Turn 30 hyperpings: dsA, A3, dsB, C2, E, F1, F2, G1, dsG, H2, dsH, I1, dsL, M, N1.
500 point fleets (PL attacker vs GNIPian defender) clash over H2. A scarred Gungan GRM is instantly obliterated in the crossfire. A 7 is rolled; Proprietary Limited loses 2 Pelta Cs, and a third is scarred. 4 GF are KIA or MIA. The GNIPian Dreadnought Titan is scarred. Though they are not technically tied on points, this is due to force distribution. As the attacker, Proprietary Limited must retreat.
A 496 point URASC fleet attacks a 495 point Wookiee fleet defending A3. A 9 is rolled; 4 Wookiee Y-wing squadrons, a B-wing squadron, and a GRM are lost in a courageous bombing run that scars the URASC Dreadnought Abolisher. A Wookiee Pelta C is scarred; the URASC must retreat.
A 487 point Gungan fleet stumbles upon a 492 point Proprietary Limited fleet over G1. The Gungans have a hold fire order in place; Proprietary Limited does not, leading to a -1 defender's advantage. A 3 is rolled and reduced to a 2. The Gungans lose 3 Hammerhead Torpedo Corvettes, 2 GRM, 2 Peltas, an A-wing squadron and 8 GF. 2 MC80CCs are scarred but survive thanks to their comrades' sacrifice, and the Gungans must retreat. No Proprietary Limited casualties. The Commanding PL officer, Admiral Rynce Garindal, is immediately reassigned to the Hyena campaign.
Turn 31 is now live. Orders are due in 48 hours.
Awaiting orders from:
Orders processed: LTD, Dras, GNIPs, Forty, Bertie Wooster.
Thank you for your patience.
@GiledPallaeon This was a fun and informative read so thank you for tossing it together. But now I'm curious how you think carriers and Star Wars mixed-role craft who also act as carriers (basically all of the capital ships) fits into your grouping?
Alright, over the last little while I’ve been in some conversations about exactly what different nautical terms mean for ships, and what does Star Wars do or not do in relation to the accepted uses of those terms elsewhere. Rather than continue to repeat myself until the end of time, I figured I’d write this up real quick as a reference sheet.
Before we begin, I need to get some assumptions out of the way. First, I will try to only use acronyms after I have appropriately defined them. Second, I will be moving forward and backward in time, and across multiple different naval schools of thought as I move through this. I promise all of it is intended to be a succinct explanation, but some of this history is so old the original meanings don’t apply anymore, but you need to understand them to see how we got where we are today. Third, any comparative adjective (big, small, slow, fast) is a relative term. Something is fast relative to something else, smaller than something else in the same time and space.
Finally, Star Wars is a mess. It is flagrantly disorganized, and absolutely does not care about the designations I am about to lay out, only regarding the Rule of Cool as the law of the land (space?). To that end, I will be trying to focus on the context of Star Wars Armada specifically, but in a few instances, I will discuss broader implications and patterns in both Legends and MouseCanon.
There are five major types of ship we are going to discuss today: corvette, frigate, destroyer, cruiser, and battleship. For the latter three, I will be going into some details about exceptions or close relations that don’t deserve (IMO) their own specific discussion but are worth discussing in the context of something else.
Let’s start with corvette. These are the small expendable ships that are the outermost pickets of a fleet, the least dangerous, but also the least expensive and the easiest to produce en masse. In real life, corvettes are generally the smallest true ocean-going warships you have, and are typically not capable of defending themselves against a large and aggressive adversary. Historically that emphasis on low cost also tends to mean these are the slowest by a fair margin, but the typical role is that of escort, particularly for merchantmen where speed is not at a premium.
The three ships Armada calls corvettes are all roughly in that zone, but they all can also fit in other categories, which we will discuss when we get there. These are the Raider, the Hammerhead, and the CR90. These are all the cheap picket ships of their faction, though none are particularly slow or unmaneuverable. Of the three, I would personally argue the only true corvette is the Hammerhead. Its role in Armada is to be cheap, and nibble at larger targets until a real damage threat comes along. ExRacks does mitigate this to a degree, but the point stands.
The next size type is frigate. By self-classification, this is the ship type in most common use around the world today. The origin of the term has nothing to do with the mission and everything to do with the design. During the Age of Sail, a frigate was a ship that was “frigate-rigged”. Frigates were designed as intermediary vessels between the plethora of smaller ships, which could be warships, and true ships of the line. They retained only one main gun deck (though larger ones would mount light armament on the main deck) but typically outgunned most other ships that were not ships of the line. The critical component was a combination of rigging (sails and things) and slender (comparatively) hull form that allowed the frigate to be extremely fast. Frigates could outrun most anything when the winds were favorable, and still pummel into submission anything smaller than they were that they ran down.
