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Robb Minneman
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Jackasses? You let a whole column get stalled and strafed on account of a couple of jackasses? What the hell's the matter with you?
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I bought Armada last night. I'd read the rules when they went up on Fantasy Flight's website, so I was prepared. I sat down and played a game today with my two boys, age 5 and 7.

We played the introductory game, and split all the ships between us. My younger son, Chris, took the CR90A, my older son, Alex, took the Nebulon B escort frigate, and I played the Victory I Star Destroyer.

The three of us have been playing a lot of X-Wing together, and so they're well-versed in the idea of maneuver and fire. One thing I noted about Armada right away: While Fantasy Flight is entirely willing to use concepts from X-Wing, they didn't just do a quick and dirty adaptation and scale-up.

I've seen this from FFG before. Many years ago I bought Battlemist, which I enjoyed very much. FFG could have warmed over Twilight Imperium, and didn't. Sure, there are some modest similarities, but there's a separate, different game there with a different feel.

Armada is the same way. Sure, there are some concepts that come over from X-Wing (the damage deck is a prime example) but they only brought things across that made sense. Where they needed to, there are new game mechanics.

And those new game mechanics are very good. Ships are much less maneuverable than in X-Wing, and that's a good thing! A Star Destroyer should handle like a ponderous elephant. In the game we played, I lost because I hadn't planned ahead well enough to keep my Victory I from sliding off the board.

They also play very much like you would expect them to. The rebel ships are smaller and more maneuverable, and their squadrons are much more effective than the Imperial TIEs. But if you get too close to that Star Destroyer, you're in trouble. My elder son accidentally ran his Nebulon B a little too close to my Victory I, and I was able to fire from two zones into two of his. I basically killed his ship in one round of fire. Star Destroyers are very dangerous at close range.

The squadron rules are very good, too. They're well-integrated with the rest of the game system. Squadrons are effective without being game-breaking.

One more thing I should note: This game plays very well as a team game. It was my two boys with a ship each against me. It was great! Everyone was responsible for his own ship, and the game moves through phases fast enough that my young boys were constantly engaged in what was happening on the board.

And yeah, I played this game with a 5 year old and a 7 year old. The rules aren't that tough. They're just as complex as they need to be, and no more.

This is a very solid offering from FFG, with the same kind of high quality that I've come to expect from them. The components are beautiful (especially the models) and the game rules are well thought-out and playtested.

Again: I played this with two young boys. I was responsible for knowing the rules and making sure they were followed, but the boys understood what was going on well enough to understand and play the game. I have a saying about X-Wing: Simple enough that a young child can play it, but with enough depth to hold the interest of an adult. Armada is much the same way. It's more complicated off the top than X-Wing, but still very much playable.

I own a substantial Battlefleet Gothic collection, but at this point I can't see myself going back to it. This game plays better, smoother, and easier, with better-integrated mechanics. This is the large-scale starship game I've been looking for, and it's well worth the (high) price tag. I highly recommend it.
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Norman Mueller
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robbbbbb wrote:

I own a substantial Battlefleet Gothic collection, but at this point I can't see myself going back to it. This game plays better, smoother, and easier, with better-integrated mechanics. This is the large-scale starship game I've been looking for, and it's well worth the (high) price tag. I highly recommend it.


And with this small comment you have erased the last of my doubts. I need this game.
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John Di Ponio
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LannisterCrimson wrote:
robbbbbb wrote:

I own a substantial Battlefleet Gothic collection, but at this point I can't see myself going back to it. This game plays better, smoother, and easier, with better-integrated mechanics. This is the large-scale starship game I've been looking for, and it's well worth the (high) price tag. I highly recommend it.


And with this small comment you have erased the last of my doubts. I need this game.


Ditto!
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Robb Minneman
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Jackasses? You let a whole column get stalled and strafed on account of a couple of jackasses? What the hell's the matter with you?
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I should note that this game is 16 years newer than BFG, also, and so it benefits from advances in game design that weren't available back then.

Also: I've had my gripes with FFG before for their use of custom dice. The dice mechanic in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (3rd Edition) is a mess. It seems okay up front, but it wears thin after a while. Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game is better, but still has its moments. I am, so far, very keen on the mechanical implementation of the custom dice this time. The to-hit numbers on the dice scale nicely, and it's a fairly low-variance dice mechanic. You don't often get huge swings like you can in X-Wing, where you'll get someone who rolls three dice, gets three hits, and then the defender gets no evades on four green dice, and poof, he's dead.
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Matthew McFarland
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robbbbbb wrote:
You don't often get huge swings like you can in X-Wing, where you'll get someone who rolls three dice, gets three hits, and then the defender gets no evades on four green dice, and poof, he's dead.


