“To defeat an enemy, you must know them. Not simply their battle tactics, but their history, philosophy, art.”
–Grand Admiral Thrawn, Star Wars Rebels
Across the Galactic Civil War, the Rebel Alliance has faced few threats that can match the tactical genius of Grand Admiral Thrawn. A general with a strategic mind like no other, Thrawn has come closer than nearly any other opponent to bringing the young rebellion to its knees. With grand-scale fleet combat as Thrawn’s greatest area of expertise, it’s fitting that he now makes his debut in Star Wars™: Armada!
In our earlier preview, we already saw Grand Admiral Thrawn through the eyes of World Champion Josiah Burkhardsmeier, the very player whose vision brought Thrawn to life for your games Star Wars: Armada. Today, we turn our attention to Thrawn’s devastating flagship, as presented in the Chimaera Expansion Pack!
Refitted for Maximum Firepower
Within this Expansion Pack, you’ll discover a new Imperial-class Star Destroyer, emblazoned with Grand Admiral Thrawn’s chimaera sigil. This difference is merely on the surface level, but you’ll soon discover that Thrawn’s changes to the way you build and fly your fleet go far beneath the surface. The changes start with two new types of ship cards that you can use to refit your Imperial Star Destroyers—the Kuat Refit and the Cymoon 1 Refit. Both new ship cards offer new variants of upgrade bars and attack dice that you’ll be able to use to batter the Rebellion into submission in entirely new ways.
We’ve already looked at this expansion’s new commander: Grand Admiral Thrawn himself, but if you’re unable or unwilling to invest the number of points it requires to bring Grand Admiral Thrawn into your fleet, you can gain a fraction of the effect for a fraction of the cost with Taskmaster Grint. Like Thrawn, Taskmaster Grint rewards Imperial players for planning ahead at the start of the battle. After you deploy your fleets, you may place a command token of your choice on Taskmaster Grint—then, when you reveal a command matching that token later in the battle, you may gain a matching command token without spending the dial. If you want to expand your fleet’s ability to capitalize on a single type of command, Taskmaster Grint gives you the tools to make that command more impactful throughout the battle.
Imperial-class Star Destroyers are fearsome in battle, but few are more dangerous than the capital ships that made up Thrawn’s renowned Seventh Fleet. So long as you’re fielding multiple star destroyers, you could certainly benefit from equipping them each with the Seventh Fleet Star Destroyer title upgrade. Standard Imperial tactics and ship design dictate attacking head-on as often as possible—harnessing the triangular shape of the star destroyer to concentrate maximum laser fire on the enemy. Still, that frontal assault means you’ll likely be taking fire to your front hull. With the Seventh Fleet Star Destroyer upgrades, your ships can cover each other, reducing the damage that friendly ships take to their front hull.
You may also choose to designate one of your Imperial-class Star Destoyers as the Chimaera itself, opening the door to using your Fleet Command upgrade cards with a remarkable versatility. Not only does Chimaera give your ship a Fleet Command upgrade icon, it lets you discard an equipped Fleet Command upgrade in order to replace it with any other Fleet Command upgrade—cycling your Fleet Command upgrades mid-battle to find the one that works best for the current situation.
There are three Fleet Command upgrades in the Chimaera Expansion Pack, and each of them offers a devastating change of tactics to give you the upper hand. Entrapment Formation! gives your ships an added edge in maneuverability, changing their speed when they determine their course. Intensify Firepower! can guarantee that every friendly ship gets at least one hit during an attack. Finally, Shields to Maximum! gives you the opportunity to recover your shields and boost your ships’ defenses. Obviously, each of these Fleet Command upgrades require you to spend command tokens or discard the card if you want to use them—offering yet another reason why you might want to consider Taskmaster Grint as one of your fleet’s officers.
In addition to a repainted, refitted Imperial Star Destoyer and a true wealth of upgrades, this expansion also includes two new squadrons—the Mandalorian Gauntlet Fighters. In addition to being hard-hitting in combat, the Mandalorian Guantlet Fighters are Rogue squadrons—meaning they can both move and attack during the Squadron phase. What’s more, they’re adept at intercepting your opponent’s commands and helping to dispel his control over his fleet.
Mandalorian Guantlet Fighters benefit from the Assault ability—allowing them to sacrifice a hit when attacking a ship in order to give that ship a raid token. Each raid token bears a symbol matching a type of command—and while a ship has that raid token, it cannot execute that type of command! Perhaps you desperately want to stop your opponent from repairing his ship or you need to pin down his squadrons. By sending your Mandalorian Gauntlet Fighters out on assault, you can keep those commands from interfering with your own well-laid plans.
An Artful Victory
Grand Admiral Thrawn is coming to your games of Star Wars: Armada—and he isn’t coming alone. He’s bringing the whole Seventh Fleet with him, including his flagship, Chimaera. How will you use Thrawn’s tactical genius in your games?
You can pre-order the Chimaera Expansion Pack (SWM29) at your local retailer or online through our website today!