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Ophion

A lot of Armada players play Imperial Assault but only some Imperial Assault players play Armada....?

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Note I will declare right at the start - I reckon Armada is heaps better and everyone should play it more and more!

So the title is the founding idea for this post, based on what I have seen in the local situation.

I'm not sure its always or even mostly true, just an impression. But the impression is generally Imp assault has a lot of attractive advantages over Armada, such as (leaving economics out).. Certainly IA has a stronger following around here.

Obvious ones:

- compressed time requirement - you can get multiple IA skirmishes in in the time required for Armada.

- Diversity of models. (yes aside from obvious counterpoint about the current sameness of scum faction lists over everyone in IA at present)

- IA is very visually appealing - the model scale is combined with really great artwork on the maps/tiles that represents iconic star wars situations really well, on a basically a 2ftx2ft area. As opposed to Armada where a typical game has roughly 10 ships spread across a comparatively massive area - looking at you, relaying flotillas! - with 270 points of unidentifiable (at any casual distance) squadrons.

More subjectively

- Imp assault has a move THEN attack mechanic. So you aren't as at the mercy of activations and timing as in Armada. You can usually get your big guy to do his thing before he goes down, even if you are losing badly. I don't think they need to change this in armada, but I can see how it has appeal. Anyone who has watched an ISD go all game without being able to fire its main guns can appreciate that if you were a starting player this could seem like a formidable reason to not keep investing time and money.

- IA has "big box" expansions that bring in new campaigns, maps, rules and figures for both sides.

So potential ideas from Imp assaults comparative success that may be useful for Armada...

- "Big box" expansions with IA style narrative campaigns and characters and ships based on that campaign. These could include new cardboard or even plastic terrain types that have may have significant gameplay effects, but are mostly there to brighten up the board and add a lot more interest. I'm sure there is a way for these to overlay the current objective set (one of Armadas big strengths).

- Command cards? Command cards specific to particular generals/factions/ship types?

- A "Skirmish" mode? I love 400 point Armada more than I love test cricket, but would a say 200 point mode (maybe more or less) with some sensible list building modifications provide a new way of playing that would let you smash out more than one game on game night, and support more campaign style play?

- Scum or mercenary ships - of course we have been over this before. But I think these are a certainty at some point even if they are just "allies" to imps/rebels and not their own faction. They represent a chance to bring in some different aesthetics and ship styles without having to dredge the EU gunk to fill out the established fleets).

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19 minutes ago, Ginkapo said:

The number of people who play both games is a single number. No idea what you are getting at with that title. 

rofl because you know :) 

Ginkapo is the matrix :P

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Of the 3 SW FFG wargames, Armada is, by far, the least accessible. The decisions made in it's design to encourage thinking multi-rounds ahead make developing true skill in it much harder than most wargames. It is structured in an extremely atypical fashion, with lots of moving parts. Typical games take significantly longer to play and there isn't a lot that can be done about that. All this significantly reduces the pool of people to whom the game will appeal.

On the other hand, I have observed that the IA forums are waaaaay less active than the Armada forums, suggesting that Armada actually has a larger player base. Indeed, based just on the volume of forum activity, I might conclude that IA is a dying game and has few players anywhere. That's a fairly warped data source for those kinds of determinations, however.

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5 hours ago, Forgottenlore said:

Of the 3 SW FFG wargames, Armada is, by far, the least accessible. The decisions made in it's design to encourage thinking multi-rounds ahead make developing true skill in it much harder than most wargames. It is structured in an extremely atypical fashion, with lots of moving parts. Typical games take significantly longer to play and there isn't a lot that can be done about that. All this significantly reduces the pool of people to whom the game will appeal.

On the other hand, I have observed that the IA forums are waaaaay less active than the Armada forums, suggesting that Armada actually has a larger player base. Indeed, based just on the volume of forum activity, I might conclude that IA is a dying game and has few players anywhere. That's a fairly warped data source for those kinds of determinations, however.

As far as a skirmish-mode wargame, IA is completely dead around me. zero percent of our Armada players play IA. Whenever new releases come out, my FLGS sells about 2 to 3 copies of each new pack to people who play it campaign-style and then they're not seen again until the next release. Most folks I know who played it at one time or another felt very "meh" about it, especially as a skirmish wargame (they felt there wasn't enough game there to be satisfying but the campaign mode was okay but not great).

