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Deadshane

Is Armada gonna make it?

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It hasn't really kicked off in Australia here yet, (in Brisbane anyway), but I think it will catch on as people realise just how good it is. It's ridiculously good value for the wargaming crowd who are used to dropping heinous cash on 40k/fantasy models and now can pick up an entire fleet for a couple hundred dollars. The rules are also the smoothest and most accessible of almost any miniature game barring x-wing.

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Interesting anecdote: A friend of mine whom I tried to get into X-wing has gotten into Armada instead after demoing it for her and her boyfriend. They are now thinking about ways to collect their own set. I have been running the game frequently at this new store and Armada is often asked for.

 

But yes, there are people who pass on X-Wing in favor of Armada, in spite of the rules. I don't think rules complexity is going to be an impediment to new fans who want to get into the game.

 

In my view, I think Armada popularity is going to catapult off of X-Wing and that's why so much of it has already sold out. You have not only X-Wing fans, but FFG miniatures game fans, who come out of X-Wing expecting high quality and see Armada as a bigger, grander game without so much random elements getting in the way. I've abandoned X-Wing for now but looking back, I think the only reason I would stay is because all the games are quick. Armada though, is much more satisfying to play. Just getting away from green agility dice has saved me from an immense amount of frustration.

 

I also think that rules clarity is another big draw for Armada. X-Wing has a sprawling FAQ (not as badly as Attack Wing thankfully) but out the gate Armada presents a clear rules document that spells everything out. It's intimidating to try analyzing everything but it's really there to clarify rules.

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X Wing is a strange hybrid game. It's not quite a wargame, and it's not quite a board game. I'm primarily a wargamer, and one thing I've definitely noticed on the FFG forums is that most X Wing players are board gamers. Whenever price or game length is talked about it, it's in comparison to other board games. For me, anytime I don't need to spend $900+ just to have a playable faction and the associated rules for a game, then I'm happy. Maybe it's just because I'm used to the abuse from GW that the FFG prices and game scale seem like a gentle relief.

Anyway, I'm rambling. My point was that X Wing is a strange hybrid which helps to attract players from two distinct groups.

But Armada is firmly a wargame. I think as a game, it's better than X Wing but that's because I'm a wargamer at heart and I don't miss any of the things that distinguish X Wing as a hybrid, like the lack of scenarios, the lack of free movement, the short game length, the truncated list building element of the game, the lack of rule books, etc. Armada requires more thought during list building, the scenarios mean games (and fleets) play differently every time, it requires much more though during movement, the games go for longer and there's often many more pieces on the board. Even with a 2 ship build in Armada you've got a handful of fighter stands to maneuver with as well. And as a wargamer that makes it very attractive to me, but to the casual boardgamer I can imagine those things are a negative rather than a plus.

EDIT: While I think Armada is a better game, I still love X Wing because it plays the 'star wars space combat' card from a different angle. I love commanding capital ships, but I also love flying X WIngs or TIE fighters, so Armada is certainly not replacing X Wing for me.

Edited by Chucknuckle

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Armada might take a while to build up popularity compared to x-wing which pretty much exploded from what I can tell. However I think it will build up a lot of popularity eventually since it has all the elements to appeal to a very wide range of gamers which relatively few wargames have. E.g. it has plenty of strong combo’s to appeal to the warmahordes players, it has cool sci-fi ships to appeal to the 40k players, and it has the strategic long term planning to appeal to Warhammer and historical players. These systems have an abundance of singles tournaments across the world that hit 100-200 players…..just imagine what armada might manage if it can appeal to them all!

 

Im also really excited by the number of top players this might draw into one system. Locally we have a few players per system who consistently do well. Already about a third of these people have got into armada.

 

While not as cheap as x-wing this isn’t an expensive hobby even within the miniatures games niche (which isn’t that expensive as hobbies go anyway – the problem a lot of us have is the amount its possible to buy when we get carried away….not how much we actually need for a great time). Think of the long term value we are likely to get out of these ships…….I have Warhammer models I use from 20 years ago……..over that time I have had so much enjoyment from the game, I have got my money’s worth many many many times over!  We don’t need to derive $200 of satisfaction from our very next game, we have years of entertainment ahead of us and these unit types aren’t going anywhere soon.

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At my FLGS there is a diehard group of about 4-6 X-wing players.  Some of them are rather upset after all the $$ they invested into X_wing there comes another game.  So far we got about 4 Armada players, and slowly they are converting.  Wait until wave 2 until a full verdict is taken

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I think it will slowly catch on. X-wing has somewhat run out of ships that you must buy. Wave 2 is great for Armada, ISD and Home one will draw a lot of people in (myself included). Once there are more people "half-in" because of the iconic ships I think more of the hardcore miniature gamers will join.

