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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Star Wars Armada - Ship Review: The CR90 Corvette

By Steven McLauchlan

Now that Wave 2 has really made Armada feel like a complete game, I thought it would be fun to write up some articles taking a closer look at the ships and their roles. I'm going to start with what is probably my favorite ship in all of Star Wars: The CR90 Corvette.

Like all current ships in Armada, the CR90 comes in two distinct flavors: The A and B Variant. Both versions sport 4 hull, 1 blue anti-squadron die, 1 Command, 1 squadron, 2 engineering and a maximum speed of 4 with a very generous allocation of "clicks" making the ship both fast and maneuverable. The shields are 2 on the front and sides and 1 on the rear, which when combined with the hull of 4 makes for a ship that can't take a substantial beating. The CR90 is a rapier, not a broadsword- intended to outmaneuver your opponent and use speed and maneuver as its defense. Speaking of defense, it possesses 2 evade tokens and 1 redirect.

The A variant clocks in at 44 points and is armed with a forward battery of 2 reds and 1 blue; a side armament of 1 red 1 blue, and a rear armament of 1 red. The B variant replaces all red dice with blue dice and provides a cost savings of 5 points; clocking in at 39.

Both variants feature an officer upgrade, a support tech upgrade, and a defensive retrofit. The A and B retrofits offer turbolaser upgrade slots and ion cannon upgrade slots respectively.

Because the ship is so flexible, it can easily find a home in just about any build. Mon Mothma's ability with the ship is obvious, making it far more survivable if it finds itself at closer ranges against the enemy and so works with either version. Ackbar works well with the Corvette A; and while it's side arc isn't huge, their maneuverability usually ensures having a shot setup. Furthermore, Ackbar encourages kiting the opponent, which will help keep the CR90 A at red range. Due to the ship's relative squishiness, Rieekan is also a good choice- particularly with the B variant who tends to not live long one it's within blue range of the enemy! Include Engine Techs on a CR90 B for a cruise missile CR90 that can "ram" for 2 additional points of damage with Rieekan for extra shenanigans!

The ship works fine in a Dodonna list, but doesn't benefit much from Garm Bel Iblis. Again, though, the ship is so inexpensive and flexible it can easily find a home in any build.

Turbolaser Reroute Vettes
Initially, I preferred the cheaper version of the Corvette to the more expensive A. Red dice, I decided, were too risky and I'd rather save the points for the same hull. Since the introduction of wave 2, and specifically the Turbolaser Reroute Circuit , the Corvette A has really come into its own. Though it drives the cost of the A to 51 points (which is tied with the next cheapest ship in the game: The Nebulon B Support Refit), the punch it packs is substantial. Especially with the ability to concentrate fire on a moment's notice owing to the 1 command, the "Turbolaser Reroute Vette" can punch above its weight by making those pesky red dice infinitely more reliable. Got a double arc shot? If you're willing to exhaust both of your evades, even if you completely whiff on your dice you're guaranteed 4 damage!
My Corvette Collection

The Guaranteed Damage
Another awesome combo is the CR90 B with SW-7 Ion Batteries. Clocking in at a mere 44 points, this variant does as many damage as dice you roll. With a dual arc shot and a Concentrate Fire command, you can nab 6 damage which is nothing to sneeze at!

The Titles
Tantive IV combined with Leia Organa works well trailing a larger ship with 3 command, allowing it to respond quickly to a changing situation. In wave 2, however, more and more upgrade cards like Support Officer have reduced the need for that combo. Dodonna's Pride can be interesting, particularly when paired with it's namesake, but it's hard to see spending 1 more point over those SW-7s to have the CHANCE of dealing a single face up card. When it works, it works, but by and large I think it's fallen out of favor. Jaina's Light, however, still sees extensive use in my play groups. For a mere 2 points, it offers the ship additional protection by hiding behind obstacles or larger ships without penalty.

Other Upgrades to Consider
Both Electronic Countermeasures and Advanced Projectors are decent choices on a ship you're trying to keep alive (Your flagship, for example). I've come to like Lando Calrissian, and eliminating your opponent's good roll could easily be the difference between life and death for your little Corvette. Overload Pulse is also a strong option, as long as you can follow it up with a big hit from a ship like an MC80, though in practice I found it was just too unreliable to count on.

On the Table
I love flying this little guy around the table. Quite possibly my favorite Rebel ship in Armada. But, they are definitely weak when they take any amount of fire. I've seen them one-shotted on numerous occasions by ISD IIs and MC80s. Maneuvering at high speed also takes a bit of practice, though the ability to swing outside of a ship's preferred arcs (IE the front of an ISD or the side of an MC80) is awesome, and can frustrate your opponents' plans.

I hope you've enjoyed this look at the CR90! Come back next week for part two.

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