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Star Wars: Armada» Forums » General

Subject: Is this game fiddly? rss

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Player Red
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Is there a lot of stats you need to keep in your head?

And second, Is customization light? I don't want to stay up late with all my cards trying to make the perfect setup.

I really just wanna pull out the box, lay down a balanced pre-made setup, and play the game with casual gamers.

Will this serve as an entry level war game?

Thanks,
Player Red
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Allen T
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There are few to no stats to keep in your head, everything is printed on the cards, the base, etc. The only real stat tracking you might need to do is some addition at the end of a match, and sometimes counting the number of damage cards on your ships.

As far as customization light, it depends. If you buy one of every ship, and multiples of most, load up on upgrades, etc. then it can become a game of setups. A good portion of the battle can be won with fleet construction, objective selection, and proper fleet deployment before either player begins moving ships.
However, you can make it as complicated or as easy as you want when playing casually. If you are supplying all the ships, just buy a handful. When people want to build a fleet, give them either Rebel or Imperial, all the Admirals you have for that side, and all the ships and fighter squads. Tell them to pick what they want under 400/300/250 any number, then fill in remaining holes with upgrade cards. So, yes, a good fleet can take an hour to build or 5 minutes, a fun fleet can take an hour to build or 5 minutes.


And, really, I don't know if it is a "war game," it's a tactical miniature game. That means they will keep releasing new ships, content, etc.

Also, they recently announced a campaign system for this, so keep that in mind.
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Player Red
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Thank you Mr. T,

I appreciate you taking the time to explain this to me. If you're still available, I have some more questions.

This is what I'm really looking for. I wanna have a bunch of ships and starfighters, and ask friends to "make their own fleet". They figure out the number of ships they need, they can even pick the admiral they want to use.

That sounds like fun

You wanna know what doesn't sound like fun? Upgrade cards. They sound like a horrible way to waste time agonizing over a few points. And then you want to make a whole setup so that you can exploit one upgrade card.

Would it be doable, to just buy the ships I want, pick the officers to use, and totally avoid upgrade cards? Does it ruin the game?

Next question, am I better off buying two starter sets and keeping it simple? Or adding the expansions?

Thanks Mr. T,
Player Red
 
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Eric Taylor
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PlayerRedDiceBoy wrote:

You wanna know what doesn't sound like fun? Upgrade cards. They sound like a horrible way to waste time agonizing over a few points. And then you want to make a whole setup so that you can exploit one upgrade card.

In my experience, upgrade cards work fine. Some ships do fine upgrade-light (and even some do fine without upgrades at all - VSD-Is can be run that way pretty well). It's rare that a ship can be run competitively with huge piles of upgrades and those that can are the large ships (MC80s/Imperial Star Destroyers) in which case it feels fine because it's a centerpiece model anyways.

PlayerRedDiceBoy wrote:
Would it be doable, to just buy the ships I want, pick the officers to use, and totally avoid upgrade cards? Does it ruin the game?

You could do this with house rules I suppose but it would really warp your internal meta and make you ill-prepared for facing off against people who play the game normally, particularly in a tournament environment. Furthermore, there are some ships that really benefit from a clutch upgrade or two. Gladiator-class Star Destroyers, for example, really like having Engine Techs, Ordnance Experts, and an ordnance upgrade of some kind (your choice). Without those upgrades, they're much less impressive as a torpedo boat. The Rebel MC30 Torpedo Frigate is similar in that it's a black dice ship that likes the black dice upgrades to make its high risk high reward strategy pay off.

So basically it doesn't "ruin" the game to ignore the upgrades but I would strongly discourage it. Using the upgrade cards really is not a lot of hassle and it adds a large degree of customizability to each player's fleet that should not be overlooked.

PlayerRedDiceBoy wrote:
Next question, am I better off buying two starter sets and keeping it simple? Or adding the expansions?

One starter set and then expansions, every time. The expansions allow for some fun additional ships but also come with different upgrade cards than the core set, some of which are very commonly used.
 
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Allen T
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I don't think upgrades are super necessary to have fun, and the time it takes for people to toss on an upgrade or two can vary dramatically- one friend in my group will spend FOREVER swapping out cards, putting in one and removing another, etc. until finally we tell him he is done, we are going to start. Others will just grab one or two, toss it on, and go. Especially if you start with a small number of ships/cards, and your group grows with the game, you can learn what ships are fine without anything, what upgrades are standard in a certain kind of list, and so on.

I suggest this purchase list, in this order:

1 core set
1 dice pack
1 Home One MC80 & 1 Imperial Star Destroyer
1 of each squad pack (all 3)
1 extra maneuver template
1 Gladiator & 1 Assault Frigate
1 Gozanti & 1 GR75
1 MC30 & 1 Raider
1 Interdictor & 1 Liberty MC80
1 each Nebulon, CR90 Corvette, and Victory Star Destroyer
Then perhaps the campaign pack?

After the core and dice, decide how well your group likes the game, how much you will play, and how much you or they want to devote to buying.
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I would simply say, try for yourself how fiddly it is to set up your own fleet. Head over to Armada Warlords and give it a try:

http://armadawarlords.hivelabs.solutions/

Leave upgrade cards out for the first plays. I do this myself with new players. You may want to revisit the option of those cards later after a few plays. At some point you may want to have some customization - or not.

The ships are varied enough out of the box to have a fun battle.
 
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Derry Salewski
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. . . give a ship.
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This isn't something I'd really be pushing on casual gamers. Though you could be using the term differently than I would.