We'd need to see the FFG sales figures (not gonna happen, haha) to determine exactly how the two games stack up nationally, of course, because our own views on the matter are largely anecdotal.

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3 hours ago, Snipafist said:

As far as a skirmish-mode wargame, IA is completely dead around me. zero percent of our Armada players play IA. Whenever new releases come out, my FLGS sells about 2 to 3 copies of each new pack to people who play it campaign-style and then they're not seen again until the next release. Most folks I know who played it at one time or another felt very "meh" about it, especially as a skirmish wargame (they felt there wasn't enough game there to be satisfying but the campaign mode was okay but not great).

We'd need to see the FFG sales figures (not gonna happen, haha) to determine exactly how the two games stack up nationally, of course, because our own views on the matter are largely anecdotal.

That's just because Snipafist corrupts all would-be IA players and inducts them into the ways of Armada! That's like Palpatine pointing out that there are plenty of Dark Side acolytes around him everywhere he goes, but scarcely any Jedi. Must be a flaw in the Jedi ways.

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3 hours ago, Nostromoid said:

That's just because Snipafist corrupts all would-be IA players and inducts them into the ways of Armada! That's like Palpatine pointing out that there are plenty of Dark Side acolytes around him everywhere he goes, but scarcely any Jedi. Must be a flaw in the Jedi ways.

As one of those other players, ACTUALLY uncorrupted by @Snipafist, it wasn't his fault. I just couldn't get into the game and the people I played the campaign with. It was a game, yes. Just not one I cared for.

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I almost bought a Hera/Chopper today just as a painting project...

 

But the 13x Price tag ($13, times the exchange rate, which at the moment, was x1.52) put me off it as just a painting project...

 

...  hate it when the exchange rate tanks like that.

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I'll echo what @Snipafist said.

I do not own any Imperial Assault, but I've played in a few tournaments in order to help get the body count up. One of those was just myself and the TO. (Wasn't a tournament anymore, when we realized it was just us.) From hearsay, I gather that more people are playing campaign, whereas nobody really plays skirmish anymore. Said TO (@Tvboy) also brought me in to play a couple of campaign, but even the next one has been postponed until we get more players. So, I don't know who's actually still playing campaign, either.

22 hours ago, Ginkapo said:

The number of people who play both games is a single number. No idea what you are getting at with that title. 

The numerator may be the same, but the title is alleging that the denominators are different. However, as I write above, I'm not sure how accurate that it.

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IA is dead here (Portland, OR) while Armada is thriving. I weep for my 100+ fully painted IA models that now sit in the closet because nobody plays and it's impossible to recruit people with so many other great and new games available. 

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On 28.5.2017 at 8:47 AM, Ophion said:

Note I will declare right at the start - I reckon Armada is heaps better and everyone should play it more and more!

So the title is the founding idea for this post, based on what I have seen in the local situation.

I'm not sure its always or even mostly true, just an impression. But the impression is generally Imp assault has a lot of attractive advantages over Armada, such as (leaving economics out).. Certainly IA has a stronger following around here.

Obvious ones:

- IA is very visually appealing - the model scale is combined with really great artwork on the maps/tiles that represents iconic star wars situations really well, on a basically a 2ftx2ft area. As opposed to Armada where a typical game has roughly 10 ships spread across a comparatively massive area - looking at you, relaying flotillas! - with 270 points of unidentifiable (at any casual distance) squadrons.

Absolutely not!

Looking at IA makes me think about my childhood, playing with SW figurines. Good times, but that's not what I'm after. Not at all :D

Locally I don't think anyone plays IA much. Definitely no tournaments or anything.

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On 5/28/2017 at 3:58 AM, Forgottenlore said:

Of the 3 SW FFG wargames, Armada is, by far, the least accessible. The decisions made in it's design to encourage thinking multi-rounds ahead make developing true skill in it much harder than most wargames. It is structured in an extremely atypical fashion, with lots of moving parts. Typical games take significantly longer to play and there isn't a lot that can be done about that. All this significantly reduces the pool of people to whom the game will appeal.

On the other hand, I have observed that the IA forums are waaaaay less active than the Armada forums, suggesting that Armada actually has a larger player base. Indeed, based just on the volume of forum activity, I might conclude that IA is a dying game and has few players anywhere. That's a fairly warped data source for those kinds of determinations, however.