Over time, this type has radically evolved. Modern frigates tend to focus on defense, both of self and area defense of other ships. These are your archetypal escort units. They’re bigger and more capable than corvettes, but not as aggressive as a destroyer (we’re getting there), nor as capable of leading a squadron as a cruiser. I would upclass the CR90 to this role, and place the Nebulon (arguably) here as well. Ironically, the other two Rebel ships (none of the Imperial vessels meet these qualifications) the Assault Frigate and the MC30 Scout/Torpedo Frigate are very much not frigates, even with the emphasis of the latter on speed.
Star Wars lore is almost as flippant about the term frigate as “cruiser” and “Star Destroyer”. Things of all sizes, types, and varieties are referred to as frigates in different media. In short, it’s a term to ignore. Compare ships using criteria related to what they are and what they do, not their role. Frigates tend to be still quite numerous compared to heavier vessels, but not as expendable as a corvette. More emphasis on ship self-defense and survivability tends to pop up here.
This is going to be one of the contentious ones, so please finish reading this before you go angrily comment. Before I get any further, the term “Star Destroyer” has no apparent connection to the idea of a destroyer, and will be ignored as such.
Destroyers are one of the younger ideas included in this history lesson. They owe their existence to the invention of another weapon: the self-propelled torpedo. Now, when a modern audience hears the word torpedo they probably think of this or this. That’s not the origin of the term. The term originally meant an explosive charge of any kind intended to be detonated against the hull of a ship. When Rear Admiral Farragut (allegedly) shouted “**** the torpedoes, full steam ahead!” he was not ignoring self-propelled torpedoes, He was ordering his ships to avoid what would today be called naval mines.
Two years later the British engineer Robert Whitehead invented for the Austrians the first self-propelled underwater missile, thereafter referred to as the automobile torpedo, or just torpedo. At the time, ironclad steam-powered ships were just beginning their takeover of the world’s navies, and the new weapon offered the opportunity for smaller, faster vessels to attack larger, heavily armored opponents with a weapon that could bypass those defenses. (If someone wants an explanation of how a torpedo really attacks its target, please post and I will make a separate addendum on the subject.) At the time battleships consisted of large, unmaneuverable ships bristling with weapons, but the speed of torpedo boats, frequently converted speedboats dropping their weapons from racks on the outside of the speedboat were notoriously difficult to hit. Enter the torpedo boat destroyer.
Over time, “torpedo boat destroyer” was shortened to “destroyer” but the role was further enabled by engine technologies and rapid-fire guns. The role of these early ships was to seek out and destroy the small pests that posed such a significant threat to the battle squadrons, and eventually they acquired their own torpedo armament to carry out similar attacks against the enemy fleet.
Modern destroyers bear the most in common with what in the World War I and II eras would have been called “fleet destroyers”. These are larger, high performance vessels, in some cases arguably usurping the role of the cruiser, designed to aggressively seek out and destroy the enemy. Many, particularly American classes such as the Arleigh Burke retain significant capability for area defense, especially air defense, but they are a fundamentally offensive ship whose defense often comes down to the weapons the ship left port with.
Armada has several destroyers: Raiders, Gladiators, and MC30s all seek out and destroy the enemy, often at close range. All retain an element of DD (destroyer) philosophy in their hit-and-run tactics, most obviously exemplified by Soviet designs such as the Project 956 Sovremenny class’ unreloadable anti-ship missile armament, but even the torpedo tubes on World War II destroyers were difficult (at best) to reload in the middle of combat, providing the captains with a powerful weapon but limited uses.
To pre-emptively address a concern that will be raised in our next discussion, MC30s and Gladiators are perfectly capable of serving as flagships for MSU fleets, which starts pushing the line into cruiser territory. From a certain point of view, they both probably are cruisers, and are operating in that role to a degree when they are flagships. However, I am choosing to retain the classification of destroyer here, if perhaps destroyer leader (a bigger, meaner destroyer meant to lead normal-sized ones in battle) due to the aggressive playstyle they are clearly designed for.
