Friday, 8 August 2014

Star Wars Armada takes to the tabletop

In 2015 it will be time to move up a notch from X-Wing the Miniature Game and assemble your own fleet to crush the Rebel Alliance or to help take down the evil Galactic Empire.

Yup - that's right, you will now be able to control a Star Destroyer and attendant TIE fighter wings or Rebel Alliance Frigates with their X-Wing escorts. On the tabletop. With pre-painted miniatures.

Fantasy Flight Games, bless your cotton socks for yet another stroke of genius for expanding the Star Wars universe for wargamers, brings us Star Wars Armada.
Fantasy Flight Games has just announced Star Wars Armada, a two-player miniatures game of epic fleet battles in the Star Wars galaxy!

Massive Star Destroyers, supported by swathes of TIE fighters, manoeuvre to unleash torrential volleys of fire from their banks of turbolasers against Rebel corvettes, frigates and squadrons of X-wings.

In Star Wars: Armada, you become the fleet admiral, serving with either the Imperial Navy or Rebel Alliance, by assembling your fleet to engage with the enemy. Using a funky looking manoeuvre tool, you steer your capital ships across the battlefield, even while squadrons of starfighters buzz around them. Then, as these ships exchange fire, it’s your job to issue the tactical commands that will decide the course of battle and, perhaps, the fate of the galaxy.

Each game you play will have 4 phases per turn and the game lasts six turns.  So there is a nice finite angle to the game.  The Phases are split up into the Command Phase, Ship Phase, Squadron Phase and Status Phase.

Command Phase
You and your opponent secretly assign commands to each of your ships. These are locked into that ship’s command dials and are placed facedown at the bottom of its command stack. You can choose from any of four basic commands, each of which offers distinct advantages:
  • The navigate command allows you to change your ship’s speed and increase its maneuverability. 
  • The squadron command allows you to order nearby squadrons to move and attack early. 
  • The repair command allows you to recover shields and repair your hull. 
  • The concentrate fire command allows you to increase the power of a single attack.

Ship Phase
You and your opponent take turns activating your ships, starting with the player who has initiative for the round. When you activate a ship, you first reveal its command for the round. You can either trigger the command’s effect from the dial for full effect, or you can store the command for future use, placing a token upon your ship’s card, and reserving the command’s effect for a more opportune moment, albeit at a reduced effect.

Squadron Phase
You and your opponent take turns activating any unactivated squadrons, beginning with the player who has initiative. When you activate a squadron, you can move it or perform an attack with it.

objectives change the ways that you’ll score points in your game
Status Phase
You and your opponent ready exhausted defence cards and flip the initiative token. Then the player with initiative increases the round count, or if you've just completed the sixth round, the game ends. Victory is awarded to the player who has scored more total points, counting both those awarded for eliminating enemy ships and squadrons as well as those awarded for completing objectives worth victory points.

I really enjoy X-Wing and there have long been discussions about the bigger ships and this took on a slightly more intense discussion when the Millenium Falcon came out, then again when the Correllian CR90 came out of lightspeed and onto the tabletop. Those of us who lean towards the Dark Side a little too much always felt slightly naked without a Star Destroyer, but realistically that would have been the size of the table to be played on and more.  Armada takes the players up a level from dog fighting to full scale naval battles and opens up a whole new world of tactical play. And finally gives us Star Destroyers!

I found myself grinning reading the Fantasy Flight Games page on it.

Is it wrong to wish it was 2015 already?

Wee Ivor

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