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Admiral Sylva

Re-skinning the Armada concept...

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Howdy all,

First off, I love Star Wars and almost everything that goes with it. I especially love Armada (certainly more so than xwing) however i do have other interests outside of that far away galaxy a long time ago.

I also have a big historical interest, spanning many different ages, including the great age of sail and the Napoleonic wars. Now i was playing Armada at the weekend with my pal and we got to discussing how you could take the structure of Armada and effectively re-skin the working pieces to create a brilliant 18th century naval game. His input was that with 3d printers being more common, you could effectively print ships with the same hook at the base of the stand to allow the ship to slot onto the existing bases with the shield dials representing hull integrity or something similar. 

Due to time constraints, we did not get too much further into our discussion but it has got me wondering, has anyone done a similar thing or heard of the armada hardware being re-purposed for a different use?

(i only learnt today that x-wing is effectively a re-skin of a WW2 dog fighting game!) 

Cheers!

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For thematic purposes, I’d eliminate shields altogether, along with some of the defense tokens (Redirect comes to mind) and squadrons, but I agree, the overall idea is great. Star Wars battles certainly share a lot more in common with the Age of Sail than modern combat, so it seems like a natural fit! Without shields, ships might sink too fast, but they are just wooden boats after all!
 

I might prefer a WWI version of the game, personally, as a lot of the same principles would apply and still be thematically appropriate. But that’s just because I have more interest in 20th century naval architecture.

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The most thorough example of a reskin I saw involved the shield dials becoming more akin to the Wizkids Dials on their older (and simpler) MageKnight Miniatures - as you took damage on that side, you had a sliding scale of debilitation...  (Your first point lost might be -1 Red die on attack for example), repeated for your second, but your third was a loss of 2 Reds and a Blue, leaving you with just a Blue on that crippled side).

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Drasnighta said:

Its been trialled with Homeworld and BattleFleetGothic concepts to my knowlege.  Adapting the core to each system.

In the past I’ve sketched out possible factions like Starfleet, and BattleFleet Gothic. The addition of Ignition allows the latter to have superweapons like the Nova Cannon and other zany shenanigans. The trick is just finding ways to fill out the factions in new and interesting ways that aren’t clearly inspired by something existing. That really comes in with upgrade cards, faction uniques like commanders in particular, which is much less my strong suit than ship design.

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5 hours ago, Admiral Sylva said:

(i only learnt today that x-wing is effectively a re-skin of a WW2 dog fighting game!) 

It's...really, really not.

But the concept of miniature games using templates for movements is practically ancient as games go.  Heck - Star Fleet Battles, from back in the 70s, did it for Star Trek ships...

pic2047831.jpg

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You also had Sails of Glory, which had crew damage, sails damage etc... so a bit more fiddly but quite a fun game none the less.

All in all, thinking about it, SWA main advantage, is how it boils down the general idea of naval battle without adding too many bells & whistle. (up to this point at least)

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2 hours ago, Coranhann said:

You also had Sails of Glory, which had crew damage, sails damage etc... so a bit more fiddly but quite a fun game none the less.

All in all, thinking about it, SWA main advantage, is how it boils down the general idea of naval battle without adding too many bells & whistle. (up to this point at least)

Age of sail does a great job making sustained damage easy to track and as accurate as possible. But it uses a movement mechanic more like a shortened X-wing system.

Personally I prefer the Armada movement, but Age of Sail is an elegant system.

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I would absolutely adore a Battlefleet Gothic remake inspired by the Armada ruleset. I love Star Wars as much as the next guy, but I've been a Warhammer guy for nearly as long as my Star Wars fandom. Plus, 40k space combat uses squadrons MUCH less than Star Wars. Since squadrons are my least favorite part of Armada, a game that focuses more heavily on the actual capital ship combat would be sooo much more my speed.

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leviathans by Catalyst Game Lab may tickle your fancy as something to realign into an actual naval game. 
 

It’s a pain to find now, but rumors have a remake/restart of it coming. 

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4 hours ago, Church14 said:

leviathans by Catalyst Game Lab may tickle your fancy as something to realign into an actual naval game. 
 

It’s a pain to find now, but rumors have a remake/restart of it coming. 

It was a fun game, my oldest son has both the French and British fleets, so I got to play that more than a handful of times.

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14 hours ago, Dirk Le Daring said:

I think this may serve as a good starting point. Looks to me like a good ruleset ( I still have AH Wooden Ships and Iron Men).  Hope this helps.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iA4H_Qk8lkw

 

 

Used to play the crap out of wooden men and iron ships. Fun game especially when you modified to use GHQ minis. Loved using a local aftermarket supplement to include iron clads. Ahhhh.... the good old days when we all played with heavy lead based minis.