So, the best way to easily explain cruisers is a poem by Rudyard Kipling. Cruisers are the middleweight go-anywhere do-anything units in your force. They can punish smaller ships and groups of cruisers can harass or even destroy a capital ship (a battleship or battlecruiser). A cruiser is fully capable of operating on its own, and would be allowed to engage a peer opponent without waiting for backup if the situation required it. The other characteristic of cruisers is the ability to lead a group of ships their size or smaller. For this reason, cruisers are often equipped with separate facilities for a flag officer to lead his squadron and fight the overall battle, as well as quarters and support equipment to maintain his staff and those operations.
Every ship left in Armada that isn’t a Large base, so the Assault Frigate, the Pelta, the Arquitens, the Victory, and the Interdictor is a cruiser. (The Quasar is obviously a carrier and so undergunned I’m ignoring it here.) These can be further broken up into light cruisers, heavy cruisers, and armored cruisers. Armored cruisers were invented first, alongside predreadnought battleships (see Battleships), and were made obsolete by the invention of the dreadnought. They are best characterized by ultra-heavy (by cruiser standards) armor proof against the weapons of anything not wielding battleship-size weapons, and numerous rapid fire but small guns. The only armored cruiser in Armada is the Interdictor, a role it managed to bring back from the naval dead.
Light cruisers and heavy cruisers are distinguished by their weight of armor and the size of their weapons. Under the Washington Naval Treaty, a light cruiser was any ship not a destroyer or smaller that possessed a main battery of 6” guns and was under 10,000 tons gross displacement. These cruisers were intended to be fast, cheap(er), to lead destroyer squadrons quite frequently, and to defend battle fleets against the same. By contrast, a heavy cruiser would mount 8” guns, and often armor proof against the same, and lead squadrons against other cruisers. Heavy cruisers in particular were often fitted to operate as flagships, and would lead squadrons and detachments not lead by a capital ship. Armada’s light cruisers are the Arquitens and the Pelta, while the Assault Frigate and the Victory are firmly heavy cruisers.
Battleships (and Battlecruisers)
The big boys, battleships. Again, the idea comes to us from the Age of Sail, when it was a “line of battle ship”, or more commonly “ship of the line”. Ships of the line came in rates that compared their size and weight of armament, and fought large confrontations in formations often line astern (one ship following behind another and so on). Over time, these evolved into ironclads, then predreadnoughts, dreadnoughts, battlecruisers, superdreadnoughts, and fast battleships. Each of those classifications is directly related to a certain technological, design, or doctrinal development that changed how the type was designed, built, and used in combat. To summarize the difference, early predreadnoughts used a mixed battery of weapons as their primary armament. HMS Dreadnought ended that trend, as did USS South Carolina by introducing the dreadnought type of all-same-caliber main battery weapons and only some smaller weapons for close defense. Superdreadnoughts were the evolution of that, bigger, heavier, more heavily armed and armored. In 1922 the Washington Naval Treaty ended battleship production among the world’s major naval powers, leading to a design hiatus while technology surged ahead. When World War II, those improvements allowed the creation of so-called “fast battleships” which while still sporting heavy armor and weaponry also were more balanced designs incorporating greater speed and flexibility into the overall ship.
Battleships (BB) more generally are the heavy hitters of a fleet, capable of smashing anything smaller than they are (that they can hit) and withstanding and returning copious amounts of damage from their counterparts in other navies. They are the pride and joy of fleet admirals, and the expensive weights on navy pocketbooks that drive legislatures ballistic. Some (though fewer than you might imagine) were fitted with flagship facilities, and none ever left port without heavy escort of all sizes.
Related to the battleship and invented at the same time is the battlecruiser (BC). These come in three flavors: British, German, and Japanese. British battlecruisers sacrificed durability to move at cruiser speeds with battleship caliber guns. They were not intended to stand in a line of battle with other battleships but to operate as its fast wing destroying anything else the enemy fleet might have maneuvering or in reserve. This is typically the design philosophy referred to when someone says something is a battlecruiser.
German battlecruisers by contrast sacrificed weapons caliber (though still hilariously outgunning any cruiser) to keep battleship grade armor at cruiser speeds. These ships were designed to fight in the line of battle when necessary, and acquitted themselves well when they did so at the Battle of Jutland. Japanese battlecruisers would sacrifice no expense (and less armor reductions than British battleships) to bring exceptional performance approaching that of much later fast battleships at outrageous prices.