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 I'm primarily a wargamer, and one thing I've definitely noticed on the FFG forums is that most X Wing players are board gamers. Whenever price or game length is talked about it, it's in comparison to other board games.

 

What forums have you been reading? Every price discussion on the X-Wing boards I have read have been dominated by comments about how incredibly cheap it is compared to GW games.

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... Armada requires more thought during list building, the scenarios mean games (and fleets) play differently every time,...

 

I take it that you're talking about the objectives? I agree that the objectives are a welcome addition, even if I wish they were better.

 

But as to actual scenarios, I'd say that X-Wing gets short shrift in that regard. They do have scenarios along with the large and epic ships. The problem is that nobody plays them - even the sorts of gamers one would think would be into scenarios.

 

I think you might be right about there being a board-gameyness to X-Wing, and I hope that doesn't also become true for Armada, but I'm not convinced that they're so dissimilar that we're not going to have the same thing happen with Armada.

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Armada is not expensive. Where do people get this ridiculous idea? 

 

Miniatures Market sells the entirety of Wave 1 for less than a night's stay at some hotels. 

 

You want to know what an expensive hobby is? Golf.

So if you take a Warhammer mind set or even x-wing you want to buy 3 of each ship per wave with the core and extra dice your looking at 240.00. As an x-wing player I would buy enough of each ship to run just that for a match. With Warhammer you want enough to field all of your troops. Looking ahead to wave 2 if you again buy 3 of each ship its totaling 328.72. I know most people will not spend that much, but really any game that your dropping over 100 per expansion starts to add up. Then factor of your playing Tourny or going to a gaming store each week. Look most people will buy 1 to 2 of each ship so it's closure to 150.00 though that is still a lot.

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It hasn't really kicked off in Australia here yet, (in Brisbane anyway), but I think it will catch on as people realise just how good it is. It's ridiculously good value for the wargaming crowd who are used to dropping heinous cash on 40k/fantasy models and now can pick up an entire fleet for a couple hundred dollars. The rules are also the smoothest and most accessible of almost any miniature game barring x-wing.

40k in Australia. . . Don't they have a horrid tax that makes everything almost double the cost compared to the US?

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I priced out a tau army with max of every troop choice you can get its something like 1,100 plus now you can bring other army troops as support that's 1,300-1,500 easy. Every 5 years they change the armies so it costs even more when you need new models. 40k is out of control

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40k in Australia. . . Don't they have a horrid tax that makes everything almost double the cost compared to the US?

It isn't a tax, it's GW price gouging to a comical extreme (unless you actually live down under and want to buy GW stuff, then it's just tragic).

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Armada is a goner, it is sold out. So it will only make it to stores as a reprint.

 

There also seems to be a link in demand for Armada and Tarot Size Card Protectors. They are near impossible to find.

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I really don't understand these Either/Or gamers. It's not like buying into Armada somehow deactivates your X-Wing collection or somehow lessens your enjoyment of it.

 

News flash, people, you can play and maintain two different gaming systems at once. 

 

Your X-Wings don't stop working because you have a shiny new Imperial fleet in Armada.

 

You've paid money for it, no one is going to take your miniatures away from you.

 

Playing with your existing miniatures costs you very little.

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It hasn't really kicked off in Australia here yet, (in Brisbane anyway), but I think it will catch on as people realise just how good it is. It's ridiculously good value for the wargaming crowd who are used to dropping heinous cash on 40k/fantasy models and now can pick up an entire fleet for a couple hundred dollars. The rules are also the smoothest and most accessible of almost any miniature game barring x-wing.

40k in Australia. . . Don't they have a horrid tax that makes everything almost double the cost compared to the US?

 

 

Oh man, we call it the 'Australia Tax', everything from iTunes music to hardware to board games all get their prices hiked by about 30% on top of the exchange rate, it's simply the last shrimp from the barbie falling on the ground - bugger!

 

To give you an idea of this outrage - The Armada core set RRP is $180 AUD, (~US$140)

A Box of Grey Hunters (I play space wolves) is AU$65 (~US$50)  You can imagine how that adds up when you want a decent sized army with a few Grey Hunter Packs in Rhinos and some fire support, maybe some AU$90 Thunderwolves! Even if we managed to find a decent discount somewhere we're still only paying American RRP haha.

