Refit and Rearm – Fires of Conflict Released!

After a longer than anticipated wait, Refits are here! These new starships give you more options for Order assignments, gaining an extra Order per turn. If you’re eager to get your hands on these new cards, pop by our Etsy Store (20% off until December 1st!), or join our Patreon to immediately access both parts of Season 1 – that’s a $15 value for $4!

The unease in the galaxy has escalated into a full-on arms race. Every major faction in Grandis is developing modifications to their front line vessels, trying to gain any advantage they can for the war they all know is coming.

Even the oft-overlooked Selourian Light Carrier hull, ridiculed by many Selourian warriors, has received refits. The deadly Cephalus class takes advantage of the Kraken’s fight decks to mount additional Plasma Torpedo fuel, giving Selourian commanders a powerful tool against longer range enemies such as the Nataran Empire.

The Cephalus is one of 40 new cards released with Fires of Conflict, which you can print and use today! Note that Constructed Play costs will be updated shortly with these new ships – Until then, if you’re eager to try out these new cards, assume each Refit costs 1 Fleet Value more than its original hull (this will be the case with most refits when the update lands later this week).

Now, to address the angry shark in the room – What happened that delayed this product from last week? Well commanders, that’s a simple answer – Tom’s venerable old desktop decided it was done functioning. This meant that time needed to finish the Refit cards and format them for Print and Play release was instead used finding a suitable replacement and recovering files.

We apologize for the delay, and to make up for it, we’re giving you two sneak peeks: some Character art from Penguin Quarterly (There’s still time to preorder your copy – Sign up for V-I-Penguin before December 1st!), and a sneek peek at an upcoming FREE expansion that will wrap up the Season 1 releases – Heavy Firepower!

Selourian Megalodon Captain

This WIP piece is of a Selourian Captain recently inducted into the Samuron – the Selourian command elite. As Selourian vessels are filled with water (All the better to swim through), many Selourians augment themselves with bionic turbines to more quickly navigate their ship’s corridors. This particular captain is also armed with a handheld (or rather, fin-held?) Devora Blaster, a miniaturized version of the deadly Devastor launchers mounted on ships like the Megalodon.

Fans of everyone’s favorite Xenocidal Sharks will be happy to know they have additional tools coming to help them rip and tear through unshielded opponents – the Death Lance is a Death Blaster array reconfigured to fire long, concentrated streams of plasma that can punch straight through a target:

If you’re not a fan of the space sharks, there’s still a new Heavy Weapon upgrade coming for your SRM-A armaments – the Storm Missile Barrage! Unlike other Heavy Weapons, this powerful attack cannot roll Critical Hits, but the sheer amount of Hit output on its dice will make your opponents’ vessels run for Cover (the higher you can pump that Flak defense, the better)!

If you’re holding out until you can get your hands on some physical product, you’re in luck – Singles, custom colored Ship Tokens and more are coming to the store this week, and don’t forget that this Boxing Day, December 26th, you can start your Admirals Career at Battleground Games and Hobbies in Norton, MA!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Many races of the Grandis Galaxy have come and gone over the centuries, leaving legends and ancient tales of what their civilizations were like. Among them were the Turkhen, a flightless avian race who lived in the southern rim territories. None know why they disappeared, but Selourians certainly tell a number of tales of how… delicious they were.

Turkhen Republic Cruiser

Accords explorers found these records of what a Turkhen Cruiser may have looked like, giving it the designation TR-KEY. A small number were rebuilt for conservation and historical purposes, and sometimes find themselves in Accords fleets.

The TR-KEY will be available to download for free from December 1st, and will then go in the Cage Free Vault until next year. From all of us here at Cage Free Games, we wish you all a safe and happy holidays!

Core Rulebook v1.0 Released!

We’re proud to announce that Admirals: Star Strike is now officially out of Beta! You can download the full, 1.0 rulebook at the link below:

Admirals: Star Strike is a 2-player game of strategic fleet combat. Assign Orders to your ships, take up strategic positions, and engage in deadly melee Skirmishes to defeat your opponent!

The Admirals engine is designed to have a small table footprint, so you can easily play on a coffee table or at your friendly local game store. In addition, Print and Play assets are fully tournament-legal, including the free Cadet Pack:

If you’ve already tried the Cadet Pack (or were lucky enough to be sent one of our Collectors Edition Cadet Packs), you can find even more Star Strike content on our Etsy Store, or save money and sign up for our Patreon and get every single digital file for the game, with new files being added every month:

So what’s new in this edition?

  • Updated rules for Shield Facings
  • Updated rules for Critical Hits
  • New rules for Refits (cards coming later this week)
  • Additional Background on the setting and lore
  • Improved layouts, new artwork, and more!

