shaner

Armada: Who Plays It??

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Hi folks, just wondering what folks think of Armada. How does it compare with X-Wing? 

I run an after school gaming club and we play ALOT of XWing, but the interest is beginning to dwindle. I was looking at other Star Wars games. We tried Imperial Assault, but it just didn't work. Many of the kids just couldn't make the commitment week after week to complete the campaign. So I figured I would check out Armada. Compared to Xwing, is it way more complicated? Is it too unbalanced, where one side basically wins all the time? Do you feel that teenagers could fit in a full game in 2 to 2.5 hours??

Thanks

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10 minutes ago, shaner said:

 we play ALOT of XWing, but the interest is beginning to dwindle. 

No wonder, thanks to the actual MEHta. -_-'

 

11 minutes ago, shaner said:

We tried Imperial Assault, but it just didn't work. 

Why am I not surprised 😂 (jago voice from Aladdin) 

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I play it a lot. I think Armada is a superior game but it's a deeper game too and it therefore requires a longer attention span. In your specific circumstances you might be better off spicing up your X Wing games with scenarios or a campaign. Possibly even give it a short break to "cleanse the pallette".

Armada is pretty well balanced. For me personally a lot of X Wing's problems go back to what I think was a big mistake, the advent of the Scum and Villainy faction (a minority view I accept). Armada has them as, in effect, auxiliaries and it works. It looks like Star Wars not some generic space battle with an almost non existent Star Wars skin and neither has it become a collectable card game with ships bolted on. I only collect Imperials in Armada and there have been very few occasions when I felt the need to resort to e bay to get cards that came in rebel ships to stay competitive. No buying ships you don't need to get autothrusters or TIE Advanced fixes there!!! You'll see X Wings in Armada too and TIEs that work well in swarms and aren't just cannon fodder for the latest Scum and Villainy uber, mega fighter that doesn't appear in any film but got mentioned in a book once that nobody under 35 years old has ever even heard of, let alone read.

 

Edited by Bolshevik65

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5 hours ago, shaner said:

Hi folks, just wondering what folks think of Armada. How does it compare with X-Wing? 

......we play a lot of X-Wing, but the interest is beginning to dwindle.

Sadly, I see this too, and the developers will not stop the bleeding for some unknown reason (frustration face). An actual balancing FAQ is desperately needed.

Armada is more complex, but it is awesome in the dynamics and planning....I'm getting into it as well, and the models are awesome. It is more balanced in my opinion while having a myriad of options in fleet building and stratagy.

 

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I play both games, and I love them both for different reasons.

They are very different games.

Armada takes much longer and costs a lot more just to get enough components to enjoy the game. It is more strategic and I think more rewarding.

X-wing is my instant gratification tabletop game. 

Edited by jmswood
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I have them both, but currently no player to play Armada against. I prefer X-Wing, since it isn't so long and a bit simpler than Armada.

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When Armada came out I jumped ship from X-Wing to play it. I've only recently come back to X-Wing because it gets played sometimes in the office, but I still prefer Armada.

 

Armada is a more deliberate game than X-Wing as there's more to do with indiviual ships. You program commands instead of maneuvers, and there's inertia for larger units so that new commands resolve several turns later. Ships have two attacks, and the strength of which varies depends on range. Fighters are added as a sub-unit that can subject ships to multiple small attacks out of one ship's command, or during their own phase after all starships have gone.

The greatest appeal to me is how defending against attacks is now a resource mechanic instead of a random one. Ship survival doesn't cop out when your dice go cold- it is the result of conscious decisions on reacting to attacks. It introduces the problem of a large number of attacks overwhelming those defenses too easily, but that's thematic to the setting.

It will be an adjustment when going from X-Wing to Armada, but it can be rewarding if you like more deliberate play. If you enjoy Epic X-Wing, going to Armada won't be too much of a shock.

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I also find Armada to be superior to X-Wing, though I like both.  I wouldn't recommend Armada for younger kids, but if your group is junior high age or so, they should be fine.  Objectives add a lot of strategy and variety to the game, beyond X-Wing's death match, as do commanders' fleet-wide effects.

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I play Armada as often as I can.  It's downfalls are 2 part though, in that it has a smaller playerbase, and that it takes longer to play.   

 

  Other than that, it's more tactical, and has a different feel than X-Wing.  It's somewhat less based on luck, in that there are no defense dice, and generally offers larger, prettier models (IMO) since Star Destroyers and MC-80s aren't restricted to a special format.  

