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The complicated task of Squadrons and Fair Play

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Hello all! I am brand new to the Armada franchises, and as such I am still a young Padawan in the ways of the Armada, I wanted to make a post based of a comment thread I had earlier asking about squadrons. Seeing as I am joining into the fray about a month ago, I have  come to really love the versatility of the Squadrons, but the rules slightly confused not only myself, but a few new players I'm learning with at our local game shop. This post is mainly for the following:

1. Rule clarifications

2. Guides on smooth and fair play

3. A way for new players to meet old and get people interested with all the current expansions (and for those Blasted Imperials to drool at the new SSD coming from the Imperial Shipyards) So far, sabotage efforts by the Rebels have kept her from joining the fray.. but I fear It won't be long before the Rebels will have a new weapon to defend against. (or run from, depending on who you talk to in the Cantina...)


Thanks for stopping by, and Please push up the comments that have the most current rulings! 


to start Please clarify: 

How do squadrons work once all ships have been made active (also add stipulation when squadrons have been activated by Fleet command) 

When initiative changes (when all ships have gone once, or all command wheels exhausted.)

Exceptions to rules (upgrade cards that allow toggling the activation slider.)

The Rogue ability (if it allows repeat activation before initiative changes.) 

new expansions and the dynamics that change on the core rules. 


Thank you all in advance for your contributions and look forward to learning with you all! 



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Posted (edited)

1. When all ships have activated, the squadron phase begins.  Starting with the first player, both players take turns activating two squadrons.  Squadrons may either shoot or move (if allowed.)  Squadrons with the Rogue keyword may shoot and move (if allowed.)  As always, they may do this in any order.  The squadron phase ends when all squadrons have been activated.

1.5.  Regarding the fleet command: a fleet command is a type of upgrade.  You are probably thinking of a squadron command.  When a ship reveals a squadron command, it may activate a number of squadrons up to its squadron value at close-medium range before shooting and moving.  Those squadrons may move and shoot in any order.  A squadron token has the same effect, but only activates one squadron.  A dial and token can both be spent at the same time.

2. Initiative does not change.  Every round, the first player will move the first ship in the ship phase.  Then it is the second player’s turn to do so, and so on.  When all ships have been activated, the squadron phase begins.

3.  Only Adar Tallon, Dutch Vander and Flechette Torpedoes allow you to toggle a squadron slider in an abnormal way.  Flechette Torpedoes and Dutch allow you to turn squadrons “off” for the round if they haven’t had the chance to activate yet.  Adar Tallon lets you turn an activated squadron “on” again to give it a second activation.

4.  Rogue lets you move and shoot if activated in the squadron phase.  If you use a ship to command a squadron with Rogue, it activates like any other squadron, and may move and shoot like any other squadron.  Then it’s done for the round.

5.  Every card changes the core rules, and you’ll have some research to do.  We’d be here a while otherwise.

Hope this helps!

Edited by The Jabbawookie

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Posted (edited)

Greetings and welcome Blachieboy!

I will do my best to answer your questions.

A Round of star wars armada is broken up into 4 phases.

Taken straight from the Star Wars Armada Wiki. - https://starwars-armada.fandom.com/wiki

1. Command Phase is the first phase of a game round. During this phase, players secretly and simultaneously choose commands on their command dials and assign them facedown to their ships.

A ship must be assigned command dials until it has a number of command dials equal to its command value. This may require that more than one dial be assigned to a ship, such as during the first round of the game.

When assigning a command dial to a ship, the dial is placed under any other command dials already assigned to that ship.

The next phase is Ship Phase.

2. Ship Phase is the second phase of a game round after Command Phase. The first player activates one of his ships. Then the second player activates one of his own ships. Players continue taking turns in this manner until all ships have been activated.

Players cannot activate ships that have already been activated.

If a player has no unactivated ships remaining, he must pass his turn for the rest of the phase.

When it is a player’s turn to activate a ship, if all of that player’s unactivated ships are prevented from activating by card effects (such as Admiral Raddus or Governor Pryce), then that player passes his turn to activate. (see: FAQ Version 4.1.1; 2018/04/23 p. 6)

A player can exhaust a Strategic Adviser upgrade card equipped to an yet unactivated large ship instead and pass his turn.

Once per round, when a player would have to activate a huge ship, he can choose instead to pass.

Steps during Ship Activation

When a player activates a ship, he performs the following steps in order:

1 . Reveal Command Dial

After step 1: Execute (if possible or desired) a Squadron command and/or Engineering command.

2 . Attack.

Resolve (if possible or desired) Concentrate Fire command.

3 . Execute Maneuver.

Resolve (if possible or desired) Navigation command.

The next phase is Squadron Phase.

3. Squadron Phase is the third phase of a game round after Ship Phase. During this phase, the first player activates two of his squadrons. Then the second player activates two of his own squadrons. Players continue taking turns in this manner until all squadrons have been activated.

Players cannot activate squadrons that have already been activated.

A player does not choose the second squadron to activate until after he finishes activating the first one.

If a player only has one unactivated squadron remaining when he must choose his first squadron to activate, he only activates that squadron.

If a player has no unactivated squadrons remaining, he must pass his turn for the rest of the phase.

A squadron can either move or attack when activated during this phase; it cannot do both unless possessing the keyword Rogue.

4. Status Phase is the last phase of a game round after Squadron Phase. During this phase, the players ready all of their exhausted defense tokens by flipping them to their readied side. They also ready all of their exhausted upgrade cards by rotating them 90° counterclockwise.

Set your exhausted Defense Tokens back to green.

At the end of this phase, the first player flips the initiative token to its other side and places the round token with the next highest number to the side of the play area to indicate the number of the next round.


So to answer your question about squadrons, any squadron not activated by a ship is activated in the squadron phase. Rogues do not get to activate twice. Squadrons may only activate once with the exception of Adar Tallon, who can unactivate one squadron, as per his card ability.

initiative never changes once a game has started. First player is always first, second player is always second. If one player runs of out ships to activate while the other still has more, than that player with more activates the remainder of his ships in any order he chooses until he is not able to activate any more ships.

There are too many Exceptions than what can be gone over here. Pretty much, read the upgrade cards to understand what it is they do, any questions to any card. Just fire away or look up my explanations on my youtube channel below.
All rules are maintained and updated under FFG support.
This includes rules, rules reference, and the FAQ. You are encouraged to read them to gain a better grasp on the game, although it will take many games and several readings to garner an understanding of the game.



Also, my youtube channel helps to cover and explain many aspects of Star Wars Armada, it is called Star Wars Armada Explained (or SWAE)

Feel free to check it out, I still have tons of upgrade cards left to do, but I'm also working on creating other content as well to cover squadrons and in-depth "How-to" in order to try and explain everything about this great game.

Edited by Karneck

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, The Jabbawookie said:

2. Initiative does not change.  Every round, the first player will move the first ship in the ship phase.  Then it is the second player’s turn to do so, and so on.  When all ships have been activated, the squadron phase begins.

To get in on this. It might be a misconception that leads to the assumption that initiative changes. The Initiative Marker is a tangible representation of the posession of initiative. It gets flipped during Status Phase, but this only happens to indicate the slidercolor of unactivated squadrons for the next round. The token does not actually change the owner, nor does the change of color indicate a change of initiative between players/Teams.

This is an easy yet clever workaround so players don't have to pick up all squadrons again during Status Phase, to "reset" the activation Slider (which would only add  to the already somewhat  flimsy positioning of squadrons) or keep track of activated squadrons in any other way. 

Edited by R4Pi3R

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