Vengeance for Merridia – A Sneak Peek at Star Strike V1.1

Welcome back Admirals! After a series of setbacks, we’re nearly back on track again with Star Strike. V-I-Penguin Patrons can now access the first issue of Penguin Quarterly in digital format, and we’re hard at work preparing for the next phase of Admirals: Star Strike!

Wait, what’s this about Version 1.1in the title? Well, that’s what we’re here to talk about today, alongside some teases of what this new content is going to look like! Without further ado, lets get into it!

Version “Merridia” 1.1 is primarily a quality of life update with some balance adjustments to Skirmishes and ships with the Escort role. In addition, the story of the Grandis Galaxy continues as the Grandis War brings all 4 factions into conflict, fighting for territory, resources, or in some cases, their very existence.

New Ship Card Designs

Several players had commented that our Ship Cards, while well-organized, were very small and difficult to read. After a good friend suggested using Tarot-sized cards and enlarging the ship art, we began toying with layouts, resulting in what you now see above! For our players using printouts, these cards can be more easily laminated and cut, and multiple size variations will be made available should players prefer something larger than Tarot-card size.

All the same information from the old Ship Cards is present, and the larger art window allows us to design alt-art cards with the top-down token art now shown on the Shields chart. (Players looking to get their hands on such cards should stay tuned – more information on this is coming soon!)

Skirmish & Escort Rework

While the mighty Megalodon is still the king of close combat, some of the gameplay we’ve seen around Skirmish made it clear that player positional choices mattered less when monster super-heavy vessels could plow through screening forces to clash with support ships. Escort vessels, a prime tool for Career Mode players especially, also suffered from a lack of capacity to stand apart from Light ships (other than being easier to blow up).

Version 1.1 addresses both of these issues with a minor revamp of Skirmish, via two functions:

  • Skirmish Die Decay
  • Evade Abilities

Skirmish Die Decay is the term we’re using to refer to the core changes to the Skirmish system. In V1.0, every time an Active ship Skirmishes, it uses all of its armament dice (plus any granted by abilities such as Shuttle Hangar). In V1.1, however, after a Ship has initiated one Skirmish during its activation, it only uses half of its Armament dice if it initiates a second Skirmish, and only 1 of its Armament dice if it then initiates a third (or indeed fourth) Skirmish. Note that the defending ship’s dice are never adjusted, even if that ship had initiated Skirmishes during its own activation.

Evade abilities are a new, Escort-specific defense. Once per turn, an Escort may use its Evade ability when a Heavy or Super Heavy ship would initiate a Skirmish with it. That Escort may then make a single move (as an Escort, this goes in any direction). Then, the Active ship completes its move into the previously announced space (the larger ship doesn’t have the reaction time to change course once the Escort has escaped its clutches!)

New Lore

If you’ve read Penguin Quarterly’s article on the Grandis War, you may recognize the name of this new edition, dubbed “Merridia”. The ancient home of a race of merfolk called the Merrin, Merridia was utterly destroyed by Selourian Megalodon Dreadnoughts in the opening actions of the Grandis War. With one of the Accords’ core races now robbed of their ancestral home for all eternity, the Accords now must decide which fronts to defend. Meanwhile, having struck a devastating blow to both the Accords and the Coalition, the Selourian war machine now turns towards the Nataran flank…

As open war engulfs the galaxy, all 4 factions are now looking for new solutions on the battlefields of Grandis, which means:

New Starships, New Technology

We did promise a sneak peek, didn’t we? Planetary Accords players need not weep long for Merridia, as Selourian vessels salvaged following the Warlords’ retreat allowed Accords shipwrights to reverse-engineer several Selourian technologies. The result? The Ranger-Class Heavy Scout.

Equipped with newly-designed Malus Blasters (a hybrid of Selourian Death Blaster technology and Kysshan EMP-style Weaponry), the Ranger is designed for mid to close range combat, reducing an opponent’s effectiveness in Skirmish with it’s blasters before closing in for the kill. While its ranged damage output is significantly lower than the similarly-costed Guardas Class (both clocking in at 3 Fleet Value Points), its utility in protecting your fleet from Skirmish-heavy opponents makes it a solid new entry in the Accords fleet.

The Ranger-Class Heavy Scout will debut alongside 3 other new ships in the Fall of Merridia expansion on January 28th. Following the release of Fall of Merridia, you can expect regular 4-ship releases alongside other new goodies. Stay tuned, the Grandis War has only just begun…

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