Friday, 10 April 2015

Star Wars - Armada intro game

SeanR., our local Star Wars fanatic, invited me for an intro game of Armada, the new-ish game from the Star Wars stable.  While he does have the 'X-Wing' version which is the more individual 'fighter' vs 'fighter' game, "Armada" employs the big boys and more of them, in fleet actions including the small Tie and X-wing fighters in squadron formations handled in a more abstract method.  I think this is the game envisioned by the huge big screen battles of the movies.  Now one can have truly large  Imperial Destroyers, the big transports and such.
The "beast"

The rules are built in such a way as one can continue to add complexity and nuance with special abilities and characteristics (different armour, weapons, etc) if wanted or just the average-joe type for the beginner or occasional player.  All the measuring devices, dials, symbols, numbers presented on the various chits, bases and cards all - eventually - mean something and are quite well thought out.
As only one example, to indicate a squadron's "activation" the game designers have a sliding card which can moved through the model' base from one side to the other, each side having a different color.  As each turn is either one or the other, the player can easily see if the said squadron has been activated. With the many squadrons used, this is a very simply but effective game tool.
four squadrons of Tie Fighters

Now as everyone who knows my wargaming, I am a terrible pilot, be it in a Sopwith, Spitfire, MiG 21, or Tie Fighter.  Some of it comes from just poor move planning, much from simple lack of regular play, and some from just bad luck.  So it will come as no surprise that in our intro game, my inexperience, SeanR's recent extensive play and good die rolls, and frankly, my bad luck created yet another "flying" loss.  Fun though!

I include a photo of the one and only critical damage card which, flying the Imperial beast of a Destroyer - a ship powerful but extremely unmaneuverable, had its one and only (!) yaw ( read: turn )  cutting my rudder cut as it were, and so.... I calmly sail straight ....and off the board..... .   You see, I did not plan for any repair chits [ with this beast you must try to think what you will need, three turns in advance.  What will happen 3 turns from now, eh?! ]  On the flip side I did order command for my squadrons and thus at game end could beat up on the Rebel fighters.
 My ship sailing off to Hoth aside, our points based on squadrons lost were actually even 40 - 39.

I must thank SeanR for the game.  He is an excellent instructor.

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