Agree with everything, except that Armada is harder than most wargames. It is a mid weight wargame. Now it is much less accessible than ffgs other offerings, certainly, but barely a speedbump when it comes to wargaming. This inaccessibility and longer play (armada is still a short wargame) definitely cuts its player base a touch.

Edited by Darthain

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I would say the biggest hurdle for armada is its split faction, $100 buy in. That is the biggest complaint I have heard about the game, and the reason most people around here wont even try it. IA also has this, but its considered a bit less of a problem, because its a bit more of a complete experience, and seen as more of a board game than wargame.

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1 hour ago, AverageBoss said:

I would say the biggest hurdle for armada is its split faction, $100 buy in. That is the biggest complaint I have heard about the game, and the reason most people around here wont even try it. IA also has this, but its considered a bit less of a problem, because its a bit more of a complete experience, and seen as more of a board game than wargame.

I'll add my $0.02 to this. I think FFG realized this and Runewars is evidence. They offer a $25 essentials pack which is all the peripheral stuff needed to play the game.  They also have an elven starter army so you can play a single faction without dropping  $100 for a core set you'll never use. 

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3 hours ago, AverageBoss said:

I would say the biggest hurdle for armada is its split faction, $100 buy in. That is the biggest complaint I have heard about the game, and the reason most people around here wont even try it. IA also has this, but its considered a bit less of a problem, because its a bit more of a complete experience, and seen as more of a board game than wargame.

Armada could definitely use some up to date, faction specific starters.

And an 'essentials' kit.

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Just now, Green Knight said:

Armada could definitely use some up to date, faction specific starters.

And an 'essentials' kit.

We'll get one after everyone else gets one.  You know how it is :D

 

I mean, technically, they havn't even sold any of these yet for Runewars - so its yet to be known if they are actually popular in light of the Runewars Core set or not...  I mean, on paper they are, but there's no pre-order or sales data on it yet... 

 

Because if they do it for Runewars, and its not economical in comparison to the Runewars starter, you know that's going to be deathknell for them expanding the concept out elsewhere...  

But Runewars is also already locked into the "no neutral upgrades available only in a single faction" system, which is different to that which we have with X-Wing and Armada (Flight Commander, TRCs, APTs, lookin' at you in particular...) .   That, perhaps one day will change - but its not a short-term thing at all...  Whereas that is their stated business plan with Runewars, the assumption is that opposite business plan applies for Armada, and because of the extensive lead (12-18 months) on design processing - won't change quickly, if at all.

 

They might also judge the essentials pack and army box system the way to go because Runewars will have at a minimum four factions, and its a split decision there because of the number - whereas anything less than that, boom, just gets the Core and goes from there...   

Who knows...

At the very least, they've said their Aim with Runewars is that you should only have to buy your own force to get access to all of the upgrades that your force can use.

But that only applies to Runewars

And because it is only for Runewars, the opposite applies to each and every other game at this point in time.

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Some great comments thanks all that seem to show that my area may not be as typical as I was thinking.

 

I still think there are some aspects of IA that may be worth looking at moving Armada forward, but glad to hear many people are finding a strong Armada scene!

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18 hours ago, Green Knight said:

Armada could definitely use some up to date, faction specific starters.

And an 'essentials' kit.

X-Wing got a new core set after three years, coinciding with the release of TFA, and shortly after Wave VII.

This year, TLJ will release, at which point Armada will be 2.75 years old, and probably in Wave VII.

In other words, I'm not saying it's ancient aliens that Wave VII will coincide with one or more new core sets, but... well, I'm hoping it's ancient aliens new core sets.

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Both Armada and IA have been struggling in the area around me for the last 6+ months. One FLGS has stopped running events for either game altogether due to a lack regular of turnout.

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We have had that at another FLGS in the Atlanta Metro area, but we remain strong at my store for both IA and Armada. I think the thing that helps both systems is having a some one who is at the store on a regular basis driving turn out and keeping people engaged. If tis just the store owner who may play two systems regularly and then has to push everything else it will not work well. 

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I'm not sure what the title is talking about or asking?

IA is easily the most fun game I've played in years and the game I enjoy the most playing.  I play armada and I used to play x-wing. I've played several other games in the past.  (skirmish) IA fits the bill as to what I'm looking for in a game.  That being said, it is not the easiest game to find opponents for.  It has a perceived difficult buy-in, and judging from the online presence, it has a crazy competitive driven community, where I enjoy playing more than just 3 maps at a time and have a more casual attitude towards my lists, etc.