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40k in Australia. . . Don't they have a horrid tax that makes everything almost double the cost compared to the US?

It isn't a tax, it's GW price gouging to a comical extreme (unless you actually live down under and want to buy GW stuff, then it's just tragic).

 

Yeah I should clarify, it's not a tax - it's just GW being an absolute C***

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Lots in interesting and absorbing posts in this thread. My short answer, Yes, Armada will "make it", in fact I think it could become a gaming mainstay. Will it rival X-Wing? No, I don't believe so. That said, I think Armada will last much longer and could become "bigger" if you count it over time (years). 

My personal history (which means I agree some previous posts here). I am not a Star Wars fan. I derive no joy at all (in fact, some negative emotions) from dropping things like Luke Skywalker or the Aluminum Falcon on the field. Yea it's kind of nifty I guess, but not something I would do personally. Hope that doesn't offend anyone here. Star Wars in general is cool, but it's not my 'jam.' I am a wargamer (who like many, has grown tired of GW, and has tried Warmahordes with some satisfaction). I saw X-wing, tried a demo game or two, but didn't feel a need to invest. I heard about Armada, saw it, and bought in. 

I'm in my mid-twenties, the time for grown-up stuff is coming/here (depending on who you ask). I'll have less and less time for painting, working to buy plastic soldiers/ships, etc. I love a game like Armada that is pre-painted (though I can add more if I want), ready to play out of the box, and cheap-ER than other wargames but gives me the same feel and satisfaction. Always love space combat too. 

 

But I digress...

I agree with many others who have spoken here already. Wargamers will feed into Armada and bring something X-Wing may not have had. Armada is exciting and new, it's developing and no "meta" seems to be taking hold just yet (also great). Die hard Star Wars fans I believe will mostly stay with X-Wing and/or Imperial Assault. The fact that Armada has Star Wars influence for me, is coincidence. I think I might be more of the "new" kind of player for Armada. Now that I think about it, there's even a small chance some of the more "hardcore" wargamers that could enter might chase away the Star Wars die-hards. But, that's a discussion for another day.

 

Edit: In addition (and I mean no offense) I've noticed many X-Wing players seem....angry (?) about the thought of investing more money in Armada. I certainly would be mad if Privateer Press released a 6x4 sized battle game with differently scaled models that I had to buy new sets of.

Edited by Boardy

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Boardy has, I think, hit a key point of all of this.

 

Many of the X-Wing die-hard gamers I know are old enough to remember the original series being at the movies, and certainly E1-3. Now, those of old farts who were there when E4-6 came out are probably in a financial situation that we can afford the $1,000+ that X-Wing is if you want multiples of each ship. The core of the gaming community, by and large, isn't the 40+ crowd and I find Armada, kind of like Boardy suggests, is a good game that doesn't need a lot of buy-in to the mythology of the Star Wars universe. Honestly, in all my years of liking Star Wars, I don't ever recall seeing anything about the Assault Frigate that came out with Wave 1.

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The only reason Armada hasn't developed a overall "meta" yet is because everything is still happening at the local level. So you have just a bunch of microchasms full of players figuring things out seperately. You won't see a meta develop until you start seeing local groups branch out (Gencon) and more events being reported overall.

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It hasn't really kicked off in Australia here yet, (in Brisbane anyway), but I think it will catch on as people realise just how good it is. It's ridiculously good value for the wargaming crowd who are used to dropping heinous cash on 40k/fantasy models and now can pick up an entire fleet for a couple hundred dollars. The rules are also the smoothest and most accessible of almost any miniature game barring x-wing.

40k in Australia. . . Don't they have a horrid tax that makes everything almost double the cost compared to the US?

 

no, it's just every time in the last 20 years that the dollar has dropped they raised prices, when it goes back up they keep it the same then when it drops they raise again, plus all the global price increases that we get strung along for.

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My observation is that FFG took everything they learned from the mistakes they made within the X Wing rules and fixed it for Armada. Some say Armada is more complicated but it's also more smooth. It's rules are more refined with less issues. I don't believe it will ever catch X Wing in popularity but it will certainly keep growing and become very popular.

