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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-29-15, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Default Star Wars Armada first impressions

Right, the armada box got delivered to my door yesterday and my girlfriend and me just concluded the first game. Time for some first quick first impressions! This won't be a review, but more a rambling stream of thoughts after just having played the game.

First of all the box is huge!! Secondly, it's a lot of wasted space, I reckon about 50% of the box is actually filled with stuff, the rest is cardboard folding.


The mini's look great in my opinion, a bit bigger than I expected, but that helps with the scale, and especially the star destroyer is gorgeous. As a hobbyist, I might repaint here and there (especially the small unpainted fighters). But all in all a good job.

The game cards equally look great, sturdy with cool artwork on them.

However, FFG quality control must have been sleeping on the rest of it; all (yes ALL) the bases I got in the box for the large ships and the fighters came with flaws. Most seem to be from sloppy plastic injection techniques.It results in some of the sides of the large bases having an unfinished look, almost as if it came to close to a heat source and just started melting. All of the smaller bases have little bumps and injection marks, or have edges that have little nooks or aren't quite round where the should be. I might have gotten a bad batch, but seriously botching all 13 bases in a box that contains 13 miniatures is pretty poor in my opinion.



On to the cardboard tokens and parts. Here as well you can see that the printing and cutting didn't really work out 100%: most token images aren't quite centered on the cut out, and a lot of the cutouts vary in shape, are sloping instead of straight or don't quite fit, resulting in some unnecessary bending and pushing.

This is my main critique here. Though it might seem nit-picky, over here core sets are going for a 125,- euro's. For that kind of money I would expect to have the basic items to be high quality stuff, or at least without flaw. What I got is functional, but with a lot of minor flaws.

I am assured that FFG customer service is great though, so I shot them a message and will await their response.

(Edit: Another minor nit-pick: if one of your core main units (x-wing) has a standard attack value of 4 blue dice... include 4 blue dice in the game, not 3.)

On towards the game though, because that's what it's all about in the end. Spoilers: This is also probably where most of my negativity about the game ends.

When everything is put together and you're playing it looks GREAT, a table filled with fighters and capital ships can't be beat in my opinion.


It took some time to figure out the rules, but the how to play booklet gives a good starting point, comparable to the x-wing core set. The rules are somewhat more complicated than x-wings, but still allow for a reasonable paced game.

The game really shouldn't be compared to x-wing as it is a vastly different beast. Where x-wing often allows you to pull out some tricks on your turn, here you are really committed to the course of your lumbering beasts (I played imperials, and the Victory Star Destroyer especially suffers from this).

What I love about the game is that you really face difficult choices; every turn you have a limited amount of resources and options, which most of the time are all equally valid. This aspect comes back in almost all phases of the game. -> Do I want to use my commands to increase the speed and change direction of my Star Destroyer as it is getting awefully close to the talbe edge, or do I use it to boost my Tie fighters so I can get in an alpha strike on those x-wings which are closing in?

Combine this with the fact that the bigger the ship, the more you have to plan your commands ahead (a star destroyer needs to choose the commands he want to use 3 turns in advance, a frigate 2 turns and a nimble frigate get to choose each turn what to do). Commands you don't want to use can be used in a later turn, but with reduced effectiveness.

The same dilemma applies to defending against attacks, with a limited amount of defense actions per turn, you will need to decide to brace for impact against the attacks of that corvette, or save it because maybe that frigate will attempt a shot at the rear of your ship. Defense actions can be used twice in one turn, but then that action is gone for the rest of the game.

This resource management aspect of the game really gives a nice amount of depth to the strategies and tactics you can employ in the game.

The game feels more "wargamey" than x-wing, which for me is a good thing. To use a pc gaming analogy: Xwing is a squad based tactics game like x-com, while armada is more a real time strategy game like empire at war. In x-wing you control each members' precise actions, in armada you dictate the flow of your forces on the board, but are more dependent on previous actions and available resources.

All in all we had a blast with the game, I have to see how it expands but for now it ranks at least equal to x-wing in my opinion. My girlfriend also really liked it, but might prefer x-wing a bit. (Which kind of fits the picture as I'm more of a wargamer, while she prefers short and fast board games).

Last edited by Matcap; 03-29-15 at 05:19 PM.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-29-15, 07:22 PM
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Thanks for getting this up so quickly! Looks like I made, if not the right one, at least not the wrong one, to wait and see what it was like before buying any myself. Those casting issues would really piss me off for something, as you say, that costs about 100.

I'll be waiting for a while for them to get their quality control together before investing, I think. And I need to sell off more of my 40k before I can afford it anyway!

How does each side "feel"? It's something FFG have got right most of the time in the X-Wing game - a TIE feels like a TIE, and a B-Wing like a B-Wing. Does a Star Destroyer feel like a Star Destroyer? Do Fighters feel like their movie/tabletop counterparts?

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-29-15, 07:52 PM
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They -jacked- the prices on you overseas: FFG advertise the core set on their site at $100 CAD which is about 73 Euros or 53 British Pounds.

Either way, even at $100 CAD I would be more than vexed to get bases like that. I'll be waiting to see if one of my friends (who likes spending money on models even more than me) ends up getting it to see if I'm interested in the gameplay, but I'm way more drawn to the individual pilot aspect of X-Wing and there's huge ships that I could buy to add to that game instead of buying into a whole different system.

Unfortunately Canada got rid of the penny and now my two cents rounds down to zero, so...take it for what you will.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-29-15, 08:11 PM
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It's trending 65 here in the UK with boosters at over 20 each. Certainly enough for me to ask for bases that don't look like someone left them in the oven too long!

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-29-15, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Sethis View Post
Thanks for getting this up so quickly! Looks like I made, if not the right one, at least not the wrong one, to wait and see what it was like before buying any myself. Those casting issues would really piss me off for something, as you say, that costs about 100.

