Star Wars Armada

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Star Wars Armada Review by Board Game ExtrasFrom the creators of Star Wars X-Wing comes Star Wars Armada, swapping fighters for Star destroyers in this 2 player miniatures epic battle game. The gameplay is quite different if you’ve previously played X-Wing as requires a lot more planning ahead for commands take effect – great for those that love being strategists! You play as the Fleet Admiral either for the Rebel Alliance or Imperial Navy issuing tactical commands to your battle fleet influencing the course of battle and in turn the fate of the galaxy! The game may seem initially complex however there’s a handy Learn to Play booklet that soon gets you up to speed on the basics of the gameplay.

Within your battle fleet you are managing ships and squadrons – each with their own specialties based on their own values and abilities that they bring into battle. There are 3 key elements to the gameplay alternating between each player:

  1. Issuing commands to your ships – Navigate (Change Speed & Increase Manoeuvrability), Repair, Increase Attack Power, Command Fighter Squadrons. Here’s where the planning really comes in to play, because the larger the ship is, the slower they are to ready and complete actions, meaning thinking even further in advance.  You’ll need to be able to anticipate your future needs (this will come as you play the game more and more) whilst hoping your opponent hasn’t worked them out or by chance disrupts them with their own actions.
  2. Star Wars Armada Maneuver ToolAttacking & moving with your ships – Here, you first attack twice, then you manoeuvre the ships according to their speed and agility using the Maneuverer Tool. You’ll find sometimes, that when your move has fully played out,some turns you’ll be in the right position to attack next turn, and on other turns your opponent would have moved away in time, giving you nothing to attack but empty space. This can also happen with the commands you planned in advance.  You can find yourself wishing you had previously issued another command instead, when perhaps you need a repair team after 3 turns, instead of the increased fire power you actually planned. It certainly creates some good frustration and tension not knowing straightaway as to whether your plans will come together and having to wait a few turns instead. Although when it does all play out well you may feel like a strategic genius!
  3. Star Wars Armada SquadronAttacking or moving with your squadrons – You now have a choice for any squadrons that were not activated by a Capital Ship.  You decide whether to attack with each squadron or strategically move it. Your squadrons consist of either X-Wings for the Rebel Alliance or TIE Fighters for the Imperial Navy. The X-Wings can individually attack with a lot of firepower and able to take some damage in a firefight, however they’re not as quick to manoeuvre. Whereas the TIE Fighters are very quick but quite fragile so they work much better together as a swarm of fighters.

In the Learn to Play scenario the game ends either when a player loses all of his ships or at the end of the final round. This will change as you become comfortable in how to play the initial game and expand it with new scenarios and objectives. The game is for ages 14 and upwards and average playing time is 2 hours. For those that love playing tactical, strategic type games where it’s more down to your decision making than dice rolls this is likely to be the game for you, particularly if a fan of Star Wars and you’ve previously played X-Wing. If deciding between X-Wing and Armada you may want to consider Armada as the gameplay has been further fine-tuned. The downside is the price may put you off as it’s considerably more. This may be a stumbling point for many people although you do get quite a bit for your money.

Overall, the contents for the game have been very well made – in particular the Capital Ships are pre-assembled and pre-painted in fine detail, so no need to paint them unless it’s a hobby of yours.  You’ll also need to bear in mind more Capital Ships and Fighter Squadrons will become available as expansions.  While this does mean further expenses, just like with X-Wing, each one can increase the gameplay and complexity, thus increasing the longevity of the game, which over time will easily pay for itself through how many times you keep playing it.Star Wars Armada Contents

The downside – There’s only one range ruler and one maneuverer tool provided, whereas ideally you need a second one of both as you expand playing the game.  They are available as expansions, which may seem a bit annoying having to fork out for these to fully utilise this game.  However, a common solution is to purchase two Core Sets.  Not only does this get you a second range ruler, maneuverer tool, dice set and ships with cards, but there is also a scenario in the box specifically for two Core Sets.

Are you ready to lead a fleet into battle across the Star Wars galaxy? Available Here


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