Friday, December 18, 2015
Star Wars Armada
To switch things up and with the release of the new movie, I want to talk about star wars armada. I recently got it, the boxed set was on sale for 50% so I couldn't pass that up. A table top fleet combat game (sci fi) has been something I have been itching for a long time. While GW may someday bring battlefleet gothic back, it may be too late for me.
First off, the regular price of the set isn't that great, so look for deals and get when its cheap. I got mine for $50 so not bad at all. What you get is two iconic rebel ships, the CR90 Corellian corvette and the nebulon b frigate, and a victory class star destroyer. Each side gets the iconic fighter squadrons, x-wings and tie fighters, with Luke and Howlrunner the special character fighters for each. This game has a bunch of cards and tokens, which I both hate and like at the same time. At first it seems like a lot, but you get the hang of it and using the tokens works out well and helps a ton on bookkeeping, as you just flip or discard them instead of having to place a die or write something down.
Every ship has a card giving all of its info, with there being two versions of each ship with slightly different stats. I have to say I like how the cards are used and work. It means that you really have no need of a codex, the ship comes with the rules. The base rules are also online for free so you don't necessarily need the starter set. You will need the special movement stick, and having played games with it, its not a fragile as some lead you to believe, don't treat it too roughly and it is fine. The range and fighter movement stick is also a nice easy way to to shooting. No long list of weapons with ranges in inches, its simply long, medium, and short, denoted by a color on the ship.
You do have to use unique dice for the game, but dice rollers are available online and for apps so you don't NEED dice physically. Speaking of that, a big gripe is that the box does not come with anywhere near enough dice, which is kind bs.
I was hesitant over all the cards and tokens, but it has one me over, and I have gotten the same desire for new ships just so I can get new upgrade cards. Each ship has upgrade slots, each with icons and you have upgrade cards that match those icons. Also all pts are on each card, so its rather easy to tally pts up for list building. Right now games are at 400 pts, but really you can play at any agreed level just like 40k. You can spend up to 1/3 your pts on squadrons of fighters/bombers, so you can't go total fighter wings but even then you would be surprised how many you can still cram in.
Overall the games are fun, and at first they are about as long as medium sized 40k games, but once you start getting the system down and have lists built you can get a game in in 1-2 hours. The first turn is decided by who has the lowest pts. The person with the lowest pts gets to go first and chose the objectives. Objectives are drawn by each player, one of each type, and the player with the most pts gives his cards to his opponent to chose from. So there is strategy to be decided on whether you want to go second or first. Since ships and squadrons are moved alternating, its not as big of a deal as 40k to go first.
So far, I have found there is a lot of ways you can play, you can go minimalist on fighters and go ship spammy, you can mix, you can go for lots of base ships or fewer upgraded ships. I personally am a rebel fan so they are my favorite. And with wave 2 now out, there is a lot of options for rebels to play the big ship game too with the imperials, though I am a fan of the swarms of small ships and fighters.
Over time I will post some more on armada, but I am liking it a lot and have already picked up a fighter pack and a second corvette and frigate.