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Star Wars: Armada» Forums » Reviews

Subject: The Force Is Strong With This One rss

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Ike Evans
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Many years ago in High School, I played a lot of Warhammer fantasy because all of my friends did the same thing. After graduating from High School, I looked at the several hundreds of dollars sitting on my shelf and asked myself: what the hell am I doing with me life?! Almost immediately, I sold my entire collection and swore off miniature styled war gaming forever.

Then a couple of years ago Leviathans came out, and I thought that was interesting enough to try out. After buying into the that game, I found myself deeply disappointed when the game crashed and burned into a heap of fire when the designers couldn't release any of the stupid expansions that they promised the world. Once again, I swore off miniature war gaming as a massive waste of money.

Then Star Wars Armada came out...

...I'm such a sucker.

Artwork/Aesthetics:

The miniatures are beautiful. The Star Destroyer, in particular, knocks out any bad feelings I might have for playing the bad guys. In fact, the Star Destroyer looks so awesome I sort of prefer playing the bad guys.

The graphical artwork is, by FFG’s standards, not quite up to snuff. By the standard of most other publishing companies, it is very good. But the art on the cards isn’t consistent. Some of the work looks almost photographic, other bits look more like traditional oil paintings.

But, even as it is mildly inconsistent, all of it does look great, and notably much better done than most other games.

Components:

The quality of the components is unbelievable. The way everything comes together, such as the stands for the ships, the shield counters, and everything else is both beautiful and functional.
The fighters come on stands that are very fragile, however. Assembly will have to be done with extreme caution. This one factor could have been thought through a little better, no doubt.

Ruleset:

It has been a while since I’ve invested in a game that my eight year old can’t play. This is not a game for little children under 10 at the youngest.

The rules are done pretty well. The way they line out an introductory rulebook followed by a glossary styled rulebook was well thought out. Some of the rules aren’t as clear as they could be, which is a bit frustrating. But they do a splendid job of using components inventively to make most of the game fairly intuitive. This isn’t a game that you can pick up and learn to play in under 10 minutes, but it is straight forward enough that I didn’t find myself constantly referring back to the rulebook.

Gameplay (most important):

Tactical wargames such as this typically aren’t exactly my cup of tea. But, holy crap, this game fun to play! There is a certain brilliance in how the game flows with a sense of balance and depth without feeling bloated. (The opposite would be true of Warhammer pre-2015.) So far the game sort of lacks variety in that you have a choice of only two factions to play, though I would be surprised if FFG isn’t ahead of me on resolving this issue.
Will you go heavy on fighters, or no fighters at all? Focus on smaller more nimble ships, or go with something that will pound the other guy hard? All of this, and everywhere in between, is totally feasible.

Theme (second most important):

When I originally saw Armada’s cousin X-Wing a couple years ago, I wasn’t terribly tempted by this because I felt like the lack of larger ships was missing the spirit of Star Wars. If I was to get back into miniatures gaming, I wanted something with a lot of meat on it. (Before anybody jumps on me, let it be known I’m not trying to criticize X-Wing too much. It just never looked like anything that interested me personally.)

Armada has meat. Lots of it. It’s immersive and time will prove that this game will tell many stories. There’s nothing more one could ask.

Value:

Alas, we get to my major point of criticism: value. Online pricing for this game is sitting at about $70 USD, though there is a bit of bait and switch going on here. You can buy the base game and have fun with it for a couple of games before it gets boring: you will need more. I would expect that most people would be spending at least $200 USD (online) before they would have what they would consider a complete game. For that price I can easily get 4-7 other high quality board games. So buyer beware: if you want to get into Armada, you need to be willing to spend a lot of money. Otherwise this game will feel incomplete.

Verdict:

Armada has done it. I’m back into tactical war gaming. Surely I haven’t forgotten about my love for traditional gaming, especially strategic wargaming, but it has been a long time since I’ve been this excited to jump in and play a game. This is a game that I highly recommend.

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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 agree with most everything in this review except this:

ikesteroma wrote:
It has been a while since I’ve invested in a game that my eight year old can’t play. This is not a game for little children under 10 at the youngest.


I play this one with my 7- and 5- year olds regularly. They don't quite grasp the strategy yet (although they're getting better!) but they get the rules just fine. We've already played a lot of X-Wing, though, so that allows us to stair-step up to this one.
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Mike Loftus
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I also play with a 5 year old with just the basic learning game, I help when needed and he loves it.

I can let you know what I stripped out so he can play, a lot of things aren't necessary for a fun quick game.
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Derry Salewski
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Man, knocking the value when you compare it favorably to two other miniature games as your point of reference is a little rough.
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Ike Evans
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scifiantihero wrote:
Man, knocking the value when you compare it favorably to two other miniature games as your point of reference is a little rough.