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I play both; they're different and enjoyable for different reasons.

Given a choice between the two I play X-Wing, because Armada is longer & slower, and has more fiddly bits to keep track of. It is -- probably -- better balanced at the moment, at least at the 400 point tournament level, though there are things that are still (IMO) stupid broken, but not broken enough t break the game overall.

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I enjoy my games of Armada more than I do my X-wing games of late. However, it's a lengthy game with a lot of moving pieces with a fairly large learning curve (Losing a game in deployment is a real possibility). I'm not sure it's a good fit for a school gaming club.

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Armada is way more complicated to play than X-wing.  not really a dealbreaker on its own, but perhaps not a great choice for kids.  Definitely would not even try it with kids younger than junior high, and even then I would only expect a few of them to maybe have enough interest to push through the learning curve

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I loved X-wing. I'm only still perusing though this forum as a design enthusiast watching development of the game. Armada is at least three times the game X-wing in its current and foreseeable future could hope to be. Far more strategically engaging, tactically demanding, skill rewarding and just plain exciting fun. It will also likely hit a wall at some point but I think it will enjoy a few golden age years before that happens. And I think they started this past year so I'm loving it. Highly recommend. Honestly believe it's the best strategic wargame available.

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I too run a school club. I have the kids play 1 Armada game without upgrades or Commanders. Then they’ve learned the mechanics and jargon. After that I turn them loose. They do great with it. 

Armada has superior balance, and requires a very different type of tactical mindset to play. X-Wing is tactical cage match duels, while Armada feels more like a calm commander directing a thoughtful battle (as it should). It’s a longer game, and for my club has require a place to “pause” games while they’re not being played. 

Hope this helps, but I echo others, 7th grade is about as young as I’d go for a group of kids, though certainly there will be the occasional younger kid who could grasp it. 

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Guys have already hit on the points I would make. Very different games that reward and challenge different things. They are both fun but for different reasons. 

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I'd play armada insteead of just playing with the minatures on my desk and making pew pew sounds if people at my local game store played. But sadly there isnt any armada players there.

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14 hours ago, Halliday said:

I play both. In Armada, I like that there is no InstaWin list there is in X-Wing with Jumpmasters.

Can you maybe post what major things have Jumpmasters 'InstaWon' recently?

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4 hours ago, TheHumanHydra said:

Man, everything I read makes it sound like I'd love Armada. But the time I tried it, I didn't. Don't know why.

Probably had a bad demo. I run three successive build up games to ease players into the mechanics as a kind of 'Officers School', by the third they got it and are ready to go off on their own but they'll lose a ton of games before they start to win with consistency. The learning curve is just super steep. There's so much to the strategy portion of fleet/objective list building, development of the obstacles setup, deployment of forces, tactical maneuvering and rangefinding of those units and the execution of your plan while compensating for your opponents subtle shifts in their own, that it just takes a ton of experience to see how the different parts all come together so that you know how to aim for a win. It's a true Strategy wargame, not an action tactical game... Well unless you both play like nothing but speed 3-4 ships using navigate every turn and squads LOL 😂. 

I wish more people played Armada just so they understood in practice why it is so important for X-wing to keep the defense dice random. Especially if they ever do a second edition. Static defenses work for Armada, they wouldn't work for X-wing. 

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I don't play Armada as often as X-wing, but I like it much better.  The difference is, of course, that X-wing is short enough that it can serve as a "warm up" game on gaming nights, followed by something else, like Arkham Horror, Imperial Assault or a good RPG session.  Armada takes too long to serve in that respect, so the fact that most of the people I play with are seriously into Arkham or the campaign oriented worlds of IA and RPGs, it makes it hard to convince them to play something that will reduce the options to get into their favorite games for the evening.  Maybe the Corellian Conflict would help, but probably not, as the campaign thing seems to appeal to my fellow players more in relation to character progression, which isn't so much a thing in any version of Armada...

To answer your question, I'd suggest maybe doing a test run.  I don't know what your format is with the kids, but maybe set up an Armada match to introduce some of them to it, while letting others continue with the fast paced plastic crack of X-wing.  Armada will appeal more to those who like to plan and think things through; there's a small amount of patience to X-wing, but most of it is very "in the moment" style thinking.  Armada is all about the long game, planning ahead to what you'll be doing and where your ships will be several turns out.

