Whilst it is always difficult to draw a clear comparison between two games sharing the same galaxy, the difference in fun between these two systems is minimal. Each game has notable differences, but they both excel in reaching their intended audiences.
I've been slowly stocking up on Star Wars: Armada expansions for longer than I would like to admit, and yesterday I finally got around to cracking open the contents of them, acting like a kid at Christmas as I launched my first game. Rod was actually my last opponent of the day from the Civil War X-Wing Event, so after a conversation, we'd penciled in a venue and time for him to show me the ropes.
Todd (@RaesburnTodd) was dragged along in curious fashion, but it was evident shortly before deployment after ships started coming out, that he was well and truly sold. Mission accomplished.
Just like any other game of this nature, there are many rules in Star Wars Armada. They do seem to flow, however, and I don't think there was a time where I had an unanswerable question. Of course, having a solid teacher is a bonus, and Rod was just that. He happily put together a fleet for me using just the expansions I had on hand, and he did a cracking job of it, too.
The amount of command dials the Imperials have means a solid recall is required to ensure you remember what you've done. Obviously, I have a ton to learn about the different commands and what combinations they work well with regarding ships and upgrades, but also the best order to use them in.
Rod was running a Rebel fleet against the Imperial one he'd put together for me, consisting of a Raider, a Victory-Class Star Destroyer, and an Imperial-Class Star Destroyer. For Squadrons, I had a good mix of Darth Vader, Soontir Fel, Major Rhymer, 2 x TIE Fighters, and Boba Fett (how could I say no to that?).
I come from an X-Wing background, so Star Wars Armada gameplay was fluid and seamless. My first game was a 400-point exposure, and I was perhaps a little overwhelmed with all of the rules at the beginning, but by the second turn, everything besides special rules on squadrons was easily naturalized.
Speaking of squadrons, I absolutely love the dynamic they bring to the game. As I understand it, it hasn't always been that way, but new waves releases have apparently balanced the issue. I purely love the feel they bring to the table and that they simply cannot be ignored: they bring a feeling of 'death by a thousand cuts' to certain ships. Major Rhymer brings an amazing boost to squadrons around him, and it's easy to see why he is nearly an auto-include in most grey tide fleets.
My first round of Star Wars Armada was a massive amount of fun and provided a mega serving of strategy that has been missing from my gaming experiences of late. It is clearly going to be another addition to the blog, and one I welcome with open arms.
I'm very excited to get another game in at some stage this weekend with a few people and will be sure to post up the progress.
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The Civil War event came about because I consistently missed out on many X-Wing gaming opportunities while working away overseas.
I put a call out to the community in January to run a series of events changing venues as well as actual games. The first event was on the north side of Brisbane and challenged the X-Wing folks there - 21 players turned up to battle it out with a split of Northerners battling for bragging rights over the Southerners in a licensed venue, with lots of room to swing cats.
I hadn't much of an opportunity to get in as much pre-event flight time as I would have liked, so rather than try a new list, I made a few minor alterations to the Boba/Asajj MKII squad.
After posting up yesterday about the Wave XI leaks, I wake up this morning and we've got new juicy information to dissect thanks to the FFG preview article so let's waste no time and get right into it.
When the TIE Striker was first spoiled, I wasn't excited at all. Here was another Imperial ship, lacking in shields, that was just going to get blown apart after I rolled blank green dice much like TIE Bombers and TIE Fighters.
I have moved my narrow-minded point of view, however, after playing around with it a few times. Although it certainly isn't one of my favourites (simply because it doesn't have shields), I certainly have a new-found respect for the TIE Striker and it's growing on me.
For a relatively cheap squad point cost, you're fielding one of the few 3-dice native attack ships available to the Empire. When paired with the Lightweight Frame upgrade, it can also have a semi 3-agility defence, giving it some staying power.
But it isn't the 3 dice that has me scoping the TIE Striker. Without a doubt, it's incredible manoeuvrability, thanks to Adaptive Ailerons. The TIE Strikers dial appears sluggish at first glance, limited to 3-speed manoeuvre at its peak. When combined with Adaptive Ailerons, however, that will 'unlock' a speed 5-straight, so it is capable of matching speed with a TIE Fighter as seen below:
The TIE Striker is faster than the TIE Fighter, in some cases. When a TIE Fighter performs a 3-bank, the TIE Striker is able to carry out a 1-straight, or a 1-bank thanks to the title before the manoeuvre, resulting in this:
Hardcore war gamer at heart and a huge fan of tabletop games. I use any excuse to get my family involved. Join me as I play and review games while trying not to epically fail.