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Warhammer: Trafalgar was a great Age of Sail game - not too complex but with enough depts to be a tactical challenge and also feel right. Sadly now out of print :(

Personally I think it would be better to go straight for a dedicated saining game, rather than try to re-write Armada. You'd have a better playerbase, and not have to worry about trying to simulate the effect of weind in a game that isn't really designed for it...

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On 3/3/2020 at 9:22 PM, Rmcarrier1 said:

For thematic purposes, I’d eliminate shields altogether, along with some of the defense tokens (Redirect comes to mind) and squadrons, but I agree, the overall idea is great. Star Wars battles certainly share a lot more in common with the Age of Sail than modern combat, so it seems like a natural fit! Without shields, ships might sink too fast, but they are just wooden boats after all!

Don't be too quick in dismissing wooden boats!  They could withstand cannon reasonably well (e.g. USS Constitution), and even when a cannonball gets through, it's unlikely to sink the ship unless it's below the waterline or it sets off the powder.

On a different note, since Squadrons wouldn't make much sense in the age of sail, how about a boarding mechanism?

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6 hours ago, JJ48 said:

On a different note, since Squadrons wouldn't make much sense in the age of sail

Make them seagulls and add a “poked knees” crit to the deck.

On a more serious note, what if wind adds a non-optional yaw click in a given direction, and you can compensate for it with native yaw and command dials? 

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16 hours ago, The Jabbawookie said:

Make them seagulls and add a “poked knees” crit to the deck.

On a more serious note, what if wind adds a non-optional yaw click in a given direction, and you can compensate for it with native yaw and command dials? 

Good idea for wind. You could even have a random (or semi-random) mechanism for gusts that further increase yaw clicks, or maybe even speed/slow ships depending on prevailing wind direction, and perhaps a similar mechanism for sudden calming.

Obstacles: you could, of course, have coral reefs and rocks and things, but one of the first player/second player dichotomies could also be who’s got the wind; in other words, second player might have the advantage of choosing the prevailing wind direction at the start of the game (and perhaps certain objectives give player one this ability instead).

I do think certain things like wind strength should have a bit of randomness to them; part of being a good naval commander in those days was to factor the unpredictable weather into your plans.

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You could, I suppose, randomly choose a wind direction based on cardinal points (maybe a d8 or d16), and ships heading in to the wind need to move at speed 2 to travel at speed 1, and ships with the wind behind them travel an extra movement notch.  it's not perfect but it might work.  It would give you a way to include bidding for 2nd player who could choose wind direction (perhaps).

Damage cards could remove a mast and reduce maximum speed by 1.

 

 

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The direction of the wind should not really have a yaw effect.

Now, if you can build in a leeway mechanic (which might be easy with the Armada Maneuver tool?), that would be kind of awesome - not something I really remember having ever seen before in tabeletop sailing simulations.

Regarding wind strength and randomness - on the scale of the ships you're likely talking about simulating, the size of the ship means it's momentum far overrides the normal level of fluctuation (gusts). 'Unpredictable' weather is still seen coming at least minutes away (which I'd assume is more than a turn in a game like this), and almost always more than an hour ahead of time.

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One could certainly make a strong argument that the basic mechanics of Armada would lend themselves much better to an Age of Sail battle rather than a 3-Dimensional star ship battle, especially since collisions and boarding parties make far more sense in a naval setting than they do in space.  As an added perk, squadrons are the most imprecise and time-consuming portion of Armada, so eliminating them in an Age of Sail game would be seen by some players as a boon to the elegance, precision, and speed of play (squadron Values could be repurposed into another stat/mechanic that would allow for the differentiation of ship type/role, e.g. Boarding, Crew Morale, or Cargo Capacity).


For potential miniatures, in addition to the above suggestions, also consider the old Pirates collectible game where you punched out and built ships from chitboard included in the random packs.  That would be a dirt-cheap option for proxy miniatures compared to the other options.  Might be a good starting point, until you've got the gameplay flushed out enough to be sure you'd get your money's worth out of building up fleets of more expensive miniatures.

Enjoy!

 

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I would of thought that the natural Armada port would have been WW2 Naval combat. The manuver tool is just right, squadrons o fighters, ect. Star wars is already a WW2 IN SPAAAAAAAACE vibe, so actual WW2 would make sense to me.

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