The lack of defense dice is a huge plus for me. Not only does it make the attack step go smoother/faster, it allows you to be strategic with your defense options--but you can still get those exciting lucky attack rolls.
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Brandon Holmes
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How would rank it in comparison with X-Wing for young boys?
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Robb Minneman
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Jackasses? You let a whole column get stalled and strafed on account of a couple of jackasses? What the hell's the matter with you?
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It is more complex than X-Wing, and requires somewhat different skills.

X-Wing rewards good spatial thinking and the ability to out-guess your opponent and outmaneuver him.

Armada rewards the ability to plan ahead, sometimes several turns. It's a bit more strategic, and less tactical.

If your kids can play X-Wing, they can probably play Armada, especially if they're playing with upgrades and building (or at least helping to build) their own forces. It's not that much more difficult. Given the choice between the two, I think X-Wing is less difficult to learn, but not drastically so.

If what you're asking is, "Which should I get first?" Unequivocally, I'll say X-Wing. It's got less initial complexity and is easier to learn. If you're asking, "My kids can play X-Wing, can they handle Armada?" The answer to that is almost certainly, "Yes."
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Brandon Holmes
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My kids are 1 and 2 years old so I just wanted to know if should introduce them to X-Wing first or if I should start collecting Armada Your answers confirmed my suspicions so I will keep my X-Wing stuff and wait and see what they think. Thanks a lot!
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Josh Taylor
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In a few years, you'll be deciding between Star Wars: Planetary Rebellion (or whatever the name of the game that will have us buying AT-ATs and Snowspeeders), or X-WING 2nd Edition, or Armada....and the underwater sea battle game based on the climax of Episode VIII....etc.
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Adrian Ruiz
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Gargamel wrote:
In a few years, you'll be deciding between Star Wars: Planetary Rebellion (or whatever the name of the game that will have us buying AT-ATs and Snowspeeders), or X-WING 2nd Edition, or Armada....and the underwater sea battle game based on the climax of Episode VIII....etc.


awesome. Can't wait.
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Norman Mueller
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robbbbbb wrote:
You don't often get huge swings like you can in X-Wing, where you'll get someone who rolls three dice, gets three hits, and then the defender gets no evades on four green dice, and poof, he's dead.


I know what you are saying, and I have been on the wrong end of that stunt quite a lot of times.

However, one of my gauges for determining the luck factor of a game is: Do better players win very often?

And IIRC correctly, the world champion managed to defend his championship..
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Robb Minneman
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Jackasses? You let a whole column get stalled and strafed on account of a couple of jackasses? What the hell's the matter with you?
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LannisterCrimson wrote:
robbbbbb wrote:
You don't often get huge swings like you can in X-Wing, where you'll get someone who rolls three dice, gets three hits, and then the defender gets no evades on four green dice, and poof, he's dead.


I know what you are saying, and I have been on the wrong end of that stunt quite a lot of times.

However, one of my gauges for determining the luck factor of a game is: Do better players win very often?

And IIRC correctly, the world champion managed to defend his championship..


The same guys are near the top of the leader boards at the World Series of Poker year after year. I still think that poker is a game that is subject to tremendous swings of luck.

Good players can and will mitigate that luck (and the best make it work for them.) But I think X-Wing's resolution mechanism is inherently higher-variance than Armada's. There are more blank faces on the X-Wing dice, and you're rolling more dice at a go. Both of those lead to higher variance situations.
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Derry Salewski
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Gargamel wrote:
In a few years, you'll be deciding between Star Wars: Planetary Rebellion (or whatever the name of the game that will have us buying AT-ATs and Snowspeeders), or X-WING 2nd Edition, or Armada....and the underwater sea battle game based on the climax of Episode VIII....etc.


what is this word "decide?"
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Norman Mueller
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robbbbbb wrote:


The same guys are near the top of the leader boards at the World Series of Poker year after year. I still think that poker is a game that is subject to tremendous swings of luck.

Good players can and will mitigate that luck (and the best make it work for them.) But I think X-Wing's resolution mechanism is inherently higher-variance than Armada's. There are more blank faces on the X-Wing dice, and you're rolling more dice at a go. Both of those lead to higher variance situations.