And don’t forget, if you live in the New England area, Battleground Games and Hobbies in Norton will be hosting our Career Mode Launch Day on Boxing Day, December 26th. More information on this exciting event (and on the contents of the Career Mode boxes) is coming soon!

Refits, Career Play Launch, and upcoming rulebook errata

Hi folks! After a fun evening blowing up spaceships and identifying some ambiguity and player agency issues last night, we have a few release announcements to make today. But first:

That’s our very own Erin playing the Selourians, and early adopter Vince playing a Dathian mining swarm! Highlights included a Dathian mining cruiser safely approaching the Black Hole, daring the space sharks to skirmish. The Selourian response was that there was Blood in the Water

With no ranged cover in black hole spaces, this left the poor mining cruiser open for some heavy firepower.

At the end of the game, the Dathians had won out. The results of that and other games this week gave us some insights into some interactions that needed clarification:

Errata: Shield Facings

Certain weapons and cards (especially Selourian plasma-based weapons) gain benefits when a target’s shields have been damaged. Unfortunately, the wording on these cards has not addressed shield facings on larger ships (an oversight Tom is rather embarrassed about). Read as Written, this means, for example, the deadly Devastor Launchers mounted on several Selourian ships proved rather useless against the larger targets they were designed to chew through.

The next rulebook update will contain new wording on how to read “Target has Undamaged Shield Boxes”, which will allow these abilities to trigger if the target is Heavy or Super Heavy and the applicable shield facing has no undamaged boxes. No longer will a Paladin’s rear shields save it from the barrage of a full wing of Eradicator Strike Bombers!

A minor adjustment is also coming to situations where a ship is between two shield facings. Specifically, the Defender must nominate a shield facing that is affected each time an Armament is fired at that ship. The defender can only use that shield facing until that armament’s attacks are completely resolved. The effect here is that larger ships (especially Accords ships with their copious shields) will no longer soak heavy firepower across two shield facings from a single armament.

Critical Hits

Another mechanic truly put through a stress test this week was Critical Hits, your one-stop ship-killers. With Mining Drones, plasma weaponry, and Lasers now being much more reliable delivery methods for this deadly effect, the full elimination of keywords from Heavy ships especially turned out to be particularly strong against the keyword-heavy, Shield-light Selourians. We’re still working with options on this update, but one thing you can absolutely expect is a new order to help you repair your Crippled ships and get them back to full working condition. And on the topic of new cards….

Fires of Conflict 1-week delay

For anyone hoping to get their hands on Refits this week, we’re sorry, but you can expect them next week! We’re holding off on the release of this new digital title for a couple reasons.

Primarily, due to the adjustments being made to the system, we’re working on a rulebook update parallel to Refits that explains how to use these new ships. Rather than wait to add the new Errata noted above in a future release, these are going to be integrated alongside the Refit rules addition.

In addition, as we noted in the Critical Hits topic, there’s more orders coming to support additional strategies and fill gaps in your toolboxes. You can expect to see these additional orders with the Fires of Conflict release next week!

Upcoming Events

Battleground Games and Hobbies in Norton, MA has been our home as both gamers and designers for many years, and we’re proud to announce that, this boxing day, you can start your own Career as an Admiral in the Grandis Galaxy!

On December 26th, come on down and pick up a Career Play set and play on those fancy new Battlegrounds playmats! A sealed format, Career Play starts you off with a set of your faction’s ships and a starting order library, and lets you gain additional ships and orders as you complete each Tour of Duty! If you finish a Tour of Duty at Battlegrounds on the 26th, we’ll give you your first new sealed packs for free!

We’ll be previewing these sets all through next month, so be on the lookout if you want to start planning your Career fleet early!

Constructed Play Nights

Lastly, we’ll also be hosting Constructed Play nights at Battlegrounds, including monthly “Build-A-Fleet” events, where you can pick your Ships and Orders for a single constructed play list and start playing right away! If you’re not around for an official event but still want to get a game in with a friend, the playmats are at Battleground Norton to stay (check the X-Wing/Warmachine cabinet), and if you want some at your local store (we’ve already had requests for rulebooks at the Battleground Abington location), give us a shout!

That’s all for this week. we hope everyone has a wonderful weekend with some great gaming stories to tell!

Penguin Quarterly Issue 1 Preview

With 2 weeks before the deadline to sign up for Penguin Quarterly, today we’re going to talk a bit about the box contents this quarter!