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Well when you are talking about Star Wars Table Top Miniatures game you have 3. X-wing, Armada, and Imperial Assault. X-wing was first and the largest so there are people who just played X-wing and there are people who started out with X-wing then moved on to the other games. Out of those that have adopted other games some people still play X-wing and some don't.

For Imperial Assault it is actually a two part game. The primary part and the first one is the Narrative driven campaign more, where you take a variety of B-listed but overpowered characters that are inspired from those in the movie but are not (so you don't interrupt the main story line much) where the main cast of Star Wars acts as either Ally NPC or near invincible NPCs that make you finish your mission faster. The second part is the skirmish mode which is the competitive format of building a list from a selection of models and each models has their point cost attached to them, then you fight it out.

As for Armada there really is only one way to play it, and that is competitive. Sure Corelian Conflict Campaign has brought in a team narrative campaign but that is really a series of competitive games connected through campaign rules and not a whole new set up of systems and mechanics. Your Demolisher in Corelian Conflict doesn't become a ship that can take on star destroyers the same way your Campaign Wookie Fighter can take down Rancors in Imperial Assault campaigns. 

So in a way I can see Imperial Assault as the more accessible game not in terms of sheer popularity an cost but in terms of mechanics and game-play styles. Now could a fan made or official Heroes of the Autri Cluster campaign bring Armada numbers up? Not really I don't see too many X-wing players that came to X-wing because of HotAC. HotAC seems to be more of an X-wing novelty given its un-official status. 

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1 hour ago, Marinealver said:

As for Armada there really is only one way to play it, and that is competitive. Sure Corelian Conflict Campaign has brought in a team narrative campaign but that is really a series of competitive games connected through campaign rules and not a whole new set up of systems and mechanics. Your Demolisher in Corelian Conflict doesn't become a ship that can take on star destroyers the same way your Campaign Wookie Fighter can take down Rancors in Imperial Assault campaigns. 

I agree that as a campaign goes, the Corellian Conflict is rather thin; it keeps the focus on the games of Armada - which is how it should be.

While I would like something 'thicker', I do think they at least had to start with something thin and simple, as a proof-of-concept. I do hope that they produce another campaign, with some added complexities.

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As a person who plays Imperial Assault and Armada, I'm also fortunate enough to have a wife that understands my obsession hobby and has let me spend the money to have nearly 2 of every expansion for both games. All that being said, I don't play competitively, I only play for fun. (I also have a handful of iconic X-Wing miniatures, but I've only played once and didn't really enjoy it. I have the minis because they look cool).

A few observations I have regarding the games:

Like @Marinealver stated, IA has the campaign mode in addition to a skirmish mode. I've played campaign and skirmish in IA, and the amount of fun we've had in the campaign is immeasurably better than any skirmish games we've played. Maybe it's the narrative and how each mission draws you in more and more into a larger story. Maybe it's...

The campaign mode in IA is a 5 player experience. While it's playable with 2, it's most enjoyable with 5. Most games get better with more people, except solitaire :blink:. While there is a rule set for more players with "Team Play" in Armada, it's just a tacked on optional rule. While I do appreciate the team aspect of Corellian Conflict, it's still just a bunch of skirmishes with a minimum of campaign feel.

The price entry for Armada feels higher than that of IA. When you purchase a core set of IA for $99 MSRP, you get 2 play modes, map tiles that can be configured in all kinds of crazy ways, a handful of dice and 34 figures. You get iconic figures: Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Stormtroopers, Probe Droids and an AT-ST. When you spend the same amount for Armada, you get 4 L shaped pieces of cardboard to mark off proper space, a handful of dice, 3 ships and 10 squadrons. You get 2 Rebel ships that made it into the OT and an Imperial Ship that most people have never heard of that could be mistaken for a Star Destroyer if you squint. If Armada included a Star Destroyer, a Mon Calamari Crusier and a play mat, things would be different. I know the argument is that the game can't have all those things and be under $100. I argue that the game can have all those things and still be under $100. The profit margin isn't going to be as high, but the core box could be seen as a loss leader (or at least a tiny profit leader) that would then get you to purchase expansions.

 

Now don't pin me wrong, I love Armada. The games I've played so far have been fun and memorable. But nothing compares to winning a campaign mission in IA on the last roll of the last activation of the mission. I have been thinking of ways to combine these two game, but that's for a different thread. I'm not sure if Armada can really capture the campaign feature that IA has, though I wish they would.

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