Well, Pro poker players can mitigate the luck because of the insanely high number of random events happening during a tournament.

I'd venture that if a WSoP player would encounter as few (relatively spoken) random events as an X-Wing tournament player, there would be a different winner every year.

But that is just underlining your actual point: Armada has less luck than X-Wing because of the damage distribution on the dice AND the lower number of dice rolled due to the lack of defense dice. I really welcome that.

Going back to the OP:
I last played BFG ages ago, but wasn't there some stupid rule that if you roll doubles when firing torpedoes or launching squadrons, your fully-stocked and battle-prepared ship simply runs out of ordnance, even if you are in round 1 of the game?
you don't need CUSTOM dice to generate stupid randomness.
Still, love that game.

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robbbbbb wrote:


I own a substantial Battlefleet Gothic collection, but at this point I can't see myself going back to it. This game plays better, smoother, and easier, with better-integrated mechanics. This is the large-scale starship game I've been looking for, and it's well worth the (high) price tag. I highly recommend it.


I find out that interesing BFG replacement can be Firestorm Armada from Spartan Games especially in current 2.0 rules version.

Star Wars Armada are faster and easier, but I wonder about variability in core set. For how many games will allow only pure Core Set?
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Derry Salewski
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Rocy7 wrote:
robbbbbb wrote:


I own a substantial Battlefleet Gothic collection, but at this point I can't see myself going back to it. This game plays better, smoother, and easier, with better-integrated mechanics. This is the large-scale starship game I've been looking for, and it's well worth the (high) price tag. I highly recommend it.


I find out that interesing BFG replacement can be Firestorm Armada from Spartan Games especially in current 2.0 rules version.

Star Wars Armada are faster and easier, but I wonder about variability in core set. For how many games will allow only pure Core Set?


It's barely pretending not to be a minis game. You just compared it to two full blown minis game.

The answer is "not much."

But the answer isn't supposed to be something other than that.
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Gargamel wrote:
In a few years, you'll be deciding between Star Wars: Planetary Rebellion (or whatever the name of the game that will have us buying AT-ATs and Snowspeeders), or X-WING 2nd Edition, or Armada....and the underwater sea battle game based on the climax of Episode VIII....etc.


Whoa whoa whoa now. Is this really supposed to be a thing, or is this more speculation on your part?

...because I would be perfectly okay with a SW miniatures game featuring terrestrial units.
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Matthew Robinson
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How does the game play with adults?
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Robb Minneman
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Jackasses? You let a whole column get stalled and strafed on account of a couple of jackasses? What the hell's the matter with you?
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I got two games in against my sons this weekend, and I got two games in against a friend last night. My friend had the assistance of a small* tactical staff.

Our first game was a learner game, using the rules from the box. In our second game, we upgraded to a full-size game, including using one of the objective cards. (Hyperspace Assault, which was a bad choice for my Star Destroyer.)

Plays great. There are good decisions to be made all around, in all phases of the game. Building fleets is fun**. Picking objectives is fun. Advanced planning with your ships is fun. Learning to make good use of your fighters is fun***. There are good decisions to be made at every step of the game.

My only nitpick at this point is the variety contained within the core set. And this is a nitpick; I shouldn't expect a ton of variety in the core set.

*In both numbers and stature.
**I am eagerly anticipating the Wave I releases to add much-needed variety to the game.
***Using fighters in Armada reminds me very much of using infantry in Ogre. They both seem like gnats picking at a giant. Good players are effective at using them.
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robbbbbb wrote:
I got two games in against my sons this weekend, and I got two games in against a friend last night. My friend had the assistance of a small* tactical staff.

Our first game was a learner game, using the rules from the box. In our second game, we upgraded to a full-size game, including using one of the objective cards. (Hyperspace Assault, which was a bad choice for my Star Destroyer.)

Plays great. There are good decisions to be made all around, in all phases of the game. Building fleets is fun**. Picking objectives is fun. Advanced planning with your ships is fun. Learning to make good use of your fighters is fun***. There are good decisions to be made at every step of the game.

My only nitpick at this point is the variety contained within the core set. And this is a nitpick; I shouldn't expect a ton of variety in the core set.

*In both numbers and stature.
**I am eagerly anticipating the Wave I releases to add much-needed variety to the game.
***Using fighters in Armada reminds me very much of using infantry in Ogre. They both seem like gnats picking at a giant. Good players are effective at using them.



