I ordered this through the Kickstarter a while back and finally got around to trying it.
I played 2 games of the solo mode. The first game was against AI 1 and the second against AI 2.
As a solo game Stellar Armada fills a nice little nice as a part luck, part strategy space combat game that is small enough to take with you.
You start the game with a spaceship with several systems, shields and weapons. The game ends when one of the players manages to destroy the other player's reactor.
On each turn you have energy points equal to the amount of points that are remaining in your reactor to allocate to various systems on your ship. They can be used to charge shields (even if repair systems are destroyed), give yourself an Engine Boost (each point of this makes it harder for your opponent to hit you), Repair (reactor cannot be repaired), Fire Missile (10 per game) or Fire Beam (unlimited).
After allocating your energy points this way you take your turn. If you have put points into missiles or beams you fire them and attempt to damage your opponent. To resolve combat you roll a single 6-sided die and a roll of 2 or more is a hit. If your opponent put energy points into Engine Boost the previous turn you need to roll higher than Engine Boost +1 to hit. So 3 points of Engine Boost means you need a 5 or 6 to hit.
When you hit you do damage. A Missile hit does 5 points and a Beam hit does 2 points. However, if your opponent has any shields left all damage goes to weakening the shields and the shield stops the ENTIRE attack, even if there are not enough points there.
Once the shields are down you can start attacking the internal systems. You choose the system you want to attack and then apply damage to that system. If the system is down then damage goes to the reactor, reducing your opponents energy points. However, only 2 points of damage per system can go through to the reactor per turn.
In the first game I played, against AI 1, I lost badly. The AI had some very good rolls and knocked out my shields and engines quickly. I tried to keep them repaired a bit, but this seems to have been the wrong strategy as I had very little left to fire with.
In the second game, against AI 6 I won. Rather than trying to repair damage I had taken I started attacking more, which left the AI with few shields and eventually I got through his Missile System and destroyed the Reactor.
Overall, this is a really good, fast, portable game. I look forward to trying the 2 and 4 player versions.