There are some cool new fleets coming to Armada! The Northern Alliance/Varangur sets are available to pre-order now from the Mantic website, or your local gaming store. To celebrate this chilly release, we asked RC member Chris Cowburn to give us the low down on how these new factions play. Over to you Chris…
The latest fleets making their presence felt on the seas of Pannithor are the Northern Alliance and the Varangur. Hailing from the same region, the ship designs are very similar between the two, but what about their rules?
Let’s mention each fleet’s special rules first.
The Northern Alliance are known throughout Pannithor for being able to spring surprise attacks on the enemy, and they continue this trait in Armada. Northern Alliance ships are able to utilise their Glide ability and move further than normally allowed once per activation, providing they first pass a Skill test. This can really catch your opponent off guard, if suddenly your ship moves into grapple range, or swings around to the stern ready to unleash a point blank rake.
The Varangur meanwhile, are known for their vengeance. Their special rule is Retribution, which means any time a Varangur ship loses a boarding action, the winning ship(s) immediately suffer additional damage. This means through a war of attrition, the Varangur should come out on top… eventually.
The Busse is the standard XL ship of both the Northern Alliance and Varangur. This ship boasts an impressive broadside, putting out 3H, 4C weapons and 2IW shots. The Busse has no bow gun though, so you’ll have to be patient before unleashing its array of projectiles.
The Vallellion is the unique ship available to the Northern Alliance, and is a variant of the Busse. The differences are that the IWs have moved to the bow, and the ship has a detachment of Ice Kin Berserkers on board, who will fight with a further three attacks if the ship wins a boarding action. Talk about kicking a sea dog while they’re down!
The Reaper’s Mask is the Varangur take on the Busse, with the bow being outfitted with 3C weapons, alongside a higher CS! It also has the special rule ‘Gaze of Korgaan’, which adversely affects any enemy ships attempting to ‘Fire as she Bears’ against it. It also hinders any enemy ships starting too close from making turns.
The Northern Alliance have two Medium battle ships at their disposal: the Draakar and the Icebreaker. The Draakar is built for speed, so isn’t going to stand up to too many broadsides, but once it grapples with the enemy, they should be able to take on other Medium ships, and maybe even some Large ones too. The Ice Breaker is armed with 3H guns on its broadside, and is more heavily armed than the Draakar, so is better suited to getting into raking positions. That being said, when things are looking desperate, you can attempt a Ram!
Both fleets have access to Karvi Squadrons, and boy are these mean. They boast 1C, which will make enemy ships want to stay clear of them, and they also have the trapper rule, meaning any friendly ship within 6″ will count as having the Grappling Hooks upgrade.
Onto Fliers, and the amazing Chimera has made an appearance in Armada as well. These fearsome beasts have a greater chance of causing increased damage with their attacks.
The Northern Alliance can take Ice Naiad Ensnarers as one of their upgrade options. During boarding actions, each successful hit from a ship with the Naiads will reduce the damage dealt by the enemy ship by 1.
The Varangur Main battle ships can be equipped with the Infernal Runes. These give one additional attack from one weapon position each activation, and if it hits, will set the enemy ship ablaze. They are short ranged and do not benefit from the usual modifiers, but when they work, they can really alter your opponent’s plans.
There are plenty more surprises to discover from these two fleets, but hopefully this has whetted your appetite enough to pre-order the COOLest new fleet in the docks.