I see two issues:

1) Stopping at the Core Set is not really an option. Does this game play so well that I want to drop $200 - $300 minimum investing in expansions. Some will say yes. Personally, I would say no. Bringing me to 2nd Point:

2) The game is a step up in complexity from X Wing and plays longer. The ability to play X Wing with multiple people controlling multiple ships in an informal or Tournament setting, while playing in as little as a 1.5 to 2.5 hours, created something really new that miniature games has been lacking. Even with multi player rules, this would be a monster to play with a small group and many would lose interest.

Armada does it right at the 2 player strategic level, maybe better than any of it's kind before, but it doesn't replace X Wing and shouldn't try to compete in that arena.
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Robb Minneman
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I strongly disagree with your point on multi-player. All of our Armada games have been multi-player, with one person controlling each capital ship. We've done the same thing in X-Wing, and I find it works better in Armada than it does in X-Wing.

I also disagree with your point on complexity. This game is more complex than X-Wing, but not that much more. My 5 year old grasped the concepts immediately, and is now entirely comfortable with the game. Even if you want to grant that he's three standard deviations above the mean (and I'd be flattered), he's still five. If you can teach this game down to that level, it can't be that difficult. It's not rocket science High Frontier.

I do think you're right about expansions, however. I'm already making plans for additional purchases, and we're going to sink $300 or so into this game. We'll have enough fun with it to make it worthwhile. The game plays fine with a single core set, but we're going to want the variety of ships later on. That's pretty common for miniatures games across the board, and something I think players will be well advised to consider.
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Steven R
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robbbbbb wrote:
I strongly disagree with your point on multi-player. All of our Armada games have been multi-player, with one person controlling each capital ship. We've done the same thing in X-Wing, and I find it works better in Armada than it does in X-Wing.

I also disagree with your point on complexity. This game is more complex than X-Wing, but not that much more. My 5 year old grasped the concepts immediately, and is now entirely comfortable with the game. Even if you want to grant that he's three standard deviations above the mean (and I'd be flattered), he's still five. If you can teach this game down to that level, it can't be that difficult. It's not rocket science High Frontier.

I do think you're right about expansions, however. I'm already making plans for additional purchases, and we're going to sink $300 or so into this game. We'll have enough fun with it to make it worthwhile. The game plays fine with a single core set, but we're going to want the variety of ships later on. That's pretty common for miniatures games across the board, and something I think players will be well advised to consider.



I'm not saying it can't be played multi player, but I am suggesting it's meant for 2 players and if you tried to play it with say 4 on 4 Tournament style it would bog down. X wing handled that brilliantly, except for some of the clutter on the table...I've seen epic games played in a reasonable amount of time. I paid $25 for X Wing Core and a few extra minis for about $35...you can't approach Armada for anything like that price. For $300 I can purchase 4-5 top notch games that will see a lot more action than Armada in my group.
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swr66 wrote:
robbbbbb wrote:
I strongly disagree with your point on multi-player. All of our Armada games have been multi-player, with one person controlling each capital ship. We've done the same thing in X-Wing, and I find it works better in Armada than it does in X-Wing.

I also disagree with your point on complexity. This game is more complex than X-Wing, but not that much more. My 5 year old grasped the concepts immediately, and is now entirely comfortable with the game. Even if you want to grant that he's three standard deviations above the mean (and I'd be flattered), he's still five. If you can teach this game down to that level, it can't be that difficult. It's not rocket science High Frontier.

I do think you're right about expansions, however. I'm already making plans for additional purchases, and we're going to sink $300 or so into this game. We'll have enough fun with it to make it worthwhile. The game plays fine with a single core set, but we're going to want the variety of ships later on. That's pretty common for miniatures games across the board, and something I think players will be well advised to consider.



I'm not saying it can't be played multi player, but I am suggesting it's meant for 2 players and if you tried to play it with say 4 on 4 Tournament style it would bog down. X wing handled that brilliantly, except for some of the clutter on the table...I've seen epic games played in a reasonable amount of time. I paid $25 for X Wing Core and a few extra minis for about $35...you can't approach Armada for anything like that price. For $300 I can purchase 4-5 top notch games that will see a lot more action than Armada in my group.


That's the never-ending analysis of "What Will Work With My Group and Budget" in which all we gamers must engage. To each their own.
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