Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Some Objective Analysis

I tend to use similar Objectives in most of my fleets in Armada.  Partly this is because those objectives are suited to my play style.  Most of the reason is based on how I rate the objectives and what I am looking to get out of them.  This influences both the objectives that I play with my fleet and those of my opponent's that I choose when going first.

I try to be focused on the outcome of the game when I'm choosing objectives.  So, there are two things to really consider:
  • How much of an advantage does the second player get?  
  • How many additional points are likely to be scored?
The first criteria seems pretty obvious, but the second is really important in tournament settings.  With tournament points being determined by the overall margin of victory, it's important to give yourself the chance to score as many points as you can.  Some objectives allow for no additional points, while others have allowed me to score hundreds of extra MoV.  While you do risk your opponent scoring additional points, the second player has the advantage and the reward is typically worth the risk.  Here is some of the thinking that I've used to evaluate objectives.

Red Objectives

Advanced Gunnery

  • 2nd Player Advantage - High (with exceptions)
  • Additional Points Possible - 18-120 (often on the high end)
Advanced Gunnery gives a potentially huge advantage to the second player.  The ability to double shoot a target is even better than double-arcing as both shots often come from the best arc on the ship.  The first player gets a reduced, but still solid boost.  In my opinion this objective should really only be taken by fleets with the MC-80.  It gains the most benefit and has a huge hole that gets filled with its inability to take Gunnery Teams.  When I play with an MC-80, I will always grab this objective from my opponents choices.  It just makes the MC-80 so good.  While the ISD can get a boost as well, it often has Gunnery Teams, which according to the latest FAQ override the bonus from the objective.  This objective generally scores a good number of points as players will put the bonus on their best ship.

Most Wanted

  • 2nd Player Advantage - High
  • Additional Points Possible - 18-120 (heavily slanted towards the second player)
The second players real advantage with this objective is setting the number of bonus points available.  They can select an expensive ship of their opponents and a cheap ship of their own.  Even if both ships are lost, the 2nd players can come out 70+ points ahead, which is a big swing.  This is a great objective for any fleet with a flotilla.

Opening Salvo

  • 2nd Player Advantage - Low
  • Additional Points Possible - Highly variable, but more likely to the losing player
I dislike this objective.  Overall, the bonus for the second player is pretty low.  It can be good if you have significantly more activations than your opponent, but with a bad match up you can come out behind.  Really though, it is the additional points scored that put me off this advantage.  If I play really well and table my opponent, this objective gives me nothing.  If my opponent doesn't kill a single ship, it may still give them points.  Play well and win by less?  No thanks.

Precision Strike

  • 2nd Player Advantage - Low
  • Additional Points Possible - Extremely High!
This is an underrated objective, but a risky one.  Overall, being able to start with some Concentrate Fire tokens is a pretty small advantage to the second player.  It is the most even of the red objectives.  It really comes down to the bonus points, as this objective offers the most possible points of the red objectives.  When playing Precision Strike I have found myself farming ships for points towards the end of the game.  While Bombers can interact with this objective, having lots of ships seems to work better on the table.  Each attack becomes a chance to score points, so the more attacks the better, whether they are from ships or bombers.  When I am the first player I will almost always grab this when I see it, as the 2nd player advantage is so low I don't mind giving it up.

Yellow Objectives

Contested Outpost

  • 2nd Player Advantage - Potentially High
  • Additional Points Possible - 120
This has been a popular objective with Imperial players since the start of the game.  Forcing your opponent to go to a particular location played heavily to the VSDs strength.  This is generally also a great objective squadron heavy fleets.  This is a good objective against fleets that feature smaller, mobile ships as they often don't want to be forced to be near a specific area.  The potential points scoring is good as well.  As second player you get a nice head start on the bonus points.

Fire Lanes

  • 2nd Player Advantage - High
  • Additional Points Possible - 270!!
Fire Lanes has some of the highest potential bonus points in the game and definitely for the yellow objectives.  For that reason alone it is one of my favorites.  I tend to see this more with Rebels than Imperials, which probably has to do with the broadside firepower of Rebels.  It is a rarely played objective, but often plays out a bit like Contested Outpost.  The second player often has a 90 point head start on the game with this objective.  The 3 objective markers don't have to be sperated and can actually be stacked in one spot if desired.