V-I-Penguin Patrons can expect a brand new map (that won’t be available outside Penguin Quarterly until next year!) depicting the terrain of the Darkwater Sector:

That’s right, Rock Starships vs Space Sharks in a fight for Darkwater’s scarce resources! Penguin Quarterly Issue 1 will include a neoprene playmat of the Darkwater sector, 3 Historic Play scenarios, and all the cards and tokens necessary to play them! A short story from the perspective of a Selourian command crew will also be the featured fiction this quarter, so if you’re a fan of the xenocidal Space Sharks, you’re in for a treat! V-I-Penguin subscribers will be happy to hear that all Penguin Quarterly issues will also be available to them digitally (though this only covers the books – any early access materials such as the Darkwater sector map will not be available until official release)

Remember, to get Penguin Quarterly Issue 1, you must sign up for the V-I-Penguin Tier by the end of business (5pm EST) on December 1st. After that, any spares we make will be available on our Etsy store for $60 each, and once they’re gone, they’re gone for good!

Become a Patron!

Sign up for V-I-Penguin now, and don’t miss out on this unique handpacked gaming set!

Future Tuesday – Refits and Career Play

Welcome back to another Future Tuesday! With the digital release of Refits in Print Pack 6 “Fires of Conflict” this week, the way is paved for Career Play this Christmas. With that in mind, we thought this would be a good time to talk about Refits, what they do, and how they factor in to your Career Play games of Admirals: Star Strike!

Refits are powerful upgraded vessels that can be issued one additional order each turn (meaning your refitted Escorts can receive orders, while your Light and Heavy refits get 2 orders a turn, and your Super Heavy refits get a whopping 3 orders a turn!). This additional order doesn’t come without restrictions however; each refit has a set of three valid bonus orders that can be issue to it, meaning you’ll want to take your Refit(s) into account when selecting your Order Library!

In addition to the Refit information box added below the token image on the Ship Card, refits sometimes carry different armaments and may have different keyword abilities. For an example, below you can swap between the Dictata class Heavy Cruiser and its generation 2 refit, the Accords class:

The Constructed play rules found in the Core Rulebook forbid players from using more than 1 Refit in their list, meaning Constructed Play lists will often use these powerful vessels as a core of their fleet building strategy. In Career play, however, you can field up to 3 Refits!

Getting the refits you want, however, is another matter – Although you care an Admiral, the Grandis galaxy is a massive setting, and there are hundreds more like you within your own faction alone! The chances of finding a nearby base with the exact model you want are far from 100% – and that’s where Fleet Requisitions come into play.

In Career mode, you start with a predetermined set of starships with which to build your Fleet for your first few games. Once you’ve completed 5 games (AKA your first “Tour of Duty”), you gain 2 kinds of rewards – The first we’ve talked about (Experience, which gives you new Orders). The second reward category is Fleet Requisitions. Unlike Experience, which is a flat number, Requisitions come in “Rarities”, and you can only select one Requisition each time you complete a Tour of Duty. If your record during that tour was good, you can select “rarer” Requisitions. If your record for those 5 games wasn’t so great, you may be restricted to Common requisitions (though you can forgo any Order purchases to “buy out” to selecting a rarer requisition)

Fleet Requisitions come with a Ship, a Refit for that ship, and sometimes a bonus Order that could either be an extra copy of a Faction Special Order (giving you options for doubling up on these powerful abilities), or a copy of a Special Order that works particularly well with that ship, like Rapid Reload for the Accords Heavy Cruiser requisition:

Career Mode is coming before the end of the year, and we plan on having a fun-filled launch party with some great prize support, so keep an eye out for a date as we get closer!

If you want access to every Refit on launch later this week, make sure to sign up for our Patreon:

Become a Patron!

That’s it for Future Tuesday this week, thanks for sticking with us!

Constructed Play Update (12 Nov 2021)

Hi Folks!

The Constructed Play Fleet Values for Admirals: Star Strike have been updated once again. This time, no ships have gone up in cost, and half of the entire field has dropped by at least 1 point. In summary, additional weight was given to ships with 1 or more Skirmish-related keywords, and the effects of Armor on a ships durability were costed in (especially on larger ships).

You can get the updated Fleet Values here!

Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the big “winners” from the two newest factions!

Hammerhead Class Battlecruiser

One of two Heavy ships in the Warlord fleet to get a points drop, the Hammerhead now clocks in at 6 Fleet Power. As one of the most versatile ships available to Warlord Admirals, taking 2 in your Fleet can be an effective combination, and their high hull value makes them resistant to heavy firepower or lucky/buffed Skirmish attacks, even from larger vessels. Taking 3 SW-AWS Strike Bombers alongside gives you more flexibility in your activations, so your Hammerheads can wait for the opportune moment to strike!