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I play significantly less Armada than X-Wing (and I mean significantly), but this is not due to disliking it. Just stumbled upon it later.

As I like both, but do not have too much experience with Armada, I'd just like to point out that

a) entry cost tends to be significantly higher, though not more than other tabletop games other than X-Wing and

b) you might not like it if you don't like attaching lots of upgrade cards to your ship. It's a bit of a bummer that FFG again sort of resorts to fixing ships with cards in other expansions (Victory+ Jerjerrod comes to mind). Card combos are your bread and butter, and looking back on some other threads, some seem to not like this- so I figure I'd point it out.

Other than that, share a Core Set and go nuts!

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A few thoughts from me:

1. Don't listen to people who say that Armada is costly compared to X-wing. It's not. People have this impression because the starter is much more expensive (a serious mistake on FFG's part that they keep repeating with all their games since X-wing, but that's another topic). Individual models are also a little bit more pricey in Armada. However, A) armada has fewer waves, so there's fewer models you need to buy B) there are only 2 factions, so there's fewer models per wave and C) unlike in X-wing, you can collect just one faction because situations where a card you desperately need is in another faction's expansion are rare indeed. As a result, I definitely spent far less on Armada than on X-wing - and I've bought pretty much every product for both games (some of them several times).

2. Armada is much better designed on a fundamental level. One reason why it's so hard to balance X-wing is because every game is a deathmatch. While there is some variety in ways you might overcome the enemy in X-wing, in the end of the day the winner is the guy who destroys the opponent's ships before he loses his own. Armada's massive strength lies in the fact that missions are an integral part of the game. This makes each and every game feel unique. Some fleets might not stand a chance in a direct confrontation with a certain enemy fleet and yet they might win simply because they're better at achieving the mission's goals. This largely eliminates the most gimmicky and abberrant types of lists because they tend to fail on certain types of missions.

3. On top of that, Armada's gameplay consists of two layers that affect one another - the capital ship battle and the fighter battle. Depending on the type of fleets, one layer might completely dominate the other in a specific matchup but for the most part, players need to acknowledge and plan for both. This gives the game an extra level of depth and increases the diversity of lists.

4. As others already mentioned, Armada is less luck based. While a particularly good (or bad) dice roll or a nasty critical hit might still decide the outcome of the match, for the most part the game is decided by the player's respective skills in list building  and tactics, not luck.

5. Ships don't get outdated in Armada the same way they do in X-wing. In fact, it's hard to point at a single ship in Armada and say with all certainty that it's useless (like, say, B-wings in X-wing). Ships from the early waves are still a common sight on the tables and can fight on equal footing with the newest releases.

6. Armada is much more of a looker than X-wing. There's nothing quite like the sight of a majestic Imperial-class star destroyer surrounded by swarms of TIE fighters charging at a Mon Calamari Cruiser protected by it's X-wing escorts. And yes, X-wings are actually good in Armada and are still widely used. The same is true for Y-wings, A-wings, TIE Fighers, TIE Interceptors and all the other stuff you've seen in the movies and kinda forgot they existed in... "X-wing".

7. That said, Armada doesn't have X-wing's main strength - the thrill and the mindgaming potential of setting maneuvers in the planning phase. In that regard, Armada is somewhat more static and less exhilarating. In X-wing one unexpected maneuver can turn the game around - one way or the other. In Armada you can still surprise your opponent with a certain move or the command you chose, but usually you do see things coming in advance, especially once you've gained some experience.

8. Armada also takes about twice as long to play. While by itself it's not a gamebreaker (Armada is still shorter than GW's games for example), it does feel like a flaw when compared to X-wing. You can have a 4-round X-wing tournament starting at 9:00 AM and be done at about 2:00 PM, spending the rest of the afternoon doing something else. A 3 round Armada tournament is a whole day affair and a 2 round one feels too short and too random.

9. Last but not least - Armada is far less popular than X-wing. There are fewer players and fewer tournaments, far fewer streams etc. In some regions you can still find people to play quite easily, but in some of the others your only chance to play might be to travel to the nearest place where tournaments are held.

 

To sum it up, Armada feels superior to X-wing on great many levels and these days I enjoy playing it a lot more but it does have it's flaws that you need to be aware of before jumping in. But if you do, you probably won't regret it.

Edited by Lightrock

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