In today’s blog, Chris Cowburn from the Armada RC talks about the introduction of fliers – which are shipping this week!
Like Vultures, they prey on the weak, the isolated, the doomed!
The introduction of the varied flying creatures and contraptions in Pannithor to the Armada setting was an exciting challenge for the RC. It was the first time we could create a complete set of rules and mechanics in Armada. So, how can you use them in your fleets to crush your enemy?
Well, first, you probably need to know some of the basics of how they work! We approached the design of fliers very carefully. We wanted to make sure this was still a Naval game at heart, with fliers as a Support unit to your main fleet. We tried to balance gameplay with realism as much as possible; therefore ships can’t simply sail up to a flier and unleash a broadside and kill it, as in reality the flier would be out of the trajectory of the ships and safe. At the same time, fliers have turning angles like the other ships, to stop them being able to constantly carry out attacks on a single ship until it is sunk.
In order to influence a game, a flier must put themselves in harm’s way, whether this is swooping low and attacking the crew on the top deck, or flying in to perform a bombing run. When they do this, the ship, and all friendly ships within 3”, can retaliate against the flier. This represents the crews firing rifles, bows, javelins, and anything else they can launch towards the flier. The flier has a specific attack stat, and the retaliation is worked out based on the CS of the retaliating ships. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wise to go attack the L and XL ships right from the off, as the weight of dice will severely hurt your flier.
Instead, it is best to try and focus on the T, S and M ships, especially ones that have become slightly separated from the rest of the force in the early game, and then turn your attention to any ships that need a few extra points of damage late game to force those nerve checks or even sink ships. The fliers will not be able to sustain constant attacks before they themselves are destroyed, so sometimes it is better to circle your prey, waiting like vultures to attack the ships at death’s door.
Fliers cannot capture objectives or loot tokens etc., so there’s no risk of a dragon swooping in, picking up some treasure and then flying off into the sunset without a chance of being neutralised. A dead flier will score your opponent VPs though in scenarios that score for destroying enemy ships, so you will be left with some tough choices in your games on whether to risk a last minute attack.
You also need to be mindful of enemy fliers, as fliers can attack each other. When this is done, the flier being attacked can choose whether to Fight or Dodge. Fight will hurt both fliers, while a Dodge will make it harder for the enemy to hit you, but impact you during your next activation.
Each flier has a special rule, which will provide benefits to your attacks, or disadvantages to your enemy attacks, so utilising these will be key. Fliers are a great addition to games of Armada, and provide a whole new dynamic without distracting from this being a naval combat game. I cannot wait to get my hands on some for my fleets!