If you are living on a really tight budget, I simply don't recommend that people buy into Armada. Your money is better spent elsewhere. Since I already have an elaborate game collection, and since my budgetary constraints aren't as tight, I'm willing to overlook the poor value of the game, especially in light of it's other stupendous qualities.

Warhammmer (either Fantasy or 40K) gets zero stars in this category. Leviathans is also a game that doesn't have fantastic value, but still would've scored about the same as Armada if they followed through with development.

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Ronster Zero
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Like most of these "buy more models" games. I'm waiting on this for more expansions so I get get the base game and first waves for much cheaper than what they cost now when there is a big sale.
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Phil Triest
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ronster0 wrote:
Like most of these "buy more models" games. I'm waiting on this for more expansions so I get get the base game and first waves for much cheaper than what they cost now when there is a big sale.


I think you will be waiting a while whistle
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Cracky McCracken
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Thanks for the review! My 8yo plays WFB for crying out loud.

Let the kid play Armada.
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It's all about expectations. The game is priced fine for what it is, but it may be positioned on the self along side more traditional board games. Especially at casual gaming stores and large retailers.
As far as waiting for more expansions? There is enough out now, just don't go overboard with a lot of duplicates if you are worried about expansion being overshadowed by future releases. Also, Your LGS isn't likely to reduce the cost much, even after the next wave since it will bring new interest to the game. And online retailers already are selling expansions and the core game at great prices.
I think it is better to jump in early to get used to the rules and system before there is to much new added. It will only get more overwhelming if you wait.
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Ike Evans
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Cracky wrote:
Thanks for the review! My 8yo plays WFB for crying out loud.

Let the kid play Armada.


Okay! Okay! I get the message. I'm going home tonight, and I'm going to see how my boy handles Armada.

But seriously here. Doesn't anybody else feel at least a little apprehensive about trusting an 8 year old with commanding his very own Star Destroyer? I don't even trust him with his own guns!
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Mike Loftus
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ikesteroma wrote:
Cracky wrote:
Thanks for the review! My 8yo plays WFB for crying out loud.

Let the kid play Armada.


Okay! Okay! I get the message. I'm going home tonight, and I'm going to see how my boy handles Armada.

But seriously here. Doesn't anybody else feel at least a little apprehensive about trusting an 8 year old with commanding his very own Star Destroyer? I don't even trust him with his own guns!


The glee when Gabe rolls all those VSD front arc dice...

Also, "Let the Wookie win" is a good tactic your first few times out.
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Phil Triest
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Omphaloskeptic wrote:
ikesteroma wrote:
Value:

Alas, we get to my major point of criticism: value. Online pricing for this game is sitting at about $70 USD, though there is a bit of bait and switch going on here. You can buy the base game and have fun with it for a couple of games before it gets boring: you will need more. I would expect that most people would be spending at least $200 USD (online) before they would have what they would consider a complete game. For that price I can easily get 4-7 other high quality board games. So buyer beware: if you want to get into Armada, you need to be willing to spend a lot of money. Otherwise this game will feel incomplete.


This is quite misleading. Sure, the core set has less replayability thana game like Agricola, but this isn't the relevant point of comparison. This is a hobby game, and no hobby game gives you as much content out of the core as a regular board game. You would have to rate the value of all hobby game core sets as one star following your implicit reasoning.

The relevant point of comparison should be other hobby games. In that case, I would probably rate it at three stars. The very high quality of the components justifies the higher price, but in terms of actual content it is average in comparison to other FFG hobby games and on par with other hobby games.


Regarding the fighter stands: they are not as fragile as you imply. I found mine to be rather durable despite their size. This is very high quality plastic.


Agreed. The rule set is also the most expensive part of a game. Compare this to some of the GMT war games and you will get a good reference too. Games like Blood & Roses provide an excellent reference point. You get a few sheets of counters and a paper map/play area. At least 50 per cent of the cost of that game is in the rule set. Armada is no different. Think of all the time that went into developing the layers of the game (movement tool, fighters, ships, point values, firing arcs, shield differentials, upgrade cards, admirals, scenarios etc etc). That stuff takes years and multiple people to perfect unlike Agricola which takes one designer a year or less.
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ray shipp
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Hi Phil,
Go to bookdepository.com. Great sales for Aussie buyers at the moment.
Core Set for $106AUD. Sales on many expansions too. Gladiators 50% off RRet price. Free Shipping Worldwide. Won't get cheaper.
Cheers Ray
 
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Phil Triest
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raymondshipp wrote:
Hi Phil,
Go to bookdepository.com. Great sales for Aussie buyers at the moment.
Core Set for $106AUD. Sales on many expansions too. Gladiators 50% off RRet price. Free Shipping Worldwide. Won't get cheaper.
Cheers Ray


Thanks for the heads up but I've been buying from them for about 5 yrs
 
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