I came into FFGs Star Wars world as a player of X Wing on the recommendation of a close friend whom I have been gaming for decades. I really enjoy X Wing. I'm new to Armada, but if I'm honest I enjoy Armada more. It's the style, the game flow, the rules. I just think FFG nailed it. As for the debate on cost. X Wing will be cheaper for the casual player. The guy who buy just enough ships to fly the faction/lists he likes. On the other hand Armada is cheaper for the hardcore gamer. For the hardcore gamer in X Wing the rule of thumb is usually as many of each ship as could fit in a 100 pt build. I'm not quite at that level but I have at least one of every ship in X Wing. I also have one of every expansion for Armada. To compare I spent about $170 to get just my Scum fleet started. That's Firesprayx1, IG2000x1, Starviperx1, Most Wantedx1, HWK-290x1, and Scykx2. Pretty much the basic bare bones to cover the faction. By contrast I spent $200 (great deal online which someone on here posted, thanks for that) I got one of everything for Armada. I could add a second fighter squad expansion for each Armada faction and perhaps a 2nd Guppy and 2nd GSD. I'd then have 2 of every ship (which is a very good base for Armada) for around $300. I spent almost $200 (I added a 2nd IG2000) just to get on board with Scum and I only have 2 of two ships (IG and Scyk). That doesn't include a core set for X Wing either. Armada is cheaper for me, I imagine it's the same for others like me too.

Some things were fixed but the game system has been changed so much X-wing mechanics no longer have any say in Armada. Armada can be broken in its own way.

 

For example take a look at defense in both of those games. Now X-wing is strictly probability with tokens that can alter probability mechanics. However Armada Defense is completely replaced by tokens that have no probability values. They simply go off and are either spent for the turn or spent for the rest of the game. Thus the big ships have a lot of damage mitigation. While squadrons I can see easily becoming the missiles/torpedoes of Armada with 0 damage mitigation (save for hero units). Units with no damage mitigation tend to not do well in table top games. (IMHO nimble TIE fighters should have had evade tokens and shielded rebel ships should have had brace tokens).

 

As for will Armada be able to become as popular (or more popular) than X-wing. That is debatable but the best answer is that it is too soon to tell. Yet the time with Armada coming out later does give armada a disadvantage. Whether or not Armada cost more or less than X-wing the fact is that many players that would buy Armada already have X-wing miniatures. They already have friends that play X-wing and are already invested in X-wing. Thus Armada is another expense that people have to consider and for most (myself included) the budget just won't support another expensive hobby.

 

So if Armada is going to meet or exceed X-wing it has to provide something more. Right now X-wing has a substantial competitive scene with its mechanics allowing for players to see which builds and strategies is superior than others. I never saw a table top game with only one objective become so popular, sure Warmachines/Hordes had the kill warcaster win objective but that was sort of a catch all objective there were still ways to win without killing the warcaster. For X-wing there is only one win condition destroy opponents ships. Armada has objectives which can really set up different win conditions making the strength of builds harder to predict. Also unlike X-wing Armada has a more complicated damage calculations with the tokens. With X-wing it was simple dice probability comparing attack dice to defense dice and seeing how many hits it takes to remove a single ship. Armada has damage recovery, 100% effective damage mitigation that can be spent. This will not only make it hard for players to tell which ships and builds are more powerful and but it will also make it harder for FFG developers to properly balance. We have yet to see if Armada has the mechanics to allow for such a fine tuning of the meta that X-wing has.

 

So on to casual/thematic reasons. Well Armada sort of has that for those that prefer huge ship battles Armada will work. Those players will not come from X-wing but rather Star Trek Attack wing. Yet the same problem financial problem will apply to those players which depends on how invested is the player into Attack wing in order to adopt Armada as a hobby. Not invested enough into Attack wing may have the player overlook the game altogether as they grew board with the table top mechanics and too invested will mean the player will stay with Star Trek Attack Wing. Unless Armada was drastically cheaper than X-wing or other miniature games (which clearly is not the case) I don't see the casual gamer being the strength of the Armada game.

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Armada is not expensive. Where do people get this ridiculous idea? 

 

Miniatures Market sells the entirety of Wave 1 for less than a night's stay at some hotels. 

 

You want to know what an expensive hobby is? Golf.

I will take your golf and raise you Warhammer 40k

I certainly take the point, but I thinking from the pocket money buy in perspective, middle class professionals, OK, no issue, put it on a card and hide the statement from your wife/significant other.

What about your teenager whose only income is his/her paper round, etc.

Once the initial core is in place additions can be added incrementally, it's just the initial hurdle.

One of the reasons I admire FFG is that they make the rules freely available so you COULD just get a ship or two providing you had a regular opponent/ LGS to play with/against/in.

My 14 year old son would never be able to play if I. Hadn't "put stuff on the card/hid statements from wife/ picked up bits cheap on eBay, etc."

Just a thought - and to some extent, playing devil's advocate.

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