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.
|With their natural sense of humor|
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.
I also like the aesthetic of using mostly ballista for the armaments (and catapult for indirect weapons) instead of cannons.
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).
|Slave Squadron (single)|
I hope to actually get these finished soon.
Because it is all fun and games . . .