Obviously all of the Large base ships in Armada are either battleships or battlecruisers. For myself, I would class the ISD as a fast battleship, with the Cymoon pushing the line into the battlecruiser for its notoriety as a small ship hunter. Similarly, the Liberty is a battlecruiser, the Home One a dreadnought (emphasizing armor and firepower at the expense of speed), and the MC75 in limbo as either a battlecruiser or fast battleship (the distinction is pretty narrow and relates to design intent more than actual technical characteristics) depending on your point of view. (Many fast battleships sacrificed a little bit of armor for a lot of speed.)
Now, depending on what you think of Star Wars canon, all of the Large ships are up for grabs in terms of role. Typically for example, the heavy Mon Calamari ships are referred to as cruisers or capital ships, which in normal naval parlance is synonymous with battleship/battlecruiser, which doesn’t make much sense. Cruiser isn’t wrong, they’re powerful warships leading independent missions and squadrons, but they also make up the Rebel “wall of battle”, the fleet in being the Emperor was intent on crushing at the Battle of Endor.
Similarly, the Finalizer class is referred to in many sources as a battlecruiser, despite including many survivability improvements from the Imperial class. Finally, there is the debate about whether the ISD is a true battleship or a jumped-up heavy cruiser. For myself, I consider a battleship, if perhaps a small one when compared to many of the semi-canon designs such as those by the famous FractalSponge that dwarf it in size and power. It is, at smallest, a heavy cruiser by virtue of its role as the Imperial Navy ship of choice when a planet needs blockading or there is any indication of serious combat threat in a situation. However, its use as the heavy muscle in many situations and the famous durability and firepower leave me more comfortable designating it a battleship and leaving the details to Lucasfilm, who really couldn’t care less.
Hopefully this was informative and you enjoyed the read. If there’s anything else you’d like me to expound upon, please feel free to ask. See page 2 of this thread for a version of this writeup intended to mimic an in-canon intel brief.
- Will Clone Wars factions have its own Core Set or will it be just ship expansion packs compatible with current Armada Core Set ?
- Do you consider releasing updated errata card packs to update all of the cards?
- is SSD only huge ship for Armada? If not do you have an estimate release time for other huge ships?
- For both X-Wing and Armada, do you plan releasing new mats ?
Working on a paint scheme for my Imperials. The front of the ship is what the end result for the entire base of the hull will be. The metallic is actually a bit darker in person. Most of the raised bits are going to be either a lighter silver or a copper color like the falcon at the bottom.
Its been awhile since ive played Aramada, Many things contributed to my selling off of most of my collection but ive always loved the concept. Star wars space battles, yes please!
However though I enjoyed the original game I was always left with a bittersweet taste when it game to the actual games. With the exception of fighter combat which was mostly great ship combat felt off to me, and with more expansions more and more the game became about what "upgrades" you had as opposed to what tactics you used. I think most people who play FFG games prefer this kind of game to the closer to simulation games that I like. Although I am not married to complicated, I just wanted the emphasis to be on maneuver rather than upgrades and the meta there. Sure there is a "kind" of maneuvering in the game but its nothing like what I imagine real large scale capital ship combat to be like in star wars. It reminds me more of Patrol boats swerving and shooting at each other in some shallow water battlefields.
Anyway, I did enjoy the time I spent with the game but ultimately moved on, to create/modify my own version of armada. Its based on Halo Fleet battles rules for those of you who know what that is and uses the same scale 1/20000.
And the scale specifically is what id like to talk about, actually Im excited to buy the new SSD thats coming out (I check back every once in awhile, wasnt it supposed to be out already?) because it is MUCH closer to my scale and will look GREAT next to my force as opposed to the armada destroyers.
I think 1/20000 would have been a much better scale for armada, sadly there is no going back now and I know this has been brought up many times for discussion. This really isnt about rehashing that debate, more its just a post for me to showcase my own work and a sort of tribute to what could have been.
That said, I HOPE that Armada is not dead as I often read and is just in a kind of hibernation.
Here is various images of my work in 1/20000 scale
I don't think I need to wait for LTD and Forty to play out the rest of the game, we all know what happens next:
@LTD realizes he's been had, and takes some vigilante justice out on @FortyInRed.
@FortyInRed also kills @LTD at the same time.
LTD was a Town 1-Shot Vigilante; Forty was a Mafia Goon.
Neither Mafia nor Town has met their win condition--at least one member must survive. It's a tie. Good game everyone! @Madaghmire @The Jabbawookie @clontroper5 @Matt3412 @GhostofNobodyInParticular
Scum chat: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZHxlOLPWWpAVQjqfD8uvtx2U-v3Ldn2cp3-cPz2XNLc/edit