Meteor Class Heavy Cruiser

Coming in at 4 Fleet Power per vessel, what the Meteor Class Heavy Cruiser lacks in range and area control capability it makes up for in sheer firepower. As the only Heavy currently available to Coalition Admirals, its one of your most aggressive vessels, capable of repositioning quickly and surviving most Skirmishes thanks to its Ore Hull. Coalition Admirals will also be happy to note that their ponderous Super Heavy ships have all received a cost reduction, costing 5 power for the Mining Carrier or Assault Gun, and 4 for the Fleet Tender. With 2 options for 2 points and the Mining Craft still comfortably 1 point, selecting 2-3 Heavy/Super Heavy options and supplementing with support craft will give you a durable and effective mining fleet.

Next Week’s Refits Release

The Refits are coming! Adding a whole new layer to fleet construction, these special vessels get free additional Orders, giving them additional abilities and tactical flexibility. While we’re very excited to bring you these new tools of your opponents’ destruction, these new capabilities will require additional play to balance, and may end up over or under costed upon release. While this is not a huge concern for Constructed Play, where you are limited to 1 Refit, the upcoming Career Play mode allows players a broader access to Refits when creating their fleets. In order to ensure a high quality launch of our signature mode, Career Mode will not release until late December, allowing us additional time to get the balance tweaks correct for Refits.

NEW! Weekly Game Nights

Lastly, if you live in the New England area and would like to try the game (or get in some games with your favorite Constructed list!),head on down to Battleground Games and Hobbies in Norton, MA on Thursday nights from 6pm onwards. Meet the team, blow up some starships, and get your hands on some unique Star Strike swag!

New Release – Embers of War

Hot on the heels of the Selourian Warlords, the full set of previously available Weapons, Orders, and Ships is now updated and consolidated, along with 2 new ships for the Dathian Coalition and over a dozen new Orders! With a total of 100 unique cards, this Print Pack is the definitive core of the upcoming Season 1, containing all Season 1 standard Ships and Orders, and all the Weapons cards necessary to use them.

Take advantage of powerful new Shuttle Hangar tools such as Defensive Shuttle Flights or Repair Bees, or order your Heavy Cruisers to initiate a Rapid Reload:

In addition, the Fleet Value Charts have been updated, with some major changes this time – both Nataran Super Heavies saw 2 point increases, while the Overseer and Megalodon both came down by 1 point. You can find the updated values on the Downloads Page or the Admirals: Star Strike landing page, or you can download them by clicking on the button below:

If you’re not 100% on board with Patreon, but still want the cards, we have good news – We now have a shop on Etsy where you can purchase digital files outright, and even better – you’ll soon be able to order custom Ship Tokens! We’ll have more info on this service later this week.

The first Grandis War is on the horizon – Are you ready to take command?

Future Tuesday – Battleships!

Welcome back to another Future Tuesday! Today, we’re looking ahead to Season 2 of Admirals: Star Strike, which will add a series of new starships to all 4 factions of the game. New ships means new fleet construction decisions, and new in-game strategies to play out. The largest change will be the release of the first Battleships – massive, grand vessels integrating the lessons each faction learned during the opening stages of the first Grandis War. While all four factions will be receiving Battleships, today we’re going to focus on the Planetary Accords’ “Valkyrie” Battleship.

PA-BB “Valkyrie Class” Battleship

Mounting an impressive array of weapons and technology, the Valkyrie makes use of advanced propulsion and forcefield technology developed from captured Nataran and Selourian vessels. It’s 6-die M-LAUNCH+R Armament (Also called a Malus Long Gun) is a longer range variant of the Malus Launcher, allowing it to more easily make all 3 potential Malus shots in a single game (and not get locked out due to range restrictions).

Battleships also play slightly different from any other Super Heavy. Due to their immense size and cost, their crews are larger and capable of executing additional orders. Unlike the Refits coming with the full release of Season 1 however, these massive starships don’t have a selection of bonus orders – They have a single order they always gain for free (in addition to the 2 you select for them, being Super Heavy vessels), giving them each a unique play style.

And if that’s not enough to get you excited, Season 2’s 2v2 format will allow 2 of these monsters to be fielded by a single team. If you’re hearing Wagner’s iconic “Ride of the Valkyries”, that’s fitting – a heroic pair of Valkyrie Battleships crushing disabled Nataran vessels with their Diametal Prow Spikes is certainly worth that epic tune!

The Valkyrie is just one of many new ships coming to the game in Season 2, which you can expect no later than February of next year. Meanwhile, the complete Season 1 Digital Release is approaching quickly – 10 more days! If you’re looking forward to starting your own legend in Career Mode, you can expect that by the end of December – Keep an eye out for Launch Day events as we get closer to the end of the year!