I'll be waiting for a while for them to get their quality control together before investing, I think. And I need to sell off more of my 40k before I can afford it anyway!

How does each side "feel"? It's something FFG have got right most of the time in the X-Wing game - a TIE feels like a TIE, and a B-Wing like a B-Wing. Does a Star Destroyer feel like a Star Destroyer? Do Fighters feel like their movie/tabletop counterparts?
Yeah the casting issues did dampen my hype (which I had aplenty). However the game itself is great.

Star Destroyers handle like powerful but slow behemoths, whilst my girlfriends frigate and especially corvette ran rings around it. However, when she made a slip up and got a full frontal volley from the star destroyer, the corvette got cut down to less than half its hull points. (This was after the shields on the side were downed due to tie fighters chasing it.) Meanwhile the frigate is a good all rounder, can dish out the hurt and take a bit. But its main strength was coordinating the x-wings to really do damage to my tie fighters and star destroyer afterwards.

So the feel of the big ships is really on point as far as I can tell now.

As far as the fighters, the tie's are fast and cheap, but fragile, with swarm tactics promoting ganging up on other fighters. The x-wings on the other hand are very hard to kill and with some lucky rolls can really damage the bigger ships. For example: I got a power failure on my star destroyer due to my girlfriend getting a lucky critical with her x-wings, after having them flown around to a side where it's shields were down. This resulted in me being unable to properly use the repair command for half of the game, which in the end net her the victory as I couldn't get my shields back up to prevent the frigate who was in the rear of the destroyer unloading on the aft section for 2 turns.

So to be short: yeah they nailed the feel in my opinion.

Last edited by Matcap; 03-29-15 at 09:48 PM.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-29-15, 08:56 PM
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So to be short: yeah they nailed the feel in my opinion.
Great to hear!

Unfortunately Canada got rid of the penny and now my two cents rounds down to zero, so...take it for what you will.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-29-15, 10:24 PM
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That sounds really nice, I look forward to playing it and maybe investing once they've had it up and selling for a couple of production runs!

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-30-15, 05:49 AM
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I haven't bought the game yet, but I had the opportunity to play a couple of 300pt games with two core sets a couple days ago. The first thing I noticed was the Imperial SD looks fucking awesome! As does the Corellian corvette. The Nebulon-B Frigate was a different story. Both Frigates we used were quite badly bent, which isn't too much of a problem for us hobby veterans to fix, but anyone coming into the game from a non-hobby background is entitled to be annoyed that such an expensive product isn't perfect.

The gameplay itself is great, but quite odd having come from X-wing. You shoot before you move, so you really have to think about the order in which you activate your ships and squadrons. I played as the Rebels and lost 2/3 games, mostly because the Rebels need a better strategy than my 'fly right at the enemy SD' strategy. One thing I noticed was that the corvette is an awesome little ship and can pretty much take a SD 1v1, if you can get behind it. The Nebulon-B Frigate is a different story. The frigate has extremely weak sides (only 1 shield), which wouldn't be too bad, if it wasn't for the fact that it has massive side arcs (bigger than the other 2 ships) and no ability to redirect hits to the much better shielded prow. Not saying the ship is bad or anything, just that it requires some clever flying that someone new to the game might be incapable of.

Finally the Rebel X-wings are just hands down better than the Imperial TIE squadrons. My opponent tended to pimp out his capitol ships and take only a few TIE squadrons, which I was really able to punish him for. Once I eliminated his fighters I still had plenty of X-wings to put the hurt on his Star Destroyers, and their anti-ship armaments just can't dish the hurt out fast enough to get rid of those squadrons.

Overall I liked this game a lot more than I thought I would. I was gonna pass it up in favour of more X-wing and Imperial Assault, but it looks like I'm gonna have to invest in another FFG Star Wars game.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-30-15, 08:32 AM
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Finally the Rebel X-wings are just hands down better than the Imperial TIE squadrons. My opponent tended to pimp out his capitol ships and take only a few TIE squadrons, which I was really able to punish him for. Once I eliminated his fighters I still had plenty of X-wings to put the hurt on his Star Destroyers, and their anti-ship armaments just can't dish the hurt out fast enough to get rid of those squadrons.
Which is exactly as it should be! X-Wings should be better than TIEs, unless outnumbered, and once a capital ship has been stripped of it's fighters then it becomes vulnerable to Trench Run Disease (as the Rebels call it) and that'll only become more evident as they release B-Wings, Defenders, Skiprays and so on. Looking forward to it!

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-30-15, 09:56 AM
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Which is exactly as it should be! X-Wings should be better than TIEs, unless outnumbered, and once a capital ship has been stripped of it's fighters then it becomes vulnerable to Trench Run Disease (as the Rebels call it) and that'll only become more evident as they release B-Wings, Defenders, Skiprays and so on. Looking forward to it!
That was actually my strategy in the game. Drop the TIEs as fast as possible, then mob the SDs with my X-wings. The first part worked fine, by turn 3 only 1 TIE squadron remained and I still had 3 X-wing squadrons, but after that I found the X-wings weren't that painful to the SD. Even with a corvette assisting it still took ages to take down the SD, and by then I'd lost 2 of the 3 X-wing squadrons. I think once the Y-wings come out, the rebels will really be able to put the hurt on the Imperials.

It's a bit different to the other fleet game I used to play. In BFG if you let a squadron wave close to one of your capitol ships it was soon to be crippled/destroyed. In Armada the squadrons are still deadly if left unopposed, but it's not as one-sided. Maybe if my Nebulon-B frigate had survived longer and been able to hand out squadron orders it may have been different?

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Last edited by ChaosRedCorsairLord; 03-30-15 at 09:58 AM.
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