the ship crashes into anything, though.
- Captain Brunson - If the ship she's on is attacked while at distance 2 of any obstacle, exhaust her card and cancel one of your opponent's attack die. Perfect for cancelling out a black die with hit-crit, or a red double hit. Combine her with a way to refresh cards like the Interdictor title and shrug off damage like nobody's business.
- The Grand Inquisitor - Exhaust when an enemy ship at distance 5 changes speed, and you can too. Useful on a ship that wants to stick to its target like glue, or is too busy with other Commands to dial in Navigates.
- Taskmaster Grint - After deploying fleets, pick a command token type and put it on Grint's card. When Grint's ship reveals a command matching that token, that ship gets the token without having to spend the dial. Keep him on ships that you intend to keep using the same command over and over on. Squad pushing Gozantis and Quasars, Projector Team Interdictors, Harrow VSDs with Engine Techs, etc.
- Agent Kallus - While attacking a unique Squadron, add another die of any color (that means black, unless you need an accuracy). Take him on a Raider I and double arc a pesky ace to throw 6 black dice at it, or pair him with Ruthless Strategists on a Quasar II and snipe a pesky Jan Ors from red dice range.
- Director Isard - When your ship reveals it's command, you get to look through the command stack of any enemy ship. Useful when your plan changes depending on the commands your opponent has set - does he have an Engineering, or can I rely on a ram later to finish his 1 hp? Can I block him in, or does he have a Navigate to change speed? - but the hidden element of Command dials is much less relevant than, say, their X-Wing counterparts.
- Director Krennic - When attacking at Medium or Long range, if the attack used a Concentrate Fire dial you can re-roll any amount of red dice in the attack. If you also spent a Concentrate Fire token (or only spent the token), you can then re-roll up to two red dice in the attack pool. Good for Arquitens, GREAT for artillery ISDs like Cymoon.
- Captain Needa - At the start of the game, swap any defense token for an Evade. More useful now than ever before with Armada 1.5's Evade buff, Needa goes well on ships with a Contain they don't expect to get much use from, or a ship that wants to take Turbolaser Reroute Circuits.
- Iden Versio - Provides a twofold effect. First, allows Evade tokens to cancel an attack die at close range or from a squadron attack. Then, with a Squadron command spend her as a boarding party to give an enemy ship at close range a Raid token. Her first effect is arguably too valuable to give up, but if your Evade tokens are gone then it gives her some means to still be useful.
- Admiral Titus - At the start of the game, change one enemy ship's speed by 1. Given the popularity of turn one Navigate commands, most enemy fleets just shrug him off anyways. With officer Vader in the game, he can also serve as a cheap re-roll later in the game
- Minister Tua - Gain a defensive slot, but not if you're a medium/large ship that already has one. Useful for slapping ECMs on a vital ship.
- Lira Wessex - Walex Blissex's daughter, designer of the ISD and SSD. When you get a faceup damage card card for any reason, you can spend an Engineering token to flip it back down and take the damage without resolving the effect. Can cancel out really annoying effects like Structural Damage or Projector Misaligned before they happen.
- Reeva Demesne - When under attack, if the affected hull section has at least one shield, you can exhaust Reeva and restore a red defense token back to green. Synergize her with effects like a Hand of Justice Arquitens to keep a big target alive through a hail of gunfire.
- Darth Vader (Officer) - The fourth version of Vader available, but costing only a single point. If a friendly ship at up to distance 5 has a terrible attack roll, Vader can tell their captain (or even their fleet commander if it's the flagship) that they've failed him for the last time and you can re-roll any or all dice in the attack. Best used if you're filling your fleet with early-use captains like Needa, officer Ozzel, or Titus, or your commander has served their purpose like late-game Tagge or Slone if you're out of fighters.
- Emperor Palpatine (Officer) - Make your opponent's ships and hero squads regret attacking you. When they target Palpy's ship, they MUST spend a defense token if able. Great at early game survivability for a flagship or support ship away from the front lines, but watch out once the rest of your fleet is combat ineffective.
Imperial Boarding Teams
- Darth Vader - Discard an enemy upgrade card (other than their Commander). Yavaris bringing you down? Raymus Antilles + Engine Techs making that MC80 a bit too fast for your liking? Send Vader off on a Raider Express Rocket to file that title clean off, chuck an officer out an airlock, or "disappear" an entire Gunnery Team.
Imperial Weapons Team
- Gunnery Chief Varnillian - Six points, but a unique effect. After deploying, set aside a red die on this card (blank if first player, or a face of your choice if second). When attacking, you can swap in Varnillian's die with another die in the attack pool, keeping their faces as they were. Keep a red accuracy in your pocket for a Warlord VSD, have two red double hits on tap for a Corvus Raider (yes, this works), or have a red crit on hand for an Onager superlaser attack.