Friday, 10 July 2015

Armada Wave 3+ Speculation - Imperials Pt 1

With Wave 1 for SW Armada released I am now very eagerly awaiting Wave 2. I have designs on 3 of the Raider class, and I'll be getting an ISD because, well, it's just compulsory for Imperial players.

But while waiting, and in between actually playing the game, I've started speculating on what ships might be in Waves 3 and beyond. Armed with the link to Wookiepedia, here is first part of my musings. The order is largest ships first, with Pt 1 covering Imperial ships down to 600m. 

First Order Star Destroyer
Seen very briefly in trailer 2 for The Force Awakens, virtually nothing is known about this class. Even its size is unconfirmed. However if we assume that the spherical structure on top of the command tower is the same size as those on an ISD, then this vessel appears to be of similar size or perhaps slightly larger, and hence I have put this ship at the top of this list.

If the above size estimate is correct this ship would be on a large base and command 3. Hull and shields would presumably be similar to those on an ISD.

Tector Class
The Tector class is canonical, but almost nothing is known about it. It appears very briefly in RotJ in a shot of the Millenium Falcon flying along the ventral hull of a ship which looks virtually identical to the Imperial class except lacking the hangars and reactor bulb. The upper hull of the Tector class has never been seen. The easiest option for FFG would be to stick with the prevailing fan assumption that the upper hull is the same as the Imperial class, and just redo the lower hull to fit. Making changes to the upper hull would be a bold move, and presumably require licencing approval, so I think this is unlikely. Could be potentially pretty cool if they did change it though - an ISD with a leaner, meaner superstructure.

Rules wise, it's reasonable to assume the Tector would be similar to the Imperial class. It would certainly be on a large base and command 3. The lack of ventral hangars would presumably mean a lower squadron value. It is described as having additional armour, which could be reflected in either more hull points and/or extra defense tokens.

Venator Class
First seen in Revenge of the Sith and later in The Clone Wars animated series. While this a prequel era ship, the final shot from RotS confirms that these vessels did continue to serve into the Imperial period. That plus the fact that it's just such a cool design and I think there is every chance we will see Venator's for Armada at some point.

The Venator class is of similar size to the Victory class (1100m versus 900m), so that is the best starting point for guessing its profile. It will presumably be a medium ship, with command 3. The Venator has more visible hangars, so a higher squadron value and Titles/Characters/Upgrades focused on fighters seem likely. Because having more hangars probably makes it not as tough as a VSD it might lose a point of hull or engineering.

Acclamator Class
Another canonical prequel era ship, the 750m Acclamator class falls exactly halfway in size between the Victory and Gladiator classes. My guess is it will be on a medium base - while it could potentially be on small base, the Gladiator class is already pretty large compared with other small base ships.

The Acclamator class is described as an "assault ship", designed to land army units on planets. If FFG ever intends to add either planetary assault missions or boarding rules to Armada, the Acclamator class would be an ideal ship to release at the same time. Based on its size it would have either 6 or 7 hull points; I'll guess 7, because an assault ship would be built tough. For shields I'll guess 3 front, 2 everywhere else. That would give it 9 total (cf. 10 total for a VSD and 8 total for a GSD) and it completely makes sense for an assault ship to need good shielding from all aspects. It's firepower is difficult to even guess at, except that it would be much less than a VSD. I'll speculate 3 dice on front and sides, in some mix of red and blue.

Interdictor Class
The Interdictor class (by which I mean the original Immobilizer 418 class, not other ships performing the same role) is a type that is well-established in the SW expanded universe, and it's a pretty cool looking design, so I expect FFG will produce one for Armada fairly early on. On the other hand it presents them with a challenge - how to incorporate its signature gravity well projectors into the game? They could just ignore them, but that would waste the most unique thing about the class. How well the rules for the gravity-projectors work could easily make or break this class, and I won't even speculate what they might be.

At 600m the Interdictor class is slightly longer than a GSD but slightly narrower (in most depictions, although this varies), so I'll guess at 5 hull and 2/2/2/1 shields. It would presumably be a small ship (although it might just sneak in as a medium), with command 2.

Dreadnaught Class
Another ship that is well-established in the expanded universe even if never seen canonically, the Dreadnaught class is supposed to be very common in the SW galaxy.

Although Dreadnaughts are the same length as the Interdictor, they are considerably more solidly built. I'm picking they're more likely to be on a medium base, but they could just sneak in on a small. Based on its size I would say command 2... however in-universe the Dreadnaught is supposed to have an extremely large crew for its size, which could mean command 3. Because its larger than the GSD I'll guess hull 6, but with the same 3/2/2/1 shields. For armament I'll guess four red/blue dice on the boardsides, 3 red front, 2 red rear.

So, that's my thoughts on possible large-medum Imperial ship releases. Next installment - Imperial ships smaller than 600m, plus fighters.