Fantasy Flight Games has a new preview up for Star Wars: Armada. This time, they’re branching out to the expansion packs, looking inside the Victory Star Destroyer and Gladiator Star Destroyer sets. As always, there’s plenty of things to see, with new upgrades, new ship cards, new pilots and all sorts of things for each ship style.
From the preview:
Recently, we announced the upcoming release of the first wave of expansion packs for Star Wars™: Armada, and in our last preview, we looked at how the game allows you to incorporate these ships, fighter squadrons, and upgrades into your own, custom fleet.
Now that you know how you can use your three-hundred fleet points to buy capital ships, starfighters, upgrades, and your commander, we turn to the first two Imperial expansion packs to explore what they offer.
Of course, both of them feature powerful Star Destroyers, but you’ll also find a great deal more, including a host of unique upgrades, including two commanders that can serve as alternates for the Core Set’s Grand Moff Tarkin.
The largest and most powerful of all the ships from the Core Set and first wave, the Victory-class Star Destroyer formed the core of the Imperial Navy at the outset of the Galactic Civil War, and it’s likely, soon, to form the core of many an Imperial fleet in Armada.
Available in both the Core Set and the Victory-class Star Destroyer Expansion Pack, the Victory-class Star Destroyer can be fielded as either of two subclasses. The more powerful Victory II costs eighty-five fleet points, and the Victory I, which is very nearly as imposing, costs seventy-three.
These ships are the same in the expansion pack as they are in the Core Set, but the upgrades differ. And, as you can begin to guess from a look at their action bars, the different Victory-class Star Destroyers can each field an astonishing array of upgrades.
Notably, though, the Victory II features the ion cannon upgrade type while the Victory I features the missile upgrade type. A small differences in icons that might slip your notice at first, this is the sort of distinction to which shrewd commanders will pay close attention as they assemble their fleets.
For example, the Victory I can equip the Assault Concussion Missiles upgrade. Then, whenever your attack includes a result on a black attack die, you can deal one point of damage to each hull zone adjacent to the defending hull zone. You can only trigger one critical effect per attack, so if you trigger the effect from your Assault Concussion Missiles, you won’t deal a faceup damage card to the enemy ship; of course, the exchange is that you will deal an extra two points of damage.
On the other hand, the Victory II can equip either the Overload Pulse or the Ion Cannon Batteries found in the Victory-class Star Destroyer Expansion Pack. You can trigger the critical effect of either of these upgrades whenever you roll a result on a blue attack die. If you’ve equipped an Overload Pulse, you can exhaust all of the defending ship’s defense tokens, leaving it, effectively, a sitting duck for the remainder of the round. Or if you’ve equipped the Ion Cannon Batteries, you can slowly but surely strip away all of a ship’s defense tokens forever.
As you can see, the upgrades that you select for your ships will drastically impact your strategy, and that means that each of the fourteen upgrades from the Victory-class Star Destroyer Expansion Pack offers its own range of strategic concerns. However, no upgrade cards offer more far-reaching strategic concerns than new commanders and title cards.
Even though the Core Set offers a wide enough range of ship cards, squadrons, and upgrades to permit a great deal of fleet-building flexibility, it includes only one commander card for each faction and just one title for each type of ship. The Imperials gain Grand Moff Tarkin as their sole commander, and any Imperial looking to field a unique Victory-class Star Destroyer must choose to field the Dominator.
These are both solid options, but the Imperial Navy gains greater flexibility with the Victory-class Star Destroyer Expansion Pack. Admiral Motti offers his services as commander, and you can field the Corrupter or Warlord instead of the Dominator (or alongside it).