From Dust We Came

 It has always seemed a bit incongruous that the faction in Kings of War which is all about the dry, desiccated desert is also one of the most feared seafaring races.  Skeletons, Mummies and animated statues - which I would not expect to be near water (with the exception of river barges) end up being one of the first four factions for Armada.

The Empire are essentially undead, and that is reflected in their special rules.  Plus, as is fitting with the Egyptian theme of the faction, nearly all of the ships have oars, which make them highly maneuverable.

I want to take a minute to mention the high quality of customer service evidenced with this release.  Just before it was scheduled to be released, they discovered there were three of the cards for the fleet that had errors.  Rather than just a simple errata, they printed and included new versions of all of the cards with the errors.
With their natural sense of humor
It actually took me quite a while to find the three typos.  The Rule card, Khopeshii and Soul Hunter in the starter set, and Khopeshii in the booster.

So lets actually look at the ships.  The starter is three ships, the large War Galley, medium Khopeshi, and the small Soul Hunter.  Like with all the other Armada releases, the resin is marked to indicate exactly which ship the pieces belong to.

The war barge has a statue that goes on the aft deck, and a catapult that fits on the fore of the ship, as well as two sails (I found in an interesting design choice that all the sails on a given ship were the same size - so the two sails for the War Galley are the same size.

I also like the aesthetic of using mostly ballista for the armaments (and catapult for indirect weapons) instead of cannons.  

Like most fleets, the most common ship is the medium size entry for the main fleet, in this case the Khopeshii  (this name, for some reason, makes me think of the Pueblo Kachinas (which my aunt and mother used to collect dolls of), though they are about as far apart culturally as they can be.

The Khopeshii has two identical sails, and status for the aft deck (a theme for the EoD).  It also does not have Oars, making a bit less maneuverable than the other ships.

The small ship Soul Hunter, in contrast, does not have any sails, depending solely on its's light oars for movement.  It has a catapult, statue, and large portal on it.

Then you have the booster set, which has another Khopeshii, a Dust Chaser, and two pairs of Slave Squadrons.

The Dust Chaser is a medium support ship, with a single sail and a statue.

The tiny slave squadrons only have the sails as additions.  A lot of people have asked about if the tiny ships for any fleet (well, except for dwarfs, who have none) are useful, and I have to say (from playtesting) that yes, they are, so long as you can keep them in range.  For example, you can redirect damage from another ship to a slave squadron that is within 3" of it (up to the amount the squadron can take before being destroyed, and not including critical hits).  So if you can keep them close, they are essentially 12 more SP.

As with all of the ships, I highly recommend painting the sails separately from the rest of the ship (it is a LOT easier that way).  I keep them on the sprues when I paint them as well, touching the up when I finally clip them off.  But that means I can't show them assembled generally until I have finished painting them.  Unfortunately my painting has been slow to non-existent for the past year, so I don't have my fleet painted, but I do have the sails finished, so I can show them as WIP, but assembled (well, with a spot of blu-tac to hold the sails in place).  I also recommend NOT gluing both slave squadrons to the base until they are painted (one is fine, just not both).

War Barge


Dust Chaser

Soul Hunter

Slave Squadron (single)

I hope to actually get these finished soon.

Because it is all fun and games . . .