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KoW Armada: Collision Baiting

KoW Armada: Collision Baiting

Ahoy Sailors! As you know I am most and foremost a passionate hobbyist. That being said I am also a pirate, a scoundrel and a fanatical enthusiast of Mantic Games Kings of War: Armada – a naval strategy game set in a rich world of Pannithor, pitting multiple wonderfully crafted and strongly themed factions against one another. Today I’m here to share some of my maritime experience.

Introduction to Collisions

Brutal naval warfare of Armada is pure chaos. Ships colliding with one another is a common sight on the gaming board. Even though the rules forbid colliding on purpose* there are ways to exploit collisions for an advantage. This strategy is known as Collision Baiting and I will show you how to execute it, as well as what is and is not permitted by the rules.

*Unless special rules allow it like RAM (x) etc.

Avoid Collisions While Moving, Rulebook p.16

If it is not the last Move Step in a ship’s activation, ensure its forward movement in the next Move Step will not result in a potential collision (with terrain or another ship). If this would result in a potential collision, alter the ship’s turn to avoid this as much as legally permitted.
Sometimes however, due to forward momentum, lack of turn angle, poor planning or just bad luck, collisions will be unavoidable (see page 20).

Collisions Rulebook, p.20

“Players must avoid deliberately ramming or colliding with other ships and terrain, unless a rule says otherwise. Orcs for example, delight in the carnage caused by ramming their ships into the enemy!
However, on occasion, a newly Activated ship may have no option but to collide (perhaps due to poor planning!).
Only consider the bases of the ships (or terrain features) involved when checking for collisions.
If faced with more than one accidental collision target, the player using the Activating ship can choose which one to hit.”

Can and Can’t do

Rules out of the way: During ship’s activation and when moving a ship, a player is not allowed to set a collision course for the NEXT MOVE STEP on purpose, unless there is no other choice or the ship has a special rule that would otherwise allow it. This does not affect the last Move step.

Some basic examples below.

The Gur Panther, moving at Battle Speed, just moved it’s first Move step. With a 30* turn the Gur Panther is capable, and so it must set a course to avoid a collision before it’s second Move.

The Gur Panther moving at Full Speed, that had just made it’s first Move. There is no immediate collision threat for the next Move, thus the Gur Panther does not have to turn and is allowed to maintain it’s course. It is legal to stay on course, even though, due to lack of other options, the ship will be forced to collide during third Move step.
After second Move the Gur Panther find’s itself in a position where it cannot avoid a collision. It is forced to stay on course and suffer the consequences.

The Monolith made a final Move of it’s activation. During final Move the ship is not forced to avoid potential collisions and can instead ‘prime itself’ for one. With favorable winds and failed Evasion tests the Monolith will crash into the Gur Panther on it’s next activation.

This example shows an “honest mistake” referred to by the rules. Let’s say the wind blew from the North. Gunbrig moved Full Speed to set itself between the Soulhunter and the Gur Panther. Being a small (priority) target makes it more difficult to hit by the Soul Hunter and with wind blowing from the North the plan is to activate right after and move out of the Gur Panther’s way. But oh no! The wind changes direction to North/East. This means the Gur Panther is to activate first and the Gunbrig is in it’s way. A potential collision is imminent.

Collision Baiting in Practice

We now know that under normal circumstances a ship is not allowed to deliberately move to collide during it’s activation. Still this leaves the doors open for a little exploitation. Players are allowed to set up their ships in the way of incoming enemy. This strategy is called Collision Baiting and apart from potential damage and negative mods dealt to enemy ship, it can also prematurely end it’s activation!

The basics is simple: End your ship’s Move upfront and close to enemy ship in a way that will force an Evasion test. If both ships fail their tests – CRASH!

This can be used to deal damage to enemy ships, but also disrupt (end) their next activation. More so, even a passed skill test to Evade will stack a negative -1 To-Hit mod on the enemy ship and can result in course alteration, forcing it to head out for another potential collision! Furthermore a ship cannot shoot throughout the Move step when it Evades.

Few examples below.

The Gur Panther finished it’s Move in front of Drake. Drake activates next and is forced to Evade and risk a collision. The Drake will suffer a -1 To-Hit for all it’s shooting and potentially suffer damage wasting it’s entire activation.

A Sloop Squadron finished it’s Move in front of Drake. Drake activates next and because Sloop Squadron is a Squadron, the Drake can elect to auto fail it’s Evasion test. If the Sloop Squadron fails as well, the resulting collision will not end Drake’s activation, but will still deal some damage and a -1 To-Hit mod.
Collisions with Squadrons do not force enemy ships to alter course, deal only half the damage and do not end ship’s activation. Still the -1 To-Hit mod can make a difference and the enemy ship will not be able to shoot during this Move step.

The Gur Panther decides to implement some nasty tactics. It ends it’s final Move step in front of Drake and in a way that will force the Extra Large ship to Evade. If any of the two succeeds Evasion Skill Test, the Drake will turn the minimum distance to clear the Panther – and as a result head straight for the Rocks. Rocks cannot be Evaded and apart from dealing damage and ending Drakes Activation, they will also ground the ship for good. Just brutal!

Now you know the variety of Collision Baiting tricks. Set sail and make enemy ships suffer. Just make sure not to set up in front of enemy ships with RAM (x), as the result might surprise you… in a bad way.

I hope you find this article interesting. Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments below or via Facebook or Instagram. I would also appreciate if you considered sharing this content with your friends, who might find it useful. Finally if you are looking for a professional Warhammer miniatures painting service, be sure to contact me with this contact form. I always reply within 24 hours, after which please check out your spam folder.


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