Wave 6 has brought us the Admiral version of Princess Leia, who I want to focus and assess her potential to invigorate small ships.

At first glance, Leia is rather underwhelming. The obvious comparison to make is with Raymus Antilles

Raymus provides a stronger effect, without restrictions, and at just 7 points its hard to look at your 5 activation fleet and feel your getting real value. Raymus though does take up a ship’s officer slot, and is unique (he may have had his cost pushed a little as a result) and Leia doesn’t have to stop at 5. Fortunately, the rebels already have a plethora of small, efficient ships.

In particular, small ships are generally make the best use of the Concentrate Fire order, and if you have a blank dice result the token is effectively as good as resolving the dial. So there’s potential here for Leia to have a big impact.

Armada, for the moment, uses 3 dice. Lets take a look at them:

Looted from an excellent Eric Rhia article

So, immediately we can see that Black hits the hardest in terms of Damage, Blue is best for generating Accuracy, whilst Red is the weakest and primarily offers range.

How to resolve Leia’s Concentrate Firepower order

Both the added dice and the re-roll have to be used on the same attack, so it’s worth having a solid understanding of the proper ordering to use for those occasions when you have 2 arcs that are both getting to fire.

  1. Chose the arc & target for first attack, roll attack dice.
  2. Choose whether to add dice & use re-roll.
  3. Resolve defender’s defence tokens & deal damage.
  4. Chose the arc & target for second attack, roll attack dice.
  5. Add dice & re-roll if not already used
  6. Resolve defender’s defence tokens & deal damage.

It’s easy to simply announce an extra dice and throw it in with your first attack, but if you roll all hits and then blank on the second attack, you’ll be at a disadvantage to those using the process outlined above. Previously you’ve been spending a token, so all that was lost was an opporunity to spend that token to good effect. With Leia it’s a virtual token which if not used, isn’t still going to be around bext turn.

There are 2 ships in particular that I’m interested to try her with:

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette

It’s no coincidence the Leia Organa came in the Hammerhead expansion, with Leia’s boosted Concentrate Firepower providing both a dice and a re-roll, it greatly benefits a cheap ship that isn’t going to be having upgrades like Ordnance Experts or Leading Shots lavished on it.

Lets review this tiny brawler’s capabilities at each range with a CF order:

Long: 1 Red + Red

Medium: 1 Red, 1 Blue + 1 Blue (you might conceivably throw an extra red if desperately trying for 5 damage, but the default will be a Blue)

Close: 1 Red, 1 Blue, 1 Black, (+1 Black/Blue) + 1Black Broadside

At close range, you’ll be baseing your choice of an extra Black/Blue dice on how useful an Accuracy result is: is there a Brace, Scatter or Redirect token available to your target you’d prefer to bypass?

Alternatively, spreading your damage into multiple small parcels is an effective alternative for handling Defence tokens, so if a target is double arc’d consider adding the extra black dice to the Hammerhead’s broadside, and force you opponent to choose when to use them.

Testing your opponent with small attacks may cause them to reveal their philosophy on using defence tokens: some people spend them as soon as possible, to ensure they get some use out of them. Others will resist using them against small attacks, in anticipation of more powerful attacks later in the turn. The objective is to destroy the target using the minimum possible resources, and minimising the benefit your opponent generates from defensive tokens should be part of your strategy.

Gr-75 Combat Retrofits

These are ships that don’t see much play. A 6 point upgrade over the baseline Transport being seen as poor value, especially since Blue dice are best when forming part if a larger attack: accuracy results on their own or with a single point of damage are effectively blank after all.

With the Leia CF however, low numbers of Blue dice benefit from that re-roll

2 Blue standard vs with Re-roll expected damage chances:

0 damage: 6.25% vs 1.56%

1 damage: 37.5% vs 14.06%

2 damage: 56.25% vs 84.38%

Average: 1.5 vs 1.83: a 22% improvement, solid, but not as good as the 2.0 average damage Commander Sato can achieve by converting Blue Dice into Black ones.

However, Sato is a 1 trick pony, whilst Leia can also boost Navigation, Squadron Commands and Repair: whatever the ship is trying to do, it will manage to do it better.
Leia has some other synergies that are worth being aware of

  • “Yavaris” loves to always be activating 3 squadrons.
  • “Salvation” loves a re-rolls on a red dice.
  • Nebulon-Bs love to have 5 repair points; recovering 2 shields and moving a third.
  • Corvettes love to change speed by 2 on a navigate.
  • Transports love a free “Expanded Hanger Bay.
  • Corvettes love to be able to ditch a problematic critical.
  • Leia Organa has a great working relationship with her Nav Team.

Leia does come with a restriction however: people who are trying to do thing other than what she tells them arent going to get the benefit of her expertise.

When a friendly ship resolves a command by spending a command dial, if it has not resolved another command this round, it may resolve that command as if it spent a matching command token. If it does, that ship may not resolve additional commands this round.

So, what are we going to do with all those tokens that get banked on turn 1, and which we’d like to have some use for?

  • Transports love to use Comms Net to quickly build up tokens on Assault Frigates, Phoenix Home or another High Command ship.
  • Pelta’s love being able to spend banked tokens on Fleet Command upgrades, and still resolve Leia’s boosted orders.
  • Cham Syndulla, Boarding Troopers and Boarding Engineers all know how to use a banked Squadron token to mess with the enemy while Leia boosts the ship.
  • Ahsoka Tano is happy to help out, converting other banked tokens into the one’s needed to fuel the above abilities.

Leia is a great compliment to a Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette + External Racks, and at 39 points each you could cram up to 9 of them in, with  11 points left over as either a bid or for an extra couple of upgrades.

For those who don’t want to shell out on 5 Hammerhead expansions though, here are my thoughts on what a Leia fleet with a bit more variety could look like:

Leia’s Armada
Faction: Rebel Alliance
Points: 395/400

Commander: Leia Organa

Assault Objective: Opening Salvo
Defense Objective: Fire Lanes
Navigation Objective: Sensor Net

GR-75 Combat Retrofits (24 points)
24 total ship cost

GR-75 Combat Retrofits (24 points)
24 total ship cost

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36 points)
–  External Racks  ( 3  points)
39 total ship cost

Hammerhead Torpedo Corvette (36 points)
–  External Racks  ( 3  points)
39 total ship cost

CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
–  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
51 total ship cost

CR90 Corvette A (44 points)
–  Turbolaser Reroute Circuits  ( 7  points)
51 total ship cost

[ flagship ] Nebulon-B Support Refit (51 points)
–  Leia Organa  ( 38  points)
–  Salvation  ( 7  points)
–  Quad Battery Turrets  ( 5  points)
101 total ship cost

3 VCX-100 Freighters ( 45 points)
3 Z-95 Headhunter Squadrons ( 21 points)