Fleet Ambush

  • 2nd Player Advantage - Minimal
  • Additional Points Possible - 0
This objective seems like it should be good.  You get the chance to split up your opponent's fleet and force the action.  It doesn't often work out that way.  In the end, the advantage is not enough to make up for your opponent going first and at close quarters.  Add in the fact that no additional points can be scored and I avoid this objective in most cases.

Hyperspace Assault

  • 2nd Player Advantage - High
  • Additional Points Possible - 0
Unlike Fleet Ambush, this objective does give a large advantage to the second player.  You can put a ship in a spot that really make it hard on your opponent.  The lack of bonus points is why I don't include it in my fleet and the disadvantage is why I don't choose it as first player.

Blue Objectives

Dangerous Territory

  • 2nd Player Advantage - Moderate
  • Additional Points Possible - 90 - split between 2 players
The second player with this objective gets a nice bonus in being able to barrel over obstacles with no risk at all.  That freedom of navigation can provide the 2nd player with an opportunity to out maneuver their opponent.  The objective isn't worth a ton of points and in many cases ends up split down the middle.  This objective seems to be more about the tactical advantages it provides.  I used to take this frequently, but now favor objectives that score more points.

Intel Sweep

  • 2nd Player Advantage - Low
  • Additional Points Possible - 75
Intel Sweep doesn't offer much of an advantage, but does give the 2nd player a big boost in grabbing the 75 bonus points that are available.  I wouldn't typically choose this as one of my missions as the 2nd player advantage is pretty low and the potential points aren't very high.  Where this objective has a niche is for fleets that want to break up an opposing formation a bit.  It's almost like a reverse Contested Outpost in some ways.


  • 2nd Player Advantage - Moderate
  • Additional Points Possible - 0
 This is another objective that I don't play very often as it offers no additional points.  With practice, I think the advantage to the 2nd player can be pretty big, but it is possible to blunder into your own trap.  This would probably be a good one to practice against as the 1st player.  If you got practiced at dodging the mines, you could really turn the tables on someone who brought this objective.

Superior Positions

  • 2nd Player Advantage - Moderate
  • Additional Points Possible - Potentially very high
Being able to see your opponent's full deployment before deploying your fleet can be a significant advantage.  I've played this as the first player quite a bit and find that I can often get my opponent to deploy after me in predictable ways depending on my setup.  That can take the sting out of this one for the 1st player.  Like Precision Strike there is no upper limit on the number of points that you can score.  I've been able to score over 200 points in tokens with this objective.  I've also had a 6th round shot from my opponent score just enough VPs to cost me a tournament point.  There is definitely some risk and reward to this objective.  It is really dangerous to play without a significant squadron force as you risk giving up a ton of points.

I don't know that there is a right and wrong to objectives.  You need to pick what suits your fleet and style.  For me, paying attention to both the 2nd player's advantage AND how many points are available has served me really well in tournament settings.  Based on that my fleets often use Most Wanted, Fire Lanes, and Superior Positions, while I look to grab Precision Strike from my opponent.  

What works for you?  How do you decide?


  1. Great article, thanks. Objective selection is really key in this game, as even an aggressive bid can end up going 2nd.

    With my Imperial tournament fleet (Vader, ISD, VSD, 2 GSDs, 4 TIEs) I went for Most Wanted (no one picks this), Contested Outpost (most popular pick) and Intel Sweep (less popular). The choice of objectives is all about a big points advantage (Most Wanted) and extra ability to focus down a key enemy ship, while the Defence and Navigation objectives are all about herding the enemy fleet into a specific spot for a black dice-palooza.

    I am quite risk averse, and run a low number of fighters so tend to avoid Superior Positions or Precision Strike as my potential loss is unbounded.

    I love Intel Sweep, as the advantage is quite subtle. With placement of 3 objectives, you get to control the flow of play - and by deferring objective ship deployment can really sucker punch your opponent. Meanwhile, they can't avoid the loss of 75 points which even at 400 is a decent chunk of change.

  2. Great article, I absolutely love Fire Lanes as second player Rebels :)

    1. I have never managed to figure out fire lanes. If there was a tactica article for that mission it would be helpful! Need to look up Biggs' objective guides...