X-wing would probably work better. Though both games really thrive on the customization process.

I'd really try to find someplace to go try the game before spending what the game costs.
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Player Red
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Wrong word. I meant "light gamer".

I'm looking for an experience that requires virtually no prep time. Think Summoner Wars. I like fighting games, but most of my buddy's are light gamers that are willing to play with me, but would not invest or research themselves.

So could this game fit the bill?

If preparation is inherent in the game's appeal, than maybe this isn't a good fit.

I like the idea of collecting models to use on a large table. I like the idea of moving them around, and winning due to superior positioning. I'm essentially looking for a cooler space battle from Star Wars Risk. I want Star Wars chess in space, with dice.

An example of a game where customization is inherent in the game's appeal would be Mage Wars Academy. If you're looking to play preconstructed decks, look elsewhere.

So my question is, can we just select our favorite ships, our favorite characters, and jump in? Or should I look "elsewhere"? Regardless, I'm gonna buy the Core set with a dice pack and the moving piece.

From what I've seen, this game looks MUCH more accessible than X-wing. Now I haven't played Armada yet, but X-wing was frustrating. First you had fixed movement pieces that didn't allow you to course correct. Next, movement was done all at once, so you were constantly running into eachother, and the rules required you to handle collisions in a certain way. Last, you had to deal with line of sight.

By having movement be reactive instead of planned, and allowing firing to be 360', it sounds much simpler and accessible. Amirite?

Thanks for your time,
Player Red
 
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If you had a fixed basic fleet set up and packaged everything together in the box accordingly, I'd say it would come close to having barely no prep time needed.

 
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Player Red
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Hell yeah.
 
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Derry Salewski
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. . . give a ship.
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PlayerRedDiceBoy wrote:
From what I've seen, this game looks MUCH more accessible than X-wing. Now I haven't played Armada yet, but X-wing was frustrating. First you had fixed movement pieces that didn't allow you to course correct. Next, movement was done all at once, so you were constantly running into eachother, and the rules required you to handle collisions in a certain way. Last, you had to deal with line of sight.



No not really. Armada is fiddlier with moving and firing than x-wing. If fiddliness is your concern. LOS in xwing is "is there an asteroid?" more to it in aramda.

I mean, I rate both games very highly and love them and think they're great places to start for this sort of game, but I think you should try a couple games of it before investing into it for you and your friends.
 
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Eric Taylor
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Like most miniatures games, Armada is most fun when people are experimenting with fleet builds and playstyles. I don't think it would be running on all cylinders with a play group that has only one person who is willing to build fleets prior to a game.

Plus it's rather expensive if only one person is buying into it. If you can get buy-in from your friends (both financially and with work on fleet-building and whatnot) then it should be fine. If not, I'd recommend a boardgame of some kind that wasn't as demanding.
 
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Player Red
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By line of sight I mean that you have to face the enemy.

How is Armada fiddlier than X-Wing?
 
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Derry Salewski
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PlayerRedDiceBoy wrote:
By line of sight I mean that you have to face the enemy.

How is Armada fiddlier than X-Wing?


Well in armada most ships have sides you want to face the enemy or not due to tracking four different shield numbers and each side has a different attack value. Ships obstruct each other. Los is more complicated (but not that unintuitive.) You set your dials up 1-3 turns in advance instead of just doing a maneuver and an action in x-wing. It's kinda like twice as much information to worry about as x-wing. Though where your opponents can end up is more predictable.

Again, it's not bad, just answering your questions!
 
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Player Red
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I appreciate it Derry.

How is movement handled without pilot skill?
 
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Derry Salewski
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PlayerRedDiceBoy wrote:
I appreciate it Derry.

How is movement handled without pilot skill?


You just pick a ship and go back and forth. Like you mentioned, it's a little easier and freer than x-wing. I like that part of the strategy compared to x-wing. But it can take longer since you have to think about who you want to move (But I do a lot of swarmy type things in x-wing so have the same challenges there.)
 
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Michael Ptak
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First, Armada is a customizeable miniatures game. This means players can get enjoyment out of buildings "lists" combining ships with certain upgrade cards, and take them to battle. This is what competitive and harder casual players do, but it is entirely possible to drop unadorned ships on the table and have fun with just the base rules and no expansions.

Without concern for upgrade combinations, I find Armada a pretty straightforward war game. Unit activation order is back and forth, a unit can fire twice per turn out of two different arcs, movement is plotted after attacks, shields and hull interact more or less the same way that X-Wing does. Base attacks are more nuanced in Armada than in X-Wing (via range limts on the dice pool) but Defending is a lot less random of a mechanic than in X-Wing, akin to a resource management mini-game.

Most players I know play the game as it was, I suppose, intended by the designers. We build out fleets, select our objective cards, and meet with friends to play on the table with our ships and fighter combinations. However, I can imagine other players simply taking unadorned ships up to a point limit and fighting to the death without concern for turn limitations. And it would probably be just as fun, and nice and different, from standard play.

Physically the only fiddly thing I can think of are the activation sliders on fighters (each time a fighter activates for the turn, click the slider to make that squadron has "gone" that turn), and the shield dials.

You may find that the base game is fun and want more. At that point you can ask if you want to start using upgrades. The base game packed in the starter kit is a good example of playing the base way, since there are no upgrade cards and no objective. Play until the end of turn 6, and whomever has destroyed the most is the winner. That should be a good indicator if you like the game enough to continue.
 
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