Star Wars Armada - it should have been an easy sale to a strategy gaming fanatic like me, who's already done two 40K armies in Star Wars themes (not to mention a third at epic scale!). Let's just say I am a fan.
The truth is though that when I first tried a demo game I was skeptical, it seemed a bit too simple (and properly-engineered star destroyers just too durable) which is why I didn't get any models until now. However, the whole of Wave 1 is now out and the game has improved, so I finally made the plunge and bought my very first Armada ship last night. By the time midnight had struck, I had bought another 4 capital ships and 14 fighter squadrons.
But at least they are easy to store. Here are 6 things you need to know.
1) It's a slower-grower
I think Armada isn't as instantly, obviously great as X-Wing and doesn't have the models that pull people across the room for a closer look like 40K. However, with the expansions to Wave 1 now out and a more healthy 300 point size the new norm, the game has really come into its own and and is showing real depth.
2) The game isn't cheap
(Ok, 40k players will think it is, but they think models should cost more than gold-leaf covered caviar. Who, me? No, I made my army from Forgeworld models because I think models should cost more than caviar-coated gold). I bought some Armada from the local games store Gamagori that's a great venue for the game, and most of the rest from Bookdepository.com where they're about 40% off local store prices.
The 4 Capital Ships and 14 fighters I mentioned above cost about $150 AUD with free postage at BD, and included the Rebel Fighter expansion, core set with rules and goodies and an extra capital ship. That gives me far more than I need for 300 point games, but it's great to have some flexibility in list design.
http://www.bookdepository.com/Star-Wars ... 1616619930
That's not too bad, since that's all a player would need for a while AND it still cost less than just the core set in some shops here.
3) There are now online army builders
There are army builders online that make squad design so much easier than fiddling around with cards and notes on paper. My current favourite is Fabs' which cn be found here:
An example of a squadrom designed on Fab's system (A Star Destroyer, Turbo Demolisher, Darth Vader, Soontir Fel, tie fighters - yes please!)
http://armada.fabpsb.net/permalink.php? ... e11e13e4e4
4) There is room for hobbiests
Armada Repaints really well. The models are great, and the detail is good for the size. The scale takes getting used to, but they can come out very well and anyone who's done Epic:Armageddon or 40K should be able to manage.
Here's a link to a tutorial by Rule37 for repainting teeny tiny little xwings as Red Squadron.
http://www.rule37.net/2015/04/armada-tu ... ron-x.html
5) Armada is now on Vassal.
And while its only V1.0 and lacks the massive amount of polish that has made Xwing Vassal a remarkable simulation of the table top game, it's genuinely not a bad implementation at all. Try ships before you buy!
Vassal Module Link:
http://www.vassalengine.org/wiki/Module ... rs:_Armada
6) There are Armada Tournaments in Western Australia
There was a tournament last weekend at Gamagori, with another planned in a month. Unfortunately the last one was on my very last day as a non-armada player, just before I joined in, but I hope to make it to the next and I am sure there will be more to come.
I hope these links and resources are useful for anyone considering starting FFG's large-scale small-scale strategy game.
Have fun! - Matt